Raiding as a BM hunter

Continuing on with my tale of Mirtai and her sudden desire to raid efficiently, I spent a few hours putting together an email for her with a load of useful information about raiding as a Beast Mastery specced Hunter (this was after she pinned me to the floor with her feminine, Dwarvish arms and asked whether crit was more important than haste). However it seems like a partial waste for only her to see it and benefit, so I thought I’d adapt it and post it here, so everyone can access it.

So for one night, and one night only, ladies and gentlemen, I present you with der Jägerthe Hunter.

Basic tips for improving your dps:

1. Make sure you have an optimal spec. Whilst a Survival build is the best Hunter dps build out there at the moment, the best BM build (according to my research and EJ) is this. A video for this BM spec can be found here – the spec in the video is slightly different to the one I gave a link to, so compare the two and see what you prefer. I think the difference is just a choice between points in MM and Survival, but I’d be more inclined to go towards the one I listed first, as opposed to the video.

2. Ever had your dps drop sharply and suddenly? Chances are, your pet died. As a Hunter or Warlock it’s VERY important you keep your pet alive. I think I heard somewhere that Hunter pets do about 40% of your dps as BM? Also, remember to use cooldowns whenever you can, provided you’ll have them for bosses, and combine this with on-use trinkets and the likes.

3. Use resources available to you to research things. A list of possible resources I’ve found:

  • Elitist Jerks’ BM raiding forum thread. The original post is the one to look at unless you’re interested in all the discussion which has affected how the original one has been updated. Information here should be fairly easy to follow, but pretty advanced.
  • TribunalxHunter’s blog. This guy plays a BM Hunter and is the bloke from the video I linked above. Information from here might be basic to moderate.
  • The Scattered Shots weekly column from WoW Insider. May not have any relevance at the moment with regards to specific specs as it only recently restarted and so might not include specs for 3.1 yet, but a good read regardless and it may contain useful information. In particular, two posts from it that you may want a look at are their list of Hunter resources and one about fixing your dps. Info here could range from basic to advanced.
  • Be.imba is a great website which rates your gear and stats and tells you what can be upgraded. It also tells you how far below the hit cap you are, and whereabouts on the chart of heroics and raids you ought to perform well. Definitely worth a look to easily see what to improve.

4. Download one or two essential raiding addons you may not have, which most raid guilds would require you to have. The first two listed here are non-negotiable, the third is a little more optional depending on your damage at the moment, but highly recommended:

  • Recount. It takes very little configuration and is easy to set up. Seriously, this is an invaluable addon. Not only can you see everyone’s dps for yourself, but it will be useful for testing your dps on target dummies, etc. Also, something I didn’t realise until very recently – when an addon like Recount records dps, it records it from the combat log. However the combat log only has a certain range and so if something is outside this range (like a player) it won’t be recorded. Hence, the most accurate data about yourself is always going to come from YOUR version of Recount, as you’re always in range of it. This is why there are sometimes discrepancies between different versions.
  • DBM (Deadly Boss Mods). As far as I remember this is completely out-of-the-box, so it needs no setting up. What DBM does is basically provide you with timers relating to the fight. For example, in VH it tells you how long until the next portal will appear. Or in AN, on the last boss, you can see the CD on his ‘Pound’ ability (which is obviously useful for healers, as they need to know when to cast a bigger heal on the tank because there is more damage incoming), and it also tells you the CD on his ‘Summon Scarabs’ ability (i.e. when he summons the little adds) so you know when to prepare to AoE.
  • Omen Threat Meter is also a good idea if you don’t have it – whilst, at the moment, you probably won’t ever be out-threating the tank at all there will be times when you’re maybe attacking an add that the tank isn’t, such as during an AoE pull, and you might pull aggro. With a threat meter you can see your level of threat on the mob compared with everyone else that’s attacking / healing, and so you know when to slow down to avoid pulling the mob off the tank.

5. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Gear until you are hit capped. You don’t have a choice in the matter. Until you’re hit capped, the stat which will increase your dps the most is HIT. There is food for +hit, such as the Worg Tartare, and alchemists can also make elixirs which give hit rating. The more hit you have, the less you miss, and so the more dps you will do. You want to improve your dps, do all you can to raise your hit rating. Gem for hit. Enchant for hit. Gear for hit.

6. Make sure you have the right glyphs. In addition, as mentioned above, get appropriate enchants and gems, and other gear enhancements, for every piece of gear you can improve – it may be slightly costly, but it’s worth it when your dps goes up. Also linked to that and to the above lecture on hit rating is buffs and consumables – potions, food, etc. It all improves dps.

7. Knowing the boss encounters beforehand will actually increase your dps. If you know when to move, when to stop dps’ing, when to kill adds, or whatever, you won’t be learning on the spot and everything will be more efficient. Simply Googling the fight will usually turn up sites with information as to the fight, and when it comes to learning raid bosses there are some good sites but they don’t cover heroics which is what we’re doing at the moment. For a reliable website for boss strats, try WoWWiki. Additionally, this will help with pugging, when groups may not be as forgiving with regards to explaining things, especially if it’s a heroic run (theoretically, you ought to have done the encounters in normal). This is also linked to #2 above – you’ll know when the best time to use CDs and trinkets is if you know the fight.

8. Keep running instances for gear upgrades, and remember that the EoH can be spent on upgrades. Also, check reputation vendors, etc, and remember that the Armoury as well as be.imba can list potential upgrades. Just look at all the listed ones which don’t come from raids.

9. Know your goals. I believe that the average dps needed for heroics is approx. 1500, which is still fairly low. Don’t be satisfied until you’re pulling about 1600 on a target dummy though (the extra 100 could be lost in a real fight through movement, dealing with adds, etc). For the first lot of 10-man raids (Naxx, VoA, OS), you need about 2000 dps when raid buffed. I’m not sure what you need for the next level (those raids in heroic mode / Ulduar and EoE 10), but I do about 2800 dps when 25-man raid buffed and that almost always gets me in the top 5 dps at least, if not higher.

That’s all folks! Hope this helps, and we’ll be returning to the ways of wickedly whimsical Warlocks next time. I might even finally get that next video done now that RL has lightened up.



5 Responses to “Raiding as a BM hunter”

  1. Darth Solo Says:

    The question is, is that Mirtai character a real chick?

    Some very good tips here. Those 5/5 points in Improved Tracking are good for raiding indeed. As a solo hunter with 2 gathering professions I won’t put points in that because I have to constantly switch tracking between mining and herbalism.

    • veliaf Says:

      She is indeed – one of my fellow guild members. You can’t make this stuff up.

      Thanks – in places I was honestly just regurgitating what I’ve heard, since I don’t actually have a hunter worth mentioning, but I generally got what I was on about. Clean forgot that you played a hunter ( /facepalm ) so perhaps I should have asked for confirmation on a few things!

  2. Mirtai Says:

    Meant to do this a while ago and forgot – have now remembered again so, I’d like to confirm that I, Mirtai, am in fact real 😀

  3. Mirtai Says:

    She does!

    When’s the Ulduar run scheduled for, Vel??????


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