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