Zharvakko, the Witch Doctor, is a ranged intelligence hero who can take on the role of a support or a ganker. A master of voodoo curses and healing arts, he possesses several positioning-dependent crowd control/damage spells as well as a heal that scales well into the late game. Maledict is one of the most powerful damaging spells in the game, and is fittingly enough quite hard to hit properly - but when applied at the right time, Malediction can curse someone to suffer a slow, humiliating death as they limp back towards safety. Paralyzing Cask is a somewhat-unreliable stun that requires multiple enemies to bounce between to be effective, but can provide a barrage of stuns to the enemy team if they are grouped together. Death Ward has the potential to be one of the most damaging ultimates in the game as long as he is able to channel the spell uninterrupted.
|Zharvakko, the Witch Doctor|
|Play "Malpractice makes perfect."|
|Role:||Support / Nuker / Disabler|
|Lore:||A wiry silhouette hitches forward—uneven of feature and limb, bizarre of gait, relentlessly criss-crossing the battlefield in search of that vital weak point where his talents can do most good, and most harm. Whether broken or mismade it is not clear, but still, none can doubt the power carried in his twisted physique. A long staff thumps the earth as the Witch Doctor advances, deploying a terrifying arsenal of fetishes, hexes and spells. It is a body of magical knowledge learned over several lifetimes in the island highlands of Prefectura, now wielded with precise accuracy against his enemies. Witch Doctor is your best friend, or your worst enemy--healing allies and laying waste to all who oppose him.|
|Voice:||Tom Chantler (Responses)|
- The cask travels at a speed of 1000 and cannot be disjointed.
- The projectile bounces in 0.3 second intervals.
- Can bounce on the same unit multiple times, but only when another target was hit between the bounces.
- Cannot bounce on invisible, invulnerable or hidden units, but can bounce on units in the Fog of War.
- Can deal up to 150/300/500/750 ( 225/400/625/900) (100/150/200/250 ( 150/200/250/300) to heroes) damage to a single unit (before reductions).
- All bounces together can deal up to 225/500/875/1350 ( 375/700/1125/1650) (150/250/350/450 ( 250/350/450/550) to heroes) damage (before reductions).
- The toggling of Voodoo Restoration is not registered as a spell cast and thus does not proc any on-cast effects.
- Voodoo Restoration does not interrupt channeling spells upon toggling.
- Disabling Witch Doctor does not turn Voodoo Restoration off. However, he cannot turn it off himself while disabled either.
- Heals for 5.28/7.92/10.56/13.2 ( 11.88/14.52/17.16/19.8) health and costs 2.64/3.96/5.28/6.6 mana in 0.33 second intervals, starting 0.33 seconds after toggled on.
- The heal is provided by an aura. Its buff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
- Checks the affected units' current health 4 times, once as the curse is applied, and then every 4 seconds for the duration.
- The burst damage is entirely based on the difference between the hero's current health and its health as the curse got applied.
- This means the bigger the difference of current health and health upon receiving the debuff gets, the more damage the bursts do.
- Vice versa, the lower the difference gets, the lower is the damage of the bursts, so getting healed during it reduces its damage.
- It also means it does not matter how affected units lose health, as it directly compares its health values, not damage values.
- This is how much of the lost health is re-dealt as damage by the curse, depending on when the health was lost during the curse on each level (before reductions):
- 0–3.9 Seconds: 56.09%/90.66%/130%/174.4%
- 3.9–7.9 Seconds: 34.56%/53.76%/74.24%/96%
- 7.9–11.9 Seconds: 16%/24%/32%/40%
- Deals its own damage in 1 second intervals, starting 1 second after the debuff is applied, resulting in 12 damage instances.
- Together with the bursts, it deals a total of 15 damage instances.
- The bursts happen 0.1 seconds before each 4th damage tick, so the bursts happen after the 3rd, 7th, and 11th damage tick.
- With no other sources of health loss or heals, Maledict can deal up to 109.9/249.6/423.1/634.8 damage to a unit (before reductions).
- The Death Ward automatically attacks enemy heroes within its attack range, using default auto-attack rules.
- It is possible to manually give the ward an attack target by just right-clicking an enemy hero in range.
- Giving an attack order while having Witch Doctor and the ward selected, does not cause the channeling to be canceled.
- It is also possible to stop the ward from attacking by ordering it to stop (only works when the auto-attack option is turned off).
- The damage source is the ward itself, meaning certain on-damage effects react on the ward rather than on Witch Doctor (e.g. Blade Mail).
- The primary attack can be disjointed and can miss, doing so prevents the projectile from bouncing. Cannot miss when upgraded.
- However, after having bounced at least once, it can no longer miss, but can still be disjointed.
- When disjointed, it does continue to bounce and can even bounce back to the disjointing hero.
- Does not bounce on invisible units or units in the Fog of War. One projectile can never hit the same unit twice.
- With its 0.22 second attack rate, it can attack up to 36 times. With the bounces added by Aghanim's Scepter, it can deal 180 damage instances.
- With the current attack rate and damage, it can deal up to 272.7/477.3/681.8 damage per second to a single hero.
- Can deal up to 2160/3780/5400 damage to a single hero (before reductions).
- When all attacks and bounces hit, it can deal up to 2160/3780/5400 ( 10800/18900/27000) damage (before reductions).
- Death Ward's attack damage is not reduced by Damage Block.
- Provides 1200/800 range ground vision for 5 seconds at its location after the channeling stops.
|+20 Voodoo Restoration Heal||25||+175 Death Ward Attack Range|
|+15% Magic Resistance||20||+8 Armor|
|+2 Cask Bounces||15||+90 Damage|
|+25% XP Gain||10||+200 Health|
- Upgrading health increases maximum health capacity and keeps the current health percentage.
- The armor and attack damage are added as bonus armor and bonus attack damage, and therefore do not benefit illusions.
- The magic resistance stacks multiplicatively with other sources of magic resistance.
- Tango, Clarity and Healing Salve are all regeneration items such and are strong choices to stay in the lane.
- Gauntlets of Strength gives Witch Doctor extra health for survivability, and can later be upgraded to a Bracer.
- Animal Courier is a good choice for Witch Doctor as he is a support and is not heavily item-dependent.
- Magic Stick is a useful health/mana restoring item if the enemies in lane are casting many spells. It can later be built into a Magic Wand.
- Boots of Speed give a speed boost, offering better escape and catch-up. They can later be built into Arcane Boots.
- Bracer provides extra attributes that can help keep Witch Doctor alive in fights.
- Magic Wand is good for burst healing and mana while providing bonus attributes compared to the Magic Stick.
- Arcane Boots provides Witch Doctor with an increased mana pool, as well as the ability to supply himself and nearby allies with mana.
- Aghanim's Scepter allows Death Ward to deal more damage, as well as the ability to bounce between each nearby enemy. This allows for far greater damage output, though it is most effective when you are paired with large initiation stuns such as Tidehunter, Faceless Void, or Enigma. This prevents enemy heroes from breaking Witch Doctor's channeling.
- Observer Ward are a good choice for Witch Doctor as he is played primarily as a support. The vision provided by wards has the potential to prevent enemy ganks or catch enemies when they are off guard.
- Town Portal Scroll are essential for cross-map transportation. TP scrolls allow Witch Doctor to return to lane quicker after a death, meaning he misses out on less experience in the lane. They can also be used to quickly jump into a fight or defend a tower in a different lane.
- Medallion of Courage is a cheap item which reduces an enemy target's armor. Since Death Ward deals physical damage, using the Medallion of Courage on a low armor hero greatly increases the damage dealt by your ultimate.
- Scythe of Vyse gives Witch Doctor a large increase to his mana pool, as well as additional attributes and the ability to hex an enemy target. The ability to disable an important enemy target is crucial in the late game.
- Black King Bar provided Witch Doctor with an increase to his low health pool, as well as the ability to become magic immune. This prevents most enemies from cancelling your ultimate.
- Shiva's Guard allows Witch Doctor to slow and deal additional damage in a team fight, as well as provide an increase to his mana pool and armor. It should be noted that the active ability can be used during your ultimate.
- Bloodstone allows Witch Doctor to use Voodoo Restoration for much longer. With enough Bloodstone charges, the Bloodstone regenerates more mana than the ability consumes.
- Dagon is an effective damage dealing weapon for Witch Doctor if there is an important target that needs to be focused on the enemy team. It also synergizes well with Maledict, applying a large amount of bonus damage if the enemy does not heal immediately afterwards.
- Linken's Sphere is a useful item for Witch Doctor for the same reason as Black King Bar. While it only prevents one single target stun, its cooldown is much shorter and can be used on priority allies to increase their survivability.
- Flying Courier can be bought after the 3:00 minute mark. Being a support hero, Witch Doctor should purchase it as soon as possible (assuming no other Flying Couriers have been purchased).
- Rod of Atos can be good as pickup item for Witch doctor support. It helps root enemy heroes as well on casting Death Ward while rooted.
- Glimmer Cape can also be a good item which grants invisibility while casting Death Ward. Good support item which can be casted on allies/self while in danger.
- Witch Doctor is sometimes called "The Walking Fountain", referring to his support abilities Voodoo Restoration and Death Ward.
- Witch Doctor's last hit response Play "Pills here!" is a reference to Left 4 Dead, another title from Valve, where the players can notify the other survivors that they found pills. The survivors would say "Pills here" upon finding some.
- Witch Doctor's original name in DotA was Vol'jin, a reference to the character from the Warcraft universe. Vol'Jin is the warchief of the playable race, the Trolls. 
- Witch Doctor's fun name in DotA was Moose, taken from the player DL.Moose who played the Witch Doctor.
- His dying line Play "Bad medicine.." is likely a reference to Bon Jovi's popular old classic Bad Medicine.
- The line Play "Ask not for whom the spell tolls." is a reference to John Donne's poem "Meditation XVII".
- It could also be a reference to the thrash metal Group Metallica, with their song For Whom the Bell Tolls