This page is a guide to general Hunter PvP and is not particular to any spec. Fortunately Hunters are not so wildly different that the info will be great for one spec and useless for the other, such as it might be for Paladins.
In Mists of Pandaria 5.4.8 Marksmanship hold the edge for “best PvP spec,” esp. at higher levels, mostly due to the impact of Chimera Shot and fewer pet issues. MM just doesn’t lose as much as BM if the pet is CCed or killed or out of position.
In Warlords a level 100 talent will let you have a real damage boost when running without your pet, along with a lot of other changes. Whether MM remains tops, well… we’ll see.
||Hunter PvP Guides
General Hunter Stats:
Note that PvP Power and Resilience changed in patch 5.3. See here for details. In 5.4.8 your resilience is 80% if you have both PvP trinkets. In WoD resilience is dead.
- Weapon damage > Agility > 3% Hit and Expertise
- The next best stats depend on your spec. Crit is generally good, Haste is generally poor.
- See the individual spec pages (links are above) for more detail.
- Warlords: Hit and Expertise are dead. There will be new stats: Versatility and Multistrike. Readiness will reduce cooldowns and will be specific to each spec. Reforging will also die in WoD.
Gems for All Hunters:
Some say to gem only for Agility, especially when the socket bonus is not agility (PvP Power, for example.) You can use Ag hybrid gems (eg: Ag/Crit) to match socket bonuses.
|Meta||Agile Primal Diamond: 216 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 160 Resilience
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: 160 PvP power|
|Orange||Lucent Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 80 Resilience
Tenuous Vermilion Onyx: 160 Expertise, 80 Resilience
|Purple||Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst: 80 Ag, 80 PvP Power
|Green||Vivid Wild Jade: 80 Res, 80 PvP Power|
|Prismatic||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility|
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Hunter PvP Enchants:
Mists of Pandaria has eliminated all head enchants. Shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession.
Short on gold? Most of the enchants below have similar enchants available, of lesser value, for less cash. We’ve linked to a couple of these. Check with the rep vendor or the Auction House for others. If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about improving your situation.
For regular enchants the chest item is the only Resilience enchant, there are no PvP Power enchants. The one PvP enchant is for melee only.
|Ranged Weapon||Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom: Sometimes add 1,800 Ag for 10 seconds.
Living Steel Weapon Chain– Reduces duration of disarm effects, 200 Expertise.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel: Sometimes add 1,650 Ag when striking.
Living Steel Weapon Chain– Reduces duration of disarm effects, 200 Expertise.
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Claw Inscription 520 Ag, 100 Crit, requires Inscription 575
Greater Tiger Claw Inscription: 200 Agility, 100 Crit
|Cloak||Swordguard Embroidery: Sometimes pops 4k AP for 15 sec. Requires Tailoring.
Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: 180 Crit rating
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: 200 Resilience
|Bracers||Fur Lining, Agility: 500 Agility, requires Leatherworking.
Enchant Bracer – Greater Agility: 180 Agility
Socket Bracer: Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice Agility gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: 170 Haste
Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: 170 Mastery
Socket Gloves – Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice gem.
|Belt||Living Steel Belt Buckle: put a nice gem into this slot.|
|Leggings||Shadowleather Leg Armor: 285 Agility & 165 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Blurred Speed: 140 Agility and Slight run speed increase.
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Agility: 160 Agility, Requires Enchanting 550|
Gearing Your Hunter for WoW PvP
PvE or PvP gear? In instanced PvP (BGs, Arena) the PvP gear is better, and the prideful gear (conquest gear) is much better, than PvE gear. In World PvP the conquest gear is as good as any raid gear, but the raid gear might well be much higher level than the honor gear and will be superior.
PvP gear will always be superior for any PvP if the item levels are close.
We have a Hunter Gearing Guide up, check it out for all the gearing details, including which order you should grab your gear.
Before level 90: Prior to level 70 your heirlooms will be better than any of the low level PvP gear you’ll find.
- Level 19: There’s a whole group of people who do the level 19 PvP game, even turning XP off. Here’s a page that discusses level 19 Hunter twink gearing.
- Level 29 twink
Look into pets that offer useful controlling or other interesting abilities, for example:
- Spider have webs
- Monkeys have a stun
- Birds have a disarm
- and so on.
Beast Mastery has access to the exotic pets, with more more interesting abilities.
Skill Capped video of Hunter cleaning up in the Arenas. No “how to,” just a lot of domination.
General Tips for Any Hunter
Many of these tips were taken from the WoW forums.
Keybinding isn’t required to play well, but it’s a big help. I don’t expect you’ll find any high ranking PvPers who click their keys, it just faster and frees up your attention and mouse for other things. Don’t
- Start by just binding a few keys, it’ll be much easier than binding and trying to learn all of them. Bind more as you get comfortable with them.
- Use Alt-Z to remove your interface, requiring you to use the binds. You can always Alt Z to bring it back.
- In addition to keybinding the following video shows tips for kiting and a few other things. While the video covers general binding concepts he does often mention Hunters specifically.
Recommended Pet Spec:
BM – Ferocity pet no matter what kind of pet you have to maximize the damage and it gives you a free rez with Heart of the Phoenix in case your pet dies. Cunning is also an option however if you like roar of sacrifice and bullheaded.
Marks and Survival – Use a cunning pet no matter what kind you have, roar of sacrifice and bullheaded are just too good to pass up, and you’re not as reliant on pet damage as BM so you can afford to not have to pick ferocity.
Pets will lose their CC abilities in Warlords of Draenor.
- Spirit Beasts are a good option. If you glyph stampede and have them all use spirit mend it’s a very nice heal.
- Shale Spiders are also a good choice with their stun and buff.
- Devilsaurs are also good because with monstrous bite you don’t have to worry about keeping widow’s venom up.
- Silithids have a great ability as well if you prefer the extra control.
- Rhinos get an honorable mention for the knockback (even more fun when combined with explosive trap glyph and powershot).
- You can also opt to not glyph stampede and go for the maximum amount of debuff/damage potential in which case you should have 5 pets in your stable that bring a different kind of debuff so you can benefit the most from stampede.
Marks and Survival
- For arenas use a crane or a basilisk.
- For BG’s use a porcupine, spider, bat, monkey or goat.
- Other pets are good too like crocolisks, wind serpents, birds of prey etc, just use whatever pet you’re comfortable using.
This is the most important thing you should be concerned with at all times in PvP, no matter if you’re in a BG, an arena, or a duel, where your character is on the battlefield should always be on your mind. Correct positioning will save your life or help your team net a kill. Poor positioning can cost your life.
Pay attention to your entire team’s health levels and communicate with your team whenever possible about positioning changes you’ll be making. Know what to do, for instance is your healer CCed with you at 50% health? It might be a good idea in that situation to disengage behind a pillar instead of trying to do some extra damage.
If you’re reading this going “oh man, I never think about that I just mash Bestial Wrath and hope for a kill” that’s okay, you’ll probably still win (jk jk lol…well not really) but you should start to pay attention to positioning, even if you start to forget about other things just get yourself to do this naturally and everything else will fall into place.
Note: This also includes your pet’s positioning. Know when you send your pet in, when to call him back, when to blink strike etc. You obviously don’t want to pop Bestial Wrath if your pet is not in line of sight of your target. Always pay attention to where your pet is.
Silence and CC on the Healer
Your healer is your friend. Protect him.
Their healing is an important target. Take him down. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a bazillion dps because his healer is probably healing a bazillion and one hps. A well timed silencing shot can be WAY better for your team than an extra bit of damage.
Pay attention to what’s going on around you. If you see someone’s health bar shoot up, immediately scan the battlefield to find the healer and do something to make his life miserable.
Cooldowns and Abilities
- Kill Shot whenever it’s available. (KS will not be available to Survival in Warlords.)
- Cooldowns are there for a reason. Use them. If you can communicate with your team and coordinate usage then do it.
- Concussive shot for kiting, peeling, setting up for a trap, or allowing a teammate to catch up.
- Widow’s Venom to suppress enemy healing. Keep an eye open in case the enemy already has a healing debuff.
- Focus Management – Try to keep enough to fire a big shot, such as a cooldown that’s coming up, and not so much that you cap.
- Kill command, explosive shot, or chimera shot on cooldown.
- Filler shots, such as Glaive toss or Arcane shot, as as focus, procs, and cooldown gaps allow.
First off, if you’re not sure about macros then check out our how to macro post. As for specific macros, there’s a nice post on the Bliz Hunter forums with “how to” explanations, what the commands mean, and a lot of actual macros. See it here.
Lots more macros on ArenaJunkies.
Get Leveled Fast
Very high level players will crush lower levels like bugs. It happened with 85s (in Cataclysm) destroying lower levels and it’s worse with the level 90 cap in Mists. With level 100s, and the item squish, things might be a bit different, bu most of us will still want to get to the top level ASAP.
But leveling can be a bit of a drag, with thousands of quests and a few zillion mobs to kill. You can blow $60 and get an insta-level to 90, but then you’ll spend all that time learning your character and then leveling to 100 (when WoD is released) anyway. Besides missing out on the gold, rep, and low level PvP fun.
The cure is to snag yourself a guide that points out the most efficient path to level as quickly as possible, always showing you exactly where to go and what to do. One that’s smart enough to adjust if you grab a few leveling in PvP or the dungeons, that can adjust whether you’re brand new or decked head to toe in heirlooms, and that doesn’t care which level you are when you start the guide.