Hatred Generators: Demystified

UPDATE: As of patch 1.03, quite a bit has changed. Most notably, Evasive Fire took a few heavy nerfs (bug fixes, most likely) that prevent it from firing through waller’s walls, obstacles and around corners.

We’ve seen this discussion come up quite a few times on the forums and in various other community discussions, and wanted to make some clarifications regarding the Demon Hunter’s hatred generating abilities. Specifically, we’re going to be taking a look at which abilities provide the most damage output in three general situations: single-target, multi-target (3-5 targets), and massive AOE (6+ targets).

Hungering Arrow seems to be by far the leader in terms of popularity, but is actually one of the lower damage abilities in most situations you’ll encounter in standard play. We’ve done all of the heavy mathematical lifting for you – read on to learn which abilities are the top contenders. Spoiler Alert: you’re probably going to want to revisit out Evasive Fire: Covering Fire.


Evasive Fire – Covering Fire
Hungering Arrow – Devouring Arrow
Evasive Fire – Covering Fire
Massive AOE (6+ targets): Grenades – Fire Bomb

EDIT: Updated Entangling Shot: Chain Gang



For most of this article, we are going to be looking strictly at damage output.Many abilities provide some secondary benefit (e.g. crowd control) that is somewhat difficult to calculate reliably, and are highly dependent on playstyle. In most (not all) situations, players are best suited maximizing damage and using one of the other tools in the Demon Hunter arsenal for control and defense.

Also keep in mind that creating a strong build requires some degree of cohesiveness between your hatred generators and spenders – if you choose a very strong AOE hatred generator, you’ll probably want to make sure your hatred spender has strong single-target damage output.

Finally, note that not all runes have calculations provided. This is simply because certain runes provide no additional damage, or are fundamentally flawed in some way. If you think we’ve made a glaring omission, let us know and we’ll take a look.

Hungering Arrow (db)

Note: These projectiles can miss, causing actual performance to be something less than what is represented here. Keep this in mind when comparing HA to hitscan abilities, where there is no projectile and the attack simply “scans” the screen for enemies to “hit”.

  1. Puncturing Arrow (+15% pierce chance)
  2. Scatter Shot (On pierce, split into 3 arrows)
  3. Devouring Arrow (On pierce, increase damage 70%)

Single-Target: Devouring > Puncturing > Scatter Shot
Multi-Target: Scatter Shot > Devouring > Puncturing
Massive AOE: Scatter Shot > Devouring > Puncturing
Entangling Shot

Note: These projectiles can miss, causing actual performance to be something less than what is represented here. Keep this in mind when comparing HA to hitscan abilities, where there is no projectile and the attack simply “scans” the screen for enemies to “hit”.

  1. Shock Collar (+18% DPS DoT to chained mobs)
  2. Chain Gang (+2 targets hit)

Shock Collar Calculation

75% base weapon damage + 18% DPS per target:
1 target: ~93% damage per shot
2 targets: ~121% damage per shot

Chain Gang Calculation

5% base weapon damage * number of targets
1 target: 75% damage per shot
2 targets: 150% damage per shot
3 targets: 225% damage per shot
4 targets: 300% damage per shot

Single-Target: Shock Collar
Multi-Target: Shock Collar
Massive AOE: Shock Collar


Bola Shot (db)

Note: These projectiles can miss, causing actual performance to be something less than what is represented here. Keep this in mind when comparing HA to hitscan abilities, where there is no projectile and the attack simply “scans” the screen for enemies to “hit”.

  1. Acid Strike (Remove AOE explosion, fire 3 projectiles)
  2. Imminent Doom (+ damage 52% on main target, +44% damage to AOE)

Single-Target: Imminent Doom
Multi-Target: Imminent Doom
Massive AOE: Imminent Doom


Grenades (db)

Note: With our testing, each volley of 3 grenades was only able to hit a single monster one time, not 3. If grenades could be proven to hit each monster multiple times, this ability becomes much more powerful.

  1. Cluster Grenades (+17% damage, increased explosion radius)
  2. Fire Bomb (+28% damage)
  3. Gas Grenades (25% DPS DoT)

Single-Target: Fire Bomb
Multi-Target: Fire Bomb
Massive AOE: Gas Grenades


Evasive Fire (db)

Note: These projectiles will NEVER miss if there are enemies in front of you. Damage values listed here will almost always be accurate.

  1. Covering Fire (3 hitscan shots)

125% weapon damage per enemy in a large AOE (no projectile):
1 enemy: 125%
2 enemies: 250%
3 enemies: 375%


Summing Up

Note again that these calculations take into account ONLY raw damage output, assuming every attack hits. Bola Shot: Imminent Doom has great damage potential, but also has a 2 second delay. Evasive Fire: Covering Fire has mid-range damage, but is virtually impossible to miss with and has a fairly poor explosion radius. Think of this less as a guide on which abilities to use, and more as a reference tool to compare a handful of potential options.


The Bottom Line

In most cases, the following are my recommendations:

Single-target: Hungering Arrow – Devouring Arrow
This one is pretty straight-forward. Simply the highest damage output on a single monster, with some built in tracking and strong range.

Multi-Target: Evasive Fire – Covering Fire
The hitscan nature of this attack (along with amazing defensive synergies – including being able to fire through “waller” walls, most terrain objects, and around corners) make it an obvious choice for fighting monster packs with 3-5 monsters.

Massive AOE: Grenades – Fire Bomb
While Fire Bomb has a lower damage output than Bola Shot: Imminent Doom, it can be fired through enemies to detonate in the middle of a pack, whereas Bola Shot will impact the first enemy it hits, limiting the number of potential monster hits. For melting huge packs of monsters (10+), it’s hard to find a better option than Fire Bomb.

All-Purpose: Evasive Fire – Covering Fire
I have said this elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a single ability that you can take anywhere and do anything with, this is it. What it lacks in single-target damage is made up for in defensive utility and multi-target output. The only place you’re really going to need to damage ONLY one monster is against a boss, mini-boss, or the last monster in an elite pack. In those situations, you really ought to be using one of the Demon Hunter’s far more powerful hatred-spenders (e.g. Nether Tentacles).

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39 thoughts on “Hatred Generators: Demystified

  1. Not sure why you don’t cover Chain Gang, since it hits up to 4 targets therefore making it a much better choice for 3-5 and massive AOE than shock collar.

    • I think the reason for the popularity of Hungering Arrow is that the range and auto targeting allow it to be the best ability to shoot off screen. The range of Evasive Fire is way too short and causes you to back flip constantly which drains your discipline.

      • Evasive Fire CAN hit enemies off the screen – give it a test. If we need it, I can post a video showing this.

        In terms of sucking up discipline and “back flipping constantly” – in the words of the internet, “you’re doing it wrong”. I recommend you practice some SC2-style stutter-step micro, or general positioning. EF is a high-skill ability, no doubt about it; you shouldn’t be backflipping very often.

        • I just tried it out and it seems I was mistaken. It shoots out much further than the graphic indicates so it isn’t so bad after all. I still backflip like crazy against anything fast. I guess I just need more dps so I can kill them before they get to me.

  2. Regarding Entangling Shot, the math is wrong. Entangling Shot cleaves to a nearby target, resulting in 150% base weapon damage. With Chain Gang rune, if 4 targets are hit, Entangling Shot will deal 300% base weapon damage on top of snaring them.

  3. Good catch on Entangling – I’ll revise. This doesn’t change much, since the radius on the chain is so horribly short, but it does make Entangling not quite as awful a choice.

  4. This list does seem pretty incomplete. Entangling shot already mentioned.

    Cinder Arrow – does the fire DoT not stack, just refresh?
    Spray of Teeth – what is the AoE on the explosion, can it proc of multiple hits?

    Volatile Explosives – It doubles the radius, i.e. quadruples the AoE. How is this not a contender?

    Shrapnel – it boosts the single target damage of Evasive fire, no? The little explosion is just for proc purposes.

      • it could be good in PVP i heard that these dots are considered bleeds and thus ignore armor ; maybe even resistance ; though iam not certaib about that ; is not like you could test it well in PVE as the enemy almost exclusively scales in HP.

  5. Uh, evasive fire has one horrible flaw.

    The range is way to short.

    When you are in inferno, shooting off screen is key to well….. not die.

    • Perhaps you need to do more testing – it hits off screen for me consistently. The range IS shorter than HA, but not by a ton.

  6. The range on the cleave on Entangling Shot seems to be about 8-10 yards making it similar to Bola’s explosion range. Sure it will only hit 1-3 extra enemies based on the rune, but with Chain Gang each ‘cleave’ will seek a new nearby target within 8-10 yards of it.

    Entangling Shot is potentially the weakest hatred generator on single target, but it makes make up for it in utility and multi-targets.

  7. Does Acid Strike have any utility at all? I have yet to find a real use for it. You know besides sounding cool and the pretty poison color.

  8. Evasive Fire’s range is extremely deceptive. The graphic for the shot is something like 6x shorter than the actual range. I cleared Inferno np using it as a glass cannon.

  9. Nit-pick again, but Shock Collar end up dealing 97% weapon damage to each target, up to a potential of 194% weapon damage if 2 targets are hit.

      • It’s not fixed. Also you added Chain Gang but didn’t actually nominate it as the best choice for 3-5 and AoE packs.

        Also see saanctum’s reply below, as it is very valid criticism of this article.

  10. I would agree, if I had to do everything just with generator skills. But in most cases and for standard packs -where Evasive Fire is indeed good-, you have the mighty Nether Tentacles, and all that’s left to do is quickly finish off what is left over, what is sneaking from the sides or hiding somewhere. For this job I find Hungering Arrow better, as these remaining mobs are typically spread out around you -where pierces come in handy.

    • Agreed. Its unfortunate that the article explains the downsides of projectiles (read: everything but evasive fire) at that start of each skill entry, but then proceeds on its own tenuous assumption that you’ll be burning down groups of mobs with your hatred generator.

      The choice between hungering and evasive should be made on the basis of which situations need more help. Do fast mobs rape you? Maybe draining your discipline is a bad idea. Does mortar/waller make you want to cry between kiting the mortar and missing shots from hitting walls? Maybe evasive is better. Choosing one over the other on the assumption that you’ll always hit 3 targets (2 is less than a 10% difference in damage done) in situations where you’re using a generator for dmg is the wrong way to evaluate the ability.

  11. One more advantage of Evasive Fire: The backflip resets your attack animation, allowing for a quick double hit on anything that comes close enough to trigger the backflip.

    It’s probably nearly unnoticable with high IAS, but I’m only in act 3 hell so far and have only about 1.4 attacks per second (slow 2handed crossbow). After a backflip, I find myself shooting again immediately, despite the fact that it would normally take another 0.5 seconds (or somthing like that) before I can shoot again.

  12. I can’t believe nobody mentioned the fact that Evasive Fire generates 1/3 more hatred.

    • It does, but until something other than a 10 hatred cost spender becomes viable, passive regen from gear is usually more than enough hatred to burst down the larger group and proceed to killing stragglers or sniping champs with the generator.

  13. Nice article but it only takes damages & hatred into account.
    Entangling shot saves discipline because you don’t have to use as many traps to kite for example.

  14. Trying again.

    Bola Shot Acid strike pierces. The three bola’s will pierce and appply to bola affect to every mob they pass through.

  15. Don’t forget that since all 3 shots from evasive fire comes out at the same time, each critical actually applies to all 3 shots, where as with hungering arrow each impact has individual criticals

  16. With the latest update, it seems that Evasive Fire does not shoot through walls made by wallers anymore. Can someone confirm this ?

    • This is correct – Blizzard had this listed in their patch notes. EF also no longer fires through obstacles/around corners.

  17. I love my spray of teeth. With hand crossbow and ‘bait in the trap’ I got 40 % crit chance. The bone explosion will hit the target itself again and has a huge range . It still has the 30 % chance to pierce and can explode with the second hit. = excellent AOE and good single Target damage. You just have to get your crit rate high enough.

  18. Grenade attacks actually CAN ‘hit’ a single monster more than once; you need a wall to do that however. When you throw your grenades up against a wall at certain angle, 2 of them deflects into exploding very close to each other. Needs a lot of practice to apply mentioned technique on small to human sized mobs, however large to huge sized monsters become literally half as tough. Does not work for Fire Bomb, obviously.

  19. Thank you!!!
    not included – need to regenerate HP

    Entangling Shot Chain Lightning best for LoH:
    1 target – 160% LoH
    2 target – 320% LoH
    + slow 60% 2 sec

  20. why calculate scatter shot and not spray of teeth? spray of teeth is pretty hard to calculate. but if u assume at least 33% crit chance i think the gneral dmg output is way higher than devouring arrow.

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