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: January 18, 2017 — Some adjustments to talent recommendations
In patch 7.1, Alcaz Island in Dustwallow Marsh has turned into some kind of crazy robot island filled with deadly security bots, turrets, land mines, plus all of the evil gnomes who seemingly put them there. The place is a literal death trap. It begins with getting knocked off your flying mount with anti-aircraft fire as you approach the island, meaning you can only traverse this place on foot. The robots are easy enough to deal with (well, the non-elites anyway), but the turrets and hidden landmines will kill you in seconds.
Hidden deeper on the island are 4 new Mechanical Hunter pets. Remember that you’ll either need to be a gnome or goblin to tame these. If you’re not, you can get a Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix from an Engineer or the AH:
In addition, there are new Hunter items that can drop from the robots on the island:
- Machine Fluid: Coats your pets (including Hati) in oil. It is consumed on use and disappears on death, but they are extremely easy to farm and stack to 200. Why this item? I think it’s a little bit of a throwback to the Oil-Stained Wolf (an old glitch tame pet). The effect isn’t identical, but it’s close, and you can use it on any pet. They can be sold and traded.
- Drudge Fluid: Similar to the oil, but yellow color instead. I believe this may only drop from Doctor Weavil, so it will be rarer.
- Electrified Key: Enables the activation of Arachnodrones so you can tame them. Has a chance to drop off Doctor Weavil. Actual chance isn’t known yet, but I’d estimate about 25% from my own experience.
Reaching wave 30 on Endless mode in Proving Grounds to get “the Proven Assailant” title has always been a bit of a pain in the ass, but that has changed for Hunters in patch 7.0. I’d go as far to say as it’s now been kind of trivialized for Marksmanship. You still need to pay attention, but it’s way easier than it used to be.
Marksmanship is absolutely ridiculous for spread AoE damage if you take the right talents, and it’s just as good for single target to boot. These are the main talents you care about:
Sidewinders allows you to mark many things at once, and Patient Sniper adds a huge damage buff without having to build up 3 stacks (takes too long for these 1 minute waves). Combine that with Barrage when Marked Shot isn’t available and you have a deadly combination for Proving Grounds. Here is a good build to start with.
If you’re interested in playing Survival when patch 7.0 drops, you may be wondering what the heck you’re supposed to use for a weapon since you probably only own ranged weapons at the moment. Sure, you will be getting your Talonclaw on day one of Legion, but for the 4-5 weeks in the interim you will need something to poke demons with. Thankfully, Blizzard will be sending you a melee weapon to get started with. If that’s not enough, there are several other options to tide you over until Legion.
Option 1: Blizzard’s Weapon Insurance
All Hunters who login to patch 7.0 will receive an in-game mail from Blizzard informing them of the weapon change for Survival. Attached to the message is a Survivalist’s Hunting Spear polearm. Its item level will be different depending on your raiding progress in Hellfire Citadel:
- No raid experience, or only LFR experience: ilvl 655
- Normal HFC raid experience: ilvl 690
- Heroic HFC raid experience: ilvl 705
- Mythic HFC raid experience: ilvl 720
I am not sure what the threshold is for Blizzard thinking that you have the experience, but if I had to guess it would be something similar to how the raid caches from the ship yard work. So if you’re currently getting heroic raid caches from the ship yard, you can probably expect an ilvl 705 polearm. This is just an educated guess, they may have different requirements.
I’ve gotten a handful of questions about the heirloom trinket, so I thought it was worth a quick post to make the info easily searchable. Is the Infallible Tracking Charm worth using? It will obviously be a nice trinket for leveling to 110 as it scales up, but how about now, in Hellfire Citadel?
For those who don’t know, this heirloom trinket has a chance (roughly 5%) to drop from any mythic dungeon boss. It’s personal loot so it doesn’t matter what your loot rules are. This is a good week to run these dungeons because it’s the dungeon bonus event (complete 4 mythics, get a heroic raid cache) and a lot of people are running them in group finder.
The trinket is ilvl 715 at level 100 and it cannot be upgraded with valor. It has 351 passive agility and a proc called Cleansing Flame which instantly does damage to your target and increases damage you deal against demons by 10% for 5 sec.
I hope you like wolves, because we’ve got another one for you to tame.
Big congratulations to Qraljar on the Petopia forums for winning the contest to be first to discover how to tame a fel wolf! Somehow this little guy stayed hidden for the majority of the PTR, but the contest ran by Petopia got everyone out hunting for it. The prize was a Corrupted Hippogryph mount.
Fel wolves throughout Draenor are classed as aberrations, not beasts, so normally they aren’t available for taming. However, there is a special way to temporarily make a Felbound Wolf tameable. It’s a brand new taming challenge! The Felbound Wolf uses the same model and visual effect as Gara, but it’s green instead of purple. It’s also a part of the Wolf family instead of Spirit Beasts, meaning all hunter specs can enjoy it.
The challenge requires use of your full hunter toolkit, but if you’re having trouble doing it solo you can always ask a friend to help you out. Here’s how it’s done.
Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since patch 6.1 dropped and I can say I haven’t once specced out of Beast Mastery the entire time, and I’m loving it. I don’t know what it is, but I just have more fun playing it. Survival is still strong but it was becoming stale for me. What I like about BM is all of the opportunities to stack cooldowns and trinkets. Focus Fire has turned into its own little mini-game, with a ton of variables to take into account rather than the old method of simply using it when the button flashed.
I feel like having so much DPS potential built into Focus Fire has added an entire new dimension to the spec that rewards you for proper decision making. There is a downside with the RNG component, but that probably helps keep it balanced. If gaining Frenzy stacks was more predictable, it’s possible that Focus Fire wouldn’t be able to have the same power level. And to be honest, the awesome feeling I get when I have a pull with good Frenzy stacks outweighs the pulls where I have bad luck. I actually grin when I get good RNG as I play Beast Mastery. I never did that with survival.
In the first paragraph I said I don’t know what it is, but I guess I just answered my own question.
I originally did these simulations for my own amusement, but I thought I’d share them with you guys. Again, like most sims I post on this site they are done with whatever gear I’m wearing at the time (ilvl 672). Whenever you see “official” comparisons between specs on the actual Simulation Craft page, or on some other sites and guides, these are almost always done with best-in-slot gear. That’s all fine and dandy, but I don’t have anywhere close to BiS so I don’t really care about those sims. I’d rather see how things look in my own gear. Keep this in mind as you read this, and always remember your results will be slightly different.
The first thing I did was compare the DPS differences between live servers and the 6.1 PTR. I went through all the talent permutations and found the highest simulated talents and used those, so each spec was represented as best as possible. I also swapped gems and enchants for each spec (mastery for BM, crit for MM, and multistrike for SV).
Simulated DPS never tells you the whole story, but I think it’s a good tool for seeing what the impact is from buffs or nerfs. Instead of using screenshots from Simulation Craft, I’m testing out some fancy HTML5 charts. Mousing over (or tapping) each bar should give the actual DPS numbers.
New Post: More information about Beast Mastery in 6.1.
Update Feb 19: Numbers updated again to reflect changes in simulation craft. The pet summoned by BM T17 4-piece does more damage. Also, survival pets inherit multistrike damage bonuses. Both of these changes are now reflected.
Update Feb 15: These numbers are now updated with the latest MM and BM buffs from the patch notes (from Feb 13): Focus Fire now grants 8% attack power per stack, Chimaera Shot damage increased by 30.4%, and Sniper Training effectiveness increased by 25%.
Jan 14: This article has received some updates due to hotfixes. Updates are in red.
Multistrike is good. Really good. You should probably enchant all of your gear and gem with nothing but multistrike for the time being. The one exception would be if you exclusively play Marksmanship. In that case, I’d probably still stick with crit — at least until your buffed crit is above 40%. After 40% (43% technically) its value starts to diminish because the extra crit is wasted during Careful Aim.
Anyway, back to multistrike. Even if one of your specs is MM, I’d still enchant with multistrike if you equally play another spec along with it because multistrike is no slouch for MM either.
For Beast Mastery, it’s not light years above the other stats. However, it’s usually at the top, or at least tied for the top (will vary slightly based on your gear). Update 1/14: With the recent hotfix to the value of BM Mastery, the Mastery stat is now the top stat for BM. However, Multistrike is still good and not too far behind. As someone who plays both BM and SV, I won’t be switching my enchants away from Multistrike at this time. Multistrike’s true value is unleashed with Survival. With my gear currently, 1 point of multistrike has nearly the same value as 3 points of haste. Wait… what?
Warlords is (attempting) to launch in the EU as I write this, and I’m getting ready to go to sleep soon. Why would a grown man go to bed at 8 p.m. you ask? Simple. So he can wake up at around 2:30 a.m. and play a video game for a crapload of time.
Before I go, I wanted to give a quick recap of some helpful info:
Time to force myself to sleep at this unnatural hour. See you in Draenor!