Staying alive as DH

Demon Hunter
stack some more vitality, and make sure you are using defensive skills
I have made a few skill/run choices that have greatly increased my survivability. Once you hit nightmare you have to stop dex stacking and start acquiring vitality, preferably on all pieces of gear.

I know lots of people like the 80% slow, but torturous ground caltrops have been immensely useful. They are the most potent against very fast elites that essentially ignore the caltrop snare. This is a guarantee aoe root if you catch multiple mobs in the initial spring.

I ditched vault and opted for lingering fog smoke screen. It makes you invulnerable to damage and untargetable for its duration. It's the only reliable escape against wallers. It has also saved me endless times against grenadier mobs if I'm too slow to dodge or suffer a lag spike. I found that vault had a very small delay before the ability would actually fire, causing me to take damage with quick projectile attacks. Smoke screen does not suffer from this delay for whatever reason.

And most importantly, battle scars preparation. This not only feeds you a near endless supply of smoke screens, it's a scaling health pot on a 45 second cooldown. I usually caltrop/smoke screen myself out of discipline while attacking and then burn preparation putting me at max discipline and max hp, ready for another round. It's hugely powerful once you begin getting +discipline gear.

Another effective combo is gloom shadow power and battle scars preparation. 65% damage reduction and 20% life leech for 18 seconds straight with preparation off of cooldown and minimal +discipline gear. Although this is typically worse than lingering fog + battle scars, it's very useful for keeping yourself topped up. I have been killed before because I was unable to anticipate proper smoke screen usage while simultaneously being at low hp. Shadow power would have prevented this.
lvl 50 with 1650 dps seems incredibly low.

I'm lvl 35 and I have 1450 dps.

DH really don't need that much vitality at all. with traps/ss or vault/map awareness, you should be melting stuff before they can even get to you.


I'm level 53 with 3k dps and about 20k HP. I still get 2-3 shotted. Wait til you get to hell difficulty or the end of nightmare. Without a monk/barb carrying you around, you're !@#$ed.
Traps/vault/map awareness add doesn't do %^-* to champ mobs with jailer/waller/teleport/etc. How are you gonna survive with low hp and your mobility just got shat on? Trust me, even with building more vit than more dex, i still get 1-3 shot in hell mode. There's no way around it. I'm getting annoyed by how much I die in hell as a DH when I see monks in particular solo mobs with their spirit partner in a full party game =_=;
Your hp/dps is way to low i am lv 54 got 32k hp and 6 k dps
excellent thread, I learnt the hard way not to spam dex
First ever post on the battlenet forums.

I'm only at L18 and the only way i've found helped me stay alive is Caltrops>Torturous Ground
Need more hp! I was at 3000 by my mid-late level 20s.
vl 50 with 1650 dps seems incredibly low.

I'm lvl 35 and I have 1450 dps.

DH really don't need that much vitality at all. with traps/ss or vault/map awareness, you should be melting stuff before they can even get to you.


Until the Hell mob spawns 'Vortex, Reflects Damage, Shielding'. That was just not fair.
If you haven't already, you absolutely, and i mean ABSOLUTELY have to be using smoke screen. Once you hit nightmare, elite mobs with jailer, waller, vortex, etc that can lock you down for a second WILL kill you without smoke screen.

You should get very used to the smoke screen/ prep combo asap, its the only way to survive later on. (iDo some speed asmodan runs to master the usage lol)

I also highly recommend adding calitrops on top of that for extra kiting. Your dps suffers a bit from having 3 abilities set for defensive purposes, but your survival shoots way up.
As mentioned numbers times, its important to use the Smoke Screen + Preparation W/ Battle Scars combo. Don't bother with vault its a waste of a skill slot.

Smokescreen is used to give you invulnerability from anything, but more specifically ranged attacks. Use caltrops to keep anything melee off of you otherwise. I prefer using the 2sec snare, but when I'm soloing inferno now I like using the 45% weapon damage rune because my traps tick for 5k+ damage a sec PLUS they stack on top of each other for insane damage.

The problem with vault is that it only creates distance. Mobs can still hit you during the animation so half the time it doesn't even save you. Smokescreen not only is god mode, but also breaks you out of snares like jailer. The only thing that it doesn't save you from is desecration that I've noticed so far.

And trust me, you're fine with 3+ "defensive" abilities. To be honest, 90% of the time the only hatred spender I have on my bar is twin chakrams and I'm able to solo most of act 1 inferno easily so far.
vault and smoke screen. I'm only around 2800 vita @ level 32. I only worry about getting 1 shot by bosses or elites, but they have to catch me first.
I recently came up with a decent survival build. This build works well in tight areas where you are mobbed bad, or sometimes you get the Mud Wall spell casted on you and you have no where to run.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#WUYdSk!ceV!aaaZZa

It looks weird, but hear me out.

Notice why I have two primary skills, first is the bola which I use for long ranged attacks and for a little bit of AOE, secondly I have the grenades with the hatred generation rune, this is VERY important.

I have caltrops with extra slow, because I have a passive that deals bonus damage to slowed mobs. The idea is to draw mobs into a choke, use a caltrop and spam Spike Trap on it, spike trap does MAJOR damage and 1-2 shots most mobs. Even blue and yellow ones you will actually see chunks of HP falling. With full hatred you should be able to use Spike Trap 3 times, thus after a trap setup, spam grenades, it will easily refill your hatred for more spike traps.

Note: Spike Traps also are RANGED. Yes, the trap shows up WHERE YOUR MOUSE is. You can even put the traps directly under bosses and it will kicking the living shiet out of it.

Finally, the turret, yeah this one doesn't make a lot of sense but it's just extra dps for me as I don't have enough Hatred to use other skills anyway. The idea of this build is to kill fast enough to take less damage. Notice there's also Vault in it for extra safety.
Caltrops + dual Chakrams
im running rain of vengeance with the first rune, marked for death with death valley rune, smoke screen with the fog rune, multi-shot with fire at will, hungering arrow with piercing arrow, and rapid fire with withering fire. Level 41 or 42 at the moment in nightmare mode. Soloing the game is cake. I take the templar and use him as a meat shield (all vit equips and gems - 16k hp at the moment). I have more than enough aoe dps for mobs with marked for death + rain of vengeance + multi shot. I have more than enough single target dps with hungering arrow and rapid fire. I just keep distance and burst them down. When I run out of ratred I smoke screen, run around and hungering arrow for damage and regen. By the time my smoke screen ends I have enough atred for more multi shots/rapid fire.

Works well so far. I dont like vault because it feels clunky, and elemental arrow doesn't seem right. Why couldn't they just give us silver bolts? Were demon hunters not mages.

and yes: get vit/dex gear. If you are using 2h XBOW, put ruby in there, emerald for 1h. I have 6.5k hp and 1080 dps at level 41 or 42.

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