Support Demon Hunter Guide

4man Speed GRs

Introduction

The support Demon Hunter is one of the strongest supports in the game and commonly used for Speed Greater Rifts in the Tier 100-120 range. It brings massive damage buffs, especially the 150% additive damage bonus from Odyssey's End that outclasses anything else in the game almost by itself. However, for high Tier pushing, support Monks and Barbarians usually fill the two support slots but it would be possible to swap Monk and Demon Hunter in many cases if the Trash Killer is able to survive (with some adjustments for extra defense).

Overall, support DH can be both very easy & relaxed and very demanding & fast-paced to play, depending on the activity and your group composition. Due to its speed and flexibility, it fits into a variety of group setups very easily with just a few changes and can be tweaked to either bring a few more buffs or some pulling ability with Leonine Bow of Hashir and Bolas. Especially for speedruns, you can massively improve performance by showing good support gameplay, even as a single supporter.

The core setup (seen below) is very barebones and allows a lot of room for variations. Typical additions to the build include:

  • Unhallowed Essence set for the 2-piece (or even 4-piece) bonus allowing faster resource gains and giving damage reduction.
  • Gears of Dreadlands set for the 4-piece bonus providing mobility, damage reduction and faster application of the Odyssey's End debuff.
  • Embodiment of the Marauder set for the 2-piece bonus giving you simultaneously the benefits of all DH pets, especially those of Companion Wolf Companion and Boar Companion.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings set can help survival and Cooldown requirements.

The support Demon Hunter is versatile, ranges from laid-back to very demanding to play and is a great boost to the party in almost any scenario. In most cases, you can buff your DPS player(s) by a factor of x2-3 in their damage output while providing between 33-55% damage reduction and some utility like pulling and spawning elites from Pylons at the same time. The build is tanky when you want it to be and goes well with almost any DPS build in the game.

Easy to set up ✔
Fits into XP METAs ✔
Fast and fun to play ✔
Excellent 2nd support ✔

Best damage buffs in the game

❌ Low defensive utility
❌ Can barely pull enemies
❌ You can mess up things
❌ No pixel-stacking ability

❌ Typically left out of push META


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Odyssey's End paired with Entangling Shot Chain Gang is the core of your buffs: 150% additive damage bonus.
  • Oculus Ring is a staple in ever y support build, bringing 85% multiplicative damage bonus (not stackable) if your DPS player stands on the area it creates.
  • Nemesis Bracers can spawn extra elites from shrines and pylons (only one support in the party will need this).
  • Strongarm Bracers provides 30% additive damage bonus after hitting an enemy with a knockback (can be either Vault Rattling Roll or Bolas paired with Leonine Bow of Hashir).
  • Companion Wolf Companion provides a 15% multiplicative damage bonus.
  • Multishot Wind Chill adds 8% Crit Chance (usually around 7-10% DPS) and pairs well with Iceblink (for a total of +18% Crit Chance, the gem doesn't stack).
  • Elusive Ring provides a massive 60% damage reduction to yourself.
  • Echoing Fury gives a ton of Attack Speed and some Movement Speed when your party members kill stuff, letting you do everything faster.

Global Stat Priorities

The build doesn't require much to get started. You have 3 main support stats that you want to focus on: Cooldown Reduction (CDR), Resource Cost Reduction (RCR), and Attack Speed (AS). RCR is always nice to use your Discipline consuming mobility skills but it's never critical. AS helps you do everything faster and for that reason it's your main stat in speed variations; for push variations it's not as important. Finally CDR is the most important stat for the variants that don't use Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, while being completely worthless for those that do.

Everything else can be filled with defensive stats such as All Resistance, Life %, Elite Damage Reduction, Vitality, Armor (roughly in that order of priority). Make sure to remove any source of Area Damage on your gear, as this can produce a lot of lags in some scenarios.

For more detailed information, check the D3planner links or the individual item stat priorities below.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main HandOdyssey's End
Leonine Bow of Hashir
Fortress Ballista
Yang's Recurve
Echoing Fury (Cubed)
1. Attack Speed
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Dexterity
5. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
Off-HandEmimei's Duffel
Bombardier's Rucksack
1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Life
4. Vitality
HelmLeoric's Crown
Dystopian Goggles
Marauder's Visage
1. Socket
2. Vitality
3. Dexterity
4. All Resistance
GlovesGas Powered Automail Forearm
Fiendish Grips
Marauder's Gloves
1. Attack Speed
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Dexterity
ShouldersMechanical Pauldrons
Unsanctified Shoulders
Marauder's Spines
1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. All Resistance
3. Life %
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. Vitality
6. Dexterity
Chest Galvanized Vest
Aquila Cuirass
Marauder's Carapace
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Elite Damage Reduction
3. All Resistance
4. Life %
5. Vitality
6. Dexterity
PantsMarauder's Encasement
Cold Cathode Trousers
Captain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. All Resistance
3. Vitality
4. Dexterity
BootsMarauder's Treads
Illusory Boots (A2 Bounties)
Antique Vintage Boots
1. All Resistance
2. Vitality
3. Dexterity
4. Armor
Ring 1Oculus Ring
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
1. Socket
2. Attack Speed
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Cooldown Reduction
Ring 2Elusive Ring
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties)
1. Socket
2. Attack Speed
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Cooldown Reduction
BracersStrongarm Bracers
Nemesis Bracers
1. Vitality
2. All Resistance
3. Dexterity
4. Armor
5. Life per Hit
AmuletHellfire Amulet
The Flavor of Time
1. Socket
2. Attack Speed
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Cooldown Reduction
BeltHunter's Wrath
Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)
1. All Resistance
2. Life %
3. Vitality
4. Dexterity

Gems

  • Gem of Efficacious Toxin - every support build uses this for 10% additive damage (stacks) and 10% damage reduction (doesn't stack).
  • Iceblink - applied from Multishot Wind Chill, adds 10% Crit Chance for your DPS player(s) (doesn't stack, only one support needs to use it).
  • Gogok of Swiftness gives both Cooldown and Attack Speed, a perfect gem for support!

Skills

  • Entangling Shot Chain Gang - core damage amplifier through Odyssey's End.
  • Multishot Wind Chill adds 8% Crit Chance for your DPS and applies slows (for Iceblink).
  • Companion Wolf Companion gives 15% multiplicative damage bonus to the whole party.
  • Strafe Drifting Shadow when combined with with the Gears of Dreadlands set will fire your Primary skills and allow you to get a huge Movement Speed bonus.
  • Bolas will be used to pull enemies together and activate Strongarm Bracers when there is no one else in the party to do it (through the effects of Leonine Bow of Hashir).
  • Smoke Screen Displacement can be used for moving and survival. On higher Tiers this can be swapped to Vault Rattling Roll to activate Strongarm Bracers in no-pull variants of the build.
  • On high Tiers, Sentry Guardian Turret is useful for extra defense. Similarly, Marked for Death Contagion or Valley of Death can be added for a better damage boost.

Passives

  • Numbing Traps, core support passive; provides 25% damage reduction (stacks multiplicatively from different Demon Hunters).
  • Tactical Advantage is the best DH passive for mobility.
  • Awareness will save you from dying when things to wrong.
  • Other options include Hot Pursuit, Custom Engineering (when using Sentry Guardian Turret, Blood Vengeance for resources in speedruns or Perfectionist for defense.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction1. All Resistance1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Vitality2. Attack Speed2. Life %2. Pickup Radius
3. Dexterity13. Critical Hit Chance 3. Armor3. Life per Hit
4. Maximum Hatred4. Critical Hit Damage 4. Life per Second4. Area Damage

1Typically you dump all Paragon points into Vitality until at least 3000+ Paragon, where the extra damage reduction from higher Armor values will start outweighing raw toughness.

Gameplay

  • Apply your debuffs with Multishot at the start of the fight and again every 3 seconds.
  • Shoot Bolas exactly one time to make a pull, then switch back to Entangling Shot. You may reapply Bolas sometimes, but never spam it all the time (especially using the Gears of Dreadlands 4-piece bonus).
  • Use Companion in every fight. Be careful when using the Embodiment of the Marauder (2) Bonus giving you the Companion Boar Companion. While it's nice to have the toughness boost, the Taunt will make it difficult for you or other supports to pull enemies together, so try to use it before engaging or after preparing the pull.
  • Use Entangling Shot whenever you don't have any other responsibilities.
  • Activate Smoke Screen or Vault at least once every 8 sec to gain the Elusive Ring buff.
  • Snipe a low-hp target with Marked for Death Contagion to let it spread to the rest of the pull quickly, or put a Valley of Death in the middle when using that rune.
  • Make sure you don't spam knockback skills too much as you will make monsters immune to Crowd Control very quickly and won't be able to react when you really have to use one.
  • Always stay close to your DPS players, pick up Health & Progress Globes, and go a little step ahead of the party to engange enemies first (and pull them together with Bolas before applying all your debuffs.
  • Activate Pylons using Nemesis Bracers when your party is ready (typically instantaneously).

Hardcore

Support DH is the tankiest support class (and probably endgame build in general) in the game when you take the appropriate toughness choices. You should never die unless you lag or disconnect or some other terrible things happen. Don't forget to use the Awareness passive at all times!


Variants

Speed GoD zDH
GoD Speed zDH

GoD DH Speeds are one of the most efficient ways to farm XP in the game. And support Demon Hunter finds home in every variation of these runs.

Concept
We use Gears of Dreadlands 4-piece for mobility and to apply Entangling Shot faster. We compliment it with Embodiment of the Marauder 2-piece to get the Boar Companion. We use Bolas + Leonine Bow of Hashir + Emimei's Duffel to pull monsters together. Finally we have Smoke Screen Displacement—a mobility skill that can be used without interrupting Strafe.

Gameplay
AS support DH, you have a lot to do, and your performance directly impacts how fast and how high you can go, more than anyone else in the party.

Generally, your gameplay looks like this. Strafe through the rift slightly ahead of the party, looking for an elite pack or big enough group of trash to fight. Once you find them, you stop Strafing, use Bolas - Entangling Shot - Multishot in that order, and then continue Strafing to apply Odyssey's End debuff. If the fight is going on for more than 3 seconds, recast Multishot. If it's still going after 6 seconds, repeat the entire sequence.
DO NOT use Bolas against the same mobs more than once.
DO NOT Strafe when Bolas is your last used Generator.

Setups
If you are feeling too squishy, switch Hunter's Wrath for Zoey's Secret, it will make your basic debuff sequence a bit longer but you will be very tanky.

In 3-support setups, where pulling is no longer your job, you can drop Bolas and use Vault Rattling Roll to apply Strongarm Bracers debuff, as that skill is less annoying to use.

High Greater Rifts
High GR Support Setup

All the way up to GR150, it's possible to replace the Monk when the party adjusts to it. As the Monk brings very strong defensive buffs and healing to the whole party, everyone else will have to stack more toughness as a result. The advantage of the zDH is that they bring much stronger offensive buffs, which can offset the loss in damage the DPS players have to endure in order to reach adequate toughness levels. It still remains a rather niche choice, however.

Concept
High Tier pushing will typically involve a support Barbarian making pulls for the group, so you should remove the Marauder's Embodiment set to get rid of Boar Companion, as it might mess with Crowd Control in a bad way. Yang's Recurve can be used alongside Captain Crimson's Trimmings for high resource and damage reduction, giving you almost endless uses of Vault Rattling Roll. Gears of Dreadlands and Strafe should be dropped in favor of Sentry Guardian Turret for extra defense. Illusory Boots will let you move through the monsters without disrupting them with Rattling Roll. Aquila Cuirass helps with toughness.

Gameplay
In high Greater Rifts you are usually much more passive than in speedruns, as the Barb will do most of the heavy lifting. Make sure you apply all your buffs/debuffs properly and try to help out the group in other ways (e.g. kiting some stray enemies in, breaking walls with Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid, taking Wormholes that might spawn in dangerous places, etc. Strongarm Bracers can be applied by using Vault (after the pull has been properly prepared already).

Setups
There isn't really anything you can change in this build. If your group for some reason doesn't have Nemesis Bracers, drop Hunter's Wrath for it. If your group has Iceblink on someone else, get Esoteric Alteration.


Video Guide

Also make sure to check out the following video explicitly going over how to zDH in GR100-120 Speedruns.


Mechanics

Strongarm Bracers

  • They stack with other supports.
  • The effect is applied for 6 sec after hitting an enemy with a knockback, regardless of whether they are moved or not.
  • Can be applied to Rift Guardians and other immovable enemies.

Odyssey's End

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

Summary

  • Stay with (or slightly ahead) of your party, prepare the pulls for them.
  • Keep up all buffs and debuffs on all enemies at all times.
  • Don't spam knockback skills (Bolas or Vault Rattling Roll) too much.
  • The overall damage multiplier to DPS players in your party will be around x2 to x3 depending on their levels of additive damage bonuses (from their gear or other party buffs).

Guide by wudijo edited and revised by Northwar.

I hope you enjoyed this guide! Playing as a support can be extremely fun with this setup, especially in the XP Speedfarming META. The zDH is almost always an excellent addition to any party.