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[MoP] Beastmastery 5.4


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#1 Effinhunter

Effinhunter

    Don Flamenco

  • • Guide Author
  • 281 posts

Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:24 AM


 

Contents

Intro


Welcome to the Beastmastery guide for Hunters. This guide covers the basics of Beastmastery and gearing for raiding in Mists of Pandaria. If you find any errors in this guide, broken links, or items you feel have been omitted that would help to understand the class please PM me. Please leave the thread for discussion.

Please have patience with me as I fill in and edit the sections. If you have suggestions, please contact me via the PM system or by replying to this thread. The information presented here is offered in good faith, and constructive criticism concerning how to improve this guide is greatly appreciated.

Abbreviations


The following are common abbreviations used by hunters on forums such as EJ, MMO-Champion, and others. Understanding what these abbreviations and acronyms mean will probably help you look like less of a dork when communicating about the Hunter class.

AbbrevExpanded term
AotHAspect of the Hawk
AotIHAspect of the Iron Hawk
ASArcane Shot
BarrBarrage
BiSBest in Slot
BWBeastial Wrath
CoSCobra Shot
CTCrouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
DBDire Beast
ETExplosive Trap
FFFocus Fire
GftTGo For the Throat
GTGlaive Toss
KCKill Command
KSKill Shot
MSMulti-shot
RFRapid Fire
RPPMReal Procs Per Minute
SiSSilencing Shot
TotHThrill of the Hunt

Changes of Note


New in 5.4.2


Aspect of the Hawk has received a buff from 25% to 35%, to try to compensate for hunter dps. You can read the entire hotfix here.

Hunters should expect a 5-7% buff across the specs with this change.

New in 5.4


There were many changes in 5.4. I've itemized the list of changes to BM in this post. However, the following is a summary of major changes.

1.) RPPM nerf which especially hit trinket procs hard (tens of thousands of dps loss from Live to PTR). The development team did not want us "double-dipping" with haste.
2.) Removal of Readiness (significant dps loss)
3.) Damage compensation in the form of buffs to AMoC (40% buff), LR (30% buff), Kill Command.
4.) Nerf to AotIH (15% damage to 10% damage reduction)
5.) Buff to Spirit Bond (2% per 3s heal to 3% per 3s heal)
6.) Nerf to Explosive Trap (30% damage nerf)
7.) Deterrence is now on a charge system. As of current PTR build, this system is in a state of flux and results in a nerf to Deterrence (fewer Deterrences per raid boss).
8.) Stampede damage increase to bring it back to pre-nerf levels of damage for a 5 minute cooldown.

The other changes were mostly cosmetic or slight changes to quality-of-life.


June 6th Hotfix


Buffs:
10% damage increase for Arcane Shot, Cobra Shot, and Steady Shot

Nerfs:
Stampede pets no longer cast Basic Attacks.

Other Notable Changes
Blink Strikes has a minimum range of 10y for teleport and a teleport cooldown of 20s

New in 5.3


BM received three buffs this patch.
  1. Blink Strikes is now a passive ability that teleports the pet behind the target after a Basic Attack (Claw/Bite/etc.) and does increased damage
  2. Aspect of the Hawk and Aspect of the Iron Hawk now increase Ranged Attack Power by 25% instead of 15%
  3. Beast Cleave, the ability that is triggered by Multi-shot, has been increased to 75% pet damage instead of 50%

The result of these changes is that BM is an incredibly strong spec that is doing roughly 11k more dps than SV on single target. It will also compete and even beat SV on AoE damage because Beast Cleave is very powerful now.


Talents and Glyphs


Level 15 Talents


Posthaste > Crouching Tiger > Narrow Escape

Posthaste is useful for gaining speed bursts on bosses like Ji'kun, Lei Shen, etc., usually to get better positioning for boss mechanics. It can also remove movement impairing effects like Sandtraps on ToT Council. Crouching Tiger is useful when boss mechanics line up in a 60s window and you wish to aid your healers (e.g. H Jin'rokh ionization, Megaera rampages, Lei Shen Static Charge). Narrow Escape could theoretically be useful for kiting, e.g. bats on H Tortos, but allowing a group of enemies within 8 yards is generally discouraged. None of these talents should affect dps, are situational and come down to preference. The relationship above is an expression of which talent choice you will find the most useful the majority of the boss fights in ToT raiding.


Level 30 Talents


Binding Shot >= Intimidation == Wyvern Sting

Silencing shot has been removed from the talent choice and is now only available for Marksmanship hunters. Wyvern sting and Intimidation can be situational for mobs that can be put to sleep or stunned (highly situational). None of these talents should affect dps and are situational. Binding shot can be useful for add phases that require a stun for mobile adds. Because it has AoE implications, it is recommended over the other talent choices.


Level 45 Talents


Aspect of the Iron Hawk (AotH) > Spirit Bond > Exhilaration

Aspect of the Iron Hawk reduces all damage taken by 10% (5.4 nerfed this from 15%) and is very helpful in reducing healing needed from raid healers. Exhilaration is typically better when the raid rarely takes damage or you expect small bursts of damage every 2 minutes. Spirit Bond is useful for soloing and leveling, and has been buffed in 5.4. None of these talents should affect dps (other than from the increased possibility of you dying to raid damage as you go rightward on the list).


Level 60 Talents


Dire Beast (DB) > Thrill of the Hunt (TotH) > Fervor

Dire Beast provides focus return and extra damage (extra summoned pet dps). The Dire Beast counts as a pet, so you’ll want to be hit and expertise capped at 7.5% to take full advantage of the talent. Even with this cap, Dire Beast can still get stuck like any other pet and will not benefit from Blink Strikes, so the inaction can actually occur for the entire duration of the DB call until it despawns. Due to the increased cost of Arcane Shot, TotH now outperforms Fervor significantly in simulations.

The dps difference in 5.4 BiS appears to be DB > TotH (-4k dps) > Fervor (-11k dps), when reforged crit >= haste > mastery.

AbilityFocus GeneratedAdditional Damage
Dire Beast50-55 (10-11 attacks)10-11 attacks by the summoned beast (200-240k damage)
Fervor50 instantly and 50 more over 10s~3 AS and 2 extra Bite/Claw from pet

Others have looked into FD and Simcraft results and have noted that the simulators are currently overestimating the number of attacks DB is actually resulting in (specifically 12 instead of 11 or 10) and this is overvaluing DB. Consequently, we note that they are equal, but for end game hunters, Fervor may actually be better for smoothing the rotation, providing high focus, and taking advantage of better weapon damage as you gear up.

For people using AMoC, you may find using Fervor more fluid and natural in order to gain enough focus to spend on AMoC.

Level 75 Talents


Blink Strikes (BS) > A Murder of Crows (AMoC) > Lynx Rush (LR)

With 5.3, Blink Strikes is now a passive that increases pet damage on Basic Attacks (claw, bite, etc.) and this simplifies our priority list and removes the need to save up focus for a significantly high-focus cost ability like AMoC. AMoC has been buffed in 5.4 to slightly beat BS (tends to be less than 1k dps theoretical top-end dps in most profiles). Lynx Rush is currently not more powerful than either of these. It is highly recommended that BM hunters use BS or AMoC.

Level 90 Talents


Single Target: Glaive Toss > Barrage > Powershot

AoE Targets: Barrage > Powershot > Glaive Toss

Glaive Toss currently does more single target dps than either alternative. Barrage does excellent AoE burst on situations with 4+ mobs and pairs well with Beast Cleave from Multi-shot. When using Glaive Toss, you’ll use this ability whenever Kill Command and Kill Shot are on cooldown and your Glaive Toss is up. When using Barrage, you’ll generally want to save the ability for when an add phase begins, or whenever Kill Command and Kill Shot are on cooldown and your Barrage is up, depending on the situation.

Glyphs


Major


Glyph of Animal Bond

This glyph increases all healing to you and your pet by 10%. This glyph is very useful for raiding. It does not increase dps, but it does directly increase your survivability by making heals more potent.

Glyph of Deterrence

This glyph increases the damage prevented through deterrence by 20%. Because deterrence has a baseline of 20%, this glyph causes deterrence to double its potency. This is a highly useful glyph for any fight that has large raid-wide damage and raid healers are having difficulty keeping everyone alive.

Glyph of Disengage

This glyph increases the distance that disengage launches the hunter by 5 yards on flat ground.

Glyph of Liberation

This glyph heals you for 5% health every time you disengage. This is a marginal heal that can occur every 30s.

Glyph of Mend Pet

This glyph makes your Mend Pet also remove one curse, disease, poison, or magic debuff. This is rarely useful when raiding.

Glyph of Enduring Deceit (new in 5.4)

Camouflage also reduces spell damage taken by 10%. This is a free 10% reduction in spell damage every minute, when used properly. However, it also causes you and your pet to stop attacking, and only lasts for one hit (and this hit could be physical AoE, resulting in 0 gained utility). This is highly situational glyph that will require planning and willingness to take a damage reduction cooldown that stops you and your pet from attacking.


In terms of raid usefulness, Glyph of Animal Bond > Glyph of Deterrence > Glyph of Enduring Deceit == Glyph of Liberation == Glyph of Disengage > Glyph of Mend Pet > Other glyphs. Disengage distance glyph combined with Posthaste talent can result in better ability to move in response to fight mechanics. However, none of these Major Glyphs affect dps, and individual preference reigns supreme here. A general recommendation for a raiding BM hunter's Major Glyphs would be 1) Glyph of Animal Bond, 2) Glyph of Deterrence, and 3) Glyph of Disengage (distance) or 3)Glyph of Liberation (heal on disengage).

Minor


Glyph of Revive Pet

This glyph removes pushback effects during the cast of Revive Pet. This is very useful in raids if you need to revive your pet and do not have Heart of the Phoenix available. This is the only Minor Glyph that is highly recommended for raiding.

Glyph of Stampede

This glyph makes stampede copy the current pet five times. While this is highly useful when players have non-ferocity pets in their stables, it is also rumored to cause problems with older addons. The problem supposedly stems from addons like Recount that look at the combat log for damage sources and see a temporary pet called “Unknown” that is spawned when this glyph activates. This can cause the addon to spin in computation and slow down a raider’s computer (often not the hunter's computer). If raiders complain about slowdowns during your Stampede, and you are using this glyph, try unglyphing it and switching the pets in your stable to ferocity with growl turned off. The dps difference should be negligible.

The other Minor Glyphs are mostly cosmetic and have no real bearing on raid performance.


Priority and Play


Aspects


Our primary dps aspect is Aspect of the Hawk, which can be augmented with a Tier 45 talent to become Aspect of the Iron Hawk. The other aspects available to hunters are Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Pack. The latter two should not be used during raid bosses unless your raid leader specifically asks for them.

DPS Abilities


Kill Command (KC)

High damage command that is our primary nuke ability until Kill Shot comes available (assuming a T14+ weapon--lower ilvl weapons will have Kill Command at higher priority than Kill Shot). This ability should be used as close to on cooldown as possible. This ability was buffed significantly in 5.4.

Kill Shot (KS)

High damage finisher which triggers once the target is below 20% health. As weapon damage increases, so does KS priority.

Arcane Shot (AS)

Primary focus dump and its appropriate usage often differentiates between dps levels in hunters. This ability is used whenever serpent sting is still up and Kill Command and Kill Shot are on cooldown.

Because of the increased focus cost in 5.4, hunters will be more focus starved and will spend more time in Cobra Shot, especially if focus is needed for AMoC.

Cobra Shot (CoS)

This ability causes moderate damage (less than Kill Command or Arcane Shot) and gets more powerful as weapon damage increases. Its speed is also affected by haste and as you get better gear, and whenever Cobra Shot lands, the hunter gains 14 focus and extends the duration of Serpent Sting by 6 seconds. Use this ability to gain more focus for Kill Commands, Arcane Shots or large focus cooldowns like AMoC.

Serpent Sting (SS)

This ability creates a single target damage-over-time (DoT) ability that can be extended by Cobra Shot. Try to apply Serpent Sting to a boss early. You will very rarely have to re-apply Serpent Sting during a fight thanks to the frequency of Cobra Shot usage.

Multi-shot (MS)

Our primary AoE ability. Multi-shot becomes more powerful as weapon damage increases and triggers Beast Cleave, a 10 yard pet cleave (5.4 increased this to 10 yards from 8) around the pet, which has recently been buffed to 75% damage from 50% damage and lasts for 4 seconds. Beast Cleave is affected by Mastery and pet attack speed, so buffs that increase the frequency of pet attacks (e.g. haste-based) can greatly affect Beast Cleave AoE dps as well when cleaves are chained together for long periods of time.

NOTE: A recent hotfix to Aspect of the (Iron)Hawk damage modifier from 25% to 35% means that Beast Cleave is super powerful, even with only 2 mobs. Consequently, Multi-shot is now a higher priority shot on 2+ targets to keep beast cleave active. This does not mean Multi-shot is more powerful than arcane shot--only that Multi-shot needs to be used at least enough to keep Beast Cleave up on 2+ targets.

To maximize Multi-Shot/Beast Cleave damage, try to make sure your pet is situated in the middle of the biggest cluster of mobs in the AoE pack. This will ensure that as many enemies as possible are hit by Beast Cleave. In general, the hunter should also focus the mob in the center of the cluster, so the Multi-shot spreads to hit as many mobs as possible in the cluster.

Explosive Trap (ET)

A trap that ticks for a small amount of fire damage every 2 seconds, ten total times, to any enemies within range. Traps cost no focus and can be used during Deterrence. In 5.4, Explosive Trap was nerfed by 30% because developers claimed they did not want hunters using it in single target rotations.

Cooldowns


Beastial Wrath (BW)

Beastial Wrath is an ability with a 10s duration that becomes available every 1 minute. Its effects include focus cost reduction for all abilities, 10% damage increase for the hunter and 20% damage increase for your pet. This ability should be used on cooldown unless boss mechanics favor holding the ability (e.g., multiplicative damage bonuses like Jin’rokh’s pools).

Stampede

Stampede is an ability with a 20s duration that becomes available every 5 minutes. Stampede is the longest cooldown in the Hunter arsenal, and it is also one of the most powerful--summoning five pets from your stable (or copying a single pet five times if using the Stampede glyph). Stampede pets benefit from Bloodlust and most other types of buffs and best usage often depends on overlapping relevant benefits. For instance, in general, pairing Stampede with agility potions and Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp will maximize its effectiveness. Stampede does not work with ranged buffs like Focus Fire and Rapid Fire (pets only inherit buffs that translate to melee haste effects). In 5.4, Stampede damage was buffed significantly to compensate for previous nerfs to ability usage.

Rapid Fire (RF)

Rapid Fire is an ability with a 15s duration that becomes available every 3 minutes. Rapid Fire increases hunter ranged attack speed by 40%, and consequently gives a large boost to focus regeneration. Pairing RF with BW is a very powerful combination that not only reduces focus cost of abilities but also greatly increases focus regeneration for the hunter. Care must be taken to maximize dps during these RF/BW pairings while also keeping Serpent Sting active as best as possible (during the duration of this pairing, CoS is not necessary for focus regeneration). Rapid Fire becomes slightly less potent as the hunter gains more haste and is generally not well-paired with Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp, Troll Berserk, or Focus Fire.

Focus Fire (FF) / Frenzy

Focus Fire is a 20s buff that, when maxed out, gives 30% haste to the hunter and increased focus generation to both hunter and pet. Its cooldown is dictated by haste (which gives pets focus regen to do basic attacks) and the accumulation of Frenzy stacks (40% chance on pet Basic Attack—claw, bite, etc.) Focus Fire should not be used until the pet has generated 5 stacks of Frenzy. Focus Fire will consume these stacks of Frenzy and give 6% haste x Frenzies consumed, and pets gain 6 focus x Frenzy stacks consumed. Focus Fire should be used every time the pet gains 5 Frenzy stacks, preferably outside of RF and Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp.

Ancient Hysteria (AH)

Ancient Hysteria is an equivalent of Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp that is provided to BM hunters through the Corehound pet. Ancient Hysteria is a raid-wide haste gain that should be triggered when your raid leader asks for it. Ideally, hunters should try not to pair AH with any other haste cooldown (Troll Racial, RF, FF).

Readiness

Readiness is a five minute cooldown that resets the cooldown on all abilities that have a baseline cooldown less than five minutes long. In short, this resets everything you will use on your dps priority list except for Stampede. Readiness should be used after you have used your major cooldowns like Rapid Fire, Beastial Wrath, Kill Command, etc. to give you a fresh DPS priority list with all skills but Stampede immediately available for reuse.

Readiness has been removed from the game.

Snapshotting vs. Dynamic Updates


Very few hunter abilities dynamically update with stat changes. Most of our abilities snapshot to the current hunter stats when the shot hits the target.

Dynamic updates Murder of Crows, Barrage, Dire Beast, Stampede, Pet Attacks/Abilities
On Hit/Application Snapshots Serpent Sting, Glaive Toss, Cobra Shot, Kill Command, Lynx Rush, etc.

Note that the On Hit nature of snapshotting means that range to target makes a difference in the responsiveness of the snapshotting. Consequently, if you want snapshotting to occur shortly after you click/use the ability, you will want to be closer to the boss. Travel time on abilities like Glaive Toss can mean seconds pass between usage of the ability and the actual snapshot of your hunter stats. Keep this in mind.

Single Target Priority


RankAbility/CooldownAffected By
1Serpent StingAgi
2Beastial WrathN/A
3Kill CommandAgi > Mastery
4Kill ShotWeapon Dps > Agi
5Glaive TossAgi
6Dire BeastAgi > Mastery =~ Haste
6FervorN/A
7StampedeAgi > Mastery
8Rapid FireN/A
9Focus FireN/A
10Arcane ShotWeapon Dps > Agi
11Cobra ShotWeapon Dps > Agi > Haste for faster cast

This priority listing is tailored to end-game BM hunters in ToT and may not reflect your gear set in MSV, HoF, and ToES. Specifically, abilities affected by weapon damage are pushed lower in the priority list when you have a low-ilvl weapon. For instance, Kill Command is more powerful than Kill Shot in 463 and 476 ilvl gear. It is not until you get a decent weapon (around 483 ilvl) that Kill Shot equals Kill Command in damage potential. Any weapon from ToT, including LFR, will result in a priority list that looks mostly like the one above. However, several of these abilities can be interchanged with negligible dps loss and there is possibility here to personalize your own priority list and play style (assuming you know what you are doing and are modeling your list in a simulator).


AoE Target Priority


Four or more mobs


RankAbility/CooldownAffected By
1A focus saving or producing cooldownN/A
2Kill CommandAgi > Mastery (if < 7 targets)
3Kill ShotWeapon Dps > Agi (if < 7 targets)
4BarrageWeapon Dps > Agi
5Multi-shotWeapon Dps > Agi > Mastery due to Beast Cleave
6Explosive TrapAgi
7Cobra Shot, when focus is neededWeapon Dps > Agi > Haste for faster cast

Obviously, this assumes that Barrage is being spec’d into in the Tier 90 talents, and the Barrage skill is highly worth taking on 4+ mob packs. Beast Cleave at 75%, as is currently in the game, was theorycrafted during the 5.0 PTR to be worth using Multi-shot in as few as 2 mobs. It is unclear if this is still true in 5.3. If you don't have Barrage, then you will essentially Multi-shot spam in a 4+ mob situation.


Three mobs


RankAbility/CooldownAffected By
1A focus saving or producing cooldownN/A
3Kill CommandAgi > Mastery
2Kill ShotWeapon Dps > Agi
4BarrageWeapon Dps > Agi
4Glaive TossAgi
5Multi-shotWeapon Dps > Agi > Mastery due to Beast Cleave
6Cobra Shot to regen focusWeapon Dps > Agi > Haste for faster cast
7Explosive TrapAgi

Explosive Trap is not as potent here as with 4+ mobs, but ET still sims decently on 1-3 mobs. It can be used when out of focus in place of a Cobra Shot when the Explosive Trap comes off cooldown (and will allow passive focus regen for Barrage/Multi-shot since the trap costs zero focus while also doing damage).

NOTE: A hotfix post 5.4 increased attack power through Aspect of the (Iron)Hawk from 25% to 35%. This resulted in a significant increase in Beast Cleave damage and a change in the recommended 2+ skill usage. To maximize dps in 2 target situations, it is a high priority to keep Beast Cleave up. Multi-shot should consequently be used every 4s, whenever possible, in place of an Arcane Shot.

Pets


Pets inherit hunter ranged attack power, haste, mastery, and portions of hit and expertise. They do not inherit ranged attack speed or haste buffs like Rapid Fire effects. For raiding, all pets should be specialized into Ferocity, and it is recommended that you put Rabid on autocast, unless using the Stampede Glyph—in which case only the current pet needs to be Ferocity specialized with Rabid on autocast. Because ferocity is now an option for all pets, hunters are no longer penalized for bringing pets with certain buffs into 10 mans.

Below is a listing of pet specialties that may be useful in raids:

Enemy AoE Debuffs


AoE DebuffPet
ArmorTallstrider
Physical Damage DealtBear

The Dust Cloud ability that Tallstriders bring to a raid is very useful for AoE packs. As of 5.4, it is no longer a unique debuff to hunters. Rogues now bring this debuff through normal AoE ability usage.

Enemy Single Target Debuffs


DebuffPets
Magic Damage TakenDragonhawk, Wind Serpent
Physical Damage TakenRavager, Boar, Rhino, Worm
Attack SpeedFox
ArmorRaptor
Movement SpeedCrocolisk, Warp Stalker

A raid leader will rarely ask for you to bring either of these pets.

Raid Buffs


BuffPets
BloodlustCorehound
Critical Strike BuffDevilsaur, Wolf, Waterstrider, Hydra, Quilen
MasteryCat, Spirit Beast
Physical HasteSerpent, Hyena
Spell HasteSporebat
Spell PowerWaterstrider
StaminaSilithid
StatsShale Spider

On 10 mans, raiding hunters can bring all major buffs that may be missing due to class composition.


Specialty Pets


SpecializationPets
AoEChimera, Worm
HealSpirit Beast

These AoE specialty creatures do not appear to do more damage than using the Multi-target (4+ mobs) rotation. Further, because the worm burrows, it is not available to attack or Beast Cleave during Multi-shot and will do significantly less damage. It does do Kill Command during a burrow, but the target must be within melee range of the pet.

The Heal from the Spirit Beast was recently nerfed and is nowhere near as potent as it used to be. However, it's the only pet-based heal we have available and comes along with a pet that can provide the mastery buff for the raid, so it's definitely not a wasted stable slot.

Survival and Utility


Deterrence

Deterrence is our bread-and-butter death prevention ability. It not only reflects spells, but it reduces damage taken by 30% (50% with the Glyph of Deterrence). The downside to using this ability is that you cannot cast most damage abilities while you are protected by Deterrence (the exceptions are traps). Deterrence can be used to reflect many spells in ToT raiding, including Ionization on H Jin'Rokh and Static Charge on Lei Shen.

In 5.4, this ability was put on a 2 charge system. According to reports on the PTR, this charge system is not working for hunters as it does for monks, and has resulted in fewer deterrences possible per boss fight.

Disengage

Disengage propels the hunter backward between 13 and 18 feet (glyphed). No immunities are granted by Disengage but the Talent Posthaste does appear to augment Disengage with the ability to purge movement impairing effects, such as those experienced on ToT Council in Sandtraps, ToT Iron Qon in the Cold Lines, and other such mechanics. Posthaste also increases the hunter's movement speed by 50% after landing from a Disengage to allow for moving quickly to new raid positions or to avoid enemies.

Ice Trap

Creates an ice slick that lasts for 30s after being triggered and slows down enemies within 10 yards by 50% while the enemies are standing/walking on the ice slick. Very useful for dealing with adds.

Freezing Trap

When triggered, this trap incapacitates an enemy for up to 1 minute. This trap can be broken by any type of damage.

Mend Pet

When triggered, heals the pet for 25% of its health over 10 seconds. This healing amount can be increased with the Glyph of Animal Bond.

Master List of Buffs, Debuffs, and Dispels

The following list includes a list of all classes that can perform buffs, which ones can remove spells (e.g. our Tranquilizing Shots), and which ones provide debuffs to an enemy. Hunters can provide most of the utilities expressed in the chart except for group damage reduction, dispels, decurses, and poison cleansing.

Mists of Pandaria Buffs, Debuffs, and Abilities

Consumables


TypeRankItemEffect
Flask1Flask of Spring Blossoms1000 agi for 1 hour (1320 agi for 2 hours with Alchemy)
Potion1Vermin's Bite4000 agi for 25s
Food (self)1Sea Mist Rice Noodles300 agi for 1 hour
Food (raid)2Banquet of the Wok275 agi for 1 hour
Food (raid)2Great Banquet of the Wok275 agi for 1 hour
Food (self)2Valley Stir Fry275 agi for 1 hour
Food (raid)2Pandaren Banquet275 agi for 1 hour
Food (raid)2Great Pandaren Banquet275 agi for 1 hour



Character Optimization


Race


Though your choice of race is mostly cosmetic, there are several races that do outperform others slightly in DPS for a BM hunter.

Alliance


Pandaren > Worgen > Dwarf > Other

In general, the dps differences are small here. For Alliance, play the class you enjoy most. Pandaren racial of Epicurean gives double bonus on agility food, resulting in +300 agi.

Horde


Troll > Orc > Pandaren > Goblin > Other > Tauren

Troll tends to be 300+ dps ahead of Orc in a BiS BM profile in simulators like Female Dwarf and Simulationcraft. Both of these races can be several hundred dps ahead of the other races for BM. Consequently, Troll and Orc are typically considered the top dps races in the game. Unlike with Alliance, the Horde racial differentials for dps classes can be significant enough to change races.

Professions


RankProfessionEffectAdditional info
1Engineering+320 agi (avg) via Synapse SpringsSynapse String usage is perfectly aligned for macroing with BW, making it ideal for BW raiding.
2Alchemy +320 agi via [Alchemist's Flask] buffFlasks last 2 hours, which is nice for raiding
2Blacksmithing+320 agi via socket to wrists and glovesN/A. Tends to be expensive for no gain.
2Enchanting+320 agi via 2x [Item not found!]Money maker but expensive to level
2Inscription+320 agi via [Secret Tiger Claw Inscription] to shouldersCan make Darkmoon cards for money
2Jewelcrafting+320 agi via [Delicate Serpent's Eye]Relatively expensive to level.
2Leatherworking+320 agi via Fur Lining - Agility (320 over the common agi enchant)Inexpensive to level. Moderate money maker.
3Tailoring+4000 ap periodically via Swordguard Embroidery (Rank 3)Not really meant for agi mail wearers.
4Herbalism+480 haste = 2880 haste for 20 seconds on a 2 minute cooldownUseful gathering when paired with Alchemy but generally not considered a raiding profession
4Skinning+480 critUseful gathering when paired with Leatherworking but generally not considered a raiding profession.
5Mining+480 staminaPlease do not specialize in this as a raiding hunter

Engineering is ranked first, despite having the same average agility as many other professions, because the Synapse String ability has a one minute cooldown which aligns perfectly with Beastial Wrath, augmenting that buff significantly.

Gear Optimization


Stat Priority


In 5.4, if you have the legendary meta gem and especially if you have the legendary cloak with proc, reforge priority has flipped around to haste > mastery > crit. In general, get as much haste as you can and reforge crit into mastery. Before the meta gem, you will likely get best results with crit > haste > mastery

Concerning ranged weapons: ilvl almost always trumps everything else because it directly affects Weapon DPS and even with Sha-touched gems of 500 agility, you are unlikely to equal the benefits of increasing your weapon ilvl significantly.

Finding your appropriate stat priority can be done for you by using simulators like FemaleDwarf.com and Simulation Craft. However, in later posts, we’ll iterate over BM hunter DPS profiles for LFR, Normal, and Heroic content and discuss stat priorities.

Hit and expertise caps are 7.5%, which corresponds to 2550 hit or expertise rating. This number can be affected by Racials like the Troll's Dead Eye, which offer an equivalent of 1% expertise to reduce the cap to 6.5% through gear. Pets have a 7.5% chance to miss and gain half of their hit percentage from hunter hit rating and the other half from hunter expertise rating. Consequently, if you are exactly capped in both hit and expertise, the pet will gain 1275 hit rating and 1275 expertise rating from the hunter to reach the 7.5% hit needed to not miss from behind a boss or enemy.

For AoE situations in SoO ilvl gear, especially with a legendary cloak with the proc, you'll want to aim for haste and then stack mastery as much as you can (after haste). Without a cloak proc haste and mastery are very close, but there is no fight in SoO that you will want to prioritize mastery over haste. The haste levels available in SoO gearing are such that you can gain up two to three extra pet attacks to trigger beast cleaves, which will overwhelm any gains you could have done with equivalent mastery upgrades.

Reforging


Reforging takes 40% of a secondary stat already on an item and converts it into another secondary stat not already on an item. In general, once a BM hunter hits their expertise/hit caps, effort should be made to reforge all secondary stats to haste wherever applicable (assuming you have RPPM gear). Example target ratios of end game hunter stat allocations would be 3:2:2 for haste:mastery:crit (e.g., 15k haste, 10k mastery, 10k crit), with the caveat that hit and expertise are both at 7.5%.

Gems


Priority on gemming is done per gem socket color and is heavily dependent on the bonus. If the bonus is +60 agi for the socket, then try to match the color. If it is not, you are almost certainly better off using a pure agility gem.

Socket TypeGem
Meta (head)[Capacitive Primal Diamond] >>> [Agile Primal Diamond]
Red socket[Delicate Primordial Ruby]
Yellow socket[Deadly Vermilion Onyx] (if +60 agi) > [Delicate Primordial Ruby]
Blue socket[Glinting Imperial Amethyst] (if +60 agi) > [Delicate Primordial Ruby]

The legendary meta gem is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the Agile Primal Diamond. We're talking about several thousand DPS here.

Some hunters swear by sticking to haste =~ crit. If that is your preference, you can also do [Deft Vermilion Onyx] (if +60 agi) in a yellow socket. However, for 5.4, crit is generally better for BM hunters in all simulators (T16 set bonuses, legendary meta, most ToT trinkets).


Enchants


Because hit and expertise are prevalent on our BiS trinkets, bows, and tier, the value of hit and expertise enchants has gone down somewhat. In general, once you have abundant ToT-level gear, you'll want to move toward haste and crit enchants instead of hit/expertise. That valuation is taken into consideration in the following list.

SlotEnchants
ShoulderGreater Tiger Claw Inscription
CloakEnchant Cloak Superior Critical Strike > Enchant Cloak - Accuracy
ChestEnchant Chest - Glorious Stats
WristsFur Lining - Agility (LW only) > Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility
GlovesEnchant Gloves - Greater Haste > Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise
WaistLiving Steel Belt Buckle (add belt socket)
LegsShadowleather Leg Armor
FeetBlurred Speed
RingsEnchant Ring - Greater Agility (Enchanting only)
Ranged WeaponLord Blastington's Scope of Doom

Gearing for Normal ToT


In this section of the guide, we walk you through gearing your hunter to Normal ToT item levels.

This guide assumes you have participated in LFR before and understand how to use the Auction House (AH). If you have questions about how to use LFR or the AH, please consider private messages rather than posting to this thread. This thread also assumes you have done Heroic Dungeons, Heroic Scenarios, or T14 LFRs (Mogu’shan Vaults (MSV), Heart of Fear (HoF), or Terrace of Endless Spring (ToES)) to get to 480 item level (ilvl), which is the requirement for entry into the Throne of Thunder (ToT) LFR.

T14 ->T15 set bonuses


The set bonuses for Tier 15 gear are significantly better than the Tier 14 bonuses. In fact, each bonus is about 3.5k dps more potent on the T15 sets. Because of this, you should try to gain your four piece Tier 15 as soon as possible.

World bosses


Nalak (T15 Normal Hands and Legs—this is why we don’t recommend coining for LFR hands/legs)
Oondasta (522 ilvl neck, ring, and various other filler gear)

Crafted gear


Expensive


ItemItem LevelTypical Market Cost
Dreadrunner Helm52210-20k gold
Dreadrunner Sabatons52210-16k gold

Both of these complement the T15 tier and are likely to drop in price as we get closer to 5.4. After 5.4, the price should drop even more significantly. The most expensive parts of this gear are the Haunting Spirits required to make the two pieces. If you use Enchanting as a profession, you can save up for these pieces of gear by doing Nalak and Oondasta every week and disenchanting 522 gear that drops (that you don't need) and collecting Haunting Spirits (random drop and not guaranteed on disenchant of 522 ilvl gear).

Moderate


ItemItem LevelTypical Market Cost
Raven Lord’s Gloves4962k-5k gold
Raiment of Blood and Bone4964k-6k gold

Neither of these is better than the T14 normal-mode tier you could get from a pug, much less the LFR T15 tier items. However, these are good filler items that may help you get to the ilvls necessary for LFR ToT.


Initial Coin Usage


Mogu Coins may be used to get an additional chance at loot from a ToT raid boss (including the new world bosses). Each week, you can turn in 50 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune for 3 Mogu Coins at the ground level of the Shrine of Two Moons. Lesser Charms of Good Fortune are gained by doing dailies, pet battles, and other types of activities.

Below is a list of bosses you may want to target your initial coins at. After you have gained these items, you can then use your coins on other loot opportunities in LFR ToT or the world bosses Nalak or Oondasta.

BossTarget Item
Dark Animus (9th boss)T15 LFR Chest
Iron Qon (10th boss)T15 LFR Shoulders
Jin’Rokh (1st boss)Renataki’s Soul Charm

The Nalak world boss provides a shot at normal tier gloves and pants every week. Consequently, you should not waste coins rolling on LFR ToT Council or Ji'kun for a shot at these tier tokens. Instead, use a single coin on Nalak each week until you have both the higher ilvl T15 gloves and pants. The T15 head piece sims as the worst performing of the set and is best suited for replacement, which is why we don't list it as an initial coin target.

Weapons


This may cause some discussion, but simulators show that N Tao Ren from Lei Shi in ToES, even with a 500 agi gem, is not better than LFR Voice of the Quilen from Iron Qon or any other LFR ranged weapon, for that matter. I provide the FemaleDwarf.com (FD) models for some of these profiles in the next section.

In general:

H T14 Ranged > T15 LFR Ranged Weapon > T14 Normal > T14 LFR

Exceptions:

Tao Ren is exceptionally powerful in the T14 tier ranged weapons and generally beats the ranged weapon from Will of the Emperor in MSV, even if it has lower ilvl. This is because of the 500 agi Sha Gem, which is part of the Legendary Quest chain that is started at Wrathlion in the Tavern in the Mists.

T14 -> T15 LFR Gear Options


SlotItems
HeadDreadrunner Helm (craft) > Gaze of Gara’jal (LFR ToT Council) > T15 LFR Helm (LFR ToT Twin Consorts)
NeckNecklace of the Teracotta (ToT Trash) > Flanker’s Battletags (valor) > Quadrahead Brooch (LFR ToT Megaera)
ShouldersT15 LFR Shoulders (LFR ToT Iron Qon) > T14 N Shoulders (ToES Lei Shi)
CloakTigerfang Wrap (Legendary Quest) > Longshot Forestcloak (valor) > Pinionfeather Greatcloak (LFR ToT Ji’kun) >
ChestT15 LFR Chest (LFR ToT Dark Animus) > Gorgoraptor Scale Chest (Oondasta) > T14 N Chest (HoF Empress) > Raiment of Blood and Bone (craft)
GlovesT15 N Gloves (Nalak) > T15 LFR Gloves (LFR ToT Council) > Therapsid Scale Gloves (Oondasta) > T14 N Gloves (Sha of Anger or HoF Wind Lord) > Raven Lord’s Gloves"] (craft)
BeltBelt of the Dying Diemetradon (Oondasta) > Links of the Disintegrator (LFR ToT Durumu)
PantsT15 N Pants (Nalak) > T15 LFR Pants (LFR ToT Ji’kun) > T14 N Pants (HoF Ambershaper)
BootsDreadrunner Sabatons (craft) > Quakestompers (LFR ToT Tortos)
RingForzarra's Last Meal (Oondasta) =~ Seal of the Shado-pan Assault (valor) > T15 LFR Gore-soaked Gear (LFR ToT Dark Animus)
TrinketsVicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault (valor) =~ Renataki’s Soul Charm (ToT Jin’rokh LFR) > Relic of Xuen > T14 N trinkets > Bad Juju (LFR ToT Council)

Example Profiles


DPSRanged WeaponStat Priority
170,578.71 dpsLFR T15 Voice of the Quilen Haste > Crit > Mastery
167,809.60 dpsN T14 Tao-Ren w/ Sha TouchedHaste > Crit > Mastery
165,763.75 dpsLFR T14 Tao-Ren w/ Sha TouchedHaste > Crit > Mastery
163,556.46 dpsLFR T14 Tao-Ren w/ Sha TouchedCrit > Mastery > Haste

This kind of dps is extremely high for entering normal mode ToT, even with an established guild that has been full clearing N ToT for months. The above profiles include the 600 ilvl cloak, which can be obtained while doing nothing but LFR clears. However, this takes time and requires that you complete the Wrathlion Legendary Quest chain. Other cloak options are available in the list above, but each of these will be 11-18k dps less.

In general, if you can reach ~120k dps out of T14, crafting, and LFR gearing, then you are in excellent shape to be competitive with other dpsers in a Normal ToT raid. The profiles above assume that T15 LFR, crafting, and T14 pickup groups (pugs) are the only options available to the player as they try to find an end-game raiding guild. However, doing Normal ToT pugs for at least the first boss to try to get the Normal or Thunderforged Normal Renataki’s trinket off the first boss (Jin’rokh) is highly advised.

Normal ToT BiS


Many guilds delay entering Heroics or actively avoid them. For hunters in these guilds, the heroic BiS profiles are not accessible to them or are simply not accessible yet. For those hunters who are wanting to plan their upgrade path, we provide the following profile which can be targeted for upgrades and coin usage in Normal ToT.

NAMEDPS
BM Normal Thunderforged202,131.78 dps

Click on the dps number to see the gear profile in Female Dwarf.

Heroic ToT BiS


NAMEDPS
BM Heroic Thunderforged236,748.73 dps
BM Heroic Thunderforged (No H Lei Shen or Ra-den)234,257.70 dps

Click on the dps number to see the gear profile in Female Dwarf.

BiS Weapons


RankWeaponItem Level
1Heroic Voice of Quilen (Thunderforged)541
2Heroic Durumu's Baleful Gaze (Thunderforged)541
3Heroic Miracoran, the Vehement Chord (Thunderforged)541
4Heroic Shattered Tortoiseshell Longbow (Thunderforged)541
5Heroic Voice of Quilen535
6Heroic Durumu's Baleful Gaze535
7Heroic Miracoran, the Vehement Chord535
8Heroic Shattered Tortoiseshell Longbow535
9Voice of Quilen (Thunderforged)528
10Durumu's Baleful Gaze (Thunderforged)528
11Miracoran, the Vehement Chord (Thunderforged)528
12Shattered Tortoiseshell Longbow (Thunderforged)528
13Voice of Quilen522
14Durumu's Baleful Gaze522
15Miracoran, the Vehement Chord522
16Shattered Tortoiseshell Longbow522

BiS Trinkets


RankTrinketItem Level
1Heroic Renataki's Soul Charm (Thunderforged)541
2Heroic Renataki's Soul Charm535
3Renataki's Soul Charm (Thunderforged)528
4Renataki's Soul Charm522
5Heroic Bad Juju (Thunderforged)541
6Heroic Bad Juju535
7Bad Juju (Thunderforged)528
8Heroic Rune of Reorigination(Thunderforged)*541
9Heroic Talisman of Bloodlust (Thunderforged)541
10Bad Juju522
11Heroic Rune of Reorigination*535
12Heroic Talisman of Bloodlust535
13Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault522
14Rune of Reorigination(Thunderforged)*528
15Talisman of Bloodlust (Thunderforged)528
16Talisman of Bloodlust522
17Rune of Reorigination522*
18Relic of Xuen476

* Requires reforging to crit > haste > mastery, preferably in a 3:2:1 ratio

T16 SoO BiS


The following list is a first draft of best-in-slot from H T16. The normal mode list should be similar in gear but at a lower ilvl. LFR/Flex raiders can also target something similar. I'll update the listings as I find better gear synergies. Feel free to discuss in the thread.

FD Troll HWF: 400,434.52

SimC Troll HWF:
hunter="Hunter_BM_000221_dd295811"
level=90
race=troll
spec=beast_mastery
position=ranged_back
role=attack
talents=000221
professions=alchemy=600/enchanting=600
head=headguard_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99402,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=capacitive_primal_160agi_180agi
neck=gleaming_eye_of_the_devilsaur,id=105602,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit
shoulder=spaulders_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99404,upgrade=2,reforge=exp_hit,gems=160agi_160agi_120agi,enchant=200agi_100crit
back=fenyu_fury_of_xuen,id=102248,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit,gems=160agi_60agi,enchant=180crit
chest=tunic_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99405,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_160agi_160agi_180agi,enchant=80agi_80sta
wrist=wristguards_of_ruination,id=105562,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit,enchant=180agi
hand=gloves_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99406,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_160agi_120agi,enchant=170haste
waist=arrowflight_girdle,id=105584,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_80agi_160crit_160agi_120agi
legs=leggings_of_unabashed_anger,id=105454,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_exp,gems=80agi_160hit_80agi_160hit_120agi,enchant=285agi_165crit
feet=ravagers_pathwalkers,id=105553,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_60agi,enchant=140agi
ring1=kilruks_band_of_ascendancy,id=105624,upgrade=2,reforge=mastery_hit,gems=160agi_60crit,enchant=160agi
ring2=ring_of_restless_energy,id=105558,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit,gems=160agi_60crit,enchant=160agi
trinket1=assurance_of_consequence,id=105472,upgrade=2
trinket2=ticking_ebon_detonator,id=105612,upgrade=2,reforge=mastery_haste
main_hand=hiseks_reserve_longbow,id=105623,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_60agi,enchant=lord_blastingtons_scope_of_doom
summon_pet=generic_no_buffs

Since the hotfix to 5.4, the Orc profile has switched to the most powerful by roughly 600 dps.

FD Orc HWF: 401,004.81

hunter="Hunter_BM_000221_92a5e507"
level=90
race=orc
spec=beast_mastery
position=ranged_back
role=attack
talents=000221
professions=alchemy=600/enchanting=600
head=headguard_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99402,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=capacitive_primal_160agi_180agi
neck=immerseus_crystalline_eye,id=105407,upgrade=2,reforge=mastery_hit
shoulder=spaulders_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99404,upgrade=2,reforge=exp_hit,gems=160agi_160agi_120agi,enchant=200agi_100crit
back=fenyu_fury_of_xuen,id=102248,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit,gems=160agi_60agi,enchant=180crit
chest=tunic_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99405,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_160agi_160agi_180agi,enchant=80agi_80sta
wrist=wristguards_of_ruination,id=105562,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit,enchant=180agi
hand=gloves_of_the_unblinking_vigil,id=99406,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_160agi_120agi,enchant=170exp
waist=arrowflight_girdle,id=105584,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_80agi_160crit_160agi_120agi
legs=leggings_of_unabashed_anger,id=105454,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_exp,gems=80agi_160hit_80agi_160hit_120agi,enchant=285agi_165crit
feet=ravagers_pathwalkers,id=105553,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_mastery,gems=160agi_60agi,enchant=140agi
ring1=kilruks_band_of_ascendancy,id=105624,upgrade=2,reforge=mastery_hit,gems=160agi_60crit,enchant=160agi
ring2=ring_of_restless_energy,id=105558,upgrade=2,reforge=crit_hit,gems=160agi_60crit,enchant=160agi
trinket1=assurance_of_consequence,id=105472,upgrade=2
trinket2=ticking_ebon_detonator,id=105612,upgrade=2,reforge=mastery_haste
main_hand=korkron_hand_cannon,id=105559,upgrade=2,gems=120agi_60agi,enchant=lord_blastingtons_scope_of_doom
summon_pet=generic_no_buffs


SoO BiS profiles by spec


FemaleDwarf.com simulations of BiS gear

RankDPSProfile Description
1404,346.02T16H SV Power Haromm Crows
2401,004.81T16H BM Orc
3400,434.52T16H BM GT BS DB Ebon
4399,055.80 T16H MM Haromm DB AMoC GT
5398,470.69T16H SV GT Harrom Crows
6397,557.42T16H SV Power Haromm Crows TotH
7397,429.33T16H SV Power Haromm Crows_ReserveBow
8397,404.26T16H BM GT Haromm
9396,793.27T16H SV GT Haromm
10396,521.28T16H SV Power Haromm
11394,353.33T16H BM Powershot Haromm
12389,369.36T16H MM Ebon DB AMoC GT
13388,903.34 T16H BM TotH
14388,554.19T16H SV GT Ebon
15385,649.14 T16H SV Power Ebon
16385,624.45T16H MM Haromm TotH AMoC GT
17378,176.68T16H MM FD defaults Haromm DB AMoC GT

Simulators


Simulationcraft (Google Code Project | DPS Rankings)
Contacts: Arisen, Lokrick

Widely considered to be the most accurate simulator, it is also very simple to setup and use on your computer. The DPS Rankings page tries to compare dps classes and specializations with each other to show who has the best DPS potential on a single target, non-movement fight like the old Patchwerk fight from Naxxramus.

Female Dwarf (Web Portal)
Contacts: Zeherah

A well-maintained, configurable, and web-based simulator that can aid hunters in quickly gauging gear changes without requiring installation on the player's computer. The methodology used for simulation is not quite as robust as Simcraft in regards to haste and minutiae of fights, but FD has shown itself to be highly reliable and useful for the hunter community for many years.

Mods


Raiding Mods

Deady Boss Mods (DBM) is a highly recommended mod for raiding hunters. DBM augments your visual interface to display raid announcements concerning boss mechanics that may help you avoid death, maximize dps, and excel in a raid environment.

Skada is the preferred mod for maintaining damage meters during fights. Skada displays the dps, healing, dispels, etc. of the persons in your raid and may aid you in learning from other hunters (or just bragging about how awesome you are). In general, raids prefer you not to post damage meters, regardless of where you rank in dps for the raid.

Gear Mods

Reforge Lite is a mod that aids in reforging your gear appropriately given some set of stat priorities (e.g. haste > crit > mastery). Using Reforge Lite, you can simply press the Calculate button, Show, and then Reforge at a Reforge Vendor and automatedly optimize your gear according to your stat priorities.

UI Mods

Several mods exist for augmenting your UI to better track cooldowns, buffs, and debuffs. This section will hopefully be filled in later as the community suggests them (I tend to use the default Blizzard UI).

Outdated Mods

Recount is no longer actively supported, is known to cause Stampede lag, and is not a good mod to use for damage meters. Try using Skada instead.

Omen Threat Meter is no longer a required mod due to tank threat being greatly increased.

Macros


Macros are no longer as necessary as they used to be with the 3:2 rotations in BC. However, macros can be very helpful for misdirecting to the tank throughout a fight and pairing frequently used abilities that do not interfere with each other's cooldowns. Feel free to share your macros via PM or by replying to this thread, but please try not to post duplicates and always discuss why the macro is useful. See other guides, such as Unholy DPS for DKs, to see what kinds of macros the community tends to appreciate.

Creating a macro

  1. Go to your Game Menu (Escape is a shortcut)
  2. Click Macros
  3. Click the New button
  4. Select an icon
  5. Paste the commands as indicated below

Customizing a macro


The macro interface allows players to customize their macros to different situations using a number of modifiers. In this section, we explore many of the common ways you can personalize ability casts, cancels, etc. to your playstyle.

The most common way to customize your experience with a macro is through a conditional. We will not go over all of the conditionals, but if you are interested in seeing what all is available, try the list at wow-macros.com.. A conditional is a modifier on a cast, target, or other macro command that adds a certain predicate, or condition, that must be true for the command to be executed. You specify conditionals within braces ("[]") between the /cast, /use, or /target and the spell, NPC or person you would be targeting.

For instance, let's say you wanted a macro button on your UI that did one of two things. If your target was an enemy, it would cast Kill Command if you pressed it. If it was an ally, the macro would instead cast Master's Call to try to free that person from an immobilizing effect. Here's the series of commands that would accomplish that.

Example of conditionals in macros (help and harm)
/cast [help] Master's Call
/cast [harm] Kill Command
Another common way to personalize macros to your playstyle is with the /cancelaura command. For hunters, the most likely aura that we would wish to cancel would be the Deterrence debuff. Deterrence reflects damage, but it also prevents us from doing any damaging abilities except for traps. If we only need to be protected for 2 seconds of the Deterrence duration, we may be better served by canceling the Deterrence and getting back to dpsing (after the 2 seconds have passed and we are no longer in danger). To do this, we simply add /cancelaura Deterrence to the macro. For instance, here is a macro to stop Deterrence and cast Arcane Shot.

Example of using Cancelaura with Arcane Shot
/cancelaura Deterrence
/cast Arcane Shot
This guide is not meant to be comprehensive on macros usage. It is only meant to be a primer to help you make your own macros. For more help on creating your own macros, try the following information sources:

Common macros


Misdirecting to your tank
/cast [@] Misdirection
Pairing Synapse Strings and Beastial Wrath (Engineering only)
#showtooltip Bestial Wrath
/cast Bestial Wrath
/use 10
Camouflage to avoid targeting (e.g., ToT Council Frostbite or ToT Dark Animus Matter Swap)
/stopcasting
/stopcasting
/cast Camouflage
Automagically use the appropriate level 90 talent (i.e. Glaive Toss, Barrage, Powershot, depending on what you spec'd into)
#showtooltip
/cast Glaive Toss
/cast Barrage
/cast Powershot
/script f=GetSpellInfo(117050); g=GetSpellInfo(120360); h=GetSpellInfo(109259)
/run SetMacroSpell("90 Talents", GetSpellInfo(f) or GetSpellInfo(g) or GetSpellInfo(h))

Raid Strategies


The raid strategies and notes made here are based on experience, the MMO-Champion Hunter Tips and Tricks thread, discussions on various forums, Icy-Veins, and other locations.

Discussion is greatly appreciated on mechanics, especially on Heroic bosses, some of which I haven't had the opportunity to fight yet in my raid group.

Throne of Thunder (Normal)


N Jin'Rokh
  1. Deterrence Usage: Lightning Storm (helps healers) > Lightning Orbs > Nova
  2. Though Lynx Rush cooldown does line up with pools, Blink Strikes is still more dps
  3. Hold cooldowns for pools, whenever possible. However, most guilds bloodlust the first pool, so haste buffs should be used before or after the first pool, with preference going to the shortest cooldown haste debuffs, which will be up for the second pool.

N Horridon
  1. Deterrence Usage: Venom Volley (if not interrupted) > Double Swipe (only if stupid)
  2. Distracting Shot works on most add types to bring them to the tank for AoE
  3. Silencing Shot can be used on Venom Priests and Effusions to interrupt volley. Monkey pet can also interrupt.
  4. Stampede and Dire Beast can be placed on Horridon to take advantage of increased Damage Taken after Door 1
  5. Misdirect should be used on cooldown on all doors to help the add tank get aggro. Make a macro for targeting each tank and use it as appropriate to the tank who is tanking the adds. Something like:
    /cast [@] Misdirection

N Council
  1. Deterrence Usage: Sandstorm (while waiting for Master's Call) > Biting Cold/Frostbite (Deterrence is too short to last entire debuff but can be used before the cast to reflect, if you were the unlucky target)
  2. Master's call is useful for removing the entrapment debuff on the Sandstorms. Posthaste talent will also cause Disengage to remove the debuff.
  3. Disengage can be used to help with kiting a loa, avoiding a Reckless Charge, or removing a sandtrap debuff (Posthaste)
  4. Frost Trap aids in slowing down Loa adds from Priestess Marli.
  5. Camouflage can be used in combat (lasts 6s) to avoid being targeted by Biting Cold/Frostbite. This is best done with a macro:
    /stopcasting
    /stopcasting
    /cast Camouflage

N Tortos
  1. Deterrence Usage: Quakestomp (reduced damage) > Rockfall (reduced damage) > Furious Breath (though it's likely a wipe)
  2. Spirit bond will heal your shield, but Iron Hawk is still more useful for reducing damage done to your shield. Healers should be able to fill shields quickly anyway.
  3. Misdirect should be used after the Vampire Bats spawn. Barrage should be spec'd into for this fight, and Barrage should be used directly after Misdirect and with the Vampire Bats targeted to ensure that the group is hit. Misdirect with Multi-shot is not as useful as Misdirect with Barrage and can actually be detrimental due to Beast Cleave (your pet may get a lucky string of crits and grab aggro)

    Make a macro for targeting the tank who is tanking the bats and use this macro to cast Misdirect.
    /cast [@] Misdirection

N Megaera
  1. Deterrence Usage: Rampage (complete reflect) > Poison Bombs (complete reflect) > Torrent of Ice (if stuck/slow responding)
  2. Deterrence can reflect Cinders but you have to click it before Cinders is cast, and it is likely wasted
  3. Disengage can be useful in kiting Torrent of Ice

N Ji'kun
  1. Deterrence Usage: Quills (reduces damage) > Acid Pools (note: you can reflect last tick of the pool to avoid the debuff)
  2. Feed Young has a larger radius now and is much easier to pop for the Nourishment buff. Try to catch this on the way down to a platform to gain increased damage. You can catch this by timing jumping off the main platform properly.
  3. Disengage should be saved for Downdraft and Posthaste spec'd to give yourself enough runspeed to not get pushed back. You need +60% movement speed to negate the pushback.
  4. Aspect of the Cheetah can be used during Downdraft, but if hatchlings are flying above, you can be hit with Cheep and dazed (glyphing can help with this, if you are doing Cheetah instead of Posthaste).
  5. Glyph of Black Ice can be useful on Downdraft, but you will have to be close enough to benefit from it.
  6. It is possible to Disengage onto one of the lower platforms if you get knocked off, but it's a much better strategy to only leave the main platform in a controlled way and only when you need to be on a lower platform
  7. The lower platforms are targetable from the main platform and the Hunter can Multi-shot spam to aid in killing lower platforms

N Durumu
  1. Deterrence Usage: Life drain (must hit before you move in front of the drain) > Eye Sore (reduces damage if caught in one) > Color Beam (reflects for 5 seconds)
  2. Frost traps and Fire traps can be used on marked locations to indicate to others where the adds are (e.g. fire traps on red fogs, frost traps on blue fogs). However, this will not reveal the add, only trigger the trap. Optionally, you can use the following macro (requires Raid Assist):
    /click CompactRaidFrameManagerDisplayFrameLeaderOptionsRaidWorldMarkerButton
    /click DropDownList1Button1
  3. Barrage does not hit hidden adds. Glaive toss is a better option here.

N Primordius
  1. Deterrence Usage: deflects most spells, including Caustic Gas. However, this does reduce your dps and deterrence is generally discouraged on this boss
  2. Maximizing Beast Cleave requires positioning the pet in the center of the largest cluster of kited adds. This requires constant pet management and should only really be done when you are not Fully Mutated. After you are Fully Mutated stay on boss and don't worry about cleaving (unless you are padding, in which case, you'll want to micromanage your pet to have it be located in the center of add clusters).
  3. Avoid picking up additional red clouds after you are Fully Mutated as these apply 5 minute debuffs, not buffs

N Dark Animus
  1. Deterrence Usage: Matter Swap (complete reflect)
  2. Can tank 2 small adds by allowing your pet to tank one and mend petting him.
  3. Distracting shot works on Small Anima Golems (if they get loose / someone dies)
  4. Can get through add phases quicker by moving to the Massive Anima Golem with your adds, but be sure you are spread apart from other small adds appropriately or raid members will die.
  5. Can Multi-shot/Beast Cleave if tanks move the Massive Anima Golems next to Dark Animus.
  6. Any ranged can pick up Anima Rings to allow the main tank on Dark Animus to get out. This debuff increases physical damage received, which will be zero for any hunter (you shouldn't be tanking anything when Dark Animus comes out)

N Iron Qon
  1. Deterrence Usage: Fire/Ice/Lightning lines (complete reflect) > Shatter (complete reflect) > Unleashed Flame (complete reflect) > Molten Inferno (complete reflect--shouldn't happen though)
  2. Disengage with Posthaste will remove the frozen debuff (if you get frozen) as does Master's Call.
  3. Disengage with distance is useful during tornado phase to get to safety and can also be used to jump over Fire/Ice/Lightning lines
  4. Master's call removes the slowing debuff

N Twin Consorts
  1. Deterrence Usage: Tears of the Sun (complete reflect) > Fire trail after Flames of Passion (reduced damage) > Ice Comet (reduced damage) > Cosmic Barrage (reduced damage)
  2. Can dot bosses who periodically show up (including AMoC, Lynx Rush, Serpent Sting, Fire Trap, etc.) and the dots will persist and tick while the boss is invisible.
  3. Disingage can be used to completely avoid Barrage by timing it to coincide with ~1 second after she actually casts barrage (which is when the ability triggers). This can be done regardless of whether Xuen's slow is active or not (it's obviously easier to time if the slow is active).

N Lei Shen
  1. Deterrence Usage: Static Shock (complete reflect for solo soak) > Thunderstruck (complete reflect) > Lightning Whip (complete reflect and reduced damage while standing in it)
  2. Posthaste is recommended here, especially for Phase 3 to quickly avoid Thunderstruck and move quickly to group for Ball Lightning on boss
  3. Barrage is recommended over Glaive Shot to aid in quickly killing Ball Lightnings. Always save Barrage for this add phase, and it is recommended that you first Multi-shot them to trigger Beast Cleave and then Barrage, so the damage is overlapping. Repeat AoE rotation until they are dead.
  4. Stampede has been known to cause lag for other raid members here with certain older addons. If a raid leader advises you to not use Stampede, ask if other people can simply turn off Recount and other addons that are causing the lag. Stampede can be used multiple times on this boss and is significant dps.

Throne of Thunder (Heroic)


H Jin'Rokh
  1. Deterrence Usage: Ionization debuff (or the damage at the end) > Lightning Storm > Lightning Orbs
  2. Though Lynx Rush cooldown does line up with pools, Blink Strikes is still more dps
  3. Hold cooldowns for pools, whenever possible. However, most guilds bloodlust the first pool, so haste buffs should be used before or after the first pool, with preference going to the shortest cooldown haste debuffs, which will be up for the second pool.

H Horridon
  1. Deterrence Usage: Dire Call > Venom Volley (if not interrupted) > Double Swipe (only if stupid)
  2. Use Snake Trap to keep your Pink Direhorn at bay. Also, try to keep the add cluster in between you and your Direhorn so every time you Multi-shot, you hit the Direhorn and knock him back. Serpent Sting, Fire trap and most other abilities only knock the Direhorn back once.
  3. Distracting Shot works on most add types to bring them to the tank for AoE
  4. Silencing Shot can be used on Venom Priests and Effusions to interrupt volley. Monkey pet can also interrupt.
  5. Stampede and Dire Beast can be placed on Horridon to take advantage of increased Damage Taken after Door 1
  6. Misdirect should be used on cooldown on all doors to help the add tank get aggro. Make a macro for targeting each tank and use it as appropriate to the tank who is tanking the adds. Something like:
    /cast [@] Misdirection

H Council
  1. Deterrence Usage: Sandstorm (while waiting for Master's Call) > Biting Cold/Frostbite (Deterrence is too short to last entire debuff) > Dark Power (if health gets low)
  2. Master's call is useful for removing the entrapment debuff on the Sandstorms. Posthaste talent will also cause Disengage to remove the debuff.
  3. Disengage can be used to help with kiting a loa, avoiding a Reckless Charge, or removing a sandtrap debuff (Posthaste)
  4. Frost Trap aids in slowing down Loa adds from Priestess Marli.
  5. Twisted Fate seems to prefer a person far away. If your raid wants you to be one of the people that gets Twisted Fate, disengage away from the rest of the raid and lay a frost trap in front of you to slow your add. The farther your soul is from its target, the less damage that will be done, so Glyphed Disengage is key here, and you have to use Disengage before Marli casts the ability.
  6. Camouflage can be used in combat (lasts 6s) to avoid being targeted by Biting Cold/Frostbite. This is best done with a macro:
    /stopcasting
    /stopcasting
    /cast Camouflage

H Tortos
  1. Deterrence Usage: Quake Stomp (reduced damage) > Rockfall (reduced damage) > Furious Breath (though it's likely a wipe)
  2. Spirit bond will heal your shield, but Iron Hawk is still more useful for reducing damage done to your shield. Healers should be able to fill shields quickly anyway.
  3. Misdirect should be used after the Vampire Bats spawn. Barrage should be spec'd into for this fight, and Barrage should be used directly after Misdirect and with the Vampire Bats targeted to ensure that the group is hit. Misdirect with Multi-shot is not as useful as Misdirect with Barrage and can actually be detrimental due to Beast Cleave (your pet may get a lucky string of crits and grab aggro).

    Make a macro for targeting the tank who is tanking the bats and use this macro to cast Misdirect.
    /cast [@] Misdirection

H Megaera
  1. Deterrence Usage: Rampage (complete reflect) > Poison Bombs (complete reflect) > Torrent of Ice (to keep ToI from covering much area)
  2. Deterrence can reflect Cinders but you have to click it before Cinders is cast, and it is likely wasted
  3. Some hunters have noted that you can Deterrence the first four seconds of a Torrent of Ice and then Disengage away to minimize the patch spreading. The ice patches actually grow over time, so it's extremely important that the raid do everything they can to minimize the area that will be spread over in each Torrent of Ice.
  4. Disengage with Posthaste can help with clearing Ice Patches if you gain the Cinders debuff by moving through Ice Patches faster.

H Ji'kun
  1. Deterrence Usage: Quills (reduces damage) > Acid Pools (note: you can reflect last tick of the pool to avoid the debuff)
  2. Feed Young has a larger radius now and is much easier to pop for the Nourishment buff. Try to catch this on the way down to a platform to gain increased damage. You can catch this by timing jumping off the main platform properly.
  3. Disengage should be saved for Downdraft and Posthaste spec'd to give yourself enough runspeed to not get pushed back. You need +60% movement speed to negate the pushback.
  4. Aspect of the Cheetah can be used during Downdraft, but if hatchlings are flying above, you can be hit with Cheep and dazed (glyphing can help with this, if you are doing Cheetah instead of Posthaste).
  5. Glyph of Black Ice can be useful on Downdraft, but you will have to be close enough to benefit from it.
  6. It is possible to Disengage onto one of the lower platforms if you get knocked off, but it's a much better strategy to only leave the main platform in a controlled way and only when you need to be on a lower platform
  7. The lower platforms are targetable from the main platform and the Hunter can Multi-shot spam to aid in killing lower platforms. You cannot be cleaved by the big add while on the main platform.

H Durumu
  1. Deterrence Usage: Life drain (must hit before you move in front of the drain) > Eye Sore (reduces damage if caught in one) > Color Beam (reflects for 5 seconds)
  2. Frost traps and Fire traps can be used on marked locations to indicate to others where the adds are (e.g. fire traps on red fogs, frost traps on blue fogs). However, this will not reveal the add, only trigger the trap. Optionally, you can use the following macro (requires Raid Assist):
    /click CompactRaidFrameManagerDisplayFrameLeaderOptionsRaidWorldMarkerButton
    /click DropDownList1Button1
  3. Barrage does not hit hidden adds, but it will hit Ice Walls.
  4. Beast Cleave can be maximized here with proper pet positioning in the middle of the room to hit all Ice Walls.

H Primordius
  1. Deterrence Usage: deflects most spells, including Caustic Gas. However, this does reduce your dps and deterrence is generally discouraged on this boss
  2. Maximizing Beast Cleave requires positioning the pet in the center of the largest cluster of kited adds. This requires constant pet management and should only really be done when you are not Fully Mutated. After you are Fully Mutated stay on boss and don't worry about cleaving (unless you are padding, in which case, you'll want to micromanage your pet to have it be located in the center of add clusters).
  3. Avoid picking up additional red clouds after you are Fully Mutated as these apply 5 minute debuffs, not buffs

H Dark Animus
  1. Deterrence Usage: Matter Swap (complete reflect) > Anima Font (complete reflect) > Interrupting Jolt (complete reflect) > Full Power (generally a wipe, if not killed within 10-20s--dependent on healing) > Crimson Wake (reduces damage, if Large Animas are activated--shouldn't be)
  2. Can tank 2 small adds by allowing your pet to tank one and mend petting him.
  3. Distracting shot works on Small Anima Golems (if they get loose / someone dies)
  4. Can get through add phases quicker by moving to the Massive Anima Golem with your adds, but be sure you are spread apart from other small adds appropriately or raid members will die.
  5. Can Multi-shot/Beast Cleave if tanks move the Massive Anima Golems next to Dark Animus.
  6. Any ranged can pick up Anima Rings to allow the main tank on Dark Animus to get out. This debuff increases physical damage received, which will be zero for any hunter (you shouldn't be tanking anything when Dark Animus comes out)

H Iron Qon
  1. Deterrence Usage: Fire/Ice/Lightning lines (complete reflect) > Shatter (complete reflect) > Unleashed Flame (complete reflect) > Molten Inferno (complete reflect--shouldn't happen though)
  2. Disengage with Posthaste will remove the frozen debuff (if you get frozen) as does Master's Call.
  3. Disengage with distance is useful during tornado phase to get to safety and can also be used to jump over Fire/Ice/Lightning lines
  4. Master's call removes the slowing debuff

H Twin Consorts
  1. Deterrence Usage: Tears of the Sun (complete reflect) > Fire trail after Flames of Passion (reduced damage) > Ice Comet (reduced damage) > Cosmic Barrage (reduced damage)
  2. Can dot bosses who periodically show up (including AMoC, Lynx Rush, Serpent Sting, Fire Trap, etc.) and the dots will persist and tick while the boss is invisible.
  3. Disingage can be used to completely avoid Barrage by timing it to coincide with ~1 second after she actually casts barrage (which is when the ability triggers). This can be done regardless of whether Xuen's slow is active or not (it's obviously easier to time if the slow is active).

H Lei Shen
  1. Deterrence Usage: Static Shock (complete reflect for solo soak) > Thunderstruck (complete reflect) > Lightning Whip (complete reflect and reduced damage while standing in it)
  2. Posthaste is recommended here, especially for Phase 3 to quickly avoid Thunderstruck and move quickly to group for Ball Lightning on boss
  3. Barrage is recommended over Glaive Shot to aid in quickly killing Ball Lightnings. Always save Barrage for this add phase, and it is recommended that you first Multi-shot them to trigger Beast Cleave and then Barrage, so the damage is overlapping. Repeat AoE rotation until they are dead.
  4. Stampede has been known to cause lag for other raid members here with certain older addons. If a raid leader advises you to not use Stampede, ask if other people can simply turn off Recount and other addons that are causing the lag. Stampede can be used multiple times on this boss and is significant dps.

Ra-den
  1. Deterrence Usage: Unleashed Vita (complete reflect) > Unstable Anima (complete reflect but still splits*) > Unstable Vita (complete reflect)
  2. * What I mean by "still splits" is that you are not hitting the others clumped harder, similar to Static Shock on Lei Shen if grouped on someone else's Static Shock when you Deterrence.

Other Resources


WebsiteDescription
MMO-Champion Hunter ForumsContains excellent discussion topics and an active community of end game hunters
Ask Mr. RobotGear optimizer and assorted tools, most of which are free
Noxxic BM Hunter GuideAnother BM Hunter guide.
WoW Hunter's HallBlogs and discussions concerning the Hunter class
Mists of Pandaria Buffs, Debuffs, and AbilitiesList of buffs, debuffs, and abilities useful in MoP raiding.


Macros

Appendix


Corrections

If you find any inaccurate, incomplete or omitted material, I would very much appreciate a PM so that I can make the necessary corrections. I would never intentionally mislead or misrepresent abilities, tactics, or descriptions of Hunter-related concepts. I appreciate suggestions and constructive criticism and hope this guide helps get the EJ Hunter forums on the right track toward aiding better discussions, mechanics comprehension, and raiding experiences for hunters.

If there's anything I can do to help others reach these goals, let me know.

Special Thanks

Special thanks go out to the end-game raiding and hunter community at MMO-Champion for their open discussions of Hunter topics. I would also like to thank Lokrick and Arisen at Simulationcraft for their discussions regarding Hunter simulation in their tool, and Zeherah at Female Dwarf for maintaining such an excellent Hunter spreadsheet.

Finally, thanks to hunters like Conjor who helped with the theorycrafting behind the RPPM mechanics and to all of the other hunters who have made suggestions or offered discussion topics in this thread.

Change Log

DateActions
5/30/2013Thread created
5/31/2013ToC rearranged and flattened with a focus on the Gear Optimization section
6/2/2013Added Raid Strategies for Normal and Heroic ToT
6/3/2013Added note that disenchanting a 522 item does not always result in a Haunting Spirit (Begemmot)
 Added macro for Camouflage to prevent targeting and uses in Council, as well as advice on Twisted Fate in H Council (mistake767)
 Fixed errors in N/H Tortos and Horridon strategies (Tiggs)
 Better MD macro and Autocast of Spec'd Level 90 Talent (Rivkah)
6/11/2013Added June 10th hotfix changes
6/25/2013Added Snapshotting/Dynamic Updates section
8/8/2013Updated RF and Stampede description for mechanics changes
9/3/2013Updated abilities and talents description for 5.4
9/7/2013Updated BiS section for SoO to have troll and orc profiles
9/27/2013Added BiS per Spec section for SoO
9/7/2013Updated BiS section for SoO to have troll and orc profiles
1/7/2014Added hotfix information for hunters in 5.4.2
2/1/2014Added notes about ramifications of hotfix on 2+ target situations
6/20/2014After extensive testing, simulations, and discussions on MMO Champion, I have updated the stat priority sections. These changes had been reflected in posts since February, but the guide section itself had not been updated.
7/21/2014Updated reforge section to reflect the 6/20 updates to stat priority


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#2 Beace

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

Nice guide!

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't engineering considered the #1 profession due to being able to stack Synapse Springs with other class cooldowns? Specially for BM where it can be macrod with BW.

I've also been wondering how SrS should be used in cleave/council fights. Is it worth trying to keep SrS up on multiple targets?

#3 Effinhunter

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:44 PM

Thanks, Beace!

I would definitely have to agree with you about the engineering boost from Synapse Springs being perfectly aligned for BM. I will probably move Alchemy to the tied position for 2nd and put Engineering up top. Any other suggestions on professions?

Has anyone looked into the math on Serpent Sting in a cleave fight with the current 5.3 mechanics? The last I saw math on this, Arcane Shots were even better uses of the GCD than SS in an AoE fight. With Multi-shot needing to be done every 4s to keep Beast Cleave up as much as possible, I would guess keeping multiple SrS up is even less productive now.

Edit: Professions listing is now updated with the suggestion. Thanks!

#4 Kaitain

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:25 AM

As I understand it there is a level of sustained DoT damage where Spirit Bond is healing more than AotIH is mitigating. Is it worth referring to that concept and finding out what the exact numbers are (or rather the formula, as the player's HP comes into it)?

#5 Nooska

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

Looks good - only thing I would suggest at this moment is to prune the TOC a bit. My primary suggestion for pruning in the ToC would be the 5.5.1.x and the 5.5.2.x listings, so it would be "Gearing for normal ToT [br] Normal ToT [br] Heroic ToT BiS"
Would make it easier to get an overview of the ToC.

Apart from that, it looks very promising - and I want to wish you good luck with the work.

#6 Effinhunter

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:26 PM

@Nooska

Thanks for the suggestion and best wishes! I've flattened the ToC and rethought some of the categories. Here's a listing of some of the changes:

1) Removed the BiS Gear category from Gear Optimization to flatten that tree section
2) Kept Simulators within the Gear Optimization set but moved Mods, Macros, Raid Strats, etc. to the top level. This structure was copied from one of the DK guides, and in hindsight, it didn't really make all that much sense.

@Kaitain

I would be very interested in that formula, but I believe Spirit Bond would have to be massively buffed to meet the damage requirements of most ToT bosses for it to be worth respeccing over Aspect of the Iron Hawk. It's not really about meeting gradual damage over time requirements (which any raid healer should be able to deal with anyway). It's about minimizing the spiky damage that healers have the most problems with (e.g., the Iron Hawk represents a constant, passive personal damage mitigation cooldown on Jin'rokh's storm, Megaera's Rampage, Tortos's Stomp, Horridon's Dire Call, and all other types of mechanics in ToT that tend to do massive amounts of damage).

Also, if there are specific raid bosses that have no such spiky raid death mechanics, that you would recommend Spirit Bond on, please discuss them and I will either add them to the Talent section for that ability or maybe into Raid Strats as a mention for the particular boss, once I start on that section.

#7 Gorek

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 06:53 PM

I can't really imagine a situation in a raid where Spirit Bond would be better than Aspect of the Iron Hawk. Spirit Bond does nothing when you're at full health, so you would have to taking damage consistently enough that you spend a large portion of the fight not topped off. As has been mentioned, large bursts of damage are what usually kills people, which AotIH is much better for. Taking constant low damage where you are never in danger of taking a large burst is where Spirit Bond would be better than AotIH, problem is that type of damage is not typically something healers have issues healing efficiently.

({Max Health}*.02)/.15 every two seconds is the break even point for damage healed by Spirit Bond and damage mitigated by AotIH.

At 537 ilevel I think I have somewhere around ~565K health raid buffed, so Spirit Bond would heal for ~11,300 every two seconds. 11,300 / .15 = 75,333.3 (repeating of course) damage every two seconds. So the threshold is decently high, but the rest of the circumstances like never being topped off, never in danger of taking a spike, unable to clump up and AoE heal are pretty unlikely.

Off the top of my head, the only thing I can think of would be something like Loatheb or an extended situation with the debuff on Yor'sahj where healers are limited in the number of heals they can throw around.



Has anyone tested/know the actual range of Beast Cleave?

#8 Effinhunter

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 07:29 PM

Has anyone tested/know the actual range of Beast Cleave?


Beast Cleave is listed as an 8 yard range around the pet. The listed range seems correct. It certainly wasn't 15 yards, and I don't think it's 10 either, but I haven't done any specific testing to see if it's actually 8 or 10.

Edit: I'll update the guide to list the 8 yard range.

Edit (2): Removed the word "target" from the first sentence of this post as this was causing some confusion.

#9 Beace

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:35 PM

Are you sure it's based on target and not pet position? I've seen experienced high level BM hunters talk about positioning the pet very carefully for cleaving (mostly for Durumu walls I guess), which lead me to believe it was based on pet and not the target. Maybe I misunderstood things.

#10 Arktem

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:20 PM

I can say with 100% certainty that it is based off of pet position and has nothing to do with your target. The AoE is actually circular with your pet being the focal point.

#11 Effinhunter

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:05 PM

Are you sure it's based on target and not pet position? I've seen experienced high level BM hunters talk about positioning the pet very carefully for cleaving (mostly for Durumu walls I guess), which lead me to believe it was based on pet and not the target. Maybe I misunderstood things.


This is the way I describe it in the guide in the multi-shot section. It's around the pet. The reply in this thread was just not as well-worded.

#12 Effinhunter

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 06:27 PM

Raid strategies have been added for Normal and Heroic ToT. Discussion is appreciated, especially on Heroic bosses, to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the guide. I've noted the sources of the information in the introductory paragraph here: http://elitistjerks....Raid_Strategies. If other sources are recommended, please let me know. Additionally, if anything is incorrect, especially on bosses I haven't had the opportunity to fight yet, please discuss them or pm me, and I'll update the section.

#13 Chernobyl56

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 09:02 PM

For the individual fight strategies for Horridon and Tortos, you may wish to make note of Misdirection. I often have observed hunters in pugs forgetting they have this ability, to the point that some don't even have it placed on their actionbar. If your tank is having trouble picking up the trolls on Horridon or the bats on Tortos, then Misdirecting could prove useful.

I would assume this to be common knowledge for those browsing this guide, but it wouldn't hurt to make a note of it.

#14 Effinhunter

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 10:53 PM

Good idea. I've added the following:

N Horridon / H Horridon

Misdirect should be used on cooldown on all doors to help the add tank get aggro. Make a macro for targeting each tank and use it as appropriate to the tank who is tanking the adds. Something like:

/target <insert the name of your tank>
/cast Misdirection


N Tortos / H Tortos

Misdirect should be used after the Vampire Bats spawn. Barrage should be spec'd into for this fight, and Barrage should be used directly after Misdirect and with the Vampire Bats targeted to ensure that the group is hit. Misdirect with Multi-shot is not as useful as Misdirect with Barrage and can actually be detrimental due to Beast Cleave (your pet may get a lucky string of crits and grab aggro).Make a macro for targeting each tank and use it as appropriate to the tank who is tanking the adds. Something like:

/target <insert the name of your tank>
/cast Misdirection



I also added this simple macro to the Macros section.

Edit: Added macro for pairing Beastial Wrath with Synapse Strings to Macros section.

#15 Effinhunter

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:06 PM

I received some requests via PM which have resulted in changes to the guide. On H Council, you can game the Twisted Fate mechanic by gaining distance from the raid and slow your soul add to ensure minimal damage that healers must take care of. On both N and H Council (and many other fights that target players with abilities), you can use Camouflage to avoid damage completely. There is probably a whole list of abilities in which this applies, and I would guess that almost anything you can reflect completely through Deterrence, you can also avoid altogether with the 6 second Camouflage. Just as with Deterrence, AoE ground effects will still damage you.

I've added a macro (provided by mistake767) to the macros section for stopcasting and casting Camouflage. Changes are in the Changelog.

#16 Effinhunter

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:19 AM

I've gotten many pms concerning macros, and I understand these are a popular way to customize the hunter experience. However, it's becoming very apparent that macros could also consume most of the guide if we really wanted to make the section comprehensive.

I've tried to come up with a compromise. The macros section is now split into three sections. First, creating macros. Then, how to customize macros, including links to lists of commands and abilities that are off the GCD. Last, some common macros that hunters may find useful. There are literally hundreds of macros that could be useful for some hunters, so if you have lists, similar to the one Drairon has provided, please submit them to me via PM and I'll add them to the macros section and the other resources section.

#17 aicemen

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 02:28 PM

I'm having trouble understanding why Voice of the Quillen is placed over Durumu's Blazeful Gaze (in regards to normal progression). Since with the first we would probably go over the hit cap while with Durumu's we could reforge mastery to hit (t15 pieces most give it), and it also have the two best stats for BM atm.

#18 Effinhunter

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 05:34 PM

I'm having trouble understanding why Voice of the Quillen is placed over Durumu's Blazeful Gaze (in regards to normal progression). Since with the first we would probably go over the hit cap while with Durumu's we could reforge mastery to hit (t15 pieces most give it), and it also have the two best stats for BM atm.


The Voice of the Quilen has been given a trade of 80 agility for 80 stamina, which augments its damage potential. In the BiS profiles, we are able to reforge the hit into acceptable ranges and take advantage of the extra 80 agility. If you are way over the hit cap, then the Durumu's Baleful Gaze may be a better weapon for you. It's certainly well itemized, but it's also within the stat budget for its ilvl and the Voice of the Quilen is not. 80 Agility is worth a lot of crit or haste, though, in terms of dps equivalence.

The Voice is also oddly overbudget. Primary stats should not be a 1:1 trade with something like stamina. For instance, look at the pure agility gem. It's a 160 agi gem. The pure stamina gem is 240 stamina. This is the ratio that should have held for exchanging the agility with the stamina on items. So, for the Voice of the Quilen, we should have been traded 80 agility for 120 stamina (which is still awesome), but instead we have a slightly overbudget item. It's not a huge deal, but it is puzzling.

After you get rid of the 522 ilvl valor trinket from the Shado-pan (the one with all the hit), you'll find that hit is generally easier to get rid of. The expertise from the Renataki's, on the other hand, can be somewhat problematic as you get closer to BiS.

Edit: P.S. The relationships outlined in the guide for weapons and trinkets were based on many simulations in both SimC and FD and not just intuitions

#19 Hefemus

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:18 PM

I thought orcs would be the better choice for BM do to the fact that they have the pet bonus?

#20 Tornn

Tornn

    Glass Joe

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:00 PM

Hi there,

I'm still curious as to why Talisman of Bloodlust is currently not recommended as one of the two BiS hunter trinkets. I'm currently 9/13 heroic experienced and possess a thunderforged normal version.

Originally in a great deal of discussion people have stated that in a normal to normal comparison of trinkets that Renataki parsed out to be a slightly higher gain in agility over Talisman's static (the exact numbers escape me, but Effin you are quite sharp so I'm sure you could come up with a comparison). They then estimated that you would have to average at least a 2 stack of the trinket and that a few hunters continued to complain that they barely ever got one stack.

Now, I have a feeling these hunters were using either an LFR version which might have had a reduced RPPM chance or were flat out wrong. I average 2-3 stacks and routinely get 5 stacks numerous times throughout a fight. Considering that a portion of Renataki's trinket will always be wasted because in BiS gear you will be over the expertise cap significantly, I wonder why a trinket with a solid amount of static agility and with a strong proc of our best secondary stat is valued so far below two agility proc trinkets. I can understand for SV considering Explosive shot for whatever inane reason doesn't proc Talisman and also agility procs are great for the snapshot nature of Black Arrow, but I was hoping that Effin you might be able to convince me with your wisdom as to why I should favor the other two trinkets if I have access to all at a heroic t-forged level.




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