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Diablo 3: Witch Doctor

May 17th, 2012 by

There are 4 primary attributes available in Diablo 3: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Intelligence. Here is how these stats affect the Witch Doctor:

Strength: Each point of Strength increases your armor by 1.
Dexterity: Each point of Dexterity slightly increases your chance to dodge attacks.
Vitality: Each point of Vitality increases your maximum health.
Intelligence: Each point of Intelligence increases your damage by 1% and gives you 1 resistance point to all schools of magic. Below, I will elaborate on how Intelligence works.

Intelligence is the primary stat of the Witch Doctor (as well as Wizard) and as a result it increases the Witch Doctor’s damage. Each point of Intelligence increases the Witch Doctor’s damage by a flat 1% (not exponential).

The way it works is that your ability damage is calculated based on your weapon damage and the skill you are using. This is then multiplied by your Intelligence in order to calculate your extra damage. Let us use Flaming Dart as an example:

Flaming Dart deals 160% Weapon damage.
If your weapon damage is 100-200, then Flaming Dart’s base ability damage is 160-320 damage.
This base damage is then multiplied by the bonus offered by your Intelligence attribute. If you have 100 intelligence, this is increased by 100%, bringing the damage of Flaming Dart up to 320-640.
If your increase your Intelligence to 200, your bonus is 200%, bringing the damage of Flaming Dart from 160-320 to 480-960.
If you increase your Intelligence to 300, the bonus is 300%, bringing the damage of Flaming Dart to 640-1280.

Note that as you increase your Intelligence more and more, the relationship is flat and based on your weapon damage rather than your previous Intelligence. This mean that Intelligence has relative diminishing returns. For example, imagine you had 10000 Intelligence. This would increase your damage in the flaming Dart example to 16160-32320 damage. Your next extra point of Intelligence will not increase your overall damage by 1%, but rather increases the bonus multiplier of the ability’s damage by an extra 1%.

The point of this discussion is that while Intelligence is very important, the more Intelligence you get, the more valuable your other stats which increase your damage become. For example, if you have low weapon damage and low intelligence, 5% increased attack speed does very little for your total damage. An extra 20 Intelligence at level 5 increases your damage far more than 5% increased attack speed or even 5% critical hit rate.

However, in end-game gear with massive amounts of Intelligence, that 5% extra increase in attack speed or critical hit rate would represent a much larger buff than 20 Intelligence. In order to deal a lot of damage as a Witch Doctor, you need not only a lot of Intelligence but also weapon damage and other secondary stats, which we will discuss next!

D3 Witch Doctor Stats Guide – Secondary Stats

In addition to your primary stats, players have access to literally hundreds of secondary stats that you will find on your equipment throughout the game.

Since the Witch Doctor has a few abilities which buff its innate Intelligence, these secondary stats are more important for the Witch Doctor’s damage pool than perhaps for any other class. Here are the most important secondary stats for the Witch Doctor:

+Damage. Since the Witch Doctor has such a high amount of native Intelligence due to its buffs, +Damage from rings and amulets amounts to huge DPS increases for the Witch Doctor, particularly if you are using a fast weapon.
Chance to Critically Hit. Having a better chance to critically hit is always nice and does add extra damage, but out of all the classes, critical hit is the least beneficial for the Witch Doctor. A lot of the Witch Doctor’s damage occurs over time or through pets. You do not see big critical hits with the Witch Doctor unless you are using something like Sacrifice, which has a long cooldown. The Witch Doctor should instead focus on extra Weapon Damage and Intelligence.
Increased Attack Speed. This benefits some Witch Doctor abilities more than others. For example, Grasp of the Dead deals “20% weapon damage for 8 seconds” whereas Locust Swarm deals “360% damage over 8 seconds”. Grasp of the Dead ticks for 20% weapon damage based on attack speed, whereas Locust Swarm is unaffected by attack speed and will not increase in damage if your attack speed increases. As a result, if you use a lot of +Attack Speed gear, you have to be careful about what skills you use.
+Armor. Armor reduces the amount of damage you take from all attacks, both physical and spells. Armor is not something you really go out of your way as a Witch Doctor to get though; if you want extra armor, put on a shield.
+Resistances. The Witch Doctor already gets a lot of resistance from magic due to its high intelligence rating. Getting a bit of extra resistance from gear can make you practically immune to magic.
+Gold/Magic Find. These stats will not help you level faster, but will help you get extra gold and equipment. You should get these when you can as they will help you get more items and gold. Both stats are useful, though many players seem to seek Magic Find over Gold Find.
Monster Kills Grant Bonus Experience. This stat actually helps you level significantly faster if you get it at an appropriate item budget. It will not do much for you if you have significantly out-leveled the piece of equipment you found it on.
Damage Dealt is Converted to Life. You will want to grab at least a few percentage points of this by higher levels if you can; the Witch Doctor has a lot of damage output but very little escapes aside from its pets. Having a way to regenerate health over time is very useful for the Witch Doctor.

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