Beast Mastery Hunter DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Apr 14, 2019 at 10:43 by Azortharion 206 comments

This page will guide you through the process of understanding what the best Azerite traits and items are for your Beast Mastery Hunter in the current (8.1.5) patch of the Battle for Azeroth World of Warcraft expansion. You will have to equip the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth to access these traits, but our Heart of Azeroth guide can tell you everything you need to know.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Beast Mastery Hunter

Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay.

The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait (Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite) to an extremely good one (Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.

It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina, increasing your maximum health. A tiny difference in that regard can be the difference between dying and surviving, so item level is almost always king.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Beast Mastery Hunter

In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. While the traits are ordered by power, this order is not a very strict priority, but more of a guideline.

2.1. Outer Ring

The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.

Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts is generally the best trait for Beast Mastery in all situations. It significantly amplifies your main cooldown and it is tuned very highly. It gains value from being tied to your largest cooldown, allowing you to benefit from this trait when it is most important, like large Mythic+ pulls and important add spawns in raids. The first rank is around 20-30% more powerful than the second and third, but it is still a useful Trait to stack for all content.

Dance of Death Icon Dance of Death is another very competitive Trait for Beast Mastery. It is particularly powerful when you also have a high Critical Strike rating from your gear. Dance of Death will often rival Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts with high Crit, although having at least one Primal Instincts Trait is very useful.

Haze of Rage Icon Haze of Rage does not simulate amazingly well, but it is very good for being tied to your main cooldown, Bestial Wrath Icon Bestial Wrath. This cooldown is often saved for and used on large add spawns or other important timings in a fight or Mythic+ dungeon. The Agility proc on top of it will help you burst more and can make a big difference in your short-term burst DPS.

Rapid Reload Icon Rapid Reload is essentially a mandatory trait for anything like Mythic+, and raid fights with sustained multi-target. For every target that Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot hits (with a minimum of 3), your Aspect of the Wild Icon Aspect of the Wild's cooldown is reduced by 1 second. The larger the pulls, the greater the reduction. On fights where there are multiple targets for significant portions of the fight, you can abuse this to get more Aspects off in important stages of the fight.

Treacherous Covenant Icon Treacherous Covenant can best be described as a "Glass Cannon" trait. It is a passive ability that increases your Agility when you are above 50% health. In simulations like the ones above where you are always at 100% health, this trait is by far the best for pure DPS purposes. In a realistic scenario, you will not have 100% uptime, however, and this can play into your decision-making when it comes to choosing between this trait and Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts. It is difficult to make a definitive call on this choice, but fundamentally we recommend Primal Instincts as it enhances your main cooldown which is always useful for progression. For more trivial or "farm" content, Treacherous Covenant is likely to provide you with more DPS overall. It only takes one or two deaths caused by this Trait in a night of progression raiding to offset the DPS gained from using it.

2.2. Middle Ring

The Middle Ring traits are all fairly close, and they will rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.

Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power has the highest DPS potential of the traits in this ring, but it will lose efficiency whenever you take damage, which can be very often in some raid encounters.

Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames starts to pull ahead of Overwhelming Power in high Crit situations where you are also using Dance of Death Icon Dance of Death. When using Dance of Death, a lot of your rotation and gearing starts to revolve around maximizing your Critical Strike, and this Trait helps this a lot.

Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call and Gutripper Icon Gutripper are both a significant step below Overwhelming Power, but a step above other secondary traits. Heed My Call is slightly superior for multi-target, and Gutripper is slightly superior for single-target.

Gutripper Icon Gutripper is almost as good as the above two traits for pure single-target scenarios, but most of its value comes in at the execute phase of the fight. This makes it very powerful for high-end raid progression, where the last phases of difficult fights are often about killing the boss before damage ramps up and kills the raid first. Gutripper helps maximize damage at this stage of the fight and deserves a special mention.

Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules is generally not worth choosing. Its main value comes from AoE damage, but the debuff has to actually stack up 3 times before it does damage. In Mythic+ where AoE is the most prevalent, targets die constantly, meaning that many stacks of this debuff will get lost.

2.3. Inner Ring

The Inner Ring consists mostly of defensive or utility traits.

Duck and Cover Icon Duck and Cover reduces Feign Death Icon Feign Death's cooldown to 25 seconds, and it causes Feign Death to give you a small absorb shield. Because this one is actually entirely in your control, it can be a lifesaver at the right moment. Being able to Feign Death more often can allow you to negate certain spells in Mythic+ more often as well, so it is definitely the best trait in this tier.

Shellshock Icon Shellshock allows your main defensive, Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle to also heal you, this can be situationally useful and it is a good choice since its effect is entirely in your control.

Longstrider Icon Longstrider is arguably the best "DPS" option in this tier. By increasing your movement speed, it allows you to close gaps and dodge things slightly faster.

Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection is an absorb shield that automatically gets applied every 30 seconds. This is one of the best defensive traits to have, as you will always be able to benefit from it.

3. Azerite Traits Rotation Changes and Details for Beast Mastery Hunter

Some of your Azerite Traits in Battle For Azeroth can have a small effect on your rotation. They generally do not change the fundamentals, but they allow you to use their effects to squeeze just a little bit more damage out than your competition.

  • Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts causes you to not want to use Aspect of the Wild Icon Aspect of the Wild unless you have 0 charges of Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot remaining. This is usually just the case right after using a Barbed Shot.
  • Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts influences your opener very slightly. We have listed the alternative opener on the Rotation Page.
  • Rapid Reload Icon Rapid Reload makes Multi-Shot preferable to Cobra Shot in all 3+ target situations.

4. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Beast Mastery Hunter

Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.

Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.

We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.

4.1. Outer Rings

The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are the most important from a DPS perspective.

Here we have listed a ranking for the Outer Ring traits in terms of single-target DPS. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite traits, we have only listed the best 25.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

4.2. Middle Ring

The Middle Ring traits are shared for all classes and specs. For any DPS spec, you should always pick among the DPS options and ignore the defensive or heal options for PvE.

Here we have listed a ranking for Middle Ring traits in terms of DPS for single-target situations.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

4.3. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits Comparison for Beast Mastery Hunter

4.3.1. Outer Ring

Here we have listed a ranking for the Outer Ring traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite traits, we have only listed the best 10.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

4.3.2. Middle Ring

Here we have listed a ranking for Middle Ring traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

5. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Beast Mastery Hunter. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

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