Fifth Class Feature is Witch Doctor!
Witch Doctor was given a hearty introduction with my first build in the Compendium, using the Zunimassa Set that gives +2 to Witch Doctor and makes Tiki Warriors quasi-permanent pets. Sadly, before D3’s ultimate update that introduced the Kanai’s Cube, the Zunimassa Set was the only way to get +All Skills in Witch Doctor, which is a shame since Witch Doctor is a heavy, heavy skill-point hungry Mastery, and that’s true whether or not you make a pet build with it. Witch Doctor has multiple buffs, a passive to help with Energy Regeneration, 2 flat RR abilities - one for Elemental RR that gives Damage reduction and the other a standard RR ability, stackable RR that only unlocks when you have 12/12 invested in it and usually needs more than that for the uptime to match the cooldown, and Pierce the Veil- the great offensive buff featured in the Zunimassa build that grants an amazing Damage and OA boost in exchange for a massive Energy Drain that requires you to build around it. Thankfully, there are plenty of classes that grant passive Energy Regeneration and the devotion Harp - and if you need even more than that, Tree of Life - is a universal way to keep your passive Energy at manageable levels when in the heat of battle.
Let’s dive into the abilities themselves: Burning Dogs is largely invested because 16/16 increases the number of Dogs summoned from 3 to 4, and unlike most pet abilities, they are all summoned at once. A neat strategy with this is that if you see any of the Dogs weakened, direct them towards a target and re-summon all of them to pile on their Sacrifice damage. The damage is Physical, so you have to find a way to convert that damage, whether it be Cold through Winter King Sword, Elemental with Zunimassa + Black Pearl Rings, or Acid when FG comes out and you have access to Ghol’s Malice set. You can summon even more Burning Dogs by killing enemies with Grasp of the Dead, but that requires heavy investment in Hybrid gameplay, and the Dog’s mainly Physical damage does not sync well with Grasp of the Dead’s Poison / Vitality damage. Gargantuan has a Poison cloud when you invest 16/16 in it, and Tall Man’s Finger ring + Kunai Relic allows you to summon multiple Gargantuans at once. Tikis are usable even without the Zunimassa Set, but they are then used as a temporary pet similar to Conjure Primal Spirit.
Even if you don’t like looking for pet Stats, player-scaled Witch Doctors can summon multiple pets thanks to the Jade Harvester Set and its emphasis on Soul Harvest. The second node of Soul Harvest is the afore-mentioned flat RR ability, and the last node lets you summon Cold / Vitality pets if you kill enemies with the ability. Additionally, Corpse Spiders are also player-scaled, and you can summon many spiders to swarm the field as long as you have reasonable cooldown reduction. Phantasmal Blast and its second node are low in damage, but amazing for proccing devotion abilities due to the split projectiles. Mass Paranoia is a long uptime + long cooldown ability that grants Fire, Cold, Poison and Vitality stackable RR. Lastly, it’s hard to mention Witch Doctor without promoting its great survivability. Walk the Plane is a Mirror-like invincibility ability that grants a small heal when you soft-cap the skill, and Spirit Vessel is a circuit breaker that heals you for half your health when you reach 30% Health. Overall, Witch Doctor is a great class that’s slightly hampered by the sheer number of skill points and +skill bonuses that are required to make its abilities worth it, but amazing when you pair it with a less-hungry Mastery that helps with more RR capability.
For those who are tired of seeing Pet stats and want to see builds that whack enemies on their own volition, Witch Doctor is the last of my class features that focus on summoning. With the exception of one unrevealed pet build, all builds after this class feature will emphasize on good old-fashioned no-nonsense player-focused builds. There will still be pets, as is the nature of my compendium, but they will all scale with player damage, so you don’t have to go out of your way to build around them, for when they benefit, you benefit as well.