(Please note: This is part of a series of guides intended to put all hunter information in one localized spot. Please do not clutter my threads with useless garbage. If you find an error private message me and I’ll look into it. Do NOT post here with “omg u noob, X is wrong, it’s really Y!” I’ll just ask a moderator to clean it out without looking at it once.)
- Table of Contents:
- Spec Overview
- Deciding What is Right For You.
- Agility vs. Armor Penetration
- Specs and Builds
- Recommended Glyphs
- Movement Management
- Fresh 80 Gear
- Pets and Pet Talents
- Hunter Resources
Since I missed my bus today, and can’t drive to school because of a DUI, I’ll be doing something I’ve always wanted to do, but have always been too lazy to complete: THE hunter guide. Hunters are a very fun, and very intricate class in both PvE, and PvP. This will be a highly theorycrafting topic, designed to educate, and to provide a complete understanding of every little detail you need to know to play the hunter class effectively.
If you’re just looking for straight up specs, or glyphs, or stats, whatever, and are not interested in the inner workings of the class, you can skip most of the walls of text, and go straight to them. Idgaf.
B. Spec Overview
Marksman: Pure damage spec. Everything in this tree is designed to give you more, and more of those numbers we love, referred to as DPS. As of this patch (3.3.5), MM is your top spec in PvE, though it lacks all of the raid viability, and buffs that BM, and SV can provide. But then again, that is what Warlocks, and Boomkins are for.
Extremely ******ed amounts of beginning burst (I’ve clocked some of my ICC 26 bursts to about 70k DPS for about four seconds).
Good PvP Viability
Shares stat maps with SV for easy switch overs.
No raid viability aside from damage.
At higher gear levels, and BiS gear, you lack an absurd amount of hit rating.
Horrible mana efficiency, normally relying on a replenishment talent.
Extremely movement sensitive.
Survival: Raid viability spec. Hunters using this normally look to maximize their usefulness in a raid, supplying replenishment, crit, hit, and agility buffs, while having damage that is slightly behind, or rivals MM(1-5% behind in raw dps depending on the hunters). Survival is a spec for a more advanced, and experienced hunter, as the sheer amount of buttons to be pushed is more than MM, and BM combined.
Excellent mana efficiency(Anywhere from 60-80% mana conservation).
Extreme amounts of CC, and instant shot burst make it, in the hands of an advanced user, the most deadly, and feared spec in BGs.
Burst comparable to MM.
Behind MM in terms of damage.
Amount of abilities can make it an ineffective, and less viable road to take when used by an unskilled hunter.
Less useful in arenas.
Out of the three specs, this one is probably my favorite. While it is nearly 20% behind MM, and SV in terms of DPS, it is, in my opinion the best spec to use in PvP, even though people who’ve never played BM before want to be pr0, and say “lol bm sucks bro be kewl lik3 m3.”
Great PvP Spec, and viability.
The more fun of the three specs. Easy going, and enjoyable.
Good beginner spec, best leveling spec.
Semi-Good raid viability.
20% behind MM in endgame dps.
Bugged on molten(This is a matter of opinion as I play at a constant 2k rating, and am still highly effective. Also I believe the nerf present more of a challenge to me.)
Dependent on Bestial Wrath for its DPS, and raid viability.
C. What is Right For You
Generally speaking, “right” is relative. This means that whatever you are aiming to do, it is the choice that will maximize your effectiveness towards that goal. Obviously as a hunter your main goal is, and should be, to maximize your raid damage. The thing is, that what is best for this goal changes several times during your gearing process. Generally if you have lower quality gear, and low ArP, Survival will yield higher damage if done right. As you get better, and better gear, Marksman becomes more, and more appealing. Generally, you should be able to yield decent amount of damage as MM in FoS/PoS gear if gemmed, and enchanted correctly.
D. Agility vs. Armor Penetration:
Is Armor Pen Better Than Agility? For the majority of hunters the answer is no. Agility is better than armor pen (for MM and SV). You should not use armor pen gems, and you should not use armor pen food – you should stack agility. You will do less damage stacking armor pen than if you use agility/attack power in those slots. Obviously BM hunters prefer attack power over agility or armor pen.However, at a certain high gear levels armor pen does actually surpass agility and you can do more dps by stacking armor pen. The exact number varies depending on your specific gear (’cause there’s more to it than just the ArP) but figure in general somewhere around 800 passive ArP rating from gear (not procs) is needed before armor pen becomes better than agility.
But wait, there’s more:
Because armor pen only benefits our physical shots and not our magical shots, the armor pen versus agility rule only works if you are MM – who have a lot more physical damage. Furthermore, since most of our physical damage is in the form of autoshot and steady shot, we only get the full advantage on fight in which we can stand still a lot. The armor pen advantage works best for hunter who are very skilled at managing their movement (and managing movement is a key skill for all hunters). And you will want a special talent build to take advantage of that (with Imp Steady Shot and no imp arcane) and remove arcane shot from your rotation except in special circumstances like running shots when nothing else is available.
Taken from http://www.warcrafthuntersunion.com/…en-vs-agility/
While this is an outdated post, I find that it holds true even on 3.3.5. When hunters ask me to look them over and advise them on their DPS, they generally are stacking ArP incorrectly, which again stems from an incorrect idea of how ArP works. And even though, they have nigh-on BiS Gear, and are ArP capped, they pull only about 13-15k DPS in ICC, when I tell them to gem agility for awhile, I get scoffed, and laughed at until they come back to me a week later, fully Agility-stacked, and pulling 18-19k. So I’d like to make this clear: Agility is generally more viable for the hunters that only read guides that tell them what stats to stack, but never seek a full understanding of why.
Please refer to http://www.warcrafthuntersunion.com/…s-at-level-80/ to read about the true Armor Penetration.
Basically, Armor Penetration increases your physical damage done, (ie. Piercing Shots, Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, Aimed Shot) As you get more ArP, your damage distribution will switch around a bit, as Chimera does slightly less of the total damage percentile, and as, mainly Piercing Shots begins bringing more weight with it, your dependence on movement increases.
As an agility stacker, all your shots increase proportionally. The extra damage from your instant shots makes up for the lost damage of your Steady, and Auto Shots while you move.
Hit: 32.79 hit rating = 1% hit Molten Hit Cap: 9% (295.11)*
Crit: Theoretical cit cap: 104% Highest Achievable crit cap: 68% or so. 45.91 rating = 1% Crit**
Haste: Haste cap: 523 (1.5 secs) 32.79 Rating = 1% Haste***
ArP: ArP cap: 1400 (100%) 14 ArP Rating = *up to* 1% ArP****
*-Molten is bugged. You need 9% hit as a hunter to guarantee a hit.
**-104% is where we actually stop all benefits from crit. It is unachievable, therefore theoretical.
***-Haste is not very Important. It’s nice to get your steady shot down to 1.5secs casting time, but ultimately not needed.
****-Up to means every 14ArP rating, your attacks can penetration up to X amount of armor.
Your stat priorities:
Agility/ArP(See Agility vs. Armor Penetration)
Crit (This switches with intellect if you have less than 30% ranged crit)
Haste (Don’t gem or enchant for it. You generally will get a decent amount from gear alone.)
Spellpower (Believe it or not, we actually do benefit from spellpower. But it’s not actually viable. Just thought I’d throw that in there .)
Abilities of an MM hunter are pretty straightforward.
Serpent Sting – Poison DoT
Chimera Shot – Main damaging shot. Modified by Serpent Sting. Refreshes current sting.
Aimed Shot – Second most damaging shot. Cuts healing by 50%, Physical damage.
Arcane Shot – Least damaging shot. Drop after 400 ArP.
Steady Shot: Main spamming shot. Use as filler. Procs Improved Steady Shot.
Rapid Fire, Readiness combo: Rapid Fire/Readiness Combos are the center of MM DPS. Main openers.
G. Specs and Builds:
1. Fresh 80 Starter Build: http://wotlk.openwow.com/?talent#cxbZ0eVsRhzGIoguqox00b
I left three Points for you to customize for whatever you want. Everything else is pretty standard.
2. Ten-Man Build: This build can be more useful at higher gear levels, only to be used at or above 400 ArP:http://wotlk.openwow.com/?talent#cxbZzeVoRhzGIkguAox00b
I left two points to either go into 2/3 Focused Aim, if you’re low on hit, or 3/3 Imp. Barrage for extra crit. You can also take the point out of Imp. Barrage, and go 3/3 FA.
3. EndGame ICC10/25 Build: This build is less mana efficient, as I assume with your higher gear level, that you have a decent enough mana pool to keep your mana up through the encounter. If you find yourself going oom consistently even with a replenishment talent up, take two points from Imp. Barrage into Rapid Recuperation: http://wotlk.openwow.com/?talent#cxbZceVoRhzGIsxuAox00b
H. Recommended Glyphs
The top glyphs are consistently Kill Shot, Serpent Sting, and Steady Shot. However, depending on your connection, you may want to replace Steady Shot with a Chimera, or Aimed Glyphs so you can ensure that you always are able to cast them on time.
Pretty Straight Forward: Rapid Fire > Serpent Sting > Chimera Shot > Aimed Shot > Arcane Shot(if below 400 ArP.) > Readiness > Refresh Rapid Fire (Don’t cut it off.) > Chimera Shot > Aimed Shot > Arcane > Steady Shotx4 > Repeat.
J. Movement Management
The rotation isn’t very hard, but that’s not the hard part, unlike many classes. Our challenge is in maintaining a high amount of movement while sacrificing as little DPS as possible. This can be done by getting an auto shot timer (see addons.), and by stopping every now and again to fire off steady shot or two. Be sure to keep Arcane Shot on your action bar in case you need an instant shot while moving. It really sounds a whole world easier than it actually is.
Little Trouble – http://www.wowinterface.com/download…uble.html#info Ignore the outdated warnings. This is the version I use. It works fine.
SimpleUnitFrames – These are the player frames I use. WoW vets may have noticed I have all kinds of things in the frame, percentages, and the like. It’s lightweight, minimalist, and functional. A+ Hunter addon.
Heatsink – I really only use this so that OmniCC can display my item’s internal CDs. It’s a pretty nifty feature I discovered when I first came here. http://www.wowinterface.com/download…0310&aid=46890
Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text – Excellent Addon for raiding. If you are savy with this addon already, create a new trigger called Exploit Weakness. This is the T10 2piece set bonus, and it will tell you know when it procs so you can refresh serpent sting.
Recount – Necessary if you want to track your progress.
TidyPlates – Helpful in add fights like LDW and Ony.
OmniCC – Shows the cooldown on the action bars. You can see it in my screenshot below.
Snowfall Key Express – Triggers your spells when you click the key, not when you release it. Useful with high latency.
NPCScan/NPCScan Overlay – Generally only for pet collectors. I like it because it shows me my tracking radius.
Bartender/Dominoes – An action bar addon really is essential for a hunter of any spec. Too many things to click, and not enough room. We operate best with a minimalistic UI.
My UI and Bartender set up:
http://forum.molten-wow.com/showthread.php?t=51521 contains every addon I mentioned, except for heatsink, and Little Trouble.
One of the more heated discussions on hunters are the bugs. Thankfully, most of this is PvP stuff. The only real bugs that affect the MM PvE hunter are the pet scaling, wild hunt, auto shot, and MD Bugs.
Pet Scaling: Pet scaling is the term for the transfer of stats from hunter to pet. Even though this has been bugged since Molten Day One, it’s not been fixed. The common sense of this issue is not for me to debate, but regardless it hurts us. Should pet scaling be fixed, hunters should expect about a 5-10% increase on their DPS.
Wild Hunt: Wild Hunt is the top tier pet talent of the ferocity pet tree. It should increase our pet’s attack power and stamina scaling by 15% and 20%, (1/2) and 30% and 40% (2/2) it gives us somewhere around 10% with 1/2.
Auto Shot: At times, our autoshots don’t stop firing once we switch targets, and though you still receive the damage, certain recount like addons don’t count the auto shots because they aren’t hitting the boss, and since auto shots make up generally 30-50% of your DPS depending on gear, this is a big hit. See ‘Macros’ for a fix.
MD: Bugs out, not giving you the MD buff, and doesn’t initiate the CD, rendering you unable to use it until you relog. Some have reported this as allowing you to generate no aggro whatsoever, when it happens with me, I simply have to start feign deathing to manage the aggro.
The nonnegotiable BiS Hunter Gear is as follows:
Sanctified Ahn’kahar Blood Hunter’s Headpiece
Sindragosa’s Cruel Claw/Rimetooth Pendant
Sanctified Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter’s Spaulders
Vireesa’s Dexterity(Alliance)/Sylvanas’ Cunning(Horde)/Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape(Non-Donor)
Sanctified Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter’s Tunic
Scourge Hunter’s Vambraces
Sanctified Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter’s Handguards
Nerub’ar Stalker’s Cord
Leggings of Northern Lights
Treads of the Wasteland/Returning Footfalls/Rock-Steady Treads (From best to worst.)
Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance
Frostbrood Sapphire Ring
Sharpened Twilight Scale
Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General
Fal’inrush, Defender of Quel’thalas
(Thanks to Chitka, from Chitka’s world as I was too lazy to write it myself.)
If you can’t donate, then a suitable replacement for Sharpened Twilight Scale is Whispering Fanged Skull, and Tossk’s Maximized Wristguards make a suitable replacement until gunship 25 is ready. Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape is the only option for nondonor BiS.
Gems: Generally you go with one Nightmare Tear, and the rest are full ArP, or Agility gems, depending on whether you are stacking one or the other. If you happen to go above 1400 ArP and are 10 or more ArP over the cap, simply replace an ArP gem with an agility gem. It’s better to be 10 under the cap, than 10 over.
N. Macros and Professions
The best professions for an Endgame Geared MM Hunter are Jewelcrafting, and Engineering. I would recommend also using both the nitroboosts, and parachutes for raids. Both are extremely viable and can increase your DPS more than any other enchant, particularly in high movement fights, or fights with high AoE mitigation needed. Nitroboosts will mean the difference between a live hunter and a dead hunter. Obviously the parachute is a safety feature for when the boosts shoot you into the air, in addition to the +23 agi it gives ya. You can dispute what you wish, but please keep it off my thread.
Starter Gear(In Development!):
So one of the common questions in the hunter forum is about starting 80 gear. When you’re a fresh 80, really all you’re worried about is getting gear. You’re not, and should not be worried about micromanaging your gear. So here is an alternative list that is easily obtainable ingame to give you enough GS (I know, I hate GS. But you need it to start gearing up.) Some of this gear isn’t hunter gear at all. It’s just GS whoring to the maximum.
Head: Toothslice Helm
Neck: JC FTW
Shoulder: Spaulders of the Black Arrow
Back: Cloak of Holy Extermination
Chest: Polished Regimental Hauberk/Darkheart Chestguard
Wrist: Dragonfiend Bracers
Hands: Grips of Fierce Pronouncements
Waist: Ghostflicker Waistband
Legs: Mind-Expanding Leggings
Feet:Boots of Twinkling Stars/Boots of the Neverending Path
Rings: Jewelcrafting FTW.
Trinkets: Jewelcrafting Trinket/Frenzyheart Fury
Statstick(s): Broken Stalactite/Stalactite Chopper(dW)
Head: Horns of the Spurned Val’kir
Neck: Painfully Sharp Choker
Shoulders: Bewildering Shoulderpads
Back: Accursed Crawling Cape
Chest: T9 Chest
Wrists: Gondria’s Spectral Bracers
Hands: T9 Hands
Waist: Scaborous Zombie Leather Belt/Black Flayer’s Belt
Legs: Shaggy Wyrmleather Leggings
Feet: See Fresh 80 Gear
Rings: Purloined Wedding Ring + Ring of
Trinkets: Mark of Supremacy + Needle-Encrusted Scorpion
Melee: Heartshiver, Krick’s Beetle Poker
Ranged: Rimebane Rifle
To begin this section, I’ll start off by posting the fix to the aforementioned auto shot bug.
Hunters use about 7-8 macros during a normal Tank-n-Spank Fight. These macros generally begin like this:
(These are my personal macros I’ve made and customized. If you put these in a new guide, please give credit where credit is due.)
|#showtooltip Rapid Fire
/cast Rapid Fire
/cast !Kill Command
/cast Furious Howl
/cast Call of the Wild
/cast Serpent Sting
This macro is a general opener macro, that uses all of your damaging CDs, and utilizes every little ability that your pet has to increase its damage. Most hunters overlook them.
|#showtooltip Chimera Shot
/cast !auto shot
/cast Chimera Shot
/cast !Kill Command
/cast !silencing shot
|#showtooltip Aimed Shot
/cast Aimed Shot
/cast !Auto Shot
/cast !silencing Shot
/cast !Kill Command
|#showtooltip Arcane Shot
/cast !Kill Command
/cast !Silencing Shot
/cast Arcane Shot
Kill Shot(I added cancelaura lines in there for PvP ^^):
|#showtooltip Kill Shot
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/cast Kill Shot
/cast !Kill Command
/cast !Silencing Shot
|#showtooltip Steady Shot
/cast !auto shot
/cast Steady Shot
/cast !Kill Command
/cast !Silencing Shot
Tranqulization Shambling Horror Macro(Used in the Lich king fight.):
|#showtooltiip Tranquilizing Shot
/target Shambling Horror
/cast Tranquilizing Shot
Aspect Switch Macro w/ Trueshot Aura:
/castsequence Aspect of the Dragonhawk, Aspect of the Viper
/cast Trueshot Aura
|#showtooltip Master’s Call
/cast Master’s Call
/cast Roar of Sacrifice
Set Tracking Type Macro:
|/run for i=1,GetNumTrackingTypes() do local n, t, a, c = GetTrackingInfo(i); if string.find(n, UnitCreatureType(“target”)) then if t~=GetTrackingTexture(i) then SetTracking(i); end end end
(Thanks to smdsx)
The /cast !auto shot lines are what fix the auto shot bug. The “!” forcing a new cast even if it’s already being casted, therefore setting auto shot on your target at all times.
O. Pets and Pet Talents
The undisputed best pet for MM PvE is the wolf. But in all honesty, a wolf is only marginally better, and only for a reason: Furious Howl.
In fact, the differences are so small that I use a cat, just because I think it looks cooler. So my pet recommendations are the following: Wolf, Cat, or Raptor. Any of these are great candidates for PvE.
Talents: You can experiment whichever way you want, but they are really self explanatory. The ferocity build I use is here: