Havoc Demon Hunter Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.2.5
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
|Kyrian||AoE||Forgelite Prime Mikanikos||Havoc Demon Hunter Mikanikos Tree|
|Necrolord||Versatile||Bonesmith Heirmir||Havoc Demon Hunter Bonesmith Tree|
|Night Fae||Burst||Niya||Havoc Demon Hunter Niya Tree|
|Venthyr||Single-Target||Nadjia the Mistblade||Havoc Demon Hunter Nadjia Tree|
With Patch 9.1.5 having opened up free Covenant swapping, you now have much more freedom to select Covenants that are more specialized at certain types of damage. Generally speaking however, the premier options for Havoc lean toward Venthyr and Night Fae depending on the damage profile you are looking for. Venthyr excels at single-target, while Night Fae provides burst and AoE flexibility. Necrolord and Kyrian provide options, but when double Legendaries are accounted for they begin to fall behind.
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
- Dancing with Fate (if playing First Blood),
- Relentless Onslaught
- Repeat Decree (Kyrian-only, AoE), Brooding Pool (Necrolord-only), 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. Dancing with Fate is a lock in when playing with First Blood, and finally for some builds that take 3 Potency slots, it will be your Covenant Conduit.
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 pick Venthyr as a Havoc Demon Hunter?
Venthyr in Patch 9.2 provides the strongest single-target options alongside some other burst AoE benefits. Especially when considering double Legendaries with the Unity power it only gets stronger due to how powerful Agony Gaze is, and the synergy it has with other Eye Beam-oriented Legendaries such as Darkglare Boon improves its consistency to the point of being too strong to ignore. Past that the huge burst AoE potential from Metamorphosis'' AoE-application of Sinful Brand paired with the sustained refresh from Collective Anguish opens up a lot of options.
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 of damage makes it great for high-intensity bursts. This requires a bit more planning of your cooldowns to pull off so it 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: by far the most robust option starting strong with Thrill Seeker and progressing onto a strong single-target option in Dauntless Duelist. The end trait Fatal Flaw also 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 final row Party Favors provides a strong buff, but is lost if you switch Soulbinds.
- General Draven — Ideal Havoc Tree: while not as good as Nadjia, Draven does provide some strong boosts with the Built for War and the multi-target-oriented Battlefield Presence. This also has some solid defensive traits in Regenerative Stone Skin and Service In Stone so it is not a bad pick, just not the best.
Why pick Night Fae as a 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 Dreamweaver 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:
- Dreamweaver — Ideal Havoc Tree: provides a huge boost with Field of Blossoms, but it is hard to make use of with some builds due to how small the circle is. Dream Delver is a powerful constant gain as an end trait so how useful this Soulbind is ultimately depends on the situation.
- Niya — Ideal Havoc Tree: serves as a an easy to play single-target option that has some switch ups with Niya's Tools: Burrs, but with the higher leaning to play First Blood the Mastery gained from Grove Invigoration is less desirable.
- 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.
Why pick Necrolord as a Havoc Demon Hunter?
Necrolord provides a consistent high damage boost due to the Demon Soul granted by the proc, but the RNG aspect of it triggering is the one drawback it runs into. When paired with Brooding Pool the uptime is high, but less explosive than alternatives. It can, however, work in any encounter style due to not being attached to cooldown timers.
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 is 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: remains a strong Soulbind at due to Forgeborne Reveries and the burst potential granted via Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone.
- Plague Deviser Marileth - Ideal Havoc Tree: Kevin's Oozeling brings a lot to the table due to the natural alignment with each Fodder to the Flame pop, but the rest of the tree is fairly lackluster.
- Emeni — Ideal Havoc Tree: thanks to Lead by Example always aligning with each Fodder to the Flame pop it is a solid pick, but the remainder of the tree is pretty weak.
Why pick Kyrian as a Havoc Demon Hunter?
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 strong.
Kyrian: Elysian Decree and Summon Steward
Elysian Decree creates a sigil on the ground that detonates after 2 seconds and deals high damage to up to 5 targets in the area while generating 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: very strong late traits with Soulglow Spectrometer and Effusive Anima Accelerator as single-target bonuses that pair well alongside Bron's Call to Action and the extremely strong AoE option with Hammer of Genesis suits the strength of the Covenant best.
- Pelagos — Ideal Havoc Tree: the earlier traits are too weak and the heavy leaning on Mastery compared to other options undermine how good Newfound Resolve can be.
- Kleia — Ideal Havoc Tree: comes with some good support options that also help buff your party, and the later traits of Pointed Courage and Light the Path are great picks. Unfortunately the whole package is slightly behind the Mikanikos package.
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 20 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
- 05 Nov. 2021: Added Dancing With Fate to recommended conduits.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
- 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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