Support Witch Doctor Guide

Introduction

zWD Greater Rift Push
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The support Witch Doctor (usually called the zWD because they do "zero" damage) has been a completely forgotten supporter for quite some time. It was one of the meta supporters back in Season 1 to 3 due to its ability to perma-control monsters with Horrify and Tiklandian Visage on top of its massive damage buffs.

After the addition of Crowd Control Resistance in Season 4, zWD became the most efficient third support in Season 5 and 6 thanks to its incredible offensive buffs that were blowing everyone else out of the water. It however required remarkable understanding of Crowd Control Resistance mechanics and Toad of Hugeness cornerstacking to be grasped at its full potential. Its pinnacle moment in the metagame was a GR130 4man clear that remained unbeaten for almost a year.

Season 7 was a huge letdown for zWD, with absolutely shocking nerfs to all its offensive buffs and even to The Grin Reaper Mimics whose abilities' debuffs were stacking with yours. From this point onwards, zWD has been completely buried and forgotten for all these years.

Season 27 brought a shred of light for zWD by introducing great Sanctified Powers, with Sanctified Horrify granting a 100% additive damage debuff and Sanctified Haunt providing a screen-wide Piranhas pixelpull on top of a Bogadile execute mechanic. Yet, since you can only equip one Sanctified Power at a time, zWD still lags behind the top meta supporters. Anyway it is still a fun build to bring in group to play with friends and have the feel for a build that is a true Diablo III piece of history!

Flavorful ✔
Very Mobile
Easy to Play
Brings Lots of Buffs ✔

❌ Very Niche
Not Very Active
Exclusive to Season 27
Vulnerable to Crowd Control


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Mundunugu's Regalia (4) Bonus is incorporated in all versions due to its moving Big Bad Voodoo lasting longer and its 60% damage reduction.
  • Captain Crimsons Trimmings gives an incredible 20% Cooldown Reduction and 20% Resource Cost Reduction along with additional damage reduction.
  • Illusory Boots is a staple, allowing us to move unhindered through monsters and walls for perfect positioning and high mobility.
  • Strongarm Bracers provide 30% additive damage, which can be triggered by Piranhas.
  • Nemesis Bracers to spawn additional Elites on Pylons if nobody else in the group can wear them.
  • Oculus Ring is included in any support setup and provides 85% multiplicative damage to teammates standing within the circle. The effect does not stack with other Oculus Rings.
  • The Flavor of Time doubles Pylon duration, which is especially useful for Conduit Pylon.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur allows us to equip additional items alongside our sets.
  • Aquila Cuirass grants us a 50% damage reduction buff.
  • Recommended Potion: Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid to further assist your party by destroying walls.


Season 27 Sanctified Items

Angelic Crucibles are new consumables that drop anywhere once you're Level 70. Using them on items reforges them into Sanctified Items with Primal Ancient stats, and adds one of three new unique Class Powers listed below. For full details on how they work, check out this Seasonal Guide by Chewingnom!

Let's look at our Class Powers and see how they apply to our build:

  1. The best power for us is the Sanctified Horrify for a 100% additive damage debuff on monsters.
  2. The Sanctified Haunt power is great but we usually have to take Sanctified Horrify to bring enough damage buffs to the party and other Supports such as zBarb will pixelpull monsters for the group. It can be used in some 2man setups or specific speed setups.
  3. The Sanctified Gargantuan power doesn't help us, so go for the one at the top.

Since you can only equip one of them, choosing the right item to craft it on matters! Great candidates are Weapons, Offhands, Jewelry or any item with an important multiplier. With that in mind, we recommend Sanctifying one of the following items:

  • Oculus Ring
  • The Flavor of Time

Global Stat Priorities

Since we are a support class, we don't need any offensive stats like Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, Area Damage, or Elemental Damage. Instead we will gather as much Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction and Attack Speed as possible. Aim to get permanent Big Bad Voodoo for you and your teammates, which requires a minimum of 67% Cooldown Reduction. Once you hit this CDR Breakpoint, all your abilities have a very low cooldown, hence why Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is not required at all especially since we have Grave Injustice to help if needed. Resource Cost Reduction (RCR) greatly increases our toughness via the Captain Crimsons Trimmings (3) Bonus. Attack Speed is not mandatory but does help to make your overall gameplay feel smoother.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. This is a support build, meaning we deal zero damage and need to farm the pieces/materials with a different build/character. We'll use BloodShards and Crafting Materials to acquire the remaining pieces outlined in the steps below.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. Gather 3 pieces of the Mundunugu's Regalia set. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.
  2. Strongarm Bracers and Nemesis Bracers
  3. Aquila Cuirass
  4. Oculus Ring and Rechel's Ring of Larceny
  5. Stormshield

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Create a level 1 Demon Hunter and upgrade Swords to get In-geom
  2. Amulets to get The Flavor of Time
  3. Rings to get Oculus Ring and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
  4. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
  • Act 2: Illusory Boots
  • Act 4: Can drop any bounty item from any act
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipe for Captain Crimson's Trimmings

6. There is one final required piece that is difficult to acquire, The Flavor of Time. With amulets being so expensive to gamble or craft, we'll have to search for it to drop in Nephalem and Greater Rifts. The biggest hint is to party up with other players and kindly ask them to drop any duplicates they find.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandIn-geom
The Executioner (Cubed)
1. Socket Ramaladnis Gift
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Attack Speed
4. Resource Cost Reduction
5. Vitality
6. Intelligence
Off-HandStormshield
Thing of the Deep (Cubed)
Gazing Demise (Cubed)
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Life %
4. Vitality
5. Intelligence
HelmMundunugu's Headdress1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Life %
3. Vitality
4. Intelligence
GlovesMundunugu's Rhythm1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Vitality
4. Intelligence
ShouldersMundunugu's Descendant1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Life %
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
Chest Aquila Cuirass1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Elite Reduction
3. Life %
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
PantsCaptain Crimsons Thrust (Crafted)1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Armor
3. Vitality
4. Intelligence
BootsIllusory Boots (Bounties A2)1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. All Resistance
Ring 1Oculus Ring1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Life %
5. All Resistance
Ring 2Rechel's Ring of Larceny
Ring of Royal Grandeur (Bounties A1, Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Life %
5. All Resistance
BracersStrongarm Bracers
Nemesis Bracers
1. All Resistance
2. Armor
3. Vitality
4. Intelligence
AmuletThe Flavor of Time1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Attack Speed
5. Life %
6. All Resistance
7. Vitality
BeltCaptain Crimsons Silk Girdle (Crafted)1. Life %
2. Armor
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
5. Intelligence
PotionBottomless Potion of Kulle-AidFor breaking walls to pull
enemies and increase DPS

Gems

  • Gem of Efficacious Toxin is a staple for each support build granting 10% additive damage (stacks) and 10% damage reduction (does not stack). Other supports can also wear this gem because the damage buff stacks.
  • Iceblink provides 10% increased Critical Hit Chance to the damage dealers. This effect does not stack and is applied by Wall of Death Communing with Spirits or Spirit Barrage Manitou.
  • Gogok of Swiftness gives 15% Attack Speed, 15% Cooldown Reduction and up to 30% Dodge based on the amount of stacks you have. You gain a stack with each hit up to a maximum of 15, and all stacks are refreshed if you attack every 4 seconds.
  • Esoteric Alteration for additional toughness or Wreath of Lightning for additional Movement Speed can replace Gogok of Swiftness or eventually Iceblink if another support has it equipped.

Skills

  • Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance provides a your group with 15% additive damage and 15% Attack Speed. Ghost Trance can be used to help your group survive. Mundunugu's Regalia (2) Bonus makes it easy to get a permanent uptime on it but you have to pay attention to follow your damage dealers!
  • Horrify Stalker is an obvious one since we use Sanctified Horrify to bring a 100% additive damage buff to our group. Frightening Aspect can eventually be used to gain a 50% Armor buff for you.
  • Spirit Walk Severance for obvious mobility purposes and to proc Mundunugu's Regalia (4) Bonus damage reduction.
  • Piranhas Piranhado is used to apply a 15% additive damage debuff and Strongarm Bracers.
  • Wall of Death Communing with Spirits is used in push as an easy way to proc Iceblink on top of applying a 25% damage reduction debuff on monsters.
  • Spirit Barrage Manitou is used in combination with Gazing Demise for speed content simply in order to proc Iceblink passively without doing anything.
  • Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects allows us to bodypull monsters and proc a 25% damage reduction debuff on them.
  • Hex Jinx or Toad of Hugeness procs another 15% additive damage debuff on monsters. It is generally not used because it can be very disruptive regarding pulling and packing.

Passives

  • Grave Injustice is a Witch Doctor staple. It reduces cooldowns when enemies die, allowing a smoother playstyle by resetting all our skills.
  • Spirit Vessel to escape death since a dead support does not support much.
  • Bad Medicine provides another 25% damage reduction on monsters. We proc it when we use Piranhas.
  • Swampland Attunement for more toughness since there is no real need for Tribal Rites cooldown reduction with this build.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Attack Speed1. Armor1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Maximum Mana2. Cooldown Reduction2. Life %2. Pickup Radius
3. Vitality13. Critical Hit Chance3. All Resistance3. Life per Hit
4. Intelligence4. Critical Hit Damage4. Life Regeneration4. Area Damage2

1 Put all points into Vitality until you reach 3 million HP, then put the rest into Intelligence for All Resistance.
2 Do not take Area Damage as we deal no damage and it will lag the game.

Gameplay

Cast Horrify once at the start of the rift, it should be permanent thanks to Sanctified Horrify. Make sure Big Bad Voodoo is active at all times. Grave Injustice should ensure you always have it ready if you do not have enough Cooldown Reduction. Use Spirit Walk to move through enemies or walls that are in the way, for defense, to dodge affixes and projectiles or similar. Don't waste it when you don't need it!

When making a pull, engage several screens of monsters by bodypulling and spreading Locust Swarm. Don't forget to scout the layout and check for Elites while communicating with your party. Check for Pylons when you feel you made enough progress to spawn one. A few seconds before the damage rotation of your damage dealer, use Wall of Death and Piranhas. Crowd Control Resistance should not be an issue as long as you have a zBarb since Sanctified Whirlwind ignores it.

Hardcore

Witch Doctors can be tough to play in Hardcore because they have no immunity to Crowd Control and only limited defensive utility skills with long cooldowns. Witch Doctor's defensive playstyle mainly relies on Grave Injustice and Spirit Walk combination. Nevertheless, this is a support build so should have no big issues if you are mindful about Elite affixes.

Anyway, you can rotate out Gogok of Swiftness (or Iceblink if someone else already provides it in the group) for Esoteric Alteration to tank up even further. Don't forget to use the Spirit Vessel passive at all times! Check out our dedicated Hardcore Survival Guide to learn more about how to succeed in this game mode!


Variants

GR Speeds
zWD Group Speeds

Concept
Support Witch Doctor is a decent incorporation for Speed Greater Rifts to farm both XP and gear due to its high mobility and its wide variety of defensive and offensive buffs.

Gameplay
Cast Horrify once at the start of the rift, it should be permanent thanks to Sanctified Horrify. Make sure Big Bad Voodoo is active at all times. Don't forget to refresh Manitou every 20 seconds as this is our easy way to apply Iceblink and bodypull to some extent. You ultimately want to be ahead of your group, preparing pulls right before they appear and move on right as everything dies. For a step-by-step gameplay description on how you should sequence your skills, check out the "Gameplay" section above.

Setups
This setup is allowing for a lot of tweaks depending on your group composition and the other support you're playing with. If you do not have Frailty or The Executioner in the party, you should cube it. Thing of the Deep is good to have, but not mandatory once you have 20+ Pickup Radius and are mobile enough to pick up globes, hence the Weapon Cube Slot can be switched at will. Locust Swarm can be swapped for Hex Jinx depending on the type of content you're playing and your group composition.

GR Push
zWD Greater Rift Push

Concept
In high Greater Rifts, you will generally have a zBarb doing all the hard work in the party and your job will be mainly to buff your group and debuff enemies. You can also do some scouting and bodypulling to help out.

Gameplay
Cast Horrify once at the start of the rift, it should be permanent thanks to Sanctified Horrify. Make sure Big Bad Voodoo is active at all times. For a step-by-step gameplay description on how you should sequence your skills, check out the "Gameplay" section above.

Setups
This setup is allowing for a lot of tweaks depending on your group composition and the other support you're playing with. If you have Frailty or The Executioner in the party, then you can swap your Weapon Cube Slot to anything else, The Burning Axe of Sankis for additional damage reduction for instance. Locust Swarm can be swapped for Hex Jinx or Toad of Hugeness depending on your group.


Video Guide

In production.


Mechanics

Sanctified Horrify

  • Horrify is now a permanent aura that causes enemies to take 100% more damage (additive damage debuff) and deal 15% less damage.
  • The other effects from Horrify runes becomes permanent as well.

Sanctified Haunt

  • Locust Swarm now automatically Haunt all monsters affected.
  • Casting Piranhas pulls all monsters within 60 yards (1 screen) to the pool.
  • If you have Bogadile, a lesser enemy stunned is instantly killed.
  • Elites and Rift Guardians are not killed but take significant damage.

Piranhas + Strongarm Bracers

  • Strongarm Bracers apply their debuff if a monster was attempted to be displaced. Any displacement constitutes a knockback. Whether or not the monster was successfully displaced is irrelevant, as long as an attempt was made to displace it.
  • Strongarm Bracers with Piranhas is applied only if the target is moved. Even when the monster is not displaced, as long as it can be moved, it will jump on spot.


Summary

  • One of the oldest Greater Rift support builds in Diablo III existence!
  • A niche supporter that unfortunately can't compete with META supports currently.
  • Be aware of Crowd Control Resistance rules!

Cheers!


Credits

Written by Chewingnom.


Changelog

Aug 20th 2022
Added Full Guide for Season 27 / Patch 2.7.4.