There is more than one way to fire explosives from a crossbow.
Blizzard has recently featured an interesting Demon Hunter build that is centered around the Rocket rune for the Strafe attack. In our previous rocket-based Demon Hunter build, we noticed how easy it was to swap the rockets for grenades. Intrigued by this strafe idea, today we’re going to experiment and see if the same results apply to this new idea.
We bring you a grenade-strafe build: the Walking Explosion!
Demon Hunter Grenade-Strafe Build
Now, Strafe-based Demon Hunter builds usually follow the idea that you will use one set of skills to start out, designed to keep your Hatred up to almost continually Strafe, and then trade these skills out one-by-one as you start amassing Hatred-producing gear.
For this reason, your starting generator is (don’t be shocked)…
Grenade + Tinkerer
Yeah, you could never have seen that coming. This will likely be the first skill replaced, with Vengeance + Personal Mortar. You might decide you want to keep Grenade instead (with a better rune) if the speed penalty from Strafe prevents you from keeping up with Treasure Goblins, but we still recommend the Vengeance route.
Strafe + Demolition
Here is your constant attack. You are a combustible Tasmanian Devil. Demolition technically has much better damage than the rocket version, but less range. One trade off is that it can miss the target, but it can also do area damage. Rockets and grenades are pretty equal, so go with your preference here.
Chakram + Shuriken Cloud
This is your only Physical damage (besides your pet). Since you are strafing all the time, this is basically free bonus pain for your victims.
Preparation + Punishment
Once you collect enough Hatred gear that you don’t need it, feel free to use whatever Discipline spender you like, or ignore your Discipline altogether.
Rain of Vengeance + Anathema
Grenades falling from the sky! It’s like confetti in your parade of death!
Companion + Bat Companion
While it’s true that you will likely get rid of the Bat when you no longer need the Hatred, that doesn’t mean you will lose the companion. Even though most people prefer the wolf (especially if you get that one cloak) don’t forget the defensive benefits of the boar, or the speed increase from the ferrets. Everyone underestimates the ferrets.
It’s very easy to draw the conclusion that the Grenadier passive skill exists specifically to entice people to build their characters entirely around all grenade attacks. And even if that’s not the reason, playing with explosives is fun.
Perfectionist provides nice defense even if you aren’t concerned with Discipline much.
Blood Vengeance will help you with your Hatred problem.
Hot Pursuit will be active almost always while strafing, helping to counteract the speed penalty.
If you decide you don’t need one of the previous skills, remember there is always Archery. Dual-wielders may even want it from the beginning, for the Hatred boost.
Don’t waste your time with anything that requires staying still or being far away, you are a constantly moving melee Hunter.
You are almost completely Fire damage, so go ahead and enjoy that Cindercloak without hesitation.
The Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan is a good pair of pants for this or any other Demon Hunter, Barbarian, or Monk that needs to keep moving.
You may decide you can switch out Blood Vengeance if you like the Reaper’s Wraps.
Otherwise, look for anything else that helps with either Hatred, speed, or Fire damage.
Math being fickle the way it sometimes is, 50 points for 25% Movement Speed doesn’t exactly perfectly negate the penalty from Strafe, but do it anyway.
We’ve made a big case lately for not using your Utility points for Resource Reduction until you’ve maxed out Area Damage. We still believe that, although, if you find you feel the need to divide them partially until you have more Hatred gear, we won’t judge; we’ll just mock.
This is basically a Whirlwind build with range. I think many people will still prefer the rocket-strafe concept to this one, although in our testing the grenades did perform with higher damage in most circumstances. But if you like using a medieval weapon to fire a modern one, this makes things go boom.
Also, even though these builds that base everything on one damage type are way more viable than they were back in Diablo II, the new damage diversification in recent patches may be a good sign to enjoy these Death-splosions™ while you can, because future nerfs may make them less attractive. 😉