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Witch Doctor Build with The Jade Harvester Set (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Jul 29, 2015 at 21:56 by Deadset 41 comments

Table of Contents

Patch 2.4 marks the return of Raiment of the Jade Harvester as one of the top tier Witch Doctor playstyles. This bursty, melee range spellcaster playstyle is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Locust Swarm Icon Locust Swarm Pestilence Pestilence Right Mouse Button Haunt Icon Haunt Resentful Spirits Resentful Spirits 1 Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest Languish Languish 2 Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk Jaunt Jaunt 3 Piranhas Icon Piranhas Piranhado Piranhado 4 Horrify Icon Horrify Frightening Aspect Frightening Aspect
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Summon Zombie Dogs Icon Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts Leeching Beasts Right Mouse Button Haunt Icon Haunt Resentful Spirits Resentful Spirits 1 Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest Languish Languish 2 Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk Severance Severance 3 Piranhas Icon Piranhas Piranhado Piranhado 4 Horrify Icon Horrify Stalker Stalker
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

3. Rotation

The combat strategy of the Jade Witch Doctor opens battles by casting Piranhado Piranhado to clump your enemies and apply the Piranhas Piranhas debuff, amplifying the damage of the skills to follow. Cast a single Locust Swarm Locust Swarm, and as it spreads start applying Haunt Haunt on the enemy until all combatants are affected. Then dive into the fray with Spirit Walk Spirit Walk and activate a devastating Soul Harvest Soul Harvest, consuming the active DoTs. Getting used to the short 16-yard range of Soul Harvest Soul Harvest and timing it with a proc of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements is a skill acquired over time, but once you do, it will be to a devastating result. In Greater Rifts the enemies grow exceptionally tough, so protecting yourself with Horrify Horrify will also become part of the rotation. Always keep in mind that Soul Harvest Soul Harvest does not consume the entire length of the DoT, but a 150 seconds worth of it per cast. It will take you multiple Soul Harvest Soul Harvests to fully deplete the DoTs, so manage your Mana and focus on Haunt Haunting the enemy, rather than spamming Locust Swarm Locust Swarms.

4. Skills, Runes and Passives

Soul Harvest Soul Harvest is the primary damage dealer of the build. While a utility skill by default, it takes on the role of a nuke with the 6-piece bonus of the Jade set, which allows you to consume the active DoTs on the enemies at once when you use Soul Harvest Soul Harvest. Due to the 4-piece bonus of the Jade Harvester set, you will be receiving the benefits of all runes at once, so you can base your pick according to your Haunt Haunt element of choice: Languish Languish if you go Cold with Resentful Spirits Resentful Spirits, or Swallow Your Soul Swallow Your Soul if you go Poison with Poisoned Spirit Poisoned Spirit. Whichever you pick, you will still receive the Mana from Swallow Your Soul Swallow Your Soul, the life from Siphon Siphon, the armor from Languish Languish, the movement speed from Soul to Waste Soul to Waste, and some additional damage from Vengeful Spirit Vengeful Spirit. While Soul Harvest Soul Harvest will be frequently reset from the 4-piece bonus as you spam Haunt Haunt and Locust Swarm Locust Swarm, it is important to get at least one cast off during the appropriate elemental rotation of your Convention of Elements Convention of Elements.

There are two major DoTs to be consumed, out of four in total.

Haunt Haunt is the strongest one, with an impressive 4000% weapon damage. Cheap with its 50 Mana cost, lengthened by the Creeping Death Creeping Death passive and consuming 60 seconds worth of the DoT at once with the Jade 2-piece set bonus, it is an obvious fit for the playstyle. Depending on your preferences, you can go for a Cold or Poison variation of the build. The Cold rune Resentful Spirits Resentful Spirits spreads the DoT twice as effectively, and is a great soloing choice due to its better Mana management; it is also highly recommended for speedfarming. The Poison rune Poisoned Spirit Poisoned Spirit adds a 20% additive damage bonus against affected enemies, applied to the entire party, making it a better grouping choice. Note that the remainder of the guide assumes you take Resentful Spirits Resentful Spirits, so adjust elemental damage rolls to Poison if you plan on using Poisoned Spirit Poisoned Spirit. Regardless of your choice, constant Haunt Haunt spam will be required to reset Soul Harvest Soul Harvest.

Second in the DoT hierarchy is Locust Swarm Locust Swarm, with respectable 1040% weapon damage and quick, efficient spread through the Pestilence Pestilence rune. There is a notable itemization choice here, depending on your desire for more Damage or more Toughness. To increase your damage, pick the Pestilence Pestilence rune on your bar so you can run The Furnace The Furnace in the Cube. For better Toughness, get Pestilence Pestilence for free by equipping or cubing the Vile Hive Vile Hive mojo, an pick up the Cloud of Insects Cloud of Insects rune for the 25% Damage Reduction. Last but not least, consider swapping this skill out entirely in speedruns for Summon Zombie Dogs Summon Zombie Dogs. You will still attain Locust Swarm Locust Swarm by cubing Wormwood Wormwood and receive a free Pestilence Pestilence rune by wearing Vile Hive Vile Hive. Having Summon Zombie Dogs Summon Zombie Dogs at your disposal in speedruns opens up the movespeed bonuses of the Fierce Loyalty Fierce Loyalty passive, as well as healing benefits from the rune Leeching Beasts Leeching Beasts.

While it applies a minor DoT of its own and can be considered part of the Jade consumption, Piranhas Piranhas is mostly used as an opener in fights for the Piranhado Piranhado crowd control and the innate damage increase against affected enemies.

To position for Soul Harvest Soul Harvest, keep himself safe and for general mobility purposes, the Jade Witch Doctor uses Spirit Walk Spirit Walk. A versatile tool on a low cooldown, Spirit Walk Spirit Walk makes you invulnerable, allows you to walk through enemies, and speeds you up for a generous 3-second period with the Jaunt Jaunt rune. If you value mobility over a lengthier invulnerability window, you can freely alternate into the Severance Severance rune — especially preferred in speedruns.

Completing the build with defensive utility, the Horrify Horrify crowd control helps when the tough enemies of Greater Rift progression survive your Soul Harvest Soul Harvest rotation and swarm you, thirsting for vengeance. The recommended choice for GR progression is the Toughness-oriented Frightening Aspect Frightening Aspect, buffed to the impressive 50% additional armor for 8 seconds. When speedfarming, you should alternate into the Stalker Stalker rune for the additional movement speed.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

The pivotal passive of the Jade build is Creeping Death Creeping Death, which extends the duration of Haunt Haunt, Locust Swarm Locust Swarm and the damage amplification of Piranhas Piranhas from several seconds to an hour. The Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl helm shortens that duration to 30 minutes, effectively doubling the damage of your DoT skills upon the Soul Harvest Soul Harvest consumption. Notice that the 6-piece Jade set bonus consumes 150 seconds worth of DoT damage. Because of that, speeding up the damage dealt by using a Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl helm is critical for the build.

Grave Injustice Grave Injustice is an elegant source of Cooldown Reduction, synergizing with the bursty nature of the Jade Harvester playstyle. For each enemy killed in a 20-yard radius of the Witch Doctor, it not only reduces your cooldowns by a second, but also replenishes your health and Mana reserves by 1%. Take notice of the pickup radius synergy and try to obtain that stat in the secondaries of your gear.

Spirit Vessel Spirit Vessel is a standard cheat death passive, saving you from a lethal situation once every minute and applying a Spirit Walk Spirit Walk-like invulnerability state for 2 seconds, coupled with a 50% life refill. When speedfarming, consider replacing this passive for the movement speed increase of Fierce Loyalty Fierce Loyalty — it will be procced by your skill swap into Summon Zombie Dogs Summon Zombie Dogs.

A logical final addition to the build, Confidence Ritual Confidence Ritual increases your damage by 25% against enemies within 20 yards. This relatively matches the fighting range of the build with Soul Harvest Soul Harvest in mind, so you will get great uptime on this passive. During speedruns you can change this slot to Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast, as it undeniably offers the strongest damage increase among its peers, provided you can keep it stacked with health globes — an easy task when farming.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build incorporates the complete Raiment of the Jade Harvester set, taking all six available pieces and opening up the jewelry for the Endless Walk set and its damage multiplication bonuses. Crit Chance is necessary along with Intelligence and Vitality on Jade Harvester's Wisdom Jade Harvester's Wisdom. Cooldown reduction is important for the Jade Witch Doctor, and it is advisable to get it on the Jade Harvester's Mercy Jade Harvester's Mercy, where it accompanies the Crit stats, as well as on the Jade Harvester's Joy Jade Harvester's Joy. The latter will also provide you with skill damage, as Haunt % can be rolled on both the Jade Harvester's Joy Jade Harvester's Joy and the Jade Harvester's Peace Jade Harvester's Peace. Jade Harvester's Courage Jade Harvester's Courage and Jade Harvester's Swiftness Jade Harvester's Swiftness remain pure toughness slots, prioritizing high Vitality and Armor. Note that stacking Armor benefits you because of the balancing of sources of mitigation, as All Resistance is already abundant on an Intelligence-based character.

Not skipping on any of the six available set pieces to obtain the full Jade Harvester set bonus allows you to split between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This mirrors the Jade Harvester playstyle, which goes from extended periods of drawing agro with Haunt spam into a more static Soul Harvest Soul Harvest, Piranhado Piranhado and Horrify Horrify rotation. The Ring of Emptiness Ring of Emptiness will occupy your second ring slot; this legendary jewelry piece dramatically increases your damage against enemies affected by both Haunt Haunt and Locust Swarm Locust Swarm, matching the natural rotation of the build.

As a final note on jewelry, the buildup mechanics of the Endless Walk set are unfit for speedruns; you should use Rechel's Ring of Larceny Rechel's Ring of Larceny and a Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet instead. Rechel's Ring of Larceny Rechel's Ring of Larceny will greatly increase your movement speed after Fearing an enemy, a bonus you can take advantage at will with the inclusion of Horrify Horrify in the build. Optimally, you will pair this ring with a crafted Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet with good rolls and a solid fifth passive like Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast or Fierce Loyalty Fierce Loyalty.

The general recommendation for the belt slot is the Haunting Girdle Haunting Girdle, releasing an extra Spirit when you cast Haunt Haunt for added burst. While Jade Harvester is far from a pet build, the Belt of Transcendence Belt of Transcendence is another viable belt due to its amazing unique bonus — basically, a better Fetish Sycophants Fetish Sycophants passive at the cost of a gear slot. With its guaranteed trigger, this belt will quickly take you to the cap of 15 fetishes that act as a solid meat shield and distraction for your enemies. When doing Torments, you can swap this slot out for Goldwrap Goldwrap, which paired with a cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band and gemmed Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder will render you practically invulnerable.

Introduced in Patch 2.4, Lakumba's Ornament Lakumba's Ornament is a targeted bracer for Jade Harvester Witch Doctors. Synergizing with the bonuses of the Sacred Harvester Sacred Harvester (discussed below), this bracer will cut incoming damage roughly in half, significantly improving the survival chances of this melee spellcaster build. If you are confident in your survivability during farming, you can safely swap this item out for Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers — they will speed up your clears with additional elites.

The appropriately named Sacred Harvester Sacred Harvester is the best-in-slot weapon for a Jade Witch Doctor in Greater Rifts, as its unique bonus extends the number of Soul Harvest Soul Harvest stacks from 5 to 10. Considering that the build benefits from all Soul Harvest Soul Harvest runes, the Damage, Toughness and Utility bonuses gained from this Ceremonial Knife are second to none when it comes to progression content. In speedruns however, In-geom In-geom becomes preferable as it allows you to chain cast Spirit Walk Spirit Walk from elite to elite, clearing the rift lightning-fast.

There is some wiggle room in the offhand slot, depending on your needs for better survival or damage. The standard choice is equipping Henri's Perquisition Henri's Perquisition, offering a significant source of upfront damage reduction and crowd control. Note that if you choose the survivability route in gearing, this slot is interchangeable with a Vile Hive Vile Hive, depending on your better item roll. In the stats, look for high damage range, Intelligence, Vitality, Crit Chance, and increased Haunt %.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Socket
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. All Resistance
Shoulders
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Haunt Damage
  5. Armor
Torso
  1. 3 Sockets
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Haunt Damage
  5. Reduced damage from Elites
Wrists
  1. Cold Damage
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. Armor
Hands
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Vitality
Waist
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Life %
  4. Armor
  5. All Resistance
Legs
  1. 2 Sockets
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  5. All Resistance
Feet
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. Movement Speed
  5. All Resistance
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Cold Damage
  5. Intelligence
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Intelligence
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Intelligence
Weapon
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. High Damage Range
  3. Intelligence
  4. % Weapon Damage
  5. Vitality
  6. Cooldown Reduction
Off-hand
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. Haunt Damage
  6. Cooldown Reduction

6. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Maximum Mana
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  4. Gold Find

7. Gems

The fixture in your gem slots is Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped. Your remaining jewelry sockets will depend on the content, with Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration and Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken being preferable for GR progression, and Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful — for speedfarming.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property, and is otherwise triggered by Haunt Haunt and Languish Languish.
  • Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration is the strongest mitigation gem available, and its impact is noticeable in this close range caster build. Improving your elemental resistances with every gem level and adding an emergency toughness spike through the level 25 property, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration ensures that enemies will have a hard time bursting you down. In Torment runs, this slot is best taken by Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, whose interaction with the cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band and worn Goldwrap Goldwrap will keep you rich, safe and sped up throughout the run.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. Jade Harvester Witch Doctors are no exception. In lower Greater Rifts or during farming, you can easily swap this gem out for the well-rounded damage and toughness increase of Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

8. Kanai's Cube

Your fixed Kanai's Cube slot is the armor, occupied by Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl by necessity. Your remaining slots will vary according to content: The Furnace The Furnace or Vile Hive Vile Hive for the weapon slot in GR progression, or Wormwood Wormwood for speedruns; and Convention of Elements Convention of Elements or Unity Unity for the jewelry slot in GR progression, or Avarice Band Avarice Band in Torments.

  • To improve your damage, the best choice for the weapon slot in the Cube is The Furnace The Furnace, the strongest generic two-handed weapon in the game. With its 50% additional elite damage affix it speeds up clear times greatly, as Champion and Rift Guardian fights are the usual GR bottleneck. Alternatively, you can cube a Vile Hive Vile Hive mojo to get a free Pestilence Pestilence rune, allowing you to run the Toughness-oriented Cloud of Insects Cloud of Insects rune on your bar. The final, farming-oriented option is to run Wormwood Wormwood — it casts free Locust Swarm Locust Swarms on a regular basis and allows you to focus on Haunt Haunting and pure speed.
  • Tucked away in the armor slot of the Cube, the Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl voodoo mask is a key piece that doubles the pace of your Haunt Haunt and Locust Swarm Locust Swarm DoTs, ties into the Creeping Death Creeping Death passive bonus and produces the signature Jade burst.
  • In GRs, the jewelry slot will be best taken by the pure damage boost of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, whose rotation of elemental bonuses you will have to keep under close scrutiny to take advantage of the short-lived Cold proc. Alternatively, you can use Unity Unity for its 50% damage reduction when paired with another on the follower, plus an immortality item for him (i.e. Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor) — a great choice for hardcore, or when lacking in toughness. When speedfarming, use the Act III cache legendary ring Avarice Band Avarice Band. Its unique property extends your pickup radius up to the massive 30 yards for a generous 10-second period. Triggered, maximized and constantly refreshed from the endless stream of Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder gold, the ring and the gem will keep you sped up and invulnerable from the worn Goldwrap Goldwrap.

9. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

10. ChangeLog

  • 29 Jul. 2016: Revised the guide to include speedfarming information.
  • 05 May 2016: Minor revision to the build for Patch 2.4.1.
  • 13 Jan. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect its Patch 2.4 buffs, the introduction of several synergistic items, and Kanai's Cube swaps.
  • 24 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3 and moved the guide to T10 farming / Speedfarming as it is no longer competitive enough for end-game content.
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