In my FAQ, I state BM is how you level, but my recent delving into threat mechanics has made me reconsider. In fact, tonight I’m going to spec 20/40/0 (I’ll figure out the last point later) for grinding out the last level with my Serpent, Kite. I’ll lay the path out for the newbies later, but I want to talk a bit about why MM is the new soloing build, and why I’ll probably use it from 70-80.
If you find this a bit hard to swallow, so do I. I’ve been a diehard BM since Beta. But at heart I’m a soloist, and I want what will allow me to do that best.
Suppose I’m a fresh new just dinged MM hunter. I think it’s pretty reasonable that I have 1300 RAP without TSA on. Maybe even without AotH on. My pet should have around 589 AP. Now I turn on TSA. I gain 125 RAP which translates into 27.5 PAP and my pet also gains 125 AP for a total of:
589 + 27.5 + 125 = 741.5 PAP
I’d be getting 43 extra threat each growl, adding in some Kibler’s would grant an extra 228 threat. My Leggings of Beast Mastery? Add 399 threat. With those 2 items I will have almost doubled growl’s threat, and it will only go up from there. Did you notice the secondary effect? I will have insane personal damage as well.
Hunter get’s higher damage + Pet get’s greater threat generation = Solo Win!
Wait a minute. When would a BM hunter start to see growl scale? Well, if you look at the BM tree, sadly none of the talents actually buff the pet’s Strength or AP. They’re all damage multipliers tacked on the end. To see growl scale at all you’d need a total of ~1958 RAP to get your PAP up to 734. Always using Kibler’s Bits would lower that down to ~1776. At least BM’s get extra threat generation from increased pet damage.
SVs are just screwed, but then they should be used to it by now.
Of course this could all change at Blizzard’s whim, and we’d probably never hear about it.