Trying to make Rylakstalkers work NF/Kyrian (deep dive discussion)

I’ve just crafted Rylakstalkers after theory crafting with it for a while now. I’ve been using SFE and it’s gotten me through HC CN and we’re now 2/10M and I’m sitting around 211-212 ilvl, everything I’ve heard is that Rylakstalkers is meant to scale better at some point in the expansion than SFE before any buffs/nerfs to legendaries are considered. I’m not going to talk too much about how annoying SFE is to actually use as that’s been mentioned plenty but more talk about a possible viable alternative to it.

I don’t want to have to reroll as MM and learn a new spec if possible but although my parses are usually good and my dps is consistent I’m just starting to be outscaled by MM hunters in my guild by a pretty big margin.

The top MM hunters are hitting 7.1-7.2k dps whilst BM is only 5.6-5.8k according to warcraftlogs. This margin in difference is also echoed in my own guild as I’m the only BM hunter currently but I feel pressured into learning MM the further we get into Mythic progression.

The reason I picked this fight to discuss is because Hungering Destroyer is a ST boss and in theory the ability to dps constantly throughout all mechanics(apart from Consume) should in theory highlight the strengths of BM compared to MM.

Sims with my SFE gear set reach around 5.1k whilst my Rlyakstalkers gear set reaches only just short of 4.9k.

At first glance it might look like the 2 sims are comparable when you consider the theoretical vs actual dps for someone of my level but I’m assuming I might not be reaching some sort of breakpoint to make better use of it.

This led me to consider whether changing covenants to Kyrian would be a possibility, the only mention I could find of there being any reason to consider Kyrian over Night Fae is a very brief mention on WoWhead:

The closest thing to a legendary interaction that Beast Mastery Hunters get is if you consider the extra crit damage from Rylakstalker’s Piercing Fangs as an interaction with the crit chance provided by Resonating Arrow. However, this is not enough to make it better than Soulforge Embers. Really there are no meaningful legendary interactions and your BiS will not change.

From other places I’ve been reading, the 2 covenants are comparable when Single Target dps is concerned but both SFE and Night Fae edge out when more targets are concerned. Whilst about half the bosses in CN are almost completely ST, the others are more AoE heavy depending on what difficulty you do them on. Which leads me to ask whether or not Kyrian+Rylakstalkers could somehow ever be able to beat NF and SFE in their current state.

I’ve currently spent a lot of anima into the Night Fae covenant sanctum and wouldn’t really want to switch without some more opinions being considered. I’ve not met another hunter that wasn’t Night Fae and the logs seem to suggest something similar but I was hoping someone would be able to comment on whether it was worth making the switch now, considering mythic progression, to either Rylakstalkers over SFE for ST fights or Kyrian or both and what Kyrian performance was like for AoE compared to Night Fae.

Looking forward to any replies on this as I can’t find anyone really talking about any of this in detail.

(I would’ve liked to post links to logs/sims but I’m unable to :frowning: )

This is so important and people like to completely look over it, but the fact is that the number difference between MM and BM is MASSIVELY inflated due to the fact that 99.9% of good players/people who min/max/people who care deeply about damage are playing MM. This leaves much more casual players playing BM, people who care slightly less about overall performance, people who are less likely to be pushing for every tiny bit of damage. This is not a flame to BM players, it’s just simply a fact. And this means that the gap between MM and BM is FAR smaller than any WCL statistic will ever suggest. If suddenly every MM player went BM, the average damage at every percentile as BM would increase significantly.

As for kyrian/nf, nothing really changes. nf burning embers > kyrian burning embers > nf rylak > kyrian rylak. Even if burning embers is played badly, it’s still better than rylak.

As for hungering specifically, there is not a single mechanic that either BM or MM lose damage for. You can comfortably DPS during consume as both specs.

For hunter guides, icyveins will always be significantly better than wowhead. If you want to stay night fae as you’ve suggested, there is no point even considering kyrian. Then it’s just down to whether you want to sacrifice some damage for rylaks or not.

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That’s simply not true and I’m not sure why you’d try to pretend the undertuned spec you also play isn’t terrible right now. If BM was middle of the pack, maybe we could talk. But it’s not, it’s dead last, worst spec in the game for raw damage.

There’s no way you can actually believe no-one is playing BM at a high enough level to give us accurate stats. BM isn’t particularly complicated either, so it’s much more likely to have accurate high end parses.
Assuming it was the case; your statement also extends to other bottom tier classes which could probably edge up a few percent if the top 0.1% played them meaning we’d still likely be dead last.

The BEST BM hunter in Nathria doesn’t even have a full Mythic clear yet. We’re at the point now where top raiders don’t have to bring “the best” to clear, and you would for sure see some amount of them bringing BM to test/for fun if it was as close as you claim.

We can also compare the BM and MM hunters in Mythic using Shriek for ST, Huntsman for cleave and Sun king for pure AoE.
BM lags almost 1000 single-target DPS on Shriek. Over 1.6K in cleave. Around 1.3k in extended AoE.

Further to your claim of only “casual players playing BM”, which I don’t fully agree with, there’s a simple test; we don’t use the top end MM players either. For example, you can compare the 95th percentile BMs at 5k in Nathria Mythic to the 80th percentile of MM at 5.2k. So being in the top 5% for BM play, wouldn’t even put you near the top 20% of MM play. That’s pretty dire and doesn’t even account for the reasons MM is taken over us (over double our damage in burst scenarios, massively better AoE).

I’m not even gonna start on how embarrassingly bad we are in M+, I actually feel like I’m trolling by bringing BM to 12s.


There are are probably a tiny handful of super min/max players playing BM right now. Because if they was, they would be playing MM instead. This happens for other low specs too, yes, assass and destro are nowhere near as bad as they look either.

Well yes, because any guild that’s currently cleared nathria would have expected players to play at least somewhat optimally. And that means playing MM. Even if the difference was only 2-3%, they would probably still all be MM. We aren’t in absolutely ‘bring anything’ territory just yet, theres still hall of fame for guilds to fight for.

I’ve never argued BM is in a good spot. It’s not great. But it’s not absolutely trash tier like people think it is.

  1. I absolutely do believe it, because it has been true every single tier. X spec gets buffed by 5% -> suddenly it does 15% better on WCL statistics, because every top player switches to it.
  2. You say BM isn’t complicated, which is true, but BM wasn’t in nyalotha either yet some people did WAY more/less damage than others in equal gear. No matter how easy a spec is there will always be a huge difference between people playing optimally and those who are not.

I’m not saying that BM is great. I’m just saying people fail to understand how the statistics work, and that the difference is nowhere near as big as what people think it is. If anything, BM hunters complaining about how bad they are just add to the negative community perception, hurting themselves even further. Focus on things you can fix (Playing better yourself) and not on things you have no control over (buffs/nerfs).

I disagree with the “better players” argument. It just doesn’t add up both logically and factually.

  1. logically the people that dedicate themselves to BM and refuse to switch while still being good enough to raid mythic should be able to achieve close to the same DPS as a world-class multi-spec raider. This is especially true because BM is one of the more simple specs in the game.
  2. factually even if you look at the 50th percentile the gap is still ~ 10% or 420 DPS average. While this difference isn’t as huge as the top parses, it is still very significant.

Also, people shouldn’t be looking at top parses, ever. Top parses tend to be cheesed by extending / timing the fights or abusing mechanics. Supposedly some people even pay gold to guilds for top parse “boosts”.

It’s actually quite unfortunate that Warcraftlogs doesn’t offer a median DPS statistic. Luckily, there are Normalized Scores available, which compare relative DPS of all specs. Unluckily, this makes BM look even worse than average DPS.

Being rock bottom simply cannot be written off to all good players going MM.


If you don’t want to believe this that’s fine. But this has been the case for every single non-meta spec, in every single tier, forever. A few random examples, current rank 2 shriekwing mythic log was ranked 1472 overall in nyalotha when everybody played BM. Rank 3 shriekwing was 3078, with a 61st percentile best on Nzoth over 9 attempts.

You can say that BM is a simple spec, but no matter how simple the spec is, there will always be a huge difference between it being played well, and it not. Nyalotha BM was also easy to play, yet 80th and 99th percentile on shad mythic had a damage swing of almost 20%. Some of this is RNG, but you’d be surprised how big the difference would be in peoples damage even in a one button spec spamming nothing but frostbolt. This works the opposite way too, MM in nyalotha was nowhere close to as bad as what statistics show.

This is only true deeper into tiers. Do you really think people are doing this on progression? Haven’t noticed a single log doing ANY of this yet, and it most likely won’t happen for a couple of months or so in which case you just have to use some nuance and ignore those logs.

As i’ve said tons of times - BM is clearly not great. But the difference between BM and MM is massively inflated. If you play BM well you should be more than fine for mythic raiding by the time the vast majority of the playerbase get there.

I try to do my best with BM and i think im not “casual”.
If i have to switch MM, ill switch Fire Mage :stuck_out_tongue:

I am more a m+ player i think, and i will not give up my favourite class.

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