The best Havoc Demon Hunter talents and build in WoW Shadowlands

These tips should help you have a great experience playing this underrepresented DPS class.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Demon Hunters in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands had a rough start to the expansion. But after multiple buffs, they’ve found themselves in a decent spot in both player-versus-player (PvP) and player-versus-environment (PvE) due to their damage and utility. While players mostly prefer to pick up ranged DPS for dungeons or raids due to multiple mechanics that punish melees, you can still find spots for groups easily if you’re building properly.

In PvP, Havoc DHs are quite underrepresented with only a handful of them reaching the top of the arena ladder. They’re great to have in a rated battleground (RBG) setting but have a hard time fitting into the current arena meta where Windwalker Monks and Fire Mages dominate the ladder. There are various compositions you can play, but the preferred class to team up with is Warrior. They bring a lot of damage and utility to compliment you. And if you team with up a Holy Paladin, Mistweaver Monk, or Resto Shaman, you should have decent success against most meta compositions.

Here are the best Havoc DH talents and builds for PvP and PvE.

PvP

Havoc DHs are one of the easiest DPS classes to play due to the low amount of tools to deal damage. But it’s easy to differentiate good and bad DHs due to the way they use their high mobility and utility spells, which can relieve a lot of pressure from your teammates. A good DH will make sure to not overlap cooldowns and have a way out every time their healer is crowd-controlled (CC), making it hard to kill a DH even without their healer topping them off.

One of the biggest weaknesses of Havoc DH is that they’re melee and can be kited by various classes, such as Warlocks, Mages, and other casters who are thriving in the current meta after getting better gear compared to the start of the expansion. Having a Warrior teammate on top of a Holy Paladin as the healer should circumvent this weakness since they can both clear your slows and give you a chance to get on top of your enemies and unleash your damage.

Talents

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

Level 15: Felblade – This is an amazing talent that acts as a Fury generator on top of an additional gap closer to help you reach those pesky ranged classes. There’s also a chance that your Demon’s Bite resets its cooldown, allowing you to close out huge distances in a small period of time.

Level 25: Demon Blades – This acts as an additional passive Fury generation on top of giving you extra shadow damage during some attacks. If Felblade is taken as the level 15 talent, Demon Blades should be auto-picked as the level 25 talent due to their huge synergy together.

Level 30: Unbound Chaos – This is an amazing area-of-effect (AoE) burst damage tool, increasing your Fel Rush damage by 600 percent when you use Immolation Aura. Since you’ll be using it off cooldown to generate Fury, the added damage is a nice bonus.

Level 35: Soul Rending – This row is the most flexible one with all three talents viable in various scenarios. But in scenarios where you don’t have a lot of coordination with your teammates, Soul Rending is the best pick. It gives you Leech to sustain yourself, which is increased during Metamorphosis, making you unkillable.

Level 40: First Blood – This talent reduces the resource cost for Blade Dance and allows you to do additional damage to the first target struck by it. It’s a nice addition to your already bursty kit.

Level 45: Fel Eruption – You don’t have a lot of CC tools in your kit, so picking this up should be your main priority. It allows you to set up good kill opportunities or Mana Rifts if you’ve picked it up as a PvP talent. On a short cooldown, this ability is rewarding to use and can help you interrupt important CDs from your opponents.

Level 50: Demonic – Having a tool to enter Demonic Form every time you finish damaging with Eye Beam is amazing, especially when combined with the Leech you’ll get from Soul Rending. It’s a nice damage boost on a short cooldown, which also increases your sustain.

Gear

Your stat priority is Versatility > Haste > Critical Strike > Mastery.

Versatility is your core stat since it increases your damage, while also making you harder to kill. While the damage increase might not be as high as the others, the additional survivability it grants you is crucial to negate your weakness. Haste is the best secondary stat after Versatility, giving you faster attacks and globals to increase your damage throughput.

Mastery and Critical Strike are lower in priority, but if you have higher item level gear with these stats, feel free to use them instead. As for the Legendary item, you want to go for Darkest Hour to increase your survivability by auto-triggering Darkness if you fall below 35-percent health.

Covenant

The optimal covenant for a Havoc DH in PvP is Night Fae by far. Its mobility spell is great and helps with some of your weaknesses, but the strongest part of the covenant is the ability called The Hunt. It has a small cast time and allows you to unleash a devastating amount of damage onto your target, able to crit them for more than half of their health pool.

The secondary optimal covenant is Necrolord for the Fleshcraft ability, which gives you a huge shield and can allow you to regain crucial cooldowns by keeping you alive for a couple of seconds.

PvP Talents

The three PvP talents you should use by default are Mortal Rush, Cover of Darkness, and Reverse Magic. The first one is taken to reduce healing effectiveness and can be foregone if you have a partner who has the debuff already by default. Cover of Darkness is taken to improve the chances of avoiding hits while in Darkness by 50 percent. Reverse Magic is one of the most powerful utility abilities you can have, allowing you to return to the original caster’s various spells or effects, such as CC or DoTs.

PvE

Demon Hunters have remained a powerful melee spec in PvE that excels in fights that involve multiple targets. The specialization has great sustained single target and one of the strongest AoE pressures and is great in both dungeons and raids.

While you’ll be great in terms of the damage and utility you bring, you fall short in encounters where there’s a lot of kiting involved since the less uptime you have on your target, the less damage you’re going to do.

Talents

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

Level 15: Blind Fury – This is one of the best PvE talents that increases your main AoE damaging ability duration and allows it to generate Fury. Eye Beam synchronizes well with other abilities, making this talent a no-brainer pick.

Level 25: Insatiable Hunger – This is a passive effect that can increase the damage and Fury generation of your Demon Bites. In some encounters where you don’t have the globals to spam it, you can go for Demon Blades instead.

Level 30: Glaive Tempest – This talent creates a whirlwind with glaives, dealing additional AoE damage to your targets on a small cooldown.

Level 35: Soul Rending – This row is the most flexible one with all three talents viable in various scenarios. But the passive Leech effecting makes Soul Rending the best pick. It relives a lot of pressure from your healers and has an increased effect during Metamorphosis.

Level 40: Cycle of Hatred – This is a great talent to reduce the cooldown of your Eye Beam with each critical strike. It’s amazing when combined with other talents to empower its effect, giving you more uptime on your core ability.

Level 45: Fel Eruption – You don’t have a lot of CC tools in your kit, so picking this up should be your main priority. It’s great to have in a PvE encounter.

Level 50: Demonic – Having a tool to enter Demonic Form every time you finish damaging with Eye Beam is amazing, especially when combined with the Leech you’ll get from Soul Rending. It’s a nice damage boost on a short cooldown, which also increases your sustain.

Gear

Your stat priority is Haste > Versatility > Critical Strike > Mastery.

Unlike PvP, in PvE you don’t need to stack up on Versatility to be tankier or deal a lot of damage. You benefit from all stats quite well, but Haste is the best in a PvE environment since it allows you to have a higher uptime and lower cooldowns. Afterward, you want to focus on Versatility since it increases your damage directly, while lastly, you want either Critical Strike or Mastery, both being interchangeable.

Covenant

The optimal covenant for an Havoc DH in PvE is Night Fae. It’s mobility spell is great and helps with some of your weaknesses, but the strongest part of the covenant is the ability called The Hunt. It has a low cast time and allows you to unleash a devastating amount of damage onto your target. But other covenant choices are also decent in a PvE environment, with each covenant having its uses.