If you’ve been following the patch 6.1 news, I’m sure you saw the change to Stampede: It now lasts 40 seconds, up from 20 seconds. A Murder of Crows was so good that they needed to literally double it to make it competitive. From my initial testing, it seems they were successful.
However, there was a possibly unintended side effect because of an interesting relationship between Stampede and Lone Wolf. Whenever you have your standard pet out and use Stampede, it calls the remaining 4 pets. However, when you’re using Lone Wolf it calls out all 5 pets. One would think it should only be calling out 4 pets so that the talent has the same value regardless of your chosen level 100 talent, but this is not the case for marksmanship and survival. I’d like to think this is a bug or an oversight, but who knows for sure? It’s been around for a while, so maybe it is intended. I don’t understand why. Also see the bottom of this post for an important note on another Lone Wolf/Stampede bug.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the Stampede buff’s effect on all 3 specs.
I think it’s fitting that Stampede could be the strongest talent for BM in this tier. It fits thematically for me. If any spec should get a benefit from using more pets, it should be BM. AMOC is still really close though, and on a multi-target fight where you can be smart about resetting its cooldown I think you will get more mileage out of it. Also, Stampede is stronger on a 6 minute fight than it would be on a 10 minute fight because in both situations you can only use 2 Stampedes, but you can definitely use more AMOCs in the longer fight. Bump that up to 11 minutes and Stampede gets a third full cast though. The simulation above takes into account a variety of fight lengths.
Blink Strikes is predictably quite low for single target, as it has been all expansion. It’s still the talent you want to use where there will be a lot of Beast Cleave happening, but I think it would have to be quite a bit of AoE to make it worth it.
Verdict: Assuming nothing changes, Stampede may become the new go-to talent for BM outside of heavy AoE.
As you can see above, I did simulations with both Lone Wolf (LW) and Focusing Shot (FS) to illustrate how much stronger Stampede is when you’re using Lone Wolf because of that extra pet.
When using Focusing Shot, Stampede and AMOC are fairly close. It means you can choose what you prefer, which is great. But looking at Lone Wolf, the gap is getting quite large between the two talents. Considering AMOC requires extra focus management, I don’t think it should be that much lower (even taking into consideration its multi-target potential).
Basically, what I’m saying is I think Blizzard needs to fix this. I don’t think Lone Wolf should get an extra Stampede pet. Not only does it imbalance these talents, but it makes no damn sense! This is a talent where you abandon your pet, so why should you get an extra?
Verdict: Stampede is going to be a great single target DPS talent, regardless of your level 100 talent choice. Keep in mind it is stronger or weaker depending on fight length (as discussed in BM section).
We basically have the same results as Survival here. When using Focusing Shot it’s basically a wash, but the gap with Lone Wolf is considerably larger.
Keep in mind my overall MM DPS is lower than the others because my gear isn’t really optimized for it, plus I still am stuck with a 660 weapon which hurts MM much more than the other specs. Just focus on the difference between talents.
Verdict: As with SV, Stampede is going to be a great single target DPS talent choice.
Always remember that this is PTR and subject to change. If there are any changes, I’ll be sure to update this post to reflect them.
Are you excited for the newly improved Stampede?
Warning — Lone Wolf / Stampede bug: This applies to the Stampede + Lone Wolf combo only. If any of your active pets are exotic, they will not spawn and they will NOT be duplicated by a non-exotic pet. So if you have 3 exotics + 2 non-exotics and use Stampede with Lone Wolf you will only get 2 pets! I was shocked to discover this in my testing, mainly because it has been around for this long and no one noticed. I guess no one was using Stampede! To avoid this, make sure all your active pets are non-exotic when using Lone Wolf. I’ve also reported the bug so hopefully it gets fixed.