Hello folks! Today I’d like to talk about PvP as a Beast Mastery hunter and, more specifically, getting prepared for battlegrounds in order to gear up.
So your alt has just dinged level 90, or perhaps you’re thinking about getting into PvP on your PvE geared hunter. Where do you begin? Gear provides a significant advantage, so if you’re the latter, you’re already ahead. Rest assured though, gearing is relatively fast and easy once you know the right way of going about it. If you’d like to purchase the crafted PvP set remember that this will be quickly replaced by the honor set. Let’s go over some basic setup.
Level 15 – In the current state of things, Narrow Escape’s 8 second root is just too good to pass up, however this may change in 5.4 when it becomes dispellable. Posthaste’s 60% movement speed increase upon Disengaging lasts for 8 seconds, nothing to scoff at, and breaks movement impairing effects which are a real pain for hunters. Either is viable, use what fits your play style.
Level 45 – For battlegrounds, it’s between Exhilaration and Aspect of the Iron Hawk. Interestingly in 5.4, they’re indirectly nerfing Exhilaration by making Readiness not reset its cooldown. Currently I use Aspect of the Iron Hawk in 3s and Exhilaration in 2s, as the enemy tends to try and kill my pet more. Exhilaration is good currently when running double DPS teams in 2v2 but Aspect of the Iron Hawk trumps it when running a healer or playing 3v3.
Level 60 – I’d recommend Thrill of the Hunt.
Level 75 – As Beast Mastery you’ll want to be using Blink Strikes, the 50% damage increase for your pet is something you don’t want to pass up.
Level 90 – The best choice here is between Glaive Toss and Powershot. Glaive Toss is what I’m currently using due to the amazing damage, but I’m debating swapping to Powershot for the knockback it provides. Knockbacks are great against melee classes, especially feral druids, DK’s and warriors.
Glyph of Camouflage – Who doesn’t like stealth? This can be used to make your enemy drop you as a target, similar to Feign Death.
Glyph of Explosive Trap – Takes some practice getting used to it, but an awesome addition to your kiting arsenal.
Glyph of Solace – An essential glyph. In a future edition we’ll be discussing crowd control in arena, for which this plays a very big role.
Glyph of Animal Bond – If you play with a healer, consider this for battlegrounds and arena instead of Glyph of Camouflage.
Glyph of Tame Beast – Not necessarily needed for PvP, but if you’re like me and enjoy getting new pets then it never hurts to have this active.
Glyph of Revive Pet – Mandatory. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Your pet will die, and without your pet, your damage is crippled.
Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah – Probably one of the best minor glyphs.
Your bread and butter spells are, in order of priority: Kill Shot (If their health is low enough), Kill Command, Glaive Toss, Arcane Shot, Serpent Sting and Cobra Shot. Generally you want Serpent Sting up on a target but don’t worry too much about it. I’ve rarely, if ever, found myself using Multi-Shot in PvP, and only I use Cobra Shot when I need Focus. Consider using Widow Venom if you’re trying to kill a healer, but if you feel the global cooldown would be more suited to another spell, then don’t be afraid to neglect this either.
There are a few spells that I tend to never use in PvP such as Distracting Shot and Misdirection which are primarily PvE spells. Keep up Aspect of the Hawk and use Aspect of the Cheetah to gain distance.
Make sure to turn your pets Growl and Cower abilities off auto-cast. For now, leave your pet’s Rabid and Special Ability on auto-cast as we will cover how to put these into macros later. A full list of Special Abilities can be found here. Quick note on pets, remember to always have them specced into Ferocity for the most damage.
Scatter Shot with a well-placed Freezing Trap will render a player useless for around 10-11 seconds, assuming they haven’t already used their PvP trinket, and allow you to get some distance from your target.
Deterrence, Exhilaration (assuming you took this talent), Disengage (in conjunction with Concussive Shot/Glaive Toss for kiting), a glyphed Explosive Trap, and Master’s Call are all defensive cooldowns. Use them carefully as mindless cooldown mashing often leads to you having no more spells to escape with.
Silencing Shot could be considered both a defensive or offensive cooldown, depending on how you use it, so remember that as well.
A nifty trick is using Feign Death which will cause the enemy to lose target of you, interrupting their spellcast. Don’t neglect Flare either – feral druids are nasty things if they get off an opener. Remember that you have a dispel, Tranquilizing Shot, which when cast does not break Scatter Shot or Freezing Trap. Never use Stampede against a destruction warlock; it gives them a bigger chance to get a Burning Ember when using Rain of Fire providing them with insane self-healing.
Arguably though the most important cooldown of all is Readiness, resetting your cooldowns for all spells except Stampede. The use of this is extremely situational and is unfortunately getting nerfed in 5.4 by making it only reset Rapid Fire, Feign Death, Deterrence, Disengage, and Camouflage.
Where and on what should I spend my honor?
Hayden Christophen sells the Malevolent Gladiator set for honor to Alliance members. The Horde honor quartermaster is located a little further up the wall. In terms of which to buy first, I’d advise you look to see which would be the biggest upgrade according to your item levels.
-Rifle and longbow are 3500 honor each: these provide massive amounts of PvP power and will likely be your best and first purchase.
-Chestpiece, leggings and helm are 2250 honor each: Generally the trinkets, weapon and main set (Chest, legs, helm, shoulders and gloves) are the second biggest upgrade, but they cost more.
-Shoulders, gloves, belt, boots and trinkets are 1750 honor each
-Cape, neck and rings are 1250 honor each: the lowest upgrade, buy them according to what would be the biggest upgrade for your current gear.
Better get queuing for those random battlegrounds – honor isn’t going to farm itself, unfortunately. It’s all well and good reading up on how to PvP, but there’s nothing better than practice. For now, get used to your spells and earn honor in order to gear up. Please don’t be discouraged if you find yourself getting three-shot, soon you’ll be the ones sending them to the graveyard!
My choice music would be some incredibly high BPM drum and bass or dubstep, but that’s just me. There’s also a higher tier PvP set named Tyrannical Gladiator sold for Conquest points (awarded for winning an arena match, Rated battleground, or random/CTA battleground), but we’ll discuss that later on.