Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Diablo 3 - Physical Cluster - The Ultimate Solo DH Build + Math + Video (Tier 52) by wudijo

Hi everyone,

So it's been a while and with season 1 now being concluded, I decided to come out with a few things that I have learned about DH in 2.1.2 recently. Because I got a little unlucky with pylons pre-patch, I still had to up my rank a bit before the end of the season, so I decided to try out various things. As always, there was so much misinformation floating around on the forums that I decided it would be best to not trust any of it, and after some initial testing, I went with Cluster Arrow. Following some disappointing attempts with the grenade-heavy runes of the skill I realized that in solo play, the accuracy and utility of rockets is pretty much unbeatable, so I was left with two choices: Physical and Cold. Since the mainstream was focusing on Cold so much, I decided to start with the other one first, and cleared a tier 50 rift after two tries on patchday, and my tier 52 rift quickly thereafter, lifting me up to the second highest DH solo clear after patch 2.1.2 (only to be beaten by my clan mate Kampfkoloss) and a top 10 spot overall. I have also used this build on my hardcore character to get two then-rank 1 spots (tier 44 + 45, beating my own previous rank 1 twice) shortly after the patch, even with suboptimal items, and also took it to even higher tiers with great success.

Since I didn't want to rely on my gut feeling alone, I needed some math to back it up. I wanted to be as exact as possible in order to produce the best possible combination of items, skills and stats; some basic napkin math just didn't catch it, so I crafted a spreadsheet to include everything. I calculated the damage versus various amounts of enemies, factoring in accuracy loss (because you can't hit everything all the time) and area damage, different weapons (generic 2h Xbow, generic 2h Bow, Etrayu, Kridershot, Calamity), various combinations of runes for Kridershot, follower, sentry deployment and multiplier for sentry effectiveness, health globes, CD use, buff uptime, time spent on RG / elites / trash packs, legendary gems, generator:spender ratios, just everything, and weighed the numbers to my best knowledge. Even though I had ceased testing with Hexing Pants pretty quickly back on the ptr, I was encouraged by oogieboogie to continue to do so on live, and I have also plotted this item against the very common Pride's Fall, with interesting results. (FYI: You can keep the bonus of Hexing Pants when constantly stutter stepping).

Here is a screenshot of a part of the spreadsheet to give you an idea how I calculated things in there. Disclaimer: The purpose is not to calculate actual damage values, but to provide a comparison for different builds. Link1

There is also a second page where I basically calculated the effectiveness of the different runes based at its heart on "rift composition", which looks like this. Link2
There's also some more, like a whole page devoted to Kridershot and the results of all the different weapon types. Still, the most interesting part of this whole thing is this, where "Element = 0 is cold, = 1 is physical" Link3
Note that physical pulls ahead for every weapon type. Cold vs. physical is pretty close for Kridershot, because I included the Spitfire Turrets for cold, but not for physical (since you will slow with Elemental Arrow), causing the gap to narrow by ~8%. For every other weapon, physical wins out by approximately 10%, even considering that you will spent a lot less time on the RG and elite packs because the rockets are considerably stronger in those situations. Hexing Pants lose effectiveness if you get a power pylon and gain some more if you get a channeling. If you lose Pride's Fall buff more than once per minute, you should use Hexing Pants in any case. If you get a plagued elite pack during your rift, Hexing Pants is almost guaranteed to be better.

The numbers uses in this spreadsheet are the values I have on my items; I used the same numbers for all bows (because I have neither an Etrayu nor a Kridershot), my Xbow and Bow rolls are within ~2-3% of the maximum, while my Calamity is lacking behind by ~6-7%.
Some further information about itemization: - Resource cost reduction is king - Hatred reg vs RCR on quiver is about ~1% worse for Xbow, increasing up to ~3% for Calamity. Hatred reg + RCR is also an option (another 1-4% worse than CA) - Area Damage is very strong, close to RCR on quiver and weapon (~-2-3% worse), depending on rift layout this might even shift into a net gain - CDR is not really important (e.g. dropping 12,5% gem is a ~3% loss), the best combination for shoulders is RCR, Sentry, Area Damage - CA wins out by far vs Sentry on quiver - Taeguk is the best third legendary gem to use in conjunction with Zei's and Bane of the Trapped, by far. Enforcer is an option in group play (requires ~150% external damage increased by skills at about rank 60 of both gems). BotP is a ~3-10% loss. - Ancient Saffron Wrap is an option compared to nonancient Witching Hour (2-5% worse) - Hellfire Amulet is probably unbeatable - Using a generic 1h Xbow is not worth it, Calamity is a ~8-12% boost - Always get % damage on your weapon, and add RCR to it (not for Etrayu). IAS is okay for Kridershot as well (~2-4% worse) - Kridershot 3 Hatred vs 4 Hatred is a ~3-4% dps increase - Dropping Reaper’s Wraps for IAS bracers is an option, possibly a gain with high attack speeds - Elite dmg is not included in the calculations, but it should be safe to assume that you will be fighting elites about 1/2 to 2/3 of the time, thus every point of elite damage should boost your overall dps by ~0.5% - Zei’s is not included for now, it’s safe to assume that your sentries benefit a little less than you do, and Kridershot with Spitfire Turrets will benefit a bit more from Zei’s.

The exact skills used are these: Build (Proper Diablofans Build to be added.

Use Steady Aim, Single Out or Night Stalker (with Calamity) as your 5th passive, and Frost Arrow + Spitfire Turrets or Nether Tentacles as your generator with Kridershot.

Some closing remarks: Please note that by choosing to run physical, you won't suddenly clear tier 50 easily. It's still difficult, you are still going to get oneshot, you will still have to dodge everything. It's a ~10% increase over cold, plain and simple, if you have a well-rolled Etrayu, it's even less. For lower tiers, you can still stack toughness and Unity if you like, the gearing priorities don’t change at all. I hope this information helps and encourages you to try out the physical element of the Demon Hunter and make your character stronger as a whole. The spreadsheet will be improved upon in the future, and I have many ideas that I need to include and test ingame, but this will take some weeks or months. I will share what I know when I find out new things.

I will return to streaming very soon, I just had a busy time at university during the last weeks/months, but this will be over in a few days. Feel free to check out my Twitch channel if you want to watch me play and interact with me, or look for me on Youtube. If you are interested in more of my recent work, you should check out this thread and the links there for some information on the lightning DH in 2.1.2. (As of now, I’m not sure if lightning will take the top spots in the end, since you essentially need to stack layer upon layer of good RNG (in terms of drops and rift) in order to complete a tier ~55+ rift, which makes it a lot easier for versatile builds like this to achieve.)

Here is the video of the tier 52 run, note that with enough time, tries and ancient items 54-55 is very well possible, and I expect to see them cleared within 2 months. I used about 20 keys to complete this rift - Tier 52 sc
Bonus clip: My tier 48 run on hardcore (I suggest you read the description until the "spoiler" before watching) - Tier 48 hc


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