Havoc Demon Hunter Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis

Last updated on Jan 15, 2024 at 15:00 by Wordup 58 comments
General Information

On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Havoc Demon Hunter affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.


Havoc Demon Hunter Patch 9.1 Changes Overview

For this section of the guide, we will go over all of the important changes for Havoc Demon Hunters going into Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands. A full list of changes to the entire Druid class can be found on our dedicated page below. For an additional list of content coming in Patch 9.1, you can also check out our Patch 9.1 Overview page.


Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1

  • Demon's Bite Icon Demon's Bite and Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades damage increased by 15%.
  • Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike and Annihilation Icon Annihilation damage increased by 15%.

This serves as a solid increase to directly address Havoc's current issue with low single-target output. Given that the AoE toolkit is already very well-rounded with a lot of solid options, this being a more targeted change is welcome and will net somewhere in the region of a flat ~5% depending on build, with potential to scale up in the future by focusing more on the core loop of fury creation and spending.


Talent Changes for Patch 9.1

  • Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos reduced to 500% (from 600%) increase when triggered.
  • Netherwalk Icon Netherwalk duration increased to 6 seconds (up from 5).
  • Desperate Instincts Icon Desperate Instincts now has a 50% reduced duration and cooldown if it automatically triggers at 35% health.
  • Soul Rending Icon Soul Rending Leech increased to 10% at all times, but reduced to only 20% additional during Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis.

Throughout 9.0.5 Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos has been dominant in both single-target and AoE and this reigns it in slightly, but is unlikely to hurt it too much. Given the other changes increasing the value of Fury for single-target spenders as well, this will probably self-correct when considering Glaive Tempest Icon Glaive Tempest as an alternative and this row may end up relatively balanced based on the target counts you are dealing with.


Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1

Every Covenant has been given access to a legendary exclusive to it, enhancing the effects of your given Covenant ability:

  • Kyrian: Blind Faith Icon Blind Faith causes your Elysian Decree Icon Elysian Decree casts to spawn 2 additional Soul Fragments, and buffs you for 20 seconds with Bind Faith. This causes each Soul Fragment you collect to increase your Mastery by 1%, and generate 10 Fury.
  • Necrolord: Demonic Oath Icon Demonic Oath causes the demons spawned by Fodder to the Flame Icon Fodder to the Flame to apply Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand to targets hit for 5 seconds, and the Soul granted lasts for an additional 8 seconds.
  • Night Fae: Blazing Slaughter Icon Blazing Slaughter triggers Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura when you arrive at your target, and grants 3% Agility per target hit for 12 seconds.
  • Venthyr: Agony Gaze Icon Agony Gaze increases the damage of your Sinful Brand Icon Sinful Brand by 10%, and causes Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam to increase the duration of the effect by 0.5 seconds per hit.

Night Fae could see some use an an extra on-use burst option due to the effect also triggering Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos when it activates Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura. It does not, however, outdo other options for general single-target or AoE use, so is resigned to something more niche.

Venthyr already provides a strong ability via Sinful Brand Icon Sinful Brand and this hones in on it, but the ability is also limited by cooldowns that sometimes do not always line up with when you need them. This increases how explosive those moments are, but not improving access to them means it will not outperform alternatives with higher output and flexibility.

Kyrian is gaining a lot of Soulbind strength in 9.1, but this legendary is unlikely to be a part of that. Most of the benefit comes from the Fury return, and even combined with Demonic Appetite Icon Demonic Appetite to synergize with the effect, does not outperform alternatives.

Necrolord really is not equipped to provide the benefits needed of a legendary when there is strong competition, which Havoc has. The Fiery Brand Icon Fiery Brand application is weighted toward defense, and the extra uptime is not enough to provide an average increase that makes it worth the craft right now.

Havoc is a spec that has seen steady improvements on legendaries to the point where there is actually a wealth of good options for different situations, and as such that means the burden of new legendaries is they need to either be numerically better, or mechanically unique. Therefore, it seems that the only one that fits either of these criteria is Night Fae, as it enhances something that the alternatives cannot do as well, but we will likely be sticking to the base specialization Legendaries that perform well.


Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1

  • Relentless Onslaught Icon Relentless Onslaught scaling reduced at higher ranks above Rank 9.
  • Unnatural Malice Icon Unnatural Malice now increases the DoT effect of The Hunt Icon The Hunt, rather than the initial hit.

The Relentless Onslaught is hard to parse because this Conduit is not a high performer right now, but, with buffs to abilities it affects and the hockey-stick-style scaling where it was becoming exponentially better at higher ranks, this seems more like safeguarding than nerfing. Unnatural Malice, on the other hand, seems the be targeting some PvP burst issues, but has the side-effect of maybe hurting it as an option to increase on-demand frontloaded burst, while increasing its usability in Cleave/AoE situations.

Every Covenant will get access to one additional Potency slot for starters, alongside one of either Endurance or Finesse, based on your path for every Soulbind. Additionally, all Covenants will be gaining access to new Soulbind-specific traits, depending on your selection.

We have listed all of the abilities with a DPS impact below.

  • NiyaBonded Hearts Icon Bonded Hearts — Causes your Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration procs (both from casting The Hunt Icon The Hunt and the RPPM effect) to increase the Mastery granted by all stacks present by 50% for 5 seconds if you are close to non-Night Fae allies when triggered.
  • DreamweaverDream Delver Icon Dream Delver — treat this as a flat 3% damage to targets if you are active on them, with a small ramp up.
  • KoraynWild Hunt Strategem Icon Wild Hunt Strategem — When you hit a target above 75% health, you gain a 1-minute buff. If you then attack an enemy below 35% health, this buff will be consumed and increase your damage to sub-35% targets by 5% for 10 seconds.
  • Forgelite Prime MikanikosSoulglow Spectrometer Icon Soulglow Spectrometer — Causes you to apply a damage buff on the first target you hit in combat which stacks by 1% every 3 seconds, up to 5% and expiring after 15 seconds. This can only be active on one target at a time, and the cycle will begin anew when it expires.
  • Forgelite Prime MikanikosEffusive Anima Accelerator Icon Effusive Anima Accelerator — Causes your Elysian Decree Icon Elysian Decree to deal Arcane damage over 8 seconds, split between all enemies within 12 yards of your current target. For every target hit, the cooldown of Elysian Decree Icon Elysian Decree is reduced by 4 seconds, up to a maximum of 20 seconds at 5 or more targets hit. The cooldown reduction alone gives this a lot of potential for AoE situations, and the extra damage is just a free bonus on top.
  • PelagosBetter Together Icon Better Together — grants a 40 Mastery rating buff for 1 minute to you and an ally when you move within 3 yards of them. You can only be affected by one buff at a time. This is free damage and also has benefits allowing you to share the buff to another player in your group.
  • PelagosNewfound Resolve Icon Newfound Resolve — Occasionally spawns a "Doubt" unit near you while in combat. Turning to face it despawns the enemy and grants you 12% increased Agility and Stamina for 15 seconds. Currently this is expected to be at a 1 RPPM (so roughly 3% average Agility), making it an extremely good end trait.
  • KleiaLight the Path Icon Light the Path — Causes your Valiant Strikes Icon Valiant Strikes Soulbind Ability buff to also grant 0.25% Critical Strike per stack. It also causes its heal effect to grant you and the target you heal 5% Critical Strike for 12 seconds. Due to the 1-minute lockout on generating stacks after it triggers, this is fairly weak (especially considering the newly improved alternatives) but does provide benefits to allies.
  • EmeniPustule Eruption Icon Pustule Eruption — Causes Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft to grant you 9 pustule stacks. When you take damage or get healed, they blow up for a small amount of damage to nearby enemies. This damage is respectable, but not particularly strong and relies on you using Fleshcraft on cooldown to optimize, which is not usually ideal for defensive tools.
  • Bonesmith HeirmirCarver's Eye Icon Carver's Eye — Grants you a Mastery buff when you hit a target above 90% health which lasts 5 seconds and stacks up to 5, and refreshes its duration when you generate a new stack. Each individual target you generate a stack from however has a 10-second lockout before another stack can trigger, meaning you need multiple enemies to stack this.
  • Bonesmith HeirmirMnemonic Equipment Icon Mnemonic Equipment — Causes your attacks on targets below 35% health to deal 3% extra damage over 5 seconds. This is really weak compared to alternatives because of the limitation on target health and overall gain, despite it being on a strong Soulbind tree.
  • Plague Deviser MarilethKevin's Oozeling Icon Kevin's Oozeling — Causes your Fodder to the Flame Icon Fodder to the Flame procs to spawn an Oozeling to attack your target. This deals minor damage and increases the damage you deal to its target by 2%, and lasts for 40 seconds after being spawned. Due to the proc-based nature of Fodder to the Flame, the uptime for this is high but it is still relatively weak compared to alternatives and the Soulbind tree it is attached to.
  • Nadjia the MistbladeFatal Flaw Icon Fatal Flaw — improves the Thrill Seeker Icon Thrill Seeker effect by causing it to grant either Critical Strike or Versatility by 20% (depending on your highest rating) when the Euphoria Haste effect ends for 10 seconds. This is just a flat boost to an already good trait, and increases the time spent with a high value buff to blanket your cooldown windows.
  • Theotar the Mad DukeParty Favors Icon Party Favors — grants an item with a 1-hour cooldown that grants either 3% Agility or a random secondary stat with a 4-hour duration. This is fine, but the buff is removed if you swap Soulbinds, making it a bit awkward if you ever want to change it up, or you get a bad stat from the item.
  • General DravenBattlefield Presence Icon Battlefield Presence — Increases your damage done and reduces damage taken by 1% for every enemy within 5 yards of you, up to 3%. In any multi-target situation this is an excellent pick based on the average power level of most Soulbind traits, but unfortunately is on a tree that is currently low-value.

While Night Fae gained the least from the new Soulbinds, it still remains a strong pick as it already pulled so far ahead by the end of patch 9.0.5. That gap will likely shrink though over the course of patch 9.1.

Right now the outlier in terms of gains is very clearly Kyrian due to it having multiple trees that are gaining two offensive traits rather than one. Some of these are also extremely powerful (potentially) depending on situation, namely Newfound Resolve Icon Newfound Resolve from Pelagos and Effusive Anima Accelerator Icon Effusive Anima Accelerator from Forgelite Prime Mikanikos. Unfortunately Kyrian is one of the weaker Covenant options for Havoc, but this increase does bring it much closer.

Aside from that, Venthyr only really saw a good increase via Nadjia's Fatal Flaw Icon Fatal Flaw, since this is the only Soulbind really worth taking for Havoc this is nice, but not really enough to bridge the gap with Night Fae. Necrolord gained very little and since it was already behind, is very unlikely to see use.


Anima Power Changes for Torghast in Patch 9.1

There are no changes to Demon Hunter Anima Powers in Patch 9.1 so far.



  • 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 17 May 2021: Page updated with Covenant Legendaries.
  • 27 Apr. 2021: Page created with initial information.
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