Since each Theorycraft Thursday rotation runs for about four weeks between votes, it means that two classes could not be featured in our first round articles. I'm prepared to remedy the situation, so for this week's Theorycraft Thursday we're sharing an explosive Demon Hunter build for all types of skill and gear levels. Are you locked and loaded for Outlaw#1468's "Multiple Rocket Launcher" build?
About the Build:
The Multiple Rocket Launcher, or MRL, build focuses on supplying a constant barrage of damage via Strafe (Rocket Storm). Featuring a high amount of mobility and an endless supply of rockets (where do they come from?), it shifts the focus of skillful play from aiming your abilities to successfully kiting and chasing your enemies.
"Strafe grants continuous mobility and damage, making it optimal for chasing or kiting enemies. This makes it the ultimate skill in providing offense and defense in equal measurement," writes Outlaw. With the auto-targeting power of the rockets spawned by Strafe and other supplemental abilities, enemies with high mobility and a tendency to flee will no longer be a nuisance!
Outlaw was kind enough to provide us two separate load outs—one designed with less of a gear focus and the other designed for after you've acquired more of the ideal items listed below. For this particular blog, we'll detail the initial build first and then offer additional skill suggestions in a separate section.
- Entangling Shot (Justice is Served)
- Primary resource generator
- Applied slow allows better kiting and chasing
- Increased Hatred regeneration lets you return to using Strafe quickly
- Note: With gear progression, this skill will eventually be replaced
- Strafe (Rocket Storm)
- Primary damage dealer and thematic focus of the build
- Preparation (Punishment)
- Supplements Strafe’s constant need for Hatred
- As a low Discipline build, allows you to make better use of this otherwise unused resource
- Vengeance (Seethe)
- Offers big burst for elites, boss fights, or Rift Guardians
- Combines nicely with Strafe (Rocket Storm) for superior single-target destruction
- Chakram (Shuriken Cloud)
- Helps fill in one of the major weaknesses in this build: area of effect damage
- Since Strafe allows you to ignore unit collision, you can make great use of this bonus damage on the go
- Companion (Bat Companion)
- Provides constant much-needed Hatred until resources can be more reliably gained from items
- Can fill in for boosts of Hatred when you don't have enough Discipline for Preparation
- Blood Vengeance
- Helps sustain high resource drains from Strafe until appropriate Legendaries can fill the gap
- Boosts the effectiveness of both Strafe and Vengeance
- Adds supplemental damage
- Hot Pursuit
- Increases the mobility of this build while utilizing Strafe, making up some of the associated movement speed penalty
- Night Stalker
- Marked for Death (Contagion)
- Replaces Entangling Shot once a Hatred generator is no longer needed
- Helps fill in the builds weaknesses by offering additional damage modifiers
- Also offers great group utility in multiplayer
- Vengeance (Dark Heart)
- Smoke Screen (Displacement)
- Replaces Companion (Bat Companion) once resources are no longer relevant
- Removes some of the “glass cannon” feel from the build
- Offers a way to break out of crowd control effects
- A short invulnerability helps you get out of sticky situations
- Movement speed bonus complements an already highly mobile build
- Marked for Death (Contagion)
The following items are by no means necessary—the initial build presented above is usable with any level of gear. Of course, as you progress and climb higher in difficulty, you should keep an eye out for some of the following complementary items.
Outlaw has found some of the items he needs to climb through Torment levels, but there's plenty more to go!
- Strafe (Rocket Storm) benefits from both the damage and resource cost reduction of this legendary
- Black Feather
- A good alternative to Cindercoat for lower difficulty levels
- Helps alleviate the struggle with area of effect damage
- Supplements the build’s theme while also being useful
- Trag'Oul Coils
- Assists with resource management
- Resets almost all cooldowns, offering a higher uptime for Vengeance
- Reaper's Wraps
- Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan
- Ice Climbers
- Mobility is extremely important to this build
- Immunity to some of the nastiest crowd control effects drastically increases this builds survivability
- Krede's Flame
- Offers yet another method of frequent resource regeneration, though at a dangerous exchange
- K'mar Tenclip
- Drastically increases the build's mobility, removing the movement speed penalty associated with Strafe
When starting out, you should focus on finding or rerolling gear for Critical Hit Chance and Resource Cost Reduction, as this will help you with early resource regeneration and reduce your downtime in Strafe. After you acquire a few items and resources become less of a concern, you can shift your focus to +% Damage to Fire Skills and Critical Hit Damage to raise your overall DPS. While other DPS components are useful, these will help you strive towards early success, even if you’re lacking some of the more ideal Legendaries.
Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:
Due to the flexibility and growth Outlaw provided in his Theorycraft Thursday submission, the MRL build can be used at any game difficulty and any game mode, though it truly thrives in single-target encounters. The Hellfire Ring events and Nephalem Rift bosses are prime prey for this rocket-laden maiden, but the supplemental damage provided by Marked for Death (Contagion) is a boon to any party in group play.
This is a great build for budding young Demon Hunters starting their journey through Torment I and beyond, growing with each supplemental legendary acquired. For more tips and tricks, you should definitely check out Outlaw's full guide on the Demon Hunter forums. He's detailed some of the finer points of handling troublesome enemies and also TLDR'd the details for those who can’t wait to jump into the action!
Why We Like This Build:
While I have a 70 of each class, I struggle with some classes more than others and the Demon Hunter is one that both intrigues and intimidates me. It takes serious skill to be proficient with this squirrely, mobile class, and I'll shamefully admit that understanding the science behind balancing your Hatred and Discipline confused me thoroughly at first.
Outlaw's build is straightforward and fun. While I shudder to think of the dizziness my poor Demon Hunter endures with each play session, I can’t wait to jump back in—I'm currently drowning Kadala in Blood Shards for that elusive K'mar Tenclip. The MRL is easy to learn and difficult to master, requiring early resource management skills while training you to master kiting techniques.
Tell Us What You Think!
The MRL build Outlaw sent over is a blast (pun entirely intended) to play and offers a very clear sense of progression as items are acquired. Are there any items or skills we missed? What would you do differently with a Strafe oriented build? Can I link Strafe more times before this blog ends?
Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to send me your builds at TheorycraftThursday@blizzard.com!