Diablo® III

A Strafe Farming Build

Here’s a new MP0-MP1 farming build I came up with that I want to share with the DH community as I have had an immense amount fun with it. The build is centered around speed and movement, and takes into consideration those players, like myself, that simply cannot, even in the name of efficiency, run past a lone Fallen One without putting an arrow through its eye.

Recommended DPS for this build to be effective for Act 3 MP0: 70-90k? your call (I started using it at 99k and it worked like a charm)

Basic gear requirements: 24% Movement speed, ≥27% XP gem, Hellfire Ring/s, Leoric’s Signet/s optional (the multiple rings are so you can equip one on your follower).

Advanced gear requirements: Legacy Nat’s (I don’t use), 1.04 Nat’s (I do use), or max discipline gear. You need to have either the discipline regen from Legacy Nat’s or a large discipline pool, 50+, to fuel your constant vaulting. I imagine the Nightstalker passive can be substituted if your crit chance is high enough.

For a hatred generator I use Cluster Grenades for the nice AOE (Strafe-Drifting Shadow is not good for taking out an entire mob of Skull Cleavers).

My hatred spender is, of course, Strafe runed with Drifting Shadow for the 100% movement speed.

My other active skills are: Bat Companion, SP-Gloom, Prep-Battle Scars, and Vault-Tumble.

My Passives are: Tactical Advantage, Vengeance, Archery (I dual wield; if you use a manticore and are short on discipline, this would be an excellent passive to switch out for Nightstalker).

As for play style, whenever I’m not in combat I’m either vaulting or running at +89% movement speed. If I see a lone Fallen in Areat Crater lvl 1, I just strafe him at +89% movement speed and never stop. When I come upon a large horde of demons, I hit SP, toss a few volleys of grenades, strafe in a circular pattern around the center of the horde to pick off the demons that had escaped the grenades and pick up health globes for the 20 hatred. Once all the monsters are dead, I vault away strafing small packs of 2-3 monsters as they present themselves. At 2.46 attacks per second, this is accomplished in a matter of seconds.

I have yet to calculate what my xp/hr is as I just started using this build yesterday; however, when I calculate the numbers I’ll post them here.
The most important aspect of this build is that it is just plain fun.

Edited to include the rune variation in some areas.
Edited by RedCell#1728 on 11/15/2012 8:36 AM PST
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I'm getting about 35 million xp/hour.

I think I'm wasting too much time picking stuff up, even though I am selective about what I pick up. I would like to hit 40 million xp/hour.
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Im doing rain of vengeance (dark cloud), also caltrops(jagged spike) while spinning (starfe rockets. i use manticores and vengeance for passive, perfectionist and critical chance.
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If your crit chance is high enough, you don't need battlescars (use nightstalker passive) and you can use punishment to refill your hatred instead. Then you can strafe non stop.
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I use nightstalker for key farming and Ubers in higher MPs. I did try to use it in this build, but it just didn't work as good as preparation for keeping my dicipline up consistently.
Sometimes I would end up with half a discipline pool after a fight, which wouldn't allow me to vault to the next pack. With preparation I rarely have this problem.
I may give it another go though, just to make sure.

As an aside, I did switch over to Slinging Steel from Drifting Shadow as the extra 100% crit damage was just too hard to pass up with my 51% crit chance. ;-)

Thanks for feedback.
Edited by RedCell#1728 on 11/15/2012 12:22 AM PST
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I almost have the same build as u! Except I don't use gloom but the passive that refill hatred, i really hope to be able to non stop strafe but I just can't

Iwonder how I can get more hatred regen
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I use dawn and deadman. So I get around 2.7attack speed and 54.5 crit. (57.5 for strafe) my build is rather similar to OP except I use bola-volatile explosions for good aoe damage. Follower Templar to the additional 1 hatred regeneration.
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For fun, try Emberstrafe (fire trail in your wake). Those soul rippers that try to encircle you with their trail of fire are now my dance partners as I try to encircle THEM with MY trail of fire.

I can't prove it but I also think the fire trail stacks. Seems like the elites go down faster if you repeatedly back up over them.

I wonder how I can get more hatred regen

-- Bat + SP/Nightbane + Templar adds 7 hatred/sec to your base+gear -- for me I'm getting 12.27 hatred/sec -- strafe costs 12.

-- Hitting SP before every strafe keeps the strafe up AND nullifies reflect dmg mobs so they aren't even a concern.

-- Prep/FocusMind keeps up the disc to spam SP/Nightbane every 5 sec.

Alkaiser run (MP1) is taking 15 to 20 min -- if no deaths to walls over fire/poison -- and earns 10-12 mil exp per run using 31% red gem and 35% on HF ring -- not stopping to pick up loot or open chests.
Edited by Jamr#1438 on 11/15/2012 2:40 AM PST
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-- Bat + SP/Nightbane + Templar adds 7 hatred/sec to your base+gear -- for me I'm getting 12.27 hatred/sec -- strafe costs 12.


You need to take your attack speed into account. eg If you duel wield and have an attack speed of 2.0 then you use 24 hatred per second.
So I don't think there is a build in existence that can keep up strafe infinitely.

Ive been using strafe for the past couple of weeks and I'm enjoying it a lot.
My EU profile here
I use the demolition rune as that gives the biggest aoe DPS. I farm on MP3 and all whites die when you walk through them.
SP with shadow glide to give you the extra speed while strafing. I don't die as long as I continuously strafe. The only problems is Elites that interrupt the strafe... ie jailor, vortex etc.
I still swapping out one slot currently filled with spiked trap
...and yes... 30 discipline is just fine for this build :-)

extra tip... get a cloak with +crit chance for strafe..... a good dps increase (also good if you use nightstalker)
Edited by BlueSmirnoff#2967 on 11/15/2012 7:53 AM PST
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I almost have the same build as u! Except I don't use gloom but the passive that refill hatred, i really hope to be able to non stop strafe but I just can't

Iwonder how I can get more hatred regen

I have considered this as well. :)

I think I'll try it out.

@Blue: Yeah, strafe is a blast isn't it. By the way, your gear and build setup is really nice.
Edited by RedCell#1728 on 11/15/2012 8:30 AM PST
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Nice build! I run something pretty similar to it (and very similar to Blue's as well):


From messing with them, Demolition gets me the most bang for my buck. Strafe itself doesn't do a ton of damage on its own, but the grenades autotarget enemies and they have a very fast fire rate. Against something like 1-2 very fast enemies you'll see them whiffing in large open areas as they fire where the enemy is, not where he's going to be. Because Demo's weakness is the fact that against small, fast moving packs the grenades can miss, Bola or HA are good generators to pair with that rune. Between Strafe's own hit speed and the rapidly fired grenades, enemies spend a lot of time in their hit recovery animations, which is just funny on goblins.

I don't find the small loss in run speed to be significant, because kill speed is so high and there are packs where we have to move back and forth a little anyway. Move through the pack, killing it, stop strafing and vault along to the next pack. I can still strafe for a second to hit a lone mob as I run by, but it's not a huge loss to overall speed to do so.

Because I tend to plow bodily through mobs rather than circling around them (so nice that Strafe allows that), I also run Shuriken cloud to get that bit of extra damage at next to no cost (10 hatred every 2 minutes), but it's probably the least important skill in this build and could be swapped out for RoV or prep if you don't have the crit to sustain disc through Nightstalker, or are a little squishier and would get waffled running through the middle of packs even under Gloom.

I actually get slightly more exp/hr with this build than with more standard exp farming builds (multishot or lightning ball vault builds), I get 47 million/hour at about 120k dps. Hoping to get some Lacunis or Temperance soon to get runspeed to 24%.

Edit: Oh, Blue, your setup is nice. Nice ehp, I see why you don't feel a need to use Gloom, Shadowglide must be a lot of fun for you! Maybe try Vault or Smokescreen - Displacement or Smokescreen - Choking Gas in place of Spike Trap to see if that helps you with Jailer
Edited by Tiakatt#1643 on 11/15/2012 2:09 PM PST
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@Tiakatt: You, and others in this thread, have provided some great suggestions, and I will definitely being trying out.

It seems to me that build variety for the Demon Hunter is expanding. :)
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Good ideas... I was thinking of trying vault and changing Perfectionist for nightstalker to get the extra disc that I would need....but I'm not into speed farming as such.... I can't resist the urge to kill everything and open every chest etc lol.
I didn't think of smokescreen with choking gas. I think that could fit in very well for the time whens strafe is interrupted and I need to escape... I'll try that soon.... cheers for the idea :-)
In the mean time I am liking Spiked trap for the elites... it does cut them down a lot quicker (currently doing solo key runs in MP5... but will drop back down again soon as its taking about twice as long as MP3)

I slightly disagree about shuriken cloud.... I thinks its very useful... maybe its just me though but I do notice a difference when its run out. Especially against the faster elites that you have to get on top of otherwise the grenades miss.
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Yeah, I notice a difference with it, too. Shuriken cloud is definitely nice if you have the ehp to safely run it. I just can't think of anything else I'd be willing to drop if I reeeally wanted RoV or Prep...or Spike Traps ;)

Having a jailbreak is just so nice with any Strafe build. Figured you might like the Choking Gas rune, given the style of your build. I think there's another thread out there somewhere around here by someone who recommends it for a jailbreak. I favor Vault, but for a style like yours, Smoke Screen should work just fine ^.^

Oooh, you're running Strafe on MP5? Awesome!! I'm too chicken to try that. I use a Sentry build for MP5 and 6 keyruns and such because...yeah, I'm a wimp ;)

RedCell's right, current build diversity is fun!
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Quick update....

I tried using vault (ToC) and found it drained too much disc and there was several occasions where I met a pack and didn't have enough disc to cast SP.
I also did a quick experiment and found that going from one side of the map to another takes just as long using vault as it does with Shadow Glide.... but then my limit disc might have something to do with that. Still something to consider though..

Have fun spinning :-)
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