Unhallowed Essence Grenades Demon Hunter Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Unhallowed Essence Grenades Demon Hunter in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
|Grenade Cluster Grenades Fan of Knives Bladed Armor 1 Vengeance Dark Heart 2 Vault Tumble 3 Companion Boar Companion 4 Preparation Invigoration|
Your basic strategy with the Grenade DH is to start runs with an activation of Vengeance — a staple steroid skill that is to be kept up throughout the rift on cooldown. Close the distance to the enemy with Vault, and open fights with a defensive volley from Fan of Knives Bladed Armor. After that, you are free to begin your Grenade assault. When endangered, always keep in mind you have the Boar Companion for a temporary survivability boost and a helpful taunt. Since your Unhallowed Essence damage bonus depends on your current Discipline pool, save Preparation's active usage for clutch replenishment, i.e. after skipping a lot of distance with costly Vaults.
Skills and Runes
The primary damage dealer of the build is Grenade, augmented with a triple punch from the set, legendary gems and the reworked Hellcat Waistguard (see this build's gear page for more information). The rune of choice is Cluster Grenades; it edges over Grenade Cache with a better concentrated effect and over Cold Grenade with immediacy.
A duo of strong defensive skills will bear the brunt of your protection. The staple steroid skill of Demon Hunters, Vengeance, is included not only for its baseline 40% multiplicative damage increase, but also the 50% damage reduction of the Dark Heart rune. While Vengeance requires 37% cooldown reduction for permanent uptime (also noted in the gearing section below), you will do well to bump up your CDR past the 40% barrier, in order to reach permanent uptime of the 40% armor buff of Fan of Knives Bladed Armor. Fan of Knives will also serve as a proc for Numbing Traps, Cull the Weak and Bane of the Trapped in a single shot.
With multiple utilities to pick from, the Grenades Demon Hunter chooses a Toughness buff role for the Companion skill through the Boar Companion rune, boosting you with a temporary all resistance and life regeneration increase.
The defensive Demon Hunter resource, Discipline, remains mostly untouched — the result of low costs utility skills and the 2-piece bonus of Unhallowed Essence working together. This is quite fortunate for the build, as the set translates every bit of additional Discipline into a source of damage and you can take full advantage of Preparation Invigoration. The skill extends your Discipline pool with an additional 20, and can still serve as an emergency 30 Discipline refill.
The final ingredient is an aggressive movement tool, the Demon Hunter staple Vault. Easy on the Discipline consumption by default, this skill can take you great distances with the even cheaper Tumble rune. Vault enables you to dive in and out of combat, picking the best spot to plant yourself and decimate your enemies during the fire proc of Convention of Elements.
Grenadier is understandably a signature passive for grenade-based builds, bringing a 10% mutliplicative damage increase to the related skills and increasing their explosion radius by 20% — a bonus that is hard to quantify, but undeniable in effectiveness. For softcore players, it also brings an amusing on-death detonation that fully benefits from the grenade-related bonuses in the build.
Cull the Weak is a Demon Hunter mainstay, bringing a multiplicative 20% damage increase against Slowed or Chilled enemies. You will easily reap the benefits of this passive with the help of the Bladed Armor slows.
Similarly to the active skills, you will take a duo of defensive passive skills during Greater Rift progression. Numbing Traps will reduce the damage potential of enemies by a quarter pretty much constantly, considering you skill setup. You will solidify your protection with a second life passive, Awareness — on a decent 60-second cooldown, it will spare you the death screen, and is coupled with a brief window of safety and life regeneration when triggered.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 29.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Season 25.
- 21 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 18 Nov. 2020: No changes required for Season 22.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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