I have been thinking about swapping Soul Harvest out for BBV with Rain Dance when I get to Level 37, but I was wondering what people think.
Specifically, do you lose the bonus when the monsters leave the area of Soul Harvest? Do you gain a bonus when the enter? Or is the bonus calculated at point of cast and then kept for the same for the duration?
The thing is it's the best healing spell we have it's essentially a free pot and if you use the spirit walk jaunt rune it is even safe to use.
People often say why waste a perfectly good spirit walk on it, well when you are on low health you will use it anyway.
And this extra second spirit walk does alot more than 15% mana.
Spirit Walk ->- Run in center ->- Soul Harvest ->- Run out ->- Nuke. At lvl 60 soul harvest gives you 130 intel each stack, that is 650 total bonus combine with Gruesome Feast Passive ( health globes give mana and increase intel again, but I usually don't have trouble maintaining this passive as decent health globes drop and its also a mana pot :O ) it makes for fun time.
Now I use the Jaunt with extra 1 second, probably the the best rune for the skill, The damaging rune effect for spirit walk is alot of fun personally but you gotta becareful with that one if you get use to the 3 second the 2 second just seems so so short. I use Soul harvest all the time I have mine runed atm for damage so I run in boom 70% weapon damage(5 stack usually) run out and ghost bomb them. I have Hex with the healing rune combine with him hexing enemies its enough to keep me alive I can pass on the health for soul harvest(Act IV hell btw) for the time being anyway.
Oh and on Soul Harvest the increases time to 60 seconds rune is definitely worth it as well, I just like to play around with my skills alot and I'm liking the damage one atm.
Soul Harvest becomes LESS effective as you level, it adds a fixed INT, which progressively becomes a smaller and smaller percentage DPS buff. You will be running several thousand INT, that 650 addition is not as important as other skills.
Also, you have to save SW for OH ****! moments in Hell difficulty and above, those elite mobs will vortex you from the edge of the screen right into 4 rotating arcane beams, not having SW available because you wanted to add 10% DPS suddenly becomes very bad!
I also simply don't have a slot free for SH, Crowd Control is key to handling elite mobs, that means Haunt with slowdown, grasping hands with 60% slowdown, Wall of Zombies with 60% slowdown, darts, SW, and Fetish Army, with Fetish Ambush Rune for large damage when I'm suddenly surrounded.
Yeah, SH gets worse as you level no doubt. On one hand the intellect bonus / siphon is really good, but on the other hand it's basically a melee ability. And it's usually not a good idea to run into a group of monsters to use it. You can use Jaunt + Mass Confusion / Horrify + Soul Harvest of course but it kind of becomes too much of a hassle when you get into late Hell / Inferno.
It sucks when you think about the fact that a DH gets the same + Damage bonuses from passives that require no effort really that WDs get from 1) Running into melee range every 30/60 seconds, putting yourself in danger. 2) Sacrificing dogs every 30 sec (even though they have a 60sec CD). 3) Taking a passive that increases your mana cost by 30%. And 4) Finding a way to continuously gather health globes, which basically requires a decent amount of + Pickup Radius.
Sure, you can stack all 4 of these things and you'll do a lot of damage, but the effort you have to put into keeping these buffs up gets old really quickly.
I was originally skeptical about SH. But after switching back to it in Inferno, I have found it to be even better than what I experienced with it during lowbie levelling. In the past I was under the impression that Int was just a fixed increase in dmg, but it's actually a % based increase. So as u can imagine, it scales really well when you have better gear. A 5 stack SH nearly doubles my dmg in fact.
So my advice would be to stick with SH and make a habit of using it. It's pretty much 1 of the best skills to have. The only fights I can think of where I probably wouldn't bother with SH would be Azmo and Diablo (u would only get 1 stack with it), and to a lesser extent Butcher... but that depends if there are mobs outside his entrance that u can SH before zoning in and zerging him down.