Hunter Buffs in Patch 5.3

Posted: by Frostheim


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!

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  1. Lukers says:

    I may be mistaken, but I believe mmo-champion called the AotH buff a tooltip fix.

    • Deavan says:

      The problem is mmo-champ is reporting the incremental changes from build to build so while on live it may be 15%, on the PTR it was 25% but with the tooltip saying is was 15%. So to mmo-champ it got reported out as a tooltip change.

    • Skarn says:

      It’s not a tooltip fix. It’s a buff listed in the official 5.3 PTR patch notes.

  2. Ute says:

    The tooltip fix comment doesn’t actually make sense though as AotH is currently 15% on live. Why would they “fix” it to reflect an incorrect %?

  3. Deavan says:

    Posted just in time to have Blizzard update the PTR patch notes and add:
    - Binding Shot is no longer a talent and learned by Marksmanship Hunters at level 30.
    - Intimidation is now a level-30 talent available to all Hunter specializations and no longer learned by Beast Mastery Hunters at level 20.

  4. Wätts says:

    My big concern regarding Blink Strike is the realm of PVP burst.
    Formerly, we had Lynx Rush to help burst folks down, but that got turned into a bleed.
    So we fell back on Blink Strike for that little bit of extra bang where and when we needed it, but now that’s going away.
    Crows might be fine for RBGs, but for Arena they’re much less valuable.

    I’m also sad to see Intimidation become a talent and Binding Shot become MM-only. MM already has a daze on multishot. Why do they need another AoE CC, and why should it come at the expense of taking that same ability away from SV and BM?

    • sheppo says:

      Blink Strike is great in arenas for ensuring your Pet is on its target. I’ll miss it being an active ability – any news if it’s possible to toggle whether it’s passive or active of it in 5.3?

  5. Xainor says:

    Any word on what might replace Binding Shot in the tier? Or rather, any wild speculation?

    • Quelys says:

      They said that Intimidation will now be the tier 30 talent, so it is safe to assume it is taking binding shots spot

  6. Ayllix says:

    Have you seen changes from April 15? “Binding Shot is no longer a talent and learned by Marksmanship Hunters at level 30.” and “Intimidation is now a level-30 talent available to all Hunter specializations and no longer learned by Beast Mastery Hunters at level 20.”

    All my WoW career I played BM, I loved my extra stun from pet.. Now, I’m waiting for Bestial Wrath+Kill Command being available to all hunters.. And where is my “AoE” stun for BGs?

    I think this is most unfair change to BM since MoP. I loved this xpac – more balance the better. Right now I’m feeling useless with my huntress..

    • sheppo says:

      Kill Command used to be available to all hunters. it was taken away. It was must have ability if you were doing the Iron Man WoW Challenge, for example. :-)

    • Ril says:

      BM is in a good shape right now, and it’s not like it’s losing the pet stun anyways. BM has a lot of goodies that neither MM nor SV can live up to. SV will probably lose it’s uniqueness regarding AoE fights.

      The thing raiders really need to worry about, is the removal of binding arrow from BM and SV. This change sure hurts.

  7. Giga says:

    Not happy with Losing Binding Shot on my Surv/BM specs, it’s a really handy ability for PvE. Screw Intimidation!

  8. Canardo says:

    10% more AP !!!

    How much extra dps will that give us ? 2-3 % ? 6-7% ?

  9. Ril says:

    I don’t get why they make a rather meh, situational talent from BM baseline but then take away one of our most powerful tools in raids to put it into the least popular spec (yes I understand that intimidation is pretty good in PvP and yes I’m all for it becoming baseline but I’m advocating the heroic raider’s PoV here, where binding arrow can be very useful). On several bosses, my raid relies on binding arrow a lot. I’ve been using binding arrow more often than silencing shot in T14 heroic, some bosses wouldn’t have been possible or become much harder without it, for instance Empress and Will. In T15, binding arrow is an ability our bat tank relies to a lot on Tortos heroic. A good example for it’s convenience is Lei Shen, where it can keep the little orbs in place for a while for bombing, of course it’s not necessary, but useful nevertheless.
    I guess that I don’t even need to get started on challenge modes. That little spell can make or break a run.

    I understand that BM as a spec has much more “character” than MM and even SV and that something needs to be done about it. Exotic pets with their unique buffs and utility, the pet stun and BW are signature abilities that define spec’s style. With the 5.3 buffs it will definetely be the best spec playstyle and “feel” like. The playstyle of SV, and moreso MM rather feels like BM without the goodies right now. All three specs revolve around a big fat 6 second signature shot (KC, CS, ES), focus management, and a proc; there’s little difference in the rotations of the three. So yes, clearly, those specs need signature abilities too, especially now that SV is likely to lose it’s unique position AoE wise.

    However, I don’t think that the problem can be solved by reducing the overall value of BM and SV (by removing binding arrow) and giving it to the sub-par MM spec which otherwise offers nothing BM and SV don’t already have. Instead, SV and MM need the same refinement and love just like BM has got back in Cata and during MoP release.
    Out of all rather annoying hunter mechanics they had to worsen the state of our utility which felt very useful and good overall. Situational yes, but very useful when needed. I’ve been a big fan of binding arrow almost since the release of MoP and hate to think of needing to respec MM for a few fights just because of it.

    • Quelys says:

      I second this, not having it on H tortos is going to be a pain – doable, yes, but why should such a valuable pve talent be specified to one spec

  10. Katabalger says:

    Nice to see they’re finally applying a much needed pvp nerf to BM, which in PVP terms has been way ahead of the other 2 specs since MOP. A nerf you ask? Yes that’s right, something nobody seems to have mentioned yet is that Intimidate by this change will now be on the same tier as Silencing Shot, meaning BM hunters will be losing one or the other. Blink Strike I’m not sure about impact-wise…Yes, it’s potentially less burst, but it’s also going to be almost 100% uptime and faster target switching for your pet, plus higher pet damage. Hard to rate the change without testing.

    The AP boost should benefit us all dps wise and hopefully this will help make MM more competitive in PVP again, though BM’s BW ‘trinkets’ is still a major draw.

  11. Princessefl says:

    Nerfing the burst damage of BM is not a good plan to make MM worth playing. I chose BM spec because of unique pets. I don’t want to shelve pets that I’ve spent HOURS looking for because MM will have the most access to cc in the class in 5.3.

    Blink strike as a passive is also lame. If you do not time burst correctly, you have very little chance to take down a healer or dps before they receive help. Sustained damage buffs are irrelevant in arena/rbgs because of the state of burst of the other dps specs. Hunters will be useless for flag/node guarding now when they can be easily dismantled by mage/lock/sp, who’s burst is still extremely high. BM is about to be as desired in RBGs as a Ret Pally.

    Again, there is no gain to nerfing BM just to make MM seem more interesting.

  12. Ril says:

    This bit made me think:

    “I think this is most beneficial to MM, only because Beast Cleave won’t necessarily affect every mob that Multi-Shot can hit.”

    Couldn’t we influence the beast cleave radius by using large pets?

  13. hillbillyhatfield says:

    I was going to have a lot to say, but Ril hit it on the head.

    At a time where growl doesn’t work on bosses, rares that you need to interrupt multi-times, and huge heals, and hits like a truck. They are taking away a great cc from our tanking spec.

    If they want to buff pvp, then when we call dire, let whatever beast comes use the actual special ability. If we get a bird of pray, it will use snatch. croc, ankle crack. That would be better than hurting the other trees. I mean with the bombardment, it cuts deep into what sur is alot about.

  14. oLaudix says:

    I was wondering about Blink Strike changes. I really wonder if it wont be a little bit OP for BM hunters esepcially later in the expansion since it will play very well with increased amounts of mastery, don’t you think?

  15. Mabon says:

    Just wanted to point out with the new Blink Strikes ability, the thing no one is talking about is that the sims only calculate for a single target stand still fight. Now we all know there are non of those types of fights in the current tier. I’m pretty sure it will be a DPS gain over crows for SV as well, considering most of the fights in this tier require a lot of pet movement, and the focus you gain from not using crows will help SV on multi-target fights more then any other spec.

  16. arrow says:

    best part of changes not listed here hunter pets up from 20 to 50

  17. pewar says:

    any1 know if blink strink will be better of crows with BM spec(in pve)?

    • Jabari says:

      Side note here with Blink Strikes:

      Pet Basic Attacks also do AoE damage under Beast Cleave, not just melee.

      BM AoE is now FAR superior to SV AoE. I ran most of the LFRs tonight with my 515 hunter, and I pulled 180k DPS on the trash right before Iron Qon, and about 320 on the bat group before Tortos (where they pulled both sets at once).

      (That includes losing my pet both times due to it drawing aggro from basically everything, and having to resummon it with Phoenix).

      The Beast Cleave buff combined with Blink Strikes is just silly. It’s fairly amusing to see things like “130,000″ blasted up on the screen 20 times, and that happening every 3 seconds, though.

      • Silver203 says:

        180k on iron qon trash? dude, thats really not that much… i have an itemlvl of 522 on my sv hunter, and my dps on Qon trash gets up to 350-400k…. no, bm cleave still can’t be compared to sv aoe, wich is alright, cause bm is still in front in single-target fights!

      • Azuron says:

        Combining explosive trap, wild beast, multi-shot, and bestial wrath causes my 486 hunter to peak around 250-300. That’s the most I’ve been able to get thus far. MS is expensive in terms of focus. With the BW reduction to 20 focus and the wild beasts focus regen, it adds to many more shots available. (Add in glaive toss for a nice burst as well as soon as it’s off CD)

  18. hunterpvp says:

    It looks like for the pvp hunters, the burst will be going down a little, but the damage done after a match will be greater..

  19. Azuron says:

    Overall with this patch, I’m extremely satisfied with what blizzard did to certain aspects of hunters. The loss of intimidation as a give-away ability was a little upsetting, but I understand that other classes such as SV were at a disadvantage to having next to zero stuns that persist through damage.

    On another note, I’ve experimented with mixing blink strike and lynx rush through PvP use. Honestly, there have been numerous occasions where I thought one was substantially better than the other, yet when I revert back to it’s counterpart, it performs just as well. The best advise I can give would be to take BS for bgs/rbgs, and LR for arenas. The reasoning behind this is when in a bg as a hunter, everyone is a target and you dont necessarily have to think before rushing in like a warrior or rogue would. You ha e the luxury of simply staying on the outskirts. And with a passive such as BS, it is a constant stream of numbers. And when mixed with BM’s bestial wrath, it is extremely helpful to have it occur automatically.

    Now with LR, it’s great for arenas because it can be used as a great burst, regardless of the fact that it’s a bleed. That extra pressure it puts on the healer and/or DPS may and a lot of the time will cause them to pop a CD, IF you and whoever you’re with is coordinated. LR just requires timing. It is merely a means to an end, instead if the end itself.

    Both are good at what they do, if used right. It just depends on the situation if you know what you’re doing and when each should be used.