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Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Leveling Build – Part 1 of 3

by Jassper of The Diablo 3 Leveling Guide

Witch Doctor BuildThroughout the following Witch Doctor Leveling Build, we will take a look at the best leveling spells and abilities to choose for this new and versatile class. For a comprehensive Diablo 3 Leveling Guide, stay tuned for Diablo 3 Leveling Secrets, still in production!

Best Witch Doctor Leveling Build

The witch doctor class has a wide range of assorted skills to use throughout the leveling process. They possess a myriad of very powerful AOE attacks as well as quite the menagerie of vicious pets and minions to call upon. While leveling, the witch doctor will be making use of their pets to attack their foes and keep themselves out of harms way. Meanwhile, the witch doctor will be able to use their extremely powerful AOE abilities to annihilate their enemies while they’re distracted by pets.

* UPDATE: Part 1 of this Witch Doctor Leveling build is now updated with the latest information from the final release of Diablo III.

Alright, let’s get started!


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Witch Doctor Leveling Build: Levels 1-10

When you’re first starting out with you witch doctor you may not be able to access all of the skills and abilities that I suggest using. Don’t worry too much about that, as there are plenty of great skills to use in the mean time. Once you gain access to the particular ability that I suggest using, go ahead and swap it out and keep playing.

The Witch Doctor has 3 types of skills. The first group are abilities that stem from the Physical Realm, the second are abilities that come from the Spirit Realm and the third type are command abilities, or summoning skills.

Once you hit level 10, you should be using the skills below:

Witch Doctor Poison DartActive Witch Doctor Skill – Poison Dart (Physical Realm)

Poison Dart deals 100% poison damage to your target and puts a DoT, or “damage over time”, on your enemy that deals another 40% damage over two seconds. This is a powerful single-target ability but not so great for multiple targets. Poison Dart costs 10 mana.

Best Skill Rune – Splinters

The Splinters skill rune shoots 3 darts instead of 1 and each dart does 60% weapon damage for a damage total of 180% vs. the original 100%.

Witch Doctor FirebatsActive Witch Doctor Skill – Firebats (Physical Realm)

Firebats is a useful frontal AOE attack that basically fires a cone of, well….fire bats. Pretty weird, but also a skills to have when faced with a large group of enemies. Firebats hits all targets in front of you for 150% damage.

Best Skill Rune - (None available for levels 1-10)

Witch Doctor Summon Zombie Dog

Active Witch Doctor Skill – Summon Zombie Dogs (Command)

Summon Zombie Dogs summons three dogs that do 9% of your weapon damage to enemies every time they attack. This may not seem like much damage, but remember that each dog is doing 9% for a total of 27% and this is all happening in addition to your regular attacks. Ultimately, it’s a pretty substantial damage boost only costing 49 mana.

Best Skill Rune - (None available for levels 1-10)

Witch Doctor Soul HarvestActive Witch Doctor Skill – Soul Harvest (Spirit Realm)

Soul Harvest a powerful damage-increasing ability that becomes available at level 9. This skill has a cooldown of 15 seconds and allows you to leech 130 intelligence from up to 5 enemies within 16 yards. Because the intelligence stat has a direct effect on the amount of damage a witch doctor outputs, this 650 potential intelligence boost allows you to lay out some serious damage when you need to. The effect lasts for 30 seconds and costs 59 mana to cast.

Best Skill Rune - (None available for levels 1-10)

Witch Doctor Passive Circle of LifePassive Witch Doctor Skill – Circle of Life

Level 10 unlocks your first passive skill. I would recommend picking up Circle of Life. This ability causes a zombie dog to spawn whenever you or a teammate kill an enemy within 12 yards of you. Pretty handy for bolstering your posse of creepy damage-dealing pets!


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Wrap Up

By level 10, you’re probably starting to get the hang of using your Witch Doctor’s voodoo and minions to lay waste to your foes. Coming up in Part 2 of the Diablo 3 Witch Doctor Leveling Build Guide we are going to discuss the abilities and skill runes you should be using as you power level from 11-20.


Looking for a complete Diablo 3 Guide? Visit Inferno Codex for awesome Diablo 3 tips and strategies!

Or check out my full video review and exclusive FREE chapter!




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