DH SOLO ability breakdown (inferno cleared)

Demon Hunter
1 2 3 5 Next

I have done a ton of testing on this, and not because i didn't think i had the best build (i thought i did), but because i wanted to find things equivalent and different with a more fun playstyle.

Personally i don't like the build. I hate how clunky nether tentacles feels. Ball lightning handled a ton better but its not nearly so good (much bigger ae radius but much smaller damage). These abilities also seem to bog the game down a lot.

Hatred generator = hungering arrow devouring arrow. For kiting you need to keep the mob far away nearly off screen if you can. To do this you want as little mouse movement as possible, and with hungering you can approximate near your character and it will track your target down. No other hatred generator does 180k crits for me like devouring does. GG on that one and mostly because it tracks and you have less mouse movement for insane kiting.

Hatred spender = nether tentacles. Use ball lightning until you get it. It hits like a truck, its cheap, its spammable, its ae. It will take care of illusionist elites and large models. It will work on invuln minions. Nothing else covers that for a hatred spender and you only have room for one hatred spender.

Defensive 1 = smoke screen with lingering fog. Even after the nerf. PERIOD. you will rely on twitch reflexes for this to kite, escape, any time you are stuck in plague/immolation/wall/or get vortexed. Learn to press this quick depending on the elite. You also need it to time vs damage reflect mobs. Oh and for running past the perfect soul lasher pack (extra hp + anything.)

Defensive 2 = my own little secret. I've tried other variations and anything will work this is just icing on the cake. So put what you want here. Impale can be nice when you have 3 elites left that are non invuln mins/non illusionists because it hits hard and fast with a quick animation. Stampede or the final rain of vengeance rune can be useful.

Utility 3 = bat companion. Lets face it you have a hatred gen you have a hatred spender that nothing can compare to. Bat companion gives you a HUGE increase in hatred regen. its very noticeable. So you can spam more nether tentacles willy-nilly while you kite and hope they hit. And when you get into a position to wail on them you will always have hatred.

Defensive 4 = preparation with the rune that has a chance not to trigger a cooldown. Remember folks if youre at 0 preparation and youre sitting there without having killed anything just press the button anyways. It will take too long to wait for it to refill the cooldown will reset anyways. Be careful when you use this try to kite a little longer to get that one last smokescreen out before popping it but don't pop it too late. I've solod all of inferno with this build including the bosses. (EXCEPT DIABLO). Diablo is easy until you get to super cheesy gimmick shadow clone that one shots you guaranteed and you have to kill him in one smoke screen. I had no patience or care to do that. I CAN do it, i've gotten mostly through p2, and p1 and p3 are cake.

2000 dex
280% crit damage
1.49 aps
75 MF (ive sacrificed 10k dps for this and am looking to do more.)
around 48k dmg without sharpshooter
around 120k dmg with sharpshooter
something like 48 percent dodge which means you can sometimes take 7 or 8 hits when the stars align.
11 percent run speed. SUPER IMPORTANT FOR KITING.
nothing else really matters.

I'll do a small breakdown on other hatred generators/spenders.

Hatred generators:

Entangling shot = forget it. doesn't track, low damage, snare is near useless in inferno. Might be acceptable with justice is served if you have godlike aim (i dont.)

Bola = forget it. that delay makes it a pain hitting easy mobs that can be staggered. the damage doesn't compare to hungering devouring and its delayed.

Grenades = i wish this would work. I honestly wouldn't try to throw them at the mob. I kite and run and send them away so they dont hit on purpose so it doesnt waste my sharpshooter buff. I tried this with a huge cluster arrow loaded for bear nuke but unfortunately that doesn't compare. I can tell you why in a second.

Hatred spenders:

multi-shot has weak damage and huge cost. Even if you get fire at will it will never come close to nether tentacles. the damage is a smidgen higher potential but its twice the cost and youre paying for upfront damage that is quick with a wider radius. I didn't test this enough it is possible this could be worth it. It can still hit through invuln mins and will take care of illusionists but its so darn ineffecient. Close but no cigar. Maybe at 15 cost.

cluster arrow is so expensive even with grenadier. 3 shots max. Makes illusionists a pain, easy to miss with semi-low range, trash becomes bothersome, wont work through invuln minions, and it may crit for 290k occasionally with some solid secondary hits, but i can fire four nether tentacles that will hit a much larger range and if sharpshooter is stacked thats way way way more damage. you are paying for upfront damage that hits hard and quick and the cost is too high. Other runes = stuns dont matter much vs elites, the lobbing grenade (cluster bombs) might be amazing vs huge mobs but good luck aiming it or making it hit multiple times, rockets suck. We're done here.

Strafe = no go expensive still get hit low dmg impossible to aim.

Fan of knives = youre that close youre dead. The stun rune MIGHT have a place in some build as an oh-!@#$ button. who has room for this in their build with only six slots? the long cooldown kills it.

impale = i wanted to love it. It has a small, niche place. it will kill you vs illusionists or invuln minions unless you get overpen. The damage isnt that much more and its expensive. Its the closest to being worth it at a cost of 25 with overpenetration but the radius is so small and you will cry when you see an illusionist pack. It can be very nice vs invuln mins with overpen. Chemical burn dot doesnt stack or that would rock. Grievous wounds just doesnt often add much damage to the crit it feels. Again stuns on inferno are a joke.

Rain of vengeance. This ability can be nice. You can have some limited success with stampede and the final stun rune. I preferr the stun rune if i use it. Its free, though a trick to aim sometimes, and you can reliably (sometimes) chain smokescreen spam attacks for the 5 seconds this is going off. Also with sharpshooter it seems to do legit dmg while spamming your nether tent if you do it just before nuking off. Can stunlock large bosses for 5 seconds.

rapid fire. I want to love this i do. I can accept you have to stand still but it is NOT hitting for as much as it says hands down. It just doenst. Same problem as many others also illusionists and invuln minions. I would take impale overpen before this though i loved it while leveling at the start of normal.

Chakrams. They are too hard to aim and they path terribly when theres object to hit. The damage doesn't seem as high as it should. The one that cuts straight to them and whirls around has a small advantage over nether tent. The damage is instant and it moves quickly. For that i like it but i couldn't make it better than nether tentacles.

Elemental arrow runes - ball lightning is good until you get nether tentacles. I love its large radius and hate its low damage. Fear rune is nice but they kite too far sometimes and damage is low and invuln minions/illusionists will make you cry. Frost arrow and electric arrow are tied for horrible... stuns suck and snares suck in inferno.

Shadow power = why bother when you can go completely invuln for the same cost. You will still die unless you stack resist crap and then you're not a glass cannon and i just don't think its very viable.

Caltrops = okay ill give away my secret. Stack five of them with the damage rune. Run the elite pack into them then SS and nuke away. Youre welcome for the godlike damage. Dont forget to run before you die. maybe try kiting them back through.

evasive fire with the extra range rune. I've toyed with an idea on this one as a hatred generator. spam nether tent and then when your timer is up fire this off and nether tent until you can cloak again. It could theoretically work very well. Someone test this and get back to me? cloak nether tent nether tent evase fire cloak spam nether tent rinse/repeat. Could work well vs elite packs and actually buy you time if you set it up right.

Vault. I actually like this with the one that makes it free every 15 sec but the delay will get you killed often about 30 meters from the mob that hit you.

any companion other than bat is useless. Bat companion is AHHHHMAZING! you don't really need any other generator or spender or utility anyways theyre all bad. So spend an ability here already.

Passives = sharpshooter/archery/steady aim. Nothing else matters. Okay well thats not true. If you find two amazing 1h xbows (id like to) you can get the discipline generator one i think it would be nice with that evasive fire setup truly. theres some way to make the one that gives extra dmg on snared targets work maybe its a frost dmg weapon i dunno i dont care. If you went with a speed build the tactical advantage rune could be useful. That is all.

Sentry. bad. Just. BAD. low damage, low uptime, cant make it attack the target you want, on and on. Fire chains has this TINY radius you have to be within. The other runes have similiar problems. Fire chains could be good if it went a lot longer range.

Any other questions? i've tested it all with the current gear.

I'm also going to start streaming my play. I farm whimsyshire which has some pretty damn tough high hp elite packs. I fiound act 4 inferno annoying because of cheese mobs but technically easier than act 3 inferno.

Mobs that will #*!% you without perfect play are mostly act 3. The flying bat demons, the shamans (rezzing little punks around you and hard to get to), the phase beasts, the soul lashers, and my least favorite (ok thats soul lashers but this is a close second) the blood clan impalers. Those spears travel at the speed of light and their hit radius is ENORMOUS.

I've gotten to the point i can farm whimsyshire with a monk friend (i don't enjoy playing alone as much.) he does zero damage. His goal is to distract/survive/lure/help me sometimes/cc/survive some more/and he creates roadblocks for me to spam on mobs. It's both harder and easier at the same time, but we do it and its fun.

Remember act 3 you need 80k+ dmg (25k+ without sharpshooter) and even that will even be a little tough. Its a gear check.

Any questions, any interest in people wanting to see this stuff?

Final note: It's all about timing. Watching the mobs, what they do, timing your SS properly. Twitch reflexes with smoke screen and timing and kiting like a mofo until your fingers bleed. Mostly timing and set-up with the timing.
You should specify solo in the title. I say this because Guardian Turret is the real deal if you are in a group. Since you drop a kite build for a glass cannon build. Otherwise I like your summations. I love the AoE distance on Ball Lightning but the damage is just too low like you said. If they made the damage dwindle the further from the ball it would be fine. I don't like my meatwad cannon that much but its the best we got for now.
have you ever tried tactical advantage for a passive slot?

it's actually more useful than you think

why? it instantly discredits your post
I made a mention of tactical advantage if youre going for a speed build. I agree it does have a use, but I haven't seen to many speed builds that are all that viable. I'm sure one could work, but you are sacrificing SO much damage for that speed.

I did forget to mention spike trap. The only time i've found this useful is in doorays or narrow places i can drop all three on top one another. Other than that its too hard to hit with, too expensive, and you focus more on dropping the trap than what you're doing and it gets me killed. It sucks vs invuln minions too. I've heard tell of people dropping six spikes with 5 caltrops and luring elite packs in. That would probably kill them really quick.
Really like your breakdown. I have a 60 DH that I am totally loving. Thing is my DPS is absolute !@#$, but I've got a ton of HP. What do you recommend for a weap? 1-hand xbow? 2-hand? bow?

Also, is DPS more important than HP in inferno? I've just started act 1 inferno and I'm not sure what to expect.
Are you finding decent drops in Whimsy inferno? I have 90k DPS and am considering plunking down the cash if you think it's worth it.
2k dex, what the hell.
<< Only has 1.4k :\
How many APS? I think I need to drop some attack speed for dex or CSD
not bad. though coudl you specify how to handle damage reflect. and what you do when a mob gets to you . u SS and they follow you to a new spot. looking at your buld i dont see you using a solid slow or CC ability. other than pure dps. liek the bulid though simular to what i use.

also can you go into crit damage. ias, and any tricks for some of the harder elites
I dont agree with what you think of spiketrap, i use it heavily, now in act3. You only use scatter anyways. Also you don't put spiketrap to try to "hit" the champs, you put them where you know they will pass, which is the space between you and the champ and they almost always hit. It works especially well against very fast champs as hitting them with NT will be next to impossible but kiting them while placing traps between you and them will surely connect 1 way or another.

It works great vs invulnerables too you just dont know how to use it.
What the bloody hell do we do about Reflect damage and Invulnerable Minions.
I dont agree with what you think of spiketrap, i use it heavily, now in act3. You only use scatter anyways. Also you don't put spiketrap to try to "hit" the champs, you put them where you know they will pass, which is the space between you and the champ and they almost always hit. It works especially well against very fast champs as hitting them with NT will be next to impossible but kiting them while placing traps between you and them will surely connect 1 way or another.

It works great vs invulnerables too you just dont know how to use it.

what rune are you using?
Don't bother with vit/hp/plus percent life/plus health globes/ or any of that in inferno. You just wont survive so kill them faster.

Stack up loads of bonus crit and agi. I didn't care about attack speed percent until i got a clunky xbow for crit dmg and its nice but slow so get attack speed when you can. It boosts the animation of attack and delay between moving and attack. Thats very nice vs mortar packs.

Always use a 2h with a quiver. Just buy a blue bow with 800+ dmg. When you see modifyers like attack speed or bonus damage on a bow, don't buy it if you see one with bonus crit dmg and similiar base damage. Attack speed and bonus damage are already factored into that number and most people dont realize it. Go for the bonus crit damage item or a socketed one and put a nice green gem in it. Get a nice quiver.

The biggest thing on gear is getting your plus 10 discipline on the quiver and chest or at least 7 or 8 a piece. That is tremendous. You can make dual xbows work but then stack crit chance AND crit damage and don't get sharpshooter... replace it with the passive that has a chance to grant discipline on crit. then learn to kite harder and faster and maybe mix in more disc spending things like vault or evasive fire perhaps? I highly reccomend starting with a 2h bow or xbow and quiver with high base damage and bonus crit.
so stat priorty is like ??

discipline> movmentspeed> dex> crit damage> crit %> ias?
use a 2 hander with solid quiver
and kiteo n the edge of the screen?

also what do you use as an oh !@#$ kite ability? a slow or somehting other than smoke screen?
Can you make this build with the skill calculator?
Yes I find amazing drops in whimsyshire. I would farm the tombs and things to get 5 stack NV before going in because the elites are a total pain. I've found three legendaries there in a day. the loot pinata is my favorite!

For reflect damage you need TIMING. line it up, fire about 3-4 nether tentacles, and SS just before they hit. Rinse and repeat. Make sure to use potions and take shots here and there as your health regens in between. Use your smoke screen/prep/smoke screen etc to damage them while you can in between kiting.

The mobs don't seem to corner around items very well and you can gain some distance there. I run just before my ss is up and with my run speed i can generaly stay away until i smoke screen and then fire 3-4 nether tentacles and run again.

Regarding spike traps. Maybe you've done fantastic with them... great. I find they are horrible vs. invuln minions. The cost is expensive, the animation is slow, and you think the damage is huge, but its 275 percent and good luck getting them to trigger all three on top of the whole pack like youre hoping with the scatter rune, which is clearly the best rune. I can kill things quicker by firing nether tentacles and kiting than with trying to lure things into the traps.

For invuln minions you kite and kite until you get clear shots with nether tentacles. learn to kite mobs around objects they always take the most narrow path so you take a corner then fire straight down the line theyll be heading. Its nerve wracking and time consuming but you can kill invuln minion packs this way.
Slows dont work on inferno. You have to learn to use smoke screen for all of it. Thats it. its all about knowing where to go and when you can use it and where to kite. I use caltrops but thats just for the damage of it. I also valued crit % dmg higher than dex at higher gear levels. I would truly like to have more attack speed. I've also updated some of hte statistics up top to include some stats people asked for.
1 dex = how many DPS?
thanks i cant wait for servers to come up and try this out.. oh 1 more thing in act 1 in the spider dungeon. how do you deal with those little bastards that just pop up 2 inches form you and 1 shot you.? i see then hit SS but its always to late. thanks for all the help.
Go slow and be quicker with SS. there are going to be infuriating areas and that is one of them.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum