Beast Mastery Hunter DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Beast Mastery Hunter in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Beast Mastery Hunter rotation.
Covenant Recommendation Change in Patch 9.1
Beast Mastery Hunter Rotation
Welcome to our Rotation page for Beast Mastery Hunters. On this page you will find everything you need to know about actually playing the spec in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.
If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.
The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.
Beast Mastery Hunter Single-Target Rotation
The Beast Mastery rotation revolves around casting Kill Command on cooldown, not capping your Focus, while simultaneously not casting Cobra Shot so much that you waste its cooldown reduction and delay Kill Command unnecessarily.
The single target rotation for a Beast Mastery Hunter is based on the following priority system.
Note that some checkboxes are ticked by default as they are currently meta choices that will be relevant for most people. If they are not appropriate for you, simply untick them and change them to something that is appropriate for your character.
|Blood Elf||Bloodshed||Wild Spirits||Soulforge Embers|
|Troll||Stampede||Resonating Arrow||Rae'shalare, Death's Whisper|
|Orc||Scent of Blood||Death Chakram||Nessingwary's Trapping Apparatus|
|Lightforged Draenei||A Murder of Crows||Flayed Shot|
|Dark Iron Dwarf||Dire Beast|
- Cast Aspect of the Wild on cooldown.
- Use your potion alongside Aspect of the Wild. Remember that you will only have one Potion per 5 minutes.
- Cast Barbed Shot when the Frenzy buff on your pet is just about to expire. The closer to 0.1s remaining, the better.
- Cast Kill Shot on cooldown.
- Cast Barbed Shot to keep it from reaching 2 charges.
- Cast Barbed Shot to keep it from reaching 2 charges. You should also use it whenever Bestial Wrath's cooldown is less than 12 seconds, so that you can use Bestial Wrath immediately after.
- Cast Bestial Wrath on cooldown.
- Cast Kill Command on cooldown.
- Cast Cobra Shot when you have more than 50 Focus. You should also never use it when Kill Command is within 2.5 seconds from coming off cooldown. If Bestial Wrath is up, you can ignore these rules and simply use Cobra Shot when available, while still prioritizing other abilities above it.
There are a few rules you should keep in mind when trying to play Beast Mastery optimally. If you keep these things in mind, it will make it much easier to achieve a perfect rotation:
- Generally speaking, you should not cast more than 2 Cobra Shots in between Kill Commands. 2 is the sweet spot where you are spending as much Focus as you are generating, while also not wasting the cooldown reduction on Kill Command. One Cobra Shot is fine too, provided that you will not Focus cap.
- Refreshing Frenzy as late as possible is almost always preferable. You should be careful not to overdo it, however, or you risk letting the buff drop completely. It is okay to sit and wait for the duration to reach 0.1s before refreshing it. There is no pressure to always be casting as Beast Mastery, again assuming that you will not Focus cap.
- While Frenzy uptime and management will guide your playing decisions a lot while playing Beast Mastery, it is not as significant as many people think, especially on a single target. The most common mistake that BM Hunters make is overcasting Cobra Shot, and undercasting Barbed Shot and Kill Command.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to keep up 3 stacks of Frenzy at all times. You should strive towards it, but it is impossible to always have it up. Dropping it sometimes is fine.
Important Note: Because the in-game "auto-cast" system for Hunter pets is very slow, it is recommended to put these 3 lines into macros for all of your offensive spells.
- /cast [@pettarget]Claw
- /cast [@pettarget]Bite
- /cast [@pettarget]Smack
We recommend adding these 3 lines to the end of your macros, in order for the #showtooltip part of your macros to work properly. Functionally, it makes no difference where you put them in the macro.
This ensures that you will always cast your pet's Basic Attack on cooldown, since Blizzard's automatic cast will delay each cast by up to 0.3 seconds. For more macros, please refer to our Beast Mastery Hunter macro page.
Keeping Track of Frenzy
The default UI does not offer a very good way of keeping track of the Frenzy buff on your pet, which is very important to the spec. To help with this, we recommend using this WeakAura to keep track of the buff. You can also use this WeakAura, which will pop up and tell you when to use Barbed Shot. Both of these require you to have the WeakAuras 2 Addon installed. For more addons, please refer to our addon page.
Best Opener Rotation for Beast Mastery Hunter
This section describes the recommended way to start the fight as a Beast Mastery Hunter if you are using the Scent of Blood Level 25 Talent, which causes Bestial Wrath to instantly give you 2 charges of Barbed Shot. It also assumes that you are using the other recommended talents for the spec.
- Use Aspect of the Wild and Bloodshed (Talent) as soon as the fight begins.
- Activate your Covenant Ability, such as Wild Spirits.
- Cast Barbed Shot twice.
- Cast Bestial Wrath.
- Cast Barbed Shot
- Proceed with your normal rotation, according to the priority list above.
AoE Rotation for Beast Mastery Hunter
When facing more than 1 target, you should generally follow the priority above, but with these changes at certain target counts.
Most importantly, regardless of how hard you are trying to keep up Beast Cleave, you should be careful not to cast too many Multi-Shots. You need one every 4 seconds and no more than that. Spamming Multi-Shot is never worth it. If you have extra Focus to spend, you are better off casting Cobra Shots and Kill Commands.
You should try and identify targets that are about to reach 20% health, so that you can use Kill Shot on them. The goal on every pack should be to get as many Kill Shots off as possible, second only to maintaining Beast Cleave in AoE situations. Addons like Plater Nameplates can help you highlight enemies that are below 20% health.
The fundamental goal of the AoE rotation is to try and do the best single-target rotation that you can, while also trying to keep up Beast Cleave in the middle of it all. This is quite a bit more hectic than the single-target rotation.
Barbed Shot Multidotting (Advanced)
With enough gear, you will find that you often have more Barbed Shot procs than you know what to do with. In AoE scenarios, it can be a substantial DPS increase to "multidot" with Barbed Shot. That means using it on multiple different targets and ensuring that you have multiple dots rolling whenever possible. In a normal scenario where you are only cleaving off of one target, you would otherwise constantly be refreshing Barbed Shot on the same target and wasting the DoT.
To do it properly, we recommend using the supplied Barbed Shot mouseover macro from our Beast Hunter Mastery Addons page.
Mythic+ Opener and Tips
For information about Mythic+ as a Beast Mastery Hunter and the opener you need to use in this game mode, please refer to our Mythic+ page.
WeakAuras for Beast Mastery Hunters
WeakAuras can have a tremendously positive effect on your performance. Since this is a broad topic, we made a page dedicated to it.
On fights that last longer than 5 minutes, you will be able to use two potions, provided that you use one of them at the beginning of the fight. the second potion should be used alongside Aspect of the Wild.
Optional Read: Mastering Your Beast Mastery Hunter
While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield very good results, there are many things you should be aware of, in order to play your Beast Mastery Hunter to its full potential. You will need to understand all the subtleties, pertaining to your abilities, rotations, and cooldown usage, that we present below.
Hunters and their pets use a unique resource, called Focus. Focus works in much the same way as other class resources, like Rage and Energy, in the sense that some abilities grant Focus, while others cost Focus to be used.
A Beast Mastery Hunter's Focus has a maximum capacity of 120, and regenerates at a slow rate that varies by spec. In addition to this passive flow of incoming Focus, certain talents and abilities will amplify your Focus regeneration, or simply generate more of it.
Hunter pet Focus works similarly, and is of no concern to you as you cannot do anything to modify it, nor will you be casting pet abilities manually.
As a general rule, you should always have enough Focus to cast your abilities as soon as they come off cooldown, but also to never have 120 Focus (as any extra Focus you generate would then go to waste).
The greatest contribution to your DPS is your pet's damage, both through its simple melee attacks and through Kill Command. For this reason, it is important that your pet is always on the target, stays alive, and that you always cast Kill Command on cooldown. Keep this in mind, otherwise your DPS will plummet.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 29 Nov. 2020: Added Barbed Shot with two charges to the Rotation section.
- 27 Nov. 2020: Removed a duplicate line from the Opener Sequence.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 27 Oct. 2020: Added separate openers for Scent of Blood and One with the Pack.
- 24 Oct. 2020: Added a paragraph to talk about Potion usage, and removed it from the opener.
- 16 Oct. 2020: Multi-Target Rotation Changes.
- Added Kill Shot usage to the multi-target rotation section.
- Added Barbed Shot Multidotting to the multi-target rotation section.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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