Witch Doctor Farming Build

The Witch Doctor is an interesting class. It doesn’t match any existing stereotypical class role. It comes closest to the necromancer but is still significantly different. Because of this, and because the beta only allows us to get to level 13 this is the best I could come up for a Witch Doctor Farming Build. Just like the other class farming builds I made my goal was to create a build that was fast in and out of combat, did significant AoE damage to slightly-lower level enemies and maintained a strong base of energy. In the Witch Doctor’s case that energy is mana, AoE is tricky and speed buffs are non existent.

Here is what I came up with: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#hSUjkT!bYa!ZZaZcY

It’s pretty good if you ask me, the problem is that it’s really hard to speculate how each ability will play out. This was based on many assumptions as well as the #s provided in the tooltips.

Play Style

Sprint around using Spirit Walk, jump into combat with Locust Swarm and Wall of Zombies. Pop Mass Confusion if it’s up and start throwing Fire Bombs. When the going gets tough, pull out your Gargantuan. Everything dies, loot it and sprint to the next room. If you need to get the hell out of there, use Spirit Walk again and run for the hills.

Primary Skill

Firebomb with Roll the Bones skill rune offers the most potential for a low-mana mass-AoE ability. It does 85% weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards.With the skill rune it bounces to 2 more enemies. This looks like an extremely powerful AoE to me and costs only 10 mana.

Secondary Skill

Locust Swam with Devouring Swam is another extremely powerful AoE. 320% damage over 8 seconds and it moves to nearby enemies? How many nearby enemies will it hit? Costing almost 400 mana I picked the skill rune that gives back some mana for more casting. This is probably a combat opener.


It was hard to pass up Zombie Dogs, but given that the goal of this build is to move quickly through dungeons I had to grab Spirit Walk. The skill rune is a toss up. If you’re having problems maintaining Life then pick Healing Journey. If you want more mana pick Honored Guest. If you need neither grab Jaunt (increases duration of sprint). I grabbed Jaunt, I will adjust it if I need to.


Without Zombie Dogs I don’t think Sacrifice is a good idea here. I guess Mass Confusion with the Devolution will work best. This gives you the added benefit of adding Zombie Dogs to your party, which shouldn’t despawn unless they die. Mass Confusion will be another opening spell. It lasts long enough that it should help quiet a bit in big rooms with a lot of enemies. The tooltip doesn’t tell us what range is impacts, so I’m still confused how it will work.


Wall of Zombies with Dead Rush looks like it has the most potential. It does 445% weapon damage (total?) to a bunch of enemies. The tooltip is too confusing to know for sure how this works but it looks pretty good.


The Gargantuan is too cool to pass up. I picked Big Stinker to give it a slight AoE damage. Another option would be Humongoid which would give it the ability to cleave (think Felguard from WoW).


Usually I have a hard time picking from passives. In this case the passives are pretty boring. I picked Spiritual Attunement for extra mana and mana regeneration. I picked Gruesome Feast which gives you 10% mana and 10% intelligence when you grab a health globe. Finally I grabbed Circle of Life because I’m a big Lion King fan and I also think the extra Zombie Dogs will help since they shouldn’t despawn unless they die. Another option would be to grab Fetish Sycophants to give you yet another companion demon or Rush of Essence which would kickback some more mana. I don’t think Rush of Essence would kick back enough to make it worth it though.

Why this sucks

There really isn’t a strong direct damage ability here. I will probably sacrifice one of the AoEs when I start struggling with bosses. It’s too hard to tell which one or which I would replace it with. I also don’t feel like this build (or this class) has a lot of playability potential but there’s no way of telling during the beta.

Why it’s awesome

I think the mana regen is really good. There aren’t a lot of ways to use it while you also have a lot of unique AoE abilities you can use. Firebomb seems really cool especially with Locust Swarm and Mass Confusion as openers.

What do you think? Do you have a better Witch Doctor AoE/Farming build? Play with this one and let me know what you would change. I’ll be happy to post any of your builds here.

Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

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  1. I don’t quite get what Spirit Walk does. It just says that your movement becomes “unhindered”. Meaning what? Infinite speed?

  2. @Darth Solo
    You are immune to control impairing effects (break out of, if skill is cast after a snare) and your movement speed is increased.

  3. Im currently lvl 40 witchdoctor I find the below skills work nice

    Main Mouse
    Firebomb with fire DoT damage rune
    Toads with raining toads rune
    1) Acid Spew thingo with additonal Acid DoT rune
    2) fetishs with rune that does AoE weapon damage on summon
    3) Dogs rune that means they take damage for me
    4) Gargantuan rune that makes him hax when around elites.

    poisned mobs do 20% less damage
    Gruesome Feast
    Circle of life

    I have gone through alot of builds with witch doctor and there is no one build wins all as you level you get new runes which completely change your skills a previously crap skill is now awesome when combined with another.

    Sorry i dont remember all the names of the skills Im not at home.

    Does anyone else have any builds worth trying?

  4. I’m currently in hell with a 54 WD. There is alot of mobs that are wicked hard to kill. Right now I start battles as such

    Haunt-Life steal
    Locust Swarm-Mana per hit
    Spirit Walk- Mana/Heal regen pending on some mobs
    Siphon-Life Leach
    Grasp of dead-xtra damage

    Then I run like hell and hope the amount of dots I have going kills things or lowers them enough to hit with venom shot- stun snakes. Rinse repeat.

    Biggest problem so far has been the combo of mortar, shield, vortex… I hate deaths from mortars.

    I’d like to figure out a summoning build but so far all the builds I have come up with still get 2 shot in hell.

  5. Lvl 42 WD, my build:

    FireBomb + Flashfire (neverending bouncing)
    Haunt + resentful spirit (literally ravage one target)
    Spirit walk + Honored guest.
    Harvest + Siphon
    Acid Cloud + lob blomb bomb
    Guarantuan + Restless Giant.
    Sypiritual Attunements + Jungle fortitude + Psycophants.

    This is my farming build. How to for different encounters:

    Small population + 1big: Acid cloud + haunt on big one and spam firebombs that will bounce like hell increasing chance of getting a small pygmy that is pretty powerfull once you get 2-3.

    Difficults groups: 2x Acid and run into edge of group to keep your acid bomb in range and ready. Siphon (will regen lost hp) Spirit walk ASAP (regen mana and immunity) run away drop 2 more acid and 2-3 haunts. finish with bombs if must be.

    Bosses: Hauntx1 Acidx1, fire bomb until melee range or renew haunt/acid glob. Siphon spirit walk, rinse and repeat. Personally i prefer acid for extra pygmies but you need to feel confident with landing and positionings of boss for the blob bomb.

  6. Level 52 WD, my choice build
    Poison dart (splinters): single target
    Grasp of the Dead (all runes are good): AoE opener
    Zombie dogs (burning dogs): because cool
    Soul Harvest (swallow your soul): mana and dps boost!
    Acid Cloud (Acid rain/kiss of death): AoE burst!
    Gargantuan (restless giant): rare pack tanking
    Passives: Jungle fortitude, Spiritual attunement, zombie handler.
    Follower – Templar: Addtional tank, and heal is nice.

    Non rare packs of any size are all dead as fast as you can cast 2-3 acid clouds
    Rare packs spam poison dart, revive dogs when done.
    Act final bosses, trickey, but can respec passives for better single target dps

  7. Just wanted to add that the above build has served me well as far as the first white trash mob on Inferno Act II. After that, well…. not so much.

    The lvl 60 version of this build reads as

    Poison dart (splinters): very high single target dps
    Grasp of the Dead (Unbreakable grasp): improved kiting
    Zombie dogs (leeching beasts): they are getting too fragile, but still serve to keep mobs off of my character for a few precious seconds.
    Soul Harvest (swallow your soul): mainly because of dps boost, the extra mana is becoming less neccessary at high intellect, and am considering changing the rune for Languish or Vengeful spirit
    Acid Cloud (Acid rain): Extreme AoE burst, Corpse bomb also looks good, but I prefer the larger area.
    Gargantuan (restless giant): rare pack tanking, surprisingly effective at holding mobs at range, greatly reducing the need to kite.
    Passives: Jungle fortitude, Spiritual attunement, zombie handler. Themeatic with having survivability for the 5 pets, while also being a little tougher myself. Spiritual attunement feels neccessary to avoid mana issues from acid rain, though Pierce the Veil fits better with the poison dart spam often needed with elites and bosses
    Follower – Templar

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