Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hunter / Rogue 2000 Arena Rating 2v2

Shaedon Armory.  The Armory page should show my gear / spec that I used to get to 2000 until friday when I have to respec for 25 man Naxx.

Wow, I never really imagined that a Hunter / Rogue combo could get this high.  It has been a very tough challenge that has been extremely rewarding.

I might post more information about the combo if there is interest in it.  For now, I will relax and enjoy being 2000 rated as a Hunter / Rogue combo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3.1 Changes

The initial 3.1 changes are out and the PTR is up. 
My 3.1 page has been updated with the latest information.

Survival is getting the largest revamp and is the most confusing at the moment.  Looks like the PvE rotation for Survival could get very complicated with the new Black Arrow.

Marksmanship is getting a minor boost through talents and glyphs.

Beast Mastery is getting a minor boost through the pet talent tree (Wild Hunt talent) which seems to be bugged on the PTR at the moment (giving pets way too much attack power).

The most convenient change is the new skill called Stabled Pet, allowing us to use our stables every 30 minutes no matter where we are.

Disengage, the bread and butter PvP skill, is getting nerfed from 25 second cd to 30 second cd.

I think I will continue to think about all these changes and write up a larger summary of each tree in 3.1 in the future.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beast Mastery is back in Double DPS

Today I was a bit bored of always being a Survival Hunter and decided to once again try my beloved Beast Mastery tree to see if it could still work.  It does.

We started the day with a 1799 rating and ended at a 1939 rating tonight as a Beast Mastery Hunter with a Shadowstep Rogue in 2's.

Half the games we faced Rogue / Mage or Rogue / Healer teams.  We lost only one of those games.  Every other game we absolutely dominated them.  As a BM Hunter I can focus on the Rogue and with Beast Within there is nothing that can stop me from making his life miserable.

Rogue opens on me and I instantly blow my macro that casts my Attack Power Trinket, Orc Racial, Rapid Fire, Kill Command, Bestial Wrath and Intimidation.  This allows me to stun the Rogue and get away with BW, while my pet is doing massive damage.  Rogue will be slow on the vanish since I am using a Wasp pet.  After the Rogue tries to run away and Cloak + Vanish I am waiting with the Flare.

While all this is happening my Rogue is either destroying their Mage or if it is a Rogue / Healer team is on their Rogue with me.

Against Paladin teams we have difficulty since we have to focus on CC'ing the non Paladin which does not work with DK / Paladin teams as the DK has too many pets and takes me out too quickly.  So we now try taking out the DK first in DK / Paladin teams and that works some of the time if we get some lucky crits and a good Blind.

BM Hunter PvP Spec

Monday, February 16, 2009

Survival PvP

Common Best Comps for Hunters:

1. Hunter / Shaman
2. Hunter / Paladin
3. Hunter / Priest
4. Hunter / Druid 

1. Hunter / Paladin (Holy or Retribution) / Shaman
2. Hunter / Paladin / Death Knight

As you can see in 2's, Hunters need healers to be good.  Unfortunately my only serious 2's partner is a Rogue, so we just have to make due with an 1800-1900 rating.  We got up to an 1880's rating before falling back to an 1818 rating.  If we manage our CC flawlessly and play perfectly we have a chance to beat most teams.  Unfortunately we do make mistakes and one mistake will cost you the game when your playing a bad comp.

Spell Penetration

Most top Hunters use 75 Spell Penetration to combat enemy fire resistance.
35 Spell Penetration Enchant on Cloak and two 20 Spell Penetration Blue Gems.


There is no exact cookie cutter spec that is dominating the charts for Hunters.  Every top Hunter is a Survival spec, but each one specs a bit differently.  Perhaps specs vary because there are so many mediocre talents in the Survival tree.

Hunter / Healer Spec

This spec is very similar to the specs of most top Hunters.  I tend to favor Improved Concussive Shot, and could not see myself without it.

Double DPS Spec

This spec is a lot different than most top Hunter specs.  This is partly because there is no top Hunter that is running Double DPS (to my knowledge).

Mana is not an issue since fights are short.  Talents that benefit Frost Trap are not important because I will mainly use Scatter Shot / Freezing Arrow.  Extra Hit chance is important to combat Rogues (4% miss chance from talents, 2% miss chance if Night Elves).

Rogue / Hunter Strategy

Our strategy revolves around our ability to perfectly CC one of their players.  Ideally this is our CC rotation on easiest to CC target:

Sap (10 seconds)
Scatter Shot / Freezing Arrow (14 seconds)
Blind (10 seconds)
Vanish / Sap (10 seconds)
Scatter Shot / Freezing Arrow (14 seconds)
Wyvern Sting (10 seconds)
Cheap Shot / Kidney Shot (10 seconds)

That is 78 seconds of CC, however, this is not how things usually happen.

Real World CC rotation:

Other team manages to get in combat or has ground aoe to thwart off Sap.

Scatter Shot / Freezing Arrow (1-6 seconds as enemy will usually use their trinket)
Blind (10 seconds)
Wyvern Sting (10 seconds)

If my Rogue is quick on the blind that is a little over 20 seconds of CC.  This should give us enough time to burst the other person down.  If not, than my Rogue will go back to stunning up the CC target.  But if we haven't killed someone 30 seconds into the fight, most likely one of us is about dead.

Ideally we could just CC their DPS and go all out on their healer.  But we come across many Double DPS teams at our rating and a lot of Rogue / Healer teams (Rogues are very tough to CC).

Against any Holy Paladin team we have to go for the Paladin (as we cannot CC him through a Bubble) and CC his partner.


Tenacity pets are used when playing with a Healer.  Roar of Sacrifice and Intervene are just too good in longer fights.  Crabs and Turtles are the most common choices.

Ferocity pets are good for Double DPS.  They bring more damage, instant rez and Call of the Wild.  Wasps are the trademark pet for Double DPS as they bring Faerie Fire to the table, which screws up Rogues and Mages and thier ability to vanish / invis.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hunters Achieve Balance in Arena!

I would just like to celebrate this momentous achievement by the Hunter class.  I did not believe that Hunters would ever find true balance in Arena.

Today, Hunters are perfectly balanced in the Top 100!

WoW Reports, my other site, has a new post about the end of week 8.  Hunters have 10% overall representation (10.3% in 2's, 9.6% in 3's and 10.2% in 5's).  In any bracket, currently, Hunters can compete. 

This blog was founded on the thought that Hunters might never see their day in Arenas.  I must say, during the Beta of WotLK I was convinced that Hunters would still be the worst class in Arenas.

Disengage is the move that completely changed Hunters in PvP.  Chimera Shot and Explosive Shot certainly helped us against high armor classes, but without Disengage, every melee class would destroy us.

I am joyful that I stuck with the Hunter class even when things looked grim.  Thank you Blizzard for giving Hunters a solid chance in Arenas.  I am looking forward to watching some tournaments with teams that actually have a Hunter on them.

I know there might be some nerfs in the future for us (T.N.T.), but I believe WotLK is never going to treat Hunters like Burning Crusade did.  Hunter for life, pew pew.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Marksmanship PvP & Site Updates

After weeks of playing with Survival in PvP/PvE I decided to try my luck with a PvP Marksmanship build.
0/53/18 PvP Marksmanship

Readiness and Silencing Shot have come in very handy numerous times.
Marksmanship can come pretty close to the burst of Survival with 3 main instant shots (Arcane, Aimed & Chimera).  The play style is very similar to Survival, so it was easy to pick up and be successful. 

Only major problems is the mana consumption of Chimera Shot.  I expect Blizzard to lower the mana cost in the future.

Just updated the Survival page, it is now only about PvE and has updated 25 man #'s.

I plan to create a Survival PvP page sometime relatively soon.  My Survival Talent Guide will just have to wait until after 3.1 (too many upcoming changes).

Friday, February 6, 2009

3.1 Hunter Changes

Updated: April 2nd 2009

This post will be all about 3.1 Hunter changes.
This might be the complete list of changes as Hunters have not received any changes in the last few PTR Builds.

March 27th Information



  • Entrapment redesigned: When your Frost Trap, Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Snake Trap are triggered, you entrap all afflicted targets, preventing them from moving for 2/3/4 seconds. (Down from 2/4/6)

Bug Fixes

  • Cower: This pet ability will now display its cooldown correctly.
  • Disengage: This ability can no longer be used while riding any type of vehicle.
  • Froststorm Breath: This pet ability will now display its cooldown correctly.
  • Heart of the Phoenix: Can no longer be set to autocast (which did not work).
  • Rake: This pet ability will now always refresh when used by the pet.
  • Savage Rend (raptor special ability): Fixed a tooltip error to correctly note this ability boosts damage rather than attack power.
  • Spirit Strike: This pet ability now has its damage increased by Prowl as intended.
  • Spore Cloud: This pet ability will now autocast properly at all ranks.
  • Steady Shot: Now does correct damage with heirloom weapons.

March 24th Information (PTR Build 9722):

  • Black Arrow shares a cooldown with Trap spells.
  • Entrapment now prevent target from moving 2/3/4sec. (Down from 2/4/6sec)
  • Trap Mastery now increases the number of snakes summoned by Snake Trap by 3/6/9. (Down from 30/60/90, typo)

March 19th Information (PTR Build 9704):

  • Hunter T8 2P Bonus -- Increases the damage done by your Serpent Sting by 10%.
  • Hunter T8 4P Bonus -- Your Steady Shot has a chance to grant you 600 attack power for 15 sec. 

  • Glyph of Raptor Strike -- Reduces damage taken by 20% for 3 sec after using Raptor Strike.
 Beast Mastery

  • Trap Mastery now increases the duration of Frost Trap and Freezing Trap by 10% (Down from 20%), the periodic damage done by Immolatrion Trap, Explosive Trap, and Black Arrow by 10/20/30%, and increases the number of snakes summoned by Snake Trap by 30/60/90.

  • Stamped (Rhino) no longer knockbacks the target but causes it to take  25% additional damage from bleed effects for 1 min instead.
  • Spore Cloud range was increased from 5 to 6 yards.

March 12th Information (PTR Build 9684):

  • Wyvern Sting cooldown has been lowered from 1.5min to 1min.
  • Frost Trap now slows down the enemy by 50%. (Down from 60%)
  • Resourcefulness now also effects Black Arrow.
  • Entrapment changed to - When your Frost Trap, Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Snake Trap are triggered you entrap all afflicted targets, preventing them from moving for 2/4/6 sec.

Beast Mastery
  • Animal handler now increases the duration of your Master's Call effect by 6sec. (Down from 10sec)

  • Wild Quiver now deals 80% weapon nature damage. (Old - 80% Nature damage, wording change?)
  • Concussive Barrage changed from 3 to 2 ranks, now gives your successful Chimera Shot and Multi-Shot attacks a 50/100% chance to Daze the target for 4 sec. (Old - 2/4/6% chance on Auto Shot, Multi-Shot, and Volley)
  • Efficiency now reduces the Mana cost of your Shots and Stings by 3/6/9/12/15%. (Up from 2/4/6/8/10%)

  • Glyph of the Monkey has been removed.
  • Glyph of Mend Pet has been added - Increases the healing done by your Mend Pet ability by 40%.
  • Glyph of Raptor Strike - For 3 sec (down from 5 sec) after using Raptor Strike, you take 20% less damage.
March 6th Information:asses: General
  • Armor Penetration Rating: All classes now receive 25% more benefit from Armor Penetration Rating.
  • Haste Rating: Shamans, Paladins, Druids, and Death Knights now receive 30% more melee haste from Haste Rating.
  • Aspect of the Pack is now raid wide, and radius increased from 30 yards to 40 yards.

    • Beast Mastery

      • Animal Handler: No longer reduces the cooldown of Master's Call, instead increases the duration of the Master's Call effect by 3/6 sec.
    • Marksmanship

      • Chimera Shot: Mana cost reduced from 16% to 12%.
      • Piercing Shots re-designed: Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec. The damage done by this talent no longer receives modifications from effects that increase or decrease damage done by a percentage.
      • Rapid Recuperation re-designed: You gain 2/4% of your mana every 3 sec while under the effect of Rapid Fire, and you gain 1/2% of your mana every 2 sec for 6 sec when you gain Rapid Killing.
    • Survival

      • Explosive Shot: Base damage lowered by 10%. Attack power scaling reduced by 12.5%. The periodic damage from this ability no longer triggers Judgement of Wisdom and Judgement of Light.
      • Trap Mastery, Resourcefulness and T.N.T. now all affect Black Arrow.
    • Pets

      • Great Resistance increased to 5/10/15% magic damage reduction, up from 3/6/9%.
      • Turtles and Crabs now dwell in waters of and off Eversong and the Ghostlands, giving Blood Elf hunters access to local Tenacity pets.
      • New Talent: Wild Hunt: This new two-rank talent is available to all 3 pet trees. Increases the contribution your pets get from your Stamina by 20/40% and attack power by 10/20%.
    • Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey: No longer works while under the effect of Aspect of the Dragonhawk.

February 27th Information:

Ammunition: All types of gun and bow ammunition now stack to 1000. All quivers and ammo pouches no longer provide haste. 15% ranged haste is now built in to Hunter Autoshot.

Cunning, Ferocity and Tenacity pets now all have +5% damage, +5% armor and +5% health bonuses. This should make more pet families feel viable, while additional talents have been added to distinguish a pet’s abilities based on its specializations.

Viper Sting re-designed: Stings the target, draining 4% of mana over 8 sec (up to a maximum of 8% of the caster's maximum mana), and energizing the Hunter equal to 300% of the amount drained. Only one Sting per Hunter can be active on any one target.

  • Explosive Shot: Base damage lowered by 10%. Attack power scaling reduced by 12.5%.

  • Bullheaded now adds 20% damage reduction for 12 sec along with its current CC-removal effect.
  • Cornered: The crit reduction when this ability is active has been increased.
  • Feeding Frenzy increased to 8/16% damage up from 6/12%.
  • Furious Howl (wolf special ability) now stacks with Battle Shout and Blessing of Might, however, it only affects the wolf and hunter. Its effect and cooldown have been doubled so that it provides the same benefit but isn’t up 100% of the time.
  • Gorillas now have a new family ability, Pummel, which works like the warrior ability and has a single rank.
  • Grace of the Mantis and Roar of Sacrifice are now also available to Cunning pets.
  • New Talent: Shark Attack: This new two-rank talent is available to Ferocity pets. It increases pet damage.
  • New Talent: Silverback: This new two-rank talent is available to Tenacity pets. It heals the pet when Growl is used.
  • New Talent: Wild Hunt: This new two-rank talent is available to all 3 pet trees. It increases the stamina and attack power inherited from the hunter.
  • Roar of Recovery cooldown decreased to 3 min, down from 6 min.
  • Thunderstomp is no longer a gorilla-specific family ability and is now available to all Tenacity pets. It has been reduced to one rank.

February 23rd Information:

GC in the forums:

I know this is a little confusing, so I will try and clear it up.

1) Trap Launcher is a very cool idea and something we would love to do. However, it requires a lot of tech and may end up beyond the scope of what we can do for patch 3.1. We don't want to give hunters a buggy, half-baked ability. If you are going on the PTR to test Ulduar or just mess around with numbers, I wouldn't worry about this ability, at least for now.

2) Black Arrow is on the trap cooldown timer, and we assume largely for PvE. Black Arrow is your ability to proc things normally caused by traps (like LnL) in PvE situations when using a trap is a pain or the target is immune.

3) Think of Lock and Load triggering from traps (esp. Frost Trap) as a PvP mechanic. Think of Lock and Load triggering from periodic ticks (esp. Black Arrow) as a PvE mechanic. In PvE, you may want to use traps on trash or group pulls however. In PvP, nothing is stopping you from using Black Arrow if it works for you. 

Beast Mastery

  • *New Skill* Call Stabled Pet - A pet of your choice busts out of its stable and joins you no matter where you are, replacing your current pet. Cannot be used in combat. Instant. 30 min cooldown. Requires Level 80.


  • Kill Shot no longer has a minimum range. It can now be used in melee range.


  • Wild Quiver (Tier 9) now increases your chance to shoot an additional shot when doing damage with your auto shot, dealing 80% Nature damage, by 4/8/12%. (Previously it dealt 50% nature damage and had a 4/7/10% chance.)

  • Piercing Shots (Tier 7) Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec. (Previously triggered 2/4/6% armor ignore).

  • Ranged Weapon Specialization (Tier 6) is now a 3 point talent, increasing damage with ranged weapons by 1/3/5%. (Previously a 5 point talent increasing damage by 1/2/3/4/5%)


  • Disengage cooldown increased to 30 secs. (Previously was 25 secs)


  • Hunting Party (Tier 10) is now a 3 point talent, increasing agility by 1/2/3% and your Arcane Shot, Explosive Shot and Steady Shot critical strikes have a 33/66/100% chance to grant up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of the maximum mana per second. Lasts for 15 sec.

  • Trap Mastery moved from Tier 9 to Tier 2 and is now a 3 point talent. Increases the duration of Frost and Freezing trap by 10/20/30%, Periodic damage of Immolation and Explosive trap by 10/20/30%, and number of snakes summoned by Snake Trap by 30%. (Previously was just 1 point)

  • *New Talent* Black Arrow (Tier 9) - Fires a Black Arrow at the target, increasing all damage done by you to the target by 6% and dealing [ 10% of RAP + 785 ] Shadow damage over 15 sec. Costs 6% base mana. 5-35 yard range. Instant Cast. 30 sec cooldown.

  • Sniper Training (Tier 9) has been changed to increase the critical strike chance of your Kill Shot ability by 5/10/15%, and while standing still for 6 sec., you gain Sniper Training increasing the damage done by your Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, Black Arrow and Explosive Shot by 2/4/6% Lasts 15 sec. (Previously increased damage and critical strike chance based on your range to the target)

  • Wyvern Sting (Tier 7) now lasts 30 sec on the target. (Previously lasted 12 sec)

  • T.N.T. (Tier 4) now increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot,  Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2%. (Previously increased critical strike chance of explosive shot and and gave it a chance to stun the target)

  • Lock and Load (Tier 4) now has a 33/66/100% chance to proc off Freezing Shot, Freezing Trap, and Frost Trap, and a 3/7/10% chance to proc off the periodic damage of Immolation Trap and Black Arrow. (Previously worked on all traps and included serpent sting)

  • Improved Wing Clip has been removed from the game.

Glyph Changes

  • Glyph - Aimed Shot  -- Reduces the cooldown of your Aimed Shot ability by 2 sec. (Old: Reduces the mana cost of your aimed shot ability by 20%)

  • Glyph of the Monkey  -- While Aspect of the Monkey or Aspect of the Dragonhawk are active, each time you dodge you gain 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec.  Can only occur every 20 sec.  This speed does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects. (Old: Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey  -- While Aspect of the Monkey or Aspect of the Dragonhawk are active, each time you dodge you gain 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec.  This speed does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.)

  • Glyph of Wyvern Sting  -- Decreases the cooldown of your Wyvern Sting by 6 sec. (Old: Decreases the cooldown of your Wyvern Sting by 15 sec., but decreases the damage it deals by 20%.)

  • Glyph of Snake Trap  -- Snakes generated by your Snake Trap take 90% reduced damge from area of effect spells. (Old: Your Snake Trap creates 2 additional snakes)

  • Glyph of the Hawk  -- Increases the haste bonus of the Improved Aspect of the Hawk effect by an additional 6%. (Old: Renamed from Glyph of Improved Aspect of the Hawk)

  • Glyph of Chimera Shot *new*  -- Reduces the cooldown of Chimera Shot by 1 sec. 

  • Glyph of Explosive Shot *new*  -- Increases the critical strike chance of Explosive Shot by 4%. 

  • Glyph of Kill Shot *new*  -- Reduces the cooldown of Kill Shot by 6 sec. 

  • Glyph of Explosive Trap *new*  -- The periodic damage from your Explosive Trap can now be critical strikes. 

  • Glyph of Scatter Shot *new*  -- Increases the range of Scatter Shot by 3 yards. 

  • Glyph of Raptor Strike *new*  -- For 5 sec. after using Raptor Strike, you take 20% less damage. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Explosive Shot Stealth Nerfed

Explosive Shot is now [RAP * 0.14 + 428] - [RAP * 0.14 + 516] (according to reports).

Explosive Shot was [RAP * 0.16 + 428] - [RAP * 0.16 + 516].

It basically boils down to an 8-10% nerf to Explosive Shot, and in turn a 3-5% nerf to Survival Hunter damage. 

Even with this nerf, Survival Hunters should still be the best PvE spec in terms of maximum personal damage, but the lead is narrowing: 5% better than Marksmanship and 7% better than Beast Mastery (theoretically).

Post from Ghostcrawler confirming Explosive Shot stealth nerf:

We made a hotfix recently to lower the coefficient of Explosive Shot. Sorry we didn't get a chance to announce the change ahead of time. We don't typically do patch notes for hotfixes so we don't have a system in place to always broadcast these before they happen.

We are in the process of making some changes to get damage done more in parity (in PvP and PvE). If there are other classes far ahead of you on the damage meters, chances are good they will see some nerfs to their damage soon too.

Overall, we are trying to make changes in a more timely manner so that players won't feel like they are stuck with a bug or other issue forever. We won't be able to get every issue fixed overnight, but it's a start. 
Some of the Hunter 3.1 class changes are going to be announced very soon.  I am looking forward to see where our class is headed.