Thoughts On Patch 3.3

Patch 3.3 is coming soon and it’s already up on the PTR, and there seem to be some big changes coming down the line for hunters. Lets see what’s coming up, shall we?

Hunters
Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.

Deterrence: Now also increases the chance for ranged attacks to miss the hunter by 100% while under its effect.
Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.

Talents

Beast Mastery
Intimidation: If the hunter’s pet is in melee range of its target, the stun from Intimidation will now be applied immediately instead of on the pet’s next swing or attack.

Pets 

Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.

Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet’s movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20.

Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). Culling the Herd increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack.

Demoralizing Screech: The attack power reduction from this ability has been increased by 40%, equaling the maximum possible attack power reduction from the abilities of other classes.

Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
Venom Web Spray: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.

Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.

Wolverine Bite: This talent is now enabled when the pet lands a critical strike rather than from the target dodging the pet’s attacks. In addition, this talent no longer has a prerequisite

First off, I love the fact that they are reducing the cooldown on call stabled pet to 5 minutes. 30 minutes was way to long and didn’t really give us much flexibility with swapping out pets with different specs. This means I can swap back to BM right after Hodir. Happy panda time.  The change to deterrence, well I don’t PvP very much. However, it seems like we will be getting a mini pally bubble with the changes made to it. Now misdirection, the change to a 4 second timer, instead of the next 3 sources of threat, feels to me like we’re being homogenized with rogues…slightly. Misdirection feels more like Tricks of the Trade, albeit 2 seconds shorter and it doesn’t have the damage increase. Volley and explosive trap are going to go great with the new misdirection. The other change is even better. It’s about time that more than one hunter at a time can put up misdirection at a time. Just remember that distracting shot will still get you smooshed because of the taunt component.

Now the change to pet abilities. There are a few that I’m really interested in. The fact that they are doing away with the avoidance talent and giving pets a flat 90% reduction to mob caused AoE damage is long over due. This is really going to help pet survivability over all. Cower was always kind of a worthless ability. I’m sorry, but if you have to have your pet use cower, so it doesn’t draw aggro from the tank…. well maybe its time for your tank to think about going to a DPS build instead. The big question that I have, is how will this work with the turtle’s shell shield. Will they stack for a total damage reduction of 90% for 6 seconds followed by another 6 seconds of 50% damage reduction? Will one overwrite the other? I haven’t had a chance to check it out on the PTR yet.

Now since they are dropping the avoidance talent we are getting a new one called culling the herd. CtH will increase our damage by 1-3% whenever the pet crits with bite,claw, or smack. Now the big question is, is this going to stack with FI, or is one going to overwrite the other. I had a chance to play around with it a little bit earlier this week, and either CtH wasn’t proccing yet or it didn’t have a buff icon to show when it is proccing. If it stacks with FI that will rock, plain and simple. Really another 3% damage boost on top of the 3% we would get from FI? A 6% damage boost would be a huge boost to BM’s over all DPS. The next question about CtH is will it stack with other damage boosting buffs. Time will tell…

I’m hoping that I’ll get a chance this weekend to hit the PTR and run tests With Sushi, Devilicious, and Shadowfang to see how the changes are working out and if they get my stamp of approval or not. So, until next time don’t forget to reload, so you don’ run out of ammo.

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