Zunimassa Poison Dart Witch Doctor Guide

Introduction

Zunimassa's Haunt was buffed from 5.500% to a whopping 15.000 % damage increase in Patch 2.6.4 and became one of the strongest Witch Doctor (WD) sets in the game. The set mainly revolves around your pets, in particular your Fetish Army dealing crazy amounts of damage to enemies. The most common and most powerful build version uses the Poison Dart skill in combination with Carnevil and The Dagger of Darts.

Ranged WD Build ✔
High Elite Damage ✔
Fast Attack Speed ✔
High Single Target Damage✔

❌ Not very Mobile
❌ Low Toughness
❌ Low AoE Damage
❌ Most Damage done by Pets


Solo Push Greater Rift

Core Setup

Items

  • 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 Dart's pierce the targets
  • Carnevil is the core item that makes this build work as 10 of your Fetishes will now shoot an around 5 times more 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 increase and additive with elemental damage on our Bracers and Amulet and the reason why that attribute is not as important as in other builds
  • 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
  • The Aughild's Authority set is a very powerful addition with its overall stat boost and the added Elite Damage
  • On the Jewelry slots the optional items next to Ring of Royal Grandeur are: Squirt's Necklace, The Compass Rose & The Travelers Pledge or Convention of Elements for multiplicative damage
Poison Dart Attack Speed Breakpoints

Global Stat Priorities
Make sure to optimize your Attack Speed to reach certain breakpoints - for in-depth mechanics click here.
For a pet build like this one Attack Speed is one of the most important stats as the pets usually benefit twice:
1. As Carnevil makes your Fetishes scale with your attacks you want to aim for a decent breakpoint on the Poison Dart.
2. 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 stats!
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.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandThe Dagger of Darts
Echoing Fury (Cubed)
The Furnace (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Attack Speed
4. Damage %
5. Area Damage
6. Intelligence
Off-HandZunimassa's String of Skulls1. Damage Range
2. Fetish Army Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Area Damage
5. Intelligence
6. Elite Damage
7. Vitality
HelmCarnevil
Mask of Jeram (Cubed)
1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
GlovesZunimassa's Finger Wraps1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Attack Speed
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Intelligence
ShouldersAughild's Power (Crafted)1. Fetish Army Damage
2. Area Damage
3. Intelligence
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. Vitality
Chest Zunimassa's Marrow1. Fetish Army Damage
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Ruby
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
PantsDepth Diggers1. Poison Dart Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. Sockets Flawless Royal Ruby
BootsZunimassa's Trail1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. All Resistance
5. Life Regeneration
Left RingThe Compass Rose
Convention of Elements
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties) (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Attack Speed
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Area Damage
Right RingZunimassa's Pox1. Socket
2. Attack Speed
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Area Damage
BracersAughild's Search (Crafted)
Nemesis Bracers
1. Poison Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
AmuletThe Traveler's Pledge
Squirt's Necklace
The Flavor of Time
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Poison Damage
5. Attack Speed
6. Intelligence
BeltThe Witching Hour1. Poison Dart Damage
2. Attack Speed
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Intelligence
5. Vitality

Gems

  • Simplicity's Strength is the highest flat damage gem in the game if you are using any sort of Primary Skill. That's exactly what we do with Poison Dart, so this one is a no-brainer as it also provides an insane amount of healing at high Attack Speed rates
  • Enforcer is the staple for pet builds! It provides us an unconditional flat 1,6x damage multiplier to all of our pet's damage and basically makes them invincible with the 90% damage reduction
  • The last gem slot is a bit situational:
    - For solo pushes we need Bane of the Stricken to kill the Rift Guardian
    - For speed runs we can take Bane of the Trapped but we need to stay in melee range for the rank 25 effect to proc itself within 15 yards providing us a flat 1,6 damage multiplier
    - Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard can be used to gain a shield buff in combination with Squirt's Necklace for double damage output, some additional toughness & insane healing

Skills

  • We use Poison Dart as our main long ranged damage dealer. Any rune choice is possible as our Fetishes will always shoot the Poison element Dart from the base rune and our own damage does not matter at all! Most players use Poison Dart Spined Dart for the additional Mana regeneration to spam Piranhas with Grave Injustice
  • Fetish Army is dealing all the damage in combination with Fetish Sycophants and Carnevil. On top of that we get damage reduction from the Zunimassa's Haunt (4) Bonus for each Fetish we have alive
  • Piranhas Piranhado is used to group up monsters and proc our Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus. Keep in mind you need to kill monsters to reduce the cooldown of this skill with Grave Injustice
  • Spirit Walk is mostly used for Movement Speed as well as defensive purposes and can also be used offensively by getting in an Oculus Ring zone easily and safely
  • Soul Harvest offers us great offensive (Intelligence) and defensive (Armor from Languish and All Resistance through Intelligence) buffs
  • The last skill slot is very situational: For solo we use Horrify Frightening Aspect for a permanent 50% Armor buff. For speed runs we use Big Bad Voodoo in combination with Grave Injustice for extra Attack Speed, Damage and Movement Speed. This combination is not used in solo as the kill speed is very slow and we will not get enough Grave Injustice procs to maintain a decent uptime on Big Bad Voodoo

Passives

  • Fetish Sycophants are used to summon even more Fetishes for damage and even more toughness from the Zunimassa's Haunt (4) Bonus. You can have a maximum of 15 Fetishes alive from this passive alone, resulting in another 45% damage reduction. You have to be careful when you are starting a Rift or have lost your Fetishes in other ways (e.g. from a death), as you will be very squishy and you won't be dealing a lot of damage until you spend some time attacking to bring them back. Additionally, you can use the Fetishes as meatshields to tank hits for you
  • Grave Injustice is used to reduce cooldowns of skills like Piranhas and Big Bad Voodoo and is particularly strong in any kind of speed runs, where you kill monsters very fast
  • We can take one or even 2 of these defensive passives especially for solo gameplay. Take Spirit Vessel as a "cheat death" or Swampland Attunement for an insane Resistance boost during huge monster pulls
  • Another damage options include Confidence Ritual for a multiplicative damage increase in close range combat or Pierce the Veil as an additive damage increase in exchange for increased Mana costs. As we are a Generator build with Poison Dart the latter does not matter
  • In group play take in Gruesome Feast for this last passive slot as it is one of the best passives in the entire game if you have a support such as zBarb providing you with Health Globes using skills like Threatening Shout Grim Harvest

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Attack Speed1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence2. Critical Hit Damage2. Life %2. Pickup Radius
3. Vitality¹3. Critical Hit Chance3. All Resistance3. Life per Hit
4. Maximum Mana4. Cooldown Reduction4. Life Regeneration4. Resource Cost Reduction

¹ Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 500.000 - 800.00 Life is recommended)

Follower

The Templar is recommended for this build due to his melee range and aggressive AI. When there's a monster in range he will always stand still and fight it, making him very predictable and easy to play around.

For the Skills pick Heal, Loyalty, Onslaught and Inspire. All the alternatives, except Intimidate, include AoE hard-CC, which makes mobs harder to manipulate.

Follower's damage is completely irrelevant, so we stack Attack Speed for more on-hit procs and Cooldown Reduction for more Heals. The Items are:

  • Enchanting Favor to make follower immortal
  • Oculus Ring for 85% multiplicative damage boost
  • Hellfire Ring for 0.9% XP boost
  • The Ess of Johan to pull mobs together
  • Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for the Attack Speed slow
  • Any Shield with Cooldown Reduction

Gameplay

Always keep Horrify Frightening Aspect up for the permanent 50% Armor buff. When you enter a map start off by using Spirit Walk to run towards enemies and use Soul Harvest to get the offensive & defensive buffs up. Cast your Fetish Army and group up monsters using Piranhas Piranhado. Position yourself a few yards away from the pull to not get hit and proceed by casting Poison Dart into the pull. Your Fetishes will mirror your attacks and cast to the same location dealing massive damage. Continue to aggro enemies with Poison Dart and group on Elites with Piranhas Piranhado. Run around a lot and try to dodge most Elite Affixes and ranged projectiles as you are very squishy.

Hardcore

This build is very squishy and it is hard to add in toughness buffs. Definitively not recommended for HC, but you can try the Legacy of Dreams version of this build discussed below in Variants.


Variants

Solo Greater Rift Push
Solo Push Greater Rift

Concept
This build mixes toughness buffs from Horrify Frightening Aspect and the Endless Walk set together with the decent pull ability of Piranhas Piranhado to clear the Greater Rift. We already have high single target damage but still have to add a Bane of the Stricken to kill the Rift Guardian on these higher Greater Rift tiers. For the highest leaderboards clears you have to fish for a good open Greater Rift with mostly melee monsters like Zombie, Grotesque and Summoners combination.

Gameplay
Keep up your Horrify Frightening Aspect and Soul Harvest buffs at all times. Try to kite around a lot due to low toughness value and utilize Oculus Ring buffs whenever you can. Create huge pulls with Piranhas Piranhado and group them tightly for additional Area Damage and more pierces from The Dagger of Darts. Be aware of your position and the angle at which you shoot your Poison Dart's in order to hit as many enemies as possible! Ideally you want to time this damage rotation with your Convention of Elements Poison cycle.

Setups
Feel free to switch out the Endless Walk set into The Flavor of Time and Convention of Elements and cube The Furnace to allow for some crazy Conduit Pylon to finish off Elite packs and a rotation based burst playstyle with Piranhas Piranhado on Poison rotation.

Solo Speed Greater Rift
Solo Greater Rift

Concept
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 & insane healing.

Gameplay
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!

Setups
Feel free to switch out the Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard and Squirt's Necklace combination to fit in Bane of the Trapped for another 1,6x damage multiplier in close combat. As Amulet you can either add the Hellfire Amulet with an additional passive like Pierce the Veil or Gruesome Feast or The Flavor of Time. 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.

Group Rift Guardian Killer
Rift Guardian Killer

Concept
This is an extremely squishy group Rift Guardian Killer that goes full offensive mode to even have a chance to compete with other RGK builds. Even when doing that this build is still only around C-Tier in terms of boss killing. It is difficult to keep up your Squirt's Necklace buff even with your party members helping out. Of course we have to stay with Bane of the Stricken and pick full damage passives.

Gameplay
In the Rift your job is just to survive. You may sit in the Inner Sanctuary all the time, giving the Big Bad Voodoo buff to your trash killer and providing damage reduction to the entire group by applying Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects to enemies. On the actual boss fight try to dodge and kite basically everything and use Big Bad Voodoo ideally in combination with a Power Pylon. Recast your Locust Swarm at least every 8 seconds to keep up the Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus. Try to move as little as possible to keep up your Endless Walk damage buff!

Setups
You can add in some additional toughness by changing the rune on Big Bad Voodoo to Ghost Trance. Feel free to stay with Piranhas Wave of Mutilation instead of Locust Swarm if you prioritize damage buff over toughness.

LoD Version
LoD Solo Greater Rift

Concept
This is a more tanky version with the Legacy of Dreams gem instead of Zunimassa's Haunt. Here we gain tremendous toughness by adding Stone Gauntlets, Aquila Cuirass and the Lakumba's Ornament + Sacred Harvester combination. We add Ice Climbers to negate Stone Gauntlets negative effect. We lose damage as we have to drop Enforcer.

Gameplay
The gameplay is very close to the Zunimassa's Haunt version with a few exceptions: You are so much tankier! This allows you to stand your ground against loads of enemies with all toughness buffs up and take risky Oculus Ring procs to maximize damage output. Furthermore you can play a rotation based build now with Convention of Elements. Try to set up the pulls with Piranhas Piranhado for the Poison rotation and deal an insane amount of damage in just a 4 second window. Spend the down time to gather up more enemies but be careful to not die as you do not have Fetish Army on your skill bar to instantly recast Fetishes. You need to spawn them one by one by attacking with Poison Dart to proc Fetish Sycophants.

Setups
Feel free to take any Shoulder piece you prefer instead of Pauldrons of the Skeleton King. Same goes for the Off-Hand: We use Uhkapian Serpent here in combination with Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts for toughness and healing but you can take any other Off-Hand and skill like Big Bad Voodoo.
The Witch Doctor also lacks options for good Ring slots. We use a Hellfire Amulet here but feel free to experiment around with Squirt's Necklace if you are a god at dodging incoming attacks!
Another option is to actually cube Oculus Ring, drop the Hellfire Amulet and equip The Flavor of Time as enemies killed by your pets do not always proc your Follower's Oculus Ring damage circle!


Mechanics

Pets and Attack Speed

We briefly touched on Attack Speed the under global stat priorities: Fetishes benefit twice from Attack Speed!
1. As Carnevil makes your Fetishes scale with your attacks you want to aim for a decent breakpoint on the Poison Dart.
2. Furthermore your pet's damage per shot also scales with your sheet 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!
The way this 2nd Attack Speed scaling works is rather simple: The game takes your sheet Attacks Per Second (APS) and uses that as a separate multiplier to your pet's attack after all the other damage multipliers have already been applied.

Zunimassa's Haunt (4) Bonus

We and our pets gain 3 % damage reduction from each Fetish that is alive stacking additively with each other. First we have Fetish Army Legion of Daggers summoning 5 + 3 = 8 Fetishes. Second we have Fetish Sycophants with a 15% chance to spawn per cast up to a maximum of 15. In total that gives us 15 + 8 = 23 Fetishes. With our Set bonus that is 23 x 3 a total of 69 % damage reduction!

Carnevil

This item is capped to the 10 Fetishes closest to you. That means even if you have 23 total maximum Fetishes out only 10 of them will shoot a Poison Dart. No matter what rune you choose on your own skill bar for Poison Dart your Fetishes will always shoot the a Poison based Dart that deals 455% weapon damage instead of the usual 185% and hits enemies twice! As a result the Dart that is shot by your Fetishes is around 5 times more powerful than your own, which makes this item absolutely crazy and mandatory for this build!

Ring of Emptiness

The Witch Doctor has this amazing Ring that increases your damage done by 300 % when enemies are affected by either Haunt or Locust Swarm. The only problem here is the "your" part in the wording and also in the mechanic: It does only apply to the player! All your pets will unfortunately not get this benefit and since this is a pets build due to the very nature of Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus bonus our own damage is not relevant making this item useless for this particular build.

Fetish Army & Poison Dart

As these items stats both roll in different slots (Shoulders, Chest and Off-Hand for Fetish Army and Belt as well as Pants for Poison Dart) it is possible to have them both at the same time. They both are separate damage multipliers to all other damage sources further boosting the offensive potential of this pet build!


Summary

  • Good single target damage and possible Rift Guardian Killing potential
  • Very squishy and damage output depends on the players position
  • Lack of large AOE damage
  • A half decent speed build with Echoing Fury and double Attack Speed benefits
  • Legacy of Dreams version possible with less damage but way more toughness

This build is fun to play but lacks both damage as well as toughness in comparison to the Mundunugu's Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor. I personally hope that Ring of Emptiness can be changed in future patches to apply to Witch Doctor pets as well. Cheers!
Rob