Havoc Demon Hunter State on Shadowlands Beta - Covenant Abilities, Legendaries, Spec Concerns
Feedback and opinions on the state of Havoc Demon Hunter on the Shadowlands Beta, discussing Covenant abilities, legendaries, concerns of the spec including the reliance on Borrowed Power and much more!
After being introduced in Legion, Demon Hunters (Havoc in particular) made a strong mark in the global WoW landscape. While remaining mostly unchanged, the spec has seen many different playstyles. Going into BFA and losing Artifact Weapons and Legendaries was a big hit for Havoc as a lot of the strength of the specs were further emphasized by the borrowed power systems that we lost. Throughout BFA, the spec remained mostly unchanged but the acquisition of Azerite Traits, the second ring of Azerite Traits in 8.1, essences and more recently Corruptions really helped Havoc stay relevant in the general meta of higher end content. Heading into Shadowlands, Havoc is losing all these borrowed power systems that allowed the spec to shine and the long lasting core issues of the spec become more and more visible and problematic once more.
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What has Changed?
is now baseline.
Good change especially due to the fury generation up front.
Fury is now the shared class resource.
increase your chance to dodge by 100% for 1 sec.
Pretty important and extremely sad change especially for M+. Being able to block targeted abilities in keys added an element of skill to a knowledgeable player.
Increases your chance to dodge by 50% and reduces all damage taken by 20%
for 10 sec.
New damage scaling formula => Main Target damage / Sqrt(amount of targets hit). This
helps visualize the change.
This change is somewhat hidden from the player since the tooltip is quite unclear about this. In practice, this does reduce our burst AoE considerably which is probably Blizzard's way to keep Eye Beam un-capped AoE but making it do less and less damage the more targets you hit.
Demon's Bite deals 20% more damage and
generates up to 10
generates 5 to 10 additional Fury.
Nice little buff to a talent that has never been used. Not enough to overtake the other 2 options however.
Adds fury over time effect to the new baseline Immo Aura, slight nerf over BFA package.
While looking pretty cool, Unbound Chaos suffers from the same issue it had in BFA when it was briefly introduced as an Azerite trait. Latency makes this ability almost impossible to aim correctly.
Leech increased by 5%
. Gain an additional 25%
Leech while Metamorphosis is active.
This impacts our sustain a lot especially for a talent that was not picked a lot to begin with.
Blur now reduces damage taken by an additional 10%
. Additionally, you automatically trigger Blur when you fall below 35% health. This effect can only occur when Blur is not on cooldown.
Another nerf to a talent that was barely used to begin with.
Might as well nerf the whole row :), This change hurts a bit more as Netherwalk was used a lot and quite constantly in end game play as a fantastic defensive cooldown.
When Chaos Strike refunds Fury, it also reduces the cooldown of Eye Beam
by 3 sec.
to Cycle of Hatred is quite horrible. This talent that was never picked will likely remain this way as competing with
is something that no talent since Legion was able to accomplish.
A great upgrade over Dark Slash however similarly to Cycle of Hatred, competing against
is likely to leave this talent gathering dust.
Eye Beam causes you to enter demon form for 6
sec after it finishes dealing damage.
This is a very large nerf to Demonic. Taking away the ability from players to fit two
per Demonic window nerfs this talent extremely hard. A talent that was loved by a large amount of players.
Well as we can see above... Most of out kit is getting nerfed which obviously leaves a bad taste in the mouth. This is on top of the early expansion slow paced gameplay that is something a lot of players are very vocal about not enjoying every expansion.
Each zone of the Shadowlands is controlled by one of four powerful groups: the
of Bastion, the
of Ardenweald, the
of Maldraxxus and the
of Revendreth. We will experience a preview of each covenant as we level through their respective zones and will be required to make a heavy choice at max level and choose one covenant to join. Choose wisely, as changing Covenants is not difficult, but returning to a previously abandoned Covenant will be very difficult.
You can read the full overview of the Covenants
With beta underway and having access to the some of the Covenant features, right now Havoc Demon Hunters have access to the Covenant Ability, Covenant Signature and Soulbinds. Conduits are not yet available for testing so the full picture is incomplete as the different type of conduits might change how we navigate through the Soulbind trees, for that reason Soulbinds have been left out currently and will be explored when conduits are available.
is quite nice ability to use. The sigil being AoE and on a short cooldown gives it a good niche that emphasizes one of Havoc's strengths. The 3 Lesser Soul Fragments are also nice to have access to and synergize well with
granting you basically 90 Fury every time you use the spell.
Without raid testing available, the only use of this signature ability, which is very powerful, is the dispel aspect especially in M+ situations. Shares a cooldown with normal potions and does not work in arena currently.
When first reading this tooltip my first worry was that the blood pool was going to be too small to be utilized fully during raid encounters. With recent testing I was quite happy to see that the blood pool has a diameter that is equal to the distance traveled by
. This makes this slightly more user-friendly to use but doesn't change that the attack speed buff is very underwhelming. It is important however to mention that since we are killing a demon we will always benefit from
when using this covenant ability.
The shield can be quite powerful in niche situations which seems to be the theme for Signature abilities. We can all think of / remember encounters where having this shield would've been a life saver and I don't think Shadowlands will be any different.
is extremely underwhelming for PVE content and probably just as bad for PVP. The extra fury generation while nice is very underwhelming compared to the other Covenant abilities available to us. The teleport might be situationally very strong but not very good due to our already extremely high mobility.
With so much mobility available to us with
this is quite useless for us.
This is it. Sinful Brand is the highest damage covenant ability for us currently by far. The downside compared to the Kyrian ability is that Sinful Brand is only single target but the second part of the spell more than makes up for this. Being able to apply Sinful Brand, which is tuned for single target, to every target you hit with your Metamorphosis makes for a giant power move that will play along with difficult pulls in M+.
A teleport can be situationally nice however for the same reasons the Night Fae signature was pretty useless outside of these moments for us.
At the moment, there are only two covenant that seems viable, the
. These Covenant offers us not only the best two Ability but also the best two signatures. While Conduits are still unavailable for Havoc on the Beta both of these Covenant have access to very powerful Soulbinds.
gives us access to three Potency Conduits and
gives us access to three Potency Conduits and
We recently got access to the legendaries we will be able to play with in Shadowlands in the Beta. Some are interesting while others are only going to be made for fun as they won't serve any real purpose that is foreseeable. Here is a quick rundown of the powers we will have access to.
Pretty useless in terms of throughput. Hard to see a situation where this would be an optimal choice.
Again, 0 throughput benefits, RNG defensive as darkness does not guarantee any damage being prevented to begin with... very weak.
Having used this legendary effect in a couple dungeons the 20% reset feels too low to be useful in any most situations as consistency is generally king during progression. The random swing in damage provided by this is probably it's biggest flaw.
This power is very strong. Provides very strong AoE burst and decent single target damage also. Make sure your position yourself well, since the Vengeance Demon Hunter you summon will spawn 5 yards to your right and might miss the targets on your left.
Suffers from the same downfall as
. The swing in proc chance make this power unpredictable, that it makes using it very hard.
At first glance this looks amazing paired with
but in reality the extra time we spend in Momentum is basically wasted as we do not currently have the resource generation to empower the added momentum uptime. Later in the expansion this legendary power will gain a lot of value however.
An other solid choice all around. The chance to proc is a bit low (~1.5 procs per minute) but the damage is quite good.
Saving the best for last. This legendary synergizes extremely well with both
and will shine in cleave and AoE situations. Every single time
deals damage, you have a chance to gain a stack of the buff and this scales with targets surrounding you. On 3 targets each time Immolation Aura deals damage you have 3 chances to gain a stack. This legendary is very powerful on it's own and only becomes stronger when paired with the previously mentioned talent.
as this legendary has a mind of its own at the moment on the Beta and it is impossible to control which enemy will be hit by the extra glaives you throw... Make sure to warn your group if you decide to use this legendary or this can happen...
Concerns Going Forward
Since the inception of the spec in Legion Havoc has always performed pretty well in the global balance of the game. However this does not mean that there aren't major issues with the spec.
The performance of a spec does not correlate to how engaging / fun it is to play
. Havoc suffers a lot from this. The baseline toolkit of the spec has basically no scaling and very weak synergies. Thankfully up to Shadowlands the system (borrowed power) introduced by Blizzard each patches have always served Havoc well, this is especially true in BFA since the toolkit in Legion was way more robust. Shadowlands exposes these flaws extremely harshly. Many players with Beta access, myself included, are quite discouraged with the development of the spec.
When systems are in place for years at a time (Azerite) the effects they provide become more than something players pick for the time being. These effects become something that we identify with the spec. Borrowed Power is fine, it affects everyone. When borrowed power
your spec, we are in big trouble.
that have been part of the reality of Havoc DH for 2 years now being taken away leaves a gap that is impossible to fill. The fact that
allowed Havoc DH to take advantage of the borrowed power systems with Hasted RPPM in all of BFA is the only reason the spec stayed competitive should ring a bell. When
is an example of what your spec has become due to the reliance of
and the fact that
procs more often with more haste...
should not be the crutch Havoc relies on to be viable in high end play.
Looking at the evolution of Havoc throughout Legion and BFA in regards to scaling is an other big red alarm going off. In Legion,
refunds were based on if the ability Crit or not. This gave us a clear path in gearing since this effect gave us a scaling factor. This was removed in BFA for a flat 40% chance. While the 40% chance is usually more beneficial early on in the expansion due to low stats it quickly becomes worst and this is when Havoc DH suffers the most. Every spec which benefits from stat scaling slingshots ahead and scales into the next level as this stat scaling provides them more with synergies between abilities and talents. This leaves Havoc wishing for more.
Strip a Havoc DH naked, no talent, no systems, just the spells in your spell book. The
rotation is basically,
Build fury with
Spend fury with
Basically you wack-a-mole whatever is available to be pressed except
If you want to use
you are required to pick a talent (
) and if you want to use
you need to use
There are no decision making, no reacting to interesting procs, no synergy, no hooks between spells. You are just pressing buttons for the sake of pressing buttons.
Adding talents into the mix allows you to press more spells on cooldown but does not give you a reason why to press them beside being able to press them. The lack of synergy / hook between spells makes for a very boring spec to play once players are out of the "wow this looks cool" phase.
What does this mean for the future?
Well simply put,
saves the day. Unless Havoc is saved by borrowed power, again, the spec will fall further and further behind as the expansion goes by. We have yet to see what Conduits will be available to Havoc which gives us a bit of hope but looking on the other side of the fence to see what is available to other specs leaves little to no hope for the future of Havoc, mostly just % damage on abilities, nothing spec changing there. If you enjoy Havoc right now and don't mind playing 200% slower in Shadowlands you won't have any issues. If you subscribed to the fast paced fantasy that Havoc historically had you are in for big disappointments in Shadowlands.
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