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Shadow Impale Demon Hunter Guide

Last Updated: April 11th 2024

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Shadow Impale Solo Push (Stationary Cold Setup)
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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 120,000% 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 40,000% extra Weapon Damage for subsequent hits of Impale Ricochet and Overpenetration or another 120,000% 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.

Simple mechanics
Strong season starter
Unique melee playstyle
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 x161 through the (6) Bonus, for a total of x9,821 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.

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




Paragon Points





Nephalem Rifts
GR Speeds
GR Solo Push
GR Group RGK
Shadow Impale Solo T16

The Shadow's Mantle is typically not really a very competitive Torment farming build, due to it's limited AoE coverage and way too high damage. It's mainly useful there in case this is the first set you complete and to start farming up others like UE Multishot or GoD, or when you get it as a season starter from the Haedrig's Gift.

The idea here is to stack lots of movement speed while still being able to kill most big enemies quickly as you are passing by. To achieve this, we use the whole arsenal: Avarice Band on our follower combined with Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap, Tactical Advantage, Hot Pursuit.

We add other damage and utility items such as Squirt's Necklace, which will be protected by Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard. Finally, we are using Vengeance Seethe, because in T16 all enemies die in one hit and Karlei's Point doesn't restore that much Hatred.

Hunt Elites, kill some of the big trash monsters on the way, ignore everything else. Impale is (in)famous for its simplicity and in Nephalem Rifts there's literally nothing you have to worry about.

While farming in groups, replace Warzechian Armguards and Pandemonium Loop with Nemesis Bracers and Avarice Band.

It is also possible to use Sage's Journey in groups for extra Death's Breath drops by wearing two pieces along with a cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur and cubing the Chain of Shadows.

Shadow Impale Solo Speeds

In speedruns, both Cold and Fire version are possible. The former focuses more on AoE while the latter is stronger on single target. Additional Resource Cost Reduction rolls can help you out if you run low on Hatred or Discipline, but Blood Vengeance usually takes care of that.

Due to the heavy movement, we cannot use Endless Walk, and rather rely on Focus & Restraint. Because we have to use a Generator (Bolas) skill to activate them anyway, we also include Wraps of Clarity for the additional defense.

Finally, we use Squirt's Necklace for double damage. On top of standard Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard we use St. Archew's Gage. This item works wonderfully in speedruns, giving us a massive shield when we encounter an Elite pack—precisely when we need it most. 10 second duration is more than enough to kill the Elite and move on. With this setup you only lose the buff when you find multiple Elites in the same spot.

Keep up your buffs with one generator cast every 5 seconds, otherwise jump around and hunt mainly for Elites and big packs of monsters. When you find an Elite, try to kill it as fast as possible; if it has aggressive affixes, you might lose the shield after a few seconds, but by then Elites should be almost dead, and by the time you reach the next pack, your shield will regenerate.

At low Paragon (2000 or less), you can also run with Guardian's Jeopardy instead of Captain Crimson's Trimmings for similar damage output but better survivability.

If you don't want to worry about the small shield gained from Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard, replace it with Bane of the Powerful.

For an even faster but squishier version, also replace Dawn with Echoing Fury and swap Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard with Bane of the Powerful. This setup works best for very short runs (90-120sec).

Select Build Version

Shadow Impale Solo Push (Stationary Cold 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, Numbing Traps and Boar Companion. For damage we use the Endless Walk set.

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.

For the Fire variant, you can swap Bane of the Stricken with Esoteric Alteration for more toughness.

If you struggle to survive, you can replace Convention of Elements with Elusive Ring for a massive improvement in toughness.

At low Paragon (2000 or less), you can also run with Guardian's Jeopardy instead of Aughild's Authority for similar damage output but better survivability.

At high Paragon (3000 or more), you can make more offensive choices such as switching your Companion rune to Wolf Companion.

Shadow Impale RGK

The set is quite strong as a Rift Guardian Killer (RGK), however typically not the prime choice. Regardless, it remains a decent option and capable of the highest tiers with a group that wants use it. The only viable choice here is the Fire rune, which effectively doubles your single-target damage.

As a RGK, you just need to get to the boss somehow, and then kill it. We optimize this setup for most Boss DPS possible, which will leave you quite squishy and helpless, especially during high tier pushing.

To achieve this, we add lots of DPS items at the cost of utility, such as Squirt's Necklace, Aughild's Authority set and we even drop Chain of Shadows for The Witching Hour. Also, we have to include Bane of the Stricken, it's the most important gem for a RGK.

It can be very difficult to reach the Rift Guardian without dying, so you have to be careful with your movement and defensive abilities such as Vault in order to not run out of Discipline. On the Rift Guardian, you hold down Impale until it's dead, potentially repositioning yourself sometimes in case they move or spawn adds, to make sure all 3 Impale projectiles are hitting the boss' hitbox.

You need to stay at least 10 yards away from the boss to activate Steady Aim. At the same time, you don't want to be much farther away than that to hit with all three knives. To get a good feel of how far away 10 yards actually is, you can play UE Multishot DH and pay attention to your (4) Bonus buff. It refreshes every 0.5 seconds, if there is no enemy within 10 yards of you—the same condition as Steady Aim.

At low Paragon (2000 or less), you can also run with Guardian's Jeopardy instead of Aughild's Authority for similar damage output but better survivability.

If you have trouble keeping your Squirt's Necklace buff, switch to an Endless Walk setup by dropping the amulet and Stone of Jordan. This setup is a lot more tanky, but deals a lot less damage.

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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