Note: you can see a full updated list of all 5.2 hunter changes here.
The 5.2 hunter buffs that Ghostcrawler told us about were released in the patch notes, and I’ve had the chance to do some initial playing with the numbers.
I have to say — this looks very good for every hunter spec.
From what I can see it looks like MM, SV, and BM will all be incredibly close to each other in damage potential. This is of course theorycrafting damage potential, which exists in a single-target averaged vacuum. And the good news for the BM hunters is that it looks like BM may technically eek out a wee tiny bit ahead (though it’s so close it’s hard to say for certain). I don’t see a significant difference between SV and MM, though the MM math is a little funky with aimed shot hardcasts.
I doubt FemaleDwarf has been updated yet, so I haven’t had the chance to confirm whether Zeherah’s numbers match up with mine, but from what I’m seeing now it does not look like MM surged ahead of everyone.
This could in fact be a golden age of hunter spec balance even better than what we saw in Cataclysm (which, at the time, was the best balance in the history of the game).
What This Means for the Specs
First of all, if you have a spec you prefer, go ahead and play that spec as long as the boss mechanics don’t call for a specific spec.
- BM will continue to have the best burst dps, and will be the go-to spec for boss fights with burn moments, and for most Brawlers Guild fights.
- SV will continue to have the best AoE, and a SV Thrill of the Hunt build will be preferred for AoE boss fights, trash, and most heroics.
- MM will continue to not excel in any one point. However, with Aimed Shot now worth hardcasting while under any haste effects, and with 5.2 buffs, it’s possible that skilled MM hunters could beat the theorycraft numbers with great proc/pot stacking in the first 20% of the fight and during big haste effects.
Personally, I cannot wait to see these buffs in action. I promise that you’re going to see a huge wave of new MM DPS records on World of Logs, as tons of hunters go back to the spec.
Now the real question is how we hunters are going to hold up against all the changes made to other classes. Will the class balance equation also become even better than Cataclysm?
I think we have reason to hope.