Effraeti's RP

One Woman, Two Timelines, Two Destinies.

D3: Demon Hunter Skills

Here is the alluded to second half of my last D3 post.  It looks like this is turning out long enough that my spec will be in a third post.  Which is kind of good – that means I have time to figure out what the heck I am doing in Inferno.  heh

The Demon Hunter

My Demon Hunter is currently my only character over Level 15 or so.  This is mostly because Laz keeps me focused (in game and IRL heh) and we have been quite focused on our D3 mains.  Also, raiding still takes priority over frivolities.  heh  I have, however, already made about seven alts since last Sunday.  :/  I just wanted to try out the other classes!  (And some are purely for banking purposes.)  And I made a Hardcore Monk, who my main purpose was to get to Level 10 for the achievement and to kill the Skeleton King for that achievement.  Check.

So this equals the experience of one Level 60 Demon Hunter and a vast smattering of lowbies as I try to figure out what would be a good solo class for me.  Either a Monk or a second Demon Hunter is currently winning.  (I am curious to play around with what I would need to do differently solo, as opposed to having Laz’s Barbarian tearing stuff up out in front of me.)

So this should give you an idea of where I stand in regards to my play experience, but before I get into my skills, let’s review the whole of the Demon Hunter’s toolkit.

The Skills

The most important starting place is what tools of the trade you have available to you.  So here is a rundown.

If you want some place out of game to play with your spec, D3DB has a Skill Calculator.  I also like their skill descriptions, as they give numbers instead of approximates, like the in-game tooltips.  Do note, I adjusted the uptimes for Smoke Screen, as a recent patch changed these.  Also, I am hoping the damage for Wolf Companion is incorrect – 0% weapon damage?


Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Hungering Arrow (Level 1) – Generate: 3 Hatred

  • Fire a magically imbued arrow that seeks out targets for 115% weapon damage and has a 35% chance to pierce through targets.


  • Puncturing Arrow (Level 6) – Increase the chance for the arrow to pierce to 50%.
  • Cinder Arrow (Level 17) – Light the arrow on fire, dealing 35% additional weapon damage as Fire over 3 seconds.
  • Shatter Shot (Level 26) – If the arrow successfully pierces the first target, the arrow splits into 3 arrows.
  • Devouring Arrow (Level 42) – Each consecutive pierce increases the damage of the arrow by 70%.
  • Spray of Teeth (Level 52) – Successful Critical Hits cause a burst of bone to explode from the target, dealing 50% weapon damage to enemies in that area.

Entangling Shot (Level 3) – Generate: 3 Hatred

  • Imbue an arrow with shadow energy that deals 75% weapon damage and entangles up to 2 enemies, slowing their movement by 60% for 2 seconds.


  • Chain Gang (Level 9) – Hit up to 4 targets.
  • Shock Collar (Level 18) – Strike targets with electrified chains that do an additional 17.5% weapon damage per second as Lightning for 2 seconds.
  • Heavy Burden (Level 34) – Increase the movement slow duration to 4 seconds.
  • Justice is Served (Level 47) – Increase the Hatred generated to 6 per shot.
  • Bounty Hunter (Level 54) – Gain 6% of the damage dealt as Life.

Bola Shot (Level 11) – Generate: 3 Hatred

  • Shoot out an explosive bola that wraps itself around its target. After 1 second, the bola explodes dealing 130% weapon damage as Fire to the target and an additional 110% weapon damage as Fire to all other targets within 7 yards.


  • Volatile Explosives (Level 14) – Increase the explosion radius to 14 yards.
  • Thunder Ball (Level 24) – When the bola explodes, it deals 130% weapon damage as Lightning and has a 35% chance to Stun the primary target for 1.5 seconds.
  • Acid Strike (Level 37) – Shoot 3 bolas that each deal 130% weapon damage as Poison. The bolas no longer explode for area damage to nearby targets.
  • Bitter Pill (Level 51) – When the bola explodes, you have a 15% chance to gain 2 Discipline.
  • Imminent Doom (Level 57) – Augment the bola to deal 182% weapon damage as Arcane to the target and 154% weapon damage as Arcane to all other targets within 7 yards, but increases the explosion delay to 2 seconds.

Grenades (Level 15) – Generate: 3 Hatred

  • Throw out three grenades that explode for 95% weapon damage as Fire each.


  • Tinkerer (Level 22) – Increases Hatred generation to 6 Hatred.
  • Cluster Grenades (Level 32) – Throw cluster grenades that deal 111% weapon damage as Fire over an 8 yard radius.
  • Fire Bomb (Level 40) – Throw a single grenade that deals 124% weapon damage as Fire.
  • Stun Grenades (Level 48) – Hurl grenades that have a 25% chance to Stun enemies for 1.5 seconds.
  • Gas Grenades (Level 60) – Throw gas grenades that explode for 95% weapon damage as Poison and leave a cloud that deals an additional 25% weapon damage per second as Poison for 3 seconds to enemies who stand in the area.


Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Impale (Level 2) – Cost: 25 Hatred

  • Impale a target for 250% weapon damage.


  • Impact (Level 7) – Impale has a 65% chance to knock the target back and Stun it for 1.5 seconds.
  • Chemical Burn (Level 15) – Your target will also Bleed for 125% weapon damage as Physical over 2 seconds.
  • Overpenetration (Level 28) – The knife will pierce through all enemies in a straight line.
  • Awareness (Level 53) – After the initial throw, release multiple blades centered on you, dealing 75% weapon damage to all enemies within 10 yards.
  • Grievous Wounds (Level 58) – Critical Hits cause 100% additional damage.

Rapid Fire (Level 5) – Cost: 20 Hatred initially, and an additional 10 Hatred while channeling

  • Rapidly fire for 228% weapon damage as Physical.


  • Withering Fire (Level 11) – Reduces the initial Hatred cost to 5, and ignites your arrows, causing them to deal Fire damage.
  • Web Shot (Level 19) – Slows the movement of affected targets by 80% for 1 second.
  • Fire Support (Level 32) – While channeling Rapid Fire, launch 3 homing rockets every second. Each rocket deals 35% weapon damage as Physical to nearby targets.
  • High Velocity (Level 45) – Fire poison arrows that have a 40% chance to pierce through enemies.
  • Bombardment (Level 56) – Rapidly fire grenades that explode for 276% weapon damage as Fire to all enemies within a 4 yard radius.

Chakram (Level 12) – Cost: 10 Hatred

  • Fire a swirling Chakram that does 150% weapon damage as Physical to enemies along its path.


  • Twin Chakrams (Level 18) – A second Chakram mirrors the first. Each Chakram deals 101% weapon damage as Physical.
  • Serpentine (Level 26) – The Chakram follows a slow curve, dealing 203% weapon damage as Poison to enemies along the path.
  • Razor Disk (Level 34) – The Chakram spirals out from the targeted location dealing 165% weapon damage as Arcane to enemies along the path.
  • Boomerang (Level 48) – The Chakram path turns into a loop, dealing 188% weapon damage as Lightning to enemies along the path.
  • Skuriken Cloud (Level 57) – Surround yourself with spinning Chakrams for 120 seconds, dealing 30% weapon damage per second as Physical to nearby enemies.

Elemental Arrow (Level 20) – Cost: 10 Hatred

  • Shoot a fire arrow that deals 155% weapon damage as Fire to all targets it passes through.


  • Ball Lightning (Level 24) – Fire a slow-moving arrow that electrocutes enemies along its path for 155% weapon damage as Lightning.
  • Frost Arrow (Level 29) – Fire a frost arrow that splits into multiple arrows after hitting its target, dealing 170% weapon damage as Cold. Affected enemies have their movement speed slowed by 60% for 1 second.
  • Screaming Skull (Level 36) – Grants a 40% chance to shoot a skull that will Fear affected enemies for 1.5 seconds.
  • Lightning Bolts (Level 43) – Fire electrified bolts that Stun enemies for 1.5 seconds on a Critical Hit.
  • Nether Tentacles (Level 59) – Shadow tentacles deal 155% weapon damage to enemies along its path and return 3% of damage dealt as Life for you.


Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Caltrops (Level 4) – Cost: 6 Discipline

  • Lay a trap of caltrops on the ground that activates when an enemy approaches. Once sprung, the caltrops Slow the movement of enemies within 12 yards by 60%. This trap lasts 6 seconds.


  • Hooked Spines (Level 12) – Increase the slowing amount to 80%.
  • Torturous Ground (Level 18) – When the trap is sprung, all enemies in the area are immobilized for 2 seconds.
  • Jagged Spikes (Level 28) – Enemies in the area also take 45% weapon damage.
  • Carved Stakes (Level 41) – Reduces the cost of Caltrops to 4 Discipline.
  • Bait the Trap (Level 54) – Become empowered while standing in the area of effect, gaining an additional 10% Critical Hit Chance with all attacks.

Smoke Screen (Level 8) – Cost: 14 Discipline

  • Vanish behind a wall of smoke, becoming momentarily invisible for 1 second.


  • Displacement (Level 14) – Gain 35% movement speed when activated.
  • Lingering Fog (Level 23) – Increase the duration of the effect to 2 seconds.
  • Breathe Deep (Level 33) – While invisible you gain 6 Hatred per second.
  • Special Recipe (Level 44) – Reduce the cost to 12 Discipline.
  • Choking Gas (Level 59) – Leave behind a cloud of gas that deals 70% weapon damage per second as Physical to enemies in the area for 5 seconds.

Shadow Power (Level 16) – Cost: 14 Discipline

  • Draw in the power of the shadows, gaining 20% of all damage done as Life for 3 seconds.


  • Night Bane (Level 21) – Gain an additional 4 Hatred per second while Shadow Power is active.
  • Blood Moon (Level 29) – Increases damage done as Life to 30%.
  • Well of Darkness (Level 37) – Decreases the Discipline cost to 12.
  • Gloom (Level 51) – Reduce incoming damage by 65% while Shadow Power is active.
  • Shadow Glide (Level 58) – Gain 40% bonus to movement speed while Shadow Power is active.


Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Vault (Level 9) – Cost: 8 Discipline

  • Tumble acrobatically 35 yards.


  • Action Shot (Level 16) – As you travel, shoot arrows for 75% weapon damage at nearby targets.
  • Rattling Roll (Level 23) – All enemies within 8 yards of your destination are knocked back and stunned for 1.5 seconds.
  • Tumble (Level 33) – After using Vault, your next Vault within 6 seconds has its Discipline cost reduced by 50%.
  • Acrobatics (Level 38) – Removes the Discipline cost but adds a 15 second cooldown.
  • Trail of Cinders (Level 49) – Ignite with fire dealing 100% weapon damage as Fire to everything along your path.

Preparation (Level 13) – Cooldown: 45 seconds

  • Instantly restore all Discipline.


  • Invigoration (Level 19) – Increase maximum Discipline by 10 for 5 seconds when using Preparation.
  • Punishment (Level 25) – Restore all Hatred for 25 Discipline. Preparation has no cooldown.
  • Battle Scars (Level 35) – Gain 60% Life after using Preparation.
  • Focused Mind (Level 44) – Gain 45 Discipline over 15 seconds instead of restoring it immediately.
  • Backup Plan (Levle 52) – There is a 30% chance that Preparation’s cooldown will not be triggered.

Companion (Level 17) – Cost: 10 Discipline

  • Summon a raven companion. Your raven companion will periodically peck at enemies for 30% of your weapon damage as Physical.


  • Spider Companion (Level 22) – Summon a spider instead of a raven. The spider’s attacks also Slow the movement of enemies by 60% for 2 seconds.
  • Bat Companion (Level 29) – Summon a bat instead of a raven. The bat grants you 3 Hatred per second.
  • Boar Companion (Level 41) – Summon a boar instead of a raven. The boar’s attacks hit all enemies in an area.
  • Ferret Companion (Level 46) – Summon ferrets instead of a raven. The ferrets collect gold for you and increase gold found on monsters by 10%.
  • Wolf Companion (Level 59) – Summon a wolf for 25 seconds instead of a raven. The wolf attacks for 0% of your weapon damage as Physical.

Marked for Death (Level 21) – Cost: 3 Discipline

  • Marks an enemy. The marked enemy will take 12% additional damage for the next 30 seconds.


  • Contagion (Level 27) – When the target is killed, the ability spreads to 2 other nearby targets. This effect can chain repeatedly.
  • Valley of Death (Level 31) – Mark an area on the ground 12 yards wide for 15 seconds. Enemies in the area take 12% additional damage.
  • Grim Reaper (Level 39) – An additional 12% of damage done to the target is also divided among all enemies within 20 yards.
  • Mortal Enemy (Level 48) – Attacks you make against the marked target generate 3 Hatred.
  • Death Toll (Level 60) – Heal attackers for 1% of the damage done to the marked target.


Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Evasive Fire (Level 14) – Generate: 4 Hatred

  • Cost: 4 Discipline if you backflip
  • Shoot for 125% weapon damage. If an enemy is in front of you at close range, you will also backflip away 15 yards.


  • Shrapnel (Level 21) – Shoot exploding bolts that also deal 30% weapon damage as Fire to all enemies within 6 yards of the primary target.
  • Parting Gift (Level 26) – Whenever a backflip is triggered, leave a poison bomb behind that explodes for 45% weapon damage as Poison in a 12 yard radius after 1.2 seconds. Turns Evasive Fire into Poison damage.
  • Covering Fire (Level 34) – Shoot a spread of bolts that hit up to 3 targets for 125% weapon damage each.
  • Displace (Level 42) – Increase the distance of the backflip to 30 yards.
  • Surge (Level 53) – Reduces the cost of the backflip to 2 Discipline. Turns Evasive Fire into Lightning damage.

Fan of Knives (Level 17) – Cost: 20 Hatred

  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Throw knives out in a spiral around you, doing 320% weapon damage to all enemies within 10 yards of you. Your knives will also Slow the movement of enemies by 60% for 2 seconds.


  • Crippling Razors (Level 23) – Increase the amount enemies are slowed to 20% for 2 seconds.
  • Retaliate (Level 32) – Surround yourself with whirling blades that deal 464% weapon damage to all enemies if you are struck in the next 10 seconds.
  • Hail of Knives (Level 38) – Increase the radius to damage all enemies within 20 yards.
  • Fan of Daggers (Level 44) – Imbue your knives with a 65% chance to Stun enemies for 2 seconds.
  • Assassin’s Knives (Level 59) – Throw long-range knives that deal 70% weapon damage to 5 additional targets.

Spike Trap (Level 17) – Cost: 30 Hatred

  • Lay a trap that arms after 1.2 seconds and triggers when an enemy approaches. The trap does 275% weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards.
  • You can have a maximum of 3 Spike Traps active at one time.


  • Bandolier (Level 27) – Increase the maximum number of traps that can be out simultaneously to 6.
  • Sticky Trap (Level 30) – Plant a bomb on an enemy rather than on the ground. If the target dies within 30 seconds, the bomb explodes dealing 404% weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards.
  • Long Fuse (Level 39) – Increases the arming time to 2 seconds but increases damage to 371% weapon damage.
  • Lightning Rod (Level 46) – When the trap is triggered it releases a pulse of lightning that will bounce to up to 3 enemies for 275% weapon damage as Lightning.
  • Scatter (Level 55) – Simultaneously place all 3 traps.

Sentry (Level 25) – Cost: 10 Discipline

  • Drop a turret on the ground. The turret begins firing at nearby enemies for 20% weapon damage. Lasts 30 seconds.


  • Spitfire Turret (Level 28) – The turret will also fire homing rockets aimed at random nearby targets for 8% weapon damage as Fire.
  • Vigilant Watcher (Level 36) – Increases duration of the turret to 40 seconds.
  • Chain of Torment (Level 45) – Create a tether between you and the Sentry that does 40% weapon damage every second to every enemy it touches.
  • Aid Station (Level 52) – Heals nearby allies for 1% of their maximum Life per second.
  • Guardian Turret (Level 60) – The turret also creates a shield that reduces damage taken by allies by 15%.


Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Strafe (Level 19) – Cost: 15 Hatred

  • Shoot at random nearby enemies for 120% weapon damage while moving at 65% of normal movement speed.


  • Equilibrium (Level 24) – Increases your attack speed by 20% when using Strafe.
  • Drifting Shadow (Level 29) – Movement speed increased to 100% of normal running speed while strafing.
  • Stinging Steel (Level 37) – Throw out knives rather than arrows that do an extra 100% damage on successful Critical Hits.
  • Rocket Storm (Level 50) – In addition to regular firing, fire off homing rockets for 60% weapon damage as Fire.
  • Demolition (Level 56) – Throw out bouncy grenades that explode for 144% weapon damage to targets within 9 yards.

Multishot (Level 22) – Cost: 40 Hatred

  • Fire a massive volley of arrows dealing 165% weapon damage to all enemies in the area.


  • Fire at Will (Level 26) – Cost reduced to 20 Hatred. Deals 165% weapon damage as Lightning.
  • Burst Fire (Level 31) – Every time you fire, generate a shock pulse that damages nearby enemies for 65% weapon damage as Arcane.
  • Suppression Fire (Level 39) – Every enemy hit grants 1 Discipline.
  • Full Broadside (Level 46) – Increase the damage of Multishot to 215% weapon damage.
  • Arsenal (Level 55) – Every use also fires 3 rockets at nearby enemies that deal 60% weapon damage as Fire each.

Cluster Arrow (Level 27) – Cost: 50 Hatred

  • Fire a cluster arrow that explodes for 200% weapon damage as Fire into a series of additional miniature bombs that explode for 100% weapon damage as Fire each.


  • Dazzling Arrow (Level 33) – Enemies hit by grenades have a 55% chance to be stunned for 2 seconds.
  • Shooting Stars (Level 36) – Instead of releasing grenades, shoots up to 3 rockets at nearby enemies dealing 175% weapon damage as Physical each.
  • Maelstrom (Level 41) – Instead of releasing grenades, the cluster releases shadow energy that deals 145% weapon damage as Physical to nearby enemies. You will gain 4% of the damage done as Life.
  • Cluster Bombs (Level 49) – Launch the cluster through the air, dropping bombs in a straight line that each explode for 230% weapon damage as Fire.
  • Loaded for Bear (Level 58) – Increases the damage of the explosion at the impact location to 0% weapon damage as Fire.

Rain of Vengeance (Level 30) – Cooldown: 30 seconds

  • Fire a massive volley of arrows around you. Arrows fall from the sky dealing 74.75% weapon damage for 5 seconds to all enemies in the area.


  • Dark Cloud (Level 35) – Launch a massive volley of guided arrows that rain down on enemies for 35% weapon damage for 12 seconds.
  • Beastly Bombs (Level 40) – Summon 20 Shadow Beasts to drop bombs on enemies, dealing 125% weapon damage each.
  • Stampede (Level 47) – Summon a wave of 10 Shadow Beasts to tear across the ground, knocking back enemies and dealing 75% weapon damage each.
  • Anathema (Level 54) – Summon a Shadow Beast that drops grenades from the sky for 10 seconds dealing 115% weapon damage.
  • Flying Strike (Level 60) – A group of 8 Shadow Beasts plummet from the sky at a targeted location dealing 60% weapon damage each and stunning enemies for 2 seconds.

Passive Skills

Screenshot from D3DB’s Skill Calculator.

Archery – Gain a bonus based on the weapon type of your main hand weapon:

  • Bow: 15% increased damage
  • Crossbows: 50% Critical Hit Damage
  • Hand Crossbows: 10% Critical Hit Chance

Ballistics – Damage from rockets increased by 50%.

  • Rockets are fired from certain skill rune effects.

Brooding – As long as you have not taken damage in the last 3 seconds you gain 1% of your maximum Life per second.

Cull the Weak – Damage against slowed enemies increased by 15%.

Custom Engineering – The duration of your Caltrops, Marked for Death, Spike Trap, and Sentry is increased by 100%.

Grenadier – Increases Hatred generated from Grenades by 2 and reduces the Hatred cost of Cluster Arrow by 10. Upon death, you drop a giant grenade that explodes for 450% weapon damage as Fire.

Hot Pursuit – Whenever you are at full Hatred, movement speed is increased by 15%.

Night Stalker – Critical Hits have a chance to restore 1 Discipline.

  • Discipline is used to fuel many of your tactical and defensive skills.

Numbing Traps – Enemies hit by Fan of Knives, Spike Trap, and Caltrops have their damage reduced by 25% for 3 seconds.

Perfectionist – Reduces the Discipline cost of all skills by 10%.

  • Discipline is used to fuel many of your tactical and defensive skills.

Sharpshooter – Gain 3% Critical Hit Chance every second. This bonus is reset 1 second after you successfully critically hit.

Steady Aim – As long as there are no enemies within 10 yards, all damage is increased by 20%.

Tactical Advantage – Whenever you use Vault, Smoke Screen, or backflip with Evasive Fire you gain 60% movement speed for 2 seconds.

Thrill of the Hunt – Every 10 seconds, your next bow attack will immobilize your target for 3 seconds.

Vengeance – Your maximum Hatred is increased by 25. In addition, gain 20 Hatred and 2 Discipline whenever you are healed by a health globe.

Elective Mode

The Gameplay options menu.

There are two absolutely wonderful customizations I have been led to.  The first is Elective Mode, brought to my attention by Laz.

You may or may not have noticed some specs around the D3 universe with more than one of a certain type of skill (I have played with two Primary skills for Hatred regen or two Secondary skills for high damage, for an example).

In the Options Menu, under Gameplay, there are a series of checkboxes.  The very last checkbox is the toggle for Elective Mode, which as a default is unchecked and turned off.

Check the box to turn on Elective Mode.

Elective Mode allows you to use almost any skill on almost Action Key.

Skill selection with Elective Mode on.

Basically when you open up the Skills window and choose a skill to review or adjust, you will have these nifty arrows at the top right and left of the window, which will allow you to flip to any of the Skill families.  Some of the skills are greyed out under Primary, so not everything can be moved everywhere, but the Elective Mode option makes pairing up your skills far more versatile.

Some greyed out options for the Primary Action Key.

Alternate Move Key

The Key Bindings options menu.

Second, the other wonderful customization that has greatly helped me is the option of an alternate Move key.

I am not afraid to admit that I am mostly a keyboard-turner in WoW.  I use a weird hybrid of keyboard and mouse for both skills and movement.  So W-A-S-D is my left hand’s home when gaming, with my pinky close to the Shift and Control keys for modifiers.

Because of this, I chose W as my Move key.  I still mostly use the Left Click for this task, but if I find myself getting into a tight spot where the mouse is hindering me, I have an alternative.  This has already saved me a few times.

~ Effy

I hope this little guide helps, and if any one catches a bad link or something inaccurate, please let me know.



  1. Playing a Demon Hunter was my other choice when I thought about classes. Will probably make one if I ever want to try another class. Still enjoying my wizard though. Will have to remember this if I ever do roll one 🙂

    • Yah, I hope it helps someone! And hopefully my next post will be my own spec. (Once I am more firm on it. heh)

      It is a really fun class, but being a healer, being a pure DPS and a glass cannon DPS at that, is quite a culture shock for me. lol

      ~ Effy

  2. OMG. This looks so hard. No wonder I let my daughter play D3 instead of me.

    • Actually, since there are four levels of difficulty, the first run-through is fairly easy. Being that there are only 6 Action Keys AKA 6 abilities available at one time, learning to play is fairly easy. The only difficulty as a WoW player is possibly learning to operate almost completely with the mouse – I suppose it depends on your current playstyle.

      I would totally make a lil toon with you on the weekend or something, to show you the ropes. 🙂

      ~ Effy

  3. This is a great guide! I’m level 37 I think on my Demon Hunter right now! I also bound an alternative movement key, I used space because in wow I’m a resto druid…I may have a jumping habit! I have found that sometimes I get “stuck” using the left click on my hunter if there are a lot of mobs around!

    • Glad you found it helpful! I run into the same thing – getting stuck with the left click, cuz I am madly shooting instead of walking.

      ~ Effy


  1. D3: My Demon Hunter Spec (Pre and Post-Inferno) « Effraeti's RP

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