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Demon Hunter Natalya Lightning Build with Rain of Vengeance (Patch 2.4.3 / Season 9)

Last updated on Jan 05, 2017 at 19:10 by Deadset 44 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 two solo progression and one 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 Grenades Solo Progression FoK Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Entangling Shot Icon Entangling Shot Justice is Served Justice is Served Right Mouse Button Strafe Icon Strafe Drifting Shadow Drifting Shadow 1 Rain of Vengeance Icon Rain of Vengeance Anathema Anathema 2 Preparation Icon Preparation Focused Mind Focused Mind 3 Smoke Screen Icon Smoke Screen Special Recipe Special Recipe 4 Vengeance Icon Vengeance Dark Heart Dark Heart
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Entangling Shot Icon Entangling Shot Justice is Served Justice is Served Right Mouse Button Strafe Icon Strafe Drifting Shadow Drifting Shadow 1 Rain of Vengeance Icon Rain of Vengeance Shade Shade 2 Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy Pinpoint Accuracy 3 Smoke Screen Icon Smoke Screen Special Recipe Special Recipe 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 Preparation Icon Preparation Focused Mind Focused Mind 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 Dawn Dawn. The primary dynamic of the spec alternating short channeling of Strafe Strafe and punctuating it with generator shots, in order 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 primary damage dealer in the build. Depending on your choice between a full- or low-life variation of the build (explained below), the full-life spec will also include a secondary damage dealer — Fan of Knives Fan of Knives. Fan of Knives Fan of Knives should only be used 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 Rain of Vengeance in the thick of battle. Using it will also trigger the damage effect of the Hellcat Waistguard Hellcat Waistguard or Crashing Rain Crashing Rain belt (depending on build variation), producing the signature burst of the build. There is a major decision to be made in the rune selection: to either go with the fire rune Anathema Anathema (higher damage, but harder to play and lower AoE) or the lightning Shade Shade (significantly more AoE, but lower damage).

To reset the centerpiece of the build, you 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.

Depending on your preferred playstyle (standard full-life, or Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori low-life), you might have to include a secondary damage dealer when pushing Greater Rifts. If you opt for the Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori low-life playstyle (explained in Kanai's Cube section section below) — slightly harder for beginners, but tougher and stronger overall — you can dedicate this skill slot to a utility skill like Preparation Preparation Focused Mind Focused Mind, which gives you a lot of freedom for Smoke Screen Smoke Screen use and safety. If you opt for a standard, full-life playstyle, you will do well to include Fan of Knives Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy Pinpoint Accuracy as a second major damage dealer of the build. 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.

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 synergize with Strafe Strafe — as it does not interrupt channeling. The preferred rune is the cheaper Special Recipe Special Recipe, making Discipline management significantly easier.

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 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.

Depending on your Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance rune of choice, you will either slot Grenadier Grenadier or Ambush Ambush as your second passive. Grenadier Grenadier is your go-to passive for Anathema Anathema, bringing a 10% mutliplicative damage increase and increasing the explosion radius by 20%. If you focus on AoE with the Shade Shade rune, you will do better to bring up your initial burst with Ambush Ambush. 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.

Tactical Advantage Tactical Advantage will be used to bolster your maneuverability, aiding your ability to pull and funnel monsters in a chosen direction with an impressive 60% increase to your Movement Speed after using Smoke Screen Smoke Screen.

Night Stalker Night Stalker is included in the build to significantly smooth out your resource management. The 4 additional Hatred per primary attack, adding up with the sizable 7 from Justice is Served Justice is Served, make the constant channeling of Strafe Strafe a breeze. 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.

The recommended 5th passive on a Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet is Awareness Awareness. Awareness Awareness is your last line of defense — a cheat death on a decent 60-second cooldown, coupled with a brief window of safety and life regeneration when triggered; depending on your confidence and your chosen spec, you can proc this passive on purpose to get to Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori's range faster.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build takes advantage of the full Natalya set bonuses, taking six of the seven available 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.

As mentioned on several occasions above, you have one major gearing decision to make in a Natalya build — going for low-life, Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori-based gearing, or go for the standard, full-life gear. In terms of high endgame potential, Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori edges over the standard approach. While seemingly on the brink of death at all times, you will be deceptively tanky due to Strafe Strafe constantly refreshing the shield of a cubed Fortress Ballista Fortress Ballista. Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori also demands that you drop any life regeneration, life per hit or life per kill on gear, actively avoid health globes, and unlearn reflexively using a health pot when endangered. For all this, it offers a powerful bonus to compensate — as long as you fulfill the requirement of around quarter life maintenance, you will enjoy guaranteed critical hits. In turn, this allows you to drop all Critical Hit Chance stats from your gear in favor of other damaging or survival stats. If you intend on pushing Greater Rifts with the Natalya set, strongly consider a Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori playstyle — standard, Crit-oriented gearing is easier to wrap your head around, but with a lower potential overall.

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, if you opt for Shade Shade) 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 %.

If you have chosen Anathema Anathema on Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance and intend to focus on grenades, it is only natural to equip Hellcat Waistguard Hellcat Waistguard as your belt. Hellcat Waistguard Hellcat Waistguard has an unlisted 50% chance to proc, irrespective of the skill used or unique affix rolled. The belt increases the number of times grenades "bounce" and deal damage, counting the initial impact as the first bounce (and thus increasing your burst from the get-go). Notably, the final burst is 800% of the base damage, which somewhat lessens the impact of worse (less bounces) belts, and can even make them preferable in certain cases. A Natalya build is a good example, since Anathema Anathema's grenades tend to bounce more and further than other grenade skills. The results are highly dependent on circumstance, but as a rule of thumb do not be discouraged to equip a "less bounces" belt. Stats are more straightforward in a Shade Shade build, where Crashing Rain Crashing Rain becomes the mandatory choice for the belt slot — adding much needed concentrated burst to the high AoE spread of Shade Shade. With the unique power ranging from 3000 to 4000%, it is important to try to obtain as high of a percentage as you can.

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.

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 Awareness Awareness. 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.

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 also introduced a 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. Area Damage
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. Fire or Lightning Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. All Resistance
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance*
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage
  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. Fire or Lightning Damage
  5. Dexterity
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance*
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Average Damage
  5. Area Damage
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance*
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Average Damage
  5. Area Damage
Weapon #1
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Weapon Damage
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Dexterity
  5. % Weapon Damage
Weapon #2
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Dexterity
  3. Area Damage
  4. Vitality

* Do not roll Crit Chance and skip to the next stat in the priority list if you intend on playing the Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori variation.

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

* Do not raise Paragon points in Crit Chance, Life per Hit and Life Regeneration at all if you intend on playing the Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori variation.

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 are Fortress Ballista Fortress Ballista in a Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori variation, or Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan for a full-life build. The armor slot should be taken up by either Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori or Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass 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.

  • Fortress Ballista Fortress Ballista offers a key legendary power for the Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori's variation of the build: supplying you with up to 3% max Life absorption shield per attack against an enemy. Since every fraction of its percent impacts your toughness directly, it is more easily maximized in the Cube — but it is absolutely interchangeable with Dawn Dawn depending on your better rolled item. If you opt for a standard build instead, you should be wearing the Dawn Dawn and cubing Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan. This dagger 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.
  • Hidden away in the cube, Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori has the potential to reshape the entire playstyle of the build, as well as empower it — if you choose to use it. It synergizes well with Strafe Strafe builds, since they can refill and rely on an entirely separate "health" pool from the Fortress Ballista Fortress Ballista shield. Shi Mizu's Haori Shi Mizu's Haori results in very durable, but quirky Demon Hunter builds that shy away from all traditional sources of Life sustain. If you dislike it and do not intend to push Natalya to its GR limits, you can use Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass in this slot; its power 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. Another alternative is 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. All these items are oriented at Greater Rifting however, whereas 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 Fire or Lightning element (depending on your rune of choice) your damage will surge dramatically, so get as many Rain of Vengeance Rain of Vengeance casts as you can and dump a stacked Fan of Knives Fan of Knives and during that brief window of opportunity. In Torments, this synchronized play becomes unnecessary 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

  • 05 Jan. 2017: Updated the guide for Season 9. It now includes a grenades variation, as well as Shi Mizu's Haori-based gearing.
  • 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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