I enjoyed Antorus quite a bit. It reminded me a lot of Ulduar — not any specific bosses, but just the big epic areas and general style. It was just normal mode so most of it was one-shotted (including Argus), but we were overgeared so I wouldn’t read too much into that. Though from what I hear, Heroic is also a little easier than ToS Heroic was (I won’t be doing that til later in the week). Hopefully that translates into Mythic as well, because I did feel like ToS (especially Mythic) was too hard in general. I thought Nighthold was a lot better in terms of overall difficulty.
My favorite boss was definitely Argus — it’s a visual feast and has really cool mechanics. One of my favorites ever. Plus it felt cool that I was briefly rank 1 of all Hunters on that fight (I had to screenshot such an occasion). Ah, the perks of raiding on day one before the EU and Koreans get in there. 😛
My least favorite boss was Varimathras. The entire fight seems like it’s on the tanks, and everyone else is doing patchwerk. I actually like having a patchwerk fight once per raid, but this one just wasn’t fun. A fun patchwerk fight to me is something like Krosus from Nighthold.
The dumbest boss was the Portal Keeper because hunter pets are completely bugged on it. Here’s a tip: Don’t take the portals to the platform because Blizzard forgot to implement pet pathing up there. It’s a complete mess. Tell your raid leader you need to stay down.
Another thing worth mentioning is that several bosses have an emphasis on CC, which is pretty cool. Tar Trap, Freezing Trap, and Binding Shot will all get a lot of use in this raid.
If you haven’t heard, tier sets are going away in Battle for Azeroth. So Antorus (Tier 21) will be the very last tier where we get class set bonuses. It’s also the final tier of the expansion, so that must mean Blizzard is going to give the system a nice send off and give us some truly cool bonuses to enjoy while we wait for BfA, right?
Oh, sweet summer child. No.
Updated Dec 4, 2017: Small buff to T21 4p. Set bonus section updated. Not much has changed since this is an inconsequential buff in the grand scheme of things.
Updated Dec 5,2017: Updated trinkets section because of hotfix buffs to them. Antorus trinkets are more useful now.
With this week’s maintenance, Beast Mastery is getting a “6%” buff. Cool, right? Well, don’t get too excited. For one, it’s not a true 6% buff since it leaves out some important things like Beast Cleave or any pet auto attacks — it just buffs primary abilities and most of the talents. Secondly, all this buff does is let us keep the status quo. Everyone is getting 15 ilevels on their weapon this week from the Netherlight Crucible, and Beast Mastery scales like crap with weapon damage while other classes and specs get tons of value from the weapon increase.
So this buff really just puts us back where we were, with maybe a tiny 1-2% extra. On top of that, we’re going to fall even more behind in AoE/cleave since that isn’t getting any benefit at all from the Crucible or this buff (except for Stomp, which is included in the buff). We need more than 1-2% relative to other classes!
Anyway, let’s get to the Netherlight Crucible. I updated my Wowhead guide with basic information on how to use the Crucible and determine upgrades and what traits to take. I’ll reproduce some of that here.
Updated Jan 2, 2018:
Modified values of the traits. The damage proc traits from Crucible tier 2 lose some value as our ilevel goes up in Antorus, so they are now more in line with the stat traits. I also removed the Dire Frenzy specific trait list since it’s proven to be an unpopular build, and the trait values are almost identical.
If your overall ilevel is still low (below 940), it’s likely that the damage proc traits are still highest on your list. But if your ilevel is high (approaching 960 equipped), you may find that traits are valued even lower than what’s listed here. As always with BM, you really need to sim yourself.
The general trend is moving towards getting the tier 2 stat traits (they’re all pretty good) instead of the damage proc traits, if you have that option. They’re just more useful at higher ilevels, and they also blow away the damage procs in any kind of multi-target scenario.
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.
I’ve had a couple people ask me about this “new build” going around so I thought I’d touch on it. Since it was buffed a while back, Aspect of the Beast has always been pretty close to Killer Cobra when using the Stomp build, but up until now it was always enough of a gap to ignore (for me, anyway). Now, as people get upgrades (especially to their weapon ilevel), Aspect of the Beast is emerging as a competitive talent for the Stomp build.
The rest of the talents are the same — Way of the Cobra, Stomp, One with the Pack, AMOC — but Killer Cobra is changed to Aspect of the Beast. A lot of your Kill Command damage gets replaced by Cobra Shot damage, which is viable because of the higher weapon ilevel (Cobra Shot is based on weapon damage). Where this changeover happens depends on your gear, but to me it looks like around 930-940 ilevel for Titanstrike is where Aspect of the Beast can start to pull ahead — barely. It will vary from person to person.