Demon Hunter class changes in WoW Shadowlands
Shadowlands is the first expansion where Demon Hunters are going to see major changes. Demon Hunters were in a strong spot coming out of Legion and only needed minor tweaks as they headed into Battle for Azeroth. But how do they fit into the new class-design philosophy coming for Shadowlands, and what changes are coming for them in Shadowlands?
Starting off, there isn’t a lot of overlap between the two specs. Being able to double-jump, consuming bits of enemy souls, and turning into a big bad demon with Metamorphosis are pretty much all that Havoc and Vengeance have in common right now. They were built from the ground up to be separate from each other, especially with how focused Legion was on the Artifact weapons. In Shadowlands they’re being taught to share their toys a little bit — starting off with their main resource. Now both specs will use Fury to power their stronger attacks. This is pretty understandable. After all, Vengeance has had two expansions of having Pain as a resource — I’d be a little furious too.
Immolation Aura is also going baseline for both specs. Currently, it’s a talent for a Havoc Demon Hunters. But it was one of the major cornerstones from Warcraft 3 of the Demon Hunter hero, so it’s nice to see that both specs are going to get it no matter what talents they choose. Keep in mind that all of these are early changes and they’re subject to change at any time, nothing is written in stone. With that said, let’s take a look at the individual specs, shall we?
What’s changing for Havoc Demon Hunters in Shadowlands
- Immolation Aura will be baseline
- Unending Hatred: increases the size of the Fury pool
- New Talents
- Dark Slash changed to Essence Break — Deals Chaos damage and increases the damage caused by Chaos Strike and Blade Dance
Having spent the last two expansions with Fury as their main resource, Havoc Demon Hunters are pretty knowledgeable about how to manage their Fury. They’ll be getting a new passive called Unending Hatred to increase the amount of Fury that they can pool. This should let them use more Chaos Strikes and Blade Dances without having to use Demon’s Bite to generate more. There’s also a buff to the talent Dark Slash. Renamed to Essence Break, it’ll deal chaos damage and make Chaos Strike and Blade Dance deal increased damage to the target.
What’s changing for Vengeance Demon Hunters in Shadowlands
- Fel Devastation baseline
- New Resource: Fury
- New Talents
- Demonic — Activate Metamorphosis after casting Fel Devastation
- Bulk Extraction — Rip soul fragments from up to five nearby enemies, consuming them
- Ruinous Bulwark — Increases the healing of Fel Devastation and converts overhealing into an absorption shield that lasts for a moderate amount of time.
There are big changes coming for Vengeance Demon Hunters. Spirit Bomb has been one of the most picked talents for Vengeance for a long time now, but in Shadowlands there are going to be some updates to Soul Cleave and other talents to try and shake up the usual builds. Vengeance will also be getting Fel Devastation baseline and learning Demonic from their Havoc friends. If you take Demonic, it’ll activate your Metamorphosis after you cast Fel Devastation.
New talents will also include things like Bulk Extraction, which will immediately tear soul fragments from up to five nearby enemies. It definitely sounds handy for a quick burst of healing. There’s also the Ruinous Bulwark talent that will amp up the healing that your Fel Devastation will do. It’ll also turn any overhealing into a shield for you that lasts for a moderate amount of time.
Demon Hunter Covenant abilities in Shadowlands
These are the abilities you get at level 60 when you pledge to one of the four Covenants present in Shadowlands. You’ll only be able to have one power active at once, and swapping which Covenant you’re pledged to sounds like it’s going to be a long and involved process.
Kyrian: Elysian Decree — Carve runes into the ground in front of you, which detonate to deal Arcane damage and shatter Lesser Soul Fragments from enemies.
Venthyr: Sinful Brand — Brand an enemy with the mark of the Venthyr, reducing their melee and casting speeds and inflicting Shadow damage over time. Activating Metamorphosis applies Sinful Brand to all nearby enemies.
Necrolord: Coming Soon™
Night Fae: The Hunt — Charge to an enemy, inflicting Nature damage and rooting them. The target is marked for a period of time, increasing your Fury from Demon’s Bite and Shear against them. You may reactivate The Hunt every 30 seconds to teleport behind the marked target and ignoring line of sight.
As mentioned, things are going to change throughout Shadowlands testing. We’ll be sure to keep this updated as those changes roll out.
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