Diablo® III

Witch Doctor Pet Guide (old)

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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5978460209

This thread contains useful information about pets, including how to make them survive more than one hit. Yes, pets can survive up to Inferno Act 1. Feel free to suggest any useful information to be added.

Terihlon#1660 wants to test a 4-Witch Doctor CC-fest for Inferno. If interested, please add him to your friends list.

Updates
23rd June 2012: Tested Bleed to see if it stacks. It does! A tick can go from ~60 damage to ~1000 damage just from pet triggers alone. But it is highly dependent on the bleed chance and bleed damage.
26th June 2012: Got approximate health of pets. At level 60, dog = ~11000 life, gargantuan = ~31500 life.

Table of Contents
1. My Pets Die In 1 Hit. Pets Suck!
2. The CC Build
3. Inferno Mode
4. Current State of Pets (For devs)
5. Summary (TLDR)

1. My Pets Die In 1 hit. Pets Suck!
No they do not suck. This is a very common misconception about our pets that happens due to wrong gear, and it is precisely why this guide was created to clear this up. Pets need some buffs but they are not as useless as people claim.

The reason why your pets are dying is because your gear does not have defensive stats to benefit them. Witch Doctors instinctively stack intelligence to increase their damage. They naturally ignore defensive stats. The problem is our pets scale off our defensive stats like armor and dodge, and because your gear lacks them, that is why they are dying.

To make your pets survive better, stack things that will make YOU survive better, like strength (improves armor), dexterity (improved dodge), intelligence (improves resistances), armor and resistances. Vitality and Block do not benefit your pets.

With proper gear, it is possible for your pets to survive comfortably up to Inferno Act 1.

Approximate Health of Pets at Level 60
Dog = ~11000 life
Gargantuan = ~31500 life

Stat Priority to Increase Pet Survivability
  • 1. Stun/Freeze
    Stops an enemy from attacking. See the CC Build section below for more information.
  • 2. Intelligence
    Increases both pet damage and survivability (resistances). Best stat to stack.
  • 3. Armor/Strength
    Armor reduces all damage, not just physical damage. Armor is a more efficient stat because it exists in higher numbers than Strength.
  • 4. Resist All
    Resist All reduces not just magic damage, even physical damage because there is a Physical Resistance stat.
  • 5. Individual Resists
    Poison, Fire and Electric are more important because champions with Plagued, Desecrated and Lightning Charged stats do very high aoe damage.
  • 6. Dexterity
    Dodge completely stops and attack but it is unreliable. It also suffers from heavy diminishing returns. Up to 100 Dexterity, 1 dexterity = 0.1% dodge. But from 100 to 500 Dexterity, 1 dexterity = 0.025% dodge.

2. The CC Build
The CC Build was discovered during brainstorming in the previous thread as people tried to make the Witch Doctor's pets work in Inferno.

CC stands for "Crowd Control", which is something that temporarily disables an enemy like stun or freeze. The CC Build thus involves stacking CC stats in order to apply lots of CCs to enemies.

The small % chance of CCs like stun and freeze are deceptive, because the Witch Doctor can make it happen like 80% of the time. This is due to the unique fact that the Witch Doctor has pets, and can generate relatively more hits than other classes through them. The Witch Doctor can apply CCs through his spells, his pet attacks, and his pet auras.

With the CC build, a single boss can even CCed so much that he barely gets out an attack, resulting in a slow but safe victory.

The CC build should also work well in co-op games because ranged classes like the wizard and the demon hunter will enjoy safely killing enemies from a distance while your pets tank and CC them.

CCs From Gear
Not all gear can have all possible CCs. Most of the item slots can have only one possible CC, with the exception of weapons and off-hands which can have all types.

Here are the CCs that you can get from gear. It is not necessary to get all, but the more the better because certain enemies are immune to certain CCs.
  • Amulet - Chance to Blind on Hit (Stat exists but search criteria isn't available)
  • Belt - Chance to Freeze on Hit
  • Boots - Chance to Immobilize on Hit
  • Bracers - Chance to Knockback on Hit
  • Gloves - Chance to Stun on Hit
  • Helm - Chance to Fear on Hit
  • Pants - Chance to Slow on Hit
  • Shoulders - Chance to Chill on Hit
  • Weapon - Bleed Chance + all of the above CCs
  • Off-Hand - Bleed Chance + all of the above CCs


Important CCs
  • Stun - To stop enemies from moving or attacking your pets, increasing survivability.
  • Freeze - Same as Stun, but can be removed if a frozen enemy is damaged.


Optional CCs
  • Fear - Makes enemies run away from you. Fear is as good as stun or freeze in stopping enemies from attacking you, but it can be annoying as enemies run around.
  • Blind - Causes enemies to miss their attacks on you. More enemies are immune to it and currently there is no search option for amulets for that stat in the AH.
  • Chill - Slows attack speed and movement speed. Useful to prevent enemies from running away or reaching you, and slows down enemy dps.
  • Immobilize - Stops enemies from moving. Useful to stop enemies from running away or reaching you.
  • Slow - Slows movement speed. Useful to prevent enemies from running away or reaching you.


Abilities to Use
Not all spells have the same chance to make a CC happen. Some abilities can make CCs happen more than others. The chance to apply CCs seems to loosely follow the numbers found in the Witch Doctor Life Leech Per Hit, By Skill thread by Karisu.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271499223

Important Abilities and Runes
  • Gargantuan + Big Stinker Rune (15% area poison damage per second).
    Best area damage rune for Gargantuan to trigger CCs.
  • Summon Zombie Dogs + Burning Dogs Rune (2% area fire damage per second).
    Best area damage rune for dogs to trigger CCs.
  • Firebomb + Fire Pit Rune (8% area fire damage per second for 3 seconds).
    Good main attack spell to generate CCs.
  • Plague of Toads + Rain of Toads Rune (130% area poison damage over 2 seconds).
    Good main attack spell to generate CCs, but costs more mana than Firebomb. Use this instead of Firebomb if you have a lot of mana.
  • Spirit Walk + Any Rune
    Almost compulsory ability for all Witch Doctors to escape danger.


Optional Abilities and Runes
  • Corpse Spiders + Spider Queen Rune (16% area poison damage per second).
    Good "damage-over-time" aoe to generate CCs, lasts 15 seconds per cast.
  • Horrify + Frightening Aspect (Extra 100% armor for 8 seconds)
    Good defensive ability that will chase away enemies that get close to you. Also keeps your pets alive longer by increasing their armor for short periods of time.
  • Big Bad Voodoo + Ghost Trance Rune (Heals 2% health per second for 20 seconds).
    Faster personal attack speed means your main ability will trigger CCs more, and the heals are useful to keep your pets alive.
  • Hex + Hedge Magic (Periodically heals allies.)
    Good defensive ability that will hex any enemy that gets close to you. Also keeps your pets alive through heals.


Recommended Passive Skills
  • Jungle Fortitude (Reduces damage taken by you and pets by 20%).
    Keeps pets alive longer. Dead pets don't generate CC.
  • Bad Medicine (Reduces enemy damage by 20% for 3 seconds if you inflict poison damage to them)
    Keeps pets alive longer. Dead pets don't generate CC.
  • Zombie Handler (Extra dog and health of pets increased by 20%).
    Extra dog is useful to generate extra CC. Also keeps pets alive longer.
  • Fierce Loyalty (Pets benefit 100% from Life Regeneration and Thorns).
    The only way to heal pets to keep them alive longer.
  • Blood Ritual (1% of Max Life as Life Regeneration)
    Use in combination with Fierce Loyalty and a very high Life for good pet healing.
  • Pierce the Veil (Damage increased 20%, mana costs increased 30%)
    The best defense is a good offense, kill your enemies before your pets die.


Recommended Follower
  • Level 1 to 45: Templar
    The Templar's Loyalty skill is the only ability that can reliably heal your pets before you get Fierce Loyalty at level 45.
  • Level 45 to 60: Sorceress
    Once you get Fierce Loyalty, you can get a much higher Life Regeneration for your pets than what the Templar can give at level 60 (only 155).
    The Sorceress' Power Armor (+15% armor) is thus more valuable after that point in keeping your pets alive.


3. Inferno Mode
This section will attempt to guide you with a CC build in Inferno Mode.

For Inferno Mode, enemy damage and defenses are increased, but their damage is increased far more than their defenses. This means that ironically, your damage is the key to your pets survival, where the best defense is a good offense comes to mind. You kill enemies long before they can kill your pets.

Keep in mind that Inferno is the hardest difficulty mode and it is not possible to steamroll it unless you have superior gear. You are still expected to die despite your best efforts, but it is not impossible.

Act 1
Here are the bare minimum numbers that I had to beat the Butcher in Inferno Mode. It is recommended to get higher numbers, but if it is too expensive, it is still possible to beat the Butcher.

Entry-Level Numbers
  • Damage: 10,000
  • Armor: 3200
  • Dodge: 19%
  • Resistances: 550
  • Life: 15,000
  • Life Regen: 500
  • 11% combined chance for Stun and Freeze


Abilities
  • Firebomb + Fire Pit
  • Hex + Hedge Magic
  • Summon Zombie Dogs + Burning Dogs Rune
  • Gargantuan + Big Stinker Rune
  • Spirit Walk + Jaunt
  • Horrify + Frightening Aspect


Passive Skills
  • Jungle Fortitude
  • Fierce Loyalty
  • Pierce the Veil


Follower
  • Sorceress


Strategy
The main strategy of the CC build is to CC-lock your mobs to death. This build should be effective against 99% of normal mobs, simple Champions and bosses, so they are not an issue.

Champion Packs
Against Champion Packs with strong aoe combinations like plagued, molten, electrified and frozen, you have to semi-kite them. You cannot CC lock them because your pets cannot survive too much aoe damage from them, and you have to keep moving away in order to force them to move out of dangerous aoe.

While you are moving away, the Champions will try to move towards you. During that brief kiting process, your pets are still attacking them, and their damage is pretty good if you have at least 10,000 damage. But you should try to stop and throw a few fire bombs at them to help out your pets.

Your pets will still die with this strategy, but you must keep kiting till the cooldown is up to re-summon them. It is possible to kill most champions before the "Out of time" debuff appears, even those with Extra Health modifier.

Use Horrify to chase away Champions that reach you, or use them for the huge armor bonus once you know your pets is about to take heavy damage, like frozen orbs materializing or a plague pool is spawned.

Use Spirit Walk to escape dangerous situations.

Hex will occasionally heal your pets and also hex any Champion that gets near you.

Butcher
Stay in melee range.

By staying in melee range, you will prevent him from doing his hook which is followed up by a hook smash. You may survive it, but your dogs won't. And you need your dogs alive in order to CC lock him. In melee range, he will just do his normal melee attack and a rabbit-hop followed by a smash.

Always position him so that he is facing away from his pets, so that when his charge happens, it won't hit any of your pets.

If 10,000 damage is not be enough before the entire room fills with fire (soft enrage), you can swap out Hex and Horrify for other damage abilities.

In order to compensate for the low suggested stat numbers, you have to be more pro-active in avoiding damage and keeping your pets alive in Inferno. Obviously bigger numbers are better and will make life easier.

4. Current State of Pets (For Devs)
I am writing this in case the devs may read this. Pets currently face problems which make them more difficult to use.

Pet AI
Current pet AI means they do not step out of dangerous aoe which are meant to be stepped out of, like molten and plague pools. This makes pets extremely weak against elites and champions that have those attributes.

Solution: Make pets take reduced damage from such aoe attacks. This is in line with how you make pets immune to arcane sentries, and how pets work in WoW, to compensate for their poor AI.

Pet Information
In the beginning, people were stabbing in the dark. They did not know what stats benefited pets, and were frustrated that their pets were dying in nightmare mode due to wrong gear choices.

Solution: There should be a pet page where the stats of your dogs and gargantuan are listed, and whether or not their stats are derived from yours.

5. Summary (TLDR)
Do Stats Benefit Pets?
Defensive Stats
  • Strength: Yes (through increasing armor)
  • Dexterity: Yes (through increasing dodge)
  • Intelligence: Yes (through increasing resistances)
  • Vitality: No
  • Block: No (but you want to use shield anyway for the extra armor that pets do benefit from)
  • Dodge: Yes
  • Armor: Yes
  • Physical Resistance: Yes
  • Cold Resistance: Untested
  • Fire Resistance: Untested
  • Lightning Resistance: Untested
  • Poison Resistance: Untested
  • Arcane/Holy Resistance: Untested
  • Missile Damage Reduction: Untested
  • Melee Damage Reduction: No


Offensive Stats
  • Intelligence: Yes (through increasing your damage)
  • Attack Speed: Yes (through increasing your damage)
  • Critical Hit Chance: Yes (increases pet crit chance)
  • Critical Hit Damage: No
  • Thorns: Yes (Must take Fierce Loyalty Skill)
  • Bleed Chance: Yes, through their auras, but not their melee attacks. Each separate Bleed also stacks and does not overwrite one another.


Stat Priority to Increase Pet Survivability
  • 1. Stun/Freeze
  • 2. Intelligence
  • 3. Armor/Strength
  • 4. Resist All
  • 5. Individual Resists
  • 6. Dexterity


Can Pets Be Healed? (must take Fierce Loyalty Skill)
From Stats
  • Life Regeneration: Yes
  • Life Steal: No (needs more testing)
  • Life On hit: No (needs more testing)
  • Life Per kill: No (needs more testing)


From Abilities
  • Firebats + Vampire Bats Rune: No
  • Haunt + Consuming Spirit: No
  • Spirit Barrage + Phlebotomize: No
  • Spirit Walk + Healing Journey: Yes

From Passive Skills
  • Blood Ritual Skill: Yes


CC Information
CCs From Gear
  • Amulet - Chance to Blind on Hit
  • Belt - Chance to Freeze on Hit
  • Boots - Chance to Immobilize on Hit
  • Bracers - Chance to Knockback on Hit
  • Gloves - Chance to Stun on Hit
  • Helm - Chance to Fear on Hit
  • Pants - Chance to Slow on Hit
  • Shoulders - Chance to Chill on Hit
  • Weapon - Bleed Chance + all of the above CCs
  • Off-Hand - Bleed Chance + all of the above CCs


Important CCs
  • Freeze
  • Stun


Optional CCs
  • Fear
  • Blind
  • Chill
  • Immobilize
  • Slow


Important Abilities for CC Build
  • Gargantuan + Big Stinker Rune
  • Summon Zombie Dogs + Burning Dogs Rune
  • Firebomb + Fire Pit Rune (Or Plague of Toads + Rain of Toads Rune if you have a lot of mana)
  • Spirit Walk


Optional Abilities for CC Build
  • Corpse Spiders + Spider Queen Rune
  • Horrify + Frightening Aspect
  • Big Bad Voodoo + Ghost Trance Rune
  • Hex + Hedge Magic


Recommended Passive Skills for CC Build
  • Jungle Fortitude
  • Bad Medicine
  • Zombie Handler
  • Fierce Loyalty
  • Blood Ritual + Fierce Loyalty + High Life
  • Pierce the Veil


Recommended Follower
  • Level 1 to 45: Templar
  • Level 45 to 60: Sorceress
Edited by Peter#1403 on 8/21/2012 4:00 AM PDT
Testimonials Supporting Viability of Pets in Inferno
Please share your success with pets in Inferno.

MrMuffles' "Tank Docta" Builds (With Videos!)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5592455562 (MrMuffles)

Act 1
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=2#21 (Jolts)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=2#23 (Completeli)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=2#29 (Calmon)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=4#62 (Asymmetric)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=4#71 (DDougie)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=5#99 (Shawk)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=6#113 (Phôènix)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=13#253 (Cecelia)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=20#381 (Terihlon)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=14#264 (ryvrdrgn14)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=19#370 (Melkar)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=22#423 (Shurakai)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=22#429 (phoenixcrow)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=24#472 (Nefretta)

Act 2
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=7#125 (Whitehorns)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5626190134#4 (Naiphe)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5730075857 (AyeL)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=12#229 (boomer)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=15#300 (LGON88)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=22#434 (Stello)
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=23#448 (Depressive)

Act 3
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282#14 (Budha)

Act 4
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=13#251 (Shemsu)

Useful Links and Sources
Old Version Of This Thread Containing Research Data
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271500086

Comprehensive Witch Doctor Build Guide
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4927183159

Witch Doctor Life Leech Per Hit, By Skill
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271499223

Blue Post Hinting At Plans To Buff Pets.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271506353?page=19#366

Explanation of Stats
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5594214282?page=2#28
Edited by Peter#1403 on 6/29/2012 11:29 PM PDT
Short of "wait until 1.03", or "don't play in inferno", I'm not sure what else there really is to discuss.
Great post very useful I will test it myself as well.
Previously people were heavily discussing CC builds.
Edited by Peter#1403 on 6/4/2012 3:18 AM PDT
How much would a build like this cost?
06/04/2012 03:25 AMPosted by Yuvs
How much would a build like this cost?


The CC build? Oh I'm not sure, but people have reported success with even cheap fittings.

Yeah I'm not 60 so I wouldn't know unfortunately. I can only document what stats work. CC build seemed to be the rage in the previous thread.
Edited by Peter#1403 on 6/4/2012 3:55 AM PDT
When I first read the original thread about CCs, I figured it meant to get some on every piece of equip. Luckily I equipped two pieces before I bought the rest and that was enough to CC constantly.

Both pieces were at about 4.5%, cost about 10k each :)
so it seems that barbs, and monks are way better because we useing their stats just make us decent,
90 Draenei Paladin
12515
I'm brick-walling it in Act 1 Inferno. :p
06/03/2012 06:41 PMPosted by Apathy
Short of "wait until 1.03", or "don't play in inferno", I'm not sure what else there really is to discuss.

The last thread filled up so there must be discussions. GG dbag.
Act I is easy mode, with my gear I could kill anything without using pets or escape.. need buff and we will se what they would do on "balance patch"
Here my experience and balance suggestion: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4551697773#1
Edited by MeVe#2510 on 6/4/2012 8:03 AM PDT
Just posted my stats where pets are very viable in Act3 Infero:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5573703666

Sum it up:
All Resistances - 576
Armor - 4145
DPS - 30559.45
Life per second - 254 (I am not stacking this)
Thorns - 285 (I am not stacking this)

I am NOT geared for a summoning build.
Pets do extremely well in Act2 - solo it easy. In Act3, they will die during fights, and you will have to kite while waiting for the cooldown. It takes about 3-4 summons to kill of a pack of rares/champions (which is about the same time it takes with a kitting build).
well, I'll go ahead and post what I use on my hardcore WD here:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fZYTUR!VUd!ccYYZa

I'm in Act III hell right now (just finished the hard part of Siegebreaker). I'm level 59 and have about 5.2k DPS with 27k life. I've also got 3.3% stun, 1.8% fear and 3.8% freeze on hit from gear. My life is WAY lower than everyone else's at this point, but I almost don't care because the CC from my minions keeps me incredibly safe while I blow stuff up. For the open areas with those god damn annoying dragon bird things, I use dire bats instead.
Just posted my stats where pets are very viable in Act3 Infero:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5573703666

Sum it up:
All Resistances - 576
Armor - 4145
DPS - 30559.45
Life per second - 254 (I am not stacking this)
Thorns - 285 (I am not stacking this)

I am NOT geared for a summoning build.
Pets do extremely well in Act2 - solo it easy. In Act3, they will die during fights, and you will have to kite while waiting for the cooldown. It takes about 3-4 summons to kill of a pack of rares/champions (which is about the same time it takes with a kitting build).
Budha, are you using any CC?
I'm not using any CC yet, just found out today how effective it is. Ill buy a few CC items to get about 3-4% of each type and try it out :D

Thing is that I want to be able to kill Diablo with pets, and I don't think CC is the way to go for him...

Could be awesome for wimsishire though :D
Edited by Budha#1133 on 6/4/2012 10:24 AM PDT
I wont call anyone a liar but I really can see how your pets survive long enough in act 3.

I have about 100 less resist and higher armor and I'm currently in act 2 with my pets getting killed far too fast.

I mean sure, I can summon pets and they die after 3 hits with the cd running, lets say 15 sec - now to kite mobs for 45sec until resummon - thats not what I call a working pet build
Just posted my stats where pets are very viable in Act3 Infero:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5573703666

Sum it up:
All Resistances - 576
Armor - 4145
DPS - 30559.45
Life per second - 254 (I am not stacking this)
Thorns - 285 (I am not stacking this)

I am NOT geared for a summoning build.
Pets do extremely well in Act2 - solo it easy. In Act3, they will die during fights, and you will have to kite while waiting for the cooldown. It takes about 3-4 summons to kill of a pack of rares/champions (which is about the same time it takes with a kitting build).


Hey Budha. I think you should post a general fight strategy/outline. The numbers look good, but as has been said, many others have tried with similar numbers and no "success". Maybe posting your outline or strategy may help others break through the wall!
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