Hunter spec disparity in Emerald Nightmare

Alright, I knew Survival would be the unpopular Hunter spec going into Legion, but I didn’t think the disparity would be quite this severe. After a week of Emerald Nightmare, the numbers are in and it’s not pretty for Survival. As I write this, there are ~48,000 Hunter parses in Heroic Emerald Nightmare on Warcraft Logs thus far. Only ~660 of those are from Survival Hunters, along with ~36,000 Marksmanship and ~11,000 Beast Mastery. Those Survival numbers are pretty appalling.

First of all, yes, not all guilds upload their combat logs (or even keep any) but I think in the first week the vast majority of them doing Heroic content will be doing so, and these numbers should be fairly representative of what’s going on. When you add anecdotal evidence about seemingly never seeing Survival Hunters in the wild, it becomes pretty clear: Hardly anyone seems to be playing Survival.

Survival had several things going against it, like the fact that most existing Hunters rolled a Hunter to play a ranged class and they have no interest in playing melee. Plus, existing melee players interested in joining the Hunter ranks may have had more appealing options in this department (the Demon Hunter or their existing melee class). There’s too many melee specs to go around.

It’s not even that Survival’s potential DPS is bad, it’s that most raiders feel there’s little benefit to playing it outside of loving to play the spec. It’s a hard sell to potential re-rollers to even try the spec in the first place! The people I know who do play Survival really seem to like it. It’s a niche spec and will probably stay that way.

Beast Mastery vs. Marksmanship

Speaking of hardly anyone playing a spec, why do I feel like I’m one of the few actually raiding as Beast Mastery? The disparity isn’t nearly as bad as Survival, but the fact still remains that 3x more Hunters are playing Marksmanship than Beast Mastery in raiding. Outside of raiding, I feel like it’s a more balanced 50/50 split.

If you hang out on forums or Discord, you probably hear (75,000 times a day) that you should play MM for raiding and BM for dungeons, and that if you don’t you’re a terrible human being who should be ashamed of playing a pleb spec like BM in raids. Yeah, OK. That’s actually a pretty good plan if you enjoy playing both specs and I would strongly recommend it. BM is certainly strong in dungeons, and MM is certainly strong in raids. However, I’d argue that BM is also pretty darn good in raids (and will be better in a few weeks) and MM is also fine in dungeons (as long as you can control the Barrage and Sidewinders silliness with proper positioning).

As BM, I’m holding my own against MM Hunters in my own raid. There are advantages to having zero movement restrictions (especially when learning fights), and at this point I’m not holding back my own team (for context we are just starting heroic progression and only 2 days per week, so not hardcore). I could maybe whore the meters a bit more on some fights as MM, but I can still pump out the damage where it’s needed and where it counts.

BM is at a bit of a disadvantage right now because no one has all 3 golden traits unlocked (Titan’s Thunder being the missing one for most right now). With my character, the next 3 artifact points (the last being Titan’s Thunder) represent a 8-9% single-target DPS increase by themselves. That’s huge. MM’s artifact DPS benefits were a bit more front-loaded compared to BM.

In the end, when the artifacts are fully loaded, MM will still have the edge just because of its mechanics. It just won’t be to the fantastically overblown degree that some make it out to be. If you’re not in a hardcore, server-first Mythic type of guild, I think you should play whatever you enjoy the most. If that’s MM, more power to you. If that’s BM, don’t let people get you down because you’re playing the “noob spec.” They can bugger off.

Tuning Pass for 9/27 (9/28 EU)

Blizzard released the upcoming list of class tuning hotfixes which will go live with the next reset:

  • BM: Bestial Wrath damage buffed from 20% to 25%
  • MM and BM: Barrage damage nerfed by 20%
  • SV: Flanking Strike damage buffed by 62%

None of these are terribly significant. Starting with the BM buff, that works out to an overall ~2% DPS increase (since Bestial Wrath’s uptime averages around 40%). When you combine that little buff with the fact that no BM Hunters have unlocked all 3 golden traits yet, you can see how the gap between MM and BM can shrink in the near future.

I’ve had several people ask me if this BM buff changes anything in regards to what they should play, and the answer is no. It’s small enough that it has no real effect on whatever you were basing your original decision on.

The Barrage nerf hurts MM cleave DPS, but apparently they also recently fixed a bug with Windburst (it wasn’t being affected by Mastery properly) which significantly increased its damage. So the change to MM single target DPS is basically a wash.

The SV buff to Flanking Strike combined with the changes to the Animals Instincts talent in 7.1 leads me to believe they want this ability to be more of a centerpiece, and not just a “when you have nothing else to do” button.

I still think BM is under tuned with these hotfixes, but I understand Blizzard being cautious with it. I just hope they keep an eye on things. I also have some concerns about the future in Nighthold, where the current BM tier bonuses look pretty weak. I also wonder how much further MM could pull ahead with relic upgrades (since it scales so well with weapon DPS). I’m hoping BM doesn’t turn into how it was in MoP, where every patch they had to give us a 5% buff to keep us in line. I guess it’s a little early to worry about that, with Nighthold probably about 4-5 months away. Let’s see what happens.

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63 thoughts on “Hunter spec disparity in Emerald Nightmare”

  1. As bm, the first time I got a “path not found error” and couldn’t hit the boss, I went back to mm. If that happens in a raid I may as well stand in fire. I love bm, but until they fix the pathing issues, I’m only using it in the open world.

    1. I haven’t had that happen in Emerald Nightmare yet, but yes Blizzard seems to have done a particularly poor job with pet pathing this expansion (especially in dungeons). The number of times I have to dismiss and resummon is pretty bad.

      They really need a global solution to this issue, rather than tackling each individual problem area which is not realistic.

      1. You never have to dismiss and resummon your pet. If this occurs switch between passive and aggressive and it will teleport to you.

    2. Sometimes when leaving the eye in Il’gynoth, my pet (and Hati) get stuck inside and I’ll have to dismiss and resummon them. That’s about the only time it’s happened to me in the raid, although I have had issues with ‘no path available’ coming up a lot in the open world.

  2. Not to mention not being able to summon the pet using the whistle and having to go to your spellbook. Also I’m having problems with my pet running off to attack a mob I didn’t even hit, I look around and find mobs coming at me because of it. Also pathing does suck, especially a path in DHT and the end quest for the Styx brothers, you can’t summon the pets on top the ship and stampede runs under the ship even when you are on top of the ship.

  3. I’m a main Survival hunter in a Mythic raiding guild, and have been using both MM and SV for raiding. I think a lot of hunters are missing out by not picking up SV. In addition to being fun to play and all that – I could rave for hours – it is extremely powerful in the current raid environment to be able to switch between MM and SV.

    As an example, on H Il’gy, the three hunters were all MM and at the top of the dps charts. However, on H Ursoc, the other hunters – who only have BM and MM – fell way behind as the movement requirement gimped them. Conversely, I switched to SV, and remained in the top three or four dps – alongside a warrior, rogue, and DH. Had *all* of our hunters been able to do so, it would have added some 30-40k additional dps per hunter to help us clear the check.

    Rather than MM/BM, raiders should consider MM/SV. The power of being able to switch to a highly mobile melee spec with high throughput is hugely valuable.

    1. Same, People its like people are scared of SV. I main SV and off MM. I’ll get into a random and people are like oh, your SV. At the end of the run people are like Damn thats SV? Granted the spec requires a little more work to play but to me its very rewarding over the other two specs.

    2. The problem is that most ranged dps classes are undertuned or otherwise abandoned. Most raid groups are already melee heavy.

  4. I’m top 5 DPS consistently as survival.

    It’s just people don’t play it. SV is fun as hell, and VERY good if you time your burst well with boss mechanics.

    1. Completely agree. Forgot to mention it earlier, but it also also just wrecks mythic+ dungeons.

      And did we mention that it’s fun as hell?

    2. Just because you are doing good dps in your sandbox doesn’t mean overall its good. If i use myself as an example last night we down H Xavius and both hunters were running BM, we did 292k and 289K, getting world rank 15 and 21 (17 and 25 currently) getting in the 95+ percentile. Sounds good right? Sounds awesome! but wait….average MM dps in the 75% is 300k……

      Currently we are doing “decent” in our little sandbox but after seeing those numbers i keep thinking back to those 5% wipes……

      1. Here’s the thing – I play both and have gear sets for each of equivalent ilvl. My artifacts have the same number of traits. So I try MM and SV on each fight to see what does better and there are some that do better on SV, others MM. There are so few people playing SV at a high level that it’s skewing the numbers and making them unrepresentative of the actual potential of the spec.

      2. On Xavius specifically, a lot of the dps you see on the meters for marks is from barrage hitting the tentacles during the last phase. This effect is only magnified by the fact that bloodlust is usually saved for this phase. This is not meaningful dps in the context of the fight; the last phase is about burning the boss down before you get overwhelmed. Don’t be fooled by aoe meter padding.

      3. Recheck those MM numbers. Our MM is like 330k and I’m doing maybe 270k but I actually beat his single-target dps on Xavius most fights (though I admittedly don’t send my pet after the adds). MM auto-cleaves the tentacles that most groups just ignore on phase 3.

  5. I started as a committed BM hunter and got my first 2 traits, but I’ve switched to MM because it just feels more fun to play. I’m in no position to top the metres because of IRL constraints, so that’s not a concern. BM just has too much downtime and not enough ability interaction compared to MM. I haven’t gone Lone Wolf yet (I won’t sink that low), but until BM is shored up I’m sticking to MM.

    1. they don’t because otherwise people would see the extrem unpolished state in which this addon was released.
      windburst is just an example that many hunters noticed. the removal of fishing pools in the hunter order hall on the other hand stayed below radar. (it was removed because of an exploit with the artifact fishing pole that allowed hunters to farm millions of gold in form of 10g fishes from barrels because the pools never disappeared if you triggered a barrel spawn and you could spawn hundreds of barrels on top of each other)

  6. I went survival once. I used the ice trap to catch and tame the exploding sheep in elwyn forest.

    Otherwise it can die in a fire.

    If they had simply added a 4th hunter spec an made it melee I’d be at peace with it, but it took my favorite spec an turned it into a spear poker. Screw that.

      1. SV used to be all about soloing adds and kiting. I would probably hate it a lot less if they didn’t remove traps from the ranged specs.

        1. Actually, SV spec is all about using your traps effectively. Granting BM and MM the ability to lay traps would have simply devastated the SV spec, especially in PvP.

          Imagine, why would you play a melee class whereas you can ice trap someone with all the pros of a range class?

  7. I’ve been MM since Vanilla, with no plans to change. It fits my vision of the ranger archetype near perfectly.

    I am actually happy about the Barrage nerf, as it makes it less punitive to run Crows or Volley. There is zero reason that Barrage should be the best talent on both AoE and single target.

    Blizzard just needs to go like three steps further, and the spec will be perfect IMO.

    1) Nerf Sidewinders and/or buff Piercing Shot and Trick Shot such that Sidewinders is best for AoE, Piercing Shot is best for pure single target, and Trick Shot provides good single target and good passive cleave. This gives each talent a defined niche, while allowing all of them to provide some benefit in all situations (Sidewinders is still good in single target due to removal of Vulnerable RNG, Piercing Shot is still good in AoE provide you get proper positioning to hit multiple targets, and Trick Shot is good at both, best at neither).

    2) Make Lone Wolf a passive dps-neutral option, mechanically the same as the WoD talent: Without a pet, you get X% increased damage, buff is lost when you summon a pet. Lone Wolf should buff your damage such that you do as much by yourself as an MM Hunter with a pet. The pet would provide additional utility and continue to provide DPS when you, the Hunter, can’t (movement phases). No pet would provide better burst, and no lost dps when target swapping. Assuming Patchwerk-style fight, both options should be equal. Talent should be replaced with Exotic Munitions or a new talent.

    3) Make Wyvern Sting baseline, with a 60 second duration and 30 second cooldown. Change the talent to Improved Wyvern Sting, giving it two charges and allowing it to be used on two enemies at a time. This gives MM a baseline CC option, which has been a staple of all Hunter specs going back to Vanilla. BM should have something as well, perhaps make Intimidate baseline and change it to a 60-second incapacitate, usable out of combat only, on one target at a time, with no CD. Have the talent allow it to also be used in combat, causing a stun instead of an incapacitate. (Whatever they want to do thematically is fine, but MM and BM should have a long term CC similar to Freezing Trap).

  8. Beyond the reasons mentioned above, MM/BM pair so nicely because they share the stat priority. SV literally has the opposite priority. Gems, enchants, and max buff food it’s so incredibly expensive it’s just not worth playing a spec with vastly different needs.

  9. I liked SV when I played it for the artifact quest – it seemed pretty fun, *for a melee spec*. And that’s the problem for me. I am not good at, and do not enjoy, playing melee. Too much crap on the ground. Too much paying attention to where the boss is. Too much dependency on the tanks to position things perfectly. I’d rather play distance.

    I have tried MM a few times, and just can’t wrap my head around the rotation. None of the abilities make sense to me and I felt like I never got a chance to get off an aimed shot. I’ll probably have to spend some time at a training dummy to figure it out. I’ve got a golden trait into that artifact, but I’m sticking with my long-preferred BM (even if I am insanely jealous of the bow skins that MM gets… *WHY* can’t we transmog artifacts to each other?).

    I’m being a super casual raider this time around, and focusing on mythic plus dungeons for fun (playing with my group that’s done gold challenge modes the last two expansions, even if we’re not the fastest or best gold group), so I figure BM is fine. Except when my pet is being an idiot.

  10. I can’t imagine raiding with hunters as they are now. I’ve basically dropped mine for the time being in favor of the elemental shaman I used my 100 boost on, because I’m actually having FUN with her, which I did not at all on my hunter (even though I did enjoy SV in terms of gameplay, I just found the class-specific quests and the class hall and the artifacts thoroughly uninteresting). I’ve noticed that just since last week, it seems like there are fewer people around with Hati, but maybe it’s just that I’m not around the hunter hall, lmao. It IS a shame there aren’t more SV people around, though, because it does have (in my opinion) the most primitive hunter-y feel to the artifact and traits, best suited for tauren, at the very least. I can understand how hardcore raiders might go “if we wanted melee DPS we’d get [insert large array of existing melee DPS classes and specs]”, but it’s definitely more than that, even if it’s just because of the presence of a pet alongside the melee.

    1. I mained a SV hunter in WoD. After the release of the pre-patch, I tried SV in order to taste this new melee spec and to see if it was efficient. I really didn’t want to play BM nor MM. Let’s say I wanted to feel more special among my fellow hunters.

      I’ve now switched to paly. Anyway, I’m actually leveling my SV survival and I only do arenas and BG to reach 110level. In my opinion, this spec is one of the most fun to play. This class is so tricky, have one of the best CC of the game (Ice trap) and can deal a huge amont of damage in a short period. It’s harder to play than MM and a BH because you need a different approch : you can’t stay near the other melee heroes otherwise they destroy you and you have to kit a lot and use your range abilities (axes throw and Dragonsfire Grenade).

  11. Being a raidlead of an HC/Myth raid there is no suprise at all concerning the SV topic. Why bring another melee with no raidutility or better said with some raidutilities that are far better handled by other classes?

    At this point of the raid tier we are facing Xavius HC and I wish we could have some more melees…especially Rogues und Demonhunters because of the damage reduce abilitys they offer. Definetly no need for a mediocre DPS melee slot with nothing to offer.

    The barrage nerf will hit MM harder as probably obvious. When you have a closer look on logs, a great part of the DPS advantage results from massive barrage use while moving from a to b (basically it is part of the MM prio.) Adding the artefact topic (which is, again, a lousy work from blizz not to even the efforts while gaining artefact power) the gap is 30-50k (atm in Europe because the hotfix will show up tomorrow).

    In my opinion this will thigthen to, let´s say 20k, spread out again to 50k with more gear (haste is just too good to MM and will overscale all other hunters) and going back to 30k when set bonuses show up.

    Still a burden to BM, but bearable. For SV I see the only option in PVP…as long it get´s more ways to push survivability.

  12. Just a fixed figuers. an 30k is in a rough 10% margin..which is more or less ok and common through the last AddOns

      1. If you can predeict further development on the specs…go ahead.. I am judging on known facts as scaling, tier-sets and loot. Still it never will be more than an educated guess. If you have a better source of future things…go ahead and enlighten me.

  13. I am stubbornly sticking with BM this expansion, as to me it seems like the only remaining hunter spec that retains anything close to the original hunter class I fell in love with years ago. I am not much of a numbers seeker, and I raid with a team that encourages diversity in specs for raid composition, so honestly the theory numbers for BM, even as they edge towards the bottom of the pack, don’t bother me that much. However, I am still bothered by the mechanics of BM, they seem to me like they were designed by a government committee not by a hunter.

    Pet control, as others have mentioned, is still a huge issue. Pets sometimes just randomly decide to stop attacking and stand around like lawn statues, and then other times they go on a killing spree, attacking targets far off in the distance I have not even selected. Frequently, whenever I lose my pet by pathing issues or because of instancing bugs, I cannot resummon using the whistle, I have to open my spell book and select a pet identified only as “Pet 1”, “Pet 2”, etc. This seems inexcusable as a bug this far into an expansion, particularly for a spec whose total damage is almost completely pet-dependent. And Hati’s insistence on leisurely ambling to the next target remains a source of petty but constant frustration.

    Last, I have noticed that every time I call Dire Beast (which is a lot), it seems to halt my Auto Shot — which no doubt is one reason for sub-optimal damage numbers.

    Yeah, I am playing BM this expansion come hell or high water, but Blizz is not making it a pleasant decision.

    1. Yeah, the changes to BM in the pre-patch went totally against everything that made hunters hunters, and are most of why I was so upset about Legion. It seems to have fewer skills overall compared to the other two specs, which makes the rotation smaller (read: more boring), and while it’s awesome to have two pets, it doesn’t make up for the sucky experience. Like I said further up in my own comment, I made it to 110 with my SV hunter, switched to BM long enough to get the artifact and the thing to let Hati look like one of your own pets, and then dropped everything to play a shaman instead because I wasn’t having much fun with my hunter main. She’ll always be my primary character, but this xpac was a big miss for me because of the whole set of hunter changes.

    2. Fiannor, I am with you on this and I am sticking with BM even if that means I am sat on Mythic progression fights. Like you, I also noticed that Dire Beast seems to stop my auto shots until I cast another ability. Very frustrating. Also, not being able to build up Focus like we used to seems to really contribute to that down time issue and I just do not like how Focus is handled for BM right now… but I can deal with it / adapt.

      As for MM, personally, I cannot stand what Blizzard did to the spec. It’s heavily RNG proc dependent and very movement restrictive. I don’t play a Hunter to be a caster. Likewise, I also cannot stand what they did to SV. I already have a melee class with a pet – an Unholy DK – I don’t need another melee with a pet. I’m glad that those that like SV as a melee class are enjoying it, but I did not want to lose my ranged SV spec just to get a melee spec for my Hunter.

  14. Can I just say I absolutely love Survival? I’m a long time BM lover but SV is just so freakin’ fun. It’s alot of fun in World Quests and has good utility. However, I’ve been main speccing BM still because how much stronger it feels than SV (and duo pets because omg how cool is that?). I’d love to play SV more, but it feels so weak in both PVE and PVP. If it were more viable to be SV I’d be SV so much more.

    1. I’m all along with you regarding the SV spec. I used to feel like you considering the Pve and PvP aspects, but I’ve actually changed my mind.

      SV’s gameplay is miles away from the other two specs. It’s so tricky to play and has an efficient CC (ice trap). This trap coupled with the snare is insane. In arena, SV has not the same role as a BM and a MM, that is to say, dealing a lot of domage without any support ability.

      Coupled with a disci priest, SV is just beyond godlike. I assure you SV is totally viable in PvP, and way funnier to play than spamming one button or letting your pet do all the job.
      You have to check out your position and have to LoS a lot. You must harass your opponents with your ranged abilities, before jumping on them. Grapple allows you to have +60% MS for 8sec (Talent : posthaste) while its CD is only 20sec. Those 8sec are what you need to wound someone then hidding in the shade for the reset.

      SV is simply awesome.

  15. Sorry to double post, but I forgot to mention how much more complicated SV feels compared to MM or BM. I know some people like that kind of gameplay depth but I personally find it overwhelming in intense moments such as raiding or pvp.

  16. Thank you for this article Bendak. The hate against BM has gone way too far in my opinion. It’s fun. It’s fine. Unless you’re going for firsts, anyone who tells you it shouldn’t be played is just wrong.

    1. I find it neither fun nor fine, yet I will never tell someone not to play it if they enjoy it.

      I usually level a melee, a tank, and a ranged at the start. Rogue first, then bear, then hunter this time around. Usually the opposite. And this time I was aiming for Mage but … I gave in. Been a BM since vanilla and have seen a lot of changes over the years. Never this depressing. BM is up to 103. It’s a strong leveling spec, pets are not as squishy as they were in the pre-patch, and the damage at low gear levels is strong. But it is so, so boring. There is literally nothing to really track. Half the time I don’t even bother with Bestial Wrath, save it for a big group or a particularly pernicious rare (not many of those) or a surprise ettin. The artifact quest was ridiculously one dimensional compared to rogue and bear.

      The fundamental issue is the lack of personality and personalization associated with the spec now. We are burdened with Hati, Stampede is an utterly generic stream of random beasts, we are pretty much locked into a turtle, we have 3 buttons to press, Volley is a frickin toggle. They made us Big Orange Outlined Kitties, took away traps and basically everything in the spec that asked you to choose or gave you the option (wise or not) to do things differently.

      On the other hand … my Outlaw Rogue is a hoot to play. Great animations, random buffs to calculate, sneaking around, bribing, a lot of personality.

      My Druid? SO much lore it’s crazy. Able to level quickly in tank and test myself on how many mobs I can pull and manage (practice for tanking, although life will demand LFR so … tanking not likely), a lot of personality.

      Marks. Stand still and pew pew. That’s fun? (I had 3 hunters at 100 so I could try all the specs)

      Survival? I agree looks interesting. The artifact quest was ok. But it’s still not a classic hunter spec, it’s a rogue hybrid. I have a 110 rogue with more tools in the tool box.

      So … hoping for some love to make the spec interesting again.

  17. Hunters have always gravitated to a single spec in the past (wasn’t it like 90% BM hunters in TBC ?) so I guess a 1:3 ratio for BM:MM isn’t that bad especially with the “general consensus” of BM for Mythic+ dungeons and MM for raids.

    Changing SV to a melee spec in the same expansion where they introduce the extremely mobile DH’s probably wasn’t a smart move. I think we’ll have to see how viable SV stays (in terms of people playing it) in the next expansion.

    Hopefully Blizzard won’t further destroy BM and MM play-styles to try and boost SV numbers.

  18. I actually find MM to be way to easy and simple to play and the rotation borring. The only hard thing about it is staying as far back as possible when using Barrage to not aggro more mobs, so that’s not saying much.

    BM which I currently use to do everything and plan on staying as works wonders for me. Having the right Relics will boost your DPS so much, ilvl 869 Titanstrike with lots of Beast Cleave% is so awsome. If you find yourself having a lot of downtime in your rotation you are doing it wrong. I mean I don’t raid in a super great guild but we down bosses and I am always in the top 3 and usually top DPS in mythic dungeons.

    SV well I didn’t even bother to go get the artifact weapon yet as I am too busy having fun on BM and improving my gear. Maybe eventually I will.

  19. I’d LOVE to raid as surv but for the same reason @Zanjin mentioned I can’t. Also I wish I could keep it on the side and switch to it here and there but it’s not realistic, I can’t keep feeding AP in 2 specs. I have gone from heavy player from vanilla to mists (All classes maxed out) to mostly casual in wod (when I got a kid) and now that casual playstyle (that worked in wod, cleared mythic hfc) is making me fall behind a lot.

    In any case if we could swap specs and have all our AP restored that’d be the best thing ever

  20. so…after the first night of Mythic raiding…it appears BM came in third spec overall while MM is somewhere in middle of the pack.

    Very interesting…

    warcraft logs and statistics got to love it.

  21. during the pre-patch I was having so much fun with Survival, but the week before Legion my raid leader tells me that we are to melee heavy, so I was stuck being range. I tried out MM and did not like how AoE the rotation was, its bad enough Barrage is blamed for every trash pull now we have to deal with Sidewinders. I finally settled with BM and found that I really enjoyed it, it got even better in Legion with the addition of Hati. I was having a blast leveling and doing dungeons as BM, but I completely borked my talents by going for Titan’s Thunder first. Now I’m stuck with a 50k AP requirement to fix that problem. Not only that but MM is considered better in Raids then BM! So I am now powering up my MM artifact, pulling all the trash in Dungeons and just missing Hati.

    1. You have highlighted the biggest issue of this xpac with your statement.

      (1) using a sub-optimal path in yar weapon tree has huge consequences that cannot easily be fixed.
      (2) people who “level” two weapons are in the short term falling behind on 1 weapon …this gap can be huge depending on your play time.
      (3) People not realising for the first time ever blizzard HAS to make sure the specs are within range of each other.

      You don’t need to raid as MM, BM is performing quite well. Mythic logs illustrate that. Further, MM is going to have a nerf coming. They are tinkering with Demon Hunters and both Demon Hunters and MM appear to be neck and neck in heroic EN. That gap between those specs are is going to be closing..

  22. As a Faithful BM hunter, despite this Insult of a “buff” they gave us to Bestial Wrath by mere 5%, I would like also to mention that I fear that they’re planning to reduce the duration of Bestial Wrath from 15 to 10 seconds in the PTR… that would be a HUGE nerf!

    I wonder if BM is kicking that much ass in PvP, that makes them worried about properly buffing the spec for making it Raid viable again.

    1. Where are you getting the 15 to 10 second nerf information from? That would completely gut the spec.

      Don’t worry about PvP balance. That’s the whole reason for PvP stat templates — so it can’t affect PvE performance.

  23. The problems with SV go beyond “it’s just another melee spec”. In theory, it can pump out more single target damage than even MM, the problem is in executing the rotation properly, which is hard and not even always possible.

    Too much of SV’s DPS hinges on stacking Mongoose Bite into Fury of the Eagle, requiring ~20 seconds of uninterrupted uptime on the target. It’s just not always possible in the raid setting.

    Realistically, SV will have same or lower DPS than MM, while being restricted to melee, and having worse AoE / Cleave damage.

    So even though single target DPS is in high demand in Emerald Nightmare, factors above are big contributors to why people don’t raid in SV all that much.

  24. I started Legion as MM because Ive never been into BM and my favorite spec became melee. I found MM so boring that I actually stopped playing my Hunter for a while, until the comments here made me give SV one more *real* try. And now I love it. Yes it’s melee and that’s a major adjustment, but it nails the fantasy and the core of what I loved about SV in Cata and MoP. So thank you, SV Hunters that came here to defend the spec!

  25. I’m not a hardcore raider but I hate the way everyone is poo pooing on BM in raids. I topped my guilds dps meters as BM in normal and had 240k dps on our first H Nythendra. I even ran a PUG heroic last night and downed 4bosses. My dps was #1 or # 2 every fight and well above the MM hunters

  26. I really love SV tbh. Out of the three its the most fun to play and gives you the least amount of down time for your rotation. It’s a GREAT questing spec, harpoon is awesome for scaling mountains, and PVE mobility is outstanding, as is AoE (especially in dungeons). Also ghost eagle form is phenomenal if on the rare chance you find yourself dead, this alone is the reason I only ever run Suramar quests in SV.

    DPS is great in heroics, although I have since mained BM in mythics due to gear stats and AP priority, Maining MM in raids atm as well.

    The hardest part, I feel, about handling SV is the fact that its a third weapon to spend AP on. With the viability of Mm and BM in PVE content, using any AP at all on a 3rd weapon is just not feasible. Unless you’re planning on maining SV for 90% of your content it’s just too difficult to keep up with especially at the mythic+ and raiding level.

    On to PVP however, its just not that great. Its an excellent spec to run for WSG, TP. Caltrops/Tar Trap is just amazing. Rangers net is awesome, but really terrible for highly mobile classes like Druids and Shamans (the range is great but Wing Clip is FAR more effective). The problem is that if you aren’t running WC, and have run out of snare options, Harpoon, Rangers Net (not including the PvP talent), and traps are on CD, then you are just out-paced by literally everything save a Priest. The mobility and gap-closers/Snares that other melee classes have to offer are simply leagues and bounds better than what SV currently has.

    As I said it is an extremely fun spec to play, viable for both PvE and PvP; it feels however like a Jack of all Trades (master of none).

    1. Bad double post! But I forgot to mention the change to Fury of the Eagle for SV is super depressing and the reason I’ve lost quite a bit DPS lately! Originally FotE was off the GCD and therefore was able to pop it as soon as you stacked your 6th stack of the Mongoose buff. Given the length of time it can take to stack to 6 and now including the additional GCD on FoTE there are times where a buff drop may come if you’re not paying very close attention. *Sadface*

    2. Regarding the lack of mobility, I’d say that the talent posthaste is incredibly strong : it grants you a mobility of 60% for 8sec and you can’t be affected by MS reduction. It’s just insane if you plan to chase a mage, a monk or whatever.

      Indeed, if this spell is on CD, you’ll have a really bad time and will get rekt by any caster and melee. But the key is here : you have to remain careful with your CD and stay in LoS untill the moment you can easily use your 3 mangoose bites and your harpoon. It’s kinda the same gameplay as a subtilety rogue : you wait for your CD and then you engage. However, you have more than one string to your bow since you can also deal ranged damages (Dragonsfire Grenade + axes throw).

      To conclude, it’s for me what a hunter should be all about : a patient stalker.

  27. I’m still a BM.
    I tried MM but I find the spec to not only be bare bones & boring, but really weird.
    So many of it’s abilities just don’t seem to fit with the class fantasy.
    Feels more like a ranged Rogue than a Hunter.

    I’m a Worgen & an Engineer so I have plenty of movement.
    Most Emerald Nightmare fights require a lot of movement, especially on Heroic.
    Plus my Quillin’s res has had some use.
    Plus BM feels awesome in Mythic+ Dungeons.
    I’m happy with my choice to stay BM.

    SV is honestly fun to play. It just sucks.
    It needs some serious tweaking to be viable.
    Little things like not having Disengage just make it pale

  28. Well, I love my survivaliste spec : it is so refreshing to play à mêlée dps after all this time as à ranged. I love it’s mechanics, and having à LOT of dots (five!)….but the thing is that i can’t stand not playing as a ranged dps in raid. This is why i raid as a markmanship hunter, even if i spend more time in the World and sometimes in dungeon in survivaliste spec.
    We just have to recall that hese numbers doesn’t represent the average of played sv hunter in general ; )

  29. The biggest reason that I love the SV spec is how it plays. It feels fresh although it does feel like a combination of talents that were meant for someone else, but that for me is the cool part. The SV hunter is a survivor so he will adept and learn skills to better survive which makes the SV feel authentic strangely enough. Also the Sv never fails to surprise especially PVP, and harassing your opponents and going in for that opportunity kill with the spec’s solid burst damage. Also the feeling that you jump into the fray with your pet by your side adds to the idea that you and your pet are one, like an extension of your left arm.

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