After watching the patch 5.3 updates roll by without a whisper of hunter info (okay, well other than a giant expansion of our stables, which absolutely counts as awesomeness) we finally saw a spate of tooltip updates along with the Powershot change. Now we’re seeing more info, including a flat out buff to hunter dps combined with AoE buffs for BM and MM hunters:
- Aspect of the Hawk increases ranged attack power by 25%, up from 15%. Aspect of the Ironhawk was buffed identically, of course.
- Blink Strike was reworked to be a passive talent. Now Blink Strike causes your pet’s basic attacks to deal 50% increased damage, and can be used from 30 yards away, and will instant teleport your pet behind the target.
- Beast Cleave now deals 75% damage to the cleaving targets, up from 30%
- Bombardment now causes 60% additional damage for 5 seconds, up from 30%.
The AoE changes are very welcome and delivers on Blizzard’s promise to help close the gap between SV and the other specs. I think this is most beneficial to MM, only because Beast Cleave won’t necessarily affect every mob that Multi-Shot can hit. However this is still a substantial gain for both BM and MM AoE capabilities. SV will probably remain the king of sustained AoE, however. But a very good change and one that I can’t wait to test out.
The Blink Strike change is the most interesting, because it shows that Blizzard is listening to some of the too many button complaints — not the mechanical complaint about homogenization of ability dps, but you can’t do anything about that without major new expansion level changes. This allows hunters who don’t want to hit another cooldown in the level 75 tier to take Blink Strike and just let their pet do it’s thing. It’s extra good for BM, particularly with the auto near-distance teleporting pet — great for target switching! By my math, at a flat 50% boost to pet basic attack damage Blink Strike should be a bit worse than A Murder of Crows in raw numbers, not counting the focus you save. It’s worth noting that I was chatting with Zeherah last night and she was seeing Blink Strike actually being better for BM than AMoC (but not SV or MM) — we’re still going back and forth on it, but be aware I may be wrong.
And let us not forget the Aspect of the Hawk buff — a simple way for Blizzard to flat out increase the single-target dps of all hunters. So far this is looking like a very good patch for hunters!