Four Point Oh Noes: The BM Hunter

Updated 10/20/10


For now this guide is going to be primarily regurgitation.  I’ll update it with my own information and findings after I get in some testing time tonight (as I had to wait until it hit live because the PTR hated me).

These specs are tuned for boss damage–at his point we’re still raiding, so soloing builds can wait until Cata proper.  My post on builds, including my spec, is here.

Other options: 31/5/0

BM used to have a proper rotation, but now it’s joined the Priority Club.

Start off your shots with Hunter’s Mark and Sepent’s Sting.

Kill Command > Focus Fire (when pet has full Frenzy) > Serpent Sting > Arcane Shot (focus dump) > Steady Shot (to regen focus)

Make sure that Kill Command is available for Beastial Wrath (nothing new here, you should have been doing this all along).  BW is now for Arcane Shot spamming, apparently.

Remember that you never want to sit at 100 focus, because then you’re wasting your focus regen!

Note that BM hutners do not yet have our “signature shot”–Cobra Shot isn’t available until 81, so I’d hold final judgements on this spec until Cata proper.  We can’t fully judge how awesome we’re going to be when missing a key shot.  My understanding is that it will replace Steady Shot.

The Cata thread on EJ posted this, but it made my brain hurt just to look at it.  If you can make sense of it though, kudos to you.

if HM is not on target or running out in less than a set time and there´s no MfD on target and focus/cooldowns/target heath don´t allow for KS or KC
–> cast HM
if KS is off CD and target health is at or below 20%
–> cast KS
if KC is off CD and enough focus
–> cast KC
if SpS is not on target and enough focus
–> cast SpS
if focus over or at 75 (modified by Efficiency)
–> cast AS
none of the above
–> cast CoS

Kill Shot, Arcane Shot, Steady Shot
Also an option: Kill Command, Serpent Sting
ETA: My personal testing has revealed that I actually have higher DPS replacing Serpent Sting with Steady Shot, so I have revised the post to reflect this. Serpent Sting topped out at about 4.7 on a dummy, where SS was usually at 4.8/4.9 with spikes of 5k.

Beastial Wrath
Also an option: Whatever the hell you feel like.  Frostheim lists disengage, but if you’re anything like me and trying to avoid disengaging off cliffs to your death, you might not want to go there.  Since I’m trying to afford re-glyphing eleventy billion alts right now in multiple specs, I’m acutally not rocking any Majors aside this one.

Mend Pet, Feign Death, Revive Pet

Notes on Stats
We only need 248 hit.  Pet hit no longer rounds down.
Crit > Haste?  Haste > Crit?  What about Mastery?  I’d love to answer this question for you but I don’t fucking know.  Research to come.  Haste is said to contribute to focus regen, but how much?  EJ is still working on this one.  So far it seems to 1% haste =1% focus regen.  I’m currently experimenting with trying to get more haste to see if this helps my “omg not enough focus” issue, or if I only fuck my rotation up more.  Ha.

From EJ:

… It’s unclear at this time whether agil/crit or agil/haste is preferable for yellow sockets but this is most likely relative to how high your crit and haste are. Keep in mind that although the crit and haste caps are very high, pet melee crit will cap out at a much lower amount, and haste’s value has sweet spots based on how it allows your shots to flow and keeps your focus in balance. Mastery can only be obtained at the moment from reforging. The theorycrafting on it isn’t clear at this time on whether it will outperform haste and crit.

As for old set bonuses, eh.  T9, even the 4 piece, is no longer as appetizing as it was.  I’ve opted to ditch my t9 entirely (keep in mind I killed LK rocking 4 pc T9 still) and wear what was once my survival set.  The higher crit/haste numbers on the higher ilevel gear gives me more room for reforging stuff.

Nightmare tears are now silly for us as we only benefit from agi.
Red: +20 Agility (Delicate Cardinal Ruby)
Orange: +10 Agility +10 Haste (Deft Ametrine) |  +10 Agility +10 Crit. (Deadly Ametrine)
Blue: +20 Hit Rating (Rigid Majestic Zircon)
Purple: +10 Agility +10 Hit Rating (Glinting Dreadstone)

Pets, Pets, and More Pets!
Hunter pet was normalized with 4.0, so now it’s a matter of personal prefrence/buffs.  While browising the EJ MM 4.0 thread I stumbled across from handy graphics (originally from Petopia?) that I shall now share:

Pew pew moonfire kitty now heals?  What?

Warcraft Hunter’s Union (
Elitist Jerks ( &
MMO Champs: (

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  1. #1 by Red on October 12, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    Huntards don’t have bubbles…. If I wanted huntard posts, I would not have subscribed to a priest / paladin blog…

    Sorry, I like to be useful, I will continue to play characters that can tank or heal, and not just OMG LOOK AT MY DPS!

  2. #2 by Fuubaar on October 12, 2010 - 2:14 pm

    This is an incredibly insightful lay out of the new Hunter Pets. I really like that blizzard is adding some utility to a pure DPS without making them lose out on some neat pets! I’m quite annoyed that everyone that has a hunter has a Wolf pet in tow. So many neat pets out there to tame and now they are all viable for a situation!

    Really helpful!

    Thank you ^^

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  3. #3 by Lumberola on October 12, 2010 - 7:48 pm

    nice flow chart! So is it looking like it’s sometimes better to take a cunning pet to fill a buff than take a ferocity pet with a overlapping buff?

  4. #4 by Divinewrath on October 13, 2010 - 4:44 pm

    Awesome chart! I just printed it out for reference! One question for those of us who like being told what to do since we can carry 5 pets with us at a time, which do you think would be the most valuable to always have at your beck and call?

  5. #5 by Echo on October 14, 2010 - 10:41 am

    DW – It depends on your raid group. But for me considering I’m going BM I’d probably take the exotics with the buffs my raid lacks.

    I know for certain I’ll have the Corehound.

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