If you haven’t heard, tier sets are going away in Battle for Azeroth. So Antorus (Tier 21) will be the very last tier where we get class set bonuses. It’s also the final tier of the expansion, so that must mean Blizzard is going to give the system a nice send off and give us some truly cool bonuses to enjoy while we wait for BfA, right?
Oh, sweet summer child. No.
Updated Feb 6, 2018: Updated set bonus section for small hotfix buff to T21 4pc. It now reduces the cooldown by 3.0 sec. See the Set Bonus FAQ for discussion on this.
This is how tier sets end. Not with a bang but a whimper.
Beast Mastery’s Tier 21 bonuses are weak and boring, to put it mildly. And to top it off, the week before Antorus they actually further nerfed the 4 piece. You can’t make this stuff up. To be fair, many other specs are unhappy with their set bonuses so this seems like a trend. But personally I think the BM 4-piece wins the terrible prize.
The only positive I can gleam from this is that we will have no pressure to get our 4-piece bonus completed in a timely fashion, which makes gearing a little simpler. Personally, I’ll only be concerned with getting two decent T21 pieces, at least until I’m well into Mythic. I think my T19 2-piece is going to see a little more action in Antorus, and T20 for even longer than that.
Because we won’t be getting any substantial power increases from our tier bonuses, I wouldn’t be shocked to see some small buffs to Beast Mastery in the opening weeks of Antorus (maybe in the 5% range) to help us keep up.
I’ve figured out what’s up with the set bonuses being so incredibly bad now. They’re trying to get us used to the fact that they’ll be gone in BfA. Can’t miss set bonuses if you haven’t been using them! 🤔
— Bendak (@BendakWoW) November 22, 2017
Hunter T21 2-piece Bonus – Kill Command damage increased by 10%.
This bonus provides a small bonus to single target damage (approximately 3%) but it’s worth going for because of the easy investment in only 2 pieces.
You will need significant ilevel upgrades over T20 to make this worth it. It varies depending on gear, but all of your T21 pieces should be a minimum of 15 ilevels higher than your T20 to warrant the switch.
This bonus provides about a 3% DPS gain, give or take. Its value fluctuates based on fight length and other factors.
On a short dungeon fight this provides zero effective benefit since you’ll never reduce the cooldown enough to get an extra Aspect of the Wild cast, but over the course of an entire Mythic dungeon or a long boss fight you will get more opportunities to use Aspect of the Wild.
Set Bonus FAQ
Q: Is the Tier 21 4-piece worth using after the Feb 6, 2018 hotfix?
Yes, in some cases. It doesn’t magically make the bonus good, but it does better under certain circumstances. The Aspect of the Wild focused build (using Convergence of Fates and Call of the Wild in combination with the 4-piece bonus) is quite strong when using the Dire Frenzy/Bestial Fury build. With all 3 cooldown reductions active, AOTW almost perfectly lines up with every Bestial Wrath. If you don’t have CoF it throws the timing off quite a bit and it may not be as good of a build for you. You can try the Dire Frenzy / One with the Pack build (using Soul of the Huntmaster ring) in that case.
A good second legendary for the Dire Frenzy build tends to be Parsel’s Tongue (single target) or Roar of the Seven Lions (multi-target). Soul of the Huntmaster is also good (be sure to use One with the Pack with it) and Apex Predator’s Claw can also find some use.
My own personal best build now consists of bracers+chest+CoF+4p T21 in the Dire Frenzy/Bestial Fury build. I use higher ilevel off pieces instead of keeping the T20 2p bonus.
In terms of the Stomp build, nothing much changes. There is just a better chance that you can replace your T20 with T21. You have to sim to know for sure.
Keep in mind that the bonus gives more benefit on longer fights. You may want to try simming at different fight lengths to see how your various gear performs.
Q: I’m still using the Tier 19 2-piece bonus. When do I get rid of it?
Probably once you get two pieces of tier 21 of sufficient item level. This will be different for each person because of all the variables involved, but it’s safe to say you will finally get rid of this year-old bonus… eventually. I’m sorry I can’t give an exact answer, but you’re just going to have to sim it. Haven’t you heard? BM is 80% simming, 20% gameplay. 😛
Q: When do I get rid of Tier 20?
In order to switch over from 4-piece T20 to 4-piece T21, your T21 pieces need to be of much higher item level. Basically don’t even bother switching until you’ve got 4 pieces of T21 that are at least 15 ilevels above all your T20 pieces.
Q: What about 2-pieces of T19, T20, and T21 at the same time?
For some Hunters that could very well be their best setup for a little while, but it’s unlikely at this point.
Q: I don’t want to use 6 pieces of tier, when can I just go 4-piece T21 and not worry about it?
Like I said above, once your T21 pieces are at least 15-20 ilevels above your T20 pieces, you can sidegrade over to the new tier. But you’ll need more ilevel than that to see a noticeable upgrade.
Q: What are the best pieces just to complete the T21 2-piece bonus?
I would probably go with the legs for one of them, then either gloves or shoulders for the second piece. Any combination of those 3 would be ideal since they all have crit and none have versatility. If you’re wondering, the 4th ideal piece is usually the cloak — yes, it has versatility, but cloaks have such a small budget that they don’t impact your stat distribution very much. Also, the other slots have vers anyway.
But if your high titanforges from previous tiers already occupy these slots, this might not apply to you. Oh, look… another opportunity to sim your character! 😉
Q: Do the new bonuses change gameplay, talents, etc?
Since they are Kill Command focused, you’re going to want to go back to the Killer Cobra talent if you’ve been using Aspect of the Beast. Though you can still get some value out of the new bonuses by using the legendary boots with Aspect of the Beast.
The Stomp and Dire Frenzy builds are very close now.
Antorus Gear List
Below you’ll find the recommended BM gear list from Antorus only. This is helpful for knowing which bosses to bonus roll. Standard disclaimer that this is not a true BiS list since BiS no longer exists with titanforging and all that.
Also, if you are playing a Dire Frenzy build, you will want to go for more pieces with Mastery on it when you can.
TLDR: Keep farming Veiled Argunite for that elusive Unstable Arcanocrystal.
In Antorus, you’ll basically be wearing a Pantheon trinket in one of your slots all the time once you get one.
The first one is Aman’Thul’s Vision, which is a legendary that doesn’t count towards your 2 legendary cap. It’s a jumbo arcanocrystal, so of course it’s good. The second one is Golganneth’s Vitality, which starts out at ilevel 940. It can be upgraded 5 ilevels every week via Pantheon’s Blessing which also drops from Argus on Normal difficulty or higher. It’ll take you 12 weeks of killing Argus to upgrade this to the cap of ilevel 1000. At ilevel 1000, it’s better than the legendary in most cases (both will still be very close). The Pantheon proc for Hunters was hotfix buffed which is why it pulled ahead. So don’t be too upset if the legendary never drops for you!
The other trinkets from Antorus are mostly AoE focused, except for one. If you’ve been lucky with Titanforging from the previous raids or the relinquished vendor you may already have better options available for your non-Pantheon trinket slot.
Antorus Trinkets in detail
The assumption is you will be wearing a Pantheon trinket in one slot, which leaves one slot open for another trinket — ideally you want that second slot to be something like a 910+ Unstable Arcanocrystal, but not everyone is that lucky.
Aman’Thul’s Vision — An ilevel 1000 Golganneth’s Vitality is usually better than this, but this trinket is still amazing. The raw stats on this are insane, and the proc is also quite useful by increasing your speed, reducing damage taken, and giving self-healing. The special Pantheon proc increases your Agility by 6700 for 15 sec. It also acts as a wildcard proc which means it could lead to more overall pantheon procs in your raid.
Golganneth’s Vitality — The Ravaging Storm proc splits the damage evenly among all targets, so whether you have 1 target or 10 targets the tornado it spawns will deal the same total damage. The special Pantheon proc causes your Auto Shots to deal extra AoE damage for 15 sec — if this procs when there is adds, it puts out a lot of damage. At ilevel 1000, this will be the best trinket, period (in most cases).
Shadow-Singed Fang — This is the single target trinket of choice from Antorus (to go in your non-Pantheon slot). As long as this trinket is at least 10-15 ilevels above the better Tomb of Sargeras trinkets (Cradle of Anguish or Engine of Eradication), it is a safe upgrade over them. This trinket is unique in that it doesn’t have any passive stats, but two procs instead. One is Agility and the other is Critical Strike. Both procs have a high uptime (about 50%).
Keep in mind that in pure single target these AoE trinkets do not perform very well. However, in Mythic+ or AoE fights these are definitely good options. I’ve listed pros and cons of each trinket to help you understand each one. All 3 are relatively competitive with each other for their intended purpose (AoE damage), but if you had a choice between all 3 then the Prototype Personnel Decimator is probably the most versatile since it doesn’t suffer when targets are moving (like speed clearing a dungeon).
Prototype Personnel Decimator — This trinket has a chance (4 PPM) to launch a homing rocket at your target. The rocket hits anything within 20 yards of the target, but targets farther away take less damage — at the impact point targets will take 100% damage, and at 20 yards it scales down linearly to 50% damage. It can only proc if you are more than 10 yards from your target.
Pros: Does excellent AoE damage, especially if the targets are clumped up on top of each other. Passable for single target, which means you could keep it equipped for a whole Mythic+ dungeon if you wanted.
Cons: Won’t proc if you are within 10 yards of your target, so don’t bother using on bosses or trash where you need to stack up. Also, while this one does sim the best (in AoE) of these 3 trinkets, the sims assume your targets are stacked on top of each other. The rockets do less damage to spread out targets, so the sims are slightly misleading.
Forgefiend’s Fabricator — This AoE trinket causes your attacks to have a high chance (7 PPM) to spawn mines near your target. After 15 sec, these mines explode within 12 yards. When this trinket is manually activated, it will explode all active mines on a 30 second cooldown. The best time to use this trigger is near the end of your Bestial Wrath, this way you’ll maximize the number of mines that get buffed. This trinket is just plain fun to use and it should do pretty well in a Mythic+ environment or any raid fight with lots of AoE potential.
Pros: On-use ability gives the control to detonate most of the mines during Bestial Wrath. No range restrictions.
Cons: They take 15 seconds to explode without using the on-use ability, so there is potential for mines to remain unexploded before an enemy dies or moves out of range.
Terminus Signaling Beacon — Using this trinket summons a miniature Legion ship above your character which bombards the area around your current target. It fires a total of 6 shots over 9 seconds and they hit anything within 12 yards. The shots also hit the ship, which means if you use this in close range the ship will destroy itself after about 3 of the 6 shots. This is best to use during Bestial Wrath.
Pros: On-use trinket, so it allows you to stack it with Bestial Wrath for the best effect. Tremendous burst damage on large packs.
Cons: If you activate this within 12 yards of your target, it will only deal 50% of its total damage because the ship will destroy itself with splash damage. There is potential for targets to move out of the bombardment since it targets the ground and takes 9 seconds to deal its full damage.
Other Noteworthy Trinkets
Unstable Arcanocrystal — Drops from world boss Withered J’im or obtained from the relinquished vendor. If you are lucky enough to get this at 910+ ilevel, there’s a good chance you will be using it until Battle for Azeroth releases. Essentially the best trinket outside of the ones that drop from Argus.
Cradle of Anguish from Tomb of Sargeras — This is basically a haste stat stick with extra agility. If you can ensure that you’ll remain above 50% health for the majority of a boss fight, it’s going to be quite strong. However, if the fight has mechanics that frequently dip your health below 50% this trinket loses lots of its value. A 930+ Cradle will not be easily replaced.
Engine of Eradication from Tomb of Sargeras — If you can collect all of the orbs this trinket spawns, it will remain valuable into Antorus assuming you have it in a higher item level. For example, at 930 this trinket can easily compete with heroic Antorus trinkets (not including Argus drops).
Chrono Shard from The Arcway — One of the better dungeon trinkets available, so if you obtain a high ilevel one from your weekly mythic cache it could be a viable option.
Stack Sticks — These come under a variety of different names, but they’re essentially a bunch of agility along with a random secondary stat. If you don’t have luck getting any good raid trinkets, this is your fall back. It’s not hard to get decent ones from the relinquished vendor on Argus.
Hey, you made it to the end! I think I’ve covered most of it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.