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Witch Doctor Carnevil Poison Build with Zunimassa's Haunt (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Aug 09, 2016 at 20:10 by Deadset 44 comments

Table of Contents

Zunimassa's Haunt was first reworked in Patch 2.2, and has since remained a top tier Witch Doctor set with competitive soloing performance. Taking advantage of the powers of the 2.3 gamechanger Kanai's Cube, the gear synergy of this playstyle elevates the Carnevil Carnevil build even further. This ranged, pet-centric playstyle is is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Poison Dart Icon Poison Dart Spined Dart Spined Dart Right Mouse Button Grasp of the Dead Icon Grasp of the Dead Desperate Grasp Desperate Grasp 1 Big Bad Voodoo Icon Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance Slam Dance 2 Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk Jaunt Jaunt 3 Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest Languish Languish 4 Fetish Army Icon Fetish Army Legion of Daggers Legion of Daggers
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Poison Dart Icon Poison Dart Spined Dart Spined Dart Right Mouse Button Acid Cloud Icon Acid Cloud Acid Rain Acid Rain 1 Big Bad Voodoo Icon Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance Slam Dance 2 Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk Severance Severance 3 Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest Soul to Waste Soul to Waste 4 Fetish Army Icon Fetish Army Legion of Daggers Legion of Daggers
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

3. Rotation

The build focuses on the interaction between the Carnevil Carnevil helm, allowing for your 5 closest Fetish summons to shoot powerful, 250% multiplier Poison Dart Poison Darts alongside you, and the projectile piercing property of The Dagger of Darts The Dagger of Darts. You begin runs by summoning your Fetish Army Fetish Army, and over the course of the run their numbers will swell through the Fetish Sycophants Fetish Sycophants passive. Nevertheless, keep an eye on your Fetish counter, and resummon accordingly. The majority of your time will be spent alternating between your primary damage dealer, Poison Dart Poison Dart, and a strong utility spender in the face of Grasp of the Dead Grasp of the Dead (or Acid Cloud Acid Cloud in Torments). Although this is a mid-to-high range spec, you will have to close the distance to the enemy occasionally to get the benefits of the powerful Soul Harvest Soul Harvest buff. To position for harvesting, escape deadly affixes or simply get to safety, the build adopts another staple: Spirit Walk Spirit Walk. Finally, to complement the "walking army" playstyle of the build, we use the AoE buff Big Bad Voodoo Big Bad Voodoo, whose massive radius greatly benefits your menagerie.

4. Skills, Runes and Passives

Your main damage dealer is found in Poison Dart Poison Dart, a primary skill supported by two powerful legendary items, Carnevil Carnevil and The Dagger of Darts The Dagger of Darts, and a dedicated legendary gem — Simplicity's Strength Simplicity's Strength. While its potential is already considerable with those items in mind, it gains the additional multiplicative damage increase of Depth Diggers Depth Diggers through the mana generating Spined Dart Spined Dart rune.

Due to the nature of the Zunimassa 6-piece bonus, the use of a spender is mandated for this build. While in Torments you can benefit from the immediate nature and increased Area of Effect of Acid Cloud Acid Cloud Acid Rain Acid Rain, it is recommended that you swap to Grasp of the Dead Grasp of the Dead when Greater Rifting. With a negligible cooldown through the Desperate Grasp Desperate Grasp rune, this skill proves to be a cheap and consistent spender to proc your necessary bonuses, including the damage of Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped and defense of Bad Medicine Bad Medicine.

The foundation of your mobile unit, Fetish Army Fetish Army is a centerpiece of the build: turned indefinite through the Zunimassa set and modified to poisonous turrets through the Carnevil Carnevil mask. Since the Fetish darts do poison damage regardless of the selected rune, and your damage reduction is based on the Fetish count, Legion of Daggers Legion of Daggers is regarded as the best rune for the slot.

A mobility and all around safety mainstay in the Witch Doctor arsenal, Spirit Walk Spirit Walk finds its place in yet another build. Its moderate cooldown is compensated by its versatility: it renders you invulnerable, removes enemy collision and increases your movement speed by 50% — all for the generous 3 seconds of Jaunt Jaunt. In Torments where prolonged safety is trumped by faster movement, you can swap to the speedier Severance Severance rune.

One of the strongest utility cooldowns of Witch Doctors, Soul Harvest Soul Harvest is a great addition to the build. It acts as a damage buff by default, increasing your Intelligence by up to 15% for the modest requirement of 5 harvested enemies. With the Languish Languish rune and the worn Lakumba's Ornament Lakumba's Ornament bracers, it attains additional crowd control and toughness buff properties, solidifying its place in this mid-range playstyle. The naturally overlapping duration simply sweetens the deal. As a final note, you can consider swapping to the movement speed oriented Soul to Waste Soul to Waste rune in Torments.

Rounding out the skill choices, Big Bad Voodoo Big Bad Voodoo takes a firm spot in the rotation once you pick a solid fight. Undoubtedly the most impactful DPS buff at the disposal of Witch Doctors, and with a humongous cooldown to boot, this skill and the Slam Dance Slam Dance rune are worth taking for numbers alone.

This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.

Fetish Sycophants Fetish Sycophants is a signature passive of the build, spawning additional Fetishes as you naturally go through your rotations. Capping at an impressive 15, this ability solidifies the meat shield in front of you and significantly increases the damage reduction benefits of the Zunimassa 4-piece set bonus.

A fitting defensive choice for poison-oriented builds, Bad Medicine Bad Medicine reduces the damage of monsters damaged by attacks of that element. Effectively up at all times in this poison-dominant build, the debuff coming from this passive spreads effectively with the piercing Fetish Poison Dart Poison Darts and the AoE of Grasp of the Dead Grasp of the Dead. Due to the limited challenges of normal rifts, the best defense often turns out to be the good offense; thus I recommend swapping this slot into Grave Injustice Grave Injustice, turning the fast killspeed in Torments into cooldown reduction for near permanent Spirit Walk Spirit Walk.

A well-rounded DPS increase for Greater Rifting, Pierce the Veil Pierce the Veil provides a guaranteed 20% additive damage bonus at the cost of a 30% increase in Mana costs. The drawback is hardly noticeable in this build, as it is mostly primary and cooldown skill centric and the chosen spender is cheap and effective. Alternatives to this passive are Jungle Fortitude Jungle Fortitude or Swampland Attunement Swampland Attunement if you feel like you are lacking Toughness, or the movement speed increase of Fierce Loyalty Fierce Loyalty in normal rifts, avoiding overkill of damage and survivability.

You have a decision making point for your final passive slot. Able to work from a safe range, Zunimassa Witch Doctors can get away with using a fourth offensive passive in the form of Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast — and it is definitely recommended to do so at least in Torments. One of the strongest Witch Doctor passives due to its true multiplier, Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast grants you a 10% increase of Mana and Intelligence when you are healed by a health globe, stacking up to five times. If you prefer having a cheat death at your disposal, Spirit Vessel Spirit Vessel is the Witch Doctor's go-to passive. Besides allowing you to dodge a death screen, it heals a significant portion of your life and puts you in a Spirit Walk Spirit Walk-like state, letting you quickly reposition.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build takes advantage of the full Zunimassa set bonuses, taking five of the seven available pieces and cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur to reduce the number of items for set bonus completion by one. This opens up the helm and leg slots for the unique bonuses of Carnevil Carnevil and the damage multiplication of the Depth Diggers Depth Diggers pants. Rolls-wise, this pet playstyle makes good use of skill bonuses across gear. Sought after on the chest and shoulders, Fetish Army % bonus accompanies toughness stats on the Zunimassa's Marrow Zunimassa's Marrow and Area Damage on your shoulder of choice. Fetish Army % is also a guaranteed roll on the Zunimassa's String of Skulls Zunimassa's String of Skulls, where it is best accompanied by an Area Damage roll. Poison Dart % can be rolled on belt and pants, and being a direct boost to your primary damage dealer it is considered an optimal stat on both items. The ideal Zunimassa's Pox Zunimassa's Pox will include both Crit Stats, Attack Speed and an open Socket. While this guide will not delve into the specifics of breakpoint chasing, Attack Speed is an important stat for Poison Dart damage, and you can aim for the 29 frame breakpoint by reaching over 2.00 attacks per second in your sheet, easily achieved with maximized 7% IAS rolls on your weapon, gloves, belt and two rings.

The ability to store the powers of Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Kanai's Cube opens a powerful offensive combo in the jewelry: the Endless Walk set, The Compass Rose The Compass Rose and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge. This 2.4 rework adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This dynamic fits the Zuni playstyle, as you alternate stationary Poison Dart Poison Dart shooting with leading your troops to the next big fight. As mentioned above, Attack Speed, Crit Chance, Crit Damage and an open Socket is desired on The Compass Rose The Compass Rose, while the two Crit stats, Poison elemental damage and an open Socket are best for The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge.

During Torment farm it is recommended to swap away from the Endless Walk set, as it promotes a static fighting style unfit for normal rifts; use the more offensive combo of Avarice Band Avarice Band and a Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet. Avarice Band Avarice Band's pickup radius bonus is incredibly synergistic with a Witch Doctor, as it benefits not only your movement speed through a socketed Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, but also your staple speedfarm passives like Grave Injustice Grave Injustice and Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast. While any well-rolled amulet can fulfill the role for Torments, a crafted Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet with a solid fifth passive (Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast, Grave Injustice Grave Injustice, Pierce the Veil Pierce the Veil, Swampland Attunement Swampland Attunement) is easily the best in slot.

With the 2.4 reworks to its mechanics, Depth Diggers Depth Diggers now include Wizard and Witch Doctor resource generating attacks, opening up more viable builds. The Carnevil Doctor is one of them, taking advantage of the up to 100% damage increase (multiplicative as of 2.4.1) to his primary attack, the Mana-generating Spined Dart Spined Dart. The desired stats are Intelligence, Vitality, 2 Sockets and Poison Dart %.

The most desirable belt for a Carnevil Witch Doctor is the glass cannon champion, The Witching Hour The Witching Hour. Naturally sporting the unusual combination of Attack Speed and Crit Damage, the best-in-slot rolls would also include a Poison Dart % roll. Another viable, but noticeably weaker option for GRs is the Belt of Transcendence Belt of Transcendence, allowing you to free up the Fetish Sycophants Fetish Sycophants passive slot for another of your choosing. When farming normal rifts, you can also wear a Goldwrap Goldwrap. Synergizing with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, Goldwrap Goldwrap will render you practically invulnerable and allow you to focus on killing and looting without regards for your safety.

Introduced in Patch 2.4 to specifically assist Jade Harvester set builds, Lakumba's Ornament Lakumba's Ornament is nevertheless a great inclusion to a build that runs Soul Harvest Soul Harvest to assist its Toughness issues. At the full 5 stacks of a non-Sacred Harvester Sacred Harvester setup, Lakumba's Ornament Lakumba's Ornament will reduce incoming damage by the respectable 26%. Aim for Poison damage, Intelligence, Vitality, and Crit Chance.

There is no specific shoulder that you need to run, so any item with good stats will do. That being said, several legendary shoulders still have decent bonuses to be considered: the craftable Corruption Corruption will extend your pickup radius and synergize with Grave Injustice Grave Injustice and Swampland Attunement Swampland Attunement; and Pauldrons of the Skeleton King Pauldrons of the Skeleton King will give you another cheat death, albeit at a low proc chance. Optimal stats are Intelligence, Vitality, Fetish Army % and Area Damage.

While it is the namesake of the build, the Carnevil Carnevil voodoo mask is only sought after because of its unique property that enables the 5 closest Fetish summons to shoot Poison Dart Poison Darts along with you. The mask sports the standard four primary stats and is interchangeable with a Mask of Jeram Mask of Jeram — so pick your better rolled helm and store the powers of the other in Kanai's Cube. Still, a good Carnevil Carnevil is much easier to obtain as it has no range to roll on the unique property (unlike Mask of Jeram Mask of Jeram, which can roll anywhere between 75-100% bonus damage for pets), so Carnevil Carnevil comes as the default recommendation.

A similar situation is found in the weapon slot, where The Dagger of Darts The Dagger of Darts produces the signature piercing effect. While that bonus is certainly mandatory, the dagger is interchangeable with a Starmetal Kukri Starmetal Kukri, and you can cube your weaker weapon. Since the Starmetal Kukri Starmetal Kukri is a much rarer drop and rolls guaranteed Crit Damage (not necessarily bad, but harder to optimize breakpoints around), The Dagger of Darts The Dagger of Darts is the standard suggestion. Notice that Attack Speed is a priority on the weapon, ideally accompanied by high Intelligence and % damage rolls.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Socket
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Intelligence
  2. Fetish Army %
  3. Area Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Armor
Torso
  1. 3 Sockets
  2. Intelligence
  3. Fetish Army %
  4. Vitality
  5. Armor
Wrists
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Poison Damage
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Vitality
Waist
  1. Intelligence
  2. Attack Speed
  3. Critical Damage
  4. Poison Dart %
Legs
  1. 2 Sockets
  2. Intelligence
  3. Poison Dart %
  4. Vitality
  5. Armor
Feet
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. All Resistance
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Poison Damage
  5. Intelligence
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Intelligence
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Intelligence
Weapon
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Intelligence
  3. High Damage Range
  4. Attack Speed
  5. % Weapon Damage
  6. Vitality
Off-hand
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Fetish Army %
  4. Area Damage
  5. Vitality

6. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Maximum Mana
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Attack Speed
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Defense
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  4. Gold Find

7. Gems

Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Simplicity's Strength Simplicity's Strength, Enforcer Enforcer and Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped.

  • Simplicity's Strength Simplicity's Strength is one of the best DPS gems you can take for the build, as it was changed into a separate damage multiplication source to primary skills in Patch 2.4.1. Affecting both yours and your Fetish attacks, and upgrading with a steady pace of half a percent per gem level, it quickly becomes a priority and a fixture in your gem choices. Its buffed healing secondary effect is just icing on the cake.
  • Enforcer Enforcer is a pet-oriented gem that both increases Fetish damage and lessens the damage the summons take. Note that the damage bonuses of this gem have been changed from additive to multiplicative in Patch 2.4.1, reinforcing it as a pet build staple.
  • Finally, Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property in close range, and is otherwise triggered by your constant Grasp of the Dead Grasp of the Dead spam, making it a natural fit for Greater Rifting. Once you are confident with your damage in Torments, you can substitute this gem with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder to increase your movement speed and provide near-infinite Toughness through its interaction with Goldwrap Goldwrap.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

8. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: Starmetal Kukri Starmetal Kukri for the weapon slot, Mask of Jeram Mask of Jeram for the armor slot, and Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur for the jewelry slot.

  • Touted as the strongest Witch Doctor weapon, the Starmetal Kukri Starmetal Kukri easily offsets its lack of elite bonuses or damage procs by effectively nullifying your two longest and most important cooldowns: Fetish Army Fetish Army and Big Bad Voodoo Big Bad Voodoo. As noted above, the cube weapon slot is interchangeable with The Dagger of Darts The Dagger of Darts, depending on the weaker rolled item.
  • The second most desirable helm for this pet centric build, Mask of Jeram Mask of Jeram only steps down to Carnevil Carnevil due to the set and weapon synergy. Similarly to the weapon slot, the armor slot is interchangeable between the two, with Mask of Jeram Mask of Jeram being the usual cube occupant due to its variable unique bonus.
  • The final item that binds the puzzle of sets and masks together is the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur. The ability to run with full set bonuses, a complementary helm and strong offensive jewelry, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.

9. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

10. ChangeLog

  • 09 Aug. 2016: Adjusted skill and Cube recommendations to account for the August 4th hotfix to Ring of Emptiness.
  • 29 Jul. 2016: Updated the guide with skill and Cube changes, including speedrunning options.
  • 05 May 2016: Overhauled the build into its 2.4.1 state, reflecting itemization and gemming changes.
  • 13 Jan. 2016: The build remains unchanged with Patch 2.4, but it is still competitive.
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