Haunt (Resentful Spirits): You'll be single casting this spell on every single mob. With resentful, you'll have to cast it half as much as it will hit the 2 closest targets. This can also be used as spam attack as it costs only 50 mana; think of it as a cheaper Spirit Barrage.
Locust Swarm (Pestilence): You'll be casting this on the main pack of mobs. With pestilence it will spread out to cover pretty much the entire screen in a matter of seconds. If you're in a group, by the time they clear the main pack and move to the mobs around it, they'll be dead or almost dead from the DoT. It is an expensive skill mana wise, but you won't have to worry about that after I explain the passives.
Spirit Walk (Jaunt): This will save your ass more times than you can count. With the extra second from Jaunt you will be able to get away from any large packs or elite wall-ins giving you problems. If your life regen is not the best, you can use the Healing Journey rune.
Soul Harvest (Siphon): Great boost to your DPS and tons of healing. If you feel confident enough in not needing the extra healing you can switch to the rune to Vengeful Spirit for some nice extra DMG.
Piranhas (Wave of Mutilation): Piranhas will make your DoTs tick for 15% more on affected enemies. In combination with the Wave rune, you will be able to apply that extra 15% to large packs of mobs as the wave runs over them. It also gives you a nice DPS boost from the 475% WDMG; not to mention it is a very cool looking ability. You can spam this along with Haunt for extra DMG. I know most prefer Piranhado, but this will increase the cooldown to 16 seconds and not affect as many mobs as the wave does; it does provide a nice crowd control ability though, so also a very viable option.
Mass Confusion (Paranoia): This will give a great DPS boost on elite packs, rift bosses and will save your ass when shit hits the fan. Some prefer Big Bad Voodoo, but voodoo is static, while this will stay on the mobs as they move away and also has a much shorter cooldown.
Pierce The Veil: Your DoTs will tick for 20% more. Don't worry about the extra mana cost, you'll never be out of mana because of the next passive.
Rush of Essence: Why you'll never be out of mana. You'll be casting Haunt on everything, plus Soul Harvesting and the occasional Spirit Walk. This will offset the high mana cost of Locust Swarm and you should be able to cast it as many times as you need as it will not always land. It will also allow you to spam Piranhas and Haunt for extra DMG.
Grave Injustice: You'll be getting Life and Mana from things dying from the DoTs around you and reducing the cooldown on your Spirit Walk, Soul Harvest, Piranhas and Mass Confusion. Boosted by "Thing of The Deep" mojo, it is just amazing.
Creeping Death: Your DoTs will last for approximately 5 minutes and so will the extra 15% DMG buff from Piranhas.
Movement Speed: Get as many points as required to get you to 25%. You'll need it to move fast to DoT things and get away with Spirit Walk.
Intelligence: Dump the rest of your points into this after getting 25% movement. You'll need all the base DMG you can get for your DoTs.
Cooldown Reduction: Dump as many points into this as you can as it will allow you to Spirit Walk, Soul Harvest, Piranhas and Mass Confusion much more often. If you max this out, dump the rest into Critical Hit/DMG.
Defense points: Whatever you feel gives you the most survivability. You'll need to play around with these numbers yourself.
Area Damage: Dump as many points into this as you can. It will give you a nice boost of DPS as it does affect each tick of your DoTs. If you max this out, dump the rest into Life on Hit, unless you are running into mana issues, which you should not with the Rush of Essence and Grave Injustice passives.
Per tick: Acid Cloud
Corpse Spider (Spider Queen)
Firebomb (Firepool + Pyrogeist)
Gargantuan (Big Stinker)
Grasp of the Dead (including Rain of Corpse)
Mass Confusion (Mass Hallucination)
Plague of Toads (Rain of Toads)
Spirit Barrage (Phantasm)
Wall of Zombie
Zombie Dogs (Burning Dogs)
Per Cast: Haunt
Hex (Painful Transformation)
Plague of Toad (Toad of Hugeness)
Poison Dart DoT
Firebats (Plague Bats)
Haunt and locus swarm absolutely do crit and take full advantage of crit damage, the roll takes place on the initial cast. If the initial cast rolls crit, each tick for the duration will also be a crit. It doesn't show up as yellow text but the damage is indeed much higher. Things that do damage over time, like haunt/locust swarm and firebats channeled will always show as white text, but the damage that is shown is the total amount of damage done since the last tick displayed. Hopefully that wording makes sense.
But Kennadine is correct, they really need to change the way dots roll for crit from the initial cast to every tick. Though this is annoying and definitely hurts the efficiency of the build currently, it is still a very solid build that is accessible in low torments as well as high provided you have the correct gear.
I run a dot build for my WD. I play HC so I focus on an efficient build for clearing as well as one that gives good survivability. That's why I use frostburns, Hwoj wrap, and frozen piranhas rune. These allow me to be able to kite endlessly and almost stun lock every mob. I would suggest dropping mass confusion for spirit barrage for a solid single target burn in addition to your dot damage, and if you do this to focus on adding cold damage to your gear where you can.
What you could do to better prep for the full Jade set is this. Stack full %cold and keep an eye out for Sun Keeper specifically. The bonus v elite damage is VERY useful in this build. Until you get full Jade set, using Spirit Barrage - Well of Souls is a good damage supplement against elites and high health white mobs.
As per an earlier post in another DoT build thread on this forum, I'll suggest a variation of the OP's build:
Replace soul harvest or paranoia with Spirit Barrage - Well of Souls. The dps boost of channeling an essentially free 475+(65*3)% damage spell on elite packs is more effective than the damage boost of either soul harvest or paranoia. Combine with high Area Damage to make it even more effective. Also instead of recasting DoTs (especially Haunt) on elites to make sure you got a crit cast, just focus down the highest HP ones with SB.
Consider Piranhado instead of other Piranhas runes because it both stuns and gathers mobs. Since you're already using Grave Injustice, this will reset the cooldown very quickly. The gathering ability also allows you to spread Locust Swarm very fast, and lets your Area Damage be more effective.
For hardcore, Consuming Spirit for haunt is very effective, letting you build up a lot of health regen for elite packs (6k+/sec)
Alright guys, all valid points, but hear me out...
noladrew: yup already got Sun Keeper, but rolled with slightly low DPS 1898
Malendros/noladrew: Yes, Spirit Barrage does boost my individual DPS, but playing with others a group buff is going to be better than my individual DPS boost. If I focus on DoTs, DMG buffs, and crowd control, I bring more value to a group. Plus instead of focusing on casting SB, I'll be moving around picking up health globes that heal everyone, and also it gives me a chance to kill very annoying mobs like those Morlune meteor fucks and the Conjurers that move away from the main group and keep spawning bs little archers
Malendros: Piranhado is great, I use it too, and yes Grave Injustice will drop the cooldown pretty quick, but wave giving +15% to a much larger group of mobs, and paranoia giving another +20% to the entire group, plus the crowd control it provides (which offsets the 4 seconds from a Piranhado, not the mention the extra DPS from the charmed mobs when they attack other mobs - elites attacking elites/trash), I think makes them great options for groups. Plus Wave may not have the best DPS, but it hits a lot of mobs at the same time and area DMG will still apply and Grave Injustice or not, I can cast it much quicker than Piranhado. As far as the argument of Locust Swarm spreading faster, if I caught the mobs with a Piranhado, they would have been close enough to get Locust pretty much instantaneously anyway.
I wanted to say thanks to the OP. I'm level 70 but still geared low. I was running a pet build with 5 zombie dogs, gargantuan, and fetish sycophants. Your DoT build looked interesting so I gave it a try last night. Loving it. Mobs are going down a lot faster. I died a couple of times because I forgot to use Spirit Walk.
Also, as some of the follow up posters mentioned, if you want to boost your DPS some more, switch Soul Harvest for Spirit Barrage. And to avoid dying a bit more, switch to Piranhado rune for some nice crowd control.
You would actually do more than 20% more damage by having another main attack in there like EG phantasm over something like mass confusion paranoia. EG similar to what I suggested in the ultra tanky cold spec thread. Not interested in self advertising, just trying to be helpful to people.
@Justusy, I have my doubts about Phantasm providing more DPS or being more useful than Well of Souls for several reasons:
1) Range is very limited on Phantasm, only 10 yards per spectre, and they are static; mobs move around. Meanwhile Well of Souls can hit from very far away and through things like walls and closed doors.
2) Crit chance seems to be per cast, not per hit, so if the casted spectre didn't crit to begin with, it won't crit for the entire 5 seconds, while with Well of Souls each hit has a chance to crit.
3) You waste time focusing on keeping track of having to recast the spectres every 5 seconds and the effect is barely noticeable while in a group where everyone is casting tons of spells on the mobs. With Well of Souls you just channel it as you would Firebats. If you've DoTed everything in sight with Haunt, you won't run out of mana.
4) It's 625% over 5 seconds. Well of Souls is %425+65%+65%+65% instantaneous.
As far as Mass Confusion, if you're strictly speaking individual DPS, yes others spells will boost it more, but playing in a group it enhances everyone's DPS, provides crowd control and an additional DPS boost from the charmed mobs attacking each other. I suggest replacing Soul Harvest > Spirit Barrage, rather than Mass Confusion > Spirit Barrage.
@Justusy: I believe you're speaking strictly individual DPS, yet Mass Confusion provides a group DPS boost + crowd control + DPS boost from charmed mobs attacking each other. I suggest replacing Soul Harvest > Spirit Barrage (Well of Souls), rather than Mass Confusion > Spirit Barrage (Phantasm).
I tried Phantasm and I don't see how it's better than Well of Souls for several reasons:
1) Phantasm is 675% DMG, but over 5 seconds. Well of Souls is 425%+65%+65%+65% instantaneous.
2) Range of Phantasm is very limited, only 10 yards for each spectre. Well of Souls can be cast from very far away and it hits through environment blockages like walls and closed doors.
3) Crits on Phantasm are per cast, not per hit of the spectre. Well of Souls is also per cast, but as it does it's damage instantaneously, each subsequent cast has a chance to crit. While phantasm you'll be waiting 5 seconds to see if the next spectre will crit.
4) Phantasms are static, mobs move around, also the spectres are pretty much impossible to see when a group is unloading tons of other spells on the mobs. You also lose situational awareness by having to keep track of the 3x5 second timers (1 for each cast) to know when to cast the next Phantasm.
@Defleshed thanks for the suggestion! hexing pants are very very nice indeed. They never dropped for me though, and now I completed 6 piece jade harvester and can't break the set as the 6 piece bonus is the very best you can get for DoT spec.
You know, I have never given zombie piranhas a try, I'll check it out. I was thinking of switching the rune to Bogadile, since it's the only way I can get a "stun" effect to trigger the "haunt of vaxo" (http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/haunt-of-vaxo) proc.
Illusory boots are very very nice indeed. Specially in high torment rifting. Wish I could use them, but again I need to keep the 6 piece jade bonus.
As far as +cold, +poison, I have a bit more cold than poison. I think balance is good and locust spreads a lot quicker and to a much bigger crowd of mobs. There are some dungeons where I cast locust once and it will spread out through the entire dungeon pretty much, provided the mobs are close enough to each other, so having some +poison definitely helps.
I have also started experimenting with cooldown reduction instead of CHD. I got a helm gem and enchanted my Royal Ring of Grandeur with it and it's working out very very nicely. Even though Grave Injustice lowers the CD a lot, having it even shorter I have been able to pretty much spam "soul harvest" for the jade 6 piece bonus, dishing out ridiculous damage in T5 rifts!