Witch Doctor Raiment of the Jade Harvester Fresh 70 Starter Build (Patch 2.7.5 / Season 29)
This build is a starter build for fresh Level 70 Witch Doctors who have access to the Raiment of the Jade Harvester set.
This guide is part of our Witch Doctor Seasonal Progress Guide, which also includes a leveling build and other early builds for fresh 70 characters.
The Jade Harvester starting build kicks off with much of the leveling and fresh 70 skill choices, but gradually adjusts itself to take more and more advantage of the unique, DoT-reliant nature of the set.
The following build assumes you will assemble the build in 2-piece increments, similarly to how Haedrig's Gift would dole the set out. Haderig's Gift is a seasonal participation reward that gives you a full class-specific set as you complete Chapters II, III and IV of the Seasonal Journey (accessible via the leaf-shaped icon in the top right corner). The cadence of early natural character progression is also not too far off the listed strategy, so even if the set is not part of Haedrig's Gift, you can put the advice below to good use.
Build at the 2-piece Bonus
|Haunt Resentful Spirits Piranhas Piranhado 1 Soul Harvest Soul to Waste 2 Spirit Walk Severance 3 Summon Zombie Dogs Burning Dogs 4 Gargantuan Humongoid|
At the 2-piece Jade Harvester bonus, you will maintain parts of the leveling and fresh 70 Witch Doctor build; you likely will not have items to back up your DoT-oriented build, so keeping Summon Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan around will bolster your damage. You are not entirely helpless however; the 2-piece bonus will deliver a 3,500 seconds worth of Haunt damage on targets already affected by Haunt, making for a nice bit of burst in earliest progression stages. Note that Haunt does not last nearly as long as a base effect, and requires the use of the Creeping Death passive. Another valuable passive alteration is the use of Rush of Essence, which allows you to spam Haunt freely without needing a dedicated Mana generator.
Since you have a set-induced nuke at your disposal now, you can safely drop any auxiliary damage dealers from leveling like Acid Cloud and Vengeful Spirit, and introduce utility to the build. Soul Harvest should temporarily become a speed boost with Soul to Waste. Crowd control is also a staple for endgame builds, and the only tool Witch Doctors have for the purpose is Piranhas Piranhado — but it offers a powerful pixel-pulling effect and an increase of damage taken by affected enemies to compensate.
At this point, no additional helpful legendary items are assumed. You might have lucked out during the leveling journey (especially if you followed the gambling and crafting advice in our Seasonal Guide), or in your first couple of farming sessions with items such as:
- Gazing Demise and/or The Barber — These are by far the most beneficial early game upgrades a Witch Doctor can luck into. Gambling Gazing Demise and upgrading a rare Ceremonial Knife into The Barber will turn Spirit Barrage Manitou into a massive source of damage that can easily replace both your pet skills. Add Horrify Frightening Aspect for a truly formidable early game build.
- The Dagger of Darts and/or Carnevil — replace either Summon Zombie Dogs or Gargantuan for Fetish Army Legion of Daggers, and keep Fetish Sycophants over Fierce Loyalty in the build. Replace Piranhas with Poison Dart Spined Dart. This way you have an extra source of DPS from the Fetishes on top of your Haunt spam, as they will shoot empowered darts whenever you do the same.
- Scrimshaw — consider replacing Summon Zombie Dogs or Gargantuan with Zombie Charger Zombie Bears for an additional nuke, if you feel Haunt does not do enough yet.
Build at the 4-piece Bonus
|Haunt Resentful Spirits Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects 1 Soul Harvest Languish 2 Spirit Walk Severance 3 Piranhas Piranhado 4 Horrify Frightening Aspect|
At the 4-piece Jade Harvester bonus, you get to play with a core piece of the Jade Harvester rotation: Soul Harvest gets all the runes, and you reset its cooldown with Haunt and Locust Swarm use. With that in mind, you should get the pet summoning skills out of the build; they will be vastly outshined by the DoTs and cooldowns interplay. What's important to note is that the traditional set-based damage reduction comes at the 6-piece for Jade, so you should probably focus on defensive runes as you rotate into more Jade Harvester-appropriate skill lineup.
It is not unreasonable to assume that at the 4-piece bonus, you have attained at least one key item for Jade Harvester Witch Doctors. If you follow the advice in our "Get the build started" section below, this item will likely be Lakumba's Ornament. This is a cornerstone piece for the survivability of most Witch Doctor builds, and its powers hinge on using Soul Harvest — tying nicely with the newfound powers of your build.
At that point you should start transitioning from a longer range, pet-assisted playstyle into a braver, diving-into-close-combat-for-Harvests fighting method. You will be dropping the pet-oriented passive Fierce Loyalty for the brawling staple Confidence Ritual. Your survivability might be questionable at this point, especially if you did not luck into Lakumba's Ornament; to prevent the occasional mishap, take Spirit Vessel.
Build at the 6-piece Bonus
|Haunt Resentful Spirits Locust Swarm Pestilence 1 Soul Harvest Soul to Waste 2 Spirit Walk Severance 3 Piranhas Piranhado 4 Horrify Stalker|
At the 6-piece Jade Harvester bonus you get the finalized, hard-hitting version of the DoT consumption mechanic. Soul Harvest will now consume your damage over time effects from affected enemies, dealing 10,000 seconds worth of remaining damage. You also — finally! — get the set-based damage reduction mechanic, and can drop some of the safety from the 4-piece build, transitioning into a more conventional farming spec.
With Locust Swarm, you can swap from the defensive Cloud of Insects rune into the easier and more convenient spread of Pestilence. Horrify can be changed from Frightening Aspect to Stalker. Spirit Vessel can be replaced by Pierce the Veil. All of these changes will make you hit harder and run faster, enabling a very solid rift farming build. You might have Sacred Harvester at this point; it will greatly empower both the build and Lakumba's Ornament protection. Even if you do not, cheap gambles like Shukrani's Triumph and Vile Hive will also empower the build into new heights.
You will now transition in an endgame-approximate rotation of Spirit Walking around, crowd controlling enemies with a well-placed Piranhado, DoTing them up with Haunt and Locust Swarm, and exploding them with Soul Harvest. Grave Injustice will reset your cooldowns, so you can rinse and repeat the process.
Please refer to our endgame Jade Harvester Witch Doctor guide to get an in-depth explanation of the necessary rotation, skills, passives, gear and gems, as well as details like stat priorities and breakpoints that will get this beginner Jade Harvester build into endgame Greater Rift pushing.
How to Get This Build Going?
In this section, we'll briefly go over how to kickstart this build into reality; which items you should aim for with priority when farming and gambling, and what is their relative priority for the functioning of this spec. Note that these suggestions are exclusively aimed at getting you up and running into endgame farming, and might not reflect the gear you need to wear for high-end Greater Rift solo or group pushing. This section also assumes a fresh Season's start, which usually is the point where most players work on assembling their first build with a particular set.
If the Jade Harvester set is part of the Haedrig's Gift for the Season, your simplest and most straightforward path to assembling the build is to complete the Seasonal Journey chapters up to Chapter IV. The Seasonal Journey chapters will gradually give you a complete class-specific set, giving 2-3 pieces for Chapters II, III and IV.
From the pre-game menu, choose and do this week's Challenge Rift. When successfully completed, this weekly event will grant you 5,1 million Gold, 475 Blood Shards, 370 Reusable Parts, 350 Arcane Dust, 125 Veiled Crystals, 35 Death's Breaths, and 15 of each Bounty cache material: Khanduran Rune, Caldeum Nightshade, Arreat War Tapestry, Corrupted Angel Flesh, and Westmarch Holy Water. This will allow you some early Seasonal leeway to extract and reforge items in Kanai's Cube, speeding up the assembly of this build with the items recommended below.
Having some materials at your disposal, either from farming or the Challenge Rift, is particularly important when you get duplicate pieces of your desired set. When you do, you can use Kanai's Cube Skill of Nilfur recipe (10x Forgotten Souls, 10x Death's Breaths, 1x Set item) to convert into another item from the same set. You should never salvage duplicate pieces of a desired set before you have it assembled.
In order to assemble a Jade Harvester Witch Doctor, you should do the following.
- Gather the full 6-piece Jade Harvester set using the advice above, or by spending Blood Shards at Kadala. In order of gamble chance, you should spend for: Shoulders, Boots, Pants, Gloves, Chest, and Helm. A trick you can also use is to gamble for duplicate pieces with an easier gamble chance (i.e., Shoulders) and convert them into another piece from the same set using the Skill of Nilfur recipe in Kanai's Cube.
- Gamble or upgrade rare (Hope of Cain recipe in Kanai's Cube) Bracers for Lakumba's Ornament, a massive source of damage reduction and a staple for almost all Witch Doctors and types of gameplay. Gambling/upgrading rares in the Bracer slot can also net you other valuable pieces like Nemesis Bracers or Warzechian Armguards.
- Gamble helmets or upgrade rare Witch Doctor Voodoo Masks for Quetzalcoatl. This is a build-defining legendary item that practically doubles your damage output by halving the duration, but not the damage dealt, of your DoTs.
- Gamble or upgrade rare Witch Doctor Mojos for Shukrani's Triumph and/or Vile Hive. Both off-hands will bring some form of damage multiplication; Shukrani's Triumph increases mobility and multiplies your damage, while Vile Hive adds survivability and boosts your Locust Swarm DoT.
- Craft lvl 70 Ceremonial Knives at the Blacksmith and use the 'upgrade rare' recipe to obtain Sacred Harvester, a cornerstone legendary weapon for most Witch Doctor builds (this one included), with a vital interaction with Lakumba's Ornament. Gambling is also possible, but undesirable due to the high Blood Shard costs of weapons.
- Do Act I bounties to attain the act-specific Ring of Royal Grandeur from Bounty caches. This will be helpful either in completing the basic set bonus, or mixing other helpful sets in (Cpt. Crimson) as described in the Jade Harvester Witch Doctor Gear page. Bounties will net you the craftable set recipes to begin with, so you will be killing two birds with one stone. Bounties will also net you Avarice Band (Act III), another farming-oriented staple for most builds and classes, this one included.
- While largely undesirable due to high costs, gambling or upgrading rare Jewelry is also possible; Ring of Emptiness, Convention of Elements, and Squirt's Necklace will all bring massive damage bumps to the build, with other standout pieces that can also substitute or be temporarily helpful in the face of Unity, or Oculus Ring and The Flavor of Time for your Follower.
- 15 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Season 29.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Reviewed for Season 28.
- 10 Dec. 2021: Thorough rework for Season 25.
- 23 Jul. 2021: Reviewed for Season 24.
- 02 Apr. 2021: Reviewed for Season 23.
- 13 Mar. 2020: Reviewed for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Page added.
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