I know I’ve said this before, but honestly, I think the biggest chunk of Diablo 3’s replay value comes from the seasons it regularly runs.
Back for my first season, I picked a demon hunter to play.
I absolutely loved it; I could stay out of the way, doing damage from afar and slowly accumulating a totally badass suit that nearly made me invincible. You know, when I had turrets up.
For the second season, I fell for the newness and intrigue of the then-recently-released necromancer. I struggled to figure it out, and ended up a little disenchanted. So the next time we booted up Diablo 3?
I gravitated back to my comfort zone, the demon hunter.
Except it wasn’t as comforting as I’d expected.
That season, the set they were giving away was the Shadow’s Mantle. I like to test out the abilities favoured by the season sets before I get the whole thing (you know, so I’m not a super squishy level 70 noob), so I looked it up.
It’s the only set for the demon hunter that’s designed for melee combat, which kind of blew my mind because I didn’t know you could even do that.
I was hesitant at first, sticking to my traditional build throughout most of the story. I even stuck to it after I’d gotten the set.
But that would soon change.
Maybe five minutes after I’d gotten the full set, fate (or, more likely, Kadala) decided to have a little fun with me.
It quickly delivered Karlei’s Point, one of two legendary daggers for demon hunters (and the one that works best with the Shadow’s Mantle set), right into my lap via that ever-fickle merchant. So I figured it was time to do some research into melee builds.
It only took one boss fight with my new build and set to show me what I’d been missing.
For reference: The Shadow’s Mantle set increases overall damage by 1,200% just for equipping a melee weapon.
And when you have all six items from the set? Well, that gives Impale an additional 50,000% weapon damage to the first thing it hits.
That stacks with the 344% additional Impale damage from Karlei’s Point (which now seems just laughable), and the power from the Holy Point Shot quiver (which throws three knives instead of one for Impale, all of which are affected by the rune).
I was one-shotting Torment VII rift guardians.
The only weakness I’ve found for the build so far? Reflect damage. I almost died to it once, so now I always check before I Impale.
In case you were curious, here’s the full build:
|x||Shadow Power||Any rune|
|△||Vault||Trail of Cinders|
- Spines of Seething Hatred (causes Chakrams to generate Hatred, also very broken)
- Death Watch Mantle
- Band of Hollow Whispers
|Main hand||Karlei's Point||Flawless Royal Ruby|
|Off-hand||Holy Point Shot|
|Head||The Shadow's Mask||Flawless Royal Amethyst|
|Body||The Shadow's Bane||Flawless Royal Emerald
2 Flawless Royal Diamond
|Shoulders||The Shadow's Burden|
|Hands||The Shadow's Grasp|
|Legs||The Shadow's Coil||2 Flawless Royal Emerald|
|Feet||The Shadow's Heels|
|Neck||Rakoff's Glass of Life|
|Wrists||Wraps of Clarity|
|Ring||Aurora Resilience||Rank 22 Moratorium|