Witch Doctor Compendium (Updated for 2.6.9/Season 21)

"I wander to places beyond imaginings, far from the jungles of my youth. My knowledge has grown vast. The people, they think me banished—shunned to the end of my days. They say I defy the spirits. But I say no, I follow them. The spirits show me alone that the sky-fire is where the end begins. They say this must not be. I live to serve the spirits, so I go. There is none but me to answer the call."

Welcome! This Witch Doctor compendium was created to serve both as a guide to new players, and as a one-stop-shop for information pertaining to the Witch Doctor class. Below you’ll find links to Witch Doctor builds, guides to completing set dungeons, notes on mechanics, and a number of useful resources created by the Diablo 3 community.

I hope that you find this guide instructive. If you spot a dead or outdated link, information that is no longer accurate, or feel there’s something I’ve omitted, please let me know.

Table of contents


Why Witch Doctor?

The Witch Doctor combines pet gameplay elements seen previously in the Druid and Necromancer of Diablo II with a savagery that is all their own. Excelling in crowd control and DoT skills, the Witch Doctor is as comfortable in the thick of the fight, laying waste to their enemies with jars of spiders or poisonous darts, as they are standing back and letting the denizens of the Unformed Land do the fighting for them. Call forth a swarm of fiery bats to burn your foes, unleash a plague of locusts, or summon a pool of deadly piranhas to pull them in from afar. Confuse your enemies and bend them to your will, send them fleeing or root them in place with Horrify, or slow their movement with grasping undead arms, rising from the ground. Sacrifice a Zombie Dog to cause havoc among your foes, Hex them into chickens or pigs—or even turn into a chicken yourself, and speed-run your way through Sanctuary. If it’s creepy, crawly, or just plain unsettling, the Witch Doctor can probably bring it to zombie bear on the battlefield.

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Beginner’s guide

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Builds

The best build is one that is fun to play. However, if you’re looking to advance to a higher torment, push greater rifts, or you’re just seeking guidance on how to best utilize that nice ancient mojo Kadala just handed you, builds are a fantastic place to start.

For season-specific start builds, please refer to the section about seasons below.

Helltooth Harness builds

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Manajuma’s Way builds

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Mundunugu’s Regalia builds

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Raiment of the Jade Harvester builds

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Spirit of Arachyr builds

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Zunimassa’s Haunt builds

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Non-set builds (Legacy of Dreams)

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Seasons

Season leveling

Season start builds

The Haedrig’s Gift reward for season 21 is the Raiment of the Jade Harvester set. Haedrig’s Gift is rewarded upon completing Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the season journey, and will go a long way to ensuring you hit the ground running in season 21.

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Items: armor, weapons, crafting, and gems

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Game modes: bounties, greater rifts, and rifts

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Set dungeons

Please note that there is no set dungeon for Mundunugu’s Regalia. Wearing the Mundunugu’s Regalia set and attempting to interact with the Tome of Set Dungeons in the Royal Quarters will result in an error message.

I have elected to keep Quin69’s set dungeon video guides below, despite the fact that the requirements for many of the set dungeons have changed, sometimes significantly, in the intervening years since his videos were uploaded, because I believe much of the information contained within (especially with regard to builds and pathing) is still relevant. For more up-to-date video guides, please refer to those uploaded by JAKEL33T.

Helltooth Harness

Icy Veins | JAKEL33T video guide | Quin69 video guide | TeamBRG

Raiment of the Jade Harvester

Icy Veins | JAKEL33T video guide | Quin69 video guide | TeamBRG

Spirit of Arachyr

Icy Veins | JAKEL33T video guide | Quin69 video guide | TeamBRG

Zunimassa’s Haunt

Icy Veins | JAKEL33T video guide | Quin69 video guide | TeamBRG

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Calculators and gameplay mechanics

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Community resources and useful links

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Acknowledgements and changelog

This Witch Doctor compendium owes several people an enormous debt of gratitude. First and foremost to RiZ3n, who wrote the original Witch Doctor build and info guide upon which this compendium draws so heavily. Unfortunately, RiZ3n no longer appears to be active in the Diablo 3 community, and their guide was lost when the old forums were taken offline in early January 2020.

My sincere thanks also to Free, for their New and Returning Player’s Guide, RedCell, for their Demon Hunter compendium, and to WordMaster, for both their Crusader and Necromancer compendia, all four of which formed the framework around which this compendium was based. Thanks also to TheTias for the useful links which were invaluable when it came to formatting.

Further thanks to the many other creators, number crunchers, Redditors, and YouTubers whose build guides, resources, and videos are included in this compendium. Thank you.

Changelog
  • November 24, 2019: compendium created
  • November 27, 2019: ‘Seasons’ sub-section added. Build guide links updated for patch 2.6.7/season 19
  • November 28, 2019: title edited
  • December 4, 2019: additional links to build guides added. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • December 5, 2019: changelog added to ‘Acknowledgements’ sub-section. Additional links to set dungeon guides added. Additional link to ‘Community resources and useful links’ sub-section added. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • December 17, 2019: table of contents updated. Additional link to ‘Game modes’ sub-section added. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • January 8, 2020: links updated. Dead links removed due to old forums being taken offline. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • February 2, 2020: title edited. Links updated. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • February 16, 2020: compendium updated in preparation for patch 2.6.8/season 20. ‘Mundunugu’s Regalia’ sub-section added to build guides. Links updated. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • March 4, 2020: compendium updated for patch 2.6.8/season 20. Title edited. Additional links to build guides added. Build guide links updated for patch 2.6.8/season 20. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • March 11, 2020: additional links to build guides added. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • March 14, 2020: additional links to build guides added. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • March 26, 2020: additional links to build guides added. Additional links to ‘Calculators and gameplay mechanics’ added. Links updated. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • April 25, 2020: additional links to build guides added. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • April 27, 2020: minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected
  • June 29, 2020: compendium updated for patch 2.6.9/season 21. Title edited. Additional links to build guides added. Links updated. Minor grammar, spelling, and syntax errors corrected

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8 Likes

Wow great post! Thank you this is very informative.

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Thanks but in general what are the main gameplay difference between Arachyr Helltooth Zunni and Jade? I have rebuild my wds recently and I’m not sure what’s the difference. They all look the same to me.

Hey Lidrach! The main differences between each of the four Witch Doctor sets you mentioned are in how they play, what skills they synergise with, and what other items complement the set. Carefully reading the bonuses for each set (I’ve listed them all below) will help to shed more light on where the set shines and how you can turn those bonuses to your benefit. The short version is that Helltooth is best for mid- to long-range pet builds, Jade for doing damage over time (DoT) at mid-range, Arachyr for getting up close and personal and channelling Firebats right in your enemies’ faces, and Zuni for both darts and pet builds at mid- to long-range.

Helltooth Harness

  • (2) Set:
    • Enemies hit by your primary skills, Acid Cloud, Firebats, Zombie Charger, Zombie Dogs, Gargantuan, Grasp of the Dead, Piranhas, or Wall of Death are afflicted by Necrosis, becoming Slowed and taking 3000% weapon damage every second for 10 seconds.
  • (4) Set:
    • After applying Necrosis to an enemy, you take 60% reduced damage for 10 seconds.
  • (6) Set:
    • After casting Wall of Death, gain 9000% increased damage for 15 seconds to your primary skills, Acid Cloud, Firebats, Zombie Charger, Zombie Dogs, Gargantuan, Grasp of the Dead, Piranhas, and Wall of Death.

In terms of sheer variety of builds, the Helltooth set has it made. Because it buffs so many different skills, you have a lot of options when it comes to putting a build together and picking complementary legendary items - you can find separate builds that combine the full six piece Helltooth set with Acid Cloud, Firebats, Gargantuans + Zombie Dogs, Grasp of the Dead, or Zombie Charger. In general, the Helltooth playstyle is fast and bursty, which makes it ideal for speedfarming. However, the breadth of the skills it covers also means that it lacks the specificity of the other sets, and, as of patch 2.6.7, it’s the weakest of the four sets.

Raiment of the Jade Harvester

  • (2) Set:
    • When Haunt lands on an enemy already affected by Haunt, it instantly deals 3500 seconds worth of Haunt damage.
  • (4) Set:
    • Soul Harvest gains the effect of every rune and has its cooldown reduced by 1 second every time you cast Haunt or Locust Swarm.
  • (6) Set:
    • Soul Harvest reduces damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds and consumes your damage over time effects on enemies, instantly dealing 10,000 seconds worth of remaining damage.

The Jade set excels in dealing damage over time (DoT). It’s a lot more narrow in its focus than the Helltooth set is, so you don’t quite have the same number of options when picking skills to complement the set. It’s also not really the kind of build you can play while distracted, as killing enemies requires a fair bit more ‘set up’ than most other builds, and making a mistake in your rotation can cause it feel like you’re hitting enemies with a wet noodle :joy: You have to bunch them up with Piranhas, DoT them with both Haunt and Locust Swarm, and then harvest their souls with Soul Harvest. Because it requires all that set up, it’s not the fastest build, and you probably won’t see it being used often while speedfarming rifts, but it’s definitely one of the strongest WD builds, and there’s something incredibly satisfying in pulling in a big group of enemies and watching them all topple like dominos.

Spirit of Arachyr

  • (2) Set:
    • Summon a permanent Spider Queen who leaves behind webs that deal 4000% weapon damage over 5 seconds and Slows enemies. The Spider Queen is commanded to move to where you cast your Corpse Spiders.
  • (4) Set:
    • Hex gains the effect of the Toad of Hugeness rune. After summoning a Toad of Hugeness, you gain 50% damage reduction and heal for 10% of your maximum Life per second for 15 seconds.
  • (6) Set:
    • The damage of your creature skills is increased by 9000%. Creature skills are Corpse Spiders, Plague of Toads, Firebats, Locust Swarm, Hex, and Piranhas.

Like the Jade set, the Arachyr set doesn’t buff as many skills as the Helltooth set does, which means that you really only have a few viable options when it comes to complementary skills. Although Corpse Spiders might look like an ideal pairing, there are far and away more legendary items that buff the Firebats skill, so you won’t often see people wearing the Arachyr set using anything but Firebats. Because of the short range on the Firebats skill, the Arachyr Firebats build is unique in that it requires you to really jump right into the thick of the fight, rather than standing back at mid or long range and letting your pets do the fighting for you.

Zunimassa’s Haunt

  • (2) Set:
    • Your Fetish Army lasts until they die and the cooldown of your Fetish Army is reduced by 80%.
  • (4) Set:
    • You and your pets take 3% less damage for every Fetish you have alive.
  • (6) Set:
    • Enemies hit by your Mana spenders take 15,000% increased damage from your pets for 8 seconds.

Pets and the Zuni set go hand-in-hand. There are two main approaches when it comes to the Zuni set: pair it with Fetishes, or pair it with Gargantuans. The Zuni Fetish build is, without a doubt, the strongest set build the WD has at the moment. It combines the full six piece set bonus with skills like Poison Dart (a Mana spender) and Carnevil and The Dagger of Darts, both of which provide buffs to your darts and fetishes, to make an incredibly strong build. It’s really intuitive to play, and a lot of fun.

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Thanks but in general what are the main gameplay difference between Arachyr Helltooth Zunni and Jade? I have rebuild my wds recently and I’m not sure what’s the difference. They all look the same to me.

This is from someone who really started to play the WD in the past 12 months:

The Jade set allows you to play without pets, although you can fit pets in there if you want. Also, thanks to the Soul to Waste rune of the Soul Harvest skill, it has good movement speed, which is useful in greater rifts.


The Arachyr set was very strong back when reaching GR 75 was a thing. Today, it’s under-powered. There are not a lot of options for simultaneously increasing damage AND reducing enemy damage, such that it would be the best choice for the high GR 90s and above. Also, there are not a lot of options for increasing movement speed.

This set really needs some buffs, to either the set itself or supporting items.


The Zuni set, via the Poison Darts attack enabled by the Dagger of Darts and Carnevil items, gives the WD a cool, pet-based ranged attack.


The Helltouth set is really good for running with pets. It’s not that great at high level greater rifts. But for doing regular rifts at Torment 13-16 to get GR keys, this is my favorite choice. And it doesn’t require a lot of mouse clicking (by contrast, Zuni poison darts builds require a lot of mouse clicking).


If I’m doing a season, Zuni Darts (or LoD Darts) and Jade would be my first choices for the WD. I did reach Conqueror level in S19 with the Helltouth set, and it wasn’t challenging at all (but the season buff for S19 is awesome).


One last thing, the easiest WD set dungeon for me (and for most people I suspect) is the Arachyr dungeon.

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