My Rain Doctor Build.

Witch Doctor
So I thought I would write up my version of the ROT/AC build.

If you see any problems with my facts please let me know and I will make changes.

There is already a pretty good ROT/AC build guide out there but when I suggested improvements to the author I was "encouraged" to write my own. So here Goes.

Part 1. will deal with Procs generally
Part 2. will deal with my build.

I call this the Rain Doctor Build.

Part 1 Procs

ROT stands for Plague of Toads with the Rain of Toads Rune.
AC Stands for Acid Cloud with Acid Rain Rune.

The main thing to understand about ROT and AC is that they have the highest proc rate of any two skills in the WD set. Acid rain may have the highest proc rate of any skill in the game.

See here for the definitive guide to all WD proc rates.

Procs include Life on Hit, and Crowd Control effects like Stun, Freeze, Chill, Blind, Slow, Immobilize, knockback and fear (I do not recommend using knockback and fear for reasons I go into in my build guide.)

When choosing to make a ROT/AC doctor you are in effect choosing to maximize these effects.

The most important proc effects are Life on Hit, Freeze and Stun. This is because while an enemy is stunned or frozen it will not move or attack or spawn ground effects like arcane sentry, mortars or jailer (etc) and every time you hit an enemy you get life points back with Life on Hit.

Life on Hit can be found on weapons, rings and amulets.
Freeze can be found on weapons and off hands (up to 2.6%), and belts (up to 5.1%)
Stun can be found on weapons and off hands (up to 2.6%), and gloves (up to 5.1%)
Some legendaries can also get much higher CC procs (Azurwrath can have a freeze CC up to 15%) but generally their limitations make them impractical to use (Azurwrath has horrible DPS for example).

These rates apply per attack so the faster your attack rate the greater your chance to proc an effect in a second, or in the case of Life on Hit the more life you will receive.

My understanding of the formula is:

Attacks per second x a Skills Proc Rate x Items Proc % (or Life on Hit number) = A procs chance to trigger (or the amount of life you will heal).

Unfortunately because Wizards were made unbalanced GW has had to introduce a diminished rate of return for all CC proc effects, which, while not really affecting Wizards at all, have diminished the value of proc effects for everyone else. (Life on Hit is not a CC proc and is not affected by this nerf).

See here for a detailed explanation of the CC nerf.

The bottom line is that procing CC effects is no longer as effective as it used to be and spending too much in terms of gold or giving up other valuable stats on items is not recommended. In fact outside of the ROT/AC build it's probably better to ignore most proc effects in favor of all resist, armor, dps etc. This is also why even in a ROT/AC build it is probably better to concentrate on Freeze, Stun and Life on Hit procs and only consider the other CC procs if they can be had for cheap and don't take too much away from an items general effectiveness.
Part 2

My Build.!Uce!bZcaYc

In order to make maximum use of procs there are several things a WD must do.

1. As procs are multiplied by attack speed it is not generally a good idea to have a slow weapon.
2. Because AC has a very high mana cost you will be devoting many of your passive skills and item affects to increasing your mana regeneration rate and or decreasing your mana expenditure. This is why I have Blood Ritual and Vision Quest in my build as well as Honored Guest as the rune on my spirit walk skill. In addition I have mana regeneration on my Knife, Mojo and Head gear.

Method of casting.

Because AC is so deadly expensive to cast one simply cannot spam it.

This is what I do and what has through experimentation yields the best proc rate over time. I hold the ROT attack button down and rapid fire my AC as fast as my Mana will allow.

With a total of 130 mana regeneration and a 15% reduction in mana cost I can rapid fire AC as fast as I can (approx every .5 seconds) and only mildly reduce my mana pool. I can maintain this for about 30 seconds before I have to trigger my Honored Guest spirit walk to replenish.

I use pets and Grasp of the Dead in order to reduce my targets mobility while my Damage over Time Skills kill them. ROT, 1/3 of the damage of AC and Grasp are DOT skills and the more a target can be made to stay in one place the more damage they take over a given amount of time. In addition monsters have a tendency to get into the Grasp area and stick there causing a clumping effect that is highly desirable for my skills which all have an area of effect.

For Grasp I like the Rain of Corpses rune for the extra 320% damage over 8 seconds, I also love the animation. It is particularly effective once the battle field is reduced to a single target such as a gold monster or boss.

For dogs I choose Burning Dogs, the rune does not proc much but it procs more than any other rune for dogs. (The Rabid Dog rune does have a higher % proc but only per attack, burning is per tick and goes against every enemy in contact not just the one being bitten)
If you find your dogs are too fragile try leeching beasts instead. Because I use Life on Hit Burning Dogs replenish my own health pool about as well as leeching beasts do.

For Gargantuan I choose Bruiser, although Grags no longer proc at all at least bruiser has a chance to stun opponents.


You want the highest rate stun gloves and freeze belt you can get that do not take your dps down too low. I can't be too specific here. Everything is a balance that will vary with each persons build. Personally My gloves and belt for similar money could probably have 75-100 more int each which is about 7k-10 dps out of 135k and maybe about 50k of ehp given up in no all res, and lower vit, out of 320k. Thats roughly what I had to sacrifice to get the proc CC of 4.5% freeze and 4.9% stun.

You want to get +% crit chance for AC on your helmet and on a Stone of Joradan. These are relatively cheap as +% crit chance for AC is not currently highly valued. I got a perfect SOJ for a few tens of millions, try to get perfect Zombie charger or 0 dog ring will cost you many hundreds of millions.

Get Mana regen on your weapon, mojo and helmet, you will need all you can get in order to maximise your AC use. Make sure you get a full Zuni set for the mana as well, this is critical.

As you want +% critchance and+% AC crit chance and mana regen on your helmet that means you will want to go with Visage of Guia, which means you should prefer to get a string of skulls to complete your Zuni set.

You will need Life on Hit from your weapon, amulet, or blackthorn pants, if you are very rich/lucky you can get life on hit from your zuni ring. How much Life on Hit you need depends on your defences and the MP level you are ready for. Personally I am running just under 900 from my ammulet and I would like to get to about 600 more form a weapon to feel comfortable.

Other than that, just go for the standard gear set (lacunies or inna pants, witching hour belt with freeze chance if you can). chance, crit damage, vit, defences etc... If you find a CC proc on anything else that does not hurt the items other stats much then go for it. For instance my Zuni string of skulls has 2% blind but is also a kick !@# mojo in every other respect as well. +% damage to rain of toads on a weapon would not hurt either.

I should mention fear and knockback are CCs you should actively avoid in my build. My bulid bases itself off area of effect dot damage which means i want mons to clump up and stand still. Fear/Knockback do the opposite of that.

With my current equipment (4.9% stun, 4.5% freeze, 2% blind) I can keep a typical elite monster locked in stun/frozen from for about 80% of the time if it is directly under my ROT/AC attack. ROT has a very small area of effect so if two or more mons are close together I can lock them 80% as well. Mons father away from the central point only get the affect of my AC and the lock rates fall off considerably.

Pros of this build.

1. It is not a bear build.
2. It allows you to hang back in many circumstances allowing your freeze/stun effects combined with your pets and grasp to keep monsters locked down and away from you.
3. It is very helpful in group games.
4. Properly built it can solo ubers as well as high mp farming (albeit slowly).
5. It clears low MPs lightning fast, if you concentrate on +Crit chance for your AC you will naturally have a very high damage Acid rain skill which can clear white mobs with ease. As well, a high mana regen will allow you to use pierce the veil with AC and still cast quite often, which means one shotting white mobs within a 24 yard radius.

Cons of this build.

1. It is not a CM Wizard build. CM Wizards are broken and can do what this build strives to do better in every respect. GG Bliz...
2. It is not particularly cheap to build. The need for a fast attack rate combined with WDs lousy mana regen abilities and its reliance on CC proc effect on your belt and gloves means you will need to devote serious cash to the build and be willing to sacrifice some DPS to get it done.
3. It is not flattering to your Paper Doll. Your Paper DPS and paper EHP will seem lower than the average. This is because much of your resources (both items and skills/passives) have been devoted to resource managment and proc effects. (keep in mind your true DPS will be much higher than what is listed due to SOJ and +% crits to your AC)
4. It is slower than bears, but IMO more survivable. Max procing LOH and CC effects at range is a very safe way to run.
Hi Blackjack,

I am adding your guide to the Index of Witch Doctor Guides and Builds at

One thing I might mention is that in the cons section Item 3, you talk about a using an SOJ, but you didn't mention this in the guide.

If you have any gear you recommend for this build it would be helpful to list it out.
As a fellow "rain doc" I like the proc rates of the two as well. What mp level do you solo? I usually run mp 3, 4, or 5. I learned to get away from the pets in the build and with the GI/GF/PtV passive combo, and 170k buffed out dps, the pets just seemed to get in the way.

Also, with horrify, soul harvest and spirit walk, I don't seem to have any issues with any mob types, trash, elite, champ, etc... Curious, do you run with a follower too? I don't. I prefer solo solo, no pets, no followers.

Anyways, good to see another "rain doc" out there. May the spirit of Zunimassa guide you.
I run a rain doc variant as well. And I had thought of going crowd control proc with this build but I remembered reading several months back that the proc rate for crowd control, ie stun, freeze, etc., was nerfed.
dammit blackjack so ur the one that outbid me on those stun gloves... sob
I have updated my gear guide. Let me know if i should add or change anything else.

I can solo farm mp8 and have solo'd mp7 ubers. By farm i mean i keep my deaths to under 1 per hour generally, though I have to keep on my toes as my ehp and LOH are not where i want them to be. At Mp7+ mana starts becoming bothersome, but that is a cross many WD builds must bear.

It is nerfed, we are not the proc docs of 1.03 when our pets could proc and firepit had a higher proc rate than ROT. These days procing is subtle, it needs to flow into the build not dominate it like the old days. Still run with me a bit and you will see it's still very helpfull.

haha, lovely gloves and belt indeed.
well done blackjack. cheers!

Just a Qn on your fight mechanics, since you're going for fast atk speed, using AC to proc and RoT for DPS, will you consider using PTV passive? Will a socketed EF for high MP Uber be good for you (IAS, Fear)?
I was solo-ing MP7 last night with various passive and basically the same skill setup as you, but I didn't have any CC on my WD and I used SH instead of grasp. My scoundrel has a windforce and a stun amulet.
I have 59 mana/s and I was using a skorn.

I found:
I do not need VQ unless I use PtV.
If I use BR, that's enough mana management and I can stick with BM, JF, SV, fierce loyalty, etc.

And on that note, I was finding my minions were dying too quickly to elite affixes, which means I either upgrade my gear (expensive) or I need more damage reduction passive and/or fierce loyalty. So I was trying out FL, but having hard crowd controls would help reduce that need.

Then the only real problem is big hitters that one shot the dogs and two shot the garg.
In which case, effects such as stun and freeze are worthwhile, because those big swingers won't stop any other way.
I had found even using Zombie Handler, BM, and JF with horrify frightening aspect didn't even save them. I even added about 10k health in place of my soj for this test.

I would never use an echoing fury for two reasons. First is the lack of mana regen, this build needs all the mana regen it can get. Second Fear. I should mention it in my build guide, fear is the one CC you should actively avoid in my build. My bulid bases itself off area of effect dot damage which means i want mons to clump up and stand still. Fear does the opposite of that. Knockback is another one to avoid.

Pierce the Veil I would use only if it buffed me enough to one shot white mobs (about act 2-3 for me). Otherwise whats the point? If I can't one shot whites with PTV then I am probably not doing enough dps to put down elites before i run into mana issues.


Without CCs you are going to have a very differnt experiance.

If you dont need VQ with my build then you are not casting AC fast enough, but then again without CCs you don't need to.

Elite minions do way less damage when they are stunned/frozen. CCs are in effect defensive abiltiies which would help your dogs live longer.
I recently picked my WD back up and am loving it. I've just started tinkering with DOT builds, since to me this is one of the most unique ways of playing the game. Most classes and builds rely on doing as much burst damage as quickly as possible, and I like being able to hit multiple targets and get group kills.

Do you find Firebomb to be useful at all? Personally it's my favorite primary and I've had some success with it, but then again I haven't hit Inferno with my WD yet and I'm not sure how it will perform. I've also cut out my dogs and use Soul Harvest along with Gruesome Feast for max damage, but again, not in Inferno yet. Since a DOT build is built largely on keeping mobs immobile I'm loving the Unbreakable Grasp rune on Grasp. That extra 20% movement reduction can be clutch especially when you have little to no CC stats. Thoughts?
Fire bomb does not proc well at all.

Sadly Bliz has made it such that to play a proc build you have to go AC or ROT or both. If you dont use those skills then cc procs and loh will be of limited use.

Back in the day Fire pit was actually our best proc skill, and burning dogs, big stinker and spider queen would proc like mad....
Hey BlackJack!

I guess I'd drop here a link to my build. I also came from a 1.0.3 proctor build, and wanted to carry on something similar in 1.0.4. I chose a sacrifice build for its 'pride' rune to refill my mana. Thus I run up my real dps and am able to spam acid cloud only:
I hope you'll enjoy the idea!
This build WORKS amazing!

A cheap way to test it yourself is to buy a cheap 10%ish freeze Azurewrath and go into mp7+. You'll be perma-freezing the mobs, albeit you'll need some time to kill the mobs.

Thanks for sharing the finds blackjack! Much appreciated!
12/23/2012 07:18 PMPosted by PR4Y
I feel like my WD can simply not be improved. Sure, I could get a few points of INT here... maybe .5% crit there... 4% crit damage? That's not my point. My opinion is that I've reached the point with my WD where upgrading would be meaningless, and thus cannot be improved (in my mind), since those upgrades really aren't doing anything to help my setup.

Meaninless upgrades? Your pants dont have any ar. Just saying.

Could get a .5 and upwards prot increase if you dropped the pickup for ar and dirt cheap, and wouldnt hurt you much at all to find ones with 50 ar and keep the pickup. :/

Enjoying the flames back and forth about epeen btw.
Hey Blackjack,

I've been running a Skorn petless build using procs of 4.5 stun, 4.0 freeze, and 3.7 blind.

Anyway, with a Skorn mana requirements are very light, so I use GF, JF, and SV. I also use bears as a clean up skill because I have all kinds of left over mana to use. I do have the Zuni set, but I only use one attack speed item, so I have very little mana drain to attack speed.

I did give up about 40K DPS to use the stun gloves and blind ammy (sigh!) but I'm on the lookout for better stats on both.

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in how the build might work with a Skorn.

Hey sky, good to hear your build is working out! I have tried a 1.2 speed weapon and found my proc rate fell alot, though it did cure my mana issues. I just feel sluggish with a slow weapon personally.
Well I tried it with a one hand and mojo and it ate mana like crazy. Skorn seems to hit harder with AC/slow burn, plus with more life steal on Skorn my WD can stand still more and tank elites due to higher LS.

Anyway, just thought I'd let others know it can be done with a Skorn and it is a lot of fun. Only drawback is finding high DPS gear with the proc effects.
I've been playing an AC build for quite some time. I had been using a skorn, but with the MP system being introduced, the bleed proc isnt't quite as tempting as it once was since it doesn't scale with higher MPs.

I tried out a 1 hander + mojo set up to see how that worked and found the increased attack speed was nice for procing faster. The set I used was a cheap (about 75k for weapon and mojo) so burning down elites was taking awhile, but with a nicer setup I could see it being preferable to a skorn now for this type of build.

I also tested an echoing fury, just to see how the fear proc worked out. It was mixed. In some fights a pack of elites would run up to a wall and sit there in fear while you killed them. Other times stuff was just running all around and it was tough to get steady damage in. I'd say fear is definitely a less preferable proc as mentioned.

Anyways, thanks for the write up, you may have convinced me to regear and go 1 hander.
hey guys.. for those without much budget (<2 Mio Gold):

i got this build running smoothly with a budget of about 2 mio gold. of course i don't deal too much damage yet.. screen dps is 50k. but with around 800loh (amulett and 1 ring), 2.8%LS on a very cheap manajumas weapon without socket but 97%CD and only 3.8% Chance to stun on my gloves, I do survive very well in low MP and it does stun quite often. with +62 manareg I cannot completely use AC endless with 1.4 attack rate but 1 AC per second is fine in boss situations, LoH keeps up. I do just sometimes change one passive for Fetish syco's as we proc quite often..let me have 5-7 fetish all time up :)

i can only recommend this build for people heading out without bears who like to stand still in a huge mass and tank with this stunning LOH build! lets rain toads and corpses.. lovely. GREAT thx Blackjack!!

zemickey's C4PROC-Guide: I tested it (by taking the time to kill bunches of high MP zombies) with 9s on ZD cool down (~16s homunculus+7s on helmet), dps dropped to 30k and It is much less quicker as the Sacrificing only every 9s is not matching my AC spam with 50k dps. So I will sell the 16-homuncules hopefully for some millions (got it before 1.0.5 :)).

QUESTION NOW is just which next affordable item.. i am still thinking which will push me best.. most of all my damage, as more CC is not too important. click on my profile and give me your best hints if you feel like :).. i got 250k on my bank right now..hehe

  • I think about blackthorns pants for LoH to then change my amulet..
  • better ring with CD maybe?
  • 4 zuni's is horrible expensive to get 20 mana reg..
  • shoulders could use +100 int instead of chance to cool down.
  • or a better weapon with socket CD and LoH instead of the LS on the manajuma?
  • UPDATE: To find my gold I use this nice speed farm build for low MP:!YTZ!baZcZZ
    SW+Horrify: RUN, then SH for dmg boost my 50k dps, same time AC (LoH, Proc, DMG), and SACRIFICE whenever it is there. only for some lonely elites i need to tank with RoT and AC.. Thing of the deep of course in my hand for +20 yards pickup radius.

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