Havoc Demon Hunter PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated on Oct 08, 2018 at 05:38 by Mysticall 10 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Havoc Demon Hunter in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Havoc Demon Hunters

Havoc Demon Hunters are the most feared class in the game. They not only have strong crowd control in the form of stuns and kicks, but they also have the strongest offensive cooldown in the game, Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis; on a relatively short cooldown, you can easily swap to an enemy without a trinket and kill them in a stun.

1.1. Strengths of Havoc Demon Hunter

  • Great mobility
  • Strong burst and sustained damage
  • Multiple utility spells

1.2. Weaknesses of Havoc Demon Hunter

  • Weak against teams with multiple stuns
  • Predictable burst damage
  • Very little team composition diversity

2. Stat Priority for Havoc Demon Hunters in PvP

The stat priority for Havoc Demon Hunter in PvP is as follows:

  1. Agility;
  2. Haste;
  3. Critical Strike;
  4. Versatility;
  5. Mastery.

Agility is the best stat in all situations. Haste is the strongest secondary stat at all times due decreasing the global cooldown on your abilities. You should also try to focus on getting Critical Strike. This increases the chance your abilities will deal more damage.

3. Azerite Traits for Havoc Demon Hunters

Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.

3.1. Outer Ring

Below are the best Outer Ring traits.

  1. Revolving Blades Icon Revolving Blades
  2. Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back
  3. Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix

The most important trait you are going to want to get in all pieces of your gear is Revolving Blades Icon Revolving Blades. This gives you additional cleave damage when you use Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance. Blade Dance will now make up a large majority of your damage and becomes even more crucial to your rotation.Other traits like Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back and Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix also increase your overall sustained damage as well.

3.2. Middle Ring

Below are the best Middle Ring traits.

  1. Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules
  2. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl
  3. Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins
  4. Gutripper Icon Gutripper
  5. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call

The Middle and Inner Rings are important for additional defensives and damage. Havoc Demon Hunters are very weak when they are put into stuns. The Trait Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins helps with your survivability. However, you will want to focus on increasing your damage with traits like Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules and Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl.

3.3. Inner Ring

Below are the best Inner Ring traits.

  1. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  2. Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification
  3. Burning Soul Icon Burning Soul
  4. Soulmonger Icon Soulmonger

All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.

4. Regular Talents for Havoc Demon Hunters

Level Choices
99 Blind Fury Blind Fury Demonic Appetite Demonic Appetite Felblade Felblade
100 Insatiable Hunger Insatiable Hunger Demon Blades Demon Blades Immolation Aura Immolation Aura
102 Trail of Ruin Trail of Ruin Fel Mastery Fel Mastery Fel Barrage Fel Barrage
104 Soul Rending Soul Rending Desperate Instincts Desperate Instincts Netherwalk Netherwalk
106 Cycle of Hatred Cycle of Hatred First Blood First Blood Dark Slash Dark Slash
108 Unleashed Power Unleashed Power Master of the Glaive Master of the Glaive Fel Eruption Fel Eruption
110 Demonic Demonic Momentum Momentum Nemesis Nemesis

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

4.1. Tier 1 (Level 99) Talents

Felblade Icon Felblade is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to get to your target much easier. However, if you are using the level 110 talent, Demonic Icon Demonic, you should use Blind Fury Icon Blind Fury. Both of these talents are large increases to your sustained and burst damage.

4.2. Tier 2 (Level 100) Talents

Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades is the best choice in this tier. This is a great passive to help you generate Fury and increase your overall sustained damage.

4.3. Tier 3 (Level 102) Talents

Trail of Ruin Icon Trail of Ruin is the best choice in this tier. This is a strong passive talent that increases your overall damage output.

4.4. Tier 4 (Level 104) Talents

If you are playing against a team with multiple stuns and strong burst, Desperate Instincts Icon Desperate Instincts is the best choice in this tier. This makes your Blur Icon Blur stronger and will be used automatically when you drop below 35% health.

In any other situation, Netherwalk Icon Netherwalk is the best choice in this tier. This is a strong cooldown that will be used when you are taking unavoidable damage that will kill you.

4.5. Tier 5 (Level 106) Talents

First Blood Icon First Blood is the best choice in this tier. This reduces the Fury cost of your important spell, Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance and increases its damage. This talent works great with the Trail of Ruin Icon Trail of Ruin.

4.6. Tier 6 (Level 108) Talents

Master of the Glaive Icon Master of the Glaive is the best choice in this tier. This talent gives you a reliable slow that you can use offensively to slow enemies kiting your damage or defensively so you or a teammate can kite incoming damage.

4.7. Tier 7 (Level 110) Talents

If your overall goal is to have strong consistent damage, Momentum Icon Momentum is the best choice in this tier. This gives you a good damage boost and reduces the cooldown of Vengeful Retreat Icon Vengeful Retreat.

If your team's overall goal is to burst an enemy down quickly, Demonic Icon Demonic is the best choice in this tier. This gives you reliable burst every 30 seconds, but you will have less consistent damage.

5. PvP Talents for Havoc Demon Hunters

The first PvP talent tier is will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless Icon Relentless, and Adaptation Icon Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel.

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents depending on your team's goal.

Demonic Origins Icon Demonic Origins reduces the cooldown of Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis by 2 minutes, but causes it to now last 15 seconds. While in Metamorphosis, your damage is increased by 5%. Metamorphosis is your primary burst spell and this talent is crucial for your overall damage output.

Unending Hatred Icon Unending Hatred makes it so that taking magical damage causes you to gain Fury, with larger attacks granting more Fury. When playing against a team with casters on it or playing against a Death Knight, this talent helps you with your consistent damage. If you are the primary target, you will very rarely run out of Fury.

Solitude Icon Solitude increases your Fury generation and attack speed by 10% when there are no allies within 15 yards. If you are playing with a ranged DPS, this is an important talent to have.

Reverse Magic Icon Reverse Magic removes all harmful magical effects from yourself and all nearby allies within 10 yards, and sends them back to their original caster if possible. If you are playing with against a team with multiple magical crowd control abilities (Polymorph Icon Polymorph, Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice), you should be using this talent. You can replace Solitude Icon Solitude with this talent.

Cover of Darkness Icon Cover of Darkness increases the chance for you and allies to avoid damage while within your Darkness Icon Darkness effect by 50%. It is a very important talent to have against teams with two melee on it. You can replace Unending Hatred Icon Unending Hatred with this talent.

6. Racial Bonuses for Havoc Demon Hunters

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

6.1. Horde

Blood Elf is the best race for Havoc Demon Hunters, thanks to the extra buff removal from the racial ability, Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent.

6.2. Alliance

The Night Elf bonus (Shadowmeld Icon Shadowmeld) is a great way to avoid incoming crowd control.

7. Playstyle for Havoc Demon Hunters

The Havoc Demon Hunter has only one role when in an Arena match: do damage. Players should focus on maximizing their damage as much as they can. With strong mobility, you should be able to stay on a target for most of the game. Use your strong consistent damage to force cooldowns and then punish the enemy team by using your offensive abilities.

7.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Although Havoc Demon Hunters do lack crowd control, they still have Imprison Icon Imprison and Chaos Nova Icon Chaos Nova.

If the enemy team has a class that can stealth, use Spectral Sight Icon Spectral Sight to see them in stealth and disrupt their opener.

7.2. Offensive Rotation

7.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. In the opener, Arms Warriors should focus on sticking to an enemy and dealing large amounts of damage to the target.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive to slow the enemy and close the gap between you and the target.
  2. Make sure you are connecting to your target to take advantage of the Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades talent.
  3. Use Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush to gain Momentum Icon Momentum.
  4. Use Felblade Icon Felblade to generate Fury.
  5. Use Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam on cooldown.
  6. Use Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike to spend your Fury.
  7. Use Fel Barrage Icon Fel Barrage if talented into it and the enemy team is stacked.
  8. Get crowd control on the enemy healer (you can use Imprison Icon Imprison or have a teammate do this).
  9. Use your burst rotation.

7.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Use Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush to gain the Momentum Icon Momentum buff.
  2. Use Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis.
  3. Use Chaos Nova Icon Chaos Nova to stun your kill target.
  4. Use Death Sweep Icon Death Sweep.
  5. Use Annihilation Icon Annihilation.
  6. Use Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam.
  7. Use Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive if the enemy team is running away.
  8. Use Felblade Icon Felblade to generate Fury.
  9. Use Annihilation Icon Annihilation for any Fury you have.

7.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Use Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive to slow the enemy and close the gap between you and the target.
  2. Make sure you are connecting to your target to take advantage of Demon Blades Icon Demon Blades.
  3. Use Eye Beam Icon Eye Beam on cooldown.
  4. Use Felblade Icon Felblade to generate Fury.
  5. Use Chaos Strike Icon Chaos Strike to spend your Fury.
  6. Use Fel Barrage Icon Fel Barrage if talented into it and the enemy team is stacked up.
  7. Use Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance if the enemy team is stacked.

7.3. Defensive Techniques

Blur Icon Blur is your main defensive cooldown. This increases your dodge chance and reduces the overall damage done to you. One a 2-minute cooldown, this is very powerful and should be used when your healer is struggling to keep you alive.

Darkness Icon Darkness is a great defensive for not only yourself, but also for your teammates. If the enemy team is using their offensive cooldowns on a teammate that has no defensive abilities left, using Darkness Icon Darkness where they are could keep them alive. This is even stronger if you have taken the Cover of Darkness Icon Cover of Darkness PvP talent.

Vengeful Retreat Icon Vengeful Retreat should be used to gain the Momentum Icon Momentum buff for damage, but there will be times where you will need to run away from the enemy team. This lets you get distance and you can still use Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive so you do not waste the Momentum Icon Momentum buff.

Netherwalk Icon Netherwalk is another crucial defensive cooldown. As a Demon Hunter, you will likely be far from your teammates, and Netherwalk gives you the ability to push in and if you get in trouble, you can retreat away with full immunity to damage and a 100% movement speed increase.

Rain from Above Icon Rain from Above can be used offensively to score a kill if you have no cooldowns; but it can also be used defensively. Use this when melee on the enemy team is focusing you and you need to avoid it.

8. Best Team Compositions for Havoc Demon Hunters

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the Arena with your team. With spells like Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis and great mobility, Havoc Demon Hunters have a very aggressive playstyle, but should also kite burst damage from enemy teams.

8.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena, you have a few options. If you are playing against a healer that will struggle to get away from you (Discipline Priest or Restoration Shaman), you can play Solitude Icon Solitude and Chaos Blades Icon Chaos Blades. With this strategy you are trying to do so much single-target damage to a target that the enemy healer will not be able to heal through it. If you are playing against a team that will often be stacked or if you want more consistent damage, just use the normal talents with Momentum Icon Momentum and Fel Barrage Icon Fel Barrage.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Discipline Priest
  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Restoration Druid
  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Mistweaver Monk
  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Restoration Shaman

8.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You will likely be playing the normal talents with Momentum Icon Momentum and Fel Barrage Icon Fel Barrage to maximize your overall damage output. When your team has damage, you will want to use Chaos Nova Icon Chaos Nova and use your burst rotation. If they are in range, use Imprison Icon Imprison on the enemy healer. Use Throw Glaive Icon Throw Glaive to slow enemies and run away from important damage cooldowns.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Arms Warrior + Holy Paladin/Restoration Druid
  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Windwalker Monk + Discipline Priest/Restoration Druid
  • Havoc Demon Hunter + Affliction/Destruction Warlock + Restoration Shaman/Restoration Druid
  • Hero Cleave (Havoc Demon Hunter + Frost Death Knight + Holy Paladin/Restoration Druid)

9. Useful Macros for Havoc Demon Hunters

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the Arena. Here are a few macros that all Havoc Demon Hunters can benefit from.

9.1. Imprison 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Imprison
  • /cast [target=arena1] Imprison

Using this macro will use Imprison Icon Imprison on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

9.2. Imprison Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Imprison
  • /cast [target=focus] Imprison

If you find that you do not have much room on your action bars, you can use a focus macro. This is much simpler to use than the arena123 macro. Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Imprison Icon Imprison on that player while you are still focused on your target.

9.3. Disrupt Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Disrupt
  • /cast [target=focus] Disrupt

This macro will use Disrupt Icon Disrupt on whichever enemy you have on focus. Because you will be primarily using Disrupt Icon Disrupt on the enemy healer, you should only need this focus macro.

10. Changelog

  • 08 Oct. 2018: Added talent table.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 25 Sep. 2018: Removed Artifact Traits section.
    • Removed Relics section.
    • Added Stat Priority section.
    • Added Azerite Traits section.
  • 20 Sep. 2018: Updated burst rotation.
  • 27 Aug. 2018: Updated Air Drops section.
  • 23 Aug. 2018: Updated guide for patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated Introduction and spec overview.
    • Added Stat priority.
    • Updated tiers 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 regular talents sections.
    • Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Updated Burst Damage and Sustained Damage sections.
    • Updated Macros section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Updated Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 06 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 25 Mar. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
    • Updated recommended Tier 4 regular talent and Tier 2 and 4 honor talents.
  • 21 Jan. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 08 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2. Updated "About the Author".
  • 17 Sep. 2017: Changed recommended Tier 2 regular talent and updated sustained and burst rotations.
  • 10 Sep. 2017: Removed Artifact Trait descriptions and changed recommended Tier 5 regular talents.
  • 12 Jul. 2017: No changes need for patch 7.2.5
  • 24 Apr. 2017: Changed recommended Tier 2, 3, 4, and 5 regular talents and Tier 6 honor talents, and added additional defensive abilities.
  • 05 Apr. 2017: Guide was created.
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