Shadow Impale Demon Hunter Group Progression Variation
Even though it is not the top performing single target damage spec for groups, the Shadow Impale Demon Hunter is still very viable and highly ranking build in group clears.
|Impale Chemical Burn Companion Wolf Companion 1 Vengeance Dark Heart 2 Marked for Death Contagion 3 Vault Tumble 4 Shadow Power Gloom
The Shadow Impale DH does not alter his strategy significantly during group play, of course with the exception that he focuses on the Rift Guardian kill and drops any area damage considerations, as well as parts of his survivability (which is taken care of by support teammates instead). You will still rely on Impale as your main damage dealer, spamming it while buffed up with a trio of Vengeance, Shadow Power and Wolf Companion. You will support your AoE teammate with Marked for Death Contagion, and keep up with your team via Vaults.
A large part of your active skill selection remains the same as the Grenade-based build: Impale Ricochet as your damaging skill of choice; Vengeance remains an all-too-valuable self-buff, whose permanence you will still be striving for through 37%+ CDR on gear; Shadow Power is an integral part of Shadow set builds; Vault is an irreplaceable movement tool.
Since your toughness and crowd control will be taken care of by support teammates, switch Fan of Knives Bladed Armor out for the additive damage boost of Marked for Death Contagion to better assist your AoE DPS teammate. Companion Wolf Companion is retained from the solo progression build, as its damage buff affects the entire party and brings excellent value throughout the clear. Note that you can alternate to the toughness buff of Boar Companion for the group's convenience earlier on in a Season, or during the lower levels of GR progression, where DPS optimization is still not necessity.
In your passives, staples like Ambush, Cull the Weak and Awareness are still quite valuable even when grouped up. Since in group play survival is (mostly) not yours to manage, you should swap Numbing Traps into Single Out for consistency during the GR Guardian kill. If you trust your support teammates, you can even drop the cheat death of Awareness for the extra DPS of Steady Aim.
The vast majority of the Impale-specific items will remain unchanged during group progression. You will still be taking advantage of the mixture of the Shadow's Mantle and Aughild's Authority sets, doing the suggested 5-to-2 split from the soloing build and using a cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur to maximize their set powers. The duo of Karlei's Point and Holy Point Shot are an irreplaceable part of the build, so they also remain locked in place. The jewelry remains split between the Endless Walk set and a Convention of Elements.
In group GRs, you can switch belts to the glass cannon staple The Witching Hour to optimize damage against the boss.
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.
Altar of Rites
The former Season 28 theme, the Altar of Rites, has been revised and re-added to Diablo 3 as a permanent character progression mechanic. — 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 group Greater Rifting, you will be tasked with taking down the Rift Guardian. No other gem will help you in that regard quite as much as Bane of the Stricken, which replaces the usual Pain Enhancer from its socket.
Season 30 Soul Shards
In Season 30, your helm and weapon sockets will be taken over by the supremely powerful Soul Shards. For this variant, we recommend the following:
- Helm — Sliver of Terror with "Your Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance are increased by 5% for each skill on cooldown" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Dexterity or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction on its Rank 2 roll.
- Weapon — Essence of Anguish with "When you deal Poison damage to an enemy, they receive 50% increased Poison damage from all sources for 10 seconds" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Fire Skills % Increase or Weapon Damage Increase on its Rank 2 roll. Note that Essence of Anguish requires dealing Poison damage to trigger its Base Power; in this build, you accomplish this either by re-rolling the weapon damage range (the two numbers displayed just under the big total DPS number; the first Primary stat roll of any weapon) of your own weapon to Poison, or doing the same to your Follower's weapon.
|Torso and Pants
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
Dawn will be a fixture in your weapons Cube slot, as its Vengeance cooldown reduction is too good to pass up. Stone Gauntlets also continue to be a stalwart source of defense. Ring of Royal Grandeur will occupy the jewelry Cube slot by necessity, to tie the bonuses of the Shadow and Aughild sets 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.
- 08 Jan. 2024: Revised guide for the permanent addition of the Altar of Rites, and added Season-specific Soul Shard recommendations.
- 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: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 21 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 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: Overhauled the page for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
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