If you’re struggling to maximize and sustain high DPS as a Witch Doctor in Inferno Act 1, this build will have you killing trash quickly, tearing apart Champion packs for that juicy 5 stack Nephalem Valor and killing The Butcher in under 2 minutes.
Sounds good right? It is!
Build – Mouse over for a preview.
Why These Skills
The foundation of this build is based upon a single, high damage skill (Zombie Charger with Zombie Bears – 236% weapon damage as poison) and a range of active/passive mana regen skills which support chain casting ZC for lengthy periods of time. ZC is ideal for Act 1 Inferno as it’s cone effect allows you to damage a large number of mobs while at the same time, it remains an excellent single target DPS skill – something you’ll need if you want to kill the Butcher on Inferno in under 2 minutes for the “A Brief Butchering” achievement.
ZC has a short range which means you’ll often be within reach of melee but that’s OK. Spirit Walk and Spirit Vessel provide you with a means to escape or survive death. The SV passive procs when you receive a fatal blow – it will heal you to 10% while leaving you invulnerable for 3 seconds – which is a lot of time to continue casting ZC. Combine that with a health pot and then SW, you can effectively stand within range of melee and chain cast ZC to your hearts content.
Due to ZC having such a high mana cost, Vision Quest – which provides 300% mana regen while 4 or more skills are on CD – is a must. Fetish Army and Big Bad Voodoo (with Slam Dance as it provides a 30% damage boost to the group) each have a lengthy 2 minute CD which means you’ll only need to focus on keeping 2 spells on cool down.
The other 2 skills you’ll want to keep on CD while not using ZC are Spirit Walk and Soul Harvest. The Spiritual Attunement passive (increases your maximum mana by 20%) has good synergy with the Honored Guest skill rune of SW as it returns 15% of your maximum mana while active. Soul Harvest increases your Intelligence and thus your damage and it’s not difficult to keep 5 stacks of it up a majority of the time. You can use SW to dash into a large group of mobs, grab 5 stacks with SH, run out and begin casting ZC – and it’s not uncommon for ZC to crit in the 50k range when doing this.
Killing The Butcher In Under 2 Minutes
This is more than doable with a PUG – you don’t need a team of 4 exceptional players to pull this one off but you do need to maximize your DPS at every moment of the fight. Before the fight even starts, you’ll need to teleport back to town and use the way point to go to the cemetary. Ask your group to queue up the event and when the other 3 have accepted, run into a pack of 5 mobs with Spirit Walk and then use Soul Harvest to get 5 stacks and click accept – you’ll be ported straight to the Butcher.
Because Fetish Army and Big Bad Voodoo each have a 2 minute CD, you’ll want to burn both skills at the same time and begin chain casting your bears. When you’re getting near 0 mana, use Grasp of the Dead and Spirit Walk so that you can maintain 4 skills on CD and continue receiving 300% mana regen from Vision Quest.
Remember, the Butcher will give you a clear indication of which direction he will use his abilities a moment before he does, all you need to do is side step and continue casting ZC. Because ZC has a short range, you need to react quickly to avoid being one shot. If you do mess up, the Spirit Vessel passive will save you once but with a 90 second CD, you don’t want to rely upon it. Rezzing people is difficult and means 50% of the groups DPS has been lost (1 dead and 1 person stopping DPS to rez you). You can kiss the achievement goodbye if that happens.
Because ZC uses 236% of your weapon damage, it’s essential you have a good weapon in the 1000 DPS range. These are currently selling for around 1-2 million gold; expensive!. If you don’t have the gold, I suggest you check out this gold guide which will teach you how to buy/sell/trade your way to acquiring large amounts of gold quickly or simply wait a few weeks until prices begin to drop on Inferno quality items.