GoD Hungering Arrow Demon Hunter Guide

Low Paragon 4man Speeds

Introduction

The Gears of Dreadlands Hungering Arrow Demon Hunter has made its entry during Season 21 and immediately surged to the top of all builds in the game, especially in solo pushing. With excellent qualities in both speed and AoE damage abilities, it can be used in many versatile ways as a T16 farmer, Bounty hunter, Trash Killer in higher Tiers and as a DPS role in Speed Greater Rifts.

The build focuses on Strafe and Hungering Arrow to deal damage, which is done semi-automatically by hitting targets around you. The core of the build is the 4-piece bonus that will automatically fire your last used Primary whenever you hit an enemy with Strafe. This essentially allows you to deal most of your total damage while moving, making the build very mobile and useful for farming. The 2-piece bonus gives you a stacking Movement Speed and Damage buff, as displayed on your buff bar. This bonus stacks up to a total of 160% Movement Speed letting you literally fly through the rifts, while destroying everything in your path.

While it's theoretically possible to also play with some of the other Primary skills that the Demon Hunter has to offer (Grenade, Bolas, Entangling Shot, Evasive Fire), most of them lack proper legendary support to be an effective choice for DPS. Bolas can be used for some Torment 16 farming once you have optimized the setup very well, and theoretically outclass the Hungering Arrow version for that activity. Entangling Shot can be used in a solo pushing variant to increase your DPS output by weaving two different skills, but it's quite difficult to play.

The build and gameplay itself are easy to learn. However, when it comes to optimizing the setup to get the most out of it (especially in solo pushing), there are a lot of details and intricate mechanics to consider. Make sure to check out the Mechanics section below to catch all the important info.

Lots of cool variants ✔
Strong season starter ✔
Incredible AoE damage ✔

Versatile build for everything ✔
Very fast and smooth gameplay✔

❌ Has buggy mechanics
❌ Can feel squishy early on

❌ Pushing is quite RNG-heavy
❌ No direct targeting possible
❌ Problems with single targets


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Gears of Dreadlands set provides huge damage bonuses: x3 through the 2-piece, and x101 through the 6-piece, for a total of x303 damage with your Hungering Arrow. On top of that, the 4-piece bonus can also be counted as roughly a x2-2.5 multiplier due to effectively providing hidden extra Attack Speed. Finally, the set gives you 60% damage reduction and up to 160% Movement Speed while using Strafe.
  • The Ninth Cirri Satchel is the key item of the build, adding 100% pierce chance to Hungering Arrow as well as an up to 600% multiplicative damage increase. This item alone is stronger than almost any other single legendary in the game, as the infinite pierces amount to another multiplier of x2-30 in AoE situations. The infinite pierces are what's responsible for the build being so good in High Tier pushing.
  • Hunter's Wrath is another high-value DPS item, providing a 30% Attack Speed bonus to your Primaries (which makes keeping up Momentum stacks easier) as well as another 200% multiplicative damage bonus.
  • Dawn can be either worn or cubed, depending on what you find and the variation you play. It will help you to reach permanent Vengeance uptime.
  • Depth Diggers provide another 100% damage increase to Hungering Arrow.
  • As long as you are not using a two-handed Weapon, you can generally use a Quiver or second Weapon interchangeably (while cubing the other). With perfect rolls on all your gear, dual wielding wins out by about 0.5%.

Global Stat Priorities

Especially important for almost any DH build is reaching permanent Vengeance uptime. This is achievable through the 65% Cooldown Reduction effect provided by Dawn and having 37% Cooldown Reduction on your character. What you will always use is the Flawless Royal Diamond in your helmet slot, 10% from Paragon Points and 8% rolled on your shoulders. The rest will typically be rolled on your weapons (especially if dual-wielding), or your Gloves + Quiver (if using one weapon). If you are wearing a Dawn and it has less than 64-63% on the legendary affix, you should consider adding a 4th Cooldown item to make up for it, as any lower will leave you with a significant gap.

This build uses specific Attack Speed breakpoints for optimal damage output depending on your weapon. Make sure to check the Mechanics section below to know what you are aiming for.

Aside from that, you want to stack damage stats wherever possible, especially Crit stats, Cold Damage, Hungering Arrow Damage, and lastly Area Damage (typically in this priority). For your defensive stats you just need to focus on increasing the raw toughness value. Since your recovery is based on percentage of your maximum life, there's no reason to prioritize mitigation over health pool. Physical Resistance is also extremely useful, as you will 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.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main HandDawn
Yang's Recurve
Arcane Barb (Crafted)
Odyssey's End
Valla's Bequest
Fortress Ballista
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Damage %
4. Area Damage
5. Cooldown Reduction
6. Dexterity
Off-HandThe Ninth Cirri Satchel1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Hungering Arrow Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. Dexterity
Dual-wieldDawn
Valla's Bequest
Fortress Ballista
1. Socket Ramaldni's Gift
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Area Damage
4. Damage %
5. Elite Damage
6. Dexterity
HelmDystopian Goggles
Aughild's Spike (Crafted)
1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Dexterity
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Vitality
GlovesGas Powered Automail Forearm1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. Dexterity
ShouldersMechanical Pauldrons
Aughild's Power (Crafted)
1. Dexterity
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Area Damage
4. Vitality
5. All Resistance
Chest Galvanized Vest
Aughild's Rule (Crafted)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Dexterity
3. Vitality
4. Life %
5. Elite Damage Reduction
PantsCold Cathode Trousers
Depth Diggers
1. Hungering Arrow damage
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
3. Dexterity
4. Vitality
BootsAntique Vintage Boots
Sage's Passage (Crafted)
1. Dexterity
2. Vitality
3. All Resistance
4. Armor
Ring 1Focus
Avarice Band (A3 Bounties)
Elusive Ring
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Damage Range
Ring 2Restraint
Rechel's Ring of Larceny
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties, Cubed)
Convention of Elements (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Damage Range
BracersWraps of Clarity
Aughild's Search (Crafted)
Nemesis Bracers
Warzechian Armguards
1. Cold Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Dexterity
4. Vitality
5. All Resistance
AmuletSquirt's Necklace
The Flavor of Time
The Ess of Johan
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cold Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Cooldown Reduction
BeltHunter's Wrath
Sage's Ribbon (Crafted)
Goldwrap
1. Hungering Arrow damage
2. Dexterity
3. Vitality
4. Life %
5. All Resistance

Gems

  • Simplicity's Strength is the strongest DPS gem for Primary-based builds. It provides 100% multiplicative damage buff and also a ton of recovery.
  • Taeguk as you are a channeling base build this gem is a great offensive (up to 80% additive damage) and defensive (20% armor) choice
  • Other popular choices are Bane of the Stricken to kill the Rift Guardian, Bane of the Trapped for extra DPS, Boon of the Hoarder for torment farming, Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard to protect Squirt's Necklace buff, and Wreath of Lightning for Movement Speed.

Skills

  • Hungering Arrow Devouring Arrow is your main damage skill. All other runes deal an order of magnitude less damage vs multiple enemies, so Cold is the only way to go.
  • Strafe is necessary to activate all the bonuses from Gears of Dreadlands set, and it also serves as your main mobility skill. Only two runes on this skill are relevant: Rocket Storm adds a little bit of DPS, Drifting Shadow - a bit of Movement Speed.
  • Vengeance Dark Heart provides x1.4 damage and x2 toughness boost.
  • The last 3 skill slots are open and can be changed for a variety of defensive or utility options. However, almost every variant includes Smoke Screen—the strongest DH defensive skill, that can also provide some mobility via Displacement rune or Tactical Advantage.
  • Preparation Focused Mind provides Discipline necessary to spam Smoke Screen.
  • Finally, the last skill slot is usually another damage, toughness or Movement Speed buff. It can be any of Companion, Fan of Knives Bladed Armor, Caltrops Bait The Trap, Shadow Power Gloom or Shadow Glide, or even Entangling Shot for variations with Odyssey's End.

Passives

  • Numbing Traps is a very strong defensive passive that can be used in almost any variation of this build, as Hungering Arrow Devouring Arrow procs it by default.
  • Awareness, helps you out in tough times and saves you a death.
  • Other options include Ambush, Tactical Advantage, Blood Vengeance, Single Out, Cull the Weak, Perfectionist for most purposes like farming or pushing. Choose what you need depending on your activity, all of these are decent options giving you damage, defense or utility.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Critical Hit Damage (CHD)1. All Resistance1. Area Damage (AD)
2. Vitality*2. Critical Hit Chance (CHC)2. Life %2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Dexterity3. Cooldown Reduction (CDR)3. Armor3. Life per Hit (LpH)
4. Maximum Hatred4. Attack Speed (AS)4. Life per Second4. Pickup Radius

* Add vitality in paragon until you have at least 800k life or until you feel safe enough to push.

Follower

The Templar is recommended for this build due to his melee range and aggressive AI. When there's a monster in range he will always stand still and fight it, making him very predictable and easy to play around.

For the Skills pick Heal, Loyalty, Onslaught and Inspire. All the alternatives, except Intimidate, include AoE hard-CC, which makes mobs harder to manipulate.

Follower's damage is completely irrelevant, so we stack Attack Speed for more on-hit procs and Cooldown Reduction for more Heals. The Items are:

  • Enchanting Favor to make follower immortal
  • Oculus Ring for 85% multiplicative damage boost
  • Hellfire Ring for 0.9% XP boost
  • The Ess of Johan to pull mobs together
  • Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for the Attack Speed slow
  • Any Shield with Cooldown Reduction

Gameplay

The build is overall fairly easy to play once you understand the core concept.

  • Keep your Momentum stacks (from the set's 2-piece bonus) high by attacking with your Hungering Arrow at least 5 times at the start of a run, and then refresh it back to 20 (maximum) whenever you reach 17. Like this, you will ensure the highest possible DPS and mobility from the buff.*
  • Keep up Vengeance at all times to gain its damage and toughness buffs (activate once every 20 seconds).
  • Position yourself close to the enemies, on large pulls preferably standing just outside, to have your Arrows pierce through the entire pull.
  • Hold down Strafe at all times when you want to attack, and then press Hungering Arrow. Make sure you don't drain yourself of Hatred when no enemies are around (happens especially in Bounties and Nephalem Rifts when you have long streaks of nothing).
  • Keep up your defensive buffs such as (Fan of Knives Bladed Armor, Smoke Screen or Shadow Power) as much as possible.
  • When using Squirt's Necklace, try to play a bit more defensively to keep up the damage buff better.

* As of Patch 2.6.9, Momentum stacks are somewhat buggy and don't always give you the stacks even after you attacked. Keep an eye on your buff bar to see when that happens and shoot another Hungering Arrow.

Hardcore

The build is overall decently tanky and is a great choice choice for Hardcore players. You have permanent immunity to Crowd Control effects and high mobility to get out of dangerous situations with ease when you have to. Don't forget to use the Awareness passive at all times! Ambush is usually your weakest offensive passive so if you're not sure what to replace, just drop Ambush.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
Torment 16 Setup

Gears of Dreadlands is a great Torment farming build, due to it's incredible Movement Speed (with 160% bonus baked into the 2-piece set), really high damage and ability to deal damage while moving. It is definitely among the top builds for Nephalem Rifts, but ultimately it's outclassed by Wave of Light Monks.

Concept
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 combined with Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap, Tactical Advantage, Hot Pursuit Warzechian Armguards and Rechel's Ring of Larceny (try to get Fear on Hit on your helmet, weapon and quiver).

We add other damage and utility items such as Squirt's Necklace, Nemesis Bracers to spawn free elites. Blood Vengeance will help you spam your mobility skills without stacking too much Resource Cost Reduction.

Gameplay
Keep up Momentum at 17 or more, spam your mobility skill (Smoke Screen Displacement & Shadow Power Shadow Glide) and Strafe away! You don't have to wait until enemies are dead, Hungering Arrows will continue to fly around for a few seconds after you're gone; just make sure to keep an eye out for star icons on the minimap.

Setups
If you want to maximize your Greater Rift Keystone farming efficiency, you should play the hybrid build using Natalya's Vengeance set together with 4-pieces of GoD. This way you gain 40% more damage and 60% damage reduction but lose some Movement Speed and utility (Yang's Recurve, Rechel's Ring of Larceny, Warzechian Armguards). You also have to replace Shadow Power with Rain of Vengeance and use that every 10s to activate the Natalya's Vengeance (6) Bonus. But the big payoff comes at the end of the rift where you can replace 2 of your GoD pieces with Cain's Destiny and kill the Rift Guardian by manually casting Hungering Arrow. 25% extra keys will easily compensate for all the lost Movement Speed and then some!

At higher Paragon (4000+) you can afford to drop some damage and toughness for more Movement Speed: swapping Taeguk for Wreath of Lightning, Goldwrap for Krelm's Buff Belt or Dawn for Echoing Fury. Another option is instead of Movement Speed getting Sage's Journey set for extra Death's Breath drops. You need to lose Depth Diggers and Warzechian Armguards for that, and cube the Hunter's Wrath in the armor slot.

Solo Speed Greater Rifts
Solo Speedfarming Variation

This set is one of the best solo speedfarmers in the game, as you have high damage output, paired with high mobility and defense.

Concept
To add more damage to the setup, you will use Bastions of Will and Aughild's Authority sets, Squirt's Necklace & Fortress Ballista combo along with Elusive Ring to protect the shield. As a third legendary gem, we add Bane of the Trapped for extra DPS, however you have to stay rather close to get the effect (or have your follower slow enemies with Intimidate, Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker and The Ess of Johan). Cull the Weak and Ambush help with your DPS, Tactical Advantage with your mobility. Single Out helps with your damage in single target situations, where the build otherwise struggles.

Gameplay
Nothing special from the general playstyle, just make sure you don't lose your Squirt's Necklace when you can avoid it. Depending on which tier you are farming, you could consider skipping certain bad elite packs (such as Waller Elites and Juggernauts).

Setups
The above setup is the standard you should play when solo speedfarming. At higher Paragon (5000+), you can change Elusive Ring to Convention of Elements for the extra burst during your Cold damage cycle. Make sure you only go for it if you can still keep up the Squirt's buff though!

Solo Greater Rift Push
Solo Pushing Variations

Right now, the GoD DH is one of the strongest builds in the game for solo pushing. There are a few different variations to go over.

Concept
To have enough damage for the highest Tiers, we use Bastions of Will set, Convention of Elements and Odyssey's End. We use Bane of the Trapped instead of Taeguk, because we have too much additive damage. Bane of the Stricken will fill the last gem slot to allow Rift Guardians to die. For defense we have Elusive Ring, Wraps of Clarity, Numbing Traps and Awareness.

Due to how well the build scales with density, we use The Ess of Johan as our Amulet, however The Flavor of Time is still a good choice, and it will perform better in a very good rift.

Gameplay
Hungering Arrow deals most damage in density and scales extremely well with any additional enemy you can add to a pull (due to the infinite piercing effect from The Ninth Cirri Satchel). Make sure you prioritize big pulls over finishing off small packs and Elites, as you will generally lack the damage to do so in a timely manner.

In order to use Odyssey's End effectively, you have to use Entangling Shot Heavy Burden instead of one of your utility skills. When you make a new pull and are ready to DPS it, you need to use Entangling Shot and then Strafe with it for a few seconds, making sure that all enemies are entangled. After that the only thing you have to do is change the way you keep up your Momentum stacks: instead of shooting a Hungering Arrow when the counter hits 17, you first shoot Entangling Shot and then Hungering Arrow (use Smoke Screen to stay alive) and only after that you continue Strafe-ing. Normally this would be a DPS loss because you have to spend extra time not Strafing, but because of Momentum bug you have to shoot twice anyway more often than not.

When using a 2-handed weapon you want to hug the mobs 100% of the time to maximize your DPS. Unless Oculus Ring zone spawns away from all the mobs, you should always be touching something. Refer to Mechanics section for more thorough explanation.(if you dare)

Setups

If you don't want to bother with all that Entangling Shot business, you can use Valla's Bequest as your weapon instead. It gives you slightly increased DPS and removes the melee requirement imposed by 2h weapons. It also gets you more Bane of the Stricken stacks due to its higher base Attack Speed. On top of that you get another 15% damage from Wolf Companion and 20% Armor from Taeguk. Overall, this setup is a bit weaker but more consistent and easier to play.

You also have an option to use Fortress Ballista + Squirt's Necklace. In general, you won't have high uptime on Squirt's Necklace in the rift, but if you fish enough and get some zombie-grotesque level with very tame Elite packs, then this setup becomes very good.

At high Paragon (4000+) you can swap Elusive Ring to Mantle of Channeling to get extra 25% damage.

4man Speeds
Group Speedfarming Variation

GoD DH is one of the most efficient speefarming METAs in the game right now, usually paired with another GoD and two supports.

Concept
This setup is very similar to solo speeds, but since we get a lot of toughness from supports, we can go full ham on damage, using Aughild's Authority, Steady Aim and Caltrops Bait the Trap.

Gameplay

You should be focused almost entirely on your positioning, which can be tougher than expected due to all the Movement Speed you have. You should (in order of importance):

  • Make sure that closest to you enemies are in the pull
  • Stay out of dangerous ground effects
  • Stay inside Oculus Ring zone
  • Stay inside Bait The Trap AoE
  • Stay 10yd away from all monsters for Steady Aim

Other than that you just need to keep up your Momentum stacks, spam Smoke Screen and cast Preparation and Vengeance when they come off cooldown.

Note: if you are running double DPS and both of them have Convention of Elements, you should desync them. One DH removes their CoE from the cube, waits until the other is on the start of Lightning in their cycle and puts it in again. This way you never have to wait longer than 4s for your window of increased DPS.

Setups

This setup is intended for 3 min runs, where average elite fight takes 5-10 seconds. If you are going for faster runs you should switch Special Recipe for Displacement and Caltrops for Fan of Knives Bladed Armor.

At higher Paragon (2500+) you should switch from Elusive Ring to Convention of Elements for extra burst on your Cold cycle.

When playing in a group with support monk, you should drop Fortress Ballista and use a two-handed crossbow instead. Make sure to get 1 Attack Speed roll somewhere to hit 1.51 APS breakpoint. Also switch Steady Aim to Archery, because crossbow requires you to be in melee range.



Bounties
GoD HA Bounty

Gears of Dreadlands is slightly worse than UE Multishot DH at Bounties, but it's very close, and you can just use it if you don't feel like assembling another set of gear.

Concept
Bounty build tries to maximize Movement Speed and make it consistent above everything else. For that we have a whole host of skills and items: Displacement, Shadow Glide, Hot Pursuit, Warzechian Armguards, Rechel's Ring of Larceny, Wreath of Lightning and Echoing Fury. We also need to stack some toughness to be able to channel objectives or town portal while ignoring the mobs. For that we use Aquila Cuirass, Elusive Ring and Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard.

We stack some Resource Cost Reduction on our gear and also use Perfectionist passive, because we don't kill many elite packs and thus don't get extra Discipline from Blood Vengeance.

Gameplay
Keep up Momentum at 17 or more, spam your mobility skill (Smoke Screen Displacement & Shadow Power Shadow Glide) and Strafe away! When you are teleporting to the next quest with mobs around, try to do it fast, because defensive buff from Gears of Dreadlands (4) Bonus only lasts 5 seconds.

Setups
There's not a lot you can change in the Bounty setup. If you have high Paragon and don't need toughness, get Krelm's Buff Belt instead of Aquila Cuirass. If you lack damage, swap Wreath of Lightning to Taeguk.


Video Guide


Mechanics

Hungering Arrow Devouring Arrow

  • Due to The Ninth Cirri Satchel, this skill can pierce an infinite amount of times.
  • The maximum travel distance is 120 yards or 90 yards distance from the starting point.
  • The arrow will periodically turn around and seek out a new nearby target.
  • The Devouring Arrow rune adds an (with itself) additively stacking 70% damage increase that as a whole is multiplicative to the base damage (e.g. first hit = 100%, second hit = 170%, third hit = 240%, fourth hit = 310%, ...).
  • When slowed down by Missile Dampening, the arrow will grow in intensity very fast and melt everything in seconds (about x10-x20 damage boost)
  • Devouring Arrow momentarily Chills the enemy hit, applying Numbing Traps debuff. This Chill happens after the damage and does not activate Cull the Weak or Bane of the Trapped.

Momentum (Gears of Dreadlands (2) Bonus)

  • Using Hungering Arrow will provide a Momentum buff lasting 4 seconds.
  • 5 successive casts will provide the maximum bonus (20 sec).
  • Each stack/second left adds 8% Movement Speed and 10% multiplicative damage for your Primary skills
  • As of Patch 2.6.9, there are some bugs that sometimes prevent you from getting a Momentum stack - just cast it again.

Gears of Dreadlands (4) Bonus and Attack Speed

“All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
  • Strafe will fire your last used Primary skill when it hits an enemy .
  • This effect can occur once every 9 frames (game runs at 60 FPS, max. 6.67 procs/s).
  • Rockets from Rocket Storm can proc it too when the Cooldown is ready (using that rune can increase your DPS by a small amount). AoE DoT from Icy Trail can not.
  • Projectiles generated from the set gain full effects of Hatred generation, Area Damage and proc coefficients.

Since Strafe only fires a Primary when it hits an enemy, rather when it spawns a projectile, its relationship with Attack Speed is complicated.

As a channeled skill, Strafe shoots projectiles at an accelerated rate. The main breakpoints important for GoD DH are:

  • 10 FPA - Used for Crossbows without any Attack Speed rolls
  • 9 FPA - Best for Crossbows with 1 Attack Speed roll or for Bows (you can have max. +19% Attack Speed including your Quiver, so you have to remove it from Paragon points). When at this breakpoint, you want to stay inside the pull for optimal Primary generation from the 4-piece bonus.
  • 8 FPA - Avoid this breakpoint at all costs
  • 7 FPA - Typical breakpoint for One-handed/Dual-wield setups
  • 6 FPA - If you happen to get some Attack Speed on your gear with a One-handed Weapon, you can consider this one, but it barely adds any DPS and can cause Hatred issues in speedruns.
  • 5 FPA - Don't try to reach this one, too much investment

Here is the table. The values given are ranges between one breakpoint to the next (e.g. here we have a character with 2.00 APS at the 7 FPA breakpoint, which ranges from 1.8751 to 2.1428 APS):

First, we consider the situation where each Strafe projectile hits an enemy exactly when it spawns (this actually happens when you are inside the mob's hitbox). Then the result is pretty clear: for breakpoints of 9 Frames and slower, you get a Primary on every tick of Strafe, and for faster breakpoint you get a Primary on every other tick.

BreakpointPrimaries/sec
10 frames6.00
9 frames6.67
8 frames3.75
7 frames4.29
6 frames5

You can see that at 9 frames breakpoint, you reach the theoretical maximum "Attack Speed" of 6.67 attacks per second. For that reason, you play this build in melee when you equip a 2h weapon.

Now, everything gets a lot more complicated when you are not in melee range. Strafe still continues to spawn projectiles at a steady rate, but now each projectile hits an enemy after some delay. That delay is dependent on the distance between you and the closest enemy and that distance, of course, changes when you or the monsters move. Because of that, instead of trying to spawn a Primary every X frames, you try to spawn it every X frames + small, essentially random, delay. Using Rocket Storm rune adds extra (random) points in time where a Primary can potentially spawn, effectively increasing DPS by about 5% at all breakpoints. All this randomness makes it impossible to predict how many Primaries per second will be actually spawned depending on your Attack Speed. The following results were obtained experimentally, by Strafing for a minute around 15-20 mobs and then counting all the Hungering Arrows fired.

BreakpointPrimaries/sec
10 frames4.7
9 frames5.1
8 frames4.8
7 frames4.7
6 frames5.2

Note, that for 6-8 frames breakpoints, these values are higher than what you get when sitting on top of mobs, so to maximize your DPS, while playing with 1h Crossbows, you should stay outside of the pull.

If you are using Valla's Bequest, each Strafe projectile produces many moments in time where a Primary can spawn. With enough (20+) mobs around, this essentially means that you attempt to spam a Primary on every single frame, and that puts your rate of fire at 6.67 shots per second, regardless of where you stand. In comparison to that, Buriza-Do Kyanon's legendary effect is a lot weaker due to its ICD and limited number of pierces. It provides less than 0.5% DPS increase.

Another issue is GoD DH's interaction with Bane of the Stricken. When you hit an enemy with a skill, that has greater than zero proc coefficient, you apply a stack of Bane of the Stricken to them, and the gem itself goes on cooldown equal to 0.9 divided by that skill's Attack Speed. Now in typical GoD build you have a lot of skills all hitting the boss at the same time:

  • Vengeance cannons: a normal skill
  • Vengeance rockets: also normal skill
  • Hungering Arrows: a normal skill with separate x1.3 Attack Speed multiplier from Hunter's Wrath
  • Strafe: a channeling skill with 4.0 speed coefficient
  • Rocket Storm's rockets: a channeling skill with 2.0 speed coefficient

All these attacks hit the boss with high frequency and in completely random and uncontrollable order. For that reason Stricken/second values were also obtained experimentally to compare 2h and 1h setups:

1.54 APS (9 frames Strafe breakpoint): 2.24 stacks/second

2.08 APS (7 frames Strafe breakpoint): 3.25 stacks/second

On high tiers this means almost a minute faster bossfight, and it makes all 2h setups (except Odyssey's End) inferior to Valla's Bequest.

Valla's Bequest

  • Valla's will make all Strafe projectiles pierce - it doesn't add anything to the Hungering Arrow itself.
  • Piercing projectiles can proc the 4-piece bonus again as long as the Cooldown is up (9 frames).
  • In big density, you almost guarantee a 4-piece proc immediately when the Cooldown is ready.
  • The overall DPS gain over wearing another random weapon is between 0% (single target) to 20% (high density).
  • Valla's comes with one extra primary stat and an item-specific Strafe damage roll that can be removed (Strafe damage does not affect Hungering Arrow damage).

Odyssey's End

  • Entangling Shot Heavy Burden lasts for 4 seconds.
  • Hitting any enemy in the pull will slowly spread the slow effect to more and more targets nearby.
  • The visual effect is not always displayed properly, but you can be sure that enemies are slowed after a while.
  • Refreshing the debuff on one monster of the chain will refresh it on all of them.
  • If you lose the debuff, you will have to re-apply it to every single monster again.

Fortress Ballista

  • Gives a shield that stacks up to 10 times for a maximum of 30% of your total life.
  • Shield lasts permanently and snapshots you Maximum Health at the time of application.
  • Each time you attack you get at least 1 stack of the shield, however you often get more (sometimes all 10 at once), making this item significantly stronger than it appears at the first glance.
  • Very useful to protect the buff given by Squirt's Necklace.
  • Keep in mind that your shield takes more damage with this setup as long as you have the amulet's buff.

Summary

  • Reach the necessary Cooldown Reduction for permanent Vengeance (37% with a perfect Dawn).
  • Get the Momentum buff to 20 and keep it above 17 at all times by using your Hungering Arrow.
  • Use Strafe the rest of the time to move and DPS.
  • Activate your defensive/utility skills where necessary.
  • Avoid wasting your time on single enemies or elites that don't die - your strength is AoE dps.

Guide by wudijo and Northwar

I hope you enjoyed this guide! Gears of Dreadlands is a great build for all kinds of purposes and skill levels, and if you're not familiar with it yet, just hop in and try it out!