Demon Hunter Knockback Shot Build Guide for Raids
Rather than focusing on quickly clearing through hordes of enemies, this build for the Demon Hunter class in Diablo Immortal instead aims to optimize its single-target damage with Knockback Shot to defeat powerful enemies and bosses with ease.
This build specializes in heavy single target damage and boss takedowns for content like the Helliquary, Kion's Ordeal and Path of Blood, shifting its focus away from the usual utility enhancements of farming builds. Instead, it leans into the powerful single-target damage capabilities of Demon Hunters and uses the full-on barrage of Vengeance-enhanced Crossbow Shot, Multishot , Rain of Vengeance and Untempered Hatred-enhanced Knockback Shot to melt through priority targets.
If you are interested in approaching a different type of content, please see our other Demon Hunter builds below.
Mastering movement is a key part of this build, since you eschew dash abilities completely in favor of all-out, glass cannon DPSing on the priority target (note that you can alter that — check the Skill section below). When facing Elite or Boss monsters, you should maximize your damage output by following a simple rotation. First, carefully aim and drop Rain of Vengeance on the priority target. Then, follow it up with a Untempered Hatred-enhanced Knockback Shot to kickstart its bombardment volleys. Continue with the usual barrage of Crossbow Shot and Multishot , making sure to save up the latter for any potential adds spawned by the Boss; otherwise, use it as charges come up. Keep Vengeance active as much as you can; particularly if you are about to spam Crossbow Shot on the target. Reapply Knockback Shot and Rain of Vengeance as they come off cooldowns.
Skills and Alterations
Primary Skill: Crossbow Shot stands out in the Primary Attack category for Demon Hunters, as it allows movement while firing. On top of that, the legendary power of The Hungerer allows its arrows to pierce, making for a surprisingly efficient multi-target damage dealer from the simplest of attacks. Alternating the use Ultimate with some of your more potent cooldowns will ensure you always have a hard-hitting attack active.
AoE Damage Dealer: Multishot is an incredibly powerful ability, and the most potent addition to a Demon Hunter's arsenal; it's massive AoE, heavy damage and ability to be used while on the move make it a near-mandatory inclusion in Demon Hunter endgame builds. It also sports a wide range of supporting legendaries, vastly augmenting its base usefulness to an even more ubiquitous state.
Single Target Damage Dealer No1: Rain of Vengeance is the single-target damage counterpart to the powerful AoE attacks that are present in the Demon Hunter's arsenal. Rain of Vengeance inflicts a heavy bombardment over a concentrated area of effect, which — when empowered with certain legendary items, especially Skystriker's Pauldrons &mash; decimates singular priority targets, a Demon Hunter specialty.
Single Target Damage Dealer No2: To further enhance your single-target damage during raiding attempts, you use this slot for Knockback Shot — but only if you can empower it with Untempered Hatred. This legendary chest alters the singular shots of Knockback Shot to a hard-hitting bombardment of mortars, and removes the knockback aspect of the skill, which is otherwise detrimental to the group. If you don't have this legendary chest, or you find your survivability too lacking without a movement skill, use Daring Swing in this slot instead.
Self-Buff: Vengeance is the solitary self-buff available to Demon Hunters, and its tremendous versatility — uniquely offering a Passive and an Active effect while selected — make it a universal inclusion in endgame builds. Considering its hefty base cooldown, the use of Vengeance should be timed accordingly; taking advantage of the Passive movement speed buff while building up fights, and unleashing its Active effect when the brawl starts in earnest. With enough supporting Legendaries, you can relax its use and enjoy near-permanent uptime of this powerful steroid.
Equipment is split into Primary (right side of character screen) and Secondary (left side).
Primary equipment includes the Main-hand, Off-hand, Head, Shoulders, Chest, and Legs slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled by Legendary items, since their legendary powers and ability to be socketed with Legendary gems vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Legendaries (Golden).
The suggested Legendaries for Crossbow Shot Solo Demon Hunters are:
- Main-hand: Flamespite — This legendary crossbow greatly enhances the effect of (the already powerful) Multishot by bringing an additional Burning effect to the table, adding to the overall damage.
- Off-hand: The Hungerer — This legendary off-hand crossbow is a Demon Hunter powerhouse; it can be chosen as part of the Battle Pass rewards, and it is highly recommended to do so. The piercing effect it adds to your basic attack, Crossbow Shot, turns it into a build-defining part of your rotation, and your overall tactics revolve around the ability to spam these piercing shots as you do everything else.
- Head: Vision of the Lost — This legendary helm extends the duration of Vengeance, allowing for more uptime of the Active effect of this buff. Further Awakened, this item will cut the cooldown of Vengeance shorter, making the helm slot a defining piece for Vengeance availability.
- Shoulders: Skystriker's Pauldrons — These legendary alter the base effect of Rain of Vengeance into a potent, hard-hitting single target nuke. Make sure to carefully aim its targeting reticle in order not to waste the considerable RoV cooldown.
- Chest: Untempered Hatred — This legendary chest piece alters Knockback Shot into a mortar bombardment, removing the annoying knockback aspect from the skill and simply adding another hard-hitting nuke into the build. If you lack this legendary power, or find yourself too immobile without Daring Swing, simply use Heart of Vengeance in this slot — a universally useful Vengeance cooldown reduction powerhouse.
- Legs: Coff's Unrelenting Fury — These legendary pants add an extra rocket projectile every 2 Primary Attacks while Vengeance is active, and when further Awakened, cut Vengeance's cooldown by 10% — a potent addition to the build.
Secondary equipment includes the Amulet, Rings, Hands, Waist, and Feet slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled with Set items, since the bonuses they form once completed vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Sets (Green). Secondary equipment can only be socketed with Normal gems.
The recommended set for Knockback Shot Demon Hunters is War Rags of Shal'baas, which increases Primary Attack damage and attack speed. The set consists of:
- Storm-Tack of Shal'baas (Waist) — Farmed at Forgotten Tower in difficulty Hell I and above.
- Wind-Trods of Shal'baas (Feet) — Farmed at Tomb of Fahir in difficulty Hell I and above.
- Dozen Strikes of Shal'baas (Hands) — Farmed at Mad King's Breach in difficulty Hell I and above.
- Burning Heart of Shal'baas (Neck) — Farmed at Pit of Anguish in difficulty Hell II and above.
- Resting Fangs of Shal'baas (Ring 1) — Farmed at Temple of Namari in difficulty Hell IV and above.
- Braided Serpent of Shal'baas (Ring 2) — Farmed at Cavern of Echoes in difficulty Hell IV and above.
The set bonuses of War Rags of Shal'baas are as follows:
- 2-piece Set Bonus: Primary Attack damage increased by 15%.
- 4-piece Set Bonus: Your Primary Attacks gradually increase your Attack Speed, up to a maximum of 25%.
- 6-piece Set Bonus: Your Primary Attacks have a 5% chance to increase your Attack Speed for 10 seconds. Cannot occur more often than once every 30 seconds.
This is not the only possible setup, however; you can also opt for a combination of 4-piece Issatar Imbued and 2-piece Vithu's Urges. This setup brings more Movement Speed (Issatar set boosts movement speed and scales damage according to movespeed bonuses), as well as an improved uptime of Vengeance (due to the beneficiary effect duration extended by the Vithu's 2-piece bonus).
Improving your attributes in Diablo Immortal generally revolves around increasing the total amount of Combat Rating, or CR. Every primary attribute point (Strength, Fortitude, Vitality, Willpower, and Intelligence) grants you 1 point of CR.
The priority attribute for Demon Hunters is Strength, which gives +0.3 Damage per point; given otherwise identical options, use the one with higher Strength to increase your DPS. Second in the priority order is Fortitude, which adds to your Armor Penetration — indirectly increasing damage dealt by also improving your crit chance. This attribute suffers from diminishing returns due to crit caps, but is still quite valuable. Third in the priority order is Vitality, which simply increases your Life total; the longer you can stave off death, the better.
Stat priority order and stat benefits for Demon Hunters are as follows:
- 1. Strength — Grants +0.3 Damage to Demon Hunters, and +1 to your total CR.
- 2. Fortitude — Grants +0.1 Armor Penetration, which affects your crit chance. It also grants +0.1 Armor; Armor increases your Block chance, and blocking attacks mitigates 20% of the damage dealt. More mitigation is never amiss, and even more so when dealing with riskier content like the Helliquary. It also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 3. Vitality — Grants +3 Life; the more you can add to your total health pool, the better. Notoriously frail classes like the Demon Hunter benefit nicely from stacking at least somewhat into Vitality. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 4. Willpower — Grants +0.1 Potency and 0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects that you inflict on your foes. Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects inflicted by your enemies on you. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 5. Intelligence — Grants +1 CR. This attribute does nothing else for Demon Hunters, and should be avoided as much as possible.
Secondary (Special) Attributes
You should not put an emphasis on Special Attributes when considering between gear pieces. This is due to the overpowering importance of Primary Attributes and your CR total. That being said, the better Special Attributes are the two Crit Stats (Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage), Cooldown Reduction, Beneficiary Effect Duration, and Movement Speed. You can also consider Increased Damage to Players for PvP gear.
Pieces of Primary Gear that you upgrade at the Blacksmith attain up to three additional Bonus Attributes for Reforging at Ranks 6, 11, and 16. These Bonus Attributes belong to "families" (outlined and ranked below); a Family Bonus can be unlocked if all three Bonus Attributes are from the same family. Multiple Primary Gear pieces can have the same Family Bonus to improve your proc chance. The process of Reforging is done with the Reforge Stone consumable. Note that only Primary Gear pieces can be reforged; Secondary Gear pieces cannot. For Demon Hunters, priority Bonus Attributes are:
- 1. Vengeance Stone brings a single target-oriented Family Bonus that becomes increasingly important as you push the difficulty of the content you are doing, i.e. Challenge Rifts. Pair it with high Attack Speed choices like Frenzy to have a chance at finishing off Boss fights within the timer.
- 2. Wildfire Stone is mostly valuable due to its innate attributes, as it brings valuable Critical Hit Chance to the table. The Hydra summon from the Family Bonus is mostly an extra minion to soak up damage.
- 3. Ravager Stone offers summoner-oriented innate attributes that offer some usefulness to Demon Hunters, since they often include Sentries in their builds. Its Family Bonus requires enemies to be slain to proc, significantly diminishing its usefulness when doing progression content like Challenge Rift bosses and Helliquary.
- 4. Barrier Stone has a Family Bonus that brings some much needed mitigation to Demon Hunters, a class that is notorious for its frailty. The absorption shield is paired with some excellent innate attributes like Damage Taken Decreased and Block Chance, which further reduce incoming hurt.
- 5. Jolt Stone offers situationally valuable bonuses; it has Beneficial Effect Duration Increased as an innate attribute, which is decent for groups, and a Cheat Death proc which is never amiss when soloing content. Its Family Bonus brings soft CC to attackers, which is decent mostly for PvP.
- 6. Tremor Stone offers some marginally useful bonuses when doing PvP, but since its (otherwise excellent) Family Bonus only functions in melee range, it is all but lost on Demon Hunters.
Normal and Legendary Gems
As per tradition for Diablo games, socketed gear allows you to insert beneficial gems according to your needs. In Diablo Immortal, gems are divided between Normal Gems (socketable in Secondary Gear) and Legendary Gems (socketable in Primary Gear).
Normal Gems can only be socketed in Secondary Gear. Normal gems are divided into Red, Blue and Yellow sockets, and their priority is listed below. Priority-wise, gems are decent power increases to your character, but should never come at the cost of Primary Attributes and your CR score. Go for Red and Blue gems over Yellow if possible, as they provide a stronger bonus overall.
- Red Sockets: Prioritize Tourmaline as it provides a straight Damage increase. Ruby is also decent for the Life increase, but only if you lack Tourmalines.
- Blue Sockets: Prioritize Sapphire, which increases your Armor Penetration, and your Critical Hit Chance stat as a result. Note that Crit Chance provided from Sapphires has diminishing returns, capping out at 33%; when benefits from ArPen get too insignificant, swap to Aquamarine. Aquamarine provides Armor, which is a decent source of damage mitigation.
- Yellow Sockets: Prioritize Citrine for the Potency gains, increasing the duration of harmful effects you inflict on enemies; however small its benefits, they trump the Resistance effects provided from Topaz.
Legendary Gems can only be socketed in Primary Gear. They provide unique and very powerful bonuses on top of a robust stack of stat increases. Legendary Gems are found in Elder Rifts enhanced by the Crest consumables, as well as through crafting at the Jeweler in Westmarch.
Early on in Demon Hunter character progression, you should use common, 1- and 2-Star Legendary Gems like:
- Fervent Fang — Can be obtained from the Battle Pass, saving you some Crests. Provides a stacking damage increase against a target with successive attacks; great for single target damage.
- Everlasting Torment — For the mere cost of a critical hit, this gem inflicts a considerable DoT and an Attack Speed increase to boot. Even at a low quality, this gem starts off with incredible stats and fits nicely from the get-go.
- Power & Command— Due to how Demon Hunter builds play out — constantly interweaving Primary Attacks in between their cooldown usage — you will always have some part of the alternating bonuses of this gem going.
- Ca'arsen's Invigoration — This gem increases the attack speed and damage dealt by your Primary Attacks, which fits into the Primary-spamming nature of Demon Hunter builds quite nicely.
- Lightning Core — Despite its low proc chance, this damage-dealing gem can wipe out entire packs when activated, or focus down a larger foe, making it a decent addition to you legendary gem lineup.
- Berserker's Eye — This gem increases damage dealt at the cost of an increase in damage taken. Demon Hunters fight at range and strive to avoid damage altogether, making the gem a nice fit for the class overall.
When perfecting your character for endgame content, the 5-Star Best-in-Slot Legendary Gems for Demon Hunters include:
- Blood-Soaked Jade — With its Damage and Movement Speed increases, it is largely considered to be the best legendary gem in the game for pretty much all forms of content.
- Seeping Bile — The value of this gem scales with the number of attacks you inflict, fitting nicely with the piercing projectiles of Demon Hunters. With a considerable damage proc and a spreading effect, it is one of the best additions to your legendary gem lineup.
- Howler's Call — Triggered off Primary Attacks — a constantly spammed aspect of Demon Hunter builds — this legendary gem supplements the far-reaching barrage of the class with another hard-hitting ranged proc.
- Echoing Shade — This gem has a percentage-based chance to spawn Shadow Clones that inherit some of your abilities and — perhaps more importantly — will draw some of the enemy's attention away from you, allowing for short periods of uninterrupted slaughter of your foes.
- Chip of Stone Flesh — This is a PvP powerhouse of a gem, inflicting hard CC and increasing damage dealt on affected targets. It also provides decent value for progression content.
- Frozen Hearth — With percentage-based mitigation against ranged damage, this is one of the strongest defensive legendary gems you can support your character with.
Paragon Points are character-specific progression system that allows you to advance in power after you reach maximum level. Each level gives you a Paragon point to spend into currently available nodes on the five Paragon Trees. While Paragon Trees are specialized for certain tasks, you should always keep in mind the tenets of character building — increasing damage and mitigation as much as you can. With that in mind, focus down the Vanquisher tree first, pick up the experience bonus from the Treasure Hunter tree, pick up whatever is useful from the Gladiator tree, and finish off with the group powerhouse of the Soldier tree. Always keep in mind that the (circular) Persistent Attributes are always active once leveled, but the (square) Specialization Skills are only applied when their respective Paragon Tree is active.
- Vanquisher Tree: The offense focus of this tree makes it the best starting point for all characters. It is recommended that you start with the middle row, maxing out Damage and picking up Zeal. Go down the bottom row, maxing out Damage and picking up Wrath. Finally, go along the top row, maxing out Potency, putting the point in Exorcism, and finishing off with Deeper Pockets and Heart of Wrath. This puts you at Paragon level 49.
- Treasure Hunter Tree: This tree unlocks at Paragon 50 and focuses on rewarding you more for your grinding efforts, making it an attractive mid-progression pickup. Go through the middle row, maxing Armor to attain Swift Learner. Then go on straight by maxing out the Damage node. This puts you at Paragon 70.
- Go back to the Vanquisher Tree. Max out the Life nodes in the mid row that follow Zeal, and put one point in Judgment to finish off that row. Then, go to the bottom row and put 3 points into Armor Penetration, which puts you exactly at Paragon 99.
- Right around this point, you have a decision to make. If you focus on PvE content, you should divert your attention back to the Survivor Tree — the other tree unlocked by default. Start out by maxing Life, picking up a point in Unyielding and progressing downwards. Max out Armor, then through the middle row — taking Escape Artist, additional Life, and Precognition along the way. Finish off with the coveted Damage increase. If you focus on PvP content, you should focus on the Gladiator Tree instead; this tree unlocks at Paragon 100, and offers brawling-oriented bonuses. Start off with maxing Armor Penetration, picking Uncontrollable right after it and continuing upwards. Max out Life, attain Quick Witted, and go into maxing Resistance and the second Life node. Get the Cheat Death right above the Life node. Finish with the consistently desirable Damage.
- At this point, you are hovering around the Paragon 180-185 point. One thing to consider is going back to the Vanquisher Tree to finish off the bottom right Armor Penetration node. You can also divert to the Treasure Hunter Tree to grab Gold Find and its subsequent Armor Penetration node. Alternatively, if you group up a lot, you can tab over to the Soldier Tree. This tree unlocks at Paragon 150 and is focused on grouping bonuses and provides tremendous utility for most modes of play. Take Hold Formation and head down to Resistance, then even further down into Damage. Attain the full bottom row — Battle Morale into Armor Penetration into Sacrifice. Then, finish off the middle row with Combat Veteran and Potency. Finally, go through the top row of Life and First Aid.
It is important to reiterate that your utmost priority is picking up all the damage nodes you can, deviating into one tree or another only to further that goal. Secondary valuable pickups are found in Armor Penetration and Life nodes. Once you are done with leveling all the Damage nodes, you are free to fill out Paragon trees as you see fit, as well as to activate specific Trees for the needs of the content you are doing.
When you turn in Bestiary pages, you will receive a class-specific consumable. For Demon Hunters, this item is the Tracking Kit, which increases movement speed for yourself and your nearby allies by 10% for 20 minutes. Be generous with its use, especially in party content; Demon Hunters don't have a stack of buffs to offer to teammates like some other classes do, so any assistance to the group is appreciated.
- 30 May 2022: Guide created.
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