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MoP hunter talent review (part 2)

I took a much earlier look at the talents here. There have since been a lot of changes and I think it has mostly been for the better. I'm only going to cover new and modified abilities here.

Tier 1 (level 15)

Narrow Escape

When you Disengage, you also activate a web trap which encases all targets within 8 yards in sticky webs, preventing movement for 3 seconds.

This is the replacement for Evasiveness which had likely fatal flaws as I mentioned in my last post. This is a much more interesting talent that looks pretty good for PvP (might have DR issues with other snares). I would guess it likely won't be very useful in PvE because kiting simply hasn't been a theme in years.

Tier 2 (level 30)

Binding Shot

20 focus. 1.5min CD. You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 5 yards of the landing arrow for 10 seconds. If targets move 5 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 5 seconds and will be immune to the effects of Binding Shot for 10 seconds.

Moved from tier 6 and now completely a control ability with no damage. This is basically ring of frost except that it is a circle instead of a donut. The only problem with it is whether it's going to be worth giving up silencing shot in PvP.

Tier 3 (level 45)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera

Reduces the cooldown of Disengage by 10 seconds and the cooldown of Deterrence by 60 seconds.

Instead of proccing a reduction in the cooldowns every time you are hit by a melee or spell ability it's now just a flat reduction. I'd be interested to see if this ever results in a damage increase in raids with the Glyph of Mirrored Blades (reflects spells). Aside from that, while not exactly a weak talent, the others just look much stronger.

Aspect of the Iron Hawk

The Hunter takes on the aspects of an iron hawk, increasing ranged attack power by 10% and reducing all damage taken by 15%. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

They dropped the wording about direct attacks! I haven't been able to test whether this really does apply to all damage, or whether it did before and this is just a tooltip correction. 15% reduction in all damage is pretty damn amazing and I suspect they might have to nerf it. It's also now a new Aspect instead of improving Hawk. The only difference this really makes is that enemies can tell you have it based on your buffs.

Spirit Bond

While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 3% of total health every 2 seconds.

3% every 2, up from 2% every 5. This puts it in line with similar class abilities making it pretty damn good. Still, it's going to be hard to beat Aspect of the Iron Hawk.

Tier 4 (level 60)

Fervor

30 second cooldown. Instantly restores 50 focus to you and your pet

Currently (cata) for BM it's a 2m cooldown and just rather pathetic. A 30s CD gives us a lot more control over focus bursts (especially multi shot) and recovering from a situation where we may deplete focus quickly (target switching?). It will take some math to see how balanced it is compared to the other two abilities, but honestly, I suspect Blizzard will have them balanced close enough that none of these is going to pull ahead in that respect (I could be wrong, will have to still do the math). Thrill of the Hunt is easy for the beginner since it has no on-use cooldown and weak for the expert who can manage his focus enough to capitalize on Fervor.

Tier 5 (level 75)

This entire tier is completely revamped, now providing damage abilities instead of control.

A Murder of Crows

Summons a flock of crows to attack your target over the next 30 seconds. If used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown will be reset. 60 focus. 1 min CD

That's a hefty focus cost so it might work best if you also have Fervor in your build. It's up 50% of the time before execution range and 100% of the time during execution range, so Readiness isn't going to be that valuable for it anyway. Dealing with this visual for half of a fight could turn out to be annoying for the whole raid - I don't like it having such a big uptime for that reason alone.

Call Beast

Summons a powerful wild beast to assist you in combat for 12 seconds. Each time the beast deals damage you will gain 2 focus. 30s CD

Semi-burst damage with some focus generation. If the attack speed is the same as regular pets it's 2s base and closer to around 1.25s with scaling. So you would generate somewhere around 12-18 focus over the course of 12 seconds. I don't think this is enough to have much impact; if they are going for a balance between pet damage and focus generation they need to lower pet damage and increase focus generation to make that happen. Frankly I would find it interesting if they either let it just do damage or just generate focus if they want to go that route. If focus regen were its primary benefit, BM would almost certainly rather pick something else though.

Lynx Rush

Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 seconds, dealing its normal attack damage to each target. 2min CD

It's Killing Spree for pets! Actually I guess Lynx Rush came first since it was in Zul'Aman as a boss ability before rogues got KS in Wrath. So... stack this with Bestial Wrath and profit?

Tier 6 (level 90)

Glaive Toss

20 focus. 15 sec CD. You hurl two glaives toward a target, each dealing 1 damage to each enemy struck and reducing movement speed by 30% for 3 sec. The primary target will take 4 times as much damage from each strike. The glaives will return back to you, damaging and snaring targets again as they return.

We now have an associated focus cost and CD, and the movement has been lowered from 50% to 30%. Also, the original wording read as if it was a cone based attack whereas it is now target based. I'm really interested to see what kind of damage this will actually do and if it will be a part of our rotation on single target (the AoE benefit is slight - main target takes four times as much damage and with a 20 focus cost multi shot will probably be preferable at some amount of targets anyway).

Powershot

40 focus. 3 second cast. 1min CD. You wind up a powerful shot, which deals 100% weapon damage to the target and 25% weapon damage to all enemies in between you and the target. Enemies hit by Powershot are also knocked back.

The range mechanic is gone! There are some hefty restrictions on the power of this "powershot" - 40 focus, 3 second cast time, and a 1 minute CD. The worst from a mechanic perspective is the 3 second cast time; even if haste brought it closer to 2 seconds that is a long time to wind up a knockback. Those costs would also weaken its damage potential. It's a weak typhoon.

Barrage

40 focus. 30 second CD. Rapidly fire a spray of shots forward for 3 seconds, dealing a total of 288% weapon damage to the target and an average of 72% weapon damage to each other nearby target.

If these numbers are balanced, you are basically trading in the utility of Powershot for extra damage (I'm assuming this is channeled?). I thought they didn't want to do that. All three of these abilities are basically a modified multi shot where you choose between applying a snare, applying a knockback, or doing more damage. I think Powershot's costs look too high (I don't have a 90 in beta to actually test this out unfortunately) and Barrage is just too obvious of a choice for PvE except for a handful of specific use cases for the other two.

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