Sunday 7 October 2012

Demon Hunter: Strafe in 1.05

profile and build

I'm one of those 1% using Strafe in 1.04. I hopped on the PTR to try out the changes for 1.05, and wanted to tell you all my thoughts.

Here are the notes for 1.05:
  • Movement speed increased from 65% to 75%
  • Hatred cost reduced from 16 to 12
  • Skill Rune – Equilibrium has been replaced with a new rune: "Emberstrafe"
  • Emberstrafe leaves behind fire trail that deals 65% weapon damage per second for 2 seconds
  • All rune variants now allow you to walk through enemies while active

The hatred reduction is HUGE. In 1.04, I can channel Strafe for about 15 seconds, with my 10.3 hatred regen, before needing to pop Preparation. In 1.05, it's 30 seconds. With health globes added I simply don't run out of hatred.

Walking through enemies is also huge, for three reasons. First, it makes the waller arrangement where it makes a three-sided box with the only exit covered by the elite pack actually survivable. Second, it makes getting health globes in big fights much easier. Third, it makes the Emberstrafe rune useable.

The Emberstrafe rune is pretty interesting. Want to be a WW DH? This is how you do it. Instead of kiting away from packs, to use the rune effectively you run into packs, thanks to the no-clipping feature, and burn them down. It works. You have to spam Smoke Screen, and you have to be crazy, and you will die more often because you don't have any survivability, but it works. If you have 200k DPS it'll work quite well, even, but anything works at that level.

The movement speed buff is meh. It's still too slow for me. I'll stick to my Drifting Shadow rune.

If you want to try a Strafe build in 1.05, you'll probably still die a lot: it's terrible against AoE (hence Cluster Arrow being in the build) and it's very hard getting high DPS when you don't want any attack speed. But it's a lot of fun when it works, and if you want to WW Barb on your DH, Emberstrafe is for you.

How to gear for a Strafe build:
  • Use a 2-handed crossbow with no attack speed.
  • Your quiver should be the only source of attack speed. It's ok if it's a 15% ias quiver. A 10% Dead Man's Legacy is ideal.
  • Your quiver and your chest should have both max discipline and hatred regen. The hatred regen is mandatory, the max discipline just very nice to have.
  • Your boots need 12% movement speed. You will kite everything, everywhere.
  • Use the templar with the Inspire skill. He also tanks for you, sometimes.
  • The rest is standard DH equipment: dex, crit chance & damage, vit, all resist, armor.