Aspect of the Beast: An Unlikely Love Story

So I was playin’ around on one of my lowbie hunters today and it occurred to me how much work I really have ahead of me in terms of Hunter Kindergarten. Aspect of the Viper at level twenty? Level twenty? Now I’ve gotta write a whole post about it since many more hunters are going to “stick around” long enough to get it now than before. I do think I will put that post off until Blizz is done tweaking it, though.

For today’s topic, though, let’s discuss a little thing called Aspect of the Beast.

Prior to 3.0, this Aspect did one thing: It made you untrackable by other hunters (and by druids in cat form). It was a 100% PvP aspect that was banished away to my hidden Tradeskills action bar and which I would use maybe once every six months in some random Warsong Gulch game when I remembered that it existed.

Post 3.0, it has some extra stuff added to it. Namely, aside from making you untrackable, it also increases your melee attack power and your pet’s melee attack power by 10%.

My first thought was “Great, I still won’t be using it.” The pet bonus sounded yummy but… melee? I have a hard enough time remembering to switch to Monkey when something gets in my grill– heck, I usually don’t bother. I didn’t see any use for this newfangled Aspect of the Beast.

…until the other day when I was leveling Serenity and he was having some initial difficulty holding aggro, and a little light bulb popped into my head…

1. More pet damage = More pet threat.

2. No Aspect of the Hawk = less hunter damage = less hunter threat.

3. ???

4. Profit!

Aspect of the Beast, as it turns out, is a super epic grinding aspect! You dispose of things with ease without having to break much of a sweat keeping the aggro firmly planted on your pet, even if he is a bit low level. Now, I want to make sure everybody is clear, this is NOT an instance/raid Aspect. This is for grinding/leveling/soloing/that kind of stuff. Where your DPS doesn’t matter so much. And even then, you should probably only be using it over Hawk when you are having pet threat issues.

I have also decided that this is a decent–though probably not the best– PvP aspect, partially for the untrackableness but largely because if you are stunlocked, there is a good chance your pet will not be, so he can still be pounding away with his 10% extra damage. (I learned this in several scuffles with a level 67 ret pally. THOSE THINGS ARE DANGEROUS EVEN WHEN THEY ARE LOW LEVEL AND IN GREENS. HANDLE WITH CAUTION.)

To summarize, if you are leveling or grinding or working with a low level pet and are having trouble keeping threat firmly on your pet, brush off Aspect of the Beast and give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

In other news, happy NATIONAL MOLE DAY! Have a picture of Avogadro the Mole that I made a while ago:

…hey, I told you I was a geek. It says right on the sidebar.

18 thoughts on “Aspect of the Beast: An Unlikely Love Story”

  1. Aspect of the Beast is great, I used it on a recent fishing expedition to Ironforge. Me being Horde, I wasn’t very welcome in the dwarven city so anything that makes me stand out less is welcome.

    Cool article, never thought of that application.

  2. ~A mole is an animal that burrows in the ground
    It’s a spot on your chin that you gotta shave around
    But there’s another mole of interest to me
    It’s the kind of mole they use in chemistry

    And a mole is a unit, or have you heard
    Containing six times ten to the twenty-third
    That’s a six with twenty-three zeroes at the end
    Much too big a number to comprehend~

  3. Hi. We are the nerdy brethren, and we’d like to offer you some pie.

    Three point one four one five nine, one five nine, one five nine!
    Three point one four one five nine, two six five fouuuur!
    *In a deep voice*
    Rounded to the nearest billioooonth.

  4. Happy Mole Day, Pike!

    On a side note, Pike, Azeroth needs your help. I need to enlist the help of all who are ready and able in combatting the spreading plague of undeath. You can see my pleas to the paladin community on Maintankadin and the official forums.
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=11693101695&sid=1
    http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/viewtopic.php?t=15946

    I know that as a hunter, you have no vested interest in the Argent Dawn’s efforts. But, you should. If this zombie plague spreads, the wildlife could suffer. And if that happens, there might not be anything left to hunt. A hunter without the hunt is nothing – Illidan’s dying words to Maiev ring true. Plus, you can’t tame zombies as pets, therefore what good do they serve?

    Help me rally the troops under the Argent Dawn’s banner! Show your solidarity with those of us who represent the Silver Hand! DESTROY ALL ZOMBIES!

  5. Using Aspect of the Beast is certainly better now. What I found even more odd was going through ElitistJerks.com is that they think using that aspect for a BM could potentially get you more overall damage than using Aspect of the Hawk. Now I have feeling once we hit 80 it’ll be a no brainer that the new Aspect of the Dragonhawk will be better but we’ll see. I do agree that while grinding/leveling as a hunter using that aspect makes more sense if you remember to turn it on.

  6. I love Aspect of the Beast, even pre-patch. As a heavy PvPer, I used to use that all of the time in Warsong Gulch. I’d kick it on, jump onto my lazy mount, and then cross the midfield to the Horde base, then sneak in and relay information regarding our opponents defenses. And back before the flag made you visible on the minimap, I’d grab the flag and hide until reinforcements arrived. Hunters couldn’t track me and I’d make sure I was standing somewhere Mind Visioning priests couldn’t recognize.

    In a way, I’m a little sad at all of the changes that have been made. I don’t use Aspect of the Beast any more, priests don’t need to Mind Vision flag carriers, and I don’t even switch between Tracking Humanoids to Tracking Beasts when a druid picks up the flag. Oh well!

  7. This is too funny..I discovered the same thing while leveling up my pet..happened to glance over the icon and did a doubletake..whaaaa???..10% increased damage…my AP goes down but who cares…now it is definitely much easier to grind…to be honest I never thought of the PVP aspect for it either..you learn something everyday.

  8. It was a godsend last night too when you are asked to tank a fight in a group with your pet… for example the Headless Horseman when there is no plate tank.

    Pop AoBeast, Misdirect while the Horseman is doing his flying-around-speech (boy is his poetry bad!), send in Phycho-kitty, Intimidate, Kill Command, Bestial Wrath and start shooting. Providing the healer was on the ball, we didn’t lose the pet once and he had a good solid hold on the aggro. Yes, it got taken off him once or twice, but he did good at holding it!

    The pet’s ability to tank even though it was a Ferocity pet raised a few (non-hunter) eyebrows!

  9. “I learned this in several scuffles with a level 67 ret pally. THOSE THINGS ARE DANGEROUS EVEN WHEN THEY ARE LOW LEVEL AND IN GREENS. HANDLE WITH CAUTION.”

    As a level 69 hunter doing second highest damage in a WSG, at 120k, you can’t help but feel somewhat pathetic when you see the highest damage dealer was a Ret Paladin on the Horde side… Who did 200k.

    At level 60.

    -weeps in the corner-

  10. @ Trushot – I found out because my level 34 hunter could learn it at the trainer, and it said “available at level 20” =P

  11. My Tauren Hunter is 70. He’s got Improved Hunter’s Mark and 51 BM points. I’m not uber-geared at all. What I found…

    I lose about 35 DPS going from Aspect of the Hawk to Aspect of the Beast. My pet gains about 34.3 DPS on the same switch… Overall, a loss of less than 1 DPS and I improve my pet’s threat capability substantially.

    Dinging to 80 = grind = Beast.

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