What are you playing?

Patch 7.0 is upon us and Hunters are… well, kind of different. The reaction I’ve seen to the new Hunter specs has been mixed to say the least. It’s probably more shocking if you didn’t put in any serious play time on the beta or PTR. These are new specs, and it’s pretty much a new class. So take a deep breath and give it at least a week. 😛

I’m not saying negative reactions are unwarranted because I had many of them myself. The difference is I’ve had about 6 months to adjust! Accepting these changes didn’t happen overnight for me. Don’t think I’m totally happy with everything either — far from it — but I also realize that at this point nothing serious is going to change. So I’m done with complaining about changes and giving feedback. It’s time to move forward.

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend trying out all 3 specs. If you want an easy low-stress place to do that, just do some Timewalking dungeons. It will give you some perspective on where the whole class stands. Maybe you’ve always been a BM Hunter, but you’ll try Survival and love it? Who knows?

Personally, I’ve warmed up to the new BM. It’s not perfect, but I have fun playing it. And it’s even better (IMO) once you get Hati and are able to have two custom pets. Marksmanship feels kind of disjointed to me unless I am using the Sidewinders talent. Survival is mostly a curiosity. I’ve never been a fan of melee combat in WoW, but Harpooning around with your pet is pretty damn fun.


The new core hounds are pretty striking


If you want some tips for getting started, there are several good guides out there (not to toot my own horn). These guides have suggested rotations, talents, artifact build paths, and more.


There are also new guides at Icy Veins (by Azortharion).

What is going to be your main spec in Legion?

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Header image: The RNG Gods blessed me last night and Invincible’s Reins finally dropped on kill number 139. I think it looks pretty nice with Thok, don’t you? Goodbye, ICC, I will definitely not miss you. 


57 thoughts on “What are you playing?”

  1. I’ve been enjoying BM. It was really difficult to identify when to push Cobra Shot until I worked out a Wear Aura that would pop up when Chimera, Dire Beast, and Kill Command were all on cool down. Now, I just worry about using those three appropriately, and when they’re unavailable, my Cobra Shot aura pops up and I know when to do what! Granted, I still need to try and tweak it so that it only displays when the amount of focus I’d use on it won’t preclude the next ability that I’m likely to want to use, but that’s a difficult enough process that I haven’t worried about it yet.

    I hated MM. It felt very much like Aimed Shot spam while waiting for Sidewinders and Marked Shot. I’m not sure if I’m missing something or if it’s just really that simple. I haven’t really tried SV, yet, but I will even though my feelings about it are fairly negative. I wish, if they were going to make us a melee class, they would have let us tank! Mitigation could have been MD, bring back old-school things like Aspect of the Monkey, etc. Oh well. Maybe for 8.0!

    1. I’ve really been hoping that someone with more talent in this area than I would put some good Weak Aura scripts together. As you and others create them, I’d appreciate you sharing. I’m sure that I’m not the only one in this regard!


      1. Honestly, I think that weak auras for hunters in 7.0 would be a good topic for a complete post on EOTB, plus a call to the community for their scripts. I’m going to start tinkering with my own tonight. The heads of all hunters together are better than that of one hunter alone!


  2. Survival can die in a fire. MM for me so far. I’ve not bothered with side winders 10 sec between uses is about 8 seconds too long to wait. Arcane shot 3 times. Marked thing, lock and loaded instant aimed shots and occasionally hard casting them. Not bad at all.

    I would take explosive shot. But the form it is in currently is a mess for me, and some undead spawn thing from black arrow….pass. least for now.

    I like BM more now than on live, but it’s focus issues make me go no no no.

  3. I raided as MM on Tuesday night and it was OK. However, I’ve got instant aimed shots right now, so not sure how I’ll feel when I lose the 4-piece bonus.

  4. I’ve had beta access for quite some months as well and when first tested mostly MM and BM rotations I definitely saw the potential in the two specs. However, once it became clear that Blizzard wasn’t responding to feedback I just became more and more annoyed with BM especially. I don’t think I’ve logged into beta more than once a week lately to test something since it was just depressing to see what we were going to lose.

    It’s not just the crappy focus management of BM but also the over the top ability pruning. The Hunter class has lost virtually all versatility and threat control. I used to feel in control of my surroundings but in Legion that has gone and the few CC abilities we have left feel barely enough.

    I guess a tweet of Muffinus a few days ago about how happy he was with his Gnome SV Hunter explains where Blizzards focus (no pun intended) was for this expansion and it was not with the ranged hunter specs.

    * MM has Black Arrow, Bursting Shot and Wind Running but requires you to fire sidewinder rockets from your bow as part of your hunter fantasy.

    * BM has 100% mobility but half the time you have bullets shooting out of your head while your gun is on your back because you use DireBeast or Kill Command while auto-attacking and the other half of the time you are sitting on your hand because you’re not allowed to do anything.

    I can’t imagine what MM and BM will be like if Chimaera Shot and Sidewinders aren’t the best talent choices (according to Azortharion) because then the rotations become even worse.

    I still haven’t pre-ordered Legion either because of the state of the hunter class and I’m not sure yet if/what I will play in Legion.

    1. Agree with this 100%. I don’t want to spec Sidewinders, and I prefer the ramp and maintain version of Vulnerable that MM has baseline over the 6 second version from Patient Sniper, but due to horrid RNG mechanics and insane tuning, Patient Sniper is really the only viable DPS option on that tier. Double damage from Vulnerable plus an extra 30 Focus cap? No brainer. Sidewinders is interesting mechanically, but terrible thematically. Also, replacing Arcane Shot is shortsighted at best and unviable, potentially raid-wiping at worst (Mythic Gorefiend anyone?). I would prefer Sidewinders be replaced with a talent that buffs Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot to provide the same damage, Focus, and Vulnerable application, with the 12 second recharge time (even 2 charges shared between both abilities would be fine), but maintains separate single target and AoE options.

      BM just feels gutted. I chose the spec to empower my main pet, since that has always been the BM fantasy for me. I wound up with literally 3 rotational abilities, and 6 total DPS related abilities, not including Aspect of the Wild (which is macro’d into a burst CD macro anyway). Choosing Chimaera Shot and Stampede over Dire Frenzy and Aspect of the Beast gives you two more buttons to press, but removes the single strong pet aspect.

      I’m not remotely interested in Survival – I play a Hunter to play at range, and have other characters I already play in melee. If I were to switch to melee my guild would likely sit me, as we are already overloaded with melee for Mythics.

  5. Hi boss, cool blog, /grats mate! I am currently sporting a MM spec with Sidewinders, which is kinda fun. I use Lock’n’Load for dungeons/groups and Black Arrow for solo stuff. I didn’t like it on PTR but after some testing and a bit more “dedication” I managed to enjoy it and now I easily master the rotation. The old MM could tank bosses while smoking a joint so the involved skill was almost zero. Now you need to… *drum rolls*… KITE! Yes, that good old habit we had some years ago. We don’t have traps but we’ve got some nice shots to kite stuff, plus the summoned minion (Black Arrow) stays alive without healing. Too bad it aggroes 1 mob at time, now that is a bit annoying but I doubt we’ll be pulling packs in Legion anyway.

    Surv doesn’t really pick my interst, I’ve got a warrior alt which is the perfect melee solution, I guess. I don’t really see myself going melee on a hunter.

    Bm… I don’t know. I’ve been BM like 3-4 times in my entire WoW career. I bet I’ll go MM once again 🙂

  6. Survival is incredibly engaging. Feels natural to play. We just need a bit more, erm… survivability, ironically.

  7. From what I have gotten to test out I have more fun with SV, more dps with MM, and more comfort(?) with BM. The MM gameplay really bored me, even more than BM, and SV would have to compete with a ton of already established melee classes so it looks like I am sticking with BM and SV as a fun off spec.

    A hunter without a pet is no fun to me so MM gets the boot regardless.

    1. Wellllll you are in luck then.

      MM has to Choose to have no pet.

      It was changed months ago! I didn’t bother with it till then.

  8. I have the same feelings as you. I have had negative reactions to my favorite BM spec. And like you, I had time to deal with it via the beta for a few months now. I am far from thrilled with BM Hunter (or hunters in general); in addition I’m still a bit sour from the lack of feedback it feels we’ve had during Alpha and Beta (and PTR).

    That said, I have warmed up to new BM. I am having fun with BM and SV, though I will definitely stick with BM over SV. I’ve had fun running dungeons after the patch, though I haven’t had time to sit down and go raid.

    While I think the changes are a bit easier for those familiar with the class experience in legion, I don’t think the experience will “cure” the problems many are having. Many hate the changes over all, including the direction of the class and specs going forward into legion.

  9. unhappy about the utility removed from bm still but I do enjoy the playstyle somewhat , survival is interesting as I have always mained bm. Gonna ms bm, os Sv.

  10. I love my BM as usual but was pleasantly surprised by the Survival spec. Going toe to toe with the elite demons in kiljaden’s throne area of tanaan was very fun. Fighting along side my pet and taking on small groups. I’m torn as to my main spec now. Invasions should settle it me thinks.

  11. I think we need one more aoe and one more thing to press to generate focus or to press for bm. I Aldo don’t like how I still can’t control Hati as much. Yes I have the artifact power to give Hati bw but I don’t like how Hati comes out later after my pet is attacking. Also don’t like but like when my pet dies and Hati takes over. This is good for having Hati tank while I revive my pet but it’s not good when your trying to run away from mobs. Feign death for both pets help but meh. Also Hati doesn’t feel special and I feel lacks abilities compared to my normal wolf pet.

  12. I’m playing my rogue 🙁 BM was perfect the way it was, completely exemplifying that part of the class fantasy.

  13. Worst changes in the game, from specs, to camera distance, from enemy name plates …….i miss ghostcrawler. TO UI changes.

  14. I’ve played Survival since BC. I really tried to like it at the beginning of Warlords, but I just couldn’t get into the changes they made. Ultimately, I ended up switching to an Arms Warrior. My guild and I raided Heroic the entire expansion and I really enjoyed the burst window style play. Now I’m back to Survival and I love it! I get to use traps, I have a pet, and I still have the burst window with Mongoose Bite. I don’t think I would like it near as much of I didn’t main an Arms Warrior for an extended period of time.

  15. I tried MM and BM in Dungeons (I have my DK for Melee) and i felt so bored with MM..i do not get that..”hey i clicked on a button and i do LOTS OF DMG” as i get when pressing Kill Command while beeing in Bestial Wrath. I will try SV the next days but i will probably end with BM because i feel very comfortable with it and it really is fun to me.

  16. Decided on BM. It’s always been my favorite spec because of the class fantasy, and I actually like what they’ve done with it in that regard. Just need to get used to the spec. Really, my main problem with BM is how fast my pet can die now.

    MM just feels weird to me now, and I don’t really like playing melee as much so survival isn’t really for me.

    1. Did you switch your pet to tenacity if you’re soloing? That’s helped me a lot. Also, grab a turtle or (maybe) a beetle. They still have their auto-cast damage reduction pet ability, I think.

  17. BM for me. SV feels like keeping seven plates spinning in a mosh pit, and depending on how you choose your talents, Raptor Strike or Flanking Strike feel extraneous. MM feels quite similar to BM right now, what with instant Aimed Shots and downtime and all, and the reduced mobility that will come with dropping the set bonus will kill it right off for me. I wish I could keep the set bonus for BM though, the one where Cobra Shot extends the duration of Dire Beast, that gives the abilities a decent amount of interaction, and while I’m dreaming, I’d also like a bit more control over my focus (maybe make Chimera baseline and give it a shorter cooldown?) and Freezing Trap back (seriously, SV can keep the damaging traps, but I want my utility back). Well, too late now I suppose. Maybe we can get some actual care next expansion?

    1. 100% with you on Freezing Trap. I would also be okay with Wyvern Sting becoming baseline (and 60 second duration/30 second CD) for BM and MM, replacing it with a different talent.

      Hard CC like that should be a class feature, not a spec feature.

  18. BM because “Thok”, somehow most of my guild didn’t notice him until our second night of raiding.Had to swap to MM on Mythic Gorefiend though as Thok bugged out on our first attempt.

    BM feels ok, I may not be number 1 on dps but I’m amongst the top dpsers in my guild so that’s ok. MM on Gorefiend is good during Feast of Souls, but on the adds you either demolish them or struggle on them with no marking procs.

    Not tried SV yet, we have way to many melee in my guild as it is. I’ll probably do some timewalking or mythic dungeons on SV over the weekend.

  19. I really can get over rotation and all this issue, but I really hate what they’ve done to pets. I’ve seen someone say that “looks like you’re just holding a leash and then release”, and I couldn’t agree more.

    For the first time Warlocks made me jealous.

  20. I’ve been enjoying BM and SV a lot. SV feels really good to play, it’s got just the right amount of buttons to press in a rotation (for me), but my guild already has too much melee so I’m definitely going to be raiding as BM. I wish they hadn’t nerfed Chimera Shot – the rotation feels much better with it in there, but I think Stomp is technically more DPS right now.

    Really looking forward to getting a second pet and the passives from Titanstrike!

  21. I am no longer playing wow. Period. If I wanted to learn a new class, i would have chosen a new class. If I wanted to learn a new game, I would have chosen a new game. I envy the people that can let go of what was and find fun in the new classes. I cannot, however. Honest, prolonged (months) of effort to try to adapt did nothing to fix the issues I have. I play and I am frustrated. I play and I am annoyed I play and don’t want to relearn. In the end, their design choices have yielded a result I have not wanted to admit. I do not want to play wow. I did, but their design choices for Legion have made me not want to. I am the collateral dmg. Maybe if I was a better man, I wouldn’t be so angry and bitter, but the reality is I am.

    GL Hunters. Hunt on. Hunt on.

    1. I might pick the same spec as Thuggs. Haven’t decided yet. Trying MM now but not getting the swing of it. Pretty much always been SV on all my hunters since before BC. Currently have (5 @ 100, 1 @ 90). I went from playing every day religiously to meh – I might log in if nothing else is going on….

  22. I actually really like the new MM spec (with SW+Patient Sniper). It is simple, yet you have to use your windows wisely, watch for your Focus and position yourself properly in AoE situations. I think it’s much more fun to play than the WoD MM Hunter as I feel far more engaged in the actual gameplay. Also, the deeps *_*

    I’m not so keen on BM, though. It was my go-to spec for solo content, but now something seems wonky. I have to try it some more, put pet AI acts very weirdly for me. Jury is out.

    Survival seems fun, the new animations are very cool, but the kit and the rotation is somehow weird. I have to test it more before passing judgement, but MM is king for me, for now.

  23. I’ve found BM to be very entertaining, but I haven’t tried the other classes yet. I’m finding trash clearing super easy with the way that Murder of Crows works (the insta-cooldown, if used correctly), and that fighting trash groups or bosses my uptime on Beastial Wrath is heavy. It took some getting used to, as I had played BM mainly during WotLK when Beastial Wrath was a situational cooldown, as opposed to a portion of the rotation.

    All in all, I think that the class lore is there, and calling random beasts is really cool, but it feels strange to have a focus sink that isn’t a cast. I feel like a melee player from a distance, as opposed to a ranged class, but Hunters have always played the field when it comes to class approach.

  24. ive been rocking all specs in pvp. i change based on the bg. bm is a great flag runner. sv is great for fighting for points. mm is great for large scale battles. going forward im thinking bm seems the coolest for 110. i want that hidden artifact mog where its like a revolver bow. plus i love the extra pet. pretty satisfied overall but i, like many others, miss my traps in bm.

  25. I was upset at first and I have been BM since TBC, but it’s grown stale overtime and these changes just ruined it for me. Just whistling to kill your enemies gets pretty annoying. I’ll be maining SV this expansion. It’s a lot more fun, the animations look great, and my DPS is about the same.

  26. Going to roll MM now in Legion. The other options are – well – not really an option for a competitive raiding scene.

    SV is yet another melee and I stand to my point. No raid has ever asked for more melees. Not to mention that we can still move into melee range without any disadvantages from that.

    BM was always my favorite spec and at least it was a nice secondary spec when the other two outperformed it. The new BM just feels so boring to me. You play the waiting game. Just like the good old times when we had mana and spammed our mana pot every 2 minutes. There is no control over our focus generation outside of proc luck and pooling.

    MM brings a nice raid utility with your core abilty. The increased range makes the spec even more versatile. I still don’t like the removal of crowd control, especially with the new 5 man dungeon systems, but BM suffers from the same problem here and it is still bound to deal with pet AI.

    In the end I also feel like I’m forced to play MM in Legion and MM only without any focus on a secondary spec. The artifact power grind will be huge and the fact that they added those percentual damage bonuses to keep on dumping power into your weapon when you’ve unlocked all weapon traits is just too strong to justify a secondary spec.Same goes for all the passives on MM traits simply just looking like they will scale way too good into the higher endgame stages.

  27. Well, after the changes to BM hunters, I will be playing my Affliction warlock. I have the two mains who’ve been with me since vanilla WoW. Whenever a new expansion hits, I eventually level both to cap, but historically I have always played my hunter first. The spec is just boring now, and our pets are so gimped compared to two weeks ago. I’ve been pulling aggro from my pet, which I haven’t done in forever. I have to heal him a lot more than I’ve had to do in ages. On the other hand my warlock’s Voidwalker is tough as nails, and playing Affliction (after being Demonology in Warlords) has taken me back to the good old days…just me and my void, against the world.

    Affliction has also been simplified, but not as dramatically as BM hunter. As Affliction I can heal my pet whenever I want – what a concept! Not that he needs much healing. No more BM traps, a wimpier pet, no more always-on Aspect of the Cheetah – I’ve had this character for eleven years and he doesn’t feel the same. Playing BM is no longer engaging, for me anyway. I will level him eventually but it will probably be six months down the road, sad to say.

  28. i hear different things from different places that conflict with each site that ive visited previously it would be great to get some solid info so I knew which way to steer for legion as I typically focus on mythic content. from what im hearing now is both MM and SV are strong, BM is under performing currently, from what I hear at 110 MM dominates but then ive heard on other sites BM comes out stronger. id really not like to play a melee class its why I went hunter to begin with in vanilla and id love to make sure whatever spec im working when launch hits is the same spec ill be raiding with so I can get more experience with it after the changes so im more confortable

    1. BM is stronger right now for 110 raiding but MM isn’t far behind. Pick your poison – MM: boring, simple rotation, or BM with decent gameplay but always the possibility of pet pathing issues on raid bosses.

  29. Honestly? Probably Havoc. At least for a while until Blizzard sorts this mess that is MM out. What a disjointed clusterfuq of a rotation. I wish I could talent out of this marked shot BS. Dumb name and dumb ability.

    Contemplating switching to DH is actually pretty heartbreaking for me. My Hunter has been my main (almost only toon) since I started playing in June 2007 and now I’m thinking of hanging up the bow.

    If you’re as unhappy as I am, hit the devs up on Twitter and use the #wowbrokenarrow hashtag..

  30. I’m hating it, honestly. It’s not fun at all anymore, and I’ve been doing my usual old raids on my druid now because at least she has speed options. The change to Cheetah is still the most baffling thing about the hunter changes, and I haven’t seen a single person that likes or is even neutral to the huge nerf that it got. There was no reason for it, and all it does is handicap us. The hunter forums on the WoW site are full of people who’ve mained hunters for years (like me) and feel that the class is unusable now, or at the very least so tediously boring or (in the case of SV) so outside what the hunter experience should be that they don’t want to play it at all. I could probably learn how to have a druid as my main, but I’m probably not getting Legion, and I may not be renewing my sub when it runs out. Hunters have been my thing since I started playing in ’06, and to see this level of change and removal of what made hunters interesting and fun is heartwrenching.

  31. Joining in with the rest: SV is dead to me and BM and MM are very simple and give you too much time to stare out of the window waiting for things to come off cooldown. With Sidewinders MM is simply missing a filler shot.
    Playing MM because it brings the best numbers, a simple 3 button class that will be horribly slow to play when I have to give up my T18 4 set.

    As for BM: Nice that it’s all instant but I’m not a circus master shouting at a billion animals, I’m an archer that wants to shoot arrows while my pet helps me as a trusted buddy.

    And after so many expansions am I the only one who feels Chimera is/was the signature shot for MM ?

  32. Could change but for now BM, MM I still need more time with. SV – sorry I play ranged. I hated the changes to all at first but am most okay with BM I just wish I could talent into dire frenzy and chimaera shot. And I miss our old pets, too squishy for a BEASTMASTER, make them squishier for MM and SV where those pets are more of a bonus to yer DPS rather than your focal point of DPS. May the Gods of dumb luck RnG loot table strike me with the legendary ring. I still hate all the whistling though..

  33. Goodbye Hunter of 8 years, Hello new main Shaman! Still get to use all my main transmog and play a class that hasn’t been turned into total shyte!

  34. Marksmanship. Took a while to get used to it, but with the right talents — meaning no Sidewinders or Patient Sniper — I can dig it. I know that will probably get me laughed right out of any serious endgame content but I’m OK with that, as I’ve become much more of a casual player since I became a father 🙂 I’ll keep Survival as a “messing around” off-spec and my BM Hunter will, sadly, most likely be benched.

  35. Okay – I’ve played all three specs in Beta and on 7.0.3 now. I was really against trying a melee hunter, but I have to admit that other than survival issues, Survival is pretty fun to play. Of all three, it flows the best and still has a hunter feel. Marksmanship takes a bit of getting used to, but at least still has Camouflage for utility. I suspect it won’t be nearly as nice once we lose our tier 18 four piece bonus and have to stand still for long aimed shots. Beast Master just got gutted. I’m surprised how many people say it will stay their main, but w/e. I felt all the love for BM has been flushed somewhere else. Much weaker pets (yes, I used tenacity) and very limited heals for them and no way to remove debufs. No traps (I really really really want my freezing trap back). Camouflage is gone, Deterrence is gone. Misdirect glyph is gone. Active focus regen is gone. The feel of a hunter is gone. In short, almost everything that made me love Beast Mastery regardless of its raid=ability is gone.

    While I’ve gotten used to all that’s missing in BM, I just don’t feel like it’s a spec or class that I can love any more. I feel betrayed, abandoned, and ignored (Beta forum for BM has been totally ignored despite long and numerous pleas for developer response). I suspect this is most acute for those who have mained a BM hunter for many years. I switched mains from Warlock to Hunter in early BC and until now have never felt like that was a bad decision. Now I just want to put the game away and come back in a year or two to see if Blizzard ever woke up…

  36. I’ll be honest, I hate the hunter changes. I’ve played hunter since the original game beta and maintained an active subscription, hunter main, much of it raiding, since launch. I’m used to the class being rebuilt every expansion, but BM and MM just aren’t fun right now. I haven’t even tried SV because I play hunter to be ranged. My MM hunter fires rockets from her bow, hello class fantasy? The knockback ability is cumbersome to aim. I find my pet can’t nail down agro and I don’t have enough distance gaining abilities to feel in control of the situation for leveling as lone wolf. BM is so terribly boring, and the gutting of the abilities has taken all the fun an enjoyment out of solo adventuring for me… if spirit bond was back or one had the ability to roll mend pet over with a recast when you had a few seconds left, if misdirect reset cooldown when used on pets again, if stampede used pets from my stable not random animals, if cheetah was back to what it was, if if if. I’ll probably main another class in Legion.

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