Escape Skills

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Escape skills refer to abilities in Diablo III that allow characters to survive experiences that would have been fatal without that skill. "Escape" does not necessarily mean movement since players can escape death by becoming invulnerable or intangible, rather than fleeing. Skills like Teleport or Smoke Screen qualify, as they will save a character's life if deployed in time.

Survival Skills are basically panic buttons that allow characters to escape certain death. These are skills like Shadow Power or Serenity that don't add any movement boost or monster debuff, but that enable a character to survive huge damage that would otherwise kill them off.

Movement skills are a related classification; these allow characters to move at a higher rate of speed, and/or pass through monsters or obstacles such as Waller or Jailer monster CC abilities. The same skill might be classified as movement and escape, but not all escape skills involve movement, and not all movement skill are especially useful for escape.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Carrying at least one escape skill on the hotbar is all but mandatory for lower level characters and Hardcore players. These skills are not needed all the time, but they may be essential to survive dangerous situations. The most common are found on bosses and champions in Hell and Inferno, where the enemies get 3 or 4 Elite Modifiers which can combine to prove very lethal. Elites with modifiers such as Arcane Enchanted + Desecrator + Vortex + Waller can trap a character in place and inflict massive damage upon them, and these scenarios are very likely to prove lethal to players without an escape skill at the ready.

Escape and Movement skills are not mandatory; some players choose to focus on their offense and accept occasionally death as the price of faster overall killing. High level characters with very good gear can also ignore or minimize their Escape Skills since very good gear can make a character strong enough to take the damage, or to kill monsters before they can deal out lethal damage.

Hardcore characters must play more conservatively and keep at least one Escape or Movement skill ready at all times.

In addition to their survival features, Movement Skills such as Sprint or Vault or Tempest Rush can be used to traverse the dungeons more quickly than otherwise possible, greatly increasing the killing speed (by eliminating downtime) for many characters.

Barbarian[edit | edit source]

In addition to the skills listed below, the Barbarian has numerous attacks with defensive features, such as knockback, slow, or other debuffs to enemies. These are very useful to survive, but don't quite count as escape or movement abilities.

Survival/Escape Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Furious Charge: (db) All rune effects allow for very rapid movement through any number of enemies. This skill will not pass through Waller walls or other solid obstacles.
  • Leap: (db) All rune effects allow the Barbarian to leap to a targeted spot, moving over any number of enemies. This skill will leap over Waller walls and other solid obstacles. When timed right, can also avoid frozen blasts.
  • Wrath of the Berserker (db): Though not a true panic button, this skill provides numerous powerful buffs to enhance the Barbarian's survival and killing speed, and boosts movement speed by 20%. Cannot be frozen, vortex or jailed.
  • Ground Stomp: (db) All rune effects allow stunning all enemies within 12 yards for 4 seconds.
  • Ignore Pain: (db) All rune reduces all damage taken by 65% for 5 seconds and the "Mob" rune extends to the party.

Movement Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Sprint (db): This skill grants a substantial boost to movement speed for 3 seconds, but does not enable the Barbarian to pass through enemies or obstacles.
  • Whirlwind (db): This attack skill enables the Barbarian to spin through any number of enemies and also breaks all destructibles, but does not pass through Waller walls or other solid obstacles.

Demon Hunter[edit | edit source]

Demon Hunters have numerous skills such as Caltrops and Entangling Shot that debuff monsters, slowing or stunning enemies. These abilities can certainly help a DH survive danger, but they aren't precisely movement or escape skills in of themselves.

Survival/Escape Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Rain of Vengeance: Stampede (db) This skill will knock back any number of enemies, opening up a path for a running escape for a surrounded or cornered Demon Hunter.
  • Shadow Power (db): This survival skill does nothing for movement, but grants huge life steal for a short duration, which many Demon Hunters harness to increase their EHP and survive attacks that would otherwise kill them. The rune effect Gloom is the most popular for the 35% boost to life steal.
  • Smoke Screen (db): A prototypical escape skill, this one turns the Demon Hunter invisible to enemies and grants full invulnerability for a short duration. Smoke Screen breaks Jailer and allows the DH to pass through any number of enemies, but can not pass through Waller walls. It also works as a movement skill by triggering the Tactical Advantage passive speed boost.
  • Vault (db): Vault moves the Demon Hunter 35 yards in an acrobatic tumble at very high speed. It's a movement skill that also escapes Jailer and passes through enemies, but does not move over obstacles like Waller walls. It's a great movement option as well, especially when paired with the Tactical Advantage passive speed boost.

Movement Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Evasive Fire (db): This skill causes the Demon Hunter to do a backflip when enemies are nearby. The flip will not break Jailer or clear Waller walls, but it can pass through monsters that would otherwise block movement. The faster run bonus from Tactical Advantage is also triggered by an Evasive Fire backflip.
  • Strafe (db): This skill allows the Demon Hunter to move through any number of enemies, but does not provide protection or break Jailer or pass through solid objects like Waller walls.
  • Hot Pursuit (db): This passive skill grants a 15% movement speed bonus (may exceed the 25% equipment cap) when the Demon Hunter is at full Hatred.
  • Tactical Advantage (db): This passive skill grants a huge 60% bonus to movement speed for 2 seconds after using Evasive Fire (executing a backflip), Vault, or Smoke Screen. Fast moving/farming Demon Hunters Vault, run for 2 seconds at high speed, Vault again, run for 2 seconds, etc.

Monk[edit | edit source]

The Monk has numerous skills that debuff enemies, slowing, confusing, blinding, causing a knockback, and otherwise incapacitating them. These are useful for survival, but aren't specifically movement or panic button type abilities and thus are not listed below.

Survival/Escape Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Inner Sanctuary (db): This skill creates a safe zone into which monsters can not enter, though it does not protect against ranged attacks or other AoE attacks. The Circle of Protection (db) rune effect reduces damage by 35% as well.
  • Serenity (db): A true panic button skill, this breaks all CC effects and makes the Monk immune to all incoming damage for 3 seconds. Monks cannot pass through Waller walls, though.
  • Seven Sided Strike (db): SSS is an offensive attack skill, but the Monk is untouched by all attacks while performing it, thus it can be used to avoid damage and CC effects such as exploding Molten or Frozen orbs.

Movement Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Dashing Strike (db): This attack skill Teleports the Monk to the target, and can be used as an escape skill to bypass AoE damages and debuffs such as Molten or Slow Time bubbles. It requires a target to cast though, so can not be used as a general purpose teleport type ability.
  • Tempest Rush (db): This skill greatly boosts the Monk's movement speed and allows him to hit and pass through any number of enemies. It can be used as an escape skill to get out of large groups of enemies, but it does not confer any immunity to attacks, and it does not break Jailer or pass through Waller walls.
  • Fleet Footed (db): This passive grants a 10% bonus to movement speed which may exceed the 25% cap from equipment.

Witch Doctor[edit | edit source]

Escape Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Spirit Walk (db): This skill turns the Witch Doctor invisible (to enemies) and immaterial-although the effect ends if his physical body takes 50 percent of his maximum life in damage. While Spirit Walk breaks CC effects and lets the Witch Doctor pass through enemies, he can not pass through Waller walls or other solid objects.
  • Spirit Vessel (db): This passive resurrects the Witch Doctor, returning him to life and placing him in the spirit realm for 2 seconds after receiving fatal damage.

Movement Skills[edit | edit source]

Wizard[edit | edit source]

Escape Skills[edit | edit source]

  • Archon: Teleport (db). This rune effect of Archon grants a Teleport ability even if the Wizard does not have Teleport as one of her six hotbar skills. The teleport can escape all CC effects and move over Waller walls or other solid objects. As it has a 10 second cooldown per use, it's better classified as an emergency escape option than a proper movement skill.
  • Diamond Skin (db): This skill grants a short term damage absorbing shield, which can be used to avoid potentially fatal attacks, when cast with the proper timing.
  • Mirror Image (db): Creates duplicates of the Wizard. This skill doesn't boost the character's defense, but monsters will pursue the duplicates instead of the Wizard, granting her a brief reprieve from attack.
  • Slow Time (db): Acts as a panic button against incoming projectiles and attackers, slowing them to a near-crawl. (Can be paired with Wave of Force to reflect back all incoming projectiles to damage attackers, and this can be quite impressive when there are dozens of fireballs caught up in the Slow Time bubble.
  • Teleport (db): Teleport breaks out of Jailer and passes over Waller walls, but thanks to the long cooldown it's best used for emergency escapes rather than speedy movement. The Wormhole (db)rune effect is the best for movement, as it allows multiple quick casts of Teleport before the cooldown kicks in.
  • Unstable Anomaly (db): Unstable Anomaly is the only Wizard Passive skill to incorporate an escape mechanism. It is used primarily by Hardcore players, and provides an automatic heal and a monster knockback attack when the Wizard drops below 30% of maximum life.

Movement Skills[edit | edit source]

Alone amongst the characters in Diablo 3, the Wizard does not have any true movement skills. Teleport exists, but with the long cooldown it's more of an emergency escape skill than a tool to pass rapidly across the battlefield. The lack of Wizard faster movement options is one of the main complaints by Wizard fans, who feel gimped by their slow foot speed when it comes to farming.

  • Storm Armor: Scramble (db). This skill triggers a 25% movement speed buff for 3 seconds, but only after being hit by an attack.