Tier 15 set bonuses
Probably the first thing to take a look at is the tier 15 set bonuses:
- 2-piece bonus: Your Steady Shot and Cobra Shot have a chance to summon a Thunderhawk to fight for you for the next 10 sec.
- 4-piece bonus: Your Arcane Shot, Multi-Shot, and Aimed Shot have a chance to trigger a Lightning Arrow at the target dealing 100% damage as Nature.
The Thunderhawk summoned by the 2-piece bonus casts 16k - 24k Lightning Bolts five times, which can crit. This damage scales with BM mastery and not with SV's mastery. The proc chance is about once a minute but is adjusted by spec: it's is lowest for BM and highest for SV, with the obvious goal that the total damage contribution will be about the same for all specs.
The 4-piece bonus can also crit, is affected by SV mastery, and doesn't proc MM's Wild Quiver. The proc rate is about 3 procs per minute. Interestingly, unlike the 2-piece bonus, the 4-piece seems to definitely favor SV, but possibly they'll do a similar adjustment to proc rates to balance it out.
Overall I'm not thrilled with the set bonus design, but I'm not at all upset either. It's not exciting, but at least it doesn't complicate our rotation or give us another button to press.
We are almost certainly going to want to use the new set, which means that four of the five possible set piece slots will be dedicated to Saurok Stalker's gear. As always, you usually don't want to break a previous set bonus until you can replace it with a new set bonus. Thus when you get your first piece of Saurok Stalker's gear, you don't want immediately break your tier 14 set bonus -- instead wait until you have at least two tier 15 pieces.Head slot
The head slot is one of the two slots you might consider for a non-set piece. The legs are better, but they have hit on them which could be too much. Certainly the Gaze of Gara'jal is the better choice with a 180 agility socket bonus instead of 180 crit.Neck
The Necklace of the Terra-Cotta Archer is looking like the best option, with its red socket.Shoulders
- Saurok Stalker's Spaulders
- Targetblinder Spaulders
- Abandoned SPaulders of Arrowflight
- Static-Shot Shoulderguards
For the shoulder slot we'll want to use the Saurok Stalker's for the set bonus.Chest
The clear winner for the chest slot is the Saurok Stalker's Tunic, which we want both for the set bonus and because it's the only chest piece with three sockets and the largest socket bonus at 180 agility.Back
On the cloak front, the Pinionfeather Greatcloak is a clear winner as the only cloak with a socket, which nets us more agility than the others.Wrist
- Powderburn Bracers
- Bracers of Mutagenic Fervor
- Beady-Eye Bracers
The Powderburn Bracers win out by a wee margin here, but really you can go either way. The Beady-Eye Bracers are a random enchant item, so until we get a look at what kind of enchants are possible we can't evaluate it well. Usually these types of items don't top the list, but it has happened.Hands
- Saurok Stalker's Gloves
- Gauntlets of the Longbow
- Synapse-String Handguards
- Grips of Cinderflesh
We'll want to use the Saurok Stalker's Gloves for our hand slot.Waist
All of these are very close in DPS contribution but the two sockets of Links of the Disintegrator push it slightly ahead, despite the crummy socket bonus.Legs
This is one of the two possible slots to not get a set piece, and is likely the best choice to skip the set piece if you're okay with the hit rating. The Conduit-Breaker Chain Leggings are the best leg piece and are substantially better than the tier 15 piece. Three red sockets and a 180 agility socket bonus make this a no-contest winner in the leg race.Feet
The Scalehide Spurs are your best bet in the foot department.Rings
The Gore-Soaked Gear is your best ring choice, and the other two are sufficiently close that it doesn't matter that much which you choose. Be aware, however that the Seal of the Shado-Pan Assault only has a normal version, and no heroic version.Ranged weapon
For the slot that has the largest contribution to our DPS the best possible ranged weapon in patch 5.2 is happily the gun! Voice of the Quilen squeaks ahead of the competition, though not by a huge margin since weapon speed and DPS remain the same for them all.Trinkets
Ah, trinkets are a whole other conversation entirely ... we don't know yet what the internal cooldowns and proc rates for the 5.2 trinkets will be (at least not as of this writing) so we'll hit them up next week in hopes that we have enough information to do the trinket math, which will also let us compare the new trinkets to upgraded versions of old ones.
Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter to learning the DPS value of skill, we've got you covered. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?