reviewed and accurate
Reviewed 2/2/2012
Patch 4.3.2

View other WHU WoW Cataclysm hunter guides here.

Among the huge changes that Cataclysm brought to the hunter class is the new improved glyph system. For the beast mastery hunter trying to get the best dps out of raids, choosing the best glyphs can make a huge difference.

This glyph guide is specifically for BM hunters. Other hunter specs will have different glyph needs. Keep in mind that your BM glyph choice can change based on your gear, and what is the best glyph for one hunter may not be the best for you; however, there are several glyphs that are clearly on the top of the BM hunter short list.

Best BM Hunter Prime Glyphs

Glyph of Kill Command
While a tiny 3 focus gain per Kill Command doesn’t seem like all that much, over the course of a boss fight this really adds up for BM hunters to a nice dps gain.

Glyph of Arcane Shot
BM hunters use Arcane Shot more than any other spec, and Arcane Shot is a good chunk of BM hunter damage, and a full 12% damage boost is huge. This glyph is a no brainer for BM — in fact it’s the biggest gain of any BM glyph.

Glyph of Kill Shot
The dps gain of the kill shot glyph is excellent, and it’s immensely satisfying to fire off two focus-free kill shots in a row. Keep in mind, however, that the benefit of this glyph gets smaller the shorter a fight is. This glyph is, however, a perfectly viable alternative to the serpent glyph and with good gear this glyph should net a BM hunter more dps than the Glyph of Serpent Sting.

Glyph of Serpent Sting
The serpent sting glyph gives a nice crit chance boost to Serpent Sting, which of course you will always have ticking away. This glyph is a bit worse than the Glyph of Kill Shot for BM hunters with good gear; however, the dps benefit of this glyph is always there, whereas the dps gain of the Kill Shot glyph varies from fight to fight, making the Glyph of Serpent Sting a viable alternative.

Best BM Hunter Major Glyphs

Glyph of Disengage
I’m a huge fan of the glyph of disengage. While it doesn’t directly increase our dps in any way, the movement benefits of disengage (and the always cool-looking Jump Disengage technique) are big. A shorter cooldown on disengage can be very useful.

Glyph of Bestial Wrath
BM hunters are in the happy position of having a major glyph that is a clear dps gain — a 20-second reduction to big red pet cooldown is fantastic. In fact, it’s even more of a dps gain than many of the prime glyphs.

g-genericGlyph of Whatever
For your third glyph we have a choice of utility options, but no direct dps gains. So take whatever will work best for your playstyle.


Best BM Hunter Minor Glyphs

g-feigndeathGlyph of Feign Death
Reducing the cooldown of Feign Death can definitely be an advantage in raids where you always seem to need to FD just before it’s available again. At least you can claim there is some kind of advantage to it, unlike most hunter minor glyphs

g-genericGlyph of Whatever
For your third glyph, there is pretty much nothing that is practically useful except in the most rare situations. So take whatever tickles your fancy.

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  1. Cinterclaus says:

    Hmm, I thought I remembered you recomending Glyph of Steady Shot back during the Beta, Frostheim. Did something change?

    • Cinterclaus says:

      Ah, here it is, “BM Hunter Patch 4.0.1 Talent Spec, Rotation, and Glyphs”

    • Frostheim says:

      Yes, at 81 BM gets Cobra Shot and never uses Steady Shot again :)

    • Sunti says:

      first of all, thx for all the work you put in to improve our dps as hunters.
      I bin playing this game for 5 months now and i love to play BM.
      The last few weeks i spend reforging, changing glyphs and everything to get my dps on top. What i found out – for my play stile – was that i do more dps with in raids with steady shot and glyph of-course as i do forget serpent sting allot. Also, instead of haste i reforged everything in to mastery what made the dps gain huge. Logical really as i am a beast master. I always check this site before i change things, just want to share my experience in the game and maybe help somebody out. :o)
      Greets Sunti

  2. raven1978 says:

    I would have though Glyph of Misdirection would be a must if you are Tanking in BM

  3. Ril says:

    Glyph of Raptor Strike is a very good choice in a few (but important) raiding situations. There are bosses and adds with 5-5y min range, which means raptorstriking and shooting at the same time! The most prominent example for this is Nefarian.

  4. pants says:

    so whats better here, serpent sting or kill command?

  5. Jiminimonka says:

    Frost, what’s the best pet, I hear it’s a spore bat? I am an elite hunter.

  6. Sidoen says:

    Might be time to revisit the glyphs for 4.1 with one of our minor glyphs having turned into something useless. At least with the happiness system there was a point to having it. Who wants their pets to be slightly smaller?

    • Dreena says:

      haha. me. my corehound is always in the way! Having him slightly smaller in raids is highly effective.

  7. Revirao says:

    I think [Glyph of Revive Pet] should be a must for the cases your pet dies for some encounters, and you want to revive it while taking some minor AOE damage. (happens to me sometimes in raid, specially at the begging of an encounter

  8. Ozzul says:

    When it comes to our 2pc bonus how does the glyph of SS and the 2pc bonus affect each other .They seem to do the same thing ,so would that allow us to glyph into AS and remove the SS glyph.

  9. JTW says:

    “Who wants their pets to be slightly smaller?”

    Depending on the situation and the pet, a slightly smaller pet can make for better visibility during the encounter.
    When I’ve King Crush out for example he towers over most everything except some mechs and bosses, even with the smaller dimensions.

  10. Borgthor says:

    My wife just found me my first spirit beast (Ankha) for my freshly dinged 85 hunter, so of course this is the first place I came for information about getting him up and running in his second spec. Love the site, keep up the great work.

    Just a quick proofing thing, the link on this page to the BM rotation actually links to the MM rotation.

  11. Drae says:

    Hey frosty, you got a bug on this page. The link for the BM rotation takes you to MM rotation.

  12. grim5000 says:

    hi, i was wondering about the glyph of steady shot, (i should mention that right now as i post this my hunter is only lvl 71 and i use bm for most dungeons for worm on aoe, and fro questing) because i find myself normaly fust putting up ssting and kill command, then steady shoting to get the mana back, and thats about it unless its gonna last a longer fight, so i was thing the 10% dmg increase would be fairly good. really, i dont fully understand my claass and stuff right now so just correct me if i’m wrong

  13. Kajite says:

    So in the new BM rotation We dont use serpintsting. but abouve you have glyph of serpintsting listed as a secondary choice for KillShot. With Cobra shot reseting the clock on serpintsting, would this not be a lotts of the stings periodic DMG? You would still get the DMG from when first fired but after that it’s done, Or am I mistake with this thought.

    • Frostheim says:

      Of course we use serpent sting as BM! We use it in every spec! It’s not part of the “rotation” in the sense that you only fire it once at the start of the fight and Cobra Shot keeps it up thereafter, but we absolutely want to have it up on any target that we’re fighting for any length of time.