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I love the visual effect and crowd control capabilities of Entangling Shot, but the 75% 90% weapon damage property seems to make it very weak compared to other Demon Hunter primaries such as Hungering Arrow, which does 115%.

Is there a playstyle or rune that makes Entangling Shots more viable?

Update: With the 1.04 patch, the damage of Entangling Shot has been increased from 75% to 90% weapon damage. This certainly helps to make it more viable, but it still seems underused compared to Hungering Arrow, so I believe that the question is still valid.

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6 Answers

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What I didn't realize at first - mainly because the skill description does not really explain it - is that Entangling Shot actually damages 2 enemies per shot (or 4 with the Chain Gang rune). So that's 75% * 2, which suddenly does not seem that bad, especially with the slowing effect. That makes it viable at low levels as a "mini-AoE" weapon, similar to Hungering Arrow. In later levels the slow effect becomes the more important thing, and can really make a difference.

I personally think every Demon Hunter needs some way to slow down enemies. If you're not fond of other slowing skills, this might just be the one for you, though I agree that in the long run this causes less single-target damage than any other DH skill, and less AoE damage than other DH AoE skills.

Frankly, I don't rely on my hatred generator for damage, only for - well - hatred generation :) having it slow multiple enemies at once is a definite plus.

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I didn't realize that either, but that greatly improves my opinion of it. –  Brysonic May 21 '12 at 12:11
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Entangling Shot is made as defensive skill so using it as primary DPS attack isn't really efficient.

You should use it with Chain Gang or Heavy Burden rune as a fight opener to keep enemies at bay and make DPS with your secondary skill.


Shock Collar is offensive rune and it adds more lighting damage but overall it is still out-damaged by other skills.

Bounty Hunter Rune is a good reason for you to use this skill as much as possible since it adds life steal,but i doubt you will need so much healing with full group of players.

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Using Entanging Shot as a primary doesn't do as much up-front damage, but it works very well with the Cull The Weak and Steady Aim passives, and also lets Ball Lightning get more ticks off. At level 40/Nightmare, this is by far my preferred build for dealing with anything other than bossfights.

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In solo scenarios, Entangling Shot is my primary of choice (with Chain Gang rune). At low levels at least, this coupled with Rapid Fire (while using Steady Aim and Withering Fire) makes quick work of pretty much anything, whether it's single or multi-target. A couple Entangling Shots gets everything snared, then a full volley of Rapid Fire should kill almost anything. Once hatred runs out or the enemy (enemies) needs to be re-snared, you use ES (after laying a trap and vaulting away!) to gain hatred while still doing multi-target damage while slowing them down. I'm only in mid 30's, but this playstyle has worked very effectively for solo-play to this point (I've only died twice, both of which were my first attempts on The Butcher and Belial).

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I still don't really get why people don't like Entangling Shot. The very first rune makes it a hugely viable killer, and one that stacks well with other passives and gear combos. Whilst it's not perfect as a single target spell, it is great for groups. And most of the time, you'll be facing groups.

4x75% damage is 300% damage. Those hits crit normally, they count as hits for life-on-hit, they can slow/freeze with cold damage (redundant) or take any normal elemental effects (specially on crits). Plus it's free. Actually, it gives you Rage.

What's not to like? You're doing a nice spread of damage that will always slow (those chains go for about half a screen if you keep firing), and can get all your passive effects on four targets by just hitting one. With the slow, you'll find that you have a leapfrogging effect, where the slow wears off one, they jump to the front, get chained, then the pack behind them runs forward and gets slowed in turn. Don't think of it as a 4 man slow, it's really a whole mob, on demand slow with decent damage. I'd have to test it, but I swear I've seen damage numbers from other skills on chained enemies as well sometimes.

You have your Cull the weak passive that makes it do 86.25% damage. Times that by four and it blows away hungering arrow for basic damage as well as being reasonable crowd control.

Try using a hand crossbow with some cold (or lightning) damage and a quiver. Take Entangling Shot w/ Chain Gang, Caltrops w/Bait the Trap, Vault w/ Rattling Roll, and Passives of Archery, Sharpshooter and Cull the Weak. It's a level 54 build, but you'll find that Entangling Shot holds its own pretty well. Drop caltrops, open fire (spread your fire a little), vault away, repeat. It works quite well in Inferno, as long as you have decent fire speed to maintain the slow and don't get too surrounded. Always Vault, hope, Vault again if you do (or use SS if you have it as well). You can also drop Cull the Weak if you want a different passive.

28% or more crit (without any gear at all), plenty of slots open for single damage, escapes (SS) or AoEs, enough slow to consider yourself a bit of a crowd controller. What's not to like?

Entangling shot doesn't do everything, it isn't the best at anything, but it does do everything well enough with just one slot that you could ever want when kiting or AoE'ing to have a place on the taskbar at all times.

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What I find good about entangling shot is that it has a AoE that with its last rune you can gain life and still slows the enemies down. But if you pair it up with other slow monster skills - like rapid fire with web shot, companion, vault rune with trail of cinders, spike trap scatter, and rain of vengeance flying strike.

Right now I am using brooding, cull the weak and archery. I am able to run through the act with just my demon hunter. And it seems to be doing the trick with high crit chance and damage gear with slow and knockback chances.

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