Shadow Impale Demon Hunter Guide

Last Updated: September 15th 2023

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Shadow Impale Solo Push (Stationary Fire Setup)
View all variants

The Shadow's Mantle Impale is a classic for Demon Hunter, allowing since its redesign in Season 5 for a melee playstyle similar to Assassin in Diablo II. It used to be the Rift Guardian Killer of choice in Season 10 and remained a solid starter choice the Seasons following for its consistency and easy gearing.

Fast, easy to build, easy to learn, it can help you get started early on and help you push quite high without too much effort involved.

Focused on heavy single-target damage through the combination of Impale and the (6) Bonus providing 75,000% extra Weapon Damage to the skill for the first enemy hit, it allows you to dish out devastating damage. Point, click & kill is the philosophy of the set, and it's very effective at searching and destroying the right targets—especially Elites.

With the Season 25 update this set was buffed to now include 25,000% extra Weapon Damage for subsequent hits of Impale Ricochet and Overpenetration or another 75,000% extra Weapon Damage for the DoT effect of Chemical Burn, either greatly buffing the set's AoE or single target DPS potential depending on the setup. This rework has also made mobile ranged playstyles competitive with the old-school stationary facetank builds that traditionally dominated the set's leaderboards, offering a variety of choices in how to play it.

Along with that goes the (4) Bonus giving Shadow Power all runes and infinite duration. While the rune Gloom provides less damage reduction than other typical set bonuses, this is still a solid layer of protection through immense values of Life per Hit you get on top.

During Season 27, this build had a significantly different playstyle similar to the GoD DH thanks to Sanctified Powers with Sanctified Strafe and a mechanical change to Strafe allowing it to be used with Melee Weapons. This setup was exclusive to this season and no longer exists, although a Strafe based playstyle remains possible by weaving Impale between Strafe ticks while benefitting from supporting effects such as Mantle of Channeling and Taeguk.

Strong season starter ✔
Unique melee playstyle ✔
Straightforward mechanics ✔
Good single target damage ✔

❌ Close range
❌ Low AoE damage
❌ Positioning is important
❌ Inconsistent damage reduction

Core Setup

Core Item Build


  • The Shadow's Mantle set provides huge damage bonuses: x61 through the (2) Bonus and x101 through the (6) Bonus, for a total of x6,161 damage with your Impale (against the first enemy hit only). This damage is doubled with Impale Chemical Burn or 1/3 of it is applied to other targets hit by Impale Ricochet and Overpenetration.
  • Due to the (2) Bonus, you are required to use a Melee Weapon, which will be Karlei's Point. This item gives you effectively infinite Hatred in most scenarios on top of a 375% separate damage multiplier.
  • Holy Point Shot is another key item, providing a 100% separate damage multiplier and 2 additional knives to Impale, effectively tripling your damage when you stand close enough to the target's hitbox to hit it with all of your knives. Additional knives will be thrown in a small cone-shape in front of you.
  • Dawn is a staple cubed Weapon for Demon Hunters, in order to get a permanent Vengeance uptime without having to care too much about Cooldown Reduction.

Season 29 Paragon Cap

Season 29 brings several features, first the brand new Visions of Enmity mechanic. They are an optional and rewarding mini dungeon system where players slay monsters in quick succession of portals. These portals have a chance to spawn upon killing any monster in the open world and they hide many rewards for you to reap! Read the full guide on the Visions of Enmity Mechanics by Chewingnom to learn everything about this fantastic feature!

As if it wasn't enough, Season 29 also shakes things up with a Paragon Cap and a Paragon Distribution Twist! You can only assign a total of 800 Paragon Points to your character. Previously, you were only able to assign a total of 50 Paragon Points to each attribute within the Core, Defense, Offense and Utility categories, but now you can assign up to 200 in each attribute. Each category can only have 200 Paragon Points placed into them.

This forces you to make choices while also enabling crazy possibilities such as 200% Area Damage or 40% Cooldown Reduction! Note that Movement Speed now only grants 0.125% per point but can also go above the 25% Movement Speed cap from items. With that in mind, here is the Paragon Distribution you should follow for the build described in the main sections of the guide. Variants may differ, see below.

Season 29 Paragon Distribution

Global Stat Priorities

The most important for almost any Demon Hunter build is reaching permanent Vengeance uptime. This is achievable through the 65% Cooldown Reduction effect provided by Dawn (Cubed) and having 37% Cooldown Reduction. What you will always use is the Flawless Royal Diamond in your Helmet, 10% from Paragon Points. Additional sources are Gogok of Swiftness, Captain Crimson's Trimmings and a roll on your shoulders if necessary.

Impale Attack Speed Breakpoints

There are two competing variations of the build, one using Cold and another using Fire. The Fire rune Chemical Burn applies the first-hit bonus twice (on impact & 2sec burn), effectively doubling single target damage. The Cold rune Overpenetration allows for some AoE damage.

Pay extra attention to Life per Kill as a Secondary Affix on your gear. Shadow Power Blood Moon turns 50% of that into Life per Hit. By stacking Life per Kill you can boost your sustain without sacrificing any important stats. This is why we want to use Bottomless Potion of Mutilation, as you can snapshot it (see Mechanics).

Apart from that, you want to stack damage stats wherever possible, especially Critical Hit Chance & Damage, Elemental Damage, Impale Damage, Attack Speed and lastly Area Damage (only for Solo Push). The rest goes to defense, especially All Resistance on Pants, Boots, Belt, Shoulders. We can add up some Vitality rolls and Elite Damage Reduction on Chest. Physical Resistance is also extremely useful, as you generally stand very close to your enemies and most of the incoming damage will be of that type. Because of that, you should always use Flawless Royal Diamond in your Chest and Pants sockets.

Assembling the Build

Item Stat Priorities








Nephalem Rifts
GR Speeds
GR Solo Push
GR Group RGK

Select Build Version

Shadow Impale Solo Push (Stationary Fire Setup)

In pushing, both Cold and Fire versions are possible with nearly identical setups but different playstyles. The former focuses more on AoE while the latter is stronger on single target.

In order to survive facetanking monsters at higher tiers, we need to add more survivability to the setup. This is done through the Stone Gauntlets, Elusive Ring, Numbing Traps and Boar Companion. For damage we use Endless Walk set and Pain Enhancer. Attack Speed boost from the latter also helps with our recovery, but it can be replaced with Gogok of Swiftness for more consistency and toughness. Extra damage and toughness come from Aughild's Authority.

You mostly want to hunt down Elites and kill them off, however not every one of them is necessarily worth it once you approach the limits of your setup, as you might simply require too much time to finish them. This applies especially to Illusionist packs, Champions packs, Juggernaut Rares or enemies that tend to run away and hide. While fighting Elites, try to gather trash monsters around you to kill through passive Area Damage procs from the attacks to your main target.

Season 29 Paragon Distribution

For the Cold variant, you can swap Esoteric Alteration with Gogok of Swiftness or Bane of the Stricken.

For better survivability, you can replace Marked for Death with Smoke Screen.

Video Guide


Karlei's Point


Chain of Shadows

Shadow Power


  • Reach the necessary Cooldown Reduction for permanent Vengeance (37% including active Gogok of Swiftness).
  • Choose to play either a stationary or mobile version using Fire or Cold damage.
  • Stand close to your target, only the first enemy hit takes the big damage.
  • Make sure to use Shadow Power at least once at the start of a run, preferably right after pressing your Bottomless Potion of Mutilation.
  • Hunt down Elites and juicy trash mobs to progress, ignore small, stray enemies.

We hope you enjoyed this guide! Shadow Impale is an ideal beginner build, and if you're not familiar with it yet, just hop in and try it out!


Written by Northwar & wudijo
Contributions by Chewingnom
Updates by wudijo

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