Tag Archives: Beast Mastery

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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The current state of Hunters in Battle of Dazar’alor

I am pretty jealous of Warlocks right now. Imagine playing a pure DPS class where all 3 of your specs are not only competitive, but chart topping in the current raid. Imagine having that kind of choice. Hunters are sort of the opposite.

Beast Mastery is far and away the worst spec (from a DPS perspective) in the BoD raid. Someone has to be at the bottom, but geez, do they don’t have to be in their own tier at the bottom like BM is currently? Survival can deal good damage on some fights, but melee spots are pretty competitive in Mythic raiding, and people who enjoy melee simply have better options. Survival brings nothing to the table other than its DPS. They don’t have the 9 lives of a rogue or the utility of other melee specs. Hell, even a windwalker monk or retribution paladin bring more. Then we have Marksmanship — the damage is pretty good (middle tier on the majority of bosses), but it is somewhat required to have the right traits to take it to the top level. Not a huge deal because you at least have something to strive for, and there are 2 really good class traits. But I really hate the “1 target or 3-6 clumped targets” damage profile and the loss of utility from Lone Wolf.

Update: Blizzard has announced some small BM buffs for 8.1.5.

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Beast Mastery Hunter Guide for Battle for Azeroth

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.

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BfA Alpha: Changes to Dire Frenzy and Dire Beast, Bestial Wrath goes on the global cooldown

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

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BfA Alpha: Beast Mastery gets a couple of new talents (build 26433)

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)

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Changes to Focus in Battle for Azeroth

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.

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BfA: Ideas to improve Beast Mastery Hunters in 8.0

The release of Battle for Azeroth is coming up fast. Quickly enough that I’m getting a bit worried about the state of Beast Mastery. My main concern is the talents as there are a lot of mandatory and just plain dead talents that will never be considered.

Beast Mastery in Legion is in a decent place depending on who you ask (at least compared to its launch state), but only because of artifact traits and a few specific builds that require different tier set, legendary, and trinket combos. In BfA this is all gone and the spec feels remarkably similar to how it was at the start of Legion. To be fair, there are some improvements like having Cobra Shot reduce the Kill Command cooldown. We don’t know to what extent Azerite armor will help with this, but I really think it needs to start with some better fundamentals.

Beast Mastery in Battle for Azeroth has not seen any serious changes since the pre-alpha BlizzCon build back in November, 2017.  Since alpha started, there have been minor tweaks here or there, but nothing substantial. So I think it’s safe to say BM is probably not getting the same treatment as MM and SV, and any hope for a re-design is off the table. The main hope for BM is tweaks to baseline abilities and a serious pass at the talents.

So with that in mind, here’s feedback and ideas to improve BM. I did a post similar to this before alpha started, but that was going in blind. Now I know what we have to work with. I’ve already sent a lot of this off to Blizzard via in-game feedback on the alpha but I figured I’d write it out in this form as well.

Disclaimer: This is one Hunter’s opinion. I’m not claiming to speak on behalf of all BM Hunters. I just want the spec to be good in BfA.

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BfA Alpha: Opinions and feedback on the three Hunter specs in early April

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.

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BfA Alpha: Survival is starting to feel more like Beast Mastery than Beast Mastery

After playing all 3 specs on the Battle for Azeroth alpha, I’ve come to the conclusion that Survival feels like what Beast Mastery should feel like. I’m not talking about melee combat. I’m talking about the pet and the hunter being an actual duo, playing off each other and reliant on each other.

Beast Mastery Hunters may still have a higher percentage of pet damage, but the pets feel more like a damage delivery mechanism than a team-mate. Survival Hunters rely on their pets to help generate Focus through Kill Command and have several talents that cement the pet-hunter relationship that a lot of Beast Mastery players want.

To be fair, everyone (and Blizzard) has different ideas of what each spec should be like. Maybe BM is supposed to be less about the pet and Hunter relationship and more about the Hunter being an “alpha beast” who bends all beasts to their will, using them merely as tools.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Survival being pet-focused like this (I think it’s great actually), but why can’t the original pet specialization have some more mechanics like this?

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Beast Mastery pet dual wielding to return in Battle for Azeroth

If you were worried about losing Hati, worry no more. In today’s alpha build a new talent has appeared called Animal Companion:

“Your Call Pet additionally summons the first pet from your stable. This pet will obey your Kill Command, but cannot use pet family abilities.”

It replaces Way of the Cobra. It doesn’t seem quite as fully featured as Hati since it doesn’t mention Bestial Wrath or Beast Cleave, but it at least casts Kill Command. I suspect if they added all 3 it would be too powerful for a level 15 talent. As long as it still uses Dash with the main pet and they make a bit of an effort to improve the AI (simply forcing the /petattack command without having to macro it fixes 90% of issues).

This does mean it competes with Dire Beast, though. However, the wording on some talents and abilities has changed to imply Dire Beast is becoming baseline again, but that did not happen in this build. So I’m not sure what’s going on.

This makes the pet spec locking sting a little less since you’ll always be able to have at least 1 pet that’s purely a cosmetic choice. Also in this build, Kill Command’s range has been buffed from 40 to 50 yards which is pretty nice.

I’m still not in the alpha so I can’t test things out for myself. If I find any more details I’ll update the post.

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