It is divided into 2 sections, Basic Information (in this post) and Advanced Information (in the 2nd post). Feel free to suggest any useful information to be added.
7/11/2012: Created this thread.
This section contains the basic information needed for beginners to understand pets and to form their own builds.
Table of Contents
- Pet Features
- Stats That Benefit Pets
- Skills That Benefit Pets
- Stat Priority
A key feature that separates Witch Doctors from other classes is that we can summon more permanent pets.
Witch Doctors can summon 2 types of pets, 3 Zombie Dogs (can be increased to 4 with Zombie Handler passive skill) and the Gargantuan.
Zombie Dogs do not do a lot of damage, but the Gargantuan hits like a truck. However, the main strength of your pets is that they act as meatshields where they can take a lot of damage and keep enemies away from you.
If your pets are dying easily, this is because you are not gearing up properly. Pets also benefit from things that make you tougher, like armor, resistances and vitality.
- Zombie Dog has 10,000 base life, Gargantuan has 30,000 base life at level 60.
- Zombie Dog has ~142 passive Life Regeneration, Gargantuan has ~309 passive Life Regeneration at level 60.
- Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan only take 10% from most aoe effects like Plagued, Frozen, Mortar and certain boss abilities.
- Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan have Force Armor, which caps their damage taken (See the Advanced Information below for more information).
- The Gargantuan no longer procs special effects like Life on Hit and CCs like stun. Only Zombie Dogs with the Rabid Dogs (0.1 coefficient) and Burning Dogs (0.05 coefficient) runes can proc special effects.
Stats That Benefit Pets
- Keeps Pets Alive
- Strength/Armor: Reduces damage.
- Dexterity/Dodge: Avoids damage.
- Intelligence/Resistances: Reduces damage.
- Vitality/Life %: Increases life (pets gain % of player life).
- Life Regeneration (must take Fierce Loyalty passive skill): Heals pets.
- Increases Pet Damage (Pet Damage is based on your character sheet dps, not your weapon damage)
- Critical Hit Chance: Increases pet crit chance.
- Thorns (must take Fierce Loyalty passive skill): Reflects damage to melee attackers (not ranged).
- Bleed Chance will be applied by pets, but only Zombie Dogs with Burning Dogs or Rabid Dogs Runes.
- CC stats like Freeze, Stun, Blind, etc will be applied by pets, but only Zombie Dogs with Rabid Dogs (0.1 coefficient) and Burning Dogs (0.05 coefficient) runes. The Gargantuan has no coefficient and cannot proc.
For a full list of stats that benefit pets, please check the Advanced Information section, under Full Stats Scaling List.
Passive Skills That Benefit Pets
- Jungle Fortitude: Reduces damage taken by you and pets by 15%.
- Zombie Handler: Increases pet life by 20% and adds an extra Zombie Dog.
- Fierce Loyalty: Pets benefit from Life Regeneration and Thorns.
Since 1.0.4, pets are more durable than you, thanks to their Force Armor. However, due to the nerf to CC procs, more mobs are now going after you. Bosses who used to be stunlocked to death, will now use their abilities more often. You will take more damage, and you will die more often than your pets.
This means that this time, more effort should be done to keep YOU alive instead of your pets.
Since pets are more durable, there are many variations of pet builds that can work. This guide will give you the basic pet build, pets that can survive and tank for you, while you do damage from a distance. However, please note that high dps builds are more effective than a tanky pet build. But if you just want to have fun and like pets that survive, the tanky pet build is a viable build.
The general idea is to get enough stats so that both you and your pets can survive comfortably. Once you have achieved that, focus on increasing damage.
First, aim for armor and resistances to reduce damage taken by both you and pets. Aim for decent amounts but don't go overboard with it because it becomes more inefficient and expensive, and it is better to get other stats.
Then, aim for vitality or life % to increase your health. This is more for your own survivability than your pets, because armor and resistances alone will not be enough to keep you alive. If you find that you are not dying, then you can skip this.
Lastly, use Life Regeneration along with Fierce Loyalty (level 45 passive skill) to heal any damage done to your pets. If you are not high level enough to take Fierce Loyalty, use the Templar follower for his life regeneration.
The higher your damage reduction from armor and resistances, the less Life Regeneration you need.
Once your pets are surviving well enough, focus on increasing your damage, primarily by increasing your Intelligence.
So the only stats you need to look out for are Armor, Resistances, Intelligence, Vitality, and Life Regeneration.
Stat Priority for Defense
2. Vitality or Life %
3. Life Regeneration
Stat Priority for Offense
For an idea of what numbers you need, please see the Advanced Information section in the next post.