Legion Alpha: Beast Mastery has arrived, quivers, new Hunter legendary items, and glyphs

Finally! Beast Mastery is unlocked on the Legion alpha. The current build has been unstable thus far so it’s difficult to get any serious testing done, but I did manage to complete the Titanstrike artifact quest line and complete a level. Having now played through all three Hunter artifact scenarios, I definitely think the one for Titanstrike is the most fun.

I’m not saying the other artifact scenarios are bad, but they have a disadvantage: They don’t take you back to Ulduar and have you interact with Mimiron and Thorim! That was definitely the coolest part of getting Titanstrike. It’s a mixture of killing things and completing simple environment puzzles (more like avoiding various forms of fire on the ground). Most of the talking is done by Mimiron and a new dwarf character that Mimiron hilariously keeps confusing with Brann Bronzebeard. There is an explanation for why Hati specifically is tied to the gun. Hati is a permanent second pet that you get whenever Titanstrike is equipped. So far it looks like the appearance is limited to the lightning wolf (like Skoll), but the color may change when you change Titanstrike’s color.

We’ll start with BM impressions then talk about other Hunter stuff from this build.

Main pet + Hati
Main pet + Hati

Initial Beast Mastery thoughts and observations

  • In its current form, the gameplay for Beast Mastery is very much cooldown based. You still have to watch your Focus, but it has been de-emphasized quite a bit.
  • This leads to an overall “whack-a-mole” type feel to the rotation. You’re essentially watching for abilities to finish their cooldown and using them. There are a LOT of cooldowns when you factor in all of BM’s various abilities and talents. BM also has more DPS cooldowns than the other specs.
  • Down time is definitely possible in this iteration. You can minimize it by taking the Focus generating talents, but that only makes those talents feel mandatory.
  • Dire Beasts spawn beside you but quickly charge into their target. The Dire Beast reset mechanic (Wild Call) doesn’t proc very often, but when it does it feels cool to send in more beasts.
  • The Kill Command sound has changed to something quieter (and also seems to be the same or similar to the new Dire Beast sound). I want the old sound back. If they keep it like this, I see an addon in my future to correct this. Bestial Wrath is also not playing a sound so this all might just be a bug. Kill Command also only costs 20 Focus now so you’re rarely dry enough to not be able to cast it on cooldown.
  • Cobra Shot, your main Focus dump, currently deals very little damage (only about as much as one of your beast’s auto attacks).

You visit Mimiron in Ulduar to help you retrieve the Titanstrike
You visit Mimiron in Ulduar to help you retrieve the Titanstrike

  • Many of the talents are unbalanced or not complete since they haven’t had any iteration yet. For example, Stomp! does pretty much no damage right now and doesn’t look as cool as it sounds.
  • Talents like Dire Stable and Chimaera Shot feel too mandatory right now.
  • If you keep your pet in Ferocity spec for the extra DPS, you pretty much need to keep Mend Pet rolling on them the whole time to keep them alive if they are tanking. You can really up their toughness by going Tenacity. I think the damage loss there is acceptable outside of dungeons and raids. Also Mend Pet now has a 10 second cooldown (still 10 second duration) which is a nice quality of life change. Now you don’t have to worry about monitoring the buff to know when to re-cast it, just reapply when the cooldown is ready.
  • This lack of toughness is partly because I am used to playing with a higher item level, and partly because Blizzard is playing with the tuning of world mobs in Legion. They are quite a bit harder to kill than standard world mobs have been in recent expansions. They have more relative health points, and seem to do more damage.
  • Spirit Bond is greatly missed. Later in the artifact tree are some more healing options, but this seems to be a recurring theme for all the specs. Maintenance healing is nowhere to be found.
  • Chimaera Shot was frequently pulling threat but only temporarily. It’s also nothing Misdirection couldn’t handle. The only downside is no more Misdirection glyph to reset the cooldown when used on your pet. I hope they add this functionality as a baseline for Beast Mastery.

Titan’s Thunder in action

  • The first Titanstrike active ability you unlock, Titan’s Thunder, is really cool! It makes all of your pets discharge an electrical arc to their current target. This includes your main pet, Hati, and whatever Dire Beasts you have summoned when you cast it. The more pets, the more damage this cooldown is going to do.
  • In addition to Titan’s Thunder (1 min cooldown) you have more short cooldowns to use with Aspect of the Wild, Bestial Wrath, and Stampede. You can frequently stack these to great effect.
  • Bestial Wrath no longer reduces Focus costs, but it now provides the full damage benefit to you and your pet. Its cooldown was increased by 30 seconds, but whenever you cast Dire Beast it reduces the cooldown by 15 sec. You will be using Bestial Wrath a lot.
  • Stampede is totally different in Legion. It no longer summons your extra pets. Instead, it summons a train of pets from the wild that literally stampede forward, centered on the location of your target when you cast it. This looks pretty cool in action, but it still needs some work. It doesn’t last very long but seems to be intended to do burst damage rather than the longer sustained damage current Stampede does. The biggest change is that the beasts will damage anything in their path, not just the original target.
  • It’s too early to form a definitive opinion, but all I can tell you is I am having fun playing it. There are some mechanical issues I have with it which I’ll expand on in the future (and send to Blizzard as feedback), but I’m having fun which is what matters. I’m happy with it as a first iteration.


More details on how Hati behaves

  • You have no direct control of Hati, he/she behaves like a guardian pet and will assist you.
  • When not fighting, Hati stays behind you, while your primary pet stays to your left. I would prefer if Hati stayed on the right as having pets on either side looks cooler I think.
  • Hati can take damage and can die, but this rarely happens in practice. I had to create a situation to force it and see what would happen. When Hati dies, you get a 2 minute debuff called Broken Bond preventing Hati from being active. When this debuff expires, Hati will be summoned again.
  • If you dismiss your main pet, Hati will also be dismissed. When you resummon your main pet, Hati comes with it.
  • If your main pet dies, Hati remains. It only despawns if you specifically dismiss your pet.
  • I have not gotten near enough artifact power to test out the Master of Beasts trait yet, but I am looking forward to checking it out. This makes Hati use Kill Command and Beast Cleave with your main pet.


Other Hunter stuff from this build

The Marksmanship artifact, Thas’dorah, now comes with a matching quiver!  Sadly, no matching ammo pouches for Beast Mastery, but that could still change. The quiver appears while the bow is sheathed or in use, but already I noticed some clipping issues with shoulder armor. This is probably unavoidable, and if clipping bothers you then you either change shoulder transmogs or disable shoulder graphics completely.


New bow model

Wowhead is listing this new mechanical, engineering-inspired bow as an alternate look for Thas’dorah, but I’m not so sure. I am just guessing here, but I think this is an alternate look for Titanstrike.  Maybe Blizzard heard the cries of all the gun haters and added a bow that would fit the Titanstrike fantasy? We’ll have to wait and see.

Hunter Legendaries

Here is a rundown of the datamined Hunter legendary items. There are some more legendary mail items in the database, but we can’t view the equip effects yet to see if they are Hunter pieces or not. We don’t know how they will be acquired.

  • Ring, Marksmanship: Your Marked Shot always hits your currently selected target, even if not affected by Hunter’s Mark.
  • Boots, Marksmanship: The cooldown of Trueshot is reduced by 1 sec each time you cast a damaging shot.
  • Helm: 20% max health heal on Feign Death, plus 20% health per sec while feigning (lol no way this makes it live)
  • Belt, Beast Mastery: You and your pet gain 50 Focus when you activate Bestial Wrath.
  • Belt, Marksmanship: Each enemy you hit with Multi-Shot increases the damage of your next Aimed Shot by 10%. This effect stacks up to 20 times.
  • Bracer: Reduce the cooldown of all aspects by 50%.
  • Boots, Beast Mastery: Dire Beast reduces the cooldown of Kill Command by 3 sec.
  • Nesingwary’s Trapping Treads: You can place another trap within 3 sec before the trap cooldown is triggered.


New Hunter Glyphs and a Toy

The glyph system is changing in Legion. Major glyphs are gone, but minor ones are staying. Instead of being limited to 3 total glyphs, you will be able to apply as many as you want (max one per spell). This isn’t functional yet, but some Hunter glyphs have been datamined:

And the toy…

  • Hunter’s Call: Call a random companion to follow you for 15 sec (30 sec cooldown) Tooltip seems incomplete, not sure how this works yet.

These sound pretty cool to me. I especially like being able to customize Dire Beast.

Apparently Blizzard just deployed a small patch to fix all the crashing, so back to more BM for me!

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27 thoughts on “Legion Alpha: Beast Mastery has arrived, quivers, new Hunter legendary items, and glyphs”

  1. What do you think about the control of stampede? I mean there is enough people calling us huntards for accidentally barraging mobs (did they lessen the distance of barrage in alpha?). Now with stampede being a straight effect, possibly agreeing more mobs and the fact Hati is uncontrollable, this could mean a even worse rep for hunters. What are your opinions?

    1. Also forgot to mention, I was watching Nobbel play and there was no snake crossbow for bm. That was my favorite look out of them all for bm.Nor has there been a sixth model for bm compared to most classes on wowhead.

  2. Thanks Bendak. I still have some concerns, but it sounds better than it did on paper from the previews. I’m still worried about the focus regen though as you mentioned. Also, the lack of CC, limited misdirection, lack of self healing. Wish I had alpha access to test things myself.

  3. A lot of this does sound encouraging to me, although I have reservations about the stripped-down rotation. However, my biggest gripe is the change to Stampede. I’ll admit it looks pretty cool, but I’m sure I’m not the only BM whose favourite thing about Stampede was getting to see *my* pets all attack my target at once. Seeing them replaced with a bunch of random pets my hunter has no connection to makes me a little sad. I can only hope there will be a minor glyph to bring that side of old Stampede back (while hopefully keeping the new ‘stampeding herd’ effect), or at least another glyph for Dire Beast that will replace the random animals with pets from our stable.

  4. So far I am enjoying this iteration of Beast Mastery. I do find it amusing that currently Volley is back, but does no damage and has no animation.
    I do not miss having Cobra shot with a cast time. Not at All. I might go back to pvping if they keep BM the way it is, Fast and furious.

    1. volley does have an animation, is not the “rain of arrows” from before, only hit one arrow for each enemy who is inside the circle and only one time

  5. I’m know I’m pretty much in the minority here, but from what I’ve seen so far, I really hate all of the changes they’ve made to BM. The whole shift to constantly summoning WILD beasts is idiotic. I tried using Dire Beast in Pandaria and I hated it then. Now it’s mandatory. We’re going from expert animal trainers to Disney princesses with guns, with animals flocking to our defense for no good reason as we sing and prance through the woods. And we can’t even control the second pet? Why even call it “Beast Mastery” at that point? Arrrrrrrggghhh!!!

    OK, wrapping up. Everybody can tell me to go f— myself now.

    1. I’m not quite to the same level of hate, yet, but I’m not far behind. Perhaps it’s just because my class fantasy doesn’t match Blizzard’s, but I’m worried that Legion will majorly divorce BM hunters from anything we have ever seen before. Beast masters with no control over our pets, like you mentioned, a diminished bond with our tamed pets (imo), and a preference for technology (guns) over the “primal world” that Blizz mentions in the class preview. I just don’t understand it at this point.

  6. Great read. Thank you! I love BM hunters. They are my first class I loved.

    This makes me a little more excited for BM hunters although I agree with some of Sallen’s points above. What turned me off of hunters is when they introduced Dire Beast. I hate to admit it but liked the little role play of me and my faithful companion exploring and taking on enemies. When they added Dire Beast it killed my lore of the class. I still have many of my pets from The Burning Crusade. They are my pets. Now that I’ll have some wolf to come with me…ok, well I suppose he looks cool. And he’ll be behind me anyway. But now that Dire Beast needs to be in my rotation? I don’t like it. I can understand how many pets are better than one in some degree. But it kills some of my love for what the hunter is about.

    I just never saw the hunter as a necromancer, where summoning lots of demons (that will despawn or die off anyway) to flood the enemy makes sense with the class at all. Naw, I’m tied to my pet Brox. The boar with armor from Razorfen Kraul that I got years and years ago. Back in the day where I had to level him up with me and I had to feed him to keep him happy.

    Ya I know that I can just go survival but I didn’t make a hunter for a pole-arm. I like the guns!

    Thank you again. Great read! Answered a lot of my questions. This was my first visit of your website. I’ll be back again many times.

  7. Nice review as always,the only thing that i really dislike about new bm is to have hati as a wolf,usually i change my pets based on trasmo and i dont want to be forced on have a lighting wolf always with me, the ideal change is to allow us with a glyph maybe to modify hati appereance or at least mimic the main pet with some lighting or other visual effect…….and yes summon a bunch of randoms pets on cd is not cool also,we’re beast master and we have chosen our loyal pets during those years.

  8. I’d have more to say but that hideous bear is still distracting me. It’s SO BAD. And I still, like a lot of people, want a way to change Hati’s appearance, and perhaps more control over the beasts summoned. Maybe they could introduce a favorites system like with mounts and battle pets? Then Dire Beast could just summon from the favorites and give players more control over their overall combat presentation.

  9. I think the cosmetic toy is a replacement for Glyph of Aspects, which would activate when switching aspects, and summoned a creature based on which aspect was selected.

  10. Yikes, well I hate to be Debbie Downer again but I completely, 100% had a different experience and feeling trying out BM on alpha.

    First, why in the doodly heck are HUNTERS, especially Beast Master hunters, going to Ulduar? What previous lore connection are we building on there?

    Also, I really hate the arcing lightning thing. As above, it makes no sense thematically, and it looks like I’m sending jolts of electricity through my pets. Why? Why would I do that?

    Pets are WAY too squishy, their AI is atrocious, and I still hate having a dozen animals around me. I want my ONE pet, you know, my one loyal companion who’s seen me through 10 years of huntering. I don’t want Hati. I don’t want random animals. I don’t want 50 pets from my stable. Also, Hati CAN die, he’s got about half the health of my normal pet.

    I deleted my alpha hunter in disgust, and it looks like my hunters will be shelved for the whole of Legion. Really sad and disappointing.

    1. So it looks like you are new to alpha/ beta processes. The numbers pass has not been done. This is not, in any way, a sample of finished product, and should be taken more as ideas of what might end up being “finalized” in the future. Calm the rage. It serves no purpose. What would serve a purpose is for you to take to the alpha forums and add to the beast mastery impressions post.

    2. You’re shelving your Hunter over the first iteration of BM? I mean we’re not even in beta yet. Legion is likely coming out in August or September. Give things a chance!

      You’re the first Hunter I’ve seen who has said they don’t want the 50 pets in their stable. Most want more stable slots. Though you’ll be happy to know they’re considering a talent that lets you replace Dire Beast with a shot instead, and a glyph to make Dire Beast use your own pets. I agree the AI on Hati needs work especially, but that should improve in the next 6 months. If it doesn’t I’ll be the first one nagging the hell out of blizzard to fix it. I’m also pushing for some Hati customization, but I’m not sure how successful we’ll be there.

      As for why we’re going to Ulduar, it’s because Brann Bronzebeard discovered this legendary rifle that could be useful in fighting the burning legion, and who better to use it than a hunter? Would you rather it go into the hands of a filthy rogue or something? 😛 As for why jolts of electricity are coming out of our pets, that’s us channeling the power of the Titanstrike through our pets. I do agree they could have done something more tailored to the lore of BM, maybe an artifact that augments our pet rather than a gun or bow. That would have been cooler (have you seen that demo lock artifact? Something unique like that). That being said, I really really enjoyed the whole Titanstrike scenario.

  11. Hati definitely needs to follow the commands of the primary pet. There are many times when soloing that I do not want a pet to rush to the MOB. Rather, I want the MOB to be drawn to me with a shot and for the pet to attack only after I’ve positioned the MOB appropriately for the kill. Mostly, this is due to the environment in which I’m hunting, but especially when soloing older content, I don’t want my pet to — however accidentally — get the kill without any of my shots landing first. Combined with Hati following hunter commands, Hati needs to be treated as hunter damage, not pet damage, for kill tagging purposes. Actually, Kill Command needs to be changed for this as well.

  12. I feel like blizzard has confused and narrowed their themes for hunters. Beast mastery’s look in Legion seems to only fit dwarves. It doesn’t convey a sense of the primal nature inherent in its name (beast master). Marksman works as a theme but it is certainly tailored for the Legolas fantasy. That leaves survival as the primal wild man/woman theme, but for anyone who didn’t want to play melee they are stuck trying to get the other two to work for them despite those two specs heavy handed themes.

    I would have preferred titan trike to be an alternate artifact for marks and instead had a story tied into troll/night elf lore be the beast mastery weapon (preferably a bow). Then had survival be something more orcish/dranei themed.

  13. being a person whos played beast mastery over the entire expansion of WoD im deffinately not shelfing my beast master hunter i can see theres still alot of kinks but thats no reason for me to dislike my hunter nor want to marksmanship once a beast master always a beast master bad rep or no i honestly love my class even if its still funky lol

  14. Hey Bendak, do you know if the MM artifact quiver model will change depending on which appearance you choose for it?

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