Sunday, June 24, 2012

Witch Doctor - Terror Skills Guide

Soul Harvest - Level 9

15 Second Cooldown (30 Second Duration)
59 Mana

Soul Harvest is really just a Point-Blank Area-of-Effect ability that gives you a temporary buff to intelligence.  Now, before I get off on a rant here - the amount of intelligence you can receive from this skill is substantial, it increases not only your damage but your resistances.

The skill can be augmented with various effects via the rune system.  As with most skills in Diablo 3, there is an excellent choice, and mostly horrible choices.

Swallow Your Soul (Level 15) - Gives you a mediocre amount of mana for each enemy you hit with the spell.  If you're mana hungry, this is one of the few skills that can totally (and instantly) fill you up if you're around a large crowd.  But as a Witch Doctor you shouldn't be mana hungry, so this rune is generally useless to the typical player.  It remains here as a moderately-useful rune (yellow) only because of its instant mana-restoration capability.

Siphon (Level 21) - Restores a considerable amount of life for each enemy hit by the spell.  This, much like Spirit Walk, is a great panic button; it enables you to not only instantly restore a good portion (if not all) of your life, but buff your damage and resistances to boot via the skill's normal effects.  This is easily the best rune available for this skill.

Languish (Level 32) - Slows the movement speed of all enemies effected by 60% for 3 seconds.  Nowhere near as useful as an instant heal, and since you're point-blank on the enemies anyway, you don't really get a chance to use that 3 seconds to get away from them - more often then not they're surrounding you anyway.

Soul to Waste (Level 39) - Increases the duration of Soul Harvest's intelligence buff to 60 seconds (from 30).  Don't be lazy, and don't use this rune.

Vengeful Spirit (Level 49) - Does 70% weapon damage to every enemy hit by the skill.  70% weapon damage every 15 seconds is a whole lot of "Who Cares?" damage.  It's not even close to enough to make you consider equipping this rune.  Maybe if it was 250% or more.  Stay away.

Over All - I've had this on my skill bar since I got it at level 9.  Very useful, but honestly only with the Siphon rune equipped.  If you find that in-a-pinch healing isn't necessary, PM me your build and tell me what I'm doing wrong.  It's not an absolute must-have, like Spirit Walk is, but it's close.

Sacrifice - Level 13

No Cooldown (requires a living Zombie Dog to Sacrifice)
No Mana Cost (probably the only thing about this skill they got right)

Do not use zombie dogs.  If you do use them, do not kill them to do mediocre damage that other skills can do with one cast.  Just an all-around useless skill.  Stay far away.

Black Blood (Level 18) - No.

Next of Kin (Level 24) - No.

Pride (Level 36) - No.

For the Master (Level 41) - If you had to use a rune, this would be it because it actually gives you a chance to recover a decent chunk of health (About 6.5k @ level 60) if you can somehow manage to sacrifice the dogs before the enemies kill them in two hits.  Even after all that. . . Still . . . No.

Provoke the Pack (Level 51) - No.

Over All - Until Zombie Dogs get CONSIDERABLY buffed, don't use them.  Stay far, far away.  Even killing them as soon as you summon them isn't righteous enough to correct the wrongs Blizzard has wrought with these line of skills.

Mass Confusion - Level 22

60 Second Cooldown
74 Mana

A staple of most late-game Witch Doctor builds, Mass Confusion works similar to Soul Harvest; except instead of draining enemies and buffing your intelligence, you confuse everything around you, making enemies attack each other or run away randomly.  A very useful, and occasionally hilarious, skill.

Unstable Realm (Level 26) - Lets you cast the spell every 45 seconds instead of every 60.  A solid choice for a more-reliable crowd control skill, especially since it's available at level 26.

Devolution (Level 34) - 50% chance to get a zombie dog if you kill an enemy while its confused.  Wait, a Zombie Dog?  No.

Mass Hysteria (Level 43) - Takes up to 6 enemies that aren't confused by this skill and stuns them for up to 3 seconds.  Not much more needs to be said - this is an awesome and near absolute crowd-controlling skill with this rune equipped.

Paranoia (Level 46) - Makes enemies in the area of effect (regardless of actually being confused or not) take 20% additional damage for 12 seconds.  An absolutely fantastic addition to any team.

Mass Hallucination (Level 54) - A bit disappointing for a level 54 rune, a huge ghost will walk around and laugh while it does a rather consistent 22% weapon damage to every enemy it collides with.  This can actually be somewhat decent damage to a big group, and is certainly one of the cooler visual effects in the Witch Doctor's disposal.  Definitely worth seeing at least once.

Over All - A great addition to Vision Quest builds because of its moderate/long cooldown and absolutely decimating effects through the Mass Hysteria rune.

Note:  This article was originally published at - You can find the original link here.