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Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Guide and Inferno Builds

Updated on October 18, 2014

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Guide and Inferno Builds

This page is a Diablo 3 Witch Doctor guide and also includes various Diablo 3 Witch Doctor builds (including Witch Doctor Inferno Builds). If you are looking to start a Witch Doctor or stuck on a particular difficulty then this Diablo 3 Witch Doctor guide will prove to be an invaluable resource.

Learn more about the Witch Doctor, the Witch Doctor's resource (Mana), the must have skills and which gear to purchase in this comprehensive Diablo 3 Witch Doctor guide.

The Witch Doctor uses a mixture of pets, curses and magic to deal with his enemies. This allows the Witch Doctor to exert powerful battlefield control over his or her enemies.

Don't forget to stop by our poll and tell us what difficulty your Witch Doctor is currently up to in Diablo 3.

Images on this page are sourced from the official Diablo 3 website and used for review, commentary and educational purposes.

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Diablo 3 Witch Doctor

Guide & Builds

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Guide & Build Overview


The Witch Doctor is a spell caster and summoner in Diablo 3 with many similarities to the Necromancer of Diablo 2. The Witch Doctor uses Pets for damage and protection while also using destructive magic to directly deal with enemies. Unique equipment for Witch Doctors includes Mojos, Ceremonial Knives and Voodoo Masks.

Other key features of the Witch Doctor include curses and hexes to weaken and trick enemies along with extensive battlefield control allowing the Witch Doctor to send his enemies fleeing in terror.

Witch Doctor Overview - Official Diablo 3 Website

The Pros - The Strengths Of The Witch Doctor In Diablo 3

  • Variety of abilities and play styles (pets, curses and magic).
  • Great addition to a team, making Witch Doctor's great for multi-player.
  • Great battlefield control (fears and slows)
  • Has similarities to the Necromancer from Diablo 2.

The Cons - The Weaknesses Of The Witch Doctor In Diablo 3

  • Reliant on kiting and lacks defensive spells (making survival difficult in later difficulties).
  • Lack of 'hard' crowd control (such as stuns).
  • The most difficult ranged class to master.

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor


The Witch Doctor Resource: Mana

Witch Doctor's rely on the spirtual power of Mana to cast their abilities in Diablo 3. Mana is a vast resource but regenerates slowly, this allows the Witch Doctor to either use his skills sparingly for a near endless amount of time or unleash all his Mana into his most deadly skills for high bursts of damage.

There are plenty of skills, runes and passives dedicated to helping the Witch Doctor regenerate Mana or reduce initial Mana costs. Using these effectively will make you a powerful and formidable Witch Doctor.

The Best Witch Doctor Stats - Important Stats To Have On Witch Doctor Gear

When building your Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 there are a number of important item stats that you will need to maximise in order to survive:

  • Intelligence: Intelligence is the primary stat of the Witch Doctor and as such it offers great boosts to your damage output. It should always be a top priority when considering gear options.
  • Vitality: Vitality directs impacts the amount of life you have and in turn your survivability, during the earlier difficulties(Normal/Nightmare/Hell) you will want as much as you think is necessary (depending on your playstyle this may be complete glass cannon or durable enough to take several hits). In the later acts of Inferno Vitality can generally be kept at lower levels as the amounts of Vitality required to survive is often too expensive or requires the sacrifice of too much damage.
  • Attack Speed: A decent amount of attack speed can help a Witch Doctor significantly in battle. Attack speed allows you to cast spells faster making for easier kiting and an overall increase in damage output.
  • Maximum Mana/Mana Regeneration: This one is a little more dependant on your skill build choices but Maximum Mana and Mana Regeneration is a nice bonus stat to have on your equipment. If you find yourself constantly out of mana consider investing in an item that offers these stats.
  • Movement Speed: Kiting is an important part of the Witch Doctor's gameplay in the higher difficulties and movement speed can go along way to helping you kite enemies more easily. 12% movement speed is easily attainable on your boots and if you feel you want more there are many legendary items that offer movement speed.
  • Witch Doctor Skill Bonuses: There are plenty of Witch Doctor related skill bonuses that either increase skill damage, reduce the casting cost or improve the cooldown. If you find one relating to a skill that you use regularly it will significantly help and is definitely something worth keeping an eye out for.


The Best Witch Doctor Skills - The Must Have Witch Doctor Skills

The Diablo 3 Witch Doctor skills listed below are considered to be the strongest skills available to the Witch Doctor and will generally appear in your Witch Doctor builds more often than other skills.

  • Poison Dart: Poison Dart will serve you well in your time as a Witch Doctor, it gives you great single target damage for a low mana cost. Poison Dart is perfect for both boss fights and normal monsters that you encounter and can be runed to deal extra damage or slow enemies, making for easier kiting.
  • Firebomb: Firebomb is your cheap area of effect spell that is great at clearing mobs of monsters.
  • Grasp Of The Dead: A must have inclusion in a Witch Doctor's arsenal as it allows you to kite enemies and bosses, the slow provided from this skill will slow enemies to a crawl. With a reasonable cooldown you want to be careful with your placement to maximise the slow time provided.
  • Haunt: Haunt is a fun skill that deals massive amounts of damage over 12 seconds making it great for elite enemies and boss fights as an extra source of damage that you can cast and forget about.
  • Locust Swarm: Locust Swarm offers another multi-target spell option for the Witch Doctor it deals significant damage but requires a reasonable amount of time to be effective.
  • Spirit Walk: An absolute must have in the later difficulties, this skill allows you to walk past enemies and avoid potentially fatal damage. Depending on your preference you can rune this skill to help with mana regeneration or increase its duration.
  • Hex: This skill is great for dealing with elite packs in Hell and Inferno by disabling one completely.
  • Soul Harvest: This skill allows for a massive increase in damage output by boosting your Intelligence greatly. Learning when and how to use this skill does take some getting used to but the increased damage is well worth the effort.
  • Gargantuan: The Gargantuan is a durable and effective summoning option available to the Witch Doctor. It can deal reasonable damage and is an effective tanking tool but unfortunately drops off in effectiveness in Hell and Inferno.

The Best Witch Doctor Passives - The Must Have Witch Doctor Passives

  • Jungle Fortitude: A great defensive skill that either allows you to survive hits that would usually one hit you or take an extra hit or two in the heat of battle. This skill also buffs your pets making it great for a pet reliant Witch Doctor.
  • Spiritual Attunement: A very simple and effective passive that increases the mana you have available as well as its regeneration. Most Witch Doctor builds will need this to maximise damage output but you may find that you don't need it depending on your build.
  • Blood Ritual: As Witch Doctors avoid getting hit, losing small amounts of life generally isn't an issue (especially when you have large reserves) if your having mana issues and looking to try something different Blood Ritual is a fun little passive.
  • Pierce The Veil: This passive offers a straight up damage increase at the cost of increase resource costs. Combined with Attunement or Blood Ritual this is not usually an issue and is a great easy way to increase overall damage.
  • Spirit Vessel: This skill has two key benefits, it allows you to escape death every 90 seconds and also reduces the cooldown on one of your vital skills (Spirit Walk). While you may not use this passive when you first unlock it, it is a must have in Inferno difficulty.
  • Vision Quest: Depending on your skill build this can be a very effective passive to increase your mana regeneration greatly. It also forms the basis of the Witch Doctor zombie bears Inferno build (which is featured later on this page).
  • Fetish Sycophants: This is another fun passive at the Witch Doctor's disposal, if you have a build that relies on high attack speed and physical realm spells (such as Poison Dart) you can have a lot of a fun summoning little fetishes

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Tips

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Inferno Builds

Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Builds

Don't forget that these Diablo 3 Witch Doctor builds are simply guidelines. There is no need to follow these exactly, they are designed to simply provide you with some build ideas. Ultimately your build will depend on your preferred playstyle and gear.

These guides are made using the Diablo 3 Skill Calculator and may require the use of elective mode.


Witch Doctor Inferno Build - Xago's Standard Build

Required Level 39

This Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Inferno build is great standard Witch Doctor build to progress through Inferno and is also an effective Inferno farming build.

The Witch Doctor Inferno build relies on Poison Dart as your main attack, with the Splinters rune it deals 180% weapon damage and is great for both clearing basic monsters, elites and bosses. You can also use the Numbing Dart rune to give you extra slowing power.

Grasp of the Dead with the Unbreakable Grasp rune offers you an incredible slow at a reasonable cooldown which is a must have for kiting enemies. Hex is great to carry in your skill slot to make elite packs easier to deal with and can also be used to heal yourself or your allies from damage. If you reach a point where you are dying one hit you can swap the healing rune for another option (but the healing rune is still a great option for multi-player).

Wall of Zombies covers your area effect damage spell and offers good damage (although it does take some getting used to). There are plenty of other viable options available in this slot including Firebomb, Acid Cloud and Locust Swarm.

This Witch Doctor Inferno build is finished off with Soul Harvest runed for extra duration to provide a massive boost to damage output (careful timing of this skill is important to maximise its potential). And Spirit Walk which is a must have in Inferno to survive, some Witch Doctors prefer the mana regeneration rune while others prefer the increased duration (the choice is up to you, I recommend trying them both out).

Passives for this build are covered by Spiritual Attunement (for mana regeneration), Pierce The Veil (for an increased damage boost) and Spirit Vessel (for cooldown reduction on Spirit Walk and the ability to potentially cheat death every 90 seconds). Other passives that are viable options for this Witch Doctor Inferno build include Jungle Fortitude and Blood Ritual.

See This Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Inferno Build On The Diablo 3 Skill Calculator

Xago Discusses This Witch Doctor Build


Witch Doctor Inferno Build - Zombie Bears Build

Required Level 54

As the name suggests this Witch Doctor Inferno Build focuses on using the Zombie Bear rune for the Zombie Charger skill. By using the Vision Quest passive you can use the Zombie Bears nearly endlessly for massive damage. The only issue of this Witch Doctor Inferno build is it requires you to get in close range of your enemies.

Zombie Bears is obviously locked into one of the mouse buttons as it is the basis of this build. Your defensive spell for this build is the same as the above Witch Doctor Inferno build and is simply unbeatable at keeping you alive (Spirit Walk).

Your other 4 skills must be abilities with high cooldowns to make use of the Vision Quest passive (you must have at least 4 skills on cooldown to benefit from the massive increased mana regeneration). Popular choices include Summon Zombie Dogs/Gargantuan, Soul Harvest, Big Bad Voodoo and Festish Army. It is vital that you keep these skills off cooldown for this Witch Doctor Inferno build to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Passives are covered by Vision Quest (must have), Pierce The Veil and Spirit Vessel. Spiritual Attunement is also a passive option and may be needed depending on your damage and mana regeneration bonuses from gear.

See This Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Inferno Build On The Diablo 3 Skill Calculator

What Is Your Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Build? - Did You Find This Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Page Helpful?

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