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-dependant 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.
 Recommended items
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Early: Boots as always. A magic stick is always helpful for burst-healing on delicate support heroes. A bracer provides cheap effective survivability. Witch Doctor is a support hero and should always be providing wards for his team.
Core: Phase Boots assist Witch Doctor's positioning since many of his spells are short range and he is fragile.
Situational: Flying Courier should be bought if one is required. Scythe of Vyse gives you an instant disable and plenty of mana. Black King Bar functions well with your ultimate to prevent you being interrupted. Shiva's Guard is a good pickup if the enemy has many rightclick-based heroes. Bloodstone lets Witch Doctor keep his Voodoo Restoration up for much longer. Dagon can be very effective combined with Maledict if it is picked up early enough in the game. Aghanim's Scepter allows Death Ward to damage the entire enemy team, though it is recommended mostly if you are paired with large initiation stuns or slows such as Sandking, Tide Hunter, Faceless Void, or Enigma.
- Try to wait on casting Death Ward in teamfights until the enemies have already used some of their stuns, making it less likely you will be interrupted.
- Casting Death Ward from a hidden position such as the trees, or uphill in the fog, makes it much harder to disrupt.
- At rank 1, Voodoo Restoration is the most efficient form of AoE healing in the game based on mana-spent-per-hitpoints-gained. It is often a good idea to invest a single point into this skill during early laning and then max it later after your other abilities once you have the mana regen to support the higher cost.
- 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 skill.
- Casting Maledict on opponents will often immediately force 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.
- Witch Doctor is rarely called "The Walking Fountain", referring to his support skills Voodoo Restoration and Death Ward.
- The Witch Doctor will sometimes say "Pills here!", referencing Left 4 Dead, another game made by Valve.
- Witch Doctor's original name was Vol'jin, a reference to the character from the Warcraft universe.
- Vol'jin is the warchief of the Darkspear tribe, where the playable race of trolls in World of Warcraft originate. 
- Witch Doctor's fun name in DotA was Moose, taken from the player DL.Moose who played the Witch Doctor.
 Update history
- Fixed Paralyzing Cask bouncing off of couriers.
- Fixed Paralyzing Casks not bouncing between Magic Immune enemies (doesn't stun them, but doesn't cause the bouncing to end prematurely).
- Fixed Death Ward not bouncing on magic immune enemies.
- Added healing overhead messages for Mekansm, Chen, Lifestealer, Necrolyte, and Witch Doctor.
- Fixed Death Ward projectile speed being too slow.
- Fixed Voodoo Restoration toggle proccing Essense Aura (could exploit to go to full mana).
- Fixed Paralyzing Casks deciding late as to which unit it will bounce to next (it would decide after its bounce delay, instead of before).
- Added alternate attack animations for Witch Doctor and Beastmaster.
- Witch Doctor will now express his frustration when performing a terrible malediction.
- [Undocumented] Updated icon for Witch Doctor.
- Fixed Paralyzing Casks stun lasting 5 seconds on Roshan.
- Fixed Paralyzing Casks bounce delay.
- Fixed Maledict not being applied on magic immune enemies.
- Paralysing cask is now delayed correctly before it bounces to it's next target.
- Moving Cask speed back to what it was before.
- Fixed some Paralyzing Casks speed issues.
- Sphere will eat Witch Doctor's Cask entirely.
- Cask is now dodgable by blinks.
- Implemented Witch Doctor's Ultimate Scepter.
- Fixed Chain Frost and Paralyzing Cask such that they now bounce correctly when their target unit dies/dodges.
- Fixed Paralyzing Casks going to hidden units.
 Balance changelog
- Death Ward
- Aghanim's upgrade changed from 3 target split attack to 5 target bounce.
- Multi attack bounce AoE increased from 550 to 650.
- Cooldown decreased from 90 to 80.
- Maledict bonus damage per 100 lost HP rescaled from 10/20/30/40 to 16/24/32/40.
- Death Ward attack cooldown decreased from 0.3 to 0.25.
- Paralyzing Cask first bounce no longer stuns for additional duration, it now lasts the same as all the bounces.
- Voodoo Restoration mana cost per second from 6/9/12/15 to 8/14/20/26.
- Paralyzing Cask now deals 50 damage to heroes on each bounce.
- Voodoo Restoration initial activation manacost reduced from 50/75/100/125 to 25/50/75/100.
- Paralyzing Cask manacost rescaled from 140 to 110/120/130/140.
- Increased base Intelligence from 19 to 24 (base damage adjust to remain the same though).
- Voodoo Restoration no longer triggers Essence Aura.
- Voodoo Restoration stats reworked.
- Voodoo Restoration changed to heal over a smoother interval (same total regen).
- Maledict area of effect increased by 15.
- Paralyzing Cask initial projectile speed and effect modified.
 See also