Patch 7.2.5 Beast Mastery: Stomp vs. Dire Frenzy [UPDATED]

About a month ago I made a “patch 7.2.5 preview” post for Beast Mastery where I predicted that the Crit/Stomp build would be making a return in some form, and also took a look at the new legendaries. The Stomp part panned out, but the legendary sims were not clear. They were only single legendary sims, so it was easy to take them out of context. In hindsight I would’ve done legendary combos instead. I did slather the post in disclaimers but apparently it wasn’t enough to prevent some misinformation. Also the blog format isn’t the best for this info, I guess. Not everyone looks at the date of the post, and the info kinda just sits there forever, even when it’s no longer relevant. So I decided to remove that post since it’s pre-patch info and was being taken out of context repeatedly.

Now, the patch is here and a lot of people are jumping on the Stomp train, but the question is how long is it going to last? Well, it’s going to fall off a bit in Tomb of Sargeras with T20 gear. However, with the right gear and legendaries, one should be able to keep Stomp fairly competitive with the Dire Frenzy build. It comes down to how much you value DPS gains over play style. For some people, any gain — even less than 1% — is worth switching for.

Updated on July 6, 2017: Recently there was a bug fixed in Simulation Craft which slightly changes the results posted here originally. I’ve updated the simulations below. We’ve also seen on the live game how Stomp is doing slightly better than expected (compared to Dire Frenzy).

The bug was keeping the base Bestial Wrath cooldown reset at 15 seconds instead of 12 seconds. So we lost a bit of DPS in the sims, and the gap between Dire Frenzy and Stomp shrank to basically nothing (even in T20 gear). I’ve put red text on any sections below that were updated.

Update TLDR: The small gap between Stomp and Dire Frenzy in T20 is gone. They’re basically equal now.

Stomp vs. Dire Frenzy Redux

In current T19 gear, the beast cannon/Stomp build is doing a little better for most people. The gap is wider if you have a lot of crit gear. The downside to the Stomp build is the extra RNG. When you’re lucky, it’s absolutely on fire, but when you’re not lucky it can be a bit frustrating. Bad luck to me is not getting a proc before my second Bestial Wrath comes up — that just feels bad with the Stomp build.

The Stomp build works best with 30-40% crit, which is why it’s often referred to as the “crit build.” If you’re desperate for some extra sources of critical strike, check out crafted rings. They now go up to level 900 and have a socket.  Look for “peerless” or “fireflash” rings then fill ’em up with Obliterum.

T19 gear is on its way out though. In T20 gear, Dire Frenzy is simply going to be better. How much better? Not a ton, but enough for most raiders I think. New sims show that even in T20 gear, both builds are virtually identical.

The Context:  For simplicity’s sake, I used gear from Heroic Tomb of Sargeras only, including relics and trinkets, for these sims. So this gear is not optimized for either build perfectly. Legendary chest and belt were used. The only thing I changed between these sims is the ring enchants.

Below results have been updated.

You can view the full HTML results of this sim right here. There you can see the exact gear used.

If you want my recommendation (i.e. what I’d put in my guide), play the Dire Frenzy build whatever you want in T20 gear. As long as you’re holding onto the T19 2-piece bonus, then Stomp is probably going to be ahead.

What will I play? I’m not 100% sure yet. I do like the beast cannon, proc-filled gameplay of Stomp, but I also like the burst AoE of Dire Frenzy and being rewarded for managing attack speed stacks. For now — at least until I put away T19 2p — I’m probably sticking with Stomp. But once I’m in full T20, that could change.

With your own gear, the differences between builds could be different. Sim yourself whenever you can. You don’t even have to install sim craft, you can use raid bots.

Beast Mastery Legendaries in 7.2.5

Legendaries are closer than ever in value. They’re so close that there’s no longer a point to having a strict ranking list of best to worst, because everyone’s list will be different. Each legendary’s value depends on what piece of gear you have available to replace it.

There are still 3 legendaries that always come out on top when all other things are equal. These are going to be consistently up there for most people:

In addition, the Soul of the Huntmaster is one of the better legendaries for the Stomp build (but not the Dire Frenzy build). Also, if you have a Convergence of Fates trinket then Call of the Wild will be among the top as the two items synergize really well.

Below results have been updated

View the full HTML results of this sim here.

See what I mean about the legendaries being close? One thing to keep in mind about Parsel’s Tongue is that it loses some value in multi-target situations since it relies on you constantly using Cobra Shot. So for things like Mythic+ or multi-target encounters, you’re probably better served with the ol’ Shoulder+Belt combo.

The Huntmaster ring is not that great for Dire Frenzy which is why I didn’t include it in the sims above. It’s quite nice for the Stomp build, barely below the best single target combo (when paired with the belt).

I added another result showing what happens when you keep T19 2-piece (in this case, ilevel 905 pieces) with the Belt+Huntmaster ring combo.

How is BM looking for Tomb of Sargeras?

Right now it’s looking like Beast Mastery will be middle-of-the-pack in Tomb of Sargeras, maybe closer to the lower end of middle. There are worse places to be — at least nerfs are unlikely in such a position, am I right? Marksmanship is a bit ahead (even after its recent tier 20 nerf), so if you were playing MM back in Emerald Nightmare but switched to BM for Nighthold, you may want to give MM another look. Survival isn’t looking so hot right now. All this can still change in the opening weeks of Tomb as Blizzard does more tuning.

Update July 6: After a few weeks of ToS, Beast Mastery is averaging out in the middle, but to the lower end of middle (at least on Heroic). Our strongest bosses are Goroth, Maiden of Vigilance, Fallen Avatar, and Sisters of the Moon. Our weakest bosses are Harjatan, Demonic Inquisition, Mistress, and Desolate Host.

If you ask me, we could probably use a small AoE buff at this point. Our freedom of movement clearly isn’t enough to overcome the capability of many other specs on multi-target fights. Un-nerfing Thunderslash would help. Putting Hati back to 100% beast cleave damage (currently at 75%) would also help.

What build do you plan on playing in Tomb of Sargeras?

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79 thoughts on “Patch 7.2.5 Beast Mastery: Stomp vs. Dire Frenzy [UPDATED]”

  1. Just want to say thank you Bendak, been reading your stuff for a long long time, your the man , i dont care what hunter discord says about you…lol

  2. Any posts about anything. I miss seeing the daily posts about all things Hunter. Not just math and stats, but pets, and transmog, and Order Hall missions, and quests, and well….anything!

  3. Bendak, any thing you write pertaining to Beast Masters is welcome! Whenever anyone asks me for BM information, I send them your website, first and foremost. Why? Because the information (be it tier gear breakdown to pet hunting to transmog) is always very sound and on target. And quite honestly, I always feel other websites have slammed BM, and any information they do put up is an afterthought, and not always thought out well at that. Thank you for all you do here, and on Wowhead.

  4. Just to Reiterate what Zetta, has written i do the same, bendak from eye of the beast etc, i tell my guildes to come here and i think your advice is great, I run a large guild and im the top dpsing hunter it and i do the crit build, not dire frenzy the original stomp crit build, its great, granted i was running with the mantle of command and boots and still am, so was expecting a serious dps loss when mantle was changed, and what happened? nope im still doing the most dps as a hunter in our guild and still doing the crit build lol, I wouldnt even have known to do the crit build or what it was if it hadnt been for this site, icyveins and wowhead didnt mention it or if they did it certainly wasnt as clear as you did.

    Keep Up the good work.

  5. The belt is really amazing, even more so with the new t20 set boni. Unfortunately, I dont have the belt, the chest nor the shoulders. What I can provide is the wrists (decent COF) and the huntermaster ring – as with them I’ll probably keep 2pc T19 and run the STOMP build..

  6. A bit of wee hours prowling about netted me the CoW bracers a few min ago, but I’m sticking with my shoulders/belt (though I do have a H CoF) unless something amazeballs changes (y cud u not b teh CHEST???). I’ll be running a DF build, and Stomp when necessary, I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and efforts in eeking out the numbers side of BM. I’ve played the “master” spec since BC Day 1 back in Jan 2007 with no plans to swap. In the vacuum of, “Git gud skrub n play MARKS u nub”, you’re a beacon in the darkness to send my fellow BM hunters to for insights and guidance. Your observations are well thought out and relayed in a manner that don’t require ppl to be adept at mathspeak. I look forward to seeing my email alert that a new post is up and get to it as soon as possible.

  7. Last weekend, I simed all legendary combos for the stomp build. I will aim for 2T19 and 4T20 and have two 920 T19 pieces. The top combination was Huntmaster Ring and Wrist (combined with 905 CoF), followed by Mantle and Wrist (with CoF).
    My guild has managed to kill mythic 4/10 in Nighthold, so I guess I will get heroic T20 pieces and do not count with mythic T20 currently.

    I think you should also consider the Wrist and CoF combination, until you get two very good Tomb trinkets. The synergy is very good and better than simed results where you only sim one or the other.

    1. Wrist and CoF is very good, I’ll edit in a note about that. It’s pretty nice if that’s one of your highest simming legendaries because you get that secondary benefit of extra Turtles and Cheetahs.

    2. I like that idea.. I think having the extra set bonus, plus the BF buff, combined with the COF procs would be fantastic. The only thing i see possibly being an issue is managing focus. But this is definitely going to be my GO to spec, regardless of Ilvl to start.

  8. > Not a ton, but enough for most raiders I think.

    If 1% difference is enough for “most raiders”, there’s something horribly wrong with the community’s mindset. *laugh*

    On top of that, getting sim-level results with DF is almost certainly harder than it is for Stomp (simpler to play – no watching DF timers or any nonsense like that).

    Beast Cannon all the way for me. 🙂

    1. I don’t fault people for chasing more DPS. I just think sometimes the differences can get blown out of proportion, and suddenly a build that does a couple percent less is deemed “worthless” by the community. I just try to shed light on those situations and put it in perspective.

      There was a situation back in WoD where I wrote about this sort of attitude and what it can lead to:

      It’s nowhere near as bad as that today, we’ve got healthy numbers of players playing both MM and BM, but I know SV players can sometimes suffer that stigma.

  9. I Will probably use the DF build for the lil bit of extra complexity. But im rly tempted to use the beast Canon for the name of the build only (cmon! Beast cannon!!!)

  10. Trinket sims are pretty volatile right now, especially the Tarnished Sentinel Medallion which is simming above and beyond almost everything and is definitely the #1 candidate for a nerf.

    I’ll personally focus on getting the Cradle of Anguish & Engine of Eradication first as they seem alot more stable and grounded. The 80% hp threshold on Cradle plays well with BM getting hp restore from KC and potentially alot of leech if you have parsels, plus we’re unaffected by the movement required to maintain long uptimes on Engine(hopefully proc isn’t as terrible as Frond was!)

    1. I hope they don’t change the medallion, as there’s finally another trinket that can go head to head with BTI. If they do nerf it to the ground, it feels like all they’re telling us to do is go continue to farm Mythic EN in hopes for a crazy titanforge of BTI. We need to move on from that trinket already. Same potential issue with farming titanforged CoFs and Focis (though less likely).

      My problem with Cradle is I’m sure there’s going to be many fights that dip you below 50% HP, which destroys this trinket. It’s only slightly higher budget than a regular haste stat stick. I’d rather have a 915 haste stick than a 915 cradle to be honest.

      We’ll see if they make any adjustments to the trinkets after heroic week.

      1. I’m actually thinking about just sticking with a solid statstick lineup. I landed a 915 socketed engine, but it’s going up against a 915 mastery statstick. The engine sims 9k higher (half of which is due to the socket), but if I mathed it out right, if you miss 8 orbs over the course of a 6 minute fight, you would have been better going with the stat stick. Further, that’s just the break even point. Missing even 3-4 orbs means you’ve been dancing around for a .5% dps gain, tops. Add in that I’ve had the thing go up to 110 seconds without a proc (admittedly, sometimes it procs back to back, rng is rng) and I’m thinking that the 1% theoretical dps gain isn’t worth the combination of uncontrollable procs and having to dance around to get orbs when there might be mechanics flying around. (My other trinket is a socketed 860 arcano crystal, which amazingly enough is better than a 915 mastery statstick (for stomp build) and almost equivalent to the 915 socketed engine. Overpowered trinket is overpowered.)
        All of this, however, is headcraft. If anybody’s actually used the engine in raids and gotten great results, please let me know. I’d be happy to know my skepticism is unwarranted… but it just seems like overleveled (or overbudgeted, in the case of the arcanocrystal) statsticks rule this expansion?

          1. The arcanocrystal sacrifices primary stats for a massive amount of equitably distributed secondaries. For specs that have nearly-as-good-as-primaries secondary weights, and relatively equal weights across 3 or more secondaries, the arcanocrystal is amazing. (This fits stomp BM and trick shot MM quite nicely. Not so much dire frenzy, which has a haste-mastery fetish). The arcanocrystal starts to wear thin at about the heroic nighthold level, unless it’s socketed or overleveled, and definitively starts to fall off against the better heroic nighthold trinkets, but it’s still stupidly good for its ilvl in those specs that happen to make use of its distinctive stat budget.

            As always, I recommend simming it yourself rather than taking my word for it. If your stat needs fit the right criteria, it might be a surprisingly good choice. If not… then not!

  11. I want to add my thanks to you for continuing the best in-depth BM posts out there. I find them immensely helpful. Since I am currently at 35% crit on my gear, like you I will probably stick with the Stomp build until I get some T20 gear, then reassess. When I do, it will be on the basis of which is more enjoyable, not to eke out a couple thousand more dps — if you are going to be lower middle of the pack anyway, might as well maximize your fun. Let’s face it, if damage numbers were the most important thing to me, I would be playing MM not BM.

  12. I will be using dire frenzy build. Mostly because I’m lazy and is already using it. Hoping you write something about the new trinkets some day. Because that is one of the most confusing parts for me. I haven’t seen anything yet that screams “this will replace my 865 arcano crystal or my 900 chrono shard.” in the loot table.

  13. First off, another great blog, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I have all the legendaries, except the chest, for BM. I think I will stick with Stomp + Shoulders + Wrists + CoF short-term, at least until I get the tier 4 piece and / or likely the better trinket(s) from ToS.

    The DPS difference is currently fairly minor to worry about changing or acquiring other current gear, would rather focus on new ToS gear and build up from there, then make the appropriate switch..

  14. Also, I am really interested in the new ToS trinkets… we have been on the mandatory Bloodthirsty Instinct for way too long, my hope is that there is a drop that is competitive in ToS, or a build that allows us to use other trinkets as effectively.

    Farming for an 880+ BTI has been horrid.

  15. I think there’s a lot of danger in reading too much into template sims, or even into WarcraftLogs averages. Legendaries and secondary stats only exacerbate this.

    Example: In my best current BM gear and my best BM spec, I both perform (and sim) slightly over 100k higher single target as BM than MM. I have 2 of the best BM single target legos. I have no MM single target legos. I can get up to 36% crit on my gear, but have relatively low mastery. Within these parameters, I will perform better as BM. Therefore, I play bm.

    If the time comes when my *personal circumstances* in terms of gear, relative spec strengths, fight parameters, and my personal ability to execute the spec are such that switching to MM would give a significant performance boost, then I will switch. Raiding’s a team sport. I really dislike MM, but for progression, I owe my raid team my best (within a certain tolerance, at least. Around 50k differential is where I start to get antsy.) However, whether I switch or don’t switch will be entirely dictated by my personal potential throughput, NOT conventional wisdom. I’m not being indie hipster here- no point in bucking the prevailing trend if it’s right. But I’m also not going to blindly follow it if it doesn’t fit my individual circumstances.

    Though I have the luxury of being obstinate- after 12 years in the same guild, I’m pretty sure they’d give me the benefit of the doubt if my hunter showed up naked, dual wielding spoons, and spec’d into restoration.

  16. I run Shoulders and Belt its a great combo what I find interesting is Aspect of the beasts sims much higher than killer cobras for me. I run Crit Build its a great way to play. Enjoy the site thanks for the work you put in.

    1. Also we run 4 hunters in my raid the others are MM I still come in top on some fights but after the MM buff they have caught up all are excellent hunters.

  17. @Thorgalas

    Yeah i had same results ‘aspect of the beast’ sims out higher for me, and all my stat weights are pretty much exact all 21. this and 21. that, if i then select ‘killer cobra’ instead of ‘aspect of the beast’ and resim myself my dps is lower and my stat weights go out the window with haste becoming far more important think it became 24.7 or something, which from a steady balanced stat weights of 21. this 21. that was weird to see, and actually i use aspect of the beast as i use boots and shoulders anyway and find the results are good.

    1. Do you mind posting your armory (or sending it via contact page)? I’m curious what sort of gear set makes people sim higher with AotB as I’ve never been able to reproduce it myself. I understand with boots it can be quite close (like within 1%), but when not using boots there’s always a large gap for me.

      1. Just spitballing here, but I’m guessing that with Beast Cannon build and enough crit their Cobra Shots are hitting hard enough (due to Way of the Cobra) to make up the difference. Probably going to depend on what relic traits you have too, fewer KC/JoT and more CS ones maybe?

    1. Thanks, looks like AotB is simming 10k higher for you. I guess it’s a combo of the boots and your stat distribution. Also if you were to switch to Dire Frenzy, it gets reversed and AotB is 10k less instead. You’ve just found the perfect storm where AotB is the best talent. Kinda cool. I used belt/boots for a long time early in the expansion (until I got the shoulders to drop basically) and kinda miss them sometimes.

      1. Yeah thats why i take alot of things with a pinch of salt at times, and this dire frenzy train alot seem to want to board, for me to gain change my dps by numbers like 10k, im like ehh nahh, ill just use stomp instead, i find it a very easy rotation with my current set up that returns good results 🙂

        Thanks for looking into it though 🙂

  18. Bendak, my best sim is with apex and shoulders? I have all but the new legos and the bracers im at 31/17.5/84. I am running the cannon build atm. Does that sound about right? My armory is shadestrider@lightbringer. Thanks!

    1. I’m assuming shoulder+apex and shoulder+belt are really close in that case? Your 915 belt might be why. Like I said, all the legendaries are pretty close and your best will depend on the replacement pieces. Things will probably change when they’re upgraded to 970 though.

  19. My best sim are actually Chest+Belt>Belt+Ring>Shoulder+Belt for Stomp build, So i dare to say there no fix BIS lego atm but thing will change when T20 come but i shall wait till i gotten my T20 xD

  20. Is anybody else seeing MASSIVE rng swings with the stomp build? I threw a 50-something percentile on Star Augur last night (one of those nightmare “no procs until midway through the 2nd bestial wrath” fights) and even lower on Chrono (same problem), but rocketed up to 99th percentiles on Elisande and Trilliax because ZOMG PROCS. We’re talking 40 percentage point swings versus population median, with the same gear, same talents, and same execution level. In real terms, the high variance was over a million dps on trilliax, to sub 800k on Augur. Just absolutely ginormous swings in throughput. (By way of comparison, pre-patch I was seeing about 100k max swings in throughput; now I’m seeing up to 250k single target variance.)

    If this is the new normal, I’m kind of sad. One reason I disliked MM was the enormous reliance on RNG. Now stomp build feels almost as random. I’m sure the shoulders make it worse (i.e., they accentuate the impact of procs versus no procs), but even still, it seems to make fight execution minimally important when compared against “did I or did I not get procs?”

    Also, tried some MM AoE last night, since it was simming higher than my BM aoe… yeah, no. I have a warbelt, which in theory means my MM AoE should be good, but if you don’t get marking targets procs while adds are up, you simply can’t do AoE damage. Why Blizz chose to place a core mechanic (AoE) behind a proc wall, I do not know. The only comparison I can think of is fury’s meat cleaver procs, but fury warriors at least have quasi-decent aoe with whirlwind and talents. MM can’t do diddly unless marking targets procs; multishot’s sole purpose is to disseminate the marking targets debuff. It’s a damn silly design choice.

    1. Some RNG swings, but ones that big are pretty rare. They do happen though. When you run sim craft with say 10,000 iterations, it will tell you the lowest and highest of all those iterations, and you’d probably be surprised at the difference. As much as 400k between lowest and highest.

  21. @zhunter

    Yes, I have seen some really bad / good RNG runs with current Stomp build. Maybe not as bad as you, but pretty bad. There are times I am so far ahead of everyone else (more so than before), it is insane, other times I barely keep up with the top of my raid group.

    For perspective, I am usually at the top of our DPS list by a fair margin, we are not a hardcore or highly competitive raid group and I am usually the best geared.

  22. I ran my own sims using normal mode ToS gear and chest/belt came out on top for single target, but shoulders/belt was so close (3k dps lower) it was basically the same. I’d recommend taking the chest for single target and progression (8% leech) and shoulders for multi target.
    Its worth noting as well that stomp is significantly easier to play than dire frenzy.

    For future stuff I’d like to see some transmog / appearance stuff (not just sets but anything that looks cool)
    Maybe some guides on solo’ing content? Like for the fenryr pet.

  23. Well I will be doing the crit build because its much easier to gear for that and MM at the same time since MM hates haste.

  24. Noticed over at simc that they used 1 wilderness expert and 2 jaws relics in their sims for BM.Is wilderness expert now decent for st?

    1. It’s used because it’s the only Iron relic with a single target trait in TOS. The sims in this post use it too. Jaws, Pack, Unleash the Beast, and Slithering Serpents are all better traits.

      1. Yeah kinda confirms what i said really about pack and jaws still being best , i forgot to mention multi target furious swipes being best though and yup ive seen that spreadsheet before, Azorthorian made it but thanks

  25. It’s interesting you call the Stomp/OWTP the ‘crit build’. I have very low crit (19%) and it’s still simming as 20k dps more than my old DF/BF build. So I guess I’ll run with the Stomp/OWTP spec until such time as my old spec catches up as I change gear.

      1. It’s mostly called the crit build because crit is the top stat, or at least tied for top, and it constantly improves the more crit you add (to a point). The T19 2p also helps out this build even without tons of crit.

  26. One thing I think was in the Old Post but not in this one is the opportunity cost of using the chest or shoulders vs going 2 t19 + 4t20. Unless I’m just not reading carefully enough.

    Also, I was looking at some analysis of the post-nerf MM bonuses, and depending on who’s doing the math, it looks like it’s 0-36k better than the BM 4 piece, which doesn’t cover the nearly universal prediction that MM will be 100k+ better for single target. Is that due to legendary-set bonus synergy, or did Blizz overshoot on the “tuning” after we all got 2 charges, and we’re just not as natively strong at ST as MM anymore?

    1. I’ll have to take another look at the tier thing. I know it can be worthwhile to keep the old 2-piece around as long as possible with the Stomp build, but that’s partially reliant on you having some decent T19 pieces. It mostly comes down to individual simming, but I think for many the belt/huntmaster ring combo or belt/bracers combo + 3 set bonuses could be a thing — at least for a little while.

      As for MM, yeah it looks better on paper. Will be curious to see how big the gap is on warcraft logs after a couple of weeks. Right now it’s fairly small on heroic, but not tons of data.

  27. Off topic here, but there’s a unique Gryphon skin available this week. It’s only up during “Love Tap” week in NH, and it’s up in the area for that WQ.

    Someone on reddit was able to solo-get it (you’ll need someone else to get a raid-group, of course).

    “I went MM. Used Camouflage to get right next to it. Then used this macro:
    /Cast aspect of the turtle /cast tame beast
    Got it and had 1 sec left on turtle. Then I got demolished, but its mine!”

  28. I’m probably just going to run Stomp build the entire time, personally. Unless DF pulls further ahead by a significantly large margin. The numbers currently above just aren’t enough for me to justify switching to a talent I hate playing with (Dire Frenzy). I just don’t like it’s playstyle. I feel like I end up playing “watch the DF stacks” game more than actually raiding. Plus, as you pointed out, people have different experiences. Even when all the numbers say DF pulls ahead, I lose DPS when I run with that talent lol. Beast cannon feels fun, and after playing BM since Legion launch and fianlly experiencing “fun” last month when I got the pre-7.2.5 shoulders, I’m not going back to “not fun” playstyle just yet lol

  29. I had an interestimg experience, id read a spreadsheet posted on another site which basically said jaws of thunder relics were better than pack leader relics now, pre 7.2.5 they had the same value, so as weird rng would have it i had replacement relics with the exact same ilevel that buffed, jaws of thunder, and equipped i had pack leader, so that being the case i was like woop may aswell use 3x jaws of thunder relics instead of 3 x pack leader relics.

    After i had changed to 3x jaws of thunder relics i resimmed myself……..

    And yup i was doing less dps not a lot less but LESS all the same lol

    1. How many iterations did you run? The two traits are really close, but Jaws is technically better. On a sim with not a lot of iterations, the two traits could easily blend together.

        1. is great for this kind of thing BTW – they run simcraft remote and always have the latest version of everything.

          It also has a relic compare that’s quite hard to set up normally, which is awesome.

          1. Ive seen a few people mention raidbots, i tend to be a creature of habit, in this case my habit being simulationcraft, but i will look into using raidbots instead or aswell though, thaanks for the info.

  30. Hi Bendak!

    First time commenting here, thanks for the great informative articles here. I have the shoulders / boots / apex ring and new chest. Apex ring is pretty much out of the question but I’ve tried shoulders / chest combo and always find my DPS to be lower than shoulders / boots combo that I’ve been using for months.

    Have you taken into the consideration of shoulders / boots combo with crit build specially since boots reduce DB/DF cd for 3 secs? I find this combo to be better than new chest with either.

    Also, when do you think will it be safe to break 4pc T19 set bonus? I understand 2pc is quiet good and with higher lvl TF tier we can prob keep using it but since the nerf to 4pc bonus it doesn’t feel very useful anymore. Will it be ok for me to break the 4pc bonus to replace lower tier items with higher drops from ToS or even anything from NH still in the bags?


    1. I’ve never been able to get the boots up there as one of the top ones in my sims, but it always depends on your replacement pieces in all the legendary slots like I said. For me, chest/shoulder is about 40k higher than shoulder/boots (all at 970).

      As for breaking the old 4pc set bonus, it depends on the ilevel. It’s worth going T19 2pc + T20 2pc if the T20 gear is like 15 ilvl higher in both slots. At +10 ilvl it’s basically a wash, and below that you’d be losing DPS. This is all w/ the crit build. But it can vary a bit… best thing to do is sim both combos with your character.

      1. Thanks for quick response!

        Do you mean we should not replace T19 4pc without any T20 for same slot? I am thinking to break my T19 4pc bonus and just replace with non tier 10 – 20 higher ilvl gear. Of course I will am aiming for T20 if/when I get lucky with the drops.

  31. I find these articles completely boring. I just play to have fun, and raiding is like work. I like the rest of the articles. Pet, transmog, etc. I just wished you put more out.

  32. Just to say thank you, you have always been a awesome source of information. As others stated I’d like to a trinket guide for ToS.

  33. I would love to see a BIS TOS list for Stomp build. 🙂 Thanks for your hard work and keep it up. The Hunter community is not as strong without your efforts. 🙂

  34. Have you tried this combo: 4pc ToS, 2pc NH, Roar, and Apex? I noticed it actually has been giving me higher DPS than running Mantle/Roar with either 4pc set, even with a really great replacement ring for the Apex. Also, I’m using a modified Stomp build – talents are Dire Stable, Stomp, Bestial Fury, and Volley. Stats are 30% crit, 20% haste, 77% mastery. And I’m using Frond and Burning Sky trinks. I’ve tried running traditional DF and Stomp builds but this combo for some reason seems to give the best result for me. I have CotW and I’m still trying for a high ilevel CoF to see how that does versus Apex (or getting Huntmaster would be nice, then I could also take OWTP).

  35. I think you are doing a very good job of opening up other talents and styles to us. For me, I can’t stand the Killer Cobra-rotation. I use either Stampede or the other one, and I very very good DPS. But it’s a struggle finding guides or discussion about legendary-choices etc when you’re not taking that one talent. I do think you’re much better than many others to allow for options. 🙂

  36. I’ve updated the sims in the post due to a fixed bug in Sim craft. The TLDR is that both builds are basically identical, even in full T20 gear. Having two builds this close is a rarity, so enjoy it while it lasts.

  37. It amazes me how often people overlook Apex Predator’s Claw. I currently have 2pc T19 and 4pc T20, as well as every possible BM legendary except the neck. I don’t have the best possible pieces for my tier in terms of stat optimization, but that shouldn’t have too big of an impact. I have been simming over and over again with every legendary I upgrade to 970, and I’ve found that Apex is right on par with Soul of the Huntmaster.

    Actually, as of last week Apex was simming about 5k DPS higher, but I swapped out necks tonight, same ilvl but better stats, and updated to the most recent live version of SimC from a previously nightly build, and now it’s simming exactly equal to Huntmaster. I’ve run the sims numerous times, and while it always varies a little each time, all those times average out to be equal to each other.

    I’ve even run my info through Raidbots and obtained the same results. You can’t just sim them once obviously, you can get a low result with one and a high result with the other and come to the wrong conclusion that they’re not even. After simming them about 20 times each like I have, they both vary by about 2k DPS run to run. Which for me varies between 1.113 million and 1.115 million dps.

    Anyways, long story short, Apex is a very viable legendary. Combined with the belt it beats the bracers and CoF that guides love to recommend.

    1. The Apex is not bad, it’s just not on the same level as belt/chest/shoulders universally. Pretty much every BM legendary is viable. Apex is only ~10k less than Huntmaster for me (in Stomp build)

      Remember what I said in this post:

      “Legendaries are closer than ever in value. They’re so close that there’s no longer a point to having a strict ranking list of best to worst, because everyone’s list will be different. Each legendary’s value depends on what piece of gear you have available to replace it.

      There are still 3 legendaries that always come out on top when all other things are equal.”

      There’s lots of flexibility when it comes to legendaries, and as long as you’ve got a couple BM ones you’re going to be in pretty decent shape even if they’re not the “best.”

  38. Currently wearing 2 pieces 905 T19 and 4 pieces T20, using the stomp build. I’ve done dozen sims. With all 6 tier slots occupied. One would assume Huntmaster ring and belt would be ideal. Funny thing is, Sephuz is actually beating the Huntmaster for me. Crit on Sephuz alone beats all the secondary values combined, combined with the raw haste and %haste it actually overtook the damage Bestial Fury would provide, the cc proc on Sephuz seems like just the cherry on top. I don’t really consider my stat distribution odd as the ratio has been very well maintained according to priority through simming.

    tl;dr 2pc T19, 4pc T20, stomp + owtp, Sephuz + Belt is ahead of Huntmaster + Belt. Character stats on paper is not completely out of balance. What gives?

  39. At least in my copy of simc (don’t know about raidbots, haven’t checked), the Sephuz proc is enabled in the Beast Mastery profile by default, so it’s giving you max uptime on the extra haste. It translates to about 5-6% overall haste that you might not actually get, depending on the encounter.

    I found that removing the proc tended to drop my Sephuz parses by about 50-60k, putting it in the same territory as the other rings. I’m low on crit for the stomp builds, so Sephuz and Apex compare well with Soul. If my crit were higher, it’d be soul all the way.

    In general, I’ve found that 4 t20 + lego chest BF/DF setups and 4 t20/2t19 + any lego ring OWTP/stomp setups are quite comparable. And I might add that all setups are close enough that your individual lego decisions are going to be dictated by your individual circumstances. The one constant seems to be that Roar is the new “default” piece.

    Anyway, back to the point: I see a lot of people singing the praises of Sephuz. It *is* a good ring, especially if you’re low on crit and trying to run stomp, but be wary of the auto-inclusion of the proc. There are a lot of fights where you won’t get it, and even on the ones where it’s possible, the simc local install default (at least on my install) overestimates the uptime.

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