Patch 4.2 Hunter changes

Patch 4.2 now just hit servers in the US and thusly we in the EU can expect to be downloading the patch tomorrow and hopefully raiding Firelands already by nighttime (most likely though things will go wrong, as usual – but we’re used to that by now!).

So this seems like a perfect time to re-cap some of the changes going in and what us Hunters need to know for the next patch.

Taken from the official Patch 4.2 notes by Blizzard:

Crowd Control

  • Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.

General Hunter Changes

  • Multi-shot damage has been reduced. It now deals 120% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 137%.
  • Careful Aim now grants additional critical strike chance against targets over 90% health, up from 80% health.
  • Black Arrow damage done has been increased by roughly 40%.
  • Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended.


  • The Aggressive pet stance has been removed and replaced with the Assist stance. This stance will cause the player’s pet to attack the player’s target. The pet will not change targets unless the master attacks a new target for a few seconds.
  • The Defensive pet stance will now only cause the player’s pet to attack enemies which attack the pet or the master.
  • Intervene (Pet Tenacity) has been redesigned. The pet runs at high speed toward a group member, reducing the damage done by the next melee or ranged attack made against them equal to 50% of the pet’s total health.
  • 10 new rare tamable beasts have been added, each of which provides a unique taming challenge. Will you be the first hunter to tame Deth’tilac, the rarest and most powerful of them all? Players will need to progress through the Hyjal Regrowth and Molten Front daily questing areas in order to unlock access to the full gamut of taming challenges.

As you can see there are some nice quality of life improvements here and then some straight-up nerfs. First off, trapping is gonna move from being a test of serious co-ordination in PvE to being super-easy and will in no way at all prepare you for PvP later on if you move into that. Also, handling pets is gonna get easier but at the cost of losing the ability to finding stealthed players near you in PvP.

Our AOE gets nerfed, for all three speccs. Marksman will feel the loss in dps the most and Survival, the least. Traps finally get bug-fixed but are still too cumbersome to use in PvP to compete with other classes CC’s.

Marksman also suffers a nerf to their (frankly, OP) Aimed Shot + Careful Aim combo, reducing the damage of the gain by half. This is counter-balanced for Survival by a buff to Black Arrow, BM gets no such luck. In fact BM, which could’ve used a bit of a boost, receives no changes whatsoever. For SV and BM it is doubtful if Careful Aim is a worthy talent choice in patch 4.2. eidotrope of OutDPS looks into this and gives us the scoop.

Unfortunately this probably leaves Marksman as the least desirable raiding spec. It is the most difficult to play and very reliant on being able to stand still to deal maximum damage. This was previously countered by superior dps, making it worth it. Now however we will most likely see SV delivering more dps, even though it is the easiest specc to play.

Other than that we get some fun and interesting new pet taming challenges with lots of new pets. You can check them all out here in this nice guide by HuntsmansLodge.

Other changes of note

MMO-Champion lists all changes. Here I list some I felt were interesting:

  • All races now have a /roar emote – Rejoice!
  • Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight and Throne of the Four Winds have all been nerfed in normal mode by 20-30%. Making it a pug-friendly experience for alts or noobs.
  • Vanessa VanCleef in Deadmines now has a sweet, sweet voice to accompany her dialog.
  • The Reins of the Dark Phoenix, purchased from the Guild Vendor, has had its art improved. It’s now less transparent and indisputably more awesome.
  • If a player wins a Need roll under the Need Before Greed system on a Bind on Equip item, the item will become Soulbound to that player. The item will remain unbound if won via a Greed roll.
  • The Keyring bag slot has been removed to make room in the user interface for new features.
  • The Interface Options screens have changed size to match the Video and Audio screens. This allows for a larger Compact Unit Frames Profiles panel.
  • The order in which characters are listed at the Character Selection screen can now be rearranged and saved.
  • The Macros window and Spellbook can now both be open at the same time to allow for more intuitive macro creation. In addition, the Macros window has a Save/Cancel button.

Well, I thought they were interesting. 🙂




About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
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