Havoc Demon Hunter DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Dragonflight 10.2.7

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Wordup 58 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Havoc Demon Hunter in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2.7.

1.

Havoc Demon Hunter Rotation

Welcome to the Rotation section of our Havoc Demon Hunter guide. If you came here without first checking over the Spell List/Glossary page, we recommend that you do so if you are new to the specialization. Understanding what your spells and abilities do will make it much easier to understand what is discussed on this page.

If you are looking for an introductory primer to get started and find the full breakdowns overwhelming, you can always start with our Easy Mode page to get yourself started with a close-to-optimal build and a more straightforward breakdown. While the recommendations on the page below are not strictly optimal for endgame, they provide an excellent springboard to get to grips with the core gameplay Havoc focuses on:

In addition to your rotation in general content, there is also a separate section of this guide devoted to how your playstyle may change in Mythic+ as situations are often less scripted and more hectic. Please take a look at the page below if you are looking for more tailored information for that content:

1.1.

PvP

The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, visit our PvP page below.

2.

Havoc Demon Hunter Rotations

Each of the sections below explain the rotation for Havoc at different target counts. Click the boxes to switch to the desired damage type.

3.

Havoc Demon Hunter Rotation

The buttons below can be used to select between curated talent loadouts from our talent page. You can also use the switches below to add or remove individual talents you may also be using:

Cycle ST Ignition ST Ignition AoE No Movement
Talent Selections
A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside Blind Fury Icon Blind Fury Chaotic Transformation Icon Chaotic Transformation
Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades Elysian Decree Icon Elysian Decree Essence Break Icon Essence Break
Fel Barrage Icon Fel Barrage Felblade Icon Felblade First Blood Icon First Blood
Glaive Tempest Icon Glaive Tempest Initiative Icon Initiative Inner Demon Icon Inner Demon
Inertia Icon Inertia Momentum Icon Momentum Ragefire Icon Ragefire
Tactical Retreat Icon Tactical Retreat Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive Talents The Hunt Icon The Hunt
Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos Season 4 Set
Single Target AoE Opener
3.

Havoc Demon Hunter Single Target Rotation

Havoc's single-target rotation in Dragonflight hinges strongly on two core loops. The first is Fury build-and-spend through tools such as Demon's Bite Icon Demon's BiteDemon Blades Icon Demon Blades, Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura and Felblade Icon Felblade to generate and Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike / Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance to spend. Second, it needs to manage Fury around rotational burst windows that follow from mid-range cooldowns such as Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam, Essence Break Icon Essence Break and Inertia Icon Inertia.

  1. Cast Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam with as little Fury as possible.
  2. Cast Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis if Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam and Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep are on cooldown.
  3. Cast Annihilation Icon Annihilation
  4. Cast Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame if under 90 Fury.
  5. Cast Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura.
  6. Cast Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike
  7. Cast Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush if nothing else is available.

Havoc's gameplay loop is heavily dictated by its gameplay loop, which shifts its priorities to activate powerful effects and fill out its gameplay core. Which you pick dictates the flow and what you need to think about aligning to get big payoff moments. Some key notes, including details based on your selections in the talent switches, are:

  • Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam is still always used in single-target as a powerful cooldown and is only enhanced further by Demonic Icon Demonic providing a powerful follow-up. The frequency depends on if you have Cycle of Hatred Icon Cycle of Hatred or not, and if you have Blind Fury Icon Blind Fury try to dump as much Fury as possible before casting it.
4.

Havoc Demon Hunter AoE Rotation

In AoE situations, due to such a large portion of the Havoc Demon Hunter kit already dealing AoE or cleave damage, it is very similar to its single-target equivalent, with some slight deviations in priority:

  1. Cast Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam with as little Fury as possible.
  2. Cast Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis if Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam and Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep are on cooldown.
  3. Cast Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame.
  4. Cast Annihilation Icon Annihilation
  5. Cast Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike
  6. Cast Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush if nothing else is available.

The majority of tools you make use of in single-target apply directly to AoE, with the exception of Annihilation Icon Annihilation / Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike that fall to the bottom of the priority. Your focus depends on which key AoE talents you have taken, and notes based on your selection in the talent switches are:

  • Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura pulls a lot more weight in AoE due to the number of talents focused around it on the right side. The biggest of these is Ragefire Icon Ragefire, which converts Critical Strikes into a large explosion as it fades paired with the increased access from A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside thanks to the resets. If you do not select all of these, however, it is not a key focus.
  • Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush is a low-priority filler that is just above Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike. However, with some movement talents, it becomes more impactful. Inertia Icon Inertia will most likely be paired with A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside for an "Ignition" build and should be triggered aggressively due to how much Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura is being cast. Momentum Icon Momentum is maintained as much as possible over big casts, but is not done as a priority throughout an encounter.
5.

Opener for Havoc Demon Hunter

The opening sequence for Havoc is quite set in stone, hinging on your management of some key talents - most importantly Chaotic Transformation Icon Chaotic Transformation.

  1. Pre-cast Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura 1-2 seconds before the pull.
  2. Cast Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura if it was reset by A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside.
  3. Cast Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush if a A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside proc occurred to refresh Inertia Icon Inertia.
  4. Cast Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam.
  5. Continue with the normal priority list.

The most warping effects on the initial rotation are Chaotic Transformation Icon Chaotic Transformation and Essence Break Icon Essence Break, which provide a small window to deal huge burst if managed correctly. The goal is to set yourself up in Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis via Demonic Icon Demonic, have Momentum Icon Momentum and Inertia Icon Inertia and and Initiative Icon Initiative active, and enter an Essence Break window where you can Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep, reset with Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis, and Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep immediately to squeeze them both into the short timeframe.

6.

Tier Set Bonus for Havoc Demon Hunter

With Season 4 consolidating the set bonuses into one chosen set, Havoc has received an increased item level version of the Season 3 set from Amirdrassil. The Screaming Torchfiend's Brutality focuses on Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive, and grants the following bonuses:

  • Demon Hunter Havoc 10.2 Class Set 2pc Icon Demon Hunter Havoc 10.2 Class Set 2pc - Your Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance automatically casts Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive on your primary target for 100% damage, and each slash has a 50% chance to also Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive an enemy for 35% damage.
  • Demon Hunter Havoc 10.2 Class Set 4pc Icon Demon Hunter Havoc 10.2 Class Set 4pc - The Hunt Icon The Hunt damage over time effect lasts 6 seconds longer, and each time you Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive, its remaining cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds.

This set locks in a lot of talents to enable it, but it is worth it. Once you have the 4-piece equipped, it requires The Hunt Icon The Hunt and all supporting Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive talents to get full value from the 2-piece:

  • Master of the Glaive Icon Master of the Glaive / Champion of the Glaive Icon Champion of the Glaive
  • Accelerated Blade Icon Accelerated Blade
  • Furious Throws Icon Furious Throws
  • Serrated Glaive Icon Serrated Glaive
  • Soulscar Icon Soulscar

The primary target throw of Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive will consume a charge to deal full damage, and any glaive sent out by Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance will gain the effect of talents taken. This means there is mostly no need to rotationally cast Throw Glaive with the bonus taken, as the procs will naturally consume charges for free when it triggers. It also means you need to plan around a much lower cooldown on The Hunt Icon The Hunt in your cycles when using the 4-piece.

7.

Havoc Demon Hunter Cooldowns: Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis is a 20-second duration buff on a 3-minute cooldown (which can be reduced to 2-minutes with Rush of Chaos Icon Rush of Chaos), granting a flat 20% increase to Haste, and converting two of your primary abilities for the duration:

  • Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike becomes Annihilation Icon Annihilation
  • Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance becomes Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep

Each of these new abilities replace their respective spots on your action bar and deal significantly higher damage, but behave the same and are affected by all equivalent passives. Pooling 100 Fury or above before entering Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis can be helpful in allowing for a surge of extra Annihilation Icon Annihilation casts, but do not delay pressing it in service of this. Similarly, you should also drain excess Fury in the last 5 seconds of the buff before you lose the benefits.

Chaotic Transformation Icon Chaotic Transformation also causes the active cast to reset the cooldown on Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep and Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam. We play around this effect, and make sure to have both abilities are on cooldown before casting it to gain an extra use of each. This is especially potent when paired with Essence Break Icon Essence Break.

See our addons and macros page for a Metamorphosis macro.

8.

Mastering Havoc Demon Hunter Mechanics

8.1.

Build Synergies

Havoc has a lot of talents that link up with each other in a powerful way, usually with one pick having a powerful interaction with another elsewhere on the tree. Examples of packages that are commonly taken together because of their synergy are:

  • Felblade Icon Felblade paired with Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades
  • Initiative Icon Initiative, Tactical Retreat Icon Tactical Retreat and Momentum Icon Momentum
  • A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside paired with Inertia Icon Inertia
  • Furious Throws Icon Furious Throws, Accelerating Blade Icon Accelerating Blade, and Soulscar Icon Soulscar

These packages often complement each other and enable different ability uses when picked in tandem but are not strong enough to incentivize them alone. For more information on the specifics, please refer to our talent page.

Due to the variety of talents that have such an impact on the rotation when taken, the section below has extra details on the specifics of how they are played. Crucial, but more general options are also listed under the Core Picks tab:

9.

Noteworthy Talents

Movement Talents Essence Break Throw Glaive Talents Fel Barrage A Fire Inside Core Picks
10.

Movement Talents

Havoc comes with a number of unique talents that leverage its high mobility for additional damage. These are generally higher skill cap options, and require comfort to execute properly. Knowing when you need to commit your tools to amplify upcoming damage versus when you need to hold them to deal with mechanics is a skill that comes with experience. The key talents that build it up are:

  • Initiative Icon Initiative + Tactical Retreat Icon Tactical Retreat
  • Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos
  • Momentum Icon Momentum or Inertia Icon Inertia

The first two are relatively intuitive in that it encourages you to cast Vengeful Retreat Icon Vengeful Retreat on cooldown for the high Fury generation, and Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush to consume the buff. The final choice node however requires more explanation. To start with, below is an image that shows the optimal pathing around bosses to maintain uptime without being forced out of range as much as possible:

Momentum Image
9.1.

Momentum

Momentum Icon Momentum can be refreshed for the full duration, adding onto your current buff up to 30 seconds, acting as a maintenance buff. This is generally something that gets activated throughout the rotation via the base priority. It is important to make sure you have it active for high-damage events such as Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam, Essence Break Icon Essence Break and Fel Barrage Icon Fel Barrage, but most of the time the natural gameplay of Initiative Icon Initiative will do this for you. Do not overcommit to maintenance over spending Fury, but do aim for as high of an uptime as possible.

9.1.

Inertia

Inertia Icon Inertia brings back a similar playstyle to the old version of Momentum, making it a short duration high-intensity burst moment. This pairs extremely well with A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside, giving extra charges to add some flexibility to your activators. You should make sure when using this to not leave any Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos activations on the table, and aim to overlap all of your high damage moments (such as Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam and Essence Break Icon Essence Break) pro-actively to get the most value out of it.

10.

Essence Break

Adds in an additional high-value damage window, but only lasts for 4 seconds, so needs all of your setup to be done before casting it to get good value out of it. You always want to be in Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis form when activating this, ideally via Demonic Icon Demonic due to the benefits of layering this with Chaotic Transformation Icon Chaotic Transformation to get two Death Sweep Icon Death Sweeps out during it. Starting already in Demon form, your goal with each cast should be:

  • With Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis: Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep into Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis into Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep, finish with Annihilation Icon Annihilation.
  • Without Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis: Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep into 2-3 Annihilation Icon Annihilation.

Depending on your Haste and whether you are affected by Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust this can be extremely tight to fit in, but is absolutely worth the payoff. In AoE situations, you instead only need to fit in as many Death Sweep Icon Death Sweeps as the above shows, ignoring the Annihilation Icon Annihilation recommendations.

10.

Throw Glaive Talents

While Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive is usually a low damage ability, there is a large number of effects on the tree that, when combined, make it a potent Fury spender. Talents that form this are:

  • Champion of the Glaive Icon Champion of the Glaive
  • Accelerated Blade Icon Accelerated Blade
  • Furious Throws Icon Furious Throws
  • Serrated Glaive Icon Serrated Glaive
  • Soulscar Icon Soulscar

When all of these are combined Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive becomes a spender that competes with Annihilation Icon Annihilation that also gets stronger in cleave situations. When playing this, you should always pair it with Champion of the Glaive Icon Champion of the Glaive to get the additional charge, which you should use to always keep it recharging.

9.1.

Season 4 Set Bonus

When using the Season 4 set, these talents become mandatory, as the free Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive casts triggered by Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance are extremely efficient. This also means you do not need to actively cast Throw Glaive to get the value, instead relying on the free activations.

10.

Fel Barrage

This is an extremely potent AoE burst cooldown that also drains Fury extremely quickly. Due to it being capped at 8 seconds, it means you need to generate a total of 256 Fury throughout to maintain it from start to finish, meaning pooling is recommended.

Before entering into it, you want to make sure you have all of your maintenance buffs prepared (in particular Inertia Icon Inertia and Initiative Icon Initiative) and avoid spending excess Fury while it is active. Active generation tools such as Felblade Icon Felblade and Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame take priority when this is active, especially if you fall behind. This extends to refilling via Blind Fury Icon Blind Fury as well if taken.

9.1.

A Fire Inside

A Fire Inside Icon A Fire Inside adds an extra charge, the ability for Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura casts to overlap each other, and a 25% chance for it to reset when cast. This pairs especially well with all of the right-side talents up to Ragefire Icon Ragefire, and also Inertia Icon Inertia.

It is crucial when playing this to make sure you never leave it at 2 charges and react to resets by pressing it repeatedly until it actively goes on cooldown - you lose nothing due to the buffs overlapping. When playing Inertia Icon Inertia, you also ideally want to spend the Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos triggers in between these casts in single-target, but in AoE, hitting the resets is slightly more valuable.

10.

Core Picks

These are talents that are present in the majority of builds that have quite a large impact overall, but are not necessarily gameplay-altering.

9.1.

First Blood

First Blood Icon First Blood increases the damage Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance deals to your primary target by 75% and converts it to Chaos damage, allowing it to scale with Mastery. This significantly raises the priority of Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance in all situations and turns it into a high priority, use on cooldown ability at all target counts.

9.1.

Felblade

Felblade Icon Felblade provides an alternative active Fury generation tool that is proc-related and fills in for Demon's Bite Icon Demon's Bite when Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades is taken, creating a steady flow of extra Fury. This is especially good as Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades allows us to generate Fury off the GCD so we can more actively manage our resource.

9.1.

Demonic

Demonic Icon Demonic is a damage boost window effect. It will naturally be triggered by your Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam casts rotationally, making sure to fill as many Global Cooldowns during the 5 seconds as possible with Fury spenders. Priming Immolation Aura Icon Immolation Aura or Tactical Retreat Icon Tactical Retreat if talented before you trigger the window is excellent for setting up some background generation to fuel your Annihilation Icon Annihilation casts. Try to minimize the number of committal generation tools such as Demon's Bite Icon Demon's Bite if possible, but in some cases, RNG forces your hand.

9.1.

Know Your Enemy

Know Your Enemy Icon Know Your Enemy increases your Critical Strike damage based on your Critical Strike chance, significantly improving its scaling and also allowing abilities that guarantee critical strikes (such as Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam with Looks Can Kill Icon Looks Can Kill) to still retain some boost from it. This also includes all item effects and trinkets, so is always taken.

9.1.

Any Means Necessary

Any Means Necessary Icon Any Means Necessary converts all magic damage your abilities deal to Chaos damage, causing your Mastery to increase their damage. This is extremely good for overall scaling, and due to how easy this is to access it is taken in the majority of builds. This also includes The Hunt Icon The Hunt which, while dealing Chaos damage is not affected, providing extra relevance for the Season 4 set bonus.

9.1.

Shattered Destiny

Shattered Destiny Icon Shattered Destiny extends your active Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis or Demonic Icon Demonic window based on Fury spent, having strong synergy with the additional Haste it confers. This makes time with Metamorphosis active a race to spend and keep it active, and provides a large single-target increase due to how many extensions it provides. The path through Cycle of Hatred Icon Cycle of Hatred also gives even further access to your Demon Form, so creates a very fast-paced resource cycling playstyle.

9.1.

Fury Management

With Havoc being so reliant on its resources, you need to be aware of situations that encourage spending vs. the requirement to build. The general rule is to avoid wasting Fury due to overcapping with a generator. This means the spend breakpoint is 90 Fury without talents, due to Demon's Bite Icon Demon's Bite having a potential maximum of 30 per cast or 40 with Felblade Icon Felblade. With Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades, this is more flexible, but given how fast multiple procs can happen, it is preferable to be spending more aggressively when not pooling for certain effects.

Your rotation will also be adjusted around Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike casts that grant a 20 Fury refund, as it may shift your upcoming priority when they happen. Successful Disrupt Icon Disrupt and Consume Magic Icon Consume Magic casts with Swallowed Anger Icon Swallowed Anger also grant additional resources, so plan around these if an encounter allows.

9.1.1.

Fury Management with Demon Blades

When using Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades, your Fury management is altered to account for the more random nature of generation. In single-target, more appropriate rotational rules to adjust the original priority look like this (keep in mind these are un-ordered notes and simply small things that can help to improve your gameplay):

  • Cast Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike/Annihilation Icon Annihilation as frequently as possible unless pooling for burst windows.
  • Cast Felblade Icon Felblade as frequently as possible, as long as you are below 80 Fury as your active generation tool.
  • Cast Sigil of Flame Icon Sigil of Flame as a backup generation tool if you fall behind on generation.
  • Wait and allow Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades to generate Fury again to continue the cycle, or collect any Demonic Appetite Icon Demonic Appetite orbs.
  • Cast Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive and Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush if out of range of any targets or during empty Globals.
10.

Changelog

  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Updated to include Season 4 builds.
  • 21 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6, core recommendations remain the same.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.5, small cleanups but no major changes necessary.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Restructured and fully updated for Patch 10.2 rework.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7, added loadout buttons in rotation section and restrucutred page.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5 with small tweaks for clarity and Isolated Prey highlights.
  • 01 May 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1 with Serrated Glaive and notes added, and extra Essence Break combo notes.
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5, rotation tool refined.
  • 01 Jan. 2023: Updated Opener.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 24 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Pre-Patch.
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