Beast Mastery Tier Set
The 9.2 Beast Mastery Hunter tier set is focused on buffing Kill Command
. It relies on high Frenzy
uptime, which increases both Kill Command and Cobra Shot
damage. The tier set may also vary our talent builds, stats, and legendary choice slightly.
For talents, we'll likely continue to use Scent of Blood
due to the high uptime of Frenzy
required from the 2 piece but we'll likely see a shift to Killer Cobra
in single target due to how many more Kill Command
s it yields. As for stats, we'll likely start to stray away from Critical Strike since we essentially get 45% Critical Strike on our Kill Commands from the 2 piece. This will devalue Critical Strike a fair bit and we'll likely gravitate more towards Haste and Versatility. This is especially true for Kyrian Beast Mastery Hunters who will be severely over Critical Strike cap (100%) during Resonating Arrow
windows. Night Fae and Kyrian seem to like the tier set the most, so we'll most likely stay Night Fae for most PvE content. In terms of legendaries and conduits, we may see some new contenders as this highlights some potentially new and interesting builds. The Ferocious Appetite
conduit in conjunction with the tier set could lead to a very low cooldown of Aspect of the Wild
. For legendaries, we'll continue to use Rylakstalker's Piercing Fangs
most likely, but we may be able to use legendaries such as Flamewaker's Cobra Sting
or Call of the Wild
since they synergize well with the tier bonuses.
Things are still up in the air as we haven't actually been able to test the tier sets yet, but the set bonus seems to be fairly decent for Beast Mastery Hunters in single target. Since it strictly buffs Kill Command
, by nature, the tier set is a very strong single target boost but contributes nothing in AoE. With that said, it's looking like Beast Mastery may just be a single target spec heading into 9.2 with some niche midrange burst damage via Night Fae's Fragments of the Elder Antlers
. Other than its mid-range burst, Beast Mastery's AoE is rather lackluster when compared to other specs in AoE.
Marksmanship Tier Set
There's been a lot of confusion going around about the Marksmanship Hunter tier set. Many people are frustrated because they seem to think it's only applicable in AoE. I'm happy to say that that's not the case! The 2 piece is very AoE-centric, but the kicker is the 4 piece. Spending 80 Focus grants 2 charges of Trick Shots
, regardless of how many targets are present. That means every ~10 seconds in single target, we gain 2 charges of Trick Shots. Due to the 2 piece, our next two Aimed Shot
s or Rapid Fire
s will be buffed by 30%.
So let's break it down, aside from buffing our damage, what does this imply? Gaining Trick Shots
passively means that we will passively be doing AoE damage, without actually forcing our AoE via Multi-Shot
. This also means we don't necessarily need 3 targets present to contribute to AoE. We have passive 2 target cleave
! This also means we won't have to sacrifice single target damage to contribute to AoE, a large issue with Marksmanship AoE presently. Of course, like most tier sets, these bonuses will slightly alter our talents, legendaries, and potentially covenant choice.
One of the coolest synergies we gain from this is Volley
. Volley naturally gives us Trick Shots
which is buffed by the 2 piece. It'll most likely be our go-to talent, even in single-target situations with the tier bonus. The tier set also increases the value of both Streamline
and Careful Aim
, so we might see a new single target talent setup going forward. In terms of legendaries, we may have a new contender entering the fray. Due to the Rapid Fire
damage increase, Surging Shots
of course gains value, but we might also be using Secrets of the Unblinking Vigil
. It plays into the tier set bonus quite nicely, as we'll be gaining Trick Shots a ton throughout encounters. Its major drawback is that the Aimed Shot
procs are free, meaning we won't be making use of the 4 piece as often. Finally, let's talk covenant choice. The set bonus heavily benefits Kyrian Marksmanship Hunter, however, there's a caveat. In 9.2, we'll be able to use double legendaries with a requirement that one of those legendaries has to be the covenant legendary. For Kyrian Hunters in specific, we'll be forced to use Pact of the Soulstalkers
. This means we'll be at a natural disadvantage as the legendary is severely behind the other covenant legendaries (even factoring in its group contribution). So while Kyrian may be the go-to in terms of the tier set, we may end up playing Night Fae or Venthyr just because of how bad the Kyrian covenant legendary is. Hopefully, we see a buff to the legendary in the coming weeks.
With all this being said, there's still quite a lot to test that we aren't really sure about yet. There are still some unknowns and thus we can't say for sure how some of these interactions will pan out. For example, does the ability that pushes you over the 80 Focus threshold count towards the damage buff, or is the next ability buffed? Regardless of the answer, we'll most likely have to track how much Focus we spent to fully utilize the two charges of Trick Shots
accordingly, which will of course change our rotation. All in all, the set bonus for Marksmanship Hunters is (preliminarily speaking) actually a very well-designed set bonus that gives us a very diverse toolkit and changes gameplay quite a bit. It patches up some of our weak points of 2 target cleave, leans into our strong AoE niche, and potentially has some cool interactions with talents and legendaries.