Beast Mastery buffs for 8.1.5 (don’t get too excited)

Blizzard has finally announced a buff for Beast Mastery. This is what’s happening with 8.1.5 next week:

  • Barbed Shot damage increased by 125%.
  • Barbed Shot’s bleed damage now ignores the target’s armor.
  • Cobra Shot damage increased by 25%.

It works out to roughly a 6-7% single target buff.

It doesn’t fix any of the core issues that led us to this point, but it’s a band-aid for the time being. Performance will still be below Marksmanship in most cases, but the gap is smaller. We should be closer to the middle of the pack (except for multidot fights). Buffing Barbed Shot and Cobra Shot specifically shows they’d rather put the extra damage on the Hunter rather than the pet.

I also would have liked to see small buffs on all BM Azerite traits besides Primal Instincts, to help a bit with how poorly we scaled with the 5th ring compared to other specs. At the very least Serrated Jaws needs a buff. It was supposed to get a 40% buff in a hotfix a while back but it never went live for some reason. It’s really a dead trait.

What the future holds for BM is going to depend a lot on the 8.2 Azerite changes (which we know nothing about yet). It’s potentially an opportunity to tweak classes and specs in another way, if it’s going to be something similar to an artifact tree where you unlock new passives and active abilities. In the meantime, this is probably all we’re going to get until then. If it’s not enough for you, then it’s time to pick up Marksmanship or Survival.

Beast Mastery should still be pretty good for Mythic+ in 8.1.5 as long as you have the right traits. Ideally you want 1x Rapid Reload and 2x or 3x Primal Instincts. With this setup, you can pump out some pretty good, consistent trash damage (especially Reaping waves). For those still unaware, Rapid Reload’s cooldown reduction applies to every target hit. That means a lot more Aspect of the Wild (with Primal Instincts) casts. Just remember to take off that Rapid Reload again before you raid.

P.S. The image is from the Hati questline coming in 8.1.5.

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25 thoughts on “Beast Mastery buffs for 8.1.5 (don’t get too excited)”

  1. Are you still playing for real man? BFA seems like now it’s starting to get out of BETA.. I wish you all the best

  2. I guess I have given up all hope for BM for this expansion, so I am grateful for even a few crumbs. Which is what it seems like we will get in 8.1.5.

    But I love the screenshot! It’s interesting that I am so excited about Hati, a pet Blizz never really fleshed out in Legion, one had a great initial story line and then spent the entire expansion with all kinds of unresolved pathing and other problems. But, as one of my fellow hunters pointed out a few weeks ago, “Hati was a derp wolf, but he was OUR derp wolf.”

  3. I mean, if you expect any buffs to come for the pet, then you need to stop taking whatever drugs you are taking. As long as PVP is a thing, they will never buff the pet simply to avoid the endless screeching from arenas. That has been the source of most BM nerfs across the ages. I have long come to accept that we will never be allowed to do any amount of damage that lets us be near the top.

    1. Kill Command is still player-controlled damage. In PVP it does pose issues since its source is disembodied from the player, but they separately balance a ton of abilities in PVP nowadays so it shouldn’t be an issue. And yeah, BM will never be top. A tier where BM is middle of the pack is a great tier.

      1. I picked up MM in Legion but switched to BM in bfa because I felt that casting of the rotation was too much while standing. How can you pull off 2’+ opening sequence when the floor always has toxic sh1t on? Is it viable? I feel like I can’t do damage in mythics that spread so much AoE on the floor I stand

        1. Well, MM isn’t a great deal of fun, mostly frustration from having cancel casting Aimed Shot to move out of something 2.1 seconds is too long. Rapid Fire is great though, and aoe can be good, but mostly not. Steady Shot is a chore to use, and Arcane shot feels worthless unless buffed by Aimed Shot. Other than that it’s fine. And, either Raidbots doesn’t know how to MM hunter, or Agility is now my worst stat.

          While I don’t enjoy MM, I enjoy BM evan less at the moment. I can’t quite put my finger on why that is though. As for SV, to many melee in my guild already.

  4. I’ll keep playing BM despite it being bad. Cant say the same for WoW let my sub lapse. Burnt out farming prepots for raid night. Every expansion I have to take a break.

  5. Should we switch to one with the pack for more barbed shots and then thrill of the hunt since we shoot more barbed shots ?
    Let the math wizards do their thing…

    1. Unfortunately both of those talents are really under tuned. One With The Pack (OWTP) needs to be at least 30% increased chance (instead of 20%), and even then Chimaera Shot is still probably better. If it was 30%, I bet there could be a build centered around 2-3x Dance of Death traits + OWTP + stacking crit chance.

      Thrill of the Hunt’s biggest issue (and this was brought up repeatedly as far back as BFA alpha) is that the increased crit chance does not apply to pets. If it did, it would most likely be a competitive talent. There is a little bit of synergy with OWTP, but not enough when 60% of your damage isn’t affected by the talent.

      Though both of those talents aren’t nearly as terrible as Spitting Cobra and Venomous Bite. BM has a lot of bad talents.

  6. First, Bendark, I’ve been following your work by a couple years, great job dude, i converted some friends to BM side just making then reading your articles.

    I know I gonna be the minority but, I never care for parses, rankings, etc, I just like to play and help my friends, or even pugging, I like to fell that I contributed with something more than just – pop turtle and soak that shit .
    Which bothers me a lot with the state of BM, and make me drop my progression on Mythic BoD, is that you can make 95% on parses but another one with a DH or warlock is doing the same DPS as you at 50 ~ 60%.
    In the start of prog that’s ok, people still learning mechanics, some having more luck with TF, it will not be noticing, but when you start to wipe 2 or 3 times in a row in a fight with 5, 4 % of the boss, and you look in your charts and you are just above the tank, even you knowing that you make your rotation and mechanics close to perfection, that makes me just quit.
    Of course, all the other 19 players could squeeze a little more DPS, but at the same time, you can bring another class/spec, unskilled, under geared, and still get the boss down.

    I know its been dark times for BM, but I still have hope, that someday, someone at blizz that really cares for BM will realize that we do not deserve to be punished by this meme – unlimited mobilitty = lowest dps, because its what I see in reddit, mmo-champ, official forums, every time someone claims that BM needs some love.

    Sorry for the wall text, I know anybody gonna read it, and keep the good job!

  7. Sadly I am probably gonna reroll once the Zandalari are released, but my main is gonna stay BM. The slight buffs will still be appreciated on my Hunter though, who is gonna stay be BM for soloing world content, working on reps, soloing old raids, etc.

  8. Forgive the broken grammar and redundancy in my previous comment, I was very distracted while I was trying to write it.

  9. Well outside of raiding(which I rarely do), I am having a ball with BM. It has been awhile since I can let my pet(s) run lose and I am as safe as a baby in a crib. I’m sitting at 390 ilevel and I am pulling large mobs without spamming mend.

    But why nothing is being done is for that single reason. People who don’t raid, not seeing anything wrong. They feel strong. Stronger than we have felt since before WoD. The leech with a ferocity pet keep the heals, and growl is working great.

    So most of the BM do not even know this is a problem.

  10. Raiding in Heroic raids I don’t see what the problem is. Depending on the boss us hunters (4) are usuallly
    In top 10 dps with some being top spot.
    I tend to miss a lot of my shots just so that I can survive but in the Blockade we were all up near the top. I’m quite happy with that.?

  11. Two weeks left before BlizzCon so maaayyybe he will show us signs of life? I just hope he’s still alive and well.

  12. Bendak!!!!!! when I saw “march 7th”, i got really excited that you were posting so regularly! but now I see it’s 2019. Sad times. I reinstalled wow, since everyone is panicked about covid19 atm. I can’t really at all remember how to play, though.

  13. Please consider coming back to this blog, even if its for small comments. Your thoughts are always insightful, well thought out, and extremely helpful. Without a doubt, your advice on beast master are always the first I seek out. And I feel like Shadowlands is going to be an interesting ride for diehard BM hunters.

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