Jademcian at Jade’s Forest: There’s been a lot of debate since 5.2 went out regarding which hunter specialization will be the new supreme choice. Some people say that Beast Mastery is still the primary single target spec, while Survival is still the primarily AoE spec, with Marksmanship falling behind both. Others say that Beast Mastery and Marksman are equal in single target, while Survival is the best AoE. Still others say that both Beast Mastery and Marksman pale in comparison to Survival on both accounts.
In the first week of raiding, I played a mixed combination of BM, SV and MM. In the second week of raiding, I only played MM. After this experience, this is my opinion on the three hunter specs and where we’ll see them go as the tier progresses:
The first half of the instance is going to largely favour survival, while the second half of the instance is going to largely favour beast mastery and marksmanship. As far as I can tell, survival is still the king for AoE, while they all do similar single target potential depending on the length and nature of the fight. Anything that’s single target with multiple interruptions or travel time will favour marksmanship more than beast mastery. However, anything that’s single target that greatly distracts the player without hassling the pet, such as Durumu, will favour beast mastery more than marksmanship. In all cases, the standard deviation for performing well favours survival. The longer the fight, the better marksmanship seems to do. Marksman is also less forgiving with its cooldowns than Beast Mastery is for single target, whereby Beast Mastery gives the players more room to make up for their incorrect whack-a-mole phases. . . . read full article