Witch Doctor Like a Boss: A Guide to Paragon Leveling

#1Pizzaro11Posted 1/16/2013 4:34:36 AM(edited)
The Introduction:

I'm writing this guide for the sole intent of contributing a possible discussion/learning area for up-and-coming witch doctors. While I am by no means an expert, I have learned quite a bit through trial and error on my own WD, Shrunken Ted.

Disclaimer:

This guide will be most helpful to a witch doctor that has played a bit in inferno. If you own a Hellfire ring, then you're probably at the right point to start reading.
This guide focuses itself on Paragon leveling, a field Witch Doctors are possibly doing the best right now out of any class.
I would really appreciate no flaming or trolling. I put this together to cut back on excessive ďhelp me gear and get better!Ē posts on these forums, and actually make a reliable tool that Witch Doctors can turn to. However, discussion and debate is definitely encouraged. Let me know if I missed something I can sneak in or messed something up.

The Guide
Index:
(I). General Introduction
(II.) Low Monster Power Farming (MP 0-1)
i. The Build
ii. The Gear
iii. The Process
(III.) Closing

(I). General Introduction
So youíve come far enough into this page of text to read some words of wisdom from ShrunkenTed. Thatís good, because if youíre reading this as my intended audience then youíre probably at the point where MP3+ might seem a little difficult as a notwwbarbarian. Gear might start seeming complex in itís upgrades and the perfect balance of stats can be confusing to manage when swapping out those 1 million gold+ upgrades.
All the information Iím giving is well known, but can be difficult to sift through, especially if GameFaqs is the forum you look to the most. In the main bodies of the guide, Iím going to focus on Paragon Power Leveling and how to do it, with most of the emphasis on the gear. Take the time to read and learn from this guide, and youíll earn yourself a good bit of know-how, as well as save yourself millions of squandered gold.

(II.) Low MP Farming

(i.)The Build
Iím going to focus on one main build for farming. Iím not discrediting any other farming builds out there, but this is the one I have had the best experience using. With it and the right gear, WDís report making 100 million xp/hr. I currently can pull in about 75 million xp/hr, which is by no means the best, but keeps me satisfied.

GraveJustice Pickup Radius Build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fYUdXT!TYe!cYacZa


Explanation:
The whole build revolves around the passive ability: Grave Injustice. With it, a WD is able to continuously spam Spirit Walk and Horrify. These in combination with the always-awesome Zombie Bears create a beautiful sight of enemies flying every direction as fast as you can find them. Fire dogs and gargantuan are there to add stability to the clearing. Soul Harvest should always be up at 5 stacks when possible. I personally use vengeful spirit for the extra attack, but many find using the languish rune to be effective as well.
For your other two passives, gruesome feast will make your dps MUCH higher for the majority of the run, as you will be getting health globes very quickly and frequently. As for Spirit Vessel, itíll save your life more than you know and makes Spirit Walk come just that much faster.


(ii.) The Gear
The ultimate goal here (and this is current to pre 1.07) is to be able to use Cainís set and a Leoricís Signet. This is a lofty goal and can seem daunting with the signets costing 15mil+. It will come with time, but you should be building up your gear with that thought in mind. It takes excellent gear in your other
---
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/29647436
#2Pizzaro11(Topic Creator)Posted 1/16/2013 4:36:26 AM(edited)
slots to use 4 low level items, but as a general rule of thumb if youíve been pondering the purchase of a Leo, youíre probably at the right point. Until that time, just use the gear guidelines I have below. *edit*

And for anyone curious, hereís my Witch Doctor: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/13048224

Main Hand:

When looking at weapon, your #1 stat as a witch doctor at all times are Life Steal. If you donít have it, youíre gimping yourself. Try your hardest to find one with 3.00% and be done with it. Expect to be paying 10 million soon for a faithful 1 hander that will get you through your runs. After life steal, it just becomes a toss-up of what else you can fit on that weapon in conjunction with the highest dps you can afford. Crit damage and a socket are great, but will cost a pretty penny. A Manajumaís Knife will always do the trick, and it comes with a heap of intelligence. But donít get so fixated on them that you donít look at other 1handers for a bargain.

Offhand:

Thereís only one, and thatís Thing of The Deep. Look for the best average damage and intelligence you can afford. Browse for socketed ones as theyíre often underpriced. Your offhand is a big part of your dps so make sure not to be completely skimpy.

Amulet:

Look for one with big intelligence, decent crit chance, and substantial crit damage. Itís tough to justify going for defensive stats, such as LoH and All Resistance, because the offensive stats on them can be huge, and adding just one of the defensive stats can make it much too costly. If you can squeeze in Life after Kill, this is a good slot to do it. A decent amount of LaK will actually improve farming quite a bit, so get it when you can. This advice goes for any piece I describe farther down.



Gloves:

Intelligence, crit chance, crit damage. Squeeze on some vitality if itís manageable. I found a pair with pickup radius, and it seems that gloves is one of the few slots that this is very doable in.

Helm:

Go for a helm with lots of intelligence, a socket, and a defensive stat. Donít focus too much on the crit chance here. Zunimassaís vision is an obvious choice because you really want that 3-set bonus. However, a visage of giyua is a fine choice as well.
Shoulders:

Vile Ward all the way. Great shoulders and stupidly cheap for being BiS for every class. Obviously get one with intelligence. Vitality Wardís are the next tier, so donít bum out about no vit. These puppies equip you with much needed armor and AR.

Chest:

You really should be wearing a Zunimassaís Marrow. I consistently suggest set pieces in this guide because witch doctors have the luxury of possibly the best set in the game. Even the 4-piece is good, hell great for paragon leveling. I see good marrowís in the 4 million range all the time. This is a pretty important item, so focus funds here if the wallet is starting to feel tight at this point in the guide.

Rings:

One goes to Hellfire. For the other, I recommend a Unity. The reason is because of the Life on Hit. You can get up to 300+ LoH on them, and the worst oneís are still pretty freaking good. However, any ring with intelligence, crit chance, and crit damage will work just as well. Donít dwell on your extra ring slot too much because after you buy one for 800k+, youíll notice that the addition of better stats will cost you an arm and a leg.
*I donít recommend a zunimassaís pox for low mpís. They truly donít bring enough dps to the table without crit chance. And if you can afford one with crit chance, you probably donít need help with gear.*


---
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/29647436
#3Pizzaro11(Topic Creator)Posted 1/16/2013 4:11:42 AM(edited)
Pants:

This is a tough slot to fill. In reality, you should be getting a pair with 200+ vitality, 80+ intelligence, AR, and 1-2 sockets. Pants can be your ďsafety netĒ slot because of the raw stat points you can achieve on them. Donít underestimate a pair just because itís not making your dps go up 2000 when you equip them over your old trousers. However, if you find that youíve become exceptionally durable and can survive mp1 elites all day no prob, then it might be time to find yourself some Innaís Temperance.Theyíre the pants to have if youíre trying to bust through farming, in large because of the movement speed they come with.


Bracers:

Iíve always fallen on a good pair of Strongarm Bracers. They roll with HUGE intelligence, and come with much needed armor, +Life, and crit chance. If not strongarms, then go for a pair with nice intelligence, crit chance, and possibly vitality or AR.
*Never use Lacuni Prowlers as a Witch Doctor. Never is a strong word, but you really donít want IAS on your gear. The reasoning behind it is because youíll be making zombie bears too fast and potentially mana stalling yourself. You donít need to avoid it like the plague, but there really is no reason for buying Lacuniís when other bracers are so affordable*

Waist:

Get that Witching Hour! The item has our class name written into it. Itís straight up staple, even with that much-hated IAS. In the meantime though, a belt with high intelligence, vitality and All Resist will do. Hell, slap on extra armor or whatever floats your boat. Honestly, this is the most unimportant slot if you donít have the funds for a witching hour.

Boots:

Zunimassaís Trail are the best. They really are. Extra damage on a normally defensive slot is awesome. The movement speed on them is also very appealing. If youíre looking for gear to step up to these from, then just a bargain pair with high intelligence, vitality, and movement is fine. A possible alternative to these are Ice Climbers. However, with the way youíll be filling in slots, the Trailís will provide you that extra AR from the 3-piece, making the ice climbers almost seem pointless, not to mention very expensive to obtain with movement on them.
---
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/29647436
#4Motions_NLPosted 1/16/2013 4:06:24 AM
This would be a good guide before they would have let us get the 1.0.7 information.
The higer MP level you farm ,the more exp. you'll get.

So from then on higher MP levels do make a difference.
---
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Motions-2564/
#5Pizzaro11(Topic Creator)Posted 1/16/2013 4:06:48 AM
iii.) The Process

Youíre destination is Act 3. Thereís a famous run that people use here, but weíre not going to use it. Instead youíll be following a very simple path:

Arreat Crater 2-->Keep Depths 2-->Rakkis Crossing. Rinse and Repeat

I havenít looked in depth to the exact numbers and why this is most effective, but I can tell you a general reason. You will notice that all three of these areas have extremely high enemy density, as well as a funnel characteristic in the layout. My belief is that because zombie bears follow straight lines, these three zones cater best to our attack pattern and abilities because enemies are practically fed in to us the whole time.

Now that you have the build and the gear, the farming is truly the easiest part to learn. You just need to practice moving at a brisk pace, keeping your dogís up, and not dying from too much enemy buildup and sitting in bad stuff. I suggest doing MP1 until you are using Cainís and Leo, and then dropping to 0. Once you have it all down, youíll know it because youíll be gaining levels faster than any of your friends.

(III). Closing:

I read in a post about EHP (Effective Health Points: wonít be explained here ><) on the blizzard forums that this game is 80% luck and 20% skill. And of that skill 15% is the number crunching and building your character right. I donít even want to share how much gold I wasted as a noobie doctor jumbling gear around because I didnít have set goals.

I really want to help the fledgling Witch Doctor community out there excel in climbing those paragon levels, and getting to the high MP good stuff. I personally have been running MP 7-8 ubers with very few issues, while not that long ago I was getting face smacked by keywardens on mp5. Gearing yourself according to this guide also caters to breaking into those higher MPís, with only minor gear tweaks and a different build.

For a final time, I know there are better witch doctors on these forums than me by a mile, so any input will be greatly appreciated.
---
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/29647436
#6Pizzaro11(Topic Creator)Posted 1/16/2013 4:15:18 AM(edited)
Motions_NL posted...
This would be a good guide before they would have let us get the 1.0.7 information.
The higer MP level you farm ,the more exp. you'll get.

So from then on higher MP levels do make a difference.


I still believe low MP farming will be the most effective way to gain experience. However, going for MP2 and completely forgetting about Cain's set might be the way to go with the experience buff in 1.0.7
---
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/29647436
#7jiminatrixPosted 1/16/2013 4:47:57 AM
I'm respect the effort but some of this advice is a bit off.

For low level mp (0-1) farming you should have acid cloud and a visage giving 8% crit to acid cloud. Much faster than bears and speed is what gets your exp per hour high. Keep bears for elite packs tho.
LS on a weapon is not necessary as it is better to take a higher damage weapon to one shot with acid cloud. Bears and spirit walk will do with spirit vessel to cover any mistakes. Using acid cloud with some loh for healing.
Hex - angry chicken is a further speed boost that speeds up runs.
Pets are unnecessary.
Lacunis are a must for speed. You want to cast your acid cloud fast and move on. Strongarms are for higher mps where fights are longer than 1 click not for low level farming.
Rings are hellfire and leorics. At least until next patch.
The route you run is for barbs and not optimal for WDs. WDs clearing screens with acid cloud can clear the big 6 areas including those with mobs that like to flee (skycrown) and use their 5 stacks for much longer while still being efficient.
Get 5 stacks in core, tower1 and kd3 then clear (or until you hit a dead end as backtracking is very bad):
Arreat crater 1 and 2, Keep depths 2, rakkis thru to fields and skycrown.

Mp0 will be the most efficient for exp and only go to mp1 when you're still able to 1 shot white mobs. Mana regen will be an issue only if your acid cloud isn't killing several mobs per cast so stay in mp0.

I would say your advice is much more suited to mid mps but i'd swap spirit walk to honoured guest and stalker for something else as run speed becomes less important and survival/dps is needed.
---
An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out. - Will Rogers
#8Pizzaro11(Topic Creator)Posted 1/16/2013 2:13:37 PM
jiminatrix posted...

LS on a weapon is not necessary as it is better to take a higher damage weapon to one shot with acid cloud

Lacunis are a must for speed. You want to cast your acid cloud fast and move on. Strongarms are for higher mps where fights are longer than 1 click not for low level farming.


Perhaps if nothing is hitting you from a distance while using acid cloud then you can opt out of LS. However, I've found it much more difficult to consistently one-shot everything with it. I haven't tried it in a while because I've been using Cain's set which makes Acid Cloud impossible to use

As far as lacunis, get your IAS somewhere else then. The intelligence on them is mediocre at best and you want CC in this slot as a WD...always.
---
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/boredlord-1289/hero/29647436
#9jiminatrixPosted 1/17/2013 2:33:06 AM
Pizzaro11 posted...
As far as lacunis, get your IAS somewhere else then. The intelligence on them is mediocre at best and you want CC in this slot as a WD...always.


Its attack and movement speed on one item. Buying them with CC is much more expensive and unnecessary . CC on bracers is not mandatory here for low level mp farming which is what this guide is focussing on. Attack speed is a problem for WD's only in long fights (longer than say 2 casts of acid cloud) but for farming mp0-1 it is desirable as your cast time is shorter so you can begin moving again sooner.
Using strongarms for the CC but losing movement speed and attack speed will gimp your run. Innas pants could provde these but if you're using acid cloud the LoH from blackthorns pants are much more beneficial, especially when it allows you to buy a weapon without LS as weapons with high dps but no LS are much much cheaper.
Acid cloud is far more efficient than bears for low level mps...always :P
---
An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out. - Will Rogers