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Demon Hunter Sentry/Cluster Arrow Build with the Embodiment of the Marauder Set (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 8)

Last updated on Oct 21, 2016 at 09:00 by Deadset 55 comments

Table of Contents

Receiving a significant buff to its damage in Patch 2.4, the Marauder set makes a triumphant return as one of the strongest and safest endgame playstyles for Demon Hunters. This far range, turret-reliant control 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. Video Guide

The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.

3. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire Focus Focus Right Mouse Button Cluster Arrow Icon Cluster Arrow Shooting Stars Shooting Stars 1 Vengeance Icon Vengeance Seethe Seethe 2 Vault Icon Vault Tumble Tumble 3 Companion Icon Companion No rune chosen 4 Sentry Icon Sentry Polar Station Polar Station
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Evasive Fire Icon Evasive Fire Focus Focus Right Mouse Button Multishot Icon Multishot Arsenal Arsenal 1 Vengeance Icon Vengeance Seethe Seethe 2 Vault Icon Vault Tumble Tumble 3 Companion Icon Companion No rune chosen 4 Sentry Icon Sentry Polar Station Polar Station
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

4. Rotation

Sentries are a key part of the build, but they are not the automated dispensers of destruction known from RoS release. Encouraging more active gameplay, the developers turned the 4-piece bonus of Marauder to only fire spenders from the Sentries when you fire one yourself. Sentries also directly reflect your damage delivery, adding more damage to your skills per Sentry Sentry dropped. Your overall strategy with the Marauder set is to drop your initial three charges of Sentry Sentry in key positions to cover the battlefield and proc the chill effect, and then start kiting with devastating Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow shots, dropping the additional two Sentries from Bombardier's Rucksack Bombardier's Rucksack as the cooldown comes up. You will maintain Hatred through your permanent Vengeance Vengeance Seethe Seethe form, assisted by regular Evasive Fire Evasive Fire shots and pops of the Companion Companion active. If there is anything left standing after the initial barrage, reposition smartly with Vault Vault and begin the cycle anew.

5. Skills, Runes and Passives

Sentry Sentry is the signature charge-based skill of the build; since each Sentry Sentry in the field translates into more damage dealt by your own spenders, this mandates the use of both Custom Engineering Custom Engineering as a passive and Bombardier's Rucksack Bombardier's Rucksack as a quiver. To synergize with Cull the Weak Cull the Weak passive and Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped legendary gem, as well as to provide additional safety in Greater Rifts, we will be using the cold rune Polar Station Polar Station. Try to drop one of the turrets directly on top of the enemy, and spread the other two of the initial charges to the best of your ability to cover the battlefield in the chilling effect. If the fight is prolonged, continue the strategy with your Bombardier's Rucksack Bombardier's Rucksack charges, but always strive to have one turret on top of the biggest threat. Note that in Torment 10 your clear speed will increase to a point where proccing Cull the Weak Cull the Weak through Polar Station Polar Station is too slow in practice, so you can safely switch to Spitfire Turret Spitfire Turret for a slight increase of burst.

As dictated by the 4-piece bonus of Marauders, turrets will only fire spenders when you do — cutting down the number of spenders you can afford on your skill bar while still managing your Hatred. For Greater Rift purposes Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow shines among the competition in the DPS race, and offers two viable rune choices: the physical Shooting Stars Shooting Stars excels at bursting single targets down and is generally preferred, but you can also use the cold Maelstrom Maelstrom for its healing side effect. Note that if you run Marauder in Torments, you can swap into Multishot Multishot Arsenal Arsenal (like in the demonstration) for a fire-and-forget solution during speedfarming. Finally, remember that the rest of the guide assumes you take Shooting Stars Shooting Stars, so adjust elemental damage rolls to Cold if you plan on using Maelstrom Maelstrom, or Fire if you speedrun with Multishot Multishot Arsenal Arsenal.

With its troublesome cost of 40 hatred per shot, Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow is an expensive beast to maintain. Two resource-related skills are incorporated into the build to aid in the struggles of Hatred management.

First up, we have Vengeance Vengeance. Marauder Demon Hunters achieve permanent uptime of this skill through a cubed Dawn Dawn and a modest amount of Cooldown Reduction. This potent 40% damage buff will also increase Hatred regeneration to 10 per second from the Seethe Seethe rune, and depending on your Cube choices for the armor slot can reduce incoming damage in half via Visage of Gunes Visage of Gunes.

The second option is to pop the active effect of the Companion Companion skill, which triggers the Hatred restoration of the Bat Companion Bat Companion. Keep in mind however, that the Marauder set puts all the companions at your side for the small price of the skill slot. The active pop also nets you the Spider Companion Spider Companion slow, the Boar Companion Boar Companion taunt, the Ferret Companion Ferret Companion health globe grab and the Wolf Companion Wolf Companion 30% multiplicative damage increase. Thus, treat your Companion Companion activation not only as a source of 50 Hatred, but also a damage and safety spike.

While the protection of the Boar Companion Boar Companion taunt is nice, it is also temporary. Occupying the enemy for merely five seconds, and only those in a 20-yard radius around you, it will not be enough to keep you in one piece. For emergency situations, you will be taking a repositioning tool in the form of Vault Vault — a cheap and reliable displacement skill that can take you great distances cheaply with the Tumble Tumble rune.

Finally, a generator also works its way into the build — one of the strongest primaries for Hatred restoration, Evasive Fire Evasive Fire Focus Focus. Doing away with the annoying backflip of other Evasive Fire Evasive Fire runes and operating with a conveniently wide ark, it will efficiently and unobtrusively fulfill its duty as a proc for Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint.

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

Custom Engineering Custom Engineering is the dream passive of the Marauder playstyle, doubling the duration of your Sentries and increasing their maximum number and initial charges to three. While their numbers will swell even further with the Bombardier's Rucksack Bombardier's Rucksack, the ability to skyrocket your damage at the start of every major battle is too good to pass up.

Building our damage around the rocket onslaught of the Shooting Stars Shooting Stars rune, it is only natural to pick up the synergy of the Ballistics Ballistics passive. Doubling the effectiveness of the rockets splitting off Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow, and even giving you a free homing rocket every few attacks, this passive is a sizable multiplicative boost. Note that this passive will synergize in a Torment variation as well, considering the rocket-oriented Multishot Multishot Arsenal Arsenal.

Steady Aim Steady Aim completes the offensive trio of passives, boosting your damage with a 20% multiplicative increase (a change as of Patch 2.4.1) as long as you maintain the generously low requirement of 10 yards between yourself and the enemy.

You have a decision making point for your final passive slot. As arguably the safest of the Demon Hunter sets, Marauder can get away with using a fourth offensive passive in the form of Cull the Weak Cull the Weak, amplifying your damage against Slowed or Chilled enemies by 20%. This potent multiplicative passive gets triggered by the Sentry Sentry Polar Station Polar Station and the Spider Companion Spider Companion, so make sure to always have one turret covering the enemy in its Chill radius. If you prefer having a cheat death at your disposal, Awareness Awareness is a free life on a decent 60 second cooldown, coupled with a brief window of safety and life regeneration when triggered.

6. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build incorporates the complete Embodiment of the Marauder set, taking all six available pieces and opening up the jewelry for the Bastions of Will set and its damage multiplication bonuses. You will be trying to reach a 37% CDR breakpoint for permanent uptime of Vengeance Vengeance, attainable from Paragon points, Flawless Royal Diamond Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm and 3 other items with max CDR rolls, distributed as you see fit (i.e. on shoulders, quiver and one ring).

Double Crit stats alongside high Dexterity and Vitality are sought after on the Marauder's Gloves Marauder's Gloves. On the Marauder's Spines Marauder's Spines, Resource Cost Reduction, Cooldown Reduction and Sentry damage make for a glassy but effective choice. Sentry % is desired on the Marauder's Carapace Marauder's Carapace as well, where it keeps company with Dexterity and Vitality. When pushing high GRs, Cluster Arrow % is sought after on the Marauder's Treads Marauder's Treads and Marauder's Visage Marauder's Visage; Multishot % ideally replaces these rolls in Torments. Marauder's Encasement Marauder's Encasement remains a pure toughness slot.

Not skipping on any of the pieces required to obtain the 6-piece bonus leaves space for a potent combo in the jewelry: the Bastions of Will set, Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. This ring set adds an impressive 2.25 independent damage multiplier as long as you alternate between a primary and spender attacks; thus, learn to weave frequent Evasive Fire Evasive Fire shots in your Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow (or Multishot Multishot) spam. In the stats, aim for Crit Chance, Crit Damage, Area 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 Ambush Ambush or Awareness Awareness. Other variants include the grouping of The Ess of Johan The Ess of Johan to ease AoE, or the ranged damage reduction of Eye of Etlich Eye of Etlich. Regardless of your choice, the desired stats are Crit Chance, Crit Damage, an open Socket, and appropriate elemental damage (Physical for Shooting Stars Shooting Stars, Cold for Maelstrom Maelstrom, Fire for Multishot Multishot Arsenal Arsenal).

Introduced in Patch 2.4, Zoey's Secret Zoey's Secret belt is tailored to the Marauder set bonuses, and offers a unique source of protection: up to 9% damage reduction for every active Companion Companion, cutting incoming damage by more than a half as a result. Stats-wise, you can fully dedicate the slot to increasing your Toughness.

The general recommendation for the wrist slot are the Wraps of Clarity Wraps of Clarity; these bracers further reduce damage taken by up to 35% for 5 seconds after using a Hatred Generator. Its duration is similar to that of Bastions of Will set, creating a rhythm to the buffs that make them relatively effortless to maintain. When doing non-threatening content such as Torments, it is advisable to swap away from that safe choice into speedrun-appropriate bracers like Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers or Warzechian Armguards Warzechian Armguards, speeding up your clears with more frequent elites and environment destruction speed boosts respectively.

Extending the utility you get out of the Marauder set bonuses, the Bombardier's Rucksack Bombardier's Rucksack lets you have two additional Sentries. Unlike the Custom Engineering Custom Engineering passive, these additional charges are not immediately available — but you will have enough time to drop them in any significant fight, and the potential increase of your own damage makes this quiver mandatory for the build. The quiver has been changed to roll five primary stats and a guaranteed Sentry Sentry damage roll of up to 100%, making a high skill bonus and CDR the desired rolls alongside Dexterity, Vitality, Crit Chance and Attack Speed.

One of the signature vanilla Demon Hunter crossbows, Manticore Manticore, has received a facelift in Patch 2.4 to complement Marauder Cluster Arrow builds for pushing high GRs. Besides rolling up to 80% additional Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow damage, it offers the unique property of reducing the skill's resource cost in half — an indispensable bonus with the gluttonous 40 Hatred per shot. When facing the limited scope of Torment difficulties, you can swap into a Multishot Multishot Marauder variation and take Yang's Recurve Yang's Recurve, whose resource cost reduction unique property will ensure carefree spam of AoE and Vault Vault mobility.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Socket
  4. Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow or Multishot Multishot Damage
  5. Vitality
  1. Dexterity
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  4. Sentry Sentry Damage
  5. Vitality
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Sentry Sentry Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Reduced damage from Elites
  6. All Resistance
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Elemental Damage (Physical/Cold/Fire)
  4. Vitality
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Cooldown Reduction
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life %
  1. Dexterity
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  5. Slow % (Secondary Stat)
  6. Armor
  1. Dexterity
  2. Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow or Multishot Multishot Damage
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Elemental Damage (Physical/Cold/Fire)
  5. Dexterity
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage %
  5. Dexterity
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage %
  5. Dexterity
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Weapon Damage
  3. Dexterity
  4. % Weapon Damage
  5. Vitality
  6. Resource Cost Reduction
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Vitality
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Attack Speed

7. Paragon Points

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

*Spend Paragon points only until the 15% boost from Paragon Points, as the remaining 10% for the 25% cap are already passively provided by Companion Companion Ferret Companion Ferret Companion.

8. 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 Zei's Stone of Vengeance Zei's Stone of Vengeance. 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 Zei's Stone of Vengeance Zei's Stone of Vengeance, Polar Station Polar Station chills and Spider Companion Spider Companion slows, as well as your AI companion, usually armed with Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
  • Zei's Stone of Vengeance Zei's Stone of Vengeance is another independent multiplier, whose range-dependent amplification can be easily maxed out by the long reach of Cluster Arrow Cluster Arrow (or Multishot Multishot). The level 25 property will add some minor control and safety to the build, as well as another proc for Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped. Note that Sentry Sentry range is independent from yours when it comes to Zei damage bonuses, so spread them accordingly and do not get greedy for additional slows.
  • While it is generally associated with speedrunning, 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, consider swapping this gem out for Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken to assist you in taking down the Rift Guardian. Lastly, 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 can also render you practically invlunerable if you opt for a cubed Goldwrap Goldwrap.
Slot Gems
Torso and Pants

9. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: Dawn Dawn for the weapon slot, Visage of Gunes Visage of Gunes or The Cloak of the Garwulf The Cloak of the Garwulf for the armor slot, and Convention of Elements Convention of Elements for the jewelry slot.

  • Once an instant salvage item, Dawn Dawn has been reworked into one of the most potent Demon Hunter legendaries. Reducing Vengeance Vengeance's cooldown by 65%, Dawn Dawn offers you the option for permanent uptime with a modest investment into Cooldown Reduction, an offer that is hard to ignore with Vengeance Vengeance's damage, resource and protection bonuses.
  • As previously mentioned, you have two options for the armor slot in the Cube. The safer choice is Visage of Gunes Visage of Gunes, which stores the damage reduction bonus from Dark Heart Dark Heart and allows you to run the resource powerhouse Seethe Seethe on your bar. If you have a well-rolled Zoey's Secret Zoey's Secret, you can opt for the flavorful The Cloak of the Garwulf The Cloak of the Garwulf. It will cause a minor toughness loss (less than 3% with a perfect 9% Zoey's Secret Zoey's Secret), but brings more damage and two more meat shields in front of the Demon Hunter. As a final note, both these safety options will be redundant in Torments, where you can opt for whichever utility bracer you are missing from your equipment — either Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers or Warzechian Armguards Warzechian Armguards. If you truly feel you need the Toughness, you can make the best out of your Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and cube a Goldwrap Goldwrap, which makes you practically invulnerable in Torment farm.
  • In GRs, the jewelry slot will be best 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 relevant element for your spec, you will enjoy a significant increase to your damage — so try to adopt a strategy of drawing monster attention during the off cycles, and major Hatred spending during the preferred element cycle. When doing Torment runs, you can substitute Convention of Elements Convention of Elements for Avarice Band Avarice Band to gain some additional movement speed in a fully optimized setup. This is only advisable once you are comfortable with your potential to oneshot enemies.

10. 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.

11. ChangeLog

  • 21 Oct. 2016: No changes needed for Season 8.
  • 26 Jul. 2016: Updated the guide to include speedfarming information.
  • 20 Apr. 2016: Revised the guide to reflect gem changes, additional Cube options and speedfarming variations.
  • 12 Jan. 2016: Major overhaul of the guide to reflect its 2.4 endgame viability, including skills, items and cube choices.
  • 24 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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