FYTY: Tier 21 Set Bonuses - Pt 3 - Marksmanship

Tier 21 - Nagastalker

All week I've been going over my proposed solutions to the problems with the recently datamined Tier 21 set bonuses.  Beast Mastery turned out to be relatively simple to fix, though required a strong buff to the 2 piece and a slight re-work of the 4-piece (while keeping the same basic mechanic/concept) to make them viable. Survival was a bit more weird to do, as both of the tier bonuses could substantially change the spec's rotation, though we ended up in a fairly good place that would provide an opportunity for the best hunters to really shine, while mildly screwing over the average Hunter who will need to learn a very complicated rotation.  All that's left is Marksmanship.

Marksmanship Set Bonuses:

  • 2 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 15% chance to fire at the target an additional time.
  • 4 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders - When Marked Shot deals damage, the damage of your next Arcane Shot is increased by 20% or Multi-Shot damage by 20% and your next Arcane Shot will generate an additional 5 Focus (7 with Sidewinders) or your next Multi-shot will generate an additional 1 Focus.
The theme for Marksmanship's set bonuses in Tier 21 seems to be "give Marked Shot more to do?". We've seen Marked Shot go from an incredibly powerful ability in the early days of legion to a fairly meh ability lately whose sole purpose is to start Vulnerable cycles.  Let's see if these bonuses will be enough to make it worth while.  

The 2 Piece - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice

For anyone who has been playing Marksmanship this expansion, you'll of course be familiar with this affect, because it's remarkably similar to the supposedly legendary ability for Zevrim's Hunter.  The legendary ring started the expansion very strong, especially in AoE situations, but when Marked Shot was nerfed to not benefit from Vulnerable, the ring's strength was greatly diminished, to the point of even being a DPS loss in many single target situations.  

Fortunately, the new 2 piece set bonus doesn't require you to actually cast Marked Shot twice, wasting precious focus and an even more precious GCD all the while delaying getting your Vulnerable + Patient Sniper buff higher by resetting the timer. 

Essentially, we're just talking about a chance to double the damage from Marked Shot.  Even if that's not the most exiting of effects, it's fine for a 2-piece bonus, and has the potential to be a decent passive buff, that will make MM even more ridiculous on AoE fights.

Since there's not that much to look at here, I'm going to take a few types of fights for our examples. I'll start with a pure single target, Goroth, then try a mix of single target and 2-target, then try a more AoE-friendly fight with Mistress Sassz'ine, and finally, just a garbage AoE fight in which parses are even more meaningless, The Desolate Host. 

Goroth - Pure Single-Target

The Goroth top parses are a bit ridiculous right now, with the 4-pc tier 20 and 2-pc tier 19 combo, plus a crit heavy build, we're seeing upwards of 70% of a Marks Hunter's damage coming from Aimed Shot alone, and 75% of that Aimed Shot damage being from Critical Strikes.  Still, we'll still have this 4 pc when we're getting our tier 21 2 pc, so it may not be all that different then.  

On the parse I'm looking at, which is actually the second from the top parse at the time of my writing this (mostly because the top parse seemed to have a bit too favorable of RNG, and I didn't want to use it as an example, though it didn't actually affect the results too much), Marked Shot made up 13.42% of the Hunter's damage, at 45.08 million damage out of a total of 335.9 million damage in a 243 second fight.  

If we just look at the expected value of a 15% chance at getting double Marked Shot damage, that puts us at 51.84 million damage from Marked Shot, for an overall gain of 2.01%.   Not exactly much to get excited about, eh?  Let's look at AoE before jumping to any conclusions.

Mistress Sassz'ine - AoE and Single-target Mix with some Garbage AoE

Here we see Marked Shot raising up in value quite a bit.  In the top MM parse (at the time of my writing this), Marked Shot (or in this case, "Im Visier", as I suppose this Hunter whose parse I'm looking at is German) made up 31.34% of the overall damage, at 302.7 million damage out of 966 million damage total, in a 463 second fight. This Hunter cast Marked Shot 72 times, for a total of 257 hits, putting their average at 2.8 targets per Marked Shot.  

Again, if we just look at the expected value of Marked Shot going off twice, 15% of the time, that brings our total Marked Shot damage up to 348.12 million damage, for an overall DPS increase of 4.7%.

The Desolate Host - Garbage AoE

Let's be real here, at some point on these AoE fights, getting a high parse is about getting lucky with your Marking Targets procs, more than it's about playing particularly well.  There is still obviously some amount of skill involved, and a lot of hardwork to get the gear necessary, but a lot of it is just about getting lots of Marking Target procs, and getting them at the right time, and having the rest of your team not do too much damage.  My point is: take these numbers with a grain of salt.  

In this case, the top Parse for The Desolate Host did 41.72% of their damage with Marked Shot, overcoming even their Aimed Shot damage.  In a 406 second fight, this hunter cast 77 Marked Shots, which hit 441 times (averaging 5.73 targets per cast) for 368.15 million damage out of their overall total of 882.38 million damage.  

Even in this case, at only a 15% chance to proc, we don't see the 2 set bonus going too far out of hand, increasing their Marked Shot damage's expected value by 55.22 million, which makes for a 6.26% overall increase to damage.   Still, 2% is far too low.  

My Proposal

Of all the Hunter set bonuses in tier 21, Marksmanship Hunters are the only with the potential to really increase their AoE damage.  As such, it makes some amount of sense that we'd see this set bonus having a little bit lower affect on Single Target than the average set bonus.  Still, a 2% increase to single target is a bit ridiculous.  We'll see that relative percent rise slightly when we lose our current tier 20 set bonuses, as the value of Aimed Shot will go down, and we'll likely go back to stacking Mastery instead of Crit.  But, it won't affect it enough to make it worthwhile in single target. 

At a 25% chance to add a second Marked Shot, we see a 3.36% increase to overall damage on the single-target parse,  and a 7.83% increase to overal damage on the Mistriss Sassz'ine parse.  That might be getting too high for the mixed AoE fight, but it's still fairly low for single target.  It's also important to note that on the Misstress Sassz'ine fight, a lot of that AoE is from "garbage-time". If you've done the fight, you'll have noticed that toward the end, a lot of adds come out, and you're essentially racing to kill the boss in time, but instead of prioritizing the boss, you could just spam your AoE to get a higher parse.  That's what I mean by "garbage time".  It's meaningless damage.  It may make you feel fancy when you look at your overall numbers, and there may be a fun meta-game in trying to get as much of that cheese as possible, but it doesn't actually affect whether or not your team can kill bosses.  This is even more so true on The Desolate Host. So I'm not worried about seeing a slightly high number like a 7.83% increase for Sassz'ine.  

If we try raising it up to 30% chance on the 2-piece, we see a much more reasonable 4.03% increase to single target damage,  but on Sassz'ine it jumps up to a 9.4% increase, which is starting to get to be a bit much, even when you take into account a lot of that DPS being inconsequential.  So it's likely, if the Blizzard Devs are married to this Marked Shot Buff concept, then a 25% chance is the most we'll be able to see, and we'll have to hope it isn't too hard to keep up a Beast Mastery set of gear for any Single Target fights. 

Proposal Option A:
2 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 25% chance to fire at the target an additional time.

As an alternative, Blizzard could give MM a single-target only buff that it will desperately need when it loses the tier 20 set bonuses, and have a more substantial chance to shoot a second time, but it will only hit your current target.  I particularly like this solution because MM doesn't really need more AoE spam damage, and I like the idea of doing important damage more than I like doing more overal damage, but that doesn't really help me get kills.  

Proposal Option B:
2 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 35% chance to fire at your current target an additional time.


The 4 Piece - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders

Even though there was a bit of weirdness in looking at the AoE vs Single Target for the 2 piece set bonus, it doesn't compare to the idea of buffing the damage of our Focus Builders. Buffing the amount of focus we get back is great; I can get behind that idea, but having the damage buff on there also is just a bit strange.  Anyhow, let's take a look at the currently datamined effect.

Starting with just the straight damage percentage increase, we get an extra 20% from the next Arcane Shot every time Marked Shot deals damage.  There's no sign yet as to whether or not this will stack, which would give the 4-piece set bonus a bit of synergy with the 2-piece bonus (and Zevrim's, to some extent), so for now I'm going to assume it doesn't stack.

Goroth - Pure Single-Target

For the Goroth parse I was looking at before, we had 30 Marked Shots, which would have provided the buff for 30 of the 57 Arcane Shots.  Arcane Shots averaged about 315 thousand damage, 20% of which is 62,980.  If we add that damage to 30 of the Arcane Shots, that raises our damage by 1.89 million, which is a .56% increase from our total damage of 335.87 million.

In addition we get an extra 5 focus for each of those Arcane Shots.  That gives us 150 extra focus across the course of the fight.  That's enough extra focus for 3 whole Aimed Shots.  At 2.5 million damage each, and assuming no down-time so we'd be replacing 4 unbuffed Arcane Shots with the cast time of 3 Aimed Shots, so we'll subtract that damage, we're looking at potentially an extra 6.27 million damage, significantly more than we got from the 20% damage buff to Arcane Shot.

All together, that's a 2.43% overall increase to single target damage.

Mistress Sassz'ine - AoE and Single-target Mix with some Garbage AoE

Going back to the same parse from Mistress Sassz'ine, we have a mix of Arcane Shots and Multi-shots (or Arkaner Schuss and Mehrfachschuss, if you're into that sort of thing). Because of the increased AoE value of Marked Shot, we also had a lot more Marked Shots to proc the 4-pc buff, with 72 casts.  

A Bit of a Tangent About Min-Max'ing the 4-pc

First, just for fun, I wanted to compare the value of using Arcane Shot instead of Multi-shot, in multi-target situations when Marking Targets is not proc'ed (that is to say, when the only benefit you get is from your direct damage and your focus, not from the benefit of Marked Shot).  This is just in case the higher focus gain at low targets (2-3) might give you enough extra Aimed shots to make up for the lost damage from casting Arcane Shot instead of Multi-shot.

In the actual parse, the average damage was:

CastsHitsAvg tar/castdmg/castdmg/hit
Multi Shot1194083.43694,400.21202,132.35
Arcane Shot30301.00335,666.67335,670.17

With 2 targets, we're only getting 8 focus from Multi-shot which is five less than we would have got from the Arcane Shot.  At 202k damage per target, we'll see more damage from the Multi-shot, buffed by 20% that comes up to 485.1k damage, compared to only 402.8k damage from Arcane Shot.  However, if that extra 5 focus helps us to cast more Aimed Shots.  If we take the extra focus divided by 50, and multiply that result by the average damage of an Aimed Shot (based on the number of targets), we should be able to compare the focus gain from each.  In the case of the parse I'm looking at, that hunter averaged 2.67 million damage from Aimed Shot to the main target, and 814.7 thousand damage to each additional target (from Trick Shot).  The results are as follows for 2, 3 or 4 targets:

Arcane Shot focusArcane Shot DamageMulti-shot FocusMulti-Shot Damage% of AiS LostAS damage + AiS Lost - Multi Dmg
2 targets13402804.28485,117.65348,470.00266,156.55
3 targets13402804.212727,676.4785,988.00-238,884.27
4 targets13402804.216970,235.29-306,846.00
The last column, if that's a bit unclear, is the difference between the sum of the Arcane Shot damage and the percent of the Aimed Shot damage we were assigning based on the extra focus, and the Multi-shot damage.  In the case of 2 targets, we actually come out ahead with using Arcane Shot instead of Multi-shot. Once we get up to 3 or more targets, the difference in focus is too little, and the damage increase from Multi-shot over Arcane Shot is too great. 

However, as I stated above, this is only in the occasion that you do not have a Marking Targets proc, in which case, the damage from casting another Marked Shot greatly outweighs any of these other consideration.  

Ok Back to Mistress Sassz'ine - AoE and Single-target Mix

Because the majority of the time, you'll be basing whether or not you use Multi-shot or Arcane Shot on maximizing the damage from Marked Shot and Trick Shot, for the rest of this, I'm going to assume that we'll have little-to-no control over whether or not we're buffing Multi-shot or Arcane Shot. Because we cast significantly more Marked Shots during the multi-target part of the fight, we need to give different weight to the buff being used on Multi-shot vs Arcane Shot.  In the case of this particular parse, we had 20 Marked Shots that only hit 1 target, and 52 that were cast at 2 or more targets.  So we'll use that as our ratio of buffed Arcane Shots to buffed Multi-Shots.  

For Arcane Shots, we're looking at an extra 67,134 damage per cast; with 20 buffed Arcane Shots, that's an extra 1.34 million damage, along with an extra 100 focus.  

For Multi-shots, we're looking at an average of an excess 40,426.5 damage per target hit. Since we averaged 3.43 targets per cast, we can call that 138,880 damage per cast, which, with 52 buffs, works out to about 7.22 million extra damage across the fight, along with an extra 178 focus.  

If, like in the single target section, we assume that extra focus is not wasted sitting at the focus cap, and that it is applied to more Aimed Shots (I'm assuming Aimed Shots even during AoE time, as generally we've already cast the max number of Marked Shots during AoE fights, as they're limited by Marking Target procs more than they are by focus).  That would mean we're averaging getting to cast an extra 5.567 Aimed Shots, instead of 7.423 filler Arcane Shots,  which works out to an extra 12.37 million damage.  

Add that all up, and we're looking at 20.94 million damage across the fight, which comes up to an increase of... 2.1%.  

Fixing the 4 pc

When it comes down to it, we're talking about a bonus that buffs a miniscule percent of our damage, and provides at most a few extra Aimed Shots.  It's a nice enough idea to have Marked Shot buffing our focus builders, but it just doesn't matter enough.  

On the Sassz'ine parse, if you increased that buff to 50%.  That is, it gives us a 50% damage buff on the next Arcane Shot or Multi-Shot after casting a Marked Shot, that would only raise it up to about a 3.5% buff.  Similarly on the Single-target parse, that would only raise the overall buff to 3.27%. So we need to add to the Focus return, also.  

If we up the Focus return on Arcane Shot to +7, then that brings our single target overall buff up to a reasonable amount, 4.2%.  +8 focus would be 4.6%, which isn't unreasonable either.  Once we get up to +9 focus (remember, this is with the damage already buffed by 50%, also), then we start to top 5%. 

On the Sassz'ine parse, raising the Arcane Shot focus return to 8 without touching the Multi-shot focus return only brings our overall buff up to 3.8%.  With Multi-shot, it has the potential to scale very quickly.  At an additional 2 focus per Multi-shot hit, along with the 50% damage buff and a raising the Arcane Shot focus return to +8, we get up to a 4.6% overall buff from the 4 pc.  Which I think is a pretty good place for this fight. 

It's worth noting that there is a fairly decent skill cap on any benefit from the focus return.  If you're the type of player who, when they don't have any Marking Targets procs, just sits there and spams Multi-shot or Arcane Shot, you're not really going to benefit too much from extra focus return mechanics.  If, on the other hand, you pay close attention and mange your focus, always staying under the cap, you can get a fair bit of return off it this type of mechanic.  

My Proposal

So I feel like that puts us in a fairly decent place in general.  It wouldn't hurt if our 4 pc was tuned a bit higher, but at some point, the skill cap is going to make the increases benefit the most skilled players too much more than your average player, so I wouldn't want to push it too much, especially in the focus mechanics.  


4 Pc Bonus - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders - When Marked Shot deals damage, the damage of your next Arcane Shot or Multi-shot is increased by 50% and your next Arcane Shot will generate an additional 8 Focus (10 with Sidewinders) or your next Multi-shot will generate an additional 2 Focus.

TL;DR: Fixed That For You, Blizzard

Here are my Delirium-Approved Marksmanship Tier 21 set bonuses:

  • 2 Pc Bonus* - Marked Shot Sometimes Shoots Twice - Marked Shot has a 35% chance to fire at your current target an additional time.
  • 4 Pc Bonus* - Marked Shot Buffs Focus Builders - When Marked Shot deals damage, the damage of your next Arcane Shot or Multi-shot is increased by 50% and your next Arcane Shot will generate an additional 8 Focus (10 with Sidewinders) or your next Multi-shot will generate an additional 2 Focus.
*Note - anyone reading this who just googled "Survival Hunter Tier 21 set bonuses", these are my proposed fixes, not the actual bonuses. Maybe try searching on wowhead...

FTFY: Tier 21 Set Bonuses - Pt 2 - Survival

Tier 21 - Nagastalker

On Tuesday, we went over some possible fixes for Beast Mastery's 2 piece and 4 piece set bonuses, to bring them in line with a more typical damage increase from a set bonus.  We ended up in a decent place numerically, but with a set bonus that somewhat required the use of two talents, One with the Pack and Killer Cobra.

Today I'm going to delve into the Survival set bonuses, to see if I can make sense of what the devs were going for with the design concept, and how to fix them numerically.

Survival Set Bonuses:

  • 2P Set Bonus - Flanking Strikes Buff Raptor Strike Crit - Flanking Strike has a 10% chance to increase the critical strike chance of your next Raptor Strike by 100%.
  • 4P Set Bonus - Mongoose Bite Buffs Raptor Strike Damage - Each cast of Mongoose Bite increases the damage of your next Raptor Strike by 0%10%. Stacks up to 06 times.
To start off, these are both fairly odd set bonuses.  With BM, we saw both set bonuses focusing on the spec's signature ability, Kill Command.  For Survival, however, we have both set bonuses based around a fairly weak ability, that's considered filler, at best.  

One of the problems is, Raptor Strike is primarily used for the Way of the Mok'nathal talent.  This is, technically, for its tier, the highest potential damage output talent in essentially all situations.  However, using it takes an already fairly complicated rotation, and turns it into the most complicated rotation in the game.  It's worthwhile for the top SV hunters who are trying to squeeze every bit of DPS out of their rotation, but for your average SV hunter, Animal Instincts just makes the spec much more manageable, without sacrificing much DPS, especially in AoE situations.

Still, it's not unheard of for set bonuses to drastically change a spec's rotation and priorities, so I'll try to work with these bonuses, and see what we can come up with.  

The 2 Piece - Flanking Strikes Buff Raptor Strike Crit

For Tier 21 Survival, the 2 piece will be, I suspect, the more difficult of the two to make matter. At least part of the problem is, Crits won't really do much for a Raptor Strike until we get the 4 piece set bonus to buff Raptor Strike's damage.  After the 4 piece, we'll be able to build up to our 6 stacks of Raptor Strike buff, while casting Flanking Strikes to try to re-gain charges of Mongoose Bite, and hoping to get the auto-crit proc.  That's likely going to be the only way to make the current 2-piece matter.  

In the past, we've seen several occasions where the datamining had the 2 piece and 4 piece set bonuses reversed, so I strongly wonder which if that's what's happened here.  Otherwise, the 2 piece is nearly worthless until you have the 4 piece.  Still, before we give up on it completely, let's delve into the math.  For this, I'm going to be looking at the top Mythic Goroth SV parse.  

48 of the top 50 Mythic parses are using Way of the Mok'nathal, but fortunately there's a high ranking parse (4th at the time of my writing this) that used Animal Instincts, so I'll reference that parse on occasion also.  To be clear however, we're not looking at much difference from Raptor Strike damage in the two parses.  In both cases, they're very low percentages of the overall damage. On the parse with WotM, Raptor Strike was 4.6% of the overall damage, on the parse with AI, it was 1.96%.  In the AI parse, however, that hunter was sitting a little under 40% crit baseline, but averaged around 52% overall, with Raptor Strikes crit'ing at a rate of 38.9%; having this high of crit already will further devalue the 2 piece set bonus a bit, unfortunately.   The hunter playing WotM had a little over 24% crit baseline, and averaged around 36% overall, with Raptor Strike crit'ing at a rate of 28.2%, which will give that hunter a little bit more value out of the auto-crit from the 2 piece. 

Way of the Mok'nathal

For the WotM parse, that hunter did about 349.34 million damage over 286 seconds.  In that time, they cast Raptor Strike 39 times, to get an up-time of 99.18% on WotM (the actually let it fall off very briefly at one point, which is just about as good as can be expected considering the movement needs of the fight).

Aiming for the same 5% damage increase, this means we'd want to get 17.47 million extra damage from this buff.  For the parse I'm looking at, Raptor Strike hits averaged 314,503.3 damage, and crits averaged 659,732.6 damage (some of this is being obscured a bit by the tier 19 set bonuses, particularly the Mongoose Power buff, but we should be close enough to get the data we want). If we were only casting additional Raptor Strikes any time the buff came up, we'd need an excess 26.48 Raptor Strikes with 100% crit chance, without costing us any other abilities, in order to make up the entire 5% damage increase.  Obviously we're not going to have enough free GCDs to do that; let alone enough excess focus to prioritize those over other abilities (especially considering that we need to cast Flanking Strike to proc the bonus).

If, on the other hand, we used the procs on the Raptor Strikes we'd already be casting (in this case, there were 39 of them).  This is where any crit we already have will make the set bonus less valuable. If we were some able to increase the proc chance on each flanking strike to where we cast 100% of those Raptor Strikes with +100% crit chance, then we'd only raise the damage of all of our Raptor Strikes from 16.06 million to 25.73 million, for a total gain of about 9.67 million damage, which would be a 2.8% overall increase.

To get this gain, we would need, at the very least, an 83% proc chance on each Flanking Strike cast. If we increased that to a 100% proc chance, and in addition were able to squeeze in an extra 8 Raptor Strikes to take advantage of all of the procs, then we'd be looking at an extra 5.3 million damage from those 8 Raptor Strikes, which together is with the increased crit damage on the other raptor strikes would bring us to an extra 14.95 million damage; a much more reasonable 4.28% overall DPS buff (with near-perfect play, and zero downtime).

With Animal Instincts

The core problem with using this Talent with the tier 21 2-piece set bonus mechanic, is it wouldn't reward good play.  You'd never want to use Raptor Strike during Mongoose Fury, because it won't have the increased proc chance for Hunting Companion or the chance to reduce the CD on Mongoose Bite, both of which Flanking Strike has (not to mention, it will do less damage, even at 100% crit, than Flanking Strike does on average, and will do way less damage than a fully buffed Mongoose Bite).

So we're stuck still using Raptor Strike in between Mongoose Fury buffs, which would be ok, we use a lot of abilities only outside of Mongoose Fury buffs, except that most of our Flanking Strikes still fall inside Mongoose Fury, so we're now risking losing a lot of procs of the 2-piece set bonus.  Even if we don't lose out on procs, we can't cast extra Raptor Strikes between Mongoose Fury buffs, because again, even at 100% crit chance, it will do less damage than any of our other abilities, so there's nothing that can be replaced, and delaying restarting our next round of Mongoose Fury will further lower our overall DPS.  So the absolute best we can do is cast the same number of filler Raptor Strikes.

If we could somehow line those up with the appropriate amount of procs from Flanking Strike to where we got all of our Raptor Strikes to have the +100% crit chance, we'd still only see an extra 2.6 million damage across the fight, for about a 0.76% increase.

So essentially, there's no hope at all for the 2-piece if you only use Animal Instincts, even if the proc chance on Flanking Strike is 100%.

My Proposal

Really, we just need a completely different set bonus here. However, it's not completely unheard of to have a set bonus that makes one talent significantly better than another.  So if the devs are married to this concept, then they've just got to forget the percent chance to proc on Flanking Strike casts.  


2P Set Bonus - Casting Flanking Strike increased the critical strike chance of your next Raptor Strike by 100%.

The 4 Piece - Mongoose Bite Buffs Raptor Strike Damage

To work with this set bonus, I'm going to go ahead and assume, even if we don't get a reasonable 2-pc set bonus, that we'll at least get something that increases the crit chance of Raptor Strike occasionally, so that we can have each Raptor Strike that's buffed by the 4-pc also be an auto-crit.  

As it stands, the datamining shows this as a 10% damage buff, stacking up to six times. At a high enough damage increase per stack, we'd want to use Raptor Strike then any time it got to 6 stacks, regardless of where that fell in our Mongoose Fury/Bite cycle.  With a low amount like 10% per stack, you're likely not losing much if you miss out on a stack or two anyway, so there will be some times when you want to use it before casting any more Mongoose Bites, and sometimes when you'd be better off continuing to cast Mongoose Bites and waiting until you have no charges left before casting your buffed Raptor Strike.  

Because the 2-pc bonus really only benefits from the WotM build, I'm going to go back to just looking at the top WotM parse, and set aside the AI parse for a moment. 

The Benefit at 10% per Stack

With Way of the Mok'nathal, you can't get a full 6 Mongoose Bites per Raptor Strike.  If you just think through the rotation you'll see why, as you'll need to keep up one Raptor Strike at least every 10 seconds.  

In the parse I've been looking at, the hunter averaged 2.74 Mongoose Bites per Raptor Strike, with a maximum of 6 between Raptor Strike casts, and a minimum of zero.  Assuming you still cast the same number of both Mongoose Bites and Raptor Strikes, because there's no extra benefit to getting to the full 6 stacks, as long as you don't ever go over 6 stacks, without taking the 2-piece into account, there won't be any benefit to getting off one Raptor Strike with the full 6 stacks and then getting the next Raptor Strike with no stacks, or if you get 3 stacks every time.  

If, however, we don't have the 2 piece set bonus's increased crit chance on every Raptor Stike, then it will become very important how many stacks we have when we use Raptor Strike, and you'll need to have a full 6 stacks when that proc is up.   Further trouble here comes if you get a proc on a Flanking Strike you use while you have no stacks, but you still need to cast Raptor Strike to maintain your WotM buff.  

Regardless of the rotational implications, if we were to say we don't adjust our rotation (just for now, so we can get started looking at the actual values), we can just use our average Mongoose Bites per Raptor Strike to see the effect.  At 2.667 MB per RS, we see an average increase of 113,008.5 damage per Raptor Strike.  For an extra 4.4 million damage over the course of the fight, which works out to be a 1.3% overall increase to DPS.  If, as in our "best case scenario" from above, we can get auto-crits on all of those from the 2 piece, and cast an additional 8 Raptor Strikes,  we'd actually see less Mongoose Bites per Raptor Strike, so get less stacks on average, but would see a little bit more damage from those stacks, which would bring us up to a total gain of 5.9 million, for a 1.7% increase to DPS.  

Searching for a Reasonable Buff

So how much of an increase per stack would we need to make this buff reach our expected 5% overall DPS increase?  Before we take the 2-piece into account, we'd need to come up with (for the parse I'm looking at) 18.21 million damage spread across the buffs from 107 Mongoose Bites.  That's 163,243 damage per stack, which is about 40% of each Raptor Strike, which as you might recall (if I wrote it down anywhere above) were averaging 411,900 damage each.  

However, I'd have no problem with an over-powered set bonus for SV, I don't actually imagine we'd ever get one, as the Devs seem to think it will break the hearts of all the "never-SV" hunters out there. The problem with having even a 40% per stack increase in damage for Raptor Strike is at that rate, it would be worthwhile to let Way of the Mok'nathal drop so you could get full 6 stack auto-crits, which would give you significantly more than a 5% damage boost.  

If we were getting all crits, and raising it up in our priority so we were casting it a bit more, as I described above because of the 2 piece, then that same 40% per stack would look more like an increase of 28.24 million damage increase over the course of the fight, on average, or a 7.8% overall increase to DPS.  I don't think that would be completely unreasonable, because it would require good play, a little help from the RNG, and a fair amount of planning ahead / awareness of what's going on, so it seems like a worthwhile reward.  Still, it doesn't seem like something Blizzard would to give to a spec like Survival, the "step-child" of specs.  

My Proposal

I'm hesitant to say this, as it would be terrible if Blizzard didn't fix the 2 set and went with 4 set numbers like this, but, in a world where I got what I wanted with the 2 piece set bonus, I think a 25% increase to Raptor Strike per stack is a reasonable compromise.  At that point, we'd see about a 4.84% overall increase to DPS with near-optimal play.  Without the benefit from the 2 piece, it would only be about a 3.15% increase, which is a bit anemic, but not unheard of for a set bonus.  And even on the high end, there would be a little bit of room for improvement if you played with your priority list. 

4 Piece Proposal: 
4 Pc Set Bonus - Each cast of Mongoose Bite increases the damage of your next Raptor Strike by 25%. Stacks up to 6 times.

Other Notes: Both of these bonuses have a lot more variables in them than either of the BM sets did.  I tried to look at a lot of different options in my spreadsheet, even if I didn't show that all here. Though I'm not conscious of any error or intentional misrepresentation here, I imagine it's likely that I may have missed some aspects of SV play that will be affected, for the better or worse, by these proposals.  Nevertheless, I do genuinely think these are option presented here would be both fair, and reasonable, compared to other tier sets in the game.  

TL;DR: Fixed That For You, Blizzard

Here are my Delirium-Approved Survival Tier 21 set bonuses:

  • 2P Set Bonus - Casting Flanking Strike increased the critical strike chance of your next Raptor Strike by 100%.

  • 4 Pc Set Bonus* - Each cast of Mongoose Bite increases the damage of your next Raptor Strike by 25%. Stacks up to 6 times.

*Note - anyone reading this who just googled "Survival Hunter Tier 21 set bonuses", these are my proposed fixes, not the actual bonuses. Maybe try searching on wowhead...

FTFY: Tier 21 Set Bonuses - Pt 1 - Beast Mastery

Tier 21 - Nagastalker

Last week, when Blizzard released Argus onto the PTR, we got our first glimpse of what might, possible (ok, probably won't) be our tier bonuses in the next raid, Antorus.  Being as though we are very, very early in the development cycle, they were very incomplete, and listed zeros where all the numbers will go (if the mechanics even stay the same).  I wrote this big long article predicting what they would replace the zeros with, and then Tuesday afternoon, a new PTR build pops up with numbers replacing the zeros...  

Fortunately, however, the numbers are still fairly silly.  I'm guessing they're just going to plug in random numbers, and see how that affects the QA team. I, however, thought maybe we could do some mathing to skip ahead to the right answer; as it seems perhaps the developers at Blizzard are too busy working on new spell animations to do the math (no, I don't really think that's true, but come on, just go with it, for the sake of the narrative of this piece). Being the ever gracious logician I am, I figured I'd take a stab at them in this new series (which I just made up and decided will be a series) called: Fixed That For You, Blizzard

Beast Mastery Set Bonuses

I thought I'd start off with Beast Mastery, because BM players rarely get much love here on my site. Here are the Set Bonuses as they exist now on the PTR:

  • 2P Set Bonus - Kill Command damage increased by 10%.
  • 4P Set Bonus - When Wild Call resets the cooldown of Dire Beast, the cooldown of Kill Command is reduced by 1 second.

The 2 Piece; AKA, Let's see if I remember how to do middle-school Algebra

The 2 piece should be the simplest to figure out values for.  In this case, I'm going to assume that the expected value for each.set bonus is 4-5% increase in single target.

For this little analysis, I took the top Mythic Goroth BM Parse (or at least what was the top parse at the time of my writing this), and pretended I was making adjustments there.  

In this case, the Hunter did a total of 320.21 million damage in about 254 seconds.  Of that, 105.67 million damage came from Kill Command, which is to say 33% of the total damage. That was split between main pet, Hati and Jaws of Thunder (though all of them should be affected equally by a generic KC increased damage buff), across 65 casts of Kill Command. 

Seeing as though Kill Command is already the largest portion of a BM Hunter's damage, it's safe to assume that its usage is already being optimized, and having a damage buff to it won't really affect the number of KCs used in a fight.  

If we want to increase the total damage by 5%, we need to do an additional 16.01 million damage. Split across 65 Kill Commands, that's an additional .2463 million damage per Kill Command.  Kill Command was averaging 1.63 million damage per cast in this parse, so that extra .2463 million is 15.15%, which we can call an even 15% as generally we see some set bonuses that are a bit lower than a 5% overall buff, and some that are a bit higher, and people seem to like more rounded numbers like a multiple of 5.  

Another way to solve the problem would be to take that 16.01 million, and divide that by the total of the Kill Command damage, which as we said above was 105.67 million.  This also gives us .1515, or 15.15%.  

I feel fairly safe from this saying that we have a good answer there, and will fill in the 2 pc set bonus to match:

2P Set Bonus - Kill Command damage increased by 15%.

Other Notes:
The current top BM parse on Mythic Goroth that didn't take the Killer Cobra talent only used 46 Kill Commands, in a 5 minute fight.  That's one every 6.52 seconds, compared to the top overall parse (with Killer Cobra) that averaged using Kill Command once every 3.91 seconds. For the AotB BM Hunter, they would need a 30.5% buff to Kill Command to get a 5% overall buff to their damage from the 2 pc.  Basically, that's not going to happen, so get ready to play with Killer Cobra.

One reason I like this approach to a 2-pc set bonus, which should be fairly simple, is that it rewards you most for playing the spec well.  If you're not managing your focus, you'll cast fewer Kill Commands, and will thus benefit less from the bonus.  In the example I'm using here, we're looking at nearly perfect play, so a hunter playing on this level will see the full benefit, increasing their single target damage about 5%.  Every step down from the ideal rotation, however, will 'cause you to see less benefit from the 2-piece set bonus.  

Another thing I tend to like about this design is that it plays into BM's strengths, which are already Single Target.  It still can be useful in AoE fights, because most of the time you still have a priority-target, but you won't see nearly as much benefit.  However, this may improve BM's single target enough that we'll see occasions where ranged hunters will want to play BM for single-target fights, and MM for AoE.  That will, of course, depend greatly on the other tuning the devs have in store for the specs.  

The 4 Piece

This one gets a bit more complicated, and I'll have to double check that I remember all of the weird mechanics BM has right now.  The biggest trouble comes from the over-use of the Killer Cobra talent, which resets the cooldown of Kill Command during Bestial Wrath when you cast Cobra Shot. This means, essentially, the set bonus will be worthless during Bestial Wrath when taking the Killer Cobra Talent.  

The other problem here is in reducing the CD of Kill Command.  In this case, I'm going to assume that means your current CD, not the CD of your next cast.  That means, if you are using KC immediately any time it's available, you've got a good chance of reducing the CD when it's about to come off CD anyway.  

The Basic Mechanics:

For the numbers portion here, I'm going to look at the same parse as above.  We need that Hunter's haste and crit, and some other info, which I'll paste here:

Avg Crit30.3%
Base Haste14.95%
Avg Haste20.48%
Fight Length254 seconds
Auto Shots102
AShots Interval2.49 seconds
KC CD6.23 seconds
Avg KC CD3.91 seconds
KC Casts65
Dmg/KC Cast1.87 Million

To clarify, base Haste is from the stats on the hunter's gear, where as "Avg Haste" is what I calculated from the base Haste and the time spent in Bloodlust and any other buffs.  "KC CD" is the actual cooldown of Kill Command, and "Avg KC CD" is just the total number of Kill Command's cast divided by the length of the fight, which should account for any CD Reset mechanics, like Killer Cobra, which I mentioned above.  

Wild Call has a 20% chance to proc each time an Auto Shot crits.  With 30.32% Crit and the One With the Pack talent (which will become even more mandatory with this tier bonus), each Auto Shot will have a 15.16% chance to proc Wild Call. Given that this hunter averaged an autoshot every 2.49 seconds, that means Wild Call should proc, on average, once every 16.4 seconds.  Over a 254 second fight, that means this hunter would average around 15.5 procs.  

The Damage Portion:

Now we've got a pretty good idea of how we'll get the damage, let's see what kind of damage we need. To get an additional 5% of our new total damage (which was 320.21 million damage, for those who weren't following along doing the math), we'll need to do an additional 16.81 million damage.  

Since our new Kill Command (after the buff from the 2 pc set bonus) averages 1.87 million damage per cast, that means we'll need 9 additional casts.  

The Hard Part (for me at least):

Basically, we need a way for 15.5 procs of Wild Call to reduce the CD of Kill Command enough to give us 74 total Kill Command casts, up from our original 65 casts. 

And, as we discussed above, we'll further muddy the problem because we're just as likely to proc Wild Call at the end of a Kill Command CD as we are at the beginning of the CD (which I'm going to call the "Short CD Reduction Problem"), and during Bestial Wrath, most Kill Command CDs will only last one or two GCDs anyway, with just enough time to cast a Cobra Shot, or a Cobra Shot and a Dire Beast, between casts of Kill Command (which I'm going to call the "One With the Pack Problem").  

The One With The Pack problem should be the easiest to solve, so I want to start there.  I also suspect that it's going to solve the other problem for us, but we'll get to that later.  

Though anyone who's made it this far in a post like this will likely innately understand this, it's still worth noting that above when I said "Wild Call should proc about every 16.4 seconds", that isn't to say that it's at all on a 16.4 second timer.  That's only an expected value.  In reality you're just as likely to get 2 that are 2.5 seconds apart as you are to get 2 that are 33 seconds apart.  So we can't use any sort of knowledge of timers to plan out Bestial Wrath. 

Instead, let's just take the Bestial Wrath up-time, and assume we'll get an even distribution of Wild Call procs.  In the case of the parse I've been using for this, that hunter had a 53.04% Bestial Wrath up-time. Our best bet then is to assume that 53.04 of our Wild Call procs will fall within Bestial Wrath, on average.  That leaves us with only 7.28 Wild Call procs during not-Bestial Wrath, and 8.22 procs during Bestial Wrath. 

There is some value to getting procs during Bestial Wrath, so it's not all wasted.  Mostly this is because Cobra Shot costs focus, so the fewer Cobra Shots needed to reset the CD, the more focus you have for casting Kill Commands (if you have enough to cast anyway).  

In this particular parse, the hunter averaged 6.4 seconds between Kill Command casts while not in Bestial Wrath, and averaged 2.7 seconds between Kill Command casts during Bestial Wrath.  That means there is a bit of room to improve when you get a wild call proc during Bestial Wrath. 

There is fairly little value to getting these procs during Bestial Wrath when taking One With the Pack, because it resets so quickly anyhow. But, it won't be nothing, so let's work through it.

During Bestial Wrath, if we we're lucky enough to get the proc immediately after casting Kill Command, and we had enough focus to continue casting Kill Commands (and the CD reduction is more than 2.7 seconds, which we haven't actually decided yet), then instead of casting 6.07 Kill Commands in that window, we could cast 6.24. Of course, if it happened at the end of the Kill Command proc, then we wouldn't get any extra procs.  So we can call that an average of 6.16, or an extra .09 Kill Commands per Wild Call proc. 

If we're expecting to get 8.22 Wild Call procs during Bestial Wrath at a rate of .09 Kill Commands each, that will only take us to .74 extra Kill commands, only 8.24% of what we need (again, assuming that our CD reduction from the set bonus is greater than the interval of Kill Command casts during Bestial Wrath, which is to say, it resets the CD).

Outside of Bestial Wrath, we can calculate the value with the same method.  If we expect to get a Wild Call proc every 16.4 seconds, on average, in that same amount of time we will have cast 2.56 Kill Commands on average. The same rules for the "Short CD Reduction Problem" apply above, in that we're just as likely to get the proc at the very end of the CD (which provides no benefit) as we are at the very beginning of it (which would at best provide an extra 0.796 KCs per Wild Call proc). So then on average (again, if the set bonus removed the entire duration of KC's CD) , we're looking at an extra 0.398 Kill Commands per Wild Call proc outside of Bestial Wrath.

Because we're expecting (in the parse being used as an example here) 7.28 Wild Call procs outside of Bestial Wrath, we can expect that to get us about 2.9 extra Kill Commands, for a grand total of about 3 extra Kill Commands across the fight...  Far short of the 8.98 we need to get our 5% damage buff from the set bonus.  

1 Second CD reduction?

That's not the worst of it, though. If the bonus provides less than the entire CD reduction, then it will lose value significantly. For example, if it reduces the CD by only 1 second, as Tuesday's datamining suggests, then we'd be looking at only a 0.057 extra Kill Commands per Wild Call proc during Bestial Wrath, and 0.078 extra KCs per Wild Call proc outside of Bestial Wrath, for a grand total of 1.03 extra Kill Commands across the entire fight.

A Better Solution

The trouble that we're continuing to run into is what I above labeled the "Short CD Reduction Problem": you're as likely to get no value from the proc as full value.  One way to get around that issue altogether is instead of reducing or resetting the current CD, have the proc affect your next CD. Which brings us to my proposal:

4P Set Bonus - When Wild Call resets the cooldown of Dire Beast, the next Kill Command you cast will not incur a cooldown.

The results here would be slightly better.  Using the same process as above, only without having to average our CD reduction based on when the Wild Call proc occurs means we get almost an entire extra Kill Command per Wild Call Proc.  I say almost only because we still have a GCD to worry about.  Essentially, we'd average an extra .18 Kill Commands per Wild Call proc during Bestial Wrath (this number remains fairly low because the GCD is a large portion of your CD when you're casting KCs on average every 2.7 seconds), and an extra .8 Kill Commands per Wild Call proc when we're not in in Bestial Wrath, for a total of 7.24 extra Kill Commands in the Parse we're analyzing.  

That still falls short of our 5% goal, which was to hit 8.98 extra Kill Commands, but is much, much closer than using the CD reduction or reset method, but it gives us about a 4.23% damage increase, on average, which is well within the range of normal set bonuses.  

One With The Pack and Killer Cobra

Right now, with still using the 2 piece set bonus from tier 19, for single target the vast majority of top parses are using a crit heavy build, with Stomp!, One With the Pack, and Killer Cobra.  Without that tier 19 2-piece, you have the option of playing a that Stomp build, or using the Bestial Fury build which emphasizes mastery, and doesn't take Killer cobra or One With the Pack.  

It's hard at this point to predict whether or not that build will remain viable if you need to drop One With the Pack, given the tier 21 2-piece will benefit so much from the extra Kill Commands.  But if it is dropped, then the loss of extra Wild Call procs from not having One with the Pack should balance out with the extra Kill Commands you'll get all the time, as BW won't have that much, much higher rate of usage for Kill Command without Killer Cobra.  

How this works out is, assuming our friend from the parse i've been using was wearing the same gear, instead of getting a Wild Call proc every 16.4 seconds (on average), they would only get one every 40ish seconds.  However, each of those procs (assuming they go with the method I'm proposing) would get you an extra .8 Kill Commands.  Instead of half of them (those happening during Bestial Wrath with OWTP) only getting you an extra .18 Kill Commands.  

TL;DR: Fixed That For You, Blizzard

Here are my Delirium approved Beast Mastery Tier 21 set bonuses:

  • 2P Set Bonus* - Kill Command damage increased by 15%.
  • 4P Set Bonus* - When Wild Call resets the cooldown of Dire Beast, the next Kill Command you cast will not incur a cooldown.

*Note, anyone reading this who just googled "Beast Mastery Tier 21 set bonuses", these are my proposed fixes, not the actual bonuses.  Maybe try searching on wowhead... 

Spitting Cobra Oddities


Since I've already gotten a couple questions about it: this is all now reflected in both SimC and AMR simulations. Spitting Cobra has been, and remains the best talent choice for most raiding situations, save for mass AoE situations.  If they remove these bugs, which would nerf the ability, then that might change, but until then, enjoy your Cobra friend.  Glad we cleared that up, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Trying to Figure Out Spitting Cobra

I've been working on testing for all of the ability formula changes for 7.2.5 (which I never got around to doing on the PTR).  Swol over at AMR pointed out some strangeness he'd seen with Spitting Cobra, so I took a closer look at the results from my testing, and really, the mechanics of the talent are a bit of a shit show. On the plus side, so far, everything that isn't working as expected, is making the ability stronger, not weaker, so there's not much to complain about from the viewpoint of a player, just frustrations when trying to do accurate theorycrafting, which I thought I'd document here, because why not...

After trying to set up a test that might isolate the issues, I got these results:

Test A: Naked w/ no Weapon:


hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra1611416114161141.40000121616113.9861.00000087
Caltrops tick5178518051790.44995695045179.49550.99990433

Test B: Naked + 926 Talonclaw


hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra2702327023270231.6170627323395.629181.15504481
Caltrops tick8122812281220.56135587978121.6255581.00004610

Test C: Naked + 926 Talonclaw + Vers/Mastery Ring and Neck


hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra3071730719307181.72404089924944.419831.23145779
Caltrops tick8658865886580.44993362888659.277170.99985251
Spitting Cobra +Concordance418484184941848.51.72400562333983.589861.23143259

The only reason I included a Murder of Crows and Caltrops was to make sure I wasn't missing anything else that might be affecting everything, so they could sort of act as my control group.

As you can see, in Test A, where I don't have any versatility, and don't have Talonclaw on, everything acts as you'd expect it to.  Each hit of Cobra Spit does 1.4*AP*1.07 damage (the 1.07 is the 7% buff generic aura that SV has at the moment).  

In Test B, we start to see a problem.  In this test, our prediction was that Spitting Cobra would do 1.4*AP*1.07*1.05*1.1.  The "*1.05*1.1" part being from the two generic damage buffs from Talonclaw, increasing damage by 5% and 10%.  Along with the 8% physical damage buff for a Murder of Crows, the same adjustment accurately predicted the damage of both aMoC and Caltrops, so the problem must be somewhere else. I tried adjusting the AP by using a flask, and by adding some trinkets that had Agility but wouldn't affect anything else, and got the same result, that was off by about 15.5%.  After seeing the 15.5% repeated a couple times, it occurred to me that that increasing the damage by 15.5% is the same as increasing the damage by 5% and 10% (when they work together multiplicatively, as they do in our case). 

If I adjust my formula to benefit twice from those two Talonclaw buffs, then my results look like:

hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra3071730719307181.40005431227021.95171.00003879

In Test C, I added versatility to the mix, without affecting the AP or any other relevant stats (which is easy to do as SV since Mastery only affects one thing which isn't part of this experiment).  In this case we ran into very strange numbers.  I should say here that I didn't just guess that I should test for Versatility's affect, but it had been suggested to me that the damage was "double dipping" in versatility damage; so I was planning to isolate that as a variable from the start.  In this case, while the 23.15% looks like a strange, fairly meaningless number, since I had the hint to try doubling the versatility, I could do just that and, all of the sudden I was back to that 15.5% number again.

Adjusting my formulas only to adjust for double dipping in versatility, I got:

hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra3071730719307181.61699577926595.740421.15499699
If I then adjusted to account for double dipping in versatility and applying the talonclaw % damage increase buffs twice, it looks like:

hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra3071730719307181.39999634530718.08019.999997389
Because I didn't want to fall prey to creating tests that confirmed my theory rather than attempted to disprove it, I again tried changing the Attack Power value here, as a way to isolate if this was happening to all buffs, or just "% damage increase" buffs (a catagory I've decided to call things like versatility or the two buffs from Talonclaw).  So I included above the results from Spitting Cobra during the Concordance buff. If I use the same adjustments there, for double dipping in versatility and applying the talonclaw % damage increase buffs twice, I get the right answer once again:

hit minhit max(m+M)/2Measured CoefficientPredictionAccuracy
Spitting Cobra418484184941848.51.39996769941849.46556.999976928

I also tried a couple of variations on how much Versatility there were, just to double check that it was actually applied the Versatility damage buff squared, not some other similar figure that happened to be close to what my originally tested Versatility damage buff was, the results were all the same, though.  I couldn't, however, think of any additional "% damage increase" type buffs to test if this is only affecting these specific buffs, or is actually able to be generalized to all % damage buffs (if you have any ideas, let me know; perhaps there's an older raid boss I could test it on, like Nazgrim).


Because there were problems with the Versatility stat, I wanted to double check the other stats. Critical chance seemed to work as expected regardless of any variations.  Mastery doesn't have any affect on Spitting Cobras, so that's not really an issue.  Haste, however, is just really weird.  

I ended up testing a lot of different Haste levels, and never got down to figuring out a definitive rule for what was going on. A few examples:

0%2.436 seconds
15.85%1.669 seconds
26.85%1.602 seconds

The second two are close to the expected values, if you have a 2 second base interval.  That would be: 2/1.1585=1.7264 seconds, which is close to 1.669 seconds; and 2/1.2685=1.5767 seconds, which is fairly close to 1.602 seconds.  However, that 2 second interval which we see in the tooltip doesn't really explain how we can average 2.436 seconds with 0% Haste. 

I tested about a dozen times with 0% haste, just because it didn't really make much sense, and I though perhaps it was a problem with how the timestamps show int he logs, which I could overcome (on average) through gathering a large enough amount of data.  My effort was in vain, however, as my range for an individual cast of Spitting Cobra never dropped below 2.432 seconds or above 2.440 seconds.  

It was suggested to me that in the Hunter Discord channel that Spitting Cobras was double dipping in haste the same way it was in versatility.  It's possible that's the correct answer, and it's now using a baseline interval of every 2.5ish seconds (or perhaps 2.436, though Blizzard rarely uses that odd of numbers).  If so, our prediction would match the results fairly decently, but not great:

HasteIntervalh^2 Est 2.5 Baseh^2 Est 2.436 Base
0% haste2.436 seconds2.5000 seconds2.4360 seconds
15.85% haste1.669 seconds1.8627 seconds1.8150 seconds
26.85% haste1.602 seconds1.5537 seconds1.5139 seconds

Neither of those estimates are very close, or similarly accurate for both Haste points, unfortunately.  The range for the 15.85% haste point was 1.457:1.767, and the range on the 26.85% haste point was  1.339:1.759, which is probably wide enough that we can assume the logs just aren't going to be accurate enough to really give us a great answer. 

Swol, who does the Hunter module for AMR's simulator, thought he was seeing a pattern of double dipping on haste, but occasionally stuttering for up to .4 seconds.  This, oddly enough, fits the data fairly well, but I can't figure out a way to really test for it that would have a worthwhile null hypothesis. 

Things We Know:

  • How Versatility affects the damage output,
  • How Voice of the Wild Gods and Ferocity of the Unseen Path affect the damage output.

Things We Don't Know:

  • How Haste effects the Cobra Spit intervals,
  • How Haste effects the duration of Cobra Spits per cast,
  • Which other Percent Damage Increase buffs will double their benefit for Spitting Cobras.
A few oddities solved, but not all of them.  And I have to admit, I'm a bit disappointed that I failed at figuring out all of the intricacies of how the ability is actually working. Perhaps I'll go get a beer or something and then take another look at it with a fresh mind later tonight.