Tags: beginner

Demon Hunter Shadow's Mantle Fresh 70 Starter Build (Patch 2.7.6 / Season 29)

Last updated on Sep 15, 2023 at 09:00 by Deadset 31 comments

This build is a starter build for fresh Level 70 Demon Hunters who have access to the Shadow's Mantle set.

This guide is part of our Demon Hunter Seasonal Progress Guide, which also includes a leveling build and other early builds for fresh 70 characters.



The Shadow starting build has one of the easiest starting points, since the set provides a straight damage increase as early as the 2-piece bonus and provides very powerful spikes of power at every additional set bonus completion. As a trade-off, it is highly inflexible in its execution and pigeonholes you into a specific playstyle and skills from very early on, leaving little room for personal touch and interpretation.

The following build assumes you will assemble the build in 2-piece increments, similarly to how Haedrig's Gift would dole the set out. Haderig's Gift is a seasonal participation reward that gives you a full class-specific set as you complete Chapters II, III and IV of the Seasonal Journey (accessible via the leaf-shaped icon in the top right corner). The cadence of early natural character progression is also not too far off the listed strategy, so even if the set is not part of Haedrig's Gift, you can put the advice below to good use.


Build at the 2-piece Bonus

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Bolas Icon Bolas Thunder Ball Thunder Ball Right Mouse Button Impale Icon Impale Overpenetration Overpenetration 1 Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy Pinpoint Accuracy 2 Vault Icon Vault Tumble Tumble 3 Companion Icon Companion Bat Companion Bat Companion 4 Shadow Power Icon Shadow Power Gloom Gloom
Passive Skills

At the 2-piece Shadow bonus, you get an early (and very significant) damage increase that will allow you to steamroll any challenges in the path towards Haedrig's Gift completion, making it one of the easiest sets to start out with.

The Shadow playstyle is quite different from other Demon Hunter builds; while not as exclusively single target as it once was, it still excels at Elite hunting to take advantage of its massive upfront burst, and skipping many disadvantageous trash fights. Make sure to fulfill the Melee weapon requirement of the set; you should already have a Karlei's Point Karlei's Point or a Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan from level 1 crafting (discussed in our Beginner Seasonal Guide and below), and you can always upgrade rare Daggers to get a straight synergistic upgrade.

The rest of your rotation is there to support your Impale Impale usage; Companion Companion Bat Companion Bat Companion will passively counteract your resource spending, but Hatred will inevitably go low from spam — and when that happens, pop the active component of Bat Companion Bat Companion for an emergency refill. You will also have a generator at your disposal, so use Bolas Bolas liberally. When you pull bigger fights you will still have to single out enemies with Impale Impale, but will also augment your AoE clear with Fan of Knives Fan of Knives. To reposition to safety or get a better angle on an engage, you will use Vault Vault.

At this point, no additional helpful legendary items are assumed. You might have lucked out during the leveling journey (especially if you followed the gambling and crafting advice in our Seasonal Guide), or in your first couple of farming sessions with items such as:

  • The assured daggers — You are guaranteed to get either Karlei's Point Karlei's Point or Lord Greenstone's Fan Lord Greenstone's Fan if you upgrade rare daggers with your Challenge Rift materials. You can repeat the process at level 70 to get an item with relevant stats, but even a cubed Karlei's or Greenstone's will make a world of difference to your burst.
  • The quiver gamble — Holy Point Shot Holy Point Shot is attainable through gambling with a decent (25%) chance at level 31. Its presence will be another massive boost to a Shadow-based build.
  • The bracers gamble — If you gambled Wraps of Clarity Wraps of Clarity at level 1, you can consider using a generator until the 4-piece bonus to get some convenient damage reduction in your build.

Build at the 4-piece Bonus

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Bolas Icon Bolas Thunder Ball Thunder Ball Right Mouse Button Impale Icon Impale Overpenetration Overpenetration 1 Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives Bladed Armor Bladed Armor 2 Vault Icon Vault Tumble Tumble 3 Companion Icon Companion Bat Companion Bat Companion 4 Shadow Power Icon Shadow Power Gloom Gloom
Passive Skills

At the 4-piece Shadow bonus, you will not change much in the build, if anything at all. The Shadow set is very fixed in its ways, so there's only a couple of things to consider:

  • If you have a good Karlei's Point Karlei's Point and Holy Point Shot Holy Point Shot at this point, you can consider dropping the generator skill for additional movement speed from Smoke Screen Smoke Screen Vanishing Powder Vanishing Powder.
  • You can also consider altering the Bat Companion Bat Companion to Wolf Companion Wolf Companion for a damage boost as you up the difficulty settings, if you find yourself starved of cornerstone items for this build.
  • At the 4-piece bonus, you get all the runes of Shadow Power Shadow Power and it lasts forever. If you did not have Shadow Power Shadow Power in your build up to that point, you definitely should from now on.

Build at the 6-piece Bonus

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Impale Icon Impale Overpenetration Overpenetration Right Mouse Button Companion Icon Companion Wolf Companion Wolf Companion 1 Smoke Screen Icon Smoke Screen Vanishing Powder Vanishing Powder 2 Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives Bladed Armor Bladed Armor 3 Vault Icon Vault Tumble Tumble 4 Shadow Power Icon Shadow Power Gloom Gloom
Passive Skills

At the 6-piece Shadow bonus, you can go more freely into movement speed upgrades as the Impale Impale damage will be quite enough to demolish everything in your path. Dropping generators should be something you consider right around this point, since you should be used to the build by now.

Please refer to our endgame Shadow Impale Demon Hunter guide to get an in-depth explanation of the necessary rotation, skills, passives, gear and gems, as well as details like stat priorities and breakpoints that will get this beginner Shadow Impale build into endgame Greater Rift pushing.


How to Get This Build Going?

In this section, we'll briefly go over how to kickstart this build into reality; which items you should aim for with priority when farming and gambling, and what is their relative priority for the functioning of this spec. Note that these suggestions are exclusively aimed at getting you up and running into endgame farming, and might not reflect the gear you need to wear for high-end Greater Rift solo or group pushing. This section also assumes a fresh Season's start, which usually is the point where most players work on assembling their first build with a particular set.

If the Shadow set is part of the Haedrig's Gift for the Season, your simplest and most straightforward path to assembling the build is to complete the Seasonal Journey chapters up to Chapter IV. The Seasonal Journey chapters will gradually give you a complete class-specific set, giving 2-3 pieces for Chapters II, III and IV.

From the pre-game menu, choose and do this week's Challenge Rift. When successfully completed, this weekly event will grant you 5,1 million Gold, 475 Blood Shards, 370 Reusable Parts Reusable Parts, 350 Arcane Dust Arcane Dust, 125 Veiled Crystal Veiled Crystals, 35 Death's Breath Death's Breaths, and 15 of each Bounty cache material: Khanduran Rune Khanduran Rune, Caldeum Nightshade Caldeum Nightshade, Arreat War Tapestry Arreat War Tapestry, Corrupted Angel Flesh Corrupted Angel Flesh, and Westmarch Holy Water Westmarch Holy Water. This will allow you some early Seasonal leeway to extract and reforge items in Kanai's Cube, speeding up the assembly of this build with the items recommended below.

Having some materials at your disposal, either from farming or the Challenge Rift, is particularly important when you get duplicate pieces of your desired set. When you do, you can use Kanai's Cube Skill of Nilfur recipe (10x Forgotten Soul Forgotten Souls, 10x Death's Breath Death's Breaths, 1x Set item) to convert into another item from the same set. You should never salvage duplicate pieces of a desired set before you have it assembled.

In order to assemble a Shadow Impale Demon Hunter, you should do the following.

  • Gather the full 6-piece Shadow set using the advice above, or by spending Blood Shards at Kadala. In order of gamble chance, you should spend for: Shoulders, Pants, Boots, Gloves, Helm, and Chest. A trick you can also use is to gamble for duplicate pieces with an easier gamble chance (i.e., Shoulders) and convert them into another piece from the same set using the Skill of Nilfur recipe in Kanai's Cube.
  • Upgrade rare (Hope of Cain recipe in Kanai's Cube) Daggers to get Karlei's Point Karlei's Point, which you might have lucked into with your level 1 crafts as per our Seasonal Starter Guide. This is a build-defining weapon that bolsters your damage and enables resource management for Shadow DHs.
  • Gamble Quivers for Holy Point Shot Holy Point Shot, which also might have been your lucky gamble from a level 31 gambling session. This quiver produces the signature 'shotgun spread' playstyle of Impale Impale that encourages you to point blank priority targets to get all 3 hits on one enemy.
  • Gamble Belts for Chain of Shadows Chain of Shadows; this item will greatly improve your mobility and will enforce an interesting shoot-vault-shoot dynamic in the build, so that your Vault Vaults do not tax your Discipline too greatly. While gambling Belts, you can also stumble into Goldwrap Goldwrap, which is a cornerstone standard rift farming item that makes you nearly invulnerable as you pick up gold.
  • Upgrade rare Hand Crossbows to get Dawn Dawn; its legendary power needs to be slotted in the Cube asap, as it will greatly cut down your Vengeance Vengeance cooldown and, at the 37% sheet CDR breakpoint, will allow you its permanent uptime.
  • Gamble helms for Visage of Gunes Visage of Gunes; this is a convenience item that you will eventually replace with Stone Gauntlets Stone Gauntlets (but not before you get permanent Vengeance Vengeance). It nets you the Dark Heart Dark Heart rune for free, and allows you to run the supreme resource gain of Seethe Seethe.
  • Do Act I bounties to attain the act-specific Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur from Bounty caches. This will be helpful either in completing the basic set bonus, or mixing other helpful sets in (Aughilds) as described in the Shadow Impale Demon Hunter Gear page. Bounties will net you the craftable set recipes to begin with, so you will be killing two birds with one stone. Bounties will also net you Avarice Band Avarice Band (Act III), another farming-oriented staple for most builds and classes, this one included.
  • While largely undesirable due to high costs, gambling or upgrading rare Jewelry is also possible; Elusive Ring Elusive Ring and Convention of Elements Convention of Elements will both bring massive value to the build, with other standout pieces that can also substitute or be temporarily helpful in the face of Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan, Squirt's Necklace Squirt's Necklace, or Oculus Ring Oculus Ring and The Flavor of Time The Flavor of Time for your Follower.


  • 15 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Season 29.
  • 22 Feb. 2023: Reviewed for Season 28.
  • 10 Dec. 2021: Thorough rework for Season 25.
  • 23 Jul. 2021: Reviewed for Season 24.
  • 02 Apr. 2021: Reviewed for Season 23.
  • 13 Mar. 2020: Reviewed for Season 20.
  • 22 Nov. 2019: Page added.
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