Demon Hunter Strafe:Demolition Build

Demon Hunter Strafe:Demolition Build submitted by TianZi.

It seems that there are lots of people that have began playing their DH again, with lots of questions about gearing, paragon leveling, and loot farming. Right now Strafe:Demolition happens to be one of the fastest and most efficient farming specs, with people getting experience rates over 100m exp/hour in MP0. Since 1.0.7 does not change anything with the DH Strafe:Demolition build, I figured it'd be good time to write up a detailed guide on how to gear for and play the spec efficiently.

Please note that this guide ONLY covers Strafe:Demolition, and does not include ANY other strafe runes or other builds.

Build continued after the page break..

I'll be splitting this guide into 3 short sections:

1) Strafe Mechanics and Basic PlayStyle
2) Passive/Active Skills
3) Basic Gearing


New video of me playing Strafe at under 100k DPS (with scoundrel) getting rates of about 70m exp/hour. DPS for Strafe:Demo simply isn't as important as many players believe it is:

Video of me playing Strafe with my Legacy Set at the 100m exp/hour rate:

Strafe Mechanics and Basic PlayStyle

Strafe is a auto-aiming channeled ability that spends 12 hatred per attack cycle, where each attack cycle depends on your APS (attacks per second). In each attack cycle you throw 2 bouncy grenades dealing 93.5% weapon damage each. Strafe:Demo also has a proc coefficient of 50% for each target hit, which is relevant for disc regeneration when using the 'Nightstalker' passive. Because Strafe:Demo hits for such a low amount of damage spread among many targets, it is best used in low/no monster power.

Notice how bouncy was underlined in the previous paragraph. Because of the fact that these grenades bounce, it leads to a situation where being closer to the target increases your chance to hit the target(s). Simply put, you want to be standing on your targets while playing the strafe:demo spec, especially vs enemies with a small hit-box.

This leads into an interesting situation with gearing, where strafe basically requires a higher amount of effective hit points (eHP) then other Demon Hunter specs. While typical DH specs stay at range and nuke enemies, strafe:demo plays more like a WW Barb where you stand on top of mobs and spin-to-win. Because of this, the gearing requirements lean towards All Resists, Armor, and Vitality in order to have higher eHP.

Passive Skills 
Sorry, You really don't get options on passives if you want high efficiency.

  • Passive 1) Tactical Advantage
    Pretty much to move faster between point A and point B, and to move on top of mobs faster to maximize DPS. No point farming slow when you can farm fast.
  • Passive 2) Vengeance
    Used to restore hatred from health globes. Without vengeance and no hatred generator you'll constantly be standing around doing nothing.
  • Passive 3) Night Stalker
    Used to restore discipline so you can vault more. Walking is a waste of time when you can vault.

    Required Active Skills

    You pretty much need these 4 abilities in order for the spec to work.

  • Skill 1) Strafe: Demolition
    This is basically what this build is all about. Strafe in basically your main damage dealing ability.
  • Skill 2) Vault: Tumble (or Trail of Cinders)
    Vault lets you move from point A to point B faster. Players with the Legacy Natalya set, or using Preparation in the 6th skill slot, can use the “Trail of Cinders” rune instead.
  • Skill 3) Shadow Power: Gloom
    Shadow Power is needed for healing, and for standing on dangerous affixes. While other DH specs do the same DPS regardless of distance, Strafe:demo builds kill faster when mobs move less. That means you will end up standing in affixes such as molten or plague which can potentially kill you without gloom. If your eHP is high enough you can swap “Gloom” for “Shadow Glide”.
  • Skill 4) Companion: Bat
    The bat is used for hatred regeneration since this spec generally does not have a hatred generator.

Optional Active Skills

Choose 2 of these skills for the last 2 skill slots

  • Optional Skill) Fan of Knives: Hail of Knives
    Fan of Knives is mainly used for killing elites.
  • Optional Skill) Rain of Vengence: Dark Cloud
    This is basically for additional AoE damage.
  • Optional Skill) Chakram: Shuriken Cloud
    This ability can "snapshot" gloom to give constant healing from monsters in melee range. Simply make sure gloom is active when you activate shuriken cloud, and you will get the life steal effect for the full 2 minutes.

Basic Gearing:

Because of it's higher eHP requirement, many players feel like Strafe requires expensive gear. However, you can actually sacrifice quite a bit of DPS as long as you meet the eHP requirements. Even a low budget set costing under 20m gold ($5) can farm well over 50million exp/hour. 

For low budget Strafe Gearing, I would suggest at least 400 All Resists, 40k HP, 3.5k Armor, and 80k DPS and at least 7 Pickup radius (preferably 14+ if you can afford it). As you upgrade gear just get more DPS and pickup radius without dropping the defensive stats. 

Please note that Strafe DPS gearing should be focused around Crit Chance and Dex and AverageDamage items. Crit Damage is of slightly lower importance due to increased chance of overkill, and Attack Speed is low priority because it drains hatred while increasing chance of wasted grenades due to overkill.


*Removed Gear list because it depends heavily on the stats you end up with on your account bound items. Simply aim to hit these stats:

- 80k DPS MINIMUM (don't bother with the build if you are under)
- 40k HP
- 400 All Resists
- 3.5k Armor
- 7+ Pickup Radius
- 24% Move Speed (Boots+Innas Pants)

Make sure to get +7 to 8 Strafe Crit on your Cloak.