Sunday, May 13, 2012

Analysis Demon Hunter skills in a leveling group

Today's topic contains Demon Hunter skills and considerations for leveling in a group with one or more melees. I have the luxury, that I have a Barbarian and a Monk in my leveling team.

If you play together with a Barbarian or/and Monk most time you must not kite the enemies, because they are attacking the melee. This means for us we don't need a slow (entangling shot or caltrops) for the normal leveling process. (If there is any big situation (event) with to much monsters, we can swap our skill for this situation, if necessary.)

The Demon Hunter should stand in the back and should focus on aoe damage.

Hatred Generator (Left Mouse)
We have only tree options Hungering Arrow, Bola Shot or Grenades.

Hungering Arrow is stronger against few and strong monsters (like bosses, champion, rares or small group of monsters)

Bola Shot is stronger for big clustered group of monsters.
The Barbarian have a skill Ground Stomp with Rune Wrenching Smash (lev 18), which pulls all monster in 24y range to him and stun them for 4 seconds. These 2 skills could be a good combination.

Grenades is useful for a faster hatred regeneration with Rune Tinkerer. In comparison to the 2 other options I don't like it.

Conclusion for myself: Using Hungering Arrow until lev 14, then Bola Shot with Rune Volatile Explosives (increase explosion radius to 14y).
If this won't work as I intended, then Hungering Arrow is another good option for me.
Later with lev 37 I will give  Bola Shot with Rune Acid Strike a chance.
The bola no longer explode, but therefore you shoot 3 bola with 130% weapon damage.

Hatred Spender (Right Mouse)
Rapid Fire with Withering Fire is a very good Hatred Spender, because you can stand still in the back and unload all your hatred. It's strong against single target and also against smaller groups.

It's the best option for me, because there are good synergies with other skills possible.
Like Preparation with rune Punishment (for 25 discipline you restore all hatred) and passive Vengeance (increase max hatred by 25, and you gain 20 hatred and 2 discipline whenever you are healed by a health globe)

I'm dreaming from following situation:
My team partners a monk and a barbarian fighting in the front. I'm standing in the back with full hatred. Unload all hatred with Rapid Fire. Use Preparation. Unload hatred with Rapid Fire again.
In the meanwhile my team picked up some health globes. I unload the rest of my hatred and use my hatred generator until I have full hatred or enough discipline to use Preparation again. If I have enough discipline I use all my hatred with Rapid Fire and then use Preparation.

Hatred Spender #2 (1)
My 2nd hatred spender should be more aoe oriented, there are 3 options for me:
Fan of Knives with Rune Hail of Knives (20y radius). The big disadvantage is the cooldown of 10 seconds and therefore only useful with a slow weapon like a crossbow.
Cluster Arrow  - The description seems strong, but it's unclear how much aoe damage there is possible. Furthermore there is no strong rune until lev49.
Multishot - This skill seems to be the efficients attack for bigger groups.

Group Supporting Skill (2)
Marked of Death - The marked enemy will take 12% additional damage.
Rune Contagion or Valley of Death are good for big groups.
Marked of Death is the only Skill for group supporting before lev52.
If you don't have this skill all the time, then switch this skill in before every boss.

2 Skills left (3 and 4)
Vault for faster traveling and an escape possibility in dangerous situations.
Preparation as I mentioned above with rune Punishment.
Rain of Vengeance cost nothing and has a 30 seconds cooldown. It's a good fight opener but only useful with a with a slow weapon like a crossbow.
Companion - rune Boar Companion (lev41) or Wolf Companion (lev59) for damage or rune Bat Companion (lev 29) for additional hatred generation.
Sentry is later a good group supporting skill with rune Aid Station (lev52) heals for 1% max life per second or rune Guardian Turret (lev60) reduce damage taken by 15%.

Preparation rune Punishment is a must have for me.
For the last skill I will test around, what fits best.

Vengeance (lev 13) - In Combination with Prepariation or with a Barbarian with the passive Bound of Flesh for more health globes.
Steady Aim (lev16) - With a melee in front of you, there shouldn't be often monsters very close to you.
Cull the Weak (lev20) - If you have a team partner who slows all mobs, like a Monk with Crippling Wave.
Archery (lev30) - Very good damage passive.

Big Problem we can only take 3 passive. I will decide between Vengeance and Steady Aim.
In comparison Steady Aim increase damage by 20% and Cull the Weak increase damage by 15%, but I prefer the freedom to move close to monsters without loosing a damage buff.

Demon Hunter lev 30

Bola Shot - Volatile Explosives
Rapid Fire - Withering Fire
Multishot - Fire at Will
Marked for Death - Contagion
Vault - Action Shot
Preparation - Punishment

Cull the Weak

Skill Calculator

Demon Hunter - Resource System (Hatred and Discipline)


  1. It's been tested that Grasp of the Dead's damage is based on your weapon dps rather than damage per hit, to get rid of the "only good with slow weapon" effect. I suspect that's true with Rain of Vengeance too, they wouldn't make so many skills useless for so many (maybe half?) players who prefer to dual wield.

    As for roles within a group, I would much rather see Demon Hunter playing with 2 melee being the single target damage dealer, to kill last fleeing mobs or others that somehow end up far away from the melee killing machines.

    But even if going like that, strong aoe capabilities are of course needed until the game takes a turn towards infernal difficulty.

    1. thx for your comment

      If you are right, then the skill description with weapon damage is misleading.
      I would be really interested in these tests.

  2. Thanks for the writeup. I've been leveling my DH, how 37 and really have no clue what skills are best. Going to try out some of your suggestions.