I’m really wavering on what spec I want to go to with my hunters for the remaining month that we are level 70. I’m actually pretty certain that both will be different specs– both Beast Mastery, of course, but different talent point placement. Whether they will be largely different or only slightly different remains to be seen.

I’ve been playing around with the WoWHead talent calculator and I’ve narrowed down my choices to a few options. Before I present them, I’d like to get a couple things out of the way:

Lack of Animal Handler: This was a must-have talent for 2.0 Beast Masters because pet hit did not scale with hunter hit, but now it DOES scale, so I don’t really see a need for this talent at this point so long as you are hit-capped. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, though, so I am certainly going to be keeping the possibility in mind of keeping this talent around, but for now, it’s out.

One-point in Spirit Bond: A filler talent to allow me to progress to the higher tiers of talents. I don’t really care about the health regen so much as the added +heal to pet and the subsequent boost it will give Mend Pet which may help out in tough encounters. If it turns out to not make much of a difference I will probably toss that filler point in Endurance Training instead.

Lack of the 51-point BM talent in a few cases: As much fun as the exotic pets and four extra talent points are, I… really like my current pets, a lot. Plus, I don’t know if the DPS increase from that last talent will be worth it when you can put the points elsewhere. So while it may sound like Beast Master Blasphemy, I’m actually really torn on this talent. I’m sure it will be theorycrafted out before long but until then, I’m not too sure.

Focused Aim vs. Go for the Throat: Considering that the level 80 gear I have seen seems to have a disturbing lack of Hit Rating on it, Focused Aim is sort of looking like a mandatory talent. But in many deep-BM talent builds that would mean forgoing Go for the Throat, and in my experience and testing on the Beta server, Go for the Throat is just… ridiculously better than Bestial Discipline in terms of pet focus regen. I figure for now I will probably opt for GftT on Tawyn (who is hit-capped) and Focused Aim on Lunapike (who is far from hit-capped. The stat just seems to avoid her. It’s depressing.) We will have to see how things go at 80.

Okay, now on to the specs! Remember, these are all designed for level 70 (not 80) and general Burning Crusade PvE.

Full-on Deep Beast Master: 55/6/0. This is pretty straightforward and nabs you all the deep Beast Master goodies including the Exotic Pets and then starts you down the Marksman path. Its biggest perk is being able to go right out and get your devilsaur or core hound today, but its drawbacks include the fact that honestly I don’t know if you’d be better off DPS-wise with the Marksman talents first. Which leads me to…

Getting Your MM Talents Out of the Way First: 45/16/0. Gets you all that lovely stuff in Marksman including Go for the Throat, at the cost of the top-tier BM talents. Once WotLK hits and you start leveling you will have just enough points to snag all the deep-BM talents and you will eventually end up with 55/16/0 as you would above… you’re just doing it in a different order. I would also be up for variations on this theme (46/15/0, to nab 2/2 Invigoration, perhaps).

Double the Fun: 40/21/0. This was my latest test build on Beta and you guys, The Readiness/Bestial Wrath kung-pow-combo is pretty hard to top in the Fun Department. The way I see it, with this build, you’d have two options once Wrath arrives: you can either get The Beast Within for even MORE epicness and then continue down the BM tree (sans the Beast Mastery talent, though), or you can continue down MM and wind up with Trueshot. No idea, without doing the testing, if either of these builds would be considered truly-top-level viable at 80, but they are fun to think about. The biggest downside of this build is that you are missing the fun new BM stuff. But… double Big Red Tux!

Well, those are my ponderings this morning. Just to provide some interesting comparison (and also cause I can’t make up my mind) I think Tawyn will pick something similar to one of those specs, and Lunapike something similar to another one of those specs. When was the last time I mentioned that I love having two 70 hunters, again? /grin

My work shift today happens to be all evening (/sob!), so I can’t guarantee any updates tonight, but the rest of this week is looking pretty open for me (yay managers randomly encouraging me to use up my vacation hours!) so I will be there bringin’ you all the news and stories as they come. Your own thoughts on Beast Master specs? Want to (gently) point out any big errors I made or make some suggestions or sway me one way or the other? Lemme know!

17 Responses to “R-E-S-P-E-C-Me”
  1. Personally, I’m waiting till 80 to grab that last BM talent. My focus till I hit 80 will be questing with my tanking gorilla. So when I respec tonight, this is what I will grab (long URL):

    http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?hunter=052032015252122131305310000000000000000000000000000000005005101000000000000000000

    I really want 2 points in G.F.T.T, but I couldn’t afford it. It will be the first thing I grab at 71. After that, I’ll be grabbing Cobra Strikes, Kindred Spirits, and Beastmastery. My goal isn’t to have the best DPS. In fact, my tanking pet will not have Cobra Reflexes. I don’t mind if he isn’t hitting fast, or hard. Just that he’s using his AOE often, and absorbing all that damage. Hence why there is also no Improved Hawk. I won’t be topping meters, but by god I’ll be tanking some 5 mans, no matter what Blizzard says.

    Again, missing a few old BM favorites, like Rapid Killing, but again, this isn’t about killing fast. It’s about tanking. My Gorilladin (named Malcom) will have tons of focus, health, and armor. My Hyena (Hoban) will be pulled out when I respec slightly for DPS and/or PVP. I also plan on getting a Spider named Jayne, Sporebat named Simon, and Ironjaw the wolf, and name him Derrial.

    5g to the first person to get the naming theme.

  2. The more I think about it, the more I want Careful Aim. Maybe I’ll get it for my DPS spec.

  3. krizzlybear says:

    Pike, the first spec you listed adds up to 62, if I’m not mistaken. It’s probably 54/7/0, or 55/6/0, but I can’t access wowhead through work, so I can’t really say wht it is exactly. Just letting ya know, though.

  4. Pike says:

    Lilt, you are talking to somebody who always names their dinosaur pets either Wash or Hoban.

    I expect my 5g in the mail post haste! =P

  5. Pike says:

    @ Krizzles – Ah, it is supposed to be 55/6/0… my bad!

  6. Pike, you may wanna look into your CSS not stretching awkwardly when people post long links in comments. Looks pretty icky, actually. :x

  7. Huntress says:

    I really liked your guide to levelling. I’m at 60 now on my BM hunter and I know that a levelling build will look different, but what should I change?

  8. Pike says:

    @ Rilgon – Yeah, I noticed >.> I’m not sure how to change it though, because I’m a noob. If anybody knows how, could they um, let me know? >.>

    @ Huntress – That… I think will probably be covered in a future post! /nod

  9. Pike says:

    Ah, there we go. Found an option in the layout to make it say “Link” if it’s a long URL. MUCH better! /phew

  10. Definitely way better. :D

  11. oriniwen says:

    I’m expecting to have to re-spec both of my characters at least three times before WotLK finally hits. Right now my hunter’s spec is the “kid in a candy store” one. It has every yummy little goodie that made me squeal and jump around when I read them on the forums and of course it has the 51 point talent. Momma Ori wants herself a devilsaur! That being said, I’m going to likely have to trim a lot of the fat from BM (before 80, natch) and maximize my raid dps. My guild will raid like normal till the day expansion comes out, so I certainly can’t be seen slacking!

  12. Ionutz says:

    I think I’ll try http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=ctbMzgtRmu0xRZ0eVbR with a carrion bird first, then a raptor, got 35% crit unbuffed, wanna see Cobra Strikes keep up Frenzy & Ferocious Inspiration. Still not sure how good Invigoration is, on PTR it didn’t make much difference with or without.

  13. So, ive been playing the wowhead talent trees for about an hour now, and I still have no clue what to do. I was SV for Imp traps and readiness; but now readiness is MM and Imp traps is deep SV. It’s just confusing. /cry

  14. [...] advice on how to spec your talent tree if you are not up to experimenting head over to Pike’s, BRK’s WoW Insider post or Drotara & Lassirra’s podcast. The Mystic Hunter also [...]

  15. Dilecto says:

    I took the 51 talent point in BM after looking up on Petopia the difference in pet talents. I LOVE my bear, and I shall never part with him, but it would be good to mess around and find a raiding pet I enjoy playing with (love my cat… but everyone has a cat).

  16. Repaxan says:

    “So, ive been playing the wowhead talent trees for about an hour now, and I still have no clue what to do. I was SV for Imp traps and readiness; but now readiness is MM and Imp traps is deep SV. It’s just confusing. /cry”

    Suggestion: grab 2 pieces of Beast Lord armor, and try out a SV/MM hybrid. Works perfectly for me – my trap lasts 26sec, cooldown is 23sec :)

  17. Repaxan says:

    err… my math appears to be to be broken, looks like I must’ve been drunk posting that :P

    anyhow… meant to say, trap lasts 20sec, cooldown is 20sec. something goes wrong, then hit readiness.

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