New Artifact Traits in 7.2

New Artifact Traits are now on the PTR, so I thought I'd go through the hunter traits.  Everything of course carries the normal perils of datamined and PTR material, it will all most likely change.


I think Mongoose Bite is a fine candidate for a generic damage boost, as it encourages you further to get your rotation right, doing max possible Mongoose Bites during Mongoose Fury.  Talon Bond isn't really anything I'd get excited about, as Talon Strike is already a fairly uninteresting, un-impactful ability. Echos of Eche'ro, as our new Golden Trait has the potential to be pretty cool.  I like a Flanking Strike heavy rotation when I play SV, so hopefully this will be a significant DPS boost, and bring Flanking Strike a bit higher on our priority list.


I'm in favor of anything that increases Vulnerable damage, as it gives us more reason to play the spec "normally" and less reason to play the meme-version.  I have mixed feeling about the Windburst change. Having to choose between the utility of gaining an additional application of Vulnerable and simply using it as a very powerful shot is kind of a weird decision to have to make. The vulnerable buff will help to offset this, but if Windburst gets too much more powerful, we'll likely need to use it on CD, regardless of vulnerable debuffs.  A side benefit to the snare portion of this change is for any of you out there using Sephuz, this should give you a more solid way to proc the haste buff on fights with adds that can be snared.

Beast Mastery:

Aspect of the Wild is one of the least exciting major CDs in the game. This is generally fine for BM hunters, because Bestial Wrath is a great cooldown, and when they're stacked together, AotW isn't as bad. Still, any boost to make AotW better is a good thing. It sounds to me like they're creating a sort of miniature beast cleave available to all pets for the duration of AotW.  This could be pretty cool, depending on where they end up balancing it. An AoE boost might seem like the last thing BM hunters need, but it could be that this just makes Beast Cleave passive, allowing you to use all of your focus on single target DPS, while still maintaining AoE damage from this trait. 

Slithering Serpents has to be the least exciting of all of the new traits we've seen; that doesn't, however, mean it's a bad improvement.  As the spec currently exists, until you get to a certain haste level, there are a lot of times when doing nothing is preferable to doing something.  That is, if you cast a Cobra Shot to fill in some extra time while abilities come off CD, you're likely to affect your DPS negatively compared to just doing nothing and waiting.  This is of course incredibly boring for anyone used to the pre 7.0 version of hunters.  I'd like to see this ability upped to 3 focus per rank, bringing the cost of Cobra Shot to 28 focus. The best  part of the lower focus costing Cobra Shot is the final Golden Trait for BM hunters, Cobra Commander.  Finally Cobra Shot is more than just a snakehead on your bullets (or arrows), as it will now have a chance to summon snakes.  Though I have no evidence that this is true, I'd love to see a return of the snakes from snake trap, as a more interesting way to provide a damage buff for BM's single target damage.  

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