Diablo® III

TheRisen's Witch Doctor PvP Guide

TheRisen’s Witch Doctor PvP Guide

This guide is no longer accurate due to the release of patch 2.0 (because of extreme changes in the game). Read this guide if you are interested in seeing how Witch Doctors battled back in Vanilla!

- Witch Doctor in PvP -

Many players consider the Witch Doctor the be the strongest PvP class. I don't necessarily agree with this. I believe that Witch Doctors are the top class for low level dueling. They have skills that allow them to succeed even with a lack of top gear. However, high level dueling with maxed out gear/skill they are on an equal level to Monks and Barbarians. WD is known for being powerful due to their bleed skills such as Fire Bats (Plague Bats) and Haunt. They also have the ability to attack over/through walls with the Spirit Barrage skill. On top of this, WD have a wide variety of controlling skills including Hex, Horrify, and Mass Confusion. This allows WD to do well vs all other classes without the need for the very best gear. Its not until you reach the top level of players that both gear and SKILL really start to matter.

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- Basic Spells -

-Summon Zombie Dogs- (Life Link) The protection that is received from zombie dogs is essential in all fights, especially Demon Hunters.

-Haunt- (Resentful Spirit) (Draining Spirit) (Grasping Spirit) Haunt has great range and damage. these three runes all offer great results vs different classes. (Will go into more depth in the matchup section of the guide).

-Firebats- (Plague Bats) Bats op, use them. Enough said.

-Hex- (Jinx) Hex is a great way to get off many stuns vs your opponents, the fact that it only has a 3 second downtime makes the skill extremely useful.

-Spirit Walk- (Jaunt) (Healing Journey) This is the skill you will use to get out of trouble, it removes all controlling effects and damage effects. (Will go into more depth in the matchup section of the guide)

-Horrify- (Frightening Aspect) (Face of Death) Horrify will allow you to fear your opponent sending them running in the opposite direction for 4 seconds. (Will go into more depth in the matchup section of the guide)

-Spirit Barrage- (Well of Souls) This attack does a lot of damage AND can go through walls making it possible to use the walls as a shield. There are certain matchups where this skill becomes incredibly useful.

-Mass Confusion- (Mass Hysteria) Mass hysteria allows you to get an instant short stun on your opponent. The Downside is that it comes with a 60 second cooldown. (Will go into more depth in the matchup section of the guide)

-Gargantuan- (Bruiser) Garg is a great skill to use when fighting against a Demon Hunter. It will help to get in the way and make it much more difficult for the DH to land attacks.

-Big Bad Voodoo- (Ghost Trance) (Slam Dance) There are a few situations where this skill can be taken advantage of. With the ability to increase both your damage and healing it proves useful, the catch is the 2 minute cooldown.

-Corpse Spiders- (Leaping Spiders) An amazing skill for trolling pubs. Second to none.

- Basic Passives -

-Blood Ritual- The reduction of mana costs combined with the hp regeneration makes blood ritual a key passive for any PvP WD.

-Spirit Vessel- This is the most important passive for WD. It only restores you to 15% max hp but its very easy to take advantage of the 2 seconds of invisibility for escape or finishing off your opponent.

-Jungle Fortitude- This offers 15% reduction for you and your pets. Its just free ehp that you can take advantage of.

-Rush of Essence- This passive is great for wd who like to use Spirit Barrage and will for the most part only be used vs Barbarians (Will go into more depth in the matchup section of the guide).

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- Matchups -

(KEEP IN MIND)
The matchup advice I give will be general and not super in-depth. I will give some brief tips on what you should be doing vs each class. Also, these tips are based off of my experience with TOP PLAYERS and will need to be applied against such. You might not find yourself running into issues I talk about in my matchup guide; but as you continue to improve and face better players, you will.

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- Witch Doctor vs Wizard -

This will be the matchup that gives the least trouble to the WD. Unfortunately for Wizard, they have no invisibility/invincibility skills that let them escape from the WD’s sight/damage. WD has many options in this fight, they can sit back and use haunt and slowly take the life out of the Wiz. If you are looking to end the fight quickly, try to sneak up to them and hit them with Firebats (Plague Bats). With the proper use of Spirit Walk, you will be able to avoid most attacks from a Wiz. I would say the best way to take down a Wiz is to start with haunt (Resentful Spirit) and when you see them use Mirror Image (Ability where they make clones), try to push in and finish them with bats. You can even use Spirit Walk offensively in this situation to get close to the Wiz quickly and finish them off before they have (Mirror Images) again. Also never forget to “Plant hex at their feet”. quote (Saltydog)

- Optimal Gear Setup -

Against a Wizard I think both a full bt set with a shield and a full zuni zet with a mojo are both very viable gear setups. It really depends on the Wizard you are playing.

- Basic Skills -

  • Summon Zombie Dogs- (Life Link)

  • Haunt- (Resentful Spirit)

  • Firebats- (Plague Bats)

  • Hex- (Jinx)

  • Spirit Walk- (Jaunt)

  • Horrify- (Frightening Aspect)


  • - Basic Passives -

  • Blood Ritual

  • Spirit Vessel

  • Jungle Fortitude


  • ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    - Witch Doctor vs Demon Hunter -

    This is a fun matchup for WD because DH can be a very tricky class. The WD’s biggest advantage over a DH is the fact that DH’s don't have the option to get close due to WD’s (Plague Bats). This allows the WD to stay far and do lots of damage with haunt and stay somewhat safe from the DH’s ranged attacks with protection from (Summon Zombie Dogs). However, even with the protection from dogs, DH have the ability to become invisible and land many up close sneak attacks with (Impale) or (Rapid Fire). Many times, a good DH will be able to get in and out of (Plague Bats) range and have done damage to you before you could get them with bats. You can expect that kind of thing from (Iria). The best way to keep them far is to focus on them when you see or hear them use (Smoke Screen) and get ready to hit them with bats. I would also advise all WD to use the walls of the Chapel as much as they can to avoid ranged attacks.

    - Optimal Gear Setup -

    Against a Demon Hunter I would advise you go with a more tanky setup. Blackthorns with a rare shield is a great setup. Due to bats being such a powerful skill vs DH, you can also use a mojo as long as you can avoid their attack effectively. A shield gives a WD more room for error.

    - Basic Skills -

  • Summon Zombie Dogs- (Life Link)
  • Haunt- (Resentful Spirit) or (Draining Spirit)
  • Resentful will put more pressure on the dh if you apply it relentlessly. Draining will enable you to hit crits and hide for the 5 seconds of decent damage. The better is based on play style.
  • Firebats- (Plague Bats)
  • Spirit Walk- (Jaunt) or (Healing Journey)
  • Jaunt will let you cover more distance and stay invisible for a longer time. Healing journey will help to increase your HP which can be very useful against a high DPS DH. Both are good, you get to decide what one you like better.
  • Horrify- (Frightening Aspect)
  • Gargantuan- (Bruiser)
  • - Alternate Skills -

  • Hex- (Jinx)
  • The best skill to replace for hex would be Gargantuan but if you use bats I recommend using Gargantuan over hex

    - Basic Passives -

  • Blood Ritual
  • Spirit Vessel
  • Jungle Fortitude
  • ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    - Witch Doctor vs Barbarian -

    Okay I am going to start this off right now by saying that if the Barb is not using WOTB (Wrath of The Berserker), its not a real fight. The fact of the matter is, a WD has (Horrify) to fear the barb away to land free attacks or simply recover HP. WD also has (Hex) which has a chance to permanently stun a Barb for 12 seconds, and (Mass Confusion) which makes it possible to hex a Barb even when they are trying to run away. Take all this into consideration and realize that killing a non WOTB barb takes absolutely no skill at all. So its time to learn how to kill a barb when they use WOTB.
    When a Barbarian uses WOTB, they have 15 seconds to hunt you down and kill you, ignoring all the cc a WD is capable of dishing out. Also, the good Barbarians will be using a full IK set with a Skorn or Doom Hammer giving them heavy dps, some have 130k or more. Having said this, their defence will be low. The key will be to keep your distance and do as much damage as you can without using (Horrify) or (Spirit Walk). You must save these skills for when they use WOTB. Right as you see the Barb use WOTB, Spirit walk away and try to hide (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT). if they find you, you will need the armor buff from (Horrify) to lessen the damage taken while they are in WOTB. Use horrify once they have found you to increase your chances of surviving the 15 seconds.
    It is also important to do as much damage as you can before they go WOTB. In my opinion, using (Spirit Barrage) is your best option for dealing damage from a distance. If you use haunt, they can change their passive and always have full fury which opens up too many gear/build options for them. Killing them with haunt is still possible but like I said, It gives them more options. You need to have a full zuni set including a zuni helm and a Shield. The combination of the set and the max mana from the helm will give you enough mana to spam (Spirit Barrage) without the need of the passive (Rush of Essence). Using bats before they use WOTB puts you at risk due to being so close. Use a ranged skill to keep far so you have a jump start at getting away when they use WOTB.
    If you survive WOTB, you have 2 minutes to hunt them down and kill them. An experienced Barb such as (Wutongshu, WreckageD, SkyIsLimit, LiberalDarkT, Juice, Wilbur…) will do their best to keep away from you when their WOTB is down. They will run for 2 minutes until their CD is over. The tricky part is catching them in this time frame. You will need to use your CC skills to trap them and kill them while they can't ignore them. But like I said, they will avoid you like the plague, you must figure out how to catch them!
    (I might make an in-depth guide for this class later explaining how to best catch them after WOTB is down. For now, you get to figure it out.)

    - Optimal Gear Setup -

    Against a WOTB barb you are going to need to run a “Wack” build. I run 35% melee reduction. You will need to use a (String of Ears) to get this much. The rest can be picked up on a variety of other pieces. A shield will be needed in most cases. And as stated, you should have a full zuni set meaning you should look for a zuni chest with melee reduction.

    - Basic Skills -

  • Summon Zombie Dogs- (Life Link)
  • Spirit Barrage- (Well of Souls)
  • Firebats- (Plague Bats)
  • Hex- (Jinx)
  • Spirit Walk- (Jaunt)
  • Horrify- (Frightening Aspect)
  • - Basic Passives -

  • Blood Ritual
  • Spirit Vessel
  • Jungle Fortitude
  • ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    - Witch Doctor vs Monk -

    This will be a fast battle for the most part. Monks are going to come in with a lot of damage and try to take you out in a matter of seconds. Once the match begins, the Monk will teleport to you using (Dashing Strike) and stun you with (Blinding Flash) and then start the assault of bells. You must try to cast Horrify right as they come in to stun and attack you. The armor buff will be one of the deciding factors on winning or losing; plus the fear can be very helpful as well. Dropping hex on them is also very important, it will force them to use (Serenity), giving them 4 seconds to take no damage. If you see them start to run away while Serenity is still active, take the opportunity to use (Spirit Walk) if you have not already used it. With it you can catch them and hit them with bats. Once Serenity is over, they will still bleed from the bats damage. You only have a short period of time before the Monk has Serenity and full Spirit. Surviving their first assault is important but its equally important to finish them off before they get their Spirit and CD’s back.
    Monk is a very tough matchup for WD. If you run into players such as (Mafia, Scrapz, Mie…) you will find out that surviving the first assault of bells is no easy task.

    - Optimal Gear Setup -

    Get as tanky as you possibly can. Try to get over 200k hp and over 1000 all resist. Since the Monks will be very DPS focused, you will not need huge amounts of damage to kill them. Your damage becomes irrelevant if you can’t survive the first assault of bells.

    - Basic Skills -

  • Summon Zombie Dogs- (Life Link)
  • Haunt- (Resentful Spirit)
  • Firebats- (Plague Bats)
  • Hex- (Jinx)
  • Spirit Walk- (Jaunt)
  • Horrify- (Frightening Aspect)
  • - Alternate Skills -

  • Big Bad Voodoo (Ghost Trance)
  • The best skill to drop for this would be hex, but I recommend using hex.

    - Basic Passives -

  • Blood Ritual
  • Spirit Vessel
  • Jungle Fortitude
  • ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    - Witch Doctor vs Witch Doctor -

    Okay, here is the most balanced match out of all the matchups… For obvious reasons. In a WD v WD matchup there are no imbalances (assuming the gear level is somewhat close). A WD’s timing gets put to the test in this fight. Who can control the map better, who can land more haunts, who can manage their cooldowns and resource better, and who can avoid and land the deadly bats.
    There are a few ways a WD can play while facing another WD. They can focus on moving in to attack with (Plague Bats) and use that skill as their main form of damage. Usually if a WD does this they will be using (Haunt) (Draining Spirit) as their form of mana recovery and not so much as a way to deal damage. Another way of playing is using (Haunt) (Resentful Spirit) to put pressure on the other WD from a distance and later push forward to use (Plague Bats) when you see they are in trouble. An example of this would be landing enough (Resentful) Haunts on them to actually force them to trigger (Spirit Walk). If you see this, start counting to 12, this is when their cooldown is over. This is an opportunity to use your own (Spirit Walk) to get to them and hit them with (Plague Bats) and or (Hex) before theirs is back. (Some Witch Doctors you can count on doing this are Myself, Kira, and Mirai)
    Both builds work very well but the second one I mentioned is the one I prefer because I believe it opens up more opportunities for you in the fight. (Draining Spirit) is a great way to get more mana, but in a raged fight, (Resentful Spirit) will deal more damage. If you do decide to go with the second way of fighting which focuses on spamming Resentful Haunts, I recommend using a full zuni set with a zuni mojo. A zuni mojo can be just as good as a Serpent and it allows for more flexibility in choosing a helm.
    Oh and I almost forgot... DON'T USE SPIRIT WALK TO COME IN AND ATTACK THE OTHER WITCH DOCTOR UNLESS YOU KNOW THEIR SPIRIT WALK IS ON COOLDOWN, YOU WILL DIE.

    - Optimal Gear setup -

    There are many viable gear setups for WD v WD. You can go with a BT set with a mojo or shield, or a full zuni set with a mojo or shield. I suppose it all comes down to what you are comfortable with. I believe in a WD v WD matchup, the most optimal setup is a balance build which includes a full zuni set (with a zuni mojo). Specific stats would be 90k+ hp, 220k+ dps, 4000+ armor, 1000+ all resist. (At a high level, you will far exceed these numbers but this is a general idea of what a nice balanced set will give you)

    - Basic Skills -

  • Summon Zombie Dogs- (Life Link)
  • Haunt- (Resentful Spirit) or (Draining Spirit)
  • applying pressure vs more mana regen. This skill depends on your prefered play style.
  • Firebats- (Plague Bats)
  • Hex- (Jinx)
  • Spirit Walk- (Jaunt) or (Healing Journey)
  • For me, Jaunt is a must in this matchup. Some prefer the HP regen and thats fine too. Once again, play style decides.
  • Horrify- (Face of Death) or (Frightening Aspect)
  • Larger fear area vs Armor buff. Both are helpful but I prefer the larger fear area.

    - Basic Passives -

  • Blood Ritual
  • Spirit Vessel
  • Jungle Fortitude
  • ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    These guides were made based on my experience fighting with the best PvPers in the game (with no skill bans)
    As many of you who are reading this already know, some matchups need balancing via skill bans. I will probably come back and make a matchup guide based on popular skill bans.

    ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    - Best In Slot Items - (Many of these are taken from Salty’s guide due to Wiz and WD using many of the same items)

    -Weapons-

  • Doom Hammer - 1400 Average Black DMG, 350 Int, 150 Vit, 180CD, Socket.
  • Skorn - 1425 Average DMG, 500 Int, 150 Vit, 180 CD, Socket.
  • Echoing Fury - 1250 DMG, 160 Int, 60 CD, Socket. (Echoing Fury is the best weapon a Witch Doctor can use because of the high chance to fear. You can get more vit from a spear/sword but I would rather find that vit in other places and keep the Fear)
  • Rare Mace/Spear - 1200 DMG, 100 Int, 100 Vit, 60 CD, Socket.
  • Zuni Skulls - 100-400 DMG, 180 Int, 100 Vit, 8CC, increases damage by Spirit Barrage by 8%.
  • Rare Shield - 100 int, 250 vit, 65 all res, 8% life, 8% crit chance.
  • -Shoulders-

  • Vile Ward - 260 Int, 70 Vit, 10% Life. (Your best bet)
  • Crafted - 260 Int, 100 vit, 10%, Life Armor or Strength, and if Lucky Extra Health to Potions.
  • -Gloves-

  • Rare gloves - CC, CD, Allres, Int, Vit. If you get lucky grab pot.
  • Taker and Theo - CC, IAS, Allres, Int, Vit, Armor. (Very good tank gloves)

  • -Rings-

  • Litany of the Undaunted - Either EHP (12% Life) Balanced (250 Int 100 Vit), or DMG (4.5CC/50CD).
  • Zunimassas Pox - 5 CC, 30 CD, large Int, Vit, Life %. Many good variations of Pox's.
  • -Boots-

  • Zunimassas Trail - 180 Int, 80 Vit, 60 Allres, +Armor.
  • Ice Climbers - 260 Int, 80 Vit, 12% Move Speed.
  • -Pants-

  • BT Pants - 290 Vit, 90 Int 70 All res.
  • Rare Pants - 150 Int, 250 Vit, 60 All res, 300 Armor, 2 Sockets.
  • Depth Diggers - 260 Int, 80 vit, 60 all res, 2 sockets. (Very good for adding BIG damage)
  • -Chest-

  • Zuni chest - 180 Int, 270 Vit, (Life%, Armor, Elite%, or Pot Bonus).
  • Tal Rasha’s Relentless Pursuit - 150 int, 250 vit, 70 all res (Can be used to add damage but I strongly recommend a Zuni chest)


  • -Belt-

  • BT Belt - 280 Int, 80 Vit, All res.
  • The Witching Hour - Many good variants. I recommend 50+ Allres, 130+ int, 8+ life %, and 50+ vit.
  • -Helm-

  • Tal Rasha's Guise of Wisdom - 180 Int, 70 All res, 12000+ Potion, 6CC. Or 280 Int, 80 Vit, 70 All res, 6CC.
  • Zunimassa’s Vision - 260 int, 60 all res, 12% life, 150 mana (Can trade these with 6cc, armor)
  • Mempo of Twilight - 190 int, 5cc, 8IAS, socket (For when you need even more DPS)
  • -Amulet-

  • Tal Rasha's Allegiance - 6%, 275 Int, 275 Vit 8CC/65CD.
  • Crafted Amulet with similar stats and All res or Armor.
  • Mara’s Kaleidoscope - 80 int, 300 vit, 10 life %, 60 all res (For when you need to add lots of tank)
  • -Bracers-

      Lacuni Prowlers - Mandatory for the Move Speed. 80 Int, 80 Vit, 60 Allres, 4CC.

    (Can get grafted bracers but I wont waste time with anything but Lacuni’s)

    ══════════════════════════════════════════════════════

    Here is my last advice to any Witch Doctor that is looking to take PvP seriously.

  • Take advantage of your surroundings (use pillars and such to block attacks)
  • Take advantage of Spirit Barrage and do what no other class can do (attack effectively from behind walls)
  • Take advantage of the lower area of the map. (those who control this area have an increased chance of winning)
  • Manage your cooldowns and resources (as in don't come into attack your opponent when you have ¼ of your mana and half your skills are on cooldown)
  • Dont qq and take your losses out on others (Practice your class and learn how to play it as well as anyone else, you will find that amazing things happen)
  • Edited by TheRisen#1136 on 6/22/2014 2:41 AM PDT
    Reply Quote
    Awesome Guide! Thank you for posting. It will be in the PvP Compilation!
    Reply Quote
    Added to the Compilation!
    Reply Quote
    This guide makes me happier than john boehner watching America fail.
    Reply Quote
    Aren't you Canadian? Or am I crazy.
    Reply Quote
    Ugh.... bats lol.
    Reply Quote
    10/03/2013 03:34 PMPosted by Saltydog
    Aren't you Canadian? Or am I crazy.


    I'm Canmerican
    Reply Quote
    great guide,good to know im doing things the rite way over in hc this guide reminds me of how i play
    Reply Quote
    Nice job, working on translate to spanish for latinoamerican players c:
    Reply Quote
    Removing the "Extra Health to Potions" comment would greatly improve the guide. You don't want players to be potting pieces of Xerox sheet do you?
    Reply Quote
    Since potions have a cooldown now, they are no longer considered BM. You need timing management for that too.
    Reply Quote
    10/11/2013 06:21 PMPosted by DerfelCadarn
    Since potions have a cooldown now, they are no longer considered BM. You need timing management for that too.


    I'll tell you why that's not true. Assume you fight a WD and you win but you used up your pot and you have close to 100% life, when suddenly, another player attacks you. You fight him but as you both are about 20% life, he pots and goes to 100% and kills you.

    If you allow pots, you have to admit that he was better than you because he defeated you. If you argue that your pot was in cooldown he can argue too that he chose the right "timing".

    You see how hilarious things can get?

    Don't pot.
    Reply Quote
    Your situation wouldn't prove much, because anyone can die in FFA. Who are you going to blame if its a 1v1.
    Reply Quote
    @Jester:

    One of the problems with your argumentation is the kind of potions available in D3.

    In D2 we had 3 kinds: life, mana and rejuvenation. The best version was the so called "full rejuvenation potion", which would restore 100% of life and mana. Therefore, if you had your belt full with full rejuvenation potions, you could restore instantly 100% life and mana, and that would make you almost immortal. That's why "potting" was considered BM and I fully agree.

    In D3 we only have life potions, and the best one (mythic health potion) restores 12.5K life. If you have something like 80K life or more, the best potion does not refill life to 100%, and besides you have to wait to drink another one. That's why "potting" has lost it's BM feature in D3.
    Reply Quote
    ok, here is the translation to spanish c:

    http://www.nuevotristan.com/2013/10/16/guia-pvp-w-doctor/
    Reply Quote
    wow
    Reply Quote

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