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Thank you to everyone who helped get this stickied! I changed the title to something more suitable, given that it's now a stickied guide and I'm (currently) unavailable to give out advice. If anyone wants to answer questions in here, by all means!
Hey everyone! As promised, this thread is basically going to save the same purpose as my last advice thread, except I will go into more detail in the guide section. Before I get into it, I'd like to say a couple things. Firstly, thanks for all the positive feedback! Doing this sort of thing is only worth it if people actually find it helpful. Next, I'd like to ask for your help too. Now that I have written very explicit guides explaining what sort of gear AND why, I hope that a lot of the common questions can be avoided. My hope is that you will read the guide that pertains to you, think about how it suggests you change your gear and then post. I hope that a lot of the questions that used to be vague and open ended will now become specific gear choice questions or "this vs. that" questions. Those are far better questions that I prefer to answer.
I suppose I should add a bit of a disclaimer. As with most things in life, there is more than one way to do things. The things I suggest may be different than what others suggest or may be biased towards my particular gearing and gameplay style. I'm going to go on record and basically summarize the key features of my builds. More than anything, I like balanced builds. That means no glass canons and no uber tanks; just a nice mixture of the two. I refer to this type of build as a 'hybrid', which is what I feel is required at this state of the game. Another key feature is that I try to maximize the results with minimal investment. For this reason, many of the expensive build types (namely, calamity builds) aren't often suggested by me. That isn't to say they are bad or anything, just that they tend to increase the cost dramatically. Since funding is often a limiting factor, it's hard for me to sit here and suggest the most expensive options. An extension of my balanced build style is that I don't like to stack AS, CC or CD in any particular way. This basically means that I will not suggest any sort of sharpshooter CD stacking builds, or builds like it. Again, that isn't to say that they don't or can't work: they are viable, but I would never want to play like that so I won't suggest it to anyone.
Much like my last thread, I will be open for taking any questions you have. I put a lot of time and thought into this guide, so I would really like it if you read it before asking for help. If you'd like to see some of my old responses, here is the link to my last thread: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7004452407 I hope this thread will be as useful and popular as the last one!
The format of these guides will be as follows. I will start with a brief into of the build. I will then provide the link to the build I am referring to in a build calculator. I highly suggest you have it open in another tab or window so you can reference it as you read. I will go through the various pieces of the gear to explain what my objectives are with each piece and why.
***Please note that the value of these items will change over time. The prices I recorded are likely to be different than the current market prices.
Table of Contents:
Post 1: Introduction
Post 2: Budget Build (<1m) - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593579872?page=1#2
Post 3: Good Build (75m) - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593579872?page=1#3
Post 4: High End Build - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593579872?page=1#4
Post 5: Skills - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593579872?page=1#5
Edited by Genesis#1518 on 4/13/2013 9:17 AM PDT
This is a build I actually bought the components for a few weeks ago. My goal was to put together a build for under 1m that would be capable of effectively farming Act III. I put this together for about 800k at the time and found that it was more than capable of doing some farming, albeit far slower than my current pace. It is certainly good enough to farm to eventually build up the funds for improvements though. Some key highlights of the build are:
Buffed DPS: 67k
eHP (no dodge): 284k
eHP (dodge): 443k
CC: 48.5% (scoundrel not included)
CD: 405% (archery included)
AS: 1.38 (unbuffed)
Max Life: 71.4k
One key thing to recognize about a budget build like this is that there are SO MANY ways to do it. The variability with rares allows you to concentrate certain stats on certain items allowing you to really take advantage of what I may refer to as "DPS" and "eHP" slots. For example, rare belts have very limited DPS potential, but excellent eHP potential. You can choose to take advantage of that when choosing your gear. A few general comments I have about my results are the following: If I could do it again, I would probably drop a bit of my CD in exchange for some more attack speed. I would not suggest such low AS, but also wouldn't drop much (or any) CC for it. CC is a huge contributor in keeping you alive by regenerating discipline (night stalker) which fuels gloom. I focused pretty extensively on making sure I could survive. One of the limiting factors of low budget DHs is their ability to survive since most have low eHP (I often see 1/3 of what this build has). Even though my DPS isn't very high, I could survive longer and more easily than most other low budget DHs. Again, if I could do it again, I would probably sacrifice some vit for more dex to boost my DPS. I would hope to be able to get closer to 90k DPS without dropping below 350k eHP (with dodge).
Link to Build
Helm: Rare helmets don't offer much in the way of variety. You are basically looking for 4 key things: dex, vit, CC and a socket. Ideally, you'd want some AR on there too, but (if memory serves) that pushed it outside of my budget. I would highly suggest getting AR too as it will really boost your eHP. The point of this slot for my build is largely for eHP in the form of life. Don't skip out on the CC though, as that is vital to your build even if it doesn't do much to your DPS.
Shoulders: Shoulders are also fairly limited. They serve as almost purely an eHP role at this level of gearing. They most likely won't offer much in the way of DPS, but the eHP gain from them is very substantial. Be sure to get AR, vit and dex on your shoulders. If you see %life in your budget along with the previously mentioned stats, jump on it. That will further boost your eHP gain.
Amulet: This is where we start getting into DPS. Amulets can roll a maximum of 10% CC and 100% CD, so this is where you want to put some thought into a good amount of both. Also get some dex, vit and average damage if you can afford it. Average damage might not sound like it does a lot, but it really starts to add up. I wouldn't try to overload your ammy with rolls (like AR) as you will probably either spend too much on it or end up gimping yourself by spreading your stats too thin. This is actually a common mistake: people think that getting trifectas or every main roll on every piece is the way to go. More often than not, it isn't. The second you start looking at trifectas, the price starts to go right up causing your budget to shrink. Often, the trifecta you can afford is inferior to a well rolled difeca. I've been down that road and made that mistake, so don't jump the gun on things like that. Always simulate it and really think about what it is you are buying and why.
Chest: The chest is pretty basic. Make sure you've got vit, dex and three sockets. Ideally you would want AR too, but I suspect the price was too steep for my budget. If you follow my style of build (fairly beefy), you should put emeralds in the sockets. If you are a bit light on the vit, go ahead and put in some amethysts.
Gloves: The gloves are another substantial DPS slot. You're able to roll up to 10 CC and 50 CD, so take advantage of it! Get some vit and dex to top it off. If there is room for any extra rolls (and AR is out of your price range), look for things that will boost your eHP. Things like str, int or +armour may seem unimportant, but it starts to add up. Don't waste the rolls on thorns or gold find - that is pretty useless in comparison.
Bracers: Bracers are the middle ground for DPS and eHP. You should get whatever CC on there you can. Be sure you also have some dex and vit in there. Extra rolls, as per usual, should be eHP increasing stat (or pickup radius). I might even suggest using this slot for pickup radius if it is convenient. My build doesn't have any and it is a pain sometimes. Don't go overboard with it, but a little bit is nice.
Belt: As I suggested before, the belt slot is an awesome place for eHP. The DPS is very limited in the belt slot if you don't use a legendary or set item. I went all out eHP on this by getting vit, AR, %life and dex. My extra roll was extra strength for armour.
Pants: This is almost exactly the same as the chest, except you can only get two sockets. Get dex, vit, 2 sockets and AR if you can.
Ring1: This is where I would probably look at increasing my attack speed. I would drop the CD on one or both of my rings and get a boost to AS. It is possible that DPS will decrease with this move, but survivability will increase in the form of discipline regen with night stalker. The more attacks per second, the more chances you have to crit which leaves you with more chances to get disc. Other than that, get some CC, dex, average damage (if you can) and fill any remaining slots with eHP stats.
Ring2: Same as above
Boots: The boots I chose were focused on eHP. I got high vit, high dex and high AR on there. It is unfortunate that increasing movement speed is not economical at this budget level. I feel that it is quite important to survival, efficiency and mental health (going from 24% MS to 0 is extremely painful). If I were to be playing this build full time, I would probably try to get AS on my boots at least.
Mainhand: This is one slot where you shouldn't cheap out quite the way I did. I swear by manticores as they offer the cheapest and most effective source of DPS. Some key things to look for are CD values, dex values and damage values. The damage value is among the most important as it is a major contributor to your damage. Dex is also a nice addition to DPS, so only skip out on it if you see a much better bow that will give you more DPS (simulate it for sure). CD, while least important of the deciding factors, can't be ignored. You don't need to get into the 90% range, but be sure to recognize that the CD values play a substantial role on DPS. Also, the gem you choose is important. Put your most expensive gem in your bow.
Offhand: The quiver should basically just focus on your AS, CC, dex and vit. I don't suggest getting +disc on there as with high enough CC and night stalker, 30 disc should be enough if you have good disc management.
Some major milestones I would aim for are summarized in the following discussion: I generally think that you want to have at least 40% CC, preferably 45%. This is crucial as it not only increases your damage output drastically, but also fuels your discipline regen when using night stalker. Next is reaching 300% unbuffed CD. This is a very achievable number even at this budget. As I mentioned, the attack speed in this build is on the low side. At this price range, anything around 1.5-1.6 attacks per second would be great (if using a manticore). Having at least 40k HP and around 300k eHP with dodge is nice (consider aiming for 150k or so without dodge). People disagree about whether or not dodge should be included in eHP. I personally feel that it is very important to be included once you reach a certain level of gearing. Dodge becomes entirely unreliable if you are unable to take any hits. If you can take hits, however, dodge plays a very big role in surviving. With this build, you definitely can take some hits so I don't feel any discomfort including dodge. Assigning a magic number to armour or AR seems silly to me, provided you can get the eHP in some fashion. In general, around 300 resists and 3000 armour is reasonable. This is a guideline more than anything else, so tinker with it. This sample build was actually quite tanky, so it would probably be more efficient to drop some eHP in exchange for DPS. This was my first, unresearched attempt at a low budget build, so it is not perfect. Hopefully it will give you some ideas about how to build yours though!
Edited by Genesis#1518 on 1/6/2013 9:02 PM PST
This build was the original build that started off my first thread. My goal was to come up with a build that I thought was reasonably priced given the state of the market that would offer good results. As of about a month ago, each piece here was worth no more than 5m, giving the build an overall value of about 75m. If you've read the previous post, you may notice that this build has similar eHP, but substantially more DPS. Again, I'd like to point out that this is not perfect. There are some things I might suggest changing out, such as rare bracers with dex, vit, AR and CC (though I still stand by strongarms as respectable bracers that are certainly viable).
Buffed DPS: 180k
eHP (no dodge): 224k
eHP (dodge): 412k
CC: 46% (scoundrel not included)
CD: 393% (archery included)
AS: 1.77 (unbuffed)
Max Life: 49.9k
Some of you may comment that some of these stats have actually decreased compared to my 800k build. While this is true on paper, everything working together the way it does has impressive results, especially given the cost. Because of this 'budget build' feel, many of these items are fairly entry level (at least at the time I made the build). Many of these items will be with you for the rest of your DH life, just in better forms. This build serves both as a cheap way to get decent results as well as an outline of what items you want to stick with as you progress. Other than possibly changing out inna's belt for a witching hour, basically every item on this build comes pretty standard on good DHs.
Link to Build
Helm: These days, it's hard to suggest anything other than a mempo. It offers the best potential for DPS and the best eHP, bar none. Of course, you won't be jumping into the top notch mempos with this kind of budget. That isn't to say they aren't worth it for this level of gearing though. They come standard with a socket, high all resist, %life, socket (extra life) and high dex. This is more of a basic, low end mempo. It can work (I have one just like that shown in my build), but going the extra mile and getting vit on there is definitely a good investment.
Shoulders: With the way prices are these days, it's hard to not get vile wards. They come standard with high armour, all resists and life regen. Pair that with 175+ dex and some vit and you've got yourself some pretty nice shoulders. Having said that, with this price range of gearing, it is most definitely worth a look at rare shoulders. It is very probable that rare shoulders will beat out low end vile wards, possibly even at a cheaper price. It is certainly worth looking into. As you get higher end versions of shoulders though, vile wards will always win.
Amulet: There isn't anything special about my ammy choice. Look for some CC, CD, dex and vit as a minimum. If you can also get average damage, %life and/or all resist on there without spreading the rolls too thin, absolutely do it.
Chest: Here is where we get into set items. Nat's set is brilliant and cheap! The 2 piece set bonus is a staple for any DH. As far as I am concerned, every DH out there should get the 2 piece set bonus using the boots and either the ring or chest - depending on their belt choice. For cheaper gearing, most DHs use inna's belt (and rightly so). It is very cheap and very powerful, so for that reason I will suggest you use nats chest. The only other alternative is inna's chest, but I feel that should be left for higher end gearing.
Gloves: Similar to the amulet. Get yourself some CC, CD, dex and vit. Any extras, like all resist, are welcome to help boost eHP.
Bracers: In my sample build, I have shown strongarms. The reason I put those in there is because they offer good dex, good potential for vit, and always come with %life and 4.5% CC. They are a safe pair of bracers to use. Alternatively (and possibly better) is to look for rare bracers that offer you dex, vit, AR and CC. This is a great place to get pickup radius too.
Belt: As I briefly mentioned before, inna's belt is awesome. It's very cheap and will beat out any WH that comes within this budget. The DPS gain from inna's is extremely hard to match with WH, particularly if you use weapons that deal black damage. The eHP isn't bad, but is it's shortcoming compared to WH. I like to think that eHP can be made up elsewhere in a build and that this is a huge source of DPS that should be capitalized on.
Pants: This is another staple for DHs. Inna's pants give you the benefit of the 2 piece set bonus, movement speed, attack speed, good armour, sockets - everything pants need! The ones I have in my build have AR. That isn't something I would always do though. At the time that I made this build, inna's pants were quite expensive with anything more than dex, so I most likely picked them on the basis of maximizing eHP.
Ring1: Nats reflection is another item that is hard to avoid. It gives you some dex, attack speed, life regen and the 3 piece set bonus. That really helps with DPS. Look for reflections that have average damage on it as that is often undervalued or overlooked in low value rings. Don't be afraid of getting some eHP on it too.
Ring2: This is pretty basic. Just get a rare ring that has CC, CD and dex as a minimum. Average damage, vit, %life and/or AR are nice additions worth looking into (that I evidently either didn't look into or couldn't afford with the budget).
Boots: This is a nobrainer. DEFINITELY get nats boots. With this budget, you probably won't find anything that has vit, so just get the best dex and resists that you can.
Mainhand: At this budget, you can't really beat a manticore. Don't get caught up in 2 socket manticores. They are much more expensive and often result in gimped DPS. Try to find something that has high base damage, decent CD and dex. Beyond that, they are all basically the same!
Offhand: This is another staple - DML. Nothing compares with the power of a DML. It gives you awesome AS, CC, dex, vit, hatred regen, and even a skill bonus. Here is where it gets tricky though. Often to get the DML with the desired CC and AS, you may be stuck with bonuses that don't effect you. I would suggest reducing the search criterion on those two until you can find something that is useful. That bonus is definitely worth taking advantage of. The DPS gain might not show up on paper, but you'd better believe that it's doing work when you're fighting. One general suggestion I have about picking the bonus: choose a skill that you like to use for taking out single targets/elites. In any run, that will be your bottleneck. I've seen people choose elemental arrow as their bonus (I've been guilty of that) and feel that it is a bit of a waste. You should be able to deal with white trash easily as is, so the bonus is not that useful.
What I like about this build is the respectable DPS without skipping out on eHP. My old DH build used to have only 100k more eHP than this, yet could handle MP10 fairly well. While this is a far cry from what that gear was, it does speak to it's effectiveness. The reality is that a 75m budget is very little in these markets, so being able to get 180k DPS and 410k eHP is pretty great. It would definitely allow you to farm through Act III without difficulty, and probably tackle some higher MP levels. I can't speak to it's definitive ability as I have never owned this gear. It is worth noting, however, that this build on paper is definitely looking good, so I can't see why it wouldn't be effective in practice. This is the build I refer most people to because it captures most of what people want: good DPS, good survivability, and affordability.
Edited by Genesis#1518 on 1/6/2013 9:02 PM PST
High End Build
It's starting to become more and more common to see people gearing at very high levels of gameplay. While many people who do this follow the lead of others, I'll still offer a breakdown of what I've done with my gear and why. Please note that this is pretty expensive stuff. This type of gear should really only be used if you are going to be consistent in your investment. What I mean by that is you should not go buy a single piece that is worth heaps of gold if the rest of your gear is low end. You'll sink too much into single pieces and end up with a very expensive bad build! Consistency, and by extension efficiency, is key to any build. The one big exception I have for this is the bow. If you're going to spend a lot on your DH, do your bow right. That will contribute massively to your DPS and is one of those things that you can buy once and not upgrade ever again, unlike most of your other gear. Something to keep in mind while reading this section is that I attribute a lot of emphasis on eHP for the higher end builds. To me, that is what separates a middle-high end DH from a high end one. In all honesty, it isn't that hard or expensive to gear for massive DPS. I imagine that I could have another 100k or more DPS without running into any trouble if I stopped putting emphasis on eHP and survivability. To me, that is an unbalanced DH as they will most likely have very low eHP. As we all know, a dead DH puts out 0 DPS. It also probably won't do you much good once PVP comes out. Done ranting now… Basically, this is a description of my thought process when making my actual build.
***Note that the eHP values on d3up and diabloprogress disagree. I don't know what went wrong, but I will be using the diabloprogress value as I put more faith in that
Buffed DPS: 292k
eHP (no dodge): 422k
eHP (dodge): 855k
CC: 56% (scoundrel not included)
CD: 581% (archery included)
AS: 1.86 (unbuffed)
Max Life: 82.8k
As you can see, the DPS has taken another step up from the previous builds, and the eHP has taken a HUGE step up. Believe it or not, this build has only 100 more dex than the 75m budget build (effectively the same dex once you take away the paragon I've got), so why the huge DPS difference? This is largely due to the following improvements: much higher CC and CD, and the bow. This adds a huge amount of damage, but also lays the framework for WAY more DPS in the future. I'm hoping to come up with a way to add another 200-300 dex between gear and paragon, which should add another 10-15k DPS. Another big thing you may see is that my armour is actually quite low (3359), yet eHP is not a problem. Once again, this lays the framework for much higher eHP. If I add another 800 armour (between armour bonuses and strength improvements), I'll see a change of about 52k eHP (97k eHP with dodge). That's HUGE! This is a pretty solid build for both DPS and eHP, but still has plenty of potential. This is why I think it is a great build to show you guys!
Link to Build
Helm: My build has a fairly low end high dex CC mempo. Is this the most effective use of gold at my level of gear? Possibly not, but it is eventually something a top tier DH will want. If I remove the CC from my mempo, I lose about 11.5k DPS. If that DPS isn't worth it's price tag, you can definitely get yourself a high dex mempo with vit and come out with very similar stats. In fact, that might be a smart thing to do if you can't quite get enough vit since you can't get both CC and vit on a mempo.
Shoulders: As I'm sure you expected, I went with a high dex vile ward with vit. It's tough to find a balance that is affordable, so see what you can find for your budget. You'll want to get over 200 dex and 50 vit for your shoulders to be top notch, but as with everything, compromises can be made. You could opt for losing some dex in order to make up some extra vit, or do the opposite and just go to town on dex. If you're trying to go for high end gear, you'll want both values to be high, but if you're not going all out, don't be afraid to focus certain stats on certain pieces of gear. It is a cost effective way to gear, but has the potential of biting you later on.
Amulet: This follows suit with all of the other amulets. Go for dex, vit, high CC and CD, and slap some average damage on there too. If you can afford it, AR is a nice addition. I couldn't, so I found one that had poison damage on it. I picked this partly because of that actually (and you might notice other gear with that trend). I am in the process of getting my monk to 60, and since much of the gear a monk requires is the same as my DH, I figured I might as well keep it in the back of my mind. For those of you who don't know, monks have a passive that turns your highest overall resist, which will be poison in my case, into your AR value. It basically means that instead of my actual AR number of 462, my AR on my monk will be 563 because that is what my poison resist is. If you ever want to try a monk, it's worth keeping things like this in the back of your mind. Don't necessarily concentrate on it though, as that could backfire on you.
Chest: This was a tough choice for me, and may not stay like this forever. I had to choose between getting the 130 dex bonus from nats or innas. As you probably know, innas chest doesn't have the skill damage bonus that nats does. This is basically the only reason I would consider going to nats. The problem is that to get rolls like innas on a nats chest with a desirable skill bonus (like spike traps or strafe) is EXTREMELY expensive. Budget almost exclusively dictated this decision for me. The one thing innas has on nats is it's innate melee damage reduction. As a high eHP DH, you will likely be facetanking a bunch of things, so this is quite useful. If you can afford a very high end nats chest, go for it! If you're like me and can't justify dropping huge amounts of gold on a chest, consider innas. Neither decision will gimp you, so both are definitely good decisions (provided stats are somewhat similar).
Gloves: This is piece that may have differing opinions; some say get trifectas, others say difectas. I've been down both roads and feel that difectas are my preference. The reason being is that it really helps keep the costs down while getting the other rolls. The stats you want on your gloves are CC, CD, AR, dex and vit. In order to make these rolls worth it, you want certain values (use my build as a guideline). As soon as you start looking at trifectas with these stats, prices increase tenfold (guess), or don't even exist. The supply of difectas with these stats isn't massive to begin with, so just picture trifectas. The only benefit I see from trifectas is if you really want higher attack speed. To get AS on there too, your CD will be lower so keep that in mind. This will help the discipline regen of night stalker. If that's your preference, trifectas can be considered, or even difectas without CD.
Bracers: This is a pretty standard piece. Look for a rare that has high CC (max roll is 6), AR, dex and vit. If you want some pickup radius, this is one of the more popular spots to get it. They can be pretty expensive with pickup radius though, so don't necessarily let that dictate everything. If you can get extra armour on it, that wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Belt: This is a tough call and largely depends on two things: your choice for chest piece and your desire for higher DPS or higher eHP. If you picked innas as your chest, you should probably pick a WH. If you chose nats, innas belt is on the table. This is rule of thumb largely because of the set bonus, so feel free to test out both belts regardless of your chest piece. For DPS, it is pretty hard to beat innas belt, especially if you put a good amount of gold into it. For eHP, you basically need to go with WH. Keep in mind that this is an extremely expensive piece (my third most expensive piece, right behind my mempo). If you're looking for a cheaper option and feel that the eHP isn't worth it, get a high dex innas belt that also has vit and you'll be set.
Pants: This is pretty standard too. Innas pants are basically the only pants you'll ever use, unless you choose to go down the high end rare pants road. I don't feel that I have the gear to sacrifice the set bonus, attack speed and the movement speed to do that though, so I won't suggest it unless you're going for TOP notch gearing. If you really want rare pants to work for you, consider changing your bracers to lacunis with CC so that you keep your 24% movement speed.
Ring1: You're going to want to look for some decent DPS and eHP at the same time, so it basically leaves you in the rare ring market. My ring has CC, CD, AR, dex, vit, %life and AR - a fully loaded ring! You may have to do some searching for a ring like that (particularly the %life part), but it's a great investment. Please note that the socket in there is not ideal and is purely there since I knew that I could make up its lacking dex with a gem. I suppose you could choose to put a vit gem in there instead to build up some more eHP if you wanted to, so it has some flexibility. I wouldn't advise searching for a socket though.
Ring2: You basically need this slot to be nats reflection if you chose innas as your chest. Even if you didn't, it's unlikely that you could find a ring that offers you the DPS that a reflection does once you factor in the dex set bonus. At this level of gearing, you'll be in the market for a difecta. Look for a ring that has CC and average damage. If you can, try to get some eHP on there too, either in the form of vit or AR. It may increase the price, but every bit helps!
Boots: Hands down, the best boots are nats boots. If you want vit on there too, which I would suggest, you will probably need to sacrifice some dex. The reality is that you won't be able to top 200 dex with 75+ vit without going into massive amounts of gold. I can't justify that, so my boots are as I described. Some may prefer zuni boots for the +poison damage, but that is a niche piece that may be best for very high end calamity users. I'm not familiar enough with those builds to be able to comment though. You can't go wrong with nats though!
Mainhand: As I said before, do it right with this slot. I am a manticore user, so I chose to go with a 1250+ DPS 2 soc. Definitely get one with dex, and don't ignore the CD - it really adds up. Mine is a little lower than I would like, but the prices were just way too high to get anything better. I kind of regret selling my old one :( Overall though, you can't go wrong with a good 2 soc manticore. Having said that, I'd like to caution you from going ALL OUT with top notch bows. You will see diminishing returns as you look at better bows. Be mindful of your budget when buying a bow. Nothing is worse than being bow-poor! Make sure you have a full set (or enough for a full set) before blowing your gold on a super expensive bow.
Offhand: You really can't beat a DML. Pick a primary attack that you like, which basically boils down to HA or bola. I've used both and find them both awesome, so there isn't a wrong choice in that department. Beyond that, this is where it gets tougher. At this level of gearing, you'll probably be looking at 250+ in both dex and vit, likely with one being higher than the other. If you feel that you need DPS more than eHP, pick dex as the higher value. Alternatively, you may feel that eHP is a bigger area for concentration so then pick vit. Whichever decision you make, be sure that your AS and CC values are good enough. Don't be dead set on a perfect roll in either (price shoots straight up with that attitude), but don't let it slack. Mine has 9.5% CC and 19% AS, which is good enough for me!
This build will give you a good combination of DPS and eHP that should let you farm low MP half asleep and let you do MP10 ubers with good efficiency. It's not a cheap option, but gives great results. According to diabloprogress, this build puts me in at 120 for PvP score. Some of you may argue that this is a fictitious rank that could very well mean nothing when PvP comes out. I agree, but I feel that it does give a pretty good idea of how it compares to other builds and their ability to pump out damage and take damage. As I mentioned before, there is room to improve both DPS (more dex) and eHP (more armour). These upgrades will be expensive, but shows that there is fairly obvious potential.
Edited by Genesis#1518 on 1/6/2013 9:03 PM PST
Unforunately (or fortunately), the skills that are viable in this game are fairly standard. There are certain loadouts that may change depending on the desired MP level, and in some special situations, your gear. I'll address three of the more common builds to the best of my knowledge.
Low MP Farming
For low MP farming, you should be killing things very quickly and at a distance. The biggest bottleneck in these runs will be elites, so choose a good single target primary (preferably optimizing your DML bonus) to take those out. Your secondary should be an effective AoE attack that doesn't totally drain your hatred. Everything else should be focused around increasing your DPS, disc regen, and speed since your survivability shouldn't be a concern.
Primary: Hungering Arrow - Spray of Teeth
This is my favourite skill for low MP. It does good damage, decent AoE (particularly at high CC), and doesn't have a delay. I used to run bola - volatile, but found that the explosion delay took more time than it's worth. If you are bored of HA, bola is a great primary to use instead. I wouldn't suggest using imminent doom for farming though, as it just takes way too much time to explode.
Secondary: Elemental Arrow - Ball Lightening/Multishot - Fire At Will/Suppression Fire
This is a staple AoE attack. It costs a modest amount of of hatred and has excellent AoE abilities. Note that it procs twice, each dealing half the damage. This probably won't matter for low MP farming, but I just want to make it explicit that it deals just as much damage as the other runes (save frost arrow). A great application of BL is that in missile dampening effects, it will continue to attack. The ball of lightening will basically float around very slowly, constantly attacking the target. I rarely see this affix on elites/champions, but you ALWAYS see this for the Act II key warden. If you ever plan on farming that, BL is your ticket to a quick kill. Multishot is another pretty good skill to use for low MP. Fire at will greatly reduces the hatred cost, while suppression fire will give you a constant source of discipline. Both have their applications, such as using suppression fire in conjunction with TA and as a replacement for night stalker.
Skill 1: Shadow Power - Gloom
This is something you always need. Gloom is the skill that will keep you alive, so definitely use it. It reduces your damage intake and also gives you substantial life-leach for 5 seconds.
Skill 2: Vault - Trail of Cinders
Some may disagree, but I like vault. It's a nice panic button to get you out of trouble that gives you the added bonus of helping your clear ground faster. Some may choose tumble if they are hard core speed runners which is definitely a viable alternative. I definitely advise this skill, but it isn't mandatory.
Skill 3: Preparation - Focused Mind/Backup Plan
This is another one of those required skills. Given that you aren't using leg nats if you've followed any of my builds, your disc will be low and it is possible that you will run out of disc by either vaulting too much or hitting a brutal elite pack. The argument between the two runes I suggested often revolve around your disc pool. To me, that isn't a huge deal at low MP, so I usually choose backup plan. If I need disc in low MP, it's because !@#$ hit the fan and I need disc yesterday, so I don't want to wait. Even though I am 'wasting' 15 disc compared to focused mind, I rarely need to use it to begin with so the cooldown period isn't an issue.
Skill 4: Companion - Bat/Boar Companion
I choose to use bat largely because this is a farming build. The point is to be able to always pump out damage, and one of the limiting aspects of a manticore is the lower hatred regen compared to calamity and WF users. This isn't a big deal though. If you're finding your eHP is too low, there is always the viable alternative of using boar to boost your life, life regen and AR.
Passive 1: Night Stalker/Vengeance
You definitely need one of these two to keep your disc up. I personally use night stalker since I like having a constant feed of disc rather than relying on health globes (also because I have 0 pickup radius). Some people swear by vengeance for low MP, so try out both if you're not sure which you'll like.
Passive 2: Archery
This is a pretty standard passive that helps you boost your damage substantially. Regardless of your type of bow, it offers you a huge boost.
Passive 3: Steady Aim/Tactical Advantage
For low MP farming, steady aim is a good option. For the most part, you won't be killing things that are all up in your space. Killing things from far away will be common, so this is a great little damage boost. Tactical advantage is arguably a better passive to use for farming. Paired with vault, it allows you to increase your movement speed in a big way, allowing you to move between packs faster and faster. If you're not a hardcore speed farmer, you may want to stick with SA. If you want to keep trying to improve your clear times, TA is the way to go.
Low MP Farming - Strafe
As per multiple requests, I decided to look into strafe sooner than I expected. I by no means claim mastery as I would have preferred, but I have a pretty good handle on it I think. I did a test run using my current gear and achieved a rate of ~70million exp/hour. With more practice, fewer mistakes and possibly some skill tweaks, I imagine I could boost that even more. This isn't to brag or anything, but simply to show that the build I am using right now is viable. I'm sure there are plenty of others out there, but I'll just talk about this one.
Because strafe is such a niche build, I will upload my build for it. Items will vary depending on your budget, so be mindful of this. Two of the key things to know about strafe is that it requires pretty good DPS and low MP. I was doing MP1 runs with this build and found that it wasn’t working that great. I killed things, but they lived way longer than I thought they should. I dropped it down to MP0 and bingo – that’s the one. You want to be able to kill things in one pass for the most part. To expand on the high DPS discussion, recognize that this is a big deal. I’m sitting at about 192k DPS in game, which feels pretty good to me. You could probably do it with less, but that might cause your efficiency to go down. Having said that, 65m/hour is pretty fast exp, so I’m sure you could do quite well with around 150k. Don’t get too caught up in exp/hour though; it’s all about having fun! I am using a SoJ with a strafe bonus to help boost my disc, CC for strafe and help nuke the elites faster. I wouldn’t say it’s a requirement, but I strongly advise it. The extra disc alone is extremely useful.
Another thing that you need to know is that strafe requires pickup radius. I’m running with 7 right now and it worked all right, but more would be much better. If you can get 14-21, you’re in GREAT shape. The reason you want this is to pickup health globes that, when used with vengeance, is going to fuel both your hatred and discipline. You have to use this. A general comment that may or may not be useful to you is that keeping your attack speed lower is an advantage. With a high attack speed, the cost to channel strafe is going to be higher. Using a manticore is perfect.
Link to Build
I'm going to post some videos showing a really good strafer, TianZi. He's getting much better exp/hour than I can get as of now and really shows the sort of playstyle you want for best results. Full credit goes to TianZi, and if you would like them removed, I will do so. He has also created a guide for strafe, so I've linked it below. He goes into much more detail in gearing and has the experience in strafe that I don't have yet. Definitely take a read.
Primary: Chakram – Shuriken Cloud or Rain of Vengeance - Dark Cloud
This isn’t really your primary, you just may choose to put it here. Chakram is great since you’ll basically be strafing right into the middle of everything. This just dishes out a little extra damage. Where it really shines is when you activate this once you have gloom up. This will give you the life steal abilities for chakram for its entire duration. (***Please correct me if this is wrong). If you're doing fine surviving, definitely go with Rain of Vengeance. I give full credit to TianZi for this; I tried it out after checking out his videos and find that it is WAY better if your gear is good enough. This is very useful to help you move through sparser areas much faster, or just totally nuke everything in your path. I find it incredibly useful in Tower of the Damned 1 where I sometimes find myself hatred starved. This helps keeps you killing, thus picking up health globes to fuel your strafing.
Secondary: Strafe – Rocket Storm/Demolition
Rocket storm is a nice rune to use as it helps target out single enemies. If you’ve widdled down a group to a few stragglers, you could end up spinning for much longer than you should trying to get the last of them. Demolition is another excellent rune for strafe. This deals great damage with the grenades that will just nuke big packs. It also works very well if you are using night stalker as a passive since the proc coefficient is 50% instead of 20% (some choose to use both vengeance and night stalker if disc is an issue). I generally prefer demolition as it deals more damage and really deals with big packs nicely. Both are good options, so pick whichever one fits your playstyle best. If you use demolition, try to keep close to your targets so that it is more effective.
Skill 1: Shadow Power – Shadow Glide/Gloom
I like using shadow glide since it increases your movement speed. When you’re strafing, your movement speed is already low, so it really helps to speed things up. If you find that you’re a bit too squishy for this, gloom is also fine. Gloom will help reduce damage while still healing you.
Skill 2: Vault – Tumble/ToC
Vault is a must have if you plan on doing speed runs. You’ll want to vault whenever there is nothing around. Even if there are things around, the speed bonus will carry over if you start strafing. Tumble is nice because more often than not, one vault won’t get you as far as you need to go to hit the next pack. ToC is good to since it helps deal some damage. It’s not huge damage, but every bit helps. You’re getting up close and personal with strafe anyways, so you could always just vault through a pack and start strafing.
Skill 3: Fan of Knives – Hail of Knives
This is an excellent skill that helps deal with elites/champions or some big packs of white trash. It puts out massive damage that should come close to killing everything around you. Remember that if you run into an elite pack and you don’t know what it’s affix is, pop shadow power before using it just to be safe. If you don’t and it’s reflect, you’ve probably killed yourself, or come pretty close.
Skill 4: Companion – Bat
This is a must have for the hatred regen. MUST HAVE.
Passive 1: Tactical Advantage
This helps you move faster both when vaulting and using shadow power – shadow glide. It’s definitely worth using if you want to go fast.
Passive 2: Archery/Night Stalker
Here is where you need to make a judgment call. If you feel that your discipline regen is good and/or that more DPS would benefit you more, then archery might be your best bet. If you find that you keep running out of discipline, night stalker will certainly fix that problem for you. Test it out and see which one is right for you.
Passive 3: Vengeance
This is a must have. It increases your max hatred (which is great) while also giving you the means to keep it full. As I discussed earlier, health globes will be fueling your hatred and discipline, so it’s important you use this. If you don’t, you’ll be constantly out of both hatred and disc, which is just no good!
High MP Farming
For high MP farming, killing things from a distance is no longer a possibility. For that reason, you will want to put more emphasis on defences and sustained damage. Good discipline management and regeneration is also required so that you can gloom frequently. Fights will be long and could be challenging (depending on your gear and MP level), so it's important to use the right skills at the right times so that you don't die.
Primary: Hungering Arrow - Spray of Teeth/Bola Shot - Imminent Doom/Thunder Ball
Both of these are great options. Bola generally comes out ahead in terms of DPS simply because of it's blast radius and massive damage. I personally find that it can be more challenging when you come close to death. With HA you can just gloom and shoot a couple times to be good, whereas you'll have a 2 second delay before you can heal with bola. That delay can be the cause of death if you aren't careful. Thunder ball is an excellent skill to use for ubers as it makes it so that you can effectively permastun them. Remember that it only stuns your primary target, so the AoE effect won't stun everything. It may be helpful in high MP farming too if your eHP isn't up to snuff and you're struggling with some elites, but it isn't a crutch.
Secondary: Spike Trap - Echoing Blast
This is a key skill to have. It puts out huge amounts of sustained damage that will really boost your effective DPS (eDPS). People can achieve well over 1 million eDPS by properly using spike traps. With my old gear, I was able to do somewhere around 2m, and I've seen videos of people doing 3m+. Not only will this help you put out the damage, but paired with gloom, it is a huge source of healing.
Skill 1: Shadow Power - Gloom
Same as last time!
Skill 2: Sentry - Guardian Turret
This is a great skill. Not only does it help put out some damage, but it also reduces incoming damage substantially. Since most of your time will be tanking hits, this will really help you deal with it.
Skill 3: Preparation - Focused Mind/Backup Plan
More or less, the same as last time. For high MP though, I definitely advise using focused mind if you have less than 45 disc. Even if you have 45-50, focused mind might be better since instead of hitting your disc cap and stopping regeneration, you'll have it constantly coming in allowing you to net more disc over time than if you had a one shot deal. That bit is debatable and heavily relies on your disc management abilities and playstyle though. Most people run with lower disc though, so focused mind is what I would suggest.
Skill 4: Companion - Bat/Boar Companion
I stick with bat companion generally because of the added hatred regen to fuel my spike traps. As a manticore user, my hatred regen isn't the best, so I need all the help I can get. If you are having trouble with eHP, you can definitely switch to boar. It is viable, but will really hurt your eDPS.
Passive 1: Night Stalker
This is where you definitely need to use night stalker. Vengeance won't work as you won't be killing things fast enough to keep your disc up. You will be using tons of disc, so you need a constant flow of disc.
Passive 2: Archery
Much like last time, archery is a great source of DPS. Unlike steady aim, archery adds DPS regardless of the situation. Something to note is that steady aim is pretty useless in high MP (debatably so if you have a tank). You will be face to face with your enemies basically all the time, so it will be useless. That doesn't have anything really to do with archery, but I wanted to clarify that.
Passive 3: Perfectionist
This is a great passive to use if you know you will be taking a bunch of hits. It boosts your defences substantially. You may find other passives more helpful if you have tons of eHP to begin with, like cull of the weak if you are using a cold damage SoJ. In general though, this is a staple for high MP.
Edited by Genesis#1518 on 1/26/2013 9:00 AM PST
Hey there, long time no see :)
Been working on the upgrades, heh, got a nice Manti+WH drop and got better gloves, so my DPS is 155k-ish with archery now.
Still trying to figure out if I could get over 200k w/o switching from Legacy nats, it has become some sort of endgame for me recently :D
But encouraged from the drops I got Im waiting for my crit chance Mempo to drop, then I try the big switch and let you know again.
Good hunt! :)
Very nice :) Just one comment.
Low mp build should mention strafe. It may not be quicker than ball lightning build but definitely an alternative. I have had great success with it and will continue to use it until i reach paragon 100.
The requirements for the build would be high unbuff dps, somewhere around 150k dps and some pickup radius for the health globes.
You should mention strafe, since strafe is about killing things quickly, generally in melee range. Not to mention strafe is *probably* faster for low MP, and gears differently as well.
Very helpful guide.
I would like to suggest another build for low MP farming. I have been using it for a long time and it's very effective. Basically you use Ball Lighting for AOE damage and Impale for single target or elites. With some impale gears, vengeance, and templar, you can have enough hatred regen so you can get rid of hungering arrow. No hatred generator is needed. If you have enough EHP, you can even replace Backup Plan with Mark For Death for more DPS.
@People commenting about strafe
As I posted in the skills part of the thread, I will be putting in a strafe build eventually. At this point in time, I am only somewhat familiar with it. While I probably know enough to offer some advice, I'd far rather approach mastery of the subject before putting it in. I will be researching it some more though, pending available time. Class is just starting up again, so I can't promise anything in terms of timeframe.
As far as other specific build changes go, it's impossible to cover everything. While these other builds may be just as viable or even superior, I'm going to stick with the basic, tried and true builds. I appreciate the input and may offer suggestions on an individual basis, but covering everything in guides isn't feasible.
I see your predicament. The biggest things standing out for me are fairly expensive upgrades. The cheapest of them all is changing out your 2 soc manticore for a very high damage 1 soc. You'll lose some CD clearly, but I would expect to see a substantial DPS gain. I went from a bow similar to yours (less CD mind you) to a high damage 1 soc and gained somewhere around 20k DPS. Think about 1350+ DPS with good CD and high dex. Second thing is your nats gaze. If you could get one with CC, your DPS would probably go up by 10-15k (depending on how much CC you get). Again, it's a pretty expensive option. Your CC and CD are all looking great, so that's both good news and bad news! No easy-out there. Another thing you might simulate is inna's belt, but yours looks like it has pretty good DPS already. Other than that, the only upgrades I can see basically leave you with trying to get more dex.
If you are considering going with a mempo and new nats, don't feel that you NEED a CC one. While it is basically BiS, the difference between an entry level CC mempo and a good high dex/vit mempo is fairly low DPS (~10k) and at a fraction of the cost. It's worth a thought if you aren't dead set on leg nats. Having said that, you do have options available to get your DPS where you want it still sticking with your nats set. Unfortunately, it's quite expensive and has a lot to do with your quality of your legacy nats set.
Multishot - Fire at Will/Surpression in replacement of Ball Lightning for low level MPLs.
The lightning rune on Bola Shot for higher MPLs/Ubers is also very good.
I think every new Demon Hunter should at least give these two a try. Not saying Ball Lightning or Imminent Doom isn't as good, but depending on style I think some DHs would rather use these. Also Genesis keep up the good work, it's good to have some of the more experienced/knowledgeable DHs helping out other DHs. All the boards on the D3 forum could use more people like you.
@Genesis, great guide, really appreciate it!!
I don't have a huge budget so I have slowly built myself up to about 120K DPS, and fairly decent eHP at about 520K. My problem is I would like to increase DPS, but I don't want to drop eHP and I don't really have a good idea that won't cost 100s of millions. I feel like a lot of my gear has elements of both DPS and HP in each piece, rather than getting just DPS from some items and HP from others. This might be part of the problem because switching out any one items involves replacing both loss of DPS and survivability. So anyway, just looking for some advice on where I should go from here...
Thanks for your input. I add in multishot as a viable alternative even though I feel it is generally less effective. I will admit, though, that it may be better suited for some playstyles. As for lightening rune for bola, you are correct. I generally feel it is more suited for ubers though, and I haven't really covered that. I'll put it in anyway though. I appreciate the kind words. Thank you!
I think I see what the issue is, and it's not really all that bad! One of the bigger things keeping your DPS down is your bow. While you have great CD on it, the base damage is quite low. I know that calamities are very expensive, but that is a huge source of your DPS limiting. If you can get a 1100 DPS 1 soc with good CD, do that. Also get the most expensive gem in there as you can afford. That is some of the cheapest CD you can get! You'll always be using that gem, so it's a good investment. With that said, I wouldn't suggest going crazy with the rest of your gems. My old set of gear used to have full max emeralds. After redoing it over winter break, I only have 2 - the ones in my bow. I guess what I'm trying to say is that going big on your bow gems is good, but don't blow too much on the rest. Stars are probably a good spot for you right now.
The other problem is the general trend of you only having single trifecta stats on all your jewellery. While I can appreciate the your search for %life on them all, it might not be economically viable for you to have all those stats AND difectas. I would change out your rings and ammy. For your rare ring and ammy, go for CC, CD dex and vit, and possibly average damage if you can afford it. For your other ring, check out nats reflections. You may be able to squeeze a little extra DPS out of the set bonus than you could with a rare ring. Alternatively, you could just get another rare ring like the other one. Failing that, just keep boosting your dex. I see that it is at ~2200, which is on the low side.
Edited by Genesis#1518 on 1/7/2013 5:54 PM PST
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