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Branching Off: Talents Outside Marksmanship

Let’s say that you’ve chosen your talents for the Marksmanship tree and you’ve gotten a good combination of talents. Assuming you’ve managed to get the bare bones of Marksmanship and used up only 51 or 52 talent points, where do you go next? Both of the other trees present good options.

The lists below determine your build progression: what talents are prioritized before moving on to the next. If you have used more than 51 or 52 talent points in Marksmanship, this will help you determine which outside talents should be prioritized in your full build. Any spare talent point you may have can be used at your discretion, though it should usually be put back in the Marksmanship tree.

Beast Mastery (16 or 18)

Going deep into Beast Mastery presents several options. Selecting this method presents two options for talents to aim for: Unleashed Fury and Improved Mend Pet. On top of Aspect Mastery, you are more likely to see your damage output increase if you perform well in pet management. An important note to remember though is that the incremental damage bonus of Unleashed Fury will be reduced by 1% each talent point in patch 3.0.8, so your pet will be doing 15% more instead of 20% damage as it does in 3.0.3.

If you find that you don’t want Improved Mend Pet, redistribute those points into the Marksmanship tree. This talent is useful when a raid boss inflicts an impairing debuff on your pet. You don’t want to bother healers and dispellers to cure your pet when other raid members are their primary focus.

  • 5/5 Improved Aspect of the Hawk
  • 2/2 Focused Fire
  • 2/2 Improved Revive Pet
  • 1/5 Endurance Training
  • 1/1 Aspect Mastery
  • 5/5 Unleashed Fury
  • (2/2 Improved Mend Pet)

Beast Mastery (11) / Survival (7)

This hybrid brings two important talents: Aspect Mastery and Survival Instincts. The attack power bonus (for Hawk and Dragonhawk) and reduced damage penalty (when using Viper) ensure that you are maximizing your personal damage output. Survival Instincts’ critical strike bonus is a tremendous boost in damage, and its reduced damage taken bonus can last you longer in healer-intensive raids. In truth, there is no room for negotiation in this hybrid. Any change in these talents will compromise your damage output.

For the Beasty Mastery side, take these talents:

  • 5/5 Improved Aspect of the Hawk
  • 2/2 Focused Fire
  • 2/2 Improved Revive Pet
  • 1/5 Endurance Training
  • 1/1 Aspect Mastery

For the Survival side, pick up:

  • 5/5 Improved Tracking
  • 2/2 Survival Instincts

Beast Mastery (7) / Survival (11)

The Survival-heavy variant of the hybrid is useful for those who enjoy PvP. However, that is not the only condition for this build. Scatter Shot is useful in surviving close calls where a hunter has a tendency to pull aggro off the tank or if there are loose mobs running around the raid. There are many instances where we can get immobilized by the raid boss or other mobs, but Surefooted can remedy that somewhat.

For the Beasty Mastery side, take these key talents:

  • 5/5 Improved Aspect of the Hawk
  • 2/2 Focused Fire

For the Survival side, pick up:

  • 5/5 Improved Tracking
  • 2/2 Survival Instincts
  • 3/3 Entrapment; or 3/3 Surefooted
  • 1/1 Scatter Shot

Survival (18 or 19)

The talent to aim for in this option is Lock and Load. Considering we have Serpent Sting up almost all the time, this talent is worth taking. If you are reluctant on using traps to trigger the effect, Frost Trap is always an option since you’re not dealing damage and don’t take the risk of messing up a fight. In this build, Scatter Shot itself is optional.

  • 5/5 Improved Tracking
  • 2/2 Survival Instincts
  • 3/3 Entrapment; or 3/3 Surefooted
  • (1/1 Scatter Shot)
  • 5/5 Survivalist
  • 3/3 Lock and Load
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3 responses

  1. awesome, perfect, don’t even have anything really to add except this tid bit.

    I posted a Marks/Surv spec in one of your blogs. I SLIGHTLY adjusted it. I took out points from…I took points off of Wild Quiver and (the talent that gives + hit ) and redistributed them. I put some elsewhere in the Marks Tree, and in the BM tree. Sorry can’t be more helpful BUT, the point is this:

    I have points in Marks all the way down to get Chimera Shot and even Silence Shot. On the Surv side i got 4pts in Survivalist and 3 pts in Lock and Loaded.

    On the BM, instead of pts in Wild Quiver for a 60% damage attack, i put 2 pts in Improved Aspect of the Hawk for the 10% chance of Quick Shots proc. Turns out this works wonders.

    Again, sorry i can’t nail my spec down right now as i can’t access the armory page from here at work, but the spec i am having great success in (currently in heroics avging between 1500-2400+ DPS, not sure if that is “great” or “avg”) oh and i also have a trinket that gives haste so my typical boss fight goes like this:

    2 Shot FULL shot rotations( Serpent Sting===>Auto Shot==>Steady Shot==>Arcane Shot==Autoshot(or Multi)==Aimed Shot==Auto Shot==>Silence Shot==>Auto Shot==Chimera Shot. <===somewhere in that shot rotation Quick Shots will Proc, making the timing of all these shots “tighter”

    Click Rapid Fire and let the fun trying to keep the pace nuts.

    Once Rapid Fire ends, do another 2 shot rotations then use the haste trinket which is like a “mini” Rapid Fire.

    Once that ends another 2 shot rotations and click readiness + any damage trinket you have + Rapid Fire and watch the fireworks.

    Yes this is a very mana intensive spec, BUT this is where rapid recouperation shines. I was ready to spec out of it, but Readiness makes rapid recoup all the more useful as you will be popping Rapid Fire 2-4 times in a boss fight!!

    Anywhoo hope this helps: The spec is like this:

    2/51/17 something like this

    15 December 2008 at 16:39

  2. @Keldorei — It does sound like a very mana intensive fight. You may have noticed this also, but I’m holding back on any discussion of haste stacking because I’ve yet to see any study that can conclusively prove it’s worth the stats. However, I have also yet to see any study involving Rapid Recuperation and its benefits when hasted, so that is something Elitist Jerks or other theorycrafters and testers should start looking into more.

    15 December 2008 at 20:46

  3. Pingback: Rick’s Place » Blog Archive » RtR for 12/17/08

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