Witch Doctor Build: The Ultimate Army (PvE)


I am a big fan of the Witch Doctor, and it most likely going to be the first class I play once D3 is released. I was recently checking out the Diablo 3 Skills and found that you could actually create an Army by focusing mainly on the Witch Doctor's Support Skills. These Support Skills combined with the right Runestones and the right Passive Skills could really make a powerful Undead Army. Here are the Skills and Runestone combinations that I have chosen.

Active Skills
Summon Zombie Dogs: This skill will Summon 3 Zombie Dogs that will deal 15% of your weapon damage as Physical per hit. Socketed with an Obsidian Runestone, the Zombie Dogs will deal an additional 10% of your weapon damage per second as Poison for 3 seconds.

Hex: Summon a Fetish Shaman for 8 seconds that will hex enemies into chickens. Hexed enemies are unable to perform offensive actions and take 20% additional damage. Socketed with an Alabaster Runestone it will Increase the damage taken by hexed targets to 60%.

Spirit Walk: Enter the spirit realm for 3 seconds. While in the spirit realm, your movement is unhindered. Socketed with an Indigo Runestone, Spirit Walk will last for 7.0 seconds.

Gargantuan: Summon a large zombie follower to fight for you. The Gargantuan attacks for 30% of your weapon damage as Physical with every swing. Socketed with an Alabaster Runestone the Gargantuan periodically slams enemies, dealing 205% of your weapon damage as Physical and stunning them for 3 seconds.

Big Bad Voodoo: Summon a fetish to begin a ritual dance that increases the attack, casting and movement speeds of all allies in the area by 15% for 20 seconds. Socketed with a Crimson Runestone, the ritual dance will also increase the damage of all allies in the area by 31%.

Fetish Army: Summon an army of Fetish creatures to fight by your side for 20 seconds. Dagger-wielding fetishes attack for 28% of your weapon damage as Physical. Socketed with an Indigo Runestone will add 2 dagger-wielders to the army and increase their damage to 32% of your weapon damage.

Passive Skills

Zombie Handler: You can have 4 Zombie Dogs out at once. The health of your Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan are increased by 60%.

Spirit Vessel: Reduces the cooldown of your Horrify, Spirit Walk and Soul Harvest spells by 2 seconds. In addition, the next time you receive fatal damage you automatically enter the Spirit Realm for 3 seconds and heal to 10% of your maximum Life. This effect cannot occur more than once every 90 seconds.

Tribal Rites: The cooldowns of your Fetish Army, Big Bad Voodoo and Hex abilities are reduced by 25%.


Pros
- Large Army With A Great Deal Of Life & High Damage Output
- AI of Summons To Attack Enemies
- Only Worries Are Avoiding Damage To Witch Doctor

Cons
- High Mana Cost
- Vulnerable Witch Doctor
- May Not Be As Fun To Play (Summon & Run/Hide Witch Doctor)

Breakdown
With The Ultimate Army Build, the Witch Doctor will rely on the damage and tanking abilities of Summons. In total you will be able to summon 4 Zombie Dogs, 1 Fetish Shaman, 1 Gargantuan, 1 Tribal Fetish and an entire Fetish Army of dagger-wielding fetishes. In total you will be able have at least 10 total summons fighting by your side at one time.

Your Zombie Dogs and the Gargantuan will be able to tank for you, especially with the 60% health increase from Zombie Handler. The Fetish Army will add a great deal of Physical damage to your overall army. The Fetish Shaman from Hex will turn enemies into chickens, allowing your summons to do massive damage to Hexed enemies. Big Bad Voodoo will boost the damage of all nearby summons by almost 50%, and will also increase the casting speed and movement speed of allies.

Finally you will have Spirit Walk to escape from danger if enemy monsters get through your summons and start coming after you. With the Passive Skill of Spirit Vessel the cooldown of your Spirit Walk Skill will be reduced to 13 seconds. With the Indigo Runestone socketed into Spirit Walk , you will be able to enter the Spirit Realm for 7.0 seconds. Essentially with this combination you will only have 6 second intervals where you will be vulnerable to enemy attacks.

As you run around avoiding damage in the Spirit Realm, your summons will automatically be destroying enemy targets. With The Ultimate Army Build all you have to do is stay alive and summon your undead monsters to do the rest. This is the first build I will try once I get the Runestones to do so.

After using this build I have decided to swap out Hex for Sacrifice. You can wipe out large groups of enemies with this skill, while Hex focuses on single enemies. Use the Sacrifice runestone effect Next of Kin and your Zombie Dogs will have a 35% chance to resurrect after being Sacrificed. The most I've gotten out of single summon is 10 Zombie Dogs. Summoned 4, 3 were resurrected from the Sacrifice, then 2 and then 1. If you get lucky this combination is extremely powerful.

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