Patch 7.3 is almost here so it’s time to take a look at what’s going on for Hunters. The answer is… not much. We’ve got some pretty cool new pets available to tame on Argus, but still no new stable slots to make room for them. I don’t know about you, but I’m at the point where every pet I replace isn’t such an easy decision. Either it’s a rare I wouldn’t want to have to hunt for again, or a pet I’ve had for a long time and just don’t want to get rid of. There are a few new pets on Argus that may be worth swapping out for, though.
New Pets: Marsuul
The Marsuul have been added to the Rodent (formerly Porcupine) family. They come in 5 different colors and they appear to use the cat animations. In addition they have the “Rest” ability which makes them sleep for a short while (as seen above).
The above Marsuul is the Shadowcrazed Marsuul, and surprisingly it keeps its void effect after taming. It doesn’t look the greatest in a still shot because the purple void stuff flows over the body constantly.
See all the Marsuul on Petopia.
New Pets: Talbuks
Yes, because the game needed even more Talbuks. Outland Talbuks, Draenor Talbuks, and now Argus Talbuks. There are 14 different ones by Petopi’a count — some of those are the same color but with different horns. The fel ones look particularly nice.
There is also a void-infected one like the Marsuul, the Shadowcrazed Chitinbuk. Its void effects are a little more subtle and hard to see in a screenshot. A faint purple glow and voidy eye effects that you can’t really see properly in a still shot.
Check out all the colors on Petopia.
New Pets: Mana Rays
Mana Rays come in 6 different colors and join the Nether Ray family, which means they’re another pet that can be used for Heroism/Blood Lust.
Check out all the colors on Petopia.
New Pets: Panthara
Panthara are being added to the Cat family. They’re available in a lot of colors, but there’s a catch.
We don’t know how to tame them yet (as of this posting). Whenever you try to tame one, the tame is immediately canceled and the following message appears on your chat log:
Update: The secret to taming Panthara was discovered by Petopia and the Secret Finding discord channel!
- Kill any Talbuks on Argus for Fresh Talbuk Meat. This has a very very low drop rate. I estimate it to be 1%. I killed well over 300 Talbuks for 3 of the meat.
- Find a Panthara you want to tame. MM or SV is recommended for Camouflage, but plenty of folks have done it without camo.
- Kill any nearby enemies in aggro range of the one you want to tame.
- Trap the Panthara
- (Optional) Use Camouflage
- Walk into meat throwing range of the Panthara (it’s only around 10 yards, you can use it to see how far you can aim, just don’t throw it yet!!)
- Feign death. Taming only works properly if you’re out of combat.
- Throw the meat directly on top of the Panthara while you are still Feigning Death.
- Begin taming immediately. Like as soon as the meat hits the ground. If you wait too long, it won’t work.
Hopefully it worked for you. If it didn’t, you’re not alone. The whole thing is very glitchy. My first 2 failed despite me doing everything correctly. The worst part is the meat is consumed on use, and you may have to kill hundreds of Talbuks to get one if you’re unlucky.
Tuning and Tier 21
For a few weeks on the PTR there were some small balance changes for BM and SV. BM had a 4% buff and SV had a 3% buff to most of their abilities and talents. It wasn’t a lot, but it was certainly helpful because of its current ranking in Tomb of Sargeras. BM is OK on a few fights, but bottom-tier on all the rest. Perhaps there will be some tuning in 7.3.5, but that’s a while away and isn’t going to help us in Tomb of Sargeras. Marksmanship is in a much better place, in terms of numbers anyway.
Update: Blizzard says they’ll be re-adding these small buffs once the Netherlight Crucible unlocks. They say this is because we’ll benefit less from the Crucible weapon ilvl upgrades than other specs.
Tier 21 bonuses haven’t seen any changes since I last talked about them. I can’t comment too much on MM or SV since I don’t actively play the specs, but the BM T21 bonuses are pretty bad in their current state. Essentially, 4 pieces of 930 T21 is the same overall value as 4 pieces of 915 T20. It’s that bad. I’ve already given my feedback on them so there’s not much else to do but wait and see. I speculated that Blizzard wants people to move away from “tier or nothing” and have us make more gear choices, because that is the only explanation for tier bonuses that seem to get worse with every new tier. Remember when the final tier of an expansion always had really cool bonuses? I do. 😐 I can see a future where the Stomp build runs something like 2-piece T19 with the rest of their gear just the highest ilevel stuff they can get, along with having the option to use Parsel’s Tongue or Mantle of Command again.
The Netherlight Crucible adds another layer of RNG to the game, with a limited amount of control. Basically, when you first unlock it (at the start of week 3 of the patch), your artifact will immediately get 15 ilevels (5 from the first tier of each relic). The tier 2 and 3 options are unlocked based on your total artifact level:
- First Relic: Tier 2 at 60, Tier 3 at 69
- Second Relic: Tier 2 at 63, Tier 3 at 72
- Third Relic: Tier 2 at 66, Tier 3 at 75
Every time you socket a new relic, it generates new random options for that relic which you get to select. You can preview these options before you socket the relic as well.
Tier 2 options:
Each relic rolls one random shadow and one random light power. You can only choose one.
Master of Shadows: Mastery increased by 1000. Avoidance increased by 1000.
Murderous Intent: Your Versatility is increased by 2500 while Concordance of the Legionfall is active.
Shadowbind: Your spells and abilities have a chance to deal 166000 Shadow damage and heal you for 166000.
Chaotic Darkness: Your spells and abilities have a chance to deal 60000 to 300000 Shadow damage and heal you for 60000 to 300000.
Torment the Weak: Your spells and abilities have a chance to cause Torment, dealing 99000 Shadow damage over 15 sec. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
Dark Sorrows: Your spells and abilities have a chance to afflict the target with Sorrow, causing it to burst after 8 sec, dealing 133100 Shadow damage.
Light Speed: Haste increased by 650. Movement speed increased by 1000.
Refractive Shell: Your spells and abilities have the chance to cause Refractive Shell, absorbing 200000 damage. Lasts 10 sec.
Shocklight: While Concordance of the Legionfall is active, your critical strike is increased by 2500.
Secure in the Light: Your harmful spells and abilities have the chance to deal 155000 additional damage and grant you Holy Bulwark, absorbing up to 77500 damage over 8 sec.
Infusion of Light: Your harmful spells and abilities have the chance to deal 116000 additional Holy damage. Your helpful spells and abilities have a chance to heal for 116000.
Light’s Embrace: When you take damage, you have a chance to generate Light’s Embrace, stacking up to 5 times. Light’s Embrace heals for 29000 damage over 6 sec.
Note: Above numbers are copy-pasted from Wowhead and may be slightly out of date.
It looks like the stat ones will be the best by a long shot. The Concordance modifier ones like Shocklight look pretty good as well. The damage procs look kind of mediocre, but depending on your tier 3 choices it might be worth taking them over a stat one.
Also, it is possible to have multiple relics with the same power. In that case, they’ll simply stack.
Tier 3 options
Each relic will roll 3 random artifact traits (can’t be the same trait that the relic had originally), so you have a pretty good chance of getting at least one decent trait. Once you choose the light or shadow power from tier 2, you are limited to just 2 of these choices.
How do I make these choices?!
I don’t know of a way to sim all these yet, so I don’t have an exact ranking list. However, we already know the value of traits, and can easily get the average value of the damage procs.
For example, take the “Secure in the Light” trait which has a 3 PPM (procs per minute) chance to deal 155,000 holy damage. That’s 465k/min on average, or about 605k/min if we assume the Hunter has 30% crit — that gives this trait a value of about 10,000 DPS. Let’s compare that to the shadow power “Chaotic Darkness” which is 2PPM chance to deal 60k-300k damage, which would average out to around 8,000 DPS (once again, assuming 30% crit). So the Holy one does more average damage, but the Shadow one has potential to do more if you get lucky with it since it has a higher range. While these damage procs can crit, they are not affected by Versatility, Bestial Wrath, or any other damage buffs.
The stat ones are easy to see in a sim simply by adding a “fake” enchant for that value to your gear. For example, if I take my current gear and simply add 650 Haste (for the “Light Speed” trait), I gain 18,000 DPS. Obviously this is much better than the damage procs.
But that’s not it. You also have to take into consideration where the best third tier traits are on your relic’s tree. What if taking a good trait like Light Speed locked out the best option in tier 3? Don’t worry, I’m sure soon enough there will be addons and tools to help make these decisions.
If you happen to get lucky with your tier 2 traits, I can see the new legendary ring, Insignia of the Grand Army, being a potential option. Everyone gets this legendary as a freebie for killing the final boss in Antorus (on any difficulty), so it’ll be a while.
Will Argus be any good?
I still think MoP did it best when it came to end-game zones — Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle are still my favorites. I don’t know how Argus is going to stack up as I didn’t want to spoil too much on the PTR. I only did the very opening quests to get there, and quickly ran around a few areas to see some pets. So I don’t really know what to expect.
Dungeons are being re-scaled again, so normal Mythic is going to drop 885 loot. The new M+ cap for the weekly chest will be +10 again (which will give 935 loot in your weekly). The new relinquished gear is 910 and includes ToS gear. Makes me wish I had the desire to play an alt this expansion as gearing one up sounds like it will be pretty fast and fun in this patch. As someone just playing the one character, I guess I’m not massively excited for this patch. Hopefully Argus surprises me. What about you guys?