[7.1.5] BM vs MM? Which do I pick?

18 posts in this topic

Hello all,

So, first off, I've decided to bring my hunter out of retirement and have begun the (not so horrid) grind. I've reached the point in Legion where I have both my BM and MM artifacts and I've messed around the current "best" talent choices and rotations to try and see how they play out.

I'm in the early stages of Legion levelling (currently 103) but I have mained a Death Knight since just after Legion started and wanted a nice old school rDPS alternative for when the raids call for it. I've messed around with both specs *briefly* (and naturally as I level I'll get a better feel for them both) and I can't really decide which route I'd prefer to go down and with the incoming changes to BM (buffs all around it seems) and nerfs to some aspects of MM I'd really like to gather the opinions of other people to help me decide which route is best for me.

Things I've noticed so far:

1. Focus regen is an issue in BM and too a lesser extent in MM, I constantly find myself out of focus for up to 1-2 seconds, so I'm stood AAing - is this normal? A product of low, under-geared, lack of haste?

2. Sidewinders feels HORRIBLE to use. I'm all for using what is best for that DPS race, but this talent just feel so poor to use. It might be a product of the way I play my Frost DK, but I like having filler spells, and the loss and or Arcane and Multi shot spam just hurts my gameplay feel.

3. Did I mention Sidewinders feels horrible? The fact it pulls everything unless I'm hugging my target in melee range really doesn't make sense to me either. Why is this the mechanic?

4. From a round of log reading I've seen that both BM and MM (as of 7.1.0) perform better in various fights and in various ways -- But my guild mates tell me otherwise. This could be a lack of them personally playing either spec, but just something I wanted to query what people think, although I guess with the changes coming it isn't as relevant now.


For anyone that can give me any advice on which way to go it would be very appreciated, I'd love to get back into Hunter, I just really can't decide which spec will suit me best in playstyle and raiding! (Also, I'm torn on a class fantasy level because Windrunner bow vs 2 pets!)

Thanks for taking the time to read (and reply!)

Edited by Nyancoil
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Well, I'll preface this by saying I've played a hunter on and off for almost 10 years and mained it for WoD and now Legion, so I'm quite comfortable with each of the specs. I personally prefer BM, it's great for leveling, WQs, and any and all outdoor /  solo content.

Now, as far as pure DPS goes in raids; you'll find a lot of the time MM will come out a little bit higher than BM, but realistically it's down to the player. If you're looking for a smooth, more interesting spec I'd say BM for sure; it's got a little bit more excitement and the burst phase is quite regular and it's very enjoyable to play and has absolutely incredible burst dps. It's only downfall is switching targets, so fights like Cenarius and Odyn are a bit clunky on it, but other than that it's a very good all-round spec. 

MM has quite a basic yet sometimes frustrating due to RNG rotation, it doesn't have a lot of buttons or variation atm, however it is getting quite the overhaul in 7.1.5. From what I've seen so far, BM will be a lot better in Nighthold, almost on par with MM and in some fights it would come ahead. Personally I'm biased because I find it a lot smoother to play and I love the idea of doubling up on pets! With that in mind, Hati can be quite frustrating at times (not so much in raids, but in M+ and some solo content) by not following the exact movements of your current pet, and while it does mostly mirror your main pet, it will occasionally glitch a little. I've yet to have this affect my raiding in any way though. 

You'll also find that both specs are very easy to play, but as you can see by a lot of the posts on here, some people to struggle to get a lot out of them. 

And as for your issues with sidewinders (and I'll group barrage into this as well...), MM requires a lot of careful placement of your character to ensure you don't accidentally pull extra mobs (more so in M+ than raids). While leveling this can be a pain in the butt, which is why I'd recommend always having a pet if you're leveling as MM and just MD'ing everything to it. Works a charm (especially with MM getting the 30sec cooldown reduction on Exhilaration for every enemy killed). 
BM is a lot better with this, you won't accidentally pull extra mobs with your abilities, but if you ever have to skip mobs just make sure to dismiss pets (their aggro radius is glitchy sometimes, can pull from ages away!).

Focus regen in BM isn't as much of an issue if you follow the guide quite closely, you should only be draining your focus in your burst phase, outside of Bestial Wrath you should pretty much always be hovering around 70 focus. Only ever cast cobra shot if you're above 70-80 focus. MM you'll also find yourself having to occasionally wait to make sure you have enough focus for aimed shot / sidewinder regen etc; so no that's not just you, and it doesn't improve that much at 110.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask, or if you want some logs to see how I play as BM etc, please don't hesitate to ask.

And finally I'll finish this by adding that I personally find I outdps every MM hunter I go up against, whether they're better geared or not, and I know that comes down to the player, but still XD.


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     I have been reading this forum for a while but never really felt the urge to post until i read the comment above. While helpful and informative I found it pretty BM biased O.o Which is understandable as the guy mains BM hunter. As a MM hunter main I would like to give my own take on answering some of your questions but before I do, I think in the end of the day you should play whichever spec you find most enjoyable. And atm there is not much point comparing MM and BM due to the huge changes (especially to MM) coming in the patch on the 10th/11th Jan but here goes :P


I am not sure what influences your enjoyment of a spec/class, everyone is different, but if you are like me then doing max/top damage is something that is important for you to enjoy your spec and should be a factor you take into account. At the moment, on movement heavy fights (Ursoc for example) and m+  BM hunters perform better as a general rule of thumb however, as Andanath said above, MM hunters are considered the top raiding spec as it can do more dps/damage in the hands of a skilled raider. Take a look at any of the top raiding guild hunters (check wow progress, Method guild for example) and odds are they will be MM spec (unless they are gearing their offspec atm). Also, there is no definitive data/information on which spec will be better in Nighthold. I have read a lot of ppl saying BM will be stronger (including hunters from top guilds like method) due to it being so mobile and getting buffs however recently I saw a few sims where MM was smashing BM spec for damage so I think its too early to tell.


Forgetting damage meters and comparisons, even though sidewinders (i know it has a cone but sometimes....wtf) and barrage drive me mad sometimes, i really find MM to be much more enjoyable to play. In the next patch it is looking like both sidewinders and barrage will hopefully drop out of our spec anyways so fingers crossed!! On the surface the MM spec seems like a rotation based spec but due to the rng procs of marked shot and lock and load it becomes very fluid where you are constantly reacting and adjusting your play. Also, the skill cap is much higher as you need to manage your rotation aswell as your positioning due to the movement restrictions of aimed shot (new legendary gloves in the patch make aimed shot castable while moving btw!!!)  but this increased difficulty does lead to increased damage if you can get the hang of it. 


I have BM (35 traits) as my offspec and do use it for some world quests and it can be better in mythic + due to its high burst on low cd  and unrestricted movement however on sustained fights or spread aoe fights it just does not keep up. But the main reason I am not a big fan of BM atm is the huge amount of downtime during fights where you are just auto attacking, I personally find the spec pretty boring O.o My pets are doing the damage for me???? no no no, I want to do the damage!  :P There can be short periods due to rng that there is downtime as a MM but not very often if you get the hang of managing your cd's / focus. That said I am ready to switch in NH if it turns out that BM does do more damage after the patch......but lets hope not :P

I will also finish on a similar note, I don't have impressive logs and I am not a top raiding hunter but I have only ever been out dps'd by one BM hunter in a m+ (never in a raid, maybe by the hunter above? :P) who had both BIS legendaries while I have none ): 


Anyway, just play the spec you find the most fun lol




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To go off again what the above comment said, I was a bit BM biased but that's only because I hate how MM is nowadays, it used to be a much more enjoyable spec. Just the pure freedom of movement is enough for me to stay BM hahaha.

Realistically it's very easy to swap between the two unless you get a BiS legendary for your spec and then obviously that spec becomes a lot better. Just like how I got the Apex Predator ring for my hunter and now MM feels like it has half the impact of BM for me.

Either way, 7.1.5 is a few days away, just wait til then to give it a crack to really see the difference. Plus they both scale differently with gear - MM scales a lot more with gear.

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Thank you both for your input, it's nice to see both sides of the coin and it is actually nice to see people hope that SW and Barrage become "optional" as a lot of sims show it may. I have always been torn between BM and MM.

For me, much of my Hunter play has always been from a class fantasy perspective. I'm also very much about doing as much damage as possible as I enjoy competing with my fellow guildies for top DPS (although, damn Shadow Priest always outdoes my lowly Frost DK).

The barrier really feels for me to be the legendary system, as you've both said, have BiS legendary can add massive changes to damage, playstyle and rotation and I don't like the idea that if I pick one spec I'm relying on a legendary to make it more mobile (MM) or have a lower downtime (BM).

I have a really hard time not being able to move and the SW build forces me to stay still too often as I have no spammable damage if I have to move around (which really makes me hope that it isn't mandatory next patch -- but we'll wait for the numbers I guess!)

Comparativly, BM is super mobile (which as a DK main is a breathe of fresh air) but the feel of it and the fact it has so much downtime if you're unlucky does kill it slightly.


I shall just wait for the numbers and keep playtesting and checking the IV guides as they update! I genuinely hope to see more gameplay options be available with 7.1.5 as a mobile bow wielding badass would be right up my alley.. but then again, pets pets pets!

Alas, we shall see.

I appreciate all the input, and more is welcome, it's actually a weirdly hard decision and knowing me I'll probably go with what does the most damage, but the feel of a spec is a close second, so I guess we'll see very soon!

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Check out the changes to t19 set bonuses. BM gets a HUGE buff and MM gets nerfed hard! Might persuade you a little bit there! A lot less downtime as BM with the 2pc!

Also with BM downtime, since your pets are your main damage source it's actually not that bad, it would honestly almost be the equivalent as if you were casting again, but instead you get instant casts and unlimited movement :D

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1 hour ago, Andanath said:

Check out the changes to t19 set bonuses. BM gets a HUGE buff and MM gets nerfed hard! Might persuade you a little bit there! A lot less downtime as BM with the 2pc!

Also with BM downtime, since your pets are your main damage source it's actually not that bad, it would honestly almost be the equivalent as if you were casting again, but instead you get instant casts and unlimited movement :D

The T19 bonus does look really nice I must agree.

As for pets being main damage source, do you have any specific logs that show the way it functions? I've read the rotation guide and while it'd take some time to get used too (as with all specs) and it'd be cool if there were any logs you had that really got into the timings of skills and how long I should be waiting between various shots?

I'll have a look for some for MM once 7.1.5 hits I guess as everything is so up in the air!

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I can link you to some of my logs if you'd like - however keep in mind my ilvl is only 869 and I've only just started raiding again after an extensive break and am getting used to the fights but if you look at the last two EN runs or so (the fights I don't screw up and die on...) you should get a pretty good idea of how the class works and that.

My dps isn't as high as I'd like it to be but realistically I'm having awful luck with the ursoc trinket and getting anything other than WQ gear...

The general breakdown you'll see that for single target it's mostly Kill Command / Dire Beast / basic pet attacks doing the most damage. Your auto shot / cobra shot will fill in some gaps however.

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/reports/dzYRm6Ba7xywrT8p#fight=13&type=damage-done&source=103 is one fight to start on just to see the breakdown. You'll probably notice through a couple of fights I've either died or haven't parsed very well but I'm still getting in some practise understanding mechanics etc - skill breakdown and damage percentages and that though should give you a good idea of what you're looking at. I know there are a few things to improve on but I start raiding again on Wednesday and if you'd like, I'll be able to link you to some additional logs after that.

If you want to add me in-game my btag is Andanath#1243 and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions, break things down for you better or just sit in trueshot lodge smashing out some dps on dummies with you and we can compare our damage breakdown etc.


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Well, since the patch notes for 7.1.5 still hasn't been provided by Blizzard yet none can simply know what spec will be the best for most situations. I've been playing MM since the release of legion and only switched to BM for a few couple of times. Since I main MM, I'm really worried to what Blizzard is up to. For me being at the top of the meters is the best feeling, I hate being the one that's in the bottom and not bringing anything for the raid, I want to feel like I'm useful and irreplaceable to the raids. As of now in patch 7.1 I'm able to do so. I can live that we barely got any movement at all, at least we got some movement when using Barrage. As in raids, I have no problem with SW and Barrage. In fact, I really like them. But in M+ there's a whole another story. Your placement is the key when using SW and Barrage as mentioned in the others posts. But that makes a huge difference in bad players vs skilled ones, which I think is a good thing.

Blizzard will probably nerf the shit out of SW as it seems now and then the rotation will be totally different without it. As a result of that, MM will probably get a hardcap of 21% haste to be able to fit in 3AS in a Vulnerable window... 

Barrage is a better choice for multiple targets, but on pure single target I think MoC is better if I remember it correctly. So if you really hate Barrage, you can easily just choose MoC instead. Since Barrage is AoE it should be much better for just multiple targets.


My opinion on BM is that pets doing the damage. I feel like it doesn't need as much skill to be a top notch BM hunter since the pets do a decent amount your damage, which means that you probably can do more slip ups and still get away with it :P Less control of the damage output xD

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Okay mm is not getting super nerfed, like not happening. Aim shot and most stuff is getting buffed. The only reason bm is better in nighthold raid 7.1.5 is cause of it's mobility, other than that mm is way to go with a 17% haste cap

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7 hours ago, MexxII said:

My opinion on BM is that pets doing the damage. I feel like it doesn't need as much skill to be a top notch BM hunter since the pets do a decent amount your damage, which means that you probably can do more slip ups and still get away with it :P Less control of the damage output xD

Loving the hunter banter here xD but that's so far from the truth haha. BM is very easy to get a lot out of but it requires an exact rotation and any error, especially in the burst phase, really screws you over. 

MM is the most unpredictable spec ATM, but 7.1.5 is really changing that and the changes are looking good! Especially the set bonuses (imagine the 2pc combined with the legendary boots!), but I'd have to say with the massive massive boost they're giving BM this patch, especially with those new shoulders, that it will undoubtedly be top damage. MM will still be very good but it'll be a lot more even for most players. 

With all the versatility that a BM hunter brings, along with the unlimited movement, I think they'll be a lot more sought after.

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I personally have always been a huge BM fan. Never a huge MM fan, but in MoP played SV like anything. As i am close to my second point in the 4th gold trait currently on my BM weapon. But i did take a break from my hunter for 2-3 months due to leveling and mained my resto druid which has also at the same trait level of 35 in it's resto weapon.

BM/MM have the same stats roughly. Where as SV is getting a big buff this 7.1.5 and traps are back for all specs. But does that mean trap launcher is back for BM/MM though? We'll see. :) But SV gets a 200% damage bonus to explosive trap when placed down and say the tank runs the mob/boss over it. Otherwise it's a normal damage if it is triggered by you running the mob over it.

So do not factor out SV (which is melee now) as a possible spec due to 7.1.5.

Just my two cents.

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Only downside to SV is the major difference in stat priority and it's lack of usefulness without any spec-specific CC as well as a stun. Downside to that damage boost to explosive trap means you might save it for an extra 20 secs before using again but the boss doesn't quite trigger it and it's wasted. It becomes an even more unpredictable spec in that regard, however the tier changes and new legendary are a very very nice change to AoE and mongoose bite generation. 

Plus SV is one of the lowest melee dps specs and not many, if any, guilds want one so far. Maybe towards the next tier after nighthold it might do well, but as for now it's just not on par with other melee specs. SV also has very poor AoE without the new legendary, so anything other than pure single target it can't keep up. 

Not to crush any dreams there about a melee hunter (trust me I love SV and I tried it at the start for a while) but the other two specs far outweigh it in almost every aspect. 

Also to Gumble, I haven't seen SV getting any big buff, at least nothing that brings it above the other two specs. What in particular were you referring to?

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Made an account to reply to this comment, on the whole "SV" is bad issue, it's bad only if you cannot play it and don't put any effort in playing it. You can do just as good damage as most people, logs and parses don't mean anything, because you can cheese them by speedkilling and pulling additional trash. Currently some of the high end parses do 500k+ single target on mythic fights, which is not bad at all.83VleVe.png

Also survival is bad at AoE is an old meme, which isn't even true. It's bad if you play dragonsfire granade, if you play butchery and properly manage yourself you can do millions of damage every pull. I will include a screenshot from my run of Maw of Souls 10, first boss and every trash pack pulled together. This is on live server, obviously.

Also on topic of AoE there are some MASSIVE buffs to butchery next patch, over 30% (20% to talent itself, 12% from Survival buff aura) buff to damage and cooldown reduced from 15 to 12 seconds which means we will destroy in M+.

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In that regard, it depends mostly on the content you enjoy. BM can be fun for M+, but the thing about it is some dungeons are very unfriendly to pets and having to dismiss your pet because it bugs out all the time can be very infuriating. For raids, i would recommend MM, as their talent flexibility does allow for wider range of encounters and its probably much easier to realize. To be honest, with artifact catch-up and the fact both specs favor mastery to a degree, i would suggest keeping up with both of them.

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All good. I understand SV isn't super viable atm. Was just a thought since some bigish changes were coming in. But this is why i love this forum. Always constructive criticisms nothing more. :)

But as Phi said. It comes down to personal choice. The only reason i don't like MM. Is because i can't get above 150k dps even in burst. But BM for example i hit massively hard and make some MM players who can not do their job well rage quit instances like the BRH heroic i did the other day as an example by pulling 200k above the MM hunter as BM without using Bestial Wrath at all because they could not play their spec. Now that being said. MM takes skill where as i find BM more free flowing/easier.

But by all means take a stab at both. Get to know each spec. :)

Edited by gumble85

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I'll be honest about the fact that I love survival and I wish it didn't have such a different stat priority so I could actually play it and BM more interchangeably, but good survival hunters are very few and far between that they're just not sought after. They can be great dps, without a doubt, there's a guy on Icy-Veins that quite often comments on survival posts and his links to his logs are insane, he clearly knows his class, but it is by far one of the weakest melee specs. 

Survival has phenomenal burst AoE with the artifact ability, but sustained AoE is quite weak, even with butchery. I'm glad to see they're adjusting it to make it a lot more viable (especially if you get that legendary chest, oh boy would that be nice!) and with t19 bonuses I can see it becoming a much better spec. 

I think the only reason I don't have the highest view on survival is that I've seen one good survival hunter, and that's the guy I mentioned above; I felt quite strong while playing it and it was a lot of fun, which is why I'm leveling my second hunter as survival to have as an alt (purely because I have 3 legendaries on my BM hunter and not a single item without mastery on it) but not a lot of people will see it as a valuable class. Especially not for M+, despite the damage buff this coming patch, because it just doesn't bring anything new to the table that any other class can't.

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