Havoc Demon Hunter Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1
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.
Covenant Recommendation Change in Patch 9.1
As of Patch 9.1 the recommended Covenant for Havoc Demon Hunter HAS CHANGED. However, remember that your Covenant choice can impact your entire class instead of just one specialization and that what was previously recommended should still be good enough for whatever content you encounter.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
|Raiding||Night Fae||Niya||Havoc Demon Hunter Niya Raiding tree|
|Mythic+||Night Fae||Korayn||Havoc Demon Hunter Korayn Mythic+ tree|
|Torghast||Night Fae||Korayn||Havoc Demon Hunter Korayn Torghast tree|
As of late patch 9.0.5 and now 9.1, Night Fae is firmly ahead as the most flexible option with some strong Soulbind options available for different types of content. With both Niya and Korayn having standout traits that allow you to tailor your output profile depending on encounter style, it is strongly recommended. That being said, other Covenants are not that far behind in terms of what they bring to the table and the quality of their Soulbinds, so they are reasonable picks too.
If you want more in-depth explanations regarding the recommended Covenants you can check our Night Fae section below.
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). If you are looking for a full list of Conduit options available, look at our Demon Hunter Soulbinds and Conduits Page.
Best Potency Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
- Growing Inferno, Relentless Onslaught (single-target)
- Repeat Decree (Kyrian-only, AoE), Unnatural Malice (Night Fae-only, AoE).
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 2 listed Covenant Conduits also are good alternatives for AoE situations if you have access to them.
Best Endurance Conduits for Havoc Demon Hunter
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.
Why is Night Fae the Best Covenant 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 triple 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, mostly relying on the strength of Niya's Tools: Burrs with some extra bonus burst attached to your The Hunt casts via Grove Invigoration. Not much strength is added in 9.1 here, but it was ahead enough that it is still a good pick.
- Korayn — Ideal Havoc Tree: takes great advantage of how strong the pairing of First Strike and Wild Hunt Tactics is for AoE situations, especially in Mythic+ with frequent streams of adds. The 9.1 changes added very little, but First Strike pulls so much weight that it almost does not matter.
- Dreamweaver — Ideal Havoc Tree: saw the biggest improvement from its 9.1 changes, with buffs to Field of Blossoms and a solid new trait in Dream Delver. This may end up being the ideal depending on how Niya ends up due to the more flexible nature and the extra survivability the tree provides.
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 pushes it slightly below Night Fae, though its Soulbinds are excellent.
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.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Ideal Havoc Tree: one of the biggest winners of patch 9,1, gaining two powerful traits in Soulglow Spectrometer and Effusive Anima Accelerator. These both help with single-target alongside the Bron's Call to Action buff, and have some boosts to the alreadys strong Mythic+ boost from Hammer of Genesis, so is a great all rounder too.
- Pelagos — Ideal Havoc Tree: while this did gain some good new options from patch 9.1, the heaving leaning toward Mastery makes it far less appealing than alternatives. An ok starter, but falls off heavily later.
- Kleia — Ideal Havoc Tree: comes with some good support options that also help buff your party, and the later trait Pointed Courage and final trait in Light the Path are great picks. Unfortunately the whole package is just too far behind the new Mikanikos toolkit.
Necrolord: Fodder to the Flame and Fleshcraft
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 close to the same output as the other active ability choices.
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.
Necrolord has big swings in how good or bad each pick is, and your options are fairly limited:
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Ideal Havoc Tree: this was a standout Soulbind at launch due to Forgeborne Reveries and the burst potential granted via Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone; but both of the patch 9.1 additions are quite underwhelming and as such she serves as the best of a bad bunch, but much the same as before.
- Emeni — Ideal Havoc Tree: while Emeni has a couple of good traits in Lead by Example and the new 9.1 end trait Pustule Eruption, that it forces you into triple Potency unless you take the underwhelming Gnashing Chompers hurts it quite a bit.
- Plague Deviser Marileth - Ideal Havoc Tree: has no choice but to force you into triple Potency conduits, and does not give any stand out traits as compensation on the tree. The new 9.1 additions did little to bring this up to a good level and should be avoided.
Venthyr: 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: is by far the most robust option starting strong with Thrill Seeker and progressing onto a strong single-target option in Dauntless Duelist. Patch 9.1 also added Fatal Flaw, which makes it easier to line up Thrill Seeker windows with high damage moments.
- Theotar the Mad Duke — Ideal Havoc Tree: comes out as the worst of the 3 options due to the Mastery oriented nature of Soothing Shade. The new final row in 9.1 addes Party Favors, which is an average boost but the buff is lost if you switch Soulbinds making it cumbersome in some situations.
- General Draven — Ideal Havoc Tree: while not as good as Nadjia, Draven does provide some strong boosts with the newly buffed Built for War and the multi-target oriented Battlefield Presence added in 9.1. This also has some solid defensive traits in Regenerative Stone Skin and Service In Stone so is not a bad pick, just not the best.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 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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