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.
Just thought I’d post that everything has been updated on my Wowhead Beast Mastery Guide and is now relevant for level 120. The guide is more detailed than it has been in the past as Wowhead has really upped their standards for class guides (seriously, this was a ton of work). You can easily access it on any Wowhead page by hovering over the Hunter icon at the top, but I will link all the pages of the guide here too for convenience.
Continue reading Beast Mastery Hunter Guide for Battle for Azeroth
Before you read any more, let me TLDR this first: There is no appreciable damage difference between pet attack speeds because damage is normalized. For the most part, it simply adds flavor to different pets.
First, a little history. Back in Vanilla WoW, several pets had different attack speeds (you can see the original list here). The most notorious pet was Broken Tooth, a rare cat in the Badlands, because he was one of only two pets with a 1.0 attack speed (2.0 is the standard). This made him a pretty nice pet to have in PVP because of spell pushback. Mages weren’t getting any casts off with Broken Tooth clawing away at them (in today’s game, pets cannot do this anymore).
Eventually, Blizzard normalized all pet attack speeds to 2.0, and it’s stayed like that all the way from The Burning Crusade… until now.
Continue reading Broken Tooth lives! Hunter pets can have different attack speeds once again
The pre-patch is almost here!
Today the Beast Mastery guide I’ve been working on was published over at Wowhead. It covers pretty much everything for Beast Mastery in 8.0. If you haven’t been following/playing the beta closely, it should give you an idea of what to expect with the pre-patch this week. A lot of work was put in to this one!
Here’s links to all the individual guide pages:
Closer to Battle for Azeroth launch the guides will be updated for level 120, including gear and Azerite traits.
Wowhead also has Marksmanship and Survival pre-patch guides which are definitely worth checking out, especially since they’ve seen even more changes than BM (these guides were not written by me).
Also be sure to check out the BFA pet guide on Wowhead to learn about the pet changes and some new pets to tame (though most of this info is on the pet guide I posted here).
If you’ve got any pre-patch questions, feel free to ask them here and I’ll answer what I can. 🙂
The Animal Companion talent has been in a near-unusable state for the majority of beta, but in today’s build it has received some major updates. It’s not as simple as the current tooltip indicates (a second pet that does Kill Command and nothing else).
Once all the bugs and kinks are worked out, it looks like Animal Companion will turn out to be a true second pet, even more so than Hati was.
Continue reading BfA Beta: Changes to Animal Companion (Hati replacement), does almost everything your regular pet does
You can now tame a total of 65 pets with the addition of a 6th page of stable slots! No, it’s still probably not enough for some of you (an extra 100 might not be enough). But it’s 10 more, so that’s 10 new pets you can tame in 8.0 without worrying about having to send existing pets to pasture.
I’ve been busy working on Wowhead stuff, mainly updating the Beast Mastery guide for 8.0 (and I also put a BfA pet guide up there, which has a little more than the one I posted here). I still plan on making at least one more post here before the pre-patch, something like a survival guide (what talents and legendaries are good for the pre-patch and leveling, etc.).
If you’re curious about my updated thoughts on Beast Mastery: It’s getting better. There’s still a few dead talents and others that are obviously not tuned, but the spec has come a long way. It’s interesting how active talents are often the best (or at least equal) choice compared to passives. For example, Chimaera Shot is now the top talent in its tier (at least as of today). My thoughts on Marksmanship and Survival are not as up to date since I’ve been focusing on BM for the guide writing, but once the pre-patch drops I plan on giving them all some good time.
Until next time.
There is no longer a choice between Dire Frenzy or Dire Beast, all BM Hunters will now be using Dire Frenzy for their Focus generator/Bestial Wrath reset. Well, now it’s actually called Barbed Shot instead of Dire Frenzy, and it behaves totally like a shot (in that it requires a ranged weapon, and uses a standard shot animation).
Barbed Shot seems like it’s not fully implemented at this point, but I think I can gather where it’s going to be when it’s finished. The shot you fire will now be the damage component as it applies an 8-second bleed, and this bleed is what sends your pet into the frenzy (right now it’s an instant attack and not a bleed, but I’m sure that will change). Currently on alpha, the pet still does its regular dire frenzy attacks in addition to the shot damage, but since this isn’t mentioned in the tooltip I suspect it will be removed. Your pet will still charge to your Barbed Shot target, so it still functions as a target swapping mechanic similar to Kill Command’s charge (which is nice).
Frenzy stacks on your pet are still a thing, so maintaining these stacks will remain a core mechanic. It’s too early to say how crucial it will be to maintain 3 stacks since no numbers are balanced. But if Blizzard decides to make pets do more damage again (in contrast to Legion where their auto attack damage is quite low), then a lot more emphasis could be put on those frenzy stacks.
Continue reading BfA Alpha: Changes to Dire Frenzy and Dire Beast, Bestial Wrath goes on the global cooldown
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.
Continue reading BfA Alpha: Beast Mastery gets a couple of new talents (build 26433)
In Battle for Azeroth, Focus is still a resource across the whole Hunter class, but it works a little differently for each specialization. Beast Mastery is staying the same (mostly passive regeneration), while Marksmanship is going back to a pre-Legion type of Hunter where the majority of Focus regeneration is active rather than passive. Survival is somewhere in the middle.
Continue reading Changes to Focus in Battle for Azeroth
I’ve been trying to play all three Hunter specs pretty equally on the alpha, including leveling, dungeons, and island expeditions. This will be the first of hopefully several posts on my current opinion of the state of the class on alpha/beta. I’m also going to keep this bullet point form to make it easy for both of us.
Continue reading BfA Alpha: Opinions and feedback on the three Hunter specs in early April