Hello, GOSU players! Today we are going to talk about one of the strongest supports of the recent patch, who will for sure stay in the meta for a long time. Welcome - Witch Doctor.
Table of contents
Role in the game
Witch Doctor is a ranged intelligence hero, who is very strong in the lane and becomes even stronger in the early and mid-stages of the game.
Witch Doctor often played in a hard support position, however, he became fairly popular in soft support positions as well, especially in professional matches. In some rare situations, you may use Witch Doctor as an offlaner or as a midlaner.
The purpose of Witch Doctor in the game is to ensure victory in the lane and later improve the killing potential of his team. Paralyzing Cask makes him very useful in team fights, while Maledict allows him to be a very good counter to heroes with high amounts of health.
Paralyzing Cask is a very annoying stun, which bounces between enemies and both enemy and neutral units. On the bounce, it stuns heroes for a 1 second and units for 5 seconds. As you can imagine, it makes WD a very good counter to heroes like Chen or Beastmaster.
Voodoo Restoration is a strong, yet lesser popular spell of Witch Doctor. On toggle, the ability activates healing around Witch Doctor, which regenerates the health of all allied units around WD. The spell helps the Witch Doctor to improve the sustainability of his team.
Maledict applies a curse de-buff in a small AoE, which deals damage over time as well as deals damage every four seconds based on the amount of health your opponents have lost since the curse has begun. Your goal is to use this spell at the very beginning of the fight and watch your opponents suffer from it.
Death Ward is a channeled ability, which summons an attacking ward. The ward deals physical damage, so you can improve its damage with the help of Solar Crest or Assault Cuirass. The ward will initially attack the nearest targets, but you can control the ward by selecting it and forcing it to attack the desired target with the help of ‘A + click’.
You can improve the Death Ward with Aghanim’s Scepter. It is going to make the ward bounce its attacks from enemy to enemy.
At the beginning of the game, your goal is to get yourself as many consumables as possible to ensure a victory in the lane. You should get yourself two sets of Tangoes, a Healing Salve, two Enchanted Mangoes, a Faerie Fire, an Iron Branch, and a Clarity. This amount of consumables is going to allow you to out-harass your opponents and ensure a free farm for your carry.
Your basic items for the early-game are Arcane Boots, Magic Wand, and a Wind Lance. However, in case you have a very good start, it is always a great idea to go for Urn of Shadows and Spirit Vessel right afterward. The item is also very good to make versus heroes with a high amount of healing, such as Huskar or Morphling.
In the mid-game disassemble Arcane Boots and use Energy Booster to complete Aether Lens. Go for Glimmer Cape afterward. These two items are going to improve your survivability and allow you to use your spells a lot more effectively.
In the late-game, you will have to purchase an Aghanim’s Scepter, a Blink Dagger, and a Scythe of Vyse. In case you play against powerful initiators, it is always a good idea to go for Aeon Disk. If you play against lots of magical damage and disables, Black King Bar is going to become your first go-to item in the late-game.
Witch Doctor has a good attack range and great attack animation. It allows him to be very useful and effective in the lane. Try to always hit your opponents during the laning stage and be always ready to use Cask and Maledict on them to set up a killing attempt. Do everything possible to secure a victory in the lane and ensure a free farm for your carry. If necessary, bring additional consumables, make pulls, and secure Bounty Runes.
In the early game, you can start moving around the map in order to kill enemy heroes. Prioritize ganking the less mobile enemy heroes. Since you do not have a permanent stun, it is going to be very hard to kill very mobile heroes, such as Void Spirit or Ember Spirit. In order to kill such heroes, you need to cooperate with allied heroes, who have disables.
Positioning is a key for Witch Doctor to win games. Use Fog of War to your advantage. Hide behind trees and cast your spells from there. Your goal in the fight is to use Paralyzing Cask, follow it up with Maledict and then cast Death Ward for as long as possible.
Allies and counters
Witch Doctor is a powerful counter to heroes with units, such as Chen, Beastmaster, or Lycan. Maledict makes him great against heroes with a high amount of health.
Witch Doctor can have troubles laning against Batrider but it really depends on his carry. Witch Doctor is a support, who you can safely pick at the beginning of the draft and not be afraid of any potential counter picks, as he barely has any.