Hello readers and happy holidays! I hope you are all having a relaxing break, and don’t have a multitude of ruffians that are in your charge for the next week or so until their mothers come back and claim them. Obnoxious, rowdy ruffians who continuously want to play Pokémon with you and will not leave you alone for even a moment’s reprieve… But anyway, on to Beast Mastery!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you some advice on how to assemble your very own raiding Beast Master. I’ll be going through pets, talents, gems, and even a few addons that will make raiding as a BM easy and fun.
This week I’ll be covering:
- Talent Builds
But first, why even choose beast mastery? We don’t get any special shots, automatic raid buffs or even do close to the amount of damage that the other two hunter trees can put out. So what are a few of the perks of being a BM?
- Powerful and unique pets. This tree, as you may well know, revolves around the pet. 20-50% of your total damage will come from your pet alone.
- Simple and straightforward shot rotation. Weaving your shots is as easy as pie, and as smooth as butter.
- The ability to have 20-50% of your DPS on your target at all times in high mobility fights.
- Less threat problems. With your DPS and threat split almost equally between you and your pet, aggroing mobs off of tanks isn’t a problem anymore.
- It’s a familiar spec that most hunters leveled with. If you’re more confident with Beast Mastery, you’ll do more damage.
Sound appealing? Let’s break it down and see how Beast Mastery functions:
This is the highest DPS talent build for a Beast Master, and the one I currently use for raiding.
Of course, there’s always a little wiggle room within any build, so feel free to experiment and see which talents you prefer the most.
The Beast Mastery talent tree is straightforward. Invest in the talents that increase damage and try to avoid the ones that don’t (unless you’re having a hard time keeping you or your pet alive).
Once you’re done with the BM tree, you’ll have between 10-20 points left to spend in other talent trees. Marksmanship offers better choices in the first few tiers, and most of your leftover talent points should be spent here.
Lethal Shots is a necessity unless you are under the hit cap (a 263 hit rating [without any space goats in your group]), in which case your talents should go into Focused Aim until that magic hit cap number is reached.
3/3 in Careful Aim offers a better damage output than 5/5 Mortal Shots, but both Careful Aim and Mortal Shots are both very good talents for BM. However, both of these talents pale in comparison to Go for the Throat, which cause your ranged critical hits to generate 25/50 focus for your pet. One talent point in this, combined with Beast Mastery’s Bestial Discipline, will provide more than enough focus for your pet.
Aimed Shot should probably not be talented. Even though it has a little higher DPM (damage per mana) than Multi Shot, the points taken away from Improved Tracking or Careful Aim result in an overall lower DPS output. If you are in love with Aimed Shot, then go for it. However, just know that it’s pretty situational (only a handful of raid encounters in WotLK merit it), and you get more bang for your buck with Multi Shot.
Although there’s not much in the lower levels of the Survival tree, Improved Tracking is one talent that should not be overlooked. 5/5 talent points are recommended if you have any points to spare.
- Glyph of the Hawk – This is the highest BM DPS glyph out there. As you should already be specced into Improved Aspect of the Hawk, the added 6% haste is nothing to scoff at.
- Glyph of Steady Shot – Steady Shot is the staple of the Beast Master shot rotation, so why not glyph it for 10% more damage? This is the second best BM glyph, and a very highly recommended one.
- Glyph of Kill Shot – Kill Shot is your most powerful shot, and should be used whenever it is available. This glyph is the third most powerful for beast mastery, and has my stamp of approval.
- Glyph of Bestial Wrath – Until very recently, this glyph was a must-have for any Beast Master, but with the great The Beast Within nerf of 2009, this glyph is no longer among the top three BM glyphs. Quite a few Beast Masters (me being one of them) still cling onto this glyph like a life raft, hoping that this signature move will be restored to its former glory.
- Glyph of Serpent Sting – A very viable choice for one of your three major glyphs. Six more seconds of Serpent Sting isn’t bad at all. It may not be one of the top three choices, but it’s up there.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Viper – If you’re having mana shortage problems, this glyph may be the way to go. It is especially useful if you’re wearing leather (or armor with no intellect), or if you are in a 5 or 10 mans situation where the best mana restoring buffs may not be available.
With a measly six minor glyphs to choose from, hunters don’t really have much of a choice when picking them out. Here are the three that I suggest using:
- Glyph of Feign Death – A two-second reduction on your hunter’s best threat reduction move. Need I say more?
- Glyph of Mend Pet/Revive Pet – I took these two glyphs for the same exact reason: Beast Masters need their pets alive at all times. These glyphs will help you do that.
As a Beast Mastery Hunter, there are two major stats that you should stack: Agility and raw Attack Power. The former is usually chosen for a few reasons:
One: Beast Mastery is usually not a main spec, and switching out AP and agility gems every time you switch specs is unreasonable and costly.
Two: Attack power beefs up your pet, but pets do sometimes die, and if that happens, you’re screwed. Agility puts more emphasis on the hunter instead of the pet, and for that reason, agil is sometimes preferred.
There is a downside when gemming for Agility though. Your overall DPS is lowered by about 2-5% compared to when stacking for AP. I’d advise to start with Agility, then switch to Attack Power once you have practice keeping your pet alive at all costs, or if you decide that BM is going to be your primary PvE spec.
Attack Power – Bright Cardinal Ruby
Agility – Delicate Cardinal Ruby
Attack Power – Wicked Ametrine
Agility – Deadly Ametrine
Attack Power (under hit cap) – Pristine Ametrine
Agility (under hit cap) – Glinting Ametrine
I would not recommend gemming blues for your blue sockets unless the bonus is particularly attractive. In most cases, replace your blue with a red, and you’re set. Though, to activate your meta gem, one blue gem is needed. I would use Nightmare’s Tear. However, If you really want to match your gem sockets, here’s what blues I would propose:
Attack Power – Infused Dreadstone
Agility – Tenuous Dreadstone
Under hit cap – Lambent Eye of Zuul
That’s it for this week, good luck and happy hunting! 😀