This build is designed to be more of a 'rocket build' as well as trying to give a good mix of single target and AOE abilities. It also allows for a mix of elemental damage that can be used to fight against elemental resistant monsters, or high-armor targets. Let me explain a bit further...also...the order I put the skills in is NOT the order I would use them, just did it for sake of ease, and obviously skill locations can be moved around later. Here we go!
Main Attack Skills
Hungering Arrow (Piecing Arrow Rune Skill) - This is to be one of two primary Hatred Generators for the build. The piercing rune skill allows for a greater chance of having a single arrow go through multiple targets, or turn around and hit the same target once more. This makes Hungering Arrow a good choice for either single or multi-target groups and the powerful homing ability means aiming isn't as important...especially good if you need to move around a lot and cannot shift+click with good accuracy on what you want to hit. Solid weapon damage means it's good to use any and all the time.
Evasive Fire (Surge Rune Skill) - Also a Hatred Generator, but not to be used as often as Hungering Arrow for the most part. This is primarily to be used as an escape tool when enemies or bosses are getting to close and distance is needed to move away or avoid big damaging attacks. With improved pathing thanks to Blizzard, as well as the skill also cutting the Discipline cost in half, Evasive Fire is a lot of bang for the buck, and the Hatred regen is nice, too. Add to that the fact that the damage is converted to the lightning element, and you have something to use against high-armored targets that might stifle Hungering Arrow's damage.
Elemental Arrow (Frost Arrow Rune Skill) - The first of the Hatred Spending abilities used in this build, and a good one. Runed for Frost Arrow, this skill gets a bit of a damage increase, as well as using its inert piercing ability (unless this has changed from last time I saw) to allow for multiple target strikes. Even better is that upon striking the first target the arrow splits into multiple arrows, and cold damage is delivered. Like with Evasive Fire, this provides elemental damage and reduces enemy movement speed by 60% for 1 second. It might not seem like a long time, but with its low Hatred cost, Elemental Arrow can be used many times before the Hatred half of the globe is drained. Also, the fact that the arrow pierces and splits means that multiple enemies can be affected by a slow from long range...excellent for fire support in groups, or solo play to slow down mobs.
Strafe (Rocket Storm Rune Skill) - Strafe doesn't seem to be that strong by itself, but add the Rocket Strom rune skill and back it up with the passive Ballistics talent, and you've got yourself a lot of boom for the dollar. The beauty of Strafe also comes from the fact that while it can attack multiple targets with auto-aiming in all directions around you, if there is only one target available, then all the shots will focus on that target. Of course, being able to move around whiel firing, even at a reduced speed it quite good and can allow you to fire while escaping if need be, or just reposition yourself during the barrage so you aren't corned or have to stop. And as said before, add in the homing rockets with their fire damage and Strafe can handle high-armored targets, even if single target only. Flexibility is the name of the game here with this skill, and Strafe delivers in spades.
Sentry (Spitfire Turret Rune Skill) - Sentry doesn't seem like much with the damage it has by itself, but just like with Strafe and the passive Ballistics talent, it turns the watchful Sentry into a damage-dealing machine. A decent Discipline cost can allow for more than one Sentry to be dropped, and work even better since they are fire-and-forget devices that you don't have to lure enemies towards...they seek out targets of their own. This is nice for bigger, tougher groups, or even against a single boss or strong mob where you can have constant damage going off while you may need to reposition or what not. Get some gear with +Discipline on it, and you can drop even more to help you out with destroying your enemies under a hail of arrows or even setting them up around corners so you can lure stronger foes out into YOUR line of fire instead of the other way around!
Marked for Death (Mortal Enemy Rune Skill) - A very nice skill in that all you have to do is target the enemy you want, the mark goes up, and for 30 seconds you have an extra 15% damage bonus. Low Discipline cost means you don't have to worry about running dry and having to wait for enough Discipline to recast it, and it will work especially well on bosses. The Mortal Enemy rune skill means that with even Hatred spending attacks you will regen a little Hatred, which means less time needing to use your Hatred Generators and can focus more on firing off your bigger damage attacks, or in the case of this build, use Strafe for a few seconds longer, or fire more Elemental Arrows.. Plus, Marked for Death affects all other party damage, so your party members will thank you greatly for it.
Vengeance - Pretty simple...adds an extra 25 Hatred as well as gives you 20 Hatred and 2 Discpline for every Health Globe you pick up. The extra Hatred means more attacking time for this build, and since Health Globes are important and you'll be picking them up, it means you can refill your resources much faster, too. Excellent to use while out in the fields killing legions of monsters, or against bosses that spawn mobs that you and/or your party will need to take care of. Especially good if you end up using Strafe a lot, and you can even move towards a globe that dropped while still Strafing and get some Hatred regen to keep on firing away.
Archery - It seems like a sort of 'boring' passive in that it doesn't do anything flashy, but things don't need to be flashy to be effective. This skill allows you to have some type of bonus no matter what kind of ranged weapon you're using and can help you customize in terms of gear, too. Added raw power for a bow and quiver, more critcal damage with a crossbow, or up that critcal strike rate with handbows...it's a passive for any and all occasions, and can even help you get that extra little bit out of other abilities should you decide to focus on other rune skills. Still, for this build...it works out quite well.
Ballistics - As explained a bit above this passive is very, very strong in that it DOUBLES the damage of all rockets fired from skills, namely Strafe and Sentry. This gives both of those skills A LOT of extra punch, and as stated before, the increased fire damage can allow you to cut through more heavily armored targets that you will very likely be facing be they in single target form, or groups. In some regards, this pasive is the backbone of this build and thus is the most important to making it a successful 'Rocket Demon Hunter' build
The overall goals of this build are as followed:
- 1. Make use of both Hatred and Discipline resources and have ways of regenerating resources in a timely fashion.
- 2. Giving the Demon Hunter escape and evasion tools to use while in combat and to offer mobility during firefights.
- 3. GIve the Demon Hunter some long range 'crowd control' abilities to use ahead of time against mobs so he/she can unload into them with minimal retaliation, and to handle situations where up-close-and-personal combat can be minimized (see point 2).
- 4. Allowing the Demon Hunter to provide long-range support to party members as well as providing useful buffs and the afromentioned 'crowd control', too.
- 5. Making the Demon Hunter effective for both solo and group play and having good single-target and AOE damage.
- 6. Give the Demon Hunter access to multiple sources of physical and elemental damage to allow him/her to handle different enemies as they pop up and to always have something that will be effective against mobs, even ones with high armor or elemental resistances.