Once a hunter, always a hunter, I guess.
I’ve decided to write a small guide on DH speccing and playstyle on Inferno endgame (Act III – IV). Do not worry, this will remain a WoW based blog, this is a one-time thingy (OK, maybe a few more but I am serious about the first statement).
<<< UPDATED for 1.0.3 >>>
First of all, here are the stats I am playing with. Not too awesome, but it does the job.
I am playing with a glass cannon style build, but I am dying rarely, and I have some unique twists to the spec I am using. Before talking about speccing, let’s talk about the gear for a while.
You’ll want to utilize the following priority list:
Dexterity > Critical Hit Damage > Attack Speed (Nerfed) > Vitality and/or All Resistance
Dexterity is our main stat, and it gives dodge besides raw DPS. You want to have at least 35% dodge, but the more you have the better it is (More on this at the Playstyle section).
Critical Hit Damage is the thing what gives us the burst for killing champion packs in inferno under 5 seconds. No, I am not kidding. You’ll need around 300% Crit Dmg to have your Impale crit for 800K damage for example. I’ll explain this later.
We need some Attack Speed, but dont go all out on it – restrict it to your quiver, rings and if you can (with having CritDmg and Dex also on them), on your amulet and weapon.
Vitality and Resistances are sort of a bonus thing. If you can afford, you can have items with similar stats (Numbers can be way better, it is mine): Here is a link to my current gear, I’m not gonna update it frequently since I’m planning to replace a lot of items including cloak, pants, helmet and belt.
Life Steal and Life on Hit are super good things to have, but only if you have a lot (e.g. when you can heal out 5 mobs hitting you if you are constantly firing at them). Although it may seem a good idea to prioritise these instead of the stuff above, note that you should be able to kill mob packs in 2 shots, so you don’t need to heal more than you can with SP:Gloom. The only use of these stats may be bosses, but then again you have SP:Gloom, and any decent demon hunter can kite. Once again, note that tank DH is not the intented playstyle, even though it exists. I’d keep a crossbow with LoH and Lifesteal in my backpack against reflect elites, but that’s all.
Here is the summary of the spec I am using:
This is a great mixture of single-target and multi-target skills, and it involves some survivability as well. Let’s check out the skills one by one:
Steady Aim – The reason behind this is pretty obvious, more crit damage. Thus you’ll want to use a crossbow at all times.
Sharpshooter – Insane DPS boost with correct usage (See Playstyle section later).
Archery – Once you learn how to maintain range, you’ll never get hit, and you will benefit from this passive full time.
(Skills marked with blue colour are nerfed and/or removed from my current skillset, and are just here for clearing things up. Take them as alternatives of the currently used skills, most of them are still awesome. I included the tips and tricks for those abilities as well, you can read them to have a more complete view on the class. Maybe you’ll even use them!)
Multishot + Fire At Will – This is the main multi-target DPS ability.
- Many would use the damage increase rune, but note that you can fire two shots for the cost of one, which is a lot more damage than the Full Broadside Multishot.
- Combined with SP:Gloom, this heals you up to full health, and even allows you to tank elites for 3-15 seconds.
- Do not use this against a single target. Stick to Impale if you’re facing elites. However, use this against Health Link mobs as you’ll cause more damage by hitting all 3 of them.
Evasive Fire + Covering Fire – It may seem odd to use this instead of piercing shot, but here are some reasons:
- It hits truckloads of targets per shot, thus the sum DPS is much bigger.
- It gives you 4 focus instead of 3.
- It has an unique feature, see below.
- The backflip saves you a lot of times if you spam it well enough in the correct situation. I am talking about jumper/teleporter/burrower mobs. If you know one is there, you can save yourself from a corpse run.
Caltrops + Torturous Ground – The essential kite ability. Not much explanation needed here I think. If you are more brave or want to be a bit faster, you can use Vault (see below).
- Just put this down, move back a few steps, fire a couple shots, rinse and repeat.
- This is also good when you’re just checking areas. Put a couple down and you won’t need to kill those mobs while you run back to the WP.
- Vault is better against Vortex packs, but we have SP:Gloom in this build, so now you can survive a Vortex if you can’t avoid it.
Shadow Power + Gloom – I’ve replaced SS with this one recently. The reason behind the swap is the longer duration. Combined with multishot, I can heal myself up in a fraction of a second, not to mention the 65% reduced damage. Pure gold (and it looks cool as well). You can tank everything for 3 to 15 seconds with this if you want (or if you are cornered). This ability saved me a lot of times.
- The transition from SS may seem weird if you try this yourself, but after a couple hours you’ll get used to it, and when you benefit its full potential, you’ll realize that it is actually better than SS.
- The only backside is that this ability does not remove Frozen / Jailer debuffs. However, you can easily survive a freeze combined with 2 melee hits from an elite, so it is almost the same. (Not as good though)
- DO NOT USE THIS if you have lower HP/Res. If a melee hit takes you to low hp when SP:Gloom is up, just stick to SS.
- Reflect packs were always an enemy of the DH. With SP:Gloom you’ll have a laugh at them as you’ll continue healing yourself up. Reflect packs are EZ-Mode with this ability as you can fire more than 1 shot at a time. (This was the case when you used SS.)
Impale + Grievous Wounds – Our main single-target nuke ability. I can score 5-800k crits with this, which means 2-3 shotting elites when soloing. This is very nice since often you have very little time to do something before you get cornered or killed. With Impale, you can avoid dying. Combined with SP:Gloom, Siegebreaker and other reflect packs will become much easier to defeat.
- Use this against elites and single mobs with much HP.
- Do not use this against Health Link elites. Multishot does more damage to them.
Preparation + Backup Plan – Needed for Smoke Screen and Vault, super handy at bossfights and fast progression while farming.
Spike Trap + Scatter – Main kite damage ability if used in the correct situation. These are still super-duper awesome, I removed them because I have Multishot now, and I replaced my chest which gave them a 10% damage boost.
Vault + Tumble – I am using this instead of caltrops, as it is more efficient and it comes in handy in corpseruns or quick exploration. It is also perfect for Siegebreaker and vortex packs, not to mention general kiting.
- This ability is still godly against Vortex packs and you can move much faster if you choose Vault. However, kiting is easier with caltrops, not to mention that Caltrops costs less Discipline. Still, you can replace Caltrops with this if you want.
Smoke Screen + Lingering Fog – The panic button. You’ll need it against ranged mobs, such as Winged Molochs and all kinds of archer mobs where the projectile is small and coming from offscreen to oneshot you if you do not have enough res/vit. You also need it against elites, Mortar and Reflect packs mostly. (See Playstyle section)
- (See above) If you can, use SP:Gloom instead of this one. I replaced this because of the short duration. It is still good, but not as good anymore. SP:Gloom is faaar more superior against Reflect packs too.
Elemental Arrow + Nether tentacle – Our main DPS skill. Note that the slow movement has many benefits:
It can hit the target multiple times, especially if it is a boss (Belial is an extremely good example)
- The crit chance of the already shot tentacles remains the same until the first one hits the target. Combine this with sharpshooter and you’ll have 10 guaranteed crits on a champion pack, which is at least 1 million damage per mob hit.
- The heal is very good if you already have some LoH gear, but note that this skill alone can barely heal you out against medium-sized packs.
(Mostly just a bunch of tips on how to apply the skills above in practice)
Use SS/SP:Gloom often, as projectiles and mobs may spawn at random, causing instant death. Be alert at all times. I usually go forward very carefully, prepared to Smoke Screen/SP:Gloom if I approach a pack of ranged mobs (this is true for the entire Inferno). Narrow hallways and doorways are your friend, bear this in mind. They can be used for:
- Multishot street sweeping
- Caltrops kiting
- Nether Tentacle ownage (It hits everything if you use it there)
- Spike traps. Yep, since if you pop them in doorways and such, all 3 of them will be placed on the same spot. Just stand back and watch the annihilation, rinse and repeat.
If you encounter elite packs, don’t panic. Use traps and sometimes press Shift while kiting. This will shoot an Evasive Fire (You can also turn around quickly ofc) so you’ll get focus. Kite them through doorways, around and around if possible, with your hand on the SS/SP:Gloom button to prevent death. Vault/Caltrops is enough for „Fast” champion packs, just combine it with traps and you’ll be fine.
Spike traps can also be placed on further locations, often in your line of sight. For example, there is a ledge above/beneath you, far in the front. You can place traps there and kill every enemy before they can move to you. If you detect Champ packs in such locations, you have free loot basically. Same goes for Impale, you can shoot this downwards from high ledges.
Evasive fire has a remarkable feature. It goes through a lot of obstacles, such as corners and Waller packs’ walls. You can stand out of the mobs’ line of sight and still, you can damage them. This has been nerf’ed, but not completely. You can still shoot this through the edges of a door if you stand in an angle near the door.
(Common sense but I’ll write this down anyways) Always kite them towards the respawn point. Always. Even if you think that they are an easy kill.
Nether Tentacles are not a very good option unless they have low health. This is because the slow movement, since unless you time SS perfectly, you’ll kill yourself eventually. You can still spam NT though, you just need to stand real close. Traps are better, you can time SS perfectly and easily for it. Do not try to kill them fast, take your time.
Just pop SP:Gloom and fill them up with 800k Impale crits. You won’t get hurt and they will die fast.
They mostly wall themselves in, feel free to place a trap in front of the wall
and spam Evasive Fire as it damages through the walls.
You can time SS perfectly to avoid vortex. Vault also helps if you got pulled in. If you use SP:Gloom, you’re gonna have a bit harder time, but you can survive easily. Pop it in the right time, if you need, put a trap down and run!
If you have the space, separate adds and boss, and kill it super fast (Under SS/SP:Gloom x2 + Prep repeat). If you do not have the room, just ignore it or use the Enter room/Exit room dance combined with Impale crits. You go in while SP:Gloom is up, crit, leave, wait for Discipline regen, and repeat.
Keep moving, they are fairly easy. If they have Mid/Low health, you can kill them under 4 SS/SP-s.
Others are pretty easy if you master the kiting.
It is 2 AM right now, I think I’ll add lots of things that I’ve forgot.
Have fun Hunting :)