Bow Showdown: Relentless Strikes versus Ancient Amani

On my last Zul’Aman run, I picked up the Ancient Amani Longbow. My question I asked myself was how would it compare to the Crossbow of Relentless Peacocks. The Relentless Strikes has to be one of the ugliest pieces of loot in the game, but no one can downplay the stats of this incredible weapon. With my current level of Armor Penetration, could the Ancient Amani Longbow out-perform that badge bow, even with its lower DPS?

We know that against a boss mob with 7700 Armor, the 126 Armor Penetration from the Ancient Amani will provide us with a .69% DPS increase without factoring in any other Armor Penetration or Armor reducing effects.

So I decided to crank up Recount, visit Dr. Boom, and unload a a bunch of arrows over the course of 3 different talent specs. During the Survival specs I also did two tests per bow per spec, one with a macro and one hand-woven.

It is also important to note that I did not put a Stabilized Eternium Scope on the Ancient Amani until after I see these results to see how close it is, DPS-wise. Also, with the Summer Festival going on, I had the Bonfire buff for many of the fights, but since it was present during all side-by-side tests, the numbers should still be relatively accurate. The same can be said for the use of Multi-Shot. While I may have hit some Boom-Bots, artificially inflating DPS numbers, the numbers are still accurate since any tests that were compared to each other were also using Multi-Shot, keeping the DPS gain consistent.

The first thing is the paperdoll stats with comparing the two bows. The numbers in this screenshot are when I was specced Survival-Barrage with 798 Armor Penetration before the Ancient Amani Longbow.


Round 1: BM with no gear

The first test I actually did was comparing the two bows while I was specced Beast Mastery. I was cookie-cutter 41/20, and at no point activated any abilities or cooldowns. I used this macro for the test:
#showtooltip Steady Shot
/cast !Auto Shot
/castrandom [target=pettarget, exists] Kill Command
/cast Steady Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear();

For testing purposes, the first test involved no gear but the two different bows. The results looked like this:

The best part about this first test was I managed to shoot exactly the same number of shots and had the exact same number of Bonfire Blessing procs. And in the end of Round 1, the Badge Bow came out head by almost 20 DPS with no other gear.
Relentless Peacocks: 1
ZA Bow: 0

Round 2: BM with gear
We mimicked the exact test as above except we put on all of our PvE gear. We were obviously going to fire more shots now that we didn’t have the mana pool of a level 39 Mage (It went up to that of a 57 Mage!)

In Round 2, it looks as if the Badge Bow has increased it’s DPS lead, by 44 DPS or so. The number of shots fired were almost exactly the same again so we can feel fairly confident in the accuracy of the numbers.
Relentless Peacocks: 2
ZA Bow: 0

Round 3: Improved Hawk Survival, Macro
While I have been running Barrage Survival lately, an Improved Aspect of the Hawk build was definitely worth testing. The spec I ran with for the next two tests was this 7/20/34 spec.For this talent spec, we ran two separate tests, one of them using a macro, and one hand-weaving my shots. The macro I used was this:
#showtooltip Steady Shot
/castsequence reset=2.52 !Auto shot, Steady Shot
/castrandom Arcane Shot
/cast [target=pettarget,exists] Kill command
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

While I generally do not encourage cast sequence macros, especially if you have less than ideal latency, it worked for the testing purposes.

With an interesting turn of events, the Ancient Amani Longbow is not going to go down quietly to the Peacock, edging it out in DPS by about 16 DPS. You will also notice that for this test the Bonfire buff was gone.
Relentless Peacocks: 2
ZA Bow: 1

Round 4: Improved Hawk Survival, Hand-Weave
The next step was to use the same spec, except that I would attempt to hand-weave my shots rather than use a macro in order to create my rotation. This is obviously more prone to user error than using a macro. I opted to throw Multi-Shot into this hand-woven rotation, as it would more closely mimic my actions on a boss fight during raids.

The Ancient Amani bow is putting up a great fight, as it once again edges out the Badge Bow by almost 30 DPS. Something I want to draw notice to is how close the shot count is in both of these tests. The only difference is that the ZA bow had 2 more Auto Shots while I shot exactly the same amount of Steady Shots, Arcane Shots, Multi Shots, and Bonfire procs. With this conclusion, the 2 Bows are tied and we now move to my spec of choice, Survival Barrage.
Relentless Peacocks: 2
ZA Bow: 2

Round 5: Survival Barrage, Macro
This was the last series of tests that I ran, and am currently still in this spec, as it is the one I choose to use for our raids. For this test I used the following macro:
#showtooltip Steady Shot
/castsequence reset=2.52 !Auto shot, Steady Shot
/castrandom Arcane Shot, Multi-Shot
/cast [target=pettarget,exists] Kill command
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

The results for this test looked like this:

This is where the tests get interesting. In the two screenshots, the Badge Bow beats out the ZA bow by 4.5 DPS. That is a close race. But was intrigued me the most was the amount of damage each shot contributed. Both bows contributed almost exactly the same amount from their Steady Shots, 30% from the Badge Bow and 30.1% from the ZA Bow.

The Auto Shot damage from the ZA Bow was 28.5% of the total DPS, putting it at the #2 slot in terms of contributed DPS, while that honor went to Multi-Shot during the Badge Bow test. Both Bows fired the same amount of Multi-Shots and the damage from ZA Bow Multi-Shots equaled 28,492 and the Badge Bow had 28,298 contributed from Multi-Shot. Talk about close.

The Auto Shot from the ZA Bow did 29,502 damage while the Badge Bow’s Auto Shots totaled 28,234. So the Auto Shots and Multi-Shots did more damage with the ZA Bow, but the Badge Bow produced 5 more DPS.

In the end, even though it was a ridiculously small margin, the Badge Bow did indeed edge out the ZA Bow.
Relentless Peacocks: 3
ZA Bow: 2

Round 6: Survival Barrage, Hand-weave
The final test was using my Barrage Survival build, except choosing to hand-weave my shots rather than use a macro. Perhaps this wasn’t the best scenario to hinge my results on, as I mentioned before, happens to be prone to user error. Clipping shots, firing too soon, etc. But regardless, these all happened to be in the order I shot them in and that’s how I presented them.

Wow, the numbers from this test are crazy. So let’s lay out a side-by-side shot comparison for this test.
Auto Shot:

  • Badge Bow: 33
  • ZA Bow: 34

Arcane Shot:

  • Badge Bow: 8
  • ZA Bow: 8

Multi-Shot:

  • Badge Bow: 24
  • ZA Bow: 27

Steady Shot:

  • Badge Bow: 35
  • ZA Bow: 34

Both bows registered having 2 Bonfire procs, however it does appear that one of the Bonfire Blessings happen to crit for the ZA test.

Looking at just the DPS numbers, the ZA beat the Badge Bow in DPS by 33 DPS. The most intriguing thing was where the shots came out in terms of damage contributed. Multi-Shot was the #1 damage dealer for the Badge Bow, while Auto Shot actually contributed the most damage for the ZA Bow.

Steady Shot came in at #2 for the badge Bow, while Multi-Shot was #2 for the ZA bow. You can see where the other shots compared in terms of their contributed damage to the tests.

In the end, the ZA Bow does get to take credit for out-DPSing the Badge Bow, giving us a tied score.
Relentless Peacocks: 3
ZA Bow: 3


What an interesting predicament. No concrete conclusions came out of our tests, but does provide some interesting information none the less. For example, how much of the DPS contribution on the ZA Bow came from speed, and how much came from Armor Penetration? If anything, it does show that the bow is solid in almost all Survival situations.

When running BM tests, the Badge Bow was the solid winner. The ZA Bow took 3 out of the 4 tests when running Survival, but the Badge Bow edged it out in a single test giving us a tied score. When comparing the bows to each other in Cheeky’s Spreadsheet, it shows the Badge Bow having a 63 DPS increase over the ZA Bow. While this had not been reflected in our tests, it’s hard to ignore it completely. I figured the reason I did not personally see this 63 DPS difference is because Cheeky’s assumes a perfect world with minimal latency and great frame rates at all times. And while I had a great ping during the tests, some variations are bound to occur.

So what’s our verdict? Torn. I plan on testing the Ancient Amani Longbow in a raid setting this week and compare it to previous WWS reports and see how it measures up.

If you are interested in seeing the screenshots that I snapped during these tests in their unaltered form, you can view them here.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Leave ‘em here!

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.