LoD FoK Demon Hunter Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing LoD FoK Demon Hunter in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.7 and Season 19.
|Evasive Fire Focus Strafe Drifting Shadow 1 Vengeance Dark Heart 2 Smoke Screen Special Recipe 3 Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy 4 Companion Wolf Companion|
The signature oddity of the build is the use of Shi Mizu's Haori, allowing you to always crit as long as you stay below its unique property life range. The build drops any and all forms of life sustain, strives to take an initial burst of damage to get to Shi Mizu's Haori's range, and remains there as long as it can (no grabbing of health globes or using health pots). Skill-wise, the spec begins runs with an activation of Vengeance, a major survivability and damage buff that should be kept up permanently with the assistance of Dawn. The primary dynamic of the spec is between channeling Strafe (to keep Taeguk, Mantle of Channeling and Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan going) and using Evasive Fire (to maintain your Hatred reserves high for Aquila Cuirass and proc the Wraps of Clarity). Over time, the cubed Lord Greenstone's Fan will build up Fan of Knives stacks, which you are to release only during the Lightning proc of your cubed Convention of Elements, and only at a decent number of stacks (15-19 for the first CoE cycle, or the max 30 for the second — depending on your needs for amount of burst). To further amplify your damage, use Wolf Companion damage buff directly prior the Fan of Knives. Finally, use Smoke Screen sparingly when expecting bursts of damage coming your way.
Skills and Runes
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 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 is strongly advised.
With no cooldown resetting duties like in a Natalya build, Strafe is taken in the LoN FoK build strictly to enable Taeguk use and item bonuses from Mantle of Channeling and Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan (see this build's gear page for more information). The preferred rune is Drifting Shadow, as unimpeded movement speed is a crucial part of the agile combat style of Demon Hunters.
With the rebalancing in Patch 2.4, you have a degree of freedom when choosing your generator. The classic Evasive Fire with its strongest rune for Hatred restoration, Focus, is the overall preferred choice as it synergizes well with the shorter range, pack-pulling playstyle of the build. Alternating a few seconds of channeling with a generator shot is necessary to maintain the demanding Aquila Cuirass bonus.
The very embodiment of glass cannon, the Demon Hunter usually adopts at least one protective mobility skill. The LoN FoK build is no exception, incorporating the disappearance mechanic of Smoke Screen to synergize with Strafe — as it does not interrupt the channeling. To minimize your Discipline costs, take the Special Recipe rune — it will allow you an emergency immunity without taxing your resource pool.
Using the skill and item reworks surrounding Vengeance to their advantage, LoN FoK Demon Hunters take the skill into the build and strive for its permanent uptime through a worn Dawn. 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.
With multiple utilities to pick from, the LoN FoK Demon Hunter chooses a DPS buff role for the Companion skill through the Wolf Companion rune, boosting you with a temporary multiplicative damage increase. While the Wolf Companion buff sports a generous 10-second uptime, this build runs a moderate amount of Cooldown Reduction on gear — so try to pop the Companion active in key moments like elite fights, or heavy trash density. As a final note, if you struggle with Discipline management for survivability, you can still use the former favorite for the slot — Preparation Focused Mind.
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 unrivaled performance of LoN FoK builds against trash packs.
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).
Awareness will be used as a last line of defense in the protection of the Demon Hunter. It is a cheat death on a decent 60-second cooldown, coupled with a brief window of safety and life regeneration when triggered; depending on your confidence with the spec, you can proc this passive on purpose to get to Shi Mizu's Haori's range faster.
Finally, Tactical Advantage will be used to bolster your maneuverability, aiding your ability to pull and funnel monsters in a chosen direction with an impressive 60% increase to your Movement Speed after using Smoke Screen.
- 20 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide was revised with additional recommendations for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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