5.0.4 Hunter Guide

The pre-MOP patch is dropping tomorrow and a LOT of things are changing. It isn’t as big of a change as it was from Wrath to Cata, so you’re not literally re-learning how to play your class from the ground up, but there are some pretty substantial changes that will take some getting used to, especially if you haven’t been tooling around on the beta. Thinking back to how big of a change 4.0 was, this new 5.0 patch should be a cake walk in comparison. When you think about it, we don’t really have THAT much that’s changing… but the stuff that did change will be changing in a pretty big way.

What to do before you log in:

Update your computer’s operating system and run a software update. Your game will be more stable if your system is up to date.

Turn off all your addons until you know they are for sure going to work. Some addons cause fatal errors with the game, Recount is often a culprit for this. If your game is broken, turn off Recount. It’s always Recount. Addons to update first: Deadly Boss Mods, Serenity JS Hunter Bar.

Alright. You’re logged on. The game isn’t crashing. GREAT. What’s next?


You only need 7.5% hit now, but you also need 7.5% expertise. Your gear is going to need some changing since you can be dodged now if you’re not EXP capped. It’s also worth noting that your pet can be parried while tanking. This doesn’t effect normal PVE gameplay, but it’s going to matter when you solo.


Your talents will be wiped and the trees are completely different anyway. BM has been showing as the top spec in the most recent beta builds with SV pretty close behind. MM is still faring poorly. I suggest BM, but SV will be a good choice, too, if you’re afraid to try something new. 😉

Which talents should you take?

  • Level 15: The Disengage tier.
    No DPS benefit here, pick which one you like best. I’m going with Posthaste, as this was one of my favorite things about playing MM. Narrow Escape will be great for PvP, replacing the Wing Clip + Disengage macro since we no longer have melee weapons. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera will be amazing for PvP as well as fights where you find yourself using Deterrence a lot.
  • Level 30: The CC tier.
    No DPS benefit here, pick the style of CC you want. Silencing Shot still kind of sucks since the CD is so long, I liked Wyvern Sting in 5 mans, but I have had fun with Binding Shot‘s AOE CC on the beta. Hard choice here… very situational.
  • Level 45: The healing tier.
    Still no DPS benefit, pick the style of healing you want. Do you want targeted burst heals with Exhilaration, constant damage reduction for unavoidable damage with Aspect of the Iron Hawk, or constant heals with the old BM standard of Spirit Bond? I recommend the Sprit Bond talent unless you know for sure one of the others will benefit you more. Exhilaration is likely more of a benefit to PvP, but I am considering taking this since I’ve already got Gift of the Naaru keybound. Combine this with the heal from a spirit beast and you’ve got a pretty beefy self heal going! Could be quite a game changer on some fights and your healers will thank you.
  • Level 60: The focus tier.
    How do you want to regenerate focus? Fervor works like it always has, restoring focus instantly, but it also restores another 50 focus over 10 seconds. This is some insane focus regen, at level 85 you likely won’t EVER find yourself focus starved enough to need this talent. At 85, there’s really no reason to pick anything other than Dire Beast, which gives focus back while giving you a slight boost to your DPS. Thrill of the Hunt has a chance to reduce your next shot’s cost. I don’t like talents that have a chance to help you, I prefer to choose when something happens, so I’ll likely never take this and stick with Fervor and Dire Beast.
  • Level 75: The crazy pet damage tier.
    A Murder of Crows is my recommendation for the standard choice for SV and MM. Also because it’s a pretty ridiculous talent and I recommend yelling CAW CAW CAW!!! whenever you pop this cooldown. I’m pretty sure that’s what the devs wanted us to do. Lynx Rush will be great for BM, especially in AOE situations. Blink Strike is a great choice for single-target burst damage.

You’re going to want to keep a stack of Dust with you at all times, especially while you try out the new talent system and find out which talents work best for you.

Your rotations will change since we’ve got new cooldowns which means more buttons to push. Something to keep in mind is you NEVER want to push back your main rotation for a cooldown. Don’t delay Kill Command, Explosive Shot, or Chimera Shot for anything, ever. Ever, ever, ever. This is a rule that does not change with the new talent system. Use Dire Beast/Lynx Rush/Murder of Crows on cooldown, but only if it doesn’t delay your normal rotation. Zeherah’s beta build has recommended shot priorities for each spec, you might want to double check with her site, if for no other reason than to make sure you REMEMBER all the new stuff you’ve got in your toolbox now: http://beta.femaledwarf.com/

Other stuff to keep in mind:

  • Kill Command now has a 25 yd range and will cause your pet to charge the target. Lock and Load no longer clips dots, so spam away. No more graceful shot weaving for you SV hunters.
  • Reminders of the standard rotations: Beast Mastery, Survival, Marksmanship.

And don’t forget… no more minimum range!

Glyphs to make sure you have:


Animal Bond
Distracting Shot
Marked for Death


Aspect of the Cheetah
Revive Pet

Really, you want to have all the glyphs since, like the new talent system, glyphs are highly situational now. But these are the ones I can see being the most useful in PVE.

Pet Changes

You can use any pet for anything now. Tenacity cat? You got it. Ferocity turtle? You bet. Unless you’re specifically tanking or soloing, you should probably just stick to Ferocity. You can respec your pet at any time while out of combat, should you ever need to.


Please, for the love of god. Turn off Growl. It’s becoming a true taunt. Turn it off. Just… turn it off. I should honestly put this as the first thing you do when you log in. Growl should already be turned off, but if you’ve got it on, just turn it off. Keybind it, macro it, use it to intentionally taunt, but do not let your pet auto-taunt.

Other stuff that’s changing

Trueshot Aura and Readiness are now class abilities and not tied to a spec.

Trap Launcher is now a toggle. It’s either on or off.

No more helm enchants. No more forced rep grinds for your alts! Yay!

No more spell pen! This only matters if you PvP, but… yay for those of us who do!

Simcraft has us bringing up the bottom. Don’t expect to top charts tomorrow.

These numbers are accurate as of Mon Aug 27 15:27:48 2012. Ouch. Just, really…. ouch. Be prepared to be doing shit damage. There’s really nothing else to say here. Just mentally prepare yourself to be at the bottom.

5.0.4 cheat sheet for those of you who just want a list of what to do:

Spec: Beast Mastery
Talents: Posthaste, Wyvern Sting, Spirit Bond, Dire Beast, Lynx Rush
Glyphs: Marked for Death, Animal Bond, Mending, Aspects, Direction, Stampede

Hit cap: 7.5% (769 rating, 666 for draenei)
Exp cap: 7.5% (769 rating, 666 for dwarf/troll)


Your lazy aspect macros don’t work anymore, learn to use the abilities properly! Ha ha ha!!!

Trap Launcher = toggle.

6 thoughts on “5.0.4 Hunter Guide

  1. Man these new changes sound awesome :P. Too bad were now bottom of the DPS charts hahaha. glad BM isnt weak anymore :) i love that spec and will be using it when its time.

    1. I’m pretty stoked to play BM seriously, too, instead of just as a gimmick when we’re missing a buff or on hyper-specific fights ^_^

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