Havoc Demon Hunter Essences — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Havoc Demon Hunter, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Havoc Demon Hunters
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Notable Major Essence Powers for Havoc Demon Hunters
Condensed Life-Force ( Guardian of Azeroth) performs the best in single-target situations, providing a strong burst cooldown that synergizes well with the Minor power when it reaches Rank 3. This has not got any strong AoE implications however, so it may fall off compared to other choices if extra targets are present.
Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance) received a large buff in 8.3, causing it to boost the Agility granted by Lifeblood Shards by 300% for 18 seconds when activated. This makes it a strong choice for almost all content assuming you have good uptime, and can be used in both single-target and AoE situations.
The Crucible of Flame ( Concentrated Flame) is the easiest Essence to acquire, and provides a large single-target boost with the Major active ability. This can be used to fill empty GCDs (making it especially good with a Demon Blades oriented build) with a high damage cast when nothing else is available, dealing heavy damage that can also be pooled for a burst window at Rank 3, when the second charge is unlocked. The Minor power is a purely passive damage proc that deals significant damage due to Havoc's innately high Haste, but you cannot play around this effect outside of doing your normal rotation.
Blood of the Enemy ( Blood of the Enemy) serves as a good catch all Essence, with decent Major and Minor powers that work in any situation. By Rank 3, the Major provides a significant boost to your cooldown window (although brief), and a small burst of AoE damage on top when activated. The Minor also gives a solid boost of free Critical Strike rating that culminates in a burst of Haste (see our stats page for more information on the value of stats).
Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam) gives a huge burst AoE tool for its Major power that also does solid damage even in single-target, making it a good pick. Note however that it is channelled, so it comes with a higher opportunity cost than any other power on the list. It also comes with a solid Minor power, giving a constant boost to your Haste rating (but is lost on target swaps). Given that the effect is not lost from AoE splash damage unless you actively switch targets, this works perfectly with all of the Havoc AoE tools, so it is a solid pick.
While on paper Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection) should be good for Havoc due to the strength of Metamorphosis, it is not a lock in. Because you do not benefit from extra effects such as Furious Gaze or Chaotic Transformation when this triggers, a good portion of that on-demand burst that Metamorphosis gives can be lost. This does raise the uptime of the effect to 60-70% (from 45-50%), so it is still useful. The Minor power may also have some uses allowing Metamorphosis to line up better with certain encounter timings, due to its innately long cooldown, but this will be context specific.
Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) gives a Major power that is a 100% boost to ALL Fury generation for 12-15 seconds, on a 2-minute cooldown. This can be combined with your Metamorphosis windows for a quick burst of damage (especially with Demon Blades builds) to up your consistency. The overall power of this Major is not comparable to other frontloaded damage options, so is not recommended. The Minor on the other hand does provide a solid amount of Fury generation alongside a frequent boost to Versatility, making the essence a reasonable choice in a Minor slot.
Conflict and Strife ( Conflict) grants the PvP talent Demonic Origins in all content. While this is not technically a damage increase option, it can make use of Chaotic Transformation more frequently and does have some potential in specific encounters that may need more frequent cooldown windows for shorter periods of time. The Minor provides a near constant boost to your Versatility that can be treated as a free secondary stat bump, and slots in well as a Minor (more information on the value of stats on the stats page).
Minor Essence Powers for Havoc Demon Hunters
Worldvein Resonance ( Lifeblood) can be useful if you use it exclusively in a Minor only slot (due to the relatively weak Major), assuming there are at least 4 other players in your group making use of this. With this number, you should realistically expect to maintain the Agility buff at maximum stacks, assuming there is not too much movement.
Breath of the Dying (Major: Reaping Flames / Minor: Lethal Strikes) provides a high damage global that has a lower cooldown above 80% health, and below 20% health. This can be good if playing GCD light builds such as with Demon Blades, but otherwise is roughly equal or slightly worse than The Crucible of Flame. The Minor on the other hand deals significant single-target damage that only gets better on targets below 20% health with the 400% increased proc rate, making this an extremely good pick.
The Formless Void (Major: Replica of Knowledge / Minor: Symbiotic Presence) allows you to copy an allies equipped Major Essence, but with an increased cooldown. Outside of very niche situations, it is unlikely that this is better than simply equipping the DPS Essence you want to use, so we do not recommended it. The Minor on the other hand grants Agility and Haste when an Ally uses their Major Essence, so in raid groups especially with high uptime this is a solid choice.
Spark of Inspiration (Major: Moment of Glory / Minor: Unified Strength) grantns an ability that causes all nearby party (not raid) members to deal 45% increased damage with their equipped Essences (both Major and Minor) for 20 seconds. While the effect is strong, it comes with a high opportunity cost that Havoc is not the best option for, therefore is not recommended unless your group needs this for a fight. The Minor has a 4 RPPM chance to reduce the cooldown of you and 2 other Allies equipped Major Essence by 1 second, and grant Haste to all of you. This can be extremely useful to help line up certain Essences with your cooldown windows, but is fight specific.
Essence Rankings for Havoc Demon Hunter
Tier lists are dependent on what you have available, so they have been batched into groups that are of equivalent value depending on the content being done. If you play in Mythic+ primarily, we advise you to read the Essences section of our Havoc Demon Hunter Mythic+ guide.
- Condensed Life-Force ( Guardian of Azeroth);
- Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance).
- Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam) (AoE).
- The Crucible of Flame ( Concentrated Flame);
- Breath of the Dying ( Reaping Flames);
- Blood of the Enemy ( Blood of the Enemy);
- Purification Protocol ( Purifying Blast) (AoE).
- Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection);
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams);
- Conflict and Strife ( Conflict).
- The Formless Void ( Replica of Knowledge);
- Spark of Inspiration ( Moment of Glory);
- Conflict and Strife ( Conflict).
Do not Use:
- The Crucible of Flame ( Ancient Flame);
- Breath of the Dying ( Lethal Strikes);
- Conflict and Strife ( Strife);
- Worldvein Resonance ( Lifeblood) (with a group).
- Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Energy);
- Spark of Inspiration ( Unified Strength);
- Blood of the Enemy ( Blood-Soaked);
- The Formless Void ( Symbiotic Presence);
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Lucid Dreams);
- Purification Protocol ( Purification Protocol) (AoE);
- Vision of Perfection ( Strive for Perfection).
- Condensed Life-Force ( Condensed Life-Force);
- Ripple in Space ( Reality Shift);
- The Unbound Force ( Reckless Force).
Essence Comparison Simulations
These charts are provided by Bloodmallet, a website that provides simulation comparisons for all kinds of parameters for all classes.
As with all simulations provided in our guides, they only provide a very rough guideline, and you should not rely on them for making decisions on your own gear. Always use Raidbots.com to sim your own character.
Single-Target Major Essences for Havoc Demon Hunter
AoE Major Essences for Havoc Demon Hunter
Single-Target Minor Essences for Havoc Demon Hunter
AoE Minor Essences for Havoc Demon Hunter
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