Nooska has written a preliminary Beast Mastery guide for 5.0.4.
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Nooska: This is the thread for Beastmaster hunter discussion for Mists of Pandaria. Places marked as TBD are to be done.
This post relies heavily on information generally available, where such information was discovered or is available elsewhere I make no claim of credit for it. For the basics such as rating values, I have used the MoP FAQ on Elitist Jerks as done by Rivkah/Zeherah
Abilities and usage
- Kill Command (KC) Our primary nuke ability. You want to use this as often as possible.
- Serpent Sting (SrS) Since Cobra Shot extends this, you will only have to apply it once per target in most cases. It has low DPS but a very high DPCT [damage per cast time] (theoretically infinite, with cobra shot refreshing it).
- Arcane Shot (AS) This is focus dump ability. No cooldown, 20 focus. Arcane shot is our primary dump ability, and as we gain focus regen we will shift damage from CoS to AS
- Cobra Shot (CoS) Always use this in place of Steady Shot. Generates 14 focus and extends Serpent Sting by 6 seconds.
- Hunter’s Mark (HM) 5% bonus ranged damage on the target, apply this before combat if possible. Applied/refreshed automatically with Kill Command and Arcane Shot via Glyph of Marked for Death
- Multi Shot (MS) Our main AoE ability, hits all targets within 8 yards of the target, and activates Beast Cleave for 4 seconds..
- Explosive Trap (ExT) It ticks every 2 seconds, 10 times total for AoE fire damage. (unverified)
- Kill Shot (KS) Our execute range shot, does 420% weapon damage and has the old glyph baked in, so it resets the CD if it doesn’t kill the target (ICD 6 seconds).
In MoP we have two important aspects during fights: Hawk and Fox. For PVE, the primary benefit of each is that Hawk provides 10% additional AP and Fox allows you to cast Cobra Shot while moving.
Ideally, you will not have to use Fox and can do all of your movement while casting instant shot casts (everything but Cobra Shot). In practice, there will probably be times when you want to move while not having the focus for instant cast shots. Aspects are on the Global Cooldown (GCD) in Mists from so you have to think about when you will need to switch – this leads to a greater emphasis on pooling focus for short movements, and only switching for phases where you will move almost constantly.
- Bestial Wrath. Our shortest length “big” cooldown, it lasts for 10 seconds and has a 1 minute cooldown. The primary benefit of Bestial Wrath is that it reduces the focus cost of all our focus costing abilities by 50%. In addition it increases the pets damage done by 20% and hunters damage done by 10% for the duration. During Bestial Wrath you do not want to use Cobra Shot to regenerate focus, since the only benefit to Cobra Shot is 10% more damage. You want to make sure you have focus before using BW. BW should not be used while under Rapid Fire or external haste effects unless not using it will cause you to lose 1 or more BW’s over the course of the fight and Rapid Fire should not be used during BW.
- Stampede. TBD
- Frenzy / Focus Fire. Our pets have a 40% chance on each Basic Attack (claw, bite etc) to gain a stack of Frenzy. Frenzy stacks on us, but affects the pet, and grants 4% increased attack speed for the pet, and stacks to 5 for a total of 20% increased attack speed for the pet. Frenzy lasts 30 seconds.
- Focus Fire is a personal haste boost that lasts 20 seconds and consumes all frenzy stacks. We gain 6% haste per stack of frenzy consumed for 30% total when at 5 stacks. The pet gains 6 focus per frenzy stack consumed.
- Focus Fire should be used when we have 5 stacks of Frenzy. The exception is just before a BW, as the attack speed increas on the pet will mean more attacks from the pet during BW with the 20% bonus and we don’t benefit from the haste during BW. This increased attackspeed for the pet translates directly into more damage from the pets autoattacks.
- Focus Fire is on the GCD so it is important to note that you will sometimes delay it to avoid delaying KC.
- Rapid Fire. A 3 minute cooldown that increases our ranged attack speed by 40% for 15 seconds. RF also increses focus regen while active(to be verified). Rapid Fire does not change the priority of our shots, so follow the normal priority. As haste is not very good for us FR is not a major DPS cooldown, that would be BW. Rapid Fire should not be used while under Bestial Wrath since the increased speed would only affect our autoshots, and we do not suffer from lack of focus.
- Readiness. Readiness, previously a MM talent, is now baseline. Readiness resets all our CDs under 5 minutes (thus excluding Stampede). Readiness should be used as often as possible with the most gain possible. In practice this means that we will want to use Readiness right after the first BW, with KC on CD (more on this in the priority section), so we get 2 full BWs right after eachother, a nota bene here is that we will want to get off at leats one, maybe 2 CoS between, regardless of whether we have enough focus, to keep up SrS.
- Ancient Hysteria / Bloodlust / Heroism / Time Warp. As BM hunters we can provide this otherwise external haste buff by bringing a Core Hound. Ancient Hysteria (or one of the other names) buffs the haste of the entire party or raid by 30% for 40 seconds. Under AH maintain your regular priority, as above under RF.
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