Marauder Cluster Arrow Demon Hunter Guide

Marauder Cluster Bombs Solo Push

Introduction

The Embodiment of the Marauder Demon Hunter is one of the oldest builds for the class, reaching all the way back before Seasons. It dominated the leaderboards during Season 1 thanks to the auto-firing Sentries in combination with the "Slowball" Ball Lightning, before the set got changed to its current version. This however didn't prevent Marauder to shine during Season 2, using this time around Cluster Bombs with wall-bouncing strategies.

While it supports variety of different skills, it is most effectively used with Cluster Arrow as no other set on the Demon Hunter provides such a huge multiplier (60,000% with 5x Sentry active) and all other supported skills are more effectively used in different setups.

The basic idea is to set up a Sentry line of defense that will boost your damage and fire your skills when you do. Unfortunately, due to how the damage multipliers work with the build, the shots fired by them are mostly visual effects and don't deal any meaningful damage. This differs from the N6M4 Hybrid setup (crossover between Natalya's Vengeance and Embodiment of the Marauder), where Sentry deals all of your damage and your own shots are irrelevant.

While Cluster Arrow has been out of the meta for a long time now and has fallen even further with the advent of the GoD DH, it can still be pushed into high Greater Rifts and get on the leaderboards. Due to the slow-paced nature of the build it is mainly used for solo pushing, but also offers farming capabilities in Nephalem Rifts.

The main setup uses the Cluster Bombs rune, which significantly changes the skill functionality (see Mechanics) but offers a great damage boost from Hellcat Waistguard. This makes the pushing playstyle very close-range and difficult to survive with, but luckily you will be assisted by your own personal zoo of Companions.

Huge AoE Coverage ✔
Has an Army of Pets ✔
Grenades Everywhere ✔
Unique Pushing Playstyle ✔

❌ Very Squishy
Low Mobility
Long Recovery after Death
Damage Depends on Hitboxes


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Embodiment of the Marauder provides a 60,000% damage multiplier after laying Sentry 5 times.
  • Manticore is the core Cluster Arrow multiplier, adding a 300% damage bonus and 50% Resource Cost Reduction.
  • Hellcat Waistguard is the second core item, increasing the overall damage done by Cluster Bombs by roughly 200-500% depending on the monsters' hitbox. Larger hitboxes will be hit by more grenades.
  • Bombardier's Rucksack gives us two more Sentries, effectively adding 66.6% damage (from 36,000% to a 60,000% multiplier).
  • Zoey's Secret provides 63% damage reduction from having all 7 pets.
  • Dawn allows us to keep up Vengeance permanently for 40% damage increase and bonus Hatred regeneration or toughness depending on the chosen rune.




Global Stat Priorities
The offensive stat priorities are Critical Hit Damage > Fire Damage > Cluster Arrow Damage > Critical Hit Chance > Cooldown Reduction (until 37%) > Area Damage = Attack Speed > Dexterity. All remaining affixes go towards defense in the following order: All Resistance > Elite Damage Reduction > Vitality > Life % > Armor. Make sure to roll at least one item with Life per Hit (ideally Bracers) to get a bit of recovery.

Important: Bombardier's Rucksack always comes with a guaranteed Sentry damage roll, which should be removed in favor of Cluster Arrow. Your Sentries don't contribute to your overall DPS in a meaningful way so take the damage roll for your main skill instead.

Cooldown Reduction is only useful until you reach 37%, which is the Breakpoint for permanent Vengeance uptime using a 65% Dawn. To achieve this, you need 10% from Paragon, Flawless Royal Diamond in your Helm and three items with Cooldown Reduction rolls. Shoulders are the best spot to pick up one roll and then you'll need two more out of Weapon, Quiver, Rings or Gloves.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. Gather the full Embodiment of the Marauder set. Each piece can be gambled from Kadala for Bloodshards. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Embodiment of the Marauder set
  2. Bombardier's Rucksack
  3. Goldwrap
  4. Nemesis Bracers, Wraps of Clarity and Warzechian Armguards
  5. Zoey's Secret and Hellcat Waistguard
  6. Elusive Ring, Convention of Elements, Stone of Jordan, Unity, Focus, Restraint, The Compass Rose

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Crossbows to get Manticore
  2. Bows Yang's Recurve
  3. Hand-crossbows to get Dawn
  4. Amulets to get Squirt's Necklace, The Traveler's Pledge and The Flavor of Time
  5. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
  • Act 2: Gloves of Worship (for your follower)
  • Act 3: Avarice Band
  • Act 4: Can drop any bounty item from any act
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Captain Crimson's Trimmings, Sage's Journey und Cain's Destiny

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandManticore
Yang's Recurve
Dawn (Cubed)
Odyssey's End
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Attack Speed
4. Damage %
5. Area Damage
6. Dexterity
Off-HandBombardier's Rucksack1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Cluster Arrow Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Area Damage
5. Dexterity
Ideally, you want to get rid of the 100% Sentry Damage Affix to get Cluster Arrow Damage instead.
HelmMarauder's Visage1. Cluster Arrow Damage
2. Socket
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Dexterity
GlovesMarauder's Gloves1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Area Damage
5. Dexterity
6. Attack Speed
ShouldersMarauder's Spines1. Dexterity
2. Area Damage
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. All Resistance
6. Vitality
Chest Marauder's Carapace1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Dexterity
3. Vitality
4. All Resistance
5. Elite Damage Reduction
PantsMarauder's Encasement1. Dexterity
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
BootsMarauder's Treads
Sage's Passage (Crafted)
1. Cluster Arrow Damage
2. Dexterity
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
Ring 1Focus
Avarice Band (A3 Bounties)
Stone of Jordan
The Compass Rose
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Attack Speed
6. Damage Range
Ring 2Restraint
Unity (Cubed)
Elusive Ring (Cubed)
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties, Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Attack Speed
6. Damage Range
BracersWraps of Clarity
Warzechian Armguards
Nemesis Bracers
1. Fire Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Dexterity
4. Life per Hit
5. All Resistance
6. Vitality
AmuletSquirt's Necklace
The Traveler's Pledge
The Flavor of Time
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Fire Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
BeltZoey's Secret
Hellcat Waistguard
Goldwrap (Cubed)
Sage's Ribbon (Crafted)
1. Dexterity
2. All Resistance
3. Vitality
4. Life %

Gems

  • Bane of the Trapped is the main legendary gem, providing up to 60% multiplicative damage. With good Sentry Polar Station placement, this should be up permanently.
  • Bane of the Stricken is required to kill the Rift Guardian in solo pushes. On lower tiers, this can be replaced with Zei's Stone of Vengeance, Bane of the Powerful or Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard depending on your needs.
  • Esoteric Alteration will generally be your last gem as the build is rather squishy. Gogok of Swiftness is a solid alternative when you feel tanky enough or for setups that run Dark Heart over Seethe on Vengeance.

Skills

  • Cluster Arrow Cluster Bombs is our main nuke and DPS skill. It shoots a large grenade in an arc over the enemies which will drop more grenades from above. These grenades have a 50% chance to start bouncing and deal increasing damage from Hellcat Waistguard and cover a random area around their impact location.
  • Sentry Polar Station activates the Embodiment of the Marauder (6) bonus giving us a massive 60,000% damage multiplier when all 5 are out. They also slow enemies to activate Bane of the Trapped and Cull the Weak.
  • Vengeance is used with a cubed Dawn for a 40% damage increase and either extra Hatred regeneration (Seethe) or 50% damage reduction (Dark Heart) if you are struggling to survive.
  • Evasive Fire is our generator that activates Focus and Wraps of Clarity for 50% damage increase and damage reduction, respectively. The Hardened provides valuable damage reduction while Focus can boost your Hatred generation (especially when paired with the Dark Heart rune).
  • Companion gives us the full zoo: Raven (useless), Spider Companion (slows passively, AoE slow active), Boar Companion (Life Regen + 20% All Res passive, AoE Taunt active), Ferret Companion (10% Movement Speed passive, saves 20 points from Paragons), Bat Companion (1 Hatred Regen passive, 50 Hatred generation active) and finally Wolf Companion (15% multiplicative damage bonus for 10 seconds active). In total you will have 7 pets counting towards Zoey's Secret giving you up to 63% damage reduction, making a high roll on that legendary affix a priority (if not cubed). Since we get all runes from the Embodiment of the Marauder (2) Bonus, it doesn't matter which one you choose - all of the will provide their passive and active effects simultaneously. The main reason to use this skill is to activate the Wolf's damage bonus.
  • Vault Tumble gives us mobility, allows us to dodge attacks, aggro monsters and move into Oculus Rings. Use this sparingly as Discipline regeneration is slow and Resource Cost Reduction is low on this build. If you use Elusive Ring, use this skill at least once every 8 seconds to maintain the damage reduction buff. Typically it's easier to go with Unity which provides 20% less toughness but doesn't force you to use a skill.

Passives

  • Grenadier is our main DPS passive, adding 10% multiplicative damage bonus and 20% explosion radius to grenades generated from Cluster Bombs. It also drops a large grenade on death that knocks back all enemies, making it very important to stay alive or else your pull will be ruined.
  • Custom Engineering makes Sentry last 60 instead of 30 seconds and increases the maximum number of Sentries from 4 to 5 (when wearing a Bombardier's Rucksack. For the Embodiment of the Marauder (6) bonus multiplier this means an increase of 25% DPS (48,000% -> 60,000%).
  • Cull the Weak is another extremely strong damage passive giving 20% multiplicative damage against slowed enemies, which is easy to maintain on all targets from Sentry Polar Station.
  • The last passive slot is flexible: Generally we take Numbing Traps as it is easily activated from a variety of effects and effectively adds 33% bonus toughness. Awareness could be used if you prefer to have a cheat death, or Perfectionist if you want to get some unconditional extra defense. The offensive go-to choice is Ambush when you are tanky enough.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed11. Cooldown Reduction1. All Resistance1. Area Damage
2. Dexterity2. Critical Hit Damage2. Armor2. Life per Hit
3. Vitality (up to 800k Life)3. Critical Hit Chance 3. Life %3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Maximum Hatred4. Attack Speed4. Life per Second4. Pickup Radius

1 You only need to put 30 points in Movement Speed (less if you have a roll on your Boots) as the 10% from the Ferret Companions counts towards the 25% cap.

Follower

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.

T16 Enchantress

T16 Enchantress

For T16 we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is T16 content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For extra Elites, Death’s Breaths and In-geom procs.
  • Avarice Band: For the insane pickup radius.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur: To complete our sets.
  • Gloves of Worship: For 10 Minute Shrine Buffs.
  • Sage’s Journey: For double Death’s Breaths.
  • Cain’s Destiny: For 25% more Greater Rift Keystones.

GR Pushing Templar

GR Pushing Templar

For Greater Rift pushing we recommend this Templar setup for the sustain from Heal, 10% increased damage from Onslaught, and the very powerful cheat death mechanic from Guardian. This is the only follower build that stacks Cooldown Reduction because it works with Heal. Since we take the immortality relic, we do not need any survivability stats.

Stat Priorities:

Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Templar.

Strength > Cooldown Reduction > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Unity: For 50% damage reduction if you're also wearing one.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Leoric's Crown and Captain Crimson's Trimmings: For more Cooldown Reduction on Heal.

Gameplay

  1. Cast Sentry 5 times to get the full benefit of Embodiment of the Marauder. Refresh them regularly (60 sec duration) and whenever you make a new pull to slow enemies through Polar Station.
  2. Keep up Vengeance at all times.
  3. Regularly cast Evasive Fire to maintain Wraps of Clarity at all times for the damage reduction and to aggro enemies from a distance.
  4. Make large pulls that you can blow up using Cluster Arrow Cluster Bombs. Use this whenever you have enough resources and enemies are in a good spot. The perfect distance is roughly 10-15 yards away from the enemy (around where the arc reaches the highest point) so you drop most grenades on top of them. Avoid fighting in narrow areas.
  5. Try to spawn Oculus Rings and position yourself in them when you nuke.
  6. Circle around a pull of enemies you want to kill so that they don't move out of the area of effect of your grenades.
  7. Use Companion when you are missing around 1/3 of your total Hatred to refill it and you are about to nuke.
  8. Kite leftover enemies towards the next pull where you set up all your Sentries again and repeat.

Hardcore

The build can be played on Hardcore pretty well. You can add extra damage reduction either through Endless Walk + Unity + Elusive Ring or by changing runes from Vengeance Seethe to Dark Heart and Evasive Fire Hardened to Focus (the latter to make up for the loss of Hatred regen). Make sure to always run with Awareness; the best passives to replace are Cull the Weak cut offense or Numbing Traps if you want to reduce your defenses instead.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
Nephalem Rift

Concept
While other builds like the GoD DH or Unhallowed Essence are much better farming builds, you can still use Embodiment of the Marauder in Torment 16 efficiently with some adjustments. Instead of Cluster Bombs, this setup runs the Cold rune Maelstrom on Cluster Arrow to make use of rockets that can hit enemies far apart. Since Hellcat Waistguard doesn't synergize with this setup, that belt should be replaced with a Goldwrap along with other typical T16 items like Avarice Band and Boon of the Hoarder.

Additional damage is dropped in favor of movement speed and utility. Especially the combo between Yang's Recurve (50% Resource Cost Reduction), Preparation Focused Mind, Vault Tumble and Tactical Advantage is crucial to ensure a smooth farming experience, which makes dropping Dawn from the cube worth it. Extra resources are gained through Blood Vengeance. To help out with survival (as you will die very easily without the Goldwrap bonuses), Awareness should be used instead of Custom Engineering.

Gameplay
Similar to pushing, you want to keep up your most important buffs (Vengeance, 4x Sentry) at all times. Set up your turrets and blast away with Cluster Arrow Maelstrom.

Setups
If you want to squeeze out more damage, replace Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard with either Bane of the Powerful or Zei's Stone of Vengeance. If you don't want to rely on Goldwrap so much, you can include Wraps of Clarity again and/or wear Zoey's Secret instead.

If you want better uptime on Vengeance again, replace Stone of Jordan with Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac or drop Sage's Journey (while in a group) to free up the Jewelry and Belt slots. In groups, swap Warzechian Armguards with Nemesis Bracers.

It's also possible to play Embodiment of the Marauder with a Multishot Arsenal setup that is only slightly worse than the regular Unhallowed Essence Multishot. The main differences are reduced resource generation and toughness. For that, replace Manticore and Dawn with Yang's Recurve and Dead Man's Legacy and roll Fire instead of Cold on your items.

GR Solo Push
Solo Push

Concept
This is the version described in the main sections of this guide. Solo pushing is the only great use of Embodiment of the Marauder due to its slow-paced playstyle and clunkiness compared to the GoD DH or Unhallowed Essence. The build lacks toughness so a lot of extra defenses have to be stacked.

Gameplay
As described in the gameplay section above: Keep up your buffs (5x Sentry, Bastions of Will, Wraps of Clarity, Vengeance) at all times. Gather enemies with Evasive Fire and blow them up with Cluster Bombs when you have made a large pull. Avoid fighting in narrow areas.

Setups
Clicking on the d3planner will lead to 2 other Variants you can try to solo pushing as well. Vengeance Seethe can be swapped to Dark Heart to gain extra survivability, but it will make Hatred regeneration a problem. If you don't feel tanky enough, Bastions of Will + Squirt's Necklace can be swapped for Endless Walk + Elusive Ring, this will make you practically immortal with the updated Templar by your side!

For a more offensive variation, you can change your cubed ring to Convention of Elements. When you play like this, you can use your Wolf Companion as early as mid-Physical cycle to gain the benefit throughout all of Cold and Fire, too. Keep in mind that grenades have a delay before they unfold their full potential - you want to start shooting around 1.5sec before Fire.

There is also an option to run the build with Odyssey's End to benefit from another massive damage increase when you slow enemies with Entangling Shot. This playstyle is more difficult as kiting enemies becomes harder due to the permanent slow, Sentry positioning needs to be planned out more ahead of time as you want to benefit from Guardian Turret (which you use instead of Polar Station) and making sure to not drop the Odyssey's End debuff. In order to do so, you want to roll at least two items with Attack Speed and then fire a maximum of 3 Cluster Arrows between your Entangling Shots and repeat. Make sure to stack up the debuff before nuking on larger pulls.


Video Guide

Coming soon.


Mechanics

Cluster Arrow Cluster Bombs

  • This skill launches a big grenade in an arc that will fly over enemies and drop an additional 4 grenades along its path 0-18 yards away. The big grenade will land 32 yards away.
  • The initial shot deals damage exactly like the smaller grenades.
  • An enemy can be hit by multiple grenades if they are large enough, resulting in big monster types taking disproportionately more damage with this build compared to others.

Hellcat Waistguard

  • Each grenade has a 50% chance to start bouncing X number of times the first time it hits the ground. A grenade will bounce as many times as the legendary affix roll says once it has started doing so.
  • A bouncing grenade will deal 150% damage on the first impact, then 50% more damage on each consecutive one, finishing at 800% damage on the final one. For a 5 Bounces 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.
  • Grenades disappear when they hit obstacles or walls.
  • The randomness of bounces makes the 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. A higher number of bounces makes the average spread of grenades wider, however it almost always deals 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. Below you will see a graph simulating the different legendary affix rolls on various target sizes:

Odyssey's End

This information is only important for the solo pushing variation using the Bow.

  • 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 reapplied on all targets again.
  • Make sure to refresh the debuff even during nuke phases.

Summary

  • Reach the necessary Cooldown Reduction (37%) for permanent Vengeance and use it every 20 seconds.
  • Keep up buffs (Wraps of Clarity, Bastions of Will) at all times.
  • Set up your Sentry line of defense to benefit from your set bonuses.
  • Position yourself to hit most enemies with your bouncing grenades from Cluster Bombs.
  • Avoid fighting in narrow corridors or rooms.

I hope you enjoyed this guide and have fun with this classic Demon Hunter build.
Good luck!

Guide by wudijo with insights from Northwar, Raxxanterax & Chewingnom.