The Spike Trap Demon Hunter

The Spike Trap Demon Hunter can stack a ton of damage in a small area, perfect for fighting Elites and Bosses. Place three Spike Traps under them. Then spam Bola Shots while the Spike Traps go off. Additional area damage skills round out the build. You need very good defenses though. You will pretty much be in melee range for the entire battle with this build.

Strengths

  • Massive damage to Elites and Bosses
  • The Trapsin from Diablo 2 is back!

Weaknesses

  • Requires very good defensive stats and high critical hit chance
  • Most skills have a small area of effect, making it harder to clear a whole room of monsters.
  • Not the fastest at farming

Skills

Mouse Left Click – Bola Shot (Thunder Ball)

Bola Shot is a pretty good area damage skill, considering it doesn’t have a Hatred cost. It has a slightly delayed blast, but in this build monsters will always be next to you in melee range. Spam this skill to kill the normal, weak monsters. When fighting Elites and Bosses, use Spike Traps first. You can still spam Bola Shot when you are out of Hatred for Spike Traps. The Thunder Ball rune increases your survivability a little bit; the primary target has a chance to be stunned. This can reduce a lot of damage if you primarily target the big hitters.

Mouse Right Click – Spike Trap (Echoing Blast)

Spike Traps is one of the highest damage Demon Hunter skills. It has some downsides though, like only hitting a small area and not hitting monsters that just run through it to your character. That second downside is avoided in this build by having your character just stand in melee range all the time. The Echoing Blast rune makes it three times as powerful. Each Spike Trap will explode three times. As long as you are in melee range, the monsters should usually still be in range for all three blasts.

Keyboard 1 – Sentry (Guardian Turret)

Sentry creates a turret that will add a little bit of supplemental damage. Use it at the beginning of a fight with Elites and Bosses to improve your damage. It should last for most of the battle. The turret cannot be attacked or killed in any way except when its duration runs out. You can even put up two of them at once. The Guardian Turret rune gives your character an excellent reduction in all damage taken. Combined with Shadow Power, you will only take half damage from all attacks.

Keyboard 2 – Rain of Vengeance (Beastly Bombs)

Rain of Vengeance by default does a massive amount of damage over its duration, but the Beastly Bombs rune changes that quite a bit. Instead of hitting everything around your character, shadow beasts will drop bombs in random spots on the map. These bombs do area damage and can even hit the same monster more than once. With a little luck it will hit the Elites you are fighting several times. It is even better when fighting bosses. They are so big, they will be hit by a majority of the bombs when you are in melee range. It is even better for clearing rooms full of weak monsters.

Keyboard 3 – Preparation (Backup Plan)

Preparation is included in all endgame Demon Hunter builds. It basically acts as a Discipline potion. That allows you to use Shadow Power for a much longer duration, and Shadow Power will really keep you alive. The Backup Plan rune gives a small chance for the cooldown to be ignored. This means you can cast Preparation again for more Discipline, more Shadow Powers, more survivability.

Keyboard 4 – Shadow Power (Gloom)

Shadow Power’s Lifesteal buff is enough for the whole game as long as you have enough DPS. The skill has a pretty short duration though. The Preparation skill and some of the passives below will keep your Discipline full to use it non-stop. The Gloom rune adds a huge amount of damage reduction. It stacks with the Sentry’s Guardian Turret rune for an incredible 50% damage reduction. Combined with the Lifesteal and high DPS, you will have no problem staying alive.

Passive 1 – Archery

Archery is a nice damage booster. Critical hit chance or critical hit damage will add the most damage if you have good gear. If you are just leveling, using Bows will give the biggest damage boost, but look to switch to Crossbows or Hand Crossbows at max level.

Passive 2 – Perfectionist

Perfectionist improves your defenses by a good amount but also reduces the Discipline cost of Shadow Power. It is a key part of keeping the Shadow Power buff on you all the time.

Passive 3 – Night Stalker

Night Stalker is another skill that boosts Discipline gains. This one scales with critical hit chance, so you will want a lot of it in this build. A build like this does a lot of area damage. Even though these skills have a low chance to proc Night Stalker, the sheer number of critical hits they cause will give you a good rate of Discipline regeneration.

Weapon Type

I like to use a Hand Crossbow + Shield for this build. The Hand Crossbow will give you more critical hit chance to go with Night Stalker while the Shield will improve your defenses. The fast attack speed of the Hand Crossbow will also help Night Stalker. Equipping two Hand Crossbows or a Two Hand Crossbow will do more damage. That should be your final goal, when your defenses are up to it.

Good Stats

You will need high Armor and Resist All for this build. The Shadow Power and Sentry skills will really help, but you still need those base defensive stats to go with it. Aim for  60% Physical damage reduction from Armor and 60% Elemental damage reduction from Resist All. To have enough Discipline to use Shadow Power constantly, you will also need high critical hit chance. Around 35-40% should be enough with fast attack speed and your area damage skills to maintain Shadow Power. For general gearing that applies to all characters, check out The Stats You Want in Diablo 3, my quick guide to stats that all characters should have.

Alternatives

Rain of Vengeance (Anathema) instead of Rain of Vengeance (Beastly Bombs) – Beastly Bombs is somewhat random damage. You never know how many times it will hit the targets you want it to hit. Replace it with Anathema for more guaranteed damage. Beastly Bombs has the potential to do more damage, but the odds are too low that they all hit the same monsters.

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