Witch Doctor/Guide

From Dota 2 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Witch Doctor minimap icon.png Witch Doctor is a strong support that scales well throughout the game. He can easily disrupt opponents with Paralyzing Cask during team fights if they happened to be grouped up. Voodoo Restoration is an useful ability that can heal allies and help with pushing. Maledict can potentially do large amounts of damage if enemies aren't careful. If well positioned, he can change the flow of battle with his Death Ward. However, he is relatively fragile, and Death Ward is a channeled ability, making him vulnerable to disables.
Pros Cons
  • Ultimate is very damaging with a short cooldown.
  • Maledict can be very damaging if used correctly.
  • Paralyzing Cask can stun enemies for long amounts of time if they're grouped together.
  • Is very fragile.
  • Death Ward is a channeled ability.
  • Maledict is hard to use efficiently.


Ability Builds[edit]

Build 1
Paralyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngMaledict icon.pngTalent icon.pngMaledict icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngTalent icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngUnknown icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Build 2
Paralyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngMaledict icon.pngTalent icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngTalent icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngUnknown icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Build 3
Paralyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngMaledict icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngMaledict icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngMaledict icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngParalyzing Cask icon.pngTalent icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngTalent icon.pngVoodoo Restoration icon.pngUnknown icon.pngDeath Ward icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png


Hero Talents
+60 Unknown Unit icon.png Death Ward Damage25+1.2% Max Health Voodoo Restoration
+15% Maledict Burst Damage20+100 Unknown Unit icon.png Death Ward Attack Range
+80 Maledict AoE15+2 Cask Bounces
+5 Armor10+60 Damage
  • This attack damage talent is added as raw attack damage, so it does not benefit illusions, and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.

Tips & Tactics[edit]


  • Witch Doctor is great with Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger for quick positioning as it allows you to blink in between trees and on top of cliffs to channel Death Ward safely. Also, it makes up for the short casting range of Maledict.
  • It can be a good idea to build a Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade and use it exactly after casting Death Ward. Activating Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade does not interrupt Death Ward's channeling and makes it harder for the enemy team to interrupt your channeling. However, be cautious about enemies buying Dust of Appearance, Gem of True Sight, Necronomicon, or AoE stuns such as Warlock's Chaotic Offering.
    • Alternatively you can save gold by simply buying the Shadow Amulet alone. During the 1.5 second fade time you are able to issue any orders without hindering the invisibility from occurring. This is easily achieved with the double tap to cast on self option. When you are ready to place the ward, double tap the hotkey for your amulet, as you are about to fade place the Death Ward. Soon after, you turn invisible while still channeling the spell. It is best to practice this technique with Maledict before attempting in a proper fight.
  • Consider getting an Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence as it combined with Maledict can bring any damage done to the affected enemy to massive proportions.
  • The Witch Doctor's early game damage and utility from Paralyzing Cask and Maledict are extremely strong in the laning phase. Consider skipping points in Voodoo Restoration until you reach level 10 to maximize lane pressure and damage output. Having Maledict at maximum level as soon as possible allows you to pull off shorter duration Death Wards to secure important kills.


Paralyzing Cask[edit]

  • Paralyzing Cask can be used to continuously stun two heroes with 200 distance to each other.
  • Paralyzing Cask is most effective when there are just two enemies close together. Under ideal conditions you can stun two enemies for up to 4 seconds each with this ability.
  • Paralyzing Cask stuns jungle creeps for five seconds, allowing the Witch Doctor to jungle effectively from around level 7 onwards. This is especially useful if you are falling behind or need to speed up a key item such as your Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar or Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter.
  • Paralyzing Cask stuns units in the fog of war, meaning if you use a high enough level Cask on foes near jungle camps, there is a good chance it will bounce back to your enemies.

Voodoo Restoration[edit]

  • At level 1, Voodoo Restoration is one of the most efficient AoE heals in the game based on mana-spent-per-health-gained. It is often a good idea to invest a single point into this ability during early laning and then max it later after your other abilities once you have the mana regen to support the higher cost.
  • If there is a Rubick minimap icon.png Rubick on the enemy team, keep in mind that you can cast Voodoo Restoration even while channeling, which prevents him from stealing Death Ward.
  • If you plan to pick up an early level in Voodoo Restoration, it is often more effective to buy additional Clarity Potions instead of a set of Tangos or a Healing Salve.


  • Casting Maledict on opponents often immediately forces them to retreat for fear of taking crippling damage while under its effects. You can use this to make enemies flee who would otherwise easily kill you or your allies. If they do not flee, then at best they're trading themselves for you.
  • Maledict is a very weak and expensive spell at level 1, and its damage only starts to kick in once you get it to at least level 2 or 3. In very early game fights, do not worry about landing a level 1 Maledict unless you're sure you can curse multiple enemies or you have enough burst to follow up.

Death Ward[edit]

  • Casting Death Ward from a hidden position such as the trees, or uphill in the fog, makes it much harder to disrupt.
  • Try to wait on casting Death Ward in teamfights until the enemies have already used some of their stuns, making it less likely that you will be interrupted.
  • Death Ward is an extremely effective spell against carries that typically rely on spell immunity to stay relevant in teamfights, such as Luna minimap icon.png Luna, Gyrocopter minimap icon.png Gyrocopter, Lifestealer minimap icon.png Lifestealer, Sven minimap icon.png Sven, or Dragon Knight minimap icon.png Dragon Knight.
  • Although Death Ward is easily interrupted, it is an effective zoning tool in teamfights that either draw immediate attention from foes with important crowd control spells or forces enemies to retreat from the area which the Death Ward resides in.


Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango sustains health so Witch Doctor can stay in lane.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve also restores health.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity sustains mana for Witch Doctor to use abilities.
  • Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier ferries items to allies.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward provides vision that may prevent enemy ganks or catch enemies when they are off guard.

Early game:

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand is good for burst healing and mana while providing bonus attributes compared to the Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick.
  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots provides Witch Doctor with an increased mana pool, as well as the ability to supply himself and nearby allies with mana.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape can also be a good item which grants invisibility while casting Death Ward. Good support item which can be cast on allies/self while in danger.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll is 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.

Late game:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png 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 minimap icon.png Tidehunter, Faceless Void minimap icon.png Faceless Void, or Enigma minimap icon.png Enigma, which will prevent enemy heroes from breaking Witch Doctor's channeling. In addition, it also provides True Strike for Death Ward. allowing Witch Doctor to counter enemies who rely on evasion such as Windranger minimap icon.png Windranger and Phantom Assassin minimap icon.png Phantom Assassin.

Situational items:

  • Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel lets Witch Doctor keep allies healthy in combination with Voodoo Restoration, and the percentage-based damage is devastating with Maledict.
  • Medallion of Courage icon.png 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.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png 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.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png 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 icon.png Black King Bar provides Witch Doctor with an increase to his low health pool, as well as spell immunity, preventing most enemies from cancelling your ultimate.
  • Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere is a useful item for Witch Doctor for the same reason as Black King Bar icon.png 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.