Diablo® III

Strafe: The paragon speed build

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmM666wDGXg&feature=plcp

As we all know demon hunters are in a rough spot right now, with many leaving to re-roll Barbs. Well now we don't have to as I have discovered we can farm just as fast & efficiently on low mps.

So I'll start off by saying that I usually farm anywhere from 68-72m xp/hr with this build on mp0 while picking up drops. I only recommend using this on mp0-1 other wise it becomes less than effective. My gear quite good but the gear needed for this build doesn't need to cost in the hundreds of millions.

There are a lot of good DH strafe builds out there that looked like so much fun to me so I set out on a mission to find the most effective & easy way to farm paragon levels, and believe I have done it. From my build in the video I have switched to rocket storm as its more predictable but players with lower dps may want to stay with demolition for the higher crits.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#eSgdTh!ZbX!cYccbZ

Passives :
- Nightstalker- Regen Disc to keep shadowpower up & vault at will
- Vengance- Hatred regen & disc regen
- Tac adva- Huge run speed increases with shadow power up

Active skills:
- Strafe- Demolition hits the hardest by far and helps clear out mobs, Rocket storm is a good alternative for players with higher dps because it won't miss mobs
- Chakram- Shuriken Cloud acts sort of like a barbarians WW when moving through mobs. I typically Get crits for 50k.
- Companion- Bat for hatred regen
- Vault- Trail of cinders, tumble, or action shot ( I plan on testing tomorrow)
- Fan of knives- Hail of knives is great for elites or thining out mobs and can be cast mid strafe which is why I prefer it over Rain of vengance
- Shadow power- shadow glide provides a 30 % speed boost and on mp0 a decently geared dh with 200 AR will not need gloom to survive. This is the skill/ rune that makes my runs so much faster. Not only does it speed up my time between mobs when coupled with tac advantage for 115 % run speed (30+60+25) it also speeds up my strafe movement speed.

Things to know
- Templar is a requirement for this build so you don't have to use prep
- Pickup radius is your friend, and so is max disc
- It takes some getting used to, but once you figure it out it's glorious
- It may work on higher MPs but it really shines on 0-2
- Cloaks with hatred regen& strafe CC make this build much more viable
- Shadow power's life leech stays active as long as you continue strafing but monster knockbacks or fears cause it to fall off and SP will need to be cast again.
- Stay away from a lot of attack speed, It will drain your hatred.

Any ideas or feed back would be wonderful. I hope this gets all of you that read it excited about playing your DH's again
Edited by Lazer#1679 on 12/2/2012 1:44 AM PST
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Not trying to be negative but how do you get 70mil exp/hr? I fly through an Alkaiser run faster than most barbs -- less than 10 minutes MP0 -- and whether I go fast or slow, the total exp is rarely higher than 8 or 9 million so I average a lot less than 70mil/hr. And I bypass yellows and chests.

Are you including the dead end paths in the crater or adding a side trip somewhere when you run?

And I totally agree -- Strafe is the BEST way to level paragon. It's easy, you get more massacre/KillingBlow bonuses AND if you have the right gear you can cruise through while watching TV -- which is what makes leveling paragon bearable.

Edit: btw, I mix up the strafe runes for variety and find that emberstrafe is just as good as rocket storm and demolition.
Edited by Jamr#1438 on 12/2/2012 4:56 AM PST
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I have using the Vault/Ball Lightning for paragon grinding MP2 but I will give this a shot next run. How much Pickup Radius do you think is needed?
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This is a MUCH more efficient build than anything else I've played -- thanks! My primary gear has no pickup radius or movement speed, and my run/pickup swaps leave me with less than enough eHP to sustain myself reliably, and insufficient DPS to down an elite group in a single hatred pool, so I have to use Gloom for now. That's a gear problem, no fault of the build.

One thing to note if you use Gloom - make sure you case Shuriken Cloud while under Gloom. Free life leech for two minutes. Not sure if this also holds true for the bat, but if it does, why not - every little bit helps.
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Posts: 1,244
+1 for this build

I would say his exp rate is pretty accurate, I have slightly lower dps (150K) than him and every time that I checked these past couple days I got 60M+

I prefer rocket storm still, but I think you might be right that demolition might be better if you have around 100k dps or less

that useless skill that we used to make fun of/trolled with is turning out to be one of the best paragon lvling builds woot

EDIT: I think pickup radius is the most important for the build, 7 pickup vs 13 makes SO much difference for me. I'm going to try to get 1 more piece for 20 total pickup, and I guess I'll stop there lol, but you seriously should get ~13+ to start "not caring" about your mana
Edited by MysticaL#1298 on 12/2/2012 7:25 AM PST
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Tried with Calamity lol No way, hatred drops too fast.
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Nothing new, but thanks for sharing tho :)

Imo Strafe+Caltrops(Jagged Spikes) is awesome to increase your dmg output while strafing.I feel like they hit way harder than Shuriken Cloud.
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90 Tauren Warrior
10420
Posts: 1,204
The build has been around for a while. There was an older version using Multishot but many people have swapped it for Strafe for faster results.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7273267709#7
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I just fine tuned it to what I have now. Take a look at my profile if your curious.
I have much less ehp than most dh's and I still can whirl in groups of mobs.
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The build has been around for a while. There was an older version using Multishot but many people have swapped it for Strafe for faster results.


That build is pretty different than mine as I use shadow glide to get my speed.

Not trying to be negative but how do you get 70mil exp/hr? I fly through an Alkaiser run faster than most barbs -- less than 10 minutes MP0 -- and whether I go fast or slow, the total exp is rarely higher than 8 or 9 million so I average a lot less than 70mil/hr. And I bypass yellows and chests.


I have a hellfire on both me and my templar, and 31% gem in the helm. and I include the bridge to raziks crossing, and depths 3.
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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#STdVgh!YeX!cbbZaZ

Ive been playing around with my strafe build using legacy nats set in mp1-3 and it's been working quite well. It still doesn't get me more xp/hour as my HA/Ball lightning/Tactical advantage build, but it's fun and thats what matters most to me. I love using demolition since it has aoe damage. With night stalker and legacy nats, I can keep shadow power-night bane up almost all the time and still be able to use punishment when my hatred gets low. The movement speed is an issue for me and I dont really like shadow walk since it fires at a bunch of different enemies instead of focusing on one at a time, plus it's damage is low. But since I melt enemies pretty fast the lack of movement speed isnt as much of a nuisance. Overall, strafe is a fun skill to use in low mp levels, but I have to sorta try when playing this build unlike when Im just vaulting around shooting ball lightnings all over the place while half asleep. It seems everyone has their own unique way of making a build around strafe and that is why I like this skill so much.
Edited by Enveos#1991 on 12/2/2012 12:47 PM PST
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90 Tauren Warrior
10420
Posts: 1,204
Don't get me wrong, this is a decent build. The good thing about the Perma-Strafe concept is that each person can custom tune the basic idea to suit their strengths and weaknesses. It's definitely not prone to cookie-cutter builds.

I recommend ToC over Tumble. I'm mixed between Demo and Rocket Storm. I also recommend using slow xbows over faster weapons unless you intend on using Punishment.
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Don't get me wrong, this is a decent build. The good thing about the Perma-Strafe concept is that each person can custom tune the basic idea to suit their strengths and weaknesses. It's definitely not prone to cookie-cutter builds.

I recommend ToC over Tumble. I'm mixed between Demo and Rocket Storm. I also recommend using slow xbows over faster weapons unless you intend on using Punishment.


I agree 100 percent about it not being subject to cookie cutter builds. There is so much variety in the build that players can really customize the runes they use to fit their particular play style.

I use toc when I run with demo to clean up the mobs that the bombs miss. I've figured out that rocket storm works better with tumble since there are less mobs left running around as I strafe through.

If only blizz would buff strafe like it deserves to be so it can actually be a viable skill regardless of gear.
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Great guide, OP, this encourages me to level up my dh :)

One question, is this build at all viable with bows or is a slow xbow mandatory?
I have a sweet rare bow I want to build around.

Thanks!
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One question, is this build at all viable with bows or is a slow xbow mandatory?
I have a sweet rare bow I want to build around.


It may be viable, although you may have to change the build up to manage the higher hatred use. But that can be done with prep/blood moon (restores all hatred)
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i use strafe/ rocket storm, normally takes less than 3s to clear a pack at mp1. but i dont find chakram quite strong and i still use ball lightening as there are so many tunnels in act 3.

Shoot a few lightening balls + strafe through mobs = dead bodies along the way
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Ive been trying this build but feel that im so squisy im rather poor atm so upgrading gear is hard.
im currently using perfectionist just to prevent me from dying and im using prep still just cause im finding hard to maintain my disc. :<
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Ive been trying this build but feel that im so squisy im rather poor atm so upgrading gear is hard.
im currently using perfectionist just to prevent me from dying and im using prep still just cause im finding hard to maintain my disc. :<


You will feel less squishy once you figure out the cast timing of shadow power and stafe, It took me a while to get used to so you can drop perfectionist for nightstalker. If you absolutely cannot survive without perfectionist then I would drop tactical advantage instead of night stalker so you can keep shadow power at 100 percent uptime and run at 55 % run speed rather than 25% while you are disc starved. But the good thing about strafe builds are that they are so customizable to each players needs.

That being said I recommend Getting nats boots. You have more than enough pickup radius. I also recommend getting a Nats helm with crit seeing as they are very cheap now and the 20 disc you will get from the 4p bonus will make disc management easier, plus the ias from nats helm is a real hatred drainer. the dps from it is nice but you can't dps if you have no hatred.
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Tried out this build last night, as I am sick of the Ball Lightning build for xp runs, and felt like there was room to improve on the speed of the runs i was doing.

The chest I'm using with this build dropped for me last week and couldnt even sell it for 4mil in the AH, glad it didnt sell! I purchased a Sun Keeper (100k) because I never use the templar, a Stone of Jordan with Strafe (220k), and the Vile Ward for the Pickup Radius (400k). With those four items, I was set.

I haven't used Strafe much in the past so i took a few runs to get the hang of it. After my 3rd run i timed myself (mp0). My average time over 3 runs was 8:55. I used Demo, but I'm trying out Rocket Storm now too. Seems they both have their advantages/disadvantages, still on the fence as to which one to use. I think Rocket Storm with a 1200dps 2OS manti and high crit chance (60%+ w/ Strafe) would make Rocket Storm the winner due to the faster attacks auto targeting and one shotting trash.

Hatred was never an issue, surprisingly. In fact, I would like to get a bit more AS pieces to up it so i can find the 'sweet spot'. Perhaps even a 1200dps OS Calamity, with the Hatred Regen and quick attack speed it may balance out and kill so fast that i wont be strafing for long. Discipline was a bigger concern, but not too bad with my high crit chance and increased Max Disc with SoJ and Nats chest. Getting another item with Pickup Radius should just about solve this issue entirely.

The one thing I'm not used to yet is using Shadow Glide to its fullest potential. I just use it for Reflect Dmg for the most part, which doesnt take advantage of the run speed. I don't think im to where i can effectively manage Disc by using both it and Vault. Perhaps it would be better to use Gloom as my only run speed enhancer, and drop Vault for Prep/something else, and drop TA for Ballistics/Archery? Something tells me that would slow my clear time though...I will test it.

FoK is insane. It nearly one-shots elites for me. Must learn to check for RD though, one shotted myself a few times... I need to get better at using it on huge packs of trash when i use Rocket Storm, as it kills large packs a little slower than Demo.

Shuriken Cloud fits perfectly in this build as well. Great synergy.

ToC seems more helpful when using the Demo rune, but overall i think its better than Tumble in this build.

Very fun build, excited to find more ways to make it even better. I think it has the potential to be the best build for XP speed runs of any class.
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Coming from the ball lightning build and the infinite chakram build...This is definitely the most fun ive had with my DH! I go just as fast and get just as much xp with other build. Thanks for the thread!

My build is different compared to yours and i do mp1/2 without dying, but i wish to go higher, but i need a higher health pool and other adjustments if i really wanted to use this build seriously.

I throw out a bola bitter pill for more Disc. regen and because they actually get stunned for a bit from the blast, vault in a crowd, and strafe. I actually dont have to use gloom or any shadow power skills a lot because the windforce has life steal unless they are reflect. MY runs have always been fast with 65 disc, but i think im losing 1-2 min in my runs compared to my old build, nonetheless i will be keeping this build. I still get around 65-70 xp/hr a run.

It's crazy how the shuriken cloud-chakram rune actually helps alot when on top of an elite, they literally melt.
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