Assembling a raiding Beast Master

Mousie, Tauren Beast Mastery HunterHello 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
  • Glyphs
  • Gems

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:

Talent Builds

This is the highest DPS talent build for a Beast Master, and the one I currently use for raiding.

Highest DPS Beast Mastery Raiding Build

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.

Minor Glyphs

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.

Red Gems:

Attack Power – Bright Cardinal Ruby

Agility – Delicate Cardinal Ruby

Yellow Gems:

Attack Power – Wicked Ametrine

Agility  – Deadly Ametrine

Attack Power (under hit cap) – Pristine Ametrine

Agility (under hit cap) – Glinting Ametrine

Blue Gems:

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! 😀


14 thoughts on “Assembling a raiding Beast Master”

  1. First of all, love the post. Made me want to respec from MM to BM, which i did :D. I did have a question about the worm exotic pet, if any number crunching had been done. I know it’s a tenacity pet and thus would be lower on dps than a ferocity one, but i thought the acid spit armor reduction would be a plus and in line with the thought process of, eventually, stacking armor penetration. Wanted to know your thoughts.

  2. Hey there, curious to see if you’ve run tests against 1/2 Go for the Throat vs. 2/2. The reason I ask is my current spec has 2/2 but I still find my pet focus dumping quite nicely through the bonus regen.

    – Hesson

    • Yep, I’ve done quite a few tests with GftT. The thing with 2/2 points is that your pet gets TOO much focus. They can’t focus dump fast enough and the extra focus is wasted. I’d suggest putting that point in another talent for a higher DPS output.

      The only time to put two points in Go for the Throat is if you are critting less than 23%, then take a point away from Improved Tracking and stick it in here.

  3. hi all, thx again for this BM post, i have 1 question about the ammo, i was rep grinding in outland and my ammo was Finish so i buy some low lvl ammo and for some reason it looked that the mobs where death way quicker than using the new ammo from icc.

    just like to know if other peeps had the same experience

    cant wait till next post my dps is up with 20/30%

    ps:my main is a shammy healer and it always takes care of the pets

  4. Hey Mousie! As a fellow BM hunter I look forward to reading more of your material. I have a couple of questions on your talent/glyph choices:

    1. I currently run 1 point in Improved Mend Pet whereas you run it in Spirit Bond. I do so because I have a hard time convincing my healers to heal my pet. Do you think, in a circumstance like mine (where I end up having to do the healing when it needs to be done) that I should shift that point into Spirit Bond and if so, will the bonus healing offset the additional mana cost?

    2. Why use a point to fill Cobra Strikes up to 3/3 instead of using it to make Mortal Shots 5/5? If the answer is simply “because the math says so” then ok. I’m no math guru (if I was I’d be an engineer or astronaut =P) so I’ll take that answer at face value. I currently run with 5/5 MS and 2/3 CS.

    3. With the 2 pc bonus from the T9 gear is it worth running Glyph of Serent Sting over Glyph of Bestial Wrath? I RARAELY raid so Glyph of Kill Shot basically does me no good as i get it off once before a boss dies.

    4. I had previously been running Glyph of the Hawk but then I read something over on Elitist Jerks that said it wasn’t worth using that glyph because you basically hit a “haste cap” and at that point your shots couldn’t be sped up anymore. It said that you usually reached this through gear alone once you got better gear so I dropped it. Like I said above, I don’t necessarily understand math. I do, however, understand what caps are and understand what it means to rach a point where no more haste helps. Is it ture that you can rach a “haste cap” and if so, should I pick this glyph up again or keep the ones I’m running now (BW, Serp Sting, Steady Shot)?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

    • 1) from what i hear mend pet talent is still broken and makes the minor glyph not work. Most people would rather have mend pet give happiness so we put the point into spirit bond as a filler.

      2)cobra strikes is a vital talent for BM builds that dont want to fail, it procs off every shot we use but serpent sting. And it Procs alot its not full time but with rank 3 its alot.

      3) not sure about mousey but i still think bestial glyph is one of the better for BM esp if you have kill command and bestial on the same macro.

      4)Hawk is supposedly the best for dps i guess because the haste transfers over to pet. serpent sting glyph isnt really important for bm as we only have arcane steady and killshot and its not hard to reapply serpent. Steady Shot, BW, Hawk are the glyphs to use.

    • 😀 Okay! To answer your questions:

      1. I pretty much never get pet heals. There’s always a super cool healer who comes along once in a blue moon who keeps my pet up and actually feels guilty if it dies, but I never expect pet heals, and yet, I still go for Spirit Bond. Why? First of all, it buffs you and your pet. That extra 5% healing is awesome for the hunter who usually doesn’t get top priority heals, and it increases Mend Pet too. You’ll be spending less time healing your pet (which, in turn, ups your DPS) with more powerful Mend Pets. If you want me to crunch the numbers and see which talent will gobble less mana, jus’ let me know. But in the end, the extra healing done to BOTH you and your pet makes Spirit Bond preferable over Imp. Mend Pet.

      2. Yes, it is because of the math. Again, if ya want me to break it down for you, I will, but 3/3 in CS does more damage then 5/5 in MS.

      3. I also have the tier 9 bonus, but still, Glyph of BW > Glyph of SS for both mana efficiency and higher DPS output. I can see why you passed up Glyph of KS. That glyph really isn’t viable unless you’re in a raiding situation.

      4. While there is such a things as a soft haste cap for hunters (which BMs already reach with Serpent’s Swiftness), a hard haste cap doesn’t exist. I’d replace Glyph of SS for Glyph of the Hawk for more DPS.

      • Awesome! Thanks so much for the answers in layman’s terms. Thanks, too, to Tuskx for the input. I like learning from people who won’t make me feel stupid for asking questions. I’m 37 yrs old and I get tired of people calling me a n00b because I can’t do the math in my head (I get enough of that from my kids, anyway XD).

        P.S. No, I do not need you to break it down for me. Thanks for the offer, though.

  5. Love this article. I had a mm spec but just switched to this build. Granted i’m only 71 atm but even so i still saw my dps in 5 mans jump by a considerable margin. As MM my dps on a single target could be pretty good but with BM i find its more stable and consistent than MM was for me. On the second boss in UK i was able to almost perfectly split my dps between the two bosses by having my pet on one and i targeted the other. At the end of the fight i had averaged around 450dps with my pet just 2 points behind. All i need to do now is get the glyphs since i still have the glyphs i used for my MM spec. Thanks for the article

  6. very nice guide.
    i noticed more of an increase then 2-5% when i regemmed to 40ap over 20 agi 2 weeks ago.

    i did not test it extensively but it seems like my dps went up 10-12% in 5mans.

    im not sure about in 10/25’s as the 2-5% is probably more exact as kings doesnt work with ap.

    Pet survivability went up alot in the recent patch as well with the innate 90% ae dmg red but occasionally my pet will die because of bad positioning on the tank (not moving mobs off of sludge in PoS) or lack of heal from a pug healer. Ive even explained to the healer that not healing my dps hinders my dps greatly and they would say its just a pet then id have to post recount.

    Even in these instances with revive pet talent and glyph my pet will be back up fast so i still think 40ap in reds and blues and 20ap 10 crit in yellows that have good bonuses are better then agi if your going BM/unused or bm/bm or have 5 exotics in stable.

    • The 2-5% increase is spreadsheet only. Because your pet doesn’t screw up its rotation, doesn’t lag, etc, its DPS will always be fairly close to the perfection that is the spreadsheet.

      As for healing, don’t ever expect a healer to keep your pet up. That’s a job you’ll usually have to do on your own. There will be some people who will heal your pet automatically, but don’t be pushy when trying to get pet heals. Your poor healers already have enough to worry about. 🙂


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