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Vengeance Demon Hunter Tank Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Nov 06, 2016 at 09:26 by Vlad 105 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Vengeance Demon Hunter core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Vengeance Demon Hunter.

The other pages of our Vengeance Demon Hunter guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Munkky, a respected Vengeance Demon Hunter theorycrafter.

1. Single Target Rotation

The single target rotation for Vengeance Demon Hunters is based on the following priority, and it is very straightforward, but keep in mind that this does not account for your active mitigation, which we discuss below.

The basic principle is to use up the Pain you generate through various abilities so that you do not cap and waste it, while keeping enough Pain in store to be able to use your active mitigation as needed.

  1. Use Soul Carver Icon Soul Carver on cooldown to generate Soul Fragments.
  2. Use Fel Devastation Icon Fel Devastation on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
    • Since Fel Devastation Icon Fel Devastation also heals you for a considerable amount (more with the  Icon Charred Warblades trait), you should save it for when you need healing, if you are concerned with your survivability.
  3. Use Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave when you have 80+ Pain to use up Pain and avoid capping it.
  4. Use Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura on cooldown.
  5. Use Felblade Icon Felblade on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
  6. Use Fel Eruption Icon Fel Eruption on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
  7. Use Spirit Bomb Icon Spirit Bomb to maintain the Frailty Icon Frailty debuff on the target (if you have taken this talent).
  8. Use Shear Icon Shear, if you are using the Blade Turning Icon Blade Turning talent and have a Blade Turning proc (so, following a successful Parry).
  9. Use Fracture Icon Fracture when you have 60+ Pain (if you have taken this talent).
    • Note that this mostly provides DPS and has very little defensive value, so only use it when you are not concerned with your survivability.
  10. Use Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame.
  11. Fill empty global cooldowns with Shear Icon Shear.

In addition to these abilities, you should also make use of Infernal Strike Icon Infernal Strike (which is off the global cooldown) to deal additional damage. We recommend always keeping at least 1 charge in reserve, however, unless the fight requires no movement whatsoever, in which case you can use up both charges.

2. Multiple Target Rotation

The multiple target rotation (again, not accounting for active mitigation) is very similar to the single target one.

  1. Use Soul Carver Icon Soul Carver on cooldown to generate Soul Fragments.
  2. Use Fel Devastation Icon Fel Devastation on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
    • Since Fel Devastation Icon Fel Devastation also heals you for a considerable amount (more with the  Icon Charred Warblades trait), you should save it for when you need healing, if you are concerned with your survivability.
  3. Use Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave when you have 80+ Pain to use up Pain and avoid capping it.
  4. Use Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura on cooldown.
  5. Use Spirit Bomb Icon Spirit Bomb to maintain the Frailty Icon Frailty debuff on the target (if you have taken this talent).
  6. Use Felblade Icon Felblade on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
  7. Use Shear Icon Shear, if you are using the Blade Turning Icon Blade Turning talent and have a Blade Turning proc (so, following a successful Parry).
  8. Use Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame on cooldown.
  9. Use Fel Eruption Icon Fel Eruption on cooldown (if you have taken this talent).
  10. Fill empty global cooldowns with Shear Icon Shear.

As in the single target rotation, you should also use Infernal Strike Icon Infernal Strike against multiple targets.

3. Active Mitigation

As a Vengeance Demon Hunter, you have 4 active mitigation abilities: Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave, Demon Spikes Icon Demon Spikes, Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand, and Empower Wards Icon Empower Wards. We will look at them very briefly here before going into more detail later on in the guide.

  • Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave should be used whenever you require additional healing.
  • Demon Spikes Icon Demon Spikes should be used frequently, even simply against auto-attacks. Always keep at least one of its charges rolling.
  • Empower Wards Icon Empower Wards should be used before you take significant magic damage.
  • Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand should be placed on the target when you anticipate that they will deal high damage to you, or when you simply want to reduce the damage you take.

4. Defensive Cooldowns

As a Vengeance Demon Hunter, you have one defensive cooldown.

Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis increases your current and maximum health by 30% for 15 seconds, and grants you 7 Pain per second for its entire duration. It has a 3-minute cooldown and no cost.

Metamorphosis works both pro-actively (to increase your health in preparation for damage) and re-actively, as an emergency cooldown to heal you up when you drop low on health. The extra Pain that Metamorphosis generates is also a nice bonus, which you can use on Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave for more healing.

5. Taunting

Torment Icon Torment is your only taunting ability. It only works on a single target and has an 8-second cooldown.

6. Optional Read: Mastering Your Vengeance Demon Hunter

The above rotations and ability usage will allow you to perform very well as a Vengeance Demon Hunter. However, there are several concepts that deserve further explanation.

6.1. Pain

Vengeance Demon Hunters use a resource called Pain. It is very similar in functionality to Warriors' and Guardian Druids' Rage. For you to properly master your Demon Hunter, you must understand how Pain works.

The Pain bar has a maximum capacity of 100, and is empty by default. Pain decays at a rate of 1 per second when out of combat. In combat, Pain does not decay. Pain comes from a variety of sources, as follows.

  • Taking damage generates Pain. For every 2% of your maximum health that you lose, you generate 1 Pain.
  • Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura generates 20 Pain over its 6 second duration.
  • Shear Icon Shear generates 10 Pain per cast.
  • Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis generates 7 Pain every second for its 15-second duration for a total of 105 Pain.
  • Successfully interrupting a spell with Consume Magic Icon Consume Magic generates 50 Pain.

6.2. Mastery: Fel Blood

Mastery: Fel Blood Icon Mastery: Fel Blood increase the Physical damage reduction provided by Demon Spikes Icon Demon Spikes and also increases your attack power. The actual increase amounts depend on how much Mastery you have.

6.3. Soul Fragments

Soul Fragments are a unique Vengeance Demon Hunter mechanic. The baseline ability comes from the Shattered Souls Icon Shattered Souls passive.

When you kill a target, there is a chance that a Soul Fragment will be created. This is an orb that is placed on the ground at a nearby location, which persists for up to 20 seconds. If you walk over it, you will consume the Soul Fragment, and be healed for a certain amount (2125% of your attack power in health). Only you can see and interact with your Soul Fragments.

Moreover, if a Soul Fragment comes from a Demon target, consuming it will also increase your damage done by 20% for 15 seconds.

In addition to these Soul Fragments, there are also Lesser Soul Fragments. These have a chance to be created when you damage targets with Shear Icon Shear, or with Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura (provided that you have the Fallout Icon Fallout talent). They work in exactly the same way, but they heal you for a much smaller amount.

One final mention worth making is that your Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave ability will instantly consume all Soul Fragments (including Lesser ones) in a 25-yard radius. The number of Soul Fragments that your Soul Cleave will consume is indicated on your UI (on the Soul Cleave button). This is significant because, given the frequency with which you use Soul Cleave, walking around to manually collect Soul Fragments is simply not necessary. Note that any Soul Fragments consumed by Soul Cleave (as well as by your Soul Barrier Icon Soul Barrier talent) will still heal you and also properly trigger your  Icon Fueled by Pain and  Icon Painbringer artifact traits.

6.4. Pain Management

In general, Pain management is fairly simple. You should always avoid reaching maximum Pain (try not to exceed 80) so as not to have any additional Pain wasted, and you should also always keep some amount of Pain in reserve to allow the use of Demon Spikes Icon Demon Spikes and Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave.

Before the fight starts, you can also use Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura to generate Pain; just make sure not to pull the boss and ensure that the ability will be off cooldown again when the fight starts.

6.5. In-Depth Ability Usage

In this section, we will go into more detail about some of the abilities mentioned above, as well as cover a number of other useful Vengeance Demon Hunter abilities.

6.5.1. Artifact Ability

Soul Carver Icon Soul Carver is your artifact ability. It deals Fire damage to the target and places a 3-second Fire damage DoT on them. The initial damage creates 2 Lesser Soul Fragments, while the DoT creates 1 Lesser Soul Fragment every second.

Since this ability does not result in immediate healing or damage reduction, you should just use it on cooldown to increase your Soul Fragment generation, which will then be used for other abilities or simply to heal yourself.

6.5.2. Throw Glaive

Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive is a ranged attack that deals a moderate amount of damage and generates a high amount of threat on its target, and which can bounce to up to 2 additional targets within 10 yards, damaging them as well.

Normally, this ability is not worth using in your rotation since Shear Icon Shear is a more efficient use of your global cooldowns. The only reason to use Throw Glaive is to pick up new targets (such as adds that have just spawned) from afar.

6.5.3. Consume Magic

Consume Magic Icon Consume Magic is a simple ranged single target interrupt with a 15-second cooldown. Successfully interrupting a spell generates 50 Pain.

6.5.4. Sigils

Sigils are abilities that you cast a targeted location on the ground, and which produce an effect at that location 2 seconds later.

Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame deals Fire damage to all enemies in the Sigil, and places a 6-second Fire damage DoT on them as well.

Sigil of Chains Icon Sigil of Chains pulls all enemies to the center of the Sigil and snares them, reducing their movement speed by 70% for 6 seconds.

Sigil of Misery Icon Sigil of Misery causes all enemies in the Sigil to cower in fear, being disoriented for up to 30 seconds. This acts as an interrupt against non-boss targets, since moving around causes them to stop their cast.

Sigil of Silence Icon Sigil of Silence silences all enemies in the Sigil for 6 seconds.

6.6. Advanced Active Mitigation Usage

6.6.1. Demon Spikes

Demon Spikes Icon Demon Spikes is off the global cooldown, costs 20 Pain, and increases your parry chance and reduces your Physical damage taken for 6 seconds. It has 2 charges and a 15-second recharge time (reduced by Haste).

You will normally want to have a minimum uptime of 40% (increased by Haste) on this ability, which means you always make sure one of its charges is on cooldown. Using Demon Spikes even when you are only taking melee attacks from a boss is perfectly acceptable.

The only reason you would ever want to have 2 charges available and not use them is if you know you will need to chain 2 Demon Spikes casts for a long period of continuous damage reduction in the near future.

The  Icon Defensive Spikes artifact trait does not trigger if you use a charge of Demon Spikes Icon Demon Spikes while the Demon Spikes buff is active. So, it is best to cast it once the previous one has fallen off for maximum uptime on the 10% Parry buff.

6.6.2. Soul Cleave

Soul Cleave Icon Soul Cleave has a variable Pain cost, from 30-60 (depending on how much Pain you have when using it). It damages the enemies located in front of you, heals you, and consumes all Soul Fragments in a 25-yard radius around you. The damage and healing (but not the healing from consumed Soul Fragments) increase with any additional Pain past 30 that you use Soul Cleave with.

Because Soul Fragments take some time to build up, the first Soul Cleave cast (after a break) will provide more healing than subsequent casts (which will have few or no Soul Fragments to consume), so this is important to keep in mind when relying on Soul Cleave for healing.

For maximising damage, using Soul Cleave with 60 Pain is recommended.

6.6.3. Empower Wards

Empower Wards Icon Empower Wards is a very straightforward ability that reduces your magic damage taken by 30% for 6 seconds, on a 20-second cooldown. Simply use this ability any time it will reduce significant magic damage. Save it for when you know large magic damage is coming.

When you unlock the  Icon Siphon Power artifact trait, it is viable to soak as much magic damage as possible in order to increase your Agility by up to 15% for up to 16 seconds.

6.6.4. Fiery Brand

Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand can be qualified as active mitigation, although in reality it is very close to being a cooldown, since it has an uptime of 8 seconds per minute, at most (10 seconds per minute with the  Icon Demonic Flames artifact trait).

Fiery Brand deals damage to the target, and debuffs them for 8 seconds, causing them to deal 40% less damage to you. If you are using the Burning Alive Icon Burning Alive talent, then Fiery Brand also deals damage to its target every 2 seconds over its duration, and with each tick it spreads to a nearby enemy.

Without Burning Alive, Fiery Brand should practically always be saved for damage reduction against the primary target. That said, you should still look to maximise uptime, so do not hold on to it for too long. So, use it whenever the damage you are taking is not too low.

With Burning Alive, you should use the ability pretty much on cooldown, against multiple targets. This will not only result in high damage, but it will also apply the damage reduction to multiple enemies, reducing the overall damage you take. The only exception to this is if you are fighting multiple targets of which one deals particularly high damage at specific times, in which case you should still save Fiery Brand for then.

7. ChangeLog

  • 06 Nov. 2016: Added a mention of the Defensive Spikes artifact trait in the Demon Spikes section.
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Updated the range within which Soul Cleave consumes Soul Fragments to 20 yards, following patch 7.1 changes.
  • 17 Oct. 2016: Removed a mention about Soul Cleave's main healing coming from Soul Fragments.
  • 05 Sep. 2016: Fixed an error where we were omitting to mention that Fel Devastation heals even without the Charred Warblades trait.
  • 04 Sep. 2016: Made various tweaks and changes to the guide to improve clarity.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 14 Aug. 2016: Removed Darkness from the guide since this ability is no longer available to Vengeance Demon Hunters.
  • 11 Aug. 2016: Added a mention that damage taken generates Pain, and added Sigil of Flame to the single target rotation.
  • 06 Aug. 2016: Updated the Pain cost of Demon Spikes.
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