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
❌ Rarely gets an Oculus Proc


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 this build Attack Speed is one of the most important stat as the fetishes benefit twice from it:

  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.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. Gather the full Zunimassa's Haunt set. Each piece can be gambled from Kadala for Bloodshards. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If your last missing set piece is a weapon, ring or amulet - don't gamble for them! Instead gamble for a cheap and easy item, like the Gloves, and once again covert it with Recipe 4. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Zunimassa's Haunt set
  2. Carnevil and Mask of Jeram
  3. Depth Diggers
  4. The Witching Hour
  5. Convention of Elements, Zunimassa's Pox and The Compass Rose

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Ceremonial Knives to get The Dagger of Darts
  2. Maces to get Echoing Fury
  3. Rings to get Convention of Elements, Zunimassa's Pox and The Compass Rose
  4. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.


5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipe for Aughild's Authority

6. There is one final required piece that is difficult to acquire, The Travelers Pledge. With amulets being so expensive to gamble and craft, we'll have to search for it to drop in Nephalem and Greater Rifts. This can drop on any class so try to group up with friends when possible to share your loot!

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 an unconditional flat 1.6 separate damage multiplier to all our pets 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 and 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 and 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

GR Solo Speeds
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.

GR Solo 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. Don't forget to use your Fetishes as meat shield by hiding you behind them, this is a great way to reduce incoming damage! 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 Darts 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 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 and 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 1.6 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.

GR Group RGK
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 stick with Bane of the Stricken and pick full damage passives.

Gameplay
During 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, cast Big Bad Voodoo and deal an insane amount of damage in just a 4 second window. Spend the downtime 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. Don't forget to use your Fetishes as meat shield by hiding you behind them, this is a great way to reduce incoming damage!

Setups
Feel free to take any Shoulders you have instead of Pauldrons of the Skeleton King. Because we can abuse its damage reduction when casting teleport to town, Homing Pads can be a solid choice for instance, but any Shoulders will do.
Regarding the Offhand, we use Zunimassa's String of Skulls here for its 25% Fetish Army damage as fifth primary affix that allows us to get Elite Damage, or eventually Vitality. In case survivability is an issue, you can swap Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance for Ghost Trance or even use Uhkapian Serpent in combination with Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts for more consistent toughness and healing.

 

The Witch Doctor also lacks options for good Ring slots. We use a Hellfire Amulet, with either Spirit Vessel or Pierce the Veil as fifth passive depending on our needs, 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

Carnevil

  • With this item equipped, the 10 Fetishes closest to you will shoot a Poison Dart when you do.
  • Fetishes will shoot in the direction of your cursor, which makes cursor and pets positioning a crucial point to manage in order to maximize damage output.
  • The Poison Dart shot by Fetishes is a special one that uses the Poison Element and deals 455% weapon damage instead of the usual 185%, meaning the rune from your own Poison Dart does not matter.
  • The Poison Dart shot by Fetishes does hit the enemies twice!
  • As a result, Fetishes' Poison Dart is around 5 times more powerful than your own.

Fetishes & Attack Speed

  • In this specific build, Fetishes benefit twice from Attack Speed!
  • Fetishes (Fetish Army and Fetish Sycophants) damage, like other pets, is scaled using Attack Speed as a separate damage multiplier. This means Attack Speed is always a damage gain for pets.
  • Carnevil makes Fetishes shoot a Poison Dart when you do. Because of this particular interaction, Fetishes will scale with your own Attack Speed as well. Hence, you want to aim for a decent breakpoint on Poison Dart.

Zunimassa's Haunt

  • Zunimassa's Haunt (2) Bonus only affects Fetish Army's fetishes. Thus, Fetish Sycophants will still last 60 seconds regardless of this bonus.
  • Because of Zunimassa's Haunt (4) Bonus, you and your pets gain 3% damage reduction for each Fetish alive, stacking additively with each other.
    That bonus alone is the reason why we use Fetish Army Legion of Daggers as it summons 8 fetishes instead of 5 with other runes. Fetish Sycophants, on the other hand, has a 15% chance to spawn a fetish per cast, up to a maximum of 15. This brings us to a total of 23 fetishes, granting us a total of 69% damage reduction.
  • Zunimassa's Haunt (6) Bonus requires you to hit enemies with a mana spender ability (like Piranhas or Locust Swarm) every 8 seconds in order to benefit from its damage multiplier of 15,000%. This bonus only buffs damage coming from your pets such as Fetishes.
  • Zunimassa's String of Skulls comes with 20-25% Fetish Army Damage as a fifth primary affix instead of the usual 10-15% affix roll.

Mask of Jeram

  • The 200% pet damage bonus from Mask of Jeram is a specific case: Its damage buff is additive with your Elemental damage (Fire / Physical / Poison / Cold).
  • As a consequence, "Fire / Physical / Poison / Cold skills deal X% more damage" affixes (Mainly found on Bracers and Amulet slots), grants a lower relative damage increase to builds using Mask of Jeram in comparison to other builds.

Fetish Army & Poison Dart Damage

  • Fetish Army damage on your items (Shoulders, Chest and Offhand) is a separate damage multiplier for Fetish Army as well as Fetish Sycophants.
  • Poison Dart damage from Belt and Pants is also a separate damage multiplier for Fetishes because of the Carnevil interaction, despite being additive damage for your character.
  • As you can get up to 55% Fetish Army damage and 30% Poison Dart damage on your equipment, those stats put together equals a 2.015 damage multiplier for this build.

Piranhas Piranhado

  • This ability is one of the few ways in the game to pixelpull enemies.
  • If used on top of enemies, it will pull others close but not pixel them.
  • In order to get the best pull possible, it should be used on a spot with no other nearby enemies.

Gruesome Feast

  • Each stack, received upon picking up a Health Globe, has its own duration.
  • You need 5 globes every 15 seconds or one Health Globe every three seconds to keep it at full power.
  • The Intelligence bonus stacks additively with Soul Harvest's bonus.
  • Fetishes does benefit from this Intelligence bonus.

Ring of Emptiness

  • Buffs all your damage by 300% as a separate damage multiplier, which equals a 4.0 multiplier. In order to activate the damage multiplier, the target needs to be inflicted by either Haunt or Locust Swarm.
  • The wording here is important: regarding this item, "Your damage" means it does only apply to the player, hence pets (like Fetishes) will not benefit from this damage multiplier. This explains why this item is not included in the 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!
Guide by Rob with special help from Chewingnom