How To Improve As Vengeance Demon Hunter — Shadowlands 9.0.5
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Vengeance Demon Hunter in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
Consuming Pain and Souls Correctly
One of the main mistakes with Vengeance is that Pain and Souls are not managed properly. This may include the following.
- Consuming Soul Fragments with Soul Cleave when going for DPS, thus wasting souls that would otherwise be used on Spirit Bomb.
- Consuming fewer than 4 souls with Spirit Bomb.
Not Using Defensive Cooldowns Reactively
Using defensive cooldowns effectively means planning ahead, before you take a big hit. Being proactive with your cooldowns means the most dangerous part of the spike is being reduced, thereby giving yourself and your healers plenty of time to react to the damage in a controlled manner. If you are just reacting to damage as it comes in, not only are you taking the full force of the original hit (and probably being brought very low in health), but once your defensive cooldown is running, often it is only reducing the smaller, non-threatening damage and you are getting far less value out of it.
Using Cooldowns Enough
Occasionally there are periods in encounters where there are no obvious points at which to use your defensive cooldowns. In these cases, you should be using your cooldowns liberally to reduce your overall damage taken and save precious healer Mana. As long as your cooldowns are available for when you truly need them, you should be trying to fit in as many casts into a fight as possible.
Maximizing Damage Output
A mentality that is very common among all tanks, is that your damage output is irrelevant, and that only your tankiness is important. While it is true that survivability is your number one priority, the idea that "tank damage does not matter" is a misconception for a few reasons.
The first and most relevant reason is that damage is threat. You generate threat by dealing damage, and the more damage you deal, the more threat you generate. If your co-tank is pulling off of you, it is because they are dealing more damage than you are. If you are ignoring your damage output to the point where your co-tank is pulling threat from you, you are also hindering their play by forcing them to lower their damage.
The second reason is that damage is damage. Whether it comes from the tank, a DPS, or a healer, all damage contributes equally towards killing the boss. If you are neglecting your damage, you are hindering your raid's chances at a kill by lowering the overall damage output. Often, by prioritising offensive stats and a damage-oriented rotation, the amount of survivability you sacrifice pales in comparison to the amount of damage you gain.
Planning Defensive Cooldowns
The vast majority of boss abilities are predictable and can be specifically planned for. Once you know your raid's strategy for a boss, you should develop a plan for what cooldowns you will use on what abilities, throughout the entire encounter. Trying to use cooldowns on the fly dramatically increases the chances you will be left without a cooldown available and be killed by a threatening ability.
Cooldown planning also helps to avoid reactive cooldown usage. Most defensive cooldowns provide vastly reduced benefit as an emergency button, used when already at low health. The goal in cooldown usage is to activate your defensive cooldowns immediately before the first attack in a period of high damage, where the benefit will be maximized.
Using External Cooldowns
Healers (and some other specializations) have access to powerful, targeted defensive cooldowns, which are normally referred to as external cooldowns or externals. You need to remain in communication with your healers and be ready to call for them to use their external cooldowns on you when necessary. These cooldowns can be incorporated into your cooldown plan discussed above as needed. Use an addon such as Exorsus Raid Tools to keep track of external cooldowns available in your raid.
External cooldowns include the following.
- Restoration Druid: Ironbark (low cooldown damage reduction)
- Mistweaver Monk: Life Cocoon (small absorb, not great)
- Holy, Protection Paladin: Blessing of Sacrifice (also harms Paladin)
- Disclipline Priest: Pain Suppression (excellent damage reduction)
- Holy Priest: Guardian Spirit (brings you back to life if you die)
Not Stacking Unnecessary Defensive Tools
It may be tempting to think of the only job you have as a tank to be survival, but taking additional defensive tools at the expense of damage is a common trap newer tanks fall into. Your damage still contributes to the death of the boss, and each additional defensive measure taken will provide diminishing benefit over the last. This is true of talents, gems, enchants, trinkets, and consumables.
In addition to the general effect of lower damage output on killing the boss, reducing your damage output too much in favor of unnecessary defensive tools will expose you to threat issues — both from your co-tank and from your DPS. In most situations, if you are having difficulty holding threat, you should consider what you need to do to increase your damage output.
- 24 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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