Marauder Cluster Arrow Demon Hunter BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Marauder Cluster Arrow Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build takes advantage of the full 6-piece Embodiment of the Marauder bonuses, incorporating five of the six available items and completing the requirements via a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. Stat-wise, the Marauder set can roll Cluster Arrow bonuses on the helm and boots, while Sentry skill % is attainable on the chest and shoulders. The build also relies heavily on Area Damage procs, Resource Cost Reduction for Hatred management, and Cooldown Reduction wherever it can spare the stats. This primary stat-intensive playstyle requires a lot of optimization on gear, and careful balancing of the main stats you trade off for utility stats based on your current Paragon level. You will be mixing the Marauder set with the craftable Captain Crimson's Trimmings set — Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and one more of your choosing, according to your weaker Marauder set piece (either Captain Crimson's Thrust or Captain Crimson's Waders). This set provides CDR as well as RCR bonuses, and then scales your damage dealt and damage reduced according to both stats, respectively — bringing a massive boon to the build.
The cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur leaves space for a potent combo in the jewelry: the Bastions of Will set, Focus and Restraint. This ring set adds an impressive 2.25 independent damage multiplier as long as you alternate between primary and spender attacks; thus, learn to weave frequent Evasive Fire shots in your spender spam (see this build's skills page for more information). Complete the jewelry with Squirt's Necklace; this amulet rewards long range and evasive builds that demolish their enemies from afar by greatly amplifying both damage dealt and damage taken. This captures the essence of the Marauder playstyle perfectly.
Created as a direct answer to the excessive frailty of the Demon Hunter class, the Wraps of Clarity bracer reduces damage taken for several seconds after using a Hatred Generator. Along with the Bastions of Will set, this item fortifies the position of Evasive Fire in the build, and serves as a constant reminder to alternate your primary and secondary skill.
Extending the utility you get out of the Marauder set bonuses, the Bombardier's Rucksack lets you have two additional Sentries, and sports an additional Cluster Arrow damage bonus specifically for this build variant. Unlike the Custom Engineering passive, the quiver's additional charges are not immediately available, but you will have enough time to drop them in any significant fight, and the substantial damage increase makes this quiver mandatory for the build.
While it is Multishot-centric by default, Yang's Recurve also brings a massive (up to 50%) innate Resource Cost Reduction roll, making it desirable for Cluster Arrow builds as well. Its other desired stats are high damage range, high Dexterity, Attack Speed and Area Damage.
If you dislike playing without permanent Vengeance, you can drop Yang's Recurve from the build, wield the Manticore and cube a Dawn. At the 37% CDR breakpoint, you can have perfect overlap of Vengeance.
Another weapon alteration for more damage is to wield Manticore and cube an Odyssey's End, altering your generator to Entangling Shot to proc the bow's effect. This alteration results in more damage, but requires careful tracking of its bonuses and timing them to the CoE cycle, resulting in much more beginner-unfriendly gameplay.
The setup described above — Bastions of Will set plus Squirt's Necklace for jewelry, and mixing in the Cpt. Crimson set in the armor pieces — is not the only viable gear split for the build, but is considered the one with the highest damage potential. You can also alter the setup to be tankier with the following steps:
- Step 1: Moderate tankiness. Use the Endless Walk set, The Traveler's Pledge and The Compass Rose, for a comparable damage bonus and substantially more damage reduction (DR while moving from the jewelry set, and lack of Squirt's Necklace penalty when damage taken). Pair the Endless Walk set with Convention of Elements, and try to time your burst with your chosen Cluster Arrow element.
- Step 2: Drop the Cpt. Crimson from the setup, equip the full 6 Marauder pieces and wear Zoey's Secret. In your jewelry, use the Endless Walk set and Convention of Elements. This allows you to cube both The Cloak of the Garwulf and an Elusive Ring for ultimate toughness.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
Rolls-wise, this Cluster Arrow-centric playstyle takes good advantage of Skill and Area Damage affixes, as well as a spread of Cooldown and Resource Cost Reduction. For Offense stats, try to obtain Sentry % bonus on the shoulders, chest and quiver (maximum of 130%), Fire or Physical elemental damage on the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 60% and 450%, respectively), and Area Damage of 100%+. Cooldown Reduction should be present on as many pieces as you can afford (40%+ is reachable with main- and off-hand, shoulder and glove rolls), and you can strive for a luxury Resource Cost Reduction roll on your shoulders to complement the massive innate RCR on your bow.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 500-600k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. You will mostly sustain through Life per Hit on gear, with one high roll in your setup (i.e. bracer).
All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Dexterity.
Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.
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.
In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. Since this is a Marauder setup, remember to spend Paragon points on Movement Speed only until the 15% boost, as the remaining 10% for the 25% cap are already passively provided by Companion Ferret Companion.
After you take care of Movement Speed, dump as much as you comfortably can into Dexterity, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness. Investing into Max Hatred should not be necessary.
In the Offense section, max out Crit Damage, Crit Chance, Cooldown Reduction and Attack Speed in that order. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Resource Cost Reduction first, then finish off with Life per Hit and Globe Radius.
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem will be procced by Polar Station chills and Spider Companion slows, as well as your AI companion, usually armed with Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies a firm spot in your jewelry sockets during highest end progression. 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 1v1 combat. Cluster Arrow builds fare better than most in that regard, so you can gamble on the overall bonus of Bane of the Powerful not only during speedfarm, but as far into the high tiers as you are willing.
Your final legendary gem slot is more flexible; you can either try to maximize your damage with smart positioning and the range-based damage multiplication of Zei's Stone of Vengeance, or use the defensive bulwark of Esoteric Alteration due to the relatively short fighting range of the build.
When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Emeralds in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Emeralds as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Dexterity in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Diamond. There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. The build benefits from at least some cooldown reduction, so slot a Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
One of the signature vanilla Demon Hunter crossbows, Manticore, received a facelift in Patch 2.4 to complement Marauder Cluster Arrow builds for pushing high GRs. Besides rolling up to 300% additional Cluster Arrow damage, it offers the unique property of reducing the skill's resource cost in half — an indispensable bonus with the gluttonous base 40 Hatred per shot. As previously discussed, you can alter the build to drop Yang's Recurve and wield the Manticore, which lets you cube Dawn; its power reduces Vengeance's cooldown by 65%, enabling permanent uptime at the 37% Cooldown Reduction breakpoint.
Zoey's Secret belt is tailored to the Marauder set bonuses, and offers a unique source of protection: up to 9% damage reduction for every active Companion, cutting incoming damage by 63% in the base version of the build.
In order to mix in the Marauder set with the craftable Captain Crimson set, you will need a Ring of Royal Grandeur: a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, to tie the two set bonuses together.
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.
For Greater Rift progression with this build, we recommend the Templar for his essential heal and cheat death abilities. The Templar is a preferable choice due to the lacking sustain in this build, as well as the general squishiness of Demon Hunters in high Greater Rift progression.
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 potions for this build are Bottomless Potion of Amplification (the highest pure health recovery pot, as its healing amplification procs itself for 75% health restoration), or Bottomless Potion of Rejuvenation (for the extra resource recovery proc when used below half HP — useful in a resource-intensive build such as this one). Pick whichever you feel helps you out the most.
- 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: Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 21 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 01 Apr. 2021: Minor gearing revision and added follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Jewelry update for Season 19. Added more explanations to stat priorities, paragon points, and gems sections. Added a potion section.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Revised item recommendations for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
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