Diablo® III

Random Tips for Optimizing your Witch Doctor

These are just some useful things I discovered while playing my current and first WD. To some of you, these may be old news, but I'm sure they'll help somebody :)

-Pickup radius is amazing in conjunction with grave injustice (passive) and gruesome feast (passive). Grave injustice's radius is increased by your pickup radius. Get a Thing of the Deep mojo for 20 yd pickup radius (and optionally even more pickup radius on other gear), and you'll see all your cooldowns refreshed after nearly every trash pack. With gruesome feast and 20+ pickup radius, you'll pick up nearby health orbs without even noticing them - this lets you mindlessly keep your gruesome feast stacks up for 10-50% bonus intelligence!

-When you recast restless giant (gargantuan), the cooldown on his enrage is reset. Against bosses, recast it immediately after his enrage ends. Against elites, recast immediately after the elite pack dies. This ensures you'll have it up for the next elite pack and that the cooldown will be fresh to recast after that pack.

-NEVER choose IAS (increased attack speed) over crit % or crit damage. For WD's, IAS is more or less a stat padder because our main DPS skills are heavy nukes rather than attack-speed based abilities. And while our primary attacks benefit from IAS (all things equal), our primaries require mana per attack, so it is actually better to hit slower+harder as opposed to faster+softer, as this enables you to be mana-neutral or mana-positive while spamming your primary attack.

-With gruesome feast, (passive) Intelligence is more valuable than stat calculators may show. Unlike soul harvest which gives you a flat int increase per stack, gruesome feast is %-based. This throws off your dps spreadsheets, as your spreadsheet will not give you the extra 10%-50% value per point of int. This is particularly important for low MP speed runs where you will be at 3-5 stacks of gruesome feast 90% of the time.

-Zombie bears doesn't benefit much from LoH. The spell proc coefficient on zombie bears is just 11%, so your LoH returns will be miniscule. If you are wanting to run a zombie bears build with 50k+ dps, you will definitely need to use a weapon with lifesteal. If you can't afford lifesteal, consider a build that uses Plague of Toads (rain of toads) and Acid Cloud (acid rain) as these have very high LoH coefficients.

-You can stack spirit walk and horrify-stalker for a massive movement speed increase. Combine these two with grave injustice (passive) to move quickly between trash mobs and elites. It doesn't matter whether you cast one spell first or the other, or both simultaneously - the movement speed increases are flat increases to your base.

Will add more as they occur to me
Edited by JAMES#6563 on 1/6/2013 3:49 AM PST
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Good tips!



-Zombie bears doesn't benefit much from LoH. The spell proc coefficient on zombie bears is just 11%, so your LoH returns will be miniscule. If you are wanting to run a zombie bears build with 50k+ dps, you will definitely need to use a weapon with lifesteal. If you can't afford lifesteal, consider a build that uses Plague of Toads (rain of toads) and Acid Cloud (acid rain) as these have very high LoH coefficients.


This is not strictly true. I run bears with (a lot of) LoH and very rarely need to cast rain of toads to regen hp. When my gear was worse I did need to use rain of toads more. That's what it's for! Of course I agree that lifesteal is generally better for bears.

- Zunimassa 4 piece bonus is insane.
I will never go without it again. The mana return is amazing.
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Good tips!



-Zombie bears doesn't benefit much from LoH. The spell proc coefficient on zombie bears is just 11%, so your LoH returns will be miniscule. If you are wanting to run a zombie bears build with 50k+ dps, you will definitely need to use a weapon with lifesteal. If you can't afford lifesteal, consider a build that uses Plague of Toads (rain of toads) and Acid Cloud (acid rain) as these have very high LoH coefficients.


This is not strictly true. I run bears with (a lot of) LoH and very rarely need to cast rain of toads to regen hp. When my gear was worse I did need to use rain of toads more. That's what it's for! Of course I agree that lifesteal is generally better for bears.

- Zunimassa 4 piece bonus is insane.
I will never go without it again. The mana return is amazing.


hehe i'm mainly talking about versus reflects damage. If you zombie bears a pack of RD elites with my WD's damage, you'll get owned no matter how much LOH I have :)

Good tip on the zuni 4-set... I'm in the market for a godly zuni ring right now and may consider going 4-set if the right helmet appears
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If you are in a private game and you proc Spirit Vessel, you can go to the lobby (leave game but not leave party) and resume and it will reset your Spirit Vessel without losing stacks.

Chance-on-hit CC effects like freeze, etc are proc'd with amazing results by DoT spells like Rain of Toads and Acid Cloud.

Pickup radius is an amazing thing. With enough Pickup Radius + Grave Injustice you can almost use Soul Harvest (Vengence) like a Nova Sorc in D2.

Although outdated, this thread is amazing and all serious WD's should read it: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271499223
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@ OP

nice tips for someone like me that is new to the WD
I don't really like zombie bears coz it's hard to control if you know what i mean but some say its an awesome skill against elites due to high dmg

looking at my WD, from the tips and link, guess i would need to change my Firebomb (ghost bomb rune to fire pit rune) and my Acid Cloud (slow burn rune to acid rain rune) for better LoH...

@Diomedes

soul harvest radius stacks with pickup radius?
anyways, thanks for awesome link...
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@ OP

nice tips for someone like me that is new to the WD
I don't really like zombie bears coz it's hard to control if you know what i mean but some say its an awesome skill against elites due to high dmg

looking at my WD, from the tips and link, guess i would need to change my Firebomb (ghost bomb rune to fire pit rune) and my Acid Cloud (slow burn rune to acid rain rune) for better LoH...

@Diomedes

soul harvest radius stacks with pickup radius?
anyways, thanks for awesome link...


Actually Acid Cloud - Slow Burn has a higher proc rate than the other Acid Cloud runes (last I checked). You use acid rain rune because you can clear/hit a lot more trash with 1 cast which means faster farming in general if your goal is A3 MP0/MP1. The DOT radius itself stays the same, its just the initial blast that has the 24 yd range.

Soul Harvest radius does not increase with pickup unfortunately. It's pretty dumb how blizzard puts in pickup affix and has limited skills/passives to utilize it, though GF/GI build is awesome with it. I would like to see pickup become a much more valuable stat for WDs (non farming) and all other classes in general in a future patch.
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@ OP

nice tips for someone like me that is new to the WD
I don't really like zombie bears coz it's hard to control if you know what i mean but some say its an awesome skill against elites due to high dmg

looking at my WD, from the tips and link, guess i would need to change my Firebomb (ghost bomb rune to fire pit rune) and my Acid Cloud (slow burn rune to acid rain rune) for better LoH...

@Diomedes

soul harvest radius stacks with pickup radius?
anyways, thanks for awesome link...


Actually Acid Cloud - Slow Burn has a higher proc rate than the other Acid Cloud runes (last I checked). You use acid rain rune because you can clear/hit a lot more trash with 1 cast which means faster farming in general if your goal is A3 MP0/MP1. The DOT radius itself stays the same, its just the initial blast that has the 24 yd range.

Soul Harvest radius does not increase with pickup unfortunately. It's pretty dumb how blizzard puts in pickup affix and has limited skills/passives to utilize it, though GF/GI build is awesome with it. I would like to see pickup become a much more valuable stat for WDs (non farming) and all other classes in general in a future patch.


Acid rain has the highest proc rate now at 280% near the center of the cast. See this link for all spell proc coefficients:

http://www.d3rmt.com/guides/witch-doctor-skill-proc-coefficients/
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Yes Acid Rain has higher proc than Slow Burn. Its just that you can stack a lot of them cause they last longer
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@Diomedes

soul harvest radius stacks with pickup radius?
anyways, thanks for awesome link...


No, there was a miscommunication. I never meant to say this.

What I meant was that Soul Harvest has a low cooldown, so if you have pickup radius of half the screen and 5 things die, you can cast Soul Harvest every 2-3 seconds and it does huge damage (230%). It packs a nice punch on MP0 and allows a WD to play far more aggressively than most people realize.
Edited by Diomedes#1380 on 1/6/2013 8:12 AM PST
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