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Hardcore Witch Doctor Tips for High Levels

Witch DoctorI'm a Hardcore level 58 Witch Doctor at the end of Act 2 hell at the moment. First time I had any troubles was somewhere around Nightmare Act 3 which led me to try out a bunch of different builds before I found one effective enough and one that I actually liked to play with. After I hit hell difficulty I started to have some serious problems. I felt that I was way too squishy and that I couldn't kill mobs fast enough. That led me to try a bunch of different builds including the infamous Vision Quest+Zombie bears build. However, I felt that it made me way too squishy taking away most of my means of CC and escape abilities. So here is the specs I've been using through hell difficulty and it is working extremely well:

My Current Stats:
LvL: 58
Vitality: 796
HP: 29k
INT: 871
Damage: 3807 unbuffed

Click Here For the Build!

Skills:
Mouse 1: Poison Dart + Splinters
Mouse 2: Zombie Charger + Zombie Bears
Hotkey 1: Soul Harvest + Siphon
Hotkey 2: Horrify + Face of Death
Hotkey 3: Spirit Walk + Honored Guest
Hotkey 4: Big Bad Voodoo + Rain Dance

Passives:
Slot 1: Jungle Fortitude
Slot 2: Gruesome Feast
Slot 3: Spirit Vessel

I think that Poison Dart, Spirit Walk and Soul Harvest (huge boost to damage + life) are pretty self-explanatory.

Horrify + Face of Death:
I have seen a lot of people complain about the high CD on Horrify. I myself find it to be a very handy and effective skill for getting out of trouble when you get swarmed and with the Face of Death rune the range allows you to fear almost a screen full of mobs should you find yourself in a tight spot. Also, Spirit Vessel passive (more on passives later) reduces the CD of Horrify by 2 seconds reducing it to a total of 18 seconds.

Big Bad Voodoo + Rain Dance:
Big Bad Voodoo
I didn't really bother with BBV outside of boss fights due to the long cooldown. But now that I "discovered" the Rain Dance rune I was amazed how good it actually is. You can't simply run out of mana while spamming Zombie Bears in the ritual area + it increases your movement speed which might come in handy snatching health globes (Mana + Int/damage from those with Gruesome Feast). This is what I use for Champion and Elite Packs and they melt down very very fast with this. And if things start to look scary you can just use Horrify and/or Spirit Walk to buy you some more precious time to hit them with Bears.

Zombie BearsZombie Bears:
Bears deal a ton of damage even without Pierce the Veil and Vision Quest. With Gruesome Feast passive you rarely run entirely out of mana while using the bears. Also, you don't have to stand still while channeling them, you can turn and cast one or two of them and run a little further and repeat.

Jungle Fortitude:
I always have it, can't imagine life without it (literally).

Gruesome Feast:
I find this passive to be incredibly good for mana management. Without Pierce the Veil my Zombie Bears might do less damage but I'm able to cast them more often. For spamming I use BBV against Champs and Elites. From time to time it might feel like having a Mexican standoff but with Horrify, Soul Harvest and Spirit Walk I rarely have had true "close call situations". In addition, Gruesome Feast increases your Int, thus damage, by 10% for each health globe picked and it stacks up to 5 times!

Spirit Vessel:
Spirit VesselI feel this is a must have skill for hardcore Witch Doctors. Even though it has triggered only once for me (on nightmare act3) I still find it extremely comforting to have it back me up if I happen to make a mistake in the midst of battle. It also reduces the CD of Horrify, Soul Harvest and Spirit Walk by 2 seconds which I find to be very useful.

Summa summarum:
This build gives you high survivability and good mana management with good dps, a win win build if I ever saw one! =). It also allows you to kite mobs if you feel they hit too hard for comfort and you don't want to face them head on.

One last thing, I've gotten tons of help from the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets By Peng Joon guide, it is a premium guide, so there is a small fee for it, but well worth it.

Hope this helps my fellow Doctors. Happy slayin' for ya'll!

 

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