Vengeance Demon Hunter Guide (Pre-Release)
“Demon hunters, disciples of Illidan Stormrage, uphold a dark legacy, one that frightens their allies and enemies alike. The Illidari embrace fel and chaotic magics—energies that have long threatened the world of Azeroth—believing them necessary to challenge the Burning Legion. Wielding the powers of demons they’ve slain, they develop demonic features that incite revulsion and dread in fellow elves”
The Demon Hunter is the new Hero class added to World of Warcraft in the upcoming Legion expansion. This guide will focus on my experiences on the Beta with the the tanking spec for the class – Vengeance. Blizzard describes them as follows:
Forgoing heavy armor, Demon Hunters capitalize on speed, closing the distance quickly to sever enemies with one-handed weapons. However, Illidari must also use their agility defensively to ensure that battles end favorably.
- TYPE: Melee Damage Dealer, Tank
- STANDARD BARS: Health, Fury
- AVAILABLE ARMOR: Cloth, Leather
- AVAILABLE WEAPONS: Warglaives, Daggers, Fist Weapons, One-Handed Axes, One-Handed Maces, One-Handed Swords
The Vengeance Demon Hunter has a variety of playstyles as a tank that gives players a lot of choice in their gaming. They combine the healing of a Blood Death Knight with the mobility of a Protection Warrior or old Brewmaster, with a large number of different synergies and utility. My time spent on the Beta with the spec has been extremely enjoyable, and I have found that while many of the mechanics are familiar, the class has been put together in a very strong – and fun – manner. Please remember that as this guide is based on Beta builds, the Live version may be significantly different. We will update this – and all – class guides once the live release of Legion has come. Enjoy!
II. General Mechanics:
There are two major resources that Vengeance tanks need to be aware of:
Pain: is the main resource for Vengeance Demon Hunters. It functions exactly like a Warrior’s Rage bar, with certain abilities increasing (to a maximum of 100) while other powerful abilities require Pain to be spent;
Shattered Souls: are very close in nature to a Brewmaster Monk’s Healing Orbs. They are generated through different abilities and serve to heal the Demon Hunter. Depending on your choice of talents, these souls may also be used as offensive weapons or crowd control;
There is no “official” stat priority yet for Vengeance Demon Hunters, but in my playing experience so far, this is what I have found:
- Agility – Obviously the prime stat, you will find this on almost every piece of gear you find
- Mastery: Fel Blood – Demon Spikes reduces Physical damage taken by an additional 8.00%, and increases attack power by 8%. Demon Spikes (more on that below) is a very powerful and important active mitigation ability, and with the increase in attack power added in for both damage and healing scaling, I believe Mastery is going to be one of the top stats for a Vengeance tank;
- Haste – reduces the cooldowns on some abilities, including the aforementioned Demon Spikes.
- Versatility – because the Vengeance DH’s heals scale with attack power, this will be a good stat to focus on.
- Crit – increases Parry, which is the main source of passive mitigation for the spec.
- Leech – increases healing through damage, so like Versatility, this works well for DHs.
The Demon Hunter has two very amazing abilities, outside of combat abilities, to help improve and increase movement:
- Double-Jump: Allows the DH to perform a second jump in the air, allowing them access to points in the game world that other players do not have, as well as assisting on avoiding mechanics that require players to jump over to avoid;
- Glide: A third hit of the assigned Jump key extends demonic wings, allowing the DH to glide safely, including reducing falling speed;
D: Defensive Specialization:
As a leather-wearing tank, the DH is generally a fairly fragile tank without the use of abilities. To assist with this, Demonic Wards provides an armor increase of 120%, a Stamina increase of 45% and reduces all magic damage by 10% as a baseline.
III. Spellbook and Abilities:
A. Resource Generation:
- Shear: is the spammable baseline ability. It deals 375% weapon damage, generates 7 Pain and has a small chance to generate a Soul Fragment;
- Immolation Aura: on a 15 second CD, this engulfs the DH in flame, dealing both instant damage and dmg/sec over 6 seconds to all enemies within 8 yds. It also generates 20 Pain over the 6 sec duration.
B. Defensive Abilities:
- Soul Cleave: consumes all soul fragments to deal a high amount of damage to all enemies in front of the DH, as well as healing for 1275% of Attack Power;
- Demon Spikes: grows spikes out of the DH’s body, increasing Parry by 20% and reducing all physical damage by 8% for 6 sec, on a 15 sec CD. Affected by Mastery;
- Metamorphosis: transforms the DH into a demon, increasing both current and max health by 30% for 15sec, along with generating 7 Pain/second. 3 min CD;
- Empower Wards: reduces all magic damage taken by 30% for 6 seconds, on a 20 second CD;
- Fiery Brand: places a brand on a single enemy, dealing Fire damage and reducing ALL damage they do to the DH by 40% for 8 seconds, on a 1 min CD;
- Darkness: creates a cloak of darkness in an 8yd radius, granting all affected friendly targets a 15% chance to avoid all damage from attacks. Lasts 8 seconds on a 3 min CD;
C. Threat Generation:
- Torment: basic taunt;
- Infernal Strike: much like Warrior’s Heroic Leap, creates a target reticle that allows the DH to leap and land, causing damage to all within 6 yards;
- Throw Glaive: throws the DHs glaives up to 30 yards, dealing damage and high threat to up to 3 enemies;
- Sigil of Chains: places a sigil on the ground within 30 yards that, after 2 seconds, will pull all enemies within it to the center and reduce their movement speed by 70% for 6 seconds;
- Sigil of Flame: places a sigil on the ground within 30 yards that, after 2 seconds, explodes for instant fire damage and a fire DoT for 6 seconds to all enemies within it;
- Sigil of Misery: places a sigil on the ground within 30 yards that, after 2 seconds, fears all enemies within and disorients them for 30 seconds;
- Sigil of Silence: places a sigil on the ground within 30 yards that, after 2 seconds, silences all enemies within for 6 seconds;
- Consume Magic: interrupts spellcasting and locks the caster for 3 seconds, also generating 50 Pain on success;
- Imprison: Imprisons a Demon for 60 seconds;
- Spectral Sight: Allows the DH to see enemies and treasure through physical barriers, as well as enemies who are in stealth or invisible;
A. Level 99 Talents:
- Abyssal Strike: Increases Infernal Strike’s range by 10 yards and reduces its CD by 5 seconds;
- Agonizing Flames: Increases Immolation Aura’s damage by 50% and increases movement by 30% while active;
- Razor Spikes: Increases physical damage by 20% while Demon Spikes are active, and allows melee strikes to snare targets for 50% 6 seconds;
Three strong choices for the beginning talent level. All three create an overall damage output increase while also having a movement effect. Abyssal Strike allows for very high mobility for adds that are spread around, while Agonizing Flames gives a strong AoE component along with a good movement boost. Razor Spikes has the potential to be the highest DPS increase, and will be effective for adds that like to move.
B. Level 100 Talents:
- Feast of Souls: Increases the amount of healing done from Soul Cleave;
- Fallout: gives Immolation Aura’s burst damage a chance to generate Soul Fragments;
- Burning Alive: Increases the damage of Fiery Brand and allows it to jump to a new enemy every 2 seconds;
The Level 100 options deal with the defensive aspects of the Vengeance DH with three different routes to take. Feast of Souls is a passive healing increase, so long as the player can watch for overhealing. Fallout has a lot of synergy with other Soul Fragment talents, but requires a particular style to be effective. Burning Alive is a great defensive increase in fights with two to four major mobs/bosses.
C. Level 102 Talents:
- Felblade: Active ability that charges to target’s location dealing fire damage. 15 second CD, Shear has a chance of resetting the CD;
- Flame Crash: Allows Infernal Strike to create a Sigil of Flame at the landing point;
- Gluttony: Consuming a Soul Fragment grants a 10% increase to the next Soul Cleave, stacking up to 5 times;
All damage increasing abilities, the choice at Level 102 is again dependent on play style. Felblade gives the DH a Warrior Charge + damage, which is handy for instances of spread out enemies. Flame Crash creates even more damage and control while using Infernal Strike, while Gluttony will allow for very large strikes with Soul Cleave – which also means extremely large heals.
D. Level 104 Talents:
- Feed the Demon: Consuming a soul fragment reduces Demon Spikes CD by 1 second;
- Fracture: Active ability that slams your target, dealing damage and generating two Soul Fragments;
- Soul Rending: Gain 50% Leech during Metamorphosis;
This tier focuses on the healing and defensive capabilities of the Demon Hunter. Feed the Demon is an excellent talent for players capable of tracking and controlling their Soul Fragments, while Fracture helps in the generation of Soul Fragments. Soul Rending is a passive increase to self healing during Metamorphosis.
E. Level 106 Talents:
- Concentrated Sigils: All Sigils now apply directly at the players location, and their effects last 2 seconds longer;
- Fel Eruption: Active ability that impales your target, dealing damage and stunning them for 2 seconds. Deals higher damage to targets immune to stuns;
- Quickened Sigils: Reduces the cooldowns of all Sigils by 20% and activates their effects 1 second faster;
The 106 Tier revolves around utility. Concentrated Sigils turns the DHs Sigils into something similar to a Paladin’s Aura while removing their ranged capability, while Quickened Sigils allows the use of Sigils more often. Fel Eruption offers an active ability for both dealing damage and crowd control at a 35 yard range.
F. Level 108 Talents:
- Fel Devastation: Active ability that causes fire damage to all enemies in front of you, while also healing you based on the damage done;
- Blade Turning: Parries increase the Pain generation of the next Shear by 50%;
- Spirit Bomb: Launches a Soul Fragment at a target, dealing damage and causing Frailty for 15 seconds. Attacks on targets affected with Frailty heal you for 5% of the damage done;
This tier allows the Demon Hunter to choose talents that will assist in the defensive mechanics of the spec. Fel Devastation is a frontal AoE that does both damage and creates a new source of self-healing, while Spirit Bomb allows the Demon Hunter to use Soul Fragments in a new way. Blade Turning is a passive effect that will assist those players having difficulty with Pain generation.
G. Level 110 Talents:
- Last Resort: Once every 3 minutes, sustaining fatal damage instead transforms you into Metamorphosis form and restores 30% health;
- Nether Bond: Binds you to a friendly player for 15 seconds. Every second, the health of both players is redistributed so you are both at equal percentages of max health;
- Soul Barrier: Creates an absorption shield around you for 8 seconds that increases in absorption based on attack power and the number of Soul Fragments it consumes;
The final tier of talents all involve defensive capability assistance. Last Resort functions as a ‘Cheat Death’ effect, while Nether Bond allows a group to manage damage spikes through health redistribution like a Spirit Link totem. Soul Barrier grants another an active shielding mechanic that protects against both physical and magic damage.
H. Talent Choice Discussion:
The Legion expansion brings a new level of choice to talent trees that allow players to adjust their playing style as they want, and the Vengeance Demon Hunter is no exception. While there has been no consistent testing of talent choices, I want to provide a few different ideas on builds to illustrate the amount of choice and its effect on play style. Here are three options out of many:
Demon Warrior Build:
Razor Spikes/Burning Alive/Felblade/Feed the Demon/Concentrated Sigils/Blade Turning/Last Resort
This build focuses on close contact with all targets and utilizing the improvements to Demon Spikes as a strong defensive mitigation. This would be closest to a Warrior build, with charges and active defensive cooldowns, along with an increase to resource generation.
Soul Fragment Build:
Agonizing Flames/Fallout/Flame Crash/Fracture/Concentrated Sigils/Spirit Bomb/Soul Barrier
The focus here is on using and generating Soul Fragments to augment both offensive and defensive abilities. Agonizing Flames and Concentrated Sigils would provide damaging AoE effects, while the other abilities allow the player to utilize Soul Fragments to both heal and provide offense.
Mobile Monster Build:
Abyssal Strike/Burning Alive/Flame Crash/Soul Rending/Quickened Sigils/Fel Devastation/Nether Bond
The high movement ability of Infernal Strike is the key to this build, allowing the player to jump more and inflict higher AoE damage on each jump. This would be effective for an offtank role, or in a dungeon/raid where there are many enemies all spread out.
V. ARTIFACT WEAPON
The Vengeance Demon Hunter’s artifact weapon is the pair of Aldrachi Warblades.
Artifact Talent Tree:
Every new artifact weapon in Legion comes with it’s own specific talent tree that offers both a new active ability and a number of choices to enhance and increase other class specific abilities. Every class starts with the new active ability, and then the choice on how to proceed down the paths is entirely up to the player.
The Vengeance Demon Hunter artifact tree has 4 major talent choices, 13 minor and one final ‘epic’ choice that can be filled once the rest of the path is completed.
A. Soul Carver: A direct attack that deals both instant damage as well as a DoT over 3 seconds. Soul fragments are generated each time damage is inflicted from the ability;
B. Painbringer: Each Soul Fragment consumed reduces all damage taken by 3% for 4 seconds;
C. Fueled by Pain: Each Soul Fragment consumed gives a chance to activate Metamorphosis for 5 seconds;
D. Charred Warblades: Heals 15% of all Fire damage dealt
- Tormented Souls: Increases Soul Cleave damage by 10%
- Shatter the Souls: Increases the chance that Shear generates a Soul Fragment by 5% when player is below 50% health;
- Siphon Power: Empower Wards increases your Agility by up to 20% for 10 sec, based on magic damage you take while it is active;
- Fiery Demise: Fiery Brand also increases Fire damage you deal to the target by 10%;
- Aldrachi Design: Increases Parry chance by 1%;
- Demonic Flames: Increase the duration of Fiery Brand by 2 seconds;
- Aura of Pain: Increases Immolation Aura damage by 3%;
- Honed Warblades: Increases Shear damage by 3%;
- Will of the Illidari: Increases maximum health by 1%;
- Devour Souls: Soul Cleave heals for 3% more;
- Embrace the Pain: Increases maximum health gained when using Metamorphosis by 5%;
- Defensive Spikes: Increases your chance to parry by an additional 10% for the first 3 sec after activating Demon Spikes;
- Infernal Force: Increases Infernal Strike damage by 5%;
Soulgorger: Increases total health by 5%