Witch Doctors are among the many types of Savage that populate the continent of Aegrus. They can be distinguished from other Savages by their shorter, more hunched stature, their larger, more ornate masks, and their glowing bodies and staves.
There are six different types of Witch Doctor, each with their own inherent abilities:
- Slag Witch Doctor - the most limited variety of Witch Doctor in terms of abilities, making them the least dangerous. Slag Witch Doctors do not use beam attacks and do not turn into tornadoes. They are only capable of shooting slag projectiles from their staff.
- Burning Witch Doctor - slightly more dangerous than Slag Witch Doctors. They do not use beam attacks, but they can turn into a fire tornado and shoot fire projectiles from their staff.
- Shock Witch Doctor - utilize the same attacks as Burning Witch Doctors though with the shock element applied instead. They are more dangerous than Burning Witch Doctors as well, as any Vault Hunter or barrel that is within melee range to the Shock Witch Doctor will have a shock tether attached to them, dealing constant damage until they leave close proximity. The only time this tether will not appear is when the Witch Doctor is a tornado.
- Crippling Witch Doctor - these Witch Doctors are less dangerous overall when they are alone, though they are incredibly dangerous amongst a group of Savages, as many of their attacks drastically impede mobility for several seconds, allowing the other Savages more opportunities of attack. They are capable of shooting projectiles from their staff, and can also use a long-lasting beam that reduces movement speed. Rather than turning into a tornado, they turn into a black hole to pull nearby Vault Hunters back toward them, dealing damage upon contact.
- Vampire Witch Doctor - notably more dangerous than most other types of Witch Doctor, some of the Vampire Witch Doctor's attacks steal life directly from Vault Hunters, healing themselves in the process. They can shoot projectiles from their staff (that only damage and do not steal health) and shoot a highly damaging beam from their staff (which rapidly heals the Witch Doctor). Rather than becoming a tornado, Vampire Witch Doctors become a swirling vortex of vampire bats.
- Badass Witch Doctor - notably much rarer than all other Witch Doctor types, and by far the most dangerous, Badass Witch Doctors can utilize the abilities of multiple other Witch Doctor types. Their projectiles cause slag damage, their beam attacks drain health to heal themselves, and they are capable of turning into either a black hole or a tornado.
In addition to their many dangerous forms of attack, it is often wise to eliminate the Witch Doctor among a group of Savages as quickly as possible due to the support capabilities they provide to their fellow Savages. If a Witch Doctor raises both hands, performs a small hop, and has a glowing aura appear at their feet, it is heralding an ability that regenerates the health of the Witch Doctor, and instantly fully heals and levels up all nearby Savages, turning them into more dangerous versions in the process. Killing the Witch Doctor does not reverse this process.
Like other elementally charged enemies, the elemental varieties of Witch Doctor are highly resistant and nearly immune to damage from their own elemental type. When they are a tornado/black hole/swarm of bats, they are completely immune to bullet contact damage, though it is still possible to damage them through splash damage or, if they are afflicted by one, elemental damage over time.
All Witch Doctors are highly resistant to Maya's Phaselock, reducing the duration of the Phaselock down to less than a second, no matter what. However, despite this negligible time, it can still be highly useful, as Phaselock will turn them back into a Witch Doctor from a tornado/black hole/swarm of bats and if timed correctly, will interrupt their support abilities and prevent nearby Savages from healing and leveling up.
- The name changes for each type of Witch Doctor for each game mode, Normal > True Vault Hunter > Ultimate Vault Hunter, is as follows:
- Burning Witch Doctor > Devil Witch Doctor > Demon Witch Doctor
- Crippling Witch Doctor > Paralyzing Witch Doctor > Neutralizing Witch Doctor
- Shock Witch Doctor > Lightning Witch Doctor > Electrified Witch Doctor
- Slag Witch Doctor > Infected Witch Doctor > Diseased Witch Doctor
- Vampire Witch Doctor > Chupacabra Witch Doctor > Blood Witch Doctor
- Badass Witch Doctor > Super Badass Witch Doctor > Ultimate Badass Witch Doctor.
- Vampire Witch Doctors are occasionally prone to glitch and stay as a swarm of bats indefinitely, becoming nearly impossible to damage. Whilst this does prevent the Vampire Witch Doctor from leveling up nearby Savages, it also means that the Witch Doctor is much more dangerous as it moves reasonably fast and will not stop following Vault Hunters and causing damage on contact. The only way to make them turn back into a Witch Doctor if this occurs is to Phaselock them as Maya.
- Witch Doctors were first officially revealed alongside Savages in a 20 minute gameplay preview of Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt published on YouTube prior to its release.
- According to Borderlands 2 producer James Lopez, Witch Doctors were specifically designed to provide a more significant challenge to the player.