Hey everyone! I’ve been experimenting a lot this last week with different comps and have a lot of tips and ideas. Today I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned :).
Of course, I’m sure you all saw the bestial wrath change. Unfortunately, this is a pretty big nerf for pvp, but of course a buff for pve (I’ll let Euri discuss that). If you have been enjoying BM spec lately, just read on, but if you never want to spec BM or want to prepare for the nerf, skip down a couple paragraphs and I’ll talk about the comp I’ve been running as MM.
I started running with an enhancement shaman in 3s, and it was not the cakewalk I was hoping it would be. We probably had the most success with this comp when I was BM and we had a holy paladin healing. We tried it with a resto druid and it didn’t work nearly as well as I’d hoped. However, with a priest the comp got a bit stronger vs. the caster teams, and a bit weaker vs. the melee cleaves. Without further ado, let’s discuss the strats, strengths, and weaknesses of the Zoo Cleave.
Enh shaman bring a lot to the table besides bloodlust/heroism. Their wolves have a stun which is great for interrupting healers or locking targets into place, or both. They last so long and the stun goes on DR so fast that it can be worth it to switch them around to keep your enemy off balance. Of course, you need a shaman who can really micro-manage those pets well, which is somewhat rare. They can drop earthbind totem which will remove snares from every party member in range (this will not remove roots like frost nova, however). Earthbind totem in conjunction with frost trap will allow your healer to kite melee really well, but the healer has to be aware of your trap’s location and prepared to use it. Fire nova totem can be used to stun enemies, assuming they don’t kill it, and of course enh shamans have tremor totem and cleansing. It’s very important that everyone on the team stay in range of the shaman’s totems, and the shaman must be ready to re-drop his totems at a moment’s notice to dispel a fear or other cc like wyvern sting. One more comment on enhancement shamans: They are commonly believed to be the most anti-caster class in the game because they can wind shear every 6 seconds and drop grounding totems, as well as stun with wolves etc., but they are also very susceptible to stuns, and while stunned they can have a hard time keeping up with interrupts. Be patient with your shaman, because he has a very difficult job.
Who exactly should you be focusing in your matches with an enh shaman at your side? Well, mages do not generally have a hard time kiting melee, even enh shamans, so don’t fall into the trap of trying to zerg a mage. Warlocks however have much less mobility and attacking them is never a bad idea. Warriors and DKs aren’t bad targets, but against Pld/War/DK we generally focused the warrior until he shield walled, and then got back on him when shield wall was down. If you pressure a warrior and keep him in defensive stance, he loses a lot of damage, whereas DK dps can’t be slowed down quite as easily. That’s not to say you should ignore the DK, however. If he presents himself then go after him hard, just don’t let the warrior train your healer for too long. If you have a priest healer, Pld/DK/War will probably beat you every time. Your best bet is to zerg down the warrior as fast as you can, but don’t expect to be very successful. It’s just a difficult match up. If you have a paladin healer on your side, then beating this comp is much easier.
Rogues are always great targets because wolves can stun them and negate evasion to some extent. If you’re fighting Priest/Mage/Rogue or Priest/Ret/Rogue, I would definitely go after the rogue no matter what healer you have. Just realize that your pressure might be low until he runs out of evasions. Do your best to time aimed shot with stuns on the rogue so they don’t miss randomly.
I would always use a pet with roar of sacrifice, but I know some hunters prefer a core hound, and if you have the patience to level one then it’s not a bad idea. The debuff helps your team vs casters quite a lot. Personally I just grabbed a jormungar [ed: just one?] from Storm Peaks for the armor reduction debuff and settled for some rough games against cloth teams in return for easier games against melee cleaves.
If BM isn’t your thing
I would suggest teaming up with a warlock and a priest or druid healer. The comp is very fun (the warlock can be dest or aff, have him go with whatever he’s most comfortable speccing). Definitely spec MM and grab all the talents that in the past I’ve told you to ignore. I did something like this and haven’t looked back. Talents like piercing shots and wild quiver satisfy the PvE-er in me, and the slight added utility that conc barrage brings can be handy on the bigger maps like Blade’s Edge and Nagrand. The loss of health from not speccing survivalist hasn’t affected me that much. Hunter survivability really hinges on proper cooldown management and positioning, as well as finding ways to kill the other team before they kill you. Try and keep frost trap down as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to try and stick someone with a freezing arrow. We lost plenty of games to other hunters CCing my healer this way, and some games we just couldn’t put out any pressure until we got a really good CC chain going with scatter shot and freezing arrow. Generally we focused rogues and CCed mages/locks, but your warlock has to be really baller with his use of curse of tongues and fear. Don’t fall into the trap of spending too much time CCing a healer and leaving their dps to go free on you or your teammates. You don’t have nearly the same ability to lock down your target that a rogue or mage does (a warlock’s more common partners in arena) so you have to compensate by keeping the other’s teams dps incapacitated in whatever way you can.
That’ll do it for now, folks, as always leave me some comments if you have any further questions.