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I have a been trying to solo farm Iskatu for experience to get my levels up to a point where playing Hell is less "squishy". For some reason I am not finding the right build for the Witch Doctor to make killing him alone on Nightmare with the templar effective.

I have been using this build which is nice in doing passive damage but is not effective on the higher levels. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aZUdjT!ZVW!aYZaYZ

What is the most effective build for killing this boss that places an emphasis on speed to complete specifically for the Witch Doctor? How does this build change when you fight him on Hell vs Nightmare.

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fwiw I've found the beginning area in act 3 (light the beacons quest) is still the fastest experience, even faster than iskatu runs over and over –  z - Jul 27 '12 at 11:17
    
For the record, gargantuan is not really a good spell. Once the monsters start getting "vampiric", they will heal pretty fast killing the gargantuan, to the point of making them impossible to kill as long as you keep respawn the creature. –  Shahbaz Jul 29 '12 at 16:01
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In my experience as a witch doctor it is best to aoe away all the small shadow demons and "slowly" chip away at Iskatus health in the process. I made you a new skilltree:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#hSUdiP!ZVW!aaaZaa

Here is the reasoning behind the spells:

  • Firebomb (Flash Fire): You deal damage to Iskatu and remove extra shadow creatures that stand around him.
  • Locust Swarm (Pestilence): Spreading the locust across all enemies will get rid of them rather easily. Plus you do not really benefit from "Grasp of the Dead" since you don't want to kite enemies in this build.
  • Spirit Walk (Jaunt): That's a no-brainer. If Iskatu is close to you you pop Spirit Walk to make yourself immune. The rune adds more time to that which is always a plus.
  • Soul Harvest (Siphon): To increase your damage obviously. But the healing rune is more preverable since you will mostly stay at one spot and take a few hits, which you can now heal.
  • Acid Cloud (Acid Rain): When the room is full of small enemies with little health: AOE all the way.
  • Fetish Army (Fetish Ambush): When the Situation gets slightly out of hand a Fetish Army will do you more good than a giant. Plus they do good amounts of damage on Iskatu should they get to him (rather unlikely due to the adds). If you high level enough I would take the (Legion of Dagger) rune instead. More staby.

If you are level 60 and you fight him in hell I would change the Locust Swarm with Zombie Charger (Zombie Bears). As well as the Acid Cloud to Mass Confusion (Mass Halluzination). Also the Jungle Fortitude passive becomes a Vision Quest. This setup allows you to keep 4 spells on cooldown at all times, thus giving you huge amounts of mana to summon these high burst damage AOE bears every few seconds. This allows you to clear out the area around you at all times and when Iskatu gets close to you he is toast.

If your equipment isn't that great yet or has mainly offensive stats I would keep Jungle Fortitude and give away Pierce the Veil instead, especially since this gives you even more mana for bears.

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I won't add an answer because, frankly, this is a sort of non-constructive question (no correct answer), but I use(d) locust swarm, the gargantuan pet and zombie wall (in addition to the soul and spirit you suggest) for most of the way up to lvl60. I also used the passive skill which boosts int with orbs. If you drop a zombie wall to stall the swarms, pop soul harvest, and grab any orbs that drop, you will probably have 5 stacks of +int, plus the soul harvest. Your dps goes through the roof, and with aoe and pets, this translates to huge damage. –  horatio Jul 27 '12 at 15:43
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Also: the OP should look into enabling the game option "elective mode" which allows one to place any skill into any slot, at least for the really difficult times where (s)he is struggling and can't find the right mix of skills to make it through. –  horatio Jul 27 '12 at 15:44
    
@Warba I think it also helps greatly to fight while positioning yourself at one of the corners since you'll at least have one of your sides covered. This is easy when you're playing single, harder to coordinate with more people :) –  Fabio Kenji Jul 29 '12 at 13:03
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I have read almost all the weird and intricate ways players are playing the Witch Doctor with the spectre run and whatever else. Thought I would share my simple works.

Gargantuan is a must, which one you prefer is up to you. Personally the stun is too useful as it saves your team dps. The rage version also very good. Next I prefer firebomb but with the last rune to blast a larger area. This means everything in a 9 yard or so radius is taking dmg from centre out every shot.

Now I have come to use the grasp a lot with the extra slowing feature. Really allows for great crowd control slowing everything down especially in frantic modes plus more AoE. Next we throw in either a Manituo Phantasm or acid whatever you prefer. To finish I always have my little healing voodoo. He has a super quick summon, almost 3k dart every second to health. Plus regularly minimises an enemy including elites.

Again I took to the strategy in mind that the doctor curses and plays the field. I leave single shots to the Hunters and the bangs and whooshs to the Wizards. I am literally controlling the field, slowly halting and smashing out the AoE. Get good enough loot, 100k buyouts will get you sufficient. Int, Res all crucial.

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This method works great for the budget witch doctor:

Run around (make sure the WD has boots that grant at least 10% speed increase) till Iskatu appears. Then attack viciously and run off. Repeat this hit-and-run and Iskatu will eventually succumb.

Nightmare:

Hell:

Have fun :)

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