This guide will be a more basic listing of relevant changes for the 5.0.4 pre-expansion patch, which goes live on August 28th. This guide only contains information relevant to level 1-85, and patch 5.0.4. It does not include information on levels 86-90. For more detailed guides on pets, specs, and rotations, see the "Other Resources" section at the bottom of this post.
General Mechanic Changes:
- The ranged weapon slot is gone. This means that we will be equipping our ranged weapons in our melee weapon slot, and no longer equipping a melee weapon. Ranged weapons are being buffed to compensate for the loss of the melee weapon, and will now display slung across our backs while not in use.
- Minimum Range is gone. We can now use our ranged attacks from point-blank melee range.
- Our ranged attacks can now be dodged. This means that we need to gear/reforge for 7.5% expertise (769 expertise rating).
- The hit rating needed to be hit capped against raid bosses has been reduced. We now only need 769 hit rating, or 7.5% hit.
- Our pets will now gain 50% of our hit rating and 50% of our expertise rating as hit/expertise. This means that, if you have 8% hit, your pet will have 4% hit and 4% expertise. If you are capped for both hit and expertise at 7.5%, your pet will also be capped for both values.
- Shots that are missed or dodged will refund 80% of their Focus cost.
- Aspects will now trigger the Global Cooldown. This means that Aspect dancing into Fox for Cobra/Steady Shot will be a significant DPS loss. You will probably stay in Hawk for all PvE encounters, barring any long movement phases (such as Atramedes's air phase), and you'll stay in Fox for PvP.
- Hunters will most likely see increased Focus regeneration across the board. Steady Shot and Cobra Shot now restore 14 Focus. For Marksmanship hunters, Steady Focus now also causes Steady Shot to restore 3 additional Focus. Survival hunters have the new Viper Venom passive effect, and Beast Mastery hunters will gain extra Focus through Invigoration, in addition to Kindred Spirits' increased Focus cap.
Talent Changes and New Talents:
- The talent system is changing dramatically in 5.0.4. You will still select a specialization, but all specializations have the same small talent tree (6 tiers, one talent per tier-- we'll only be able to access the first 5 tiers in 5.0.4).
- Most of the old talents you're familiar with have been rolled into spec-specific abilities and passives that you will learn naturally as you level up, or when you swap to the associated spec. For example, Beast Master hunters no longer need to talent for The Beast Within, Invigoration or Exotic Beasts. These abilities and passives from pre-5.0.4 talents have not been lost.
- The new talent system focuses on situational utility and survivability, with one damage tier and one focus regeneration tier. We can select only one talent per tier.
Originally Posted by MMO-ChampionNew Talents
- Posthaste: Your Disengage frees you from all movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 60% for 8 sec.
- Narrow Escape: When you Disengage, you also activate a web trap which encases all targets within 8 yards in sticky webs, preventing movement for 8 sec.
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera: Reduces the cooldown of Disengage by 10 sec, and the cooldown of Deterrence by 60 sec.
- Silencing Shot: A shot that silences the target and interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec. 20 second cooldown.
- Wyvern Sting: A stinging shot that puts the target to sleep for 30 sec. Any damage will cancel the effect. Only one Sting per Hunter can be active on the target at a time. 10 Focus. 60 second cooldown.
- Binding Shot: You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 5 yards of the landing arrow for 10 sec. If targets move 5 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 5 sec (3 sec PvP) and will be immune to the effects of Binding Shot for 10 sec. 20 Focus. 45 second cooldown.
- Aspect of the Iron Hawk: The Hunter takes on the aspects of an iron hawk, increasing ranged attack power by 10%, and reducing all damage taken by 15%. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. Replaces Aspect of the Hawk.
- Spirit Bond: While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 2% of total health every 2 sec.
- Exhilaration: Instantly heals you for 30% and your pet for 100% of total health. Instant. 2 minute cooldown.
- Fervor: Instantly restores 50 Focus to you and your pet and an additional 50 Focus over 10 sec. 30 second cooldown.
- Dire Beast: Summons a powerful wild animal to attack your target in combat for 15 seconds. Each time the animal deals damage, you will gain 5 focus. 30 sec cooldown.
- Thrill of the Hunt: You have a 30% chance when you fire a ranged attack that costs Focus and Kill Command to reduce the focus cost of your next 3 Arcane Shots or Multishots by 20.
- A Murder of Crows: Summons a flock of crows to attack your target over the next 30 sec. If used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown is reduced to 1 minute. 60 Focus. 2 minute cooldown.
- Blink Strike: Causes your pet to instantly teleport behind an enemy target up to 40 yards away from your pet and inflict 600% normal damage. 100 yard range. 20 second cooldown.
- Lynx Rush: Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 sec, dealing 200% of its normal attack damage to each target. The pet must be within 10 yards of the target to Lynx Rush. 1.5 minute cooldown.
New Baseline Abilities:
- Beast Cleave: After you Multi-Shot, your pet's melee attacks also strike all other nearby enemy targets for 30% as much for the next 4 sec.
- Viper Venom: You gain 3 Focus each time your Serpent Sting deals damage. This effect can only occur every 3 sec.
Other Important Ability Changes:
In addition to several minor tuning changes (affecting damage, cooldowns, and Focus costs), there have been a few more notable changes to hunter abilities.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
- Readiness is now baseline for all hunter specs.
- Trueshot Aura is now baseline for all hunter specs.
- The DoT from Explosive Shot will no longer clip, so Survival Hunters will be using their LnL procs back-to-back-to-back with no dps loss.
- Kill Command can now be used when your pet is within 25 yards of the target, and will cause your pet to dash to the target, rather than requiring that your pet be in melee range of the target.
- Hunter's Mark now increases ranged damage done to the target by 5%, rather than granting a flat amount of ranged AP. This means that Hunter's Mark will scale with gear now!
- Trap Launcher is now a toggled ability that allows you to launch traps while it is active. It costs no Focus, and lasts until cancelled.
- Immolation Trap is gone.
- Camouflage can now be used in combat, but will only last 6 seconds if used in combat. It still behaves normally out of combat.
- Steady Shot and Cobra Shot now restore 14 Focus.
The Glyph system has received something of an overhaul as well. Very few glyphs now will increase your dps. Most glyphs are now cosmetic, situational, or focus on quality of life/survivability. Prime Glyphs have been completely removed. A full list of 5.0.4 hunter glyphs can be found here.
Important Changes to Racials:
- Forsaken have a new damaging racial, Touch of the Grave.
- The Orc racial, Command, has been reduced to a 2% bonus, down from 5%.
Orcs, Trolls, Pandaren, and Worgen are still the 'best' hunter races, after the changes to racials.
- Pets no longer have talent points. Hunters can now choose a specialization for their pet (Ferocity, Tenacity, or Cunning), and the pets will automatically gain all benefits of that specialization.
- Any pet can be any specialization-- you can have a Ferocity turtle, or Tenacity wolf if you so desire.
- You can change your pet's specialization at any time when not in combat.
- Growl is now a taunt, in addition to causing additional threat.
- Several pet abilities have been changed-- for example, the 30% bleed damage debuff has been removed, and replaced with 4% increased physical damage.
- New pet families available in 5.0.4: Basilisks and Water Striders.
Other Resources for 5.0.4:
- Aettis and Asrialol's more complete and exhaustive list of Mists of Pandaria hunter changes. This list includes all changes up to level 90 and through the new expansion.
- Petopia's guide to Mists hunter pet changes, including new pet families and pet looks.
- Icy Veins' Beast Mastery 5.0.4 guide.
- Icy Veins' Survival 5.0.4 guide.
- Icy Veins' Marksmanship 5.0.4 guide.
- Warcraft Hunters' Union's 5.0.4 guide.
- Elitist Jerk's Mists Hunter FAQ.