So last you heard from me, I was getting ready to try out a Core Hound for use in arena. To bring some of you up to speed, my only arena team this past season has been a 2v2 with a Ret Paladin. I like 2v2 because it only requires one other person, and in my case, I don’t need to rely upon a healer. I’ve never had very good luck with 3v3 either due to schedule conflicts or just not being able to find the right people.
I also like double DPS 2v2 because the matches are over quickly. Either we get our asses handed to us or we do the ass-handing, but either way they’re quick. That is unless my partner gets stuck 1v1 vs a Resto Druid. In that case, I may as well go make a sammich, then possibly take a nap or learn a foreign language. It’s nearly impossible for a Ret to kill a Resto druid and even more impossible for a resto drood to kill a Ret.
At any rate, my partner and I are what most would consider casual, as we “mainly” PvP for fun and typically only queue one night a week, for maybe an hour or less. Anyway, after several weeks of a slow ascent, we hit our proverbial wall at about 1800. Now granted we’ve only made it as high as 1849, I feel like we’ve gotten better over the past two weeks. We’d just made some careless mistakes that otherwise would have resulted in wins for us, and would probably have us on our way to 1950 by now. ‘Course that’s what they all say…
Oh yea, so what’s changed over the past two weeks to give us a slight edge? Well, for one, I’m using a Core Hound instead of a Chimaera. Second, I changed my spec up a bit. I didn’t change my build too much, in fact I only moved two points around. However, I feel it’s made a noticeable impact on my DPS without sacrificing much of anything really.
Here’s a looky at my new build.
This is the build you need to be using if you want to PvP as a BM Hunter. It’s not vastly different from the one I posted just a few weeks back, yet the subtle differences make it much improved.
As I’d said before, if you find that your pet is being focus fired down a lot, or if you’re lacking resilience, then 1/3 Thick Hide and 2/2 Improved Revive Pet is probably the way to go. I don’t lose my pet(s) too often, so I prefer the increased physical damage mitigation. However, results may vary.
The primary difference… 3/3 Cobra Strikes.
I had dismissed this talent before as being too much of a gamble for PvP, as it only gives you a 60% chance to proc even when maxed. However, after thinking about it I realized I was pretty wrong in my assumption. This talent needs to be maxed for an effective BM PvP build. Here’s why…
Pets have a lousy crit chance of only 5% against targets of their level. The Ferocity talent boosts this to 15%, which is still pretty poor, especially when considering the amount of resilience some players have. For example, I have an 11% reduced chance to be crit in PvP gear, therefore a player with my level of resilience would be extremely hard for my pet to gain a critical strike against. A 4% crit chance is pretty weenie-ish. That’s a word I just made up for this post by the way.
Now, the thing is… pet crits are a huge part of the Beast Mastery DPS equation, so we as BM hunters need to make them happen. Not only for the added burst as a result of pet crits, but also due to the synergistic talents in both the pet and hunter talent trees. Pet crits help to facilitate a lot of additional damage.
Let’s take a look at what pet crits do…
- Frenzy – Frenzy causes your pet’s attack speed to increase by 30% for 8 seconds. This is not only a huge boost to damage, but also a tremendous ability for enemy spell pushback.
- Ferocious Inspiration – 3% increased damage for you, your pet, and your teammates; for 10 seconds.
- Culling the Herd – 3% additional damage for you and your pet for 10 seconds.
- Wolverine Bite (Cunning pets only) – A huge burst ability usable after a pet’s critical strike.
As you can see, pet crits are sorely needed in PvP in order to get a Beast Master’s DPS cookin’. By putting my 31% crit chance to work trying to proc Cobra Strikes, I’m helping to ensure that those juicy DPS boosting buffs stay up.
Another way to ensure more crits is to roll with a Ferocity pet. With 3/3 in Spider’s Bite, a ferocity pet is able to reach a somewhat respectable 24% crit chance. In addition to their higher crit, a ferocity pet also brings more DPS improving talents, making those crits hit even harder. My choice for ferocity pet was of course the Core Hound.
In addition to the improved damage and crit rating that the Core Hound was to provide, I also knew that I wanted to make sure I was properly feeding my new crit dispenser. Although 24% crit is decent for a pet, it’s still nowhere near the 31% crit chance (33% w/ Kings) I’m sporting when decked out in my PvP gear.
Basically, all I did was borrow one point from Frenzy (leaving 3/5) and steal the floater point from Hawk Eye, in order to max out Cobra Strikes. It was a subtle change, but let me tell ya… that cobra animation is popping up left and right while I’m in combat, and enemy players seem to be dying all around me.
The Core Hound has provided a nice boost to our DPS in arena. Although our record isn’t really anything to brag about, I feel like this new pet has given us a slight edge from where we were before. We’ve handily beat 1950-2050 MMR teams, that previously would have given us trouble. Most notably, Rogue/Priest is not much of a problem anymore. We pretty much sit on the Priest from the start and melt his face off. The added damage, along with the Core Hound’s casting debuff, has the Priest at 50% by the time the Rogue’s opened up.
I’ve also found that my Chimaera is packing a lot more punch in BGs. This is mainly due to more Frenzy uptime, as well as more frequent Wolverine Bites. Once I get the proc going, it’s fairly easy to maintain Frenzy at that point. Plus, all of those additional attacks from the pet equals more chances to crit as well.
So there ya go… those of you that followed my posted spec from before should probably visit your trainer and go with my new build. Hell, I’ll even cover the Gold for your respec. Just send me a C.O.D.
Eh, that was a joke. No really. I just picked up my Artisan Riding skill for my DK, so I’m broke. Otherwise I would.