Getting Battle Ready as a Beast Master: BM Hunter PvP Talents and Glyphs

If you’re a frustrated hunter who’s tired of getting sand kicked in your face by other classes, then I offer you this…

For a slightly updated version of my BM PvP build, please refer to my Patch 4.2 version here.

The Beastly-Ass Beast Mastery Hunter Ass-Kicking Guide of Death

Part One: Talents and Glyphs

My goal with this guide is to offer up some advice for struggling hunters who just want to melt a few faces in BGs, and just generally kick a lot more ass than they are presently. It’s not intended to be a “how to reach a 2250 arena rating with your BM Hunter” sort of guide (if I could teach you that, then I’d have to charge). It’s just designed to enable you to hopefully have more fun in BGs than you’re probably having right now.

I’m a casual hardcore PvP’er who just likes to queue BGs a few times a week, win some BGs, nuke some horde, earn some honor and have a good time. That said, provided my mind’s in the game and I’m not distracted with testing out some UI setting or other nonsense, I can often times be a difference maker in a BG.

My play style is aggressive and slippery. I apply pressure when the time is right, but mostly I try to lock down opposing players, while avoiding CC and damage. I’m not a sit back and turret type of hunter… I try to keep active, be a nuisance, bring the pain when necessary, while staying alive long enough to kill the other guy(s).

I’m not an expert on the subject, but I’ve been in enough battles to know that I’m pretty decent. And as I mentioned… I have a lot of fun PvP’ing and killing bad guys, and I want you to have some fun with it too! πŸ˜€

Here… let me show ya how..! Let’s start with my build…

Oh yea… did I mention this a Beast Mastery PvP Guide..? OK, good… I was pretty sure I did. πŸ˜‰

Garwulf’s 31/0/10 BM PvP Build

My Beast Mastery Spec for Cataclysm

Let us examine my build, shall we..?

Beast Mastery Talents

  • Improved Kill Command (2/2) – 10% increased crit chance for Kill Command. Good stuff.
  • One With Nature (3/3) – Increased attack power in hawk & increased focus regen in fox. Excellent talent for any hunter PvP build.
  • Bestial Discipline (3/3) – Increased focus regen for your pet. A must-max.
  • Spirit Bond (2/2) – A nice passive heal for both you and your pet, plus it increases all healing effects on you and your pet by 10%.
  • Frenzy (3/3) – Increased pet attack speed = more DPS and spell interrupts.
  • Improved Mend Pet (1/2) – I put one point in here just for the chance to cleanse DoTs or CC off of my pet.
  • Cobra Strikes (3/3) – Causes your Arcane Shots to sometimes proc back-to-back pet crits.
  • Fervor (1/1) – A mandatory, tree-defining talent. Instant focus regen… oh yea!
  • Longevity (3/3) – Decreases the cooldowns on Bestial Wrath, The Beast Within, Intimidation andΒ all of your pet’s special abilities. Extremely good talent.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera (2/2) – Reduces the cooldowns on Disengage and Deterrence following any hostile attack. A staple talent for PvP.
  • Bestial Wrath (1/1) – Turns your pet into an unstoppable killing machine for 10 seconds. Yea… you should probably grab this one. πŸ˜‰
  • Ferocious Inspiration (1/1) – 3% increased damage for you, your pet and your entire team (provided they’re within 100yds). 1 point for 3% more damage for me and all my friends… sign me up!
  • Kindred Spirits (2/2) – Increases the focus pools for you and your pet. More focus = more win.
  • The Beast Within (1/1) – Using this ability increases our damage and reduces the focus cost of all our shots while under it’s effect. In other words, it turns you into big red hunterus deathicus for 10 seconds. It also breaks us out of CC when used, so it’s like having an extra PvP trinket!
  • Invigoration (2/2) – Causes your pet’s crits to instantly regen focus for you.
  • Beast Mastery (1/1) – Extra pet talents and access to the creme de la creme of Hunter PvP Pets… Spirit Beasts. Can’t be a Beast Master without this point. πŸ˜‰

You’ll notice that I skip over Focus Fire and Killing Spree. Here’s why…

In PvP, you really don’t want to swallow your pet’s Frenzy effect — ever. As a Beast Master, you want to make sure that your pet is always attacking as fast as possible for the increased damage, and for the more frequent spell interrupts. Focus Fire is great for PvE encounters, where sustained ranged DPS is important, but in the chaotic world of PvP it’s best left out.

Killing Streak is another talent that’s best saved for PvE BM builds. It’s great for those times when you need sustained pressure for long fights, i.e., raiding, but for PvP it blows.

Kill Command is a nice damage dealer vs squishies in PvP, but it generally falls behind Arcane Shot in my PvP attack priority because:

  1. It’s pure physical damage, which is mitigated by armor.
  2. My pet has to be in melee range in order to get the ability off.
  3. It costs 50% more focus than Arcane Shot.
  4. Arcane Shot can proc Cobra Strikes, which in turn causes Invigoration to proc.

But what really makes Killing Streak teh suck is the fact that…

  • The effect lasts for 9 seconds, yet Kill Command’s cooldown is 6 seconds – leaving only a 3 second window in which you can use the ability. If you don’t have a target when it procs -or- if you don’t have 35 focus when it’s available — you’re screwed.

Survival Talents

  • Hunter vs Wild (3/3) – A meat and potatoes talent, but one that allows us to live longer. 15% extra stamina helps keep us, and our pet, alive and bringing the pain.
  • Pathing (2/3) – Not really an essential talent for PvP, but it’s a better option than Improved Serpent Sting, plus it provides us with a little bit of added DPS and a teensy bit of focus regen. Also, most importantly… it allows us access to the next tier of talents. I go 3/3 in here because I’m a little OCD about partially filling out talents. πŸ˜‰ If you’re so inclined, you could borrow one point from here and stick it into either Trap Mastery, Point of No Escape or perhaps Go for the Throat, if you’re so inclined.
  • Survival Tactics (2/2) – I like this mainly for the reduced cooldown to Disengage, but it’s also nice for preventing your traps from being resisted. Since Spell Penetration has no effect on traps*, ST is a nice talent to help ensure the success of our traps. *Update: In patch 4.2 Spell Penetration will affect spell resists vs. our traps. Hooray!
  • Entrapment (2/2) – Entrapment causes our Ice and Snake Traps to snare all afflicted targets for up to four seconds. This talent flat-out rocks.

No MM talents..? Why..?

Update: 07/09/11 – Patch 4.2 corrected an issue that was causing pet focus to mysteriously replenish. Due to this, I’ve updated my build slightly. Please refer to this post for my Patch 4.2 BM PvP build.

Some of you may be wondering why I choose to dive into the SV tree rather than the MM tree for the pet-related talents. One reason is because I prefer the added survivability and control that I gain by way of the SV talents. Survival Tactics and Entrapment are the main reasons I spec into SV. Having the four second root enabled for Ice Trap and Snake Trap is just beautiful, not to mention my Disengage cooldown is only 16 seconds (combined with the Glyph of Disengage) — 12 seconds after a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera proc! πŸ˜€

The main benefit from going MM is so that your pet is more economical with its focus, by way of Go for the Throat and Sic ‘Em. It sounds good in theory, but I seldom see my pet focus starved. Bestial Discipline and Kindred Spirits provide my pet with enough of a continuous focus pool to do everything it needs to in terms of DPS pressure and utility.

Those of you who doubt me, or are perhaps curious about this — just test it and see. Drop the points from GftT and Sic ‘Em, then go BG’ing… if you notice your pet becoming focus starved often, then respec and retalent GftT and Sic’m Em. If not, then you may find them more beneficial in the SV tree, as I do.

For this purpose, I made a handy Power Aura that flashes – letting me know if my pet dips below 30% focus (33 focus). This aura very seldom comes up. Even when it does, I can typically still get off every ability anyway, apart from Dash, which requires just a hair over 30% at 35 focus, and I pretty much never see my pet miss a Claw opportunity due to insufficient focus.

Here’s the aura if you want to try it:

Version:4.20; b:0; anim1:2; g:0; icon:ability_hunter_mastermarksman; beginSpin:true; begin:2; x:-297; unitn:PlayerPet; bufftype:10; texture:29; speed:2; PowerType:2; threshold:30; size:0.5; optunitn:true; y:-205; texmode:2; finish:3

I have it configured to flash big and red right next to mine and my pet’s unit frames, so it’s easy to spot. It’s mainly for testing purposes so configure it however it works best for you — just make sure you can monitor it easily.

Well that’s how I’ve got myself talented. Now onto my glyphs…

My Beast Mastery PvP Glyphs

Glyph choices play a pretty important part in crafting a PvP build. Here are the glyphs I am using:

Cataclysm BM PvP Glyphs

Prime BM PvP Glyphs

  • Glyph of Arcane Shot – 12% more damage to Arcane Shot. A no-brainer.
  • Glyph of Kill Command – Not an amazing glyph, but it’s a good option here. It reduces the focus cost of Kill Command.
  • Glyph of Kill Shot – This is a fantastic glyph for killing power. If your target survives your Kill Shot, then the cooldown is automatically reset, allowing you to fire another right afterward. πŸ˜€

Major BM PvP Glyphs

  • Glyph of Bestial Wrath – Together with Longevity, this glyph will reduce your Bestial Wrath / Beast Within cooldown to 1 min, 10 secs. Bestial Wrath is our defining ability, so the shorter the cooldown the better.
  • Glyph of Deterrence – I like this glyph because it works nicely with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera – reducing my Deterrence cooldown to 1 min, 42 secs, down from 2 minutes. Doesn’t seem like much, but that 18 seconds can make a huge difference.
  • Glyph of Disengage – I go with this glyph for the same reasons mentioned above. Combined with CT, HC + Survival Tactics, this glyph allows me to have one of my key escape abilities available every 12 seconds. πŸ™‚

Minor BM PvP Glyphs

  • Glyph of Feign Death – Reduces the cooldown of Feign Death by 5 seconds. Feign Death is a nice survival tool in PvP — a 5 second shorter cooldown for a minor slot is a real bargain. This one’s a must-have.
  • Glyph of Revive Pet – Eliminates pushback from attacks that could interrupt your channeling of Revive Pet. Obviously, a good choice for PvP.
  • Glyph of Scare Beast – Works in much the same way as the Revive Pet glyph, but only provides 75% defense against pushback. Makes it easier to get off fears vs Feral druids and other hunter pets.

Alright folks, well that about wraps up my first installment of The Beastly-Ass Beast Mastery Hunter Ass-Kicking Guide of Death — Part One: Talents and Glyphs.

For more PvP Hunter infos, please visit these helpful posts…

11 thoughts on “Getting Battle Ready as a Beast Master: BM Hunter PvP Talents and Glyphs”

  1. In your explanation of the Longevity talent you listed it “Decreases the cooldowns on all of your pet’s special abilities. Extremely good talent.”

    You forgot to mention that Bestial Wrath and Intimidation is ALSO included on having their cooldowns lower. πŸ˜›

  2. Gar, Can you please explain to a fairly novice pvp hunter why you bother with feign death. I’m sort of guessing to throw enemy hunter and warlock pets off our trail, but surely all the other non-pet classes won’t fall for playing possum? I can understand having the skill available, but can’t understand why you use the glyph for such a small piece of survivability. Is it purely thre is no better option?



      • Does that really work for you? I’ve feigned and continued to get targeted. The pvpers in my guild laugh at hunters that do that. I have to wonder how often it works for you. I’ve never noticed it interrupting a spellcast.

  3. well it says in patch notes in 4.2 Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended so their wouldnt be a need for survival tactics??? and im guessing it would be better to spec into point of no escape or trap mastery??

  4. Yay for the guide! πŸ™‚

    I have a question about pet. Is it worth putting your pet in prowl in a BG/arena? I figure if they see you anyway, they’re gonna know your pet’s somewhere too. And I don’t like the speed reduction.

    • Honestly the speed reduction IS a pain but if recall correctly the first attack gets a bonus in prowl, if you are base guarding in camo mode, that may be a nice opener followed by kill command. Just my thoughts bro.


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