Heroes of the Storm - Witch Doctor Guide

A basic overview along with a few suggested builds for playing Witch Doctor in Heroes of the Storm.

Welcome to the Heroes of the Storm build guide for the Witch Doctor. In this guide, you will find basic information on the game and the Witch Doctor, as well as tips on how to play and build him.

This guide will break down into six categories:

  • Introduction - A breakdown of the kind of character you're playing
  • Starter Abilities - The abilities your character starts with at the beginning of the match.
  • Heroic Abilities - Pick from one of these two ultimate-like abilities at team level 10
  • Talents - The character improvements you can choose from to custom build your hero
  • Talent Builds - Recommended builds that I have personally found success with
  • Playstyle Tips - Extra information about the character to help you play your best

Introduction

 In Heroes of the Storm, the Witch Doctor, also known as Nazeebo, is a ranged specialist with a kit that can help push lanes like nobody's business and deal some significant AoE damage. 

Specialists are a kind of unit you will not find an exact equal to in any other kind of MOBA. Characters like the Witch Doctor, Abathur, Gazlowe, and Sgt. Hammer are able to focus on specific tasks like pushing lanes by the game's team level design. This means that you can focus on tasks you would not in a normal MOBA without having to worry about getting behind.

The Witch Doctor can be a big source of damage on your team, but he is best used when you want to push. His AoE skills and his Heroic Abilities make him great at quickly killing minions in lane and destroying turrets.

Starter Abilities

  • Voodoo Ritual (Trait)
  • Auto attacks deal damage over time. Enemy kills restore health and mana.

  • Corpse Spiders (Q)
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Damage enemies in an area, summoning temporary spiders to attack.

  • Zombie Wall (W)
  • Cooldown: 14 seconds
  • Summon a temporary ring of zombies that trap and attack.

  • Plague of Toads (E)
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Summon a wave of exploding toads.

Heroic Abilities (Choose One)

  • Gargantuan (R)
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds
  • Duration: 20 seconds
  • Spawns a Gargantuan that grabs enemy minions to deal Area damage.

  • Ravenous Spirit (R)
  • Cooldown: 80 seconds
  • Duration: 8 seconds
  • Channeled spell that deals damage and slows enemies.

Talents (Choose One from Each Tier)

Tier 1

  • Demolitionist: Basic Attacks against enemy structures destroy 2 ammo.
  • Blood Ritual (Trait): Increases health and mana granted by Voodoo Ritual by 100%.
  • Death Ritual (Trait): Permanently gain 2 Health and 1 Mana when a unit dies under Voodoo Ritual.
  • Bribe: Kill enemy minions to gain stacks of Bribe. At 40 stacks, activate to capture target Mercenary Camp. Does not work on Golems.

Tier 2

 

  • Minion Killer: You deal 25% increased damage to Minions and Mercenaries.
  • Spider Cluster (Q): Corpse Spiders creates 3 additional spiders from the impact location over 3 seconds.
  • Poison Enemy: Poisons an enemy hero, dealing 180 damage over 6 seconds.
  • Promote: Give target allied lane minion +200% permanent health and +100% permanent damage.

Tier 3

  • Gidbinn: Increases the area of Plague Toads and duration of your other non-heroic abilities, as well as Voodoo Ritual by 25%.
  • Fresh Corpses (W): Zombies deal 50% more damage.
  • Calldown: MULE (Thumbnail Missing): Repairs the target structure, granting it health and ammo over 30 seconds.
  • Clairvoyance: Reveal the target area. Enemies in the area are revealed for a short duration.

Tier 4

  • Ravenous Spirit (R): Summons a Ravenous Spirit for 8 seconds. Deals 25 damage per second. The Witch Doctor cannot move while channeling.
  • Gargantuan (R): Creates a Gargantuan that attacks for 35 damage. The Gargantuan also stomps nearby enemies for 30 damage, slowing their Movement Speed by 30%. The Gargantuan can grab enemy minions, increasing his attack damage by 20% for the next three attacks.

Tier 5

  • Dead Rush (W): After use, remaining Zombies attack nearby enemies for 3 seconds.
  • Toads of Hugeness (E): Toads increase in size and damage by 10% every time they hop.
  • Sprint: Activate to increase Movement Speed by 75% for 3 seconds.
  • Ice Block: Activate to place yourself in stasis and gain invulnerability for 3 seconds.

Tier 6

  • Leaping Spiders (Q): Corpse Spiders now leap at enemies when attacking and deal 25% increased damage.
  • Infested Toads (E): Plague Toads spawn Corpse Spiders when they explode.
  • Rewind: Activate to reduce the cooldown of your Basic Abilities by 10 seconds.
  • Stoneskin: Activate to gain 30% of your max health in Shields for 5 seconds.

Tier 7

  • Swift Storm: Reduces the cast time of Hearthstone to 2 seconds. Increases mount speed to +60% of move speed.
  • Bolt of the Storm: Activate to teleport to the target location.
  • Annihilating Spirit (R): Increases the range of Ravenous Spirit by 50% and increases its Movement Speed by 30%.
  • Humongoid (R): Gargantuan deals 100% increased damagee to non-heroic targets. His stomp also stuns instead of slows.

Talent Builds

 The Siege Doctor

  • Any: All of these talents are useful. Demolitionist makes it easier to push lanes; Blood Ritual makes it easier to stay in lane; Death Ritual makes you beefier overall; Bribe allows you to get mercenaries easier to help you push your lane.
  • Any (Except for Poison Enemy): All three of these are insanely good for pushing lanes, although I would prefer Spider Cluster for its bonus to helping in Hero and team fights.
  • Gidbinn: Gives your non-heroics some increased duration, allowing them to stay in lane and push longer; the greater area of Plague Toads will also help you kill enemy minions.
  • Gargantuan: The superior choice for focusing on area damage and lane control.
  • Toads of Hugeness or Dead Rush: ToH is my preference, but Dead Rush is also useful for giving you an extra boost in lane.
  • Infested Toads or Leaping Spiders: Either of these talents will increase your lane effectiveness.
  • Humongoid: The 100% increase to non-heroic targets means that structures will go down much faster.

This is the build you want for when you just want to focus on pushing lanes. While it can be effective on all Battlegrounds, I would say this is most useful on Cursed Hollow and Dragon Shire. Haunted Mines and Blackheart's Bay require you to pay more attention to the objectives and run around a lot, giving you less time to focus on pushing your lane. Having a coordinated enough team, though, can allow you to push while they deal with objectives.

The Damage Dealing Doctor

  • Death Ritual: This makes your character more effective as the game goes on.
  • Spider Cluster: Additional Corpse Spiders means you have more sources of damage to kill enemy heroes with.
  • Fresh Corpses: This increases the damage of one of your most useful skills.
  • Ravenous Spirit or Gargantuan: Ravenous Spirit is the superior choice for single target interaction, but Gargantuan doesn't require you to channel it. The slow and possible stun from Gargantuan gives it another point of favor over Ravenous Spirit.
  • Toads of Hugeness: Using this ability skillfully can significantly increase your damage output.
  • Infested Toads: Throwing this down as well as Corpse Spiders gives you a scary amount of minions to kill your enemies with.
  • Annihilating Spirit or Humongoid: Buff up your heroic ability, whichever one you choose.

This is a build for times when you do not want to focus on pushing. You will be able to do a significant amount more damage if you use this build over the siege one.

Witch Doctor Playstyle Tips

Effective Area of Effect Attacks

  • Unless you are focusing a specific target, try not to use your abilities in lane without them hitting at least targets. Witch Doctor's kit is meant to do area damage, not single target. Take advantage of that.
  • If you choose Gargantuan, try not to use it in a 1-on-1 scenario or even a 2-on-2. You really want to maximize its effectiveness by using it in a larger scale area since the cooldown is a minute-and-a-half.

Tier 7 Talent Choices

  • Bolt of the Storm is useful when you want to have an escape plan or an effective way to get around certain obstacles.
  • Swift Storm can be quite effective in Blackheart's Bay and Haunted Mines when you really need to worry about the objective to win. Decreasing the time it takes to get to the objective might be worth losing the damage you would get from taking one of the Heroic Ability talents.

Zombie Wall is Not For All

  • Do not Zombie Wall your teammates!
  • Seriously. Don't do it.

Featured Columnist

World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.

Published Apr. 4th 2014

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