Demon Hunter specializing in Vengeance is something like a tank but it also uses the magic of Fel, Fire, and physical power to protect the allies from enemies. At the moment, only elves have acquired this demonic art so there is no option regarding your race – Blood Elves for the Horde, and Night Elves for the Alliance.
Let’s take a closer look at the strongest and the weakest points of this class specializing in Vengeance
- Nice protection from physical damage
- One of the strongest tanks in terms of dps, especially in AoE
- Nice mobility
- Multiple control options efficient against a group of enemies
- Not that great about magic damage
- No opportunity to survive huge burst damage of any type
Basic information on the spec:
This spec uses two main resources – Pain (an analog to Havoc’s or Warriors’ Fury) and Soul Fragments that are used to restore Health. This tank’s main concept is a balance of incoming damage reduction and health restoring.
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AoE (Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Aggro (Aggravation) is used in the game to express the enemy’s wish to hit someone. The higher the aggro, the higher the chance to become the victim of your enemy’s attacks.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Mitigation (often used as Active Mitigation) stands for decreasing or softening the incoming damage. It demands certain abilities of short action but with short restoring time, as well. The developers started using this ability model in the Mists of Pandaria that’s why the term has become quite used by any class with a tank specialization.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your azerite armor.
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Throw Glaive is your only range ability. You can use it from 30 meters away. A throw in a target would inflict minor physical damage, and the Glaive can also ricochet and do the same amount of damage to two more targets. Generates high danger.
Immolation Aura does instant AoE Fire damage to all the targets in the 8-meter area and creates further Fire damage, smaller than the first one, once a sec for 6 secs. Generates 20 Pain over that time. Does massive damage which allows you to keep your aggro on a nice level on AoE and to heal nicely from Fire damaging (the trait Charred Warblades). CD 15 secs.
Infernal Strike. Select an area within a 40-meter radius from you and jump there doing Fire damage to all the targets you hit. 2 charges, restoring time – 20 secs for each.
Sigil of Flame. 2 secs after casting, it does Fire damage to all enemies in a selected area leaving a Fire DoT on them for 6 more secs.
Soul Cleave does physical damage to all the targets in front of you and restores a Restores a lot of hp for 30 Pain
Demon Spikes, over 6 secs, raises the chance of Parry by 15% and increases armor (the amount of armor depends on the amount of agility and mastery). Has 2 charges, each charge restores in 20 secs. (Decreases from Haste amount) Consumes 20 Pain. This ability is exactly our Active Mitigation.
Metamorphosis increases the current HP max by 30% and increases the armor by 100%. Restores 7 Pain once a second. CD 3 mins.
Fiery Brand does instant Fire damage and debuffs the target which reduces the damage your enemy does to you by 40% for the next 10 secs. CD 1 min.
Mastery: Fel Blood – improves Demon Spikes damage reduction by 6% + Mastery raiting and also increases your Attack Power by 8% + Mastery raiting.
Demonic Wards basically creates an aura that decreases all the incoming damage by 10%, increases your stamina by 65%, and your armor – by 80%.
Shattered Souls. On killing an enemy, you see a piece of their soul fall out of them. By picking up that piece, you restore much of your HP. If it’s a soul of a Demon you killed, the damage you do goes 15% up for the next 20 secs. Soul Fragments you get due to your abilities do not give out a bonus for your damaging ability if you hit a Demon.
Chaos Brand – Your damage brands the target, increasing magic damage taken by 5%. Lasts whole combat, cannot stack with other DH
Disrupt – Disrupts the enemy’s spellcasting and locks them from that school of magic for 3 sec. On a successful interrupt, generates 30 Pain
Sigil of Silence. Select an area in which all the enemies hit get stunned for 6 secs, 2 secs after the spell is cast. CD 1 min.
Sigil of Misery. Select an area in which all the enemies hit get disoriented for 30 secs, 2 secs after the spell is cast. Damage done to these targets may cancel the effect.
Torment provokes your enemy to attack you for 3 secs. If no other player creates danger bigger than yours on this target after the effect is over, you stay on the top of the aggro-list, and the enemy continues attacking you. 30-m radius, CD 8 secs.
Glide and Double Jump allows you to slow down your falling as well as constantly select the flying direction. The ability is activated as simply as by pressing the ‘jump’ key while the character is in the air. Double Jump is one of this class’s main peculiarities. It is activated by a second press of the ‘Space’ key. The second press can be slightly postponed, but not for too long – or Glide just kicks in.
Imprison is your control, of the kind. It paralyzes for 1 min. CD 15 secs, any damage done to the target alleviates the effect. Under this control, no more than one target can be held.
Spectral Sight is a wallhack. It enables you to see your enemies (even those in Stealth) and treasures through physical barriers for 10 secs. Your running speed slows down for the time of Spectral Sight.
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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 99.
- Abyssal Strike increases the action zone of the Inferno Leap by 10m, and decreases the restoring time by 8 secs. At the moment, this is the best option in terms of both dps and survival.
- Agonizing Flames. When Immolation Aura is active, your running speed is 30% higher, and the Aura does 20% more damage. It makes an okay choice if you need extra mobility.
- Razor Spikes. Your physical attacks do 15% more damage and your enemies’ running speed goes 20% down with active Demon Spikes. The effect lasts 6 secs. The worst choice in this tie
Tier 2. Lvl 100.
- Feast of Souls provides you for 6 secs with a minor additional heal after your Soul Cleave. The weakest talent on the Tier.
- Fallout. The instant damage from your Immolation Aura may shake a small Soul Fragment out of the targets you’ve hit. The best talent as of both dps and survival on any target count.
- Burning Alive. Gets your Fiery Brand, while active, to do Fire Damage once every 2 secs and spread on to the nearest enemy. The talent could do great if you need extra decrease in the incoming damage on several targets.
Tier 3. Lvl 102.
- Flame Crush. On landing, Infernal Strike activates Sigil of Flame. The best talent on the Tier on any target count in terms of both dps and survival.
- Charred Flesh. Fiery Brand increases Fire damage your abilities deal to the target by 20%. A good dps talent for a single target but it is worse than Flame Crash, and not used on AOE.
- Felblade is an additional Pain generator. Does Fire damage. Your attacks have a chance to instantly finish the restoring of this ability. This does not really go along with the Demon Hunter gameplay as every GCD should be spent on generating Pain and Soul Fragments, or on healing with the help of Fragments or Fire damage.
Tier 4. Lvl 104.
- Soul Rending. With active Metamorphosis, the self-healing is 25% higher. Also increases self healing passively by 5%. This talent is great for dungeons since it helps you get a burst heal thanks to Metamorphosis. But the overall heal is less than that of Fracture.
- Feed the Demon – consuming Soul Fragments decreases the restoring time of Demon Spikes by 0.5 sec. This talent hasn’t proven any good in any situation.
- Fracture. Replaces Shear Deals damage and shatters 2 Lesser Soul fragments. Has 2 charges and 4.5 sec cooldown (haste amount reduces cooldown) The best choice in tier for Soul fragments.
Tier 5. Lvl 106.
- Concentrated Sigils – all Sigils use your location, and their effect is 2 seconds longer. This talent is only to be used if you’re interested in Sigil of Flame.
- Quickened Sigils – all Sigils are activated 1 sec faster, and their restoring time is 20% shorter. Nice pick for Mythic+ when you need may enemies controlled.
- Sigil of Chains – 2 seconds after casting, all the enemies hit by it get pulled together in the center. This is basically a mass-grip.
Tier 6. Lvl 108.
- Gluttony. Consuming a Soul fragment has a chance to activate Metamorphosis for 5 sec. It is a random trait that is not very useful.
- Spirit Bomb consumes all the Soul Fragments within the 25-m range applying Frailty to all the enemies near you for 20 secs. It also does Fire damage to them, depending on the amount of spent Soul Fragments. You restore your Health as in 10% of all the incoming damage from Frailty affected enemies. This is the best talent in terms of both survival and dps. However, with the target count below 3, Soul Cleave gives better burst heal.
- Fel Devastation is a supported spell that does some nice damage on the cone, and heals you, too. Pick it if you need dps once a min and a burst heal. In any other case, Spirit Bomb would be a better choice.
Tier 7. Lvl 110.
- Last Resort is a Cheat Death. A fatal attack would not kill you but will restore 30% of your max HP, and Metamorphosis kicks in for free. After that, a debuff informing you that over the next 8 min the Last Resort is not working, is cast. Death cancels this effect. If Last Resort kicks in during active Metamorphosis, its effect is simply prolonged. This is a universal talent perfect for trying out new raids. Helps you save your Resurrection or con some mechanics. This is also a great choice for whenever you are unacquainted with the encounter and simply have no clue what might kill you.
- Void Reaver. Enemies struck by Soul Cleave, deal 6% less damage to you for 12 sec. It is a good m+ talent if you are sure in your healers and yourself.
- Soul Barrier allows you to wear damage-consuming shield for 12 secs. Demands 10 Pain. It also gobbles all Soul Fragments within the 25-m range. With each Soul Fragment, the shield gets stronger. It is amazing in cases where you get a lot of magic damage as the talent’s CD is only 30 secs.
* In this Tier, the choice is completely up to you. Just go from whatever your encounter demands.
So we have next build:
- Abyssal Strike
- Flame Crush
- Concentrated Sigils
- Spirit Bomb
- Last Resort
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In BFA typical sets were removed and Azerite armor took their place. Now every chest/helmet/shoulders have a few rings for traits.
- Infernal Armor. Immolation Aura increases your armor and causes melee attackers to take fire damage. DH has a problem with tanking face to face so any additional armor is good. Besides the attackers receive additional damage with this trait. Preferably to have it 2-3 of it .
- Rigid Carapace. Demon Spikes increases your armor every 1 sec for 10 sec. The same mechanic as Infernal Armor, but the more armor the easier to tank packs and less time to spend to kite them. So this trait grants us more damage, less need to move and other bonus from a pack being in one spot.
- Revel in Pain. Fiery Brand now lasts 10 sec. When Fiery Brand expires on your primary target you gain a shield that absorbs damage for 15 sec based on your damage dealt while Fiery Brand was active. A very good trait on a single target that can grant a shield almost every minute.
- Hour of Reaping. Lesser soul fragments restore additional health, and every 40 Spul fragments you consume cause your next Soul Cleave to grant you a Soul Barrier. Just a good talent that increases self heal and sometimes grants you a shield. It is recommend to have a few of it in mythic+.
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These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.
Let’s view 2 key points: using your abilities for dps and using defensive cooldowns.
Remember one rule that will make you survive a lot: Start the fight with already activated Demon Spikes. Metamorphosis is better not used off a pool. It’s a quite powerful CD which is better saved for the worst of times. If you can rely only on yourself then start the fight with Demon Spikes half a second before pull.
Now let’s see priorities for dps:
- Soul Carver per CD, so that the souls do not overcap.
- Fracture, if you need Pain and Soul fragments.
- If you’ve got Spirit Bomb, use it on 4-5 Fragments
- Sigil of Flame per CD.
- If you’ve got Flame Crush, use Infernal Strike to support the dot’s max uptime off the Sigil of Flame.
- Soul Cleave, if you need more heal than Spirit Bomb gives you.
As for dps, it would be great if you could sync up Soul Carver with Fiery Brand but keep in mind that the Brand is first of all a defensive CD for you, so using it for dps is quite the risk.
Infernal Strike is great for dps, like it was said before, particularly if you have Flame Crush. But never forget that you may need to change your location sharply at any moment. That’s why for this ability it is recommended to keep one charge to spare, just in case. If you are absolutely sure that you’re not going to need to relocate, then use 2 charges to maximize dps.
Active mitigation and defensive abilities:
Vengeance Demon Hunter possesses 3 active mitigation abilities:
- Demon Spikes smoothen the incoming damage physical damage. It is used rather often, even against just enemy’s powerful auto-attacks. One charge better be kept, just in case.
- Soul Cleave allows you to restore the lost health. It is utilized if you need to restore middle or high amounts of HP..
- Fiery Brand decreases all the damage your target does to you by 40%. Use it on a powerful target you expect to do massive damage. It’s better used in advance than on the go, but stuff happens.
Demon Hunter has one powerful defensive CD:
- Metamorphosis increases your max HP, your armor, allows you to increase Pain generation and create Soul Fragments per each GCD. This is a very multi-functional CD providing you with HP to survive anything, with armor protecting you from physical damage and a chance to heal significantly and quickly. Use for your encounter’s most important moments. If you’re having second thoughts on whether you’re going to survive something or not, just push it. Better safe than sorry.
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Before you start fitting your equipment, remember one more rule that is somewhat like that of the relics: the garment ilvl! Never put on anything 15 ilvl lower even if it has better stats. This also means that agility is your best stat. That’s why it won’t be mentioned in the priority rankings below. It is on the first position by default.
Now let’s check out some schemes.
Surviving in raids:
Haste (below 20%) >= Mastery > Versatility > Haste (above 20%) > Crit
Surviving in 5ppl:
Mastery > Versatility > Haste > Crit
Crit >= Versatility > Mastery >= Haste
For tanks, you can use Simcraft in terms of dps. That is why using raidbots and Pawn is beneficial for optimizing your character.
Haste reduses your auto attacks interval, GCD, and CD of you Demon Spikes, Immolation Aura, Throw Glavie and Fracture. What 20% of Haste gives to you:
Mastery increases Attack Power and Demon Spikes efficiency. Attack power bonus also influences on your surviveability, because of trait Charred Warblades.
Versatility is a simple stat that gives you pure DPS increase and reduces incoming damage.
Crit mainly is a DPS stat. Yes, Crit increases Parry raiting but it diminishes with it amount. Also your critical strikes of fire spells gives you more heal, but it’s not worth.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
Greater Flask of the Currents 360 agility for 1 h
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Consume Magic with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
/cast [mod:shift,@focus] Consume Magic
A Paladin BoP cancelling macros could come in handy:
/cancelaura Blessing of Protection
Throw Glaive to the cursor position could prove useful:
/cast [target=mouseover] Throw Glaive
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- Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
- Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
- Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.
- Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.