Beast Mastery Hunter Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Beast Mastery Hunter. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Beast Mastery Hunter community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Beast Mastery Hunter Guide
is a Hunter Theorycrafter and Wowhead/YouTube Guide Writer and a Moderator/Expert in the Trueshot Lodge. He raids in <Happy Accidents>. You can find him in TSL, his Twitch stream
, on Twitter
, check out his
or join his
Bendak is the Wowhead Beast Mastery guide author, co-host of the Hunting Party Podcast, and runs the
Eyes of the Beast
Hunter blog. You can find him on Twitter
or Discord at Bendak#2786.
Changes from Legion
Beast Mastery Hunter has been modified in Battle for Azeroth. Most of the abilities and talents from Legion remain the same, however their interactions have changed slightly and many quality of life issues have been resolved.
Hati has been removed. A new talent called
has been introduced in its place.
Titan’s Thunder has been removed.
by 1 sec with every cast.
are on the GCD,
has been increased to 20 sec to compensate.
is very similar to the previous Dire Frenzy.
Pets have been completely reworked. All specs are now equal in DPS but provide different utility.
How does the spec feel now?
Overall, Beast Mastery has become a more engaging spec compared to it’s Legion counterpart. The combination of managing your pet’s Frenzy stacks,
cooldown, and competitive active talents have definitely improved the feel of Beast Mastery. Despite there still being a few “dead” talents, the talents we’re actually using are pretty good. The spec has way less down time compared to Legion. Between adding GCDs into the mix and adding
to our rotation, Focus has become plentiful and we rarely pause to generate Focus. Most of the bad things that remain about BM revolves around talents that have either mechanical or tuning problems, preventing them from being good choices. For the most part, we have one build that works with everything with the exception of the level 15 talents which we may swap out to slightly maximize a single target or multi-target encounter.
One of the biggest problems in Legion was how squishy a Beast Mastery Hunter was, and this has been largely addressed in Battle for Azeroth. Pets bring added utility and defenses now. Tenacity pets now give us
. We’ve retained
as well as an improved
heal if we use a Spirit Beast pet. All these things combined have vastly improved our survivability. On the utility front,
being baseline has been great. Plus, we’re one of only two classes who can remove enrage effects from enemy targets (such as a Spirit Beast’s
) which will be especially helpful on weeks with the Raging affix.
Pets now deal the same damage across the board and each pet spec offers a different form of utility. Other quality of life changes that happened to pets, include turning off growl in instances automatically and reduced aggro radius. For more info on pets, check out our
Hunter Pet Guide
Tier 1 (Level 15)
- This talent row has a mix of talents that drastically change your style of play.
has been introduced as an executed mechanic for BM, causing
to deal additional damage to enemies below 35% health. It is really only usable in raid fights due to the longevity for the execute phase, however having an execute option is a huge quality of life change.
has been added for those Hati lovers out there. It is essentially Hati with a couple of different changes. Despite what the tooltip says, this pet will do almost everything your main pet does with the exception of basic attacks and Growl: It does melee attacks,
, benefits from
, gains Frenzy stacks from
, gets healed by
, and uses Dash. In order to balance this, your overall pet damage is reduced by 40% to accommodate your second pet. Damage is essentially split between your primary pet and the
. While this sounds good, reducing your main pets damage by 40% is a huge hit, making this talent mediocre compared to the other talents.
is similar to Legion, but now costs Focus and was placed on a cooldown. To compensate, while your
is active, you gain 5% additional Haste. This entire row has been very volatile throughout alpha and beta, so expect more tuning and changes.
Tier 2 (Level 30)
additional bonus focus regen. While it may seem good, compared to
which offer both a damage boost and focus regen,
is currently our best talent here, offering a huge amount of damage and a good chunk of focus regen. Due to the stat squish and our “Dire Frenzy” style of play,
falls a bit behind
. It does help to maintain Frenzy stacks slightly better and is a passive talent making it easier to use then
Tier 3 (Level 45)
- Most of the talents in this row remain from Legion.
is primary use for open world content, leveling and old transmog runs.
is our go to PvP talent and has some niche uses in dungeons.
is a new talent in this row that slightly reduces the cooldown of
is really the only viable talent for most PVE outside of certain niche scenarios.
Tier 4 (Level 60)
- Unfortunately, this row really only has one option at the moment.
is the only “working” talent in this row and also offers the highest DPS. While
seems like a good talent, it hardly makes a difference in overall
reduction, equating to about 1 additional
is actually bugged. The Hunter is the only one that benefits from the bonus crit, not your pet. When this talent is fixed, it should be competitive with
Tier 5 (Level 75)
is very niche. It’s reduced cooldown gives
a shorter cooldown, giving more movement speed as well as reducing
cooldown which may be usable in niche raid fights such as Fallen Avatar.
remains the same as it was in Legion, giving us movement speed and snare removal.
is similar to Legion, however it’s lost the stun component to it. It now snares mobs rather than stunning them, which is much worse. The go to talent is generally
as it provides the most movement speed and utility of the three.
Tier 6 (Level 90)
- This row is again fairly one sided in terms of choices.
is currently our only viable choice in this row. It does great damage and is totally passive, making it an easy choice.
are both active, and do not deal nearly enough damage to warrant taking either one. While
’s damage isn’t awful, it cost a whopping 60 Focus, compared to
which is free and deals similar damage.
s cooldown of 3 min along with its minimal damage makes it undesirable in every situation.
Tier 7 (Level 100)
- Once again,
is our only real option in this talent row. It provides a passive damage bonus, increased utility and defenses (increases pet specialization bonuses by 50%) and since it increase pet basic attacks, benefits our AoE as well. Damage aside, it far outclasses the other two talents. Luckily it’s also our highest damaging ability in every situation.
remains the same as it was in Legion but has lost a ton of value with the newly made
by 1 sec). When taking
, you essentially waste this effect.
has a couple of issues. Its damage is very undertuned and it has a maximum range of 25 yards, which can be cumbersome to use. It’s damage is also reduced when taking
, due to the -40% pet damage aura it gives. In addition,
are purely single target talents, making
better in that regard as well.
Recommended Changes and Tuning Issues:
(level 15 talent): Despite what the tooltip says, this pet will do almost everything your main pet does with the exception of basic attacks and Growl. Currently both Mend Pet and Play Dead are not working with the
, which seems like a bug (they both worked with Hati).
(level 30 talent) is not worth very much DPS. While other talents in this tier offer increased Focus similar to this, they also offer damage on top of that --
does not have a damage component, so it's not recommended until it is changed.
(level 60 talent) is currently not increasing the critical strike chance of pets, which decreases its value quite a bit. It's not recommended to use this talent until this gets fixed.
(level 60 talent) is very undertuned in its current state (1 second reduction). It gives hardly any DPS gain and equates to one additional
cycle. This can largely be made up for in RNG and is not worth the talent choice compared to the other options in this row.
(level 100 talent) only has a range of about 25 yards, which really limits its usefulness. If you place down the snake and your target is more than 25 yards away, the snake is unable to attack. No word from Blizzard if this is intended or not (if it is, I think it should be in the tooltip), but it's been this way for all of alpha and beta. Damage-wise, it's also very undertuned.
Pet Basic Attacks
- This is a relatively new development, but it's worth mentioning since it affects the value of some talents. Pet basic attacks (Claw, Bite, or Smack) are having their auto-casts delayed for unknown reasons. These attacks have a 3-second cooldown, but on average the pet is only auto-casting them every 3.6 seconds. Over the course of a long fight, this extra 0.6 seconds adds up to quite a few missed casts. This issue can be mitigated somewhat by forcing the basic attacks to cast as close to their 3 sec cooldown as possible via macroing pet basic attack casts into all of your offensive abilities. This won't fix the problem -- and frankly it's kind of silly that we have to do this -- but it may result in a few extra casts (plus there's no real downside to doing this). These are the relevant lines you can add to your abilities via a macro:
/cast Claw(Basic Attack)
/cast Bite(Basic Attack)
/cast Smack(Basic Attack)
Now that the "bug" has been incorporated into Simulation Craft, we've learned that
is about on par with
in single target, and
is also competitive when paired with
in single target (when taking the bug into account). Other talents were not affected. If you are using the macro or if the bug gets fixed,
will be better.
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