Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hunter Pet Tanks and the PTR 3.2 Patch

All pets now receive 40% of their master's resilience and 100% of their master's spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.

Resilience will help go a long way toward reducing or eliminating crits on pets. And PvP gear is usually a decent way for mail wearers to stack up on stamina.

The change on expertise is interesting. It is a touch difficult to parse because it's a run-on sentence. But what I see is that if I'm hit-capped, then my pet will be hit capped (and spell-hit-capped) and expertise-capped. This seems to mean BM hunters wont have to take Animal Handler. So from a Hunter Pet Tank stand-point, these are two talents we might want to use elsewhere. Of course PvP gear isn't the most +hit intensive gear around, but Focused Aim would be a better choice now. Again, I'm talking about Pet Tanks here.

Catlike Reflexes now also reduces the cooldown of your Kill Command ability by 10/20/30 seconds.

This is a buff to BM dps. It's especially a buff to hunter pet tankers since we already take Catlike Reflexes for the 9% dodge. Now we'll get Kill Command every 30 seconds instead of every minute. That's very nice for threat generation. DPSers will probably take the two points from Spirit Bond and put it in this now.

Beacon of Light: The healing amount on the Beacon of Light target is now based on the total healing done (including over-healing) instead of the effective healing done. Radius increased to 60 yards. Multiple Paladins can now have this active on the same target. Buff indicating a player is within range of the Beacon target is no longer displayed.

The above Holy Pally ability is usually used to heal and supplemental heal a tank. The first look at it is "Wow! They will be able to Beacon the same person." Second look is, "Wow! Overhealing will count." My look is "Wow! It's based on Healing Done." My only question is, "Can this be used on a pet?" If it can, then this may be interesting. Hunter pet tanks had been taking Spirit Bond and the pet talent, Blood of the Rhino for the healing increases. Well those are a +10% and +40% to "all healing effects". So the hunter pet OTs. The MT gets heals off the hunter pet equalling 150% of those heals?

Mmm. I suspect this wont work for some reason. However, if it does I don't see them nerfing it. In order to use it beneficially, you really do need a BM tank pet. In order to not waste a perfectly good beacon, the pet should be taking damage. Otherwise you'd be better off using a heal on someone else. I don't see people throwing heals on dps Tenacity pets just to get big beacon numbers. 1) You'd have to use a core hound. 2) Assuming the pet is at full health, the pally would only achieve 150% healing, whereas if they use it on someone who could take the full heal, they'd get 200% of the healing effect.


  1. "Catlike Reflexes now also reduces the cooldown of your Kill Command ability by 10/20/30 seconds.

    This is a buff to BM dps."

    Unfortunately not true. For a DPS spec you can't transfer the points to Catlike Reflexes since you need the required points in the tiers preceding. That means the points previously spent in Animal Handler can only get one point forwarded to Catlike Reflexes, while one needs to go back to Imp Mend Pet or something. The point is that only one point can actually do something.

    That makes Kill Command a 50 second ability. Unfortunately it is still better to just wait for Bestial Wrath (glyphed and talented of course). Since the effect under BW is 150% of a normal KC you simply don't get enough normals to match it (and the two cooldowns won't match up either).

    This convinces me that Blizzard isn't done at all with BM, since this isn't actually a DPS increase.

  2. Beacon of Light is a true buffage in rawest sense of the word. Let me explain.

    Prior to this change, the Beacon was probably best used in a OT realm. Reason: Overheals would not count towards healing. So if a MT is taking consistent 15k shots and you place the Beacon on the MT but you are only EFFECTIVE healing a target for 9k with a 6k overheal, the MT only receives 9k.

    Where this will really shine now is not only can you place the Beacon back on the MT - but now your Glyph of Holy Light could account for more healing in the fight as you are no longer "dead focused" on the MT for heals where most of the raid will NOT BE WITHIN the Glyph's 8 yds for range heals. Win Win.

    Now the ability to have it proc / benefit from the hunter capabilities for a pet? That I would love / have to test to see if that is even possible ( This sounds very familiar in my mind considering a raid we just had :) )

  3. Felandra, I see your logic. If BM dps is only blowing KC within a BW then there is no dps benefit. And yes, with only moving two points around it doesn't seem to work in that context.

    If KC is being used outside BW then it is a dps increase, but previously that didn't make sense. I have to wonder if re-allocating points which previously made sense elsewhere would net this a benefit.

    In any case, you are correct. This isn't much if any dps increase for BM. However, for hunter pet OTers who had already been taking 3 points in catlike reflexes it is a nice increase and KC isn't tied to BW.

  4. Pets now gain both expertise and and hit from the hunter, wich makes Animal handler unnecessary. With Focus fire, the new Catlike reflexes gives a flat +20% crit to all special pet abilities. Before it was up only half of the time. That is +10 pet special ability crit overall. With a chimera, those abilities count for about 50% of all pet damage (bite, frostorms breath, wolverine bite togehter with owl´s focus, GftT, Bestial Dicipline). That is a flat +5% dps increase, not even counting with KC own damage boost, wich would bring about +2% more dps (about +7% dps all in all).

    In PvP, the problem with cunning and tenacity pets has been that resiliande takes away Frenzy and Ferocious inspiration. The KC buff coupled with Fucused fire solves that.

    An other big problem with hunter pets has been their survivability in PvP. +9% dodge + some resilience and the resiliance buff all calsses get, the pet can take 15%-20% more damage now. I totally see why Blizz chose to buff Catlike reflexes the way they did, it´s genious tbh.

    I suggest this build:

  5. Personally, I look at the Catlike Reflexes change as a PvP boost. The ability to have on demand burst for your pet as BM increases the value of an already important talent.

  6. "But what I see is that if I'm hit-capped, then my pet will be hit capped (and spell-hit-capped) and expertise-capped. This seems to mean BM hunters wont have to take Spirit Bond."

    What is the connection between Spirit Bond and being hit capped/expertise capped? Or did you mean Animal Handler??

  7. Indeed. Of course Blizzard noticed and threw in a nice bone: "Animal Handler now increases your pet's attack power by 5/10% instead of increasing its expertise by 5/10."