Of all the changes made to each class in patch 1.0.4, it’s fair to say that the biggest ones were made to the Witch Doctor. Zombie Bears + Vision Quest, which has long been a staple of the WD, is no more. As fun as bear builds have been, I’m not sad to see the back of them. It made playing the WD very one dimensional.
1.0.4 Witch Doctor Builds
What builds are working for the Witch Doctor post 1.0.4? I’ve been using a Plague of Toads build that combines Rain of Toads with Zombie Dogs and the Gargantuan. It’s really fun to have both types of pets finally Inferno capable. It’s still early days and I’ve not figured out a replacement build for the variety of bear builds previously used but the build below has been working well with my 4 WD multibox setup.
Build – Mouse over for a preview
While Rain of Toads may not be the highest DPS spell, it’s ideal for use as a primary attack for a few reasons. First, it can be sustainably chain cast for an infinite amount of time. Second, it’s an AOE based attack which can clear large packs of trash quickly. Third, it fits a similar play style to the old bear builds in which your focus is really only the 1 attack. This makes it great for grinding the new Paragon levels for extended periods of time.
3 Skills Not Crucial
The next 3 choices are not crucial to a toads build and you may consider switching them out for other skills.
I’ve been using Grasp of the Dead with Unbreakable Grasp as my secondary attack. GotD did get a buff in patch 1.0.4 and it does do some nice damage now. Spirit Walk with Jaunt is always useful for escape or for quickly running into a pack of mobs to get a 5 stack Soul Harvest with Soul to Waste for the added duration. I’ve tried swapping some of these out for Big Bad Voodoo when killing champion packs but I prefer the near constant buff of SH for trash and champion packs than saving BBV for when packs are found.
As for Zombie Dogs, I’ve been going with Leeching Beasts for some HP return when fighting packs that reflect damage. For the Gargantuan, Humongoid provides him with an AOE attack and as I can now multibox in Act 3 and 4 where many larger packs are to be found, I’ve found it to be a better choice than the others due to it constantly being available as opposed to something like Restless Giant with it’s 2 minute CD. You may consider changing the skill rune but Humongoid is good regardless of solo, party or multibox play.
As this build is not mana intensive, Pierce the Veil is a no brainer. Jungle Fortitude is worth taking as this build relies upon both Zombie Dogs & the Gargantuan. I’d be tempted to swap this out if I was only using Zombie Dogs. I continue to use Spirit Vessel as a means of escape and saving on repair costs.
Why am I not using Zombie Handler for the additional dogs? Well, I’m 4 boxing and the additional ZD’s are of almost no use because they cannot fully encircle trash or champion packs and some stand around with little to do. Given ZD now has a 45s CD, it’s pretty simple to recast every 45s to keep all 3 dogs up. If I was playing solo though, I’d swap out Spirit Vessel for Zombie Handler.
Overall, I’m really happy with the changes made to the WD class. When I read that VQ had been changed (nerfed), I was quite hesitant about it but the update has enabled the WD to now play a large variety of builds which are Inferno capable.
Enjoying your class since the 1.0.4 patch? Found the changes to be good or bad for your preferred playstyle? Why not guest post on the blog and share your thoughts with others!