Note: This post was written with Wowhead tooltips in mind which should implemented shortly. Apologies for any inconvenience.
I have good news and bad new. The bad news is that most of our dedicated pet tanking talents are gone. Completely cleared out. Endurance Training, Thick Hide and Catlike Reflexes will no longer be available to us after our new talent trees become active. The good news? Most of our dedicated pet tanking talents are gone. Any BM talent build will usable, although perhaps not ideal, for pet tanking. We may no longer need to respec or dedicate our secondary spec to tanking so long as we have a BM talent build. As a result, most of the talents in our BM tree are going to be primarily threat building.
Some of our old friends are still left in the BM tree primarily untouched. The following talents have either not been altered or merely updated for the removale of mana as the hunter ability resource.
- Spirit Bond
- Improved Mend Pet
- Ferocious Inspiration
- Beast Mastery
- The Beast Within
Many of our talents have been remade or had their balancing changed in some way.
- Improved Kill Command: Formerly increased hunter damage by 2% and increased pet special ability crit chance by 20% while Kill Command was active.
- Bestial Discipline: Increased from 2 to 3 talent points and focus regeneration bonus to pets reduced from 100% to 30%.
- Frenzy: Changed from 5 to 3 talent points and ranks changed from proc chance to attack speed percent.
- Cobra Strikes: Changed to proc on hit instead of critical hit; proc off Arcane instead of Arcane, Steady, and Kill Shots; effects only pet basic attacks (Claw, Smack, Bite) instead of all special abilities.
- Bestial Wrath: Bonus damaged changed from 50% to 20%.
Finally, we come to brand new talents.
- One with Nature: Spiritual successor to Apsect Mastery, extra AP means more threat.
- Fervor: An on demand burst of focus, should serve useful for initial threat burst or threat bursts after threat wipes or adds.
- Focus Fire: Removes our pet’s Frenzy effect, giving our pet 4 focus and giving the hunter up to a 15% haste buff. Testing will need to be done to see if this is an overall threat boost.
- Killing Streak: By increasing Kill Command damage this should be a moderate threat boost.
- Kindred Spirits: By increasing initial pet and master focus we can generate more burst threat on pulls and also reduce possible focus overflow from the new GFtT and Sic’ Em!
As always both the Marksman and Survival trees have some low hanging fruit in great talents for any pet tanking build.
- Hunter vs. Wild: With the same effect as the former Survivalist talent, this first tier survival tree talent provides us a very useful 10% stamina buff in a very convenient three talent point cost and location.
- Pathing: This remade tier 1 survival talent provides 3% haste for three talent points, increasing our focus regen and our pet’s attack speed.
- Go for the Throat: Only procing off auto-shots and having the awarded focus from 50 to 10 severely reduces this mega focus generator to a more reasonable level.
- Sic ‘Em!: This new second tier MM talent will give our pets a free Smack, Claw, or Bite on our Arcane Shot crits for a low low price of two talent points.
Finally we take a look at our updated Tenacity tree, the heart of our abilities as a pet tanker.
- Serpent Swiftness: Replaces the overly complicated Cobra Reflexes as our pet attack speed buff, 10% faster attack speed means more damage, more threat, and faster stacking on Frenzy.
- Spiked Collar: A nerfed Spiked Collar now only award 3-9% bonus damage to Bite, Claw, and Smack instead of all attacks.
- Taunt: In a nice, yet quiet buff the cooldown of Taunt has been reduced from 3 minutes to 1. Rejoice!
- Wild Hunt: In a major change, Wild Hunt no longer increases our pet’s stamina or attack power, but instead increases both the damage and cost of Claw, Smack, and Bite when our pets have more than 50% focus. Anytime our pets are capped on focus this will serve as a great threat buff.
Now at this point you may be horrified at the loss of so many armor, stamina and avoidance talents that we rely on; I was myself at first. Tune back in for my next post and we’ll discuss some possible talent analysis and builds and I’ll explain why everything is going to be alright.