Guest Post by Jessibelle: Raiding as Beast Mastery

JessibelleJessibelle from Moon Guard was generous enough to volunteer a guest post on a topic that I’m pretty sure has never appeared on this blog before: hunter specs and raiding.

[start guest post]

Everyone is well aware that back during the previous expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, Marksman and Survival were the hunter specs to be for Heroic Dungeons and Raiding. Well look out Rangers and Survivalists! You’ll be seeing a lot more Spirit Beasts and Corehounds making the scene!

Yes, that’s right. Beast Mastery is no longer the ‘lowbie/leveling spec’. Blizzard has gone above and beyond to ensure the hunter specs are generally evened out. As detailed by Scattered Shots, Survival still currently has the best AOE while Marksman can hold high standards for Single Targets.

Beast Mastery is not last place, however. They are in fact a middle ground for the two. The Beast Master hunter brings perks to the raid, which the other specs cannot. Exotic pets have not one, but TWO special abilities to bring to your groups.

For example, lack a shaman or a mage? The Corehound’s Ancient Hysteria has you covered, acting just like Time Warp and Heroism/Bloodlust. Paladin gone missing? Druid no where in sight? Fear not, the mighty Shale Spider’s Embrace of the Shale Spider will take care of Kings. A priest disappeared? The Silithid can buff your stamina with Qiraji Fortitude. These are just a few examples of how the Beast Master can help out your groups.

Of course, if all of these are covered, the Beast Master may bring any pet they desire. Devilsaurs have an excellent Critical Strike buff (Terrifying Roar), as well as a debuff (Monstrous Bite) to help take down those pesky bosses that like to heal themselves. Spirit Beasts are like bringing along a pocket healer with their Spirit Mend ability, where they can lend a helping hand … er … paw or claw, rather, when a player or itself gets too low on health.

All in all, Beast Mastery is now a very viable raiding spec and no longer the low-spec-on-the-totem-pole. Raid Leaders that may be reading this, do not judge the hunter by his or her spec.

For hunters reading this, would you like to give it a whirl? Fantastic! Warcraft Hunters Union’s Hunter Guides are the perfect guides to follow. They have specs you can work with as well as gear guides, and gemming/enchanting guides. They also have plenty of explanations on certain stats to help you understand why we need them. I’ve found them to be incredibly helpful.

Elitist Jerks is an okay guide but they tend to confuse people newer to the hunter class and their specs due to a lot of theorycrafting and mathematics involved. For those who prefer that sort of guide, the Elitist Jerks version may be more up your alley.

The bond between a beast and his/her master is an incredible thing. Now hunters can enjoy the Beast Mastery spec the way it was meant to be enjoyed. No longer will a true Beast Master be forced to play a spec they don’t enjoy.

Jessibelle & Friends

[end guest post]

I may not raid myself, but anything that let’s hunters play with the pet they love best has a big thumbs up from me.

15 thoughts on “Guest Post by Jessibelle: Raiding as Beast Mastery

  1. Jessibelle

    I really hope this will enlighten current and future raid leaders as well as raiders in general, whether they are hunters or not. ^_^

  2. Jessibelle

    Also just to note: I didn’t discredit EJ. EJ is just very confusing to newbie hunters. I leave EJ to the more ‘hardcore’ people or those who can do all the min/max math. WHU just simplifies things and explains more detail, which is something newbie hunters need so they know why we chose this talent over another…so on, so forth. :)

  3. Mania Post author

    *nod* I think that’s a valid point about Elitist Jerks. Goodness knows I’d rather start with Warcraft Hunters Union until I get my feet wet, and then graduate to EJ when/if I want the hard math.

  4. Elsi

    Well said Jessibelle! I think my raid leader is still having trouble with this (it’s getting better, but slowly) I ask if he needs my corehound and he goes “Nah bring your dps pet” No matte how many times I’ve referred him to WHU and etc. etc., he still doesn’t get it. /sigh.

  5. Jessibelle

    @Mania – Same here. EJ still confuses me but I understand it a little better now than I did back in the day.

    @Elsi – I hope this article can convince him. All pets can be DPS pets, regardless of tree. I’m lucky my raid leader/guild leader and entire guild(most of them anyway) understand it and have seen what I can do. Maybe this article will be a good read for your raid leader. :)

  6. Aylfric

    My suggestion would be, don’t wait or rely on your raid leader! He or she probably doesn’t have time (clearly not inclination) to check out WHU. Ask “do we have heroism?”

    Also, there is a cool addon called RaidChecklist. It can show you a little window which displays all the buffs and whether or not your group currently has them. With this, you’ll be able to see – does the raid have the Agility/Strength buff? Does it have Heroism/Bloodlust? If you see that there is a need for your core hound, then you can just bring it yourself.

    Even in my 10-player raids I find that most of the buffs get covered. However sometimes particularly we lack heroism, so out comes my Stroppy.

  7. The Insect Man

    I would dearly love for BM to be a good high end raiding spec. However most of the extra buffs BM hunters can bring are so liberally available in other classes that most 10 man raids will probably cover them (although, if you’ve neither mage nor shaman, then yes, absolutely). Other than that, although theoretical BM DPS is a little over Survival, practical DPS tends not to be owing to non-pet-friendly fight mechanics – lots of target switching/moving between targets (Omnitron, Conclave of the Winds), air phases where the pet can’t actually do any DPS at all (Atramedes, Nefarian), high AoE requirement (Magmaw, Maloriak, even Cho’gall*), or even the fight mechanics flat out killing or trapping pets for no obvious reason (Nefarian sometimes, Al Akir all the time). BM still needs a boost to be competitive.

    * if there was an exotic ferocity pet with an AOE ability this would be fine, but using a non-ferocity pet for BM is losing 9% crit on your major damage ability which is a serious loss.

  8. Jessibelle

    Ayl: Definitely! I always check myself or ask before I get any summons so I can be prepared for the different fights ahead.

    Insect: Totally agree BM still needs hammering out but we’re a lot better off than we used to be and can atleast now pull our own weight. I totally agree we need a ferocity AOE pet. Sadly the only AOE pets are Chimaeras(Cunning) and Worms(Tenacity). I used my Chimaera for Magmaw, which worked ok but I wasn’t pleased my dps wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. As for Conclave, I was still topping the charts with my Devilsaur okay but that fight is really hard to judge dps. I do agree the movement really kills it. As for 10 mans, you’d be surprised, there’s a lot of times things aren’t covered. In a 25-man, they’re usually all covered easily but a 10-man can be missing a few that you’d never think. If it’s covered, you can bring whatever you think will be helping(Spirit beast for healing intensive fights, devilsaur for the healing debuff on an boss that heals, etc.).

  9. The Insect Man

    I actually got extremely good numbers using a worm on Magmaw – the pet’s lower DPS is balanced by its AoE being more easily targetted.

    Conclave is nuts for recount – it generally won’t take account of people on other platforms, so you almost always come out on top, or at least very near.

    There are a (very) few fights where BM is genuinely well suited – spirit beasts on Chimaeron, for example, are a welcome self-heal, although the tight range of Spirit Mend is a pain. Any other fights where you move a lot but the boss doesn’t (Valiona & Theralion) is also well suited.

    I am extremely happy that it’s no longer wolf (or cat) or die – I raid with wasp, moth, ravager and sporebat (100% uptime cast speed debuff on fights where the warlocks have other things to focus on turned out to be a good thing (1)) – and cunning pets still seem competitive, and even advantageous with Feeding Frenzy on fights like the Elemental Council where damage on the last phase is absolutely key. I would dearly love to see BM (which as you say is way closer than it was in WOTLK) become properly competitive, but short of making pets fly or giving them a ranged attack (2) I suspect it will never quite happen.

    (1) Still can’t make rogues bleed as advertised though.
    (2) Hell yeah! Artillery pets FTW!

  10. Jessibelle

    @Insect: Worm? Hmm.. I might have to try him. the chimaera attack is a royal pain to channel properly.

    Oh yeah. Definitely is so I take that with a grain of salt….especially since more hunters will be assigned to the swirly wind dude.

    This is true but even so, the extra buffs/heals/etc. sometimes can be what turns the tide in a boss fight. I think BM does an excellent job with Halfus too(see my screencaps). But on places like the wind conclave, we’re pretty much in a rut.

    Me too. I absolutely loathed that because I longed to use my spirit beast or my ravager. Cunning does seem to keep up in DPS and can even help with thise DPS Race-type bosses as you said. I would LOVE if they allowed the flying pets to actually fly. Would give them quite a bit more purpose.

    (One day….those damn rogues will bleed from their anus…..)

  11. Snixy

    Hiya. I like your website and your good information. Please upload more stuff. Hunters want it. I know I want it. Otherwise I like your “guest” columns. That is a good way to keep it fresh. Other perspectives. Rock on! Looking forward to the next post.

  12. Gimlion

    Insect: Where are you getting the minus 9% crit for not using a Ferocity pet? As far as I’m seeing, Cunning and Ferocity are neck and neck, with Tenacity not too far behind for damage, so Idk what that crit has to do with this. I must be honest in saying that this is the most balanced the Hunter class has ever been between pets, specs, etc. And I love it.

  13. Kaura

    I’ve always felt that as BM is the most penalized when a pet isn’t dpsing for whatever reason (movement/dead/etc), we should be no less than equal to MM and SV when pets are out, and we’re not quite there. BM is not in good shape at the high end (see: but it’s certainly good enough for mere mortals to raid. I was pleased to see myself pulling 18k recently on fights I was expecting in the 12-13k range on.

    I will second a Worm over a Chimera for AoE – not only is Burrow easier to use than Froststorm but you get Thunderstomp.

    My usual stable is spirit beast, silithid, shale spider, core hound, turtle. That gives me an emergency tank as well as being able to cover a missing buff, and if everything is covered then it’s nice to help the healers out.

  14. Chrizesu

    Well BM scales very well with gear. According to those spreadsheet people though it’s still under marks which scales the best with gear. Marks scale so well it overtakes survival.

    BM also has incredible burst and will top along with encounters tailored to burst specs.

    In raiding right now I have to say sticking to one spec honestly is not the answer since so many encounters require different playing styles. It’s really up to the hunter to figure out the best to time to use what.

  15. Goldenfinger

    Your guest post is nice. But all you basically say is, “BM IS GREAT, DO IT.” Without offering concrete evidence that it is in fact so. I appreciate the links to WHU, but you dissuade people from EJ, where you can find people who have actually taken the time to test the spec before jumping on the bandwagon. According to your armory, you haven’t done any of the firelands bosses with your hunter, nor Occu’thar, so how can you know how well BM does in those raids?

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