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.
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.