Demon Hunter | Group | Speed | Support | Console | HC
About the author
With many years of gaming since childhood under my belt, I have been focusing on reaching new personal achievements and pushing the limits of what's possible at countless opportunities. These days I focus mainly on ARPGs, especially Diablo and PoE, and pursue the highest ranks worldwide. I like to explore, experiment, create my own style and share the best strategies with others on Twitch, YouTube or here on Maxroll! If there's a difficult build out there, you can bet I have played it already.
The support Demon Hunter (usually called the zDH because they do "zero" damage) is one of the strongest supports in the game since Season 21 and the buff to Odyssey's End. Its 150% additive damage bonus outclasses anything else in the game almost by itself on top of the other massive buffs zDH can bring. Its usually paired with a zBarb that does most of the pulling.
Due to its speed and flexibility, zDH fits into a variety of group setups very easily with just a few changes and can be tweaked to either bring a few more buffs or even some pulling ability with Leonine Bow of Hashir and Bolas. Especially for speedruns, you can massively improve performance by showing good support gameplay, even as a single supporter.
The core setup (see below) is very barebones and allows a lot of room for variations. Typical additions to the build include:
Gears of Dreadlands(4) Bonus providing mobility, damage reduction as well as faster application of the Odyssey's End debuff.
Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus giving you all Companion runes, especially Wolf Companion and Boar Companion (typically left out in push as the Boar Companion tends to mess with Crowd Control Resistance).
Captain Crimson's Trimmings can help with survival and Cooldown requirements.
Asheara's Vestments(4) Bonus letting you summon all 3 of your followers, who can buff your damage dealers with Onslaught, Erosion, Piercing Shot and Night's Veil.
Overall zDH is versatile, ranges from laid-back to very demanding to play and is a great boost to the party in almost any scenario. In most cases, you can buff your teammates' damage output by 100-200% while providing them with 33-55% damage reduction and some utility like pulling and spawning Elites from Pylons at the same time. The build is tanky when you want it to be and goes well with almost any DPS build in the game!
Easy to Gear ✔ Fun Playstyle ✔ Extremely Mobile ✔ Incredible Damage Buffs ✔
❌ No Pulling Ability ❌ Weak Defensive Buffs ❌ No Crowd Control Immunity ❌ Detrimental with poor Execution
Odyssey's End paired with Entangling Shot Chain Gang is the core of your buffs: an impressive 150% additive damage bonus.
Oculus Ring is a staple in every support build, bringing 85% multiplicative damage bonus (not stackable) if your teammates stands on the area it creates.
Nemesis Bracers in order to spawn extra Elites from Pylons.
Strongarm Bracers provides 30% additive damage bonus after hitting an enemy with a knockback (Vault Rattling Roll or Bolas paired with Leonine Bow of Hashir).
Companion Wolf Companion provides a 15% multiplicative damage bonus.
Multishot Wind Chill adds 8% Critical Hit Chance (usually around 7-10% DPS) and pairs well with Iceblink (for a total of +18% Critical Hit Chance, the gem doesn't stack).
Elusive Ring provides a massive 60% damage reduction to yourself.
Season 25Soul Shards
Soul Shards are powerful socketable items that only drop during Season 25. There are 4 available for Weapons based on the Lesser Evils, with another 3 for Helmets based on the Prime Evils. They drop at Rank 0 and be upgraded three times with the brand new Hellforge Embers to unlock additional powers, or be used in the Kanai's Cube as Augments. Here's how they progress:
Rank 0: Soul Shards begin with a unique static Legendary Power. Creates a Rank 50 Augment.
Rank 1: Gives all powers from the normal gems. Creates a Rank 75 Augment.
Rank 2: Grants one additional powerful stat. Creates a Rank 100 Augment.
Rank 3: Unlocks 1 of 3 bonus Legendary Powers unique to that Soul Shard. Creates a Rank 125 Augment.
Warning: Leoric's Crown and Broken Crown do not work with Soul Shards!
Read our Soul Shards Guide for full details on how they work. What you should prioritize on them for Solo Pushing is the following:
The Correct Soul Shard& Rank 3 Power The best shards for this build are:
Helmets: We want to use Fragment of Destruction for the unhindered movement and the reduced cooldowns. For the Rank 3 power take the Trail of Fire that executes all enemies below 10% health to help our team clear the content.
Weapons: We want to use Remnant of Pain to give our party 50% increased attack speed (make sure you have at least a minimum amount of Critical Hit Chance to proc it).
In case another character in the group is already running with that gem, we want to use Essence of Anguish to buff everyone with 50% increased Poison Damage, which actually applies to all damage done! Hint: Make sure to get a Poison Damage Range on your Weapon so it can proc the shard automatically.
An alternative to that is also Stain of Sin with the rank 3 upgrade that produces and extra Progression Globe for very fast runs.
The Rank 2 Stat The stats that come from the second upgrade are not equal. Here's what we're looking for on them:
Helmets: We want Melee or Ranged Damage Reduction to survive. Avoid Main Stat, Armor and All Resistance as their stat ranges are far too low compared to the other options.
Weapons: We want Attack Speed as a Support to cast our abilities faster. Avoid all other stats as they offer nothing for support characters.
The Stat Ranges on the Rank 1 and 2 Powers This is just icing on the cake because the ranges will not make or break your build. Still, look for the Soul Shards with the best stat ranges, especially on the offensive stats.
For the other game modes, other Soul Shards can be used. Check the Variants below to see what's used there.
What about extra Soul Shards? Either salvage them for gems, or upgrade and use them in Kanai's Cube for Augments.
Global Stat Priorities
The build doesn't require much to get started. You have 3 main support stats that you want to focus on: Cooldown Reduction (CDR), Resource Cost Reduction (RCR), and Attack Speed (AS). RCR is always nice to use your Discipline consuming mobility skills but it's never critical. AS helps you do everything faster and for that reason it's your main stat in speed variations; for push variations it's not as important. Finally Cooldown Reduction is the most important stat for the variants that don't use Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, while being completely worthless for those that do.
Everything else can be filled with defensive stats such as All Resistance, Life %, Elite Damage Reduction, Vitality, Armor (roughly in that order of priority). Make sure to remove any source of Area Damage on your gear, as this can produce a lot of lags in some scenarios.
Assembling the Build
1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cubeLegendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!
2. This is a support build, meaning we deal zero damage and need to farm the pieces/materials with a different build/character. We'll use BloodShards and Crafting Materials to acquire the remaining pieces outlined in the steps below.
1. All Resistance 2. Life % 3. Vitality 4. Dexterity
Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid
For breaking walls to pull enemies and increase DPS
Gem of Efficacious Toxin is a staple for each support build granting 10% additive damage (stacks) and 10% damage reduction (does not stack). Other supports can also wear this gem because the damage buff stacks.
Gogok of Swiftness gives 15% Attack Speed, 15% Cooldown Reduction and up to 30% Dodge based on the amount of stacks you have. You gain a stack with each hit up to a maximum of 15, and all stacks are refreshed if you attack every 4 seconds.
Iceblink provides 10% increased Critical Hit Chance to the damage dealers, applied easily with Multishot Wind Chill.
Esoteric Alteration is a great alternative for extra defense when you have enough Cooldown Reduction already.
Pain Enhancer (together with Critical Hit Chance rolls on your items) will help apply bleeds for your Trash Killer in case they use the same gem. You can do so easily by spamming Multishot.
Enforcer will be used in versions with Asheara's Vestments to keep your followers alive without an immortality relic. The 90% damage reduction bonus applies to them.
Entangling Shot Chain Gang - core damage amplifier through Odyssey's End.
Multishot Wind Chill adds 8% Critical Hit Chance for your DPS and applies slows (for Iceblink).
Companion Wolf Companion gives 15% multiplicative damage bonus to the whole party.
Strafe Drifting Shadow when combined with Gears of Dreadlands will fire your Primary skills and allow you to get a huge Movement Speed bonus.
Bolas will be used to pull enemies together and activate Strongarm Bracers when there is no one else in the party to do it (through the effects of Leonine Bow of Hashir).
Smoke Screen Displacement can be used for moving and survival. On higher tiers this can be swapped to Vault Rattling Roll to activate Strongarm Bracers in no-pull variants of the build (In high Greater Rift variations with Gears of Dreadlands(4) Bonus equipped, movement skills can be completely omitted in order to include another buff).
On high tiers, Sentry Guardian Turret is useful for extra defense. Similarly, Marked for Death Contagion or Valley of Death can be added for a better damage boost.
Numbing Traps is a core support passive: it provides 25% damage reduction and stacks multiplicatively from different Demon Hunters.
Tactical Advantage is the best DH passive for mobility.
Awareness will save you from dying when things go wrong.
Other options include Hot Pursuit, Custom Engineering (when using Sentry Guardian Turret, Blood Vengeance for resources in speedruns or Perfectionist for defense.
1. Movement Speed
1. Cooldown Reduction
1. All Resistance
1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Attack Speed
2. Life %
2. Pickup Radius
3. Critical Hit Chance
3. Life per Hit
4. Maximum Hatred
4. Critical Hit Damage
4. Life Regeneration
4. Area Damage2
1 Put all points into Vitality until you reach 3 million HP, then put the rest into Dexterity for Armor. 2 Do not take Area Damage as we deal no damage and it will lag the game.
Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:
The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
Follower’s powers are based on their mainstat (maxed at 25,000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10,000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
Enforcer can be worn on the player character to give them 90% damage reduction, allowing them to stay alive easily without the immortality relics.
Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.
This build can use Asheara Vestments set so we need to gear all 3 of our followers.
Onslaught Bot Templar
This templar only has one Purpose: to cast Onslaught giving your DPS 10% additive damage. Don't give him any other active skills to make sure that he doesn't waste time doing anything other than casting Onslaught. To increase his defenses, use Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
To optimize the follower, stack toughness and use Hilldenbrand's Training Sword. Otherwise just go with Enchanting Fervor as the difference is marginal.
Strength > Toughness > Attack Speed.
Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage. (you only need one ring on any of your followers)
Mempo of Twilight, Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit, Pig Sticker, The Witching Hour, Lacuni Prowlers and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.
Erosion Bot Enchantress
Similar to the Templar, Enchantress only exists to provide its 10% additive debuff. All the same considerations apply for gearing and skill choices. To increase her defenses, use Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
To optimize the follower, stack toughness and use Vadim's Surge. Otherwise just go with Smoking Thurible as the difference is marginal.
Intelligence> Toughness > Attack Speed.
Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
Mempo of Twilight, Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit, Pig Sticker, The Witching Hour, Lacuni Prowlers and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.
Night's Veil Scoundrel
Finally it's time for the star of the show - the Scoundrel. Unlike the other two, Scoundrel has whole 2 useful skills. The customary 10% additive debuff from Piercing Shot and also the Night's Veil which can give your DPS 100% Critical Hit Chance for a short time.
Night's Veil has a 30 second cooldown, same as the duration of Asheara proc, meaning he will use it only once and then despawn right before it comes off cooldown. For that reason we will use Slipka's Letter Opener and stack toughness to make it possible to get two Night's Veil casts from one Asheara proc. With an Enforcer equipped on the player he will stay alive that way.
Here our Scoundrel needs all the toughness he can get. Love your Scoundrel, give him good ancient items with lots of Dexterity, Vitality and some Intelligence augments.
Dexterity > Toughness > Attack Speed.
Esoteric Alteration: For 60% non-Physical damage reduction.
Eye of Etlich: For 30% ranged damage reduction.
Mutilation Guard: For 60% melee damage reduction.
Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
Aughild's Authority: For 30% Elite damage reduction.
Boots of Disregard: For Health Regeneration.
Leoric's Crown: For 23% extra Life.
Lacuni Prowlers and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.
Apply your debuffs with Multishot at the start of the fight and again every 3 seconds.
Shoot Bolas exactly one time to make a pull, then switch back to Entangling Shot. You may reapply Bolas sometimes, but never spam it all the time (especially using the Gears of Dreadlands(4) Bonus).
Use Companion in every fight. Be careful when using the Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus giving you the Companion Boar Companion. While it's nice to have the toughness boost, the Taunt will make it difficult for you or other supports to pull enemies together, so try to use it before engaging or after preparing the pull.
Use Entangling Shot whenever you don't have any other responsibilities.
Activate Smoke Screen or Vault at least once every 8 sec to gain the Elusive Ring buff.
Snipe a low-hp target with Marked for Death Contagion to let it spread to the rest of the pull quickly, or put a Valley of Death in the middle when using that rune.
When using Vault Rattling Roll, make sure you don't spam this knockback too much as you will make monsters immune to Crowd Control very quickly and won't be able to react when you really have to use one. If you need to keep up Elusive Ring at all costs, try to run away a few steps so you won't hit anything at the wrong moment.
Always stay close to your DPS players, pick up Health & Progress Globes, and go a little step ahead of the party to engage enemies first (and pull them together with Bolas before applying all your debuffs.
Activate Pylons using Nemesis Bracers when your party is ready (typically instantaneously).
Note that any knockback attempt will trigger the damage buff from Strongarm Bracers, even if the target is not displaced, including on Rift Guardians and Juggernaut Rares. If several players use Strongarm Bracers, their effect will stack additively. Check out our Crowd Control post by Chewingnom for more details!
Support DH is the tankiest support class (and probably endgame build in general) in the game when you take the appropriate toughness choices. You should never die unless you lag or disconnect or some other terrible things happen. Don't forget to use the Awareness passive at all times!
The standard support DH is easy to play and provides huge damage bonuses to the party. In almost any scenario, it can be added to a group and improve the performance significantly, while being safe and tanky.
Concept We use Gears of Dreadlands(4) Bonus for mobility and to apply Entangling Shot faster. Smoke Screen Displacement is used for mobility that can be cast without interrupting Strafe.
Gameplay This is the most relaxed support build in the game to play. Keep up your Momentum for extra movement speed by using Entangling Shot regularly. Strafe around close to your party and make sure you shoot long enough to apply the Odyssey's End debuff to all enemies. Other than that, apply Multishot Wind Chill to enemies every 3 seconds, use Wolf Companion on cooldown (or at least during a nuke phase) and when in range of your DPS players. Also, typically you will be the one to click pylons and collect progression globes from defeated elite packs.
Setups Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus can be used to provide the Boar Companion buff for more defense, but it's generally avoided as it can easily do a lot more harm than good if you taunt monsters in the wrong moment (due to the long duration Crowd Control effect it applies making enemies immune to pulling/stunning).
Concept We use Gears of Dreadlands(4) Bonus for mobility and to apply Entangling Shot faster. We compliment it with Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus to get the Boar Companion. We use Bolas + Leonine Bow of Hashir + Emimei's Duffel to pull monsters together. Finally we have Smoke Screen Displacement — a mobility skill that can be used without interrupting Strafe.
Gameplay As support DH with Bolas, you have a lot to do, and your performance directly impacts how fast and how high you can go, more than anyone else in the party.
Generally, your gameplay looks like this: Strafe through the rift slightly ahead of the party, looking for an elite pack or big enough group of trash to fight. Once you find them, you stop Strafe, use Bolas - Entangling Shot - Multishot in that order, and then continue Strafe to apply Odyssey's End debuff. If the fight is going on for more than 3 seconds, recast Multishot. If it's still going after 6 seconds, repeat the entire sequence. DO NOT use Bolas against the same mobs more than once. DO NOTStrafe when Bolas is your last used Generator.
Setups If you are feeling too squishy, switch Hunter's Wrath for Zoey's Secret, it will make your basic debuff sequence a bit longer but you will be very tanky (alternatively Wraps of Clarity in case you drop Embodiment of the Marauder).
High GR GoD zDH
In high Greater Rifts, you will generally have a support Barbarian doing all the hard work in the party and your job will be mainly to buff your group and debuff enemies. This role is usually pretty easy to play, so perfect for beginners that want to aim high in groups.
Concept We use Gears of Dreadlands(4) Bonus for mobility and to apply Entangling Shot faster. The Flavor of Time is added for additional Conduit Pylon uptime. Numbing Traps, Wolf Companion and Multishot Wind Chill are other useful party buffs. Since the setup is so tanky and high GRs are quite slow paced, we can drop Smoke Screen here.
Gameplay Generally it will be the Barb's responsibility to bring far-away enemies and take care of pulling them together with Ancient Spear Rage Flip and Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of your surroundings and help make those pulls by aggroing monsters (preferably without using Strafe), bringing them close to the camp (where the rest of the team has decided to set up), scout pylon locations and click them at the right time.
During DPS windows, make sure you apply all your buffs/debuffs properly (Multishot every 3 seconds, spread out Guardian Turret and spam Entangling Shot or Strafe). Try to help out the group in other ways, e.g. breaking walls with Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid, taking Wormholes that might spawn in dangerous places, etc. Especially on large pulls, make sure you re-apply Entangling Shotoften and early enough (either don't let it time out by continuously attacking while circling around the pull or come back early enough to stack it on all enemies again after going very far).
Setups If you prefer even more toughness, you can choose Esoteric Alteration instead of Gogok of Swiftness.
Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus
Companion gains the effect of all runes. The only relevant passive effect is that your party members gain 20% to all Resistances and 10,728 Life Regen (Boar Companion). The active effect mainly grants a 15% separate damage multiplier for 10 seconds to party members (Wolf Companion) and triggers a screen-wide Health Globes pickup (Ferret Companion).
With Zoey's Secret, you gain up to 9% damage reduction per companion, stacking additively. In combination with Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus, you're getting a 63% damage reduction buff due to 7 companions. Adding The Cloak of Garwulf for 2 additional Wolf Companions can even buff this damage reduction up to 81%!
Nonetheless, Embodiment of the Marauder(2) Bonus is generally avoided in all higher Greater Rift setups: Having all Companions by your side is very disrupting in groups for several reasons.
First of all, the Boar Companion active effect makes the boar trigger a 20 yards radius taunt, which is a very annoying hard crowd control.
Moreover, 7 Companions creates a lot of issues regarding bodyblocking and hitboxes collisions in general, preventing proper pulling and grouping.
Finally, Spider Companion attacks and active effect applies respectively 60% and 80% movement speed slows on enemies.
Applying Entangling Shot to an enemy will also entangle nearby targets that weren't hit.
The application works even when the main target is already part of the chain.
The visual effect of the debuff is not always properly displayed, but the effects are active as long as you see it on some enemies.
If you let the debuff run out, it will disappear and have to be re-applied on all targets again.
Make sure to refresh the debuff even during nuke phases.
This item has been very useful in the past and heavily nerfed after Season 6 (Patch 2.4.2).
This effect does not stack with Marked for Death anymore, instead it applies that skill (or the chosen rune from your skill bar) to any enemy hit.
The effect can only be active on one enemy at a time.
Essentially, the only use of this item is to boost the DPS on a single enemy (especially Rift Guardians) when you DON'T intend to have Marked for Death on your skill bar.
For certain very fast Speed-GR setups running this weapon together with Marked for Death Valley of Death will allow you to apply the effect for a split second to one enemy before you hit the next. This can help give a marginal DPS increase to your party in situations where you don't have time to cast it yourself.
In-Depth GoD (4) Bonus vs. UE (2) Bonus Setup Comparison
The support Demon Hunter can be played with various setups, with no setup bringing obvious benefit over the other (More damage buff for instance comes to mind first). Indeed, the main differences between those setups is tied to mechanics that are not easily rationalized in order to define which is clearly the best and leaderboards all over the world reflect that situation with numerous setups being played at the highest level. With that in mind, a pro & con comparison seems to be in order:
✔ Easy to Gear ✔ Accessible & Fun Playstyle ✔ Fast if Momentum Stacks are Maintained ❌ Slows Everything on its Way ✔ Fast Buff Application ❌Mandatory Strafe as 6th Skill
❌ Gear Dependent ❌ Demanding Playstyle ✔ Extremely Fast ✔ Great at Bodypulling & Scouting ❌ Tricky Buff Application ✔ Possibility for Rattling Roll Shenanigans
What seems explicit now is that meanwhile the Gears of Dreadlands setup is easy to gear and smooth to play, it lags behind the Unhallowed Essence setup when it comes to higher level of Greater Rift push, mainly because it is slower and has no choice but to almost instantly and constantly apply a 60% slow to every monster in range while using Strafe. On the other hand, Unhallowed Essence setup will be more demanding regarding buff application, requiring self-cast Entangling Shots to apply Odyssey's End massive damage buff. Thus, Attack Speed is required on the equipment as well as some extra care regarding the buff uptime.
Vault Rattling Roll can be used instead of Action Shot in the Unhallowed Essence setup to make use of Strongarm Bracers. This change takes away most of your mobility and turns you into a damage buff factory for your group. Indeed, it is not possible for the zDH to bodypull and scout as much as it has to be extremely careful with the knockback from Rattling Roll. Also, Entangling Shot debuff application becomes even harder because you have to give up on Hunter's Wrath. This setup is meant to be used by a few very experienced groups trying to reach the very best timers on the leaderboard; in other words, you should stick to Action Shot in order to help your zBarb and not being afraid of messing up Crowd Control Resistance.
With this comparison at hand, it becomes more clear what are the pros and cons of both setups; hence you now have all elements to decide which setup to play depending on your personal preferences and your group goals.
Stay with (or slightly ahead) of your party, prepare the pulls for them.
Keep up all buffs and debuffs on all enemies at all times.
Don't spam knockback skills (Bolas or Vault Rattling Roll) too much.
The overall damage multiplier to DPS players in your party will be around x2 to x3 depending on their levels of additive damage bonuses (from their gear or other party buffs).
I hope you enjoyed this guide! Playing as a support can be extremely fun with this setup, especially in the XP Speedfarming META. The zDH is almost always an excellent addition to any party.
Written by wudijo with special help from Chewingnom & Northwar. Updated by wudijo.