Legion Beast Mastery FAQ/Guide (updated for 7.1.5)

I’ve noticed somewhat of a lack of information out there regarding Beast Mastery. Not many people talk about it and it’s often dismissed since Marksmanship is the raiding spec of choice for the majority of Hunters. Personally, it’s all I’ve really been playing in Legion, so I thought it would be worthwhile to answer some of the most common questions people have about the spec in regards to PvE content. If I miss anything, ask in the comments and I’ll either answer there or add it to the FAQ if necessary. Most of this info is also covered in my Wowhead BM guide, but some may prefer it in this format instead.

At the bottom you’ll also find a guide for how to sim your own personal stat weights (which is always a lot better than using weights you find elsewhere).

This FAQ will be kept up to date as new patches and hotfixes are released.


Last Updated: February 18, 2017 — Added more talent builds, updated legendary section a little


Questions


What the the important changes in patch 7.1.5?

For a full list of changes, see here. Below are the most impactful changes.

  • Tar Trap and Freezing Trap are back for BM! Tar Trap works like the old Ice Trap, just with new graphics.
  • Blink Strikes has been buffed from 50% to 100% increases pet basic attack damage. This is the biggest talent buff of the patch. It makes Blink Strikes a clear choice for dungeons due to increased Beast Cleave damage. It’s also now viable in single target DPS — Bestial Fury is only slightly ahead of it in that department. It’s pretty safe to use this talent for almost everything. Unfortunately, Hati does not blink with your pet.
  • Volley damage has been increased by 50%. Before this buff I was always on the fence about using this in Mythic+, but with this buff it’s a very good choice for dungeons.
  • Hati’s movement speed has been increased by 14%. This should somewhat aid in keeping Hati up to speed with your main pet, but Hati will still fall behind in some situations (such as if your pet is using Dash or Blink Strikes).
  • The Mantle of Command is a new legendary that adds an extra charge to Dire Beast. Lets you fully take advantage of Wild Call procs and just makes the whole rotation more pleasurable. It shares the top spot with the belt. Cross your fingers for this one.
  • Roar of the Seven Lions, our top legendary, was nerfed from 20% to 15% reduced Focus cost. This belt is still great as long as you can fit in the extra Kill Command it grants. Without Blood Lust or Aspect of the Wild active, you should be able to fit 6 Kill Commands into a single Bestial Wrath (you can usually only do 5 without the belt). So make sure you’re capable of fitting in 6 with those restrictions or else you’re not fully benefiting from it.
  • Call of the Wild was nerfed from 50% to 35%. It still has some utility, but it’s definitely the least powerful BM spec legendary.
  • The Apex Predator’s Claw‘s damage bonus was cut in half (ouch). It’s still a decent legendary, just no longer one of the top.
  • Our tier 19 set bonuses got buffed right before 7.1.5 launched and they’re pretty good now. See below.

Back to Questions


What are Beast Mastery’s strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths:

  • Good for progression. No movement restrictions means you can learn the mechanics without sacrificing much DPS.
  • Good single target burst damage
  • Excellent AoE and cleave damage if targets are stacked up.
  • Fun and impactful legendaries (also a downside if you’re unlucky, I guess).
  • All those cool pets!

Weaknesses:

  • Not quite as good for post-progression raiding. Once all the other ranged classes learn the fights, know when to plan out their movements, etc. their DPS will rise more than yours. You’ll still always have room to improve, but it may not be as much as some other classes. You may find yourself at or near the top of the charts for progression, but dropping to middle of the pack for farm nights.
  • No spread cleave capability. Currently Barrage is not a great choice for BM.
  • Not good for fights where adds spawn a far distance from the boss because of pet travel time. They have to be within 25 yards for the Kill Command teleport to work.
  • Single target DPS outside of Bestial Wrath is fairly weak (though you do spend about 40% of your time in Bestial Wrath on average).

Back to Questions


What is the best pet? (for the DPS)

Short answer: Get a Sporebat.

Long answer: Just make sure your pet is in Ferocity spec for dungeons and raids. I recommend keeping a pet with blood lust (like a Core Hound) and a pet with battle rez (like a Quilen) in your active pet list at all times. With the huge focus on dungeons this expansion, being able to provide blood lust and a battle rez is incredibly useful. The Spirit Beast heal has been nerfed to be completely useless, so don’t worry about keeping one around except for aesthetics. For doing soloing and world quests, I highly recommend something like a Turtle in Tenacity spec.

Back to Questions


What are some cool looking pets I can tame?

  • Any of the new Mechanicals added in Legion. I have a complete guide to taming all of them at Wowhead.
  • Bulvinkel the Spirit Moose, added in Legion.
  • Thok the Bloodthirsty, a raid boss from Siege of Orgrimmar. (Featured in header image)
  • Lowland Manashell, a turtle that looks like the raid boss, Tortos. (Featured in header image)
  • Check out my previous featured pets from past expansions.
  • Browse all pet looks on Petopia.

Back to Questions


What is the best talent build?

Depends on the situation! Below are a few builds for different situations. Use Wowhead’s talent calculator in another window to follow along if you want.

Single Target Raiding:

  • Level 15: Way of the Cobra
  • Level 30: Dire Frenzy
  • Level 45: Posthaste
  • Level 60: Bestial Fury
  • Level 75: Binding Shot
  • Level 90: A Murder of Crows
  • Level 100: Killer Cobra

Notes:

  • Dire Frenzy is only good for encounters where you don’t have to swap targets very much, such as Trilliax, Krosus, or Star Auger. It has a melee range requirement which makes it awful for target swapping.
  • If you don’t like Dire Frenzy, it’s totally fine to use Stomp (it’s only slightly behind).
  • Blink Strikes is also viable (though not recommended here if you have T19 4p).

Multiple Target Raiding

  • Level 15: Dire Stable
  • Level 30: Stomp
  • Level 45: Posthaste
  • Level 60: Blink Strikes
  • Level 75: Binding Shot
  • Level 90: A Murder of Crows
  • Level 100: Killer Cobra

Notes:

  • Aspect of the Beast is viable on heavy AoE encounters since you spend so much time using Multi-Shot instead of Cobra Shot (thus benefiting from Killer Cobra less). Fights like Skorpyron, Tichondrius, or normal/heroic High Botanist (not mythic).
  • Volley is also viable on heavy AoE encounters.

Mythic+ Dungeons

  • Level 15: Dire Stable
  • Level 30: Stomp
  • Level 45: Posthaste
  • Level 60: Blink Strikes
  • Level 75: Binding Shot
  • Level 90: Volley
  • Level 100: Killer Cobra

Notes:

  • Stampede is also an option, but I tend to not like it since all the other talents are already focused on AoE damage, and Killer Cobra is what keeps your boss damage decent.
  • For Tyrannical weeks, it may be better to use A Murder of Crows.

Beginner Build

  • Level 15: Dire Stable
  • Level 30: Stomp
  • Level 45: Trailblazer
  • Level 60: Blink Strikes
  • Level 75: Binding Shot
  • Level 90: Volley
  • Level 100: Aspect of the Beast

Notes:

  • Good for new players. The build for those who want to keep it as simple as possible. Fine for world content and LFR/Normal raiding. Just make sure your pet is set to Ferocity spec for dungeons and raids.

Special: Single Target with The Mantle of Command

  • Level 15: Way of the Cobra
  • Level 30: Stomp
  • Level 45: Posthaste
  • Level 60: One With The Pack
  • Level 75: Binding Shot
  • Level 90: A Murder of Crows
  • Level 100: Killer Cobra

If you’re lucky enough to have the legendary shoulders, you can use One With The Pack in single target encounters if you want. It’s quite fun to have so many procs and reset your Bestial Wrath so often. Big Game Hunter is also a viable choice for those with the shoulders, especially on an encounter like Grand Magistrix which constantly provides opportunities to attack fresh targets.

 

Back to Questions


What is the priority/rotation?

  1. Use Bestial Wrath on cooldown.
  2. Use Dire Beast on cooldown.
  3. Use Kill Command on cooldown.
  4. When at 90+ Focus, dump extra with Cobra Shot.

That’s the very basic priority list, but of course there’s more to it:

  • Plan ahead so that when Bestial Wrath finishes cooldown you are at full or nearly full Focus. This lets you get the most out of the Killer Cobra talent.
  • Ignore the 90+ Focus rule during Bestial Wrath if you’re using Killer Cobra. Spend your Focus as fast as possible with that talent. Squeeze in every possible Kill Command.
  • A Murder of Crows is super high priority. Don’t sit on it for long, but it is acceptable to wait if, for example, your next Dire Beast will reset Bestial Wrath.
  • When Bestial Wrath and Dire Beast finish their cooldown around the same time, always always cast Bestial Wrath first. This is so you get the 15s cooldown reduction from Dire Beast.
  • If Dire Beast is ready, and Bestial Wrath has less than 3-4 sec left on its cooldown, hold off on Dire Beast until after Bestial Wrath. Anything more than 4 sec, just use Dire Beast right away.
  • Titan’s Thunder should be used as much as possible, but the best way to use it is either immediately after summoning a Dire Beast, or during Bestial Wrath. With the 4-piece T19 bonus, Bestial Wrath is up enough that you should just use it during that all the time.
  • Aspect of the Wild should always be stacked with Bestial Wrath, and used as much as possible with that consideration.

For AoE DPS, swap out Cobra Shot with Multi-Shot. If there are 2-3 targets, you should still take advantage of Killer Cobra as much as possible. Outside of Killer Cobra just make sure to keep Beast Cleave up at all times.

If there’s 4+ targets, you can drop Kill Command from the rotation and spend all your Focus on spamming Multi-Shots. This doesn’t apply if one of your targets is high priority — in that case you should still be Kill Commanding it when you can.

Back to Questions


What’s the best opener?

This is the one I personally like to use.

  1. A Murder of Crows
  2. Bestial Wrath + Aspect of the Wild
  3. Kill Command
  4. Dire Beast
  5. Titan’s Thunder
  6. Resume normal priority list

Back to Questions


What’s the best artifact build path?

  1. Go directly to Master of Beasts
  2. Go directly to Surge of the Stormgod
  3. Go directly to Titan’s Thunder
  4. Spitting Cobras, Spirit Bond, and whatever’s left.

The goal is to unlock your 3 golden traits ASAP, and this is the quickest way. It’s essentially clockwise around the tree.

Master of Beasts makes Hati duplicate your main pet’s Kill Commands (at 30% damage) and Beast Cleaves (at 75% damage).

Back to Questions


What are the best relics?

Relic traits can sometimes be more valuable than item level upgrades. In some cases, you may want to do something like swap out a heroic raid relic for a mythic dungeon relic simply because it has a better trait.

The item level numbers next to each trait below represent their equivalent value to increasing Titanstrike’s item level, which aids in relic comparisons.

Remember: When I talk about ilvl here, I am talking about the ilvl granted to Titanstrike, NOT the ilvl of the relic item itself!

Top Relic Traits

These traits are worth a LOT. The Kill Command ones are equally worth the equivalent of a 10 ilvl upgrade to Titanstrike. The Beast Cleave one is worth as much as a whopping +15 ilvl for AoE damage. What does all this mean? It means that a relic with Pack Leader and +40 ilvl is worth about the same as a relic with a non-DPS trait (like Mimiron’s Shell) and +50 ilvl. The Beast Cleave one is a bit harder to calculate since it’s not useful at all for single target, but it’s incredible for multi-target.

Mid-tier Relic Traits

These traits are worth in the neighborhood of 1-5 ilvl upgrades to Titanstrike. To give another example, a relic with Pack Leader and +40 ilvl is worth roughly the same as a relic with Unleash the Beast and +45 ilvl.

Non-DPS Relic Traits

Avoid, avoid, avoid. It’s a trap! The only way relics with these traits are worth it is if they are significant ilvl upgrades. There are very few cases where these are worth it if you’ve already got one of the top relic traits.

Best Trait Combo?

For raiding, either get Kill Command traits on all 3 relics (any combination of Pack Leader and Jaws of Thunder will do) or 2 Kill Command traits and 1 Beast Cleave trait. If you don’t raid and instead focus solely on dungeons, then go for at least one Beast Cleave trait (maybe even two).

Remember, traits matter!

Back to Questions


What are the best Legendaries?

Here’s a rough ranking of the Beast Mastery specific legendaries:

  1. The Mantle of Command
  2. Roar of the Seven Lions
  3. Qa’pla, Eredun War Order
  4. The Apex Predator’s Claw
  5. Call of the Wild
  • The Mantle of Command: Adds an extra charge to Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy, which means you’ll never waste a Wild Call proc ever again. The best legendary. It basically transforms the spec into something better. It should have been baseline (we all gave feedback to this end, but it never happened). It gives you the most extra damage, opens up two new talent options (One with the Pack and Big Game Hunter), and just makes the spec FEEL better. If you get this, consider yourself extremely lucky.
  • Roar of the Seven Lions is the second best legendary and it’s good in every situation. It’s main power is that the reduced Focus cost lets you squeeze in an extra Kill Command inside every Bestial Wrath (when using Killer Cobra). Blizzard did nerf it in 7.1.5, but you can still get the extra Kill Command (barely). If they nerf it anymore, it will just become a stat stick.
  • Qa’pla, Eredun War Order is one of the best single target DPS legendaries. It makes the rotation a little more interesting and also makes Focus management easier during Bestial Wrath. When Kill Command and Dire Beast finish cooldown at the same time, cast Kill Command first so you can take advantage of the boots (without the boots, you’d do the opposite).
  • The Apex Predator’s Claw is mostly suited to multi-target damage (like Mythic+ dungeons). The 7.1.5 nerf was pretty heavy — to the point where Prydaz is just as good from a raw DPS perspective (depending what you already have equipped in your neck slot). Despite it not technically being at the top, it’s one of my favorites. Nice for soloing and Mythic+.
  • Call of the Wild was also hit by the nerf bad in 7.1.5, but it’s still decent. It’s more utility focused now, but if you pair these bracers with Convergence of Fates it becomes a formidable combo, allowing you to use Aspect of the Wild every second Bestial Wrath or so.

Other Legendaries

  • Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish: The main power here comes from the raw stats, but the on-use ability is some pretty nice AoE damage. It is our BiS trinket. If you have this, you’re going to want to use it unless you have the legendary belt and shoulders.
  • The Shadow Hunter’s Voodoo Mask: Very nice stats on this item, and now you get a 20% heal every 30 seconds. Not bad if you ask me.
  • Roots of Shaladrassil: Again, it has great stats. The heal is pretty decent, but I would prefer the voodoo mask. One of BM’s advantages is to always be moving, and this plays against that.
  • Sephuz’s Secret: It’s actually pretty powerful if you can utilize its Haste proc every 30-45 seconds, but if you can’t it’s obviously not that great. It’s solid in Mythic+ dungeons, but pretty mediocre in raiding. The proc can be triggered by things like Binding Shot, Intimidation, Freezing Trap and Wyvern Sting. A tenacity’s pet Charge will also do it. In 7.1.5, interrupts will also trigger it. Unfortunately, Concussive Shot does not trigger it.
  • Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus: Great stats. Can be worth more DPS than the BM bracers or ring in some situations. The bubble will help you survive some raid mechanics if it’s up, but ultimately all it does is make your healer’s job slightly easier. The best thing about the bubble is you can’t get dazed off your mount while it’s up!

Back to Questions


Are there any helpful addons for Beast Mastery?

ClassMods

ClassMods is a relatively new addon that was based on JSHB (JS’ Hunter Bar), an addon that is no longer updated. You still get all the old features of JSHB (and some new ones), the main difference being it now supports all classes instead of just Hunters.

It handles timers, alerts, crowd control, and adds a custom health and Focus bar, target bar, easy right-click Misdirection, and more. Everything can be customized and you can even add your own alerts, which are basically just like WeakAuras, only simplified.

If you’re interested in an all-in-one solution, it’s worth trying. All of the main hunter components are setup out of the box. The only real thing you have to do is drag all of the various components where you want on your screen. From there you can customize each component individually. You can also disable the ones you don’t want to use, or the ones that are duplicating functionality you have from addons you already use.

RangeDisplay

This addon is very simple. It displays the distance between you and your current target. It’s not precise, but instead gives you numbers such as “25-30” or “10-15” yards. This is accurate enough for our purposes though.

Stampede only hits enemies out to 30 yards, which is shorter than our regular 40 yard range. It’s easy to forget this. With this addon you can make sure you’re within 30 yards every time.

Other than that I just find it handy to know my current range to the target.

Deadly Boss Mods

Not Hunter specific, but if you’re not using this (or BigWigs) you should be. Helps with dungeon and raid encounters.

Pawn and Simulation Craft

These are for using your own stat weights to compare gear, discussed here.

WeakAuras 2

Helps you track your buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, etc. by creating custom “auras” which display graphics or text on your screen, or play sound. See below for some BM-specific WeakAuras that you can import.

Back to Questions


Are there any good WeakAuras for Beast Mastery?

These are WeakAuras I’ve put together over the last couple of years. Some are made by me, most are modified from ones I’ve found. They are BM focused but some will apply to MM and SV. To import these weakauras, do the following:

  1. Install WeakAuras 2
  2. Click a text box below containing the weakaura string (you should only need to click it once to highlight everything) and copy it.
  3. Go in-game and open up weakauras: /weakauras
  4. Click New, then Import
  5. Paste the string you just copied
  6. You should get separate pop-up window with an import button. Click import.
  7. In your list of weakauras you can change the display options of each one (such as the size of fonts, icons, or bars) and also drag it wherever you want on your screen.

Beast Mastery Focus Bar

Depending on your UI setup, you may or may not have a Focus bar displayed near your cooldowns. If you don’t already — or you’re looking for something different — then check out this one.

This particular Focus bar is meant for BM as it changes color based on your Focus level: Below 30 Focus it’s red (meaning you wouldn’t have enough for your next Kill Command), from 30-90 it is yellow, and above 90 it is green (meaning you should be dumping Focus with Cobra Shot now). Drag and resize this puppy wherever you want.



Pet Counters

The next two WeakAuras tell you the total number of pets you currently have summoned and alive. It factors in your main pet, Hati, and Dire Beasts. Why should you care? Well, I guess it’s not a huge deal, but I like having the information at hand because of Way of the Cobra and Titan’s Thunder. The former isn’t something you can really control, but the latter is something that you want to try to use when you have as many pets summoned as possible.


Pet Counter – Text version (displays “Pets Active: X”):



Pet Counter – Icon version (Beast icon with number of current pets):



Hunter Pet Status / Pet Management

This set of WeakAuras helps you keep track of what your pet is doing:

  • Alerts you if your pet is not summoned (or is dead) in combat.
  • Alerts you if your pet’s Basic Attack (Claw, Bite, or Smack) is turned off.
  • Alerts you if your pet is NOT attacking something while you are in combat (which probably means it is stuck somewhere).
  • Alerts you if Growl is turned ON in a dungeon or raid group.
  • Alerts you when your pet’s health drops below 20%.

If you don’t like any of them, you can disable or enable each one individually. Note that this one also has built-in functionality for MM and SV Hunters (it will also know if you’ve picked Lone Wolf and will ignore it).



Bestial Wrath

A simple icon letting you know how much time is left in your current Bestial Wrath. Good information to have!



Aspect of the Turtle

A simple icon letting your know when Aspect of the Turtle will expire. Remember to make a macro with the following line as well, to cancel Turtle when you no longer need to soak damage: /cancelaura Aspect of the Turtle



Beast Cleave Bar

This is an expiring cast bar for when Beast Cleave is active. Once it disappears, you’ll know it’s time to refresh Beast Cleave with Multi-Shot during multi-target situations. Not entirely necessary, but I prefer having it.


 

Volley Reminder

Ever take the Volley talent and forget to turn it on? This one’s for you.


You can find more WeakAuras here on Wago.io. Some Hunters have uploaded complete rotation/cooldown helpers and some other things you might be interested in.

Back to Questions


Are there any good macros for Beast Mastery?


Misdirection macro: 
This will cast Misdirection on whatever player you are mousing over, and if you’re not mousing over someone it will cast on your focus target. If that also fails, it will simply cast on your current target.

#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead][@focus,help,nodead][] Misdirection

Pet Misdirection macro: Misdirects to your pet with one click.

#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [target=pet] Misdirection

Aspect of the Turtle macro: Oftentimes you only need to use Turtle to block or soak a specific ability. Once that’s done, you can use this to easily cancel Turtle and get back to DPSing.

/cancelaura Aspect of the Turtle

Pet Attack macros: These are highly recommended to improve your overall pet control. It makes sure that your pet will attack your current target when you switch, and always keeps them on the correct target for optimal Beast Cleave. Make one for both Kill Command and Multi-Shot and use these instead of the regular ability buttons.

#showtooltip Kill Command
/petattack
/cast Kill Command

#showtooltip Multi-Shot
/petattack
/cast Multi-Shot

Counter Shot macro: Interrupts your focus target, and if you have no focus target set it will interrupt your current target instead.

#showtooltip Counter Shot
/cast [@focus,exists,harm,nodead][] Counter Shot

Back to Questions


What do I do when my pet gets stuck in combat?! HELP!

I wish this wasn’t necessary, but it is. Pet pathing and AI is still a huge issue for Beast Mastery (you’d think after 12 years they’d upgrade the pet AI). So if you every get the “no path available” error for Kill Command or your pet is just stuck up on a ledge somewhere, you can do the following: set your pet to passive, then back to assist, then back to passive, then back to assist again. If all goes well, it should teleport to your side (this only works in combat — if you’re out of combat you need to dismiss and resummon). You can also spam this macro a few times which should hopefully get your pet unstuck:

/petattack
/petpassive
/petassist
/petfollow
/petpassive
/petassist

Back to Questions


What is the best in slot gear for Beast Mastery?

There’s no such thing as best in slot — not in a world with warforging, titanforging, and sockets. Trinkets are a little different, and I’ll highlight some of those below. See the artifact relic section for information on what relics to use. For armor see the discussion below about stat weights and how to find your own.

Back to Questions


Are the Tier 19 bonuses worth it?

Yes, especially the 4 piece bonus. The two bonuses combined are worth about a 7-10% increase in DPS (depending on talents/legendaries).

As for what pieces you should wear, I wouldn’t worry about that at first. Just focus those bonus rolls on completing the bonuses ASAP. After that you can worry about optimizing based on what pieces you have and the alternatives you have for each slot.

T19 2-piece bonus: When you use Bestial Wrath, all of your currently summoned Dire Beasts gain 50% increased damage for 15 sec.

  • The current wording on this one can be a little confusing, but this is what it should say: “Increases all Dire Beast damage by 50% during Bestial Wrath.”
  • The 50% damage bonus applies to existing and newly summoned beasts during Beastial Wrath, and it also buffs their Stomp and Titan’s Thunder damage. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to use the Stomp talent with this bonus.
  • With Dire Frenzy, this set bonus increases your primary pet’s damage by an additional 10% during Bestial Wrath.
  • Provides about a 3% increase to overall DPS.

T19 4-piece bonus: Dire Beast reduces the cooldown of Bestial Wrath by an additional 8 sec.

  • This means every time you use Dire Beast, you will reduce the cooldown of Bestial Wrath by 23 seconds (instead of 15).
  • To put it in perspective, during a 5-minute boss fight you would get approximately 3 more Bestial Wraths to play with (on average).
  • This doesn’t really change your rotation or priorities as Dire Beast was already one of the highest priority abilities.
  • Provides about a 7% increase to DPS.
  • You should always use the Bestial Fury talent for primarily single target encounters.

Back to Questions

What are the best Beast Mastery trinkets?

I’m not going to cover every single trinket. The best way to compare them is to simulate them with your own character, but I’ll summarize the best trinkets from each source — there are simply too many variables to declare one trinket better than the others (unless you assume they’re all the same item level).

BoE, World Quest, World Bosses:

  • Six-Feather Fan — The ilvl 835+ versions are good starter trinkets for new hunters.
  • Darkmoon Deck: Dominion — Another decent starter trinket if you upgrade it all the way with Obliterum.
  • Three-Toed Rabbit Foot (world quests) — These stat sticks come under a bunch of different names, this is just one example. If you can get one to roll a high ilvl with Mastery or Haste, you are in business.
  • Unstable Arcanocrystal (world boss) — Really, really good. The 860 version is about on par with 890 Nighthold trinkets. If this warforges, consider yourself extremely lucky.

Dungeon trinkets:

  • Aran’s Relaxing Ruby — Recently nerfed in 7.1.5, but still pretty decent in dungeons. Not recommended for single target.
  • Ethereal Urn — If you can reliably get to Nightbane, this one is pretty easy to farm. Very strong.
  • Chrono Shard — The poor Hunter’s Bloodthirsty Instinct.
  • Stormsinger Fulmination Charge — Pretty good trinket with a mastery proc from EoA.
  • Tempered Egg of Serpentrix — What makes this one decent for BM is the serpents are buffed by our Mastery. It is very random though, so be prepared for long droughts of no procs followed by 3 Serpents up at the same time.

Raid trinkets:

  • Bloodthirsty Instinct from Ursoc in Emerald Nightmare — Probably the best overall trinket for BM. It’s even valuable compared to Nighthold trinkets, which need to be 20+ ilvls higher to match its value.
  • Eye of Guarm from Guarm in ToV — Try to get one with Mastery or Haste, but any stat will do really. It’s a lot of stats.
  • Convergence of Fates from Elisande in The Nighthold — Lots of passive Agility, and the proc reduces the cooldown of Aspect of the Wild, allowing you to cast it a couple more times per boss fight (on average).
  • Entwined Elemental Foci from Spellblade Aluriel in The Nighthold — Each of the Fiery (Crit rating), Frost (Mastery rating), and Arcane (Haste rating) enchants can proc independently, and multiple can be up at the same time. Best overall Nighthold trinket.
  • Nightblooming Frond from High Botanist Tel’arn in The Nighthold — Lots of passive Agility. The Recursive Strikes slightly increase your single target DPS on top of that.
  • Fury of the Burning Sky from High Botanist Tel’arn in The Nighthold — Great trinket for Mythic+ dungeons or AoE raid encounters.

Recommended: Bloodthirsty Instinct + Entwined Elemental Foci is good all around. I really like Fury of the Burning Sky for Mythic+ dungeons as well. A good stat stick will always be good. The one thing that never changes is Bloodthirsty Instinct will always be good.

Back to Questions


What are the best enchants and gems for Beast Mastery?

For gems:

For enchants:

Note: Trained Soldier and Claw enchants are almost identical in output. Claw buffs both crit and haste by 1000 with a 30% average uptime (in other words, 600 total average stats). Compare that with Trained Soldier which gives 600 mastery at all times. If you already have high unbuffed mastery (say over 12k), you might benefit a little more from Claw. Hidden Satyr is more single target focused (and isn’t really any better there anyway), which does not really apply to Nighthold.

Back to Questions


What are the best consumables for Beast Mastery?

Back to Questions


What’s the stat priority / stat weights for Beast Mastery?

  1. Agility
  2. Mastery
  3. Haste
  4. Critical Strike
  5. Versatility

Agility is well ahead of the pack, and all of the secondary stats are quite close in value, so in most cases ilvl upgrades are upgrades regardless of secondary stats (especially if one of them is Mastery or Haste). The biggest exception is sockets, which can give another 5-15 ilvls of value depending on the slot.

Stat weights:

Disclaimer: These weights are not personal to you. They are an average set of weights that should be relatively accurate for most BM hunters for determining upgrades. Your personal stat weights will change based on gear, talents, legendaries, etc. If you want your own you have to simulate it yourself.

( Pawn: v1: "Bendak-BM-7.1.5": Class=Hunter, Spec=BeastMastery, Agility=13.00, CritRating=9.25, HasteRating=10.20, MasteryRating=11.50, Versatility=8.60 )

If you download the Pawn addon, you can copy and import the above stat weights into the addon to compare gear and determine whether or not something is an upgrade (this will display on the item tooltip). Note that this only works for comparing individual armor pieces, it does not work on relics, set bonuses, or trinkets.

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How do I find my own personal stat weights and use them to compare gear?

It’s easier than it looks! I just split it up into many different steps to make it as clear as possible:

  1. Download Simulation Craft here. The 32-bit or 64-bit installer is easiest. If you’re not sure if your Windows is 32 or 64-bit, just use the 32-bit. Install it.
  2. Download the Simulation Craft addon here and the Pawn addon here. Install both of them.
  3. Go in game, make sure you’re wearing your raiding gear and have your raiding talents set.
  4. Type this: /simc
  5. Copy all of the text in the window that pops up.
  6. Open Simulation Craft, go to the “Options” tab at the top.
    1. Under “Globals” tab: Set iterations to 10,000, length to 300, vary length to 20. Leave everything else for now (you can play around later if you want).
    2. Under “Scaling” tab: Click Enable Scaling and Toggle All Character Stats
  7. Go to the “Simulate” tab at the top.
  8. Delete all the text there and then paste what you copied from earlier in the game with the /simc command.
  9. Click the Simulate button at the bottom right. Depending on your CPU speed, this will take anywhere from 20 seconds to 5 minutes.
  10. Once simulating is done, it will pop up a new “Results” window. The top will show your simulated single target DPS. Scroll down a bit to the “Scale Factors for <your name> Damage Per Second” table. These scale factors are your personal stat weights.
  11. Below that, you will see something called “Pawn string” — this is for the other addon you just downloaded. Copy everything after “Pawn string” including the brackets.
  12. Go back in game and type /pawn
  13. Click the Scale tab at the bottom then click the Import button. Paste in what you just copied and click OK.
  14. On the left hand side, you should see the one you imported. You can delete the default scales the addon put there in the first place (should have been one for each spec) or else they’ll show up in you tooltips as well. All that matters is the one you just imported (which should just be listed as your name).

Now your tooltips will show comparisons between items. Try it out by going into the Dungeon Journal and looking up some Mythic raid gear or something you know is an upgrade. Hover over it and at the bottom of the tooltip it should show if it’s an upgrade and by how much. This also factors in best enchants and gems, so don’t worry about that (it assumes you will be gemming and enchanting).  Note that this feature isn’t useful for trinkets or relics.

Every time you get a couple of upgrades, it’s worth doing this over again since your stat weights will change slightly. You can delete your old pawn string and import the new one, or just manually edit the new values into your old one.

If any of this wasn’t clear, let me know.

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46 thoughts on “Legion Beast Mastery FAQ/Guide (updated for 7.1.5)”

  1. ..Now do one for survival. /snort

    Very, very well-written, Bendak. I personally can’t stand BM anymore.. it’s just.. not enough activity. This seems to hit right on the nose, though.

  2. Nice work, ty for adding the pet pathing issue. It was driving me bonkers that it wasn’t public knowledge…this will go a long way in making that happen.

    Couple small things:

    (1) if you get Call of the Wild you can always line up titan’s thunder and aspect of the wild. It provides a nice dynamic to out CD rotation.

    (2) This is me but i been finding the best results for a opener is when i cast Murder of Crows as my opener…this seems to get the pets moving and gives them a chance to get closer to the boss before you hit titan’s thunder/bestial wrath.

    (3) regarding weights….run as many as you want…the changes in weights for BM are minor even with multiple gear upgrades. Our stat weights are very close together and we have no breakpoints that changes them. Its why we don’t hear hunters equipping items 20-30 ilevels lower because of a certain stat.

    (4) Maybe add a part where you advise people to may have to manually adjust there pets location. This is key for BM dps. Many times i will see my pet in a position where his beast cleave will not be optimal and if i move him slightly he hits more targets.

  3. What is up with Hati lately? He’s been kind of a derpy blonde since Legion started, but it feels like since this last patch, he’s been really confused and not entirely sure what he’s supposed to do.

    Also, very annoying if Surge of the Stormgod procs and my pets haven’t managed to get into melee range yet…

    1. Hati is just too slow, I think that’s the main issue. Good feedback to give Blizzard for 7.1.5, I plan on doing that soon. I think one solution would be to just make sure Hati can keep up with the main pet by giving him Dash or Charge based on whatever your main pet has.

      As for Surge of the Stormgod, you’re probably better off Kill Commanding first to get the pets in range, then start your Multi-Shotting.

      1. The problem with Hati is that before, he was slow but he wasn’t too bad. Now sometimes my other pet will be on a mob, and Hati will come back and hang out with me, or 20 yards away from the mob if it moved, or something, and just sit there, and then go “oh hey! something’s happening!” and leisurely wander over. He’s less responsive than my regular pet to the problem of dealing with a large pack of mobs and the thing I’m targetting dies, and he comes back – my pet will usually move over to another mob if I’ve switched targets a couple times during the combat (or if my pet comes back to me, it tends to be pretty responsive to me shooting something new), but Hati tends to come and hang out. I’ll have to pay attention to see if Kill Command is what gets him moving again. I’ve also had issues with both pets being on a mob I never even targetted in the first place in a pack. I do have a pet target frame turned on, and sometimes if there’s a focus-kill target in a pack, after a bit I’ll notice my pet isn’t hitting the right mob and I have to manually tell him what to do (not so surprising if I started the pull targetting something else, sometimes they’re slow to switch, but when I never targetted another mob in the first place, this is highly annoying). Sigh. I should macro petattack into some stuff, but it’s also occasionally useful for them to be hitting something I’m not, so I’m reluctant to do that.

        Good point about the Kill Command first, though it’s a bit annoying to have to do that.

        Also, thanks about the notes about Stomp and distance to target… I’d noticed my Dire Beast sometimes stomps next to me and then runs in but hadn’t realized it was range related. Did some mythic plus dungeons last night and paid attention to that, and being a bit closer in seemed to be have fewer wasted stomps 🙂

        1. I should probably emphasize it more in this FAQ, but the /petattack macros are pretty much mandatory to get any sort of half-decent control over the pets (including Hati). Kind of sucks that we have to put a bandage on it like that.

          As for Stomp, when your beast stomps beside you before running in it means it was a pathing issue (you can see this happen on the target dummies in Trueshot Lodge (the ones that are raised off the ground on right side). The issue I’m talking about is when they still charge in properly, but they Stomp en route instead of when they get there. Both issues have been there since alpha, can’t count the number of times and ways I’ve reported it (twitter, alpha forums, beta forums, posts here, in-game reports, etc.) They could fix the distance one easily by adding another 0.5 second delay on the Stomp, or making it so the Stomp doesn’t happen until the first melee attack.

  4. What are your thoughts on the simulator over at AMR?

    I know they’ve been on the hunting party podcast recently talking about their simulator, so they’re invested somewhat in hunters at least. However, nowhere do I see anybody using AMR or even offering AMR as an alternative to SimC. Is AMR really inferior, or is it just too much of a mountain to climb to break into the sim game?

    I haven’t had the time to sit down and compare them side-by-side yet, but I can’t imagine that the crew at AMR just got something terribly wrong.

    I got Qa’pla recently, so I’m really trying to figure out how to custom sim some scenarios so I can figure out if I SHOULD alter my DB usage to try to make use of the CD reduction. Currently, it seems like I don’t alter my priority, and just benefit when it lines up. The most relevant situation seems like during a BW with Killer Cobra, but resetting with Cobra Shot still nets the most Kill Command’s. It feels like we should be utilizing that better, but I’m not sure how. =/

    1. Yeah, AMR has always been good friends with the podcast! I was away for that particular episode. As for their simulator, I’ve heard it’s pretty good. Lots of people use it. I’m just used to SimC and didn’t want to learn a new one.

      As for the boots, I think it’s only really a consideration when both cooldowns line up together, and only outside of Bestial Wrath (assuming you’re using Killer Cobra). In that case you’d probably want to do Kill Command first. It’s hard to comment on it without playing around with it much. If they put the legendary vendor on PTR again maybe I’ll try it out.

      1. That’s what I figured. It’s partly BECAUSE the team are friends of the podcast is why I’ve been trying to promote their sim, but it’s been hard since everybody (that publishes sim info, at least) uses SimC. If I ever get around to doing a side-by-side, I’ll come back and share.

  5. Great write up I wish more people could do this for class/specs it helps bring the whole community up when information is presented so nicely. Glad to see you back and hope everything settled well. Happy to see you got the legendary belt ! Just need to get the apex ring and you’ll have the old BM flavor back !

  6. This may not be the best place to ask this, but I was wondering if you are planning to update your timewalking guide? With set bonuses deactivated do we just find the pieces with the most sockets? Do we use our artifacts or is the sha-touched gem still king? Are any of the newer gems/enchants better than the previous recommendations? Thanks

    1. There’s not much to it anymore. Use your legendary cloak (if you have it), use the epic version of the WoD ring (the one you had before the legendary), use armor with sockets like you said (the old TBC/WOTLK epic gems are still highest I think), and then whatever trinkets you want — Mirror of the Blademaster from HFC is still good for that. Use your artifact, not sha-touched.

      1. Thanks a lot for answering. That’s what I figured; wasn’t sure on the weapon though.

        I check every drop for sockets when I run old raids for pets and mounts :o)

        How about enchants? Any new ones worth using over the old recommended ones?

  7. I main a ret pal. My hunter was my first dps main though and has always kept a special place in my heart. ive fallen in love with legion BM, love the niche of the incredibal sustained cleave in M+ my ret has sort of become my raid main and my bm my go to for guild 5 mans. I dont have time to get in a 2nd raid for my hunter with everything else in legion but i snagged an lfr bloodthirsty instinct, what ilvl would the solid dungeon trinks need to surpass it? i have most of the ones on the list at 850ish

    1. It depends on the trinket, but I think in most cases an 835 Bloodthirsty is going to be better than an 850 dungeon trinket (not counting the Karazhan trinkets).

      1. awesome thanks! like i said, hunter has always been my favorite escape, ive followed all the hunter blogs for years and years, it may not be my main but it def is my favorite community, thanks for all the hardwork!

  8. Thank you so much for this guide. I do main MM for raiding (primarily because of derpy pets; I don’t trust them in raids ever since Megaera in ToT), but I do enjoy it for questing and dungeons. Moreover, I’m especially grateful for the SimC instructions. I’ve been wanting to do my own sims for a while now, but found SimC rather intimidating. Your instructions are perfect!

  9. Big thanks for this one Bendak.
    I’m way ahead of a guildie with artefact upgrades & gear but he keeps doing about the same as me or even above.
    So I must be doing something wrong.
    Gonna change some talents & change my rotation a tad with your advice here.

  10. Stat Weight Question

    Hi guys, new here, been looking around for an answer to this question but haven’t see it on any of the sites/forums so I thought I would post it here.

    It seems like there used to be soft caps in the game with stat priorities. You would want to keep stacking until you hit a certain point and then move on to the next stat. I’m currently sitting on 89% 8% Haste 18% Crit, 2% Vers. (I’ve gotten a lot of Mastery/Crit gear with much higher item levels than the Mastery/Haste stuff, and per the advice I see eveywhere to take the agility boost first – and since Mastery is good – I went with that.)

    I’ve got 3 pieces to socket. At this point if I add more mastery at 89% am I experiencing diminishing returns at all? My Haste number looks so low that I’m tempted to start socketing for haste.

    I guess what I’m trying to ask is: “Do I always want to socket for mastery or is there a certain point at which I want to working on my haste?”

    Thanks all. Really enjoy the website so far.

    1. There’s not much point to gemming for Haste even if your haste is low. Mastery is still going to be more overall damage. Haste is so close that it wouldn’t be much of a difference when you’re only talking about 450 stats though.

  11. One question about Killer Cobra: While inside the BW window, should we just spam Cobra Shot + Kill Command; or still use a GCD for Dire Beast?

      1. I’m still holding true (stubbornly?) to Beast Mastery after all these years, and your guides/posts keep me on the path! Thank you for all your hard work and effort.

  12. Thank you for your hard work doing guides for BM and for inspiring me to stay the course with BM. Your help is very much appreciated!

  13. Oh wanted to mention that I main BM hunter and just finished up at 7/7 mythic emerald nightmare. Its def a very viable raiding spec and Ive been doing quite well with it all expansion. I felt my dmg go way up after the patch as well.

  14. Looks like BM has some more buffs coming soon.

    Hunter
    Beast Mastery
    Cobra Shot damage increased by 46%.
    Chimera Shot damage increased by 10%.
    Barrage damage increased by 10%.
    Kill Command damage increased by 10%.

  15. Hi Bendak! Love your articles, I’m curious as to why we should need to pool focus to 90, when the only spenders relevant most of the time are Kill Command and Cobra Shot, which add up to 70 focus at any rate, seems a bit of a down time that’s unnecessary? With our haste the focus regen seems to be very quick and Dire Beast giving more 90 seems just a wee bit high. Anyway I’d just like to hear your input about why it’s there. I understand you’d want to pool focus before BW but I can’t see how it’d come into place otherwise 🙂 Thanks!

    1. It’s there just to help make sure you can always start Bestial Wrath with full Focus (without delaying it to wait for that Focus). You never know when a Wild Call proc will happen, which could make Bestial Wrath available immediately. As long as you’re not capping Focus, you’re not wasting any damage by staying at high Focus outside Bestial Wrath.

      The goal is to start each Bestial Wrath at full Focus, it doesn’t really matter how you do it. The 90 Focus rule just makes it foolproof.

  16. Thank you very much for this guide! Extremely useful for a nub 110 hunter like myself. I really enjoyed Suvival leveling up but I want to play BM for now at max level so I can show off some of the rare pets I tamed. Now I can do decent damage while looking cool.

  17. Love your guid, thank you!

    I Have a question.

    The 2nd bonus on tier 19 are really worth it?

    Cuz i have legendari voodoo mask (head) with ilvl 940, and normal tier head (875) is LOT of iLVL. (60% on weights)
    and need to remove the shoulder too for normal tier (875) with 10% less weights (have 880 equiped).

    Forgive my pronunciation.

    1. If you mean the 4 piece bonus, it’s probably still worth it. For the 2 piece, probably not. Try to get tier pieces that don’t take up your legendary slots.

  18. Bendak, I have a first world problem I’d love to hear your thoughts on- Mantle of Command. After running around with Sephuz’s and Prydaz forever, I finally got TWO class legendaries last week. The Mantle and Apex. Yay! BUT, I’ve been simcrafting as you suggested (following your tut, playing BM ofcourse), and it seems very skewy. It keeps saying more crit, more crit, more crit. To the point that if I followed that line of crit heavy, my mastery would be 60% at best. That just seems wrong. Is there some special thing about the Mantle I’m missing? I’ve been running my talents as 2-1-1-1-1-1-2.

    1. Nope, that’s normal. The value of Crit goes through the roof with the shoulders. With shoulders you should basically be going for Mastery and Crit instead of Mastery and Haste (though haste is still good). You can also try the One With The Pack talent… it is viable with shoulders, and it will probably make crit even more valuable.

      1. Thank you! Nice to know I’m not losing it or broke SimC. Not a lot of information out there about the Shoulders or the Crit/Mast jump.

  19. Hi,

    Hotfix from February 6th:

    With the Dire Frenzy talent, the Eagletalon Battlegear Beast Mastery 2-piece bonus should now grant your pet 10% increased damage for 15 seconds. This will not be reflected in the tooltip until Patch 7.2.

    Bendak, can you please involve this in this guide after you test it a bit? I feel that with this change Dire Stable/Dire Frenzy combo might be lot better – maybe even for AoE dmg since 10% dmg boost is also applied on Beast Cleave.

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