Good for Hunters, Bad for Druids

As I was browsing Mania’s Arcania this morning, I noticed that she had listed some of the updated test realm patch notes that had been updated, obviously highlighting the specifc changes to Hunters.  The mana regen change to Aspect of the Viper is nice, while the changes to Boars kinda sucks.  But the most interesting change that I noticed was the change to Scare Beast. 

“Scare Beast: The range on this spell has been increased to 30 yards and it is now instant cast.”

Now having played multiple toons of both the Hunter and Druid classes, I’ve been on both ends of Scare Beast in the past.

POV: Druid

The first Druid that I pvp’d with on a regular basis turned into my 29 twink, Zaels, on the Coilfang server.  While I BG’d with him, there were several twink Hunters that I kept coming up against time and again.  One in particular liked to shadowmeld on the second floor landing in the Ally base, leaving his pet on aggressive, as NElfs tend to do.  I knew this.  I often tried to get the upper hand by attacking out of stealth.  However, almost every time I came up against him, the first thing he would invariably do was attempt to Scare Beast.  My reaction, obviously was to mash a cancelform macro I’d developed (specifically to fight that Hunter).  Sometimes I’d shift back to caster form and Moonfire, while his spell would end with ‘invalid target’,  Other times he would get the fear off and proceed to destroy me from range.  The point to all this was that I at least had a chance for survival.

POV: Hunter

The first Hunter that I did any serious pvp with was Grim, way back when he was first able to start AV (I believe I first tried it with him around level 58-59).  But I did more than just AV, and one particular AB stands out in my mind.  I was running from Farm to LM and came up against another Hunter.  He sent his pet, I sent mine and hit BW (No Beast Within for me at that time).  I immediately then tried to cast Scare Beast to eliminate his pet while mine and I destroyed him.  The problem was, the cast took forever due to pushback from the hunter and then his pet when he got to me.  When I finally did manage to get the spell off, it was resisted.  At that point, I was down a good deal of health, his pet was on me and he wasn’t all that injured.  But casting Scare again wasn’t an option due to the pushback the first time.  End result was a trip to the graveyard.  You could probably chaulk that up to inexperience pvp’ing with a Hunter at the time.  Either way, it was a difficult spell to use unless you got the jump on someone, or were willing to stand there and take a pounding while you cast it.  With this change, Grim will be able to instant cast fear a pet/druid from increased range (30 yards).  As far as my Hunter is concerned, this change is ALL WIN!

POV: Fallout

So what will be the eventual outcome from this change?  Hunters are going to get a huge buff to pvp against Feral Druids and a little bit against each other (as in other Hhunters).  Affecting the specific Hunter specs, I think BM will have it both the worst and the best depending on when BW is avail.  If it is, no Scare Beast for the other Hunter.  If its not, 30% of your MQoSRDPS just turned from being a big red kitty to being a big scaredy cat.

I’m more curious about what the fallout will be for Arenas.  I suspect in Arena’s, an MM Hunter will get hit the hardest (again, after Druids) as he would have no way to avoid his pet being CC’d.  A BM Hunter can turn him red for a little while to avoid it and hopefully put his counterpart on the defensive so that he never gets a chance to use it. 

As for Druids in Arenas.  They are going to take a serious hit I think.  From what I’ve read on Druid Arenas, almost all Druids use one of the Feral forms at one time or another to increase health/armor, to stealth around, or to run away (although, I’m not sure if SB works on them in travel form… hrmmm).  Being able to fear them the instant they pop into one of these forms will add a whole new component to taking them on, and in may further weaken their dominant grip on some of the smaller group Arena matches. 

But in the end, I have no idea about Arena tactics for Hunters, so I guess I shouldn’t speculate.  Instead I ask the audience.  Anyone out there who knows Hunters and Arenas have an opinion on this change?

2 Responses to “Good for Hunters, Bad for Druids”

  1. I heard somebody mention this in game today. I think it’s awesome… can’t wait to laugh at the feral druids now. I just wish we didn’t have to wait for it.

    As for fighting another Hunter, here’s a tip. As soon as you see you’re going up against the hunter, drop a Freezing Trap and stand on it. His pet will freeze as soon as he attacks you – no need to worry about spell pushback. I’ve tried Scare Beast in the past, and I find the trap to be a much more effective solution.

  2. As someone who has played both a F. Druid (Bearkat on Kil’Jaeden) and a MM Hunter (Kehilikaua on Agamaggan), I can tell you that hunters are going to own. In arenas, I have seen this happen quite a lot in 2v2s:

    Hunter notices they are playing against a F. druid, or a rogue. Hunter sets his freeze trap on one side of him and has his teammate step on it; Hunter drops a flare on the other side of him. The hunter will work his trap cds lay a trap on every other side of himself until the rogue/druid gets either pulled into the flare from mis-stepping, or hits the trap. From there on, he just unloads.

    Given that the hunter is already pretty capable at handling a feral druid in form (at least in stealth) they are going to dominate feral druids. The same could probably be argued with resto as well, except that a resto druid will still be able to combat with extended HoTs and lots of cc.

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