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Beast Mastery Hunter DPS Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated Yesterday at 10:55 by Azortharion 93 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Beast Mastery Hunter DPS guide for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing a Beast Mastery Hunter in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Azortharion, the main theorycrafter of the spec for many years. He is an accomplished player with dozen of top parses for all specs throughout the game's history. He is also the Admin of Trueshot Lodge, the Hunter Class Discord, and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Class Overview

Beast Mastery is a highly mobile ranged DPS spec. It is the only Ranged spec in the game that is able to fully execute its rotation while moving. This makes it incredibly useful for dealing with mechanics in raids and dungeons, as it can do these things with no damage penalty.

2. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Beast Mastery Hunter

In Battle for Azeroth, Beast Mastery is the Hunter spec that has changed the least. Its baseline gameplay is very similar to how the Dire Frenzy Icon Dire Frenzy talent played in Legion.

  • Many abilities that were not on the global cooldown before are now affected by it, including main cooldowns like Bestial Wrath Icon Bestial Wrath and Aspect of the Wild Icon Aspect of the Wild.
  • All pet specs now do the same damage, but the pet specs now provide different bonuses for defense and utility.

3. Viability of Specs

On this page, we will attempt to give a full picture of what the 3 Hunter specs are good at and when you might want to use them. Generally speaking, all the specs are competitive enough that you can play whichever one you prefer from a playstyle perspective. On this page, we will try to be as objective as possible when determining which spec is the best. To determine this, we will use simulations, intuition and occasionally WarcraftLogs Data to try and get a full picture.

3.1. Single-Target Spec Comparison Simulation

Survival10795+0.1%
Marksmanship10785 
Beast Mastery10606-1.65%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

As the title suggests, this simulation puts the specs up against each other in an ideal scenario for a pure single-target encounter, with no movement. We use a fight length for the simulation that best reflects the actual fight lengths in current Mythic content.

3.2. Multi-Target Spec Comparison Simulation - 3 Targets

Survival17068+5.54%
Marksmanship16172 
Beast Mastery16124-0.3%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.3. Burst AoE Spec Comparison Simulation - 5 Targets for 30 Seconds - No Bloodlust

Marksmanship29387 
Beast Mastery28837-1.87%
Survival25112-14.55%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.4. Bursty Single-Target Spec Comparison Simulation - 1 Target, 30 Seconds

Marksmanship16702 
Survival16676-0.16%
Beast Mastery16620-0.49%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.5. Spec Viability in Practice, Strengths and Weaknesses

Simulations are all well and good, but they cannot provide the same picture of how the specs work in raids as actually playing them can. In this section, we will look at some of the perks and downsides of the different specs in raids and Mythic+.

3.5.1. Beast Mastery

  • Extremely mobile, fairly easy to play.
  • Able to bring numerous types of utility with its pets.
  • Short cooldowns make it a consistent Mythic+ performer.
  • Relies on pet AI, which can be inconsistent.
  • Gets its optimal multi-target damage without changing talents much from single-target.
  • Is able to deal heavy damage to a single target while AoE'ing.

3.5.2. Marksmanship

  • Capable of extremely high burst damage, especially AoE.
  • Unfortunately does not use a pet for multi-target scenarios, costing it utility/survivability.
  • Limited/no reliance on pet AI, more damage is in your hands.
  • Significantly changes its talents in order to do optimal AoE damage.

3.5.3. Survival

  • Very high sustained AoE damage.
  • Lots of utility in pets.
  • Quite mobile for a melee spec.
  • Relatively simple to play.

4. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 14 pages:

5. ChangeLog

  • 21 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated Trinket simulations.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Changed the BiS list to a more generally useful list of good dungeons to farm, as this will be relevant throughout the entire expansion.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
  • 17 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added note about Primal Instincts not changing your opener.
  • 17 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Added the mention of using an Agility gem.
  • 17 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated the Best in Slot ring.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added different talent choices to the Pack Alpha trait in the Azerite Trait comparison.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated the best in slot helmet.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the optimal healing potion to use.
  • 15 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated the Barbed Shot part of the general rotation.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Removed mention of slower Focus regen.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the optimal gems to correspond with the stat priority.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (bosses page): Empty page for now.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page created.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (talents page): A few small additions.
    • Added note about the optimal pets to use at the top of the page.
    • Added note about Animal Companion reducing the damage of your pet.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Rotational additions and WeakAuras.
    • Expanded significantly on the rotation, adding a few rules of thumb to keep in mind for optimal play.
    • Added links to helpful Barbed Shot/Frenzy tracking WeakAuras.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Added a few useful macros.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Added Counter Shot to the spell list.
  • 02 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 01 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated the target count requirement for Beast Cleave over Kill Command.
  • 01 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added a few more frequently asked questions.
  • 01 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated the single-target spec comparison.
  • 31 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Two small additions.
    • Added note about it being okay to drop Frenzy charges from time to time.
    • Expanded on Aspect of the Wild usage.
  • 31 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Added the Basic Attack macro.
  • 31 Jul. 2018 (FAQ page): Added two additional frequently asked questions.
  • 31 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Added some missing BfA pets to the pet family overview.
  • 22 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the optimal single-target potion.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Clarified that Barbed Shot is maximum priority at 2 charges.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Reverted the optimal flask, as the Flask of Falling Leaves was nerfed.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Moved the Gorilla and its Special Ability from Tenacity to Ferocity.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated Celerity of the Windrunners' Haste level from 2% to 3%.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Reverted the optimal gem, as it was nerfed.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Made several updates.
    • Added nearly mandatory DPS macro addition to the rotation section.
    • Revised the rotation priority, putting Kill Command much higher and lowering the priority of some cooldowns.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Aspect of the Beast max health bonus update, and a talent display fix.
    • Updated Aspect of the Beast's maximum health bonus to 2.5%.
    • Changed Barrage's "?" to an "X" in the talent display.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Various updates with old-world gems, enchants, and consumables.
    • Updated the optimal potion to use.
    • Updated the optimal flask to use. Added note about Belt Buckles to the Enchants table.
    • Reverted the optimal potion to use, as Blizzard has nerfed the old one.
    • Updated the wording on the Healthstones/Healing Potion paragraph to say "and", as you can now use both of them at once.
    • Removed Belt Buckles as they were hotfixed.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updates to the BiS list and Legendary ranking.
    • Updated Golganneth's Vitality to just be an Argus Personal Loot drop.
    • Revised Legendary ranking and added Soul of the Huntmaster and Kil'jaeden's Burning Wish to it.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Small rotational updates and a wording fix.
    • Added Aspect of the Wild to the single-target rotation.
    • Added note about Barbed Shot refreshes being more important than not wasting Bestial Wrath cooldown reduction.
    • Fixed the wording for Venomous Bite's rotation impact from "does" to "does not".
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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