Demon Hunter Shadow's Mantle / Marauder Hybrid Build with Fan of Knives (Patch 2.5 / Season 10)
Table of Contents
- 1. About the Author
- 2. Builds
- 3. Rotation
- 4. Skills, Runes and Passives
- 5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
- 6. Paragon Points
- 7. Gems
- 8. Kanai's Cube
- 9. Follower
- 10. ChangeLog
One of the longest suffering sets in RoS, The Shadows Mantle received a full-blown rework in Patch 2.4 that aimed to propel it into endgame viability, as well as to introduce a new flavor to Demon Hunters. This uniquely melee weapon, assassination-oriented playstyle is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.
The build requires the following 2 pieces from both the Shadow and Marauder sets:
- Helm: The Shadow's Mask or Marauder's Visage;
- Gloves: The Shadow's Grasp or Marauder's Gloves;
- Pants: The Shadow's Coil or Marauder's Encasement;
- Shoulders: The Shadow's Burden or Marauder's Spines.
To understand the mixing and matching of the variable pieces, check out the gearing section below.
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.
|Bolas Freezing Strike Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy 1 Vengeance Dark Heart 2 Smoke Screen Vanishing Powder 3 Companion Wolf Companion 4 Marked for Death Valley of Death|
|Impale Impact Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy 1 Vengeance Dark Heart 2 Vault Action Shot 3 Companion Wolf Companion 4 Shadow Power Gloom|
In Greater Rifts, the build incorporates a split between the Shadow and Marauder sets for an incredibly tanky, timed burst playstyle. For the entirety of the rift (with the exception of the Rift Guardian fight), you will be focusing on aggroing monsters by walking near them, drawing them into a large group and activating a devastating Fan of Knives with fully capped Sharpshooter, Endless Walk set at its 100% damage bonus and a 30-stack Lord Greenstone's Fan, all during a Lightning proc of Convention of Elements and within an area targeted by Marked for Death Valley of Death. The combined power of these effects is guaranteed to significantly chunk — if not outright kill — nearby enemies even in high Greater Rifts. The timing nature of this mechanic is basically nullified in speedruns, where In-geom will ensure Fan of Knives is available for every elite encounter. Both the GR and speedfarm variations of the build include a situational skill. The progression spec takes a generator in the face of Bolas Freezing Strike, but only uses it against the Rift Guardian as a tool to build up Bane of the Stricken stacks. The speedfarm spec takes Impale, but only uses it as a proc to Chain of Shadows, allowing you to spam Vault for mobility. Note that in the place of Marked for Death, the speedrun variation runs Shadow Power — because in regular farming you take advantage of the Shadow set 4-piece, which enables the skill and all its runes permanently. The remainder of the rotation is fairly similar across both variations — Vengeance is cast as soon as it comes off cooldown, and Wolf Companion gets applied before a Fan of Knives burst.
4. Skills, Runes and Passives
Fan of Knives is the primary damage dealer of the build, taken with the strongest rune Pinpoint Accuracy — sitting at the impressive 1600% damage. The increased cooldown of the rune is of little consequence, as in Greater Rifts you will be waiting on the stacks of Lord Greenstone's Fan, (building up at 1 stack per second) and synchronize with the Lightning proc of Convention of Elements. You will reach 15-19 stacks for one full cycle of CoE and the full 30 stacks at two cycles. Considering its significant buildup time and burst potential, judicious use of Fan of Knives in GRs is strongly advised. In speedruns, you will be stacking plenty of cooldown reduction and wearing In-geom, cutting the Fan of Knives downtime enough to be unnoticeable.
As previously mentioned in the rotation section, you will be including a utility slot in the build that will vary according to content. In high Greater Rifts, an unobtrusive generator will be taken as means of stacking Bane of the Stricken — the gem that assists in taking down the Rift Guardian. You will be avoiding its use all the way to the Guardian, and even then only use it in the beginning of the fight to build up gem stacks. The preferred generator for the role is Bolas, due to its speedy triple shot. Rune-wise, you can either take the hard CC utility of the Freezing Strike rune, or replenish your discipline reserves with Bitter Pill. In speedruns, the tame health numbers and quick fights devalue Bane of the Stricken and its companion generator skill. You will be taking Impale instead; not for its damage potential, but its interaction with the Chain of Shadows belt and resulting mobility.
Both build variations adopt a protective mobility skill. In Greater Rifts, you will be taking the disappearance mechanic of Smoke Screen; this is due to the fact that Vaulting during an active Vengeance will cause the latter to shoot, resetting the Sharpshooter build up prematurely. The preferred rune is Vanishing Powder, which limits the use of the skill to emergencies, but also nullifies its cost; other options like Special Recipe and Healing Vapors are also considered viable. In speedruns, build up mechanics like Sharpshooter are set aside, and you are free to take advantage of the enormous mobility allowed by Chain of Shadows by slotting Vault. The preferred rune is the offense-oriented Action Shot, whose guaranteed crits will feed into speedrun-appropriate DoT gems like Pain Enhancer.
Using the skill and item reworks surrounding Vengeance to their advantage, Shadow Hybrid Demon Hunters take the skill into the build and strive for its permanent uptime in GRs through a cubed Dawn, and in speedruns — through CDR stacking and In-geom. This potent 40% damage buff will also reduce incoming damage in half from the Dark Heart rune, assisting the survival of this close-range DH setup.
The Shadow Hybrid Demon Hunter takes full advantage of the Companion skill in Greater Rifts, where the mixture with 2-piece Marauder set puts all the companions at your side. The active pop nets you the Bat Companion Hatred regeneration, the Spider Companion slow, the Boar Companion taunt, the Ferret Companion health globe grab and the Wolf Companion multiplicative damage increase. In Torment farm, where this build excels at mixing with the Sage set for additional Death's Breaths, you will only be taking Wolf Companion for a boost of burst damage.
In the setup for Greater Rifts, more powerful individual legendaries will occupy slots necessary to complete the Shadow set 4-piece bonus, making the seemingly attractive Shadow Power bonuses unobtainable. Thus, your final slot in progression will be taken by Marked for Death Valley of Death, whose 15% additive damage increase in a targeted area synergizes nicely with Fan of Knives. The use of Shadow Power is relegated to speedruns, where you will be free to run the Shadow set 4-piece set bonus — granting you the effects of all the runes and making the skill last forever. As a side note, this allows you to pick the differently colored wings from the runes according to your transmog tastes. You will still passively enjoy the skill's damage reduction bonuses, movement speed increase, and increased Life per Hit.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Ambush complements the burst-oriented nature of the build, frontloading your damage potential against newly encountered enemies. The multiplicative nature of the passive sweetens the 40% damage increase offered, and leads to the enormous burst potential of the Shadow Hybrid DH.
Cull the Weak amplifies your damage against Slowed or Chilled enemies by 20%. This potent multiplicative passive gets triggered by Bane of the Trapped due to the gem's slowing property in melee range, where all your burst comes in anyway (diving into enemies to use Fan of Knives).
Sharpshooter is a cornerstone passive of this build in Greater Rifts, and the reason to eschew any Crit Chance on your gear for progression. Building up at 4% Crit Chance per second, this passive caps 5 seconds before Lord Greenstone's Fan does (incidentally, opening a 5 second window after each Fan of Knives to shoot your generator and build up Bane of the Stricken stacks with). The synergy between this passive and the dagger defines the playstyle of the build that spends a lot of time gathering aggro, building up a fight, and then releasing a massive volley of damage. Sadly, it is also held back by some long standing bugs — it will occasionally be reset by Companions (remedied by switching the rune), and is inexplicably reset by your follower (forcing you to gear your follower with 0 Crit Chance).
You have a degree of freedom in your last passive slot for Greater Rifts; the general recommendation for Softcore is Numbing Traps, which reduces the damage potential of enemies by a quarter. Similarly to Cull the Weak, you will be taking advantage of the Bane of the Trapped slowing property in melee range. In hardcore, you will be understandably reluctant to part with the cheat death passive, Awareness. On a decent 60-second cooldown, it will spare you the death screen, and is coupled with a brief window of safety and life regeneration when triggered.
In speedruns, the latter two slots will be taken by Tactical Advantage and Blood Vengeance instead. 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. This passive will benefit immensely from the worn Avarice Band in Torment runs and results in stable resources despite the heavy spending when speedrunning. Tactical Advantage will be used to bolster your maneuverability with an impressive 60% increase to your Movement Speed after using Vault.
5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
True to its hybrid nature, the build incorporates the Shadow's Mantle set only partially; the following is an explanation of the specific setups for GRs and Torments.
The progression spec splits the Helm, Shoulders, Gloves and Pants slots between 2 pieces of the Shadow's Mantle set and 2 pieces of the Embodiment of the Marauder set, distributed as you see fit according to your best rolls (i.e. The Shadow's Burden plus The Shadow's Coil, and Marauder's Visage plus Marauder's Gloves). While both sets feature items for the chest and feet slots, you will be skipping them in favor of more powerful individual legendary items.
The Death's Breath speedfarm spec takes Sage's Purchase and Sage's Passage by necessity, as the head slot is taken by Leoric's Crown. This leaves the Shadow set to occupy the shoulders with The Shadow's Burden, the chest with The Shadow's Bane and the pants with The Shadow's Coil. You will complete the sets' 3- and 4-piece bonuses respectively by cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur.
Several high value legendary items occupy slots that are usually reserved for set pieces in most builds. For the progression spec variant, the chest and feet slots will be taken by Aquila Cuirass and Illusory Boots respectively. Aquila Cuirass will halve incoming damage as long as your Hatred does not dip below 90-ish percent — an effect with virtually permanent uptime in this cooldown-centric build. The Act II cache legendary Illusory Boots provides the indispensible effect of removing enemy collision, a bonus of great importance for a spec that relies on aggroing and gathering the largest monster group possible. For the Torment farm variant, your helm slot will be taken by a Leoric's Crown. This unique item's superiority in providing CDR with a slotted Flawless Royal Diamond will work in conjunction with In-geom to get you as close to perma- Vengeance as you possibly can without a cubed Dawn.
The small and flexible set piece requirements of the Shadow Hybrid DH open a powerful offensive combo in the jewelry for GRs: the Endless Walk set, The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge amulet. This 2.4 rework adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This dynamic fits the Shadow DH playstyle, as you alternate between long periods of walking and aggroing monsters with a single, stationary, all-powerful Fan of Knives burst. Naturally, this buildup dynamic is unfit for Torments, so it is best replaced by a Hellfire Amulet (with a synergistic fifth passive like Single Out) and an Avarice Band.
Your other ring slot is best taken by the pure damage boost of a Lightning damage Stone of Jordan. Coupled with a Convention of Elements in the Cube, these two rings will provide the highest and most consistent elemental damage combo for the build. In hardcore, you can bolster the safety of the build by replacing this slot with the Elusive Ring, cutting incoming damage by an additional 60% in an already tanky setup.
You have a degree of freedom in the wrist slot, with several viable bracers to choose from. The general recommendation are the Nemesis Bracers, as they provide you with more elites to fight over the course of a rift, playing into the elite hunting potential of the build. They still carry a risk of spawning too many unfavorable affixes at once — dangerous in hardcore, and detrimental in general when picking up pylons during a Rift Guardian fight. Other options include Ancient Parthan Defenders (can be triggered by your follower via a Lightning damage Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker plus Wyrdward, as well as a Freeze of Deflection), or Wraps of Clarity (at the cost of Sharpshooter resets).
Barring the possession of a pre-2.1 legacy Sash of Knives (formerly rolling with up to 50% Fan of Knives damage), the general recommendation for the belt slot in Greater Rifts is Zoey's Secret. This belt is tailored to the Marauder 2-piece set bonus you take advantage of in GR Progression — it reduces up to 9% damage for every active Companion, cutting incoming damage by more than a half as a result, extended even further by a cubed (or worn) The Cloak of the Garwulf. In normal rifts, where you can easily overkill on toughness and mobility becomes a priority, a viable alternative emerges in the face of the Chain of Shadows belt. It enables free Vaulting for 2 seconds after using Impale — a power that single-handedly allows you to cover great distances, ignoring the limitations of your Discipline pool.
With no unique powered best-in-slot quiver to shine above the rest, rolls are what matters the most for the slot. As Holy Point Shot is uniquely capable of having elemental damage as a free fifth affix, a proper Lightning roll will result in the biggest DPS increase overall, especially if you land one with Area Damage and Fan of Knives % affixes as well.
The best-in-slot weapon for the build is Lord Greenstone's Fan; this dagger adds a stacking damage mechanic to Fan of Knives, encouraging you to build up damage and release it in controlled bursts during your Lightning Convention of Elements cycle. The two items sync at one Lightning proc at 15 stacks, and a next one at 30 — so judge the health of your adversaries and the amount of burst you will need.
6. Paragon Points
*Spend points in Crit Chance only for the Torment speedfarming spec.
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property when in melee range, where Shadow Hybrid DHs naturally fight due to the radial AoE of Fan of Knives.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken takes a firm slot in the second jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. Shadow Hybrid DHs are a textbook example for such a build, as the inclusion of a generator in the pushing build is solely for the purpose of stacking Bane of the Stricken. The rhythm of the Guardian fight is structured around 5 seconds of gem buildup with the generator, followed by 25 passive seconds of Sharpshooter stacking.
Esoteric Alteration remains the strongest damage mitigation gem, presenting a significant obstacle to bursty elemental affixes. Note that if you feel yourself lacking damage instead of toughness, you can substitute this gem for Bane of the Powerful.
As previously mentioned, Pain Enhancer and Gem of Efficacious Toxin fill in the two open gem slots for Torment farming. Both the buildup mechanic of Bane of the Stricken and the protection of Esoteric Alteration are overkill in Torment difficulties, incentivizing you to pick up these strong DoT gems instead. The bleed and poison effects (mostly applied by Vault Action Shot) will clean up random trash that is not worth your Fan of Knives, or finish off anything remaining after you burst and move on.
|Torso and Pants|
8. Kanai's Cube
A cubed Dawn reduces Vengeance's cooldown by the maximum 65%, allowing for permanent uptime with a modest investment into Cooldown Reduction, an opportunity you cannot pass up with Vengeance's damage, resource and protection bonuses. In Torments your priorities shift from conserving Fan of Knives to spamming it as often as possible, necessitating the switch of this slot to In-geom. Note that in Torments you can wear your better rolled item between Lord Greenstone's Fan and In-geom, and cube the weaker.
Cubing The Cloak of the Garwulf will synergize with a worn Zoey's Secret to add a significant amount of toughness to the build, which is helpful for Greater Rift progression. Note that this slot is interchangeable with Aquila Cuirass depending on your better rolled item. Last but not least, Warzechian Armguards are a suitable swap for the slot in Torment farming, where speed is your primary concern.
In Progression, the jewelry slot is taken by the pure damage boost of Convention of Elements, whose rotation of elemental bonuses you will have to keep under close scrutiny. Once the sequence reaches the Lightning element, your damage will surge dramatically, so dump a stacked Fan of Knives during that brief window of opportunity. This wait-and-burst tactic is out of the question in Torment farm,and this slot is best spent on Ring of Royal Grandeur, as it allows you to include Sage's set for its additional Death's Breaths.
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.
10. ChangeLog+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
- 28 Mar. 2017: No changes needed for Season 10.
- 05 Jan. 2017: No changes needed for Season 9.
- 21 Oct. 2016: Updated the guide's skill and BiS recommendations.
- 26 Jul. 2016: Overhauled the guide into Shadow/Marauder hybrid.
- 21 Apr. 2016: Significantly revised the guide to reflect its shift into an Impale-centric spec.
- 21 Jan. 2016: Added Paragon Point section, which was missing.
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