Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Builds
In this Diablo 3 Demon Hunter builds guide, you will discover the best D3 Demon Hunter leveling builds and farming builds available for this class.
We will start with Demon Hunter builds for use in solo play and then go into group play builds.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Leveling & Farming Builds for Solo Play
As a solo player, you will need to be able to do it all as a Demon Hunter. This means you will need skills which can do all of the following:
- Generate Hatred
- Deal Single Target Damage
- Deal Area of Effect (AoE) Damage
- Mitigate/Avoid Damage
This means that you have to choose very different skills. First off, for generating Hatred, it is hard to get a better skill than Hungering Arrow with the Puncturing Arrow rune. This does great single-target damage and also generates Hatred quite effectively.
A more effective single-target damage dealing ability for is Rapid Fire with Web Shot and combined with the Cull the Weak passive trait. The reason this works so well for single player is that versus bosses you have to do a lot of kiting and Web Shot slows enemies by 80%, allowing you to stand there and channel into them for a time once you reach max distance before they actually catch up to you.
For damage mitigation, Caltrops tends to be your best skill. Players who need to kite more may also consider adding in Evasive Fire or Smoke Screen. I prefer Smoke Screen, as this lets you make a guaranteed escape in the toughest situations. This is a very useful skill in solo situations where dying is a huge pain.
You will need to pick your Hatred spenders. For AoE damage, Cluster Arrow, Multishot, or Rapid Fire with the Bombardment rune all work well. I would consider it personal preference. Rapid Fire with the Bombardment rune actually does decent single target damage as well, which gives you a double bonus. Mulishot works best versus weaker enemies whereas Rapid Fire / Cluster Arrow do well versus Champion Packs.
This soaks up 4 of your possible six skills but fulfills most of your needs. You can add in more skills based on your preferences. If you chose not to go with Multishot, consider adding on Bola Shot in order to increase your AoE effectiveness. If you chose to go with Multishot, you should pick up a Hatred regeneration skills such as the Bat companion.
Finally, if you are not sure what to pick up as your last skill, I strongly recommend Rain of Arrows for all Diablo 3 Demon Hunter builds. This ability is on a short cooldown, does a lot of damage, and has no Hatred or Discipline cost. The fact that it is free and does a lot of damage makes it a great ability to take out Champion packs. You can use Rain of Arrows in conjunction with Cluster Arrow to tear up tough Champion packs.
For passive skills, I would recommend picking up Cull the Weak, Steady Aim, and Archery. These skills all boost your damage nicely, and for the Demon Hunter, the best defense is a good offense.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Builds – Group Play
When you are playing in a group, the best D3 Demon Hunter builds change quite significantly as your roles change. As a Demon Hunter in a group setting, your goal is only to pump out damage. You no longer have a need for damage mitigation or kiting – just stand in the back and fire out powerful attacks.
This changes your skill selection significantly. First off, you should know that the Demon Hunter’s primary advantage over the other classes is that when it is completely unmolested it seems to have some of the highest single-target damage in game.
In Diablo 3, all classes have good AoE skills. The Barbarian’s Cleave and the Monk’s Crippling Wave are actually resource generators and are as effective as any Hatred-spending Demon Hunter abilities. As a result, for group play, the best thing the Demon Hunter can bring to the group is powerful single target damage to help burn down bosses and Champion packs.
Note that the lack of a need for damage mitigation means your Discipline pool is free to spend for Offense. Because of this, I recommend picking up Preparation with the Punishment rune. This allows you to convert 20 Discipline into Hatred at your leisure.
Additionally, I recommend picking up Marked for Death with the Contagion rune before switching into Mortal Enemy. Mortal Enemy is actually an incredible skill as it pushes the Demon Hunter’s Hatred regeneration to extremely high levels when you add in Punishment and a decent Hatred regeneration weapon and quiver.
I actually recommend skipping over the Bat Companion with this Diablo 3 Demon Hunter build – you should get all the Hatred you need via Preparation with Punishment and using Puncturing Arrow with Mortal Enemy.
So far we have Preparation, Marked for Death, and Hungering Arrow. I recommend adding on Impale with the Chemical Burn rune. This deals 375% weapon damage for just 25 Hatred. You can chain this ability and keep your Hatred pool healthy via Punishment and Mortal Enemy, particularly on bosses.
Impale does not seem that flashy, but due to its low Hatred cost and the Hatred regeneration skills here, it completely dominates versus single targets. If you are able to reach 30%+ Critical Hit (Archery with a hand crossbow can help), consider switching over to Grievous Wounds.
Finally, you should add in a specialty skill for taking out tough enemies as well as an AoE skill. For Champion Packs, consider adding in Cluster Arrow or Rain of Vengeance. Both work well here. Before you dismiss Cluster Arrow, remember that with Punishment you can actually use this skill 6-9 times in the span of about 15 seconds, which is enough to kill practically any Champion pack.
Rain of Vengeance also works – it is less powerful than all those Cluster Arrows chained together but is definitely easier to use.
Since this build focuses on Hatred generation, it is pretty easy to use Multishot with the Suppression Fire rune. This generates you Discipline which you can convert into Hatred via Punishment. This lets you basically use Multishot at no Hatred cost which can be your default AoE move.
For passive skills, max out your damage via Cull the Weak, Steady Aim, and Archery. If you find no one in your group keeps the enemy snared, consider swapping out Cull the Weak for Night Stalker. This will provide you with extra Discipline so you can use Punishment more frequently. This extra Hatred generation will boost your damage indirectly.
This particular Diablo 3 Demon Hunter leveling build is really powerful and dishes out huge amounts of damage, but it does require that you play with a friend or better yet a full group as this will allow your friends to soak up enemy damage so you do not have to.
D3 Demon Hunter Farming Builds
The same builds mentioned above used for leveling are just as effective at level 60 when farming enemies. If your Demon Hunter gets very well geared and begins to clear enemies easily, the only change I would make is moving from the “solo build” into the “group build” as good gear means your need for mitigation is lessened, even when playing solo.
Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Builds
By following the D3 Demon Hunter builds outlined in this guide, you can level up quickly and easily in both solo play and groups alike. The key in making these builds work is to make sure your gear is up to date and the monsters you are fighting against are an appropriate level.