I still remember the first time I ever used Multishot. It was back when I was first leveling my Demon Hunter, after trying out both the Monk and the WD in 1.03 and finding neither much fun. A new hatred spender pops up on level, I go back to and equip it out of disgust for stuff like Impale and Chakram, but without high expectations. And then I go to use it.
Instantaneous damage. No projectile.
It was love at first sight. Of course at first there were Hatred problems, but soon enough Fire at Will became available at it hasn't really left my right-click spot since. Other people came up to me and said "try Frost Arrow" "try Ball Lightning" "try Loaded for Bear" but I always came back, sticking through it where others had given up hope. And I'm not trying to make like it was all roses — for a good part of that, I was struggling. Trying to spam a 20-hatred ability in 1.03 was difficult. However, since 1.04 I've been doing great, and now that I am pretty sure I have something amazing I feel confident sharing it with the community.
Why make a Multishot Build?
- Best build possible (any class) for quickly and efficiently beating weak content. Stellar for rushing your friends through any difficulty (Inferno included), getting speed-based achievements, etc.
- Under the 1.05 Monster Power system, as I pretty much prove in this thread, this pretty much makes this DH build the best build possible for gathering loot. In any class. I'd say that's a very strong pro.
- This build is absolutely wretched against more difficult content, due to a dependency on health globes dropping. If you dream of farming the higher Monster Power levels, either for ego or for a Hellfire Ring, you have come to the wrong place.
- Since this build is optimized for weak content, you'll rarely be having serious challenges. Sure, you can die, but most deaths fall under "oops, forgot to activate Gloom against Reflects Damage," or "I'm out of discipline, maybe I shouldn't have vaulted around like I was a rabbit on crystal meth," and are pretty easily corrected on Take 2. For the most part, it'll be one-shot kills vs things that can barely hurt you. Might get monotonous.
- This build isn't good for bragging rights. You're going to be doing several things that, while effective at PvM, set limits on your stat-sheet DPS and other stats, so you're unlikely to be recognized "best DH in the world" and other Demon Hunters might notice their (stat-sheet) DPS is higher than yours and make a couple jokes at your expense. If you feel like it, challenge them to an elite-killing contest (or try to get a top score in that category on the ladder website of your choice), which you'll probably win easily; if you don't feel ego-driven, just go farm more loot then sell some gold to fatten your PayPal account.
In short, if you look at Brother Laz's demographics (which he very cleverly stole from one Mark Rosewater), this is a very Spike build, focusing on resource management and timed trials. If you're a Timmy, you might still enjoy this (big numbers! instant speed!), but you'd still need a bit of Spike in you to be happy with this. If you're a Johnny, this build doesn't proc anything, sets nothing up, and really does nothing but kill things; run away now.
Right Click: Fire at Will. The only choice for Multishotting; as cool as Suppression Fire sounds, it has a prohibitive cost and will never work. Keep this on right click so you always have control over where it goes and don't have to play any stupid hold-position games. This does instant damage without a projectile, so the Missile Dampening affix has no effect on you, and it's pretty easy to interrupt ranged-attack trash-mobs trying to fling crap at you by attacking them into a hit recovery animation. If you're going to be a little suboptimal and try spamming some other skill like Ball Lightning or something*, put it here and keep the build otherwise the same.
Left Click: Trail of Cinders. This is the preferred Vault rune. Since the 1.05 nerf, a lot of people instantly switched to Tumble, but I enjoyed Trail a lot in 1.04 so I gave it a chance. Trail proved itself to me as the correct choice. Here's the easiest way to explain it: why go with with something whose only benefit is reduced discipline cost unless you are continuously running out of discipline while Preparation is still on cooldown? If you are running out of discipline, you can fix it by getting the legendaries I recommend below, then use Trail. If you are truly poor (or just too cheap) and can't afford even those legendaries, then Tumble might actually be okay, if it is truly helping you with discipline management. As soon as you don't need it any more, switch to Trail.
...what did you say?... oh, you want to know why this is in the left click? Well, with a proper build you really don't need hatred generators, at all. When 1.05 came out I was running Evasive Fire - Hardened in there, partly because it allowed me to destroy piles of bones at instant speed (no projectile) without Discipline loss, and partly because trololololol. After a while I realized that, if these were my top 2 considerations when picking a hatred generator, I simply needed to do better. I also realized that you can set "hold position" to any key you want, including your previous Vault hotkey. So I switched hold position to "2," and that's what you should do too (not necessarily 2). It takes a while to get out of the left-clicking-on-everything habit, but in a couple hours you can retrain yourself, and you've just freed up a skill on your skill bar.
If your hatred-regen kung fu is weak, but you still want some Multishot practice, you can put a hatred generator here... the closer you get to hatred-regen mastery, the less and less you'll use it, so virtually anything is acceptable here, but a little bird told me Hungering Arrow - Puncturing Arrow is the choice of serious players (something about it having the best median, not mean, damage per shot, or something, I wasn't really paying attention).
1: Spitfire Turret. After the 1.05 upgrades, this skill is now officially amazing and pretty much superior to all versions of Rain of Arrows*. The longer any particular engagement lasts, the better this gets, and with 175% weapon damage a shot (plus some random rockets) it doesn't take long for one quick action to equal thousands of % weapon damage, dealt while you're Multishotting away. Any time you roll up on an elite pack, you want to drop one of these as a DPS multiplier a la WD's Big Bad Voodoo. These also compensate nicely for some of Multishot's issues with monsters that like to swarm (soul lickers), monsters that like to pop up one at a time (winged molocks, cliff-climbing ghouls, cloaked snakemen), or monsters that appear solo and take too long to kill (tremor demons, colossal golgors). The one thing to keep in mind is that this has a cooldown and is best saved for elite battles, so using it on "annoying" whites can be a little risky; Vigilant Watcher might lose some damage but provides some serious competition with its reduced cooldown. Don't waste your time with the aura-turrets, their area of effect is too small and you're too mobile.
2: Gloom. We don't want to pay extra for life leech on our weapon if we can avoid it (even if we do, for some reason we can't get 6% life steal like the other classes can (unless we dual wield, which sucks)). Gloom is the best for making a glass cannon somewhat tanky, but Night Bane and Blood Moon both have some things going for them. However, the core skill is mandatory, or Reflects Damage will rape you. I recommend putting this right next to Spitfire Turret on your controls so you can get in the habit of pressing both at the same time when you see an elite pack. Who actually takes the time to check affixes on elites before firing at them? Answer: not you. Gloom up first, ask questions later. Actually, forget the questions, just shoot them.
3: Invigoration. Again, the core skill is mandatory, but we have a couple rune choices here. Backup Plan is the high-risk, high-reward, while Invigoration is the consistent option. I like me some consistency. Don't both with Battle Scars, you get more than enough healing with Gloom.
4: Bat Companion. You need the hatred regen. Mandatory. You only need to press this once per run (plus once per death) so keep your fingers over "hold position" and skills 1-3, with this somewhere off to the side.
Mandatory Passive: Vengeance. This is the bread and butter of the build and is absolutely mandatory. Without this there is no way you could possibly keep up on Hatred (20 per globe!), and almost no way you could keep up with Discipline (that one way is 4-piece legacy Nat's, which kind of gimps you and costs an arm and a leg. I'll pass). The extra 25 max Hatred is just gravy.
Mandatory Passive: Tactical Advantage. If you don't run this, you've just let all those barbarians outrun you (they have Sprint last time I checked). So much for claiming fastest farming class then.
Passive of Choice. Your third passive actually allows you to make some choices. The usual suspects are Archery and Steady Aim, both of which have their pros and cons. Steady Aim has a greater damage potential, but it encourages kiting and discourages damn-the-torpedoes, full-speed-ahead pathing that leads to a faster run time. Archery has a much weaker effect, but is up all the time and doesn't encourage suboptimal pathing; also, as your crit chance increases as you get better and better gear, it becomes less of a sacrifice (although Steady Aim will always do more when you have your distance). If you have high DPS but have really neglected your survivability and/or Discipline, Perfectionist isn't a horrible choice. However, those are your main three options; the other passives don't compare well.
*Variation: No-Generator Bow Ball Lightning Build
- Use a bow instead of a crossbow (most likely Windforce, since the knockback allows for multihit combos).
- Use Ball Lightning instead of Multishot.
- If using Windforce, drop Sentry (no proc rate = no knockback) for Rain of Arrows - Dark Cloud.
- Still keep your Hatred regen up and refuse to run a generator like Hungering Arrow, and just spam Ball Lightning.
There are three legendary items that any Auction House user with 10 million or more gold as a budget would have to be crazy not to get for this build. Keep in mind that you don't need awesome ones, very cheap versions will suffice.
- Inna's Temperance. Okay, there are other items that can get you to 24% movement speed, but you need to be wearing a cloak so Tyrael's Might is out, and you want a lot of crit chance so only the most expensive Lacunis can fill the requirement.
- Stone of Jordan with Multishot skill bonus. You need to get to at least 65 Discipline, and this ring's bonus against elites is flat-out awesome anyway. No, it won't show up on your character sheet, but you'll like the way you look when killing elites. I guarantee it. Getting an awesome Multishot bonus like 6 or 7 isn't cheap, but getting 4 is pretty easy and, for your build, equivalent to 4% crit chance from a rare ring (that's also stat-sheet invisibile).
- Either Xephirian Amulet or 4-piece Natalya's. Again, you need more Discipline. One of these things is much cheaper than the other, thanks to the obscene price on Nat's Reflection, so it's pretty clear what the budget option is. Plus, it has a crazy amount of MF and GF built-in. Getting a moderate amount of Dex is very cheap, but getting crit chance (which you'd prefer) is a little more expensive. Crit chance and damage? Hope you're good at sniping auctions (if one's even available).
Offense (highest priority until benchmarks are met, then low priority)
- Weapon Choice: For Multishot, crossbow is mandatory, no exceptions. Try to get one with physical damage (instead of elemental damage), since you'll be getting at least 5% elemental damage on your Stone of Jordan and these crossbows tend to have the highest minimum damage. Of course critical damage and a socket are both good. Low-to-no priority for Multishot are attack speed, life leech, life on hit, and "chance to" effects like freeze or knockback; for the Ball Lightning variant, attack speed and "chance to" effects both gain value.
- Attack Speed: If a Multishot DH is a Jedi Knight, then the Increases Attack Speed affix is Force Lightning. Yes, it's powerful. It even has that something that gives it a popular appeal. However, it is of the Dark Side, and will lead to fear, suffering, etc. Why? Sure, more attacks per second increases your stat-sheet DPS... but it increases your damage per hatred zero. That's nothing. It also does nothing to help you one-shot trash mobs; it just lets you two-shot them faster (spending double hatred). I'm not saying attack speed is all bad; hell, on your Inna's pants and your quiver it's inescapable, and a 20% on a Dead Man's Legacy is better than a 10% by quite a bit. I'm just saying if someone is asking you to part with your hard-earned gold trying to get more attack speed, don't fall for it. It's a trap. (Okay, okay, no more Star Wars references.)
NOTE: After you meet the offensive benchmarks — and only after meeting offensive benchmarks — you can try dabbling in this a little. Also, the Ball Lightning variant likes attack speed significantly more because 1) attack speed increases projectile travel speed (Multishot, without a projectile, gains nothing in that department) and 2) the cost is lower, so you can get up to 1.95-2.31 attacks per second and spend hatred as fast as a multishotter with 1.3-1.54 attacks per second.
- Crit Chance/Multishot skill bonus: These are the same thing by the way, and if you can get a deal on Multishot bonus in lieu of "true" crit chance for a budget build, go for it. Anywho... when it comes to Act 3 trash mobs, even on MP0, it's pretty difficult to one-shot them without a critical hit. Okay, it's not that hard on little crap like the scorpions, but big guys like the two-handed axe skeletons and the phase beasts simply aren't going down to a non-critical, and these are guys you want to one-shot. So you want insane amounts of crit chance, everywhere and anywhere you can get it, both of the type that shows up on your statsheet and the type that doesn't.
- Crit Damage: Up to a certain point, this mod lets you one-crit those big bad trash mobs mentioned earlier. Past that point, this is just extra damage against elites. I'm not saying that's bad, and it's definitely better than getting attack speed, but this isn't as big a priority as crit chance. Even then, up to 200% on your weapon is too much to pass up and getting crit+socket is more important than on-weapon Dex.
- Dexterity: If you're really poor, this one starts off as offense priority #1 (you don't need crit chance to one-shot trash mobs in Act1 MP0, and maybe not even Act2 MP0 but I haven't tested), and eventually moves down to offense priority #3 when you graduate to Act3, when crits are pretty much mandatory and you will sacrifice all to ensure a very high crit chance. (It's #3 because with so many crits, crit damage starts to gain value.)
- Benchmarks: Instead of telling you "you need this much DPS," a better test is just to try farming some content and seeing how the run goes. You're "there" on damage if:
- You kill most trash mobs in a single critical hit (for Act 3, two-handed skeletons and phase beasts need to go down in one, tremor demons and colossal golgars don't)
- You crit with Multishot over 50% of the time (both true crit and skill bonus apply here)
- Against an Extra Health elite pack, you can drop Sentry, spam away with Multishot, and don't run out of hatred
Resources and Adventuring (high priority, you can't get too much of these until they're maxed out or near-maxed)
- Max Discipline/Hatred Regeneration: Both are required on both quiver and cloak. No exceptions. However, you don't need max, +9 Discipline is still okay, and cloaks and rare quivers maxed at 1.17 hatred regen in 1.04 (now upped to 1.33 in 1.05), so you'll find a lot more of those available if you lower your standards to 1.00 or higher. Even two 0.70s is better than a single 1.33.
- Pickup Radius: This is a health-globe based build. Need I say more? You need at least one piece of gear to have this affix or you will go insane trying to make this work; even that is really skimping. Two or three is a much more reasonable number. However, this isn't like a Grave Injustice build where the enemies need to die within your pickup radius... this affix merely helps you optimize your pathing and is kind of like getting even more movement speed. If you're undergeared and having trouble, keep it at one or two affixes, and once you feel like you've mastered Act3 MP0 go ahead and pile on some more of this mod.
- Magic Find and Gold Find: Both of these are really good, the latter since you have to get some pickup radius anyway. Here's one way to look at this: you can either upgrade your gear to the point where you are effectively farming two MP levels higher, or you can get 3 items with MF/GF, or you can level to Paragon 100. Guess which one's easiest? Try to get to 300/300 with rares as soon as possible, then graduate to expensive legendaries slowly as you Paragon over the 300/300 mark.
Defense (medium priority until benchmarks, then zero priority)
- Life leech/life on hit: Utterly worthless to you. Shadow Power > that crap. Don't get it unless it's free.
- Armor and resist all: Although it's less efficient in terms of pure EHP, this is your preferred method to gain EHP. Why? In a way, Gloom is to you what Diamond Skin is to a windup wizard — this continually regenerating shell of life. If you increase your armor and resists, that shell absorbs more damage. If you increase your Vitality, you might have more EHP, but your Glooms don't get stronger. At a minimum, you need enough mitigation where you are at least breaking even when Glooming through Reflects Damage mobs — somewhere around 75% total mitigation, or 50% each in armor and resists (3150/315). The more you surpass this minimum, the more life you gain when attacking Reflects Damage under Gloom. Because monster health outpaces monster damage (and Reflects Damage doesn't change) as you gain MP levels, you don't necessarily need more of this going from one MP level to another; the increased DPS translates to enough increased life regen to keep on truckin'.
- Vitality/EHP: As mentioned earlier, you don't want vit to be the primary focus when gaining EHP, but you can't ignore it completely. In most cases, when you can get a +dex/+x affix, you want x=vit; armor and resist all affixes do a much better job than strength or intelligence ones, so you should still end up with a decent amount of vit from gear. However, avoid straight +vit affixes on your equipment (unless the deal is too good to pass up). The thing to understand here is that which Gloom up and you continuously doing damage, you'll be gaining vast amounts of health from life leach every second, so as long as you're not reduced from 100% to 0% in less than a second you'll be surviving as long as you have hatred and plenty of targets to shoot; you can be a glass cannon on paper and still tank as long as you're making the right moves.
Which MP level should I be farming? (Recommended stat levels)
Keep in mind that DPS needs to be hatred-efficient and we're talking about optimal farming speed (you can't just beat the content, you have to dominate it).
MP 0: 100k DPS, 200k EHP. The vast majority belong here.
MP 1: 150k DPS, 225k EHP. Most veteran multishotters will get here with time and dedication.
MP 2: 225k DPS, 260k EHP. Only elite multishotters belong here; the highest MP setting to realistically aspire to.
MP 3: 325k DPS, 300k EHP. Only the best DHs in the world belong here; this is not a realistic goal.
MP 4: 450k DPS, 340k EHP. Most likely impossible.
MP 5: Definitely impossible.
Other Notable Legendaries
- Dead Man's Legacy. If you find one with max discipline, this quiver has everything you could possibly want under one roof, except for MF and GF. Guaranteed crit chance, guaranteed skill mod (not necessarily Multishot but you'll find it), guaranteed hatred regen, a bunch of vit and dex. This quiver is good enough that you might want to skip a MF/GF quiver at low paragon levels and jump up to this.
- 2-piece Natalya's. Okay, technically this isn't one legendary, but getting the 2-piece set bonus for 7% crit chance up as soon as possible is important. I don't think it's "more-important-than-max-MF" important, but it's definitely high on your list after getting your paragon level up.
- Mara's Kaleidoscope. Technically, this is the best-in-slot amulet, but you can't go below 65 discipline so you'd want to get 4-piece Nat's online first. At best this can have a substantial amount of dex, vit, all resistance, crit chance, crit damage, and Multishot skill bonus. Although you'll no doubt love your Xephie to such an extent that you nickname it, the uberrich will eventually want to trade it in for this monstrosity. Be warned, though, the price on such a thing would be astronomical.
Last but not least, your follower. Actually, all three options are at least somewhat viable:
- The Templar does nothing to increase your DPS, and his DPS is horrible, but he does help with Hatred regen. A solid choice if you're undergeared by either lacking hatred regen from gear or having trouble one-shotting trash.
- The Enchantress does the most DPS (especially with her awesome, Mark-of-Death-like Erosion) and can equip the Grand Vizier, making her one of the best at boosting your MF and GF. She does increase your attack speed though, so if you were thinking about using the Templar to solve your resource problems, avoid her.
- The Scoundrel gives you the biggest (non-Erosion) DPS boost, and did I mention how awesome more crit chance is for you? However, his DPS is a little weaker than the enchantress and there are no good MF/GF weapon options for him, so you'd have to get it all from rings. The best paragon 100 choice, but quite possibly not the best while leveling up.
13-14NOV: Compiled and uploaded higher-quality version of same YouTube videos; edited YouTube links.
15NOV: Gave Tumble a more positive review in skills section. Reformatted Ball Lightning variant and gave it more treatment in gear section. Renamed and edited "required items" section to be more self-found friendly. Rated affix categories in order of importance. Added offensive benchmarks and included comment on how attack speed might be okay after meeting them. Added some benchmarks for each MP level.