I don’t pretend to know anything more about Diablo 3 than the next player, however, I played a druid in Everquest. Because most Everquest druids who played solo were masters of kiting, I decided that I could do the same with my demon hunter. So here is my Demon Hunter Kiting Build which I’ve done fairly well with even with Monster Power 1.
This build has been successful in both group games and solo while using the Templar as my companion.
Demon Hunter Skills
I’m 100% sure that other players have figured out different skill combos for demon hunter kiting, but this is what I personally use and find a lot of success with.
Primary: Hungering Arrow with the Spray of Teeth rune. The hungering arrow is nice because I can try to get as far out of range from the battle as possible and the arrows will find my enemies. Since my gear is currently focused on Critical Hits, this is why I’m using Spray of Teeth. But really, which rune is personal preference since I’ve had success with all of them.
Secondary: Rapid Fire with Webshot as my rune. Rapid fire does a ton of damage while it lasts (it is a hatred hog) and Webshot slows enemies. The slow is fantastic when you’re on your own without a tank to hold the agro. If you’re fighting with a friend or in a PU game, you can get away with using one of the other runes, but I’ve found the slow is nice even when I’m playing with my other half or friends. If they die, chances are the slow will help me survive.
Defensive: Caltrops with the Torturous Ground rune. The caltrops helps slow enemies and Torturous Ground immobilizes them. It allows you to get some distance from your enemies.
Hunting: I think there’s quite a few nice combinations here, but I personally use the bat companion for hatred regeneration. Rapid fire just eats it and I’m very light on hatred regen gear. If I don’t have the bat up, I can feel it.
Devices: Sentry with the Vigilant Watcher rune. From what I’ve read, the Sentry isn’t very popular and I’m not sure why. From the moment it was available, it was love at first bolt. I was pretty pissed about the changes to the Sentry in the last patch, however, being able to have 2 up at once has become pretty awesome for kiting. Because I love dropping these everywhere, the reduced cool down is pretty important.
Archery: Rain of Vegeance with the Stampede rune. This combo sends these shadow bat creatures at your enemies and it has a nice knock back effect that keeps mobs off of me.
Brooding: Gain 1% life per second.
Steady Aim: Increase damage to 20% as long as there’s no enemies within 10 yards.
Thrill of the Hunt: Every 7 seconds, your next skill that costs hatred will immobilize your target for 2 seconds.
Demon Hunter Kiting Gear
If you go onto the Diablo3 forum, you’ll find all sorts of advice on gear. There’s folks out there that are far better equipped than I am, so I’m not really going to spend time discussing equipment.
The things that I like on my solo gear are knock back, stun, slow, fear, and lifetap. Pretty much anything that’s going to slow the monsters down so they don’t steamroll me.
Techniques to Kiting
1. Open areas are your friend. Yes, it’s completely possible to kite in dungeons and say, act 3 on the battlements. I do it all the time, especially when my other half who is the tank bites it on his barbarian. However, I’ve found that my death rate is a lot higher when I’m kiting in enclosed spaces than open. Oh, and a tip if you’re in a dungeon. Don’t lead the mobs toward the entrance That gets a little tricky.
2. Put your skills, stand still, and potion keys someplace that you will know which is which without looking at the keyboard.
3. Watch the edge of your screen. As soon as you see monsters there, start shooting them with rapid fire before they start moving towards you. The faster you can bring down the first few in a pack, the less that will get close enough to do damage.
4. If you run into mobs, or there’s more in a pack that you can handle, throw down your caltrops and run away. This is also a good time to throw Rain of Vengeance at the pack that you run into.
5. Run in a big circle. If you can find something to run around, like bushes, holes, wagons, etc, all the better. This does 3 things. First, it allows you to drop your sentry in 2 locations on your circle. The sentry will pluck away at the monsters while you’re running. Second, it keeps you from running into unexplored areas which means more mobs. This particularly sucks when you find more elites. Third, it keeps the area where loot drops to a minimum. Not missing your hard earned loot is always a good thing.
6. If the mobs are on your back and you need some breathing room, turn around and hit Rain of Vengeance to get some knock back going.
7. Pay attention. Mobs that throw fireballs, wall, do lava or the poisonous green crap will get you if you let your guard down or stand in 1 space too long.
7. Wash, rinse and repeat.
Last Thoughts on Kiting
As I said in the beginning, I don’t pretend to be an expert at kiting or demon hunter kiting builds. However, I must be doing something right because my deaths usually involve elites that wall and throw fireballs and make it so I’m unable to move away.
Good luck, and please comment if you have different kiting builds you’ve been successful with!