Shadow/Marauder FoK Demon Hunter BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Shadow/Marauder FoK Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for patch 2.6.6 and Season 18.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
True to its hybrid nature, the build incorporates the Shadow's Mantle set only partially. 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.
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.
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 of Dexterity (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.
With no unique powered best-in-slot quiver to shine above the rest for Fan of Knives builds, 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.
Always keep the Sharpshooter mechanics in mind when rolling progression gear for this spec, and eliminate all Crit Chance rolls.
*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.
|Torso and Pants|
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 16.
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