They laughed at her. They pointed fingers, pulled their children away and whispered in the streets. They burned her home and drove her from the village. She got even. Flame, shadow, disease and frost. These are the tools of the mighty witch and she wields them with a reckless power she can barely control. Though she may look frail and delicate, do not underestimate her. Many have, and they are counted among the burned and withered corpses in her wake.
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.
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 as of 2.1.1d
Witches can specialise into one of these three Ascendancy classes:
Text and Speech
The Witch is voiced by New Zealand comedienne, Heidi O'Loughlin.
"They were right to fear me. If only they had listened to their cowardice. Had they not taken my home with fire, I would not have taken their children.
Now I am banished to Wraeclast. I've heard the dark rumours... seen the terror in other exiles' eyes. But to me one land is like any other. The elements are my allies, the dead are my servants, and fear will be my closest friend."
Selecting the Witch during Character Creation:
"Why do the keen of mind seek to satiate their curiosity in Darkness and Depravity? Innocence is our Father, Oriath our Mother. When a Daughter strays away from the Light, she makes herself an Orphan. Learn well the lessons of Wraeclast will teach you, Witch. It is your only hope of finding your way home." -- High Templar Dominus
Achieving Level 2: "And I thought I'd be a dead woman by now."
Achieving Level 3: "To learn is to live."
Achieving Level 5: "I think this Wraeclast will serve."
Achieving Level 10: "Fate smiles with sharp teeth."
Achieving Level 15: "I barely recognize myself."
Achieving Level 20: "The very land heeds to my command."
Achieving Level 30: "I no longer need fear; destiny has seen to that."
On the Twilight Strand: "The very sand shivers with malice. There is a power here that welcomes me."
On the Coast: "I know that stench. Just like my sisters...upon the pyre."
On the Lower Prison: "I'd rather burn than call such a place home."
On the Ship Graveyard: "The sirens appear to be dining well."
On the South Forest: "It's nice to see, that there is still some life in this twitching corpse of a continent."
On the Chamber of Sins: "The air here stinks of thaumaturgy. I could learn a thing or two here."
On the Warehouse Sewers: "Sad creatures in dark corners, seems they've been sad for a very long time."
On the Solaris Temple: "I'd LOVE to see the inside of this spell -- I can't abide housework."
On the Lunaris Temple: "You either master Nightmare, or it masters you."
On the Sceptre of God: "Remember Dominus, what goes up must come down."
Upon entering the Aquaduct: That water just reeks of corruption. Let's see where it leads."
Upon entering the Dried Lake: [sarcastically] "How do I keep ending up in such lovely places?"
On the Mines Level 1: "Yes, little mountain. I'm pleased to see you too."
On the Mines Level 2: "I think it likes me."
On the Dried Lake: "How do I keep ending up in such lovely places?"
Having killed Voll: "Thaumaturgy just keeps getting the better of you, doesn't it Voll?"
After freeing Deshret: "There are so many more trapped spirits in this place. I can feel them."
On the Crystal Veins: "Don't be frightened little mountain. It'll all be over soon."
Having killed Daresso: "I'm sorry to have to break this to you, Daresso, but... she's not real."
On Kaom's Dream: "So this is what the inside of a Karui king's head looks like. I hope they're not all like this."
Having killed King Kaom: "Now that's what you get for losing your temper, Kaom."
On the Belly of the Beast Level 1: "It's not every day you get a walk into a living, breathing nightmare."
Upon entering the Crematorium: "When you build something like this, you make persecution a way of life."
Having killed the Hungry Corpse: "The dead will soon rise for me, not against me."
Having killed Brutus: "Had you been my creation, brute, you would not have fallen so easily."
Having killed Fairgraves: "...and that's how you die properly, sailor boy: no half measures, thank you."
Having killed Merveil: "Poor fishwife. 'Twas love that did this to you."
Having killed Alira: "You missed a valuable lesson, Sister: Never let the power go to your head."
Having killed Kraityn: "It's kind of disappointing, really... I usually like rats."
Having killed Oak: "This land has no time for avaricious little despots like you, Oak."
Having killed the Vaal Oversoul: "A pity... I feel we could've been friends."
Having killed General Gravicius: "You wanted me burned back in Oriath. That wasn't very nice."
Having beaten Piety in Lunaris Temple: "I loved your work, Piety; it was you I wasn't very fond of."
Having killed Dominus: "No one will cry for you, Dominus. Not a soul."
Having killed Kaom: "Now that's what you get for losing your temper, Kaom!"
Upon trying to drop a quest item: "This item whispers of destiny."
Upon trying to use a skill in town: "That would just make life complicated."
Occasionally upon killing a rare mob:
- "Oops, clumsy me!"
- "Everything dies!"
- "I like you better this way!"
- "Life is short, deal with it!"
Full inventory: "Too. Much. Clutter."
Not enough Intelligence: "I'm perplexed about that one."
Not enough Strength: "I've not the muscle for that."
Not enough Dexterity: "I'll need to be more lithe for that."
Having unsealed the darkness: "Hm. How fascinating."
Having freed Deshret: "So many trapped spirits in this place... I can feel them."
General Gravicius, to the Witch: "I shall purify you in flame, whore of nightmare!"
Dominus, to the Witch: "You'd bite the master that called you here, Witch?"
Unique NPC Dialogue
Bestel's Introduction: "A waifish waterlogged witch washed up in Wraeclast. That's the first line in a poem I'm writing about you, exile. Easy, girl. You could scorch a bloke with a look like that. The name's Bestel, captain of the good ship 'Merry Gull'. Alas, my Merry Gull is gone. My crew is gone. But my wits remain... after a fashion."
Nessa's Introduction: "I saw what you did to Hillock out there, Witch. Your black art is the reason you're here, in exile. It may also be the only thing that allows you to see another dawn. I'm Nessa, and I suppose I should thank you for ridding us of that putrid giant. Back in Oriath I judged your kind without hesitation, in Wraeclast, I don't have that luxury."
Grigor's Introduction: "Come no closer, Witch. I've had my fill of your kind. So, once you've finished admiring your sisterhood's handiwork, turn those icy orbs of yours eastward. A copper-headed lass and her boy-mate. They're missing, and might be in need of your more 'useful' talents."
Piety in The Warden's Chamber: "Ignorance brought you here, sister. To the one place where your talents are free to grow and be truly feared."
Piety closing the Thaumetic Seal: "This is for your own good, sister!"
Act 4 Dialogue
On the Aqueduct: "That water just reeks of corruption. Let's see where it comes from."
"I have seen the look in Piety's eyes. I see the look in your eyes, Witch. It is not as different as I had hoped. No matter. The knife in your hand is better than the spear in the rack."
Petarus and Vanja's Introduction:
"Vanja: You are most welcome here, sister. What you did back there in Sarn, it was truly...
Petarus: ...terrifying. Don't get me wrong. Pietty, the rest, they had it coming. But there's no-one like that here. These Maraketh, they're good people.
Vanja: She know that! Please, sister, ignore Petarus."
"I stare into the eyes of madness, Witch. I see a hunger for power that Nightmare would most generously satiate, should you choose to ask it."
"You come to us, a woman like us, and yet nothing like us.
While we cloak ourselves in tradition and war, you cloak yourself in thaumaturgy and fear, and that is why you will kill the Beast within the mountain. Lady Dialla has told me this.
She has much faith in you, Witch. The question is... can we Maraketh share in her faith?"
Piety, the Abomination, in the Belly of the Beast: "Be happy for me, sister. It's not often we get to erase our failures."
Piety, the Abomination, after being defeated: "Our mistakes can be our greatest achievements."
Piety, after being restored:
"That's twice I've underestimated you, sister. Twice now that your talents have proved to exceed even mine. So it looks like you'll be the one to finish what I so blindly started.
Part of me wishes I'd died at your feet as intended. The little girl within me that shies from darkness, from greatness."
On the Harvest: "It seems I've underestimated Piety. Good! I like surprises."
Having killed Doedre: "Oh, Doedre. We witches have to have some standards."
Having killed Maligaro: "I hate to be critical, but... I've seen better."
Having killed Shavronne: "After Brutus, I'm glad I won't be seeing any more of your work."
Piety, about to open the Black Core:
"You've have come such a long way since we first met in Axiom prison. I was that close to snuffing you out, then and there, sister.
But now look at us! Working together to destroy the greatest terror that Wraeclast has ever known. If I were the crying type, it'd bring a tear to my eye."
Malachai's introduction: "I have been expecting you, Witch. You and I are about to create the most beautiful of Nightmares together. Will you go to bed now, little girl? Or do I need to tuck you in?"
Piety, after being killed by Malachai: "This is what I get for trying to be a bloody hero. Who'd have thought you'd be so suited to the role? I was convinced I'd made a fatal mistake in sparing your life in Axiom Prison. Fatal, yes, but a mistake? No. Go now, sister. It's up to you to teach Malachai the true definition of Nightmare."
Replying to Piety: "I hope he doesn't listen, Piety. That'll make it even more fun!"
Having killed Malachai: "Poor Malachai, you were so frightened of Death, weren't you. Now the two of you can get better acquainted. It's really not so bad once you get to know it."
Kira after Malachai's death:
"What cannot be understood should be feared. It is the first rule that a child learns.
There is no shame in my saying this: I fear you, Witch."
Petarus and Vanja after Malachai's death:
"Petarus: It's obvious to everyone now.
Vanja: There is no-one like you, Witch.
Petarus: The Beast learned that the hard way...
Vanja: ...and the whole of Wraeclast will learn about it, one way or another.
Petarus: So, I guess this is the happily-ever-after they promised us when we were kids, right, Vanja?
Vanja: For us, for Wraeclast... maybe. What about you, sister? Do you even know what that looks like for you?
Petarus: There's plenty of happiness to go around now.
Vanja: You deserve a piece of it."
Tasuni after Malachai's death:
"I knew you would embrace the darkness, Witch. What I couldn't know is that you would squeeze the very life from it. I honestly didn't think you had that much love in you.
Now one thing remains to be seen. Where will love take you next? Wherever it be, whatever it be, I pity it. Your regard, your touch, your embrace... can mean only doom for the loved.
So choose your loves wisely, Witch. Wraeclast may have much to thank you for, but it still has much to weep for."
Lady Dialla after Malachai's death:
"The little girl walked into a dark, dark cave. The little girl met a dark, dark Beast. The little girl ate its dark, dark heart.
My Malachai is dead. I knew it, felt it, understood it the moment you struck the final blow. I am, I was... The Gemling Queen, and now my King is dead."