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. However it is one of the best setup to compete on the No Set 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.
This guide will mainly cover the Zunimassa's Haunt variant of the Carnevil build, but we will also cover the LoN and LoD variants of the build. Let's get into it!
Ranged WD Build ✔
Fast Attack Speed ✔
Unique Pet Playstyle ✔
High Single Target Damage ✔
❌ Not very Mobile
❌ Low Toughness
❌ Low AoE Damage
❌ Rarely Gets an Oculus Proc
- 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.
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.
- 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.