Latest alpha patch notes clean up the Hunter spellbook [Updated]

Updated: If you read this post earlier, there were some more hunter changes added to the notes. Updates are in red.

Blizzard just updated the alpha patch notes with a handful of hunter changes and an explanation of their philosophy on adding the new secondary stat attunements which were discovered in the previous build.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Forums)
A new concept that we’re introducing is each specialization having an attunement to a particular secondary stat. These take the form of a passive ability that grants a 5% increase to the amount of a specific secondary stat gained. This provides a good starting point for where to focus your secondary stats. Usually, it will be your highest throughput stat (not counting Spirit for Healers, and Bonus Armor for Tanks, which is an optimal secondary stat in most cases). There are exceptions, and raw throughput may not even be the biggest concern in some situations. Treat this as a guideline, not a rule, about which secondary stat to favor.

Hunter Changes
  • New passive abilities granting a 5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from equipped items have been added for all specializations
    • Beast Mastery: Mastery
    • Marksmanship: Critical Strike
    • Survival: Multistrike
  • Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Pack now share a 10-second cooldown.
  • Scare Beast has been removed.
  • Frenzy has been removed.
    • Focus Fire now naturally grants the Hunter’s pet the ability to gain Frenzy.
  • Go for the Throat has been removed.
    • Invigoration now also grants 15 Focus to the Hunter’s pet from auto-shot Critical Strikes.
  • Viper Venom has been removed and is now part of the new Serpent Sting.
  • The Beast Within has been removed.
    • Bestial Wrath now naturally includes the effects of The Beast Within.
  • Bear Trap has been removed.
    • “Survival opts to focus on sustained damage without burst cooldowns. However, if the situation calls for a burst-damage-cooldown, there are a few available via talents. “
  • Chimera Shot no longer heals the hunter.
  • Concussive Barrage has been removed.
  • Master Marksman has been removed.
  • Steady Focus has been removed.
  • Piercing Shots has been removed.
    • TBD: Another change will be made to ensure that Critical Strike is more valuable to Marksmanship Hunters.
  • Careful Aim increases critical strike chance by 60% (down from 75%).


Pet Changes
  • Two new raid buffs have been added to replace Physical and Magical Vulnerability and they will be provided by the following Hunter pets:
    • Magic Vulnerability becomes 5% Multistrike buff: Basilisk, Chimaera, Core Hound, Dragonhawk, Fox, Rhino, Wind Serpent
    • Physical Vulnerability becomes 3% Versatility buff: Bird of Prey, Boar, Porcupine, Ravager, Rhino, Worm
  • Bats now have a special ability to increase their dodge chance by 30% for 10 sec (this was formerly Foxes, which are now Multistrike pets)

The Cheetah change was likely done because hunters could stay in near-permanent Cheetah with the minor glyph (since they never have to worry about being in Hawk now that it’s removed). I won’t miss Scare Beast terribly, but it was nice hunter flavor (and it let us keep those silly feral druids in check). R.I.P. Scare Beast.

The Bear Trap thing is still disappointing. Marksmanship ended up getting a cooldown (Rapid Fire + Careful Aim) which is easily on par with Bestial Wrath, but Survival still isn’t being invited to the cooldown party (or execute party for that matter).

I’m glad there’s a new Multistrike buff as it would have put survival at a disadvantage with the new secondary stat attunements. It’s also worth noting that Lone Wolf hunters will be able to bring the new Multistrike and Versatility buffs as well.

These marksmanship changes were added to the notes later in the day. Concussive Barrage makes sense I suppose when you consider Frozen Ammo. But Piercing Shots? Master Marksman? Steady Focus? That saddens me. Well, I could live without Steady Focus, but I will miss the other two. The notes promise that something else will be added to marksmanship, so it’s probably too early to say the ship is sinking. I’d be lying if I said my excitement for playing MM wasn’t just a little bit diminished by these changes. Hopefully this crit thing they’re talking about is something cool.

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11 thoughts on “Latest alpha patch notes clean up the Hunter spellbook [Updated]”

  1. The trouble with the multistrike buff/attunement, at least as it works right now, is there’s no extra benefits from it. For MM crit is going to be significantly better than other secondaries because of the aimed shot crit returning 20 focus. There are no mechanics that play off of multistrike, though.

    /end complaint

  2. There was also a note in the Hunter section that said they want Survival to focus on sustained damage, “but can get burst CDs from talents.” Kinda leaves me at “meh” for Survival, alas. I may be shifting to Marksman for Warlords.

  3. Survival is sounding more and more like Enhancement Shaman in Wrath. I am glad to see the Steady Focus mechanic gone also but now I am completely clueless what Marks is going to look like. I will miss scare beast in pvp. I ended up using it a lot on guardian flag carriers as another option to get them off the flag turn in (after glyphed explosive trap of course). Also Widow Venom is gone. What is Chimera about Chimera Shot anymore? In Wrath, we had the different effects based on stings, after that it healed.

  4. Well, Marksman.

    Not as bad as I feared, actually. As you say, Concussive Barrage isn’t a big loss with the Frozen Ammo talent, but it still hurts a bit. Steady Focus loss is “eh.” Damage and focus gain should be balanced around it not existing so I won’t mind it gone. Steady Focus was annoying anyway.

    Master Marksman loss is sad, but sorta understandable since Aimed is now the focus dump for Marksman. Still, it was a nice benefit without button bloat. I’d like to see it stay. I’d like Piercing Shots to stay also, but so long as it’s replaced with something nice, then I’m ok with it.

  5. Several other hunter players over at Wowhead are also scratching their heads at the MM changes. I for one am taking a wait-and-see attitude especially regarding the replacement for Piercing Shots, but among other things the removal of Concussive Barrage, the self heal and Piercing Shots not only reduces Chimera Shot into a harder hitting Arcane Shot with a longer CD, it also renders one of the 91-100 MM perks moot (the one where Piercing Shots would also affect Multi-Shot).

    For the guys pointing out that Frozen Ammo makes Concussive Barrage redundant, please take note that Frozen Ammo only applies to auto-shots. Concussive Barrage gave the MM hunter an on-demand AoE snare with Multi-Shot that doesn’t require having to launch a Frost Trap at the target. I’m not exactly glad to see it gone in that regard, but if I were to take the “less CC options” point of view, I would concede that it makes sense given that they’re making traps instant now.

    The optimistic side of me is still clinging to my theory that Hunters will finally see the Warlock-style overhaul we’ve asked for back around MoP beta, though.

  6. Why, why, WHY would blizz feel the need to remove Scare Beast? It’s a rarely used flavor ability that affects only 2 classes in PvP (hunters’ pets, and feral/guardian druids), but can be a clutch save in PvE. Removing it frees up one button, but removes yet another control option, leaving us with only traps baseline, and all other CC is talented or glyphed.

  7. Also, can’t believe I missed this due to nerdraging about Scare Beast, but MM looks…completely gutted? No self-heals from Chimera Shot, so the buff MM had for soloing is gone, (I mean boss soloing, so the 15% heal from Kill Shot is irrelevant). But with all the removals so far, MM has basically nothing going for it. No instant focus dump, no DoTs (Serpent Sting and Piercing Shots), no procs, no buffs to refresh. Potentially even no pet, if Lone Wolf turns out to be the dps increase Blizz is promising.

    It looks like the ability debloat was successful, because MM will only need 5 buttons.

  8. So what is the point of chimera shot now, is it just a more powerful arcane shot with a cd,
    And what is going on with stampede, it it literally an extra did cd button, you know the ones that blizzard wanted to get rid of. And the ability is really dull anyways, push button summon extra that can only use basic attacks ( and special attacks I think not sure). Anyway I think it will most likely turn into another linx rush if it is not altered.
    I don’t know why they got rid of scare base. Hopefully it makes a return like distracting shot

  9. it is possible that they are just merging these passive spellbook items into the base spells. That seems to be their pattern for this particular patch. They also mentioned that they are snapshotting patch releases mid-dev cycles so some changes make the cut, and some miss.

    This may be entirely wrong, and they may be stripping down hunters to (hopefully) build them back… faster… stronger… they _have_ the technology….

    1. I think they would have clarified by now if, for example, they were baking piercing shots into Aimed Shot & Chimera Shot. Celestalon also made it a point to add those MM changes after the initial notes went out, and they did specifically mention the other cases where it’s merging. I do think it is going to be some kind of strip down and rebuild, at least for MM, because it sounds mediocre right now.

  10. Why do they keep Chimera shot at all? They made a great effort to divide physical and elemental/magical damage abilities along the MM-SV line and now they let us keep a shot that does magical damage, after totally gutting it? CS doesnt heal us anymore, it cant refresh Serpent Sting anymore… what the hell is it good for? Blizz should remove Chimera and replace it with a passive ability that adds physical damage to our Concussive Shot.

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