ABC’s of DH Tanking – Part 4 (Sigils)

Sigils form an important part of the control gameplay afforded to Vengeance Demon Hunters.

They allow you to fear, silence, and burn your enemies alive. Mastering Sigils gives you more control over fights and allow you to shape their outcomes.

By default, you gain 3 Sigils. They are placed AoE effects, meaning activating them gives a targeting circle you place in order to fully cast the ability (with a gameplay selectable exception, more on that in talents).

Sigil of Flame – this is a powerful damage-dealing Sigil, allowing you to gain a significant threat lead on a pack of enemies. This Sigil is also invaluable for dealing extra damage – damage that can prove to be critical during progression.

Sigil of Silence – this is a ranged, AoE silence (important to note this is NOT an interrupt, so if a target is Silence-immune, this won’t interrupt anything). It is very useful for getting control over caster packs at range, particularly strong in dungeons for ensuring you get everything together into a solid death-ball. It lasts for 6 seconds.

Sigil of Misery – this is a great AoE crowd control option, Disorienting targets in its range for 30 seconds. Since it can control a large number of targets, and keeps them in place, this is a strong CC that can be used to break up large packs during Teeming weeks if Teeming is paired with a bad AoE affix (Sanguine, Necrotic, Bolstering).

We have two talent options that interact with these Sigils to improve their effects or use – Concentrated Sigils and Quickened Sigils. Concentrated Sigils places your Sigils at your feet, removing the need to target the ability. This also extends the effect of the Sigil by two seconds – meaning extra Flame damage, a longer Disorient, or longer Silence. I personally like this option, as I hate placing Sigils, although I do not use it as much. It’s a fantastic option while you are learning to play the class, but it does undercut the value of some Sigils substantially (particularly your control Sigils). Quickened Sigils activates your Sigils 1 second faster, and reduces their cooldowns by 20%. This is highly valuable if you need the effect of a Sigil quickly for any reason – definitely worthwhile if you have to CC something after pulling.

There is a third talent that shares the same tier as these two, which is itself a fourth Sigil – Sigil of Chains. This functions nearly identically to a Death Knight’s Gorefiend’s Grasp, but with a shorter cooldown and a snare effect added. This is fantastic in certain applications – stubborn positioning for trash packs, mechanics like bursting the Eye on Il’gynoth, and pissing off your Gorefiend using, easily pissed-off DK co-tank who just gripped a bunch of mobs! Outside of these uses, however, you may find it more valuable to have one of the other talents instead.

Lastly, there is the talent Flame Crash, making it so that your Infernal Strike places a Sigil of Flame wherever you land. This is powerful for AoE damage and threat, as the Sigil of Flame placed by this talent does not consume the cooldown on your actual Sigil of Flame, and can be chained with both your regular Sigil of Flame and additional Flame Crash placed ones via additional Infernal Strikes.

Now that we know what they do, the last thing to master is their usage. Placing a Sigil is somewhat unlike the immediate effect you tend to expect with such things in WoW. When a Sigil is placed, it takes two seconds (1 with Quickened Sigils) before the effect activates. Knowing this is important for a few reasons:

-If your target is mobile, placing the Sigil where it currently is can waste the effect and cooldown.
-If your target appears at the location you’ve selected, it’s possible you can overshoot and miss with the Sigil (I do this on portal keepers in Violet Hold ALL THE TIME).

You have to learn to establish a clear rhythm for placing and activating Sigils. The higher the stakes, the more important that it is. While the effects themselves look small (and awesome!) they, like many AoE in WoW, are slightly larger than the graphic would lead you to believe. Not by much, however – so get good at placing the centerpoint right where you mean to. This even matters for Concentrated Sigils, especially if you’re hoping to light up everything that is wailing on you with a Sigil of Flame.

To wrap up, there are also two Legendaries that can drastically shift your usage of Sigils. The first is The Defiler’s Lost Vambraces – bracers that reduce the remaining cooldown on a Sigil by 8 seconds every time you Soul Cleave. This is a random selection of Sigils that are on cooldown, but it can be gamed a bit if you are only using one Sigil (I did this in raids, since I had only been using Sigil of Flames, it was reduced every time!). Spirit of the Darkness Flame are gloves added in 7.1.5, which, besides the awesome YuYu Hakusho reference, increases the damage done by Fiery Brand by 15% for each target hit by your Sigil of Flame, up to a max of 15 stacks of this buff.

Next time in this series, we’ll talk about tying together all of your damage reduction abilities to ensure minimized damage taken!

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