The damage output of this build is so brutal and beyond comparison it boggles the mind.
It will take you higher (in mp levels) than you thought was possible.
It offers incredible survival and control as well.
Lets examine the abilities:
Grasp of the Dead (GotD) - Unbreakable Grasp
80% aoe slow and 320% weapon damage over 8 seconds.
This rune is set in stone, it is your source of control and one of the cornerstones of this build.
Locust Swarm (LS) - Pestilence
360% weapon damage over 8 seconds, with 100% chance to jump to 2 additional targets.
One of my favorite abilities since release have been Locust swarm.
While Pestilence damage on it's own may seem low compared to Searing Locust,
the synergy it gives with the overlaping and quick spread is another key to this build.
Acid Cloud (AC) - Lob Blob Bomb
115% initial weapon damage, the acid on the ground forms into a slime that irradiates nearby enemies for 250% weapon damage as Poison over 5 seconds.
Now this rune is not set in stone.
But I prefer it since the slimes stack up to 3 times.
Zombie Charger (ZB) - Zombie Bears
708% weapon damage in a roaring stampede of poisonous AoE death.
The undisputed champion of damage abilities.
Soul Harvest (SH) - Vengeful Spirit
230% weapon damage with 16 yards Area of Effect,
in addition granting 650 intellect for 30 seconds.
A very effective direct heal when using Life Steal.
Spirit Walk (SW) - Honored Guest
General "Oh !@#$!" button and 30% Mana fail safe.
2% Health and Mana gained per enemy that dies within 8 yards + any additional pickup range, while also granting 1 second cooldown reduction to all abilities.
This is another key ability for this build, and any fast pace farming build,
as it lowers the cooldown of SW.
This is also the main source of mana regen vs trash mobs so pickup range is very important.
Health Globes grant 10% Mana and 10% increased Intelligence bonus for 5 sec, stacks 5 times.
Massive damage buff and one of your main Mana sources.
15% of Mana cost is paid in Health, 1% of maximum Health regenerated per second.
By far my favorite passive ability, I use it in pretty much every build.
The Life Regeneration from this ability is extremely usefull vs Reflect Damage packs.
How and why this build works:
First of all you're not reliant on any long cooldowns or pets.
You control the flow of the fight and dictate the range, even with elites.
Your aim is to keep all 3 DoTs active and then release the bears.
Lets examine the gameplay sequence:
First priority should always be 5 stacks of SH.
GotD -> LS -> AC -> ZB
GotD and LS both have a long duration but AC needs to be refreshed every 3 seconds.
With all 3 DoTs active you have 135% weapon damage per second!
Assuming you'd have 1 attack per second, with bears this adds up to 843% weapon damage per second at it's peak.
Now consider that all of these abilities are AoE.
But that's not all folks!
The most amazing part of this build, and where it truly shines, is vs Reflect Damage packs.
AC's LoH coefficient is widely known to be amazing, where as GotD is overlooked becasue of it's fairly low damage and coefficient.
Same goes for LS since, (as far as I know), it only procs LoH when it spreads to a new target.
However when combining all 3 the health return is unbelievable, it lets you trample down Reflect packs with bears without breaking a sweat.
1k+ Life on Hit, Life Steal, 800+ unbuffed Physical Resist and 4k armor.
As you may imagine this is an extremely Mana intense build.
I recommend 4 set Zunimassa (with offhand), Ceremonial Knife and Voodoo Mask with Mana Regen.
Your passive Mana Regen dictates how far you can take this build in terms of MP level.
150k+ unbuffed damage and 100+ Mana Regen lets you play MP6 as if it was MP1.
Link to the Build for the lazy: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#RfUZdh!TYc!ZcZaca
MP8 gameplay footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP0L1a_AZFI 3:40