So as promised, this is the talent review for the spec I’ve chosen. My main emphasis when deciding on which talents to choose was synergy. Being a Beast Master means working with your pet so that together you both compliment each other in a never ending cycle of awesome! To that end:
Improved Aspect of the Hawk: While many hunters feel that this proc doesn’t happen often enough to make it worthwhile, or it happens on the shot that kills a mob, making it wasted during downtime, I feel it’s a solid talent that will benefit when it does proc. The increased haste is going to really make a difference, especially with auto shot now off of the global cooldown.
Endurance Training: This ability grants both me and my pet increased stamina, giving me more staying power. Not necessarily a must have talent, but never a bad choice either. Generally when I needed one or two points to get to the next tier, this is where I added them. (Only taking 4/5)
Focused Fire: This is a bread and butter synergy talent. While my pet is active all my damage is increased by 1/2% and the critical strike chance of my pet’s specials while kill command is active is increased by 10/20%. More damage for me, good! More crits from my pet, very good!
Aspect Mastery: A new talent to the BM tree, it gives a bonus to three aspects, Hawk, Monkey and Viper. While not a ‘must-have’ it is a pretty solid talent, especially with the announcement of Aspect of the Dragonhawk at level 75. If the bonus to both Hawk and Monkey are applied to Dragonhawk, this will be even better than it already is.
Unleashed Fury: A must have for just about every BM build I’ve ever made. This increases my pet’s damage by 20%. More pet damage means better aggro generation and faster killing. Um, yes please.
Improved Mend Pet: I think this is an extremely useful talent. Generally, healers either ignore or forget about pets and sometimes refuse to heal pets if a hunter won’t use Mend Pet, meaning that whether soloing or in a group, it will allow me to keep my pet alive much longer. With the reduced cooldown for Beastial Wrath/The Beast Within, I think this is an essential talent, as keeping my pet alive + the mana reduction allows me to use more shots, more BW (thus conserving more mana) and just last that much longer. This one too, is all about synergy.
Ferocity: Another must have for a BM build in my opinion. This increases the critical strike chance of my pet by 10% at 5 points. More pet crits means more Ferocious Inspiration up-time which means more damage for me. Synergy!
Intimidation: Aside from having a cool name, this talent is a must have as well, for me. While the actual ability to stun a target on command is nice and very useful in pvp, this talent is required to get Beastial Wrath.
Beastial Discipline: This increases the focus regeneration of my pet by 50/100%. More focus means more pet specials go off and more growls go off meaning I don’t pull aggro while soloing, not to mention more dps for my pet and faster killin stuff for me.
Frenzy: This gives my pet a 100% chance (at 5 points) to increase its attack speed for 8 seconds when it crits. More speed, means more attacks, means more Ferocious Inspiration. And look what’s next…
Ferocious Inspiration: This is another definate must have for a BM build in my opinion. When my pet crits, all party members get a 3% increase to all damage. The beauty of this talent is that it scales, so the better you or your group becomes, the more benefit this provides. Once again, feel the synergy.
Beastial Wrath: Another must have. Aside from its usefulness in pvp for making my pet immune to any form of cc or stun, it also increases my pet’s damage by 20% for 18 seconds. I also love the tooltip for this talent: “The beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and cannot be stopped unless killed.” Oh yeah!
Serpent’s Swiftness: One of the greatest Hunter talents available in my opinion. This increases my ranged attack speed by 20% and my pet’s melee attack speed by 20%. What does that mean? Mucho Grando synergy right there. My attack speed increases, giving me more shots, thus more chance to crit. The more I crit, the faster my pet attacks, meaning more attacks and more chance to crit. On top of that, my pet’s attack speed increases giving it more hits and more chance to crit, which in turn creates more up time for FI and more damage for me. This is another never ending cycle of synnergistic hunter-pet goodness. In fact, the icon for this ability should be changed to a hybrid between the symbol for infinity and the symbol for death. I’m writing Blizz a letter.
The Beast Within: When my pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, I also go into a rage causing 10% more damage and reducing the mana cost of shots by 20%. Like BW for my pet, it makes me immune to all forms of cc, stuns, snares, etc and increases damage. A definate must have for me, especially with the decreased cooldown.
Longevity: This decreases the cooldown of Beastial Wrath, Intimidation and my pet’s special abilities by 30%. Must have. More Beastial Wrath means less mana spent on shots, more pet damage and more hunter damage (with The Beast Within). Shorter cooldowns on pet specials also means more damage. All win, all around.
Kindred Spirits: This again increases my pet’s damage by 20% and increases its movement speed by 10%. Another amazing talent that I think is a must have.
Beast Mastery: While many hunters taking BM may forgo this talent in order to get 21 points in another tree or because they have no interest in exotic pets, I personally feel that it is worth it. It allows me to tame exotic pets and it gives all my pets 4 extra pet talent points. With the recent announcement that all exotic pets will be getting a 10% increase to damage above non-exotic pets, this became that much more appealing to me.
That gives me 51 points in the BM tree which means its time to move on to Marksman to get some really great support talents.
Focused Aim: This reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while using Steady Shot by 70% and increases my hit chance by 3%. Since the plan is for pets to share hit rating with their hunter, my pet will also get a nice little hit bonus from this. More hits means more damage and more crits and… well, I think you get it by now.
Lethal Shots: This gives me a 5% (at 5 points) increase to Crit chance. As I mentioned before, with the synergy between me and my pet, increasing crit will increase my pet’s attack speed and thus increase its chance to crit, increasing FI up time. Moar Damage? Uh-huh.
Mortal Shots: This gives me a 30% increased crit damage and is just all around win. I like seeing those big numbers pop up on my screen. This makes that happen. Moar Damage? Yessum.
Aimed Shot: While not a must have, aimed shot is a nice extra shot to be able to throw into my rotation, especially now that it is instant cast. The mortal strike portion (50% reduction to healing effects) is also extremely useful in pvp.
Rapid Killing: This decreases the cool down on Rapid Fire by 2 minutes. More haste more often means more shots, which means more chance to crit which means more chances for my pet to increase its attack speed, etc, etc. Starting to see the trend? Synergy my friends.
Go For The Throat: This ability gives a chance for my pet to gain 25/50 focus when I crit. Now that pets have so many more abilities that require focus, including a focus dump for every pet family, the more focus, the more damage. MOAR is BETTAH!
Improved Hunter’s Mark: This increases the attack power bonus of Hunter’s Mark by 10/20/30%. Once again, this scales, meaning it keeps getting better. As I’ve used up all of my other points, this will be filled to 2/3.
So that’s the build and why. While you may not agree, I think this build is right for my playstyle. I love the synergy that it creates between me and muy pet, which to me, is what Beast Mastery is all about.
Since this was way long enough, my Devilsaur, who recently received a new name, will be specced out in Part 3.
May the Horde be with you.