Player Spotlight: Avade

Hello everyone! Welcome to the ninth week of the RaiderIO Player Spotlight. My name is Samantha aka Vitaminpee and with this series, I am aiming to highlight the amazing players of World of Warcraft regardless of their chosen class, spec, language, and/or region. I hope to bring you valuable information and help you learn more about your favorite top players or discover new ones from around the world that you may not yet know.

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with the North American Havoc Demon Hunter called Avade. Avade is one of the best Havoc Demon Hunters in the world in both Mythic+ and high-end Raiding. You can often find Avade streaming Mythic Battle of Dazar’alor progression in Big Dumb Guild and high Mythic+ on Twitch.

“In Mythic+, the most important thing is to always take responsibility for the things that go wrong in your groups. It’s easy to blame others for their mistakes, but it’s better for you as a player to understand what you could have done differently to ensure a successful outcome.”

VitaminP: Can you please tell us a little more about yourself?

Avade: My name is Dave and I started playing World of Warcraft at the start of Patch 4.3. I got into Raiding on my Resto Druid Zevade in Patch 5.2 and soon became interested in running Challenge Modes. In Warlords of Draenor, I spent a lot of my time selling and competing in top World/US Challenge Mode times as a Brewmaster Monk. In Legion, main swapped from Druid to Demon Hunter and started pushing high Mythic+ keys halfway through Patch 7.2. Since I developed a wide network of players from Mythic+ in Legion, I started pushing Mythic+ in BFA with a bunch of different groups and individuals shortly after I killed Mythic G’huun. Before the release of Patch 8.1, I had managed to achieve #1 World for all classes and specs in Mythic+ and Raiding leaderboards.

VitaminP: What makes Havoc DH such a competitive class choice for both Mythic+ and Raiding?

Avade: What makes Havoc Demon Hunter a competitive class in both Mythic+ and Raiding is its mobility and a passive ability called Chaos Brand: a debuff applied to enemies that increases their magic damage taken by 5%. This is a substantial group-wide damage increase that often gets overlooked despite the fact that it’s incredibly strong. Combining both Chaos Brand and Mystic Touch (the Physical damage version provided by Monks) can essentially accelerate the speed at which enemies die by 5%, which is difficult to visualize without diving into logs.

What makes Havoc unique is its mobility, which enables them to use their utility more efficiently compared to other melee classes. In Mythic+, this allows for them to get around quickly to place a stun, CC, interrupt, or taunt and kite for a tank, all while maintaining high uptime and dealing efficient damage on packs. For Raiding, it allows them to do jobs other classes may not be capable of doing as well as help manage/soak mechanics that are spread far apart. These strengths, coupled with Havoc’s ability to deal high single target and multi-target damage, makes for a very strong specialization overall.

VitaminP: What are your go-to azerite traits and talent builds? What variations might you make for different keys or for raid bosses and why?

Avade: My go-to talent build is:

When you want on demand multi-target burst at the expense of high consistent damage:

When a single target stun isn’t useful or needed in Mythic+:

When there is nothing to stun in a Raid encounter:

When you need an immunity for a specific mechanic:

Soul Rending versus Netherwalk is largely up to the player to decide. A fight like Mekkatorque is a good example to show how both talents can be useful. Soul Rending is excellent for helping to out-heal the constant ticking raid damage and keeps you healthy. Netherwalk allows you to safely and line of sight your Gigavolt Charge earlier and requires less healing while you run out, as well as giving you an answer to a potential mistake, such as standing in Buster Cannon or Heavy Thrusters.

These are my general Azerite traits for both Mythic+ and Raiding:

Your final two traits will largely depend on what content you’re doing as well as whether or not you want more single target or multi-target damage.

For Mythic+, you’ll want to add in 1x . With the introduction of Reaping, Eyes of Rage becomes more valuable as with more mobs, there are more enemies that you have the potential to kill which will drops Soul Fragments. Additionally, with there being such a high number of targets, stunning with Chaos Nova will also generate a significant amount of Soul Fragments. This allows you to cast far more Eye Beams over the course of a dungeon.

Your final trait for Mythic+ will depend on the following:
1x for more single target/priority damage,
1x for more balanced single target/multi-target damage
1x for a very slightly risky increase to all damage.

For Raiding specifically, you’ll want at least 1x since Raiding is generally more focused on single target and priority damage, which Thirsting Blades excels with. Your final slot again can be really whatever you want/end up getting. Raidbots/Simulationcraft is a great tool for figuring out what the best talents and Azerite are for you on single target.

VitaminP: What do you think of the new seasonal affix Reaping versus Infested? Which do you find more difficult and which affects the speed of a key more?

Avade: Reaping is definitely more enjoyable than Infested because it is more consistent across all weeks/affixes and doesn’t punish groups that lack crowd control utility in their composition. Infested was more difficult because, if crowd control was mistakenly broken during a pull, (especially damage over time effects), it would be difficult to recover as most crowd control abilities have long cooldowns in BFA, such as Imprison, Paralysis, or Blind. To make matters worse, letting a mob get Infested by a Spawn of G’huun was very punishing since it caused nearby enemies to start healing from the newly Infested enemy. This was especially difficult for classes without on demand damage, slows, and hard crowd control spells to manage the Spawns of G’huun when Infested mobs died. Luckily, Havoc Demon Hunter was especially strong at managing the various aspects of the Infested affix.

In general, I believe both Infested and Reaping affect the speed of a key about the same, but Reaping may eat up a little less time from what I’ve seen so far. This difference is larger when you look at Infested patterns in specific dungeons on specific affixes, as some weeks the particular Infested mobs in combination with weekly affixes would be very difficult to deal with and consume a lot of time if those mobs happened to be the more powerful enemies that were immune to CC or enemies that were separated from other Infested enemies to prevent efficient ways of killing multiple Infested enemies together.

I find that Reaping can easily trick players into choosing high multi-target burst talents and Azerite traits for dungeons to prepare for Reaping, when Reaping damage is actually fairly inconsequential to your success in a key. What matters most in Mythic+ is increasing the speed of the dungeon as a whole while also making sure that you have the tools to deal with difficult trash or bosses. It’s more important to plan your talents around mechanics and mobs that actually pose a threat to your group.

VitaminP: Recently, we saw that you topped the DPS meters and got rank 1 Havoc DH parse for your Mythic Stormwall Blockade kill… all while accidentally wearing your ilevel 78 Engineering Rocket Boots. What ran through your mind the second you saw this?

Avade: I was slightly annoyed that I forgot to put my regular boots back on after trying to race my friend Vyn to the boss wearing Rocket Boots Xtreme (a race which I won, by the way). To me, the rank I got on that fight means nothing since these are progresion parses and everyone is focused on ensuring the boss dies rather than their personal rank. Not to mention, I’m sure there are other great Havoc players who are privating logging as well and there are probably only about ten players total on the board right now whose guilds are publicly logging. This definitely proves that gear isn’t as important as knowing how to play a class well, which I wish a lot more players understood.

VitaminP: What are some of the ways to use Blade Dance to dodge mechanics in Mythic+?

Avade: There are a ton of different things you can dodge with Blade Dance in Mythic+—so many that I can’t list them all here. However, there are some notable things that can really help you and your group take less damage. For starters, there a lot of tank mechanics that can be dodged that you can abuse by either taunting the enemy or having the tank kite. This forces the enemies to retarget to the closest player, such as Severing Blade from Spectral Berserkers in Kings’ Rest, which will substantially reduce both tank damage and group damage taken by an insane amount. This trick requires a lot of practice and understanding to perform it correctly and consistently.

In Freehold, you can dodge Captain Eudora’s Powder Shot which would otherwise deal high damage. In Tol Dagor, you can dodge all the Deadeye casts by Overseer Korgus’, which allows you to solo soak each one for your entire group. In Kings’ Rest, you can do the same thing for Barrel Through by Aka’ali the Conqueror if it’s targeted on you to reduce group-wide damage to zero. I would advise testing things out for yourself too, since that’s how I discovered multitudes of abilities to dodge in Mythic+ with Blade Dance.

VitaminP: What addons/macros/weakauras do you find essential to playing havoc DH or melee DPS in general? Anything you can share?

Avade: I would highly suggest using WeakAuras to track your various buffs, debuffs, abilities cooldowns, and dungeon mechanics. WeakAuras is extremely useful and is the most important addon to have.

Mythic Dungeon Tools is an incredibly useful addon that lets you plan out your dungeon path beforehand and also lets you see detailed information about enemies and their abilities. This addon is also a must.

BigWigs and LittleWigs are great to have as well to provide you with boss timers and alerts to certain mechanics.

Any Mythic+ timer addon works, but I use GottaGoFast because it was the first one I ever downloaded. It gives detailed information about when you killed certain bosses, exactly how much trash you have left, etc.

There aren’t many Havoc-specific macros you’ll want, but I use an “at cursor” macro for Metamorphosis. This is useful because it bypasses the green targeting circle when you use Metamorphosis and makes you land on wherever you have your mouse cursor:
/cast [@cursor] Metamorphosis

As for general macros, you absolutely want to have focus macros for your spells such as Disrupt (your interrupt ability), Consume Magic (your purge ability), Imprison, and Fel Eruption. The purpose of a focus macro is to allow you to pay attention to what’s going on in front of you and worry less about having to frantically target the mob to get that interrupt or stun that if you miss it you’ll wipe the entire group. I always set my focus to an important enemy that I know I will need to interrupt. For any interrupts that are less important, I simply use a mouseover macro (to be lazy). However, you should never rely on a mouseover macro the same way as a focus macro.

“The best results in this game are usually produced by a group of people that share the same goal. Try to find a Mythic+ group or a Raiding guild that shares your same vision.”

VitaminP: What advice would you have for someone who wants to DPS seriously in both Mythic+ and Raiding? What kind of skills might they need to sharpen or consider?

Avade: The best advice I can give is to ask yourself what your main goal is. The best results in this game are usually produced by a group of people that share the same goal. Try to find a Mythic+ group or a Raiding guild that shares your same vision.

For high-end Raiding, you want to learn how to do damage without having to focus too hard on your rotation so that you can perform mechanics effectively. Do plenty of research and practice on the bosses ahead of time to learn and perfect the mechanics and also ensure that you are playing consistently. Dealing good damage is secondary to respecting certain mechanics and being consistent makes you reliable, which is one of the main qualities that guilds look for in their players.

In Mythic+, the most important thing is to always take responsibility for the things that go wrong in your groups. It’s easy to blame other people for their mistakes, but it’s better for you as a player to understand what you could have done differently to ensure a successful outcome. If the tank died, could you have taunted for him and kited temporarily? If someone died to a telegraphed mechanic, could you have called it out in voice? Could you have used your cooldowns differently to accelerate a difficult pull that ended up wiping the group instead of using them earlier? Could you have used your utility at more opportune moments to save a wipe? So many people underestimate how much power they have over the success of their own groups, and unfortunately most people default to blaming others for their inability to reach higher key levels when in reality there is always something they could have done better.


About the Author

Vitaminpee mains a Brewmaster and loves to do competitive Mythic+. She is the Social Media Manager for Big Dumb Gaming and a partnered Twitch streamer who plays all tanks at max level and is excited to have more time now to push for the next MDI with her team: Synecdoche, Oddy, Sham, and Comfykins.