Beast Mastery Hunter PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.1)
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.
1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Beast Mastery Hunters
Beast Mastery Hunters are in a very strong position in the meta right now. They not only have some of the best single-target sustained damage, but they are also one of the hardest classes to connect to for melee. Because their pets are the main damage dealers for Beast Mastery Hunters, even when they are in crowd control, they are still capable of dealing large amounts of damage. They use abilities like Disengage to kite enemy teams and Freezing Trap to lock a healer down.
1.1. Strengths of Beast Mastery Hunter
- Great control
- Decent mobility
- Strong consistent damage
1.2. Weaknesses of Beast Mastery Hunter
- Hard to get crowd control without the help of teammates
- Weak to teams with multiple stuns
- Very few defensive cooldowns
2. Stat Priority for Beast Mastery Hunters in PvP
The stat priority for Beast Mastery Hunters in PvP is as follows:
- Critical Strike.
Agility is the best stat in all situations. Increasing your Mastery: Master of Beasts increases the damage by your pets, which results in an increase to your burst and sustained damage. You should focus on getting gear with both Mastery and Versatility.
3. Azerite Traits for Beast Mastery Hunters
Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.
3.1. Outer Ring
Below are the best Outer Ring traits.
There is not a single trait that you will want to stack. Instead, you want one of each of the traits from above. Primal Instincts and Haze of Rage both increase your burst damage significantly. If your team's goal is for the game to be quick and kill an enemy while the healer is in crowd control, you want these traits. If your overall goal is to have strong sustained damage, Archive of the Titans and Feeding Frenzy help do this.
3.2. Middle Ring
Below are the best Middle Ring traits.
The Middle and Inner rings are important for additional damage and stat bonuses. All of the traits above do exactly this. These traits are best for providing small damage or stat boosts and results in increasing your overall damage output.
3.3. Inner Ring
Below are the best Inner Ring traits.
All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.
4. Gear Recommendations
4.1. General Guidelines
In general, Beast Mastery Hunters want to get trinkets that line up well with Bestial Wrath and Aspect of the Wild. These trinkets can have a passive or on-use effect. The stats you want to be increasing are either Agility or Mastery. The Agility will provide a very large increase to your damage and Mastery will increase the damage dealt by your pets.
To be successful in 3v3 arena, you need to have at least 2 pieces of gear with the Primal Instincts trait and the third piece can have any of the traits listed above. You will also want either Overwhelming Power or Heed My Call in the second tier.
Below, we list the items that have these traits.
- Dread Gladiator's Chain Shoulderguards;
- Dread Gladiator's Chain Shoulderguards;
- Flame-Sterilized Spaulders.
4.2. Recommended Items
Dread Gladiator's Medallion is good because of the Agility and the on-use Versatility effect. This increases your overall damage and lines up well with your burst cooldowns.
Dread Gladiator's Insignia provides a passive boost to your Versatility. This will increase your survivability versus teams that focus you. It also has a passive proc effect that will increase your Agility. This is a solid choice if you just want to increase your sustained damage and want to survive while in a stun.
Darkmoon Deck: Fathoms is not an item you get from PvP. Instead, you will have to look at the auction house or find an someone with the Inscription profession. This trinket also gives a passive effect. You cannot control the proc, but the damage this trinket can do is substantial. You will quickly notice a large increase to your overall damage.
4.3. Weapon Enchant
Enchant Weapon - Quick Navigation is the best weapon enchant. The Haste proc that you get from this enchant is great for increasing you and your pets sustained damage. This enchant provides the largest boost to your overall damage output.
5. Talent Choices for Beast Mastery Hunters
|15||✔ Killer Instinct||✘ Animal Companion||✘ Dire Beast|
|30||✘ Scent of Blood||✘ One with the Pack||✔ Chimaera Shot|
|45||✘ Trailblazer||✔ Natural Mending||✘ Camouflage|
|60||✘ Venomous Bite||✘ Thrill of the Hunt||✔ A Murder of Crows|
|75||✘ Born To Be Wild||✔ Posthaste||✘ Binding Shot|
|90||✔ Stomp||✘ Barrage||✘ Stampede|
|100||✔ Aspect of the Beast||✘ Killer Cobra||✘ Spitting Cobra|
While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.
5.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents
Killer Instinct is the best choice in this tier. This talent helps your team secure kills on low-health enemies much easier.
5.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents
Chimaera Shot is the best choice in this tier. This is just a strong damaging ability that is great for your sustained and burst damage.
5.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents
5.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents
A Murder of Crows is the best choice in this tier. This is a significant increase to your burst damage.
5.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents
Posthaste is the best choice in this tier. This will help you avoid incoming damage from both melee and ranged classes. You can use it to run away and keep dealing damage or use it to get out of line of sight of incoming damage.
5.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents
Stomp is the best choice in this tier. This is a solid increase to your overall sustained damage. It is important to note that this ability does deal area of effect (AoE) damage. This means that if an enemy is in crowd control and you use Stomp, you can potentially break it with this ability.
5.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents
Aspect of the Beast is the best choice in this tier. This is another talent that increases your overall sustained damage.
6. PvP Talents for Beast Mastery Hunters
The first PvP talent tier will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless, and Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel.
You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents, depending on your team's goal.
Roar of Sacrifice instructs your pet to protect a friendly target from critical strikes, making attacks against that target unable to be critical strikes, but 20% of all damage taken by that target is also taken by the pet. It lasts 12 seconds and this is a powerful defensive cooldown that is helpful for you and your teammates. With a cooldown of only 1 minute, this is an ability that your healer can call-out to use if they are stuck in crowd control.
Wild Protector causes your pet protects allies within 8 yards, reducing damage taken by 10%. If you are playing with a melee DPS that will be close to your pet often, this is a staple PvP talent to take.
Spider Sting stings the target with potent spider venom for 4 seconds, causing their next offensive spell cast to silence the target for 4 seconds. When playing against classes that cast most of their spells (Mages, Warlocks, Elemental Shamans), this talent can be helpful. You can use it to interrupt their burst damage or crowd control.
Survival Tactics causes Feign Death to remove all harmful magical effects, and reduces damage taken by 99% for 1.5 seconds. This is a mandatory talent when playing against classes with multiple DoTs (Affliction Warlock, Shadow Priest, Balance Druid). This reduces the enemies' overall damage and helps your healer with dispelling harmful effects. You can also use this to stop incoming spells that are being cast on you. You can replace Spider Sting with this talent.
Dire Beast: Basilisk summons a slow-moving basilisk near the target for 30 sec that attacks the target for heavy damage. If your team wants to play very aggressive, this is the talent that will help you. You can replace Spider Sting with this talent.
7. Racial Bonuses for Beast Mastery Hunters
Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.
The passive Orc racial bonus ( Hardiness) is great if you find yourself being stunned a lot and having a hard time against melee classes.
The Troll racial bonus ( Berserking) is really strong as well. This is a good option to help increase your overall damage output.
The Human racial bonus ( Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns.
The Dark Iron Dwarf racial bonus ( Fireblood) removes all bleeds, poisons, magical and curse debuffs and increases your primary stat by 750 and an addition 250 for each effect removed. This is a great racial to use defensively. However, you can use this to remove debuffs right before you use your burst rotation to increase your Agility.
8. Playstyle for Beast Mastery Hunters
The main role for a Beast Mastery Hunter is simple: use your mobility to land Freezing Traps on the enemy healer and use your strong single-target cooldowns to burst your enemies down. Beast Mastery Hunters are a very mobile specialization and some melee will struggle to connect to you. Because most of your damage comes from your pet, you can stay safely away from enemy teams and still do maximum damage.
8.1. Before Gates Open
If you are playing against a team with stealth, make sure to use Flare to try to reveal them.
8.2. The Opener
The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns. If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. Beast Mastery Hunters have Intimidation, Freezing Trap and Spider Sting, which can help to this end.
This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.
- Use Barbed Shot to generate a stack of Frenzy.
- Use Barbed Shot to generate a second stack of Frenzy.
- Use Chimaera Shot.
- Use Kill Command.
- Use Cobra Shot at high Focus.
- Use your burst rotation.
- After your burst, perform your sustained damage rotation until your burst cooldowns are available.
8.3. Offensive Rotation
8.3.1. Burst Damage
When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage. Try to use Viper Sting on the enemy healer when your team is using offensive cooldowns.
- Use Blood Fury (if you are an Orc) or Berserking (if you are a troll) or Fireblood (if you are a Dark Iron Dwarf).
- Use Aspect of the Wild.
- Use Dire Beast: Basilisk if you are using that PvP talent.
- Use A Murder of Crows.
- Use Kill Command.
- Use Barbed Shot.
- Use Chimaera Shot.
- After that, you will want to use Kill Command as often as you can and use Barbed Shot when your Frenzy buff is close to expiring.
8.3.2. Sustained damage
Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.
- Use Barbed Shot to generate stacks of Frenzy.
- Use Chimaera Shot as soon as it is available.
- Use Kill Command as soon at it is available.
- Use Cobra Shot at high Focus.
8.4. Pet Talents
Pets do not have talent trees, and instead have their own types of specialization (Cunning, Ferocity, or Tenacity).
8.5. Defensive Techniques
Aspect of the Turtle is our main defensive cooldown. Use this when the enemy team is focusing you down and your healer can not heal you through the damage or is stuck in crowd control. Although you can not attack with this cooldown active, you still have the ability to trap. Using this to ignore incoming attacks and use Freezing Trap on an enemy healer could be crucial.
Aspect of the Cheetah is a great way to kite away from enemy teams. If you are being focused or out of position on a map, use this to create distance between you and the enemy team.
Feign Death is also a good defensive when used correctly. This can stop any incoming crowd control on you and most importantly, it can buy you 1-2 seconds if an ability is almost off cooldown. After using Feign Death, you can quickly Disengage away and get away from the enemy team.
9. Best Team Compositions for Beast Mastery Hunters
Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the Arena with your team. Beast Mastery Hunters have very strong burst cooldowns in the form of Bestial Wrath and A Murder of Crows. These cooldowns, paired with multiple crowd control abilities and strong sustained damage, make this spec a threat to most teams.
9.1. 2v2 Arena
In 2v2 Arena, you have a few options. You should have your pet on your primary target while you crowd control the other enemy. If you are playing with a Holy Paladin or Restoration Druid, they should use their stun to start the crowd control. Follow that up with a Freezing Trap. At the same time you should be doing your sustained damage rotation. With this strategy, you are trying to do so much spread damage to your targets that the enemy healer will not be able to heal through it. If you do not have a reliable stun, you can use Intimidation to stun the enemy healer.
Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:
- Beast Mastery Hunter + Discipline Priest
- Beast Mastery Hunter + Restoration Druid
- Beast Mastery Hunter + Holy Paladin
- Beast Mastery Hunter + Holy Priest
9.2. 3v3 Arena
Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You will be focusing on maximizing your single target damage while still crowd controlling the enemy healer with Intimidation and Freezing Trap. When you start the crowd control chain, your teammate should stun the kill target and you should use burst rotation. You do not always have to stun the kill target. If your team only has one reliable stun like Hammer of Justice or Mighty Bash, it is best to use it on the enemy healer.
Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:
- Jungle (Beast Mastery Hunter + Feral Druid + Holy Paladin/Discipline Priest)
- Cupid (Beast Mastery Hunter + Retribution Paladin + Restoration Druid/ Discipline Priest)
- Beast Mastery Hunter + Frost/Unholy Death Knight + Holy Paladin/ Restoration Druid
- Beast Mastery Hunter + Arms Warrior + Restoration Shaman/Holy Paladin
10. Useful Macros for Beast Mastery Hunters
Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Beast Mastery Hunters can benefit from.
10.1. Intimidation Macro
- #showtooltip Intimidation
- /cast [target=focus] Intimidation
If you find that you do not have much room on your action bars, you can use a focus macro. This is much simpler to use than the arena123 macro. Put an enemy on focus and this macro will cast Intimidation on that player while you are still focused on your target.
10.2. Counter Shot Focus Macro
- #showtooltip Counter Shot
- /cast [target=focus] Counter Shot
10.3. Roar of Sacrifice party Macro
- #showtooltip Roar of Sacrifice
- /cast [target=party1] Roar of Sacrifice
Using this macro will use Roar of Sacrifice on party player 1. This makes it easier to use this defensive on a teammate while damaging the rest of your team. If you want a macro to use Roar of Sacrifice the second party member, change the party1 to party2.
- 13 Dec. 2018: Updated Azerite traits section.
- 12 Dec. 2018: No major changes needed for Patch 8.1.
- 07 Nov. 2018: Added Gear Recommendations section.
- 08 Oct. 2018: Added talent table.
- 02 Oct. 2018: Revamped guide.
- Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
- Added Azerite trait section.
- 30 Aug. 2018: Updated guide for Patch 8.0.1.
- Updated Introduction and spec overview.
- Added Stat priority.
- Updated all regular talents sections.
- Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
- Updated Racial Bonuses section.
- Updated Burst Damage and Sustained Damage sections.
- Updated Pet section.
- Updated Macros section.
- Removed Gear section.
- Removed Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
- 21 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
- 10 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
- Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
- Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
- 13 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.5.
- 24 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for Patch 7.3.2.
- 21 Oct. 2017: Added Pet Talent section.
- 21 Sep. 2017: Several changes made for Patch 7.3
- Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
- Changed recommended tier 4 regular talents.
- Changed recommended tier 4 honor talents.
- Updated burst damage rotation.
- 16 Jul. 2017: Changed recommended Tier 1 and 2 regular talents and recommended Tier 6 honor talents. Also updated sustained and burst damage rotation.
- 11 Apr. 2017: Beast Mastery Hunter Hunter PvP guide created.
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