Havoc Demon Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.0.2
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Havoc Demon Hunter in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
Talent Choices for Havoc Demon Hunter
|15||✓ Blind Fury||? Demonic Appetite||✓ Felblade|
|25||✓ Insatiable Hunger||✗ Burning Hatred||✓ Demon Blades|
|30||? Trail of Ruin||✗ Unbound Chaos||✓ Glaive Tempest|
|35||? Soul Rending||? Desperate Instincts||? Netherwalk|
|40||✓ Cycle of Hatred||✓ First Blood||✗ Essence Break|
|45||? Unleashed Power||? Master of the Glaive||? Fel Eruption|
|50||✓ Demonic||? Momentum||✗ Fel Barrage|
Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
Talent Cheat Sheet for Havoc Demon Hunters
The following is a general build that will serve you best in most situations as a flexible choice. Some choices can be shifted here depending on the encounter
Havoc has a lot of choices available to them that are dependent on fight types, so the ability to execute some talents can be limited. Some alternative talents in particular Momentum can excel, but playing this requires you to be comfortable so is a choice rather than a strict recommendation.
Demon Blades/First Blood: Single Target/Raid Oriented
This focuses on single-target and has strong synergy between choices, but sacrifices AoE and flexibility but will have strong consistent performance if you want to focus on a priority target. Also has strong leaning toward some Legendary picks.
- Level 15: Felblade
- Level 25: Demon Blades
- Level 30: Glaive Tempest
- Level 35: Soul Rending
- Level 40: First Blood
- Level 45: Player's Choice
- Level 50: Demonic
Cycle of Hatred: Flexible, AoE/M+ Oriented
When using this build you have a much more flexible suite of tools and can slot into any situation well. It also is less reliant on Legendary picks.
- Level 15: Blind Fury
- Level 25: Insatiable Hunger
- Level 30: Glaive Tempest
- Level 35: Soul Rending
- Level 40: Cycle of Hatred
- Level 45: Player's Choice
- Level 50: Demonic
While the build listed above will cover most bases, it may not provide the whole story on specific encounters within a raid tier for when each is appropriate. If you are looking for a boss-by-boss breakdown of choices, you can go to our dedicated raid page.
Mythic+ often needs a mixture of different damage types provided by DPS, depending on variables such as weekly affixes or composition. If you want specific Mythic+ advice, you can check our page here.
How To Use Havoc Demon Hunter Talents
Most of the Havoc talents require some mix-up in your rotation when selected to make ideal use of them. You can find more tailored information on how each of these affect your gameplay on our rotation page.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✔ Blind Fury||? Demonic Appetite||✔ Felblade|
Tier 1 talents provide both ways of augmenting your Fury generation and your damage output.
- Blind Fury Increases the channel time and number of Eye Beam ticks by 50%, and causes it to generate 40 Fury every second.
- Demonic Appetite grants Chaos Strike a chance to spawn a Lesser Soul Fragment with a 6 RPPM (scaling with Haste), and consuming any Soul Fragment generates 30 Fury.
- Felblade grants an additional active ability causing you to charge at your target, dealing Fire damage and generating 40 Fury. Demon's Bite and Demon Blades hits have a 20% chance to reset the cooldown. This has a 15-yard range and a 15-second cooldown.
All 3 of these options have different profiles for encounters and content, so your pick depends on what you are doing. Your pick tends to be decided based on what other options you pick in the tree.
Felblade pairs extremely well with Demon Blades as a single-target option, adding in an active Fury generation tool that you lose otherwise. With a First Blood-oriented single-target choice, this is an ideal pick.
Blind Fury has the most flexible benefits, improving both single-target and AoE alongside having excellent synergy with Cycle of Hatred later in the tier and even the legendary Collective Anguish, which is a strong Havoc pick.
Demonic Appetite is slightly behind other options, but provides additional self-healing. The added gameplay requirement of collecting souls is not worth the effort compared to alternatives, but it does have strong synergy with Elysian Decree if you are playing Kyrian.
For more information regarding how these talents affect your rotation, please refer to the Tier 1 talent section of our rotation page.
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✔ Insatiable Hunger||✘ Burning Hatred||✔ Demon Blades|
Tier 2 talents grant additional Fury generation tools.
- Insatiable Hunger increases the damage of your Demon's Bite casts by 20%, and causes it to generate an additional 5-10 Fury.
- Burning Hatred causes your Immolation Aura to generate an additional 60 Fury over 12 seconds when cast.
- Demon Blades alters Demon's Bite which it replaces, adding a proc that has a 60% chance to activate from auto attacks. This deals additional Shadow damage and generating 12-20 Fury.
Insatiable Hunger is the easiest pick here that slots into any build comfortably. The extra Fury generation even while having some RNG to it averages out as the highest on this row.
Demon Blades is theoretically the strongest, and pairs excellently with Felblade as a single-target choice. It is however more sensitive to downtime and RNG which makes it less reliable as a consistently top tier pick.
Burning Hatred is purely based off the Fury generation gains, and it averages less than the alternatives that simply provide more gains, so is not recommended.
For more information regarding how these talents affect your rotation, please refer to the Tier 2 talent section of our rotation page.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|? Trail of Ruin||✘ Unbound Chaos||✔ Glaive Tempest|
Tier 3 talents enhance your AoE damage tools.
- Trail of Ruin causes the final hit of Blade Dance to deal additional Chaos damage to targets hit over 4 seconds.
- Unbound Chaos causes each activation of Immolation Aura to grant Unbound Chaos, causing your next Fel Rush cast within 20 seconds to deal 300% additional damage.
- Glaive Tempest grants an additional active ability, dealing heavy Chaos damage over 3 seconds in an 8-yard area around you when cast. Costs 30 Fury, and has a 20-second cooldown (reduced by Haste).
Glaive Tempest slots in as the strongest most flexible option an extra burst tool. This is used on cooldown and scales up well with extra target.
Trail of Ruin is the simplest choice to use but relies on you picking First Blood to keep Blade Dance in the rotation. The damage is quite underwhelming however, so while it is the easiest to execute is not recommended for performance.
Unbound Chaos is currently quite weak and also requires you to expend movement tools with Fel Rush for quite low payoff, but is uncapped AoE. Compared to the alternatives and the downsides it can have, it simply does not have the potential to warrant the pick in Shadowlands.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|? Soul Rending||? Desperate Instincts||? Netherwalk|
Tier 4 talents augment your survivability tools.
- Soul Rending grants you 5% Leech, and an additional 25% whenever you are in a Metamorphosis state.
- Desperate Instincts increases the damage reduction of Blur by 10%, raising it to 20%, and causes it to automatically trigger when you fall below 35% health for its regular effect. This cannot occur if it is already on cooldown.
- Netherwalk grants an additional ability that grants you 100% additional movement speed and immunity to damage for 5 seconds, but you are pacified for the duration. This has a 3-minute cooldown.
As this is a defensive tier the choice you make is mostly context specific on what you need for the encounter, or find most comfortable to play with.
Soul Rending is the default choice in most situations on this tier as it adds additional free healing, enhanced during your cooldown, alongside having good synergy with Demonic for extra uptime. This will rarely make or break an encounter, but it will make things much smoother for you when using it.
Desperate Instincts will rarely see use, due to the loss of control it causes over your primary defensive in Blur. The bonus reduction is nice, but not having it available due to an accidental proc is very dangerous.
Netherwalk provides a separate immunity tool that can be very useful if needed during an encounter, and is excellent if needed for mechanics or high damage intensity moments, and will likely continue to see use throughout Shadowlands. Remember though that this only ignores damage instances, and any debuffs applied will still go through the effect and remain after it ends.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✔ Cycle of Hatred||✔ First Blood||✘ Essence Break|
Tier 5 talents give a variety of damage increasing effects.
- Cycle of Hatred causes Chaos Strike Fury refunds to also reduce the cooldown of Eye Beam by 3 seconds.
- First Blood reduces the cost of Blade Dance by 20 Fury and causes it to deal an additional 200% to the first target struck.
- Essence Break grants an additional active ability, dealing moderate Chaos damage to all targets in front of you and causing them to take an additional 40% damage from your Chaos Strike and Blade Dance for 8 seconds, with a 20-second cooldown.
Cycle of Hatred is a universally good pick that has a significant increase to your Eye Beam casts which by extension improves the uptime of the Furious Gaze effect. It provides strong single-target and burst AoE, alongside having some good synergy with Blind Fury earlier on the tree and the legendary Collective Anguish, making it a great all-round pick.
First Blood is more single-target oriented, allowing you to improve your priority target damage and can pair well with other sustained single-target choices in Demon Blades elsewhere on the tree. Also has excellent synergy with Chaos Theory, so in raid encounters with a main target to focus this is a good pick.
Currently, Essence Break is simply too specific and hard to execute for low payoff to justify the pick. It also does not give a meaningful enough impact during the windows, especially during AoE, so is not recommended.
For more information regarding how these talents affect your rotation, please refer to the Tier 5 talent section of our rotation page.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|? Unleashed Power||? Master of the Glaive||? Fel Eruption|
Tier 6 talents provide situational tools.
- Unleashed Power removes the Fury cost of Chaos Nova and reduces its cooldown by 33%.
- Master of the Glaive grants Throw Glaive 2 charges, and all targets hit when cast are slowed by 50% for 6 seconds.
- Fel Eruption grants an additional active ability, dealing light Chaos damage to your target and stunning them for 4 seconds, with a 20-yard range, 30-second cooldown and costing 10 Fury.
All three options here are utility choices that can have benefits depending on the content you are currently doing and the tools most desirable.
Unleashed Power can be taken in circumstances that require more frequent AoE stuns, alongside the added bonus of removing the Fury cost. Master of the Glaive allows for additional damage when out of range and giving access to a slow if needed. Fel Eruption grants you a point and click instant single-target stun which can be very useful for locking down a priority target, alongside dealing some free damage as well.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✔ Demonic||? Momentum||✘ Fel Barrage|
Tier 7 talents grant additional burst windows to your rotation.
- Demonic causes Eye Beam to grant 6 seconds of your Metamorphosis form when the cast ends.
- Momentum causes Fel Rush to increase your damage by 15% for 6 seconds when cast. Vengeful Retreat also generates 80 Fury over 10 seconds if it hits at least one target, and has a 5-second reduced cooldown.
- Fel Barrage grants an additional active ability, dealing massive Chaos damage to up to 8 targets within 8 yards. This has a 3-second channel, and a 1-minute cooldown.
Demonic enhances your Eye Beam casts by granting a short burst of Metamorphosis, giving a 6-second window of high damage casts and additional Haste. This synergizes well with the Furious Gaze windows generated by each cast, and works well with Cycle of Hatred and Blind Fury elsewhere on the tree to fuel the windows. This is consistently the ideal pick for most situations.
Momentum grants a very flexible series of small burst windows after using movement tools that can either be combined, pooled together for extended windows, or spread out to cover each period of resource dumping. It has great AoE uses, but it is the most demanding of the 3, requiring you to be much more aware of positioning and resource management. This is a situation where if you are okay with the playstyle, then it is absolutely competitive but is not mandatory and is a use-case option.
Fel Barrage provides an additional high burst tool that functions extremely well in AoE situations, and while it comes with an opportunity cost due to being a channel, it can be leveraged for a lot of on-demand damage. This lacks flexibility and cannot compete with the other options that slot into the rotation much easier.
For more information regarding how these talents affect your rotation, please refer to the Tier 7 talent section of our rotation page.
PvP Talents (War Mode)
"War Mode" is an optional feature that enables open world PvP encounters that confers some benefits when active:
- Grants access to PvP talents in the open world.
- 10% increase in World Quest rewards at max level.
- 10% more experience gained while leveling.
- Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.
With the benefits of War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will open yourself up to open world PvP, so be aware of hostile enemy players who could interfere with you, this is a risk you will have to decide on your own if you want take.
If you are interested in doing PvP as a Havoc Demon Hunter or just want to know the basics of Havoc PvP gameplay and decision making, check out our dedicated PvP guide.
Havoc Demon Hunter War Mode Talents
In this section we will rank the PvP talents for leveling and playing in open world PvE scenarios. Note that in the Shadowlands update, the PvP crowd control reduction talents have been removed, and will be replaced by trinkets available at level 60.
Havoc Demon Hunter PvP Talents
Generally, the selections are made to optimize your ability to kill enemies faster, increasing your pace when moving through content.
- Demonic Origins allows for more liberal usage of Metamorphosis and lower wasted duration, alongside giving a flat damage boost whenever not transformed.
- Unending Hatred has limited uses depending on the enemy type, but of the remaining selections has the best applications for constant gameplay, and is a good boost to resource generation in caster heavy areas.
- Rain from Above is a disengage from bad situations and can be used to deal large burst damage from a safe distance, but be that aware some enemies will evade when this is cast, so it is the least valuable here.
Reverse Magic, Eye of Leotheras, Mana Rift, Detainment, Cover of Darkness, Cleansed by Flame, Mortal Rush, and Mana Break all have very limited uses in PvE, due to it being very focused upon crowd control tools, or pressuring enemy players into spending more resources than they would otherwise want to.
- 24 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands launch.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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