Patch 5.2 will bring with it more than just awesome hunter changes: a new raid with 13 new raid bosses (cool), new world bosses (including a mega-epic armored T-Rex), new factions (ugh) and a host of smaller changes.  Here we take a look at the MoP patch 5.2 changes that will affect hunters.

Patch 5.2 Quality of Life Changes

These are all small but nice changes that patch 5.2 is bringing us, and I can specifically recall a few times when a staircase or pillar prevented Bestial Wrath from being cast.

The new glyph doesn’t “feel” right to me, in the sense that jumping backwards seems like an odd ability to link to a self-heal [Frost note: it feels sooo right to me though!].  But I’m not complaining.  I like self-heals. The new Glyph of Liberation is likely to be used heavily in all aspects of hunter gameplay — certainly in PvP, but also in raiding and it will definitely find a place in the extreme soloing crowd.

Patch 5.2 Hunter Balancing Changes

  • Aimed Shot cast time will be reduced to 2.5 seconds, down from 2.9 seconds
  • Aimed Shot damage will be increased about 10%
  • Chimera Shot damage will be increased about 25%
  • Steady Shot damage will be increased about 20%
  • Explosive Shot damage will be increased about 10%
  • Black Arrow damage will be increased about 10%
  • Beast Cleave damage will be increased to 50% pet damage, up from 30%
  • Powershot and Glaive Toss will now always hit their primary target.
  • Casting Powershot will break Camouflage when the cast starts (rather than waiting until the cast fires)
  • Silencing Shot now has a 24-second cooldown (was 20).
  • Dismiss Pet has had its cast time increased to 3 seconds, up from 2 seconds.
  • Focused Aim: Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Steady Shot and Cobra Shot by 10% (down from 70%)

There are two major categories of changes here: MM/SV buffs, and PvP changes/nerfs.

Spec Buffs: the clear intent of these patch 5.2 changes is to close the growing gap between BM and the other hunter specs. These buffs will put all three hunter specs within 5% of each other, without actually changing the theoretical mathematical ranking of the specs. Thus technically, for a robot playing the specs perfectly in a single-target fight, BM is still on top by a small margin, and MM is still in third a bit behind SV, which still is in the middle. In practice, you certainly won’t see the difference between SV and BM, and very skilled MM will do surprising DPS.

PVP Nerfs: There are a couple of real nerfs to PvP here. It’s particularly rough to have Powershot finally working only to have the awesome Powershot/Camouflage combo that everyone was excited about the moment they first saw it — suddenly vanish. Don’t get me wrong, you can still Powershot knockback people off cliffs, you just can’t do it while invisible. But now at least that shot will hit.

New Hunter Gear

As with any patch, 5.2 brings with it new gear and gearing decisions for hunters. Here are links to articles covering the patch 5.2 hunter gear:

New Hunter Pets

Patch 5.2 is also bringing two new hunter pets (as well as some new skins to existing pets).

First is the first new spirit beast of MoP, the spectral porcupine. This uses the adorable porcupine model that hunters were all excited about at the beginning of MoP, but the little guy has all the spirit beast abilities.


Direhorn – image from Petopia

Second is the Direhorn — basically a totally awesome triceretops. It’s a new pet family, tenacity by default, with the Reflective Armor Plating ability to reflect spells in front of it for 6 seconds. In order to tame a Direhorn, you must learn a special skill taught by the Ancient Tome of Dinomancy, which is dropped by the dinomancers on the Isle of Giants. On the PTR the drop rate is very high, but we have no idea what it will actually be when patch 5.2 goes live.

Regardless, expect the dinomancers to be swarmed under by eager hunter pet collectors in the first days of patch 5.2.

You can see a list of the 17 new pet skin/colors found in patch 5.2 over at Petopia.

The Megazord of dinos.

The Megazord of dinos. Not tabmeable. Yet.

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  1. Elrock says:

    Like the marked for death change, one less button/macro to worry about and find toolbar space for that isn’t apart of our main rotation other than opening shots.

    • Odras says:

      Marked for death change sucks for pvp though. I quite often don’t want to have hunters mark on the target I am actually attacking, I want it on a rogue or a healer but now I have no choice.

  2. Flint says:

    Get Growl fixed. Until they do my Hunter is sitting on a shelf.

    • Oricc says:

      What’s wrong with Growl? I didn’t notice any bugs…

      • Flint says:

        It’s been documented about 1000 times. Blizz has acknowledged it is not working as intended.

        Growl is not working as a taunt on Bosses. Go solo Heroics and you will quickly see the problem.

    • Med says:

      Why would you even need growl when soloing? Misdirect is still in the toolbox and if glyphed a pet taunt should never be needed.

      • sheppo says:

        three reasons why that’s not a good answer
        1) you’re solo levelling, and don’t have MD yet
        2) not having to waste a GCD on casting MD would be nice
        3) it’s acknowledged as a bug, and should be fixed

    • Med says:

      1) Why would you waste time soloing instance bosses when questing would be more efficient.
      2) Try telling your tanks in a raid that MD is a waste of a GCD so you will not be using it. Not to mention you are foolish for not taking advantage of an aggro dump when you can.
      3) Some bugs take forever for them to fix….build a bridge and get over it

      • Gtyoungblood says:

        Not to nit pick, but Misdirect has not been on the global CD for a while now. I have it macro’d into all of my primary shots.

    • HTK says:

      IMO growl not working on bosses is a FEATURE so all those dumb people who forget to turn it off don’t wipe Dungeons/raids because the boss starts hitting a pet and not being moved like hes spossed to.

      • Nakur says:

        That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. There is no way it is intended just for the low percentage of people who are stupid enough not to notice growl is on. It’s a bug, nothing more, nothing less.

  3. Chuck says:

    Is that Serpent Sting buff another one or just the tooltip change that was already hotfixed?

    • Arth says:

      It’s a little unclear. The tooltip is currently still listed as 30% instant dmg. and the change is to 15%. Whether or not that’s already live, I haven’t tested it.

      • Saberos says:

        It is a tooltip change. This buff has been in affect for a while.
        The change to Improved Serpent Sting is not a nerf. As the damage of Serpent Sting has been doubled, halving the damage of Improved Serpent Sting puts at exactly the same damage as it was doing before. So it is a gain for all the specs.

      • Arth says:

        Thanks Sab. I edited the article to reflect this.

  4. I’ve had Spirit Mend macro’d to my Disengage, so the new glyph seems right to me.

  5. bahzob says:

    Nothing specific for MM in the changes. Though Blizzard may perhaps find time to fix Powershot.. Thoough maybe not. They seem to be more concerned with giving other classes complete new talents rather than fixing those that should have been working since the start.

    For second/third expansion running hunters look like having the worst performing spec in the game.

  6. tee says:

    Heal on disengage makes perfect sense to me. It should reduce a little the times I die in mid air or shortly after I disengage due to dots.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I must say, I am again disappointed in the lack of attention Blizz has payed to MM.

    • Arth says:

      I agree, though at this point we can definitely say that we have 2 raid-viable specs. Of course MM isn’t one of them, but 2 viable specs is more than many pure dps classes can say, and also more than hunters have had historically (even if one – SV – is more geared toward AoE fights).

      Still, there’s time for more tweaks, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a small bump to MM before 5.2 goes live.

      • bahzob says:

        Sorry but can you give specific examples of other classes with less viable specs?

        And perhaps ask why it is Blizzard seem to work hard to keep all 3 mage specs not only viable but OP? In a recent blue post about mages they specifically said they wanted players to have the choice of playing all 3 specs…

        Compare and contrast to hunters. WOTLK and Cat BM was the worst spec in the game. Now it’s place has been taken by MM. The only players using it are top level PVPers who have to make up in skill for what the spec lacks compared to other classes.

      • Arth says:

        Though buried by mountains of blue posts since, at some point in the past Blizz has said the same about hunters wanting to be able to play each spec. They’re notorious for small tweaks instead of over-correcting though, and 5.1 was a step toward MM being viable. It isn’t yet, of course, but as mentioned we still have two viable specs.

        We’re in agreement bah, I’d love to see MM get a boost, and historically it’s been my favorite spec to play. I’m not making excuses, Blizzard should definitely buff MM. I’m just choosing to look at the bright side of the situation.

    • kourgath007 says:

      The lack of attention being paid to the MM spec is no less than the amount of time Blizz spent on BM spec when MM was king.

      It is a new x-pac and the flavor of the month is BM again.

  8. Tatianah says:

    You forgot the best change of all. We get a new pet family, Dire Horns! Seriously, who wouldn’t want to tame their very own triceratops?

  9. Jaromor says:

    > Moving targets can now avoid Powershot damage.
    wtf? can anyone enlighten me please, because this seems like they have (officially) turned a major bug that has been reported eons ago into ‘a feature’…? too busy creating lock-spell-color-changing zones to fix bugs? :P

    • bahzob says:

      If you do any programming at all you will immediately realise the issue with Powershot. It is simply too complicated. It does damage to multiple targets and also knocks back the primary one.

      None of these was btw requested by hunters. They are mostly useless and the knockback can be a downright nuisance (and is redundant, if we want to knock back then we have explosive trap)

      Whatever the code was clearly beyond the capacity of Blizzard’s staff to deal with. So they have simplified the ability so it no longer does damage to other targets than primary if they are moving.

      This is what really makes me hacked off with Blizzzard. They could have and should have fixed Powershot immediately with a patch so that it only did DPS to primary target and nothing else. It just demonstrates their priorities that they take so long to do nothing while spending huge effort in making monks OP (expected I guess since its new) and reinstating rogues as must have PVP class.

      As of 5.2 the following is a rough guess of where the “pure DPS” classes will rank

      Top Warlocks=Rogue= (depending on fight)
      Bottom Hunters (won’t be best at anything, can be replaced by any of the above and get at least as good/better DPS)

      PVP (Arena and Rated BG, NOT random BGs filled with bots)
      Top Mage/Rogue
      Middle Warlocks
      Bottom (by a long way) Hunters (except random honor BGs

      Most of the “DPS” specs of hybrid classes will also rank ahead of hunters.

      • Jaromor says:

        I don’t care whether it is easy/complicated to do to make Powershot work properly. I’m laughing at the way they fixed bugged ability by changing its tooltip. :))

  10. Bonamassa says:

    It won’t be, but… is it tamable? Droooool.

  11. Valmordang says:

    Narrow escape. What does it mean until cancelled. I assume they mean until the hunter uses another ability or maybe it means until the player encased uses an escape cool down. Someone verify for me please.

    • Dibbler says:

      It’s probably either a datamining error of some kind or a placeholder value because they haven’t decided how long it should last yet. Basically, it doesn’t mean anything.

    • Arth says:

      I think it has more to do with the acknowledgement that several things can cancel out the web, not just the 8-second timer. I don’t think it actually changes the mechanic.

      • Mythriak says:

        so in the end it will be: “8 seconds or until canceled by the webbed player with some kind of ‘pvp-trinket’ ability”

  12. Ravenouschaos says:

    Bring back the ability for me to cast serpent sting with my multi-shot. My aoe is dead, and seeing as bliz has added so many aoe pulls this expansion, it just doesn’t make sense.

  13. Higgs says:

    Am I the only one worried about the change to the pushback of steady shot? It will significantly increase cast times during periods of high raid damage, or during melee assault in pvp, which will hurt or dps quite a bit…

    Maybe I don’t know enough about the pushback mechanic and it doesn’t really matter…

    • Arth says:

      You’re right, it will have an affect. Though not a huge one. The good news is, we have a TON of instant shots. At any other point in WoW’s history, that change would have been a much bigger deal.

  14. Onslaught says:

    Powershot should just be axed, replaced with something entirely new.
    Dire Beast should also be changed or made into a proc.
    Glaive Toss should be an ArcaneShot replacement and added to ToTH.
    Barrage needs a debuff added and more damage make it pvp viable also.
    Readiness should only affect defensive/utility abilities.
    Oh and all core shots (CS, AiS, ES, SS, etc) all need to be buffed.

    And change MM mastery. Make it an armour pen mechanic or each shot having a chance to trigger a MMM proc.

    Tweet this to the morons at Blizzard. Save this class. We’re not supposed to be whack a mole with 50 buttons to press.

  15. Nagrenol says:

    I’ve not been keeping up to date at all on the game/class as I have for the last number of years, haven’t even cleared all raids on normal yet which in itself is the weirdest thing for me after hardcoring it for so long.

    One thing I would like to see if MM coming back in one form or another. Either in pve or pvp, always loved running around raping face in bg’s as mm, bm just feels clunky and messy in pvp and pve. I get the feeling that blizz are just throwing as many things at us pet related, along with the new t15 2 set.
    They always seem to harp on about not forcing people to play such and such spec/class yet what they release seems to counter that for the most part.

    I’ve never been a fan of bm,even during its ololol 1 button macro phase in tbc I was still going as survival for expose weakness (like a baus). We have 3 tree’s. there’s no reason why they all can’t be competitive, but I think it’s more that it would require more though on their part to have to be worrying about all 3 specs.

    For me bm has always been the soloing spec which imho suits the class. MM & Surv even in name alone seem to cross between pve/pvp. Single target and aoe.

    Some of the inclusions in 5.2 are minimal at best, my gripe as it has always been is getting the bugs fixed before introducing new things to the class.
    It always annoys me when people are moaning about getting this and that when my stance has always been, fix the current issues before trying to bring new ones in.

    ..these 6am starts at work make me grumpy.. need moar coffee -_-

  16. George says:

    Atm Survival seems to be the only default choice for me in PvE, due to I hate BM outside PvP where it shines with BW and Stampede as nuke.

    But we still are weak compared to mage,wlocks,monks,enh shammys in DPS terms. Yesterday in LFR i topped all encounters i intented with a medium DPS of 65-74k and I am still 472 ilvl only.

    But our rotation is so messed up – i picked ToTH since MoC makes me sit there and focus starve to cast Cobra’s while I have 2% haste only, due to 28% crit and 24% mastery which I find better for Survival due to 73% of my DPS coming from elemental (SS,AS and ES – top 3 on my dps meter atm).

    So being told I find it kinda boring to be forced to play survival, since as MM with stats weight optimised I end up with 10-15% less DPS no matter how good I am it…

    I really wish BM is nerfed to lvling spec, solo spec as it’s intented to be and MM getting buffed (mastery turned into 12% base chance every shot to proc 1 charge of MM for instance, so we get more Aimed! shots, which make most of our DPS, aka turn us into wlocks type of DPS).

    • Arth says:

      I’m not sure where you got the information that BM is “intended” to be a leveling and soloing spec. It’s traditionally been good for those things, but was not specifically intended for those instead of raiding.

      All things are cyclical with specs. Eventually another will be on top. But right now you’re sacrificing a small amount of (single target) potential by not going BM, but you’ll continue to do good dps consistent with your gear and skill (as you’ve found from your examples).

      • Gtyoungblood says:

        Actually I’ve always felt it was the MM spec that was the leveling spec. Aimed shot, winding up, then just as it is to release hit Arcane shot and get two shots at one time. If your lucky then your auto shot goes off at the same time to. Instant kill on pretty much all mid to low level mobs at questing level. My MM spec pet almost didn’t matter as mobs were usually dead before pet got to it, during questing anyway

        BM Spec always seemed to just have a lot more utility to it, and a lot more fun to play.

  17. OhTheIrony says:

    Chimera Shot heal is up to 5% again, right? I don’t see that in the list.

  18. Leelie says:

    I don’t get what all the complaining is about. Yeah there’s some things that could be a little better but all in all we’re getting buffs across the board in pve, and maybe I’m a rare breed but the buff to Wyvern Sting is huge for me in pvp and arenas. Quit crying about not be on top of the meters and relish the fact that we’re still the most versatile pure dps class in the game capable of melting faces, keeping noobs CC’d for days and spanking heroic bosses solo like no ones business. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stop smiling with these changes.

  19. Gtyoungblood says:

    The DPS balance problem is a very easy fix. I don’t expect to ever see this, but just put a damage cap in per level. Damage cap at each level would be theoretical, and all classes and specs should be able to attain it. 

    Could be calculated by gear item level or some such. I.e. item level avg of 460 might be capped at 60k DPS. This could still give. Bragging rights to those eliteists that can keep their DPS capped the longest. It also gives the avg player a goal, to know where he stands. He will know what his DPS could be currently, and could then work on his rotation or priorities until he gets the hang of it.

    Like I said, it will never happen. But if Blizzard can get the classes and specs to be within 3%, then I say it’s fixed. Pretty much only other way to get balance is a capped method. Which I’m sure no one wants to see.

  20. Wrekh says:

    There was one really major change to the way that AoE works. They increased AoE cap to 20 targets (up from 10), which could mean that our AoE DPS will drop relatively to other classes.

    One of the reasons that we could do as much AoE damage in SV was because of the fact that we could somehow ignore AoE cap, because of spreading our damage on 3 different spells and doting targets with Serpent Sting. In current PTR build it is no longer that good.

    • Jork says:

      I thought that it was still the same amount of damage overall just spread to more targets with an upper bound limit on damage per target.

      For instance, if multi -shot does 10k per shot. you hit 5 targets for 2k or 4 target for 2.5k but was limited to 3k per target so at 3 or less targets it is a dps loss. Those aren’t accurate numbers but it gets the point across.

      • Jork says:

        I just reread what you said and it might lower our comparative dps, but I find damage done to be better measure of performance than dps.

  21. Valmordang says:

    Just like to note there is a Pvp buff to all hunters or pet using classes. Trinkets will clear all loss of control on hunter and pet when used.

  22. Johnlocked says:

    I’ve been playing marks all xpac and if u are good at it you can pull high numbers on single target bosses. I’ve been comparing my dps to survival and bm hunters ranked on fights and my item level is sometimes 10 points lower than them and I’m pulling the same numbers. I’m pumped about the changes to marks.

  23. Baldriano says:

    I just noted a Change that I have not seen posted anywhere.

    My Pet avoidance now say 90% aoe damage from CREATURES.
    which fits with me not being able to solo rares anymore, they are all humanoids and have aoe abilities, so they 1-2 shoot my pet.
    I tried for the skymirror but not a chance.

    I take it this would also constantly kill pet in raids? so BM will suffer hard for that.

  24. Tony says:

    Can you speak to the Avoidance nerf? I tried to make sense out of it on the official forums, but there was so much crosstalk that I could not come to a definite conclusion. I can always trust Frostheim to clarify these kinds of things…

    • Frostheim says:

      To my knowledge, this is a change they made specifically to pandaren rares — they had those in particular bypass pet avoidance (often my making their damage a DoT, which avoidance never helped with). But as far as I know avoidance should still work on everything else.

      Do you have any references to blue posts discussing something other than those rares?

  25. Jazzifizzle says:

    Also forgot to mention they increased the range for Stampede. I think it went from 30 yd to 45 yd? Correct me if I’m wrong. Def like this change.