Demon Hunters are a dark and secretive class, one that aims to dispatch the evil in this world with a quick and silent arrow or crossbow bolt through the eye. They are the masters of ranged physical damage, dealing almost all of their attacks from a distance and with a ranged weapon.

If a Demon Hunter is ever cornered they have many different ways to escape their enemies, many times leaving a nasty surprise in their wake for them. They can lay traps, turrets, or even poison and fire effects. A Demon Hunter is not a class to be underestimated.

If you like a class that is based on all out aggression, and that requires a bit of skill to play correctly, due to managing range and resources, then a Demon Hunter may just be your class. Find out all about them in this guide.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Resources

In Diablo III the Demon Hunter class is unique in that it has two separate resources that need to be managed. They are Hatred and Discipline. These represent the inner conflict that the Demon Hunter faces, a battle between their hatred of the demons and their sense of order and discipline.

Hatred is a fast generating resource that comes back quickly over time and as a Demon Hunter attacks. A Demon Hunter has many basic attacks that also help generate hatred which can then be used to complete more powerful attacks.

Discipline on the other hand is generated farm more slowly and has only a few abilities that help to regenerate it any faster. It is used for almost all of the Demon Hunters defensive moves and is key to ensuring their survival.

Learning to manage these two competing resources is key in playing well as a Demon Hunter.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Appearance

As with all Diablo III classes the Demon Hunter has a strong theme that progresses over time and level to represent the character getting more experienced and stronger in the game.

When you first start off as a Demon Hunter you have very little in the way of worldly possession and are protected only with small bits of leather armour and a cloak or hood. As you make your way through the game you will find better and more protective armour until you progress to the end game. Once at the end game you can find sinisterly decorated thick leather armour with metal plates to protect you. The class goes from almost a rogue look to an evil bringer of death, reaper type look.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Abilities

The Demon Hunter has 6 different skill types just like the other Diablo III classes.  They are:

Primary Skills – These are your basic attack skills that you will use most frequently. They also all help generate hatred which allows you to use your more powerful attacks once you have enough stored up. The skills here are hungering arrow, entangling shot, bolas, evasive fire, and grenades. As you can tell from the names alone, they are all ranged attacks, setting up the class as one that tries to maintain distance from their enemies.

Secondary Skills – These skills follow the basics of the class, being all ranged attacks, but are more powerful and combine with your primary skills to form your basic attack rotation. These skills in addition to dealing more damage than your primary abilities also consume hatred instead of generating it, forcing you to use them in moderation.

Defensive – These skills are here to help protect you and allow you to escape. They include caltrops, smoke screen, and shadow power.

Hunting – These skills help you hunt down and deal with enemies. The skills vary from movement, to pets, to buffs/debuffs. The skills are vault, preparation, companion, and marked for death.

Devices – These abilities focus on the various devices that a Demon Hunter uses in their craft. There is a fan of knives which deals damage to all enemies around, spike traps which lay in wait for an enemy, a sentry which fires on approaching enemies, and vengeance which grants you additional weapons to deal attacks with.

Archery – These are powerful attacks that focus on dealing massive amounts of damage using your favorite weapons. There is strafe, multishot, cluster arrow, and rain of vengeance.

Detailed ability listings can be found in the Diablo III Skill Calculator.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Stat Priority

When gearing up any character in Diablo III there are multiple different paths that you can take.  For Demon Hunters those choices are basically aiming for maximum damage output or maximum survivability, although that isn't really a choice for Demon Hunters. They are all about damage and killing something before it gets to them, so while important to know which stats help them survive, they generally do not aim for them. 

Max Damage

Weapon Damage > Dexterity > Crit Chance > Crit Damage* > Attack Speed

* Crit Damage is best kept in a ratio with Crit Chance.  For every 1% point of Crit Chance you gain you should look to add about 10% Crit Damage.  This is relatively easy to get through a gemmed weapon.

Max Survivability

Armour = Resistances* > Vitality = Strength

* Resistances are just as good as armour, but you need to make sure they are valid.  +Resist All is pretty much the same as armour, but stacking just a single resist needs to be considered as far less valuable.

Balancing The Two

While the above are the ideal paths for max damage or survivability, as a matter of necessity you will really need to balance the two different directions.  After all killing everything quickly but dying to a single hit is not very useful, just as being able to live forever but taking 5 minutes to kill a single normal enemy monster is not useful.  Therefore keep both in mind and balance between them to best suit your style of play.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Only Stats

There are several stats that only a Demon Hunter can use on their gear. They are:

  • Hatred Regeneration - This boosts the rate at which your hatred regenerates.
  • Maximum Discipline - This stat increases the maximum amount of Discipline you can have.
  • Demon Hunter Skill Bonuses - These boost several Demon Hunter skills by a percentage amount. Most are between 10 and 20%. It is important to note that they are not calculated into your damage rating and therefore gear may appear to have lower damage output, but if it is an ability you use all the time, it may actually be an upgrade.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Paragon Points

Every class in Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls has access to essentially the same Paragon bonuses, each class has a different resource increase under their core choices, but other that that they are the same. Each class though has different priorities in the placement of these points. For Demon Hunters the best placement is as follows:

  1. Core - Movement Speed to 25% > Dexterity > Max Hatred
  2. Offense - Attack Speed > Critical Hit = Critical Damage (Keep these at a 1:10 ratio as discussed above)
  3. Defense - All Resistances (to 70% on stat sheet) > Armour = Life > Life Regen
  4. Utility - Life on Hit > Area Damage > Resource Cost Reduction

Diablo III –  Demon Hunter Leveling Build

While levelling the main aim with any class is to kill enemies fast so that you can keep moving and earning more experience.  From levels 1-20 can be done by grabbing pretty much any skills you like as you get them.  However by level 30 and if you are playing higher than normal difficulty you will probably want to switch to something that allows you to stay alive while killing enemies quickly.

Demon Hunters have many great leveling builds however one thing they all have in common is that they aim to survive. This is due to the fact that Demon Hunters tend to be very fragile until they reach higher levels and therefore need to either kill extremely fast or escape easily. This build focuses on slowing enemies, grouping them up, and then dealing with them all at once.

  • Primary - Entangling Shot / Chain Gang
  • Secondary - Chakram / Twin Chakrams
  • Action Bar 1 – Caltrops / Hooked Spines
  • Action Bar 2 – Vault / Rattling Roll
  • Action Bar 3 – Sentry / Spitfire Turret
  • Action Bar 4 – Companion / Bat Companion
  • Passive Skills – Blood Vengeance, Cull the Weak, Archery

You can find more details on the individual skills here: Diablo III - Demon Hunter Leveling Build.

To play this build you should keep your distance, using entangling shot to keep enemies slowed until you have a group of them. Lure them through your caltrops while near a sentry and then unleash your chakram at them. Besides the constant slowing of the enemies due to the above abilities, you also have vault to escape and a bat companion that you can resummon on cooldown for a quick heal. These abilities all focus on making the most of your cull the weak passive skill and staying ahead of your slowed enemies to stay alive.

Diablo III – Demon Hunter Max Level Build

There are many different builds that you can use once you reach max level on your Demon Hunter. A lot depends on how you play (solo or group) and how you prefer to play (kiting or direct damage). One build that I really like and keep coming back to is one that is decent for both solo or group play and focuses on ranged damage with cluster bombs. This has been a solid build for a long time, even before Reaper of Souls, and should stand the test of time.

It uses spray of teeth to generate hatred, and caltrops to slow the enemy and keep them at distance. The main damage dealer though is cluster arrow with the cluster bomb rune that deals massive damage to targets at range. It also has several escape options with the caltrops for slowing and smoke screen to get away. Shadow power and preparation both offer good buffs in the form of healing and extra discipline to help in escaping.

  • Primary – Hungering Arrow / Spray of Teeth
  • Secondary – Cluster Arrow / Cluster Bombs
  • Action Bar 1 – Caltrops / Torturous Ground
  • Action Bar 2 – Smoke Screen / Lingering Fog
  • Action Bar 3 – Shadow Power / Gloom
  • Action Bar 4 – Preparation / Backup Plan
  • Passive Skills – Archery, Steady Aim, Sharpshooter, Ambush

You can find more details on the individual skills here: Diablo III - Demon Hunter Max Level Build.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Diablo III Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.