Patch 6.2 PTR is here: RIP Aspect of the Fox

So the big news you probably already know about is that Aspect of the Fox has been completely removed from patch 6.2. I certainly expected some kind of nerf, perhaps a short debuff to prevent the chaining of foxes, but I did not see this coming.

Here’s the list of changes from Blizzard:

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Forums)


  • Aspect of the Fox has been removed.


  • Aimed Shot now deals 15% more damage.


  • Mastery: Essence of the Viper has increased in effectiveness by 19%.
  • Explosive Shot now deals 15% less damage.
  • Serpent Sting no longer deals an initial “tick” of damage when the periodic effect is first applied.


  • A Murder of Crows now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets.
  • Barrage now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets. Additionally, the ability no longer hits invisible or stealthed targets.
Undocumented Changes
  • Mastery: Master of Beasts has been increased in effectiveness by approximately 20%. I gained 10% extra pet damage on the PTR (with my mastery buff).
  • Kill Command was buffed slightly (288.9% of RAP to 297.3% RAP)

OK, make sure your safety harness is secured. We’re back on the Warlords of Draenor Hunter Rollercoaster.

Just what the heck is going on here?!

Before you freak out too much, you should know that a lot of this is obviously going to change. The Survival changes are a fairly big nerf on their own. Instant Serpent Sting ticks are responsible for quite a bit of Survival’s output (especially in AoE). I’m not convinced the mastery buff offsets that, so I think something else must be coming.

It looks like they are positioning Marksmanship to be the top single target spec.  Still no hope in sight for AoE, but the PTR is young.

Beast Mastery buffs? Seems fine.  😆 In all seriousness, a big part of the reason BM is doing so well right now is the Rylakstalker 4-piece bonus. The spec itself is basically being propped up by a set bonus that is in a different league. When you look at it like that, the buffs are less surprising.

The PvP talent nerfs made me kind of happy. Why would I be happy about a nerf? Because they are nerfing it only where it’s a problem… in PvP. It’s unfortunate that Tranquilizing Shot was a victim of this a few weeks ago, but at least it wasn’t a DPS ability.

This PTR is also likely going to last for months, so nothing is final.

What does the Fox say?

I know everyone is freaking out about this one, but I just kind of shrugged it off. I know for me personally, I am not brought to my raid because of this ability. Perhaps someone in a top end guild would feel differently, but I think hunters still bring a lot to the table.

We can still (mostly) DPS on the move. We’re still going to be amazing at doing all of those dirty jobs no one else wants to do. We do competitive DPS. And we look really damn good doing it too.

What I’ll miss most is mounting and hearthing on the run.

And seriously Blizzard, you couldn’t even keep it for a single expansion?  😆


The final boss of Hellfire Citadel drops these trinkets that change based on your spec. I took screenshots of the current hunter ones for each spec.

A cool concept, if you ask me. If you’re wondering, the numbers do change based on ilvl. The screenshot shows Mythic versions.

The Beast Mastery trinket fills me with joy. Permanent big red pet (for the Mythic one anyway). Oh god yes. Don’t change this, Blizzard.

The Marksmanship one plays well with the Sniper theme but man is that going to suck when you have to stack on the ass of the boss. If you can stand at max range, it’s a nice DPS buff though.

The Survival one? Godlike for multi-target fights since you will be throwing Black Arrow on everything, but what about single target fights? Unless Black Arrow can stack, this will be pointless there.

All subject to change, of course.

To be continued…

I’m sitting inside the new raid, Hellfire Citadel, as I type this post. I see nothing to kill for now, but the environment looks pretty cool. It’s huge, like a cross between Ulduar and Black Temple.

There will be more hunter stuff to talk about soon, I’m sure. I haven’t had a look for new pets or anything quite yet. I’m hopeful Tanaan Jungle will offer up something new in that department.

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16 thoughts on “Patch 6.2 PTR is here: RIP Aspect of the Fox”

  1. Aspect of the fox is something I have used like…4 times, and 2 of them were by accident. Not pleased with the survival nerf. Hoping that the mastery change does offset the serpent sting change. Here’s hoping that they buff our level 100 talent, because i don’t like giving up my pet, or mobility. So i use the ammo one anyway.

  2. Seriously? Just remove fox? Honestly, would’ve gone the debuff route, where you have a debuff preventing another fox buff, similar to sated.

    /sigh blizz.
    No more swapblasting people off elevator @ blackhand.

  3. On the mmo-champion page, the BM changes are documented, but no sign of Fox’s removals, nor are there any set bonuses as yet, which makes me think that hunters are far, far more “in the works” than the rest of the classes, here’s hoping we don’t get the same two-thirds baked treatment we did for the beginning of the expansion. Personally, I’m looking for a buff to the level 100 talents or Lone Wolf nerf, so that if MM does indeed jump well ahead of the rest of the specs I don’t have to pay a dps price to keep my pet. I’ve tried Lone Wolfing a few times, but it just feels… wrong.

  4. Whyyyyyyy !!!! Why this nerf on survival… Not all hunter likes beast mastery … but seems that we’ll have no choice to play that spec.

  5. I really don’t understand the Fox change. It was a nice raid utility but by far not enough to class stack hunters. We used it at certain points of certain encounters and that was it. If anything, I’d have expected some small debuff like nerf as described in this blog post as well. And maybe more classes with acces to such an utility since it is quite unique.

  6. Hunter is not the only class loosing a spell. Amplify Magic has been removed from the mage too.

    1. The thing is. This is a post about Hunters. On a hunter blog. Talking about hunter news. I am sure on whatever mage board you might go to, that they are lamenting the loss of amplify magic. No one cares here. Because this is about hunters, not mages.

  7. I don’t think that BM trinket will ever make it to live as it is listed. That BM trinket + Glyph of Endless Wrath (+ T17 2p bonus) is too powerful for PvP and probably also for PvE.

    I’d love to see that combination in all hunter raids though 🙂

    As for Fox. I’m almost never asked to use it so I won’t miss it for raiding. It was useful for mounting mid-air or rezzing the raid while moving though.

    1. almost certain that the trinket won’t ever work in ranked PvP.
      but it sounds awesome for certain soloing situations, and maybe even in raiding. if it makes it live, i want to be able to queue for random heroics as a tank! (should be able now already as many healers say that my pet is easier to heal than some random tank)

      as of fox: there are many encounters where it is useful. gruul intermediate phase, oregorger, blackhand first last phase etc. basically any situation where the entire raid has to move for a while, often combined with speed buffs or a healer cd like tranq. however, it has never been so strong that it promoted class stacking. so i really can’t see why it is going. after all we don’t even really benefit from it ourselves (as BM)…

  8. I would like to know why every other class and spec has been given set bonus for tier items and us hunters are still waiting for that information

  9. So, that trinket. Problematic. OP for BM in all situations, “meh” for MM, OP for SV with 3 or more targets, near useless single target.

    Caution: Math Incoming.

    Let’s look at BM first. Current sims on EJ show the top numbers for BM at 48k dps. Your pet is about 40% of that, so 19.2k. BW currently is a 20% pet dps increase with a 17% uptime, averaging out to a 3.4% increase. This would put pet dps without TBW at 18.6k. Now, with a permanent 38% increase to pet dps, your pet would deal 25.7k dps, a 6.5k increase over the current 10 second uptime.

    Now we need to factor in the permanent 10% increase to personal dps. Going back to that original 48k, your personal dps is about 47% (40% pet, 13% stampede pets). 47% of 48k comes in at 22.6k. BW is a 10% increase in personal dps with a 17% uptime, coming out to a 1.7% increase, leaving you with 22.2k dps without using BW at all. So with the new permanent BW, you would do 24.4k personal, an increase of 1.8k over current.

    Combined, this is an increase of 8.3k dps, and that’s without accounting for the 50% focus cost reduction, because I have no idea how to model that without simc. This comes out to a whopping [b]17.3% increase[/b] from a single piece of gear. All the time. With zero effort.

    Next, let’s look at MM. This one can go a couple different ways, so I’ll use numbers assuming Lone Wolf (since that’s the easiest math and most benefit from the trinket). Current BiS gives 741 Mastery, or 6.74%. Added to the baseline 8% Mastery, this gives 14.74% Mastery, for a range increase of 7.37%, resulting in a 43 yd range. Assuming you keep up Sniper Training 100%, and are at max range 100%, this comes out to a [b]14.2% increase[/b] from the trinket, and requires both you and the boss remaining stationary.

    For SV, I don’t even know where to begin. Assuming perfect rng on a 6 minute fight, you go from 83.3% BA uptime to 100%, gaining 30 ticks (3 full duration DoTs). But you use an additional 3 GCDs to get there, so you need to deduct the damage from 3 Explosive Traps or Focusing Shots. Overall, it appears to be a negligible increase single target. As soon as you add a second target though, it becomes much better, allowing you to keep BA and SrS up on both targets, with the potential for twice as many LnL procs. On a fight with cleave targets (Hans/Franz, Maidens, Twin Ogron) this would be a steady increase. On something with multiple adds (Blast Furnace, Operator, Beast Lord) the potential is ridiculous. With 3 or 4 BAs rolling, you could be looking at near constant LnL, assuming good RNG.

    TL;DR: Trinket difficult to balance. OP for BM, OP in ideal circumstances for MM but difficult to make the most of, meh for SV on single target but ridiculous on AoE encounters.

    1. The BM trinket only extends Bestial Wrath for the pet, so no permanent 10% damage and 50% reduced focus for the Hunter.

      I get your points though. The MM one concerns me the most since stacking up the raid is a common mechanic.

      I saw a tweet from one of the devs, forget which one, who said they are OK if these trinkets are more useful in some situations than others, but they are still looking for more feedback.

      1. That makes it a bit better, making it a roughly 6.5k dps increase for BM, or 13.5%. That puts it equivalent with the boost to MM at 42 yards, but still far ahead of SV unless multiple targets are up.

        My big concern, at least for MM, is that we have enough movement restrictions already with Sniper Training. Now to add a positional restriction with this trinket just piles on top of a problem. I think the trinket needs an entirely different effect for MM. I have a couple of suggestions, which may be just as bad:

        Rapid Fire cools down twice as fast with Sniper Training active.
        Piercing Shots. (crits bleed for an additional 30% over 8 seconds, DoT rolls for subsequent crits).
        Sniper Training always active, for an additional 15% critical damage.

        As far as SV, the easiest solution is to allow Black Arrow to be rolled. Add this on top of current functionality, and you have a passive damage boost on single target, and a RNG lottery on AoE fights.

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