Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


5 Votes

[7.00] Sclipzers Guide to Witch Doctor

January 7, 2017 by Sclipzer
Comments: 5    |    Views: 49315    |   

Build 1
Build 2

My build (Support #4)

DotA2 Hero: Witch Doctor

Purchase Order


Early Game (Pick 2-3)

Core (Pick 2-3)

Ult Upgrades (Optional but recommended)




Hero Skills

Paralyzing Cask

2 3 5 7

Voodoo Restoration

1 13 14 16 17


4 8 9 11

Death Ward

6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

+1.5% Max Health Voodoo Restoration
+75 Death Ward Damage
+1 Maledict Tick
+125 Death Ward Attack Range
+2 Cask Bounces
+120 Gold/Min
+6 Armor
+75 Damage


Welcome to my second guide. This guide is about
Witch Doctor, a powerful ganker and support.
He can ruin the enemy teams with his spells and he's a walking fountain with his AoE heal.

He can stun multiple enemies, he has a powerful DoT and a sick ultimate.

Pros / Cons

+ Can easily get first blood.
+ Can heal the carry with Voodoo Restoration
+ Has a really powerful ultimate, Death Ward
+ Powerful stun with Paralyzing Cask
+ Powerful DoT that scales well with Maledict
+ Powerful ganker

- Squishy
- His ult can easily be avoided.
- Did i mention that he's squishy?
- His stun is useless if there's big waves of creeps nearby.
- His ult is channeled, he can get stunned.
- Dependent on his team

Picking WD

When to pick

+ When you need a powerful ganker and support
+ When you need a #4 Hero.
+ When you need an offlane or a safelane support
+ When your team have some carries that can inflict huge damage.

When not to pick

- When your team needs an initiator
- When your team already has 2 supports
- When your team needs a tank

Good to know.

(If you're an experienced player, skip this section)

Sheepstick = Scythe of Vyse
Ultstick. = Aghanim's Scepter
Ult = Ultimate (R spell)
WD = Witch Doctor (Seriously you should already know that)
AoE = Area of Effect spells. Stuns or deals damage in an area.
DoT = Damage over Time spells.
BkB = Black King Bar
UAM = Unique attack modifiers


He is a ranged support hero capable of ganking but he lacks health and an escape.

Tank 1/5
Nuker 3/5
Escape 1/5
Disabler 2/5
Pusher 1/5
Jungler 1/5
Carry 1/5
Support 4/5
Ganker 4/5

Remember: You're a support, you're supposed to pull camps, ward and defend the carry at all cost. If you have to, die for the carry. The carry is way more important than you. And the golden rule: NEVER STEAL FARM!!!


Paralyzing Cask

This is a powerful but unreliable stun.
It bounces between enemies, damaging and stunning them. It bounces 2/4/6/8 times.

Dmg/bounce: 50
Bounces: 2/4/6/8
Stun duration: 1s


If there's only two enemy heroes nearby you can stun them both for many seconds with cask.

It deals a small amount of damage with every bounce.

Voodoo Restoration

This is a good earlygame heal. It also has an small AoE. I always put an early point in it to keep myself alive. Remember that it drains alot of mana.

Why do I put a point in it?
Most people skip this until lvl 10, but I think that it can save you and your carry if used right.

Drains alot of mana early game.
The heal and the AoE is somewhat small.


This is a powerful lategame spell. It deals DoT and the damage increases if the enemies affected are taking more damage. Once every 4 seconds it deals extra damage based on how much damage the enemy has already taken from maledict but also from other spells and heroes, making it scale extremely well into lategame..

Duration: 12s
Burst delay: 4s

This spell has a very short range and the AoE of the spell is very small.
When combined with other attacks the burst damage can be devastating. (Just think about Maledict + Black Hole + Echo Slam = WOOHOO!)

Death Ward

This is WDs ult. It deals sick physical damage to enemies in the wards range. It's channeled for up to 8 seconds and it deals at lvl 3 around 150+ dmg per projectile from the ward, and it shoots extremely fast.

Ultstick upgrade makes the projectiles bounce between enemies.
Black King Bar is really recommended if the enemies have stuns.
Try to use it after your other spells to deal as much damage as possible.


Level 10: +20% XP Gain is very good. You could get the 200 HP bonus, but being able to level up faster is much more important for WD imo.

Level 15: Why would you even get +75 DMG? WD is a support, not a carry. -35s respawn time allows you to always be able to fight.

Level 20: This one is completely optional. If the enemy team is full of spellcasters pick the MR bonus. If not, pick the +8 armor.

Level 25: Also optional, but in 90% of the time i'd pick the extra range of my death ward.

Skillbuild (My build)

I usually max Cask first. Maledict is 2nd and voodoo restoration is 3rd.

-> -> ->

This is the order they're maxed in, NOT their priority order.

Cask is maxed first so you can gank and defend yourself early on. 8 bounces of stuns is no joke. 1 point in voodoo restoration is enough in the laning phase.

1 Voodoo Restoration
2 Paralyzing Cask
3 Paralyzing Cask
4 Maledict
5 Paralyzing Cask
6 Death Ward
7 Paralyzing Cask
8 Maledict
9 Maledict
10 Maledict
11 Death Ward
12 Voodoo Restoration
13 Voodoo Restoration
14 Voodoo Restoration
15 Stats
16 Death Ward
17-25 Stats

The ganker build is a bit different.
In this build you skip the early point in his heal to max his stun and Maledict earlier.


WD doesn't need very many items but some items can be useful. Try to build utility mostly.

Start: (My build)
Double Tangos
Gauntlets of Strength
Healing Salve
Observer Ward
Iron Branch (Can be skipped for a Clarity potion.

The starting build i use. The gaunlets gives you some much needed survivability and there's alot of healing in this build. Share some Tangos if your carries need some. You can do that by using Ctrl + the button you have for the tangos.

Early Game:
Arcane Boots

Bracer gives you survivability and the boots allows you to spam your skills.

Midgame Core:

Urn of Shadows
Magic Wand
Aghanim's Scepter
Drums of endurance

You should only pick up Mekansm if no-one else in your team is building it. Get a magic wand if the enemies are spamming spells alot or if there's heroes like Bloodseeker that spam short duration spells on themselves. Aghanim's Scepter (Ultstick) can really increase your damage output. Urn is good if noone else in your team is getting it and you're getting invovled in ganks. Bloodstone allows you to leave your heal on. The drums are just good.

Scythe of Vyse
Guardian Greaves
Vladmirs Offering

Sheepstick is always good on int heroes, no exception with WD. Guardian greaves is a cheap upgrade from Arcane and Mekansm.
Vlad's is good if there's alot of melee carries on your team. Otherwisr, if you haven't bought them yet, buy the ult upgrade optionals.

Ult Upgrading:
Black King Bar
Aghanim's Scepter

BkB lets you do your ult without getting stunned and ultstick upgrades your ult. The ultstick upgrade is... It's not that awesome but... It's not bad at all. The damaging projectiles now bounce a few times between enemies and can 4x the damage if they're grouped closely together.

Ghost Scepter
Gem of True Sight
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Force Staff
Shadow Blade

Ghost Scepter: To defend yourself against Juggernaut and his nasty Omnislash.
GoTS: Against invisible heroes like Riki.
Eul's: Against silence heroes.
Force Staff: Escape.
Shadow Blade: Another escape.

Ability Shortcuts

This chapter is about the keyboard and the buttons. The standard Dota buttons are bad. I recommend changing them to something comfortable. I use:
Spell 1,2,3 and Ult = Q W E R
Spell 5 and 6. = F G
Items 1,2,3,4,5 & 6 = 1 2 3 4 5 6
Select Hero. = Spacebar
Select all creeps. = A
Select all units. = S
Stop movement/halt. = V
Courier call, boost = F3 and F4
Quickbuy items. = F5
Select skill upgrade= C
Upgrade stats. = X
View K/D/A and lvl. = P
Deny towers/creeps. = D
Swap between micro. = TAB

I also use quickcast on some items and spells.

Ability W and Ult (And ability Q, depending on hero)
Items 1, 2 and 3

And I always got some items in some specific slots:

Tangos, 1. Mangos, 2 or shields. Healing salve, 3. Clarity, 4. Boots, 6.

Lifesaving items (Mekansm, blink dagger and magic wand) = 2
Non-active boots and tread = 6
Phase boots = 2 or 4 or 6.
Town Portal Scrolls = 3, always. Also includes BoT.
Force Staff = 4
Disables or 2nd lifesaver = 1
Dagons = 1 or 2.
Passives = 4, 5 or 6
Ultstick = 5
UAMs = Any free slot

Counters, Friends and Food.

Anyone with burst damage, silences or immunities is your counter.

You counter...(Food)

Death ward kills Huskar really fast. Terrorblade is also killed easily and if he got only 1 illusion you can cask them to stun them for a long time. (Similar to Lich's ultimate.)

Heroes you work well with: (Friends)

You work well with heroes that can benefit from your stun, keep enemies close to your ward and that can hit maledicted enemies hard to boost the damage.
Warlock can be really helpful thanks to Fatal Bonds, Upheaval and chaotic offerings. Fatal Bonds + Ultstick will increase the damage output of your ult to insane levels. Upheaval will make it hard for enemies to leave the range of your deathward and... The stun of chaotic offerings and the golem will give you a few seconds to channel safely and distract the enemies.


Witch Doctor is a very powerful support. If anyone got some good tips or some counters then tell me by commenting or sending a pm! And remember to adapt to the situation. The skillbuild and the items are you my opinion so if there's something that you don't like just don't buy it or skill it when you're playing.


March 2016 v4 (Latest): More items and other small fixes.
March 2016 v3: Cleaned up the items section and completed the Ganker build.
March 2016 v2: Changed nearly everything and added icons, counters and much more.
12 March 2016 v1: Guide was created.

More counters.
More description of the ganker build.
More formatting
Update the ganker build to 7.00

Quick Comment (4) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides

Witch Doctor

Find Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (4) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved