Havoc Demon Hunter Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.0.5
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
As it currently stands, both Night Fae and Venthyr have their places in both Raid and Mythic+ depending on the encounter at hand. Both also have very strong Soulbinds that can be flexible depending on what you need, making both ideal picks. That being said, Patch 9.0.5 brought a rework to Necrolord which makes it extremely competitive, and Kyrian remains a good AoE pick (though weaker in single-target). Havoc is currently in a place where all Covenants have a reasonable place and are all viable picks, but specialize in different aspects.
We also have specific details on other Covenant options in the other options section below.
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 (single-target), 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; it is an easy first pick. Relentless Onslaught is more single-target focused, but is a solid secondary pick if you have two Potency slots. The 3 listed Covenant Conduits also have their uses, which usually play into the situations where each Covenant Ability excels at already; they are worthwhile replacements here.
Why Choose Night Fae for Havoc Demon Hunter?
Night Fae provides a frontloaded burst tool via The Hunt with a relatively-low 1.5-minute cooldown, and comes with some excellent Soulbind options across the tree. This deals high single-target damage with a splash AoE DoT component that can be useful in burn phases, against high priority adds, or to burst down smaller groups of enemies. It also provides some extra mobility via the charge effect which, while niche, can be useful.
Both Niya and Korayn provide excellent options for different scenarios as well to accentuate the kit. There is ample room to customize the tree with double Potency Conduits if desired, but some of the unique traits really shine here.
Night Fae Abilities: The Hunt and Soulshape
The Hunt itself is a simple extra single-target nuke with an AoE DoT attached to it, but has little in the way of synergy; it is 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 mobility, but considering Havoc's toolkit and the Covenant Ability itself already offering some, a lot of the advantages of this are going to be low. Flicker, the extra blink effect, will be useful, but the overlaps with Fel Rush make it unlikely to change much.
Night Fae Soulbinds
All three of the picks here have their uses and merits, but some are more focused than others. Below are some sample builds to make the best use out of each of them:
- Niya - Ideal Havoc Tree: serves as a great single-target focused build in particular making use of Niya's Tools: Burrs in the final row.
- Korayn - Ideal Havoc Tree: gives a strong boost to opening burst via both Wild Hunt Tactics and First Strike, making for a good pick in Mythic+ situations or encounters with frequent add spawns.
- Dreamweaver - Ideal Havoc Tree: adds an extra layer to your The Hunt casts via Field of Blossoms, but is less impressive than the two alternative picks. Podtender however can be a unique defensive option if you need an extra survival tool.
Why Choose Venthyr for Havoc Demon Hunter?
Venthyr's Sinful Brand provides a massive AoE damage nuke that has no target cap when applied via Metamorphosis. This is a unique benefit that only gets better in higher-target-count content, and the single-target benefits of the base ability keep it competitive otherwise. It does, however, require more planning to get the most out of, which can hurt it in the long run.
Venthyr has some solid options when it comes to Soulbinds but generally Nadjia the Mistblade comes out on top in most scenarios. Both the opening trait Thrill Seeker and the final row is more flexible than the others, so it is usually the go-to.
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 you will not find many opportunities to make use of this in PvE situations.
- Nadjia the Mistblade - Ideal Havoc Tree: provides the best opening trait via Thrill Seeker, and the final row gives two strong options in both Dauntless Duelist for single-target, and Exacting Preparation for cleave. It can also be flexed into double Potency Conduits if needed.
- Theotar the Mad Duke - Ideal Havoc Tree: has a much weaker opening trait with Soothing Shade. However, the final row has both Refined Palate, which is excellent when using consumables, Wasteland Propriety for group support, or the ability to switch to double Potency Conduits with a good defensive bonus.
- General Draven - Ideal Havoc Tree: provides a much more defensive build due to the opening Service In Stone trait, but the final row grants Built for War which is extremely strong if it can be maintained. Generally the weakest pick of the three, however.
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 as your first pick for Potency slots, and in pure single-target Relentless Onslaught is a solid second pick if you have the second slot available.
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 Conduits boost 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 Finesse 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 slightly below Night Fae and 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
Both the Necrolord active and Signature Abilities were reworked in patch 9.0.5, with the former seeing significant changes. It is now a proc rather than an ctive ability.
Fodder to the Flame has a 1.6 RPPM chance to spawn a Demon that will last for 25 seconds, and when killed will deal heavy Shadow damage around it to enemy targets and spawn a Demon Soul. When collected, your damage is increased by 20% for 20 seconds. This Demon can also be instantly killed by your Throw Glaive. The lack of control this has compared to other options makes it less appealing, but on average will provide equal or better output than any alternative giving it high potential.
Fleshcraft was reworked in 9.0.5 into a 3-second channel on a 2-minute cooldown that generates a large absorb shield on you over its duration, and reduces damage taken by 20% while channeling. Its cooldown is also reduced by 1 second whenever you move near an enemy corpse. While it is not appealing to be stationary as any melee, the additional defensive benefits of this are significant and makes it one of the best Signature Abilities from any Covenant.
Other Soulbinds for Havoc Demon Hunter
Important Note: When evaluating Soulbinds, bear in mind that many options rely on having a complete tree to reach their full potential with lots of strong effects locked behind final Renown levels. This means that in some cases it may be worth using other options until you have everything complete.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos - Ideal Havoc Tree: while Bron's Call to Action has a long activation time, Hammer of Genesis is an excellent opening AoE tool, especially in Mythic+. If you can maintain the buff it only gets better.
- Pelagos - Ideal Havoc Tree: given that Mastery is not a heavily-focused stat for Havoc, and that the only options provided by the tree are double Potency Conduits, this is generally a more defensive-oriented option that does not really excel anywhere.
- Kleia - Ideal Havoc Tree: is extremely support oriented with some good group buffs, but very little offensive potential outside of Pointed Courage on the final row.
- Bonesmith Heirmir - Ideal Havoc Tree: is consistently the best option due to both the passive Agility gain via Forgeborne Reveries and the burst potential granted via Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone; she is the go-to pick.
- Emeni - Ideal Havoc Tree: is slightly weaker than Bonesmith in most situations, but the group benefit of Lead by Example and the AoE boost of Gnashing Chompers, if you can maintain it, give it good potential for Mythic+.
- Plague Deviser Marileth - Ideal Havoc Tree: forces you heavily into double Potency Conduits without any real compensation for output, making it the weakest Soulbind available and should generally be avoided.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.0.5; rewrite to reflect parity with Night Fae & Venthyr, and rework to Necrolord.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Added Kyrian to Mythic+ recommendation.
- 21 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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