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Witch Doctor In Diablo 3 : Lore, Names And Gameplay

Updated on June 19, 2013

The Umbaru tribes lives in a region called Teganze. Teganze is so deep in the wilderness of Torajan jungle that it is completely isolated from the modern world and probably wouldn't be discovered if not for the scholar and anthropologist And al-Hazir, Umbaru culture is the origin of Witch Doctors as we know them today. Once Ab al-Hazir befriended saw a witch doctor participating in battle. He was impressed by the unusual powers the witch doctor possessed and wanted to get known to Umbaru culture so he made friends with the witch doctor. The witch doctor was a member of the tribe of the Five Hills and introduced the historian with the history, traditions and beliefs of the Umbaru people.

Witch Doctors in Diablo 3
Witch Doctors in Diablo 3

There are many Umbaru tribes and they are constantly at war with each other. These tribal wars have more ritualistic than military nature for they are the main supply of the raw materials for the human sacrificing rituals. Fearless warriors represent honor and heroism and that is the reason why they are the best sacrifices one can offer to the spirits.

Umbaru religion is based on Mbwiru Eikura which means 'The Unformed Land'. The translation isn't very accurate because the idea of a sacred reality, spirit world is foreign to the modern man. Mbwiru Eikura is a hidden, sacred realm which can be accessible only by the most adept witch doctors after offering human sacrifices to the spirits that inhibit the world. The mind of a witch doctor is trained to connect to the spirit world in a mental state that is called the Ghost Trance, When in the ghost trance, the witch doctor can disappear from the physical world and return back to the living to share his experience in the land of the dead. Some have mastered the knowledge behind the grave so deep that they have even learned how to control the undead creatures.

If you feel intrigued by the gory nature of the shadowy magic, frightful martial arts and leadership over foul minions, the Witch Doctor might be the best class for you.

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Character Creation
Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Character Creation

Witch Doctor Names

The traditional Witch Doctor names are rooted in African culture although sometimes one can also feel Creole influence. The Witch Doctor names often show connection with spiritual world, deities and voodoo. Their names sound African, are usually short, no longer than 3 syllables, sometimes they are only a single syllable long.

Common Witch Doctor names start with Bam-, Cal-, Mau-, Nga-, Whi etc.
Common Witch Doctor names end with -au, -ba, -bo, -do, -we etc.

Some Witch Doctor name examples would be: Audowido, Bokor, Dahn-Gbwe, Hounsi, Ife, Kalfu, Ndemba, Voudoun.

The Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 Conceptual Art
The Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 Conceptual Art


If you wonder how to play a Witch Doctor in Diablo 3, you should know that the Witch Doctor is one of the most versatile classes in Diablo 3. Mainly he is a spell caster with the ability to summon minions to assist in the battle but can be played also as melee or ranged character for fun. Sometimes the witch doctor can take the role of the tank and let his minions tank a fight. But such way of playing the Witch Doctor is not very effective.

The best stats for the Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 is Intelligence and weapon damage.

In a way Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 is like Necromancer in Diablo 2 because his strengths are in summon and control creatures while casting spells. Also that is true in a way, if you look closer you will notice that the Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 has also some traits of Druid and Sorceress in Diablo 2. Summoning minions and casting spells is also what elemental/summoner hybrid Druids did in Diablo 2. And the crowd controlling that the Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 has, are very much alike to the ones that the Sorceress had in Diablo 2.

You can notice the influences of DIablo 2 also in the looks of Witch Doctor. It is based on a Fetish Shaman boss whose name was Endugu. You could encounter him in the Flayer Dungeon in the act 3.

The Witch Doctors in Diablo 3 also wear class specific equipment such as tribal masks, ceremonial daggers and mojos that add much more to the tribal primitive feeling when playing a Witch Doctor.


The undead creatures can be used in so many different ways that it is hard to imagine a Witch Doctor build without them. They can be used to increase the damage done, to protect the Witch Doctor and to control dangerous creatures. They are great for solo play, for group play and can create a lot of confusion in PvP. No doubt, pets such as zombie dogs, giant toads, firebats and other foul creatures are the biggest strength of the Witch Doctor class.

Offensive Magic

The Witch Doctor attacks his enemies by summoning clouds of poison and countless critters that bite and spread diseases. If the enemy can evade one of them, there are still numerous tricks the Witch Doctor can come up with. But no-one can evade the horror the Witch Doctor creates with his gory magic. He even sacrifices his own minions in order to completely destroy his enemies. This is why the Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 is a very unique class - not only summoning, but also sacrificing his own pets that were fighting for him just few seconds ago gives the Witch Doctor great burst DPS.

Hexes And Curses

Debuffs is another key feature that the Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 has, They weaken the enemies, hurt them and also incapacitate them. Painful poisons, life leeching and energy draining magic are richly applied when the Witch Doctor comes to fight.

Crowd Control

The Witch Doctor can twist and turn the minds and bodies of the creatures he has summoned from the Underworld but also of his opponents. When they are grasped by the hands that have spread out right of the earth, when they are running away in terror, when they are confused and fight with each other, when they are humiliated by being turned into chicken, then we see that the Witch Doctor is the one who rules the battlefield.

If you would like to know how to build a witch doctor in Diablo 3, please follow the link bellow. It will lead you to a brief Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 guide that will show you fun and useful Witch Doctor skill builds.


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    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 

      6 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      I've heard from Blizzard I believe in conference videos and interviews that the Necromancer may be coming back, but that's just Blizzard' guess. I don't think they're entirely sure what's going to happen, as right now they just want to get the game cleaned of bugs and shiz.

      However I think Eranofu is right on this one, that the Necromancer won't have much need, what with the Witch Doctor taking his place (to some degree). The Voodoo dude practically owns a lot of Necrotic abilities such as summoning, using poisons and a good relationship with the spirit realm. Who knows. ^^

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think the expansions will follow Shen, and answer what happened to Leah, possibly rescuing her.

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Europe

      It is just rumors but they might do as with Diablo 2 - adding new classes later in an expansion. Maybe John knows more.

      To be honest I don't see any need for having Necromancer since WD has too much of its Diablo 2 skills (zombie wall = bone wall etc).

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The Necromancer returns? Where did you read that?

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Europe

      Thank you, John. :))) It's always lovely to hear from you.

      I love everything tribal too and playing Witch Doctor gives a really nice feeling.

      I am also going to write about the WD skill builds. The builds which are centered around sacrificing are quite unique.

      Hopefully in the end I'll manage to make short series with Diablo classes and skill builds.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 

      6 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Very nice article as always, Eranofu! I take it you like the Witch Doctor the most in this game, eh? This is my personal choice for when I start the game (haven't got it yet), as they remind me of the Darkspear Trolls and their shamanic beliefs. Plus, they sound like a mix of warlocks and Hunters from the Warcraft franchise. Luckily the Necromancer returns in a patch sometime in D3, so we'll have to compare the two at some point.

      Voted up, useful and interesting! Nice research done on the lore!


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