Demon Hunter Leveling and Fresh 70 Guide

Last updated on Nov 22, 2019 at 22:10 by Deadset 31 comments

The purpose of the beginner Demon Hunter guide is to provide you with a build and item recommendations that will reliably carry you from leveling, through the pre-Torment difficulties and get you into low Torment farming, without requiring specific legendary or set bonuses. The guide also includes a section for Seasonal Demon Hunters, explaining how best to take advantage of the free set from Haedrig's Gifts.

1.

Why choose the Demon Hunter?

Choose the Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 if you enjoy destroying your enemy from afar, alternating piercing arrows with massive explosive barrages. Wonders both mechanical and supernatural stand by your side, as powers of shadow itself envelop and protect you. Mastering your hatred for demons through discipline alone, you are the ultimate sharpshooter of the game.

2.

Progression (Seasonal or Not Seasonal)

2.1.

Leveling Build

Your progression on a given character always start with leveling to 70. To help you with that, we have a beginner leveling build that you can access using the link below.

2.2.

Haedrig Gifts' Season 19 Starter Build

After reaching Level 70, the easiest way to start gearing up and progressing towards the end-game is by using the set given by the Haedrig's Gifts. Haedrig's Gifts are cache-like rewards that drop 2 pieces of a fixed class-specific set after completing chapters II, III, and IV of the Seasonal Journey. Having a full 6-piece set bonus available to you will skyrocket your character's power well in the mid-to-high Torments. This makes the early portion of the Seasonal Journey your first priority upon reaching Level 70.

In Season 19, Demon Hunters will find the Unhallowed Essence set in their Haedrig's Gifts. We have an early progression build for this set, which you can find by clicking the link below.

2.3.

Other Starter Builds

While you get a fixed free set at the start of every Season, it is not unreasonable to assume you will attain other sets in quick succession. If you are interested in switching around your playstyle, take a look at the beginner points for other sets below, and note to which endgame builds they point you after.

3.

Gear To Look For

To learn how to gear up quickly and approach a character's progression in general, check out our Beginner Seasonal Guide. It includes advice and tactics related to gambling Blood Shards, doing Bounties, Regular, Greater and Challenge Rifts, and using Kanai's Cube for easy upgrades.

Certain items can be targeted through the completion of bounties or boss kills. The following is a list of such items, in order of importance for the class.

  • Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur is a legendary from Act I caches that reduces the number of set items required for set bonuses by one. While it might not be immediately useful, obtaining powerful bonuses (such as the 4- and 6-piece set bonuses of the Unhallowed Essence set) as early as possible for a huge spike in character power is an opportunity you should not pass up. Doing bounties will be inevitable for crafting materials anyway, so optimize your farming time and get this ring as soon as possible.
  • Avarice Band Avarice Band is an Act III cache legendary ring that extends your pickup radius by up to 30 yards as you pick up gold. This unassuming bonus has the potential to turn in the strongest source of defense during normal rifts due to its synergy with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap Goldwrap. Their powers combined, they can render your character practically invulnerable even in the highest of Torment difficulties.
  • Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps are meant to assist classes and builds with resource management problems — and Hatred is often something fledgling Demon Hunters struggle with. These bracers restore up to 30% of your Hatred reserves when you get healed by a health globe — an easy trigger if you keep an eye on the battlefield, especially if you are used to Blood Vengeance Blood Vengeance. Note that these bracers are craftable, and the plan for their creation drops when you kill the Act V boss Malthael on any difficulty.
  • Pride's Fall Pride's Fall is a helm obtained through Act III cache bounties, whose legendary effect reduces resource costs by 30% after not taking damage for 5 seconds. Demon Hunters fight at a high range most of the time, making Pride's Fall Pride's Fall an attractive bounty item.
  • Illusory Boots Illusory Boots are an Act II cache legendary item that removes enemy collision — a staple of support builds in Greater Rifts, as their precise positioning for party-wide buffs and enemy disables dictates the course of Greater Rift progress. Demon Hunters have decent support character potential, with several party-wide damage buffs and plenty of damage reduction to add to the group, making Illusory Boots Illusory Boots reasonably attractive to the class.
  • Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship are an Act II cache legendary that extends the duration of Shrines to 10 minutes, a very decent farming effect that is usually stored in Kanai's Cube. The combined power of Empowered Shrines (doubled resource gain, halved cooldowns), Frenzied Shrines (25% Attack Speed) and Fleeting Shrines (25% increase to Movement Speed and 20 yard pickup radius), often refreshing before their 10-minute duration, is a huge buff during normal rifts. Demon Hunters are among the classes that can benefit from Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship, as the armor Cube slots of their preferred farming specs are flexible enough to fit the item in.
  • Envious Blade Envious Blade is an Act II cache dagger with one of the most powerful speedfarming bonuses in the game — a guaranteed Critical Hit against enemies at full health. A well equipped character using this dagger can oneshot entire screens of enemies in a suitable farming difficulty. Since Demon Hunters can not dual wield melee weapons and their weapon slots are frequently taken by more important legendaries, Envious Blade Envious Blade is not considered a cache priority.

The majority of the gear will be found by random chance as you farm normally, by killing monsters, opening chests, gambling at Kadala and upgrading rare items at the Cube. While the list below is not exhaustive, these are some of the pieces to seek, spend blood shards on, or upgrade yellows for — in order of priority:

4.

Stat Priorities

Slot Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Area Damage
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
Wrists
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Elemental Damage
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
Waist
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life %
Legs
  1. Dexterity
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. All Resistance
Feet
  1. Dexterity
  2. Movement Speed
  3. Vitality
  4. Skill Damage if applicable
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Elemental Damage
  5. Dexterity
Rings
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Dexterity
Weapon
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket
  4. % Damage
Off-hand
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Attack Speed
  4. Skill Damage
  5. Vitality
5.

Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Dexterity
  3. Maximum Hatred (personal preference)
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Armor
  3. Life %
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Resource Cost Reduction
  2. Area Damage
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find
6.

Gems

Your armor and weapon sockets should be taken up by the highest tier Emerald gems you can afford at the time, while the helm is best filled by a Diamond gem for a boost to Cooldown Reduction. When you stumble upon jewelry with good primary stats and a socket, you should start dabbling into Legendary Gems. The Legendary Gems to consider for Demon Hunters are, in order of importance:

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped — staple multiplicative damage increase. You will be proccing this gem either through its own level 25 ability, a slow (for melee builds), or by skill effects such as Thrill of the Hunt Thrill of the Hunt or Sentry Sentry Polar Station Polar Station.
  • Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken — almost mandatory gem for Greater Rift progression, as it is designed to whittle down the scaling health numbers of monsters with a percentage-based increase on successive attacks.
  • Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder — synergizing with other farming mainstays like Avarice Band Avarice Band and Goldwrap Goldwrap, this gem will not only keep you rich, but also sped up and safe during normal rift farming.
  • Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful — the speedfarm counterpart to Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken, Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful offers a solid overall damage and survivability increase as long as your killing speed does not fall behind the timer of the gem.
  • Situational gems — Zei's Stone of Vengeance Zei's Stone of Vengeance is a multiplicative damage increase to long range builds. Taeguk Taeguk is a great addition to a channeler Demon Hunter, which you will be by using anything Strafe Strafe-related.
Slot Gems
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon
7.

Kanai's Cube

Kanai's Cube choices are highly build- and content-specific, making them hard to summarize. Generally speaking, Demon Hunters should store the powers of the following items in the Cube as soon as they have the materials available: Dawn Dawn, Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan, In-geom In-geom, Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass, Cindercoat Cindercoat, Visage of Gunes Visage of Gunes, The Cloak of the Garwulf The Cloak of the Garwulf, Zoey's Secret Zoey's Secret, Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, Avarice Band Avarice Band and Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur (outside of Season 16).

8.

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.

9.

Changelog

  • 22 Nov. 2019: Overhauled the guide and updated it for Season 19.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Updated for Season 18.
  • 16 May 2019: Updated for Season 17.
  • 18 Jan. 2019: Updated for Season 16.
  • 20 Sep. 2018: Updated for Season 15.
  • 14 Jun. 2018: Updated the guide for Season 14.
  • 23 Feb. 2018: Updated the guide for Season 13.
  • 08 Nov. 2017: Updated the guide for Season 12.
  • 01 Jul. 2017: Updated the guide for Season 11.
  • 31 Mar. 2017: Updated the guide with a starter build for the Season 10 free set, Embodiment of the Marauder.
  • 20 Jan. 2017: Fixed the suggested generator to be usable with melee weapons.
  • 05 Jan. 2017: Updated the guide for Season 9.
  • 19 Oct. 2016: Updated the guide with a starter build for the Season 8 free set, Natalya's Vengeance.
  • 04 Aug. 2016: Updated the guide to include leveling, a better fresh 70 setup and Haedrig's Gift use tips.
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