Havoc Demon Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Havoc Demon Hunter in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. 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.
1. Talent Choices for Havoc Demon Hunter
|99||✓ Blind Fury||✗ Demonic Appetite||✓ Felblade|
|100||✗ Insatiable Hunger||✓ Demon Blades||✓ Immolation Aura|
|102||✓ Trail of Ruin||✗ Fel Mastery||✓ Fel Barrage|
|104||? Soul Rending||? Desperate Instincts||? Netherwalk|
|106||✗ Cycle of Hatred||✓ First Blood||✗ Dark Slash|
|108||? Unleashed Power||? Master of the Glaive||? Fel Eruption|
|110||✓ Demonic||✓ Momentum||? Nemesis|
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 Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
2. Talent Cheat Sheet for Havoc Demon Hunters
Demon Hunters are presented with a wide variety of talent choices for different circumstances. Tailoring your build is key to getting the most out of your character, and reading the situation is just as important. However, even with this versatility, your builds tend to focus in on a fixed path, due to the large number of synergistic talent combinations, as opposed to a more traditional mix and match method of selecting your choices.
2.1. Open World, Levelling and Dungeons — AoE Oriented
This build is very much focused upon your open-world gameplay allowing for bonus resources when jumping between short encounters. It also grants additional tools for pulling extra enemies to kill quickly with burst, and more frequent sustain to keep yourself going. This also serves great for AoE situations and Mythic+.
- Level 99: Blind Fury
- Level 100: Immolation Aura
- Level 102: Trail of Ruin or Fel Barrage
- Level 104: Soul Rending
- Level 106: First Blood
- Level 108: Player's Choice
- Level 110: Momentum or Demonic
2.2. Raids — Single Target Oriented
If you are looking for the most effective single target Raid talents, there are a number of options that can be used. These will provide you with the best output, just make sure that you select options that synergise with the final 110 talent you select.
- Level 99: Felblade or Blind Fury
- Level 100: Demon Blades or Immolation Aura
- Level 102: Trail of Ruin
- Level 104: Netherwalk
- Level 106: First Blood
- Level 108: Player's Choice
- Level 110: Player's Choice
3. Tier 1 (Level 99) 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, and consuming any Soul Fragment generates 30 Fury.
- Felblade grants an additional active ability causing you to charge at your target, dealing high 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.
The choice between Felblade and Blind Fury is dependent on encounter or content type, and whether or not you are leaning into a single target or AoE focused build, but both are strong options and inject a large amount of Fury and additional damage into your rotation.
Demonic Appetite currently performs worse than both alternatives due to its unpredictability, its lack of AoE applications and no direct damage impact outside of additional Fury. It does provide a small amount of additional utility due to the healing effect, but is currently the weakest of the 3.
4. Tier 2 (Level 100) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✘ Insatiable Hunger||✔ Demon Blades||✔ Immolation Aura|
Tier 2 talents grant additional Fury generation tools.
- Insatiable Hunger increases the maximum possible Fury that can be generated by a Demon's Bite cast by 10, raising it to a 20-40 range.
- 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.
- Immolation Aura grants an additional active ability that creates a pulsing Fire damage aura 8-yards around you for 10 seconds. This also generates 80 Fury over the duration.
Immolation Aura provides the most versatile and reliable boost on the tier, granting a large amount of on-demand Fury alongside providing both single target and AoE damage benefits. It can be used pro-actively or saved for situations to capitalize upon the passive feed of Fury to sustain your resource, and is an ideal pick in most situations.
Demon Blades works well with some other talent combinations and serves as a strong single target option, allowing you to compress the number Global Cooldowns spent on generation, instead generating it passively through auto attacks. This frees up more room in the rotation to aggressively spend without needing to fit in Demon's Bite casts.
Insatiable Hunger serves as an easy option to pick up and is the least invasive to the rotation, but Fury gains are weak in comparison to the alternatives so is not recommended.
5. Tier 3 (Level 102) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✔ Trail of Ruin||✘ Fel Mastery||✔ Fel Barrage|
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.
- Fel Mastery increases the damage of Fel Rush by 100%.
- Fel Barrage grants an additional active ability, dealing massive Chaos damage channeled over 3 seconds to targets within 8 yards of you, on a 1-minute cooldown. You cannot cast abilities during this channel.
Trail of Ruin serves as the most versatile and best option on the tier and is generally the favourable choice. It has a very low impact on the rotation due to the synergy with another ideal talent, First Blood later in the tree. This means it has no opportunity cost and does not suffer from fight timings due to its consistent nature, so is also the easiest to make use of.
Fel Barrage provides an additional high burst tool that functions extremely well in AoE situations, and whilst it comes with an opportunity cost due to being a channel, it can be leveraged for a lot of on-demand damage.
6. Tier 4 (Level 104) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|? Soul Rending||? Desperate Instincts||? Netherwalk|
Tier 4 talents augment your survivability tools.
- Soul Rending grants you 10% Leech, and an additional 10% whenever you are in a Metamorphosis state.
- Desperate Instincts increases the damage reduction of Blur by 15%, raising it to 50%, 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 2-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.
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 in an encounter.
7. Tier 5 (Level 106) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✘ Cycle of Hatred||✔ First Blood||✘ Dark Slash|
Tier 5 talents give a variety of damage increasing effects.
- Cycle of Hatred causes Chaos Strike Fury refunds to also reduce the cooldown of Metamorphosis 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.
- Dark Slash grants an additional active ability, dealing moderate Physical damage to your target and causing it to take 40% increased damage from your Chaos Strike for 8 seconds, with a 20-second cooldown.
Currently, First Blood is ideal in all circumstances. This slots Blade Dance into the rotation and makes it a very low Fury, high damage ability that has uses in all styles of encounters, due to the bonus damage and cost reduction this provides.
Cycle of Hatred can be considered if it is extremely important to line up Metamorphosis with specific windows in an encounter that the cooldown reduction will on average provide, but it is otherwise much weaker than First Blood.
Currently, Dark Slash is performing quite poorly for the additional rotational complexity it comes with, and whilst synergies exist within the talent tree, it is not enough to make it an appealing choice, alongside being entirely focused on single-target.
8. Tier 6 (Level 108) 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 moderate Chaos damage to your target and stunning them for 4 seconds, with a 20-yard range, a 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.
9. Tier 7 (Level 110) Talents for Havoc Demon Hunter
|✔ Demonic||✔ Momentum||? Nemesis|
Tier 7 talents grant additional burst windows to your rotation.
- Demonic causes Eye Beam to grant 8 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.
- Nemesis grants an additional active ability, increasing your damage against the target by 20% for 1 minute. If the target is slain while active, you deal an additional 20% damage against creature types that match the original target (e.g Humanoid, Demon) for the remaining duration. This has a 50 yard range and a 2-minute cooldown.
Currently all 3 options have their place depending on the type of encounter you are attempting to tackle, and the choice is largely decided by a mixture of that and the degree of versatility you want in your damage delivery.
Nemesis serves as a strong single target option assuming you can stick to a target for the duration and get the full minute out of the effect. It can also in some cases be leveraged for AoE damage if enemies share creature type, but this is not always reliable. Making sure to always synchronize your Metamorphosis casts whilst this is active is crucial.
Momentum on the other hand 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. Its use as a tool to boost up the damage of your short bursts of high damage via abilities such as Eye Beam however should not be underestimated.
Demonic, on the other hand, enhances your Eye Beam casts by granting a short burst of Metamorphosis, allowing a brief 8-second burst of high damage casts and additional Haste. This is as impactful as Momentum for AoE, and serves as an option that is easier to make use of and less punishing to mistakes, needing very little in the way of rotational alterations. If encounters prevent the use of Momentum but still require flexible damage profiles this is a great choice. This also has additional synergy with the Azerite trait Revolving Blades, due to you being able to fit in two Death Sweep casts during the window for a huge burst of damage.
10. PvP Talents (War Mode)
In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:
- 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 enabling 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 enable yourself for open world PvP and the possibility, so be aware of hostile enemy players who could interfere with you, and this is a risk you will have to take.
10.1. Havoc Demon Hunter War Mode Talents
In this section we will rank the PvP talents for leveling and playing in open world PvE scenarios.
10.1.1. General PvP Talents
- Adaptation is likely your most passive choice since it will automatically remove loss of control effects over 5 seconds. It is recommended for leveling to take this PvP talent.
- Relentless is also a passive ability but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities but instead reduces the duration.
- Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
10.1.2. 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.
- Solitude is a great choice if doing solo content, boosting up your resource generation.
- 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.
Reverse Magic, Eye of Leotheras, Mana Rift, Detainment, Cover of Darkness, and Mana Break all have very limited uses in PvE due to it being very focused upon crowd control tools, or having high cooldown percent health based damage, and are tuned to be useful against players rather than large groups of enemies.
Glimpse can have some very small survival benefits, but the duration is simply too short to make consistent use of. Rain from Above can also be considered, allowing you to disengage from bad situations and deal a very small amount of damage from out of range.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 12 Sep. 2018: Updated Demonic note regarding Revolving Blades synergy.
- 05 Sep. 2018: Updated tier 7 talent discussion slightly to give more weight to Demonic.
- 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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