Full Circle

Here are a couple of reasons why I went back to Beast Mastery this past weekend.

Grimtotem Spirit Guide under Bestial Wrath

Ghost Wolf under Bestial Wrath howling at the moon.

After probably 350G in respecs, another 150G or so for glyphs, and several hours of playing time, I’ve come full circle. I am a dual specialized Beast Master. 52/14/5 and 53/18/0.

When I first started playing WoW, I was immediately drawn to the Hunter class. After creating my Hunter and then learning about talents and how to apportion them, I was equally drawn to the Beast Mastery aspect of the class.

Apart from the few times I respecced for arena, I have always been a Beast Master Hunter. It’s what I’ve always enjoyed playing, and it’s what I will continue to enjoy.

After chewing through eight bosses in a Naxxramas 10 man PuG as Marksman, it occurred to me that I just wasn’t enjoying the spec as much. My DPS was pretty decent as MM, and surpassed what I had done as BM prior to 3.1. However, it wasn’t as noticeable of an increase as I’d assumed it would be. Most importantly, I missed my big red pet.

I then hit up some BGs as MM and found that to be very enjoyable. The burst that MM provides for PvP is insane, especially with some well timed Readiness thrown in. This concept now threw my previous notions out the window. My plan was to spec MM for raiding and BM for PvP. Now what the hell was I to do?

I then decided since I was going to be respeccing for a more PvP oriented MM flavor, I’d give Survival another go in the meantime. I tried two different SV specs since the patch, and well, I just really don’t care for it. I still haven’t dismissed it completely for PvP, but as a raiding spec I just felt as if I’d be staring at my cooldowns constantly, and not really able to pay attention to much else.

SV has by far the most complicated shot priority with the advent of Black Arrow. I’d probably have to adjust my UI to accomodate this style of play and, well.. I don’t want to do that. I also prefer to watch the fight, and not have to feel like I need to be solely fcused on cooldowns the whole time. For PvP, I may revisit it at some point.

Eventually, I ended up going with a LnL MM spec for PvP and then a BM spec I hadn’t tried yet for PvE. The BM spec I went with is a 52/14/5 raiding spec. It is not an ElitistJerks approved spec, but so far I like it and have found it to be pretty solid. I’ve chosen to neglect the 51 point Beast Mastery talent, because Wild Hunt seems to be broken right now. I had tried putting two points into it, but the buffs didn’t apply to my pet. I’ve read stories about people claiming you need to re-log to have it apply after resummoning a pet, but I just don’t want to deal with it until it’s fixed.

I really need to test drive this new spec in a good 3hr+ Naxx run to see how it performs. I’m hoping to get some raiding time in this week, which will give me a good idea on whether it’s a decent improvement over my pre 3.1 setup.

The shot priority doesn’t get any easier than with this spec. It’s faceroll Huntering at its finest. 😉 Basically, you can open with Multi Shot if there is no CC to worry about, then Arcane Shot followed by Serpent Sting and Steady Shot. After that, just keep Serpent Sting applied, and maintain the shot priority of: Kill Shot (when avail) – Multi – Arcane – Steady. Multi can be left out of the rotation altogether for long fights, especially if mana is a problem. Aside from Kill Shot, Arcane and Steady are the meat and potatoes of this shot priority.

For glyphs, I’ve chosen to use Bestial Wrath, Hawk, and Steady. I’m seeing more and more information pointing to Glyph of the Hawk as being better than Serpent Sting for BM. It makes sense to me, because the bulk of my damage comes from auto-shots.

Now for my other spec… Would you believe I went BM for that one too? Well, I did. It wasn’t my intention at the time, but I sort of blew it during my respecs. I overlooked the fact that my BM raiding spec lacked the Exotic Pet 51 point talent. I  was reminded of this when I went back to my stable to abandon one of my exotics in favor of a PvP pet. I’m actually glad this happened, because it saved me from making a hasty decision that I may have regretted.

Needless to say, I decided to spec back to my 53/18/0 BM spec for PvP again to see how it goes. I’ve been using my Chimaera, and so far I’m really optimistic about this setup for BGs and Arena. If I start struggling with this setup, or if another spec lends itself better to a particular arena team, I’ll probably switch to SV or possibly MM again. Until that time, I plan on enjoying PvP as a Beast Master.

It’s always been a great PvP spec for me in the past, but I’m thinking of tweaking and fine-tuning it some more. For instance, moving the 3 points from Thick Hide into IAotM. That change would put me well over 30% dodge in Dragonhawk. 2/2 in GfTT seems like a good idea too since I won’t have as many chances to proc this in arena, but when it does proc, 50 focus would be a definite advantage.

So there ya have it. After hours of research and contemplation, I’ve found myself returning to what I enjoy most. After all, that’s what this game is supposed to be all about. In the big picture, just how important is it to be a cooldown monitoring, theorycrafting, spreadsheet junkie. Is WoW really worth putting all that effort and critical thought into? For some maybe, but I prefer taming Spirit Beasts and stacking stamina and haste to do fun things like this.

7 thoughts on “Full Circle”

  1. I would like to start off by saying, that i ran BM until lvl 70, then i went MM, and now at 80 i am a die hard SV, i know the rotation is bloated, and cooldowns are a pain, but i haven’t raided with a BM,or a MM hunter that could compare with the dps ” pets included in recount”. I have found that my biggest problem with SV in a pve situation is aggro. SV has some insane burst damage. All in all, SV is probably the funnest class i have played, because i dont have to worry about complaints about my dps, and dont have to worry about my pet, if he dies he dies.

  2. I would like to start off by saying, that i ran BM until lvl 70, then i went MM, and now at 80 i am a die hard SV, i know the rotation is bloated, and cooldowns are a pain, but i haven’t raided with a BM,

  3. I had something similar last night in VoA10, the raid leader was moaning I wasn’t doing enough DPS, but his recount wasn’t taking pets into effect, I posted my recount and was doing 18% of the damage overall as BM, a full 5% over the “better” DPS classes. Only the uber pimped out DK bettered me, and that was only by 3%.

  4. I was surfing the web and came across your comments. I have been primarily a solo player all the way to level 80 and have rarely darkened the door of a dungeon. I did PVP for a good bit but that was quite some time back. Anyhow I’ve always been spec’d BM and love the gameplay and never was bored. Now that I”m 80 and dungeons seem to be more of a requirement to continue to get ahead, I have felt compelled by the people in groups that constantly want to flash DPS stats for the group to try to fall in line with the majority of other hunters who have switched to the more in vogue SV spec. I do see an increase in ranged DPS but I find I don’t enjoy the play as much anymore. I’m constantly trying to heal my pet who has always been able to hold it’s own. Makes a person who loves their pet feel guilty as sin to be casting misdirection on a pet that’s already getting the hell beat out of him when an add comes along to join in the frey. I don’t worry about how much damage other people are doing in a group, even if it is their job to be DPS along with me, so why was everyone so worried about what my DPS was as a BM? Do they take the time to consider how much dmg my pet was adding to the battle? It doesn’t seem like it. Anyhow I will continue to try SV for awhile, but ultimately I imagine I’m going to go back to BM and enjoy the game again. Like you said, that’s what the game is supposed to be about anyhow huh? Thanks for your insight.

  5. I will put the 51st point in once I’m convinced Wild Hunt is working 100% of the time.

    I feel like I’m still experimenting unfortunately. It’s hurting my gold reserves big time. I’ve been knocking out dailies like nobody’s business to recoup all of the gold I’ve spent on respecs.

    Last night I found myself becoming “too bored” with that setup. lol. I’m now considering another crack at MM for my raid spec.

    I’m pretty smitten with BM for PvP as of now though.

    I still see me dropping at least another 300G on respecs until I feel situated.

  6. Considering that as BM your pet does around 40% of your damage, wouldn’t it be better to go for the 51 points and the +4 points of the pet?

    I’m testing 53/11/7 and I found that my mana runs out too fast, but I just don’t want to sacrifice a point to put into Invigoration…

    What hurts the most is that if BM doesn’t really cut as good dps, I’m gonna regret the re-enchanting / re-gemming I just did…

  7. I see what you mean about Survival, I have always been BeastMastery, and went dual spec to try the others. Survival really is a “stare at the cooldowns” sort of spec, but it feels a bit more involved because of it, so I don’t mind as much. Not tried raiding with it yet, so not sure if I will get on with it outside of PvP.


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