Using Barbed Shot
One of the many confusing elements of our rotation is general Barbed Shot usage. So what’s the optimal Barbed Shot usage? The answer depends on the situation. Here are a few rules to follow in regards to Frenzy usage:
Dance of Death
- You should ALWAYS end a pack with zero charges of BS. This is primarily to get the most out of BW’s cooldown reduction mechanic, so you’ll have it available as often as possible. Secondly, you have downtime in between packs. There is plenty of time to generate at least one stack of BS in between packs.
- If the pack will die in over 40 sec (Fortified weeks, higher keys, etc), perform your rotation like normal, refreshing Barbed Shot at the last possible second, while maintaining Dance of Death as described below.
- If the mob will die, under ~40 sec, refresh Barbed Shot as soon as possible while still being able to build stacks. Remember that damage tends to be front-loaded in M+ so on shorter packs, we’re more concerned with ramping up quicker in order to front-load our damage.
- In burst AoE situations when mobs live less than ~15 sec, precast BW and open with BS. Immediately cast another BS after applying Beast Cleave to ramp up your damage as soon as possible. Dump as many BS as possible while maintaining Beast Cleave. This also pumps out more Stomp damage.
Maintaining Dance of Death is something that most Hunter’s don’t think about. DoD slightly changes how you use BS and it’s good to be aware of it.
In single target, maintaining DoD is more important than maintaining Frenzy! Due to how much Crit we have (in part thanks to One with the Pack and Thrill of the Hunt), while important, Frenzy stacks are fairly easy to get back. Thus, we want to “fish” for DoD procs more so than maintaining Frenzy. This essentially means…do I have DoD up? If yes, we play normally. If no, we hit BS. Simple.
In AoE, Frenzy matters a bit more so we typically just play normally and aren’t super concerned with DoD procs. However, if you don’t have a DoD proc in AoE, you typically play a bit more liberally with your BS charges.