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I've just hit level 60 with my Demon Hunter and am preparing him for Inferno. I am wondering what should my stat priority be for my demon hunter? Is attack speed & critical damage still viable after the nerf? Should I be focused on being an offensive demon hunter, or would it be better to get some armor/resistance/vit? Should I be going 2H, or 1H + shield?

My question seems to be similar to What should my stat priority be for a demon hunter?, but that question does not address the idea of if survivability is important or not.

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If you refer to the other question/answer for your stat priority, I will cover the issue of survivability on Demon Hunters. The other question contains answers with a level of detail that doesn't need duplicating here.

Here is a disclaimer: This is the way I do it and prefer to do it, I have heard others building an effective 'tank' build for a Demon Hunter that will allow you to survive a few hits but my personal preference is glass cannon with maximum DPS and a reliance on my own awareness to avoid damage.

Survivability is managed with abilities and awareness on a Demon Hunter, you will want a certain amount of health so that you don't get one shot - I personally keep mine 'around' 30k for doing the later acts in Inferno but you can get away with lower depending on your ability to kite enemies.

Survivability comes in the form of abilities like Smokescreen (a complete immunity) which I prefer to use alongside Lingering Fog (for the increased duration), Vault (a rapid movement ability) which I prefer to use with the Tumble rune (to allow multiple uses while effectively managing Discipline) and some form of slow. This can take the form of Caltrops or one of your other abilities with the required rune to add a slowing effect.

Another useful ability is Preparation, as this restores your Discipline pool. I personally use the Battle Scars rune for the additional healing as well.

Your play-style will then essentially consist of avoiding attacks as much as possible, and any situation where you're about to take damage would result in you using Smokescreen to give you the time to get out of the range of your attacker.

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Thank you for your detailed explanation. Should I be trying to get some resistance, and if so how much should I focus on getting? –  user27279 Jun 24 '12 at 17:15
    
Resistance on a Demon Hunter if you go with the immunity/mobility play-style doesn't really have much of a relevance - don't turn it down if your items do have it but don't specifically go looking for it at the expense of damage stats. Resistance is really useful for you if you intend to take damage, by going with an immunity/mobility build your play-style is trying to avoid damage, so if you pull this off well resistance is irrelevant. –  kalina Jun 24 '12 at 17:17
    
Should I be going 2H or 1H + shield, or something else? –  user27279 Jun 24 '12 at 20:24
    
2 hander for certain, depending on if you're using the Archery ability will determine if you're using a Bow or Crossbow - obviously in conjunction with Sharpshooter Crossbow will give you the best DPS increase, especially with socketed with an Emerald. –  kalina Jun 24 '12 at 20:42
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Bows with Archery aren't exactly a poor choice either. Only Hand-Xbow + Archery really lags behind. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 25 '12 at 14:06
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In my opinion my demon hunter build works really well in inferno and doesn't place an emphasis on 1 specific stat to the detrement of everything else. The point of this build is kiting. My stats are:

  • 63k Health
  • 42k damage unbuffed (with sharpshooter it jumps to 63k)
  • 172% critical damage
  • 32% critical chance (obviously sharpshooter helps here)
  • 2.04 APS

I use 2x 1 handed crossbows.

Obviously dexterity and damage are essential. Get attack speed and gems slots if possible. You will crit A LOT so make sure you have additional crit damage from emeralds in your weapons.

As my primary I use elemental arrow with screaming skull. This is op because each crit hits for about 50k, the skull passes through EVERYTHING in a straight line, and it fears probably 50%-60% of the time. With 2 APS almost everything gets feared long before it gets close to hitting you. If you use the bat companion to assist with hatred regen you can pretty much spam this until the fight is over. Also if you have caltrops with torturous ground in conjunction with my secondary (entangling shot with heavy burden) you will really stop everything from getting next to you.

(For passives: sharpshooter, archery and the one that gives you 20% increased damage when nothing is near you)

If anything gets close I have smokescreen but normally don't use it a lot. There is no need for vault or preparation. Don't spam caltrops like an idiot and focus on extensive, spamable crowd control.

I purchased my gear for about 1.5m. I still have tons of room for improvement (neither of my 1hs have more than 1k damage) but have found this build easy to play and effective. More when I get into Act3 this weekend.

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