Havoc Demon Hunter

Patch 8.3

Written by Miniaug Last Updated: 27th Feb, 2020

Azerite Traits

Best Traits

Furious Gaze

Furious Gaze - You always want 3 of these as it increases your haste dramatically for 12 seconds, which means you can fit 2 Blade Dance casts in a Demonic window and one outside that also gets its cooldown reduced by the haste buff from Furious Gaze. This also allows you to get a lot of Annihilations off during your Demonic window as you have a ton of haste as long as you pooled some fury before your Eye Beam.

Good Class Traits

Eyes of Rage

Eyes of Rage - When you play Demonic Appetite this trait is a huge buff to the talent as it reduces your Eye Beam cooldown by about 5-10 seconds on average. It is pretty useless when you don’t play Demonic Appetite though so be sure if you are not playing the talent that you don’t run an Eyes of Rage trait.

In mythic+, Eyes of Rage is extremely powerful as mobs that you stun with Chaos Nova and that die have a chance to spawn a soul, reducing your Eye Beam cooldown even further than the passive generation through the talent.

Thirsting Blades

Thirsting Blades - This trait is good to have one for single target as it essentially increases how many Chaos Strikes you can do in a fight and the damage of them, but scales poorly with aoe as there are better traits to have in those scenarios.

Revolving Blades

Revolving Blades - Playing this on an aoe or cleave fight is essential as you gain a lot of fury and good amount of damage from this trait.

Chaotic Transformation

Chaotic Transformation - Decent trait but there are definitely better, makes the spec more fun to play as you are in Metamorphosis for a longer period of time during the opener.

Bad Traits

Seething Power

Seething Power - Isn’t a bad trait per se, but it makes you change your playstyle a bit and the trait just doesn’t do enough for it to be worth it to take over the other traits that have more benefits.

Raid Trait

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness - Good trait, but there are better options with residuum and higher item level pieces from Carapace and N’zoth.

Essences

Major Essences

Best Majors

Condensed Life-Force - Nerfed in 8.3, this essence took a decent hit to its output, but it is still better than the other options that we have.

Essence of the Focusing Iris - Extremely good on AoE especially when it lines up well. Will definitely see play on fights with AoE like The Hivemind and in mythic+.

Average Majors

Crucible of Flame - Pretty good, but nothing special. Just doesn’t have anything unique that it does.

Blood of the Enemy - Good essence, but DH doesn’t have the kit to take full advantage of the crit damage window. Metamorphosis just lasts too long and have too long of a cooldown.

Breath of the Dying - Good, but mostly because of the minor. This essence is simply better in a minor slot as that is where most of the power is.

Vision of Perfection - Metamorphosis just isn’t a good enough cooldown for this essence to be in the good majors category.

Worldvein Resonance - This was buffed by a huge amount in 8.3 but it is mostly dependent on other people running this as well as some bugs being fixed with the minor. 

Purification Protocol - With the buffs to this essence in 8.3, it could see some play on certain fights as some adds are aberrations. It remains to be seen if it is useful as the stun it does puts everything on the diminishing return stun timer.

Bad Majors

Memory of Lucid Dreams - Pretty worthless as a major, most of the strength is in the minor of this essence.

Conflict and Strife - As you spend a lot of time in Metamorphosis with Demonic, this just isn’t better than the other options that you can choose.

The Unbound Force - Even with the buffs, it just isn’t good enough to warrant using.

Ripple in Space - The most useless essence for raiding. I’m not even sure why I listed it.

Scenario Dependent Majors

The Formless Void - It could be good, but it’s really impossible to sim properly as you will want to take different essences in different scenarios at different points in the fight. It’s a very interesting essence but it will remain to be seen if Demon Hunter will use it.

Spark of Inspiration - As there’s no way to really properly sim this one, it will likely only be okay as a minor except for maybe 1 person per group depending on the fight and what essences the other people take.

Minor Essences

Good Minors

Crucible of Flame - Always good on single target.

Conflict and Strife - Very good in all scenarios. 

Vision of Perfection - With the increased level of your Heart of Azeroth, your Metamorphosis cooldown gets very close to a 3 minute cooldown so it lines up with your Condensed Life-Force extremely well. Depending on the fight, this will be extremely strong as you could get an extra use of Metamorphosis that lines up with Condensed Life-Force if you are using that as your major.

Breath of the Dying - Extremely strong in execute phases, this is pretty dependent on if you need the damage in that part of the fight. It also gives 10 corruption resistance which will likely be important but it depends on the corrupted gear that you have. This is a unique effect with the other essences added in 8.3.

Worldvein Resonance - Very dependent on if other people in your raid use this and if bugs with the essence get fixed. If they do it will be very good on fights where you are stacked the majority of the time.

Spark of Inspiration - Can be extremely good as it reduces the cooldown of your major essence by 1 second every time it procs. This is quite fight dependent as you don’t always need your major to come up faster, but when you do this is a great option that gives you some flexibility. It also gives 10 corruption resistance which will likely be important but it depends on the corrupted gear that you have. This is a unique effect with the other essences added in 8.3.

The Formless Void -  Gives you an agility and small haste buff when you or an ally uses an essence, and gives the ally that uses an essence the small haste buff. It also gives 10 corruption resistance which will likely be important but it depends on the corrupted gear that you have. This is a unique effect with the other essences added in 8.3.

Gear

Corruption Items 

Almost all items items, except one, don’t drop with guaranteed corrupted effects. This item comes from the raid and is dropped by Ra-den.

Unguent Caress - Your attacks have a chance to lash your target with a living tentacle, dealing Shadow Damage and snaring them by 30% for 6 seconds.

As this item has one of the best traits, you will end up wanting at least one of these.

Corruption

What is Corruption

Corruption has been added to 8.3 as a replacement for Warforging and Titanforging. When you get a chance of gear, it has a chance to roll with a number of different positive effects that give different amounts of corruption. It also comes with a few very negative effects so you don’t want to get too much corruption. Due to this, you want to get the right corrupted pieces so you can do the most damage.

Not all corruption effects are that amazing, some due to scaling with stats that aren’t good, others due to the fact that they just aren’t strong, and a few just because they have too much corruption.

Some corruption effects have tiers, with their effectiveness scaling on those tiers. For example, the stat gaining effects are 6%, 9%, and 12% based on the amount of corruption they have.

All items, except one, do not drop with guaranteed corrupted effects. This item comes from the raid and is dropped by Ra-den.

Unguent Caress (Lash of the Void) - Your attacks have a chance to lash your target with a living tentacle, dealing Shadow Damage and snaring them by 30% for 6 seconds.

This weapon has one of the best traits and can only exist on this weapon. It is extremely powerful in multi target scenarios like mythic+.

Best Corruption Effects

Gushing Wound

Gushing Wound - 15 Corruption

Your damaging abilities and abilities have a chance to cause your target to ooze blood, dealing [X] damage over 7 seconds.

This effect scales with the item level of the piece that it is on, so the higher the item level the more damage it deals.

Infinite Stars

Infinite Stars - 20/50/75 Corruption

Your spells and abilities have a chance to strike a nearby enemy with an Infinite Star, dealing (X% value) Arcane damage and increasing their damage taken from your Infinite Stars by 25%, stacking up to 10 times.

This effect now scales with the item level of the piece that it is on, so the higher the item level the more damage it deals.

Due to the fact that this trait stacks, it is not great in situations with multiple targets. In something like mythic+, you should absolutely never run Infinite Stars because mobs just do not live long enough to take advantage of how good this trait is. A boss like Shad’har is a best case scenario for this trait and you generally only want to run it on fights like that or fights where you can stack it up for important damage phases.

Twilight Devastation

Twilight Devastation - 25/50/75 Corruption

Your attacks have a chance to trigger a beam of Twilight Devastation, dealing damage equal to X% of your health to all enemies in front of you.

  • T1 (25) Corruption -> 6%
  • T2 (50) Corruption -> 12%
  • T3 (75) Corruption -> 18%

Twisted Appendage

Twisted Appendage - 15/35/66 Corruption

Your attacks have a chance to spawn a tentacle which Mind Flays your target for (X% of Attack Power or Spell Power) Shadow damage every second for 10 sec.

This effect scales with the item level of the piece that it is on, so the higher the item level the more damage it deals.

Honorable Mentions

These effects aren’t the best but they are pretty decent and good alternatives if you don’t happen to get your hands on the best corruption effects.

Ineffable Truth

Ineffable Truth - 12/30 Corruption

Your Spells and Abilities have a chance to show you the Ineffable Truth, increasing the rate your cooldowns recover by X% for 10 sec.

  • T1 (12) Corruption -> 30%
  • T2 (30) Corruption -> 60%

Rank 1 is better corruption value than rank 2 so if you can get multiple rank 1’s instead of a rank 2, you will just get more value out of your corruption. 

This corruption effect reduces the cooldown of every class ability that you have like Disrupt, Chaos Nova, Blur, Eye Beam, Blade Dance, and even Fel Rush

Be careful with Fel Rush though as it also reduces the cooldown between being able to use Fel Rushes right after another so you can end up in some spots that you don’t want to be in quite quickly.

Expedient

Expedient - 10/15/20 Corruption - Increases the amount of haste you gain from all sources based on the corruption tier.

This corruption effect gets an honorable mention because DH has so many haste increases that stack which makes this corruption effect pretty good. With Haste reducing the cooldown of spells like Blade Dance and Immolation Aura and increasing chances of corruption effects to proc like Lash of Void and Infinite Stars, this trait can end up being pretty good.

Negative Corruption Effects

Grasping Tendrils - Happens at 1 Corruption

Puts a snare on you for 5 seconds. Not a big deal for a DH as you can remove it with Vengeful Retreat and basically ignore it with Fel Rush as you have so much mobility.

Eye of Corruption - Happens at 20 Corruption

Randomly summons a circle around you that deals damage while in it for 8 seconds. With your self-healing as a DH, this doesn’t really matter unless your corruption level is too high. You can basically tank this as long as you don’t stand in consecutive circles while still having the debuff.

Grand Delusions - Happens at 40 Corruption

Generally not worth going up to this corruption level as this is where it gets a bit tricky to deal with the effects as this can randomly deal over half your life if you don’t see it. Due to this, you can get killed unexpectedly just because you miss it. It really isn’t worth going up to this level while you are doing progression.

Cascading Disaster - Happens at 60 Corruption

If you are struck by a Thing from Beyond summoned by Grand Delusions, you instantly get affected by Eye of Corruption and Grasping Tendrils. If you get up to this level you need to dodge the Thing from Beyond. 

Inevitable Doom - Happens at 80 Corruption

Increases your damage taken and reduces your healing taken by 5% baseline, increasing with your corruption amount. If you somehow for some reason think that going up to 80 corruption is a good idea, just go back down to at least 60. Please.

The best way to find the best gear, Azerite Traits & Essences for your character is to "sim" your character

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Charts (Bloodmallet)

Azerite Traits

Tier 3 & 4

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Tier 2

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Tier 3 & 4

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Tier 2

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Essences

Tier 3 & 4

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Tier 3 & 4

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Trinkets

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Corruptions

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