Diablo 3's Witch Doctor class relies on long-range damage combined with a mixture of supernatural minions, there to do your bidding in combat. If you prefer the summoner role in RPGs, it's the natural choice for you. Oh, and if you like doing the magical equivalent of emptying chemical toilets over your enemies' heads, it's not a bad choice either.
How to level up a Witch Doctor
Like the Wizard, the Witch Doctor derives much of its damage effectiveness from the Intelligence stat, but you're also reliant on Vitality as you approach higher levels and increasingly challenging difficulty settings. If you haven't found a Head item with a socket in it, go and visit the Mystic to have one put in, then insert a Ruby to boost your experience gains. Your high-damage weapons should also have Rubies socketed into them for levelling process.
For the first half of the levelling curve, it's very hard to create an inefficient levelling build - just combine your preferred signature spell with summonable minions, and enough defensive options to keep you alive. Once you reach around level 35, however, it's worth looking for something a little more tried and tested if you want to keep levelling efficiently and move into tougher difficulty levels. Try Noxxic.com for some mid-game builds that will at least get you going in the right direction as you tweak your skills to taste.
Which Follower for the Witch Doctor?
Hardcore players will likely want to opt for the Templar during the levelling process, thanks to its "oops"-friendly emergency healing and stun buffs. Otherwise, and just like the other classes, it's best to go for a Follower who shares the same stat priorities as your hero, so that they can benefit from your second-hand equipment. For the Witch Doctor, that makes the Enchantress an excellent choice.
Preparing a Witch Doctor for Torment
Apart from the usual business of scouring Rifts for legendaries and powerful rares, it's worth spending your hard-earned Bounty shards at the Gambler. Your ultimate objective here is to get a Mask of Jeram as your Legendary Head item, a Stone of Jordan ring, and one of the many powerful off-hand Mojos. Try to get the Head slot filled first, as it has the biggest impact on your combat performance.
While you're hunting down those Legendaries at the Gambler, you need to equip the best yellow Rare items you can find. First things first, you want a very high Intelligence rating on every item, plus three sockets on your Chest item and two on your Legs. Into these sockets, place the best Topaz gems you either have in your inventory or can craft at the Jeweler. Make sure you roll an unneeded weapon stat into a socket at the Mystic and apply your best Emerald.
In terms of secondary stats, look to get plenty of Vitality via your Head, Shoulders and Boots. The next important stats to work into your items, either through lucky drops or payment at the Mystic, are Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage. As a rough guideline you want to keep these stats in a 1:10 ratio respectively.
The Witch Doctor gem guide
It's generally accepted that the highest Emerald you can craft or loot is best for your weapon socket at Level 70. As for the rest of your equipment, put a Topaz in every available socket you have, unless you're really struggling to stay alive. If that's the case, you can give up a socket for an Amethyst, but this should be a short-term solution as you look to acquire Vitality from elsewhere in the long-term.
End-game Witch Doctor weapons and armour
We've said it for other classes in our guide, and we'll say it again for the Witch Doctor: the key to maximising your end-game gear lies in acquiring the Ring of Royal Grandeur. With it, you'll be able to gain the set bonuses of armour with one less piece of each set equipped.
Alongside that particular ring, you're looking for the aforementioned Stone of Jordan and a Mask of Jeram Head piece. Tasker and Theo is a superb Gloves option, while the Jade Harvest and Aughild's sets are worth equipping so that you can exploit the set bonuses. As for weaponry, both the Uhkapian Serpent and Thing of the Deep are extremely popular off-hand Mojos, while Thunderfury yet again takes the crown as the most popular weapon. Just make sure your character build reflects the bonuses you receive from your newly acquired gear.
Need more Diablo 3 help? Learn how to unlock Zelda outfits like Ganondorf in Diablo 3 Switch, get some Diablo 3 boss strategies, and learn how use the Mystic, Blacksmith, Gambling and Horadric Caches. We also have advice for every class, from the Barbarian to the Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard.
How to spend Paragon points
As always, the faster you can move around the environment, the faster you can reach objectives and new packs of monsters to obliterate. For this reason, throw everything you've got into the Core category's Movement Speed until you've maxed it out. Then focus on increasing your Intelligence rating.
In the Offence category, focus on Critical Hit Damage, then Critcial Hit Chance and Attack Speed. For your Defense points, fill up your Armor and Life fairly evenly, then go into Life Regeneration. Finally, your Utility points should go into Area Damage first, then Life On Hit, then the remaining categories.
Each of our class guides contains advice for allocating Paragon points. Find them from the first page of this article.