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Demon Hunter Natalya Lightning Build with Rain of Vengeance (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 8)

Last updated on Oct 21, 2016 at 09:00 by Deadset 38 comments

Table of Contents

The Natalya Demon Hunter takes the elegance of Strafe Strafe into a potent tool that resets the cooldown of Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance through the power of the Natalya's Vengeance set. This bursty, control oriented playstyle is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Rain of Vengeance Icon Rain of Vengeance Shade Shade Right Mouse Button Strafe Icon Strafe Drifting Shadow Drifting Shadow 1 Entangling Shot Icon Entangling Shot Justice is Served Justice is Served 2 Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy Pinpoint Accuracy 3 Smoke Screen Icon Smoke Screen Displacement Displacement 4 Vengeance Icon Vengeance Dark Heart Dark Heart
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Rain of Vengeance Icon Rain of Vengeance Shade Shade Right Mouse Button Strafe Icon Strafe Drifting Shadow Drifting Shadow 1 Entangling Shot Icon Entangling Shot Justice is Served Justice is Served 2 Companion Icon Companion Wolf Companion Wolf Companion 3 Smoke Screen Icon Smoke Screen Displacement Displacement 4 Vengeance Icon Vengeance Dark Heart Dark Heart
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

3. Rotation

The build begins runs with an activation of Vengeance Vengeance, a major survivability and damage buff that should be kept up permanently with the assistance of a worn Dawn Dawn. The primary dynamic of the spec is between channeling Strafe Strafe and using a generator, to maintain your Hatred reserves high and keep the Wraps of Clarity Wraps of Clarity and Bastions of Will set buffs going. The spender and generator skills will interact with the Natalya set and reset your Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance cooldown, which is the major source of damage in the build. The second contributor to your killing potential in Greater Rifts is Fan of Knives Fan of Knives; it is to be used only during the Lightning proc of your cubed Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, and only at a decent number of stacks from Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan — at least 15, but preferably the maximum 30. Finally, use Smoke Screen Smoke Screen sparingly when expecting bursts of damage coming your way.

4. Skills, Runes and Passives

Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance is the primary damage dealer of the build; the Natalya set 2-piece bonus lowers the significant cooldown of the skill by 4 seconds when you hit an enemy with a Hatred-generating or Hatred-spending attack, allowing you to chain cast Rain of Vengeance in the thick of battle. Using it will also trigger the damage effect of the Crashing Rain Crashing Rain belt, producing the signature burst of the build. The rune of choice is Shade Shade, whose larger AoE and Fan of Knives Fan of Knives elemental synergy in GRs make it a superior choice.

To reset the centerpiece of the build, we will be using Strafe Strafe; a skill that long struggled for viability, it fits snugly into the Natalya mechanics by allowing you mobility and fast resets, coming from the constant damage ticks inherent to its channeled nature. The preferred rune is Drifting Shadow Drifting Shadow, as unimpeded movement speed is a crucial part of the agile combat style of Demon Hunters.

With the rebalancing in Patch 2.4, you have a degree of freedom when choosing your generator. Entangling Shot Entangling Shot emerges as a viable option, as its slow helps control combat and proc Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, and resources remain steady with the 7 Hatred generating Justice is Served Justice is Served. The classic choice of Evasive Fire Evasive Fire with its strongest rune for Hatred restoration, Focus Focus, remains a viable choice. Regardless of your preferred skill, alternating a few seconds of channeling with a generator shot is the best way to keep Hatred high and maintain the Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint set bonus, as well as Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass' bonus in the cube.

As previously mentioned, when pushing Greater Rifts Fan of Knives Fan of Knives will be the second major damage dealer of the build — taken with the strongest rune Pinpoint Accuracy Pinpoint Accuracy, sitting at the impressive 1600% damage. The increased cooldown of the rune is of little consequence, as you will be waiting on the stacks of Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan, building up at 1 stack per second, and synchronize with the Lightning proc of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements (you will reach 15 stacks for one full cycle of CoE and the full 30 stacks at two cycles). Considering its significant buildup time and burst potential, judicious use of Fan of Knives Fan of Knives in GRs is strongly advised. When speedfarming, the significant timing and build up mechanics of Fan of Knives Fan of Knives will be excessive, so it is recommended that you swap this skill slot for the general damage increase of the Companion Companion Wolf Companion Wolf Companion cooldown.

The very embodiment of glass cannon, the Demon Hunter usually adopts at least one protective mobility skill. The Natalya build is no exception, incorporating the disappearance mechanic of Smoke Screen Smoke Screen to synergise with Strafe Strafe — as it does not interrupt the channeling. To double up as a movement tool, take the Displacement Displacement rune — it will allow you to move fast between fights, outrange enemy affixes, or even skip unfavorable packs (i.e. Reflect Damage).

Using the skill and item reworks surrounding Vengeance Vengeance to their advantage, Natalya Demon Hunters take the skill into the build and strive for its permanent uptime through a worn Dawn Dawn. This potent 40% damage buff will also reduce incoming damage in half from the Dark Heart Dark Heart rune, assisting the survival of this mid-range DH setup.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Ambush Ambush complements the burst-oriented nature of the build, frontloading your damage potential against newly encountered enemies. The multiplicative nature of the passive sweetens the 40% damage increase offered, and leads to the unrivaled performance of Natalya against trash packs.

Cull the Weak Cull the Weak amplifies your damage against Slowed or Chilled enemies by 20%. This potent multiplicative passive gets triggered by Entangling Shot Entangling Shot (if you chose it as your generator), by the Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker and Intimidate Intimidate slows from your Templar companion, and by secondary stats on your gear.

Awareness Awareness will be used in Greater Rift progression as a last line of defense in the paper thin protection of the Demon Hunter. It is a cheat death on a decent 60-second cooldown, coupled with a brief window of safety and life regeneration when triggered, and you will find yourself thankful you picked it up the higher you try to climb in Greater Rifts. When speedfarming, this slot is best replaced by Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance. Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance will not only expand your Hatred pool, but also enables a Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps-like effect that replenishes both Hatred and Discipline when picking up health globes. This passive will benefit immensely from the cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band and result in stable resources despite the heavy spending in speedruns.

Leech Leech rounds out the passive choices for the Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance build when pushing, supplying you with a steady source of Life per Hit that scales with Life per Kill in the secondaries. Synergizing with the Toughness from the Natalya set, Dark Heart Dark Heart and Wraps of Clarity Wraps of Clarity, this passive allows the rare opportunity for a Demon Hunter to sustain and heal through damage in GRs. As you progress your character, the healing of this passive will become overkill in speedruns, allowing you to run the movespeed increase of Tactical Advantage Tactical Advantage instead.

The recommended fifth passive if you manage to obtain a well-rolled Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet is Steady Aim Steady Aim, changed into a 20% multiplicative increase as long as you maintain a reasonable 10 yard distance from the enemy. While Natalya dives in closer than most DH builds when dumping a stacked Fan of Knives Fan of Knives, the build still maintains a medium distance in between those bursts, allowing the passive to take effect. Other options include Night Stalker Night Stalker to make Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass maintenance easier, or Numbing Traps Numbing Traps to reduce incoming damage as you slow enemies down with Entangling Shot Entangling Shot or dive in with Fan of Knives Fan of Knives.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build takes advantage of the full Natalya set bonuses, taking six of the available seven pieces and opening up the jewelry slots for the damage multiplication of the Bastions of Will set. With the Patch 2.4 revisions, the importance of cooldown reduction and attack speed stacking has been greatly reduced, but it is still recommeded to reach a comfortable 40% CDR to achieve permanent Vengeance Vengeance and 2:1 ratio of generator to Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance uses.

Rolls-wise, this cooldown-based playstyle makes good use of CDR across gear. Double Crit stats alongside high Dexterity and Vitality are sought after on Natalya's Touch Natalya's Touch. Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance % bonus is taken on the Natalya's Embrace Natalya's Embrace, alongside Dexterity and Vitality. Natalya's Leggings Natalya's Leggings, Natalya's Sight Natalya's Sight and Natalya's Bloody Footprints Natalya's Bloody Footprints are dedicated purely to Toughness, and the ideal roll would include Chance to Slow (pants) or Immobilize (boots) in the Secondary stats. As a final note, the desired stats on Natalya's Slayer Natalya's Slayer are high damage range, Dexterity, Damage % and Cooldown Reduction, along with as high of a natural Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance % you can find.

The preferred companion to Natalya's Slayer Natalya's Slayer is the one-handed crossbow Dawn Dawn — with Vengeance Vengeance reworked into a universally desired buff, reducing its cooldown up to 65% and achieving permanent uptime through gear is an opportunity you cannot pass lightly. It is important to equip your highest damage crossbow as your mainhand, as Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance and Crashing Rain Crashing Rain only take the mainhand into account for their damage calculation. As such, the offhand will be a pure stat stick, where you can even roll the damage range away in favor of other helpful primary stats: CDR, Area Damage, or elite damage %.

Crashing Rain Crashing Rain is the mandatory choice for the belt slot, as its unique power (tied to Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance activation) produces a significant portion of your burst. With the property ranging from 3000 to 4000%, it is important to try to obtain as high of a percentage as you can. In the ideal case, a Freeze % roll will also be present in the Secondary stats.

Not skipping on any of the pieces required to obtain the 6 set bonus — of course, without the Natalya's Reflection Natalya's Reflection — allows you to use a powerful offensive combo in the jewelry: the Bastions of Will set, Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. These rings offer a whopping 2.25 independent damage multiplier as long as you alternate between a primary and spender attacks — which, incidentally, mirrors the exact tactic of this build. Aim for Crit Chance, Crit Damage, and an open Socket.

Completing the jewelry, you have a number of options for the amulet slot. Arguably your best option would be a well rolled Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet, with a helpful fifth passive like Steady Aim Steady Aim, Night Stalker Night Stalker or Numbing Traps Numbing Traps. You could also attempt a safety route, and make yourself immune to Reflect Damage through Xephirian Amulet Xephirian Amulet, as reflected damage now elementally matches your own. Other variants include the cooldown-centric The Flavor of Time The Flavor of Time, or the grouping of The Ess of Johan The Ess of Johan to ease AoE. Regardless of your choice, the desired stats are Crit Chance, Crit Damage, an open Socket, and Lightning elemental damage.

While more durable than the average Demon Hunter build in Greater Rifts, the Natalya spec still adopts the Wraps of Clarity Wraps of Clarity bracer to reduce damage taken by up to 35% for 5 seconds after using a Hatred Generator. Along with the Bastions of Will set, this item fortifies the position of a primary skill in the build, and makes it hard for you to forget punctuating the Strafe Strafe channeling with regular generator shots. When speedfarming, it is recommended to switch away from the progression-oriented Wraps of Clarity Wraps of Clarity, as their protection is overkill and the slot is best taken by a utility legendary. Wearing either Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers or Warzechian Armguards Warzechian Armguards will speed up your clears, the former with more frequent elites, and the latter — with environment destruction speed boosts.

Patch 2.4 sees the introduction of a new legendary shoulder specifically targeting channeling builds — the aptly named Mantle of Channeling Mantle of Channeling. Natalya Demon Hunters fall right into that category with their perma-Strafe Strafe, and enjoy the 25% increase in damage dealt and 25% decrease in damage taken. Stat-wise, aim to roll Cooldown Reduction, Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance % and Area Damage.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Socket
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance %
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Vitality
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance %
  4. Vitality
  5. Hatred Regeneration
  6. Max Discipline
  7. Reduced damage from Elites
Wrists
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Lightning Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Life per Hit
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Vitality
Waist
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Freeze % (Secondary stat)
Legs
  1. Dexterity
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Slow % (Secondary stat)
Feet
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Lightning Damage
  5. Dexterity
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Dexterity
  5. Area Damage
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Dexterity
  5. Area Damage
Weapon #1
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Weapon Damage
  3. % Weapon Damage
  4. Dexterity
  5. Cooldown Reduction
Weapon #2
  1. Dexterity
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Area Damage
  4. Elite Damage Increase

6. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Dexterity
  3. Maximum Hatred (up to personal preference)
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Life %
  3. Armor
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Resource Cost Reduction
  2. Area Damage
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find

7. Gems

The first two of your jewelry sockets will be necessarily taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped and Taeguk Taeguk. Your third gem slot will vary between Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken (high end pushing), Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful (low to moderate GRs) and Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder (Torments).

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem will be procced by Entangling Shot Entangling Shot, secondary stats on your gear and your AI companion, usually armed with Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
  • Taeguk Taeguk is taken as a rare hybrid of defense and offense among the legendary gem options, with continued Strafe Strafe channeling keeping the stacks capped. Learning to balance your Hatred through generators so you can perma-Strafe takes time, but is well worth it for the Taeguk DPS and Toughness build up.
  • Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful's duration scales very well with levels, and having a low uptime on a decently leveled gem is a telling sign that the rift is unfavorable anyway (winding layout, lacking density, insufficient elites). The gem's default 20% damage increase has been reworked into multiplicative, and the level 25 bonus now increases AND reduces elite damage by 15%, making it a well-rounded choice for many builds. For extremely high end pushing, swap this gem out for Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken to assist you in taking down the Rift Guardian. In normal rifts, this gem slot should be taken by Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder. This high utility gem feeds you practically infinite gold and gives you a massive short-term speed boost while picking it up, automated by a cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band. It will also render you practically invlunerable through a cubed Goldwrap Goldwrap.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

8. Kanai's Cube

The recommended powers for the weapon slot in Kanai's Cube is Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan for Greater Rifts, and Calamity Calamity for speedfarming. The armor slot should be taken up by either Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass or Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan in Greater Rifts, and by Goldwrap Goldwrap in Torments. The jewelry slot should be occupied by Convention of Elements Convention of Elements in GRs, and by Avarice Band Avarice Band in Torments.

  • Introduced in Patch 2.4, Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan adds a stacking damage mechanic to Fan of Knives Fan of Knives, encouraging you to build up damage and release it in controlled bursts during your Lightning Convention of Elements Convention of Elements proc. The two items sync at one Lightning proc at 15 stacks, and a next one at 30 — so judge the health of your adversaries and the amount of burst you will need. The time-sensitive, build up nature of this mechanic is unneccessary in speedfarming, so you can freely take the additive damage increase of Calamity Calamity's Marked for Death Marked for Deaths.
  • Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass will halve incoming damage as long as Hatred does not dip below 90% of its reserve, which is an uncompromising teaching tool on punctuating Strafe Strafe with regular generator shots. If you find the bonus hard to maintain, you can still use the old favorite Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan; what they lack in survival bonuses, they make up in resource regeneration and extra damage. Both of these items are oriented at Greater Rifting however, while in Torments you can take advantage of gold drops and Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder by cubing a Goldwrap Goldwrap. Their synergy will make you practically invulnerable, allowing for leisurely farm.
  • In Greater Rifts, the jewelry slot is taken by the pure damage boost of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, whose rotation of elemental bonuses you will have to keep under close scrutiny. Once the sequence reaches the Lightning element, your damage will surge dramatically, so dump a stacked Fan of Knives Fan of Knives and get as many Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance casts as you can during that brief window of opportunity. In Torments, this synchronized play becomes unneccessary and the slot is best occupied by Avarice Band Avarice Band, which allows for easy Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap Goldwrap interactions, as well as synergizing excellently with Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance.

9. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

10. ChangeLog

  • 21 Oct. 2016: No changes needed for Season 8.
  • 26 Jul. 2016: Revised the guide to include speedrunning options.
  • 20 Apr. 2016: Slight revision to the guide to reflect passive changes and stat priorities.
  • 12 Jan. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect its Patch 2.4 buffs, the introduction of Vengeance and Fan of Knives, and Kanai's Cube swaps.
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