Alexus's "Rocket Druid" Demon Hunter

Alexus's "Rocket Druid" Demon Hunter

Patch 2.1.2 brought some massive changes for Demon Hunters and Embodiment of the Marauder, and the Set is known for the power it infuses into the Sentry skill. While the playing field may have changed for some, Alexus#2378 has taken this opportunity to explore a new build with the gear others may have left behind.

About the Build:

The Embodiment of the Marauder offers two major changes to your gameplay through its powerful Set bonuses to both Companion and Sentry. This build submitted by Alexus#2378 focuses on the former rather than the latter, taking his furry (and fluttering) friends and making them the stars of the show.

Oh, hi Leoric. I brought friends, I hope you don't mind!

Rare and powerful items like Tasker and Theo and Bombardier's Rucksack have fallen off the popular spectrum of the highest end builds. However, if you're a lover of animals and explosions (though, uh, not necessarily at the same time) and you've hung onto these treasures, this might be the build for you!

The Skills:

The name of this game is consistent damage. The Rocket Druid doesn't tend towards bursts of damage from big hits or cooldown rotations, but a constant hum of moderate damage. 

Active Skills:

  • Bolas (Volatile Explosives)
    • Useful Hatred generator
    • Offers some nice area of effect damage
  • Rapid Fire (Fire Support)
  • Vault (Trail of Cinders)
    • Minor source of additional Fire damage
    • Quick escape allows you to maintain more frequent Rapid Fire streaks
  • Vengeance (Seethe)
    • Massive damage cooldown
    • Offers an additional source of rocket damage
  • Sentry (Spitfire Turret)
    • Offers an additional source of rocket damage
    • Plays well as additional "pets," even without full Embodiment of the Marauder bonuses
  • Companion (Bat Companion)

Passive Skills:

  • Archery
    • Ideally, use a Hand Crossbow for bonus Critical Hit Chance
  • Perfectionist
    • Drastically increases Toughness
    • Helps you stand your ground longer while Rapid Fire does its work
  • Custom Engineering
    • Increases Sentry availability and firepower
  • Ballistics
    • Increases the damage of all your rocket-powered abilities
    • Gives you rockets of your own to boot!

Alternative Skills:

  • Cluster Arrow (Shooting Stars)
    • Replaces Rapid Fire (Fire Support)
    • A rocket-loaded alternative for transitioning into a more Sentry-oriented build
  • Smoke Screen (Any)
    • Replaces Vault (Trail of Cinders)
    • For when you find yourself a bit squishier than you expected

The Items:

It wouldn't be fair to say there's a low bar for entry with the Rocket Druid; quite a few pieces are necessary to give the build the punch it needs to tear through Torment VI. However, a well-placed Ring of Royal Grandeur will take you far in this gear-heavy build, as well as give you flexibility in which Set pieces you use in each slot.

Set bonuses EVERYWHERE.

Recommended Items:

Complementary Items:

Recommended Legendary Gems:

  • Enforcer
    • The ultimate pet gem
    • Grants substantial damage and toughness (at rank 25) to your pets
  • Gogok of Swiftness
    • Grants additional Attack Speed, which scales quite well for pets
  • Zei's Stone of Vengeance
    • Great for most Demon Hunter builds
    • Keeps your enemies at bay while your pets do the work

Recommended Stats:

  • Attack Speed is a valuable stat for any pet build, and should be a priority
  • Critical Hit Damage also scales very well for pets
  • Bonus damage to Bolas and Rapid Fire are great considerations
  • +% Bonus Fire or Physical damage will help out either you or your pets, but it may be better prioritizing stats that help both instead

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

Currently, Alexus has been running his build quite easily through Torment VI in Nephalem Rifts, Greater Rifts, and Bounties in Normal mode Season 1; however, this is a build I'm interested in trying with my Hardcore Demon Hunter once Season 2 begins. I may make some minor modifications, such as working in Awareness, but otherwise I'm confident in this build’s ability to keep my nephalem out of danger.

Why We Like This Build:

There's a lot of excitement out there right now with the Embodiment of the Marauder Set. Alexus’ build stood out because it went in the unusual direction of buffing up his Companions over his Sentries. It draws inspiration from the tabletop role-playing game archetypes of an archer druid (or perhaps ranger), offering supporting fire behind a wall of nature's soldiers. 

Blurs of fur accompanied by an assault of arrows.

While I've not always been a huge fan of pet builds, this is a unique way to approach this style of gameplay and it offers an opportunity to get quite a lot out of a channeling skill like Rapid Fire. The distraction your pets create is helpful, and once I get my hands on that Cloak of the Garwulf, I can't wait to see how far I can take this build. 

Tell Us What You Think!

Have you been enjoying changes to the Embodiment of the Marauder? Do you prefer Companions over Sentries? How would you change the Rocket Druid to suit your style more? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to send in your builds for next week's Witch Doctor feature!

See you in Sanctuary!