Witch Doctors rejoice. With the dawn of patch 1.0.4 pets are suddenly viable in Inferno and a whole slew of build opportunities have opened up. The class we were promised at release has finally become a reality, so let’s celebrate by examining a truly bread and butter, Inferno viable, pet-doctor build.
Each skill in this build synergizes with each other so well, it requires little effort to get a nice fast rhythm going. The Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan are here to provide a defensive screen, and not a free meal to the ravenous demon hordes; who would have thought?! Aim for just about 40k HP, anything above 500 all resist, and your pets should have no trouble staying up for the majority of fights, even in Act III.
With even the most intimidating of monsters properly distracted, your job becomes simple. The first priority is to cast Pyrogeist. A single cast can keep your Vision Quest passive active for up to 11 seconds; 6 seconds as the fire constantly re-procs the passive and 5 seconds as the final proc runs out. This opens up plenty of freedom to strategically position Grasp of the Dead on dense mobs or choke points, and maneuver freely to avoid plague pools, desecrator pits, arcane turrets, mortars, aggressive mobs, what-have-you without being overly concerned with a DPS or mana regen drop. Whenever you have a moment to breath and mana in your pool, spam Corpse Bomb and watch the mobs melt away. It’s as simple as that.
Pierce the Veil is there for the additional damage boost, and Jungle Fortitude is filling a wildcard passive slot that can be swapped out for anything else, depending on your survivability.
The flashiness of this build comes from the fact that you are finally using pets in Inferno, the disintegrating waves of demon flesh as they are hit with Corpse Bomb crits, and the beautiful harmony of using every skill on your bar in unison.
There really is nothing like finally being able to raise and maintain an undead army, even as the dickish Inferno elites unleash their hardest hitting attacks against the poor little buggers. Flashy Witch Doctors employing this build will zip in and out of combat, strategically plucking up health orbs to heal pets and teammates alike, raining corpses from the sky, wrangling together dense pack of demons with their snare and finally wiping out then or twenty at a time with a chain of well placed Corpse Bombs.
This build is as viable as they come and finds a real sweet spot between the defensive tanking of the Witch Doctor pets and the pure destruction of several DoTs employed at once combined with a high-damage, spammable nuke in Corpse Bomb. What really makes this build work is that no skill slot goes unutilized. Corpse Bomb is the only skill being spammed, everything else acts as a one-time application DoT for most encounters. The damage really stacks up, and the pets really help keep you alive. You have to imagine, this is the way Blizzard initially envisioned this class working, and it has finally been realized.
Gear Reliance: B
This build is a tad gear reliant, but really, no more so than any other build designed for high level Inferno play. A bit of focus on HP, resist and armor go a long way in improving pet survivability, the more the better. Do not sacrifice too much in the way of damage, however, as you want those Corpse Bomb crits to be able to completely wipe your screen. A fine balance is required here, but should really be nothing new to Diablo 3 players at this point in the game.
Gearing for 35k HP, 500 all resist, 40k dmg should be the entry point needed to take this build all the way through Inferno. The higher you can push those numbers, the smoother things will go. Consider swapping out Jungle Fortitude for Gruesome Feast when survivability is no longer an issue to push damage to the extreme. If Spirit Walk can be subbed out for Soul Harvest, things will get even nastier; in fact, these two changes should definitely be considered when farming Act 1 or even 2.