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1.0.5 and the tank DH

Discussion in 'Demon Hunter' started by Karth, Oct 12, 2012. | Replies: 9 | Views: 6053

  1. Karth

    Karth IncGamers Member

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    So what do you guys think is gonna happen here? I'm seeing a chance for tank DHs to regain some ground in 1.0.5 but I don't really have the gear/unallocated gold on the live server to make a good test of it on the PTR.

    My best effort testing with a ~670 dps, 180 total crit damage, 900 LoH dagger and what tanky gear I could assemble cheaply gives me new hope for the revival of my DH. I was surviving though not thriving; I don't have all the little expensive bits that would really bring it together. For the record, my possible noobish build looked like this:

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#UZkYgT!XVf!YYcbYY

    ...keeping in mind the skill changes for 1.0.5.

    Do you think tank DHs are going to make a comeback, or at least be viable again? Higher MP levels would, in my mind, make a tanky build advantageous over a glass cannon since you won't be able to kill things instantly, not to mention that I consider tanky builds more party-friendly.

    What skills do you think you'll end up using? On top of slows, CC abilities are getting a lot stronger - this is part of why I found Stun Grenades useful.

    PS: anyone have a link to up-to-date DH proc coefficients? All my links are pre-1.03 and make it a bit difficult to plan ahead. :/

    Edit: To anyone who has a DH with tank-ish gear and is on the PTR, if you feel like doing a gear swap with or without re-importing I would appreciate it. I have a well-geared dual wield ww/sprint barb with a variety of gear swaps you could test with him (including a decent throwbarb setup).
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  2. Kalixian

    Kalixian IncGamers Member

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    I have a pretty good tanky DH with dual LoH 1hxbows, I'd be happy to copy onto PTR and give you the gear if you want to test stuff.

    I'm hoping to use strafe in 1.05 but I'll probably mess around with the 1.03 grenades build too.

    My battle tag is in the link.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Kalixian-1213/hero/6279421
  3. Kalixian

    Kalixian IncGamers Member

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    Nvm. Still experimenting.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  4. Greizer

    Greizer IncGamers Member

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    *Ahem* (Warning, monster post ahead! :soapbox::jig:)


    Since ToC's fun-coefficient was nerfed by Fat Jay's evil executive decision, I've been experimenting with ways to make the DH actually fun to play again. I think I've found something very viable; I don't remember the threads but I gathered ideas both here and in-game. Basically it's a Grenade build, made possible by the boosts to various skills that were introduced with 1.0.5.

    Here is the build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/demon-hunter#UQgkVh!eVf!ZaYcbb

    Rationales for the various skills, briefly:

    1. Left-click: Grenades. I tried using Bola Shot for a while, but out of the generators the Grenades are imo the best choice for a tanky build. The Bolas have a delay that can prove deadly when encountering tougher mobs; also, the Grenades are somewhat faster to clear trash with and seem to trigger LoH a bit more (may just be in my mind though). The biggest benefit, however, is that you don't have to aim at all with the Grenade skill; you just hold down the LMB and spam it, filling the whole screen with explosions. It lets you be more alert with the defensive skills when your main attack is a no-brainer.

    I haven't tried the different Grenade runes much, but it seems that Cluster Grenades is the way to go. The reason is clear: the mass AoE makes up for the Grenade skill's inherently poor aiming capacity, turning it into a strength as I just described. As an added bonus, it feels VERY good to have a screen full of spiders explode from the napalm-like fireworks! So far this more than makes up for the relative monotony of the build compared to more 'traditional' kiting builds.

    2. Right-click: Here the options are wide open(ish). I'm using Spike Trap with Echoing Blast atm, because I have nothing that can break snares and the LoH from EB ticks while you're frozen, saving your life plenty of times. There is likely to be a better option, but you must keep in mind not to steal too much Hatred from Sentry, which is a major component of the build. Also, imo it's too distracting to try and spam two projectile skills at once (like Grenades + Ball Lightning), although it can be done. This somewhat limits the available options.

    3. Shadow Power with Gloom. Needed to put the 'tank' in 'tank DH', 'nuff said. You can spam it constantly if you have an old Nat's set or enough +Disc. I have only the base 30 and it hurts, but the build is viable even with base Disc.

    4. Sentry w/ Guardian Turret. The total 50% Damage Reduction from Gloom + GT = sweet cheese sandwich (you may quote me on that equation!). Together with Life Steal / LoH this makes you near-immortal in most situations, depending on armor/res ofc. Aid Station might be another option here, but with 40k life it only adds 400 life per sec, and I'm pretty sure GT is better.

    5. Preparation w/ Battle Scars. Tbh I only use this because I have base Disc and need an 'oh-****' button for freezes and stuff. Vault w/ Tumble might be a more logical option, but somehow I hate to use Vault if it's not my actual attack skill. It's very disorienting to dart around like that somehow. This is more of a mental quirk of mine than a sound strategic decision, so try both or even a third skill (maybe Caltrops? Rain of Vengeance?); YMMV.

    6. Companion: Boar. The 15% extra res all + 155 life per sec are very good for a tank build. I cannot think of a decent alternative. Yeah, the Boar dies all the time on the higher MP levels, especially since you do close combat. That's what the recast button is for, boyo.

    Passives:

    1. Archery. Dee - pee - ess, can you spell it boyo? I knew you could. You can't really use Steady Aim with this build, so use Archery to get some dmg done.

    2. Numbing Traps. The 20% extra DR% is the icing on a very cold cake that seals the legend of your immortality. You may learn to tolerate some deaths or have gg enough gear in order to choose something else, but what other good alternatives are there? Maybe Cull the Weak if you've got a nice +cold% SoJ. Hmm, SoJ can also have +12% Grenade dmg. Hail Mary! This plus 14% from cloak means 26% more dmg. Add the extra +dmg% to elites from the SoJ... I think we have a winner here. The only choice then becomes whether to replace Numbing Traps or the third passive with Cull the Weak.

    3. I use Perfectionist atm, but I'm not sure I really need it. I think I'd rather give up this than Numbing Traps tbh.

    There may be other good passive choices, but I haven't experimented much as of yet. Do report your finds if you have.


    Edit: Went ahead and bought a SoJ w/ 10% increased Grenade dmg and 6% cold dmg for 3,5 mill. Sadly it only has 20% dmg vs elites, which may explain the low price ofc. I know the prices of Legs are in freefall due to increased drop rate, but I simply couldn't resist trying this out. So far so good - swapped out Perfectionist for CtW, and both elites and trash are dying that much faster. Definitely give it a try if you can afford a nice SoJ.

    * * *

    About the potential power of the build: on MP3, I can somewhat tank Xah'Rith's ice rain that would kill me in seconds with any other build. So yeah, nerfbat incoming.

    I run MP 3 for keys atm; I only die to Molten, Frozen or Desecrator packs with bad combos, and even then mostly due to carelessness. I think from the pov of keyruns harder MP levels are not worth it with my gear level. On MP 0 and MP 1 the next MP level brings a 100% increase in key finding chance, and the jump from MP 2 to MP 3 is still 50%. After that there's less and less relative benefit.

    Here are my stats, for the record:

    38k life
    ~400 all res with Boar (I'm transitioning from a pew-pew build; I guess ideally res should be 600-700.)
    940 life per sec w/ Boar
    770 LoH
    2,4% Life Steal
    Health Globe bonus 8800 (the SoJ I just bought took away 11k... Ouch! Ideally you should have enough so that a potion heals you to full; this is a very important new stat imo.)
    Pickup Radius +6 (You should have 15-20 imo. Hard to get if you're on a budget, as its value is finally being realized.)
    4k armor
    1.81 aps (Manticore + DML... Haven't tested 2 hand xbows. Mass LoH may be overkill for survivability. A shield would make you ridiculously hard to kill, but I'm pretty sure it's not worth it due to the lost dps.)

    Last but not least,

    62k dps w/ Archery bonus included but NOT Cull the Weak (which should be always active due to the +cold SoJ, right?) Low dps as all tank builds, but it is enough for now. Upgrades are very expensive when you don't play very much... Luckily that might change due to the fun I'm having with this build.

    * * *

    Lastly, pros and cons of the build that I can think of right now:

    Pros:

    1. Iron survivability with decent dps. Running to your dying spot is a major timesink in this game; survivability is therefore key for good farming speed (imo). A Ball Lightning build kills trash a bit faster, but the danger from Elites is much bigger with it. Not to mention that it's boring to play (imo).

    2. Inexpensive to gear for (relatively speaking). 20-30 million gold will buy you very decent gear for the build, especially if you bid and/or snipe good deals.

    3. Customizable to your liking. I'm still experimenting with my right click and the extra spot on my bar, and the passives could likely be adjusted too.

    4. Very fun to play with (so far). Although simple spamming may not sound very enticing, I'm thrilled with this build, in contrast to the Whirlwind and Archon cookie-cutter builds which bored me to death (literally enough).

    4. Could potentially scale up *very* well with uber gg gear. I imagine tanking the MP 10 ubers may be possible, even easy with 700 res, 50k life and the like. The problem might be that Legacy Nat's gets in the way of other survival stats than Disc in a big way... Someone with a few billion in the bank could do me a favor and try this build out. ;)

    Cons:

    1. As it is a 'tanky' build, expect Blizz to pull out the nerf-hammer when the word gets out. Until Fat Jay stops dictating the way that players should have their fun, proceed with caution when investing in new gear for tanky DH builds.

    2. Could get boring eventually with the 'spam spam spam' type gameplay of the build. Not a big danger for me, as I loved the Light Sorc in D2.

    3. You need *some* capital for the gear to make the build work, but if you haven't got 30 million by now you either play too little or refuse to use the RMAH, in which case you can only blame yourself (imo).


    Now Blizz, please listen to common sense and do not nerf the fun out of my new build... 'Cause if you do that, I might just be done with this and all future Blizzard games.
  5. drebb

    drebb IncGamers Member

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    I have to admit, thank you so much for this build! I've always been pretty poor gearwise and my DH is actually viable now. :)
  6. Greizer

    Greizer IncGamers Member

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    You're welcome, drebb. :)

    Btw I just noticed that Grenades can be used with *any* weapon, not just bows... This means that Skorn is usable, and dex Skorns are the cheapest ones. I'm not sure how the low speed would affect LoH though... And even with dex, life steal Skorns are expensive. With a good 1-hand weapon a shield may become viable after all... The options are intriguing; too bad I don't have the funds to test them out in full. I'll have 20 million coming from a sale soon enough, then I can test Skorn and maybe some other weapons. If someone's already done it, I'd appreciate the input.

    Edit: I forgot that two-handed bladed weapons are not usable by DHs... I hope people didn't have time to buy their Skorns yet. :) So, either bows or 1-hand + shield seem to be the options here.

    Edit2: Burning Axe of Sankis adds +25% to fire dmg. Guess what the dmg type of Grenades is? No need to guess, I'll just tell you: it's fire! :jig::jig: Gentlemen (and the ladies), it's your lucky day.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  7. Kalixian

    Kalixian IncGamers Member

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    Good build. I swapped the boar with tumble. Being able to get out of dodge is more important than the minor resist boost IMO. The rest of the skill choices are all good. Echoing blast works really well.

    It's important to note that the grenades and sentry and spike trap all proc numbing traps. So if you have monsters all around you, kind of spray the grenades around the screen to hit all the monsters. The numbing lasts three seconds, so you can keep numbing up on all the monsters rather easily.
  8. Greizer

    Greizer IncGamers Member

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    You may be right about Vault vs Boar, especially on the higher MP levels where the Boar dies all the time. Tbh I picked it mostly because it's the best of the pets and the pet is a 'non-spammable' skill; there are only so many things that you can pay attention to at any one time. I originally picked the DH precisely because you don't have to spam a billion short buff skills all the time. Gloom spam every 5 secs is pretty bad in this regard, but if it's death or spam, I'm a happy spammer. :nod:

    I've done some more experiments. I'm waiting on my big money to buy a decent Burning Axe of Sankis, but I tested another weapon for its effect: the Butcher's Sickle. The Grenades trigger the pull effect like mad, pulling all enemies to you in huge clumps, making them ideal targets for grenading to kingdom come. :jig: Unfortunately the Sickle is rather lacklustre dmg-wise for higher MPs, but I think it can be used on MP 0-2 for faster trash clearing.

    I've fiddled around with skills, too, and I stumbled upon a totally mad build for lower MPs. Basically it combines good trash killing capability with fast Elite killing. I've never seen elites die so fast on a DH. The trick is to use Ball Lightning for the trash mobs; while Grenades are good, BL still kills them faster (although the Butcher's may change this). And for elites you spam Echoing Blast + Bola Shot at the same time. The dps is absolutely off the charts; elites explode in literally 1-2 seconds on MP 0. Granted that BL only takes 10 secs, but hey, faster is faster.

    On higher MPs this build will likely get you killed, as it lacks the defensive capabilities of the grenade build, although I'm sure it could be tweaked to be more survivable. This is not really a *tank* build, as such, just something I stumbled upon and thought I'd share, in case people don't know about it. You can lay all three traps down very fast and they all explode at the same time for 3 x 275% dmg, three times in a row! All the while spamming Bola Shot with the 20 yeard radius rune... It's the best choice, as you cannot wait for the bigger boom and you can't stun what's already dead.

    It's a pity that MP 0 farming is still optimal if you gather loot instead of keys, meaning that you sort of have to juggle between two different kinds of builds or use two different chars for loot hunting and key farming. Hopefully Blizz will tone down the ridiculous amounts of hp on the higher MPs and increase monster dmg for the right kind of challenge.

    This was sort of a rambling post but there you go... I will report back on the Burning Axe of Sankis in a day or so.

    Edit: I didn't test the Butcher's Sickle vs. Elites yet, but if it affects them, it's huge, because Knockback and Nightmarish Elites are the bane of the new tank build. If the Elite doesn't come to Mohammad, wield a big-*** sickle and make the Elite come to you. Ok I'll go to sleep now, I clearly need it. I'm a bit stoked simply because there are finally actual choices in the game. It only took 6 months; is that a new Blizz record? :scratchchin:
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  9. Mn_Swe2

    Mn_Swe2 IncGamers Member

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  10. Greizer

    Greizer IncGamers Member

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    I've tested the Burning Axe of Sankis now... I could only afford a mediocre one + an equally uninspiring shield, meaning that my dmg dropped by over 20k when I switched over from my Manticore + DML. Ouch! Almost nothing can kill me on anything lower than MP5, and only Frozen, Molten & Desecrator packs with tough mods can take me down on MP5. However, the lost time due to lost dps (even with the 24% bonus) means that imo it's not worth it to switch over to 1 hand + shield. Perhaps if you can afford really good shield + weap though.

    In other news, I killed Maghda + Skelly king for the first time on MP5... God, what a hassle! I must've died 10 times before I humbly adopted a 'semi-kiting' style and wore them down gradually over 10 minutes. I did use the axe + shield for them because otherwise Maghda killed me in one hit with her TrueEvil Butterflies (Deckard-tested and disapproved -.-). Ofc, I didn't even get an organ for my troubles. The trouble with this pair is the spikiness of their dmg: you can't afford to die even once because they reset, and when you get hit with a laserbeam, Skelly king's WW and Maghda's butterfly soup + 10 random mobs all at once, well, gl grenading yourself out of that one. The answer is moar stats, as always, but frankly that answer is beginning to fail my test of patience...

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