Patch 5.4 will be landing in your lap very soon (Sept 10 is the announced date.) There are lots of changes, some big, many small. The big change, as you may have heard, is the elimination of Readiness. As with most classes there are quite a few smaller changes. Here’s a rundown of what the patch 5.4 Hunter changes are:
Hunter 5.4 Contents
Our Hunter Guides
Comments on the Hunter Changes
Patch notes as of 9/13/13.
The biggest change is that your Readiness ability is going away (and will be the cause of much QQing.) Gone, dead, etc. It is not being changed or replaced. While this hurts, it’s probably better for game balance and will prevent Hunter teams from instantly blowing away the opposition in PvP. Another hit is your Deterrence
now has two charges which is now on a 3 min cooldown. You will also be able to Disengage a bit more often.
Your old standby, Arcane Shot, now does more damage at a higher cost. If you fire it off with your burst cooldowns you will be hitting that much harder. Two shots do the same damage as three did in patch 5.3. This also gives you an extra global cooldown to play with. It works out to a pretty interesting change it you use it right. Hunters who live by just spamming the thing might be unhappy, till they see how hard it hits.
Binding shot was changed from a talent to an ability (for Marksmanship Hunters at level 30) in patch 5.3, but is now a talent again. It takes the place of Silencing Shot and Silencing shot becomes a Markmanship only ability. So Beastmastery and Survival will no longer be able to use this ability. In its place all Hunters now get an interrupt, Counter Shot, learned at level 22.
Murder of Crows (level 75 talent) was nicely buffed, which makes it definitely worth considering for Survival and Marksmanship. It’s definitely competitive with Blink Strike, the old favorite.
Narrow escape was changed a bit, the webs can now be dispelled as they’re a “nature spell” rather than a physical effect. This will have some effect in PvP, but isn’t a big thing.
Aspect of the Iron Hawk reduces less damage, but Spirit Bond heals more.
Has your pet been feeling a little too dead, recently? Glyph of Mending has been buffed to twice the healing as before.
Hunters in PvP
Even with the various changes, such as the elimination of readiness, Hunters are still strong in PvP. Beastmastery won’t be able to just unload a lot of upfront damage and it won’t be the primary “go to” spec any more (at least until they change something else) and this allows all three specs to be useful and viable. That’s a plus. (There’s lots more on general Hunter PvP at Skill-Capped.)
As noted above your Deterrence has more flexibility in use, Your Arc. shot does more damage, and all Hunters have an interrupt. While your Hunter’s Mark only lasts 20 seconds on players (still 30 on non-players) it’s still enough.
Stampede no longer has its damage reduced outside of Arenas and the Battlegrounds. It will do full damage in any World PvP.
All in all you’re still a great PvP class.
Hunters in PvE
Arcane Shot is now harder hitting and will be less spammy, Deterrence is more flexible, for those times when you really need it again. Explosive Trap was nerfed. Each spec has at least one attack that was nicely buffed.
Stampede no longer has its damage reduced outside of Arenas and the Battlegrounds. This is a pretty big buff if you use Stampede in PvE. A Murder of Crows was also nicely buffed. So you lose Readiness and do more damage otherwise. Now, instead of blowing everything in a massive burst every 5 minutes you will be doing more consistent damage.
The Patch 5.4 Hunter Changes
Tool tips show the 5.4 patch info. For all the official 5.4 patch stuff go here.
- New! Counter Shot is now a baseline interrupt ability learned by all Hunters at level 22.
- Dead! Readiness has been removed.
- Arcane Shot now deals 125% ranged weapon damage (up from 100%) and had its focus cost increased by 50%.
- Deterrence now has a 3-minute cooldown (up from 2 minutes)
but has 2 charges.
- Disengage now has a cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 25 seconds).
- Explosive Trap had its overall damage decreased by 30%. Proportionately, more damage has been removed from the initial damage than the periodic effect.
- Hunter’s Mark now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 30 seconds).
- Revive Pet no longer requires the Hunter to have line-of-sight to their pet.
- Stampede damage dealt by pets when the ability is used outside of an Arena or Battleground is no longer reduced by 75%
- The following Hunter pet abilities no longer cost Focus to use: Dash, Dive, and Charge.
- Beast Cleave‘s range has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8 yards).
- Kill Command damage has been increased by 34%.
- Aimed Shot now deals 450% ranged weapon damage (up from 350%).
- Binding Shot is no longer a Marksman Hunter ability and is once again a talent.
- Explosive Shot damage has been increased by 27%.
- Explosive Trap no longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow but can no longer activate Lock and Load.
- A Murder of Crows now deals 40% more damage.
- Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.
- Glaive Toss no longer initiates auto-attack. (Stick it in a macro with /startattack and you get the old effect.)
- Lynx Rush‘s damage has been increased by 30%.
- Narrow Escape‘s root effect is now a nature spell (was a physical spell).
- Spirit Bond now regenerates 3% of total health every 2 seconds while the Hunter’s pet is active (up from 2%).
- Wyvern Sting now has a range of 40 yards (up from 35 yards).
- Removed: Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability that replaces Counter Shot for Marksman Hunters.
- Back again: Binding Shot is no longer a Marksman Hunter ability and is once again a talent.
New Major Glyphs
- Glyph of the Lean Pack: Reduces the range of Aspect of the Pack to 7 yards.
- Glyph of Enduring Deceit: Camouflage also reduces spell damage taken by 10%
- Glyph of Mend Pet now has a 100% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the Hunter’s pet on each tick (up from 50% chance).
- Glyph of Mending now speeds up the periodic effect of Mend Pet to restore health to the pet every 1 second doubling the total amount healed over 10 seconds.
- Glyph of No Escape now increases the ranged critical strike chance against targets affected by the Hunter’s Freezing Trap by 100% (up from 20% chance).
There are no new minor glyphs
If you’re not yet level 90 you won’t be able to kick Hellscream’s butt in the Siege of Orgrimmar, so go here and get leveled fast.
Another option that they didn’t list would be to buff damage via procs and stacking buffs. For example, Cobra/Steady Shot could give us a temporary stacking buff that increases the damage of Kill Command (or any other shot) by xx% per stack. That kind of change might be too much for 5.4.