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Hey, i hope this will help you out owning it up in hell and inferno. I will try to update this often and give some more tips as i progress through inferno. I am currently act 2 inferno, however it is useless to continue there so i am current farming Hell cow level, diablo 5 x Neph stacks, and act 1 inferno. I will try to provide with some crucial information about playing as a witch doctor, as well as how to work around the problem of certain skills restriction.
First of all, if you played witch doctor untill atleast lvl 50 you know that witch doctor has huge damage potention, however he is squishy and he cannot partake in a hell or inferno group and building 100% dmg and expecting to not get flamed for dying every 30 seconds.
Witch Doctor highlights.
Vision quest: Ultimately required in most WD builds, it gives insane mana regen and staying power in a group fight.
Bad medicine: Perfect for a zombie bears build in inferno, give your group the much needed damage reduction.
Jungle fortitude: Looks identical to bad medicine, however only affects you and your pets, and also provides damage reduction from third party sources (laser beams,desecration,poison etc..)
Spirit vessel: This is definately the best passive we possess, it will make you stay much more longer in fights and save you countless time, gives incredible synergie with our spirit walk, soulharvest(siphon), and potions.
Pierce the veil: Offers great damage at the cost of more mana, but this simply doesnt have its place at the moment in a situation where you need survivability, the only use i can see for this skill right now is in a low mana spending build that use for single target mostly because you need atleast 2 defensive passive for hell(When leveling), and inferno(for progression).
We will see its place when everyone is stacked on gear and dont get 1 hit anymore.
Zombie bears: Many people find this skill unattractive because of the width of the attack and its poor range. However there are certain ways to make bears stack together and increase its initial range by at least 5 to 15 yards. With this, it easily becomes our most devastating aoe and single target ability. I will provide further information about this farther down.
Spirit walk(Honored guest): Unavoidably, this skill is a must for any caster witch doctor, you cannot get away without the usefulness of this cc breaker and 2 second invulnenability.With the rune, it will offer a great 30% mana regen boost over its duration. Great for when you run OOM because you forgot to use a cooldown for Vision quest, or because you spammed zombie bears.
Soul harvest(Siphon): With the rune siphon, not only does this skill provide you with the damage burst, but it gives you great staying power and will be your main source of healing.
It can heal for a solid 10k hp instantly and is a great synergy to the high risk high reward caster builds.
Poison dart(Splinters): This will be you main single target filler when you are running low on mana and allow you to still gain mana through vision quest while still inflicting great damage in single target.
Hex: I found this skill to be a must in any build if you expect to progress on inferno elites as well as some bosses. There are a few bosses that can be hexed and the majority of elites, with the 20% increase dmg, for a total of 30%, this rune can be quite useful to avoid damage and increase the single target damage output.
Big bad voodoo VS Mass confusion: Big bad voodoo offers great damage output for you and your party and can be used for both elite farming and boss killing(presumably with stacks), while mass confusion is much more for content progression as it offers great survivability and damage boost with the 20% dmg rune, it is uneffective on bosses. Confusion would the the best pick for cow level and inferno progression, and big bad voodoo would be best suited for both as well as boss kill, but without the cc.
My build, and how to properly use it.
It has some variations around the runes to use for voodoo, or swap out voodoo for confusion.
Your main source of damage is zombie bears, i try 90% of the time to use it against a wall to make it go farther, and spawn closer to each other so that they all hit the target, when they are spread out, the damage wont be as great.
***Close your speakers, somehow, when i uploaded both my videos, the sound came out horribly...i will have sony vegas to get high quality upload tonight, stay tuned.***
Poison darts will server a filler when you are low on mana, as well when dealing damage from long distance to avoid dying in hot spots.
You must keep all your 4 cooldown skills used at all time, there are however ways to use them and greatly increase your staying power in a fight.
Exemple: Start the fight by using zombie bears untill you run out of mana, when you get low on health use soul harvest to regen hp, continue attacking if you have mana, if not use spirit walk to avoid damage and regen mana with its passive along proc'ing vision quest.
Pop a potion the next time you run low, the next time you take damage if your defensive cooldowns are not ready, and you can not dodge the incoming attack, spirit vessel will hop in, and repeat from the start with spirit walk and soul harvest. Hex(hedge magic) can also be included to increase the HP regen.
Hex is also extremely great on elites, as well as some mini bosses like izual and some others.
Stats to look for on gear as witch doctor:
I, personally, tend to favor 2handers because of the high mana cost of my build, so a slow but high base damage will not be hindered as much as a fast, weak base damage weapon.
The affixes i look for are, Intelligence, vitality, +all resistance, + life per hit and attack speed.
+ life per hit spawns on weapons, rings, amulets
it is essentially part of my build at this point in inferno.
My weapon gives +403 and 2.9% damage into hp, my amulet gives +216.
it has a great synergie with zombie bears because of the number of hits 1 of many targets take because of the 3 zombie bears. I can often leech faster off packs than i get damaged.
Attack speed affixes spawn on weapons,amulet, rings, gloves, and perhaps more that i havent seen. It is not so great on 1 handers, but it is crucial and extremely potent on 2handers. It makes your high base damage weapon hit as fast as a 1 hander and better atk speed boost than if used on an already fast weapon.
2hand .9 attack speed
Can spawn with 15% IAS = 1.035
+Glove 15% .9x1.15=1.19
+rins and amulet =1.81 atk speed (Total of 75% atk speed)
2hand 1.1 atk speed
can spawn with 15% 1.1 x 1.15 = 1.265
gloves 15% 1.265x1.15=1.4547
amulet 1.67, + 1 ring = 1.92 + 2 ring = 2.21 atk speed with all atk speed item on 1.1 base atk speed 2hand
(I will have sony vegas tonight, so ill be able to upload quality videos as soon as tomorow, and update this frequently with your suggestions)
Edited by SilverBacks#1536 on 5/20/2012 10:53 AM PDT
Go to your Gameplay options and enable elective mode. You can place skills anywhere you want.
Great Guide. I personally feel like every WD should pick up Soul Harvest, Spirit Walk and Vision Quest and then 2 other Spells that have a Cooldown. I personally like Mass Confusion or Fear. I even took Snake to the Face once to provide an additional stun.
What do you think of Dire Bats? Up until now I always used them, I'm going to try the zombears later though, looks good.
Edited by hoax#2779 on 5/20/2012 12:47 PM PDT
I run a similiar build, but I feel like I don't need to use Poison Darts. Most of the time I'm ok with mana when I have Spiritual Attunement over Bad Medicine. There is a point where I do run out of mana if I spam it forever, but I don't find many moments like that in Hell because I always have to be dodging or kiting something.
Edited by tehk#1268 on 5/20/2012 1:04 PM PDT
Use the Explosive Beast rune for Zombie Charger, it performs similarly to Zombie Bears. Using it will get you accustomed to the range of Zombie Bears as well.
I pretty much use the exact same build, i use snakes to the face if i can solo a enemy by chance but for the most part this is my build. I sometimes use the regain %health for my spirit walk instead of mana and sometimes I use toads affinity. No mana cost means I am just constantly rejuvenating mana for other spells while spamming toads that does some pretty nice DPS.
Also something to consider is Horrify. Vastly underused but I like it better than mass confusion. Thing is, normal monsters are ezpz due to zombie bears owning everything. Only problem now is elite monsters. During an elite monster fight, I find the 20 second cooldown is important especially against the modifiers: vortex, jailer and teleporter. I've saved myself so many times when the pack would vortex me to them or teleport on me. If you're jailed it works to save yourself as well. I actually dropped zombie gargantuan for it.
i was using it untill i noticed a significant damage disruption, it makes them flee away and in all direction, hard to keep up the damage. i would use this skill if it had a rune that made them stay in place while feared.
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