I'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:
Damage: 3807 unbuffed
Click Here For the Build!
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
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
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:
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.
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.
I always have it, can't imagine life without it
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!
I 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.
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 Billionaire 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!