Bounty Hunter build: guide to gear and skills

Demon Hunter
Fair warning this is a detailed how to and why come TL;DR about the Bounty Hunter build and the variants that spawned from it. The beginnings of this build came from some discussions between ActionKungFu and myself about a critless trap build. We both had been kicking this around for a while I guess, and after comparing notes we parted ways and began to experiment, compared notes again and reworked our builds. I myself had a number of criteria for the build.

1) Must be HC viable in MP1 or higher
2) Must not rely on CC
3) Must not rely upon the traditional "oh crap" buttons- Shadow Power, Smoke Screen, or Preparation
4) Must not rely upon LoH or LS
5) Must not rely on Nat's gear

Essentially I wanted to break all the rules that most DHs play by and feel safe doing it in HC. The following build is what I ultimately ended up with.!def!cbbcYb

Now before I start talking skills, mechanics, and strategy I want to talk gear. I wanted this to be reasonably affordable, and at first go I kept my budget to right around 150M, which isn't bad considering I went with low end BiS items and top tier gems (note the only marquise on the test build was in my bow). I will start at the heart of this build which is the Inquisitor/Inna's combo. What this does is gives you the option to drop MS from both your boots and/or bracers for more damage and eHP in those slots, but there were some other benefits too.

The Inquisitor. What is not to love about this Cloak? It really looks bad@$$, it does not need to be vanished. It always rolls 90+Dex, 70+ AR, Regen, 12MS, and one of the usual DH skill bonuses found on cloaks. You only have one random roll- you want 3OS for amethysts or 150+ vitality. 400 minimum and 500+ regen is preferred.

Inna's Temprance. You only get one random roll, use it wisely. I suggest armor or high vitality, but AR is good too.

Inna's Favor. Again only one random roll, but at least one of the given ones is armor. AR or vitality in this slot. If you happen to have 60%+CC a 120+ Dex Witching Hour can be substituted, use your random rolls wisely with a combination of AR, vit, % life, or armor.

Helm: Mempo of Twilight is highly recommended for AS and eHP, but not necessary. If you can get a rare helm with similar eHP gains as a Mempo and lots of dex that will work. If you do go the with a Mempo good stats to look for are vit, regen, or armor for your random roll.

Boots: You can go super cheap here! High dex, vit, AR, and armor are all you need. %damage reduction and regen if you can get that too.

Jewelry: Here is where it can also be fairly inexpensive. For DPS you want high dex, average damage, and AS- that is your trifecta. CC/CD certainly won't hurt you but your other 3 slots should go to vitality, %life, AR, armor, %damage reduction, or regen if possible. The Legacy of Wicked Dreams is a good one for rings, the skeleton provides a wonderful distraction for the monsters. It also trolls your party members.

Bracers and Shoulders: High dex, Vit, AR, armor, %life, regen

Gloves: High dex and AS, Vit, AR, armor, regen. Again CC/CD won't hurt you, if you can work them in.

Main hand: Bow preferred. 1 and 2 hand xbows will work, but it changes your optimal DPS passives. You know what stats to look for: OS for a fat ruby, %weapon damage, dex, vit, hatred regen, max disc. CD and LS are not required, but for god sake, don't turn them down either. Windforce is a great choice for this build and opens lots of options.

Off hand: 20AS DML of choice, Dual wield or, if you prefer you can use a shield with a one hander- look for high block, dex, vit, %life, armor, regen, % damage reduction, DH bouns.
One other useful stat to look for is %CC reduction. Inna's favor has some, and it's great if you can get it in another slot.

Target stats unbuffed:60K DPS; 2.05+APS, 3000 dex, 450AR, 4500 armor, 80K HP, 1.5K regen. This should give you roughly 1M eHP (with dodge). Expected viability: MP3

Approximate unbuffed stats of test build: 68K DPS; 2.24APS, 2850 dex, 530AR, 4500 armor, 80KHP, 1.9K regen. 1.4M eHP, 25%CC, and 75% CD. Tested viability: Highly DC resistant in MP1. Farmable MP4; MP10 A1 trash survivable.

Viability as geared using Hungering Arrow/SoT and Smoke Screen/CG with Windforce at 155K unbuffed/178K buffed DPS: DC resistant in MP3. Farmable MP7. I have survived 2 DCs in MP5-6 with this build while engaged with elites.

Edited for formatting.
OK Rav1n, let's talk skills and passives!
First I want to cover passives. Brooding is mandatory, your other two are optional. I selected Archery and used a bow for the 15% damage buff, if you are using a Xbow I suggest Sharpshooter, CotW, Custom Engineering or Steady Aim. My third passive was Perfectionist, feel free to put a DPS passive or Tactical Advantage here if you are comfortable with your defensive stats and discipline usage. Numbing traps is a good one if you feel that things hit too hard as well.

For the generator I selected Entangling Shot/Bounty Hunter- coupled with your regen and high eHP effectively eliminates the need for Shadow Power or LS/LoH on your gear. If you do have LS any of the other runes are quite useful. Justice is Served if you feel short on Hatred. Shock Collar is wonderful with even a low KB Windforce. The skill itself snares and will proc CotW. If you happen to have 2.12+AS, 50+CC, and LS then take Hungering Arrow/Spray of Teeth in Acts 1, 3, and 4 as it will become a very potent DPS source. Take Grenades in A2 as they are not deflected by spin attacks- Cluster Grenades, Stun Grenades, or Gas Grenades are all good choices.

Now our secondary is Multishot/Suppression Fire. This is your discipline source and is not an optional skill or rune. Don't go spamming it just to kill trash because it costs way too much to cast, and you do want to be able to cast a Sentry if needed.

Now for our primary source of DPS we have Caltrops/Jagged Spikes. Ohh I love JS. 6 seconds of slow to proc CotW, damage that can stack 5 times and cost 6 discipline to cast. We all know that JS does not crit or proc but there are some things that you might find....interesting. For example, it scales with attack speed, not in terms of ticks per second but damage per tick. JS while it does not proc or crit does steal life and deal damage that is only possible if you apply your crit multiplier. Furthermore the range of damage is affected by crit chance- the higher your CC the narrower the damage range trends to the high end. It snapshots Sharpshooter, CotW and Steady Aim when the trap is activated. LOL WUT!!!!! That's right, Caltrops JS deals damage that is only possible with CD multiplier (even though it does not crit), and you can buff it with passives and peg it at the top end of the damage range with 100% CC from Sharpshooter.

Defense is offense: Vault ToC. Again ToC works like Caltrops in relation to damage per tick, AS, CC, and CD. I am not sure if it snapshots or not. Vault is there for positioning and to GTFO of a bad situation, dealing damage while doing it. It does proc CC effects, LoH, and steals life. Now for the variant playing at higher MP where CC effects might just kill you I took Smoke Screen/Choking Gas. It works like Caltrops and Vault with respect to AS, CC, and CD and this option will be your highest single-cast eDPS skill.

Healing: Sentry/Aid Station. Hopefully you got 1.5K regen on your gear and 80K HP. Great! standing in the dome with Brooding and your Boar you now regen 5000 HP/sec! Now Sentry does not do damage that would require your CD multiplier like JS does, but it does attack at your attack speed and hits hard. It does not crit, proc, or steal life, but it is deflected by Sokahr when he spins.

Companion/Boar. I took this for the total package on eHP and to draw agro. Since you're building tanky your boar will be tanky too. You could use another pet like the Bat, Wolf, or ferrets, maybe even another skill.

Now comes time to strategize your killing. You are a ninja. Master of traps and deception.

Placement is key, timing everything. The basic rotation goes something like this:
You see a mob at the edge of the screen and drop 2 caltrops between you and them. Open fire with Entangling shot and drop a Sentry to agro and let them come to you. If you took Sharpshooter for a passive let your traps and Boar do the work while you build up Sharp. By the time they get to your 2nd trap (if they make it that far) you should have regenerated most of your discipline and be at 100%CC if using Sharpshooter; when they are close enough, vault through them. Your next attack will be with Multishot for some Discipline-likely at the next mob in front of you since the ones you just vaulted past are probably dead. If not it's easy to turn 180 and finish the job on that first mob.

Now you see a pack of elites in front of you, so your strategy is going to be different. You will start with the same rotation, but vault backwards to a clear area instead of forward into danger. This is a kite build, you move to move the monsters into your traps and ToC/Smoke. I'm not the most skilled at kiting, so I'll leave it up to the guys from GC clan to teach you that part. Don't worry, you will be able to take some hard hits, just try to not take them all at once or in rapid succession.

Now you might ask why I'm not currently running this build. Good question, but it boils down to the safety of my party if they DC and the fact that I multibox. I'm doing less eDPS with my Bola/Strafe build but have an easier time managing resources when bad stuff happens and I need to get to someone and lay a sentry on them. I also have better CC with stun to interrupt their attacks than with just snares. With Gloom on my bar I can draw agro away from someone who DCs and tank. Finally Strafe really lends itself to running 2 clients at the same time.

Edited for formatting.
Thanks for detailing this build so well. I've heard it discussed before, but never understood the actual mechanics of it.
Quick corrention, siege breaker does not reflect sentry damage.

I was a little confused by the terms you were using, when you said not to rely on CC, I thought you meant not relying on crit chance but reading the 2nd article, it sounds like you're talking about crowd control?
Quick corrention, siege breaker does not reflect sentry damage.

I was a little confused by the terms you were using, when you said not to rely on CC, I thought you meant not relying on crit chance but reading the 2nd article, it sounds like you're talking about crowd control?
Uber Siege certainly does reflect sentry, I'll recheck with regular Siege later today. They did put in the patch notes that a while back that he is not supposed to reflect them anymore but it was bugged and I don't recall a hotfix that addressed it.

You are correct in believing that I meant not relying on crit chance to make this build successful. Actually this is a build that relies heavily on crowd control with snares (or KB with windforce), and in the case of the bola/strafe build I run stuns.
I know that both uber/regular siegebreaker and all reflect mobs don't reflect damage because I often play a turrent hunter build using the sentries as my main damage dealer. I just run around in circles casting MFD and jagged spikes when I encounter them. At least that's how it is on SC.

If you're not relying on crit chance, wouldn't HA-spray be rather useless?
I think the mechanics are such that if it doesn't crit, if it doesn't spray?
When using a no CC (ie. turret) build, I usually use either HA-shatter shot or Bola-thunder. Shatter for the AOE, Bola for stun.
The47thSen is correct, siege or any reflect mob for that matter, does not reflect sentry damage from any runes except CoT. Since CoT is the only one different that can proc crit and lifesteal (and loh?). That one will indeed reflect damage back to you. But the other sentries runes, aid station, guardian, spitfire and vigilant does not reflect back damage. I run guardian/spitfire all the time when doing uber runs and have never died to siege while kiting him around my turrets.
I tested it out and you guys are correct, Siege does not reflect turrets any longer. >.< Blizz snuck the fix in on me and I never even noticed. Post edited for accuracy.

@47th- I specifically stated that you need 50%+ CC if you are going to use HA/Spray. It was a modification of the original build, and did not meet the original requirements as you need CC, and some way to mitigate reflect- either by LS/LoH, Smoke, or Shadow Power.

Thanks for the build! It is working great so far on my hardcore no-Auction House Demon Hunter. The no-AH obviously makes tougher to get to your DPS benchmark, but the build still functions great. The only switch I made was Shock Collar in place of life steal since I need the dps (and the life steal is negligible). I also elected to use Cull the Weak, although I'm curious to hear your feedback given the no-AH limitation. Any suggestions or tweaks to your original build? Thanks!
TexaStranger- Well done! While I set a higher bar for gear, I certainly had in mind that you could be flexible with it, thank you for proving the point.

Funny you should post on this, just yesterday I was knocking around this build in MP7 using CotW and a SoJ. Shock Collar is a great rune to use for the added DPS, and if you have LoH or KB (read Windforce). Note, I was playing around with Hungering Arrow runes and went right back to Entangling Shot since I am .15APS away from the next breakpoint on HA.

I think CotW is a better passive pick for you than Archery is since you are using a hand x-bow. Beautify done on a self found, while you missed the DPS benchmark I was shooting for, you did get the regen and eHP; which makes your choice in ES runes the smart one. For your next upgrade I suggest crafting some bracers when you find the plans for either dex or vit. Don't discount dodge for eHP, it has saved me countless times when even a blocked hit would have been death.

The CC reduction on Eternity Cure is helping you more than many might think. Since there is no Smoke on your bar if you get frozen or stunned you could be screwed, the CC reduction is just enough to get you free in time. Even with Smoke on my bar, I try to wait out CC effects and give my resources a chance to regen at the expense of HP.

I'd offer up some gear, but you are self found. I'd offer up more advice, but you got this.
Thanks for the comments, Rav1n! I am definitely going to craft bracers as soon as I find dex or vit plans... only have int at the moment.

I have been playing around with Rapid Fire in place of Multishot lately and it seems pretty awesome on first pass. I'm trying Withering Fire to keep hatred cost down and coupling with Justice is Served. Seems to synergize well with the tanking philosophy. Once I see an elite, I drop 3 traps, drop sentry, fire a few entangling shots, then rapid fire away. Once hatred is out, vault, repeat. Rapid Fire offers so much more DPS, which helps a DPS starved DH like myself.

My only concern is that I now have no way to recover discipline, so I will run out on the third pass of the above cycle. This has never happened yet, but when it does I fear the worst. However, I figure that, on elites, there are not enough enemies to really recoup much discipline anyway... curious to hear your thoughts on this switch.

Overall, I have found that the trick is getting used to the fact that a DH can tank like a champ and resisting the initial urge to vault whenever an enemy is in your face (aside from arcane, desecrate, frozen).

Hopefully I'll find those razorspike plans soon. Those, plus a few more upgrades and I may be able to make the jump to MP1... MP0 is a depressing ghost town by comparison!
OK Rav1n, let's talk skills and passives!

I saw that Nyan move you just did
Oh man, no disc recovery, that's either brave or insane I'm not quite sure. I'd consider using Bola/Bitter Pill before going without any way to regen my defensive pool, that is unless I had 60+ Discipline. Even then I would be very cautious about engaging elites and quick to turn tail before a battle got too heated.

08/12/2013 12:22 PMPosted by VocaloidNyan
OK Rav1n, let's talk skills and passives!

I saw that Nyan move you just did
Busted. (>^^)>
08/12/2013 12:00 PMPosted by TexaStranger
I have been playing around with Rapid Fire in place of Multishot lately and it seems pretty awesome on first pass. I'm trying Withering Fire to keep hatred cost down and coupling with Justice is Served. Seems to synergize well with the tanking philosophy. Once I see an elite, I drop 3 traps, drop sentry, fire a few entangling shots, then rapid fire away. Once hatred is out, vault, repeat. Rapid Fire offers so much more DPS, which helps a DPS starved DH like myself.

You might want to consider switching to a 2H weapon, either bow or crossbow, if you want to use rapidfire. You'll be able to maintain the your hatred much better using a slower weapon though that has the side effect of lowering your overall agility.
Hi Rav1n,

i gave your build a try tonight. I love this LifeRegen-Thing AND the Inquisitor-Looks! :-)
Another play for me, but great.

I was (buffed) at 165K DPS with Windforce.
Near 3K Dex, 1,5K Vit, > 80KLife and 3,2K LPS. Rocked through MP5.
Survived nearly all ground effects without any healthloss.
Made two adjustments though:
Switched BountyHunter for Bitter Pill for more Damage and Disc-Regain.
Switched Multishot for Cluster Arrow-Maelstorm for nice Damage and Lifeleech.
This worked quite nicely.
You should try this! :-)

Anyway, thank you for your ideas.


P.S. Playing EU
P.P.S Switched Gear to my monk a few minutes ago...

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