Patch 7.2.5 Beast Mastery Preview: Builds, legendaries, and set bonuses

Beast Mastery has through quite a few changes this PTR cycle — first the awesome news about 2 charges of Dire Beast, then the first tuning pass to compensate for that free “3rd legendary,” and since then there has been more tuning in subsequent builds. Plus we’ve got some new legendaries to collect. I think at this point they’re getting close to finished, so it’s worth talking about what to expect in 7.2.5.

Just remember all of this is subject to change. This is just a preview. I’m sharing some sims I did for my own benefit. I thought some of you would be interested in seeing what I got out of it. This is not a guide, and if you’re coming across this after 7.2.5 has released don’t bother reading. It’s likely things will have changed by then.

Edit: Removing since it’s outdated by a month. Newer post about the same subject here.

Buy Me a Coffee at

43 thoughts on “Patch 7.2.5 Beast Mastery Preview: Builds, legendaries, and set bonuses”

  1. Awesome, thanks!

    Hopefully this holds, really happy to go back to Stomp. Frenzy is ok certainly but I much prefer to play the other build (plus: Glyph of Arachophobia!)

  2. Thank you for breaking this down, I’ve been wracking my brains on what to expect and how this may affect the only spec I raid as. I was and likely still shall go into 7.2.5. wary and watchful. Changes bother me less when they don’t make the spec unplayable. After reading your post, my fingers are cautiously crossed.

  3. Oh hey Bendak, forgot to ask in my comment above:

    How do the new trinkets look? They seem mostly awful in the journal right now but I have a feeling the numbers are all wrong. *laugh*

    Engine is the only one that looks even remotely passable but it’s hard to say if the actual numbers are like 1.5M instead of the 100k it’s showing now.

    1. Haven’t done an in depth look at trinkets yet. The Sentinel’s Medallion does a surprising amount of damage, but no agility on it. The one from Kil’jaeden could be good (especially for Stomp build). I’ll evaluate them all when I update the Wowhead guide (and the FAQ here).

    1. That can happen on flying targets or other weird pathing issues, such as the target dummies on the right side of Trueshot Lodge (use the dummies on left side instead).

  4. Bendak – Getting to 30ish % Crit for the Stomp build comes at the cost of what? Mastery? Haste? How low should we drop Haste to in order to maintain sufficient focus regen?

    1. There’s no magic haste number that I’ve come across for the Stomp build, but you still want to keep a decent amount. Somewhere between 10-20% is fine. Things get kind of sluggish below that.

  5. I’m also in your situation having all the bm leggos. I’ve been grabbing up the mm leggos. Now i’m not sure If i should stay in BM like you are. Also my trinkets are in a good spot so I’ve started hoarding nethershards and legionfall supplies but I’m almost capped on supplies.

  6. idk what the ~800 mastery translates to in percentages, but I’m currently at about 97% mastery. Granted, I’ve never been too clear on things like stat caps and that sort of thing, and I have no idea if mastery currently has a cap or diminishing returns or anything, but it certainly isn’t hurting my dps. I’ve also never been super clear on tier sets, as I don’t do a lot of end-game raiding. I’m at 895 ilvl with two legendaries right now (the crafted gloves, and Apex). Still haven’t managed to get Fenryr tamed, but I’m getting there! Maybe after 7.2.5 hits, the tuning will help me get him finally.

    1. Love how Blizzard set up BM hunters so that that the shoulders were absolutely needed to be viable in mid-high end raiding or mythic+ situations. It seemed insane that a ridiculously rare RNG legendary drop, rather than skill or working on questing / raiding for better gear, was the key to a whole spec.

      So… in 7.2.5 Blizzard takes the shoulder benefits and makes them baseline (and throws in a crapload of nerfs), but problem solved, right? That is until they create a new BiS ring, another RNG drop, and we are back where we started.

      Blizzard killed a really solid expansion in Legion with the legendary system and now they are making it even worse with each patch.

      Beyond frustrated at this point.

  7. Can I ask question about new mantle & apex?

    You posted that new mantle gives 5% attack my pet(primary / hati / dire beast / aMoC) and apex gives 5% attack only primary pet.

    When hunters equip apex, primary pet gives 9% not 5% because of Combat Experience (pet’s passive skill – increase all damage done by your pet by 60%)

    So, my question is…

    “Is new mantle buff affected also Combat Experience?”

      1. Kinda…?

        Apex ring gives 5% damage increasing, but it is multiplied by Combat Experience. Therefore, apex ring actually gives 9% pet damage increasing. (1.6*1.05=1.68)

        I want to know new mantle buff(5% pet damage increasing) is also multiplied by Combat Experience or not.

        p.s. English is not my firat language. That was the reason… 🙁

    1. The mantle buff doesn’t modify combat experience, it just modifies pet damage (like our mastery does).

      Also, you’re not actually getting 9% extra damage with Apex, the tooltip is a bit misleading. You can test this for yourself in simulation craft. Set up gear with identical stats, but one of the gear sets has the apex ring on. You get very close to a 5% boost from it on primary pet attacks, not 9%. It has something to do with modifying combat experience only (which they had to do so other pets wouldn’t be affected).

  8. Thanks for that last paragraph, Bendak. I was thinking about doing the same, and appreciate the nudge!

  9. Thanks for the great info Bendak, With the new build which is suppose to go live this coming tues and then tomb going live one week after which is the 20th , trinket wise would you recommend going with stats stick trinkets? , or would for some reason bti still be top tier even for the stomp builded

  10. Great read mate, as always.

    So I was wondering… If The Mantle of Command equals ~800 mastery, wouldnt it be more desireable to actually get the CoS+Arcway set (3000 crit with 50%ish uptime if i am not wrong), and rather use another legendary next to shoulders?
    Imo the shoulders are pretty worthless now, considering it also prevents you to take 3 setbonus ;(

    1. I don’t think the uptime is quite that high, but you’d have to sim the difference regardless. Depends on the ilevel of the arcway set, etc.

  11. Azor’s calling MM master race already for T20. Granted, he’s a MM homer from jumpstreet… but he’s also usually right.

    I *really* hope Blizz keeps the specs reasonably balanced. I played MM in the EN and ToV days when it was really the only choice, and I loathed it. When they changed it to arcane spam I just couldn’t take it any more. I switched my loot spec to BM, landed a mantle, and never went back. Fishing for vulnerable procs is just not my idea of fun. I’d like to be able to play BM (or even SV) without feeling like I’m letting down my raid team, because MM just kills my hunter joy in its current incarnation.

    1. MM has a really nice set bonus. Wait a couple weeks and see where the tuning ends up, but if you’re determined to play the best regardless, you should keep MM in your back pocket.

  12. Is there any value to running the Soul of the Huntmaster and using Blink strikes with bestial fury for the dire frenzy build?

  13. Hey Bendak. So, your wowhead guide and Azor both are saying that the DF/BF build is the highest DPS build right now… But I have simmed several time today, in addition to switching some gear (getting rid of high vers pieces I had, thanks to crafted going to 900), and OWTP/Stomp is pulling ahead by 11k each time. Is this just because of my stat distribution? I am at 29%crit/17%haste/75%mastery/2%vers. Dordn on Dragonblight, if you want to take a look.

    1. It’s the same for me, but it’s different for others. What’s clear is both builds are really close in T19 gear. T20 is where the DF build is predicted to pull ahead again, and the guide is more focused on T20/Tomb of Sargeras. With the right legendaries I think the Stomp build will stay competitive even in T20 though. Plus who knows what tuning is going to happen in the next couple of weeks.

      1. Ok, Thanks. I thought I was going crazy, or doing something VERY wrong! I sure as heck hope it stays competitive… I just can’t dig the “stand still and cast” thing MM has going on.

  14. In addition I’m so sick of simming, for 3 hours I did this….lol…They better fix my spec damnit! (BM).

  15. Bendak —

    Maybe something of a noob question here, but what is the optimal way to use the two charges of DF? I never got Mantle (currently running CotW + Qa’Pla) (also have KJBW and Apex), so I haven’t had time to get used to it. Should I try to extend 3-stack of DF as much as I can? Or burn the charges during a cooldown window? Or something else?

    One more question: is the 18% haste target more lenient with two charges?

    I’ve lost about 150k dps, which I’m hoping is at least partly to do with the changes to the spec, though clearly also something to do with me being bad. But I’ve dropped from 1st or 2nd in the guild, to 4th or 5th, and that I can’t abide.

    Thanks for the guide. It’s top notch.

  16. Ok, so with the MASSIVE qualifier that this is based on only 5,000 parses or so, BM looks to have lost about 20-30k dps (on average) across all Heroic Nighthold encounters (I sampled Heroic because that’s my personal area of concern; my guild is tiny and therefore non-Mythic). Which probably means that if you’re one of those people reporting 100k+ dps losses, you’re either in a truly unfortunate situation with your gearing, or you still have some adaptation to do with regard to the new optimal playstyle and spec. (No insult intended with the second possibility, it’s a good thing- dps losses that are actually under your control are better than those that aren’t!)

    Given that Nighthold content has been slightly nerfed to account for the across-the-board nerfing of set bonuses, this seems in line with developer intent. It seems like everyone should have been down slightly; it looks like they got BM “about right” with their changes in terms of hitting their desired mark.

    HOWEVER… I can say without fear of exaggeration that it looks like *most other dps specs have been buffed, not nerfed**. BM’s *relative* ranking has plummeted. Initial 7.2.5 results put every warlock spec, every rogue spec, frost mages, and most hybrid dps specs are above the *highest* hunter spec (which is still BM, at least in heroic.) So the people reporting that they’re suddenly much worse relative to their fellow raiders are probably on to something.

    TLDR: BM took about a 3% nerf, at least based on Heroic raiding data. Nighthold was nerfed by about 3%, so that seems about right. But a lot of other specs seem to have been overbuffed, so it doesn’t feel real good right now…

    Caveat: Depending on relative strengths of T20 set bonuses and suitability for encounters, all of this could be completely moot in a week. Also, as more people re-gear and switch to the stomp build, BM could very well rise from its current levels. This data is snapshot-in-time only and intended only to address some of the initial reaction to BM’s relative power post-patch.

    1. Losing 1-2% was predicted, but yeah this is more than expected. There is currently a bug with Hati where Bestial Wrath only lasts 10 sec instead of 15 which is affecting this. Tuning all around is an absolute mess right now.

      1. Heh, so it sounds like I was giving them too credit saying 3-4% seemed “about right.” Oh well. As an aside, MM Is down by about 1%, which is proximate to expectations (MM dps was predicted to be slightly up if you were not using vulnerability well, and slightly down if you were executing correctly), so if we were actually supposed to lose 1-2% that would put us more in line with our hunter brethren (though not in line with a lot of non-hunter specs.)

        Even assuming that the majority of our relative drop is a combination of bugs and poor tuning for other specs, I still wish I knew more about why some people are seeing 6 -figure absolute dps losses. It sounds like way too much, (and it’s much higher than the average parse loss) but it’s also being reported quite a bit.

    2. I think my gearing is pretty good — 20% haste and 87% mastery, crit sub 20 — but I don’t have the greatest legendaries. I got CotW and CoF the same week, a few weeks ago, and that is what propelled me to the top of the metres in my tiny Heroic-only semi-casual guild. #AimHigh. Which means I just don’t quite know what I’m doing with the two charges to DF. I’ll have to read up on the best way to use them.

      Thanks Zhunter, and Bendak.

  17. Hey thanks for the update. I always played BM as a PVE player. Now thinking about trying to do some PVP but don’t know which pet I should use. I normally use spirit beasts but read somewhere they were nerfed. Now thinking about devilsaur or sporebat and then spec them on cunning. Although I read that ferocity can also be good for pvp. Do you also have a guide on pvp spec for bm hunter in 7.2.5? thank you

  18. Hey! Not sure if this has been speculated in yet, but lets see. So the chest and the shoulders are tier 1 and good legendaries, but are they worth dropping double tier for? 4-set tos and cloak + legs from NH. Any thoughts? Because the set from NH is pretty good. I guess ilvl will beat it eventually, but in the start, is it not worth sticking to 2-set from NH?

Comment on this post

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.