Taking my sweet time to get through Act V, I finally went in to face Malthael last night. What an epic fight is all I can say. Kudos to Blizzard for taking the genre to the next level.
I fought Malthael with my P57 level 70 Demon Hunter, sporting around 308K HPs and 122K DPS unbuffed. My gear was decent, with a mix of mostly 60-65 rares and a few legendaries.
I started the fight in Master, but kept getting wrecked by flame wings in the second phase. The second half of the fight is really busy, so if you’re lacking a bit in the DPS department, it can get real tough real quick I found. Lots and lots of stuff you have to avoid, not to mention Malthael riding your ass the whole time.
In addition to dialing down the difficulty a notch, I tweaked my build a slight bit before my successful attempt on Expert. Since it’s always interesting to see what setups people are running, this is the build I used. Follower was Kormac, lending his leet heals when he wasn’t busy taking a knee. :\
It’s likely I’ll perfect this build some, as I’m really new to the Demon Hunter class, but I found it to be pretty effective in dealing with the Reaper.
Basic strategy I used for dealing with Malthael was this:
- Kite him non-stop, relying mostly on Strafe and companion damage while on the move, then switching to Evasive Fire when Hatred was getting down near 10%.
- Activate the Wolf Companion active buff as soon as it came off cooldown.
- When he’d return to the center I’d stack my Wolf Companion buff with Vengeance + Rapid Fire to burn him down as much as I could during that little window, while side-stepping the slow-moving little wispy things that hurt.
- When my Follower or wolves were tanking him at a distance, I’d resume Rapid Fire.
- When he’d summon his flying skulls, I’d head to the center and Strafe around him like a WW Barb.
- As often as needed, I’d rely on Shadow Power + Rapid Fire or Strafe to keep my HPs up.
- I mostly left the adds to my pocket tanks unless Malthael teleported out of my FoV, with one of the adds nearby. In that case, I’d FF the add to get my Templar and wolves back on Malthael.
Because the fight involves non-stop movement and maneuverability, Strafe makes things pretty manageable. The added companion damage coupled with my Cloak of the Garwulf enabled me to whittle away at him while focusing on avoiding the stuff that would kill me, which becomes a pretty big focus later in the fight.
Tip: If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to bind your Force Movement function to a key – not only for general use – but especially for this fight. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on the battlefield some place you’re trying to move to, only having your character stay fixed and attacking, then a second or two later needing a res. Force Movement allows you to immediately cancel whatever ability you’re casting so that you can move instantly in the direction of your mouse. I have mine bound to ~.
The problem I had in Master difficulty was my inability to put enough pressure on him, which left me dealing with little room to move due to all of the lightning clouds on the ground. In Expert I was able to burn him down reasonably fast before things became too chaotic.
Now that I finally dropped Malthael, I’m really looking forward to Adventure Mode and Bounties! And those of you who’ve successfully downed the reaper, I’d love to hear your experiences!