Current as of Patch 5.1

Role | Talents & Glyphs | Stat Priority | Reforging
Cooldowns | Single Target Rotation | AOE Rotation

This guide aims to provide all of the most critical information regarding the Beast Master Hunter class so that you can play one at level 90 in PVE content.  It covers talents, glyphs, stats, reforging, and rotations. 

It is assumed that since you are level 90 you will be able to take the basic information and run with it, simple topics like addons, macros, targeting, and more are not covered.

The Role of a Beast Master Hunter

As a Beast Master Hunter your role in a group is to provide some serious DPS.  However in addition to DPS there are several other abilities and benefits that you can bring to a group. Knowing what they are and how to properly use them is what will set you apart from all the other Hunters that just there as DPS, and make you a valuable member of any group or raid. Some of those abilities and benefits are as follows:

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  • Can provide CC in the form of your traps to either freeze a single enemy or slow multiple enemies.
  • Can have your pet pickup an enemy and act as an emergency tank if required.
  • Can personally grab aggro and kite enemies easily with stuns, slows, and escapes.
  • Can debuff the enemy with Hunter's Mark to boost all ranged DPS against that target by 5%.
  • Provides Trueshot Aura which boosts melee and ranged attack power by 10% for your group.

Beast Master Hunter Talents and Glyphs

A lot has changed with talents and Glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and the new Talent System 2.0, which means that for the most part you are free too chose talents and glyphs that you like rather than specific ones.  There are however a few specific talents and glyphs that can provide enhanced DPS performance in PVE content, for a Beast Master Hunter they are:

Dire Beast (Tier 4 talent) - This talent grants you the ability to summon a beast that attacks your target for 15 seconds on a 30 second cooldown, granting 5 focus each time it hits. While the damage the beast does is not a huge amount, the focus that it generates allows you to use more abilities to cause more damage.

A Murder of Crows (Tier 5 talent) - This talent grants you the ability to summon a group of crows to attack your target dealing damage for 30 seconds, one a 2 minute cooldown, 60 seconds if used against a target with 20% or less health.

Glaive Toss (Tier 6 talent) - This talent grants an attack on a 15 second cooldown that deals damage to everything in your path and slows the target down by 30% for 3 seconds.

Pet Talents - As of the launch of Mists of Pandaria pets no longer have their own talent trees. Instead you simply pick from three different talent builds. For PVE DPS you should pick Ferocity as it provides the most DPS and the Rabid ability. Rapid boosts your pet attack speed by 70% for 20 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown.

This talent boosts your DPS by allowing you to use your soul shard powered abilities more frequently.

Glyph of Marked for Death (Major Glyph) – When you hit a target with arcane shot or kill command you automatically apply Hunter's Mark.

This glyph provides both a DPS boost by applying your hunter's mark without having to take a global cooldown to apply it. While not a direct DPS increase it allows you to not worry about or take the time to apply your mark.

Beast Master Hunter Stat Priority

It is critical to understand your stat priority for any class. Going after the wrong stats can really hurt your characters ability to perform his or her role in a group well. For a Beast Master Hunter that means that you would have a lower overall DPS output.

The stat priority for a Beast Master Hunter is:

Agility > Hit (to 7.5%) = Expertise (to 7.5%) > Crit > Haste > Mastery

Important Notes:

  • Hit - DPS players have been trained over time to highly value hit and reaching the hit cap.  This remains true for hunters and reaching your hit cap is your top priority, well tied as your top priority with expertise (see below).
  • Expertise – This is a new requirement for many long term players, since until Mists of Pandaria expertise was not required for ranged attacks. However you will now need to get to 7.5% to eliminate the enemies ability to dodge your attacks. This is just as important as your hit chance, since a miss and a dodge both result in zero damage being caused.
  • Crit / Haste / Mastery - These are your next best options in descending order. The value of these can change slightly based on raid set bonuses, however in general you should try for crit as the key stat after hit and expertise.

Reforging as a Beast Master Hunter

When reforging simply follow the stat priority for Beast Master Hunters above and move the lowest stat to the highest stat that the piece does not have on it. You can also follow this simple table:

If your gear has these two stats…

Reforge this stat…

… to this stat

Hit + Expertise

Do not Reforge

Do Not Reforge

Hit + Crit


Expertise (to 7.5%) then Do Not Reforge

Hit + Haste


Expertise (to 7.5%) then Crit

Hit + Mastery


Expertise (to 7.5%) then Crit

Expertise + Crit


Hit (to 7.5%) then Do Not Reforge

Expertise + Haste


Hit (to 7.5%) then Crit

Expertise + Mastery Mastery Hit (to 7.5%) then Crit
Crit + Haste Haste Hit (to 7.5%) then Expertise (to 7.5%)
Haste + Mastery Mastery Hit (to 7.5%) then Expertise (to 7.5%)

Beast Master Hunter Cooldowns

Hunters have numerous cooldowns at their disposal. Using them at all is the most important thing to remember, since many players do not use them. Using them properly is the next most important thing to remember. The key here is that in general you should NOT stack most Beast Master Hunter cooldowns. This is counter to what is best with most other classes, where stacking them benefits the player. With a Beast Master Hunter there are in fact a few stacked cooldowns that will lower your overall DPS!

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Bestial Wrath – Use on cooldown as much as possible for a large DPS increases. For the best increase team this up with Rapid as a pet ability.

Rapid Fire -Use on cooldown as much as possible, however do not use it when you are under the effects of heroism.

Stampede - Use when available for a DPS increase.

Talent Based Cooldowns - Assuming you took the talents listed above then you will have Dire Beast and Murder of Crows to use for a DPS increase and for extra focus. Use them whenever available.

Readiness - This cooldown resets all your other cooldowns. You should use it as soon as you have used your other cooldowns to reset all of them.

Beast Master Hunter Single Target Rotation

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As with most classes now there is no specific rotation for abilities, but rather a priority based list that should be followed for highest DPS output. 

The priority rotation for Beast Master Hunters against a single target is:

1 - Hunter's Mark - Apply before combat if you have a chance, otherwise count on your Glyph to apply it.

2 - Serpent Sting – Apply this at the start of the fight, and then keep it active with Cobra Shot.

3 - Focus Fire – Use this as soon as your pet has generated 5 Frenzy.

4 - Kill Command  - Use whenever off cooldown.

5 - Kill Shot – Use whenever it becomes available, meaning when the target is below 20% health.

6 - Glaive Toss - Use when available.

7 - Arcane Shot - Use to burn off your focus and to keep Hunter's Mark applied, assuming you are glyphed.

8 - Cobra Shot - Use this to build focus when you are low and to maintain your serpent sting debuff.

Beast Master Hunter AOE Target Rotation

For AOE fights you are best to keep with your single target rotation if there are only 2-3 enemies. If there are4 or more then you should use the following rotation.

1 - Multi-Shot – Deals damage to all enemies within 8 yards of the target.

2 - Kill Command  - Use whenever off cooldown.

3 - Glaive Toss - Use when available.

4 - Explosive Trap – Launch this into the fray for explosive DPS.

5 - Cobra Shot - Use to regenerate focus as needed.

Comments on Beast Master Hunters

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.


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