Havoc Demon Hunter Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.0.2
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Havoc Demon Hunter. This page's purpose is to help you pick the right options according to the content you intend to do in Shadowlands.
This page assumes that you are already familiar with Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits. If that is not the case, we have a number of pages that can help you get up to speed:
- Covenants Guide, which explains what Covenants are, what perks they bring, and how you can join one;
- Demon Hunter Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Demon Hunters gain by joining each Covenant;
- How To Change Covenant?, which tells you how you can switch Covenant (rejoining a former Covenant will require you to perform a number of tasks to regain their trusts);
- General Soulbind Guide, which explains what Soulbinds are and how you can pledge yourself to them to open up their Soulbind tree;
- Demon Hunter Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Demon Hunters.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
Currently the most universally good choice for Havoc Demon Hunter is Venthyr when paired with Nadjia the Mistblade, which comes with the advantage of starting strong in the tree. The difference in Covenants for Havoc however is extremely small, so while this performs the best numerically, any Covenant you pick will do well so there is no wrong choice here. Some choices can also even gain in certain scenarios, but this will serve you best on average, especially early on. If you are looking for more specific details, check the section regarding the best covenant.
Best Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
Here we list the ideal Conduit choices to use in your tree, ordered by their type (Potency, Endurance or Finesse). Havoc has some clear outliers in strength, so you will not see much deviation here but if you are looking for more specific details on each individual choice use the Conduits section below.
- Best Potency Conduits: Growing Inferno, Relentless Onslaught, Repeat Decree (Kyrian Only, AoE), Unnatural Malice (Night Fae Only, single-target), Increased Scrutiny (Venthyr, single-target).
- Best Finesse Conduits: All of these have virtually no impact for Havoc, so your pick here is personal choice.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Fel Defender and Viscous Ink are both excellent choices here.
Growing Inferno is the premier choice here giving good single-target and excellent AoE benefits so is an easy first pick. Relentless Onslaught is more single-target focused, but is the best choice in those situations by a good margin. The 3 listed Covenant Conduits also have uses depending on situation, which usually play into the situations where each Covenant ability excels so are worthwhile replacements here.
Why Venthyr is the Best Covenant for Havoc Demon Hunter
Right now Venthyr is coming out as the strongest overall choice for Havoc Demon Hunter, but not by much. Sinful Brand has good applications for both single-target and burst AoE, and while the cooldown for AoE is limited by Metamorphosis, the damage it can do is really powerful. It also comes with some good Soulbind options that start out strong and have good flexibility, especially Nadjia the Mistblade.
It also has good options to grab double Potency Conduits for the two strong picks Havoc Demon Hunters are looking for, but also good single traits later in the tree for specific situations such as Dauntless Duelist and Exacting Preparation. Note though again that other Covenants are very close, so the difference here will often come down to the content you are focusing on.
We also have specific details on other Covenant options in the other options section below.
Venthyr Abilities: Sinful Brand and Door of Shadows
Sinful Brand is an active ability that applies a high damage DoT to your target, but any time you hit a target with your Metamorphosis cast it also applies the effect to them in AoE. The flat damage this brings is good enough to make it a really strong nuke in single-target, and while the AoE is limited to a long cooldown it being uncapped and dealing a massive amount makes it great for high intensity bursts. This requires a bit more planning of your cooldowns to pull off so is not completely flexible as it links to this, but the power is there when executed correctly.
Door of Shadows provides a short cast displacement that teleports you to your target location. Havoc already has access to a full suite of tools that do similar things to this, so the only use this could really see is skipping in Mythic+ or avoiding mechanics in raids, so is unlikely to make a big impact.
- Nadjia the Mistblade begins with a great trait in Thrill Seeker, and grows into a really powerful tree by the final stage. The extra triggers you gain in Mythic+ with frequent add deaths help cement this is a solid all-round pick.
- Theotar the Mad Duke has a lot of the power weighted toward the end of the tree, so is not as strong but will eventually be competitive.
- General Draven has a lot more focus on defense tools, and as such is a weaker choice that is slightly alleviated by the end of the tree.
The path below will give you the best all-round build when playing with Nadjia for both single-target and AoE situations. Some choices can be swapped out for specific situations in the final row.
Best Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
In this section, we look at individual Conduits which are looking to be the best picks for Havoc Demon Hunter. If you are looking for a full list of Conduit options available, look at our Demon Hunter Soulbinds and Conduits Page.
Havoc has a few options, but two Potency Conduits in particular are extremely strong and are generally the preferred picks each with stronger leanings in different content types. They are also usually strong enough to outdo alternatives on a given Soulbind tree so Potency is very desirable.
Best Potency Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
Your pick here will depend on situation. Growing Inferno will win out in any situation where there are extra targets, however for pure single-target Relentless Onslaught is unmatched. Until you have access to two Potency slots, this will be relatively interchangeable.
Of the Covenant specific Conduits, Unnatural Malice for Night Fae and Increased Scrutiny for Venthyr provide a good boost to single-target as alternatives to Relentless Onslaught, while Repeat Decree is a good AoE option if playing Kyrian.
Best Endurance Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
Endurance boosts your survivability, and Havoc has two great picks here.
Fel Defender provides a flat cooldown reduction to Blur which, given that it is already a frequently available damage reduction tool with a high uptime makes it even easier to use it as a tool whenever you feel in danger. Great all-round pick.
Viscous Ink is more specific in that the encounter or dungeon needs to have a higher leaning to Magic damage, but that is usually the case. A flat passive reduction is incredibly strong and it is unlikely this will ever not be worth it.
Best Endurance Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
Finesse Conduits link into utility or unusual effects for flavour abilities. Havoc has some of the worst in this department, and it is hard to really sell any of them.
The best of a bad bunch is likely Felfire Haste that gives a boost to movement speed after using Fel Rush, and despite Havoc's already high mobility the alternatives have such low impact for PvE situations that it makes it worthwhile.
Other Covenants for Havoc Demon Hunter
Kyrian: Elysian Decree and Summon Steward
Kyrian is a really close contender for AoE situations, and in certain Mythic+ scenarios will be the ideal choice with Elysian Decree. However, it falls behind in single-target and that loss of flexibility alongside weaker Soulbinds pushes it just below Venthyr.
Elysian Decree creates a sigil on the ground that detonates after 2 seconds that deals high damage to up to 5 targets in the area and generates 3 Lesser Soul Fragments. The 1-minute cooldown makes this an extra flexible burst AoE tool to add to the kit, but the single-target damage is forgettable. The Covenant specific Conduit Repeat Decree does not generate any extra Soul Fragments, so is just an extra burst of damage shortly after the first hit and is a good AoE choice.
Summon Steward provides you with 3 charges of Phial of Serenity when summoned, which heals you for 20% of your max health and removes all Curse, Poison, Bleed and Disease effects on you when used. This is one use per instance of combat, but does not share a cooldown with other effects like Healthstone. A simple extra boost to survival that can save you in a pinch, with bonuses in situations where you have debuffs to cleanse.
Necrolord: Fodder to the Flame and Fleshcraft
Necrolord is the most unusual of the bunch and is a bit less flexible in its uses, but comes with good Soulbinds. Fodder to the Flame requires you to kill an enemy to generate a Empowered Demon Soul for a burst of extra damage and also provides some survival via the pool left behind, but the stationary nature makes this mostly quality of life.
Using Fodder to the Flame is quite simple, the Demon spawned simply needs to be cleaved down and when you collect the soul you will gain 30% extra damage and take 15% less damage for 20 seconds. Your Throw Glaive will also deal damage equal to 50% of the Demon's health and should be used to kill it faster. This has gains both in single-target and AoE, but the long cooldown and short duration makes this lose out just by virtue of numbers, though not by a huge amount.
Havoc has a unique benefit with Fleshcraft that allows it to be paired with the corpse of the Demon generated via Fodder to the Flame, making sure that the shield will always gain the 50% modifier. Unfortunately, requiring a mobile melee spec that relies on high uptime makes the opportunity cost of this really high. The guaranteed bonus though might be enough to make this useful on some high damage encounters.
Night Fae: The Hunt and Soulshape
Night Fae is also a very close option with The Hunt that deals an quick burst of damage in a line to your target, with a bit of extra mobility added in. There are also some really good Night Fae Soulbind options throughout the tree both early and late, so this pick is extremely close to Venthyr as well.
The Hunt itself is a really simple extra AoE nuke but has little in the way of synergy, so just something to weave into your arsenal. It also provides a good bit of extra survivability via the self-healing on your primary target for some added utility.
Soulshape adds an extra layer of moblility, but considering Havoc's toolkit and that even the Covenant ability itself improves that, a lot of the advantages of this are going to be low. Flicker is the extra blink effect that will be useful, but the overlaps with Fel Rush make it unlikely to change much.
Other Soulbinds for Havoc Demon Hunter
Important Note: When evaluating Soulbinds, bear in mind that a number of the choices rely on completing the tree and accessing the final row, and due to Renown requirements this will take months to do. Therefore, what is recommended here omits that and instead focuses on effects that will be obtained earlier in the expansion.
- Pelagos starts out best with an offensive trait that leads quickly into two Potency slots, so is a good Soulbind to use early.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos also has an opening offensive trait, but is hard to control the proc to get good impact out of. Still has access to two Potency slots so is an alternative.
- Kleia is too utility oriented early and provides no extra Offensive boost, so is not recommended.
- Bonesmith Heirmir comes with the best opening trait and leads to two Potency slots, making it the best pick here.
- Emeni is close behind, but not as instantly powerful. It does however provide benefit to your group, so it has hidden value.
- Plague Deviser Marileth is the worst of the choices here, especially due to Volatile Solvent triggering Stamina if used with the Demon spawned from Fodder to the Flame. This Soulbind should be avoided.
Night Fae Soulbinds
- Korayn starts out really strong here with the first trait to boost your already strong opener with Metamorphosis, and damage when beginning new packs.
- Dreamweaver has a very strong tree, but relies on you completing it to get the full benefit. It does however gain access to two Potency conduits earlier than any other option which is very relevant early.
- Niya is slightly worse but does come with a solid opening trait despite being Mastery based. Also has access to two Potency slots in the tree.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Added Kyrian to Mythic+ recommendation.
- 21 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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