Zunimassa Poison Dart Witch Doctor Guide

Zunimassa Carnevil Solo Push
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Introduction

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, at the cost of some power unfortunately. 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
❌ Rarely gets an Oculus Proc


Core Setup

Core Item Build

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 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 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.

  • 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 24 Ethereals

Ethereals are powerful rare weapons that can only be found during Season 24. They have incredible stats, a random Legendary power, and a free passive for your class. Read our Ethereal Mechanics Guide for full details on how they work and our Ethereal Farming Guide to learn how to acquire them. What you should prioritize on them is the following:

  1. The Legendary Power
    This build requires The Dagger of Darts and Echoing Fury to be functional. We need our Ethereal to roll one of these powers so we can cube the other. We also want a good roll on our Legendary power if it has a range. For speed content it is always helpful to have Ethereals with In-geom power, so keep those if you find them.
  2. The Ethereal Itself
    There are 3 different weapons available to us, each with its own benefits:
    • The Gidbinn - This is the Ethereal we absolutely want as it is the only one granting 200% damage to Voodoo Skills, which includes Fetishes. Its high Attack Speed is very beneficial to us as well.
    • Ghostflame and Arioc's Needle - These are better than normal Weapons but they're not giving 200% damage to Fetishes, hence they are both tremendously weaker than The Gidbinn.
  3. The Ethereal Stat Rolls
    Each Ethereal comes with its own fixed set of powerful affixes. While some have a static value, many have a wide stat range. This means the difference between good and bad and good rolls is significant and something you should look for.
  4. A Useful Passive
    This is just icing on the cake because a fifth passive is not going to make or break your build. You're better off hunting for the things above. Check out the Passives section down below to see which ones you're looking for.

Global Stat Priorities

Poison Dart Attack Speed Breakpoints

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).

  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 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

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 Zunimassa's Pox - don't gamble for it! 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 and The Compass Rose
  4. Amulets to get Traveler's Pledge, Squirt's Necklace and The Flavor of Time
  5. 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: Recipes for Aughild's Authority and Cain's Destiny (for your follower)

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandThe Gidbinn
The Dagger of Darts
Echoing Fury (Cubed)
The Furnace
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Attack Speed
4. Damage %
5. Area Damage
6. Intelligence
Off-HandZunimassa's String of Skulls1. Fetish Army Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Area Damage
4. Intelligence
5. Elite Damage
6. 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
Ring 1The 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
Ring 2Zunimassa's Pox
1. Socket
2. Attack Speed
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Area Damage
BracersAughild's Search (Crafted)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
PotionBottomless Potion of Kulle-AidFor breaking walls to pull
enemies and increase DPS

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 push 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.

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 700,000 Life is recommended).

Follower

Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:

  1. The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
  2. Follower’s powers are based on their mainstat (maxed at 25,000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10,000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
  3. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.

Speed GR Enchantress

Speed GR Enchantress

For speed Greater Rifts we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is speed content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Hellfire Ring, Leoric's Crown and Cain's Destiny: For more Experience and Attack Speed.

GR Pushing Enchantress

GR Pushing Enchantress

For Greater Rift Pushing we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Attack Speed, which double dips due to Carnevil. She’ll stay alive because we have Enforcer with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Blind Faith: To consistently blind the Rift Guardian, helping with Squirt's Necklace.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • The Witching Hour, Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.

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 Hardcore except for experienced players. You can swap Echoing Fury with Sacred Harvester and Aughild's Authority with Lakumba's Ornament and Pauldrons of the Skeleton King. However the Legacy of Dreams variant (see Guide) is very tanky and generally better at speedfarming.


Variants

GR Solo Speeds
Zunimassa Solo Speeds

Ethereals
If you don't have any Ethereal Item equip The Dagger of Darts and cube Echoing Fury.

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.

That being said, the LoD variant of this build is better at speedfarming, as it is tankier, can reliably keep Squirt's Necklace and can use Oculus Ring as well as Thing of the Deep.

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
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.

GR Solo Push
Zunimassa Solo Push

Ethereals
If you don't have any Ethereal Item equip The Dagger of Darts and cube Echoing Fury.

Concept
This build mixes toughness buffs from Horrify Frightening Aspect and Soul Harvest Languish 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 in time. For the highest leaderboards clears you have to fish for a good open Greater Rift with mostly melee monsters like Zombies, Grotesques and Summoners.

Gameplay
Keep up your Horrify Frightening Aspect and Soul Harvest buffs at all times. Try to dodge and keep your distance due to your low toughness. 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!

Setups
If you feel too squishy and struggle to maintain Squirt's Necklace, go for Endless Walk but you will lose Convention of Elements in the process. You can also swap Pierce the Veil with Swampland Attunement for instance.

In 2man with a zBarb, swap Pierce the Veil with Gruesome Feast and Piranhado with Acid Cloud Acid Rain or Locust Swarm to not disturb enemies pulling. If you're playing as a Trash Killer in 3man or 4man, replace Bane of the Stricken with Pain Enhancer, Grave Injustice with Gruesome Feast and Piranhado with Acid Cloud Acid Rain or Locust Swarm.

GR Group RGK
Zunimassa RGK

Ethereals
If you don't have any Ethereal Item equip The Dagger of Darts and cube Echoing Fury.

Concept
This is an extremely squishy group Rift Guardian Killer that goes full offensive mode but is generally outclassed on the RGK Tier List. It is difficult to keep up your Squirt's Necklace buff even with your party members helping out. Of course you have to stick with Bane of the Stricken and pick full damage passives.

Gameplay
In the Rift your job is mostly to survive. Give the Big Bad Voodoo buff to your Trash Killer and provide damage reduction to the entire group by applying Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects to enemies. During the 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.

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


Video Guide


Mechanics

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.

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.

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

  • 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!

Guide by Rob with special help from Chewingnom. Updated by wudijo & Chewingnom.