Havoc Demon Hunter DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
This page will guide you on the way to finding the best Azerite items and traits for your Havoc Demon Hunter in the 8.0.1 Battle for Azeroth World of Warcraft Patch. Accessing the Azerite gear and traits is done through the Heart of Azeroth, for which we have a guide you should read.
Choosing Azerite Gear as an Havoc Demon Hunter
Your choice of Azerite options will usually come down to a combination of item level versus the value of Outer Ring traits, with other Ring traits often taking a back foot due to how even they are. It is hard to pin a rule on this value due to swings in gains both in single target and AoE situations, and as such simulations and tools such as Bloodmallet, linked below, are the preferred way of navigating this, as it will often be personal to your character. With this in mind, we still always recommend using a tool like Raidbots to make sure that our recommendations are applicable.
Bear in mind that the additional Stamina can be beneficial for survival if you feel you are lacking in this regard. In the same vein, if survival is what you need and upgrading based on item level will prevent you from reaching an Inner Ring defensive trait due to your Heart of Azeroth level, this is likely a poor trade-off unless you are gaining a significant amount of damage in the process.
Choosing Azerite Traits as a Havoc Demon Hunter
In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. While the traits are ordered by power, this order is not a very strict priority, but more of a guideline. If you are primarily playing in Mythic+, then we advise you to check out the Azerite section of our Havoc Demon Hunter Mythic+ guide.
Azerite in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch
For the few weeks that the Shadowlands pre-patch is active, you will still have access to all of the Azerite traits previously available during Battle for Azeroth. In many cases, nothing has changed compared to the expansion and what was best then remains best now. These will be deactivated when Shadowlands launches and you begin your journey to level 60. Ideally, you should be aiming for the following setup:
Havoc has a fairly good pool of traits that has one trait you aim to stack, and then various different one point options that can round out a good setup that can be obtained within Ny'alotha. The ideals that were good in Battle for Azeroth carry over into the pre-patch. Traits you should aim for are:
Furious Gaze — grants a large burst of Haste after completing a cast of Eye Beam. This should be stacked, ideally having 3 points on your gear. This empowers your Demonic burst window significantly, and is the most consistent option.
Chaotic Transformation — increases the damage of your Demon's Bite and causes your Metamorphosis to reset the cooldown of your Eye Beam and Blade Dance when cast. This improves the power of your burst window, and allows you to double up on AoE tools in an emergency. All of the power in this trait is in the one point bonus, so is not worth stacking.
Eyes of Rage — increases the damage of your Eye Beam, and causes Soul Fragments to reduce its cooldown by 0.7 seconds. As Havoc stacks Furious Gaze, casting Eye Beam is a focus so improving it and getting additional casts grants extra synergy. Like Chaotic Transformation, a lot of the power comes from the single point bonus so stacking it is not ideal.
Swirling Sands ia an easy to grab one point from the Residuum vendor that adds an extra Critical Strike proc. Nothing to really play around, but has decent uptime and provides a good boost for a long duration to fit in around more valuable traits.
Thirsting Blades — grants a stacking buff every 1.5 seconds that increases the damage and reduces the cost of your next Chaos Strike by 1 Fury. This is a more single-target oriented option and again the main benefit comes from the one point bonus granting additional Fury, but is a good choice.
Revolving Blades — increases the damage of Blade Dance and causes each target hit to reduce your next cast by 3 Fury. If you are playing First Blood, Havoc casts Blade Dance on cooldown, so the extra damage is worthwhile as is the free Fury, making it a flexible choice but not one that you should aim to stack.
Heart of Darkness serves as a backup trait that can fill in any gaps if you cannot get the above combo. This is the best alternative stacking trait, granting additional secondary stats passively.
Middle Ring traits are all fairly low impact, and your decision on which piece you use will generally be dictated by the Outer Ring options instead. Strong picks to aim for if available are:
Overwhelming Power provides the highest DPS output but with some downsides if there is consistent damage intake in an encounter. The sheer amount of stats it grants is often worth the downside however.
Unstable Flames is another strong choice that has volatility just like Overwhelming Power due to the proc rate. Critical Strike is still a strong stat in the pre-patch, so is worthwhile.
Elemental Whirl provides the biggest variance and is weaker than both above options, but still contributes a decent proc that serves as a pick if you do not have the above options available.
As these traits all have a lot of situational context, and are related to your survival rather than your damage output, quantifying these traits is a lot more difficult. You should generally be looking at the content that you are intending to do, and pick the trait that is most likely to be activated, as some have very specific qualifiers to take advantage of. Due to that, it is hard to provide a list that will be of much benefit.
Azerite Trait Simulations
Outer Ring Simulations
Here are the simulation results for the best Outer Ring traits (both Demon Hunter-specific and generic).
Middle Ring Simulations
Here are the simulation results of the best Middle Ring traits (even though this Ring is less important).
Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Havoc Demon Hunter. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.