Beast Mastery PvP Spec Redux

Visit this post for an updated look at my current Cataclysm BM PvP Build.

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.

Gar’s New and Improved Beast Mastery PvP Spec

Beast Mastery PvP Spec - BM PvP 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. 😉

50 thoughts on “Beast Mastery PvP Spec Redux”

  1. Hey,

    At the moment im playing a private server with a gm account, this gives me a bonus when it comes to stuff like this, and im able to constantly change and stuff, im still on 3.2.2 atm which doesn’t matter, I roll with a beastmastery hunter, but not the way you do. my spec is 55/2/14, I know it seems pretty odd, but I tried it on a player, and holy crap, I use a spirit beast and instead of gearing myself in agi and crap, I decided to go versatile and gem and enchant str, and let me tell you, NOBODY can beat me, im pulling out 6 – 7k crits with mongoose bite and raptor strike, I like hunters, but I like getting up in their face, it annoys the crap out of then

  2. Hey there guys!

    i am knew to this forum,
    Just a few things to ask.
    I am a BM hunter and only PVP.
    since the last patch we have gone to Focus.
    so what’s the best thing to stack ? Reforging and Geming?

    any feedback would be good.


    • Hi Luda,

      Reforging your crit or haste to mastery is generally a good idea.

      As far as gems go, agility for red slots, agility/haste -or- agility/crit in yellows, and hit/agility in blue slots (until your hit soft-capped – I think that’s 153), or agility/stam if you’re hit capped for PvP.

  3. I have been struggling for some time in pvp with my hunter. I had even put her aside for a few months because I simply wasn’t having fun any more. After reading this, I realize now that I had fallen into the trap of over analyzing the “perfect pvp build”. I had become too dps-centric, and even selected my pet based soley on the usefulness of it’s special ability on the battleground, without consideration of anything else. I had a freakin spider. I HATE spiders. I got creeped out every time the thing ran back to me.

    So after a year of various Survival specs, I just switched to your BM spec and then went out and tamed a lovely chimaera (my very first exotic pet). I then jumped into an AB and found myself shouting with pride and joy as my elegant beauty ate a warlock, then a priest, then yes, even a (albeit undergeared) paladin for lunch. I laughed and cheered, and oddly enough no longer cared all that much when I died… which by the way was less often than my previous builds. I had more fun in an hour than I have in months. THANK YOU for reminding me why I rolled a hunter in the first place.

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment Kioni. 🙂 Reading it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

      I’m glad you’re having some fun with the build, along with your awesome new pet! 😀

  4. My PvP *rotation* this term is used very lightly, is hunters mark while far away, MADBADASS! buffs macro, opened with serpsting, aimed, arcane, throw a freezeing arrow at healer/otherperson/s, throw down steadies (if dont have serpsting glyph for 10% more dmg, may aswell use scorpid on physicals to mess with thier hit, presuming they arent pve gear in which case they would be 8% – the 3% take them to pvp cap) then just blast them with aimed arcane tranq steadies while communicating with ma holy pally/ destro lock/ enhance shammy friend whatever he wants to play on.


  5. I’d Just like to say, I am the original BM PvE and PvP hunter on Aman’Thul horde side and this forum is pretty dandy, i have never been anything but BM (except lately been trying MM for 3v3 its meh im going back BM when i lvl my corehound pet, Skoll just wasn’t enough utility)
    Also that Cobra Strikes You MUST have as in most raid situations or pvp i have it procced 75% + amount of time thanks for around 50% crit (its really low i need get higher) as hunters not critting is horseshit dmg, we really needa be critting for what seems to be close to 200% dmg.
    Check me out
    My spec 2 is currently PvE, the MM will be back to BM im thinking by 8/9/2010 when corehound hits 80 and does proper damage to lvl 80 targets and that last talent point.

  6. Gar,
    Question, I have contemplated starting a 2v2 team.Currently I am specd SV and dealing out a fair amount of DPS in raids. I started specd BM and was told that it wasn’t the prefered raiding spec. My question is, what do you think of a BM hunter/rogue combo?


    • Stephen,

      Sorry I lagged so bad with my response to your question. 🙁

      As for Rogue BM, I think it could be a fun combo that might enjoy some success if you both are seasoned PvPers and coordinate well. It will really probably be contingent upon how good your Rogue is though. Rogues can be burned down pretty quickly without a healer, so you’d better plan your openers quickly and execute them well.

      if you can incapacitate one target long enough for you and your partner to go to work on the other, then I could see it being a fun combo. My suggestion though, try it out and see. Give it a few weeks, as the first 2 weeks of the season will typically be the toughest, that is until you get to the higher brackets.

      I’d suggest going with a lot of resilience and possibly a Battlemaster’s trinket. Until your Rogue’s popped, you’ll be public enemy number one. You’ll need to be able to survive long enough to drop at least one opponent. I’d suggest a Core Hound for your pet, since you’ll be needing all the burst you can get.

      I’m anxious to know how it works out if you should decide to try it. I’m one to mainly play with friends, regardless of class/spec. I’ve played a few seasons with an Arms Warrior partner, which is a somewhat similar comp. We made it to the 1800s, which was nothing to brag about, but at least we had some fun. 😀

  7. I just recently got into pvp last couple of months or so. I’ve been doing BM the whole time, recently decided to try MM, did very poorly, and decided instead to switch back to BM and try to improve my skill with it. Really appreciate the talent build definitely gonna try it out. Can you tell my what shot rotation you use as BM? I know I wasn’t doing it right before but didn’t really give it much thought till now. Do you use steady shot at all in BG’s? I completely ignored it so far as it seems the opportunities to use it are few and far between. Thanks for any suggestions.

  8. Hey Gar!
    Just went BM for the first time thanks to all of your posts praising it. This is my very first time playing the spec and i’m already having fun with my burninating machine 🙂

  9. Well, I do apologize for not taking something just by looking at your eyes. I will test it myself, however, since I am often facing Death Knights, Warriors and Paladins, I’m not too sure I want to drop the dodge unless the damage is a lot higher.

  10. It sounds pretty well on paper, but I’m not entirely convinced yet. With your crit chance (33%), lowered by the enemys resilience (-10%?), Cobra Reflexes has a chance of 23%*60%=13.8% to proc. That’s not a lot, roughly once every 42 seconds if you only use Arcane Shot.

    Kill Command however, also increase your pet’s critical chance by 20% during 3 special attacks.

    The basic question that I have for you is thus:

    how often are you able to use Steady Shot in arena’s?

    • Snoggi,

      Your response actually insinuates that it sounds good in theory, but doesn’t look good on paper. I’m not one to pore through calculations and spend a bunch of time theorycrafting, especially for PvP. Napkin math isn’t quite as relevant for PvP. Situations are ever changing and enemies’ resistance and reactions will never be the same.

      Having said that, I just try out ideas, and if they offer me more success then great. if not, i go back to the drawing board til I find something that does.

      3/3 Cobra Strikes works. The s**t procs a lot more than you’d be inclined to think.

      In BGs, I get quite a few steady shots off. CS procs like crazy. In arena, not as much. Still… I would estimate that I see at least 4-6 procs in a 45 second to 1 min match, where as before I’d get maybe one or two on average.

      It really boils down to where else to spend those points..? What else will give you the same value, if not more. For me, it’s been a noticeable DPS increase for me in both BGs and arena.

      If you’re BM speccced for PvP, why not try it for yourself and see if you agree?

  11. Dalaila,

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family. I seem to recall you mentioning before that you had a second baby on the way, but I’m not certain I’d known it was a boy. I am very happy for you and I wish you and your family all the best. Parenthood is an amazing thing, and not to be diluted by something as trivial as WoW.

    I’ve often thought about doing as you’ve done, but in the end I just always take a break, as I’m doing right now. I’ve played maybe but an hour over the past six days, and even then it was on my 37 hunter. I’ve not raided in nearly two weeks either. It’s far too easy to get sucked into the meaningless grind of it all, but it happens to everyone at some point or another.

    So, on one hand I’m somewhat saddened to know that Dalaila of Shadowsong EU is but a memory… However, on the other hand, I’m proud of you for making that decision and happy to know that you’ll have that much more time for things that are truly important.

    You take care of yourself and be sure to update me now and again. Instead of discussing adventures in Azeroth, let me know about life in Italy and your new baby boy. 🙂

    Warmest regards,


  12. Yo Gar,

    I wanted to step 10 seconds in your blog to give you a warm farwell. Tonight I closed my account and deleted everything. Every story comes to an end sooner or later… and now that I have more stuff to focus on (2nd little boy coming soon!) I want to be ready for my “job” well in advance. And WoW… was too dangerous for my free time, I guess!

    Let me thank you for your blog and you kindness. You’re a good guy. Give a hug to little Gar and Mrs Gar too ofc.

    Wish you the best for your future and a special /hug 🙂


  13. Hey Garwulf

    Have read all of your threads on the BM hunter pvp guides they are all great the core hound also worked out for me i play the same combo ATM we are at 1450-1500 range our gear is’nt as good as yours or your partner’s, but not far off.

    Was wondering if you could help me out by posting some strats for some combos that our combo really struggle with we plan to hit 1800 next season but we are stumped with Holy Paladin/DPS teams with the bubble and BOP we tryed forcing the bop then going back behind a pilar and healing up and waiting for bw but we counldnt quite outlast them long enough and we tryed the same on the pallys normal bubble.

    Some Resto Druid/DPS teams get is as well. We have most of the others under control but last night we were in a roll we both got hot streak then we faced a Feral druid/Disc Priest team and we could not land a kill onm either we faced them many times and they acounted for 6 or 7 of our loses. Also if its not to much to ask but just a general srat to how you face most Healer/dps teams and double dps teams.

    Many thanks, Ves

  14. Doli,

    I’m with ya on the votes for Chaimaera and worm. Chimaera is my all around fave, but the worm can be outstanding in certain BGs. Even though they lack the snare, they do at least have charge. They are so damn hard to kill too. I seldom have to worry about my worm, as long as I HoT him up now and again.

    I just wish I had another stable slot or two. My Core Hound took the place of my crab, which had been using my last available slot. Even though I seldom take them out of the kennel, I can’t bring myself to part with King Krush or Loque’nahak.

  15. I’m really feeling the BM PvP love here, and it warms my heart.

    While I don’t do arena at all, for anyone undecided as to what pet to go with for BGs, I just wanted to chime in and endorse the Chimaera. The snare is just devastating. That pet is a menace flying around out there, especially in Wintergrasp. Often times, I’ll just put her on aggressive and let her fly around eating Horde. Just stay in range of her and toss a heal now and then and you can pick your targets to pew pew and support your teammates. She’ll cause enough trouble on her own.

    A worm is great, too, although you will want to specifically sic him on plate-wearers to get the benefit of acid spit. It’s fun watching your shots rip through enemy plate like leather. Just be aware that if you suck at kiting like I do, you will miss the Chimaera’s snare when angry Hordies come after you.

  16. Although I’m not an arena man, I do love BG’s every now and then as a break from raiding and dailies… and I had been meaning to get that pet for a long time, and now I’m glad I have!

    BM is pretty much an all round killer in BG’s ( still have problems killing of them pesky healer types though), but after getting that pet, wow, its a face eater that one…
    Three rouges back to back all of them gunning for me hard… dead rouges. Hunter 3 rouges 0
    Two ret palas fancy a go, sure come into my house. Hunter 2 ret palas 0 ( this one I had a clothie healing me.. I’ll admit that much to a lesser class having a hand)
    but over all..its poetry in motion when you send that thing in on a clothie lol
    Thanks for reminding me about this pet, I had been using a nether ray up till now for that loverly caster silence it has.
    Now to go off and work on that 25k kills I need ^^

  17. Like the blog, keep up the good job!

    Was just wondering some things regarding pvp as BM (on a break from wow atm, so not in a position to try it myself):

    – Might a worm outperform the allmighty corehound for 3v3 arena? If I take a look at Twixz’ latest tournament matches (col Black vs col Red), he seems to blow up casters too fast for the Lava Breath’s mindnumbing effect to have a substantial effect. Furthermore, with the corehound they seem to have a hard time pressuring high armor targets, which limits their choice of target and switches.

    – BM is notoriously low on CC, was wondering if it is realistically speaking possible to pet charge focus into a freezing arrow? Would be a lovely way to shut up those whiners from other classes complaining about ‘BMfacerollolol’ 😛

    • Guero,

      I think a worm would be great for 3v3. I seldom do 3s, but if I were on a 3s or 5s team, I’d certainly try a worm. They’re much harder to take down, plus they’re really going to help against plate, especially if your partner(s) are melee dps. I’ve used a worm quite a bit in the past, and it’s arguably one of my favorite PvP pets.

      Running double dps 2s however, the added damage from having a ferocity pet is where it’s at.

      That is a damn good idea you have about the focus-charge-freezing arrow. I’ll have to try that. Thanks!

      • Nice, keep me updated on how that works out for you. Don’t know if you made one allready, but if you use something like the following macro, it might all be possible in one keypress:

        #showtooltip Freezing Arrow
        /petautocastoff [modifier:ctrl] Lava Breath
        /petautocastoff [modifier:ctrl] Dash
        /petautocastoff [modifier:ctrl] Rabid
        /petautocastoff [modifier:ctrl] Bite
        /petattack [modifier:ctrl,target=focus]
        /petautocaston [modifier:ctrl] Charge
        /cast [modifier:ctrl] !Freezing Arrow
        /cast !Freezing Arrow

        The macro simply casts Freezing Arrow if you regularly press/click the macro.

        If you press ctrl+macro though, it should first turn off all your petskills on autocast (since you might need the focus to perform the charge, plus Lava Breath might break the trap). I assumed you’ll have Lava Breath, Dash, Rabid and Bite on autocast, leave out a line where apropriate.
        After that (actually at the same time, but further down the lines in the macro :P) the pet is told to switch and attack your focus, since it might not have the focus or range yet to charge allready. Then your pet’s charge is put on autocast, so it should go off as soon as he has the focus and is in range.
        At the same time of all the previous crap your Freezing Arrow’s targeting circle should be up for you to easily trap the target as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t test this macro, so use at your own risk…

  18. I don’t think the joke is funny Gar… know how much gold I have spent respeccing cuz of you!? You’re a BM hunter….nope wait Survival Hunter…..oh wait back to BM again…oh not done yet ANOTHER BM spec! 😛 I kid but I’m going to check it out…I don’t know what to do tho….I’m running out of stable slots…actually I am out. Also I transfered my Shammy and Priest to the Horde side…and I love it…I can’t explain it it just seems more fun and we have cooler looking gear…now I am contemplating bringin my hunter over but can’t decide…Orc BM hunter seems the choice for me….but then I think about all those suckers me and Loq stealthed on in Arathi Basin with another NE hunter friend of mine and rogue buddy….shadowmeld + invisible pet = good times….any suggestions?

    • Knowing what I know now, I think horde should have been my chosen path. Maybe it’s partly because it’s something I’ve only just explored the past few months, but I honestly really identify with horde. With the exception of Gar. His identity is cemented and will never change (I’ve never even had a shave and a haircut) , but I could easily see myself playing the horde equivalents on all the rest of my toons.

      Horde have the best racials too. 😉 I wouldn’t fault you one bit if you wanted to switch to Orc. In fact, I endorse that decision. Orc is the best race for hunter.

      Also note, you could always switch back if you found you didn’t like playing horde side.

      • I think Orcs are hands down the best decision for BM hunters…you get the attack power buff plus the 5% pet damage buff…..I think I am going to do it. I haven’t had a chance to try the new spec out yet I have been extremely busy in the real world and my off time has been spent leveling my Orc enhance shaman. Which I have to be honest….it’s the most fun I have had on a toon since my hunter…feral spirits + shamanistic rage= pwnage. I wasted a 76 Hunter when I was 70…..I had to reincarnate to get him….then I logged over to my Hunter on the alliance side and recommended he check this site out he needed some help as a BM hunter.

        • LOL. That’s funny about you destroying a hunter 6 levels above you. Though, I must admit, Enh Shaman can be scary in arena when they blow all of their cooldowns.

          Now you make me want to create another alt that will probably never see 80. :-\

          Thanks for repping the site too btw. 😀

          • Yeah he needed some advice on playing a BM hunter I could tell by his gameplay he was still learning. And no problem about the site anytime hunters ask me questions even if I know the answers I still tell them to come here. ….maybe you should work out a finders fee program 😉

          • Oh and Enh Shammys don’t get fun until level 40…but from then on every time you train or put talent points in your tree it gets better and better….it’s the first toon I have had where I was actually counting down to get talents spent and spells to learn. Waaaaay fun.

  19. I haven’t played a BM PvP spec for quite some time now and have mostly been focused on SV and MM builds but I have to admit that your blog intrigued me… So 50g later I respec’d BM and dusted off my spirit beast, Atmajyoti, and began tirelessly ganking people in Arathi Basin and Wintergrasp and ended up in the top ranks of almost every battle and attributed this mainly to much better survivability and control. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was!
    I do have a question though…with MM and SV I had been including a dose of Spell Pen in my gemming to overcome magic absorbing classes. With maxing out Arcane Shot’s damage throughput are you using a similar strategy or relying on your physical shots as your staple death dealers?

    • Hi Antigorius,

      Well, since spell pen doesn’t translate to the pet, I’d never really thought too much about gemming for spell pen as BM. The idea has crossed my mind, but I feel that the extra AP (or agility in my case) and stamina are more beneficial, as those stats carry over to both the hunter and pet, plus they buff both dps and survivability. Getting the recommended 75 spell pen would result in me losing about 520HPs, .4 crit, 33AP, 73 armor, plus some dodge, as well as the loss of stats carried over to my pet (those stat numbers buffed by kings). Seems like a lot to give up for harder hitting arcane shots vs only certain classes.

      A BM Hunter’s Arcane Shot is not going to hit as hard as Explosive, so therefore the gain via spell pen may not be as worthwhile. It’s something for me to investigate though.

  20. So, while this isn’t quite on the topic of PVP, the examination of the Cobra Strikes talent is something I’m interested in. I’ve seen some PvE builds that recommend that the Cobra Strikes remains at 1/3, and some that suggest 3/3. The fact that 3/3 CS in your PVP build is making you happy and other people dead suggests that it may have applications for PVE as well.

    Please soak me with your deluge of wisdom 😀

    • Although not an expert on the topic myself, Mousie wrote up a good post about raiding as BM and had an informative discussion in there about 3/3 CS. In addition to whatever wisdom Gar lays on ya, check that post out as well.

    • Qonaan,

      It definitely has applications for PvE. CS increases the probability of pet crits and ensures that when they do crit, they crit back-to-back. That’s a huge DPS increase for BM.

      My knee-jerk reaction is to say that 1/3 is not enough for raiding, but I suppose the build that suggests 1/3 would have to be very gear dependent, as I’m assuming those 1-2 points are being spent in the MM tree. I suppose it’s possible that with a weapon like Zod’s and a nice crit rating, a BM Hunter may benefit from sacrificing points in there in order to buff ranged damage. Just a guess.

      Being that the Cobra Strikes procs can overwrite themselves, you could end up not getting full benefit from the talent if your crit rating is really high, or on low mobility fights where you’re able to spam steadies, thus receiving a huge number of procs. Those are my initial thoughts anyway. For the majority of raiding BM Hunters, I think 2-3 points would be necessary.

      My suggestion would be to do some tinkering at in order to see how point allocation in CS affects your DPS. Last I’d checked, the best possible DPS build for me included 3/5 Frenzy and 2/3 Cobra Strikes. However, that was with all of my agility packed SV gear on, including a better-than-average crit rating for BM.

      In short, I think the game’s at a point where gear plays a lot into how BM specs, especially now since hunter DPS was buffed backed in 3.2.2.

      I don’t spend too much time delving into end-game theorycrafting, as it’s unlikely that I’ll ever come close to BiS. I’m more of a “working man’s hunter”, so I typically try to maximize my DPS with my present gear in mind, giving little consideration for future upgrades. It’s possible that with ICC 25 loot, focusing more on the hunter dps may be the way to go for BM.

      That said, my assumption is that 3/5 Frenzy and 3/3 Cobra Strikes within a build such as this:, is probably what will yield the best DPS for most players.

  21. The only resilience gem to consider is the 20 resil one you get from WG, but I wouldn’t really suggest gemming for resilience. Throw together some furious/relentless pcs, trying to at least get the 2pc bonus. If you have a PvP helm and shoulders, then throw the WG enchants on them. Also, get the Platinum Discs of Battle from the WG quartermaster.

    Once you do those things, you should start to become fairly sturdy. if you use my armory as a template, you can probably put together a pretty good all-around gear set for PvP.

    You’ll notice I go with a little more stam than others do. I like having loads of health, plus the nice big Spirit Bond ticks. My pet likes it too. 😉

    Although I can burn targets with the best of them when my cooldowns are ready, I sort of gear for the last-man-standing approach.

    If you’re going to go with only one PvP pet, I’d suggest a Chimaera.

    • So would you say that blue sockets should get Solid gems or hybrid ones? Also, as an overall gemming question, should I be gemming my red sockets with straight AP and my yellows with hybrid AP gems? Finally, is there a hit cap for PvP (i.e. should I gem for it? =P)? Thanks, Gar.

      P.S. On my second trip into AB yesterday, I got the achievement for doing over 300k in a single BG. I know that its probably not a benchmark for a pure dps class, but man!……what a confidence boost. =P

      And my god, what a grind WG marks are when you play Alliance on a server that is CONSTANTLY outnumbered by the Horde in WG 3 or 4 to 1. Can’t expect everything to be handed to you, though. =P

      • lawman,

        I’d recommend the 20AP/15Stam for the blue sockets, 40AP in red, and 20AP/10Crit in yellow.

        PvP hit cap is 5% = 165 hit rating. You should be hit capped for PvP. Nothing worse than missing on a Conc Shot, Aimed Shot or Kill Shot.

        Grats on the AB damage dispensing.

        WG can be rough. I had to wait through about 5 battles over 2 days before I could get to the quartermaster on my server. Keep at it though, as the WG rewards are a great value.

  22. Hey Gar,

    You keep trying to get those of us who haven’t gone with a PvP spec to give in to the darkside and give it a whirl…..and I’m gonna nibble at the bait a bit. My questios are: 1) is your proposed spec only good for arena or is it viable in BGs and WG as well? and 2) Would you recommend core hound or chimera for BGs/WG?

    Due to my overdeveloped sense of guilt I doubt I will ever do 2v2 as I would blame myself for the losses. However, WG is growing on me and I’ve won a couple of really good PvP pieces off Koralon so I could probably gear myself to a “not embarrassed to be seen in my PvP gear” level. Your input is, as always, appreciated. =)

    P.S. I have a really good friend that is a ret pally and I think MAYBE I could get myself to do 2v2 with him because he’s not the kind of guy that would take it so seriously that I would really stress out/worry over my performance. Where would one go to read up on strategy for 2v2 fights? I know literally nothing about arenas and what I might encounter. Thanks again.

    • This spec works well for all types of PvP. Just consider picking up Improved Revive Pet if BGs are what you’ll mainly be using it for.

      I’d still go with a Chimaera for BGs. They’re great for slowing flag carriers and for kiting melee.

      If you do plan on trying arena, you should probably plan on getting your resilience up to a minimum of about 700. Hunters are nearly always the first kill target. 🙁

      My suggestion would be to try out a few skirmishes with your buddy, and just get a feel for things and the past face of arena play.

      The past few seasons I’ve mainly done double DPS 2v2. I like 2v2 because it’s so easy to just spend an hour or so queueing with a friend, as opposed to trying to coordinate a “proper” comp and schedule accordingly. That said, This is my second straight season playing with a Ret. Personally, I think it’s a great combo. I started the season as SV and did alright, but as soon as I went BM we started climbing a bit faster. I was happy about that, as I prefer BM over all for BGs.

      Tips for Ret/BM

      – Pick a kill target right out of the gate and have your Pally hammer their teammate.
      – Try to drop a freezing arrow/trap on the hammered target. If their trinket’s down they’re screwed, and if not, your trap will force it.
      – A lot of these matches are won or lost in the first 30 seconds, so you have to start to burn one of them down quickly. Getting a solid 2-4 seconds of CC right at the start is a good way to do just that.
      – vs healer/dps you’re typically going to go after the DPS first.
      – In the case of a healer/stealth (feral/rogue) get on the healer immediately. This will put you in combat, taking away the huge druid/rogue opener, as well as get the other team on their heels right away. Don’t let a stealthed team get a chance to set up on you. You have to go right at them and punch them in the throat.
      – Keep a flare up in the event there’s a stealthed enemy, and try to give your ret partner a Volley cover. This will help to interfere with a Rogue’s diabolical plans.
      – If the DPS target is getting too many heals, try to CC them and then chase after the healer. This is especially good vs Druid teams, because once the Druid gets either their partner or themselves all HoT’ed up, you have some time to beat the hell out of one of them without fear of too many big heals.
      – Make sure your Pally has his bubble hotkeyed and is able to get off a clutch heal now and again.
      – Most importantly, keep Aimed Shot up on your kill target at all times.

      Those are just a few things that come to mind. I’m planning on discussing things such as this in one of my subsuquent BM PvP posts.

      Hope this helps a little.

      • The info helps A LOT, Gar! Another question I have after reading your reply is “Should I gem for resiliance?” If so, is 700 the number where I can stop gemmig for it?

        As a follow up to the pet question, if I’m going to do both Arena and BGs/WG should I just tame 1 pet as a PvP pet and, if so, would you say chimera or core hound? I have all 4 spirit beasts so I’d REALLY like to keep them. I don’t mind ditchig my wolf if I’m going to focus more on PvP than PvE (and the bottom line is I really don’t raid in PvE outside of the weekly raid quest and the occasional trip into VoA), so I’d only like to have to tame one pet. If you think I should have one for each then at least I have an educated opinion to weigh.

        Thanks again for the input.


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