Diablo® III

[WF Build] Spray and Pray!

Hi fellow DHs,

As many of you might have noticed, when it comes to high MPs, the Demon Hunter goes nuts and stacks all kinds of DANGEROUS explosives right under his feet. I guess these people are just trying to have a blast while playing the highest difficulty setting, but come on, this is not a sane behavior!

So I decided to take an even less sane path and chose to play ranged (what?!?) with underused (underrated ?) abilities (ok, this guy must be trolling). Hum...enough with sarcasm, let's present the build.

I'll start with what should interest you the most : efficiency numbers/how does it perform? With my current gear, I achieve a relatively decent 40-45M XP/hour on MP6 while having an effective DPS of around 4 times my paper DPS (roughly 800-850K eDPS/over 1M on elites thanks to SoJ). Not too bad, but let's be honest, this means that as far as efficiency goes, my soft cap with the build is most probably MP8.

This is a WF build, which takes advantages of high proc rate skills to have good control over the battlefield. Here it is : http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#bekcgR!Yfe!ZaaaYY

Before detailing each skill, I'll start with two basic gameplay tips :
  • Work your positioning to gather the most mobs/elites in a line in front of you;
  • When possible, kite in a circle around your turrets.

Active skills :
  • Entangling Shot-Shock Collar : This is your positioning and hatred regen skill. I don't take this skill for the snare (which I barely notice TBH) but for its high proc rate. You gain two benefit from it : huge knockback chance for positioning and good hatred regen through Mortal Enemy (see below);
  • Chakram-Twin Chakrams : AoE. I switched this skill a lot with Ball lightning at the beginning, and my experience was very clearly in favor of chakrams. First, because my kill speed is way higher with it. Second, because with -4 hatred cost on my chest, I can pretty much spam it all day even with 2.28 AS. And this "spamability" is important, as you are then able to go into "turret mode", monsters being almost constantly knocked back by the wall of chakrams. In fact, there is sometimes so much knockbacks that you have to move behind your sentries to keep monsters in their range (they are pushed off screen!);
  • Sentry-Spitfire Turret : DPS Assist. You can take Guardian Turrets if you feel too squishy. The strategy is then to kite from one turret to another;
  • Rapid Fire-Whitering Fire : Single target DPS. You can try another rune, but I find the hatred cost to be way too high outside of Withering Fire, especially when kiting. The first "trick" that makes this skill efficient in my eyes (vs. Cluster Arrows for example) is that with Mortal enemy, you are able to maintain it for quite a long time. The second is to use "chance to" gear (freeze on belt/stun on gloves/ blind on amulet) + Enchantress with Azurewrath (AS gear and chance to blind ammy is a plus). With these "chance to", it's quite frequent to lock down a target and thus not losing DPS while kiting. This is especially useful on enemies immune to knockback (such as yellow champions);
  • Shadow Power-Gloom : Panic button. Sometimes, you won't be able to kite. Examples : boxed by Wallers, Teleporting Golgors surrounding you. In these times, Gloom is mandatory;
  • Marked for Death-Mortal Enemy : Hatred Regen + DPS bonus. The thing with Mortal Enemy is that the 3 hatred regen on attack is proc based (thus functioning in a similar fashion as Life on Hit). This is why Entangling Shot-Shock Collar is so good on regaining hatred thanks to its high proc chance.

Passives :
  • Archery : +15% damage with bows, enough said;
  • Steady Aim : +20% damage when monsters are 10yards away. With this spec, the passives will be up very frequently. If not, then you're probably rushing through trash;
  • Perfectionist : This a preference call. You can take Nightstalker for discipline regen (for those moments where Gloom is mandatory) or Cull the Weak for additional DPS. I simply find Perfectionist more comfortable and funnier because of discipline management.

Gear requirement : WF with decent knockback (40%+) and -hatred chakram cost on chest or Stone of Jordan (both isn't required, I do fine with -4 hatred on my chest).

Recommended/Optional gear : SoJ with crit chance for rapid fire, crit chance for rapid fire on Dead Man's Legacy, Freeze chance on belt (i.e. where it is the less costly to obtain DPS wise) and Azurewrath for Enchantress with high freeze chance and AS (http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/item/azurewrath). Scoundrel with WF is also nice, but he tends to push monsters back to you...Buriza? Why not, if you have 50M gold to spare on a good one.

This is it! Thank you for reading and for those fool enough to test this, I hope you'll enjoy what is the most fun build I played till now!

As a sidenote, here is how I feel the MP progression is with the build regarding paper DPS (with steady aim, archery and SoJ) :
  • MP3 : don't remember :-(
  • MP4 : 150K/180K vs. elites
  • MP5 : 170K/210K vs. elites
  • MP6 : 200K/250K vs. elites
  • MP7 : 250K/300K vs. elites?? (not there yet)


Edit : Here are two short gameplay samples done on Keep Depths 2 and an MP10 CotA Run (for the fun):
    MP6 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II_U0E7ler4
    MP7 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fiug1j0e2Mc
    MP10 CotA Run : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBqIziV6XG0
Edited by Lawlyer#2129 on 04/04/2013 08:43 BST
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Interesting build - I will try it out later when I get home.

I'm afraid that I will loose too much DPS if i drop the manti, even though mine aint that great.

You say MP5 is fine with 210k DPS buffed? That looks good to me :)

Since the Chakram is physical damage, it may be nice to combine with a Cold dmg SoJ for even more crowd control - perhaps even including cull the weak.

The fast easy MP3 XP runs and the tanking on higher mp's have made me lazy with regards to kiting - will have to learn that again :P
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Yes, 210k DPS buffed would be fine (nearly overkill) for MP5. For reference, "fine" by my standards is effortless white mobs kills and under 30 sec regular (=non-waller, mostly) elite kills. With 210k DPS on elites, I generally killed them in around 15 sec.

With my gear (270K elite DPS), if I go in MP7, elites take around 30-40 sec to go down. Also tried MP8, elites went down in around 1min, but some whites became non trivial with their 4M HP.

Survivability was never an issue (even in MP8), but I must say that I have pretty decent defensive stats:
  • Unbuffed : 40k HP, 4k Armor, 410AR (486 Phys)
  • Buffed (Perfectionist) : 43k HP, 4.3K Armor, 460AR (534 Phys)

And yes, I thought about a cold damage SoJ, but as I don't really feel the need for it, I didn't bother to find one yet. :-)
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I'm pretty sure u're trolling/over-exaggerating with the damage numbers.

and yeah, when I saw your build with rapid fire, i stop reading.
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Are you implying that these numbers are impressive? 4x paper DPS is so impressive that it must be overinflated? Seriously?

Anyway, this is a gross estimation based on my marked for death and my turrets duration. If I don't have to reapply it and/or my first turret is still up => kill under 30 sec. So in the end, maybe it's not 4x paper DPS, maybe it's 3.7 or 4.1. But for MP5-6, does it really matter?

And when you see the numbers, it shouldn't be that far off : 276% weapon damage from rapid fire (or 228% from Chakrams) + 2 turrets + 12% damage from MfD. A 350%-400% overall damage doesn't seem plausible at all?

TBH, I expected people with gear like yours to trash my build. But since I have so much fun using it, with decent results by my standards, I thought I'd share it anyway. If it sucks so bad, wait for a day or 2 till it sinks into forums oblivion. ;-)
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to previous:
windforce really works. defensively, compared to other options (calamity or manticore), it's much better. less dps, but far higher survivabilty, because less things touch you.
the math: WF chance is upto 50% (lets average to 42%, anything less than 40 is not recommended). ES:Shock collar proc can proc upto 2,4 (first hit proc 0.8, shock (also 0.8) proc upto 2 monsters. At 42% chance and 2,4 proc this basically guarrantees a knockback (unless the monster is immune, like some bosses) to both 2 targets. at 2.2 aps, it's realistically (you have to re-aim as well) 2 targets per 2 monsters. in good circumstances, this means upto 4 monsters "fly away" (and often off the screen) every second.
also: do you know that rapid fire is one of the most damaging skill per second in DH arsenal? It's really monster damage. read tooltips. it's 276% weapon damage (not per second), so at 2,2 APS, its nearly 600% damage per second. in lawlyer's case it's prolly around 600k (750k with SoJ) eDPS channeling. if my toon would channel Rapid Fire, i'd do 700K eDPS (of course, not sustainable in the long run, as my hatred would dry up quickly). only my spike traps can do more and only because of +23% total bonus.

having 200k+ DPS with windforce and SoJ is impressive.

i tried every way, but anything higher than MP4 or so is just impossible to do ranged any other way than windforce and some crowd control chance. Good DPS bonus of Steady aim is not viable exept WF build at higher MP, as there's always someone getting close to you. With every elite it's downright melee "in da face" and permaglooming (or close to permaglooming, as i have some EHP buffer). i can do it upto MP8 (usable, but takes some time, so mostly run around mp6-7 just to have some buffer)

the only real downside? nobody besides DH or Witch Doctor wishes to party with you. barb/monk/wiz want to take it to the face, but WF DH is knocking everybody of the screen. but in a party of 3-4 WF DH's this is jolly fun. "nail'em to the wall, baby!" style

for OP. i see one issue: discipline regen. there's nothing really to regen it, besides the base regen. MfD eats it up and gloom too. IMHO: not really an issue at low MP (upto mp4 or so), but at higher MP, the fights last longer and you'll need some tankiness.

i have little bit modified version on my hardcore toon.
it's strictly no-crit build (zero crit chance or crit damage on items or passives), only stacking +damage, IAS and DEX. sentries shoot at 60K (white numbers!) per shot (at 2,31 APS). twin chackrams do broad AoE (and i sniped -5 hatred chakram cost inquisitor), bola bitter pill helps to regen discipline (upto 0,6 per sec per monster, so not all that bad) to allow gloomtanking and more lifeleech. My wolf is there to have some DC proofness (at least against white trash). it works really well, especially with follower's buriza.

cold SOJ is useless with entangling:shock and withering fire (attacks has to be physical to have slow effect), only twin chakrams would slow.

Offensively (and looking at numbers on the screen), windforce is worse than manticore and even calamity DH is good unless something touches it, and WF helps in that department more than anything else.

ironically, SwSw, you should know. you have Para 100 DH with plenty of kills. Or have you had similar "cookie-cutter" gear from the "start" and haven't seen the other sides?
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Thank you for the thorough reply. :-)

For the discipline regen, Perfectionist is easily switchable with Nightstalker, and then chakrams fuel discipline quite nicely thanks to double hitting almost all the mobs (with 0.67 proc rate according to the spreadsheet from DEMON's thread). I won't elaborate too much on this though as I didn't use Nightstalker for quite sometime now...

With that said, I didn't have discipline issues up to now for my liking (that is up to MP7). I had some close call (especially when trying not to Gloom while having 10k life remaining), that's for sure, and I wouldn't recommend this spec for HC character. But, being low on discipline and trying to run for your life gives a fun thrill! In fact, this is partly why I take Perfectionist as well : to not have disc regen, forcing me to manage it like my precious! With my gear, these thrills only happens in MP7+ though. But again, I have decent defensive stats.
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I just added two short gameplay samples done on Keep Depths 2. I didn't know it was that easy to do, or else I would have included them directly in the OP...

MP6 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II_U0E7ler4
MP7 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fiug1j0e2Mc
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Nice vid and nice speed, considering you are using 3 attack skill which could be easily classified as "ineffective" (compared to regular tanking echos or manticore shotguns).
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Thanks! :-)

Just for the fun, I added an MP10 CotA Run : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBqIziV6XG0

This was my 3rd attempt actually (on the first two, I got a Waller-Plagued that boxed me, then it was a RD-Mortar that owned my !@# pretty bad ^^). On this attempt, the affixes were pretty easy : Fast-Horde-Desecrator-Nightmarish, but still, it was faster than I expected. :-)

Edit: fixed link
Edited by Lawlyer#2129 on 04/04/2013 08:44 BST
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I could do range up to MP8 so yeah,


ironically, SwSw, you should know. you have Para 100 DH with plenty of kills. Or have you had similar "cookie-cutter" gear from the "start" and haven't seen the other sides?


have always been a xbow user since start. rare -> hellrack -> manticore. and i've always went with clusters as my damage dealer so forgive me if i don't indulge myself with rapid fire.

and besides, i think traps would be better instead of rapid fire with his build. place some traps near him and any monster that comes near dies after all those chakram spammings.
Edited by SwSw#2890 on 04/04/2013 09:20 BST
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traps have an issue with windforce (and 1hand xbows even more): minium damage vs maximum damage fluctuations and lower typical base damage (per hit). traps do weapon damage, not the damage from DPS sheet. Higher APS (where a lot of windforce dps is gained) is not helping much. You can place traps faster, but that's not important. it still hits considering weapon base damage and low minimum damage isn't helping. Ingame, with the same DPS sheet number, bow/1h xbow spike traps will have less damage (per bang) than hard hitting 2h crossbow. Spike Trap effectivety is Damage per Bang, not damage per second.
Most 2hand crossbows has little min-max damage fluctuations and/or relatively high base (minimum) damage and it helps to have high spike trap damage.

it's similar with monk's Wall of Light or barb's Hammer of the Ancients. Both favor slow but hard hitting 2handers.
Edited by highq#2314 on 04/04/2013 09:48 BST
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The traps are supposed to finish off whatever that's left that's approaching.
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Thanks for your input SwSw. Indeed, if you evaluate this build from an Xbow/Manticore point of view, I understand you find it pretty bad. I agree there are better options for that, but this is a WF build.

And because this is a WF build, you have to put some things in the equation. I agree with highq that some skills are Damage per Bang (like Spike traps or Cluster Arrow), while other are DPS ones, as they scale with AS. Chakrams and Rapid Fire are DPS skills and scale very well with AS (assuming you find a way to overcome their cost).

I did consider and tested Spike Traps, but I'm not a fan. I find them extremely hard to use with WF. Against blue elites, they are constantly pushed back away from the traps, so I ended up wasting a lot of them. Against yellow Champions, I lost the benefit of having good chances to lock him up frozen. It only worked for me the way you are suggesting to use them : clearing leftover trashes...but that didn't seem a good enough reason for me to use it. But assuming you are partying with a CM wizard Echoing trap might be a better option. Or just partying, because as highq also said (it seems we understand each other pretty well between WF users ^^), WF can be a pain for melees! :-p

Another reason why I prefer Rapid Fire and Chakrams is for their great flexibility. Your are not committed in spending a big amount of hatred. Instead, to finish off monsters, you spend only a few hatred. The issue I have with leftover trashes is caused by the dead zone of Twin Chakrams. In the videos, we can see that I mess up quite a lot with it. But I find it to be part of the fun, to try to position yourself well to minimize this drawback. And for single targets (like goblins), I need Rapid Fire....because they're a real pain to kill with Twin Chakrams! xD
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to SwSw: they might me designed this way, yes. But i use them as my main damaging skill. they're just that good. 10 hatred per average 700K/900K (whites/elites) real hit 8 yard AOE damage, bring it on. At MP5 one my EB bang oneshot these pesky resurrecting maniac priests, very useful, otherwise they like to run away and resurrect from off the screen. stick one under their feet and bang, he's gone.
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When I see the numbers you have and the DPS you have on your char, it really makes me wonder is smth seriously wrong with my DH.

Cuz no offence, the damage you do is either pretty much the damage I do or say 100k off what I do. I don't want to sound arrogant but how is it possible?
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spike trap fest:
treasuse gob got almost 1M damage:
http://www.upload.ee/image/3207496/Screenshot015.jpg

trash imps got hit over 700K:
http://www.upload.ee/image/3207499/Screenshot018.jpg

gob got hit again, this time over 1M:
http://www.upload.ee/image/3207501/Screenshot026.jpg

the bats got pounded for over 1M (both):
http://www.upload.ee/image/3207506/Screenshot028.jpg

DPS was something ~218K
+12% Spike Trap and +29% bonus to Elites Stone of Jordan, +11% Spike Trap Nat's Cloak
but of course NONE of these show on char sheet.
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you misunderstood me. But is okay.. no worries...
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there's not a lot wrong with your DH. quite the other way, you have way higher spec gear (at least offensively, defensively i'm better, more HP/armor/resists/reduceds). it's just there are options that does not show on char sheet, but do a lot of bonuses. like SoJ and specific skill bonuses.
like your DML. main stats look godly, but i bet that under 200dex DML with +10% elemental arrow or hungering arrow will do more actual damage for the skills you actually use.

i use bola and spikes (very typical), so i build my gear around it accoringly. of course i'd like to have trifectas all over the place, but that's too pricey.
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To be fair, i read this build and thought simular to SwSw, but having seen your youtube vids i thought it actually looked a lot of fun.

The knockback from windforce is what makes this look really cool, and although rapid fire needs a lot of work, its nice to see a good mix of skills in your build.

I guess its not always about the most damage or most efficient build possible. As long as the build actually works and is viable then it can be worth trying out.

I'll add it to that DH den of info thread that's kicking around ;)
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