Finally, we have a bit of action in the Beast Mastery talent tree! In today’s BfA alpha build, there is a brand new talent and one redesigned talent.
New Level 15 talent
Killer Instinct: Kill Command deals 50% increased damage against enemies below 35% health. (replaces Big Game Hunter)
BM has an execute again! This talent is so much better than the old Big Game Hunter (which was a “reverse execute”) — not only because executes are more desirable, but because it works for 35% of the target’s health.
The level 15 tier is looking a little more interesting now, but like I said in my earlier post, I think Dire Beast needs an interesting secondary effect to make up for the loss of Frenzy stacks. Animal Companion is still not working, but it looks like it’s just going to be a flat, passive single target buff, whereas the new Killer Instinct gives you a more Kill Command focused build (and will pair very well with Killer Cobra).
It’s no Kill Shot, but it’s something.
Aspect of the Beast changes
Aspect of the Beast: Increases the damage of your pet’s abilities by 30%. Increases the effectiveness of your pet’s Predator’s Thirst, Endurance Training, and Pathfinding passives by 50%.
This is pretty similar to the old Aspect of the Beast talent in theme, except now you get the DPS benefit regardless of pet spec.
The wording is a bit confusing when they say “pet abilities” since pets only have 1 possible ability that can be affected (their basic attack — Claw/Bite/Smack). So it should probably just say basic attacks instead. Yes, technically it could affect Froststorm Breath and Burrow Attack, but unless those are buffed to ridiculous numbers, it will never be viable to have your pet channeling those for 8 sec and not be able to do anything else. Those two abilities are more flavor than anything.
As for the 30% increase, that seems extremely low (considering that the Legion talent Blink Strikes increases this damage by 100%). It will all depend on the relative power of basic attacks in BfA. In Legion, basic attacks are only responsible for a few percent of your total damage in single target, so a 30% buff to that is almost nothing. However, if basic attacks are meant to be more powerful in BfA, then this could be a different story. It’s too early to say since all the numbers are in a weird state and haven’t been tuned whatsoever.
The second part of the talent will give you 15% leech when using a Ferocity pet (up from 10%), 12% more health (up from 8%) when using a Tenacity pet, and 12% run speed (up from 8%) when using a Cunning pet.
I do like this better than the old Aspect of the Beast, but I think there are more interesting passive options they could do here. What if they baked in the old Bestial Fury instead of the basic attack damage?
I still hope Blizzard has more plans for the BM talents, but these are positive changes overall.