We hunters are finally at a great spot in terms of spec balance; Survival is currently king, yet fortunatly that doesnt write off the Beast Mastery and Marksman fan boys just yet.
Too often do I see a reason for low dps being attributed to spec with hunters – this is not the case. I have cleared Dragon Soul (normal) as all 3 specs, and they are all viable.
Now that I have had fun with the meme generator, lets delve into why BM or MM can be good choices in the current tier of raiding; Dragon Soul. I would like to point out that this is just looking at a few particular fights where the strengths are obvious – they are all viable.
Honestly, regardless of many many posts outlining the strengths of this spec, it is still seen as a dark horse. The nerfs it recieved post BC was enough to destroy it throughout mid to late wrath, causing all who saw it within a PvE setting to say ‘lol-n00b’. It really wasn’t competetive again until Cataclysm, and with the buffs we have seen recently it has definatly become a decent spec to run in raids.
Particular fights where it shines include;
Morchok – On heroic BM is fantastic, your pet nearly has 100% uptime, and ease of using BW helps in this fight while soaking crystal explosions (moving while spamming arcane shot/Kill Command). Normal is good for the same reasons.
Zon’ozz – Normal Zon’ozz that is. Since the normal is practically a tank n spank, BM is a great choice.
Hagara – One of the perfect fights for BM, there is only minimal target switching, and the majority of those is during the ice-transition phase (where Hagara is immune anyway). Where BM shines on this fight is the use of BW after every transition, creating powerful burst that should see you to the top of the charts (during those periods where she takes increased damage). An important point to note is the buggy nature during lightning phase on heroic mode where your pet can chain/interupt a chain. Sometimes it is better to dismiss your pet, but proper micro should be enough to get around this (you don’t dps in this phase except to kill the add right at the start – the add should drop quickly enough that it won’t make the biggest change to dps).
Ultraxion – Heroic mode for dps is the same as normal, with the added challenge of soaking an hour of twilight every two minutes (thanks to detterence), this tank n spank styled fight is fine for any of the three hunter specs. BM has the added bonus on this fight of being able to Kill Command while detterence is up (other specs can also do this, but KC is BM’s signature shot, making sure it stays on CD). You won’t get the damage output that Survival does, but it is definatly not horrid.
Spine – Every tendon phase has BW off CD. Since the fight is more about control than flat out dps, the only time you need to pew pew is on the tendon itself. Having these high-dps CDs available makes things a LOT easier.
The ol’ golden boy. Honest to the WoW Gods I love this spec, but I find it too annoying with my play style – I liked hard casting the aimed shots. The 2 piece t13 has me shying away from my favourite spec, although if I get back into PvP then it is still my spec of choice
Zon’ozz – Heroic mode that is; although MM is fine for normal (all 3 are great for norm zon, tank and spank fights don’t overly favour any). The adds that spawn during the ‘dark’ phase in heroic mode make use of careful aim, and MM allows for at least 4 rapid fires (towards the end of the fight it becomes more and more important to pwn face). Silencing shot can also be used on the eyes to interupt that painful cast.
Warmaster Blackhorn – Multiple single-target burns allow MM to hit them hard and often, might take a bit of common sense to keep ISS running but tab targetting and minimizing movement where possible – but taking out the drakes and the P2 dragon are all good examples of where MM and the short CD on readiness can shine.
Madness – The whole of phase one is rinse and repeat, the general stand-still nature of the fights ensures that MM hunters can stand still and get off plenty of hard cast Aimed Shots – taking advantage of the buffs provided by the dragons as well as Careful Aim. A very nice fight for MM in this bloggers opinion.
Once again, these are just some examples of fights where BM/MM can be a viable option – you can play any of the specs, just make sure you are playing it right.