From my experience on PTR, the Zunimassa Poison Dart build was one of the highest ranked Witch Doctor builds. The Ethereal provides a huge boost with a few key affixes on a well rolled one. While I have done another Zunimassa Pet build guide in the past, this one will exclusively focus on the Poison Dart version.
The main pieces of gear I suggest are the following:
- Zunimassa’s Haunt
- Zunimassa’s Marrow (Chest)
- Zunimassa’s Finger Wraps (Gloves)
- Zunimassa’s Pox (Ring)
- Zunimassa’s String of Skulls (Off-hand)
- Zunimassa’s Trail (Boots)
- Endless Walk (Compass Rose/Traveler’s Pledge – Ring/Amulet) – Since you are pausing to shoot darts and moving while attempting to avoid damage, this set becomes a major boon.
- Aughild’s Authority (Crafted)
- Aughild’s Power (Shoulders)
- Aughild’s Search (Bracers) – You will want Poison rolled as the %elemental damage of choice
- Depth Diggers (Legs) – Massive improvement to your Poison Dart skill.
- The Witching Hour (Belt) – Attack speed is the key here. You can possibly use a Belt of Transcendence if you cannot find a Witching Hour. But you may need to find a different spender beyond Piranhas if you cannot maximize the number of fetishes summoned fast enough.
- Carnevil (Head/Cubed) – Really the star of the show besides Zunimassa’s Haunt as it turns your fetishes into dart blowing little monsters.
- Dagger of Darts (Weapon/Cubed) – Also, major damage boost to Poison Dart.
- Echoing Fury (Weapon/Cubed)
- Mask of Jeram (Head/Cubed) – Boost your pet attack damage
- Ring of Royal Grandeur (Ring/Cubed)
Your Ethereal weapon should either have the Dagger of Darts or Echoing Fury legendary power. I would place the Dagger of Darts a bit higher and cube an Echoing Fury for a more generic purpose that you can use for other classes. The bulk of your damage is going to come from your minions shooting out poison darts so attack speed is critical on gear here (which is why we use The Witching Hour as opposed to a Belt of Transcendence). Similarly, Echoing Fury provides that boost of speed but The Furnace can be used in place of an Echoing Fury.
Both the Ghostflame and The Gidbinn weapons will be good choices with either Dagger of Darts of Echoing Fury rolled as the legendary affix. Ghostflame’s big bonus is increasing attack speed while The Gidbinn provides a movement speed buff. So I look at The Gidbinn as a better quality of life item used for farming while the Ghostflame seems better suited for higher level Greater Rift pushing. Also, The Gidbinn provides more critical hit and critical damage capabilities, which can help if your Compass Rose or Traveler’s Pledge ends up rolling poorly in those areas (which often they do)
A few honorable mention pieces of gear that can be used during the gearing up phase:
- Starmetal Kukri – Not a great weapon these days but it does work well with Fetishes early on. Not really recommended unless absolutely desperate.
- Tasker and Theo – Good for the attack speed and synergizes better without Carnevil but with Starmetal Kukri. Could be used in the cube if you cannot find a Carnevil or Mask of Jeram early on.
- Aquila Cuirass – Great option for a cubed chest piece since you will be using mostly a generator to do damage, thus keeping your resources high and having pretty consistent damage reduction.
- Ring of Emptiness – If somehow you manage to fit this in your build, you can employ Locust Swarm to gain some bonus damage as well as using it for the damage trigger on the 6th set bonus. But most likely you’ll end up sacrificing your Endless Walk set.
The three gems of choice here are:
- Simplicity’s Strength – Emphasizing generator damage from your Poison Darts with the some healing
- Enforcer – Pet Damage as well as improved survivability for your fetishes at higher Greater Rift levels.
- Zei’s Stone of Vengeance – You will be a ranged build so this is a decent option. Also, it provides a bonus stun.
- Bane of the Stricken or Bane of the Trapped – Alternatives to Zei’s but it really is your preference. But the single target of this build is the strength as opposed to area damage. I’m leaving these here as additional choices.
Here are the skills for this build:
- Poison Dart: Splinters – Helps with the AoE by splitting your dart up.
- Piranhas: Piranhado – Gathers up your enemies into a pile so your fetishes can shoot them down in one group. Also, using this skill will cause your fetishes to increase their damage against an enemy. But there is an 8 second cooldown to be wary of if you are dependent upon this skill to inflict the bonus damage from your fetishes.
- Spirit Walk: Jaunt – Your major movement skill.
- Fetish Army: Legion of Daggers – You will want at least 10 fetishes to gain the maximum bonus from your Carnevil helmet. Make sure your base number of fetishes are up all the time as they can still die which causes you to not be able to do any damage.
- Soul Harvest: Languish – Bonus damage reduction. And with this build you’ll need as much as you can get since there are not many sources of damage reduction here especially if disaster strikes and your fetishes get wiped out.
- Horrify: Frightening Aspect – More damage reduction.
- Acid Cloud: Acid Rain – You can substitute this for Horrify if you’re having issues timing your Piranhado so that your Fetishes can keep their damage up. But you will be sacrificing armor in exchange. Also, this would be easy to maintain fetishes in conjunction with a Belt of Transcendence.
- Grave Injustice – Mostly for Piranhas, Spirit Walk and keeping up your Soul Harvest for the increased armor.
- Fetish Sycophants – Helps to generate the extra fetishes. Using this allows you to avoid a Belt of Transcendence for The Witching Hour.
- Pierce the Veil – The bulk of your damage and attacks will be coming from your Dagger of Darts generator skill so this is just an easy way to boost your damage further without needing as much mana. Also, most of your abilities are cooldown based. This may become an issue with Acid Cloud though but Piranhas should take care of the main issues with good timing.
- Gruesome Feast – This is an optional but good passive. I like this one being used in combination with the “Picking up a Health globe increases movespeed by 40% for 7 seconds” affix from an Ethereal as they synergize well. So in this situation, I would use this if I manage to have The Gibdinn with that affix.
- Spirit Vessel – Cheat Death
- Confidence Ritual – Generic damage improvement but forces you to get closer in range to enemies for the bonus. I would take this if I do not have the affix for my Ethereal.
My main pick for this build would be an Enchantress for the cooldown reduction, cheat death and bonus to armor. In addition, you have better synergy with intelligence gear.
This build might be the build of choice for pushing using a Witch Doctor. The PTR demonstrated how this build ended up exceeding Mundugunu and Spirit Barrage. While I only tried Mungugunu on PTR, my feeling is that the single target damage and less reliance on cooldowns make Dagger of Darts a pretty interesting build that can scale. The Ethereal bonuses seemed to be able to push this build further and possibly having the Health Globes on The Gibdinn allowed for this build to go further with the speed boost.
However, my real concern is the squishiness for this build. This build is really about timing, positioning and skipping stragglers in favor of elites. But it does seem to have good potential coming up to be a farming build since you have a belt slot that can vary a bit and I suspect that gold farming will be quite good on this build.