The combo between Fan of Knives and Lord Greenstone's Fan offers a unique playstyle with long setup times culminating in a big nuke. Played especially back in Seasons 5 to 8, it has been one of the longest running META builds for the class so far (although using the Legacy of Nightmares Rings back then). While it is still possible to use such a variation, the introduction of various items (Captain Crimson's Trimmings and Squirt's Necklace) along with buffs to the Natalya's Vengeance set has slowly lifted this build up over time. These days, it has fallen out of favor and is far behind the top dogs but it is still a build that can reach into the higher Greater Rift Tiers if optimized and played correctly.
Due to the nature of the slow-paced gameplay and the strong arsenal of speedfarming options available to the class, Fan of Knives is primarily a pushing build and doesn't really fit into any other scenario.
With some tweaks it can be changed to also work in Nephalem or low Greater Rifts, but it's losing a big part of its otherwise huge strength that lies in preparing large pulls for phenomenal Area Damage value and the unique trait of gaining the full 200% benefit from Convention of Elements for almost all of its damage done without making concessions for it. Because of this, it is not competitive with builds like Impale, Multishot or GoD for farming, but can still be used in Nephalem Rifts with close to similar success and a bit lower in Greater Rifts.
In addition to this, the build also offers a Shi Mizu's Haori variation as the best possible setup, only due to the shielding mechanics available to Demon Hunters through Fortress Ballista (see Mechanics). By living on the edge and playing around never taking any damage while at low life, you can improve your damage tremendously while gaining 100% consistency in your damage output. If you are looking for a challenge without worrying about your ranking on the leaderboards, this could be the build for you.
High Skill Ceiling ✔
Satisfying Big Nukes ✔
Very Unique Playstyle ✔
Huge Area Damage Value ✔
❌ Long Setup Time
❌ Not Beginner Friendly
❌ One Shot One Opportunity
❌ Low Single Target Damage
- Natalya's Vengeance provides a 14000% damage increase and 60% damage reduction after using Rain of Vengeance. This skill is used both as an activator for the set bonuses and to soften up enemies before your big nuke.
- Lord Greenstone's Fan is the core of the build, increasing the damage done by your next Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy by 400% every second, stacking up to 30 times (for a maximum of 12000%).
- Convention of Elements provides a 200% damage increase for almost all of your damage done with correct timing. When using Rain of Vengeance Anathema, you will actually use both the Fire and the Lightning cycles to deal damage at different times.
- As this is a channeling build revolving around Strafe, Taeguk is a great fit and always used, giving up to 80% additive damage bonus and 20% Armor.
- Mantle of Channeling synergizes well and adds 25% Damage and Toughness for free while using Strafe.
- Dawn will be used to ensure permanent Vengeance Dark Heart uptime with the right Cooldown Reduction rolls, giving 40% multiplicative damage increase and 50% damage reduction at all times.
Global Stat Priorities
Stack the typical damage stats such as Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage and Lightning Damage on every piece possible. Despite some setups using a Fire skill with Rain of Vengeance Anathema, it's still better to fully optimize for Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy, but Dexterity over Lightning Damage on the Amulet is still a solid option (more than on other builds). Next you want to add Fan of Knives damage rolls to your Cloak and Shoulder slots. Other item rolls go to Area Damage (for Greater Rifts) or extra Cooldown Reduction (especially in Nephalem Rifts), Damage Range (Rings) and Defense whenever you can fit it in.
Resource Cost Reduction or Elite Damage can be used on Off-Hand or Shoulders. Due to the special behavior of Cooldown-based skills (Rain of Vengeance and Fan of Knives) that scale only off your Main-Hand, you do not require a Damage Range on your Off-Hand Weapon, so it can be used as a Stats Stick.
Since we rely on shields for Squirt's Necklace (and potentially Shi Mizu's Haori, you won't need any recovery stats such as Life Regeneration or Life per Hit, as you strive to either be permanently at full or low HP. Instead, you can stack Vitality to raise your Toughness until you reach a sweet spot as we take advantage of Fortress Ballista to generate Shields based on our HP pool. This means Vitality and Life % are very important as they double dip into Shields. This is the reason why you want to aim for a decent HP pool in Greater Rift Solo Push.
As with most other Demon Hunter builds, you are aiming for permanent Vengeance uptime by using Dawn and some Cooldown Reduction rolls. With a perfect 65% Dawn, you will need 37% Cooldown Reduction, which can be achieved by 10% Paragon, 12.5% Flawless Royal Diamond in Helm and 3 Cooldown Reduction rolls on your items. Alternatively, when using Captain Crimson's Trimmings, you can skip all rolls on your gear and just go with Paragons + Diamond.
Check out a gameplay video of this build here:
- Keep up your buffs from Vengeance, Rain of Vengeance and use Strafe at all times.
- Weave in Evasive Fire around once per second to keep your Hatred up.
- Try to kill small enemies with Rain of Vengeance to save your big nuke for later and spawn Oculus Rings.
- Use Smoke Screen to move, survive and potentially keep up shields provided by Fortress Ballista.
- Gather large pulls and blow them up with Fan of Knives Pinpoint Accuracy when your Convention of Elements cycle turns to Lightning.
- Kite leftover enemies to the next pull or move on without them when it's not worth to do so.
Guide by wudijo with suggestions by Northwar.
I hope you enjoyed this guide! Although part of a quite slow-paced build, Fan of Knives is a very satisfying ability to use after preparing the right setup and provides a great challenge for solo players looking to try one of the most difficult and sophisticated setups in the entire game with the unique Shi Mizu's Haori variant.