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Demon Hunter Basics: Resources, Weapons, and Stats

Last updated on Sep 25, 2014 at 20:23 by Poyo 4 comments

Table of Contents

This short guide is meant to introduce you to the basic mechanics of the Demon Hunter class. It is extremely important to have a good grasp of these mechanics in order to play a Demon Hunter efficiently, especially if you want to understand the builds presented on our website or make your own builds.

After reading this guide, we encourage you to also read more about Stats Priorities for Demon Hunters, Paragon Points Priorities for Demon Hunters, and Skill Damage for Demon Hunters.

1. Your Resource: Hatred and Discipline

Demon Hunters have two separate resources, Hatred and Discipline. Each of these resources has to be managed individually, which makes the class unique.

Hatred is your primary resource used for dealing damage. Hatred can be generated actively by using your Primary Skills (Hungering Arrow Hungering Arrow, Entangling Shot Entangling Shot, Bolas Bolas, Evasive Fire Evasive Fire, Grenade Grenade), Hunting Skills (active use of Companion Companion Bat Companion Bat Companion and/or Preparation Preparation Punishment Punishment), and Passive Skills (Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance). Hatred also passively regenerates over time. Passive regeneration can be influenced by various items that increase your Hatred generation.

Discipline is your secondary resource used for survival and utility (Defensive and Hunting skills). Discipline is generated slowly over time and actively through Passive Skills (Picking up Health Gloves with Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance and/or critically hitting enemies with Night Stalker Night Stalker) or Preparation Preparation.

2. Character Sheet

Your character sheet features 3 pieces of information that are very important: Damage, Toughness, and Healing. It is important to understand how these values are calculated, because having more Damage than your friends on your character sheet does not necessarily mean that you will do more damage than them, far from it.

Damage is an approximation of the amount of damage your character can deal every second, based on:

  1. Weapon Damage;
  2. Dexterity;
  3. Critical Hit Chance;
  4. Critical Hit Damage;
  5. Attack Speed;
  6. Passive Skills.

The different attributes are listed in order of importance, so Weapon Damage will contribute the most to your character sheet damage. As you can see, your skill usage or special effects from your items are not taken into account, which often results in your character sheet damage being extremely far from your actual damage. That said, it remains a good tool for checking if a new item is an upgrade, before you have access to legendary items.

Toughness is an approximation of the amount of raw damage your character can take before dying, based on:

  1. Vitality;
  2. All Resistance;
  3. Life %;
  4. Dexterity;
  5. Armor;
  6. Various damage reductions.

Healing is the amount of Life that you can recover every second in combat, based on:

  1. Life per Hit;
  2. Life per Second;
  3. Life Steal;
  4. Life per Kill;
  5. Health Globe Healing Bonus.

Toughness and Healing are complementary. In general, you do not want to max out one at the expense of the other. You simply need enough Toughness not to die immediately in the difficulty you choose to play in, and you need enough Healing replenish your Health during combat.

3. Weapon Priority

Weapon Priority refers to choosing between using a Two-Handed Weapon or dual-wielding two One-Handed Weapons.

  • A Two-Handed Weapon has a slower attack speed, but higher damage per hit. It scales very well with Attack Speed, but poorly with flat damage increases (+damage).
  • A One-Handed Weapon has a faster attack speed (especially since dual-wielding grants a +15% Attack Speed bonus), but lower damage per hit. It scales very well with flat damage increases (+damage) and Life on Hit, but poorly with Attack Speed.

In the case of Demon Hunters, it is important to take into consideration how Hatred is generated. As said above, they generate Hatred passively over time and actively by using Generators, picking up Health Globes (Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance), and using some abilities with a cooldown. Skilled Demon Hunters will often be able to minimize Generator usage, to use Spenders more often. This kind of playstyle clearly favors Two-Handed weapons, because these weapons deliver much higher damage at a slower rate (which means that you spend your Hatred more slowly and you get a lot more damage for each Hatred spent). Bows and Crossbows are especially good with channeling skills (Rapid Fire Rapid Fire, Strafe Strafe), as you will be able to channel much longer than with a Hand Crossbow.

Dual-Wielding Hand Crossbows at lower levels is a rather poor choice, as you will only benefit from passive 15% attack speed increase from Dual-Wielding and the combined stats of your Hand Crossbows. At lower levels, a setup with a Bow or Crossbow and a Quiver will almost always give you better combined stats than 2 Hand Crossbows. Dual-Wielding only becomes viable only when you have decent Critical Hit Chance (around 40-50%) and an Off-Hand socketed with 100% or more Critical Hit Damage.

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