Cluster Arrow-Dazzling Arrow build

Demon Hunter
Dazzling Arrow is bar-none the best stun attack we have. The AOE attack has a 55% Chance to stun for 2 seconds for each miniature ball you fire at the cost of 50 Hatred. The AOE attack shoots out for 4 miniature balls. If you hit a large target with all four you are looking at ~95% chance to stun for 2 seconds. That stun rate is fantastic and very compelling to use. Unfortunately, the Hatred cost is immense and a big turn off to spamming it. However, if you pack enough Hatred Regeneration, you will be greatly rewarded.

The stun is better than Grenades-Stun Grenades and Bola Shot-Thunderball, since their stun only last for 1.5 seconds and they have a low chance to stun [25% (Grenades)-35% (Bola Shot)] and doesn't have the the AOE attack that Dazzling Arrow has. The AOE and damage is much better than Elemental Arrow->Lightning Bolts that can only stun for 1.5 seconds, can only hit enemies in a small straight line, and only procs off critical hits (for some this may actually be the superior skill)

This Dazzling Arrow build is not intended to do incredible damage like Spiked Traps but it still packs a punch since you are spamming cluster arrows. The damage is good enough to clear content even through MP 10. I tried it on MP10 Ubers and it requires extreme care to defeat them but with a group, the build is more consistent in its lock down for obvious reasons. The lockdown can never compete with CM/WW since it is a 2-second stun and will be ignored by CC immunity by elites. Still, the stun is very good and will help with farming solo or in a group.

Dazzling Arrow Build:


  • 2.0 APS (I highly recommend at least having this since you can spam one grenade for each dazzling arrow but manticore users can certainly have less)
  • 8-10 Reduction to Cluster Arrows (more is needed if you are not packing a DOT skill) from an Stone of Jordan and Dead Man's Legacy


  • 1.) Grenades-Tinkerer/Cluster Grenades/Gas Grenades: You may be tempted to want to use Stun Grenades, but I found Stun Grenades while providing a better stun ran out of steam too quickly on MP 8-10 to keep a sustain going with Dazzling Arrow (which ended up being a worse stun overall). You will enjoy the extra hatred regeneration from Tinkerer or the double proc chance from Cluster Grenades more (especially if you pack any LOH or Nightstalker). As such you will be spamming this as one of your attacks per second. If using Mortal Enemy, switch to Gas Grenades, each cloud can proc Mortal Enemy and allow you to double dip. It is much hardier to to do that with other runes.
  • 2.) Cluster Arrows-Dazzling Arrow: This is the meat of the build. Each attack shots out four miniature balls that have a 55% Chance to AOE stun for 2 seconds at the costs of 50 Hatred. The goal here is not to completely spam the skill but be measured. You need to alternate between at least one shot of Grenades and one or two shot of Dazzling Arrow. If you have more Hatred Regeneration you can use Grenades much less.
  • 3.) Shadow Power-Gloom/Nightbane: To stun effectively with either Shuriken Storm or Chain of Torment you have to get close to your enemies. The life steal is needed to survive. You can survive better by using Gloom in higher MPs and use Nightbane for more hatred regeneration at lower MPs (if you have high EHP you can run Nightbane at higher MPs easily).
  • 4.) Marked for Death-Mortal Enemy: The goal here is to spam all your attacks on the target of this skill and this skill scales with your attack speed. This skill allows you to proc off Shuriken Cloud, Choking Gas, or Chain of Torment for more Hatred regeneration as well. This skill also procs off each attack against an enemy so the secondary explosion off Cluster Grenades can generate more hatred.

Variant Skills:

  • 1.) Companion-Bat Companion: This skill is hard to ignore in a build as Hatred Intensive as this Dazzling Arrow build. The bat allows you to remain mobile and rely on Hatred Regeneration if things go wrong and you have to keep moving. Combined with Nightbane, you are gaining +6 Hatred per second
  • 2.) Chakram-Shuriken Cloud: Like the Bat Companion, this rune provides a nice skill that when used with Mortal Enemy for good Hatred regeneration. The cloud provides a small AOE attack that helps supplement damage at higher MPs. Shuriken Cloud is nice because its DOT can critical hit while Chain of Torment cannot and you are completely mobile. The downside is the proc rate is lower than Chain of Torment and you have to get close to your selected enemy.
  • 3.) Sentry-Chain of Torment: This skill takes some work but is ultimately the best option for those wanting to gain a good stun with the least amount of reduction gear. Laying down one of these sentries is not too hard and you can keep your enemy on or adjacent to the chain to proc its damage with Dazzling Arrow. Even one of these is better than the Bat Companion for Hatred Regeneration. The issue is you just have to get the target of Mortal Enemy under or near the chain. Once you get two of these out and they are hitting your Marked for Deathed target, you will not run out of Hatred easily and can spam Dazzling Arrow much faster. The idea is that you do not have to have two out but that you buy yourself enough time to get two out. It’s high LOH proc rate makes it ideal for packing LOH to tank even better. Black damage on the chain allows you to use a cold SOJ to ensnare your enemies as well to slow them down (making placement of chains on enemies absurdly easy with Dazzling Arrow). Major downside is that it cannot critical hit nor benefits from your attack speed. The rune has a constant tick rate.
  • 4.) Smoke Screen-Choking Gas: Frozen affix monsters always annoy me since eventually they will break and attempt to freeze you. Once you are frozen, it can be lights out once your enemies have unrestricted actions. If you are not packing this skill, you will have to stutter away. If you want to tank this skill is fantastic. The small stationary cloud does absurd damage for 5 seconds so you can use it offensively. With Dazzling Arrow holding enemies down you can really dish out some good damage, since enemies can’t escape the cloud. Each cloud can stack, but chances are you will be only managing one cloud at a time anyways. Do not use this skill unless you have good Discipline regeneration. This skill will compete with Shadow Power. However, if you have a good handle on Discipline (Nat's Legacy, high cc, 1hander, etc), this skill is hard to ignore at higher MPs.


  • Archery: Preferred passive to run for more damage and allows you to proc more Nightstalker for more Gloom if needed (assuming you use 1 hander).
  • Grenadier: Mandatory skill unless you packing a significant amount of Cluster Arrow Reduction. Passive gives you 2 more Hatred generation on your grenades and -10 Cluster Arrow Reduction.
  • Nightstalker: This passive is a toss-up for me. With the lock down that you can get you do not strictly need it. At higher MPs, I have to have it due to elemental affixes from elites that I cannot dodge completely wrecking me.
  • Vengeance: Use this passive if you are wasting enemies fast at lower MPs or have a zero dog witch doctor, and/or a barb running Hammer of the Ancient->Birthright. Each Health Orb will regenerate your Hatred bar like no one's business.
  • Run-up Passives: Numbering Traps (Grenades and Sentries are perfect way to reduce damage), Perfectionist (more EHP and damage mitigation), Custom Engineering (for more sentries if you truly want more consistent Hatred Regeneration)

Special thanks to BurningJC, DiEoxidE, Castablanca, Oscar, Phal, and Zoid for your help!

For more information on Cluster Arrows itself, please refer to:
Nice Writeup! I will enjoy trying this out when I can!
Glad you liked it Oscar!

I forgot to mention if your goal is not the best possible stun then about 8-9 reduction is easily workable. I am doing really well with my regular gear just consisting of a -4 Reduction Cold SOJ Ring and -5 Reduction on my Dead Man's Legacy Quiver and I still feel it is better than Stun Grenades and Thunder ball since the AOE stun is vastly easier to pop-off with Mortal Enemy.

The goal of this build was to come as close to perma-stun with a DH as possible. The extra reduction gear was pretty cheap and was fun to use. The Mara's Kaleidoscope -5 Reduction and Critical Chance costs me 450k (I hated searching for this one), Skull Grasp costs me 4mil (always filter down to a Dexterity one with either CC, Average Damage, or CD), Cold SOJ with -4 Reduction 25mil, and -5 Dead Man's Legacy 15 mil.
very nice, this build is great for higher mp tanking and with higher cc and / or nats legacy i imagine the lockdown becomes much better with a few spells switched around.

hopefully once some more people try out the build and test different gear / spells the stun can get even closer to 100%. I'm excited to see what others who test this build and playstyle out come up with.
I've been using a cluster arrow stun build since 1.04. Works best when you have 3 aps and -10 cluster arrow reduction (SOJ, DML). Bat, stun grenades, dazzling arrow, calamity with 1.3 hatred regen and DML with 1.3 hatred regen is will get you to very close to 1 cluster arrow per sec.

Stun grenades at 3 aps will give you a decent stun by itself. Add on top of that dazzling arrow ~1 per sec and you've got very good stun to almost permastun, depending on the target.

If you've got good ehp, this is a fun build in pvp with sentries against mid level barbs, monks and WDs.
Regarding Stun grenades, there is going to be a gradient but exponential decrease in effectiveness with increased range. The closer the target, the more likely you are to overlap stun fields into the targets hit box and proc a stun with more than one grenade. If you're face tanking a boss, Stun Grenades can be VERY effective with high APS, but this isn't always possible and specing for boss fights only isn't always the best idea (sometimes it is?)
That is what I found Oscar as well, and why I stay away from Stun Grenades with elite packs over say Ubers who can get hit by multiple stun grenades. However, it is an interesting idea to blow your Hatred on Dazzling Arrow to lock them down and then lock them down with Stun Grenades as you get on top of said target.
Thanks for sharing your results and build, definitely interesting stuff.

The problem I have with it is that this is a high MP build, and stun Bola + Echo traps is just strictly better. Don't get me wrong, I think it's bs that this is the case and I applaud your effort because hopefully when Blizz gets their heads out of their asses and realize that DHs are a joke at high MP that a build like this will be relevant.

Why is it that a Barb with 150k less DPS than me can clear mp9-10 FOUR TIMES FASTER than me, either just doing white mobs or doing whites + elites...

Sorry for the rant :)
The problem I have with it is that this is a high MP build, and stun Bola + Echo traps is just strictly better. ...
Why is it that a Barb with 150k less DPS than me can clear mp9-10 FOUR TIMES FASTER than me, either just doing white mobs or doing whites + elites...

The goal of this build was never to out DPS Bola Shot and Echoing Traps, especially if you can survive really well on mp 9-10. However, a lot of times I will have friends who are not as beefy as me like to join my games at that level and having options to help them survive is nice. Anytime I die or they die the party's or individual's effective DPS plummets so going for higher DPS is not always strictly speaking always the best way of doing it. I can afford to do this because I have played Barbarian since day 1 of game and he runs like you indicated mp 8-10 at least 4 times faster than my DH with the best builds flying running around here. I haven't found a good DPS multiplier setup that also offers the survivability that WW or HOTA barbs can, so I just don't try.
02/27/2013 06:46 AMPosted by BloodyNine
The problem I have with it is that this is a high MP build, and stun Bola + Echo traps is just strictly better

the problem with the bola / trap stun build is that the bola stun only stuns the target it initially hits (contrary to what one would assume, that it would stun as aoe). This is pretty good for single targets but loses a lot of its flare when facing 3 runner elites (which you then basically have to kill one by one in most cases.

the goal of the dazzling build is to get as close as possible to perma stun, similar to cm/ww capabilities.

One of the very large benefits of this build besides the stun ability to cause aoe stun is that grenades, shuriken cloud, and chains (3 spells mentioned in the build) all have incredibly high LoH procs which when paired with shadow power makes you able to tank quite a bit more.

This build isnt perfect at all but its got some pretty great aspects to it that differentiate it from bola/traps.
My apologies if I came across as degrading the build, that was not my intent.

Valid point in grouping up the elites, however about 75% of the elites will do this on their own, and with sufficient survivability the stunning of all the mobs isn't really necessary. With the traps at their feet they die as fast as a DH is currently capable of. Even with runners, i would bet that the much higher DPS of the trap/bola build would kill the pack one by one about as fast as the Dazzling Arrow build could kill them all at once.

And really, the point of bola stun isn't so much to actually stun the mob, its to keep it relatively stationary so you can pile up the traps, hence greatly increasing your eDPS. At least when you have sufficient survivability anyway.

Now lets say they up Cluster Arrow's damage to about 475% weapon damage (truly not OP at all looking at infinite WoTB/HoTA builds...) i would definitely rock this build :)
Been running various Cluster Arrow runes for awhile. It started with Dazzling Arrow using Justice is Served as the generator. With the new discovery about the double proc from Cluster Grenades I've been using that more now.

I think the most potent rune from Cluster is Shooting Star with Ballistics, but at the moment I'm back with Dazzling Arrow because it works very well in my current setup. Smokescreening while building hatred before you dazzle is to stun, is pretty strong.

I'm on HC btw.
I like the general approach of this build. Bola-spike trap is the better MP10 build overall, but If you've already committed yourself to Cluster Arrow gear, this provides a worthy alternative, especially in multiplayer.

What I especially like is that this particular Cluster build directly synergizes with a cold SOJ. The combined crowd slow+stun can provide better control of the field -- namely any benefit that derives from impeding mob dispersal. This enhances the effectiveness of monks and CM wizzes (pretty much anyone in your group).
Interesting build, OP. I hope you don't mind that I linked it on my compilation of DH builds/gearing thread:
@BloodNine: You didn't come off as crass at all, BloodNine. How else are we going to perfect these builds if no one provides honest, constructive feedback? This build is fun and effective, but the build is certainly not intended for massive damage. My only concern with your usage of Bola Shot is at this point, why not just use Stun Grenades? Bola Shot only locks down a single enemy to hit with spiked traps or is your hope to leverage a Grim Reaper combo of some sort? Or are you banking on a crippled lockdown so you can get much more immense damage instead? Either is certainly valid, but I am curious to know your rationale.

@ActionKungFu: I imagine that this setup is probably very beneficial in hardcore since damage is heavily mitigated in an AOE fashion and you can still stay at ranged which neither Thunder ball nor Stun Grenades can offer very well.

@MaxxKorn: Absolutely! Spiked Traps has a better damage multiplier than Cluster Arrows period unless you are using Cluster Bombs. The idea of this build is not damage but a consistent AOE lock down and a cheap way to tank. I really do like the idea of using my Cold SOJ with Cluster Arrow reduction to slow down mobs with my Chain of Torment and then blast them with Dazzling Arrow. While packing some LOH, I am completely tanking my foes on mp 10 with relative ease. The only pack that prevents me from an outright tanking fest is the Frozen affix because if you frozen you can't stun. ;-)

@TexaStranger: Please do. I posted this build so others could try it, since I thought it was pretty fun to use.
02/27/2013 07:59 AMPosted by BloodyNine
My apologies if I came across as degrading the build, that was not my intent.

I didn't take offense to your post at all, I was just being sure to clarify (to others who might come accross this thread) that this build isnt intended to be bola/trap "replacement" but rather an alternative high mp build that offers certain utility (like we've both already brought up, the aoe stun) that the bola build currently lacks.

I love runnign bola/traps as it is a very well rounded and perfected build. My hope, however, is that this strategy of aiming for an aoe stun and aiming for a better "perma-stun" will inspire people to test it and share their results from different gear / spells so that the build can hopefully become even better.

My main is a cm/ww wiz and I have played the build from when it first became known and still play it today. I've seen first hand how the difference in gear, runes, spells, and the extensive theorycrafting that has been done in the wiz community is what made cm/ww so good and is the reason the build is still so successful.

Are DH capable of achieving a perma-stun as good as cm/ww? I'm not sure - but after testing this build quite a bit on my DH I believe it has the potential. I imagine that someone who has best in slot 2b per item gear would have much different results testing this build than I would on my DH (who has mediocre gear at best), and perhaps the solution may be that DH need to achieve certain high levels of cc or aps breakpoints. I also don't know the proc coefficients of DH spells or their aps breakpoints for those that have them, so when trying to apply my knowledge of cm.ww to this build It's difficult for me to figure out which spells are causing better or worse results.

TL;DR - I hope that people will share their knowledge and experience from testing this build and an even better perma stun might be achieved in the future using that information.

02/27/2013 09:54 PMPosted by tekkazerox
The only pack that prevents me from an outright tanking fest is the Frozen affix because if you frozen you can't stun

welcome to the most disliked affix of the cm/ww community hahaha. There's only one way to counter frozen: stun tehm first and lock them down so well that they never get a chance to cast it XD
Glad to see this conversation is still going! I have come to appreciate trying new builds/mps/strategies/routes to make up for the current lack of end-game in D3, and these conversations keep me interested in the game.

Tekkazerox- Stun Grenades are an interesting option, as i also use HA so that would negate the range issue with Grenades. My only issue with them is the 160%/110% dmg that bola shot does, as opposed to the 95% dmg that grenades do. If there is a situation where it is more important to lock down a whole group while in close quarters, it is definitely worth experimenting with. It depends on what area you are farming at too, for instance if i am doing my act 2 Essence runs i would go crazy trying to get those bees or flamey-crab guys all together at melee range...However if i could it sure would save the pain of their damn flame pools (way OP btw!).

My rational behind the bola stun on a single mob is getting to lay the 3 traps at their feet, which leads to a very quick kill (regardless of MP really). Also the AE from bola and traps tend to work well enough for melee packs to bring those down as a group very quickly, even if they arent all stunned. With Gloom and high eHP its less important to have everything stunned (with this current set up anyway).

In regards to the frozen affix, DH do have SS to pop out of that, which is really nice, but finding the slot for SS can be difficult.

Right now I am running MP10 KD2 whites-only runs, and whereas we cannot compete with Barbs in terms of efficiency I am gaining ground on CM wizard clear times. Gaining 5-6 Legendaries per hour (consistently, as many as 9 per hour with some luck) is fun, and I'm actually finding Volatile Explosives rune for Bola to be very effective, but i will try some testing with Grenades today. Do you guys know what the radius is for the Dazzling rune? Want to know how many mobs you can potentially be locking down. If its like the LFB radius, that's really not too ideal (look at a CM Wiz radius!). I would think grenades stun + echo traps would be more dps and larger lock-down radius. But I definitely could be wrong!

@ActionKungFu: I imagine that this setup is probably very beneficial in hardcore since damage is heavily mitigated in an AOE fashion and you can still stay at ranged which neither Thunder ball nor Stun Grenades can offer very well.

I never tried your build specifically. I was just using the Dazzling rune as choice because it works very well with smokescreen usage. I think Shooting Star and Maelstrom are just as good for different reasons, too.

Never was as big a fan of Thunder Ball as I am Stun Grenades. With Dazzling Arrow my goal was to never stun lock, but to fire off Dazzle to ensure a stun while I'm not smokescreened.
@Phal: No matter what I do, I do not have a sufficient answer to Frozen. With my new build, this affix is nearly fatal if they are Frozen and Fast on MP10
@BloodyNine: I completely understand. Bola Shot with Gloom is what I consider good enough. The nice thing is that it frees your DH to use Spiked Traps, which has some of the better damage in the game. As for the radius on Dazzling Arrow, the AOE is a little smaller than CM/WW for forward facing enemies. You have a much small radius for enemies who are behind you but Dazzling Arrow will hit them. It is why I find Dazzling Arrow better than Bola Shot and Grenades. Neither provides that consistent and decisive AOE stutter-stun shield for demon hunter.
@ActionKungfu: That is certainly helpful. Stun Grenades and Dazzling Arrow can certainly provide a decent shield for that.

All, I did some testing on MP 10 and there is another option with this build that either makes the stun better and the requirements vastly lower. I finally got the courage to use Nightbane over Gloom. Armed with Mortal Enemy and Bat Companion I was able to maintain my Hatred fairly well with just - 9 Reduction and Grenadier. You have to have perma-Nightbane, so I found that Cluster Grenades were good. With 700-1000 LOH, I was still tanking without Gloom. It got easier when I added back in Chains of Torment since LOH kept my life completely full and my current EHP is enough to take one single devastating shot from most enemies. The only thing that completely laid waste to me was Frozen affix.

This build can do massive damage if you change Dazzling Arrow to Cluster Bombs. I asked a CM/WW to hold enemies down for me on MP 10 and the damage was good. Non-stop cluster bombs are amusing. I imagine Nightbane is more effective with a Manticore since the ability to spam fewer hard-hitting salvos of cluster bombs makes the innate regeneration more compelling. :)

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