I thought I'd share a new build I've been using and been having a lot of success with. A little background information. Since the beginning of 1.0.4 I've primarily been using pet builds which have been really effective but also kinda boring. With Zombie dogs/Garg, Spirit walk/Soul harvest, I was left with only 2 offensive spells. Most of my time was spent hiding behind my pets, spamming Firebomb and Acid Cloud. So when I started experimenting with new builds I wanted something a bit more engaging. The idea behind this build goes back to the Splinter dart kiting days. When pets weren't viable, and Witch Doctors had to rely on slows and deterrents to keep enemies at bay.
As you can see, the idea behind the build is to stack as many slow spells as possible while your corpse spiders and acid cloud eat away at your enemies
Corpse Spiders/Medusa Spiders: Corpse spiders are an amazing primary for a number of reasons. I will forgo the theorycrafting and just explain the basic reasons for why this is a great spell.
a) Scales really well with attack speed. With 1.95 attack speed, I'm able to get 7 or 8 jars out at a time. With 4 spiders per jar, that's 28-32 spiders out at any given time. The medusa rune gives a 25% chance to slow the enemy by 60%. From my testing, with that many spiders out, your enemies will always be effected by the 60% slow.
b) Very low mana cost (5 mana per jar)
c) Fire and forget play style. You can throw jars of spiders on or around the enemy with very little wasted DPS. Especially since your enemies will be slowed and fairly contained most of the time.
d) Great single target damage compared to other primaries.
Acid Cloud/Lob Blob Bomb: I always like to run Acid cloud in my builds for obvious reasons. Great AoE damage, and great proc coefficient for LoH returns. I prefer Lob blob rune because it acts and functions similarly to corpse spiders. There is very little wasted DPS, the blobs can maneuver around walls, and the blobs can actually block targets in tight corridors and entrances.
Grasp of the Dead/Unbreakable Grasp: A spell frequently used in 1.0.2 and 1.0.3 when a lot of Witch Doctor's were using Spellful's Splinter guide. It's a great slow, 80%, which will be stacking with the 60% from your Medusa spiders. Has a pretty large radius, and a relatively short cool down. Overall a great utility spell that also provides some DPS.
Spirit Walk/Soul Harvest: Pretty self explanatory. Two spells that most Witch Doctors keep in their arsenal. I run with the Jaunt rune for the extra duration, great for resurrecting allies in uber fights. And I run with Vengeful Spirit for some extra damage, very effective if you're already 5 stacked.
Wall of Zombies/Unrelenting Grip: Excellent deterrent, and another 60% slow if you use the Unrelenting Grip rune. Wall of Zombies, unlike Grasp of the Dead, does great damage (800% over 5 seconds) and can make an enemy completely immobile if you place the wall correctly.
Passives are completely optional but I find the three I'm using work best. As you can see, I'm using two mana savers (Blood Ritual, which I also use for the extra health regen, and Vision Quest). I use these to off-set the mana increase I take from using PtV but also because this build can be mana intensive.
Gearing is not much different than what is required in other builds with the exception of a few things.
1) Attack speed is very critical for reasons stated above. More attack speed equals faster cast animations, and more spiders out at any given time. This is one of the few builds that makes good use of attack speed. 1H/off-hand is definitely recommended.
2) Mana regen is also very critical, because even with
two mana saving passives, I still find mana to be a limitation. Which is why I have 12 mana per second on my Mojo and 20 from the Zunimassa 4 piece.
3) Capped run speed. You want to have at least 24% run speed to make kiting and stutter stepping even easier.
4) Echoing Fury. This is completely optional, but I find this weapon has a lot of synergy with the spells used in the build.
a) It's a great 1 hand weapon with great attack speed. A good roll can yield really high damage (1300+) with critical hit damage and a socket.
b) You get free CC that procs surprisingly often. I know a lot of people don't care for the fear because enemies often scatter and have to be chased down. However, because this build incorporates so many slows, the fear really works toward your advantage. Your enemies, for the most part, stay contained within one area. With 120% or even 60% slow, enemies aren't going to be moving all over the place. Also, enemies cannot attack while they're feared, which is really nice when going against hard hitting mobs or elites.
Another thing worth mentioning is follower selection. I've always preferred the Templar for my WD, especially when I'm not running pets. If you're going to take the Templar, I highly suggest using Intervene (taunts enemies) and Intimidate (enemies who hit or are hit by your Templar are slowed by an additional 60%)
Overall, I find this build to be a great alternative to bears and whatever else people are using these days. It works well with high MP levels, as well as for quickly farming low MP levels. I will try to post some videos in the future so people can see the build in action, but my recommendation is to just try it out yourself. It's a lot of fun.
EDIT: After some further testing with Wall of Zombies, it appears that enemies who are feared cannot get "stuck" in the wall. However, this does not mean the spell is useless, just not as effective if you're using Echoing Fury. A good alternative, IMO, is BBV with the Slam dance rune. It's very easy to stay within the radius for it's full duration and is overall a great DPS CD. The attack speed bonus becomes a lot more valuable when using a spell like corpse spiders.