Carnevil builds and their unique playstyle that revolves around Poison Dart being shot by hordes of Fetishes have been around for the longest time, starting in Season 3. Zunimassa's Haunt got buffed from 5,500% to a whopping 15,000% damage increase in Season 16 but it is only with Season 17 buffing Carnevil and The Dagger of Darts that this build became one of the strongest Witch Doctor (WD) setups in the game.
Carnevil can also be played using Legacy of Nightmares or Legacy of Dreams which allow for way more flexibility in terms of gearing and skill setup choices. Anyways, Zuni Dart is the best setup to compete on the Zunimassa leaderboard if you're willing to do so!
This build enables a completely unique playstyle where you have to manage your Fetishes very carefully in order to wreak havoc on your opponents. Positioning is absolutely critical as only the 10 Fetishes closest to you shoot a Poison Dart when you do, aiming where your cursor is. Let's get into it!
Ranged WD Build ✔
Fast Attack Speed ✔
Unique Pet Playstyle ✔
High Single Target Damage ✔
❌ Very Squishy
❌ Lack of Mobility
❌ Low AoE Damage
❌ Limited Gearing Choices
- The Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus is where the majority of our damage comes from, while the Zunimassa's Haunt (4) Bonus grants us a tremendous toughness boost depending on our Fetish count.
- We add another damage buff with The Dagger of Darts which will also make our Poison Darts pierce targets.
- Carnevil is the core item that makes this build work as 10 of your Fetishes will now shoot a powerful Poison Dart whenever you do. This, in combination with the Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus, is the main reason why our pets deal all the damage in this particular build!
- Mask of Jeram increases all Pet damage by 200%. This is an Elemental Damage buff additive with other sources of it (Bracers and Amulet).
- Depth Diggers gives us another 100% damage boost on our main skill Poison Dart.
- The Witching Hour is used in every setup for the Attack Speed and Critical Hit Damage which are great offensive stats.
- Ring of Royal Grandeur helps us to complement Zunimassa's Haunt with Aughild's Authority and other supporting items.
- On the Jewelry slots, options can include Squirt's Necklace, The Compass Rose & The Travelers Pledge or Convention of Elements.
Season 28 Altar of Rites
Season 28 brings a brand new progression feature called the Altar of Rites that grants tremendous powers to your entire account in exchange for sacrifices. It requires you to farm Bounties, kill the Ubers, craft the Staff of Herding, and more. Completing all 26 of these tasks, along with sacrificing 6 Primal Ancients grants you unbelievable Damage, Defense, Quality of Life, Increased Drops, 3 Potion Super Powers, and the juicy Wings of Terror. Read the full guides on Unlocking the Altar and the Altar Mechanics by Raxxanterax and Chewingnom to learn everything about this fantastic Season!
Note: The suggested path assumes you are playing Solo and used the Challenge Rift Cache to help you level up.
Node 2: Choose Anointed to gain a full set of 70 yellows from level 18-70!
Node 6: Rush to gain double Bounties to help unlock other Nodes in the Altar.
Nodes 7-14: These are the last Nodes you can gain until the Challenge Rift resets. Take at least 1 Node at the bottom of each path to unlock all 3 Potion Super Powers. Pick up the Mirror Node at the top for a colossal 41% extra XP all season. Remember to unlock Father once you clear GR70 solo and have your first Primal!
Nodes 15-26: Pick up the final Quality of Life, Damage, and Defense Nodes (in that order) to finish the Altar.
Potion Super Powers: Take Father first, then Mother, and finally Mortal.
Disclaimer: The Mortal and Mother Potions require you to salvage 2 and 3 Primals respectively. Unlock them as soon as you have those materials as they don't cost a point!
Global Stat Priorities
Make sure to optimize your Attack Speed to reach certain Breakpoints. For this build Attack Speed is one of the most important stat as Fetishes benefit twice from it (see Mechanics).
- As Carnevil makes your Fetishes scale with your attacks you want to aim for a decent Breakpoint on the Poison Dart.
- Furthermore your pets damage per shot also scales with Attack Speed as a separate multiplier. So even if additional Attack Speed does not give you an extra Breakpoint it is still worth getting it and one of the most important stat!
For the solo setups you do not need any Cooldown Reduction. In speed runs however it makes sense to stack around 40%-50% to keep up Big Bad Voodoo with the help of Grave Injustice.
Assembling the Build
Item Stat Priorities
In this setup we focus mainly on Movement Speed as well as Cooldown Reduction. We will have an awesome Echoing Fury and Big Bad Voodoo uptime as we are constantly killing enemies for our Grave Injustice passive. We add Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard combined with Squirt's Necklace for double damage, some additional toughness and insane healing.
That being said, the LoD variant of this build is better at speedfarming, as it is way tankier, can reliably keep Squirt's Necklace and can use Shukrani's Triumph or Thing of the Deep on top of not having to apply the Zunimassa (6) Bonus to deal damage.
Be quick, keep up your toughness buffs and pay attention to Elite affixes as you want to keep up your Squirt's Necklace to maximize damage output. Group on Elites and Spirit Walk as often as you can for unhindered movement and better shield uptime. Always use Piranhas Piranhado before you attack to get your Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus damage bonus!
If you have trouble with the Squirt's Necklace buff, feel free to swap out Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard for Bane of the Trapped to get a 60% separate damage multiplier. If you do not like the Piranhas Piranhado cooldown based playstyle switch to another spender like Locust Swarm to proc the Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus damage bonus constantly.
Fetishes & Attack Speed
Mask of Jeram
Fetish Army & Poison Dart Damage
- Put together the core items and acquire the full Zunimassa's Haunt set.
- Enjoy the damage burst when Echoing Fury is stacked up.
- Positioning is crucial!
- Legacy of Dreams variant is possible with less damage but with more toughness and utility.
This build is fun to play with a good pushing potential but lacks a lot in toughness and consistency. If you want to check out another strong WD build, take a look at the Mundunugu Witch Doctor.
I hope you enjoyed the guide! Cheers!
Written by Rob with special help from Chewingnom. Contributions by wudijo.
Updated by Chewingnom.
- 11 February 2023
Updated for Season 28 / Patch 2.7.5.
- 3 August 2022
Updated for Season 27 / Patch 2.7.4.
- 20 March 2022
Updated for Season 26 / Patch 2.7.3.