Jade Harvester Witch Doctor Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Jade Harvester Witch Doctor in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
|Haunt Poisoned Spirit Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects 1 Soul Harvest Languish 2 Spirit Walk Jaunt 3 Piranhas Piranhado 4 Horrify Frightening Aspect|
Due to the powers of Shukrani's Triumph, you have near limitless mobility and safety in your Spirit Walk state, so you can pick and choose where and when to fight. Even better, you gain a damage multiplier while you are in Spirit Walk form. While you will exit the form when you attack or approach an elite (as per the offhand legendary power), you have an additional grace period that will be as long as your default cast of Spirit Walk, which we can lengthen via the Jaunt rune. The combat strategy of the Jade Witch Doctor opens battles by casting Piranhado to clump your enemies and apply the Piranhas debuff, amplifying the damage of the skills to follow. Cast a single Locust Swarm, and as it spreads start applying Haunt on the enemy until all combatants are affected. Then dive into the fray with Spirit Walk and activate a devastating Soul Harvest, consuming the active DoTs. Getting used to the short 16-yard range of Soul Harvest 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 will also become part of the rotation. Always keep in mind that Soul Harvest does not consume the entire length of the DoT, but a 10,000 seconds worth of it per cast. It will take you six Soul Harvests to fully deplete the DoTs, so manage your Mana and focus on Haunting the enemy, rather than spamming Locust Swarms.
Skills and Runes
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. Due to the 4-piece bonus of the Jade Harvester set, you will be receiving the benefits of all runes at once — the Mana from Swallow Your Soul, the life from Siphon, the armor from Languish, the movement speed from Soul to Waste, and some additional damage from Vengeful Spirit.
There are two major DoTs to be consumed, out of four in total.
Haunt is the strongest one, with an impressive 4000% weapon damage. Cheap with its 50 Mana cost, lengthened by the Creeping Death passive and consuming 120 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 spreads the DoT twice as effectively, and is a great early soloing choice due to its better Mana management; it is also highly recommended for speedfarming. The Poison rune Poisoned Spirit adds a 20% additive damage bonus against affected enemies, applied to the entire party, making it a better grouping choice and the preferable rune for high end solo pushing. Note that the remainder of the guide assumes you take Poisoned Spirit, so adjust elemental damage rolls to Cold if you plan on using Resentful Spirits. Regardless of your choice, constant Haunt spam will be required to reset Soul Harvest, as well as to get 3,500 seconds worth of damage instantly via the Jade 2-piece bonus.
Second in the DoT hierarchy is Locust Swarm, with respectable 1040% weapon damage and quick, efficient spread through the 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 rune on your bar so you can run The Furnace in the Cube. For better Toughness (our recommendation), get Pestilence for free by equipping or cubing the Vile Hive mojo, an pick up the Cloud of Insects rune for the 25% Damage Reduction.
While it applies a minor DoT of its own and can be considered part of the Jade consumption, Piranhas is mostly used as an opener in fights for the Piranhado crowd control and the innate damage increase against affected enemies. Note that Piranhado is one of the few pulls in the game that can stack enemies in a collision-overwriting manner, making the tightest possible clumps (the so-called "pixelpulling"). To make the most of its pull, aim at a spot free of enemies; casting on top of an occupied spot will deprive you of the pixelpull.
To position for Soul Harvest, keep themselves safe and for general mobility purposes, the Jade Witch Doctor uses Spirit Walk. A versatile tool on a low cooldown, Spirit Walk makes you invulnerable, allows you to walk through enemies, and speeds you up for a generous 3-second period with the Jaunt rune. If you value mobility over a lengthier invulnerability window, you can freely alternate into the Severance rune — especially preferred in speedruns. Spirit Walk gets an extra offense angle from Shukrani's Triumph, turning its use into a strategic cooldown that multiplies your damage; strive to be in Spirit form as you deliver your Soul Harvest burst.
Completing the build with defensive utility, the Horrify crowd control helps when the tough enemies of Greater Rift progression survive your Soul Harvest rotation and swarm you, thirsting for vengeance. The recommended choice for GR progression is the Toughness-oriented Frightening Aspect, buffed to the impressive 50% additional armor for 8 seconds. Note that there is a viable alteration to this slot — the massive damage buff of Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance, with an equally impressive cooldown. This is a viable option for super high end pushing, adding another strategic layer of popping your cooldowns when you need an upper hand in a massive, progress-defining pull.
The pivotal passive of the Jade build is Creeping Death, which extends the duration of Haunt, Locust Swarm and the damage amplification of Piranhas from several seconds to a whopping 120,000. The Quetzalcoatl helm shortens that duration to 60,000, effectively doubling the damage of your DoT skills upon the Soul Harvest consumption. Notice that the 6-piece Jade set bonus consumes 10,000 seconds worth of DoT damage, while the 2-piece consumes 3,500 seconds worth of Haunt damage. Because of that, speeding up the damage dealt by using a Quetzalcoatl helm is critical for the build.
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 (see this build's gear page for more information).
Confidence Ritual increases your damage by 25% against enemies within 20 yards. This relatively matches the fighting range of the build with Soul Harvest in mind, so you will get great uptime on this passive.
You have some freedom in your last passive slot, which you can adapt either to additional damage, or extra toughness. Our general recommendation is to take Blood Ritual, whose Mana cost mitigation ties in with the Cpt. Crimson set bonus, which scales your overall damage reduction according to your resource cost reduction bonuses. The other acceptable option is, of course, Spirit Vessel — for the additional safety of a cheat death proc.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 29.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 06 Dec. 2021: Revised skill and passive recommendations.
- 22 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 19 Nov. 2020: No changes required for Season 22.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Skills have been reviewed and approved for Season 18.
- 17 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 18 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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