View other WHU WoW WoD hunter guides. Updated for patch 6.0.2.
This guide will cover the optimal Beast Mastery hunter shot rotation for level 90 in Warlords of Draenor. We’ll cover both single-target raid dps and AoE / 5-mans.
Hunters in WoD will still be following close to a shot priority system for all aspects of damage. Here we’ll discuss the priority as we’ve personally simcrafted, conducted our own tests and made sure everything is accurate for launch.
BM Hunter Shot Priority
We no longer have anything to maintain on a fight anymore after ability pruning has swept the BM priority to just focusing on your shots and cooldowns.
- Dire Beast
- Explosive Trap (if 2+)
- Bestial Wrath
- A Murder of Crows (if picked)
- Kill Shot if available
- Kill Command
- Glaive Toss/Barrage
- Focus Fire
- Arcane Shot
- Cobra Shot as needed to regen focus
BM has the most cooldown-heavy rotations of the hunter specs, having more identity with Bestial Wrath and Focus Fire being spec exclusive.
During Bestial Wrath your shots will cost half focus and most of the time you’ll be able to just spam Kill Command and Arcane Shot. Bestial Wrath should be lined up with Kill Command to be able to use two kill commands in one BW cycle. You should always try to delay FF during BW till you need focus back.
When BM pops all of its cooldown at once, it has the largest burst dps of any hunter spec, allowing BM hunters to soar to the top of the charts at the beginning of the fight. There is endless discussion of the exact “right” order to hit every ability, but in general you want to burn your cooldowns, make sure Kill Command is always being used off CD, and pooling enough focus to use Barrage every 20 seconds. A BM hunter shines once he or she learns how to pool the focus properly between KC, Barrage and other abilities.
BM Hunter AoE Rotation
The best BM AoE rotation assumes that you’re taking the best BM AoE talents (Barrage, Thrill of the Hunt). However it’s common for BM hunters optimized for single target damage to still need to deal out the AoE, and in that case you’ll just drop or substitute a few shots from your AoE rotation.
The key to the BM AoE is their passive Beast Cleave ability (that all BM hunters automatically have), which allows your pets melee attacks to inflict 30% damage to nearby targets after you Multi-Shot. With multistrikes being a new addition to the secondary stat list, you will also have a chance for your pet attacks to do extra damage during beast cleave, as well as barrage having ticks that can even strike again. Their AoE combines well with Bestial Wrath, which drops the cost of Multi-Shot in half, allowing BM a small period of quite good burst AoE, followed by longer period of fairly so-so AoE. Note that Beast Cleave will not all mobs in a pack — just the nearby ones. Pet placement is highly important when it comes to ensuring proper usage of Beast Cleave.
The BM AoE priority rotation is:
- Explosive Trap
- Barrage (or Glaive Toss)
- Moar Multi-Shot
- Kill Command
- Cobra Shot to regen focus.
Keep in mind that Beast Cleave only works for 4 seconds after you Multi-Shot, so you want to be sure that you are Multi-Shotting at least every five seconds, to maintain your pet’s cleaving ability. I generally like to Multi-Shot immediately after launching the Explosive Trap, and then Barrage and do another Multi-Shot just after the Barrage.
Depending on your situation, you may want to also fire Kill Shot as the mobs are dying. Generally this works best when you’re AoEing smaller numbers of mobs with larger health pools. If you get a kill with Kill Shot, you essentially can now “cherry pick”, and even regen health for doing so! For 5-man trash the mobs will usually be dead before your Kill Shot can hit — but it can be a good way to save some focus for the next pack when it works, as well as help your healer out with a bit of extra health.
It’s also worth noting that while Glaive Toss is technically an AoE-ish ability, it depends heavily on the positioning of the mobs and you’re unlikely to hit them all. If you are using Glaive Toss be sure you’re targeting someone in the back of the pack and try to position yourself to hit as many mobs as possible. If, on the other hand, you are using Barrage, be sure to position yourself to avoid pulling any packs of nearby mobs.