Diablo® III

Trouble Permaglooming? Try CLUSTER GRENADES

So i was screwing around with some builds tonight and I came across an oddity with Cluster Grenades and Nightstalker procs.

This particular rune is different from the others as it creates a blanket effect with an amazing number of hits, each calculated as its own.

Personally, I have no issues keeping Gloom at almost 100% up time so long as there are mobs to hit. however, if you are just starting out as a DH and have relatively low crit chance and are trying out some face tanking this might just be for you!

I just hit 70% Crit chance today, so this is a non-issue for me. At this level, I noticed that even on a single target, I could keep Gloom up with 100% up time, and still have completely topped off Disc at almost any given time of a fight.

I tried emptying my Disc pool completely before starting a fight with a pack of mobs. Three or four quickie volleys of the grenades completely topped off my Disc pool.

I tried emptying it before fighting against a single high HP mob and noticed that the gains from my Disc far exceeded the rate at which I could use it, even against a single mob.

I even tried removing about half my gear to drop my CC to 40% (still higher than many starter DH), works like a charm. Disc pool regenerates at a speed that is actually difficult to use fast enough with gloom. Vaulting a lot will make your disc consumption higher, but this may be a great way to fund your vaulting addiction.

Now obviously, this is excessive for a high CC player, but for one who is just entering the wonderful world of hunting demons, ... as a... demon hunter... you might want to try this out and have fun. It obviously works best with a fast weapon like a Calamity.

edit: I've just discovered that this works exceptionally well for Manticore Face tanking as well. The problem I have always had with Manticore face tanking has always been that you cannot regenerate discipline fast enough to maintain Gloom uptime 100%. Using Cluster Grenades, I have just played for the last 15 minutes without stopping gloom in battle. Considering the amazing boost i get using the manticore on my spike traps, combined with the Grenadier passive or MFD Mortal Enemy, I think I could easily out-DPS my Bola Spec using my Calamity!

The excessive amount of Discipline opens so many gateways I hadn't had access to before! Spamming Stun cluster arrows NON STOP with Punishment, using Jagged Spikes for MORE amazing Damage Face tanking, popping Breathe Deep to keep hatred up as well... The list just keeps growing as I mess around with this!

I will be testing with LoH later using some of Tekkaxerox's gear later tonight if i'm able. I think it's a small possibility I may even be able to drop gloom (GASP! what sacrilege!!!) if the LoH procs are potent enough.

i'd love to hear feedback from other players if you're willing to try this out!
Edited by Oscar#1292 on 2/11/2013 4:36 PM PST
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DH op
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02/11/2013 07:44 AMPosted by Clusterz
DH op


Try barb sometime.

Also HOLY GOD DAMN, i had no idea that Rare XBows came in damage that high. 1600 with a socket? If that had also rolled CHD on it instead of the Life Steal, I'd probably call that a top end bow. Even without it, that's a damn competitive bow.
Edited by Oscar#1292 on 2/11/2013 10:22 AM PST
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A large chunk of Demon Hunters who want to go higher MPs will likely appreciate Cluster Grenades. The rune is obviously less effective as you get more CC and that means Calamity users get less benefit, but cluster grenades certainly provides a platform that is much better at recovering immense resource regeneration. I really liked it even with my Calamity, since you can spam more Vault->Trail of Cinders if that is your cup of tea. I imagine with 1.07 coming out tomorrow, and the subsequent increasing of experience through higher MPs, that means that DHs will have to be prepared to handle higher MPs with perma-gloom with whatever you have. I am certainly interested in trying this out more tomorrow in 1.07, Oscar.
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Yes Tekka, that is exactly where this skill niche may be. Mid to high MP's for players who are otherwise unable to complete them efficiently.

With the coming patch and people hoping to efficiently farm MP4+, this skill may prove to be useful for players who cannot regenerate enough discipline to survive in that difficulty. That is exactly where this particular rune can shine when paired with Nightstalker and a low-crit build or even fast attack speeds in general. The real hardship is resource regeneration for slow hitting low crit builds, particularly those who haven't geared up enough to do the higher MP's. This may open the door for some.

I don't think i'd recommend this build for Ubers, as there are certainly better builds for that, but I guess I haven't tested it yet to see if it's viable, though given the dramatic decrease in main attack damage, I suspect it will not be a skill of choice unless you have a good CM wiz holding both ubers close enough for a spray of grenade clusters to hit them both.

I did find that using Marked For Death rune Mortal Enemy, I was able to continuously lay down enough Echoing Blast Spike traps to more than off-set the damage decrease I would have gotten from the switch from Bola (for instance) to the cluster grenades.
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Gloom? Whats that?
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if I could get some advise thatd be great. Ive spent about 90% of my gameplay time on my wizard, and only recently have started working on my DH (bought all the gear yesterday haha). I picked up the bola face-tanking build eagerly as i'm so used to running around as a cm/ww wiz it felt like a natural !@#$ for me to jsut run up and throw traps in their faces haha.

I've been using bola as my primary, and after recently discovering that it only stuns the target it hits (yep go from being a pto wiz to a newb DH in an instant, feels awesome! haha) which lead me to DH forums in search of what the best bola rune was to use, which lead me to this thread and now I am wondering if I should use grenades XD

I use a calamity and quite honestly just cannot use a manticore because I'm so used to the 3 aps on my wizard that the slow attack speed of manticore makes me cringe. I'm loving calamity, but as youve mentioned it doesnt synergize with grenades as well.

my main issue isnt actually disc management, I have 52 cc (after the archer buff) and am able to sustain about 85-90% gloom uptime. My issue is hatred consumption as I use EB and tend to just spam them nonstop which after the initial ramp-up seems to be the best way to cause high sustained damage with them. My problem is, that measn basically during a fight im always out of hatred since I immediately spend it on spike traps.

any advvise on addressing this issue? I'm about to test out grenades so I may end up answering my own questions haha but if anyone has any advice / answers to any of my questions about the build id much appreciate it.

Oh and I should probably say, my intent is to farm as high of an mp level as possible because I'm used to farming mp9-10 on my wiz and farming low mp feels pointless to me - so I'm trying to figure out the best version of this build for maximum mp level farming
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if I could get some advise thatd be great. Ive spent about 90% of my gameplay time on my wizard, and only recently have started working on my DH (bought all the gear yesterday haha). I picked up the bola face-tanking build eagerly as i'm so used to running around as a cm/ww wiz it felt like a natural !@#$ for me to jsut run up and throw traps in their faces haha.

I've been using bola as my primary, and after recently discovering that it only stuns the target it hits (yep go from being a pto wiz to a newb DH in an instant, feels awesome! haha) which lead me to DH forums in search of what the best bola rune was to use, which lead me to this thread and now I am wondering if I should use grenades XD


This is funny because I had originally written up a post a few months ago about using Stun Grenades to feel like a CM Wiz. The Proc Rate of the stun is only 25%, which is low-ish, but unlike most other DH stunning abilities, it can stun multiple targets, OR over-lap fields per grenade and increase the chance at stunning a single target.

I use a calamity and quite honestly just cannot use a manticore because I'm so used to the 3 aps on my wizard that the slow attack speed of manticore makes me cringe. I'm loving calamity, but as youve mentioned it doesnt synergize with grenades as well.


I definitely feel you here on Calamity vs Manticore. However, it isn't necessarily a "synergy" of the fast 1H Speed, it's that there are a lot of players with really nice Manticores out there who are swapping to lower end Calamity bows in order to tank higher MPs. My point, is that this option may still be open to you if you use the cluster grenades and nightstalker build.

my main issue isnt actually disc management, I have 52 cc (after the archer buff) and am able to sustain about 85-90% gloom uptime. My issue is hatred consumption as I use EB and tend to just spam them nonstop which after the initial ramp-up seems to be the best way to cause high sustained damage with them. My problem is, that measn basically during a fight im always out of hatred since I immediately spend it on spike traps.

any advvise on addressing this issue? I'm about to test out grenades so I may end up answering my own questions haha but if anyone has any advice / answers to any of my questions about the build id much appreciate it.


You should be more judicious about your use of the Echoing Blast traps, but still spam them in sync with the timing at which the 3rd explosion should have occurred on the FIRST Trap you laid down. depending on your attack speed and play style, you'll realize at what point of hatred replenishment your first trap is likely to have expired (exploded for the 3rd consecutive time), and automatically drop down more traps, three at a time. This is what I do. I am not sure of my exact trap "up time" but if you put down another trap BEFORE the first has expired, you're destroying the most valuable feature of the echoing blast trap: Three Explosions for the price of one. If you only get two explosions out of if it, you're losing 33% of your efficiency, it's no wonder you're running out of hatred!

Oh and I should probably say, my intent is to farm as high of an mp level as possible because I'm used to farming mp9-10 on my wiz and farming low mp feels pointless to me - so I'm trying to figure out the best version of this build for maximum mp level farming


I'd love to hear how you do trying out cluster grenades. The thing you WILL notice, is that there is absolutely no stunning going on there. this may put you off as a CM Wiz transplant, but I don't have a problem with it.
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This is funny because I had originally written up a post a few months ago about using Stun Grenades to feel like a CM Wiz. The Proc Rate of the stun is only 25%, which is low-ish, but unlike most other DH stunning abilities, it can stun multiple targets, OR over-lap fields per grenade and increase the chance at stunning a single target.


makes sense. although im assuming the insane disc regen that cluster grenades is giving (just started testing it out and you're right i was at max disc no matter how much id spam gloom haha) wouldnt apply when using stun grenades since it wouldnt proc such a large aoe area.

but stunning isnt really a requirement / necessity for me, I just originally picked up thunder ball bola rune because when using the bola build for facetankign it seemed liek the best option for mitigation..until i found out it only stuns the one target it hits haha.

and NOW my big issue with grenades is that because its a close range spell, or at least closer than bola, its pretty ineffective when chasing down elites that are especially good at running, which also tend to be the especially annoying and painful mobs if not taken care of / frozen/stunned quickly. mp6 with bola so far has been a faceroll and im finding grenades to be crazy OP when facing melee mobs, but pretty much useless when facing runners. Am i missing something here? I have a feeling that a lot of what im "stating" about DH skills are entirely based on what i imagine to be correct haha so please tell me if im overlookign some blatant mechanic to the class / spells.

because the disc regen is pretty incredible when using grenades with this rune, I was thinking that perhaps it would become viable to spam caltrops (stun rune) on top of enemies for a constant stun (the massive disc regen might make this spammable? havnt tested yet) and then using grenadier passive which would make the next logical thing to be replace traps with clsuter arrow as main source of damage (also much easier to manage hatred with cluster arrow for peopel like me who dont like to keep track of their traps haha XD ).

So in short im thinking it may work to use caltrops as a stun, thus reducing the difficulty of using grenades on runners, grenadier would increase hatred regen and maximize cluster arrow spamming for massive dps while sstanding in one spot for the most part. Does this make any sense? If I'm understanding these spell mechanics correctly, this may be a way to efficiently farm hgih mp since cluster arrow spam is probably the highest dps output, its only barrier being having enough hatred to spam it.

I am not sure of my exact trap "up time" but if you put down another trap BEFORE the first has expired, you're destroying the most valuable feature of the echoing blast trap: Three Explosions for the price of one. If you only get two explosions out of if it, you're losing 33% of your efficiency, it's no wonder you're running out of hatred!


I had a feeling i was "sniping" my traps short of their full duraation..but was too lazy to figure out the timing on that haha. right now im lingering between 2,7 aps-3 aps depending on what gear pieces im using so im not sure how that effects trap usage / hatred regen, but im pretty sure my hatred issues are solely due to my laziness in not bothering to see if traps have expired fully haha.

I'd love to hear how you do trying out cluster grenades. The thing you WILL notice, is that there is absolutely no stunning going on there. this may put you off as a CM Wiz transplant, but I don't have a problem with it.


im actually enjoying my Sh quite a bit because keeping everything permafrozen isnt quite as exciting as it was the first time i tried it haha .The only reason im trying to incorporate stuns into my build is because for mp9-10 and such id imagine having athe abiltiy to at least stutter-lock a mob would increase survival tremendously.

edit: ok as i am testing all the thigns i just mentioned just to updateL caltrops spam wwas a failed idea haha. dont need it and not spammable for stutter-lock. that said, the seeing really high hatred regen while using grenadier and its letting me cast cluster arrow about once ever 1-2 seconds. Still need a way to keep runners in place though for these damned grenades to continue to proc so efficiently haha. hmm
Edited by Phal#1831 on 2/11/2013 2:34 PM PST
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Oscar, good read. I'm interested in testing this out as well. Maybe I'll let Tekka be a guinie pig on it, then show me what it's all about... Haha! I've been leveling my HC characters lately, but will take a break and give the cluster bombs a shot.
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02/11/2013 02:27 PMPosted by Phal
and NOW my big issue with grenades is that because its a close range spell, or at least closer than bola, its pretty ineffective when chasing down elites that are especially good at running, which also tend to be the especially annoying and painful mobs if not taken care of / frozen/stunned quickly. mp6 with bola so far has been a faceroll and im finding grenades to be crazy OP when facing melee mobs, but pretty much useless when facing runners. Am i missing something here? I have a feeling that a lot of what im "stating" about DH skills are entirely based on what i imagine to be correct haha so please tell me if im overlookign some blatant mechanic to the class / spells.


This is very much so admittedly a big shortcoming of this skill. I do tend to just throw down Spike traps at range to catch e'm and explode as they run over them or try to shoot at me from a distance.

02/11/2013 02:27 PMPosted by Phal
because the disc regen is pretty incredible when using grenades with this rune, I was thinking that perhaps it would become viable to spam caltrops (stun rune) on top of enemies for a constant stun (the massive disc regen might make this spammable? havnt tested yet) and then using grenadier passive which would make the next logical thing to be replace traps with clsuter arrow as main source of damage (also much easier to manage hatred with cluster arrow for peopel like me who dont like to keep track of their traps haha XD )


Now THAT is an idea. I'm gonna mess around with this tonight too. Great idea though. I will probably replace my Prep on my bar for this... However, since you say it failed, I may want to consider Jagged Spikes for some pretty awesome AOE damage against mobs, as if I didn't already have enough... but hell when I'm outta Hatred I can always try out some Jagged spikes, no?!
Edited by Oscar#1292 on 2/11/2013 2:37 PM PST
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02/11/2013 02:28 PMPosted by MetalJet666
Oscar, good read. I'm interested in testing this out as well. Maybe I'll let Tekka be a guinie pig on it, then show me what it's all about... Haha! I've been leveling my HC characters lately, but will take a break and give the cluster bombs a shot.


Thank you! I'd love to see how other players are working on the principle of this skill as well.
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ok i got rid of caltrops and i think ive figured out a combination that is going to make spammign cluster arrows 1-2 times per second a possiblity...im absolutely wrecking everythign in my path with no disc management issues while spammign cluster arrows and ive worked in a stun..i imagine an experienced DH would also be able to utilize the build im using a lot better than me since im still learning how to play the damn class hahaha//im online now if youd like to take a look / try it out, I havnt tested it in mp10 yet sicne my ehp is likely not high enough but i imagine the mechanics would translate to higher mp with better gear.

tI think you may have landed on the jackpot here oscar, or rather you may have found the way around the "wall" a lot of DH have been apparently facing when trying to efficiently farm high mp. If Im able to get my ehp and dps up a bit i imagine i could make my way through mp10 at a fairly decent pace with this build.
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02/11/2013 02:47 PMPosted by Phal
I think you may have landed on the jackpot here oscar, or rather you may have found the way around the "wall" a lot of DH have been apparently facing when trying to efficiently farm high mp. If Im able to get my ehp and dps up a bit i imagine i could make my way through mp10 at a fairly decent pace with this build.


That's exactly how I felt when I first discovered this. However, I don't feel that it is particularly FAST, and certainly doesn't compete with my Bola build with a nice Calamity, even still, but I'm not exactly a budget gear player.

For those stuck at the wall where they just can't beat MP3 with their Ball Lightning Multishot tactics, this offers an amazing opportunity to push into previously un-farmable territory for many players.

the goal of using a build like this is not to farm MP10, or even MP8, though it might very well be possible for you to do that. I had no trouble at all farming MP8 on a key run in A3, but I expect the tipping point for XP farming efficiency to be somewhere between MP4-MP6 for most players, which this build is absolutely amazing for. The mobs aren't at retarded amounts of HP, they die fast enough to make it efficient, yet live long enough to help you get your regen going. Disc is life people.
Edited by Oscar#1292 on 2/11/2013 2:54 PM PST
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That's exactly how I felt when I first discovered this. However, I don't feel that it is particularly FAST, and certainly doesn't compete with my Bola build with a nice Calamity, even still, but I'm not exactly a budget gear player.


ive pretty much fused your bola build with this new one..still fiddling with some runes and spells but ive got it stunning, spamming cluster arrows once a second, capable of spamming gloom, and ironically it works noticeably better at 3 aps vs when i drop myself down to 2.5 aps so..hello calamity.

are you online? I think youd be interested in seing this / might have some ideas for improvement since you clearly know the DH class just a wee bit better then me haha. but as it is, with your discovery on grenades and veil procs, im able to output a lot of instant burst dps (no ramp up like with traps) but wait...it isnt burst dps if im able to spam it nonstop so..im jsut able to do a lot of damage constnatly XD

02/11/2013 02:52 PMPosted by Oscar
but I expect the tipping point for XP farming efficiency to be somewhere between MP4-MP6 for most players, which this build is absolutely amazing for.


oh i forgot that leveling paragon was like the most important thing to some people haha. Yes of course farming mid mp levels with a high damage build will yield the max xp/hour (archon wizards pretty much already doing this) but after you reach paragon 100 what about max efficiency for legend drops per hour? righ now that tends to be the main priority for builds / gearing over in the wiz forums (maximizing legend's per hour) and naturally, being able to quickly tear through mobs in mp10 quickly is the most efficient you can get with farming loot.

on my wizard ive never bothered trying to grind paragon levels quickly, always went for the loot per hour, hence my desire to be able to do the same with DH. I think this build just might make this possible but I can only test its efficiency in high mp to an extent since I dont have high end gear (so cant see what the full potential of the build could be).
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I have swapped a standard Bola Stun build around a little bit and made this:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#UQgRXY!Xfe!ZaYbZb

I found that using my Calamity with high CC (70% without follower) i was swimming in excess discipline. so I started putting it to work as a face tanking DPS wonder in Jagged Spikes. Now THIS helps me make up the damage lost compared to Bola Shot. the runners are still a pain in the !@#$ though.
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I tested Cluster Grenades out and my verdict is they are amazing at higher MPs. At this point, I am no longer talking about weeny DHs getting a badly needed crutch. As a DH packing nearly 1200 LOH, the sustain was incredible with Gloom. I knew the proc chance was higher but I did not realize I was getting LOH twice. I am finally tanking like my HOTA barb with Rend in higher MPs something that I felt would have thought I could never achieve. Even with all my investments in EHP and LOH to try to get a decent sustain on top of Gloom, I have never been able to achieve this before not even with Shuriken Storm and the Chain of Torment. For me, Cluster Grenades are now a perfect fit for playing higher MPs.

I am right now using a variant to try to pull off a perma stun using Cluster Arrows->Dazzling Arrow. I am tanking enough with Cluster Grenades that I can stun large crowds and use the Chain of Torment gimmick to generate more Hatred on top of my Bat Companion. You need two Chains of Torment on a Mortal Enemy MFDed target with the Bat Companion to reasonably lock them down. The only things I am unsuccessful freezing tanking are kiters elite packs that keep running around. Keeping the chain on them even with Dazzling Arrow and ensnare from my Cold SOJ on Chain of Torment is very difficult. Otherwise, I am very pleased.

Cluster Grenades appear very viable.

EDIT: I tested this build with Oscar on MP9. I have not tried MP 10 yet. My build is http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#UPghRk!gXe!ZaYZYb
Edited by tekkazerox#1174 on 2/11/2013 5:04 PM PST
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ive been testing variations of this as well trying to achieve perma-stun with dazzling arrow, just showed it to oscar a little while ago and im guessing he passed it on to you to work on lol.

placing two chains down for enough hatred to spam dazzling isnt exactly a quick ramp-up since you have to wait 8 seconds to place the second.

Have you tried the chakram with serpentine rune? its a hatred spender but since it moces so slowly, i imagine it would hit the target several times in a coupel seconds giving you a ton of hatred regen for a quick ramp up. I havnt tested this yet (was about to) but if it does wprk like that then I think thatd be a much faster approach to perma stun.

The other option Ive thought of is spamming prep with punishment rune (instant hatred regen) but youd need MASSIVE disc regen to be able to spam this as well as gloom so even at high cc with so much disc regen from grenades procs im not sure if spamming punishment is possible (but if someone can figure out a way, this owuld be the easiest way to achieve perma stun).
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Oddly, both of you came up with the idea on your own

Even at 70% cc I had a hard time keeping up gloom with punishment spam. It was impossible single target. Using spike trap vs one target was the best way to kill it but it was hard to keep gloom and cluster arrow spam going using punishment
Edited by Oscar#1292 on 2/11/2013 6:20 PM PST
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Oddly, both of you came up with the idea on your own

Even at 70% cc I had a hard time keeping up gloom with punishment spam. It was impossible single target. Using spike trap vs one target was the best way to kill it but it was hard to keep gloom and cluster arrow spam going using punishment


haha great minds htink alike i guess.

ya i imagine youd nead unattainable stats to be able to sustain punishment spam on top of gloom. Maybe youd have more luck with the caltrops stun spam but it wasnt working well for me, i guess it wasnt stackign or something.

only other hting i can think of is changing shadow power rune to the hatred regen, bat, marked for death, and (not sure yet but going to test) slow chakram for rapid hatred regen during the windup.

i was able to achieve stutter lock by alternating dazzling and bola with stun rune, which wasnt bad at all, but obviously stutter lock is hugely inferior to perma stun, so id really liek to figure out how to get perma stun working XD this would open up a whole world of god-mode for DH in mp9-10.
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