Havoc reliance on borrowed power

Why is it that havoc cannot be tuned correctly?

Havoc has historically had to rely on borrowed power to do damage. Whether its a busted trinket back in legion, weapons or corruption in BFA, and in shadowlands we’ve had to rely solely on covenant abilities.

Instead of tuning havoc to a respectable degree, we are consistently just left to rely on systems put in place to deal any form of damage or stay above water.

Havoc needs a serious look at talents.
Fel barrage on the last row is honestly just laughable.
COH forces us to not press one of the few abilities we have being blade dance. And it is RNG.
Meta is a laughable CD on a 4 minute cooldown for a DPS? this is just ridiculous.
Felblade is rng resets
Demon blades is rng fury generation.
Essence break is subject to scaling and playing momentum, otherwise it’s moot.
Glaive tempest: instead of tuning this properly uncapped you leftnit at five targets, why?

Havoc needs attention.
What should be our biggest aoe ability is sqrt scaled, meaning it’s basically a single target damage dealer that frankly tickles even there.

4pc tier for havoc is laughable too. 30 seconds off that lackluster 4 minute CD is not acceptable, and neither is the 6 extra seconds in that CD. THIS IS A SORRY EXCUSE FOR A TIER BONUS. Doesn’t even equate to an extra meta in raid, how did this go live?

2pc is as boring as it gets just being a flat damage increase but at least it does something unlike our 4pc.


Baseline havoc is so terrible before borrowed power. I dread the beginning of every expansion.


You say things that Blizzard knows about.

Let me add to the fire here.
Darkglare Boon - RNG
Chaos Digits - RNG
Demon Blades - RNG
Cycle of Hatred - RNG
Chaos Strike Refund - RNG

See the pattern?

Collective Anguish - NOT RNG
Burning Wound - NOT RNG
Blazing Slaughter - Crap but NOT RNG

Our whole class relies on heavy RNG mechanics on top of each other, and its just not good gameplay, they need to reduce the amount of RNG our class has. Its very quite annoying you can absolutely PUMP on some bosses with enough DGB procs and resets and then there are times that you can’t even keep your sinful up because of lack of RNG Procs. Thats bad gameplay.


Blizzards response: We’re happy to announce that roll the bones is now moving from outlaw to havoc!


They’ll never get rid of all RNG factors that generate reaction requirements.

I would say that despite all those RNG factors listed, Havoc still has a very simple play that can nearly be scripted out.

Which I think is by design, we’re a basic resource gain/spend melee DPS trope with the most complex thought process being, “Cast Sinful Brand before Eye Beam.”

Havoc does need attention. It’s called nerfs.

I was very concerned testing Venthir on PTR b4 the patch dropped. I didnt think there was any way they could leave covenants so imbalanced given how they were nerfing things like priest necrolord over a difference thousands of dps lower. I came here and a well spoken person said that it wont be that bad and that variety of play will be low, but there will be competitive options.9

Two months into the patch and 2 months of logs show the closest non-venthir havoc 4000 dps behind vnthir…4000. That is bad,objectively. Compund that with the limited legendary and talent choices available to be competitive, and that is more bad bad.

Lets look at it another way… if a person decides to raid as non-venthir havoc, they are choosing to play quite possibly the worst performing dps spec in the game. Bloodmallet shows an average of ~13.5k for the top 3 non-venthir soulbinds in patchwerk sims, which matches up with sub-12k being the highest logged non-venthir havoc on heroic jailer.

2 months of data is impossible to apologist away…the spec performance is there and its now bad bad bad. Tack that on to the relatively dream-like covenant competitiveness and variety of play that was lost moving from last patch to this and at some point objectively bad becomes just objectively terrible,


Havoc’s reliance on borrowed power has everything to do with how poorly structured its kit is. There are two core issues, realistically.

  1. Lack of a defined burst cooldown. Meta and Demonic coexisting means that neither can be strong, which in turn causes Havoc to have a very flat damage profile. The only way we have gained this burst is through external power sources (see: The Hunt, Blood of the Enemy, Condensed Life Force, Inkpod) but not every tier provides this power. Either removing Demonic or adding another 2 minute cooldown would fix this and allow a much more precise tuning on the spec.

  2. Lack of secondary scaling. When you sim your character at the start of an expansion and Versatility and Haste are your best stats - with both being approximately equal - what that means is that the only way your spec gains more damage is by doing it faster and hitting harder. There is nothing in your kit that improves the QoL of your spec or causes it to feel better with more stats. This is also easily fixed. Rank 2 of Chaos Strike being changed to add Crit to your refund chance (so that it is 20% + Crit) is a solid step forward. Adding Chaos Bolt Crit Scaling to Eye Beam is another.

Bonus points: what is our AoE spender? It’s a trick question, so think carefully.


We used to have another 2 minute as a talent option. Chaos Blades. It was great and weirdly scaled with mastery. It was our huge burst window. They removed it after legion.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been fiending for this ability to be back in our spellbook as a base button, I just didn’t want to say the words again because I’m pretty sure people are tired of hearing them from me lmao

Sinful Brand is regularly my highest damage ability, and it’s not even close. Sometimes it approaches 30% of my overall damage.

This is bad. Real bad. If Blizz even breathes on this ability Havoc gets reduced to ashes.

This isn’t just a havoc thing sadly. Between covenant legendries and half baked class design and talent trees there are a huge number of specs that simply do not feel good to play prior to getting neck deep in borrowed power. Some specs are leaning on there set bonuses and how they are synergizing with particular set ups like Demonology Warlocks and Survival Hunters.
There are a number of set bonuses, legendries and talents that create that feed off one another. For example Havoc DH’s set bonus really only feeds off Venthyr in the vaguest sense. Then Venthyr feeds off Eye Beams/ Fel Dev which pushes you in to making the choice between Darkglare, and Collective Anguish.

When the systems were being tested Blizzard gutted alot of the power from covenants and rightly so because of how much they snowballed as gear levels went up and additional interacting systems like double lego and tier sets.

I think this expansion exemplifies why it is a bad idea to focuses on systems on systems like a layer cake. Blizzard is throwing random flavors based on what they think or what they hear and they get this really messed up cake that is bitter and unpleasant unless you mush it all together in a specific way.
I really hope when they look at Havocs new talent tree they also take a look at the creation of DH and make changes. Vengeance and Havoc DH got the short end of the stick going out of Legion. I consider it happenstance that Havoc was so strong going in to BFA rather then carful balancing.

This just isn’t true. Every single class in the game, minus dh, has a core toolkit that synergies with its talent setup in some way. Dh is barebones, nothing to it, it’s a shell of a spec built around legions weapon system.

Yeah for damage, not because there toolkit sucks. I am not talking damage, I’m talking how the class feels and plays. You’re making this entire thing about “muh damage”, it has nothing to do with damage, it has everything to do with how havoc feels to play, and how it’s proped up by borrowed power, rather than being internally built to stand on its own.

Your entire initial statement is about the reliance on Borrowed power to keep up with other classes. That is far from mutually exclusive to Havoc.

I am not here making the case that Havoc dose not need changes or revamps. What I am saying is a large number of specs had there core gameplay gutted after the removal of artifacts. Havoc and Vengeance got things worse because the class was built around the artifact. Havoc landed in BFA with shallow and simplistic gameplay. It was also numerically tuned as one of not the strongest Melee DPS after UH DK got its Mastery nurfed.

If your trying to talk about the gameplay from a “feel” perspective then why are you bringing up damage? I think it is a given that everyone wants there class to be viable.

I was literally agreeing with you about DH needed attention for Dragonflight and you disagreed with me about agreeing with you. :man_shrugging:

This might be an unpopular opinion and possibly a molten take, but Havoc’s design independent of the artifact was perfect to me. The only thing the artifact added was number tuning and damage procs. Fury of the Illidari was cool, sure, but it wasn’t a mandatory ability.

The redesign we got to start BfA is where all the problems started given they removed every single burst tool we had in a world where not having burst may as well mean you’re a horrid class.

Yes, but I gravitate that statement to the poor design of havoc currently. See here.

What you speak on within your statements specifically states how certain specs don’t “do damage” without their tier. Tier is one thing, but having your class built around a system that was taken away, and then stripped of everything going forward into the next expansion is what I’ve been speaking to.

Instead of fixing havocs obvious gaps and flaws, talent rows making no sense, countering each other, forcing us not to press buttons, we’ve had to rely on these systems to even be relevant. (See castle nathria, where we were so bad that vengeance was proffered because raids only wanted the buff)

I was rather skeptical reading this, because I know I do less damage on NF in raid, but I also know that a lot of players make it work and play what they enjoy more.

Then I looked at the logs of the last 2 weeks to compare how popular the covenants are for raiding with Havoc. The numbers posted are what they are the moment of writing:

A quick glance on M+ shows that Venthyr is also favored. There’s only a real difference going from 99th percentil to all though, so it’s just the top players that blast higher. I assume this is because you’ll need proper planning for Metamorphosis to really work out well:

  • Venthyr: 40.83%
  • Night Fae: 28.11%
  • Kyrian: 14.16%
  • Necrolord: 1.97%
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Well heres to hoping the new talent system brings back some pruned stuff

The synergy gained with Collective Anguish or Darkglare with Agony Gaze is overwhelmingly good. You will not come anywhere close with Blazing Slaughter because an extra Unbound Chaos and a small agility gain does not come close to outweighing that damage gain. Combine that with how barebones Havoc’s kit is to begin with - what with us having no burst cooldown and Metamorphosis being tuned around >50% uptime - and something like this is not unusual.

Havoc suffers more from the loss of borrowed power than any other spec in the game. A quick look at 99th percentile Shad’har the Insatiable back in Ny’alotha both post-nerf II and pre-patch reveals a colossal drop. And consider that the drop was only with the loss of corruption amps. Subtract the Azerite and the Essences too and you have 9.0 Havoc where the spec was universally considered dead.