[Guide] Inferno Guide for Witch Doctor


Diabloii.Net Member
Hi all. Decided to write up a guide based on my own experiences of playing the class. Hopefully it will help anyone who is struggling with Inferno. I killed Diablo on Inferno last week, so I've got quite a lot of experience with the WD class. First up the build:

Cookie Cutter Poison Dart Build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aRUjdP!WVh!aacbZc

This is a pretty standard setup that I use personally. Some people use variations of it, which is certainly warranted depending on what you are trying to do.

First thing I'll discuss is Poison Dart (PD). It is generally regarded as the best primary DPS skill. Due to the low mana cost, you can afford to take Pierce the Veil for more damage. You don't really need any AOE specifically to go through inferno. The majority of problematic mobs would be better off single-targetted down anyway. Normal mobs should go down with a couple of PD shots.

Hex Fetish with Hedge Magic is one of my favourite utility spells. It will Hex anything that gets close, and it also heals you if needed. This could change depending on your build. I use a survival based set, with all resist and vit, in addition to int. People who are building towards a class cannon could probably replace this with something else. My suggestions would be either Grasp of the Dead, or Wall of Zombies.

Spirit Walk is something that you must have. Any class would be stupid not to have an escape-type skill among their arsenal. The rune can be changed based on your gear. I use Healing Journey since I can take hits in Inferno. If you can't take hits, then I'd recommend choosing Jaunt instead.

The spot for Mass Confusion can be changed with just about anything. It's not a necessity to have, it's just my personal preference. I find it good to use on boss/champ packs because they hit each other for a huge amount of damage. The stun is also useful to help get away if needed. You can switch this with just about anything you like. I sometimes switch it with Big Bad Voodoo (BBV) if I know I'll need to burst something down (e.g. Butcher, Belial or Azmodan).

Soul Harvest (SH) is a largely debated topic. It is great when fighting against multiple mobs, which is pretty much 90% of the fights you will ever do. The only time I may not use it, is for fights where you won't have more than 1 stack most of the time. Some examples include Azmodan, Diablo, Izual, Rakanoth and Siegebreaker. I find Siphon to be the best rune for the burst healing. But if you die in 1 hit anyway, then I'd say pick up Soul to Waste. Note: one of the best ways to utilise it, is to use Spirit Walk to enable you to run up to a group of mobs, then activate SH while still in your spirit form, then quickly run back away from the mobs. It may take a little getting used to, but definitely worth the practise.

Fetish Army is one of the better CCs. It gives you a large number of distractions to buy you time. They also contribute a decent amount of damage, but nothing really to write home about. I like Headhunters for most situations, as too many melee mobs may cause some of the mobs not to get into melee range to do anything.

Regarding passives... I find Spirit Vessel to be a 100% must. It's an extra 'life' when needed, and as a bonus it helps reduce the Spirit Walk CD. Pierce of the Veil is also something that I rarely exclude from this build, since it is PD based. The 3rd passive can be varied to whatever suits you best, as there isn't anything that I would label as an additional auto-include. I use Tribal Rites most of the time because it lets me keep the Hex Fetish up all the time. If you use a build with Grasp of the Dead, then I'd recommend taking Spiritual Attunement to make sure you don't run out of mana.


Something I thought I should mention. It is common knowledge that pets suck. Even Blizzard knows it. You would've realised this while levelling, as the Zombie Dogs will progressively die quicker and just stay permanently on cooldown. The Gargantuan isn't as bad, as it's fairly tanky and is decently useful throughout the levelling process. I don't bother with either of these pets in Inferno, but they can sometimes have reasonable applications... although it would purely be as a 1-shot distraction. Just being a distraction isn't too bad, as it buys you precious seconds to DPS. Butcher is probably the best example of when I would use them. They are also good distractions if you decide to do some A4 Aspect farming (it's semi-nerfed though, so it might not be very profitable).


Unfortunately with the changes in 1.0.3, the gearing method with WD has changed a lot. You can still go glass-cannon if you want, but repair costs are really expensive right now. I will rate stat priority into different categories:


1. Intelligence
2. Critical Hit Damage %
3. Critical Hit Chance %
4. Increased attack speed - no longer as necessary as before due to the nerf. But it does still reduce your cast animation, so you want to try to get it where you can afford it.


1. Movement Speed (up to 25% cap) - while it doesn't directly help your survivability, it does give you better control over your character to avoid things like Desecrator
2. All Resistance (aim for 600+)
3. Vitality
4. Armor (this reduces all damage, like All Resistance does)

It is perfectly reasonable to buy blue quality gear with high amounts of intellect. Once you are have the gold to start gearing your character further, it's up to you whether you want to gear it towards even more damage and remain a glass cannon, or switch to a more survival-orientated setup. I personally use a survival setup because I'm in Australia, and our ping sucks.

There are some good legendary pieces to look out for, but they are generally very expensive. For additional reference, keep these in mind as end-game pieces to strive for:

1. Lacuni's Prowlers: These bracers can spawn with very useful stats. It has IAS and Movement Speed, both of which are incredibly important. Again, try to get one with high Intelligence. Even with the nerf, they are still quite good. The highest int I've seen on them is ~120, so if you can get a high Int one, it will be better than getting something with more Int, as the IAS is still useful and having MS is still just as important. These will probably be quite costly though, so keep it as something to achieve in the long term.

2. Zunimassa's Journey: Best boots available. It has +Poison Damage, Movement Speed and IAS. The 2 piece bonus is fantastic too. Note that the IAS component has not been fixed in the current patch unless you find one that spawned during 1.0.3. But Blizzard has said they will fix it, so it's reasonable to try to obtain one. Even without the IAS, it's still probably the best potential pair of boots available.

3. Zunimassa's Plague: The ring complement to the boots. You can get a very high amount of Intelligence from these 2 set pieces. In my opinion they're the best pieces to get from the set.

4. Hammer Jammers: It has MS and if you can find one with decent int and 2 sockets, you can get a fairly decent amount of Int on them.

5. Andarial's Visage: If you want to try to cap out on IAS, this would be the way to go. It's pretty optional though, as the high Int ones are quite expensive. You can get rare helms with 250 or more Int, which would probably give you more DPS, just that you lose out on some casting animation reduction.


The last thing I'll go over are places you can get gear. Obviously do whichever you can handle.

Act 1
With the changes to valor stacks, it's only really worthwhile to run A1 if you can handle the boss/champ packs. Stack 5 buffs and just go to every waypoint and kill all the elites. All the unique bosses that aren't act bosses have been nerfed to not give guaranteed magic drops. If you can't handle Inferno A1, then I'd suggest going back to Hell A3 or A4 as they improved the drop rates there to allow you to have the potential of finding early Inferno level gear.

Act 2

A common spot to do is the treasure goblin that has a decent spawn rate near the Ancient Path waypoint. There are plenty of youtube videos for it. The spot has been known for a couple of weeks and hasn't been nerfed yet as far as I know. There is also another common spot at the Road to Alcarnus waypoint which many people have been doing as well.

Personally with the new valor stack changes, I'd prefer to just get 5 buffs and just kill all the champ packs. I would start at the kill Zoltan Kulle quest, and then also take out Belial at the end of it (if you can handle fighting him). Otherwise there are plenty of waypoints and dungeons you can go through.

Act 3

There are a couple of resplendent chest spots which you can find on youtube. They're generally pretty dangerous though, especially now that Tyrael has been nerfed. Do them if you can handle the mobs there. You can usually find them while doing various areas along the way. I usually find one in Keep level 2, and there is also a guaranteed one in the cave that spawns in Fields of Slaughter (you need to go down to level 2). With the nerf to MF on environmental objects, it's not really worth going out of your way to get to them, but it's a nice bonus for when you are stacking valor.

An alternative is to do the Siegebreaker. He is very easy to kite around, and if you get used to how to time when he does his moves, you shouldn't have much problem with him. Once you can handle A3 boss/champ packs, I recommend doing 5 valor stack Siegebreaker, or Azmodan. He is not particularly worth doing without 5 stacks, but you can still get decent blues if you are lucky.

Act 4

The only thing that's really worth farming at this difficulty is 5 valor stacked Diablo. There's nothing all that easy to farm in my opinon. If you can handle farming in A4, then you don't really need a guide on it. In fact unless you are overgeared, it's probably more worthwhile to farm A3 instead since the drop rates aren't much worse.


This is a more realistic farm spot as an alternative to A3 areas. All the mobs in here are melee, so any ranged class could do this fairly comfortably. I recommend having at least 40k dps though, as you still want to kill things relatively quickly and you need a good amount of DPS to kill the boss packs. Remember the pony difficulty is equivalent of A4, but at the same time the loot is potentially A4 quality.


If you have any questions feel free to post. I will probably add alternative builds and further explanations on other things if people are interested. Feel free to let me know if there are any errors as well.

I hope this is useful to you guys. Thanks for reading.


1. Guide updated for 1.0.3

2. I was going to add in a section for a Zombie Bear build, but it's currently bugged in 1.0.3. So I might prepare the write-up for later. Until then, I don't recommend using Zombie Bears!
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Lucas S

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice, thanks :). I have kinda given up on my WD for now until pets are buffed.

What is your dps, hp, armor, resists in Act 4 Inferno?


Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah darts shoot through Wall of Zombies. You can also walk through it, while mobs can not. I prefer it over Grasp because it works against boss/champs, and it seems to do a lot more damage as well.

I have 27k dps, 60k hp, 425 all res (well thats my minimum res, some are higher). I don't remember how much armor I have, but I can check when I get home.


Diabloii.Net Member
Soul Harvest (SH) is a largely debated topic. Intellect scales on a % base, not a fixed amount. Therefore you will find that SH stacks will boost your DPS by increasingly larger amounts depending on what your unbuffed DPS is. For me, it equates to about a 50% increase in damage at 5 stacks.
This can sound a bit misleading. Intelligence doesn't scale from your unbuffed DPS. It does improve with better weapons and attack speed, but importantly the total amount of intelligence you have (which is a big part of your overall dps) doesn't improve its scaling.

The relative effect of Soul Harvest actually diminishes the more intelligence you have. 650 intelligence always gives the same amount of damage but it's a lot less exciting to go from 10000->11000dps than it's to go from 1000->2000dps.

It's easy to calculate the SH damage bonus actually.
650 / INT
It's that simple.
(650 int = 100% increase since it doubles your int, 1300int = 50% increase, etc..)



Diabloii.Net Member
It's easy to calculate the SH damage bonus actually.
650 / INT
It's that simple.
(650 int = 100% increase since it doubles your int, 1300int = 50% increase, etc..)
Actually, it's so easy that you've made a mistake :p
Since you deal 100% damage with 0 int, the correct formula would be: 650/(INT+100). In your example you would need to have 550 int for SH to double your damage and 1200int for 50% increase.

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Diabloii.Net Member
4. Hammer Jammers: Good pants, and more likely to be affordable than the other pieces. It also has IAS and movement speed. Try to get one with 2 sockets and a decent amount of Intelligence.

There is no IAS on this pants right? cant find any anyway ;)


Diabloii.Net Member
This is a solid guide but with the IAS nerf I wonder just how outdated the information is. Is it still worth prioritizing IAS so heavily now or would it be better perhaps to raise the value of another stat such as crit chance?


Diabloii.Net Member
4. Hammer Jammers: Good pants, and more likely to be affordable than the other pieces. It also has IAS and movement speed. Try to get one with 2 sockets and a decent amount of Intelligence.

There is no IAS on this pants right? cant find any anyway ;)
Sorry, for some reason I thought it had both IAS and MS when I was writing it. But u are correct, it only has MS.

Regarding the IAS nerf, it is probably not as worthwhile to stack IAS so heavily, but I think u should still get it where possible to reduce your cast animation. This guide was written prior to the patch, so it is a bit outdated now. I'll update some sections based on the patch. With the nerf, you would probably prioritise crit % chance, and crit hit damage a lot more than before.

Edit: did some quick updates to the guide including fixing some wording for previously mentioned errors. Let me know if there's anything else I need to change.

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