Home World of Warcraft Classes Beast Mastery Hunter 9.0 Guide

The author

The author of this guide is Aaeril. For quite a long time, he used to be a part of the Exorsus guild, participating in a number of World First events. In Season 4 of BFA, he reached about 6k Rio. Twitch channel – https://www.twitch.tv/aaeril

Beast Mastery Hunter is a kind of spec where 90% of the damage you inflict is dealt by a pet, your only task is to control and buff it. This feature allows you to deal damage on the go, without losing any impact.
In this guide, you will find all the information on how to get the maximum benefit out of your character, what gear you need, which talents to use, which Covenant, Soulbind and Conduit to choose. Add to that the most effective ability rotations for the highest DPS, and there you have it – a perfect BM guide! Without further ado, let’s get started. 

Introduction

Basic information on the spec:

Like any other Hunter spec, Beast Mastery uses Focus as their main resource. The Hunter deals damage from a distance, while their pets have to be in melee range.

Pros:

  • Easy to play
  • Immunity spell
  • Insignificant DPS losses despite frequent repositioning

Cons:

  • Depends on the pet mechanics
  • Low survivability

Main Abilities

Talents

General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Tranquil Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on CD, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it.

Tier 1 Lvl 15. Talents that affect DPSt1

  • Killer Instinct. Kill Command deals 50% increased damage against enemies below 35% health.
  • Animal Companion. Your Call Pet additionally summons the first pet from your stable. This pet will obey your Kill Command, but cannot use pet family abilities.
  • Dire Beast. Summons a powerful wild beast that attacks the target and roars, increasing your Haste by 5% for 8 sec.

* Animal Companion is your go-to option both for AoE and single targets.

 Tier 2 Lvl 25. Talents that affect DPSt2

* Scent of Blood is slightly better at low critical strike values, while One with the Pack – at higher values. Chimaera Shot is never used.

Tier 3 Lvl 30. Survivability and Utilityt3

  • Trailblazer. Your movement speed is increased by 30% anytime you have not attacked for 3 seconds.
  • Natural Mending. Every 20 Focus you spend reduces the remaining cooldown on Exhilaration by 1 sec.
  • Camouflage. You and your pet blend into the surroundings and gain stealth for 1 min. While camouflaged, you will heal for 2% of maximum health every 1 secs.

* This tier is responsible for your survivability, so choose depending on your needs. In raids we mostly use Natural Mending, while in M+ dungeons, Camouflage allows you to skip some packs, which is very useful.

Tier 4 Lvl 35. Talents that affect DPSt4

  • Spitting Cobra. When Bestial Wrath ends, summon a Spitting Cobra to aid you in combat for 15 sec. Each Cobra Shot used during Bestial Wrath increases the damage this Spitting Cobra deals by 10%.
  • Thrill of the Hunt. Barbed Shot increases your critical strike chance by 3% for 8 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
  • A Murder of Crows. Summons a flock of crows to attack your target, dealing Physical damage over 15 sec.  If the target dies while under attack, A Murder of Crows’ cooldown is reset. CD 1 min.

* Thrill of the Hunt provides the best damage boost in any scenario.

Tier 5 Lvl 40. Survivabilityt5

  • Born To Be Wild. Reduces the cooldowns of your Aspects by 20%.
  • Posthaste. Disengage also frees you from all movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 50% for 4 sec.
  • Binding Shot. Fires a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 5 yards for 10 sec, rooting them in place for 8 sec if they move more than 5 yards from the arrow.

* Choose whatever Talent you like, as this tier gives you several unique abilities that don’t affect your DPS in any way.

 Tier 6 lvl 45. AoE talentst6

  • Stomp. When you cast Barbed Shot, your pet stomps the ground, dealing Physical damage to all nearby enemies.
  • Barrage. Costs 60 Focus. Rapidly fires a spray of shots for 3 sec, dealing Physical damage to up to 8 enemies in front of you. Usable while moving. CD 20 sec.
  • Stampede. Summon a herd of stampeding animals from the wilds around you that deal damage to your enemies for 12 sec.

* Stomp is the best choice to enhance your DPS. In rare cases, you may need Barrage to pull scattered mobs, or Stampede to focus on strong and rare AoE damage, but in this case you will deal less damage to the main target.

 Tier 7 Lvl 50. Talents that affect DPSt7

* Killer Cobra works best against single targets. Aspect of the Beast is much better for cleave and AoE.

Talent builds

Single target:

  1. Animal Companion
  2. Scent of Blood or One with the Pack
  3. Natural Mending
  4. Thrill of the Hunt
  5. Posthaste
  6. Stomp
  7. Killer Cobra

 For AoE and M+

  1. Animal Companion
  2. Scent of Blood or One with the Pack
  3. Natural Mending
  4. Thrill of the Hunt
  5. Posthaste
  6. Stomp
  7. Aspect of the Beast

Covenants

The best choice in terms of DPS (against any number of targets) is the Night Fae. The Kyrian work too, especially considering your poor sustain. Phial of Serenity is way more useful than Soulshape for this spec.

The Kyrian

    • Signature ability – Summon Steward. Call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore 20% health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects.
    • Class ability – Resonating Arrow. Fire a resonating arrow to the target location that deals Arcane damage to any enemy in the area, and fill the area with echoing anima for 10 sec. The effect causes your attacks to ignore line of sight to enemies in the area, and you have a 30% increased critical strike chance against them.

The Night Fae

    • Signature ability – Soulshape. Turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yds forward and increasing your movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few sec to teleport again.
    • Class ability – Wild Spirits. Evoke the energy of Wild Spirits at the target location, dealing Nature damage And apply Hunter’s Mark to all enemy targets within the area for 15 sec.

While the Wild Spirits are active, each damaging ability you or your pet use against a target in the area will strike up to 5 nearby targets for Nature damage.

The Necrolords

    • Signature ability – Fleshcraft. Form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 min.
    • Class ability – Death Chakram. Throw a deadly chakram at your current target that will rapidly deal Shadow damage 7 times, bouncing to other targets if they are nearby. Generates Focus.

The Venthyr

    • Signature ability – Door of Shadows. Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location.
    • Class ability – Flayed Shot. Fire a shot at your enemy, causing them to bleed for Shadow damage over a few sec. Each time Flayed Shot deals damage, you have a 10% chance to gain Flayer’s Mark, causing your next Kill Shot to be free and usable on any target, regardless of their current health.

Soulbinds

Soulbinding is a system of progression in which players who join a Covenant are able to bind themselves to one of its members, sharing some of their power through an artifact-like talent tree. Conduits add further customization to those Soulbind trees, allowing players to fill empty sockets in the trees with bonuses of their choice. However, these Potency Conduits are absolutely imbalanced in terms of DPS, HPS and survivability, so their effectiveness may vary greatly. Let’s have a look at interesting Soulbind features of all Covenants.

The best Soulbinds for PvE:

  1. The Kyrian – Pelagos
  2. The Venthyr – Nadjia
  3. The Necrolords – Emeni
  4. The Night Fae – Niya

The Kyrian

Pelagos

    • Let Go of the Past – using a spell or ability increases your Versatility by 1% for 10 sec. Using another spell or ability increases this amount by 1% when it is not a repeat of the previous spell or ability, stacking to 5%.
    • Combat Meditation – activating Resonating Arrow increases your Mastery by 5% for 20 sec and occasionally expels Sorrowful Memories. Walking through Sorrowful Memories extends this effect by 3 sec.

Kleia

    • Valiant Strikes – you and your nearby allies’ critical strikes grant you stacks of Valiant Strikes, up to 40. At 40 stacks, you heal yourself for 10% of your maximum health and up to 4 nearby allies for 5% of their maximum health over 10 sec.
    • Pointed Courage – critical strike is increased by 1% for every nearby enemy or ally, up to 8%.

Forgelite Prime Mikanikos

    • Hammer of Genesis – damaging a new enemy grants you 2% Haste for 10 sec, up to 5 stacks (tree with 1 less Potency Conduit).
    • Bron’s Call to Action – after using 90 damaging or healing spells and abilities, your next spell or ability summons Bron, knocking back enemies on arrival and attacking and healing your targets for 30 sec.

The Venthyr

Nadjia the Mistblade

    • Dauntless Duelist– The first enemy you damage in combat is marked as your Adversary. You deal 3% more damage to them, and they deal 1.5% less damage to you. You may only have one Adversary at a time (tree with 1 less Potency Conduit).
    • Thrill Seeker– while in combat, you gain a stack of Thrill Seeker every 2 sec, or 4 stacks on killing an enemy. At 40 stacks Thrill Seeker is consumed to grant you Euphoria, increasing your Haste by 20% for 10 sec. Thrill Seeker decays rapidly while you are not in combat.
    • Exacting Preparation – the benefits of Well Fed, Flask, and weapon enchant effects are increased by 20%.

Theotar the Mad Duke

    • Soothing Shade– your spells and abilities have a chance to call Tubbins and Gubbins to your side for 12 sec, parasol in hand. Standing in the shaded area grants you 525 Mastery (tree with 1 less Potency Conduit).
    • Wasteland Propriety – activating Resonating Arrow signals the start of tea time, granting 10% Versatility to you and 4% Versatility to up to 4 nearby allies. Lasts 10 sec. Tea time may only occur once every 1 min.
    • Refined Palate – the effects of combat potions last 100% to 200% longer.

General Draven 

This Soulbind is good for survivability and maybe PvP, while for DD’s he’s not quite useful.

The Necrolords

Plague Deviser Marileth

Has no significant abilities for DD’s.

Emeni

    • Gnashing Chompers – gain 3% Haste for 10 sec after defeating an enemy, up to 15%. 
    • Lead by Example – activating Death Chakram increases your primary stats by 5% and nearby allies’ primary stats by 2% for 10 sec. You gain 5% additional primary stats for each ally affected, up to 15%.

Bonesmith Heirmir

The Night Fae

Niya

    • Niya’s Tools: Burrs – your damaging attacks and spells have a chance to toss Niya’s Spiked Burrs under your target. The burrs latch onto the first enemy to cross them, reducing movement speed by 20% and inflicting Nature damage over 6 sec. 
    • Niya’s Tools: Poison – your interrupting abilities apply Niya’s Paralytic Poison to the target, dealing Nature damage over 30 sec. Targets with Niya’s Paralytic Poison take additional Nature damage if interrupted once more. 
    • Grove Invigoration – healing or dealing damage has a chance to grant you a stack of Redirected Anima. Redirected Anima increases your maximum health by 1% and your Mastery by 25 for 30 sec, and stacks overlap. Wild Spirits grants you 6 Redirected Anima stacks.

Dreamweaver

Has no significant abilities for DD’s.

Korayn

    • First Strike – damaging an enemy before they damage you increases your chance to critically strike by 25% for 10 sec.
    • Wild Hunt Tactics – your damage to targets above 75% health and healing to targets below 35% health are increased by 10%. When your spells and abilities are enhanced this way, you gain 10% bonus movement speed for 5 sec.

Conduits

There are 3 types of Conduits:

  • Potency Conduits improve the effectiveness of your character in their main role.
  • Endurance Conduits provide additional defensive value through damage mitigation or increased healing.
  • Finesse conduits grant extra utility to your class.

Endurance and Finesse are class Conduits, 1 per each Covenant, and 4 Potency Conduits per each spec.

Potency Conduits

Potency Conduits rating:

  1. The best Conduit for any Covenant will be Bloodletting.
  2. Next, depending on your Covenant, you can pick Enfeebled Mark or Spirit Attunement.
  3. If you are neither Kyrian nor the Night Fae, then go for One With the Beast instead. 

Covenant Conduits:

  • The Kyrian

Enfeebled Mark – your attacks and abilities deal increased damage to enemies inside Resonating Arrow.

  • The Night Fae

Spirit AttunementWild Spirits lasts 3 sec longer, and deals increased damage.

  • The Necrolords

Necrotic BarrageDeath Chakram generates additional Focus stacks and grants bonus damage.

  • The Venthyr

Empowered ReleaseFlayed Shot has an additional 5% chance to proc Flayer’s Mark and it increases the damage of your next Kill Shot.

Endurance Conduits:

  1. Harmony of the TortollanAspect of the Turtle‘s cooldown is reduced. It can be very useful in some boss fights where you need extra immunity.
  2. Rejuvenating WindExhilaration heals you for an additional amount of your maximum health over 8 sec. Fairly weak for PvE and can hardly save your life.
  3. Markman’s AdvantageHunter’s Mark decreases the damage the target deals to you. Works great against single targets and in boss fights.
  4. Resilience of the Hunter – when Feign Death ends, you take reduced damage for 8 sec. Very effective if you take high damage once every 30+ sec.

Finesse Conduits:

  1. Reversal of Fortune – successfully interrupting an enemy with Counter Shot grants Focus. Too insufficient and rarely used.
  2. Cheetah’s Vigor Aspect of the Cheetah’s secondary movement speed lasts an additional 3 sec, and its cooldown is reduced. Probably the most useful Finesse Conduit, which grants bonus mobility.
  3. Tactical RetreatDisengage slows nearby enemy movement speed by 20% for 3 sec. It’s also weak, since there are many other more effective slows.

Legendary items

Overall, the Hunter spec has 16 available Legendary Items:

4 general class, 4 spec specific and 8 general powers.

At the moment, the best Legendary is Soulforge Embers (no matter how many enemies).

General class powers:

For the Beast Mastery spec:

If you have different Legendaries that are not listed above, and you want to find out which one will suit you better, we recommend using Simcraft. 

Choosing a racerace bm

Generally speaking, races hardly affect your DPS, as each race grants a DPS bonus, so if you do not strive to become one of the world’s best players, just choose the race you like more.
However, in terms of DPS (only), while there are still very few stats, the best races are:

  • Orc (Horde)
  • Mechagnome (Alliance)

Rotation

Beast Master is supposed to spam Kill Command and maintain Bestial Wrath and Frenzy on their pet.

Single target

  1. Use Barbed Shot when Frenzy on your pet is about to go off, or if you have 2 charges of Barbed Shot. Try to refresh Frenzy as late as possible, but don’t let the buff end, it’s the most important priority of yours, even more important than utilizing the Bestial Wrath cooldown.
  2. Cast Bestial Wrath on recharge. If Aspect of the Wild is almost ready (~20 sec left), keep your Bestial Wrath.
  3. Use Aspect of the Wild on recharge.
  4. Same with Kill Shot, when your target is below 20% health.
  5. Use Kill Command on recharge.
  6. If Frenzy on your pet isn’t active, cast Barbed Shot when you’re just about to gain another ability stack, so that you can maintain Frenzy stacks on the target for a long time.
  7. Use Cobra Shot when there are at least 2.5 sec left for Kill Command to recharge to spend extra Focus.

AoE

  1. Against 2 targets, use Multi-Shot once every 4 sec to maintain Beast Cleave. Nevertheless, don’t sacrifice using Kill Command, better skip a few Cobra Shots instead.
  2. If there are 3 or more targets, maintaining Beast Cleave gets more important than using Kill Command on recharge. You still have to keep up Frenzy stacks, as the attack speed significantly boosts your AoE. 

Cooldowns:

Bestial Wrath should be used as often as possible. Before you cast it, you should generate enough Focus, but don’t let it cap. During this burst, your task is to deal as much damage as possible, that is, use all your Focus. Also, don’t forget that Dire Beast or Barbed Shot reduce the cooldown of Bestial Wrath by 12 sec. But maintaining Frenzy is always more important than utilizing Bestial Wrath and losing stacks. 

To start with:

Your opener depends on the Talent you have in the second tier.

If you have Scent of Blood:

  1. Barbed Shot
  2. Barbed Shot
  3. Aspect of the Wild
  4. Bestial Wrath
  5. Barbed Shot
  6. Kill Command
  7. Cobra Shot
  8. Kill Command
  9. When Frenzy on your pet is about to end, use Barbed Shot to refresh the buff.
  10. Cobra Shot
  11. Kill Command
  12. Continue the rotation, mind your priorities

If you have One with the Pack, use the following opener:

  1. Bestial Wrath
  2. Barbed Shot
  3. Barbed Shot
  4. Aspect of the Wild
  5. Kill Command
  6. Cobra Shot
  7. Kill Command
  8. When Frenzy on your pet is about to end, use Barbed Shot to refresh the buff.
  9. Cobra Shot
  10. Kill Command
  11. Continue the rotation, mind your priorities

Stats

Your basic stats priority is the following:

Finesse > Crit > Versatility ~ Haste > Mastery

To maximize your stats, use raidbots.com (-> Stat Weights) and import this information into the game with Pawn (addon) for further convenience.

Mastery increases the damage dealt by your pets.

Haste reduces your ability cooldowns, such as Kill Command, Barbed Shot and Chimaera Shot,  increases your attack speed and Focus regeneration and reduces your GCD.

Based on the above-mentioned characteristics and your own simulation results, let’s move on to Gems, Enchants and Consumables.

Gems

Enchants 

Food

Flasks and Pots

BiS Gear & Trinkets

trinket bm

Macros

Modifier kick. Hold Shift to apply to your focus target, or apply to your current target by default:

/stopcasting
/cast [mod:shift,@focus][] Counter Shot

 Instant activation of Aspect of the Turtle and Feign Death (interrupts your current cast, can be extremely useful):

/stopcasting
/cast Feign Death

and

/stopcasting
/cast !Aspect of the Turtle

The exclamation mark is necessary so that subsequent clicks don’t cancel the effect immediately when this key is spammed.

Disabling Aspect of the Turtle, as you don’t always want to keep it active, since you can’t attack over the duration:

/cancelaura Aspect of the Turtle

 Misdirection at the cursor position

#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [@mouseover, exists] Misdirection

 Trap macros. You can use these macros to instantly place a trap under your character or at the cursor position, e.g.:

/cast [@player] Freezing Trap

or

/cast [@cursor] Freezing Trap

Such macros can also be used for all ground abilities, such as Flare or Binding Shot. 

Addons

Bartender4 is a highly customizable panel addon.

Chatter allows you to customize chat.

Deja Character stats – adds more information about the character.

Sexy map – makes your minimap super sexy!

Shadowed unit frames – an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.

WeakAuras is probably the most important addon in modern WoW. With its help, you can set up almost anything, and on wago.io you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec, check out this link

BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods – addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately. 

ElvUI is an all-in-one global build for fans of a neat and concise interface. Replaces several addons at once. On wago.io you can also find a large number of different customized profiles for ElvUI. 

Details! Damage Meter is the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment. 

Plater Nameplates– an addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io – what else do you need?

Pawn – helps you find upgrades for your gear, requires SimCraft.

SimulationCraft – a tool to explore combat mechanics and optimize your character.

Exorsus Raid Tools is an addon for raids that includes a lot of useful features.

Move Anything – allows you to move and resize any part of your interface.

World Quest List – groups your world quests to the left of the map and filters them by zones.

Legion ToDo –  saves information about your characters and displays it in a customizable list.

PRO Tips

I personally recommend playing with a higher SpellQueueWindow value, 300-400. It will protect you from micro lags and downtime between casts.
/console SpellQueueWindow 350

Hunters often complain that Feign Death doesn’t work. The two most common reasons are:

  1. You clicked Feign Death with the right mouse button held down and moved it. Unfortunately, this ability can be canceled when you turn your character. Therefore, make it a habit to release the right mouse button when you click Feign Death.
  2. You used Feign Death during the GCD with a queued up spell. Accordingly, your Feign Death gets interrupted by another ability. Here’s how to prevent it:

/cqs

/use Feign Death

The first command – /CancelQueuedSpell – cancels the queued spell, so if this macro is the last one you click, you definitely won’t get up immediately.

That’s it, guys! We hope that now you’re armed and ready! And if you still have questions or just want to check out my gameplay, click on this link twitch.tv/aaeril. Thanks for tuning in! Best of luck in the world of Azeroth!

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