Diablo® III

Witch Doctor Pet Guide (old)

Posts: 2,009
I hit 60 today and just cleared act 1 with no problem using a summoner/CC build. Stats as follows(using enchantress):

1401 int
11.5k hp
5560 armor
437 for lowest resist
17k damage
14.7% combined fear/freeze/stun/blind

Build is:

I'm not quite sold on Zombie wall yet but not sure if fetish army would be stronger in that slot.

*What really makes this build work is the proc rate of the CCs from pet auras. If you take those away this build wouldn't even make it out of act 1.
Edited by Jolts#1389 on 6/4/2012 2:16 PM PDT
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/Off-Hand - Bleed Chance + all of the above CCs.
Best Abilities to Make CCs Happen
Gargantuan + Big Stinker
Summon Zombie Dogs + Burning Dogs
Firebomb + Fire Pit
Plague of Toads + Rain of Toads
Corpse Spiders + Spider Queen

So helpful I have being looking for theis info for a while now. TY. I have got some CC but havent made it a priority rather I have 7.8k DMG at lvl 53 but this is mainly thanks to an incredible polearm with reduced level.

Its great fun having the garg out front smashing down poor sods while doing more damage over time spells over areas with Zombie charger dog things to knock down the toughest of foes. With the massive dmg everything just drops accept for elites which requires some time.

I'm like most ppl and thought my Vit was attached to my pets and have also made it a priority. I think with some adjustments thou I'll be on my way to having good CC. Here's a noob question thou. Should I try and stack a certain CC (like Freeze) or does it not matter and just have a few randoms to still get the same % chance.

* I accidentally wrote 9.8k dmg in instead of 7.8k but have changed it. Did this in other post as well. Guess I'm going to cop a few 'That's BS' replies cause I can't remember where I was posting the other comment.
Edited by Kent#6256 on 6/5/2012 1:20 AM PDT
Farmed Act3 to grab some gear to test this out.
I was initially surprised and then pretty let down, but there is some
light at the end of the tunnel.

So first my stats:
1200 int
34k hp
4500 armor
535 for lowest resist most around 610
13% combined disable/CC
1100 life on hit.

Act 1 was pretty funny, I enjoyed myself.
But let me foreword this with, Act 1 is pitifully easy.
Me and friends did a little challenge of getting to 5 valor stacks with no gear
on but your weapon and offhand. EVERY class did it. Butcher is annoying with
the timer on when entire floor is fire.

So back to it, ACT1 a BLAST, so much fun. Felt like there was real promise here.
pets tanking 2 packs of champion mobs and laughing at how funny it was. I couldn't
kill butcher before enrage timer but me and pets stood in the fire for the next 5minutes killing him. The fact that I could stand in the fire for 5mins and not die is what really had me
thinking this would go far.

Act2 was another story. I feel like my life on hit carried me here. Pets did nothing, blew up instantly. So it reverted to tank WD pretty quick, and I was one of the first people to post on the forums about how tanky we could be.

Pets instantly dying and then waiting the minute till cooldown up is basically same status
and not building this tank. I dunno, I guess I need more gear? Or i focused on the wrong stats perhaps? Or everyone is doing a lot more kiting waiting for CD than they are letting on.
Posts: 2,009
Yeah act 2 pets were complete garbage :/ Oh well, was fun while it lasted.
Nice summary of all details OP, thanks. I've been scouting the forum looking for such information about WD pets, and it's great to see it all in one place finally.

Now I'm really keen to go try gear up my WD to achieve this.
Bookmark for reference.
The way I see stat point priority is like this:
1. weapon damage & int
2. armor/strength & resist all
3. Health regen (if you're going for fierce loyalty, which most will. Otherwise, ignore this)
5. vit/+%health
6. dex
7. individual resists

Your damage can NEVER be too high and the primary stats have a defensive purpose as well, so Int will always be most important, but if your damage is currently high enough, pure + to resists and armor are the best way to go. Trying to decide between a shield, mojo, or two handed weapon will be a real head scratcher for many players.

Basically, int and armor/str have the SAME amount of damage reduction per point, they are the same in every way defensively. But resist points are 10x the defensive potency of int. And as of patch 1.0.4, they have the added benefit of influencing that nifty damage cap. This makes them even more important. A high damage reduction from these sources is highly recommended as it also makes the max damage that can be dealt to your pets per hit much lower.

Since 1.0.4, Vitality also has a more potent effect on pets. Peters post explains it all, but for everyone who's not going full tanky, I wouldn't advise stacking huge amounts of health. Dogs only gain 1/3 of it, so it's not very efficient to keep stacking like crazy, since reducing their damage taken and damage cap is more important by comparison. Of course, you should certainly take your own survivability into account, as you WILL be hit at some point. If you get enough health to take a some hits, this large base will actually grant your pets a decent health boost without you having to stack higher than necessary specifically for your pets if you don't want to. I'll probably cap my health around 30k, but use your own judgement based on your playstyle and damage reduction.
(note, as I'm not exactly sure how the damage cap is being applied, I'm not sure if there is some intentional limit on how much damage can be capped in one hit. If there is, then stacking excessive health can help against harder hitting enemies.)

And Dex is most potent up to 100 points, where 1 point is .1% dodge. Then, from 100-500, it goes down to .025% for each dex point. And from 500-1000, .02%. After 1000, it is cut in half again.
So, after the first 100 dex points, your interest in it should go way down, as it diminishes a lot. I'd say after 250 or so dex points, I'd personally prioritize it below physical resist. There are more important things to worry about than dodging, but it can definitely save your life sometimes. So just like health, get enough to feel comfortable and your pets will passively gain a decent benefit.

Health regen is the big if for me. Now that dogs have a passive health regen, it may not seem as important to use Fierce loyalty to keep them alive. But, at some point it could be better to switch out jungle fort for FL. See, after a while, even jungle fort may not reduce the damage of most enemies enough to go below the damage cap, if you've invested enough into AR/Armor.
For example, even with 70% damage reduction from resists, 55% from armor, and 20% from jungle fort, I bet a lot of act3/4 enemies can still hit for over 1.3k damage which would be over the cap at that point.
It may be wise to drop jungle fort if you can get your life regen equal to or higher than the damage cap on your dogs, as it would completely mitigate at least one attack every second. But up until that point, it is up to your discretion whether to use jungle fort or not. It will always assist your own survivability, after all.
Regardless, if you are stacking tons of health regen, fierce loyalty will always be a welcome addition to your pets survivability.

And of course, just because one stat is generally more important than another, if you get a big boost from an item in one important area, it can be better to sacrifice something like 50 int for, say, 300 armor if your damage isn't lacking. Just do what you feel is best on a case by case basis.

(A relic of a challenged past. This section no longer applies, as pets have lost their amazing proccing coefficients as of 1.0.4, and most WD skills met the same fate. It was a double edged sword gaining more robust pets at the cost of the always entertaining CC locking, but it's something we gotta adjust to. I sure will miss being thrown around and spit on by the siegebreaker for 45 seconds while he doesn't actually attack anything. At least we don't have to worry about invincible magda anymore :| sheesh.
I'll Keep this piece up just for old times sake. And also the information about CC stacking is still true. You just can't use it nearly as well now.)

Additionally it has become clear that the high CC build is currently the best bet of making the most effective use out of a pet build. It offers the greatest chance of not losing your pets way too quickly, when used in conjunction with high defensive stats. Useful in team games too. And the best part is, decent CC gear isn't that expensive at the moment. If you look around and check the AH enough, you can find some pretty cheap items with nice CC. I would aim for at least 2.5%, but use discretion based on other important stats as well. (don't totally tank on other things just for the sake of a little extra CC chance, basically)
But here is my priority list on CC:
1. Stun/freeze. Top notch CC, highest value to you. Very high priority.
2. Blind (apparently, blind for a monk and blind from on hit CC is different. I've read that the blind on items can also be removed with damage, but the monks blinding flash can't. In either case, though, elites and bosses are resistance/immune to it, but it can reduce their chances of hitting you for a short time)
3. Knockback (can't work on bosses, and a can backfire. Read below)
4. Fear (catch 22. It's great at getting melee attackers to back off, and interrupts their attack animation. But for enemies who like to run anyway, it can help them. And if your dog is chasing a feared enemy, it could attract more mobs and/or get him stuck and ganged up on. Also, you can't fear a boss, so it's useless there. This all applies to knockback as well.)
5. Chill (doesn't interrupt/stop attacks like the top 4 rankings will, but it will slow both movement and attack speed, so their damage output will go down some.)
6. Immobilize (I guess combined with fear it would be good. Otherwise, it only really helps when chasing enemies. Not usually a defensive CC)
7. Slow. I don't even attempt to get this. It's pretty much useless once you have any other form of CC.
On items where the CC is so powerful like gloves, belts, ammys (atm you can't automatically search for blinding ammys, but trust me they exist. Just check them manually), and weapons/offhand (these two can have any of the on-hit CC, but obviously the top 2 on my list are most desirable), CC should be a very high priority. I would put it right under armor/damage and intelligence, the stuff you NEED to survive and keep your DPS up.

On armor that can't have top 2 (stun, freeze, or blind) CC's on my list, you obviously wanna keep it in mind, but not make a tiny gain in something like knockback paramount to a nice gain in resists. Just like with stat points, use common sense based on what you currently need more.

Stacking CC:
In my own testing with stacking different CC's, I have some pleasant results.
It seems like fear cannot override frozen or stun, but can be overridden by both of them.
On the other hand, it seems like fear was able to override my blind, which is kind of a let down but not too bad, as I believe blind can also override fear if applied afterward. And no other form of CC in my testing was able to override stunning or freezing.
I conclude that fear looks to only be an issue if you can't apply another CC on top of it to stop them from taking off too far. So both it AND knockback are things to use at your own risk, as special attributes like plague and mortar can actually be made worse. But as always, stun, freeze, and blind are the most powerful CC to go after, and fear will only mess with blind.

Additionally, some forms of CC can be applied simultaneously. It's very possible to be both chilled and blinded or stunned, or knockbacked and frozen, or even feared and immobilized (though they won't run anywhere, essentially making them sitting ducks).
It looks like a foe can be rooted, chilled, and knocked back in combination with any other form of CC without stopping the effect of the other one (though, being rooted and then knocked back can be seen as "overriding" in a loose sense).
Edited by BafroomHumor#1121 on 8/26/2012 12:45 AM PDT
I tried a pet build. It works until Act 2 Inferno.

Is the OP serious when he says Act II is easy to survive for them?

I have 7K Armor buffed with 100% armor from fear effect even 14k (which I usually have for full 8 seconds at start of battle)

My resis are around 450 all so not as high as written here but I'm not sure this 100-150 more really matters.

I use the 2 Damage reducing passives + the regeneration/thorn for pets

In Act 2 they die usually in the first 5 seconds, even my enraged big zombie.

Is there anything I miss? I solo with templar and every pet support is active.
Edited by Calmon#2796 on 6/5/2012 4:29 AM PDT
You raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly sir, bravo.

'With proper gear, it is possible for your pets to survive comfortably up to Inferno Act 1.'
Maybe a stupid Question, but do pets have the same -30% dmg taken "buff" as Monk and Barb have?

I mean... they are melees, too, right?
Oh and it looks like the Zombiedogs have only arround 4-6k HP (i have around 1900 Life/Sec right now and it takes less than 2 sec to fully regenerate their health...). If this is true, than i no longer wonder why they die within 1 second on inferno :(.

Have arround 4k armor but only 200 resis to all and CAN NOT use the pets at all in akt 1/2 inferno.
Also i wonder why pets seem to be immune to those laser lances from the arcan packs but do suffer the full dmg from frozen, molten and the green and red ones (don't know how they are called in the english version) leading into sudden death of all 5 minions within 1-2 seconds :(.
Maybe a stupid Question, but do pets have the same -30% dmg taken "buff" as Monk and Barb have?

I mean... they are melees, too, right?

You're correct, they should.
But they do not.

06/05/2012 07:38 AMPosted by Ulathar
Also i wonder why pets seem to be immune to those laser lances from the arcan packs but do suffer the full dmg from frozen, molten and the green and red ones (don't know how they are called in the english version) leading into sudden death of all 5 minions within 1-2 seconds :(.

I assume the arcane laser situation is a bug. But I'm really glad it's there. Just like with plague, molten, and desecrate, they wouldn't know to dodge the arcane beams. The only difference here is that instead of taking a few seconds to die, these would kill them immediately.

You're correct, they should.
But they do not.

Surprise surprise ....... NOT!
This makes me really sad because the main reason i choose the WD was because of his minions (he is the closest one to the Necromancer from D2).
I mean... seriously, if i wanted to play a ranged caster instead, i would have played a Mage!
Edited by Ulathar#2530 on 6/5/2012 8:17 AM PDT
06/05/2012 07:38 AMPosted by Ulathar
Maybe a stupid Question, but do pets have the same -30% dmg taken "buff" as Monk and Barb have?

There are 2 skills that give damage reductions.

Jungle Fortitude, reduces damage taken by you and your pets by 20%.
Bad Medicine, if you do poison damage to an enemy, it does 20% less damage.


And I've reached level 60! Yeah!
Edited by Peter#1403 on 6/5/2012 8:46 AM PDT
I know that, but that is a different storry and you can't have both at the same time when you want to go all zombiemaster with lifereg for your pets.
Posts: 653
So, in order to us to use Pets we need to stack Strength?

A caster stacking Strength. That wasn't well thought out.
I think you can also just stack +armor. (that is what strength gives you as a WD).
I guess that the pets get x% of your total armor and resis but thats just a guess...
There are 2 skills that give damage reductions.

Jungle Fortitude, reduces damage taken by you and your pets by 20%.
Bad Medicine, if you do poison damage to an enemy, it does 20% less damage.


And I've reached level 60! Yeah!

Well, the barb and monk also have additional ways to reduce damage, on top of the automatic 30% reduction (which doesn't take up a passive slot). And bad medicine only works if you have a pretty constant stream of poison damage on all enemies attacking your pets, which is really tough to do without having locust swarm. So I wouldn't say these are equal situations at all, unfortunately.

And congrats on the lvl up!

So, in order to us to use Pets we need to stack Strength?

A caster stacking Strength. That wasn't well thought out.

Not strictly strength. Armor is what you're after, and though strength does increase armor, it isn't the only way to get it, since most items have it built-in. It's just something to take into account when picking up items, so you can help give your armor an extra boost to help your pets. Obviously if the item has a high enough armor rating anyway, you won't need to worry much about additional strength. +all resists are usually more important than strength, unless the base armor on the item is really crap.
It's a fine balance, armor vs resists. Resists are much more potent, but the diminishing returns can sometimes make a nice fat armor increase an overall better choice once you saturate your char in resists.
Edited by BafroomHumor#1121 on 6/5/2012 10:56 AM PDT
Wait a second... why is it removing names from my quotes? 0.o even after I manually edit them back in, it automatically takes them out as it posts...
Hmm while we are on it, do all those Fetish count as Minions/Pets, too? I.e. do they benefit the same way from gear (and lifereg) as the "real Pets" like Dogs and Rage-Bob do?
Edited by Ulathar#2530 on 6/5/2012 10:52 AM PDT
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