Thoughts, Tips, Theories, and Beta Testing

Demon Hunter
Hey All,

Looking forward to sharing ideas and sorting out the facts with you guys as things develop, and perhaps years to come.

Please feel free to share your tips and other useful information here.

I apologize for any errors throughout this thread. Obviously, while Beta is still in session, there will be much speculation, unknown variables, and many changes being made.

See you guys around,

I haven't seen many builds with a Stun ability. What I have seen are 2-4 movement impairing skills, which I fear is a mistake of neglect towards all the Ranged Mobs.

/edit: One could say, forget stuns, move around to dodge ranged attacks. However, after some Beta testing, I have found that ranged attacks are immensely faster in D3 than D2, and PvP is practically instant. If you stop to fire one shot, the animation effect often prevents you from getting out of the way in time.

So again, I strongly advise having a stun attack handy.

Of course many skills will be used better with other runes pending on your build / synergies, but here's a list of stun skills to consider:!!caYcab

Elemental Arrow/Obsidian. Grants a 28% chance to Fear for 5-6 seconds. I think this will be a staple in many PvP builds to come. It's a very cost efficient utility, only 10 Hatred, and harnesses Elemental Damage.!!c

-Hotkeys: 1-4, (5/potion), Lmb, Rmb.

I haven't been able to locate any new information on swapping Rmb skills.
As far as I know, it has been removed entirely, and thus leads me to believe they will also remove the skill; Fundamentals.
You Can, however, click/drag to move your skills around and leave either Lmb or Rmb empty (basic attack), but rendering you with only 5 skills + Basic...

-Thrill of the Hunt (does not require basic attack) covered in detail below, under Additional Beta Notes.
Here's a few PvP builds I've been working on:


-This build gives you all the cc utilities the DH Arsenal has to offer; Slow, Stun, Knock Back, Immobilize, and Fear.
-While it also provides the full functionality of escapism when your lockdowns just aren't proc'ing.
-Evasive Shot and Smoke Screen work brilliantly with Tactical Advantage to get yourself a safe distance and resume your onslaught.
-Preparation not only refuels your Smoke Screens, but also doubles as an Oh Sh** button, instantly restoring 70% max hp.


-The combination of Smoke Screen/Obsidian and Preparation/Alabaster is um... yeah...
-Essentially, you should be able to use Smoke Screen any time you need it. Unless of course your Preparation proc is being stubborn.
-Every time you pop Smoke Screen, you will have enough Hatred to shoot a Cluster Arrow (burst/health), and 2 Elemental Arrows (fear). Not necessarily in that order...
-Use Smoke Screen after taking a massive blow, fire Cluster Arrow and regain 42% damage dealt back in Health. Rinse, and Repeat...
-You have a 6 Second Snare, knock back, stun, and fear for cc.
-Frequent Burst damage with this build, utilizing Sharpshooter.
-Should you die by the hand of a Melee opponent while your partner(s) are still alive, there's a chance that Grenadier could yet have more use and even the odds... heh

** If you are Crit capped from gear, replace Sharpshooter with... Thrill of the Hunt.
** If Cluster Arrow turns out to be total crap for PvP, scratch this entire build and go with #1.


-This build is designed for Massive Massive Damage with a 2hand Crossbow.
-6 second Snare, Knock Back, and 2 Stuns for cc.
-Use Smoke Screen liberally as an Evasive Maneuver, and Hatred Generator.
-Use Preparation to fuel the Smoke Screens
-When you are not firing Rain of Vengeance, you should be in Stealth, When you are not in Stealth, you should be firing Rain of Vengeance... And your opponent should be dead in Very Short Order. (In Theory)

** If you are Crit Capped from gear, replace Sharpshooter with Steady Aim (More Damage).
** If, for whatever reason, Gold/Rain of Vengeance cannot crit.. Scratch this whole build (or) grab a bow, and replace Sharpshooter with Thrill of the Hunt.
Will Thrill of the Hunt only work with a basic attack? Provided there is a Bow equipped, of course.
Reason I ask is, as Sasu has noted in recent posts, if they stick with the Potion/slot 5, we have 6 skill slots left and no room for a normal attack button... Which makes me wonder the point of having TofH after recieving our 6th skill at lv 24. Same goes for Fundamentals.

So I'm drawn to a few conclusions:
1. They fix the keybind epidemic in some way to include the use of a normal attack after level 24 by adding an 8th button.
2. They scrap all the skills that require using a normal attack.
3. They change nothing, and all the skills that require a normal attack become useless, or one of your skills is unmapped.. Either way, we need 8 buttons to include all 6 skills, a normal attack, and potion.

Crossing fingers for the first option. 8 Buttons for 6 Skills, a Normal Attack, and a Potion. Elementary, I must say..

Yes i agree. All my builds require fundamentals, and without it I am unsure of were I will turn. So i hope they add the 8th button or just leave it, I can go without my potions if I need to.
They will not be changing the new things about the skill buttons, namely that your potion slot is now a dedicated potion button, but they did announce that you are able to switch your basic attack into your left click with shift+x, (may not haven been shift, but I'm pretty sure it was) However, for you people counting on using Fundamentals, they are quite likely going to remove this passive all together, and if not have indicated that it is no good for end game, as there are always better options.

But this makes Thrill of the Hunt an amazing passive, allowing you an on control stun whenever you want it, granted it's not more than once every ten seconds.

The reason that people aren't utilizing stuns is that outside of PvP, which 95% of builds are not geared towards at this moment, they are neither in great enough supply, and in many instances are over shadowed by better options.

In terms of ranged casters and archer enemies, simple stay on the move and dodge them, there is no need to stun them, when you can move around and dodge them, end game will be all about staying on the move, and being sure you have your kiting skills up to par. If your kiting melee enemies, you'll also be moving enough to dodge ranged attacks.

PvP is really up in the air right now. We can be pretty sure that they won't be balancing around PvP for a good while, they have said it won't happen at all, but it will happen eventually, especially if a large number of people choose PvP as their end game option.

But as it stands right now, there will be some really OP classes, and the rest will fall behind. You can be sure that monks will be one of those OP classes, and as of now DH's seem to be lagging behind. The only saving grace is if opposing players can't see our traps, which would make sense, but we'll see. Range shouldn't be too much of an issue, since we can dodge many range attacks, but the bigger issue will be that Melee have too easy of a time closing on DH's, and if they jump or teleport in and immediately unload we're toast. The addition of dodge from Dex will help a bit, but not too much.

Your builds look okay, you may be generating too much hatred the only issue is that vengeance in the second one isn't the greatest of choices, at best you will get a couple globes, at worst you won't see any at all, it will depend on if your killing people and the drop percentage. It's not bad for the hatred increase, but really once you run out you'll never be full again in a battle, so it's kind of a waste, and grenades will be kinda stupid, get rid of it and put the stunning Impale in for melee attackers, and the second one looks pretty decent.

vengeance in the second one isn't the greatest of choices, and grenades will be kinda stupid.

Indeed, Grenades will be awful for PvP. After some Beta testing; They are short-moderate range and far too unpredictable when it comes to accuracy, they spread very wide.

Traps are extremely visible, thus rendering completely useless for PvP (speculation). Though, this was tested in a PvE environment with Caltrops alone, as Spike Trap is too high level for Beta. So there's always a chance they will make make them invisible inside arenas, but don't get your hopes up. Time will tell.

Thank you,
Hm it may have been RMB not LMB but either way your able to switch it in. It will basically function as a 7th skill button that only works to put your default bow attack (suppose it could be melee swing for a melee DH) onto one of your mouse buttons instead. This allows for the use of Thrill of the Hunt, and I highly recommend that skill for both PvP (especially PvP) and PvE (more situational, but a great tool for any build focused on Kiting.)

I do think that traps will be visible in PvP, you can see Hunter traps in WoW pretty easily for sure, but they get the trap launcher. I haven't gotten a chance to look at any videos of DH play yet to see if you place the trap at your feet or can sort of toss it where you want (if so there would obviously be a range of this toss), if you can toss it, WOW, just WOW, that gives a whole other dimension to it, but I get a feeling you can't, the animation just wouldn't seem like it would allow it.

The reason I don't like Grenades for that build is there are better options for the slow, ES is an obvious choice for the slow, and two builders while not too bad of an idea, there are others with much better choices.
01/29/2012 06:15 AMPosted by Athazzar
if they stick with the Potion/slot 5, we have 6 skill slots left

Actually 7, there is an "alt RMB(Right Mouse Button)" that the blues have discussed and is in the system config file if you edit it by hand. But this will be in the game options at launch. I'm pretty sure this button switches the active skill in the RMB, so you can toggle which skill is in that one spot.
A few notes after playing Beta:

-Chakram, prior to playing/using it, was never a consideration for my builds. I know it's early (lv 7-13) and hard to determine how effective this will be vs other skills later on, but for now, Chakram is absolutely fantastic! The Hatred cost is so insignificant, you can spam these all you want and mow down huge groups of mobs with ease. Chakram is also effected by attack speed, so if you have a couple rare 1-h crossbows equipped and pop Shadow Power... Try it and see for yourself.

-Rapid Fire, in conjunction with Shadow Power and Vengeance is just as Brutal as I had hoped. I had reserved this just for uniques and bosses until Vengeance was unlocked, at which point, the hatred was manageable for regular mobs / AoE with all the globes replenishing it.

-Traps can be set on the Run, no animation to hinder movement! At least for Caltrops, I obviously haven't tested Spike Trap or Sentry.. However, they are clearly visible and thus useless in PvP.

-It has really been a pleasure to play through Beta with the Demon Hunter thus far.
Strictly for PvP, could also work for PvE:!aWg!abYaab

Entangling Shot gives me the slow, little aoe, and also with alabaster runestone gives me 6% lifesteal at a range.

Evasive Fire to keep away from melee, and golden runestone to deal lightning damage so they can't win with just armor, they need some type of magic resistance, also gives me the backflip costs lowered for continuous use.

Impale for larger burst, but indigo runestone to knock back the target and stun them. this gives me a way to "backflip" or "vault" without spending my discipline, instead it uses my hatred if i'm out of discipline.

Rapid Fire just because it can be used as both aoe or single target persistent dps. used with alabaster runestone for the slow effect, which can be good so you can have a better target, more attacks, and keep them at range. this ability also goes great with Marked for death and the alabaster runestone.

Marked for Death because it increases damage, and a good offense is the best defense for the demon hunter. along with the alabaster runestone for healing, but it can be used alongside rapid fire for best effect or Entangling Shot and its runestone for almost 8% life steal for your attacks.

Vault for obvious reasons, and golden runestone so i can double vault with reduced costs. it can be used to beat the enemy around the corner if they're trying to get out of your line of sight or behind a wall, or you can jump to them behind a wall, shoot them then jump back.

Tactical Advantage because speed kills.
Brooding because if you kite well you get lifesteal+crazy life regen.
Custom Engineering because you get to use Marked for Death for twice the amount of time which is a minute, that means a minute of lifesteal and more damage output
Here's a few PvP builds I've been working on:




i think your smoke screen builds are overrated because they can still hit you, although they can't see you, any AoE within the first second is good enough to hit you and maybe stun you before you get out of the smoke. even if you smoke, you should probably vault to get away, which if you were to use would be a lot of discipline back to back and it's for every use.

that preparation would be nice, but it's a 2 in 1, and you would probably waste one or the other. 70% health is nice, but if you had lifesteal then you would make up for more than just 70% during the fight overall which keeps you from being targeted because you have large amounts of life all the time. if you had low life then they would be raging after you at all costs. keeping in mind that's only 70% life every 2 minutes, if you use it for life, if you use it to refill discipline then you probably won't have any usage for life at all. if you had to use this much discipline, it could also mean that you're doing too much defensive play, and not enough damage to the enemy to make them play your game, except you're playing their style. you could keep running from the barbarian and eventually his rage will outlast your discipline, or you could put more damage on him and chase him and your hatred will never end. i think with the demon hunter a good offense will make the best defense.
02/04/2012 05:44 AMPosted by Shív
i think your smoke screen builds are overrated because they can still hit you, although they can't see you, any AoE within the first second is good enough to hit you and maybe stun you before you get out of the smoke. even if you smoke, you should probably vault to get away, which if you were to use would be a lot of discipline back to back and it's for every use.


A valid point indeed. Yet they are used for more than just a vanishing act. I am drawn to the fact they restore a Massive amount of Hatred in short order, and it also breaks a target lock/spam. Every millisecond they have to spend dragging their mouse around to re-target counts. Time will tell if they're worthwhile, or not..

I appreciate your insight, thank you. =)

you're welcome, you should check out my build above and give me some of your thoughts as well. it's kind of hard at this point because beta is very limited. i guess they want us to test the beginning of the game to improve it so they can draw players in instead of the outlook of the game which they will do later. if they gave us the ability to duel each other, it would give the devs so much input and everyone else, on how the pvp is... but really at this point, only time will tell.

-I think physical obstacles may be your biggest enemy in the small, confined arena environments, as we cannot Vault over anything, unlike the Barbs. =(

-I found Evasive Shot to be clunky in Beta, constantly having to re-position so I wouldn't backflip into a wall or whatever. Always something in the way lol.. >.<

-I like Rapid Fire, but we'll never have time to Focus Fire (speculation). You certainly wouldn't wanna use in short successive bursts at 20 Hatred a pop..

-Obviously, I'm very partial to Indigo Impale. It's got not one, but Two 100% proc cc effects.

-I'm skeptical about a two second snare.. Which brings me back to the issue with Rapid Fire. It may have to be spammed repeatedly, every 2 seconds, as there are no other movement impairing effects.

-Five seconds is a lifetime in close quarter arenas. I'm not sure Brooding would ever get a start. It's been stated that arenas (only form of PvP) will have at least 2v2 opponents to face. That's a lot of action goin down. And, unless your enemies are constantly going back and forth between you and your partner, you'll either be taking damage (no healing), or you wont be taking damage (not needed). Of course that's just speculation.

All in all, it seems there would be a considerable amount of time on the defensive, being forced to use generators with meager damage just trying to keep some distance between the opposition.

Ugh, I sound so negative.. I hate being negative.. But that's what we do as contributors--search for flaws. And like you said, it's so hard to determine Anything at this point..

I say try it out! I hope it dominates your adversaries and you meet back here on the forum and rub it in, haha. =)

Good luck, Shiv.

edit: Btw, I'm very pleased to see a fellow Demon Hunter interested in PvP!

i really appreciate your input... kinda funny you say /salute because I am in the actual military... But we can't tell until they release at the very LEAST duels in Beta. As far as i've seen in the arena videos only burst really matters because it's more of the how much of your enemies can you kill vs how long you can survive like in WoW's arenas. Maybe pure offense will be our friend so I'm not very sure yet. The monk and other ranged will be our hardest foes because of the dodge and ranged moves.
02/04/2012 08:30 AMPosted by Shív
The monk and other ranged will be our hardest foes because of the dodge and ranged moves.

I haven't had an opportunity to play the Monk yet (was my first choice until they released DH), but I did browse through their skill set... They are so well designed for PvP, it's sickening.

I will certainly strive to preponderate the arena with my DH. Hopefully we're not as "gimp" as so many have claimed.

Additional Beta notes:

-Thrill of the Hunt is not limited to "Bows" per-say. Nor does it require a normal/basic attack.
The tooltip can be misleading, but rest assured, it works with Crossbows and the following arrow-type skill attacks:

Hungering Arrow, Bola, Entangling Shot, and Evasive Fire (generators), Elemental Arrow and Rapid Fire (Spenders).

It does not work with explosive, or knife attacks such as: Grenades, Impale, or Chakram.

Cannot test higher level skills due to the Beta level cap.

Hopefully a bug, but Thrill currently procs on environmental objects.


-Ashes/Urns are buggy in conjunction with Evasive Fire. Some kind of Phantom left behind after breaking the urn.


-I know the tooltip already covers this but I think it's worth noting that Elemental Arrow shoots 'through' objects just like Bone Spear from D2's Necromancer, and it's a pretty strong ability for such a low cost in hatred.


-I can't put enough emphasis on Chakram. It's an amazing AoE skill. Spam like crazy and eradicate everything in the room. Use with the fastest weapons and pop shadow power... See for yourself, enjoy.

That's it for now,

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