My Hunter (and pet) talent spec for 3.0 and WotLK

If you have followed the blog for more than a day or two you have already read about my computer woes on patch day. It was a good time, really it was. I like nothing better than fixing the computer so I can play my game.

Well I finally did manage to get everything back together and running correctly just in time to log in and find that Murphy had been waiting in the wings, ready to pounce. It turns out that every single addon that I like happened to be borked. Huzzah for a second day of fixing things so that I can play.

Heading off to Auctioneer.com and Curse.com I proceeded to find 3.0 compatible addons to start rebuilding my UI. Although not completely done rebuilding yet, at least the game is playable again.

Rebuilding my UI is a story for another day however (probably Monday). Today is about where I dropped my hunters talents when I logged back in. I will likely write up something similar to this for the priest for posting tomorrow. I spent a bit of time playing with talents and this is what I came up with and why.

First up is Drupadi, my 70 huntress. I could just say I specced 56/5/0 Beastmastery and leave it at that, but that would be no fun. One thing to think about is how important it is that your build and your pets build need to be designed to work together. Consider that when choosing pets and setting up their talents. It is very much like having one big spec, the more they work together the better it will all be in the end.

Well here goes, just keep in mind I am here to educate, entertain, and occasionally make a fool of myself. On a good day I can do all three at the same time. Here is what I picked, what it does, and why I went there.

 

Edit: While the information here is still (for the most part) valid, there have been some pretty interesting changes in the last few weeks since i wrote this. Google, in all its infinite searchy wisdom likes to direct folks here as opposed to the more recent articles.

So, if you have a few minutes drop by and check out the more updated posts that go right along the same lines as this one.

The first is written with a Beastmastery  Hunter and a Tenacity pet in mind, it can be found  HERE.

The second was written with a Beastmastery Hunter and Ferocity pet in mind, and it is available HERE.

Beast Mastery

Improved aspect of the Hawk 5/5       

While Aspect of the Hawk is active all normal ranged attacks have a 10% chance to increase ranged attack speed by 15% for 12 seconds.

While this has always bee a favorite of mine it just received a really nice indirect buff that makes it even better. Special shots no longer interfere with autoshot. With more autoshots going downrange this will proc a lot more often than it used to, and once it does it will likely continue to refresh itself throughout an encounter. Also coming soon to a scribe near you Glyph of Improved Aspect of the Hawk which will increase the haste bonus from 15% to 21%. I cant wait to get that one and start shooting like a machine gun, especially if used along with rapid fire.

Endurance training 1/5

Increases the total health of your pet by 2% and your total health by 1%

Mostly a filler talent that will help out a bit while soloing, although honestly I have had more mana issues than health ones.

Focused fire 2/2

Your damage increases by 2% while your pet is active and the critical strike rating of your pets special abilities increases by 20% while Kill Command is active.

Not only do I do a bit more damage, but my pet will crit more often. Good synergy with later talents that proc off of pet crits. Most notably these include Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration in this particular build.

Improved revive pet 2/2

Casting time of Revive Pet reduced by 6 seconds, mana cost reduced by 40% and your pet returns with 30% more health.

Despite all our best efforts sometimes fluffy ends up taking a dirt nap. When this happens getting him back into the fight as quickly and efficiently is a definite plus.

Aspect Mastery 1/1

Aspect of the Viper – Reduces the damage penalty by 10%.

Aspect of the Monkey – Reduces the damage done to you while active by 5%.

Aspect of the Hawk – Increases the attack power bonus by 30%.

I plan to run with Hawk for damage, switching to Viper for mana regen, this benefits both for one point. Once I hit 75 and get access to Aspect of the Dragonhawk it will be even better. Score!

Unleashed Fury 5/5

Increases the damage done by your pets by 20%.

More damage is a good thing, nuff said.

Improved Mend pet 2/2

Reduces the mana cost of your Mend Pet spell by 20% and gives the Mend Pet spell a 50% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the pet each tick.

Not only do we save mana but we get a cleanse as well. Some folks only go one point here, I always go for two. Now if I could just get it to cleanse the “stompy stompy shake the screen” debuff it would be all good. Breaking news, Blizzard realised it is annoying and will be turning the screen shake off. I would link the blue post but apparently my computer was hungry and ate the link.

Ferocity 5/5

Increases the critical strike chance of your pet by 10%.

More crit is always a good thing, good synergy with Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration. Not to mention you need 5/5 just to get to Frenzy.

Spirit Bond 2/2

While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 2% of total health every 10 sec., and increases healing done to you and your pet by 10%.

While the passive regen is nice it was never enough on its own to make me drop points here. The second half though 10% healing to both me and my pet is huge. The less the healers have to worry about me the better. They have more important things to worry about, Like keeping the tank alive for instance. This should also be a good help in soloing as it does work with mend pet, helping to offset the points we did not take in Endurance Training earlier.

Intimidation 1/1

Command your pet to intimidate the target on the next successful melee attack, causing a high amount of threat and stunning the target for 3 sec

I love this talent, it comes in handy when soloing for sure. It also comes in quite handy when trying to convince wayward mobs that, in fact, they do not want to chew the healers face off. Face it though, with this being a requirement for Bestial Wrath the talent could read “causes butterflies and pretty flowers to surround you, kind of like in the movie Cinderella. This has no benefit whatsoever” and I would still gladly drop a point in it.

Bestial Discipline 2/2

Increases the Focus regeneration of your pets by 100%.

More focus = more special attacks. It’s that simple. I may revisit this at 75 or so when I can have 2/2 in Go for the Throat, but until then this stays. If I do lose it later the points will likely go towards Frenzy and Careful Aim to round them out.

Frenzy 4/5

Gives your pet a 80% chance to gain a 30% attack speed increase for 8 sec after dealing a critical strike.

More attack speed = more damage. More importantly more crits to proc Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration.  I would rather be 5/5 here, but until I am sure of my focus regen I will steal a point for Bestial discipline.

Ferocious Inspiration 3/3

When your pet scores a critical hit, all party members have all damage increased by 3% for 10 sec.

Nice when running solo, damn good when running a five man, absolutely huge in a raid situation. It’s like a party, the more the merrier.

Bestial Wrath 1/1

Send your pet into a rage causing 50% additional damage for 18 sec. While enraged, the beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed.

The big red pet. Such a defining talent of the Beastmastery hunter that several blogs are named after it. Any hunter this deep in the BM tree who does not take this should be hunted down by his own pets.

Invigoration 2/2

When your pet scores a critical hit with a special ability, you have a 100% chance to instantly regenerate 1% mana.

With the changes to mana regen and potion usage that are now in effect this should give me a nice buffer before popping Aspect of the Viper and losing out on damage I should be doing.

Serpents Swiftness 5/5

Increases ranged combat attack speed by 20% and your pet’s melee attack speed by 20%.

I shoot more often, my pet attacks more often. More damage, more crits, more procs of all the other nifty stuff starting the whole circle of pain rolling. One of the main reasons BM hunters do so much damage is right here.

Longevity 3/3

Reduces the cooldown of your Bestial Wrath, Intimidation and Pet Special Abilities by 30%.

Once again speeding up the process of bringing the hurt down on the bad guy of the moment. Are we sensing a theme here? hit harder and faster, crit more often, proc all the goodies. Wash, rinse, repeat. Also useful for mana conservation, since you use less when under the influence of Bestial Wrath. When used together with a Glyph of Bestial Wrath  it will cut the cooldown on you big red pet down to 64 seconds. that’s right at 1/3 up time.

The Beast Within 1/1

When your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 10% additional damage and reducing mana costs of all spells by 20% for 18 sec. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed.

Besides the obvious benefits of extra damage and mana conservation this talent has the best tooltip ever. Say it with me now…. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed. doesn’t that just make you want to go log in and lay the smack down on something?

Cobra strikes 3/3

You have a 60% chance when you critically hit with Arcane Shot, Steady Shot or Kill Shot to cause your pet’s next 2 special attacks to critically hit.

More pet criticals! sweet! Once again we are going down the list proccing Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration with all their yummy goodness. Welcome to the circle of pain.

Kindred Spirits 5/5

Increases your pet’s damage by 20% and you and your pet’s movement speed by 10% while your pet is active. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.

The movement speed increase is a nice bonus, now I don’t need to have a Riding Crop equipped. It’s much harder to forget to swap out if I get to leave it on the bank. The meat of this one is the further 20% damage bonus for my pets attacks.

Beast mastery 1/1

You master the art of Beast training, teaching you the ability to tame Exotic pets and increasing your total amount of Pet Skill Points by 4.

Is the ability to tame an exotic pet game breaking? Nope. While they are pretty nice, and according to early comments by Ghostcrawler will be getting a damage buff, that’s not why I am here. I am here for 4 more pet talent points.

Marksmanship

Lethal shots 5/5

Increases your critical strike chance with ranged weapons by 5%.

Once again we are looking at crit. As of this point in the build the only thing it will fee into is Cobra Strikes. Then again if I proc that the next two pet specials crit as well in turn proccing Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration. Not bad for 5 first tier talent points. Later on when I have Go for the Throat it will become even better, helping keep that focus bar full.

Well, looks like we are done right?

Wrong. Don’t you kinda feel like we are forgetting something? You guessed it, we still need to spec our pet. This particular spec would (I think) work well with just about any pet, however I set it up with my cat Shadow in mind. Lets look at his spec and see how it plays with this one. 

Ferocity Build (cat in this case)

Cobra Reflexes 2/2

Increases your pet’s attack speed. Your pet will hit faster but each hit will do less damage.

While we may do less damage with each attack we will hit more often. More hits = more crits feeding into the whole “circle of pain” we tried to make in the Hunter build.

Dash 1/1

Increases your pet’s movement speed by 80% for 16 sec.

When your pet needs to be there yesterday you will be glad you took this one, and so will your healer. Also such a help in soloing that it felt like slow motion when I did not have it. Remember, time spent running towards the mob is time not spent killing him, and until they are down you can’t go through thier pockets looking for loose change.

Great Stamina 3/3

Increases your pet’s total Stamina by 12%.

More stamina, more health. Dead pets don’t kill bad guys, ’nuff said.

Bloodthirsty 2/2

Your pet’s attacks have a 20% chance to increase its happiness by 5% and heal 5% of its total health.

Self healing and less feeding! Who could ask for more.

Avoidance 3/3

Reduces the damage your pet takes from area of effect attacks by an additional 75%.

The less damage my pet takes the longer it keeps killing bad guys. With all the splash damage and AOE effects in newer instances this one is a must for me.

Heart of the Phoenix 1/1

When your pet dies, it will miraculously return to life with full health.

Seriously, how could I possibly turn this one down. Although handy while grinding solo, this will be huge in Boss fights where fluffy does end up taking a dirt nap for some reason. That will be both time and mana I will not have to spend on resurrecting my pet.  Having this is almost enough to make me rethink taking Improved Revive Pet and put those points elsewhere instead, Almost.

Spiders bite 3/3

Increases the critical strike chance of your pet by 9%.

With all the other crit based talents we have worked into this build I would be a fool to turn down an extra 9% chance to have all those start the “circle of pain” rolling.

Rabid 1/1

Your pet goes into a killing frenzy, increasing attack power by 5%. Successful attacks have a 50% chance to increase attack power by an additional 5%. This effect will stack up to 5 times. Lasts 20 sec.

Yet another reason to attack faster, besides the crits and the rolling circle of pain that it brings we also get to stack this causing even more damage.

Call of the wild 1/1

Your pet roars, increasing the melee and ranged attack power of all party members within 40 yards by 10%. Lasts 20 sec.

Like Ferocious Inspiration this will be nice solo, great in a five man, and huge in a raid instance. It’s like a party, the more the merrier.

 

As of right now my long term goal is a build that looks either like this one at 56/15/0 Beastmastery or this one at 55/16/0 Beastmastery depending on how well focus regenerates. I plan to balance that with a ferocity pet build like this one  at level 80. Although with everything so new all this will likely change by the time I get there, probably more than once. At any rate it’s good to have a plan, even if it will likely change.

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