My spec is not the cookie-cutter variety BM spec (if one even exists at the moment), but rather a DPS-centric PvP type build. When dual specs hit I’ll most likely be changing things up, but I absolutely love this spec at the present time. It allows me to top damage meters in raids when playing with mere mortal players, have a strong showing in BGs, and even win some arena matches.
Here she is:
Beast Mastery Talents
5/5 Endurance Training: I go with this over IAotH mainly for pet survivability. The 5% HP bonus to me is nice, but it’s mainly there to help my pet out. I don’t use Improved Revive Pet, so this talent is important for keeping my pets hardy. IAotH is not as attractive for BM anymore, and since it’s really only useful when fighting stationary targets in dungeons, I’ve just never been that fond of it. This talent helps keep my pet and I alive – plain and simple.
2/2 Focused Fire: No brainer.
3/3 Thick Hide: This helps my pet and I out vs. melee, but mainly these points are here to get to tier 3. I don’t opt for Improved Revive Pet, because those points only benefit you when your pet dies, where as the passive 20% armor bonus is always in effect. I manage my pet pretty well, so I’ve never relly seen a need. Chances are if my pet ever goes down in an arena, I’ll never be able to get it back in time anyway. Even if I do, it just gets FF’ed back down anyway. In my opinion, Improved Revive Pet usually is only useful if you raid a lot or have a Druid for an arena partner.
1/1 Aspect Mastery: Mandatory.
5/5 Unleashed Fury: Needs no explanation.
1/2 Improved Mend Pet: Very useful for cleaning off those nasty DoTs from your pet.
5/5 Ferocity: Must have.
2/2 Spirit Bond: I’ll admit it, I love this talent. I’ve gone without it a few times and it absolutely sucks not having it. It’s amazing how effective it is for BGs. I very seldom have to bandage. Not to mention, it can come through very clutch in arena. A 450HP tick every 10 seconds is nothing to turn your nose up at. This + 2/2 Blood of the Rhino rocks for Tenacity pets. In the end, I choose this talent for a super-ghetto (but at times clutch) HoT for PvP, and to reduce downtime in general. It also helps your pet out a tiny bit when your partied with lazy healers who think your pet’s a mirage.
1/1 Intimidation: Can’t be BM without it.
2/2 Bestial Discipline: A great passive focus regeneration for pets. I’ve never not had this. Very important for every aspect of Huntering.
2/2 Animal Handler: Good talent now for raiding, but meh for PvP. It’s going to be getting buffed somewhat in 3.1, so will be an even better all-around talent. Although pets always attack from behind, raid bosses still have a chance to dodge attacks that come from their backside. Animal Handler helps to mitigate that. More pet hits = more dps.
4/5 Frenzy: 80% chance is all we need here. For PvE, 3/5 in this talent along with 3/3 Cobra Strikes is a good call. I prefer the passive chance from Frenzy rather than relying on my crits, since I’m not always in a position to cast Steadies while I’m running for my life in battlegrounds. 😉
3/3 Ferocious Inspiration: Gotta have it.
1/1 Bestial Wrath: Recommended talent 😉
5/5 Serpent’s Swiftness: 20% increased attack speed for my pet and I. Where do I sign up!?
3/3 Longevity: My favorite WotLK talent. No BM Hunter should pass on this one. When coupled with the Glyph of Bestial Wrath, this talent is amazing.
1/1 TBW: Quite possibly our best talent.
1/3 Cobra Strikes: I put one point in here for lack of a better place. It’s a great talent for raiding, but for PvP and solo play the procs aren’t always reliable. I’ve tried it with 2/3 and 3/3, but 1/3 is enough for me. With ~35% crit fully raid buffed, this goes off plenty with 1 point.
5/5 Kindred Spirits: 20% increased pet damage. What BM Hunter wouldn’t want that..? 10% movement speed increase is aweosme for PvP, and allows me to get a non-speed buffed enchant for mah boots. While 10% is not as nice as 30%, it’s enough to enable me to take the point I’d put into Boar’s Speed for my pet and stick it elsewhere. Charge and Dash provide the get up and go, but the extra 10% bonus from Kindred Spirits allows my pets to stay on them once they’re there.
1/1 Beast Mastery: I love this talent because I get to go out and tame exciting beasties like King Krush and Loque’nahak. The 4 extra pet talent points gained from it are great, but after 3.1 they will be outstanding.
5/5 Lethal Shots: 25% additional ranged crit chance… hello?
5/5 Mortal Shots: 30% increased crit damage = more burst = more headshots.
3/3 Careful Aim: All Hunters need this.
1/2 Go for the Throat: With 2/2 in Bestial Discipline, 1/2 here gets the job done. My pets always have enough focus in PvE.
3/3 Improved Arcane Shot: Since the change to Ferocious Inspiration, Arcane Shot has now become the BM Hunter’s new bread and butter, so buff it up baby.
1/1 Aimed Shot: I take this because I PvP a lot. It’s also nice to have an extra insta-cast shot when having to kite or move in raids. Still, mainly a PvP talent.
So there ya have it… my spec broken down.
It’s not the ideal spec for raid DPS, but it allows me to do 3.2K on Patchwerk in a Naxxramas 10 man, then turn around and wreck some people in battlegrounds.
As far as what I’m going to do in 3.1… I’m not sure yet. I love BM so much, I may end up dual speccing it. 😛
Without a healer in arena, it makes the most sense for me as a PvP spec. But on the other hand, I also love it for raiding as well. However, I’m thinking that with the changes to Furious Howl, I could go MM or SV for PvE to break things up depending upon what kind of DPS those trees will be putting out.
I’m pretty committed to BM at the moment due to having 3 exotic pets. The beauty though, is that both of my non-exotics are getting buffed in 3.1. My gorilla is getting the new PvP-friendly Pummel talent and my Wolf is getting the buffed Furious Howl. I guess my options will be pretty wide open. I can’t wait!