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Category Archive: Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build
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I’ll be honest, I haven’t covered that much on the Demon Hunter class as I myself haven’t gotten too deep into it yet. But I do have several friends who’ve had issues with clearing Act II as a Demon Hunter and I can probably attribute that to things which sneak up on you such as the Lacuni Prowler appearing on cliffs and jumping on them, typically killing them in a single blow. There are many MANY players which advocate just going all out DPS and absolutely ignoring survival stats such as All Resistance and Armor for the DH and I don’t really know which side of the fence I’m on.
To be fair, The Monk has “One with Everything” which takes the highest resistance and adds that to all other resistances, Barbarian has Warcry (Impunity) which increases all resistances by 50% and 20% Armor, Wizard has Energy Armor (Prismatic Armor) which provides 40% to all Resistance and 65% Armor.
Witch Doctors and Demon Hunters have Spirit Walk and Smoke Screen. So, entry level Inferno is fine for now. But it’s not easy to step into Act II and Act III then Act IV with the two as the gap is fairly large in the amount of damage they’ll be able to handle. In Act IV for example there are corrupted angels which charge at you from off screen and such, making it nearly impossible to continuously avoid taking damage at all. So what then? For now, I’ll be leaving a link here as it does explain several builds for the Demon Hunter which will help out those new to Inferno difficulty.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build
Diablo 3 Barbarian Build Level 1-10
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 1 – Hungering Arrow – First Skill the Demon Hunter starts off with. It’s decent and does the job, even has a chance to hit multiple enemies instead of just one. Otherwise, if it pierces a target there’s the chance it will hit the same target a 2nd time. Using this for awhile until you pick up Entangling Shot with Chain Gang is very possible.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 2 – Unlocks the second Active Skill slot. The Demon Hunter also gains access to Impale which is a high damage single target Hatred dump. Use on high health pool bosses or rare mobs.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 3 – Bola Shot is unlocked. Hits slightly harder than Hungering Arrow and deals damage to surrounding enemies you hit with the Bola Shot. Without Skill Runes, Bola Shot is better as it does more damage all around.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 4 – Unlock a new Active Skill slot. Caltrops is also now available. Useful for slowing down enemies trying to get to you. Also the first Skill you gain which uses your other resource, Discipline.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 5 – Rapid Fire is unlocked. True to it’s name it has a high rate of fire and the hardest hitting Skill at this point. Use Rapid Fire to replace Impale.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 6 – Piercing Arrow, a Skill Rune for Hungering Arrow is unlocked at Level 6. It increases the probability of your Hungering Arrow to hit multiple targets. Personally I would still use Bola Shot as it can hit multiple enemies so long as they are close together (Which will be the case if you slow enemies down using Caltrops) and still deal more damage per shot. However, experiment with both as they are viable at this level either way.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 7 – This is where you get your second Skill Rune Impact for the Skill Impale. It causes your Impale to have a secondary effect which knocks back and stuns targets for a short duration.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 8 – Volatile Explosives, a Skill Rune for Bola Shot unlocks. It increases the radius of the explosion from Bola Shot to increase as much as double the original radius. I recommend this as the Demon Hunter’s Hatred Generator at this level.
The Demon Hunter will also learn the Evasive Fire Skill here which is decent but only deals damage to a single enemy at a time. The useful part of this Skill is that there is a back-flip tied into it when an enemy is too close. However, Bola Shot still does a flat amount of damage higher than Evasive Fire.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 9 – The 4th Active Skill slot unlocks at this level. In addition, the Demon Hunter also gains the Strafe Skill which allows you to shoot at random enemies while moving at a slower pace at the same time. It isn’t as good as Rapid Fire for a Hatred dump so I wouldn’t recommend it.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 10 – The Demon Hunter gains their first Passive Skill slot as well as two Passive Skills to choose from. Neither increase damage by any amount so feel free to choose from Tactical Advantage or Thrill of the Hunt.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 11-20
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 11 – The Hooked Spines Skill Rune for Caltrops unlocks. Caltrops is still a useful Skill to keep enemies at a distance and this further improves that by increasing the effectiveness of the snare.
The Demon Hunter also unlocks their final Primary Skill, Entangling Shot at level 11. This is a great Skill and can replace Bola Shot if you wish to replace Caltrops as well. However, it still does not deal as much damage as Bola Shot but places a snare on enemies hit by it. Later on, their Skill Rune Chain Gang increases the amount of enemies hit by Entangling Shot.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 12 – Chakram unlocks. If Bola Shot is replaced, Chakram performs the role of Area of Effect damage dealt. It hits everything in it’s path without a cooldown but costs Hatred to use.
Vengeance, a Passive Skill unlocks at this level. Increases the amount of Hatred the Demon Hunter can store. Additionally, all health globes dropped by enemies gains the Demon Hunter Hatred and Discipline. Although not a flat increase in DPS, this Passive Skill makes it possible to continuously use resource heavy Skills like Rapid Fire and Vault.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 13 – The Cinder Arrow Skill Rune unlocks for Hungering Arrow. It deals damage as Fire and causes the target to burn for a percentage of the damage dealt over time. Only useful if used on single targets and there are better Skills for that such as Rapid Fire or Impale.
Vault is unlocked at level 13 which is your first mobility Skill if you don’t take Evasive Fire into account. For a moderate amount of Discipline, the Demon Hunter is able to jump up to 35 yards. Great escape mechanism if you are unable to kill quickly enough and are about to be surrounded.
Steady Aim, a Passive Skill unlocks at this level as well. So long as no enemies are within 10 yards, your damage increases significantly. This is the first flat damage increase the Demon Hunter has access to and should activate.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 14 – The 5th Active Skill slot is unlocked along with the Skill Grenades. Grenades act as a Hatred generator and have the highest Hatred generated if Skill Runed appropriately at higher levels. For now, as it generates the same amount as Bola Shot, Hungering Arrow and Entangling Shot, it’s just a matter of preference.
Withering Fire for Rapid Fire unlocks at level 14 as well. This reduces the initial Hatred required to cast Rapid Fire significantly. In addition, the arrows will deal Fire damage.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 15 – Chemical Burn Skill Rune for the Impale Skill unlocks. This further increases the amount of damage Impale through a secondary bleed effect. This is still the hardest hitting Skill at this point and should be used to take down high health pool enemies such as bosses and rare mobs.
Another Skill which is perfect for taking down durable enemies unlocks called Marked for Death. Whichever enemy this Skill is used on receives additional damage. This makes it so high priority enemies (Some enemies will continuously spawn smaller enemies) are able to be taken care of easily.
Cull the Weak, a Passive Skill unlocks at this level. Skills such as Entangling Shot make this a viable Skill to use as it provides a flat out damage increase to enemies which are snared.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 16 – Shrapnel Skill Rune for Evasive Fire unlocks. Deals a small amount of splash damage to enemies surrounding your primary target which makes it similar to Bola Shot. However, the damage dealt is nowhere near equal. The only reason to use this Skill over Bola Shot would be for the back-flip tied into it.
Fan of Knives unlocks at level 16. This Skill hits extremely hard but has a cooldown of 10 seconds and costs some Hatred. It also causes enemies hit to be snared for a short duration. If you have problems killing large packs of enemies, this Skill is the way to go.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 17 – Thunderball Skill Rune unlocks for Bola Shot. Instead of Fire damage, the damage dealt will be Lightning. Also, it has a 35% chance of stunning the primary target of Bola Shot for a short duration. I do not recommend swapping out Volatile Explosives for this Skill Rune(If you use Bola Shot) as Volatile Explosives still does more damage to hordes of enemies.
Spike Trap Skill unlocks. Plants an immobile trap on the ground similar to Caltrops but does damage instead of the snare. This Skill can be used to ambush enemies by setting up to 3 Spike Traps overlapping each other to deal massive damage. However, this is fairly situational and inconvenient to perform. This Skill generates Hatred.
<Playstyle tip: There are some players who like the melee style of playing and it is possible to use this to deal massive amounts of damage. One method would be to use Vault right into the middle of a pack of enemies, use Fan of Knives and Spike Trap to kill them, and Vault into another group. Survival of this playstyle is questionable and likely to be viable only at lower levels>
The Passive Skill Nightstalker unlocks at this level 17. Every time you deal a critical strike, you have a chance to restore 2 Discipline. At this point, the possibility of the Demon Hunter to have a high amount of critical chance is extremely low. I do not recommend replacing Cull the Weak or Vengeance with Nightstalker as they both provide better damage overall.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 18 – Chain Gang for Entangling Shot is unlocked. As mentioned above, this hits up to 4 targets which makes this a lot more powerful as a Hatred Generator compared to Bola Shot as it has the snare on top of it. Of course, if you chose Cull the Weak as your Passive Skill, this deals even more damage.
The Skill Rune Equilibrium for Strafe unlocks at this level which increases the rate of fire of Strafe. As it is, Strafe doesn’t deal that much damage for it’s Hatred cost so I still would not recommend this Skill.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 19 – The final Active Skill slot is unlocked at this level. Also, the Preparation Skill which replenishes all your Discipline but on a 45 second cooldown is unlocked. At higher levels with the proper Skill Runes, Preparation can be extremely useful. However, for easier difficulties I would not activate this Skill unless I have a free Active Skill slot.
Twin Chakrams for the Skill Chakram is available at this level as well. This doubles up the Chakram although less damage is dealt per Chakram. This Skill Rune effective increases the amount of damage dealt by about 50% weapon damage assuming both Chakrams hit the same targets.
The Demon Hunter also gains the Passive Skill Brooding at level 19. If the Demon Hunter doesn’t take damage for longer than 5 seconds, the Demon Hunter will start regenerating a percentage of their total health. This will be useful later when Health globes drop with less frequency (Due to enemies having higher health at more difficult levels).
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Build Level 20 – The 2nd Passive Skill slot unlocks at level 20 along with the Hot Pursuit Passive Skill which increases your movement speed by 15% as long as your Hatred resource is full.
At level 20, the Demon Hunter also unlocks Elemental Arrow which does damage as Fire through as many enemies as it passes through. This is a decent room clearer as it has no cooldown and a fairly low cost of only 10 Hatred per cast. At higher levels, Elemental Arrow can be Skill Runed to have secondary effects and different types of elemental damage.
Shatter Shot, a Skill Rune for Hungering Arrow unlocks as well which allows the arrow which pierces through enemies to split into 3 separate arrows. This could potentially provide extremely high damage but due to the Passive Skills available, leaning toward Entangling Shot as your Hatred Generator is a safer bet.
I’ll be updating this Diablo 3 Demon Hunter build as I progress further with my own Demon Hunter. So stay tuned!