Jakarro's "Arctic Zoo" Demon Hunter

Jakarro's "Arctic Zoo" Demon Hunter

The ever-deadly Demon Hunters pride themselves on devastating ranged attacks, pinpoint accuracy, and a cunning use of explosives. At times, they will also call upon the assistance of highly-trained (and extremely lethal) companions to eke their revenge.

In this week's Play Your Way Thursday, Jakarro#1521 shares his chilling take on a Demon Hunter elementalist—and brings a few friendly pets along too!

About the Build:

While pets are not the focus of his build, Jakarro calls upon a brutal portable zoo to support his cold-themed play style. The idea behind the "Arctic Zoo" Demon Hunter is to create defensive buffers in single-player games and supplemental damage in group play, allowing both you and your friends to just hang back and… chill.

Hang back and... chill... Get it? Because it's cold da... Ah, forget it.

This is a versatile build that's great in any game mode, and you'll find it offers great defensive support while still pulling its weight in damage.  While you won't see huge, individual numbers pouring across your screen with the Arctic Zoo, you'll still make your enemies regret ever messing with you in the first place, kiting them around the battlefield like pawns on a chessboard.

Slowed and steady wins this race and, at the end of the day, if the demons are dead and the loot is yours, it makes little difference!

The Skills:

This build is all about bringing the pain of frostbite to your enemies and letting your item-based pets mop up the rest! 

Active Skills:

  • Hungering Arrow (Devouring Arrow)
    • Resource generator
    • Deals cold damage, one of this build’s primary focuses
  • Elemental Arrow (Frost Arrow)
    • Main damage dealer
    • Huge source of damage, especially in large packs
    • Offers great crowd control as the effect splashes to additional targets
  • Caltrops (Hooked Spines)
    • Keeps your enemies at a distance to apply your slowing effects and letting your pets do the dirty work
  • Smoke Screen (Displacement)
    • Serves as this build's escape method
  • Companion (Wolf Companion)
    • In conjunction with The Cloak of the Garwulf, offers a big group of puppies to help keep you safe
    • Serves as a DPS cooldown, significantly boosting your big boom in Rain of Vengeance
    • Offers always-welcomed group utility
  • Rain of Vengeance (Shade)
    • Cooldown based burst of damage for those low Hatred situations
    • Clears out any surviving stragglers slowed from your Caltrops or Elemental Arrow
    • Great way to clear out a large pack in short order

Passive Skills:

The Items:

There are two major focuses in this build: pets and Cold damage. Gearing is flexible for the most part, and the below recommended items should be viewed as goals for reaching higher Torment levels while complementary items change the build's focus in one direction or another.

Jakarro's splitting his focus on his pets and Cold damage by using a Tasker and Theo with a Cold damage set of Reaper's Wraps.

Recommended Items:

  • The Cloak of the Garwulf
    • Additional wolves at your beck and call help keep you out of danger
  • Marauder's Set (4-piece bonus)
    • More animal companions provide additional meat shields and supplemental damage
  • Natalya's Set (2-piece bonus)
    • Primarily serving as an extra stat boost
    • Squeeze out even more benefit with a Ring of Royal Grandeur

Complementary Items:

  • Tasker and Theo
    • Should you choose to focus on your pets, a natural choice for upping their excellence
  • Frostburn
    • If you want to move to subzero levels, try these out for additional cold damage and crowd control
  • The Ess of Johan
    • Helps you better control the battlefield for your pets
    • Groups up enemies from a distance to best capitalize on Elemental Arrow's splitting shots

Recommended Stats:

The stats that you choose to focus on largely depend on where you wish to take the Arctic Zoo build. Want to cool down from the hot summer? Stack up additional Cold damage and keep an eye out for a Kridershot. If the menagerie leading your wake of destruction is the stronger calling, be sure to focus on Critical Hit Damage and consider using some +% Physical damage so they pack just a bit more punch!

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

Jakarro is currently using his Arctic Zoo build on Torment V and VI on Normal mode. Pets can make up for a lack of Toughness if you prove wily enough in combat, but don't let that allow you to neglect Toughness in general! This build can certainly lead to a false sense of security, and one unfortunate Jailer or Thunderstorm could end your run abruptly if you've neglected your defensive stats. For this reason, I'd recommend avoiding high Torment difficulty levels with a Hardcore character—at least until you find your comfort zone!

Why We Like This Build:

While this build plays a lot with some standard items and skills seen commonly at Torment VI for Demon Hunters, it's proud to do it in its own way. Cold-oriented skills are helpful to kiting builds, and I'm always a fan of playing in a way that doesn't just help me, but also my friends. 

And really, it's just a (frozen) blast to play. (I'LL NEVER BE DONE.)

The Arctic Zoo Demon Hunter does a bit of everything—and, while there's a bit of a split personality in terms of identity going on here (pets? cold? PETS? COLD?), that doesn't hamper its effectiveness or detract from its charm. Overall, it's a great representation of taking a common build and making it your own!

Tell Us What You Think!

There are plenty of you out there using the Marauder's set, but how are you using it? Have you traveled the frozen path like Jakarro? Have you tried out a different element? What have you done with this set to make the build your own?

That's all for this week's Play Your Way Thursday! Next week, we'll be donning our voodoo masks and revisiting the Witch Doctor! Got a build you want to send in? Then ship it over to me at PlayYourWay@Blizzard.com and please make sure you follow our submission guidelines. Entries that are missing information or screenshots may not be eligible to be featured, so keep that in mind.