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The Witch is Path of Exile's pure Intelligence class, making her an unmatched master of the elemental and dark arts. She wields the power of raw magic to decimate her foes from a distance. Her tremendous will surrounds her with a shimmering barrier against physical and magical attacks, a barrier that must first be pierced before the Witch herself is vulnerable. In addition to pure damage-based magic, the Witch can also cripple and kill her enemies with curses and diseases. She is a leery friend, and a dangerous enemy.
The armours associated with the Witch's intelligence are circlets, robes, fabric gloves, slippers/boots, and spirit shields, and her typical weapon is Wands.
In general a Witch can be a very dangerous class, but also quite difficult to build. There are effectively 4 separate subclasses of Witch based on what passives/skills you focus on:
Fire Witch: The Fire skills are typically focused on dealing raw damage, both through direct effects and Damage Over Time.
Lightning Witch: Lightning skills are also typically focused on dealing raw damage, both through direct effects and a Shock effect that makes subsequent hits to a shocked target more damaging.
Ice Witch: The Ice skills are more defensive in nature. They won't necessarily do as much damage over time as Fire or Lightning, but many of them can Chill or Freeze opponents either slowing them down or stopping them entirely, making it easy for the Witch to avoid damage, and MANY of them are AoE.
Summoner: This relates to a focus on summoning and enhancing Minions, which the blue passive skill sector has a large number of buffs for. This can be fairly effective in PvE but has proven extremely weak in PvP, as the minions have extremely predictable and avoidable movements and are very vulnerable to classes with decent AoE attacks (like other Witches of other builds).
It would be best to choose and focus into only one of the above builds, so that you can get very powerful skills instead of a mix of weak ones. Quite a number of the available passives only affect a single element, or only Minions.
Defensively, the Witch with a pure Energy Shield focus surprisingly has one of the most effective defenses; while Evasion and Armour only work for physical attacks, Energy Shield works for absolutely everything except Chaos damage and there are even items that can prevent that; it can even protect against damage from Traps such as those found in the Labyrinth. The Energy Shield regenerates on a percentage-over-time basis, which means a large Energy Shield can regenerate a very large raw point value over time. If a Witch can avoid damage for only a couple of seconds they effectively get a very large free heal.
There are a couple of skills that are extremely useful no matter how you build a Witch, and are well worth considering:
- Clarity: This reservation-cheap Aura combined with a couple of Mana Regeneration passives or equipment pieces will give you such a strong mana regeneration you won't need to wear Mana Flasks, letting you constantly cast spells and saving up some Flask slots for healing or buff ones
- Purity of Elements: Another reservation-cheap Aura easily useable simultaneously with Clarity that can give good resists to every Element, which is particularly useful once you start taking permanent debuffs to them through the campaign.
|Damage per second||3.5|
|Chance to hit||83%|
|Attacks per second*||1.2|
|Main hand total combined damage||2-5|
|Main hand physical damage||2-5|
|Main hand accuracy rating||28|
|Main hand critical strike damage multiplier*||150%|
|Physical damage reduction per endurance charge*||4%|
|Additional elemental reduction per endurance charge*||4%|
|Attack speed increase per frenzy charge*||4%|
|Cast speed increase per frenzy charge*||4%|
|Damage modifier per frenzy charge*||4% more|
|Critical strike chance increase per power charge*||50%|
|Chance to evade*||32%|
|Mana regen per second||1|
- Same for all classes
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