Diablo® III

Witch Doctor Pet Guide (Patch 1.0.4) - old


This is the build I am currently using. Only issue I have with it is lob blob bomb. Was trying to think of a replacement for it while still keeping it a DoT build.
Try using "Corpse Bomb" if you want a stronger one time hit from acid rain. If you're good at using pets to body block, "Slow Burn" works well too. Also, against huge groups of white mobs in a3, "Acid Rain" can be useful due to requiring less casts to cover a larger area.
This is the build I have been playing around with.


Notice I spawn dogs constantly with mass confusion and circle of life.

bears and acid cloud for loh and dps. This is countered with mana spiders when I run out. Also spiders causes fetish sycophant to spawn surprisingly consistent adding another layer of protection.

I would also note I am trying to build up additional gold pick up radius so I can drop mass confusion all together, or just change the rune.

I have also noticed some people playing with sacrifice and mass dog spawns with skills. Seems to work with high dps.
Edited by Admired#1336 on 8/24/2012 8:10 PM PDT
@Admired - Nice build. Why no fetish army rune though? Also, if you're using confusion / fetish / garg, perhaps the Tribal Rites passive might help with uptime? Just as well, I don't think you need both zombie bears and acid rain, since they are theoretically different in use (melee range vs long range).

Edit: rephrasing. Moved comments / ideas to next post.
Edited by Cervaux#1380 on 8/24/2012 8:12 PM PDT
I use devoted following, guess i forgot to add that thanks. As far as tribal rites, I would like to use it but I'm not sure it's better then my current passives, considering fetish army and MC are the only things it would effect on my current build.

As far as the proc on the zombie dogs, I was not aware of a "proc" issue. Is this intended? Either way I have sufficient life/armor/AR/loh that the dogs don't have to tank much just kind of a bonus same with fetish sycophant.
Edited by Admired#1336 on 8/24/2012 8:40 PM PDT
I liked your idea cyclical sacrificing dogs, so I'm testing this out now:


Completely removing personal defense passives in favor of procs might work. Also, following the philosophy of PBAoE (Point Blank AoE) and Burst AoE got Fetish Ambush, Corpse Bomb, Next of Kin for chance for a cascade of dogs to explode, which I figure combined with Devolution when it's up can make for some badass chain reactions. I'm curious if Fetishes spawned from Sycophants can also explode from the Ambush rune? (doubt it though...)

It's been noticed that dogs spawned from Procs don't have the same "force armor scaled mitigated damage". You're right though in that force armor not working for proc'd dogs are irrelevant if the spec intends to destroy them. Widowmakers seem like a decent mana skill, though I wonder which is better between that and Spined Dart. I also wonder if the Dart can have proc sycophants often as well.

Edit: more detail.
Edited by Cervaux#1380 on 8/24/2012 8:23 PM PDT
Also if you add items that have +zombie dog cooldown (along with the skill of course) along with mass confusion and circle of life. Theoretically you could sacrifice them and respawn relatively efficient. However the current gear I have I don't believe I have enough dps (only 15k) to make this work out right. But I have seen somebody with 40k use them seemingly well with the addition of final gift as well.

I think somebody smarter then I should research all this lol.
Edited by Admired#1336 on 8/24/2012 8:52 PM PDT
I believe it's on page two. It was usually at the very end of your guide I think.
Might make some revisions later on if I feel the need.

Ah I found it. So it was in an old thread. I was looking for it in this thread. I put the link in the guide.
If you don't use zombie dogs at all, you probably wont need the -cd reduction. since you're relying on the procs to provide your bombs.

Just finished testing the build in a3, with widowmakers. It works great, though gotta be more careful since there was a noticeable drop in defenses. No more bodyblock from pets, less regen/defense on garg. You were right on the nice procs from widows for fetishes.

I have to head out now, but when I get back I'll test it with spined dart instead and see if that might be better for mana regen and/or fetish spawning.

Btw, burst is excellent. I'm at 29k dps and combining the corpse bomb spam with dog explosions (and standing at least 19 yds away) produce enough damage to down most champs within seconds. Try having 3 dogs, running near a champ pack, hitting Sacrifice AND Fetish Ambush at the same time then spamming Corpse Bomb, while hitting sac whenever dogs pop. Talk about facemelt.

My only worry is the build's power in parties. Circle of Life works if other players kill enemies right?

Edit: Minor wording.
Edited by Cervaux#1380 on 8/24/2012 8:44 PM PDT
Other questions have been answered nicely so I'll just try to answer this one.

Peter I have a couple of questions for you:

1: What are your thoughts on the dot build vs. the one you are currently using?

Actually for my dps, I chose the 2 attack spells for practical reasons.

Rain of Toads is my primary spell because it can bypass walls from Waller elites. It can even pass through real walls if you use the correct angle. It is a spammable long range spell and can take out ranged mobs.

Locusts I use because I need a strong aoe for situations with many mobs like Cydaea's spiders.

The fact that they both do DoTs is just a coincidence.

DoT build's advantage is that you can fire it once, and then you are free to move around while the DoT damages your targets. The disadvantage is that you cannot spam it. DoTs refresh one another.

So heheh, I actually don't have much liberty in choosing my spells, because I don't feel comfortable switching out my horrify.

Just tested Spined Dart over Widowmakers.

The mana gain is better (which is good for the corpse bomb spam) but I noticed the fetishes don't spawn often.

Also, I replaced Mass Confusion with Zombie Dogs + Life Link to try and increase personal survivability, as well as provide a seed for the zombie dog rolling.
Spine dart may be more effective on single targets, but when you use spiders on a group within a small radius it basically is instant full mana regen.

Ah I found it. So it was in an old thread. I was looking for it in this thread. I put the link in the guide.

Very kind of you sir.

Also, I've found that unsurprisingly, pimping out my new WD with top of the line low level gear has made normal a cakewalk in the poodle park. Sure I'm paying a lot more than I should but I'm level 22 with 210 DPS and over 2k health. I feel like a tanky DPS dealer which is kinda cool.

True, but isn't the casting animation a bit too slow? Anyway, it seems both work for the purpose of mana / proc chance.

I'm curious how good Mass Confusion can really be. Is it possible for champ packs to kill one of their own within the duration?
Hmm Nox asked a question about Force Armor, and it was answered by a blue.


So force armor is ineffective against "rapid attacks".

Not only that, this guy seem to be on to something.

This was my suspicion as well, and it appears to be accurate. I had 17k life and my dogs were getting 1 shotted by those skeletons with the axes in a3, now I have like 22k and they once again are immortal.


If that's true, Vitality is more important.
Edited by Peter#1403 on 8/25/2012 1:17 AM PDT
argh didn't even know they replied to me, sadly it didn't answer the actual question I asked lol.
Yeah after the Mellet Lord auto-killed the pets I started thinking they probably don't register as 1 big hit, or 4 big hits like I originally had thought (due to the animation). It's probably actually a small AoE-DoT effect during the start of his impact animation and lasting about 1 second. Due to the way that works the Force Armor wouldn't be able to mitigate any of it away being, basically, hundreds of smaller hits.

I did though Nox, and it's actually in the blog. I'll go ahead and throw it out here but its basically capped at 10K damage total (the dogs base HP before adding on the players HP and Passives). Same for Garg I believe. That is then further reduced by Armor % and Resist %. I gave more detail in your post but basically if you had 50% armor/resist, the most dmg they can take is 2500. Then of course they get 35% of your max HP added to theres +20% if you have Zombie Handler.

This is why I've been saying Zombie Handler is far more benefitial then Jungle Fort once you got some 'ok' Armor and AR (like look at my stats, there kinda iffy but im rolling A3-4 just fine). Zombie Handler + Fierce Loyalty with some good HP and Regen and they're near unstoppable... untill they hit one of these awkward multi-hit things that basically work off DoT mechanics to cheese there style of attack in.
Edited by Adhin#1350 on 8/25/2012 1:48 AM PDT
I recall blues saying in the WD preview notes that having more vitality "scales immensely well" because the Force Armor effect is based off of the BASE hp of the pets. I think it means that the more bonus hp they get, the higher the effective defense they have once you have a certain min amount of AR/All res.

If I were to guess, the same way we can calculate Effective HP and how armor/all res translates to vit point equivalencies can at least partially apply to pet "EHP".

i.e. I noticed if I'm using jungle fort, bad med, fierce loyalty and no other buffs, the mallet lord (specially the purple ones in hell rifts A4) CAN 1 shot my dogs if they get direct hit. If I hit Horrify before the hit, they only lose about 40% of their hp and none of them die. This means that with base stats of 806 all res (as lowest common) and 3194 armor, they CAN die. Once I hit horrify and break 6800+ armor buffed, they survive. This is with a constant 49.7k player max hp and no shield.

According to the EHP calc, before any buffs and in full mitigation stats I have about 660k EHP. Using Horrify adds a huge 310k+ EHP for 8s. I wonder how this translates to EHP for pets since they get that free Force Armor reduction. I knew that Horrify would allow my armor to catch up to my AR, but 100% armor giving almost 50% more damage reduction surprises me.

Edit: Wording.
Edited by Cervaux#1380 on 8/25/2012 4:18 AM PDT
Just wanted to say how awesome sacrifice can be in a hybrid tank procta build. Get 50+ pickup radius and you get a lot of dogs from CoL! I feel so much stronger since the patch - dogs don't even NEED to survive, but when you need some distance from an elite, they do the perfect job until your cooldowns end and you pop them all!
Edited by Tedvar#2435 on 8/25/2012 5:05 AM PDT
Ok this'll all be based off a lvl 63 mob (act3-4), going off your stats Cervaux, then the Armor shift from Horrify rune doubling your armor totals.
Total Health of a dog would be 32.8k

71.9% resist
50.34% Armor
20% Jungle Fort
88.83% total, for 30 hits (rounded up)

With Horrify on Armor jumps to 66.97
Total of 92.57% DR or 45 hits.

So that's literally a 50% increase in hits it takes to die in normal situations. The Mellet Lord you mentioned bypassed the 'Force Armor' effect by doing a ton of 'little hits' (not just 4). That or, for whatever reason, just ignroes the Force Armor effect with out doing multi-hits. If it was just 4 hits, or just 'a lot of dmg' in 1 hit, it would all get mitigated down to 1 of the 40-45 hits and wouldn't make a difference. Bad Medicine wont help in most of the situations because 20% off 200k+ dmg is waaay over the 1.1k dmg your dogs, normally can take as a max value.

Figure might as well 'double the health' and see if that matchs up or not. So you had 49.7, lets make that 99.4k and see what HP the Dogs would have and how many hits with out Horrify Armor rune. 53.7k HP total, would end up being 49 hits. So I guess at some point, health will benefit more then increase armor/resistance as far as equipment is concerned. But I kinda think the difference is a tad minor. Though curious how the Mallet Lords damage is actually calculated and in that kind of a situation what would benefit most, health or that bonus to resistance.

I'd actually say about 500 All Res and 5000 Armor is a good goal for any WD and, once there, focusing entirely on DPS/HP/Regen and the like would benefit you more then going higher in either. That combined total is 85% DR vs lvl 63 mobs (61.34% each). Your literally taking only 15% of the damage at that point and either sides relatively easy to achieve. Gives a good bit of wiggle room for other stuff.

Another thing to think about is they all go off 'weapon damage'. The DPS on the charts a tad bit of an all encompassing number that doesn't always do a good job of giving you an idea of your actual, normal damage. More so with pets that don't take 'everything' of ares (like crit chance or %crit dmg, or attack speed). One reason I prefer 2handers, that and I don't use any primarys so attack speeds kinda wasted on me.

Just something to think about.
Edited by Adhin#1350 on 8/25/2012 5:45 AM PDT
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