6.0.3 Melee Hunter Guide (PvE)

Hunter
Have you ever been hit in the face with a glaive, two swords, a fire-imbued bear trap, a beast and another beast all at the very same time? That was probably a melee hunter, and he probably just used disengage to dash over to another target after he was done wrecking you. Oh, did you try to root him? Too bad, he probably used Master's Call to instantly break it.

In this guide, I'm going to try to teach my fellow huntsmen how to do what the hunter in the above description did. I've been playing around with this build for a bit now, and I've found that it can pull it's own weight both in PvP and more importantly in PvE. A melee hunter, as the name implies, will spend most of his time in close quarters with a target, fighting alongside his beasts. This fighter will be able to keep near-maximum uptime on his targets thanks to Disengage, near-on-demand Master's Call (a natural consequence of being right beside your pet at most times), and a potential extra root break + sprint with the right talent choice.

Spec
Being the metagame-breaker that I am, I am loathe to force converts to Melee Huntering (henceforth known as Huntardism) to play one spec and nothing else, but unfortunately BM (Beast Mastery) is the only spec that can actually do anything in melee. BM hunters traditionally sacrifice self-damage and place more of it onto their pets. In a single-target rotation your best abilities are not reliant on having a ranged weapon, making this build viable in the first place.

Huntardism abilities

Kill Command
On a 6 second cooldown and at a cost of 40 focus, you can command your pet to inflict a high amount of damage to your target. This ability does NOT require a ranged weapon, giving it a lot of appeal to Huntards.

Tier Six Talent: Glaive Toss
On a 15 second cooldown and at a cost of 15 focus, you hurl two glaives toward your target. Both glaives inflict light damage to their targets as well as snaring them, if able. Your main target will take x4 damage from each glaive. This ability does NOT require a ranged weapon, giving it a lot of appeal to Huntards.

Focus Fire
You consume all of your pet's Frenzy stacks to increase your haste by 6% per stack for 20 seconds. Your pet has a chance to gain a stack of Frenzy when he uses a basic attack, and he has 4% faster attack speed per stack. Frenzy caps at 5 stacks.

Bestial Wrath
On a 60 second cooldown you and your pet can enrage. You deal 10% more damage and your pet deals 20% more damage for 10 seconds.

Tier Four Talent: Dire Beast
On a 30 second cooldown you can summon a random beast (the damage is always the same) to attack your target for 15 seconds. Every time the beast attacks, you regain 2 focus.

Explosive Trap
On a 30 second cooldown you can place a trap that activates when someone walks on it. When activated, the trap will deal inital fire damage to enemies around it as well as applying a DoT to them for 20 seconds afterward. This ability does NOT require a ranged weapon, giving it a lot of appeal to Huntards.

Talents
Tier One
Recommendation: Posthaste. The ability to break roots every 20 seconds as well as having a powerful sprint will give you a massive amount of mobility, a good thing to have as a melee class.

Posthaste: Disengage now breaks roots and snares. In addition, you will recieve a 60% sprint for 8 seconds after using it.

Narrow Escape: Disengage now roots all targets within 8 yards for 8 seconds when you use it.

Crouching Tiger; Hidden Chimera: Your Disengage cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds, and your Deterrence recharges 60 seconds faster.

Tier Two
MANDATORY: Intimidation. The other two talents in this tier require ranged weapons, making them utterly useless to a follower of Huntardism.

Binding Shot: On a 30 second cooldown you fire a magic projectile at the ground, binding all targets within 5 yards to it. Moving more than 5 yards from the binding projectile will stun you for 5 seconds.

Wyvern Sting: On a 45 second cooldown you can wind up a shot that puts a target to sleep for 30 seconds. The shot takes 1.5 seconds to wind up.

Intimidation: On a 60 second cooldown you can command your pet to stun a target for 3 seconds.

Tier Three
Recommended: Iron Hawk. With 6.0, Spirit Bond and Exhilaration were both nerfed, making an already solid talent even more appealing. Given that Huntard is a front-line melee class, having extra durability is a good idea anyway.

Exhilaration: On a 120 second cooldown you heal yourself for 22% of your max HP and your pet for 100% of his max HP.

Iron Hawk: You passively take 10% less damage.

Spirit Bond: While your pet is active you regenerate 2% of your max HP every 2 seconds.

Tier Four
MANDATORY: Dire Beast. The other two talents in this tier revolve around shots. As a follower of Huntardism, you have no use for them.

Steady Focus: After using Cobra Shot twice in a row, you'll regain focus 50% faster for 10 seconds.

Dire Beast: On a 30 second cooldown you can summon a random beast (the damage is always the same) to attack your target for 15 seconds. Every time the beast attacks, you regain 2 focus.

Thrill of the Hunt: Every time you spend focus on an attack, you have a chance to gain Thrill of the Hunt. (6% chance per 10 focus spent. Kill Command, spending 40 focus, would give a 24% chance.) Thrill of the Hunt reduces the cost of your next three Arcane Shots, Multi-Shots, or Aimed Shots by 20 focus.

Tier Five
Recommendation: Blink Strikes. As a lot of your damage comes from your pet, giving him the additional uptime on a target is a good idea. In addition, the damage bonus of this talent is pretty solid. In truth though, all three talents this tier are competitive; choose based on personal preference.

A Murder of Crows: On a 60 second cooldown and at the cost of 30 focus, you summon a flock of crows to attack the target for 15 seconds. If they die during that 15 seconds, the cooldown of this ability is reset.

Blink Strikes: Your pet's attacks deal 50% more damage and will teleport him to a target up to 30 yards away when used.

Stampede: On a 300 second cooldown you summon all of your other pets to attack the target for 20 seconds. These summoned pets only deal a fourth of their normal damage in an instanced pvp environment.

Tier Six
MANDATORY: Glaive Toss. The other two talents this tier require ranged weapons. Therefore they are evil. As a follower of Huntardism, you shall stay away from the evil talents.

Glaive Toss: On a 15 second cooldown and at a cost of 15 focus, you hurl two glaives toward your target. Both glaives inflict light damage to their targets as well as snaring them, if able. Your main target will take x4 damage from each glaive. This ability does NOT require a ranged weapon, giving it a lot of appeal to Huntards.

Powershot: On a 45 second cooldown and at a cost of 15 focus, you fire a powerful shot at the enemy. This deals massive damage to them and to any target between you and them. Affected targets are also knocked back.

Barrage: On a 20 second cooldown and at a cost of 60 focus, you fire a hail of bullets/arrows towards your target. Any other targets in front of you are also pelted by this ability, though these secondary targets don't take as much damage as the primary target.
Statistics
Before you can take full advantage of your new talents, disciple, you must understand what stats you should socket into that shiny gear of yours and why you're even doing so in the first place.

Critical Strike
Crit rating gives you a percentage chance to inflict double damage to your target. While this sounds cool, the truth is it doesn't have a massive added benefit for you. It isn't a bad stat by any stretch of the imagination, but the points are better placed elsewhere.

Haste
Haste increases your autostrike speed (which is decent as a Huntard, since autostrike is one of your biggest sources of damage), and more importantly your pet's autostrike speed. In addition Haste increases focus regen for you and your pet. Again, the pet is the keypoint here, as more focus means more basic attacks. More basic attacks means more Frenzy, means more Focus Fire, means more damage. Haste is a nice stat option to pair with Mastery.

Multistrike
Multistrike gives you a percentage chance to hit an additional time with any given attack, dealing 30% of the original attack's damage. This chance is checked twice, and both checks are independent of each other; I could potentially have my Kill Command fail it's first check but hit the second one, hit the first and fail the second, or even hit both resulting in a triple strike. This is another nice stat option to pair with Mastery.

Mastery
THE stat for BM Hunters and Huntards alike, this gives you a percentage damage increase to all pet-related damage. This results in much hurt, for obvious reasons. In addition, thanks to a passive ability, you gain 5% more Mastery from all sources. giving you even more incentive to stack this stat.

Overall
Huntard stat builds come down to two real options, both of which allow for many attacks and lots of pet damage.

Option one:
Gems: Stack yellow Mastery gems. Nothing else.
Gear: Find gear with Mastery and Haste.
Enchants: As many Mastery enchants as possible, and Haste enchants where no Mastery enchants are available.
Mastery > Haste > Multistrike > Crit

Option two:
Gems: Stack yellow Mastery gems. Nothing else.
Gear: Find gear with Mastery and Multistrike.
Enchants: As many Mastery enchants as possible. Assuming there will be Multistrike enchants in WoD, use those where no Mastery enchants are available.
Mastery > Multistrike > Haste > Crit

Weapons
I feel like I need to devote a section to this, because Huntard isn't an easy path to walk. We aren't accepted by Blizzard or by the community yet. As a result, getting our weapons, our line that seperates us from metagame hunters, is a tricky task to set about completing. One option is to aquire military-grade blades from your local pvp vendor. If you can find a group willing to give your chosen playstyle a try, you might have a shot at scoring an agility weapon from a raid or dungeon. (We have no chance to get one from the random personal loot... yet...) If you're stuck for both pvp and pve, Blacksmiths make some cheap blue weapons as well; shop around and see what you can find!

I don't intend to accidentally insult the intelligence of my fellow Huntards, but it needs to be said for completion's sake: Huntards use melee weapons. My weapons of choice are two agility swords, but two-handers work just as well.

Recommended Glyphs
Major Glyph: Black Ice
This glyph increases your movement speed by 50% while within the ice slick that you created with Ice Trap. This is a nice way to increase your already incredible mobility.

Major Glyph: Camouflage
This glyph provides stealth at all times while Camouflaged, but your movespeed is reduced by 50%.
You're a hunter/tracker person. You use melee weapons. Rogue hunter anyone??

Major Glyph: Liberation
This glyph heals you for 4% of your max HP when you Disengage. Perhaps more powerful when paired with Crouching Tiger; Hidden Chimera, still a decent self-heal nonetheless. Every little bit that you can stay in a fight matters.

Major Glyph: Mirrored Blades
This glyph should* give you a 100% chance to reflect spells while using Deterrence. (* - I've heard some people saying that this glyph is currently bugged, though I can't confirm it myself. I'll need to do some testing.)

Minor Glyph: Aspect of the Cheetah
This glyph removes the daze portion of Aspect of the Cheetah, instead you simply lose the aspect when you are struck. Once again, this will pretty much let you stay on a target forever. As mobility is a valued thing as a melee class, get this glyph as soon as you are able.

Forbidden Glyphs
Major Glyph: Explosive Trap
This glyph removes the damaging portion of Explosive Trap, instead knocking people backwards from it when you hit them. As a Huntard, this trap is your only DoT, and one of the only two sources of AoE damage you have. Do NOT remove this damage source from your arsenal. Galarius the Metabreaker, your Huntard-in-Chief, forbids it!
Combat as a Huntard
Now you have your gear, your talents and your glyphs inscribed, and the age-old question must be asked. Not why we fight, nor what we fight for, rather: How do we fight? Pay attention disciple, for I shall explain.

Huntard single-target damage revolves around the usage of cooldowns, much akin to ret paladins and enhancement shamans. Unlike their lead-slinging counterparts, melee hunters don't have to concern themselves much with focus management, giving them plenty of time to focus on the battle (and the fire to move out of!)

Our damage can be broken up into a priority of sorts:
1. Use Glaive Toss on cooldown
2. Use Kill Command on cooldown
3. Use Dire Beast on cooldown
*4. Use A Murder of Crows on cooldown (if you have selected this talent)
*5. Use Bestial Wrath on cooldown
6. Use Focus Fire if you have 5 Frenzy stacks and no Focus Fire buff.
**7. Use Explosive Trap on cooldown to apply the DoT if you have nothing else to do.

* - Your raid leader may instruct you to save cooldowns for an upcoming burn phase of a fight (such as General Nazgrim's Berserker Stance). If (s)he does instruct you to do so, save A Murder of Crows (if taken), Stampede (if taken), and Bestial Wrath for that phase.

** - As you do not have a ranged weapon, Trap Launcher is null and void to a follower of Huntardism. You will need to enter the boss' hitbox yourself and physically place the trap under him. Thanks to your incredible mobility though, this shouldn't be an issue.

--Work in progress, more to come later--
Reserved.
Last reserved.

Posting may now commence.
I've actually tried this on my hunter right after the patch came out. I was bored with no new content

Surprisingly, while it's obviously inferior to a ranged hunter, it is viable.

My hunter is 535 item level. On a target dummy I was doing about 130k dps with a season 15 pvp bow. With a level 6 green bow I was doing 120k dps.

With two green level 6 axes I was doing 115k dps.

So I only lost 15k dps by switching to total crap weapons, and losing arcane shot and cobra shot.

Since this was on a dummy I couldn't use kill shot on the test.

Surprised the hell out of me.

Still.... for anything competitive stick with ranged. it's safer.
I am totally going to try this out!
Mele Hunters, I will opt for the ranged version and let my pet get in the face of what I wish to kill.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zNjQecyjE8
This sounds amazing and I will try it out for sure. You missed glyph discussion. I assume Black Ice, Master's Call, and Mirrored Blades (except its bugged and doesn't work atm).
Baklava

Ingredients

For the Filling
2 cups finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup bakers sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves

For the syrup
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 stick cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the cover
150 grams unsalted butter, melted
12 oz packet filo pastry

1. Place all the ingredients under 'filling' in a bowl.

2. Combine until blended. Meanwhile place all the ingredients for the syrup together in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, while stirring for the sugar to dissolve. Simmer for 10 minutes and leave it to cool.

3. Brush a 12X10 in baking dish with butter. Brush 10 sheets of filo with melted butter.

4. Lay them on the dish one by one

5. Spread the filling in the dish.

6. Now top it off with further 10-12 sheets of pastry, buttering each sheet as needed. You can trim off the excess pastry hanging on the side of your baking dish. Now brush the top of the pastry with more butter.

7. With a sharp knife, score the top layers in large diamond shapes. Bake in a preheated 325 F oven for 1 hour or until the top turns golden brown. If you find that the top is turning color too quickly, then cover the top with foil.

6. Remove from the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the top. You have to let it sit for at least 5-6 hours for it to absorb the syrup.
Was just topping BG charts with this. Man people are bad at this game.
Sticky Requested.
See, what would be so hard about giving us a glyph that converted Cobra Shot, Arcane Shot, Kill Shot and Multi-Shot to melee equivalents?

That's all they would need to do...actually, they wouldn't even "need" to alter Kill Shot, it would just be nice.

Only reason why I think CS, AS and MS would need a tweak, is so we have a Focus generator, spending, and Beast Cleave trigger.

I think I am going to do this on my mount farming runs...

Gives me a reason to whip out Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Wind Seeker.

Not sure if I have any other 1-handed weapons in my collection...maybe Quel'Serra, even if it is a 2-hander.
Xhojin: That's my whole point of making this, I feel that it's competitive within the game. Currently, rolling with two 550 pvp quickblades, I can do reliable damage that's comparable to most other DPS classes.
For anything competitive stick with ranged

I will say though, a disciple of Huntardism must have faith in his ability to perform. I'd say use melee anyway. ;)

Mejjmejj: Thanks for the reminder, but this guide isn't finished at the time of posting. I simply walked away from it for a little bit.

Ibandit: ... What?

Verdash: I completely agree; I had a similar idea a little while ago where they let us have ranged and melee weapons like in vanilla, and our abilities automatically convert to melee while in melee range. Or make BM an official melee spec, that works too.
Definitely going to try this out.
I just got Murmasa from Sunwell to go with Thunderfury...and then recalled I have Horseman's Blade....wtb 3rd hand...

I wonder if Nerfbat could wield one...
Gonna try this when I get home from work tonight. I should have enough timeless coins to get a weapon, if not I can squeeze Garrosh and hope he poops an heirloom.

Edit: Didn't have enough coins, so picked up a level 88 agi polearm off the AH. Headed to Timeless and whacked some snakes. They just...fell over and gave me stuff.
11/06/2014 07:22 AMPosted by Galarius
Xhojin: That's my whole point of making this, I feel that it's competitive within the game. Currently, rolling with two 550 pvp quickblades, I can do reliable damage that's comparable to most other DPS classes.
For anything competitive stick with ranged

I will say though, a disciple of Huntardism must have faith in his ability to perform. I'd say use melee anyway. ;)


I wasn't trying to put down the idea of it. I think it's a ton of fun to play. and for your average player yes it does adequate dps. You could use it in most raid guilds even. but if you are a progression minmax raider it will never be as good. and if you are a competitive arena player being ranged adds too much safety.
11/05/2014 08:46 PMPosted by Galarius
Have you ever been hit in the face with a glaive, two swords, a fire-imbued bear trap, a beast and another beast all at the very same time? That was probably a melee hunter, and he probably just used disengage to dash over to another target after he was done wrecking you. Oh, did you try to root him? Too bad, he probably used Master's Call to instantly break it.


I fail to see the "melee" hunter behind this. The only thing melee about this is that you are using melee weapons rather than a bow??

Every single ability is also a ranged ability or your pet doing dmg. It's not secret that BM hunters get pretty much majority of their dmg from their pet. That's why some love it and some hate it. You could do all this in your guide but better using a bow and sitting in melee range.
Interesting spec bashing, I would suggest that an agi polearm could work instead of dual wielding. I want to see where you are going with this. The With or Without You talent is a spec basher as well as the warrior Gladiator stance. Blizzard has put this kind of talent into these trees I would like to see more talents like this. Maybe a spear based hunter spec?

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