Shadow Impale Demon Hunter BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Shadow Impale Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build incorporates the complete Shadow's Mantle set bonuses, taking five of the six available Shadow set pieces, and then adding two pieces of the craftable Aughild's Authority set — Aughild's Search and one more of your choosing, according to your weakest Shadow set roll (either Aughild's Power, Aughild's Rule, or Aughild's Spike). You will attain the complete set bonuses of this two-set amalgamation via Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. The BiS roll for The Shadow's Grasp includes double Crit stats alongside Dexterity and Attack Speed. Full Toughness stats are preferred on The Shadow's Bane and The Shadow's Coil. Area Damage and CDR rolls are greatly desired on The Shadow's Burden. Seek out additional Impale % bonus on both The Shadow's Mask and The Shadow's Heels.
Not skipping on any of the pieces required to obtain the 6 piece set bonus of The Shadow's Mantle opens a powerful offensive combo in the jewelry: 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 Vault bursts of movement with periods of stationary Impale spam (see this build's skills page for more information).
Your other ring slot will be taken by Convention of Elements, whose rotation of elemental bonuses you will have to keep under close scrutiny. Once the sequence reaches the appropriate element, you will enjoy a significant increase to your damage — so try to adopt a strategy of drawing monster attention during the off cycles, and major Impale spam during your strongest cycle. A safer alternative for the slot is the Elusive Ring, a Patch 2.4 addition that reduces incoming damage by 60% after casting a mobility skill — a vital bonus you will easily keep up by Vaulting at least once every 8 seconds.
Helpfully named after the set it fits, the Chain of Shadows belt adds a powerful mobility tool for solo GR progress and speed farming: free Vaulting for 2 seconds after using Impale. This power single-handedly allows you to cross great distances, while ignoring the limitations of your Discipline pool.
Reworked into a definite best-in-slot for Impale builds in Patch 2.5, the Holy Point Shot quiver is a mandatory piece that practically triples your damage output, along with a smattering of Impale skill damage on top. An ideal roll would include your preferred elemental damage and Impale % alongside the usual high Dexterity, Attack Speed and Crit Chance.
The best-in-slot weapon for the build is the Impale-specific Karlei's Point dagger; where it lacks in flashy damage bonuses, it more than makes up with a Hatred-refunding effect that cements your resource management despite the costly (and otherwise unsustainable) main spender of the build. An ideal roll would feature Attack Speed alongside high Damage range, Damage % and Dexterity.
Alterations During Solo GR Farming
When you are solo speed farming Greater Rifts, you can make certain gear alterations to make your time easier and more efficient:
- The Endless Walk set will be too defensive for speedier content, so you should move the Convention of Elements to the cube and equip the all-out offense Bastions of Will set — Focus and Restraint. Notice that this set requires the use of a generator skill, and as we recommend in the Skills page, Grenade Cold Grenade will be a great candidate for your adjustable 6th slot. Finish off the jewelry with the Shrine lengthening powers of The Flavor of Time.
- Dropping the RoRG necessitates that you equip the full 6 pieces of the Shadow set and lose the Aughild's bonuses; in order to make up your defense losses and make the most of your included generator skill, simply take Wraps of Clarity as your bracer.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
Rolls-wise, this Impale-centric playstyle takes good advantage of Skill and Area Damage affixes. You will be trying to reach at least a 37% CDR breakpoint for permanent uptime of Vengeance, attainable from Paragon points, Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm, a fully stacked Gogok of Swiftness gem, and 1 other item with a max CDR roll, distributed as you see fit (i.e. on shoulders). However you will do well to bump up your CDR past the 40% barrier (with one more CDR roll on gear), in order to reach permanent uptime of the 40% armor buff from Fan of Knives Bladed Armor.
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.
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.) After that dump as much as you comfortably can into Dexterity, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness, or Maximum Hatred if you want to play around with a bigger resource pool.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction, Attack Speed, Crit Damage and Crit Chance 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 Life on Hit first, then finish off with Resource Cost Reduction and Globe Radius.
Season 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage: Allocate points so they are as close to the desirable 1:10 ratio between the two stats, as displayed in your Character Details sheet. For bow-and-quiver builds (or dagger-and-quiver, in this case), this is usually achieved with the full 200 points spent into Critical Hit Damage.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Demon Hunters, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and All Resistance (to complement the naturally high Armor stat of Dexterity-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
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 DHs mostly fight; it can otherwise be triggered by an activation of Shadow Power Night Bane in mid range, or through a follower's Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
Gogok of Swiftness is one of your socketed staples, indirectly providing you with more damage and survivability by increasing Cooldown Reduction for essential breakpoints, Attack Speed for faster Impale output, as well as scaling Dodge chance.
Bane of the Powerful's duration scales very well with levels, and having a low uptime on a decently leveled gem is a telling sign that the rift is unfavorable for a solo Impale DH anyway (winding layout, lacking density, insufficient or overly dangerous elites). The gem's default 20% damage increase has been reworked into multiplicative, and the level 25 bonus now increases AND reduces elite damage by 15%, making it a well-rounded choice for the build. For extremely high end pushing however, you will need to gamble on high density rifts where the scaling Attack Speed prowesss of Pain Enhancer triumphs over your other options with the sheer number of Impales you will output per second.
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. Since you are chasing a specific CDR breakpoint, 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.
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.
Stone Gauntlets are one of the most effective protective pieces in the game, bumping your armor by 50% at a significant (and stacking) mobility penalty — one which you will completely negate with the crowd control immunization aspect of Vengeance. Note that if you are running a more beginner-friendly version of this build, you can swap this slot out for Visage of Gunes to attain the Dark Heart rune of Vengeance for free, and use the Seethe rune on your bar to make resource management more care-free.
In the Shadow's Mantle / Aughild mixture, you will need a Ring of Royal Grandeur: a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, to tie the three sets together. The ability to run with one full 6-piece set bonus and an additional 3-piece bonus, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.
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 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 potion for this build is Bottomless Potion of the Leech due to its Life per Hit bonuses, which synergize perfectly for the high attack speed and sustain-through-attacks playstyle of the build.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 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: No changes required for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: Added follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 06 Jul. 2020: Reverted guide recommendation back to the lightning version of the build; included additional clarifications for variant playstyles of the build.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Added 2 pieces of Aughild's set. Replaced Kanai's Cube jewelry recommendation to Ring of Royal Grandeur as a result. Expanded the stat priorities, paragon points, and gems sections. Added a potion section.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed 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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