by: Aaron R.
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Of all the special infected in Left 4 Dead 2, the witch is one of the more interesting. She can be a benign nuisance or a really deadly trap. If you know what to do or know how to "Cr0wn" a witch, then you'll be all set. Otherwise, you need to be ready for some violent deaths.
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Introduction - Left 4 Dead 2: Witch
The witch is back for Left 4 Dead 2. This trap is ready to carve up unsuspecting survivors in both campaign play and versus. She has a few new tricks up her sleeve this time though so you'll need to be ready. Read on about the Left 4 Dead 2 Witch.
Besides the old tricks, there are now wandering witches that just love to move into tight hallways and bump into you. Our guide for Left 4 Dead 2 Special Infected covers her well. The only relief is that the flashlight no long triggers the witch. It does make you more visible to the witch, but shining the flashlight on her will not trigger an attack anymore.
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Left 4 Dead 2 - Campaign
The witch is pretty simple. She's a very dangerous trap that the AI director just loves to drop in your path. It actually looks like the AI director gets mad if you kill or avoid witches for awhile, and will start to spawn them in unavoidable spots. Then again, it's the AI director, so who really knows for sure. It is also quite random for the most part. You'll sometimes find witches all through a level or jammed in the safe room door. Other times you'll only see one in an entire campaign.
A few maps do have limitations on the AI director. The big one is the sugar mill in Hard Rain though. Witches supposedly like the smell of sugar, so there are a ton of them spread through the mill. There's a special achievement for not triggering any of these witches (Sob Story). That level can be a real nightmare for new players.
The witch has one main attack. Once she's startled, she's make a rush for the player who scared her. If she reaches him and slashes, then that player will be incapacitated. In expert and realism modes, it will be a death blow. This makes the witch one of the most dangerous special infected that you will face. A very simple mistake with a crown will led to a quick death.
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Left 4 Dead 2 - Versus
Nothing much changes for the survivors for a witch in versus mode. They tend to be more rare in versus, although you'll probably run into one every few games. The only trick is being a little smarter. The witch is not a playable infected character for versus mode. If the infected team has at least one brain amongst them, then they will try to get you to set the witch off.
There are a few favorite tactics. Naturally I suggest all of the following as good strategies for when you play as the infected.
Jockeys can try to steer a survivor into a witch, although your teammates would practically have to be asleep to let this happen.
The smoker is much more of a danger. He can stand behind the witch and effectively use her as a shield. Survivors will need to be pretty quick with some very well aimed shots to keep the smoker from pulling someone into the witch. If someone does get smoked, shoot the the tongue or bash the survivor. Firing at the smoker will probably just make sure that the witch comes for you.
The boomer is also quite useful for witches at choke points. If the survivors set off a boomer next to a witch, it will still startle her. If she's fairly close to the main path, it will also let you stand around in plain sight and taunt them. You can even vomit on them without much of a chance of retribution.
Any other special infected character can also use the witch as a shield. You'd be shocked at how many survivors will try to snipe a crouched spitter with a shotgun. Even experienced players get careless and take risky shots without thinking about the stray rounds.
Once the witch has been triggered the infected should try to stir up some chaos. That will keep them from covering the downed survivor. If played well, with a good boom or spit, it should be enough to kill a whole team. If you want more information on good versus tactics, then check out our guide for playing the infected in versus.
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Left 4 Dead 2 - Avoiding the Witch
Avoiding a witch is fairly easy in Left 4 Dead 2, especially since flashlights aren't as big of a deal. If you see a witch in your path, you need to turn your flashlight off and give it as wide of a berth as possible. In general, you just have to be smart. Switch to melee weapons or watch your fire really closely. A stray hit will get you killed. Don't panic and make sure that any new players know what to do.
If you can't get past her, then you'll have to kill her. This is actually somewhat common, especially if the director feels very cruel. Thankfully, you can crown/cr0wn a witch and kill her without any negative side effects.
Witches are actually pretty easy to kill once you've gotten used to it. I suggest you practice a little bit though, so that you don't embarrass yourself online.
Note that setting her on fire will not really work. She'll just get mad and chase down whoever did it. It is sometimes possible to play a little game of tag with her if you have two people with the incendiary rounds. That's not as effective as it once was though. She is not a tank. Setting her on fire is a terrible idea and should not ever be done. She could practically run across the entire map before she burned to death.
You can just shoot her a whole bunch. If a full team does a firing squad you might be able to take her down quickly. If you have long range weapons, then it isn't too hard. It's quite easy with explosive ammo though. The frag rounds will keep knocking her back and you'll have all the time you need to gun her down. Obviously this can go wrong if you don't have good weapons or if you're an inaccurate person. We cover the best weapons in this Left 4 Dead 2 Weapon Guide.
Note that if you plan to go this route, make sure that the person with the lowest health fires the round that startles her. They'll only be downed if it doesn't work.
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Left 4 Dead 2 - Crowning a Witch
Here's the grand finale of the article. How to crown a witch in Left 4 Dead 2. It's surprisingly simple and ridiculously useful for anyone who wants to play for long.
The secret to this is just sneaking up behind her. If you have your flashlight turned off, then you should be able to get right behind her or at least right next to her. A pump action shotgun will work but you have to hit her with the entire blast. If just one pellet misses, then it won't do enough damage to take her down. If you're using the pump action, then you also won't have enough time to rack up another shot. The auto shotgun actually makes this fairly easy. You can squeeze off several shots and take her down easy.
Note that you don't necessarily have to get a headshot. In fact, you might want to shoot her in the back since it's a much larger target and usually a sure hit. It's easy to hit a wandering witch in the back. A stationary witch can be made to stand up by getting close and triggering an agitated state.
Melee weapons are also an option for this. Two solid hits from any melee weapon should kill the witch. So two quick hits or two players simultaneously attacking can kill the witch with a little luck.
This is about everything you need to know about Witches in Left 4 Dead. You should be able to handle them just fine.