This is the thread for Beastmaster hunter discussion for Mists of Pandaria, places marked as TBD are to be done.
This post relies heavily on information generally available, where such information was discovered or is available elsewhere I make no claim of credit for it. For the basics such as rating values, I have used the MoP FAQ on Elitist Jerks as done by Rivkah/Zeherah
=Abilities and usage=
Kill Command (KC)
Our primary nuke ability. You want to use this as often as possible.
Serpent Sting (SrS)
Since Cobra Shot extends this, you will only have to apply it once per target in most cases. It has low DPS but a very high DPCT (theoretically infinite, with cobra shot refreshing it).
Arcane Shot (AS)
This is focus dump ability. No cooldown, 20 focus. Arcane shot is our primary dump ability, and as we gain focus regen we will shift damage from CoS to AS
Cobra Shot (CoS)
Always use this in place of Steady Shot. Generates 14 focus and extends Serpent Sting by 6 seconds.
Hunter's Mark (HM)
5% bonus ranged damage on the target, apply this before combat if possible. Applied/refreshed automatically with Kill Command and Arcane Shot.
Multi Shot (MS)
Our main AoE ability, hits all targets within 8 yards of the target, and activates Beast Cleave for 4 seconds..
Explosive Trap (ExT)
It ticks every 2 seconds, 10 times total for AoE fire damage. (unverified)
Kill Shot (KS)
Our execute range shot, does 420% weapon damage and has the old glyph baked in, so it resets the CD if it doesn't kill the target (ICD 6 seconds).
With 5.1 Aspect of the Fox was removed adn CoS while moving was made baseline, which leaves us with Aspect of the Hawk, Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the pack.
For PVE Aspect of the Hawk provides 15% additional AP and should be the only aspect that you use consistently. Cheetah and Pack have som situational uses, but due to the "dazed when hit" effect (or losing it when hit with the glyph), these are not useful outside of niche situations.
Our shortest length "big" cooldown, it lasts for 10 seconds and has a 1 minute cooldown. The primary benefit of Bestial Wrath is that it reduces the focus cost of all our focus costing abilities by 50%. In addition it increases the pets damage done by 20% and hunters damage done by 10% for the duration.
You should pair up BW and Rapid Fire for increased focusregen for the pet (as long as our pets are focusstarved) whenever possible.
During BW you want to continue your normal priority, including keeping up SrS via CoS. Capping focus during BW is not a dps loss in and of itself, only if you could have converted that focus to more or better damage. Avoiding capping during BW by ot using CoS to keep up SrS costs you more than 1 AS after BW is done, and teh difference between AS and CoS is not large enough for that to be a gain.
Stampede is our long, big, cooldown. It summons all 5 pets you have ready to summon. Stampede pets work exactly like normal pets except they can't proc frenzy or invigoration, and do not benefit from Go for the Throat procs. Your summoned pets have all their abilities set as if you had summoned them yourself individually. Make sure your pets have Rabid and their specials and basic attacks on autocast, make sure they have growl off autocast and make sure they are ferocity specced.
Due to the Stampede pets working like normal, including focus use, you will ideally want to have them out while under focus regeneration effects like Rapid Fire and Focus Fire.
Stampede pets update stats dynamically, so whether you use Stampede before or after shortterm buffs are applied doesn't matter (in theory - how fast they update very likely depends on a few different factors, latency being chief amongst them)
==Frenzy / Focus Fire==
Our pets have a 40% chance on each Basic Attack (claw, bite etc) to gain a stack of Frenzy. Frenzy stacks on us, but affects the pet, and grants 4% increased attack speed for the pet, and stacks to 5 for a total of 20% increased attack speed for the pet. Frenzy lasts 30 seconds.
Focus Fire is a personal haste boost that lasts 20 seconds and consumes all frenzy stacks. We gain 6% haste per stack of frenzy consumed for 30% total when at 5 stacks, including increased focus regeneration for us and our pet. The pet gains 6 focus per frenzy stack consumed immediately.
Focus Fire should be used when we have 5 stacks of Frenzy, preferably just before a BW if one is coming up, for the immediate focus boost to the pet, as well as the increased focus regen during BW.
Focus Fire is on the GCD so it is important to note that you will sometimes delay it to avoid delaying KC, and then casting it right after KC. When casting immediately after a KC in a cycle with 2 CoS, FF is in essence free, as the increased casting speed will let you shave off around half a second from a CoS, so you can cast FF and 2 CoS in the same time as you can normally cast 2 CoS.
A 3 minute cooldown that increases our ranged attack speed by 40% for 15 seconds. RF also increses focus regen while active. Rapid Fire does not change the priority of our shots, so follow the normal priority. As haste is not very good for us RF is not a major DPS cooldown, and the primary benefit (apart from faster autoshots) is the increased focus regen for both us and our pet. For this reason RF should be used during or just before BW and/or Stampede. Macroing RF with BW will likely be optimal and will give us RF every 3rd BW (excluding the extra BW+RF every 5 minutes from Readiness)
Readiness, previously a MM talent, is now baseline. Readiness is a 5 minute CD resets all our CDs under 5 minutes (thus excluding Stampede). Readiness should be used as often as possible with the most gain possible. In practice this means that we will want to use Readiness right after the first BW, RF, Stampede combination, with KC and our T90, T75 and T60 on CD (more on this in the priority section), so we get 2 full BWs right after eachother, a nota bene here is that we will want to get off at least one, maybe 2 CoS between, regardless of whether we have enough focus, to keep up SrS in between.
==Ancient Hysteria / Bloodlust==
Ancient Hysteria / Bloodlust / Heroism / Time Warp.
As BM hunters we can provide this otherwise external haste buff by bringing a Core Hound. Ancient Hysteria (or one of the other names) buffs the haste of the entire party or raid by 30% for 40 seconds. Under AH maintain your regular priority, as above under RF.
Talents are noted elsewhere in this guide by their level of availability folling a capital T (thus T90 for the level 90 talent for example)
T15, T30 and T45 are not talents that affect dps, and for a raiding hunter you can take whatever you prefer or what is needed.
The main benefit of fervor is focus on demand, as well as increased focus regeneration for both you and the pet over 10 seconds. On a 30 second Cooldown fervor provides a 1/3 uptime on the additional focus regen averaging out to 1.67 fps for the increased regen, and another 1.67 fps for the instant shot of focus, provided you gain it all - both numbers are for both you and the pet.
Like fervor DB is on a 30 second cooldown and has the summoned beast up for 15 seconds, or a 50% uptime if used on CD. DB generates focus through attacking, so it will be less beneficial under the hit and expertise caps as it is counted as a pet. That DB is counted as a pet also means that it benefits from mastery, so in addition to generating focus it does increasing damage with more mastery.
Thrill of the Hunt
TotH, unlike the other 2 talents on this tier, does not generate focus, it merely preserves it. Binomial distribution shows that it will, on average, proc every second focus costing shot, giving you 3 free AS or 3 discounted Multishots. Using the proc on MS, which costs focus, means that you will on average see TotH reproc from a discounted shot, making TotH a very good choice for AoE heavy fights. The free AS on a singletarget, however, are not powerful enough (at T14 preraid, normal and heroic gearlevels) to outshine Fervor or DB. TotH is "the aoe talent" because it allows you to use a lot of MS, triggering Beast Cleave. TotH also has the benefit that doesn't show in sims, of having an instant medium hitter available at most times, for killing "small" adds quickly.
The talent tier is all about focus generation or focus use reduction.
The "best" choice for most situations will be Dire Beast, and the "best" choice for heavy aoe fights will be TotH.
A Murder of Crows
A 2 minute CD "dot" lasting 30 seconds, with an execute CD of 60 seconds. MoC is not considered a pet mechanically, but does benefit from mastery. The major drawback is that it cannot be up twice, so while you get 1 more MoC with readiness, you delay all subsequent MoC by 30 seconds.
One instant pet attack at 600% damage on a 20 second cooldown.
Nine pet attacks over 4 seconds at 200% damage each on a 1.5 minute CD. LR can (will) hit multiple targets, unlike the other 2 options, but will still have full benefit on a single target fight. If you use LR, macroing Rabid into LR will be a very slight loss of Rabid uptime (6.7%) but with a significant increase to LR damage everytime.
This tier is pet-centric, and what you go with will vary on a number of factors, at this tier I suggest you sim it for yourself in your specific gear and at your fight length.
The different cooldowns play a large role in what will sim out as the best. Of the 2 LR is actually better than BS, despite simple math saying otherwise; over 1.5 minutes you can use 4 BS and 1 LR, meaning simple math will take BS to 2,400% of a pets autoattack. LR will have 1,800% of a pets autoattack damage over the same amount of time. Readiness favors longer CDs so in the first 1.5 minutes of a fight LR will be at 3,600% and BS will be at 3,000%. Thiss relative number varies over the course of a fightlength of course, but BS has the additional downside of costing 5 GCDs for every 1 LR (ignoring Readiness), meaning that the no-readiness numbers where BS is ahead by 600% pet autoattack damage, has to be tempered by 4 GCDs worth of other shots (AS or CoS), which makes LR the winner from an opportunity cost perspective as well.
A 15 second cooldown, instant "corridor" AoE attack, costing 15 focus that has significantly higher DPF than AS on the primary target.
A 1 minute cooldown, 3 second casttime "corridor" AoE shot, with knockback effect.
A 30 second cooldown, 3 second channeld AoE "corridor" attack
Of these the one to use in a singletarget environment is by default Glaive Toss, as it is instant and fits in to the 6 second cycle very effecianetly. It is also the highest damage ability of the three on a singletarget fight. For AoE heavy fights, Barrage will more likely be the best choice.
Overall Glyphs are a much more individual selection now than previously. Therfore I wont go through all the glyphs available, just list some of the ones that either I find interesting and useful to mention, or which have recieved attention in the guide thread or comments.
- Increases all healing done to you and your pet by 10%. Useful in fights where there is periodic damage that needs to be healed through, especially in combination with the T45 Aspect of the Iron Hawk, which reduces damage taken.
- Makes BW a survivability cooldown for your pet in case you find yourself in a fight where your pet t akes a lot of damage - losing the pet is a major dps loss for us.
- In any fight thats over 5 minutes in length and on add switch fights, this glyph is invaluable as it frees you up from applying HM manually - at the cost of the first AS or KC (should be AS) being slightly less damage - but still more damage than applying HM manually would be.
- In any fight that applies a debuff to your pet that can be cleansed with this glyph (like Heigan did in Naxx), this should be active, freeing up healers from having to cleanse your pet.
- If you don't need to MD to your tanks, this will keep you almost off the aggro table at the cost of upping your pet, pro is that you can res your pet without costing a combat res, con is that you pet may die, hampering your dps immensely.
- In any fight where you need to do offenssive dispelling, this will make sure you aren't waiting for focus, and the 10 second CD is not a problem for any pve fight, as other offensive dispells also have a cd.
- This is mandatory for that situation where your pet actually dies, the more pushback you suffer, the more dps you lose.
- This glyph lets you keep tenacity and cunning pets, and pets with growl on in your call pet bar, without it adversely affecting your stampede. This glyph is a good glyph for keeping growling pets and pets with tenacity or cunning specs on hand.
=Rotation / Priority=
Priority queue for BM is:
The talents may shift around a bit dependant on specific choice, and with 9 combinations of talents from those 3 levels, you will have to sim for yourself whether putting one ahead of the other is a worthwhile dps gain. I am making the assumption of L90 being Glaive Toss and L60 being Dire Beast for most, in which case the above is correct.
Now unlike previously we are actually in a position of being able to approximate a rotation this time around. Namely in a 6 second cycle we have a few permutations of what to do.
At 0 haste they look like this outside of BW+RF.
1) KC, CoS, 3xInstants
2) KC, 2xCoS, 1xInstant
These 2 are the base, looking at focus fire we get the following additions:
3) KC, Focus Fire, 2xCoS, 1xInstant
4) KC, 2xCoS, 2xInstant
All cycles can be completed in any order (apart from KC being either first or last, depending on how you look at it), except cycle number 3, since using a full focus fire speeds up the CoS enough to have 2xCoS and 2xinstants, but only if FF is used before the CoS in the cycle - I suggest that FF be used immediately following KC.
The above cycles are listed at 0 haste. The reason for this is that the breakpoints in haste, where they allow us to "do more" in a 6 second cycle is respectively 33% and 100% haste in the non FF cycles, and 3% and 70% in the FF hasted cycles. There is a benefit of the first ~3% haste which we probably can't shed anyway, as they make the cycle tighter if we don't have the 10% attack speed buff - if we do have the 10% attack speed buff, we just have a bit of room in the rotation - but not enough to cast another shot.
Pets are a major source of damage for BM hunters. They inherit 50% of the hunter's hit and expertise for their hit percent, and 50% of the hunter's hit and expertise for their expertise. If you are hit and expertisecapped, so will the pet be. If you are over the cap on one of the stats and under the cap on the other by the same amount, the pet will also be hit and expertise capped, but you will not.
Pets also inherit 100% RAP, haste and crit. Pets do not inherit haste that is specifically termed "ranged haste" or "ranged attackspeed", like Rapid Fire.
A new thing in MoP is that all pets can be all 3 specs - ferocity, tenacity and cunning. This is a significant quality of life change for especially BM hunters, as some of the pets to bring major buffs used to not be ferocity, meaning we took a damage hit for bringing the major buff - this is no longer the case.
Make sure that the pets you carry are all specced ferocity for stampede - see Stampede for more information on that.
[Different pet specs tbd]
Multi-Shot is our base AoE tool.
Multishot costs 40 focus and also activates Beast Cleave for 4 seconds, which makes our pets melee attacks strike all other nearby enemy targets for 50%, thus letting our pet aoe as well
As BM we can couple Multishot with BW and fire them off at a cost of 20 focus, giving us 6 Multi-Shots back to back (or more if talented for TotH).
==Chimaera / Worm==
Beast Mastery hunters can bring exotic pets, and in AoE situations this means we can increase our damage by bringing a Worm or a Chimaera.
It is important to note that while the Worm does its burrowing attack it is underground and has no threat.
The Worm can channel an AoE attack called Burrow Attack. When this is used the pet burrows underground for 8 seconds dealing damage every second. Burrow Attack is on a 20 second cooldown. [damage tbd]
The Chimaera also gets a channled AoE attack, Froststorm Breath. Froststorm Breath, unlike Burrow Attack, does not have a cooldown. [damage tbd]
==Relative stat values==
Agility is our main stat and grants 2 AP per 1 agility. Agility also gives a small bit of crit chance (1% crit per 1259.518 agility)
Ranged attacks have a 7.5% chance to miss against mobs 3 levels higher than us. We need 340 rating for every 1% to hit, so to be hit capped we need a total of 2550 hit rating.
As something new in MoP ranged attacks have a 7.5% chance to be dodged by mobs 3 levels higher than us. We need 340 rating for every 1% to expertise, so to be expertise capped we need a total of 2550 hit rating.
Hit and Expertise cap
As noted under pets, our pets now inherit hit and expertise from our hit and expertise ratings, however they do not inherit it 100% from each. Instead pets inherit 50% of our expertise and 50% of our hit for each stat, so to be hitcapped for the pet, we need 5100 rating total between the 2 stats. Naturally it is ideal to be at 2550 in each, but if we are unable to cap one of the stats, being slightly over the cap on the other is still 50% beneficial and not a complete waste as previously. So it is now definately better to be slightly over rather than slightly under the caps.
Raw attack power is rare, but still exists for some enchants.
Almost all abilities crit for 200% damage, or 206% damage with a [insert meta].
Mastery affects all damage done by our pet, including Kill Command. Mastery has undergone a slight change, as it is no longer visibly converted from rating to mastery to mastery effect, but jkust straight from mastery rating to effect. Behind the scenes, mastery is still coverted through both steps, and we need 600 mastery rating for 1 mastery. Each point of mastery (which we don't see) increases pet damage by 2%.
Haste affects both the speed of your shots (cobra and auto) and your rate of focus regeneration. You need 425 haste rating to get 1% haste. Haste effects generally scale multiplicatively. If you have 32% haste from gear and Rapid Fire, a base casting time of X would now be X/1.32/1.4. Procs that increase haste rating will stack additively with your total haste rating value (32% in this example). Focus regeneration is a base of 4 focus per second scaling multiplicatively with haste; i.e. 30% haste would be 4*1.3=5.2 fps. You will likely not see a huge increase in focus regen from upgrading gear.
Haste does have a non negligable effect on the smoothness of the rotation, and may be subjectively better than mastery or crit, even though simming hasn't shown it to be worth it.
Despite what simulation tools say, haste is not a very attractive stat over what we cannot avoid from gear. "Faux reforging" over several valus of secondary stats between haste, crit and mastery show that;
- mastery and crit have a very high synergy
- haste and crit have an okay synergy, though not as good as the one between mastery and crit
- haste and mastery diminish eachother - in all cases it would be better to go either full haste or full mastery, with full mastery being significantly better within the observed min/max
In addition I also found that
- mastery and crit are very close together in value
- mastery will be better then crit at more intervals than vice versa
- a balance of mastery and crit shows better results than going purely for one or the other
- while haste may show slightly better results at specific increases, it also does so at specific decreases, and shows loss just before and just after these points - this can only be due to dead time or shot shifting.
- haste will, apart from the specific shot shifting points, be a loss over mastery or crit at all other tested points
This leads to a valuation of:
Agi>hit==exp (to cap)>>mastery>~crit>>haste
Nota Bene; With RPPM trinkets from T15 there seems to be an increased value to haste, due to it's interaction with increased procs. This is especially prevalent with which voids the hasterating while procced turning it to crit or mastery (depending on which is the greatest). This is not a direct DPS contribution from haste, but it is real none the less.
I have not independently verified this interaction, but it is logical and reportedd by several others, so I see no reason to not make a note of it at this time.
The greater value of secondary stats means that picking up a socketbonus at a slight agi loss for hit (exp competes directly against agi) will be an overall gain.
Also picking up a socket bonus with a mastery or crit hybrid will be a gain over some small agi losses, due to the doubled value of secondary stats on gems for mastery and crit a cautious estimation would be that thegain of 160 secondary stat points are worth the loss of up to ~50 agi total, for a socket bonus of 30+ agility or 80+ crit or mastery.
Thats right, the budget on gems means that socket bonus of 30+ agi or 80+ crit or mastery rating is worth using 1 hybrid gem.
If you need 2 hybrid gems the socket bonus has to be 55+ agility or 195+ crit or mastery rating.
This leads to the following gems being what we want:
Where the Yellow and Blue sockets follow the above for socket boni - alternately you can find your own by taking your specific valuation of crit and mastery and checking against your agility value.
First to note, head enchants are gone for good.
Wrist: Fur Lining - Agility or
A note on credit;
This guide relies heavily on information generally available, where such information was discovered or is available elsewhere I make no claim of credit for it. For the basics such as rating values, I have used the MoP FAQ as done by Rivkah/Zeherah.
The work here can be freely used provided a reference (link to this thread) and proper accreditation is given and I have not made this guide available the same place myself.
I don't mind the work being used, I do mind when others take credit for the work.