Unhallowed Essence Grenades Demon Hunter BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Unhallowed Essence Grenades 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
The build takes advantage of the full Unhallowed Essence set bonuses, taking five of the six available pieces and cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur to reduce the number of items for set bonus completion by one. This is necessary to open the leg slot for the primary skill damage multiplication of the Depth Diggers pants. Rolls-wise, this Grenade-centric playstyle makes good use of Cooldown Reduction, 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, a Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm and 3 other items with max CDR rolls, distributed as you see fit (i.e. on shoulders and both weapons).
The ability to store the powers of Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Kanai's Cube opens a powerful offensive combo in the jewelry: the Endless Walk set, The Compass Rose and The Traveler's Pledge. 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 mimics the Grenade playstyle, as you alternate stationary, mid range Grenade spamming with extended periods of aggroing packs and Vaulting between fights.
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 Fire 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 Grenade spam during the Fire cycle. When speedfarming, the tactical and timing-oriented nature of Convention of Elements should give way to the convenience of the permanent damage increase from a Fire-rolled Stone of Jordan.
One of the key 2.4.3 reworks, the Hellcat Waistguard belt brings up builds based on grenade mechanics at least to the level of builds based on rockets. Hellcat Waistguard has an unlisted 50% chance to proc, irrespective of the skill used or unique affix rolled. The belt increases the number of times grenades "bounce" and deal damage, counting the initial impact as the first bounce (and thus increasing your burst from the get-go). Notably, the final burst is 800% of the base damage, which somewhat lessens the impact of worse (less bounces) belts, and can even make them preferable for speedfarming to reduce the time between a shot and the final burst. This is especially important considering that grenades are very likely to bounce outside of a fight, or even outright disappear upon collision with a wall or a similar object. Nevertheless, for endgame pushing you will be looking for ideal circumstances — open area rifts, where the perfect 5-bounce Hellcat Waistguard will shine. As a final note, this item is interchangeable with Hunter's Wrath in the Cube depending on your better rolled item.
Retouched several times during the Patch 2.4 cycle, Depth Diggers now offer up to a 100% damage increase to primary attacks of all classes and flavors, making them a necessary inclusion to this Grenade-centric build. Note that the damage increase is multiplicative in nature and the legendary bonus can roll anywhere from 80 to 100% — the difference between a good and a bad roll will be more pronounced from the unique stat rather than the skill % rolls.
To counteract the inherent frailty of the Demon Hunter, the Wraps of Clarity bracers reduce damage taken by up to 35% for 5 seconds after using a Hatred Generator — functionally a permanent bonus in this primary attack spam build.
The weapon setup is dedicated to utility legendaries. Fortress Ballista is a key legendary weapon for the build: supplying you with up to 3% max Life absorption shield per attack against an enemy, it forms the basis of your survivability. Note that the percentage of absorption will directly reflect your overall Toughness significantly, so try not to drop below a baseline of 2.6% on the legendary affix if you intend to push high GR tiers. The preferred companion to Fortress Ballista is the one-handed crossbow Dawn — with Vengeance reworked into a universally desired buff, reducing its cooldown up to 65% and achieving permanent uptime through gear is an opportunity you cannot pass lightly. While this combo might be familiar to long time Demon Hunter players from the Legacy of Nightmares build, it is important to note that this spec is NOT Fan of Knives centric, and your offhand is not a stat stick whose damage can be ignored or rolled off; both weapons need to be as good as possible.
Simplicity's Strength is one of the best DPS gems you can take for the build, as it was changed into a separate damage multiplication source to primary skills in Patch 2.4.1. Upgrading with a steady pace of half a percent per gem level, it quickly becomes a priority and a fixture in your gem choices. Its buffed healing secondary effect is just icing on the cake.
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage for GR progression, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. You will primarily (and quite easily) be proccing this gem with Fan of Knives Bladed Armor.
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. This Grenade fares 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.
|Torso and Pants|
The power of Echoing Fury in your weapon Cube slot is highly synergistic with the Grenades Demon Hunter, as it provides a scaling Attack Speed and Movement Speed bonuses, both of which are vital to this IAS-centric, mobility-dependent build.
While it is tucked away in the Cube, Hunter's Wrath is a powerhouse in this build. This belt offers a fixed increase to attack speed and a varying multiplicative damage increase to primary skills, more easily maximized by the extraction of its power.
The jewelry slot is taken by Ring of Royal Grandeur — a cache legendary item from Act I bounties. Running the full 6-piece Unhallowed Essence set bonus along with the damage increase of the Depth Diggers is a tremendous boost to the build.
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: Echoing Fury replaces Buriza-Do Kyanon in Kanai's Cube.
- 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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