How To Improve As Havoc Demon Hunter — Dragonflight 10.2
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Havoc Demon Hunter in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
Optimizing your Global Cooldowns
The first and foremost mistake that many Havoc players make is not adjusting their rotation to minimize empty Global Cooldowns as much as possible. Regardless of build, the rotation is constructed at its core to always allow for you to be pressing something actively, and as such, any time wasted is a loss of both damage and Fury. You also have a wealth of movement tools to stick to a target, as well as a small number of additional tools that extend past melee range, which can be used to fill downtime that should be used to cover those gaps.
Correctly Managing Fury
The core of your Havoc gameplay will rely on your ability to dynamically react to different Fury situations due to the variance in income caused by the Chaos Strike refunds and Demon Blades generation. You should always be aware of your Fury with the assumption that you will get a refund so you do not accidentally cast Felblade in a period you could spend. You should also, at all times, make sure that you do not spend so aggressively that it blocks you from casting Eye Beam or Blade Dance on cooldown if needed. This also extends to planning your Global Cooldowns around these ability cooldowns appropriately.
This also has additional things to keep in mind for Blind Fury, as each Eye Beam cast will fully cap your Fury bar if completed. This means any Fury above 30 will effectively be wasted, so planning your resource so you have just enough as this becomes available is ideal.
This has two separate situations depending on the number of targets:
In single-target situations, making sure that you are ready to cast Eye Beam, as it comes off cooldown, is crucial due to it being the highest damage cast available in your arsenal. Making sure that you will be in range for the entire channel, especially when using Blind Fury, is very important, as is making sure you do not begin the channel in an area that could be dangerous before you complete the cast.
When it comes to AoE, however, it is very important to note that it is a big DPS loss to use Eye Beam against a single target if, during its cooldown, there will be a high number of add spawns.
Always remember: despite Eye Beam being a strong single-target tool, it still ultimately gains a great deal in AoE situations, so do not throw away that extra damage by rushing to cast it on cooldown in AoE situations.
Please refer to our rotation page for more information.
Cooldown & Burst Window Management
Metamorphosis forms a large portion of the Havoc damage toolkit due to just how much damage can be poured in during the cooldown, with multiple aspects of scaling. Due to this, you need to make sure that when you use this, you have as many opportunities to capitalize upon the effect. The easiest way to do so is to ensure you have a large pool of Fury available to instantly begin spending and also attempt to dump all Fury available just before the effect ends. Making sure you use this in a window as well where you can effectively stick to a target and aggressively attempting to do so is crucial.
When using Chaotic Transformation, you need to make sure as well that both Eye Beam and Blade Dance have been used and are on cooldown before activating it. If you do not do this, you will waste the cooldown refresh it provides and leave damage on the table.
Please refer to the Metamorphosis section of our rotation page for more information.
While it is an increase to keep this up all the time, it is not always necessary to do so. The most important benefit of this is during high cooldown events (such as Eye Beam and Blade Dance casts), so aiming to keep it up when these are being used is a good idea. Ideally, avoid using Vengeful Retreat to do this for Eye Beam if using Looks Can Kill, and instead use it for the follow-up Essence Break. In many cases, though, this talent will play itself to a reasonable degree if you play around effects such as Initiative, Unbound Chaos and The Hunt correctly.
New in Patch 10.2, Inertia is similar to the older versions of Momentum that were attached to a cooldown locked effect. This means you need to be planning around periods that you deal the most damage to consume the Unbound Chaos effect and activate the window. Playing this effectively mandates A Fire Inside as a supporting talent as well to add the second charge of Immolation Aura to activate it.
Generally, you want to make sure you never leave a charge on the table and waste a window. After that, overlap your key moments based on your talent picks, such as Eye Beam, Essence Break and Fel Barrage with at least one application (if not 2, depending on your cooldown state).
Reworked in Patch 10.2, Fel Barrage is now a Fury drain window that means you need to be aware of your current resource state when you activate it. When using this, you really want to get the full use out of it, which means you need 256 total Fury to complete it (as it drains 32 Fury per second). The best way to accomplish this is having a full Fury bar pooled while still having Fury-positive abilities ready to go in Felblade and Sigil of Flame if you fall behind with Blind Fury being very powerful as a "reset" point if taken. When playing this, you need to watch your resource when spending to make sure you do not push yourself too low and cause it to end early, ideally having a buffer of 40-50 Fury to stop it falling off within a GCD.
Essence Break Windows
When using Essence Break, you need to keep in mind how it fits into the rest of your kit and what must be done to optimize it. In AoE builds, it will naturally always line up with the same cooldown as Eye Beam; you will always cast Eye Beam first, leading into Essence Break, followed by a Death Sweep. If you have Metamorphosis for this window, you instead cast Sweep, Meta, then Sweep with the Chaotic Transformation reset. Beyond this, you always want to have a full Death Sweep fit into the 4-second amp window and Annihilation casts for the remaining GCDs.
When paired with Initiative, you should use your Vengeful Retreat to trigger this immediately following your Eye Beam channel, aiming to pass over the boss hitbox and cast Essence Break so you hit your target mid-air, and follow up with a Death Sweep. There is an art to aiming this to avoid downtime and get the combo off comfortably, but mastering this is a key aspect of Dragonflight Havoc.
Knowing How to Sim Yourself
It is extremely difficult to accurately optimize your character without first using Raidbots to sim your own character to identify a static start point. This will allow you to quickly identify the ideal gear choices you have available to equip, and due to the variables of different gear interacting with each other, it should be the go-to tool to decide what you use.
On top of this, simming is now very easy, with no need to understand SimulationCraft APLs or installation yourself. All you will need is the in-game SimulationCraft AddOn and the Raidbots website. Below, you can find a video on how to sim your own character using the website.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2, added Inertia and Fel Barrage sections.
- 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7, no changes necessary.
- 10 Jul. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.5 adding in extra notes about Essence Break windows and Fury management.
- 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1, no changes necessary.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
- 24 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Pre-Patch.
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