Havoc Demon Hunter Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on May 17, 2021 at 09:30 by Wordup 29 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 Demon Hunter changes can be found on our dedicated Patch 9.1 Demon Hunter Changes page. This page is an active work-in-progress and will be updated as new content is added to the PTR. These changes are not live yet.

For a specific list of changes for the entire patch you can check out the Patch 9.1 overview page.


Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1

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.
  • Glimpse Icon Glimpse has been added as a PvP talent, causing Vengeful Retreat Icon Vengeful Retreat to reduce damage taken by 75% and provide crowd control immunity while you are in the air.
  • Blood Moon Icon Blood Moon has been added as a PvP talent, causing Consume Magic Icon Consume Magic to also hit enemies within 8 yards of your target, and granting you 5% Leech for 5 seconds.

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:

Night Fae is provided the most immediately powerful option as a burst option, especially for AoE situations. The high boost to Agility when hitting multiple targets, alongside the extra free activation of Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura (that also triggers Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos) gives a lot of potential. It is, however, very focused in what it does so may be more niche in its uses depending on encounter.

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 so while likely to have strong uses if it fits, if it does not will be fairly average.

Kyrian has potential as a sustained option due to new and powerful Soulbind options, but most of its strength will lean on how competitive Demonic Appetite Icon Demonic Appetite is. While it currently is a little behind, in combination with this and the new changes it might be enough to round out a new build.

Sadly, though, 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 equip 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 two that seem likely to see use are Night Fae and Venthyr solely because they enhance something that the alternatives cannot do as well, otherwise we will default to the strong options available from the current 9.0.5 builds.


Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1

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 a consumable item that gives 3% Agility or secondary stats (at random) for 1 hour, with a 1 day cooldown to collect. This seems unlikely to make it into the game, especially because you can use the item and swap Soulbinds after.
  • 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.

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 might bring it closer.

Aside from that, Venthyr got some solid bumps across the board to an already solid toolkit. Night Fae on the other hand looks to be gaining very little, with some fairly weak boosts especially due to the focus on Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration that also relies on some RNG which is not a big selling point for Havoc due to the focus on Mastery.

Given that Havoc's Covenant abilities themselves tend to be in a reasonable state of parity depending on situation, most of the decision comes down to which Soulbind wins out, and so the new changes are the things to look out for over the course of the PTR.


Anima Power Changes for Torghast in Patch 9.1

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



  • 17 May 2021: Page updated with Covenant Legendaries.
  • 27 Apr. 2021: Page created with initial information.
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