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  1. #1
    IncGamers Member sneakytails's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    "The Mad Bomber"

    A Grenade/Trap/Melee Demon Hunter for solo and party play.

    1. Origins- The myth, the legend.

    "The Demon Hunter Tecmessa finally was completely consumed by her hatred, and took up the sword and the shield. It was not enough to see her enemies die a painful death from a distance, she wanted to taste and feel it, and end the battle by burning the remains into nothingness."

    "The other Demon Hunters thought Tecmessa mad, she became sullen and began to construct exploding contraptions in dark lairs and hidden tombs, she went missing for days on end.."

    After becoming very frustrated with the game for some time and very slowly gearing up my character I decided to try something new for me and switch up my skills and equipment a bit. This build was the result, The build is based on a few other builds out there and some personal touches thrown in. This build is very FUN, and I am having the most fun in D3 since launch as a result. Mostly on MP0.

    The Pros:

    - Very fun build to play (especially in a party!)due to the use of a melee attack, spike traps (for big damage), and most of all grenades! Grenades are incredibly fun to use and bouncing them off objects and tossing them off from balconies on demons skulls is just too much fun. Its like dodge ball but with bombs and demons!
    - Less problems with Hatred and Discipline costs (you have a melee attack which uses no resources against white monsters and strays), less need to kite means less Discipline problems.
    - Fairly simple play style, You pretty much stay in a certain area while playing, your movement is limited during engagements and its tactical for the most part, way less kiting and you do not have to hit certain skills at exactly the right moment or risk death. The only exception would be Vault, but hey that is why its there.
    - Farming is actually fun with this play style.

    The Cons:

    - Not cheap, this type of character takes certain types of equipment to survive and kill well, since you want a lot of different stats on the same piece of equipment its not cheap. This build is best done by players who have been in Inferno for at least some time and have the resources. But at this point virtually all builds are like this in D3. Since I have only one toon I was able to do this eventually. Fortunately you can swing MP0 act 1 and 2 for less cost and still have a lot of fun in those earlier acts.
    - Weak against large/powerful Mobs, We DH's don't have the CQB CC skills that other classes have when monsters are close. Some monster combos will always cause problems as well in CQB and then some kiting becomes necessary.
    - Very limited range. (if this bothers you please check out a bow build)

    2. The Basics

    This character uses a one handed melee weapon (as a backup attack) and a shield. The free melee attack gives you a means to dispatch single (or small groups)white monsters and any strays you encounter, basically this saves you hatred and its fun. The ringing sound a sword makes when you slash a monster is sweet. Our melee attack is our 3rd or 4th choice remember for anything big (HP) and powerful or groups.

    Mostly you will be using Grenades as your main attack, this generates your Hatred for your more important and powerful spike traps, and of course our Sentry/Guardian Turrets (a staple of the build).

    The Sentry/Guardian Turret is where we do our fighting whenever we can, only in transit and getting bushwhacked will we not use it. Whoever is inside the the Guardian Turrets shield gets a damage reduction boost to their character of 15%. We combine the passive skill Numbing Traps to this to add another 20% damage reduction. However Numbing Traps is only active (for 3 seconds)when a monster is hit by a spike trap, a grenade or your sentry fire. This is why fighting with 2 sentries out is our goal during the battle. We need the extra fire to help hit more monsters.

    Where you stake your sentry is your battle field, placing it might require patience at times, they have a cooldown timer of 30 seconds so you cannot spam it. Pick a smart spot, stake it and fight!

    There are some differences between solo and party play with this character, its mostly movement oriented. More details later.

    3. The Skills

    Here are the skills, you should be able to find some leeway in your skill rune choices but the main skills themselves are part of the build idea and even lore.

    1. Main attack - Grenades (hatred generator)- skill rune : your choice, I like Firebomb.
    2. Secondary attack -Spike Trap (for big spike type damage)- skill rune : your choice, I use Long Fuse.
    3. Defensive/Offensive -Sentry- skill rune : Guardian Turret.
    4. Regular melee attack - for clean up or show off duty, no resources necessary.
    5. Evasive skill - Vault - skill rune : Trail of cinders. Have to have a way to exit the turret when CQB gets nasty with elites or huge mobs.
    6. Complementary skill- Marked for death- skill rune : Valley of death. This gives us more damage which really helps our melee attack and its fun to use. It works well in our Sentry shield zone, any monsters entering our zone take more damage when its active.

    Passives (you can mess with the last two if you want to experiment)

    1. Numbing Traps - Required for the build - Damage reduction rocks. When an enemy gets hits by a spike trap, grenade, or sentry bolt it has its damage reduced by 20% for 3 seconds.
    2. Tactical Advantage - We gain movement speed after vaulting with this and it helps in certain situations when making adjustments after a vault.
    3. Grenadier - This helps our hatred generation (which helps without godly gear) and leaves a (mostly) useless firebomb on the ground at our death location. Sometimes it works, sometimes it misses entirely. Those are the breaks.

    4. Strategy and tactics

    We basically have 3 goals while playing.

    1. Do as much of our fighting as possible from our Guardian Turret shield or also called our Trifecta of Pain (Sentry/Spikes/MFD), our Trifecta is when we have the time to deploy all 3.
    2. Mark as many of the monsters as possible, or the most damaging ones with a grenade, spike trap or sentry bolt for the extra damage reduction from numbing traps.
    3. Mark monsters with marked for death for extra damage. (our damage is much lower than many bow builds and we need any extra we can get)


    Solo is much more challenging than Party play, Your movements are much more deliberate and planned or things wont go smoothly.

    Basic solo combat goes something like this. We are moving through the map and spot our prey. We stop just before we are spotted and deploy our Sentry/Guardian Turret. If the monsters are close enough we mark them for death and then vault towards them causing them to chase, we then vault or run back to our shield. The monsters will be taking damage from our Trail of Cinders and starting to get hit by our sentry fire. We enter our shield and throw grenades at our prey. We also deploy spike traps and then if anything enters our zone our sword will finish the job. Thats a perfect situation and it will happen to you in game if you play this build enough. But you cannot count on combat to go like this all the time.

    The rest of the time its going to be messy, real messy. Things exploding left and right and your arm swinging like crazy. It can get hectic at times. Be ready.

    The safest course of action is to deploy your sentry at a strategic location, activate a marked for death inside the shield zone, throw some spike traps down quickly and then search for monsters. Not an exact science here, This works much better in crypt type environments while the former can happen a fair bit on more open maps. Then you lead them to their death. Sometimes they will be closing fast anyways. Make sure to get some grenades off for some hatred regeneration and damage.

    Sometimes we get swarmed very quickly or surprised while traversing Sanctuary. Thats when you throw down your Sentry/Guardian Turret and some spike traps, if you have time (most likely not in this situation) then spam some Marked for Death. Otherwise its Sentry, Spikes and Grenades. If things are really close then swing your sword. Oh and things will get close!

    So as you can see there will be times we plan our attacks and lots of other times when we are reacting to the monsters movements we got swarmed or just plain surprised.

    You will find that while playing solo there WILL be times where you are getting swarmed while a unique pack is on top of you as well, perhaps a bad affix combo to boot. Thats when you must regroup and vault out of danger and immediately on stopping you do your Sentry/Spike/MFD combo again. Start spamming Grenades at your approaching enemy ASAP. You must be flexible in your real-estate needs in some situations. We have flexible battle zone in our Sentry Guardian Turrets.

    You can be flexible with your Marked for Death spamming as well as Spike Traps, they do have more range than our Grenades, so use that extra range if you have the time. Having that extra time is really a gift so don't waste it.


    This is even more fun. The main strategy is to set up our battle zone on the outside flank of all the action, typically this mean a unique pack of monsters. Ideally you want to have some Barbarians and Monks in your party. This causes the monsters to slow in their movements (because they are concentrating on them) and you can spam till your hearts content. We can position our turrets for the most damage and also take care of any trash monsters that stray to us. We can strategically save our spike traps for the Unique packs or larger HP monsters and spam our Grenades for the most part.

    Party play is much easier than Solo, we are pretty much just chipping the edges of larger engagements here. We don't have enough melee stamina to really tank big packs, but we have to be closer to the action than the true bow Demon Hunters, we can take some hits, we have shield and a free Oh S$%^ melee attack. Use them!

    Most other players don't notice our Guardian Turrets, but if they would just stay under them they would take less damage. But I digress.

    If you are under-geared then the difficulty will be similar to solo play. Monsters HP and damage increase in party play.


    Over all this build does not have any major Hatred/Discipline problems. But there will be times such as very long engagements where you will run out of Hatred, perhaps even Discipline. (that has only happened to me once so far). For the most part spamming too many spike traps is what will get us into trouble with hatred supply. Our Sentry/Guardian Turrets have a cool down, so by the time two are timed out you should have spammed enough Grenades to recover. When things get rough, deploy Marked for Death and swing that steel!

    With good gear you can even do some fair amount of tanking of boss packs, but don't push it. Stay mobile and always fight from your trifecta of pain. There will be times when your party just isn't there, or you flubbed up royally. That is when Vault/Tactical Advantage earns it keep my friends.

    5. Gear

    We want 3 main stats from virtually all our gear:

    1. Vitality
    2. Armor
    3. Resistances

    Buying gear with the 3 main stats is very cheap. But we do need more for optimal playability, otherwise its act one forever, (could work for you if you like farming there though, its actually fun with this build)

    Secondary considerations include:

    1. Dexterity
    2. Critical Chance %
    3. LOH
    4.Critical Damage %

    The secondary considerations add tremendously to our gear prices. You MUST have SOME Critical chance and damage in your gear. For me I get it from my rings, amulet and sword. Thats its for me. I can play reasonably well, better gear is just faster and more fun. Critical chance on our shield, helm, gloves and bracers all will help tremendously. The less you have the lower the act threshold that you will have. Don't dwell over it if you are under geared just have fun in a lower act or difficulty even.

    We should aim for the best stats we can afford, but if you cannot afford that kind of plan or just want to try this with a minimal investment than I highly recommend MP0 act one inferno with some cheaper gear or perhaps Hell mode.

    For 200k a piece you should be able to get some decent enough gear. You will not get all the stats at that price range but you should get most just at lower amounts. Try to get a decent dex or vitality on at least each piece of gear, this will lessen the cost. You can also roll with less resistances and armor in the earlier acts, in that case splurge on dex.

    I use a sword for the "lore" aspect that I created but any good one hander would work. A socket is pretty much mandatory though unless you have decent Critical Damage on it already. You can swing lots of decent 900dps to 1000dps weapons for good prices on the AH now. The 1-2 million gold weapons of months past are now in the hundreds of k range. Big drop, means more tinkering.

    Things we really don't need. (but still awesome to have)

    1. IAS.
    2. Movement speed.
    3. Pickup radius
    4. xxxx health boost on health globe or potion use

    3 and 4 would really help but with our need for our main stats and needed secondaries the prices would go through our roof and another persons roof…. We do need dexterity for damage, its going to be low damage going with a melee weapon, this really causes a lot of stress on our budget and gear choices. I just think that with smart movement these others can be not as important. But they still are nice to have!

    Movement speed is really irrelevant here, we pretty much make smaller movements inside our Trifecta zone of pain, this build is about having fun not farming the fastest. I use Vault to cover ground in its place. Works okay.

    Having to balance 3 tiers of gear attributes is very difficult if not impossible in the current iteration of this game. Thats why buy the best gear you can afford and play the highest act (or difficulty) your gear tells you is good for you. If you cant swing act 3 or 4 so be it, if you can have fun out there!


    I recommend MP0 act one inferno for new players to this build, its easier paced and really lets you get the hang of the play style. Hell would even work for the under geared.

    That is it, hope you liked it. Try it out and have some fun! I will be playing this build for the foreseeable future.

    In the future I plan on adding more to this. Just need to keep playing more.

  2. #2
    IncGamers Member Haywire's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Coconut Grove, FL

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    Well thought-out write-up. Keep us posted.

  3. #3
    IncGamers Member sneakytails's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    I am working right now on a testing and write up of a "budget" full kit for 1.2 mil gold (buyout price). I will compare it to my personal kit in a post following the budget kit post. A bit more testing and writing is in order first.

  4. #4
    IncGamers Member sneakytails's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    This is a study of an example kit for a newly minted level 60 "mad bomber" finishing hell and entering inferno act 1 at monster power 0. This full kit was purchased on the Gold Auction house in North America in March of 2013. The prices are in the image for each item, I wrote them in digitally via Photoshop. The prices are also "buy it now" prices, All told this full kit came to 1.2 million gold. Now I overpaid on more than a few items here, some of them were great deals. By being picky and actually BIDDING on the items I could have just as easily knocked off 25 to 40% off the total cost! This would be great for the new player or some one just trying this out and coming from a different character class.

    Here are the characters stats when the gear is equipped on my level 60 Demon Hunter

    This gear ADDS the following stats to my base character stats (level 9 paragon).

    Strength - 405
    Dexterity - 937
    Intelligence - 276
    Vitality - 879 or 45,211 life
    Armor - 6,785
    Damage - 20,762.77

    Critical Damage Chance - 34%
    Critical Damage - 207%
    Block Chance - 14%
    Dodge Chance - 31.5% (some of this is from my base stats, no sure how much, most likely around 3-6%)
    Damage Reduction - 69.57%
    Resist All - 677
    % Life Bonus - 40%
    Life per Second - 487
    Life per Hit - 391

    Lightning, Cold and Arcane all received bonus's from the gear and came in at 755, 769, and 897 respectively.

    Stats that do not increase due to gear:

    Hatred - Base of 125
    Discipline - Base of 30


    Any Gold saved should go straight to a better weapon, in this case a sword. At 75,000 gold and lower damage than I wanted its the weak-point in the kit (But I was in a hurry, bought the whole kit in about 10 mins or less). The damage is lower as a result of this weapon, However the tanking ability is very good for a DH with good resistances, a very big life pool and high armor. All for an affordable price. My chest armor, helm, pants, and jewelry all had sockets and I used flawless gems in them for more stats. I found the gems while play testing the character in Act One Inferno.

    This character plays well although killing boss packs is much slower due to the weapon and lower dexterity stats. I am happy with the life pool and resistances as well as the Armor. The Armor on this character is higher than with my main gear (at many many times the cost).

    When in doubt party up, especially for the bosses and other heavy duty questing. The damage is low here and the very first priority should be the weapon followed by the gems. After this, upgrade each piece slowly over time, work your way up to higher Dexterity and Vitality stats. The strategy of going for one big stat like Dexterity or Vitality on a piece of gear and then flip flopping for the next one is very sound and saves a lot of cash. Just get sockets whenever you can to offset the lower second stat.

    Thankfully with this kit the only way is onwards and upwards.

    Up next will be a play video showing this kit and skills in action. After that my main kit comparison and its accompanying play video. More to come.

  5. #5
    D3 Amazon &
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    Nov 2003
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    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    Good idea and write up. Looking forward to updates.
    Rose: You're an alien? You sound like you're from the North.
    Doctor: LOTS of planets have a North!!!

  6. #6
    IncGamers Member MKdiabloii's Avatar
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    Aug 2005

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    Just finished Inferno with a similar build and using a sword and shield:!bUc!bacZbb

    My first DH was a lot of fun, but I wanted to try something without a bow. Chakram does give you some range, but the traps are the main damage source. If sentry didn't have a cool down or did a little more damage, I would've swapped it in for a 'purer' traps/devices character. Reading your post, I may go back and play with this.

    As far as play style: lay a couple spike traps along with a caltrop and then run back a bit or vault out of the way. Things are stuck just above the exploding trap. You can throw chakram or cluster bombs from a distance.

    Though caltrops and vault help, I still found it difficult to keep things from getting too close. I found a weapon with knockback + cluster bombs can create an arc of protection, keeping things back and stuck on top of a trap.

    Overall, this was a nice change and a lot of fun to play. And it always felt cool to be the only DH in a multiplayer game wielding a sword.

  7. #7
    IncGamers Member sneakytails's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    Demon Hunters are fun to play, your build sounds interesting, glad you had success with it.

    I agree, crowd control is the hardest part of the build or related builds, that's why playing solo is a lot more difficult. To me, group play is where this build and other iterations shine. That little bit of extra pressure being taken off just makes things go smoothly.

    Perhaps someday there will be a sword or other legendary one handed melee weapon with some sort of crowd control skill or attribute on it, things could get interesting if that happens.

    I hope to have some video shot by this Tuesday, edited and then up by the following week.

    I already have some editing to do on the text portion, I found some errors and some things could also be written a bit more clearly. I might bring in some more images as well. I plan on updating this over time.

  8. #8
    IncGamers Member sneakytails's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    Ultra lag today in D3 on my day off, was getting pings worse than dial up. People were dying left and right and leaving the game. Also my screen capture program just kills my FPS. So it looks like videos are a ways off if not entirely.

    In the short term I will update the text, fix some errors and use more images. I will still do the gear comparison.

  9. #9
    D3 Amazon &
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    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    I will place a link in the build guide sticky at the top of this forum.
    Rose: You're an alien? You sound like you're from the North.
    Doctor: LOTS of planets have a North!!!

  10. #10
    IncGamers Member snurrfint's Avatar
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    Mar 2009

    Re: The Mad Bomber - A Grenade/Trap/Melee DH for Solo and Party Play

    Once upon a time in the development cycle, blizzard had a passive skill to DH giving normal attack 100% increased dmg and 3 hatred/hit. Still mad they got rid of it. that would have made a melee DH viable I think. 200% weapon dmg is a pretty good dmg. Combined with Chakram - Shuriken Cloud and a bunch of other tools it would have made the dh comparable to the monk in the melee realm. At least dmg wise. A shame. :/


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