I finally hit Hell difficulty and I was running around doing our kiting and shooting Demon Hunter thing when I started to run into vicious fast type packs that I was struggling to deal with. I just couldn't handle their speed, I would kite the best I could until my discipline ran out and then I would die. I thought maybe it was my equipment, I thought maybe it was my build. So I tried a bunch of different builds and got a little bit better equipment but then I figured out this build. It is amazingly fun.
Without further ado, The Demon Hunter tank build.
The most important thing to note is the interaction between Fan of Knives with Retaliate combined with Shadow Power with Gloom. If you have Shadow Power active and then have Retaliate go off with about 3 or more enemies in range, you usually heal to full, instantly. That means that every ten seconds, you have a full heal ready to go with your combo.
Shadow Power with gloom (SPg) is the reason the Demon Hunter can tank at all. 65% off the top is an incredible amount of damage prevention. The problem being it only lasts 3 seconds. Without any discipline max items you can only do it twice before you run out of discipline. Six seconds of near invulnerability as long as you're doing damage to heal. Once you add in Preparation, now you have twelve seconds. Twelve seconds is a long time in Diablo. With a good party, it should be enough to kill most elite packs. Now add in multishot and the discipline passive and you get enough time of SPg being active to actually be a tank. If you kite well you should be able to even last until the Preparation cooldown is back up.
Now to explain the top two skills, bola's with thunder and thunder arrow with screaming skull. These are your cc abilities. They are to buy you time and lesson the pressure on you as a tank. The weakness of this build is a lot of damage all at once. Heavy nukes smash you, super heavies smash you, bunches of guys on you at the same time smashes you. To prevent this, you spam stuns and fears. The fact that they both either pierce through or do AoE damage is important to heal yourself off of the SPg as well. If life is tight, simply run away and fire screaming skulls into the line chasing you and you should instantly heal to full or close to. A lot of the time if you are the front line and are spamming these two skills, nothing even reaches you. Enemies are too busy being stun locked/feared to get close. When they do get close enough to melee, you have your Fan of Knives proc and it pretty must instantly kills them (also remember to turn on SPg before you get hit, mobs hurt).
The goal of the build is to have SPg up as much as possible. If you're out of discipline, kite away and spray with Multishot to get it back, activate, use Multishot again to heal yourself and give yourself another boost in the discipline department. There are a lot of enemies after you in Diablo, might as well use them to your benefit.
Remember that interaction I brought up first? The Fan of Knives with SPg? Now look at the Sharpshooter passive. If you wait approx 30 seconds you have a guaranteed critical on your next attack. Retaliate does almost 500% weapon damage. When you spot a large pack of enemies or a pack of elites/champions, don't immediately attack. Instead hit your fan of knives and wait until it's about 6-7 seconds in it's cooldown timer. It isn't like the cooldowns on the other runes. It stays active for 10 seconds until you're hit. That means that if you time it right, you can do it twice in a row. At six-seven seconds in you hit SPg, rush into the middle of that pack of enemies and wait for them to hit you. You immediately critical hit everything in the radius, for ~500% weapon damage. Then hit the skill again, to regular hit them. It's insane how much damage this does. I've killed groups of champions in hell, instantly.
I now have insane, gleeful fun as a Demon Hunter with this build. My favorite champion type is now Vortex. That crazy, scary insanely frustrating Vortex. Whenever I get sucked in I laugh in glee because I know they're all about to die. It's awesome.
Remember to manage your skills carefully and monitor your Hatred. It's easy to run out spamming Multishot and Screaming Skull and harder to get back with just Bola shot. If you're having trouble with running out of Hatred all the time, switch Bola Shot for Stun Grenades and the Night Stalker passive for Grenadier.
This build works with any weapon combo but is probably best with a shield.
Finally, the bonus build I call the Suicide Bomber build:
You can either lay waste for your twelve seconds and then die or save up the critical chance and use it on the death grenade. If you hit Rain of Anathema right before you die you get both the critical on your death grenade and then the enemies get bombarded for ten seconds. Oh, and the suicide grenade for me does 700% weapon damage right now. Combine that with some critical damage increase items, a 2 handed crossbow with the Archery passive and a guaranteed critical and you could easily do 100k damage. Per death. In an AoE. Right now with a 250 dps weapon and 110% critical increase I do around 40k damage to everything in the AoE.
Now go my fellow Demon Hunters, tank the monsters with all your glory! Laugh at their attempts at being strong! Kill them all!
Just look at the links. Then copy the builds. Then try to figure them out and enjoy yourself as you now destroy demon scum in melee range.