Demon hunters were one one of the most crucial weapons that we’ve had against the Legion. They have sacrificed the most and have undergone such critical missions that without them Azeroth could have fallen against the Burning Legion. But now with Sargeras imprisoned and the demonic army shattered what exactly is the purpose of the demon hunters and will they even continue to exist? The first-ever demon hunter was created 10thousand years ago during the War of the Ancients and that was Illidan Stormrage.
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It was revolutionary at the time and was the definition of fighting fire with fire. Some other demon hunters were said to have been also created during this period but the majority that we have today only came to be quite recently, some time before the Burning Crusade. Night elves sought out Illidan as well as blood elves as both had lost so much during the Third War. Having nothing to go to, no home or family they decided to devote their entire life to fighting the demons and avenging their fallen.
This was no easy task as they had undergone horrific rituals and no sane person would do this unless they had absolutely nothing to lose, like literally nothing. One in five elves would survive and the rest would either be overwhelmed by the demonic energy or they would go completely insane and would commit suicide. However, those that survived were enhanced to a significant extent becoming incredibly powerful and not just powerful but more importantly specialized, specialized to kill and take down demons 10 times their size.
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They consume a demon which empowers them butat the same time, this process creates this eternal struggle within their mind. Demon hunters gain spectral sight – seeing and detecting demons better, they have superhuman speed, reflexes, they can fly for a short period and they gain horns, scales and claws. At the same time there are many drawbacks as they are constantly under the threat of going insane and much like the death knights that have a sadistic need to kill, demon hunters have a constant craving for fel power and demonic flesh – creating this non-stop state of torment.
Overall they are the most effective demon killers out there and are one of the top reasons why we even managed to defeat the Burning Legion which is evident by the fact that their leader Illidan is the jailor of Sargeras. But as we are now going into the Shadowlands and we have ended the faction conflict, Legion seems so far away. The demonic army has been broken so what exactly is the point of demon hunters, what are they doing now and are they still created to this day?
Well from very blunt gameplay perspective Blizzard is kind of just keeping them around and they are in the similar spot the death knights have been until the past few expansions when they had finally received some new lore. Still it is very important to note that while the Burning Legion has been defeated and Sargeras imprisoned we haven’t exactly destroyed the demons, they definitely still exist and in large numbers. Keep in mind Sargeras found the demons, he didn’t create them and they had been around long before the dark titan had ever gone insane.
All he did was organized them into a very powerful weapon, created a sophisticated structure and enhanced them – so with his imprisonment they had lost that power framework scattering them everywhere. My speculation though is that there is now a large power vacuum with the demons. These guys have been part of an army and have been trained for countless millenia so they are definitely no longer just brutish bandit demons. There must be many local warlords that are now fighting for supremacy and that are attempting to reform the Legion.
Now without a titan like Sargeras and the engine they had – demons don’t really stand a chance to reach their full glory and to continue the Burning Crusade and honestly I don’t even think they would want to do that. Right before the end of Legion it was obvious that Kil’Jaeden was starting to get sick of Sargeras and his plans and that must have been felt across the entire army.
Now this is where the demon hunters come in and while they broke the biggest threat combined I am pretty sure that they are now dealing with these renegade bandit demonic groups and looking to break any resemblance of a power structure. Further more with warlocks messing up and summoning demons or small groups somehow finding a way to break into Azeroth I can see demon hunters as sort of warcraft witchers taking on contracts to deal with these monsters and making a living that way.
As they posses this non stop craving to fight demons, this would force them to seek them out and not just doing it to survive. Lore wise they haven’t been hugely represented lately and they seem to be sort of neutral as after all demon hunters abandoned their previous lives in order to group up and to fight a bigger threat. However now there is no doubt that some have returned to their old loyalties the Alliance and the Horde although I don’t see them being too interested in wars and factions conflicts.
Demon hunters sacrificed everything in order to defend Azeroth and that was their main goal and now Azeroth is being threatened once again in a much more serious way than ever before in the Shadowlands. Now we don’t really know what type of energy death magic is and what are its properties but it is important to note that demon hunters are actually half demons, some are even bound to the Twisting Nether and could be resurrected.
One thing demons are good at is fighting the void, it is actually the reason why Sargeras even began his Burning Crusade and his ultimate goal was to defeat the Void Lords. It is uncertain how effective demon hunters are in this regard but I can see them being more resilient against the void than almost any other races, well outside of maybe void creatures. Sort of like how the light is especially effective against the undead I can see the demon hunters being in a similar way in their battle against the void. In terms of whether demon hunters are still created, well I doubt it. I’m pretty sure the ritual can be replicated but there just doesn’t seem to be a point.
It is incredibly dangerous and damaging but before it was worth it because there was this huge looming Legion threat over Azeroth. Now there is new one but it is not a demonic one so it wouldn’t make sense to become a demon hunter. It would be sort of like someone becoming a death knight on purpose just to get better at fighting – maybe if that was the only way people would do it but now without the Legion I don’t see that happening.
It is entirely possible that Illidan will return in some future expansion as after all he is just the Jailer and that entire story linedid feel like there was a lot more left to be told. Maybe at some point in the future the demons will get consumed by the void and demon hunters would one again be of great use and then we would begin printing them in the thousands but at this point I see them as warcraft witchers and warriors that have fulfilled their purpose.