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Witch doctors are a type of savage that populates the continent of Aegrus. Visually they are distinguished from other savages by their particularly large, decorated mask and glowing staff.
Witch doctors are a much more significant threat than other types of savages, both in terms of overall health as well as their forms of attack. Witch Doctors are also capable of supporting other savages with special abilities, including healing them and directly increasing their level.
Witch Doctors come in Shock, Incendiary and Slag varieties, each carrying inherent abilities based on their element type. There are also Paralyzing Witch Doctors, which can stop characters in their tracks, and Vampire/Chupacabra Witch Doctors, which can drain characters' shields and health to heal themselves. Because of their dangerous ability, Vampire/Chupacabra Witch Doctors should be immediately killed on sight to better ensure survival.
Witch doctors have a wide variety of attacks, as well as a number of support abilities. All of their attacks conform to their element alignment.
- Staff Blast: Releases a moderate-damage projectile from the glowing tip of the staff. Often used rapidly in succession. This ability is used by Fire, Shock, and Slag Witch Doctors, and they will use it when damaged.
- Staff Beam: An ability which is triggered by close proximity. Does constant damage to targets within range, and can strike multiple targets at once. This ability is exclusive to Shock Witch Doctors.
- Drain Life: This is a variant of Staff Beam which is only used by Vampire Witch Doctors. In addition to dealing damage, the beam will also rapidly heal the witch doctor.
- Level Up: Increases the level of any nearby savages within a certain radius. This effect is permanent, and is accompanied by a "violin strike" noise. Witch doctors may also heal themselves while doing this. All Witch Doctors will perform this.
- Living Tornado: Surrounds himself with a whirling tornado, moving quickly across the battlefield and causing damage to any targets it comes in contact with. Elemental witch doctors generate elementally charged tornadoes, and Vampire Witch Doctors surround themselves in a whirling vortex of bats. While in this state he is difficult to kill with most weapons, although a lucky shot might still penetrate the vortex, and because the witch doctor spams a multitude of melee attacks in this form spike shields have a devastating effect on them. However, a Vault Hunter who gets cornered by a Witch Doctor in this state will sustain extremely heavy damage.
- Debuff: Applies an unspecified "debuff" to a target. This attack is indicated by a tight "swirl" effect surrounding the target. Killing a witch doctor in the process of causing a debuff will stop the effect.
- Draw In: Paralysing Witch Doctors have the ability to pull targets towards them. This is often paired with other attacks to deal light-to-moderate damage rapidly.
- Phaselock Resistance: Witch doctors are resistant to phaselock, being locked down for less than a second. All Witch Doctors have this ability. However, the Phaselock action skill can be used to interrupt a Witch Doctor performing any of the above abilities, except "Staff Beam" which is a constant attack triggered by close proximity.
- According to Borderlands 2 producer James Lopez, Witch Doctors were specifically designed to provide a more significant challenge to the player.