Demon Hunter Bolas Build with Gears of Dreadlands (Patch 2.7.5 / Season 28)
The changes made to items in Patch 2.6.9 offer Demon Hunters another viable build path for Gears of Dreadlands specs — one based around Bolas. This oft-overlooked DH primary offers strong pulling utility that can produce both an excellent standard rift farming build, as well as a Greater Rift pushing offshoot. We generally recommended that you use the build for farming and speeds, but will provide the necessary adjustments if you would like to push with it as well.
|Bolas Bitter Pill Strafe Drifting Shadow 1 Shadow Power Shadow Glide 2 Smoke Screen Displacement 3 Preparation Focused Mind 4 Vengeance Dark Heart|
The GoD Bolas build has a rotation that is all but identical to the main Hungering Arrow build. You will strive to cap your Momentum stacks as soon as possible with Bolas shots, and keep Vengeance active at all times. You will spend the vast majority of time spinning through rifts with Strafe, interweaving a manual Bolas as necessary to keep up relevant buffs. The remainder of your skill selection augments your utility needs; you will pop Smoke Screen and Shadow Power liberally throughout the rift, and counterbalance their Discipline resource costs with Preparation.
Skills and Runes
Your main damage dealer will come in the form of Bolas, taken with the Bitter Pill rune in speed farming for the Discipline regeneration — the more Discipline you have available, the more you can speed yourself up with Smoke Screen Displacement and Shadow Power Shadow Glide. If you choose to take this build to GR progression, simply swap the rune slot to Imminent Doom for its superior damage potential.
Of course, in order to trigger the 4-piece set bonus and maintain the build mechanic altogether, you will have to use Strafe. The preferred rune is Drifting Shadow, as unimpeded movement speed is a crucial part of the agile combat style of Demon Hunters. In very high GR progression, you can also dabble in the rune Rocket Storm.
Vengeance Dark Heart is an omnipresent self-buff in all versions of the build, and the sole reason you will be striving to reach at least 37% cooldown reduction for its permanent uptime.
During speed farming, Smoke Screen Displacement and Shadow Power Shadow Glide will trade turns speeding you up throughout the rift; chain their effects for maximum synergy with the Tactical Advantage passive. If you alter this build for progression, take the Lingering Fog rune on Smoke Screen instead for the additional safety, and swap out Shadow Power for the additional damage boost from Companion Wolf Companion.
Both during speed farming as well as progression, you will have to offset your Discipline costs from the Smoke Screen spam, and no other tool will do this better than the massive, over-time regeneration bonus of Preparation Focused Mind.
As far as passive selection goes, you will keep Ambush from the base build for its massive upfront burst potential. It is also advisable to use Awareness to prevent any mishaps; overconfidence is an easy pitfall when you start to comfortably trample the content, but the DH remains a rather glassy and burst-prone class. The remainder of your passives will ease your farming considerably. Tactical Advantage offers a nice speed boost whenever you pop Smoke Screen or Shadow Power. Blood Vengeance will not only expand your Hatred pool, but also enables a Reaper's Wraps-like effect that replenishes both Hatred and Discipline when picking up health globes. If you choose to take this build to GR progression, swap out Blood Vengeance and Tactical Advantage for Cull the Weak and Numbing Traps.
You will still be taking advantage of the full 6-piece set bonuses of Gears of Dreadlands. You will either take all six pieces (if you intend to progress with Bolas into GRs), or equip five of the six pieces that you would in progression, but wear Depth Diggers instead of Cold Cathode Trousers (if you stick to standard rift farming). Wearing Depth Diggers allows you to run another speed run-synergistic power in the armor slot of the Cube, as discussed below. Of course, that necessitates that you complete the GoD powers by cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur.
Since this is a purely Bolas-oriented setup, your weapon and offhand are going to be the dedicated legendaries Leonine Bow of Hashir and Emimei's Duffel. They both increase Bolas damage and add their unique angle of utility to the build — the bow adds a sizable, 24-yard radius pull, while the quiver makes the delayed detonations of the Bolas instantaneous.
If you push with Bolas, you will have to use Wraps of Clarity for their massive protection bonuses. When speed farming however, their defensive utility will be quite the overkill; the slot is best taken by a utility legendary instead. Either wearing Nemesis Bracers and cubing Warzechian Armguards or vice versa will speed up your clears with more frequent elites and environment destruction speed boosts.
It should be noted that your jewelry during progression and early farming can still be the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint); however, once you perfect your character and no longer want for burst, you should use utility-focused jewelry instead. A combination of Avarice Band and a Lightning damage Stone of Jordan is a nice alteration. The union of Avarice Band with Boon of the Hoarder will greatly improve your speed, as well as feed into your gold reserve for the costly GR empowerments. The Lightning SoJ will simply be a consistent, care-free damage increase as you farm.
Note that the elemental roll recommendations above, as well as the ones in the table below, assume you will be using the Bolas variant for speed farming. If you opt to push into GRs with Bolas Imminent Doom, simply swap those elemental rolls into Fire.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
Similarly to the main GoD build, the Bolas alteration takes Taeguk, Simplicity's Strength and Boon of the Hoarder during farming. Naturally, if the build is taken into Greater Rifts, you will substitute the latter with Bane of the Stricken.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Dawn is nearly unavoidable in its inclusion, as it almost single handedly allows you permanent uptime of the valuable Vengeance cooldown, and requires only a modest CDR investment (37% or higher) on your part.
If you choose to progress in GRs with Bolas, Depth Diggers are unavoidable in the armor Cube slot due to optimal distribution of jewelry and other key pieces in the setup. During farming however, Depth Diggers are moved from a cubed to a worn item, this allows you to run a synergistic bracer in this slot; simply equip your better roll between Nemesis Bracers (for the additional elite spawns at shrines and pylons) and Warzechian Armguards (for the increase of speed from the frequent environment destruction of Strafe), and cube the weaker.
With Depth Diggers equipped, you will need to maintain the valuable 6-piece bonus of Gears of Dreadlands set via a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube jewelry slot. During GR progression, this slot will be taken with the cyclical elemental damage increase of Convention of Elements.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
The recommended follower for this build during standard rift farming for keys is the Enchantress due to her numerous utility bonuses, allowing you to smooth out your speed runs even further.
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.
The preferred potion for this build is Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid, which will allow you to break through movement-impeding Elite affixes — generally a problem for builds that move based on channeling effects.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 21 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 01 Apr. 2021: Minor skill revision; added follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 30 Jun. 2020: Guide added.
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