Beast Mastery Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Pet Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 14:53 by Azortharion 186 comments

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Beast Mastery Hunter in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

1. Pet Choice

Firstly, it is important to note that all pets do the same damage. They only differ in their utility and occasionally defensive capabilities.

For Raiding and Mythic+, we recommend using a Spirit Beast pet in pretty much all situations. They have a heal that you can cast on yourself or any other friendly target, the ability to dispel beneficial effects from your enemies. They are Tenacity pets as well, which gives you increased maximum health and a small defensive in the form of Survival of the Fittest Icon Survival of the Fittest. You should also keep the Spirit Mend Icon Spirit Mend auto-cast turned off, saving it for when you need it.

For open-world content and leveling, we recommend using a Ferocity pet. The Special Abilities of Core Hounds and Scalehides are generally the best for such content. Ferocity pets give you a Leech bonus, which heals you when you do damage. This is an effective self-sustain when killing mobs and leveling.

Cunning Pets provide a movement speed bonus, trading in defensive passives for mobility. This is useful when you are farming old, trivial content.

You can see a list of all pet families and their special abilities on the //www.icy-veins.com/wow/beast-mastery-hunter-pve-dps-spell-summary page of this guide.

2. Beast Mastery Hunter Talent Cheat Sheets

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent build listed below works great for general purposes.

2.1. Standard Raiding Build

This is the default build for raiding and dungeons as a Beast Mastery Hunter. For dungeons, we tend to recommend the multi-target talents by default.

Aspect of the Beast Icon Aspect of the Beast and Killer Cobra Icon Killer Cobra in the level 100 row especially are so close together that they are almost indistinguishable. We choose Aspect of the Beast by default for the utility and defensive benefits it provides, as well as its passive nature making it easy to get the most out of.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

Killer Instinct Killer Instinct Animal Companion ? Animal Companion Dire Beast ? Dire Beast

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

  • Killer Instinct Icon Killer Instinct increases Kill Command Icon Kill Command's damage to targets below 35% health by 50%.
  • Animal Companion Icon Animal Companion allows you to summon an additional pet from your stable. This second pet will use auto-attacks, and it will use Kill Command Icon Kill Command when you use it along with your regular pet. It also reduces the damage done of your pet by 40%, as otherwise the talent would be too overpowered.
  • Dire Beast Icon Dire Beast is an ability that sends a pet to attack your target for 8 seconds, increasing your Haste by 5% for 8 seconds as well. It costs 25 Focus and has a 20-second cooldown.

Killer Instinct Icon Killer Instinct should be chosen for all situations, providing similar AoE damage to the other talents and significantly more single-target damage.

Animal Companion Icon Animal Companion is a significant damage loss compared to Killer Instinct Icon Killer Instinct. On top of that, it adds another element of pet AI reliance to your gameplay, and we do not recommend it for any situation. Keep in mind that this talent reduces your pet's damage done by 40%. It is not nearly as good as it looks on paper. This talent can be worth using if you have more than 2 ranks of the Pack Alpha Icon Pack Alpha Azerite Trait.

Dire Beast Icon Dire Beast is a competitive option, but we prefer the more passive option of Killer Instinct and we only recommend using Dire Beast when you are unable to get full use out of Killer Instinct.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

Scent of Blood Scent of Blood One with the Pack ? One with the Pack Chimaera Shot Chimaera Shot

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

  • Scent of Blood Icon Scent of Blood causes Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot to generate an additional 8 Focus (from 20 to 28) over its duration.
  • One with the Pack Icon One with the Pack vastly increases the chance for your Wild Call Icon Wild Call passive ability to reset the cooldown of Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot.
  • Chimaera Shot Icon Chimaera Shot is an active ability that deals high damage on a 15-second cooldown which is reduced by Haste. It can hit up to 2 targets that are close to each other, and it generates 10 Focus for each target hit.

Scent of Blood Icon Scent of Blood is generally not worth using. Beast Mastery is not a very Focus-starved spec.

One with the Pack Icon One with the Pack is a competitive talent for being passive, but we do not recommend its usage from a pure DPS perspective.

Chimaera Shot Icon Chimaera Shot provides the highest DPS for most scenarios and should be your default choice.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your utility, mobility and survivability.

Trailblazer ? Trailblazer Natural Mending Natural Mending Camouflage ? Camouflage
  • Trailblazer Icon Trailblazer increases your movement speed by 30% whenever you have not attacked for 3 seconds. This is essentially just a helpful passive for moving between packs in Mythic+, or rare raid situations where you need to move for a while and are not able to attack anything.
  • Natural Mending Icon Natural Mending causes your Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration ability's remaining cooldown to be reduced by 1 second for every 20 (Marksmanship and Survival) or 30 (Beast Mastery) Focus you spend. We can generally expect a cooldown reduction of over 30 seconds.
  • Camouflage Icon Camouflage puts you in stealth for 1 minute and heals you for 2% of your maximum health every second. It has a 1-minute cooldown, and the cooldown only starts ticking once Camouflage has been cancelled.

Your choice of talent in this tier is mostly situational, but for general survivability in raids and dungeons, we recommend Natural Mending Icon Natural Mending by default.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

Venomous Bite Venomous Bite Thrill of the Hunt Thrill of the Hunt A Murder of Crows A Murder of Crows

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

  • Venomous Bite Icon Venomous Bite causes Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shot to reduce the cooldown of Bestial Wrath Icon Bestial Wrath by 1 second every time it is used. This effectively works out to a 7-8 second cooldown reduction on Bestial Wrath, where the effective cooldown is already around 35 seconds.
  • Thrill of the Hunt Icon Thrill of the Hunt causes your Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot to give you an 8-second buff that increases your Critical Strike chance by 3%, stacking up to 3 times. This essentially works in tandem with the Frenzy Icon Frenzy buff that Barbed Shot applies to your pet. If you are keeping up one buff, you are automatically keeping up the other as well.
  • A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows is an ability on a 1-minute cooldown that applies a 15-second DoT to the target that deals heavy Physical damage. If the target dies while affected by the debuff, the cooldown of A Murder of Crows will reset.

Venomous Bite Icon Venomous Bite is not very competitive and should not be used in any situation.

Thrill of the Hunt Icon Thrill of the Hunt is not very competitive and should not be used in any situation.

A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows should be your default choice for nearly all situations, providing superior single-target damage to the other two options. While it is not a particularly powerful multi-target talent, neither are the alternatives.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your utility, mobility and survivability.

Born To Be Wild ? Born To Be Wild Posthaste Posthaste Binding Shot ? Binding Shot
  • Born To Be Wild Icon Born To Be Wild reduces the cooldown of your Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle, Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Eagle Icon Aspect of the Eagle (Survival) abilities by 20%, reducing their cooldowns to 2 minutes and 24 seconds, and 1 minute and 20 seconds respectively.
  • Posthaste Icon Posthaste increases your movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds after using Disengage Icon Disengage
  • Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot fires an arrow at a targeted location on the ground. If an enemy comes within 5 yards of the arrow, and then steps more than 5 yards away from it again, they will be rooted for 5 seconds. This ability has a 45-second cooldown.

Your choice of talent in this tier is mostly situational, but for general survivability in raids and dungeons, we recommend Posthaste Icon Posthaste by default.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Stomp Stomp Barrage ? Barrage Stampede ? Stampede
  • Stomp Icon Stomp causes Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot to make your pet stomp the ground, dealing AoE damage to all nearby targets.
  • Barrage Icon Barrage is a 3-second channel that rapidly fires shots in a cone in front of you, dealing AoE damage to all targets. It has a 20-second cooldown.
  • Stampede Icon Stampede causes a huge collection of pets to run across your target, dealing heavy damage to your target and all other targets caught in their path. The Stampede will take place where the target was when you cast it, meaning that it can be moved out of their path and take no damage.

Stomp Icon Stomp is the strongest talent in this tier by far and should be your default choice for all situations.

Barrage Icon Barrage is a good talent only when there are multiple targets up for a very significant portion of the fight. This talent loses out significantly whenever you are doing single-target damage, so there needs to be a heavy skew towards multi-target for this choice to be worth it.

Stampede Icon Stampede provides powerful burst AoE and single-target damage. It is a situationally useful choice if its long cooldown lines up with heavy AoE or bursty phases of the fight.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Beast Mastery Hunter

Aspect of the Beast Aspect of the Beast Killer Cobra Killer Cobra Spitting Cobra Spitting Cobra

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

  • Aspect of the Beast Icon Aspect of the Beast increases the damage of your pet's Basic Attacks by 30%. It enhances your pet spec's passive effects by 50% as well. Leech from Ferocity is increased by 5%, maximum health from Tenacity is increased by 2.5%, and Movement Speed from Cunning is increased by 4%.
  • Killer Cobra Icon Killer Cobra causes Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shot to reset the cooldown of Kill Command Icon Kill Command when Bestial Wrath Icon Bestial Wrath is up.
  • Spitting Cobra Icon Spitting Cobra is a Survival talent from Legion that has now been given to Beast Mastery. It is a 1.5-minute cooldown ability that summons a snake for 20 seconds which attacks your target from range. It generates 2 Focus per second for you.

Aspect of the Beast Icon Aspect of the Beast is generally the best choice. All talents are close in terms of DPS, but this is preferred because it is passive and more efficient for AoE. Depending on the spec of your pet, it can also improve your survivability/mobility and utility.

Killer Cobra Icon Killer Cobra is a strong single-target burst DPS choice and an entirely viable choice for any single-target scenario. We prefer Aspect of the Beast Icon Aspect of the Beast mostly because it is entirely passive, and because of its utility benefits.

Spitting Cobra Icon Spitting Cobra is inferior to the other two options for essentially all scenarios and should not be chosen.

10. PvP Talents (War Mode)

In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

10.1. Beast Mastery Hunter War Mode Talents

In this section, we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Beast Mastery Hunter-specific PvE talents.

10.1.1. General PvP Talents

  • Relentless Icon Relentless is a passive ability but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities, but instead reduces the duration.
  • Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  • Adaptation Icon Adaptation is recommended; it is likely your most passive choice since it will automatically remove loss of control effects over 5 seconds.

10.1.2. Beast Mastery Hunter PvP Talents

  1. Dire Beast: Hawk Icon Dire Beast: Hawk causes a hawk to circle around a target area, dealing damage to all targets within. This is a great supplement to your AoE damage when doing big pulls in the open world.
  2. Dire Beast: Basilisk Icon Dire Beast: Basilisk is a powerful choice for bursty single-target damage. It is useful for world PvP if you can keep your opponent slowed enough for the Basilisk, and it is very powerful for rare mobs and quest mobs with a lot of health.
  3. Hunting Pack Icon Hunting Pack is a useful mobility option, allowing you to use Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah much more often.
  4. Wild Protector Icon Wild Protector reduces the damage taken by all allies near your pet by 10%. Since you are often close to the targets you encounter in the open world, this is very useful for survivability.

The Beast Within Icon The Beast Within, Interlope Icon Interlope, Survival Tactics Icon Survival Tactics, Dragonscale Armor Icon Dragonscale Armor, Viper Sting Icon Viper Sting, Spider Sting Icon Spider Sting, Scorpid Sting Icon Scorpid Sting, and Hi-Explosive Trap Icon Hi-Explosive Trap have limited use in PvE content in terms of increasing your damage in the open world, but they can be situationally useful.

11. Pet Talents

Pets do not have talent trees. Instead, different types of pet belong to one of three difference specs: Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning.

Each specialisation grants your pet a few specific abilities. Currently, there is no DPS difference between the different pet specs. The only differences are in utility.

12. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 08 Sep. 2018: Updated the wording of Barrage's recommendation.
  • 23 Aug. 2018: Changed the recommendation of Killer Instinct versus Dire Beast.
  • 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 07 Aug. 2018: 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.
  • 18 Jul. 2018: 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.
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