We’ve all been there, right? Most hunters start at level one, and have to get to 80 the long way. On that vein, I am going to answer a very simple question today. “What should I spend my next talent point on?”
All the guides I’ve read (and certainly most of what I’ve written) seem to be about what to do when you hit 80- how to spec for raiding or PvP. This post will go through the steps involved in building a hunter spec on the way up to level 80.
First off, I’m going to go over a BM build because it’s the most questing friendly build. Every step taken will increase one of the following things:
- Pet survivability
- Pet or hunter DPS
- Questing speed
Let’s start from the top, shall we?
- Endurance training to 5, as pet survivability outweighs personal DPS in most situations.
- Focused fire to 2 because it increases pet and hunter DPS
- Split the last 3 points between thick hide and improved revive pet however you see fit. Thick hide allows for less incoming damage, but on those harder quests, improved revive pet can save corpse runs if you can get one off after losing a pet.
- Pathfinding to 2 allows you to move faster.
- Unleashed fury to 3 is more pet DPS, and we’ll want to come back and dump points here whenever we run out of DPS talents in lower tiers.
- Improved mend pet to 2 reduces downtime, increases pet survivability.
- Ferocity to 5 to increase pet DPS, and allow for us to get another talent down the tree.
- Intimidation to 1, which increases pet threat (thus your DPS), pet survivability (can’t take damage from a stunned mob), and allows for more must-have talents down the tree.
- Bestial discipline to 2, because more focus is more pet DPS. Watch your pet- if he’s not focus starved (waiting for focus to do his next move) then skip the second point here for something else.
- Spirit bond to 2 for larger pet heals and less downtime.
- Frenzy to between 2 and 3. Watch the frenzy buff uptime- if it’s under 80%, then use more points. This buff scales exponentially and then caps. The more uptime, the more likely your pet is to crit and get another proc of frenzy, but the benefit of going from 80% uptime to 99% is less than a point in, say, animal handler. I find 3 to be a nice number for leveling.
- Bestial wrath to 1 so your pet can insta-gib elites every two minutes, and so we can get another must-have talent in a later tier.
- Ferocious inspiration to 3 for 3% personal DPS pretty much all the time and harder hitting arcane shots.
- This may leave you with one point to spend somewhere before you can get to the next tier. If you need to, feel free to go down and fill something up (like unleashed fury in tier three).
- Serpent’s swiftness to 5. This will increase overall DPS quite nicely.
- The beast within to 1 so you enrage with your pet for more DPS.
- Longevity to 3 to have more frequent cooldowns.
- Cobra strikes to 1 for more pet crits which makes everything a bit better. We’ll come back here if we ever need somewhere to dump more points into DPS.
- Kindred spirits to 5 for more DPS and faster pet movement.
- Beast mastery to 1 for extra pet talent points, and maybe an exotic pet if that’s how you roll.
Now, we have plenty of points to go, and we have to make a decision. Do we finish up the beast master talents we didn’t have the points to fill, or do we go over to marksmanship and work there? Well, I prefer to get some key talents in the marks tree first and then maybe come back to fill up BM.
Marks tier one
- Lethal shots to 5 for more crits.
Marks tier two
- Mortal shots to 5 for bigger crits
Marks tier three
- Go for the throat to 1.
This is the reason we go into the marks tree. Combine this with our newly found crit-happy ways, our pet will become a focus regeneration machine. Normally, this is when I jump back to the BM tree and fill in the talents I didn’t finish up getting here. I’d suggest you choose between animal handler, unleashed fury, invigoration, cobra strikes, and maybe frenzy.
There is a very nice amount of synergy here- all the talents provide nice feedback loops. Crits from you or your pet proc all kinds of wonderful buffs- the one thing I remember from when I was leveling BM was the constant and slightly ridiculous amount of buffs I would have randomly proccing.