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Melee Detonating Arrow Marksman (Jelkhor's) Build Guide

Posted By TriKster on March 10, 2023
Last updated on October 15, 2023



Introduced with Patch 0.9, Jelkhor's Blast Knife is a new unique dagger that allows you to play Detonating Arrow without a bow.

Detonating Arrow is an exclusive Marksman skill, so you are not able to play this build as a Bladedancer or (Falconer).

This is a Lightning version taking advantage from Arcing Blast 4/4 because Lightning Tendrils can't proc with any other Detonating Arrow conversion. It's the best version to go full DPS since Tendrils can hit single target enemies aswell, while also providing great clear speed. We also benefit from Shred Lightning Resistance and Shock.

Dual wielding Jelkhors allows you to reach full damage potential since most of the offensive Marksman passives and mastery bonus can't be used without a bow (Arrow Storm/Barrage of Pain/Elemental Arrows).

You can also reach 0 mana cost on Detonating Arrow (8 by default) making it extremely comfortable to play without worrying about your mana pool.

The standard build planner utilizes Barrage, stacking its Cone with all the AoE modifiers in the skilltree, passives and gear to reach great clear speed and instant burst damage on single targets. It's mechanically far more beginner friendly and looks amazing to play.

Legendary Potential on Jelkhors is a huge DPS upgrade! Added Melee Damage applies at 200% effectiveness for the explosion.

This build only requires 1 Jelkhor to work. I highly recommend to dual wield 2 Jelkhors.

Other uniques like Siphon of Anguish (Doom stacks -> up to 16% more melee dmg), Shattered Chains (4 Doom stacks -> 20% more melee dmg) and Suloron's Step will bring alot of damage multipliers.

There are two possible ways to play Melee Detonating Arrow showcased in the build guide:

  • Barrage (this version focuses more on clear speed and an overall more casual friendly and fun gameplay - showcased in the Starter Gear/Standard Gear Planner - recommended to play once you can equip Jelkhors at level 36)
  • Suckerpunch Arrow (this version focuses more into endgame activities and overall dps - showcased in the Endgame/BIS Gear - recommended to play at around Lvl 90 Normal Monolith Timelines or Empowered Monolith)

Pros & Cons


Unique Non Bow Marksman Build

Very Strong And Fast Leveling (Until Empowered Monolith)

High Endgame Damage Potential

Insane Clear Speed With Huge AoE Cone+Tendrils

No Mana Issues

Satisfying Visuals


Small Weapon Range (Awkward To Position Yourself)

Close Combat

Dual Wielding (->9% Increased Damage Taken)

Not The Tankiest Build

Requires Good Positioning To Benefit From Cone

Gameplay / Mechanics


The gameplay is pretty much straight forward. Use Shift to dash into high hp enemies while spamming Detonating Arrow to proc the cone+tendrils killing all the trash mobs around you. Shift also procs Shurikens and Shadow Cascade for you making the build a comfortable 3 button playstyle (4 with Decoy as a panic button). Use Smoke Bomb whenever it's off cooldown to benefit from Silver Shroud and on boss fights or high hp monsters for the damage boost.

Stacking AoE will make it easier to reach monsters far away from you with the cone. You need to position yourself correctly to fully benefit from the cone. Make sure to always attack in line into trash mobs.

Don't try to stand still while holding down Detonating Arrow. This build requires stutter stepping mechanics and repositioning for a higher chance to survive.


Dual wielding Jelkhor's Blast Knife allows you to reach +6 skill points for Detonating Arrow making it possible to create alot of build variants within the skilltree.

The huge amount of flat damage you can get from both daggers (+legendary potential) will balance out all the missing Marksman damage bonuses and passives while not wielding a Bow. With Patch 0.9 the explosions damage effectiveness was buffed to 200%.

I highly recommend to use 2 Jelkhors bringing down your 8 mana cost (default) to 0. You can then benefit from life on hit nodes like Sapping Strikes. The Mana on hit will balance your mana drain from Infused Discharge.

Playing the cone with Barrage makes you do the hit+explosion at the same time while also proccing lightning tendrils (Arcing Blast) which is very helpful in close combat to kill enemies quicker.

With Barrage we will utilize the full aoe potential from the cone, while the DPS Version will more go into single target boss dmg without stacking the explosions aoe. The lightning tendrils will help out killing monsters behind you not facing your cone going into the other direction.


Dual wielding is always a risky playstyle, especially in endgame content. You won't be able to fully facetank every monster in the game. Knowing boss or monster abilities while also being able to kite alot will greatly improve your survivability.

Mechanically we trust our HP pool (up to 2.5k+), capped Resistances, 100% Crit Avoidance, Leech, Movement Speed.

Since we don't have any mana issues we can stack as much melee attack speed as possible to fully benefit from the PrefixChance to gain Dusk Shroud when you use a Melee Attack that hits affix + Veil of Night passive to gain as much flat dodge and glancing blow chance as possible. This prefix on your body armour has top priority for survivability!

HP sustain we get through a huge amount of leech and Sapping Strikes 4/4.

Through Crimson Shroud or a sealed PrefixChance to gain Crimson Shroud when you use a Melee Attack that hits affix we can get an additional 15% less damage taken over time defensive layer.

Don't underestimate Stun as an ailment! Shock provided additional Stun chance while we stack Stun from Death from Afar 5/5 and on LP Jelkhors. With high attack speed we can stunlock alot of enemies making them unable to attack us.



Stat Priorities


Unique Items and Legendaries:

2x Jelkhor's Blast Knife (required)

Stats you want with legendary potential:

  1. Melee Lightning Damage
  2. Melee Attack Speed
  3. Chill Chance
  4. Armour Shred/Shock Chance (offensive setup) or Stun Chance/Slow Chance (defensive setup)

Shattered Chains (recommended)

Stats you want with legendary potential:

  1. Ailment Cleanse (T1 is enough)
  2. Increased Health
  3. Hybrid Health
  4. Lightning Damage

Siphon of Anguish (recommended)

Stats you want with legendary potential:

  1. Resistances
  2. Crit Chance
  3. Lightning Damage

Suloron's Step (recommended)

Stats you want with legendary potential:

  1. Movement Speed
  2. Hybrid Health
  3. Vitality
  4. Resistances
  • Crit Chance per Dagger
  • Vitality
  • Health
  • Resistances
Body Armour
  • Dusk Shroud on Melee Attack
  • Level of DA
  • Vitality
  • Health
  • Increased Health
  • Melee Leech
  • Attack Speed
  • Health
  • Resistances
  • Ailment Cleanse
  • Lightning Dmg
  • Hybrid Health
  • Increased Health
  • Movement Speed
  • Vitality
  • Health
  • Resistances
  • Crit Multiplier
  • Lightning Dmg
  • Endurance
  • Frailty
  • Resistances
  • Health
  • Melee Lightning Dmg
  • Attack Speed
  • Crit Multiplier
  • Chill/Shred/Shock/Stun
  • Melee Lightning Dmg
  • Attack Speed
  • Crit Multiplier
  • Chill/Shred/Shock/Stun
Ring 1
  • Crit Chance
  • Lightning Dmg
  • Resistances
  • Health
Ring 2
  • Crit Chance
  • Lightning Dmg
  • Resistances
  • Health
  • Lightning Penetration
  • Crit Multiplier
  • Health
  • Dodge
  • Resistances
  • Armour Shred


This build doesn't require any specific idols to perform well.

I would recommend to start with HP & Resistance idols only to make gearing easier while leveling.

For more DPS use 4x Grand Majasan Idol with PrefixCritical Strike Multiplier while Dual Wielding & SuffixIncreased Damage while wielding a Dagger.


Fall of the Outcasts


The Stolen Lance


Blood, Frost, and Death


Fall of the Empire


The Last Ruin


Build Variants


Jelkhor's Blast Knife has a level 36 requirement. I would recommend to level with Bleed Puncture (Bow) until you reach your Marksman mastery.

Then you can already start building up your Detonating Arrow skilltree as mentioned in the guide playing with a bow once you unlock it.

I would highly recommend to level this build when you already found at least one dagger.

Otherwise you have to play a Lightning Bow Detonating Arrow version that requires different skilltree and passive point setups.

Follow the Skill/Passive tree progression as demonstrated in the guide.

Try to target farm or use Rune of Ascendance for the required/recommended uniques in this order:

  1. Jelkhor's Blast Knife
  2. Siphon of Anguish (easy to target farm)
  3. Shattered Chains (easy to target farm in empowered monolith)
  4. Suloron's Step


Once you have all the recommended uniques, your main goal is to target farm them again for legendary potential.

As you can see in my build guide video, my gear is not perfect and i could easily handle empowered monolith. I consider Jelkhor Marksman as one of the best marksman builds currently in the game. The only big downside is the short weapon range.

You can pretty much farm whatever content you want with this character. Please remember that this is not the tankiest build and you might need some tries with T4 Bosses. It's not the best arena pusher, but you can still manage to reach decent waves.

The most important thing is to enjoy it and play the content that you prefer!

Loot Filter

No loot filter is provided for this guide. You can generate a loot filter for this build in the Build Planner or create one using Filter Wizard in the Loot Filters section.


What's different in 0.9 compared to your video during the Multiplayer Event?

Damage Taken While Dual Wielding (12% -> 9%) This is a buff

Jelkhor's Flat Damage got changed to 48-65 Melee Dmg roll. This is a small nerf. (Remember i didn't have LP daggers in the video)

Bow or Melee Version?

The melee version is mechanically easier to play, but also far more squishy compared to the ranged bow version.

During the MP Event i reached 1 Mio explosion crits on the dummy making the melee version better on DPS.

I personally prefer the bow version, since i enjoy ranged playstyles more. I tested both Bow and Jelkhor version and can confirm that Jelkhor has far more damage output.

Why Melee Attack Speed over Crit Multiplier on Jelkhor's with legendary potential?

You can reach 0 mana cost for Detonating Arrow while dual wielding Jelkhor's. Therefore stacking attack speed is our best DPS/Survivability upgrade for single target and high mob density situations. The overall crit numbers are good enough.

Why do you lose mana in your video guide?

Infused Discharge is responsible for the mana drain. But don't worry. You will never run out of mana.

What's your DPS?

I showcased both versions in the video. Here is a dps showcase of the DPS Version during the MP Event:


How far did you play into Endgame?

During the MP Weekend Events i played this build into Corruption 300+.

I didn't try Tier 4 Bosses or Arena yet, but because of the small weapon range i can already tell you, that it's gonna be hard to play. I will take more time into this build once 0.9 releases.

How did the Crit Vuln nerf impact the build?

I only needed to adjust my gearing abit more towards %increased crit chance on gear+passives. We still achieve an effective crit chance of 80%+ in endgame even with the Crit Vuln nerf.

Luckily we get +8% base crit chance ontop of the basic 5% of Detonating Arrow from dual wielding Jelkhor's which makes critting alot easier in endgame.



  • Added Build Variants. Typos
  • 0.9.2 Update. Added More Defensive Mechanics Into The Build. Updated Build Planners. Added Starting Gear & Endgame Gear And Skill Variants. Various Additional Information on Mechanics. Typos
  • Updated new Passive Tree Progression for all 3 Build Variants
  • Build guide was published


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