The Legacy of DreamsRapid Fire Demon Hunter first became a real build in season 17, when two of its key items, Wojahnni Assaulter and Sin Seekers, received tremendous buffs. With none of Demon Hunter sets working particularly well (if at all) with Rapid Fire, the Legacy of Nightmares set (and similar effects) was a natural choice for this build. Natalya's Vengeance version of this build also exists, but it requires at least 8000 Paragon to survive. Season 22 lowers that requirement to a more reasonable 3.5k Paragon with an extra cube slot.
The build was so powerful that it immediately claimed the top spot on solo Demon Hunter leaderboards, destroying the fragile balance we had after season 12 and season 16 balance patches. Instead of 4 different builds (Impale, UE MS, N6M4, and M6 CA) performing within 3 tiers of each other, we suddenly had only one undisputed top dog. And let me tell you, that wasn't a pretty dog. Not by a long shot.
The main problem with Rapid Fire DH comes from Wojahnni Assaulter, which rewards you for channeling Rapid Fire for long periods of time. Sin Seekers further exacerbate this issue by removing Rapid Fire's channeling cost, letting you channel it indefinitely. On top of that Rapid Fire snapshots your Attack Speed when you start channeling it, giving you extra incentive to never let go of the button. All these factors combined, resulted in a build designed entirely around standing still and holding down one button. Needless to say, such a build doesn't produce very exciting gameplay. Most of the time you just hold Rapid Fire and stare at your buffs and cooldowns, because you need neither move nor aim. At the same time this build outperformed all other DH builds by such a large margin, that you were forced to play it to compete. Finally, after 4 seasons of Rapid Fire tyranny, Gears of Dreadlands was introduced in season 21, giving us a superior solo push build GoD HA Demon Hunter.
Embodiment of the Marauder is the DH set designed about Sentries, but you actually need to combine it with another set in N6M4 build to get a Sentry-based playstyle. LoD Rapid Fire however, goes a step further than that. It is the ultimate Sentry build: you become the Sentry.
Very tanky ✔ A lot of explosions✔ Extremely high recovery ✔ Scales well with density ✔
❌ Extremely boring ❌ Very slow and clunky ❌ Long and boring boss fights ❌ Did I mention it's boring?
Wojahnni Assaulter is our strongest multiplier, giving 3000% additive Rapid Fire damage. Unfortunately it also makes all other sources of additive damage (Rapid Fire rolls on gear, Strongarm Bracers, Taeguk, etc.) completely irrelevant.
Sin Seekers increase Rapid Fire damage by 300% and remove its channeling cost.
Hellcat Waistguard is an effective x2.5-5 multiplier (see Mechanics section for details) which works with all grenade skills including Rapid Fire Bombardment.
Dawn lets us achieve easy 100% Vengeance uptime.
Visage of Gunes gives permanent 50% damage reduction by adding Dark Heart rune to Vengeance.
Stone Gauntlets roughly triple our toughness with no downside due to permanent Vengeance.
Mantle of Channeling is a no-brainer in any channeling build giving 25% damage and damage reduction for free.
Convention of Elements is another separate damage multiplier, giving you triple damage during your Fire cycle.
Elusive Ring provides a massive 60% damage reduction.
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, 10% from Paragon Points and 8% rolled on your Shoulders and The Flavor of Time. The last roll will typically be on your Gloves or Quiver. If your Dawn 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.
Attack Speed is largely irrelevant due to massive boost from Pain Enhancer, only the multiplicative 7% roll on Dawn is important, but even there it's not necessary.
Aside from that, you want to stack damage stats wherever possible: Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, Fire Damage and Area Damage. For your defensive stats you just need to focus on increasing the raw toughness value. 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 stand directly inside your enemies and most of the incoming damage will be of that type. You should always use Flawless Royal Diamond in your Chest and Pants sockets.
1. Fire Damage 2. Critical Hit Chance 3. Dexterity 4. Vitality 5. All Resistance
The Flavor of Time The Traveler's Pledge The Ess of Johan (Cubed)
1. Socket 2. Critical Hit Damage 3. Fire Damage 4. Critical Hit Chance 5. Cooldown Reduction
1. Dexterity 2. Vitality 3. Life % 4. All Resistance
Legacy of Dreams is the centerpiece of any LoD build, providing up to 9750% damage and 52% damage reduction (with 13 Ancient items).
Pain Enhancer gives us about 100% DPS increase in large pulls, which can also be snapshot so it persists even when the mobs start dying.
Bane of the Stricken is necessary to kill the Rift Guardian.
Bane of the Trapped is used in Legacy of Nightmares and Natalya's Vengeance versions of the build instead of Legacy of Dreams for a separate 1.6x damage multiplier.
Rapid Fire Bombardment is your main damage skill. Bombardment is the only useable rune because of its AoE nature and synergy with Hellcat Waistguard.
Vengeance Side Cannons provides x1.4 damage, x2 toughness (from Visage of Gunes) and tremendous amounts of healing. In a decently sized pull it takes you less than half a second to go from 1% HP to full.
Smoke Screen is an excellent defensive option for this build, that can also be used to easily activate Elusive Ring.
The last 3 skill slots are open and can be changed for a variety of defensive or offensive buffs. The important requirement here is that the skill can be used while channeling Rapid Fire. That leaves us with a number of choices: Shadow Power Gloom, Wolf Companion or Boar Companion, Caltrops Bait the Trap, Preparation Focused Mind, Fan of Knives Bladed Armor.
Natalya's Vengeance version uses Vault Tumble to move through mobs, and Rain of Vengeance to activate the set bonus.
Cull the Weak is the strongest offensive DH passive providing 20% multiplicative damage increase.
Grenadier increases damage by 10% and AoE size by 20%.
Other options include Ambush, Tactical Advantage, Awareness, Single Out and Numbing Traps for extra bit of offense or defense.
1. Movement Speed
1. Critical Hit Damage
1. All Resistance
1. Area Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
2. Life %
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Maximum Hatred1
3. Cooldown Reduction
3. Pickup Radius
4. Attack Speed
4. Life per Second
4. Life per Hit
1Vitality in paragon is not really necessary for LoD/LoN versions, 600k HP should be more than enough. Natalya version needs about 1500k HP to function.
2In versions with Aquila Cuirass put enough points to keep the buff after casting Rapid Fire (2 points for 30% Cindercoat, 38 points for 23% one).
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
Unity for 50% damage reduction
The Ess of Johan to pull mobs together
Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for the Attack Speed slow
Any Shield with Cooldown Reduction
The build is overall very easy to play.
Gather a large group of monsters around your Templar.
Get in the middle of it and shoot Rapid Fire all around you to apply Pain Enhancer DoT to all of the mobs.
Recast Rapid Fire now that you have high Attack Speed. To check whether or not you have the fastest possible breakpoint (4 frames), you can open your inventory and look at your DPS. With some experience you will be able to tell just by looking at the string of grenades coming out of your character.
Don't let go of Rapid Fire button until most of the monsters are dead. Keep up/spam all your buffs (all your other skills). If you see Oculus Ring zone spawn inside the pull, you can move to it, but only do it if you are not on Fire rotation of Convention of Elements!
For optimal DPS you want to start channeling at least 3 seconds before Fire, to get all Wojahnni Assaulter stacks and to get the bounces from Hellcat Waistguard going.
The build is very tanky and is a great choice choice for Hardcore players. You have permanent immunity to Crowd Control effects and incredible sustain. 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.
In season 22 Legacy of Nightmares set can be played with Elusive Ring in the 4th cube slot. The build still stays extremely tanky, although not to the same extent as NS LoD version. But in exchange it gains 60% more damage from Bane of the Trapped. All the other items stay the same. Cindercoat, Swamp Land Waders and Magefist for Fire damage. Wolf Companion, Ambush and Bait the Trap for damage increase and extra Critical Hit Chance. Finally, we finish off the build with some utility items: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers and Illusory Boots.
Gameplay The gameplay for this build is exactly as described above. In general you will be absolutely untouchable, there's only two things you should worry about: Oppressors and Waller Elites. Oppressors just deal ridiculous damage with their fire breath, Molten explosions and stacked Arcane Lasers don't come anywhere close. If you have many Oppressors around, try to stand next to them to make them use melee attack instead of fire breath. Waller can also be very dangerous. Most of the time walls do literally nothing because you have Illusory Boots. But sometimes the wall spawns directly on top of you and then it instantly stops your Side Cannons before they can hit any mobs. This completely turns off your healing and from there you have 1-3 seconds until you are dead. You need to notice that there's a wall on top of you and quickly move a step to the side or use the Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid. For the last few percent of progress, make sure to gather a large pull, so that you have good Rapid Fire snapshot and don't let go of the button until the Rift Guardian is dead. Be careful to not hover any UI elements if the boss is moving a lot!
If you find want more toughness you can switch Magefist in the cube to Aquila Cuirass. Be careful when playing with Aquila: while Sin Seekers remove the channeling cost, Rapid Firestill has an initial cost, so you will lose the buff if you restart the channel too often! Other toughness options are changing Wolf to Boar Companion, Caltrops to Preparation Focused Mind to get 100% uptime on Gloom, or Ambush to Awareness.
It doesn't make sense to lose toughness for damage in this variant, just play Natalya's Embrace version instead.
Natalya Solo Push
This variant of the build uses the combination of Natalya's Vengeance, Aughild's Authority and Endless Walk sets instead of Legacy of Dreams-like effect. As a result, you deal about twice as much damage, but you lose a lot of toughness. Around 3500 Paragon is necessary to survive with this build.
We need Rain of Vengeance to activate set bonuses and Vault to not get stuck in mobs without Illusory Boots. The remaining skills and passive are focused on toughness: Boar Companion, Awareness, Smoke Screen.
For this variation there's a significant difference in gameplay: you have to cast Rain of Vengeance every 10 seconds, and that means interrupting your Rapid Fire. For that reason you need to play a lot more around your Convention of Elements. Instead of sitting in the mobs 24/7, you can stay outside and hit them with Rain of Vengeance and Rapid Fire from safety. Then, about 4-5s before Fire you Vault in and start channeling. Use Smoke Screen and taunt from Boar Companion to survive until the end of Fire then get out again. Spend the downtime to aggro more mobs, rinse, repeat.
At very high Paragon (6000+) you can try dropping Elusive Ring for Mantle of Channeling to squeeze out 25% extra damage.
Has an Attack Speed Coefficient of 3.0. The highest possible breakpoint (4 Frames Per Attack) is achieved at 4.0001 sheet APS.
Attack Speed is snapshot at the start of channel. Meaning that if you make a large pull giving you a lot of Pain Enhancer stacks and then start a 4FPA Rapid Fire, it will continue firing 15 grenades per second even if you reach 100% progression and all mobs despawn.
Each grenade you shoot has a 50% chance to start bouncing
A bouncing grenade will deal 150% damage on the first impact, 50% more damage on each consecutive one, and finally 800% damage on the final impact. For the 5 Bounce belt the sequence is 150%, 200%, 250%, 300%, 800%.
Bouncing grenades can proc Area Damage and on-hit effects and have the same proc coefficient as the original skill.
On each bounce the grenade will move 11 yards in a random direction.
Upon hitting the impassable terrain or leaving the map, the grenade will stop bouncing.
Grenade skill bounces one time by default, so even the grenades that didn't proc the bounces from Hellcat Waistguard will deal 150% damage.
The randomness of bounces makes effectiveness of Hellcat Waistguard vary depending on the size of the target and explosion radius. A bigger target is more likely to be hit by multiple bounces and the 800% final bounce. Higher number of bounces will make average spread of grenades wider, however it will always deal more damage on average even to the smallest targets. That rule is only broken when you are fighting in a tight spot and grenades are likely to stop bouncing before they reach the final 800% bounce.
The above graph was simulated using 100000 shots with Rapid Fire Bombardment with Grenadier passive (9.6 yd explosion radius). Most targets will have hitbox radius of 1 or 2 yards, but some mobs such as Toxic Lurkers or Punishers, as well as Rift Guardians can be a lot bigger.
Gives 10 stacks of buff for each second spent channeling Rapid Fire, regardless of Attack Speed.
Each stack gives up to 100% additiveRapid Fire damage.
All stacks are immediately lost when you stop channeling.
The damage bonus is fully dynamic. You need to have the buff up when Rapid Fire hits enemies.
Vengeance Side Cannons
Fires two piercing shots (lasers) every time you perform an attack.
This effect has 0.9s/APS internal cooldown.
Each laser heals you for 3% max HP per enemy hit.
In LoD RF build you will typically have about 3-4 APS thanks to Pain Enhancer and each of your lasers will hit about 10 enemies, resulting in more than 200% max HP restored per second.
Reach the necessary Cooldown Reduction for permanent Vengeance (37% with a perfect Dawn).
Apply Pain Enhancer to everything.
Recast Rapid Fire to snapshot the Attack Speed and hold on for dear life.
Activate your defensive/utility skills where necessary.
Guide by Northwar
I played this build in one season, and honestly, that was one season too many. Now it's useless, but it could always make a comeback. You never know...