THIS BUILD IS OPTIMIZED TO WORK WITH THE WIZARD/SOLANIUM META OF 2.4;
1) This build is a viable alternative to the Witch Doctor in the standard group composition supporting Energy Twister Wizard. There's less lag with this build versus variations that run with Ball Lightning (which already lagged when tested with Static Charge last season) or against the Witch Doctor's Mass Confusion.
Use this build if you want solid, consistent ~GR88 speeds, or ~GR92+ gem upgrades. This build cleared 94.
This build is in no way superior to any proficient Witch Doctor, but if you just NEED to play Demon Hunter (FFS!) and have a group of friends (or people you can convince) to let you run the class, then this may be the setup build for you!
2) This build does NOT run Solanium???
- Demon Hunters just can't generate enough globes with it cubed, even with what should be over 100% crit (Single Out). Definitely subpar when compared to Monk, which itself is behind HOTA.
- Wind Chill and Echoing Blast effects last 3 seconds, you must Vault through enemies every 5 seconds. You don't have the time to spam your globe generator and not collect them, unlike Witch Doctors who can apply all their spells on the move and gather globes.
- Lag. While it's avoidable in many ways (removing AD, group is pulling just the right amount of mobs, etc), Ball Lightning itself pretty much nullifies one of the biggest reasons groups will want to bring you over a Witch Doctor (Locust Swarm, Mass Confusion). While this isn't apparent at lower GR levels, it is more noticeable when reaching 90+. Not running Ball Lightning lets you pull a noticeably larger pack before lag starts. You will not fix the lag of Diablo III, you will minimize your contribution to it.
*** The goal of this build is to have consistent, decent completion times at the current GR88-90 speeds with a Demon Hunter, with a better chance of keeping the group's exp pools by avoiding lag and with Guardian Turret over a globe proc ***
3) Your clear advantage over Witch Doctor is movement; where they would need either Illusory Boots or drop Cloud of Insects for Severance, Vault is mandatory in this build for Strongarms. You scout better for Pylons and for mobs to bring back to the group - Multishot's AOE is extremely wide.
Aaand, unlike Witch Doctors...
4) YOU SHOULD DIE LAST, IF EVER.
Ignore Pain, Inner Sanctuary, Guardian Turret, Mantras, Slow Time, Elusive Ring
Combined with Vault and investing into more defensive stats over Critical Hit/Attack Speed (if running Solanium) should make you very durable when scouting, even when Ignore Pain drops and you're not in range of Mantras.
5) On paper,
* * * WITCH DOCTOR * * *
DAMAGE INCREASE +115-145% -Paranoia (+30%), Jinx (+30%), Frozen Piranhas (+15%), Poisoned Spirit (+20%), Necrosis (+20%), Slam Dance (+30%)
ATTACK SPEED +20% - Big Bad Voodoo (+20%)
DAMAGE REDUCTION -25-75% - Bad Medicine (-25%), Cloud of Insects (-25%), Ghost Trance (-25%)
* * * DEMON HUNTER * * *
DAMAGE INCREASE +115-140% - Calamity (+20%), Valley of Death (+15%), Echoing Blast (+20%), Wolf (+30%), Strongarm Bracers (+30%), *Overwhelming Desire (+35%), Entangling Shot (+25%)
CRITICAL HIT +15% - Wind Chill (+15%)
DAMAGE REDUCTION -25-50% - Numbing Traps (-25%), Guardian Turret (-25%)
*Overwhelming Desire is not sustainable.
- Attack Speed is a priority stat more valuable than Critical Hit Chance for Wizards.
- Geared Barbarians don't really need your Critical Hit Chance buff
- Witch Doctors provide 25% more damage reduction which can be crucial for certain groups at higher GRs.
6) As of Jan 31, 2016: As such, Witch Doctors are currently and will most likely remain the more consistent class to bring when pushing leaderboards. But that doesn't mean Demon Hunters can't hit top 100...
And consistently clear GR89+ Speeds.
What do I do with the group?
Pick up globes.
Keep Wolf uptime at 100% (Zodiac).
Keep Guardian Turret on Inner Sanctuary.
Apply Multishot to mobs every 3 seconds.
Vault through mobs every 5 seconds.
Maintain Valley of Death on Inner Sanctuary.
Cast Echoing Blast on targets under combined Twisters.
Cast Entangling Shot.
When do I scout?
While your group gathers density to their spot for Twisters (Cyclone Strike/Ancient Spear), you will Vault around nearby unscouted areas for more density, Pylons and Elites. Tag what you want to bring back to the group with Multishot (becareful of lag at higher GR!), Vault means you shouldn't get stuck. Don't explore too far; you'll want to get back by the time the Wizard is unloading on Arcane CoE to debuff everything in sight and keep him globed.
With the Barbarian:
HOTA is the best globe generator at the moment. Don't make them run around too much, otherwise they can't do what they do best. At most, your Barbarian should be minimizing movement to spear enemies you've pulled back from screens away. Elites that survive after density is gone should be dragged along by the Barb, it's up to you to find the next pack for him to bring it to. The less work he does, the more likely he'll convince others to invite your Demon Hunter
With the Monk:
Scout for the best placements for Inner Sanctuary, it's where the group tends to stack. Stand inside in rough situations where affixes are unavoidable and may drop you.
With the Wizard:
Feed. Them. Globes. More Twisters, more win.
Be a good support class and body block projectiles where you can.
Why Helltrapper over X?
The occasional free Echoing Blast. The +20% is valuable to keep up more with Witch Doctor, but the trap costs 30 Hatred, debuffs for a short 3 seconds, in a tiny 8 yards. While it's great to drop them on Elites the moment they hit combined Twisters, the effect is extremely difficult to maintain on large, dense packs (where random Twisters are hitting a very efficient amount of mobs). The free Guardian Turrets are a bonus. All three procs work with Numbing Traps though you will be applying this primarily with Multishot.
Having said that, the only common weapon across all support DH builds is Calamity's MoD. This gives you many options to replace Helltrapper which is by no means mandatory:
- Odyssey's End; the obvious alternative, giving an additional damage debuff.
- Fortress Ballista; viable if you need a more defensive option.
- Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker; for the attack speed debuff - if your Monk isn't using it.
Why not use Ball Lightning (Solanium)?
The Main reasons are stated above. I would switch to Ball Lightning if the need arises for it; if your Monk or Barb are having trouble reaching their CHC/AS breakpoints, if you're doing lower GRs where lag doesn't ever kill your group, and if your Wizard is globe starved, then Solanium is a viable option.
What rune for Entangling Shot?
Heavy Burden - Increases slow up to 4 seconds. Recommended for easier gameplay, this makes managing your other debuffs easier as the duration is doubled, and since Odyssey's End's effect is additive damage, Entangling Shot is your last priority debuff to apply (after Echoing Blast, etc). Hitting two targets as opposed to Chain Gang's four is more than enough to keep all Elites your group pulls tagged.
Chain Gang - Increases targets hit to four instead of two. If you're more proficient with moving around your group and find no difficulty in the rotation, you're able to spam more Entangling Shot - which makes Chain Gang's shorter duration vs Heavy Burden not too big of a disadvantage, and still superior in terms of AoE.
Any other tips?
Start Rift Guardian fights like a Barbarian; either teleport to town while non-pet characters get the boss into a good Twister spot, or move a good distance away from the boss while he's being positioned so your pets don't hold them in place.
Don't overlook Companion runes - ie. the Ferret's instant 60 yard pick up is useful in this meta.