Although Season 8’s Haedrig Gift for Demon Hunters will not be the Shadow Mantle set, I decided to goof around a little with this set and see what felt good in trying to come up with a reasonable build. This is by no means a meta build nor is it meant for ultra high Greater Rifts. But the build is something just for fun in case you get bored with other Demon Hunter builds.
So the premise of this build is mostly focused on burst AoE damage on large packs, avoiding small packs of white mobs, burst single target on bosses/rares/elites and Vaulting around to keep your defenses high. It’s not a typical Shadow Mantle build and I will provide a few potential variations. However, the gear shown from my screen capture is what I’m using currently.
Primarily, I’m doing the Shadow Mantle build because I managed to accumulate a ton of ancient gear. None of the gear is augmented and I’m still working out the kinks in optimizing certain stats. Regardless, I’m dealing with T10 and GR45 easily and probably can push another 5 levels without any trouble. The main reason for staying low is that I’m working on optimizing the gear and rolls a little more as well as getting a better feeling for the play style.
So the first thing to mention is that you will require all six pieces of the Shadow Mantle set. Your burst single target damage will come from Impale: Ricochet, which, combined with Bane of the Stricken, ought to 1-2 shot bosses. Your primary AoE damage will be derived from Fan of Knives: Pinpoint Accuracy with Lord Greenstone’s Fan cubed for maximum damage. Because Fan of Knives is on a longer cooldown, you need to use it sparingly, focusing on large packs of mobs and possibly rares and elites when the chance arises. Both abilities are lightning based, although you could potentially try fire (more later).
Another thing you may notice is that I’m employing the Sword of Ill Will along with the Spines of Seething Hatred. Now, you maybe wondering why I have decided to go along the Chakram route. To be honest, Chakram does miserable damage in an AoE setting. But the idea here is to employ Chakram as a slightly higher damaging generator that helps proc your Bastion of Will bonus along with the occasional Impale. Admittedly, I did make a mistake in applying the Razor Disk rune whereas I should’ve been using Boomerang for the Lightning damage and better overall accuracy. Again, the primary point here is to trigger your Bastion of Will procs as well as the defensive abilities from your Wraps of Clarity.
Now, the thing with Impale is that it’s pretty costly and the Spines of Seething Hatred only returns a maximum of 3 Hatred. So if you need to spam cast Impale in a pernicious situation, you will need additional methods to ensure your Hatred is kept reasonable high. This is where a combination of Blood Vengeance and Vengeance: Seethe come into play. Blood Vengeance will help with regenerating your Discipline and Hatred faster whenever you grab a Health Globe while Vengeance: Seethe will give you a reasonable stream of Hatred during it’s uptime.
Now, for your armor piece in the Cube, you should probably go with Visage of Gunes as it provides the Dark Heart rune for Vengeance, giving your more damage reduction while Vengeance is up. Of course, this implies that you will have some down time with Vengeance if you end up cubing your Lord Greenstone’s Fan compared to using Dawn for the 65% reduction to Vengeance.
The way I handled dealing with the missing cooldown reduction is by using a Gogok of Swiftness as one of my legendary gems. It still won’t provide the flat 65% cooldown reduction, but you do get a bit of dodge and attack speed on top of 15% cooldown reduction. Since you want your Chakrams flying as much as possible along with improving the uptime on Fan of Knives, I found Gogok of Swiftness to give me a little extra help.
The other missing piece you cannot see in my build is a cubed Elusive Ring. The Elusive Ring really helps to bolster your defense whenever you Vault. So you want to continuously Vault around for that extra toughness.
A few other things that I have done with this build is employ a Hellfire Amulet with Cull the Weak passive. Your Shadow Power will slow enemies nearby on top of your Bane of the Trapped since you will be in melee range quite often. So those two will help proc Cull the Weak and Bane of the Trapped. You could add Thrill of the Hunt but that would require you to hit your enemies with Impale more frequently. Tactical Advantage synergizes very well with this build too as a passive since you will be Vaulting frequently, thus making you incredibly fast. Ambush is another very good passive to take.
Another thing you may notice is that I use a Witching Hour for my belt. This isn’t a requirement and you do have a small bit of flexibility here. I would argue that your best in slot belt is the Chain of Shadows. The reason is that Vault becomes free after Impale, so you can keep your Elusive Ring defense up most of the time as you run around and hit Impale on your enemies.
Alternatively, another interesting choice is Omryn’s Chain since Vault will leave Caltrops. If you take Numbing Traps as a passive, you will gain 25% damage reduction since you will be leaving a wake of Caltrops around you. So again, more defense. Either one can work out well here.
I did talk about a few variations in the build, some of which might be more meta with this set than the one I’m using. The main one I’ve seen is employing the Lord Greenstone’s Fan in your main hand while using Dawn in your cube for the 65% cooldown reduction to Vengeance. You still will be using Impale for single target burst damage. However, what you can do is swap out the Spine of Seething Hatred for a Holy Point Shot. The only reason for this move is to maximize your elemental damage. In turn, you would get rid of Chakram altogether and go with Bolas. So your generator damage will go down quite a bit but you can have more Hatred in using Bola with the Nightstalker passive. But with having more uptime with Vengeance, you pretty much shouldn’t have to worry as much about Hatred generation.
One thing that I almost forgot to mention is that beyond your typical offensive skills, you’ll probably want to have cooldown reduction on a lot of gear (weapon, quiver, shoulders, gloves, possibly rings), especially if you decide not to run a Dawn in your cube. With a Dawn in your cube, you just need 12.5% on gear (shoulders, quiver, weapon or gloves). Mostly, this is to keep your Vengeance up as well as deal with the cooldown factor on Fan of Knives. Fan of Knives isn’t as important though mostly because you need to wait for stacks to build in order to burst down large groups. You could try the rune that changes the cooldown into a Hatred spender but you probably will find yourself quite resource starved in this scenario. Truthfully, Fan of Knives really isn’t worth spamming so you’re better off just leaving it as a cooldown ability.
For myself, I prefer Chakram over Bolas in general because it’s more damage and pretty fun just tossing out shooting stars. I’m still missing a Chain of Shadows since I always shard it. But overall, I found this build to be a nice change of pace. I’m still trying to find a smoother build but part of my struggle is just getting a few key pieces of gear. The best part about this build is being able to move incredibly fast around a map. So it might end up being an interesting bounty runner type of build if you get sick of say Marauders or Unhallowed Essence.