Demon Hunter Passives

The Demon Hunter has a great variety of both strong overall and impactful situational passives. Only very few of them are very bad and should be avoided, especially Brooding and Night Stalker. Below you will find more details for each of them.

Ambush

Mechanics
This passive provides a 40% multiplicative damage boost for targets above 75% hp. In the hypothetical scenario that you do very small hits without overkilling at the threshold, the overall damage gain is around 7.7% DPS, increasing the bigger your hit is compared to the monster's remaining HP.

The value of this passive can also increase by a lot depending on other effects that scale with enemy HP. In scenarios of infinitely small hits, the DPS changes to these values:

  • 11.4% with Dead Man's Legacy
  • 8.6% with The Executioner
  • 9.2% with Frailty
  • 9.5% with Frailty Early Grave

Best use

Core offensive passive, extremely strong for high damage nukes and low-end content

Ambush is a solid option that fits into almost any Demon Hunter build. Especially strong for lower end content such as Torment farming or for big nuke builds like those using Fan of Knives with Lord Greenstone's Fan, as you apply the 40% bonus damage to the full hit when you oneshot the enemy.

Archery

Mechanics

  • Bows: 8% damage, which is additive. Very useless.
  • Crossbows: 50% Critical Hit Damage is too weak to be useful due to lack of passives on typical Crossbow-wielding builds (especially Embodiment of the Marauder).
  • Hand-Crossbows: 5% Critical Hit Chance is quite useful and fits into some builds that use them.


Best use

Niche offensive passive

This passive is only really used in one-handed (or dual-wielding) builds because the other bonuses are rather weak. It's pretty much last in line when you really want to squeeze out some more DPS at all costs.

Awareness

Mechanics
When you would die, you are instead saved and turn invisible for 2 seconds, gaining 15% Movement Speed, 50% Life and the Illusory Boots effect (no collision).


Best use

Core defensive passive

Fits into almost any Demon Hunter build and will protect you from oneshots or just getting cornered. Definitely recommended in most situations as some builds can be quite squishy. Can also be an offensive tool, for example to use Oculus Ring effects when you otherwise couldn't.

Ballistics

Mechanics
100% multiplicative damage bonus for your rockets. Insanely strong if it applies to your build!


Best use

Necessary passive for Rocket-focused builds

Must have if you use Multishot Arsenal or Cluster Arrow Maelstrom / Shooting Stars.

Blood Vengeance

Mechanics
Every health globe restores resources, even when picked up by your nearby group members. One of the only very few ways to generate Discipline for Demon Hunters.


Best use

Torment and low GR farming

Very useful to fuel your skills when you kill lots of enemies (especially elites) quickly, as they produce a lot of health globes. Top tier passive for farming.

Brooding

Mechanics
Stand still for a while, get a stacking Life Regen buff that disappears when you move again.


Best use

Absolutely useless besides some fluff

Never take this passive for serious builds. There is, however, a funny interaction you can abuse to have some fun in creating a big shield with it by following these steps:

  • 1. Go in town and put all paragon points into Vitality, equip gear with Life % and Vitality
  • 2. Stand still and stack up Brooding
  • 3. Insert Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard into one of your sockets
  • 4. Remove Vitality, equip your normal gear and enjoy your 1m+ shield
  • 5. The shield will stay with you until it's broken, the gem is unequipped or you enter a Greater Rift

Note that the shield will also reset if you got hit and stopped being hit in the last 4 seconds, as this will reactive the gem's shielding mechanic with your current character values.

Cull the Weak

Mechanics

20% multiplicative damage boost, very strong and the highest DPS passive that Demon Hunters have to offer. Usually paired with an easy way of applying slow such as Bane of the Trapped or Thrill of the Hunt.


Best use

Top-tier DPS passive

Include in every high-tier GR build. Not necessarily used in every farming build however, due to the CC-requirement.

Custom Engineering

Mechanics

Improves your devices and traps, mainly useful for the additional Sentry it allows you to add. All durations of the mentioned skills are exactly doubled.


Best use

Goes with the Marauder's set, otherwise very niche

One of the best passives for any build using the Embodiment of the Marauder set. Adding a 5th Sentry is equivalent to around 25% extra DPS.

Grenadier

Mechanics

Increases size and damage of your Grenades by a significant margin. Especially the larger explosions are impactful, as you can cover more area or just hit the same target with more grenades, as you typically combine it with randomized bounces coming from Hellcat Waistguard.

Both the radius gain and the damage bonuses are multiplicative, making it essentially a default choice for any build revolving around Grenades. The only bad part about it is the on-death mechanic: It will knockback most monsters far away, potentially even off-screen and destroy your prepared pull. Avoid dying at all costs when playing a build with this passive chosen.


Best use

Must-have for any Grenade build

If Grenade, Rapid Fire Bombardment or Cluster Arrow Cluster Bombs are your main damage source, use this passive!

Hot Pursuit

Mechanics

20% extra Movement Speed, stacks additively with all other sources of MS.


Best use

Rather niche speedfarming passive

Use this only for the really low-end content, when you are absolutely sure you will not suffer time losses from lack of DPS. It's the last piece of the puzzle when adding more Movement Speed to your build.

Leech

Mechanics

Straight up increases your Life per Hit stat, and can be boosted by your item rolls.


Best use

Useful defense for semi-tanky builds

If you manage to acquire a lot of Life per Kill secondary rolls on your items, you will really feel the impact of this passive, as you can restore large chunks of your total life pool in a single hit. Good to add for builds that don't risk dying to oneshots and want another bit of survivability.

Night Stalker

Mechanics

Increases your Hatred gain per primary cast by a flat amount.


Best use

Generally weak offensive choice

There is almost no scenario where adding this passive would be better than any offensive passive.

Numbing Traps

Mechanics

It is applied by almost all sources of slow, for example including things like the Bane of the Trapped aura, Multishot Wind Chill or by simply hitting with the mentioned skills. It also works with every single Cold damage skill the Demon Hunter class has to offer, making it a solid choice and easy to apply whenever you use that element.

The effect produces a small visual cue above the enemy's head. Elite affixes that have a duration (e.g. Plagued, Orbiter) are usually snapshot from damage reduction mechanics such as Numbing Traps, so it needs to be applied before their cast.

This passive stacks multiplicatively with multiple Demon Hunters in a party.


Best use

Very strong defensive passive and support choice

If you need defense for your solo push, this is typically the go-to passive. And just in general, you can bring it for strong group utility even if your role is DPS, as it benefits everyone.

Perfectionist

Mechanics

Adds the equivalent of 10% Resource Cost Reduction for Discipline skills. The bonuses to All Resistance and Armor are additive. Keep in mind that the passive's value diminishes by a good margin in case you are using Stone Gauntlets.


Best use

Typically mediocre defensive choice

There are better defensive passives, but for builds that also make use of the Discipline bonuses, it can be quite effective.

Sharpshooter

Mechanics

Adds 4% Crit Chance to your character every second until you reach 100%. You can watch your sheet DPS increase as a result. The bonus can never be lower than 4%, even when you are permanently in combat.

This bonus is not consumed when your Companions hit enemies, as long as you don't attack yourself.


Best use

Weak offensive choice

Usually the worst of the offensive passives, only used if you really want to squeeze out the last bit. Currently there are no real builds that benefit from the waiting mechanic, so it's just marginally better than a 4% Crit Chance buff in most situations.

Single Out

Mechanics

Gives a hidden 25% Crit Chance buff that can bring you to 100% in combination with other effects. Usually worth around 20-30% DPS when active.


Best use

Extremely strong Rift Guardian Killer passive

If you ever find yourself in a RGK role, use this passive. It works well for a lot of bosses and gives you a big damage boost when it's active.

Steady Aim

Mechanics

20% multiplicative damage boost when no enemies are nearby. The best way to learn the 10 yards radius is to equip 4 pieces of the Unhallowed Essence set and watch your buff bar as you approach enemies, as the bonus has the same distance requirement. Typically, almost anything just a bit outside of melee range is fine.


Best use

Strong offensive choice for ranged builds

Very useful passive, especially for farming builds that also include Zei's Stone of Vengeance.

Tactical Advantage

Mechanics

Short burst of speed after using the mentioned skills. The 60% Movement Speed stacks additively with any other source of MS.


Best use

Top-tier utility passive

Use this for anything that resembles speedfarming, such as Torment rifts, Bounties, low GRs. Can even be useful in pushing scenarios, as the extra mobility helps you dodge or gather enemies.

Thrill of the Hunt

Mechanics

The slow is applied after the enemy was hit, so your first attack will not be buffed by effects that require Crowd Control on the enemy. This works with any skill that spends Hatred (even if they otherwise wouldn't, e.g. Fan of Knives Knives Expert) or would usually spend Hatred despite not doing so due (e.g. Sin Seekers, Kridershot, Spines of Seething Hatred).


Best use

Used only as a combo

This passive naturally always goes along with Cull the Weak and Bane of the Trapped. On its own, the slow is rather useless, but it's an enabler for powerful damage buffs.