Diablo 3 Season 24 started with a new weapon type: "Ethereals". Ethereal weapons are iconic ones returning from Diablo 2 with the same unique icons, names, item types, and sounds. These weapons are very powerful but will only last for this season and are not available in Standard mode. Therefore, hero builds need to specifically change for the Ethereal weapons.
This guide covers how to build Demon Hunter in Season 4, from Haedrig's Gift to end-game builds.
1. Ethereal weapons
There are a total of 21 Ethereal weapons, three for each class. Buriza-Do Kyanon, Doomslinger, and Windforce are the Ethereal weapons available for Demon Hunter. These are easy to notice because they have their own unique turquoise color to distinguish them from other Legendary items.
There are unique options to Ethereal weapons but you don't need to know all the details for now. The rule of thumb is that any Ethereal weapon you get will be better than any other non-Ethereal weapon. Although there are specific Ethereals you want for different builds, Ethereal weapons are simply too powerful in any build. Even if your first Ethereal weapon is not the one you wanted, use it until you get a better one.
Also, note that Ethereal weapons are easier to farm than expected. Blizzard announced that "Ethereal rarity drop rate is set between Ancient and Primal items," but the trick is that Ethereal drops are ALWAYS weapons, whereas Ancient and Primal items have a very low chance of hitting a weapon. In other words, Ethereal weapons have a higher chance to drop than Ancient WEAPONS.
2. Haedrig's Gift (Natalya's Vengeance) — Season 24 Demon Hunter build
Once you hit level 70 and complete Chapters 1-4 of Season Journey, you will receive a full Natalya's Vengeance set from Headrig’s Gifts. Note that the Natalya’s Vengeance set is not the final build. You will use this build only to farm the Gears of Dreadlands set.
Don't spend too much time trying to make a better Natalya's Vengeance set. Equip whatever seems better for remaining spots and focus on farming Gears of Deadland set and other items to be equipped with it. Until then, use the following skills:
- Entangling Shot (Justice is Served)
- Strafe (Drifting Shadow)
- Rain of Vengeance (Anathema)
- Vengeance (Dark Heart)
- Fan of Knives (Pinpoint Accuracy)
- Smoke Screen (Special Recipe)
- Night Stalker
- Cull the Weak
- Single Out
3. Farming Gears of Dreadlands build — Season 24 Demon Hunter build
With the exception of Headrig's Gift, Demon Hunters will be playing a variation of the Gears of Dreadlands build, starting from farming to end-game Greater Rift runs. We will cover the core items, possible replacements, and variations.
3.1. Kanai's Cube
For almost every situation, Dawn and Depth Diggers will be a staple in Kanai's Cube. Just remember to keep one of Dawn and Depth Digger before salvaging extra items.
There is one exception to the weapon slot. You may get the unique option of Dawn in your Ethereal weapon. For this case, new options like Valla's Bequest are available for the weapon slot in Kanai's Cube. We will cover this in-depth later in a section dedicated to the Ethereal weapons.
There are a few different options for the ring slot.
Elusive Ring ups your defense. Up until 110-120 Greater Rift runs, Demon Hunters usually have enough damage but not enough defense. Even if you can deal powerful damage, taking deaths will eventually take away too much time to complete Greater Rift runs in time. Until you reach the point where you can't complete the runs due to lack of damage, Elusive Ring will be your best friend.
Convention of Elements is used when you need more damage. This is usually for 120+ Greater Rift runs. Starting around 120, Greater Rifts easily run out of time even if you do not die. At this point, you might have to give up the defensive option to deal more damage.
Ring of Royal Grandeur is a special option you will likely use before Elusive Ring. It allows you to get the set bonuses with one fewer item. This is very useful before you farm all the items needed for the full build because you can fill two slots — Shoulders and Bracers — with Aughild set items. This is a great early game option because you can craft the Aughild set items. We will cover this in-depth in the following section. Note that you can get Ring of Royal Grandeur from the reward chest of Act 1 Bounties.
3.2. Gears of Dreadlands — Season 24 Demon Hunter main gear set
These six are the core Gears of Dreadlands set items. You need all of them, with the exception of Mechanical Pauldrons (Shoulders), for this build to work. The shoulder can be replaced with Aughild's Authority set items at the beginning
3.3. Aughild's Authority (replacements for starters)
Aughild's Authority is only used at the beginning until you farm good shoulders and bracers. Remember to use Ring of Royal Grandeur in Kanai's Cube to get both 6-set bonus from Gears of Dreadlands and 3-set bonus from Aughild's Authority.
3.4. Weapon and quiver
Your primary weapon (for any Season 24 build for all classes) will always be an Ethereal weapon. The best option is Bruiza-Do Kyanon. If you get more than one Bruiza-Do Kyanon, the rule of thumb is to use the one with a better DPS.
Although the unique abilities are not the most important part for Demon Hunters, note that the one random Legendary Weapon power and one random Class Passive Skill can overlap with what we need. For example, the weapon image above shows that it has the ability of Dawn ("Reduce the cooldown of Venegeance by n%") and gains the Awareness passive. Both of these are played for this build. In this case, play a different weapon in Kanai's Slot, like Valla's Request, and a different passive skill.
The Ninth Cirri Satchel will be your best partner for Buriza-Do Kyanon.
3.5. Rings: Bastions of Will
These popular rings are once again the core for Demon Hunter.
3.6. Other gear
For the remaining three slots, Squirt's Necklace, Wraps of Clarity, and Hunter's Wrath are the best options. Wraps of Clartiy can be replaced by Aughild's Search.
Legendary Gems (Neck/Rings)
- Bane of the Trapped
- Simplicity's Strength
- Weapon: Flawless Royal Emerald
- Armor: Flawless Royal Diamond
4. Skillset and gameplay — Season 24 Demon Hunter build
Primary: Hungering Arrow (Devouring Arrow)
For every variation of this build, the primary skill will be Hungering Arrow, with Devoruing Arrow as the Skill Rune. Consistently casting Hungering Arrow will keep your Momentum stacked up. Your speed and damage will increase if you keep your Momentum at the maximum stack (20 seconds left).
Right Click: Strafe (Rocket Storm / Drifting Shadow)
Strafe is everything about this build. If you simply keep pressing Strafe, it will do everything: dealing damage, defending yourself, and granting mobility. Strafe makes the play of Demon Hunter much easier compared to other classes like Mage. Hungering Arrow and Strafe are pretty much the only skills you need to care about. The other four skills are buffs to support Strafe.
Strafe's Skill Rune may change depending on your needs. When you need to deal the maximum damage for Greater Rifts, use Rocket Storm. If you are looking for Speed Runs, use Drifting Shadow for maximum speed.
Action Bar Skill 1: Fan of Knives (Bladed Armor)
Fan of Knives is a skill that helps both damage-wise and defense-wise. Although it is technically an attack skill, it works more like a damage and defense buff that can be cast off-cooldown. Fan of Knives with Bladed Armor is great for both Greater Rifts and Speed Runs.
Action Bar Skill 2: Preparation (Focused Mind)
Preparation is a buff skill needed to refill Disciplines. Without Preparation, you will not be able to keep the infinite Strafe chain going. Use Preparation with Focused Mind for both Greater Rifts and Speed Runs.
Action Bark Skill 3: Vengeance (Dark Heart / Seethe)
Vengeance is also a buff skill that makes your Strafes stronger. Vengeance is a must in any variation, but the Skill Rune can be switched depending on your need. Use Dark Heart for Greater Rifts and Seethe for Speed Runs.
Action Bark Skill 4: Smoke Screen (Special Recipe) or Shadow Power (Gloom / Shadow Glide)
The last active skill slot can be filled by either Smoke Screen or Shadow Power. Play Smoke Screen with Special Recipe or Shadow Power with Gloom for better defense. Play Shadow Power with Shadow Glide for a better speed.
There are a few different options for the passive skills, which differ depending on the player's needs Here are possible options for the Passive Skills.
- Cull of the Weak
- Numbing Traps
- Tactical Advantage
The gameplay of Gears of Dreadlands build is very simple. Hold your right mouse button for infinite Strafe, click your left mouse button to cast Hungering Arrow for damage dealing, and stacking Momentum for speed. Other than that, all four action bar skills are buffs you need to play when off cooldown.
5. Final tips — Season 24 Demon Hunter build
- Demon Hunters need a certain amount of Cooldown Reduction (CDR) to keep an infinite chain of Vengeance. With 65% Vengeance CDR from Dawn, you need a total of 36.51% CDR. You can check this from the "Details" button in your inventory.
- For any skill/elemental damage increase options in your items, Hungering Arrow/Cold Damage increase is the best. Keep this in your mind if you are going to enchant these options
- At the start of the dungeon, press Shift and left-click your mouse five times to begin the run with the full Momentum stack.
This is the end of the Season 24 Demon Hunter guide! Enjoy facing hunting the demons with the new Ethereal weapons!
All images via Blizzard