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The Marksmanship Hunter Guide
for Cataclysm 4.3

 

Important Notes:

  1. For more up to date guides, including into Mists of Pandaria and beyond, see the followng pages:
  2. This page has been updated for Cata 4.3, but will not be updated further. If you have links to this page please update them to the new pages.
  3. Eventually this page will be redirected to one of the newer pages, but until then will remain as is.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled guide:

Contents

Marksman Hunter Guide

Other Hunter Guides

Like this guide? Let your friends know about it:



The Marksman Hunter

You're the Ranged damage dealer and your pet is more of a sidekick than that of the Beastmastery Hunter. You're a master of kiting the opposition and your ranged damage falls well into the "highly desireable" group in PvE. And while you're doing the damage you'e looking good going it!

Also see our Hunter Leveling Guide and our Hunter Class Guide for more general Hunter info.

Buffs and the Nerfbat

The new expansion or big patch arrives and you're a god. Or a doormat. It's kinda hard to tell until everything is live. Then the nerfbat hits the godlike and the doormats are maybe lifted out from under foot and... maybe not. Next week?

The point is that we're not going to worry about the flavor of the month on this page. QQing will be left for the forums. We'll simply try to give you the best info for your Marksman, whether you're PvP, PvE, or whatever.

 

This Marksman Hunter guide is simply intended to provide a general overview of this Hunter spec.

For a more in-depth and highly detailed resource on everything Hunter related, from leveling to PvP to Raiding to more builds to earning gold, check out the
Killer Guides' Hunter guide
.

WoW Hunter Guide

Race Choice for the Marksman

Alliance

Draenei - A small heal and +1 to hit

  • A Small Heal over Time (HoT,) Gift of the Naaru, giving you a viable method of reducing downtime/surviving tough battles if need be.
  • Second, and more useful for raiding at higher levels, is the +1% hit racial. This ability was once an aura that effected the entire team/raid, but with 4.0 it's self-only.

Night Elves - Good at hiding

  • The Nelf Shadowmeld racial coming in handy for ambushing unsuspecting players in both world PvP, Battlegrounds, and Arena.  Additionally it can be used for hiding from higher levels/gank squads while leveling.
  • Night Elf hunters also gain the benefit of a 1% dodge chance increase, another bonus to stack with Aspect of the Monkey when forced into melee. More often times this’ll happen in PvP, as opposed to PvE.

Dwarves - Gun crits and shed damage

  • Dwarf hunters might be considered by many to be the best overall alliance race choice due to gun specialization, increasing the chance to critically strike with all guns by 1%.
  • Additionally the stone form ability is icing on the cake, highly useful against rogues (and various other classes) in PvP. With the 4.06 patch this ability now reduces damage by 10% for its duration.

Human - PvP "trinket" and rep gains

  • With Cataclysm Humans will finally get to be hunters (it's never made sense that they couldn't be Hunters.) They have nothing that's specifically useful for Hunters, though their escpae ability is quite nice and their diplomacy skill will help if you're looking to gain rep with any of the many factions of WoW.
  • Humans used to have an increased perception, or "stealth detection," but that's been removed.

Worgen - Cataclysm only - Crit chance and movement

  • They have a general 1% increased chance to crit, which is nice, and they
  • can "periodically move more quickly," which definitely has it's uses.
  • Their increased skinning skill and speed is a nice, since Skinning & Leatherworking is a nice combo for Hunters.

 

Horde Races

Blood Elves - If you want to play a "Bikini babe" this is your only choice.

  • Their big ability is Arcane Torrent, which can be used as an AoE silence/interruption when forced into melee range, with, for example, Paladins and Death Knights. Ideally Hunters want to avoid "melee range" like the plague.

Tauren - Cute, fuzzy, lovable, and healthy

  • a 5% bonus to health that is always valuable in the realm of massive PvP burst damage, where every point counts.
  • Warstomp, an AoE stun that may allow you to gain range from melee classes, but like the Blood Elves, you don't want to be in melee, so War Stomp isn't as useful as it if for a Warrior or other melee class.

Trolls - Might be the best overall Hunter race, and you have to love the tusks.

  • Berserking racial, a potent DPS increase for sustained DPS
  • Trolls get Bow Specialization, a 1% increase to critical chance with all bows
  • They also get +5% damage to beasts. Given the number of beasts in the game this makes a small, but nice, increase to killing efficiency whicle leveling and in some raiding situations.
  • A somewhat useful PvP ability is the reduced duration Trolls get from movement reducing effects.

Orcs - Tusks are inferior to those of the trolls, but better arms and some good racials.

  • Blood Fury, another great DPS increaser, as well as
  • 5% more pet damage via Command, which is more generally useful than the Troll damage increase.
  • 15% resistance to all stuns with Hardiness, useful in PvP situations due to the prevalence of stuns.

Undead - Yawn

  • "Will of the Forsaken" can wipe off sleeps, charms, etc., a nice abilitiy to have, especially in PvP.

Goblin (Cataclysm) - Here, let me sell that loot for ya and I'll even let you have 10%!

  • Rocket Jump has definite uses at times, especially as "gain range" ability in PvP.
  • An increase to Haste is generaly useful and an increase in
  • Alchemy skill, along with a greater effect from your own healing potions, is also nice.

 

 

Marksman Talents

As you know you are locked into one spec until you have spent 31 points in that spec. After that you can move into the other specs. You do not have to pick up the top tier talents before moving out, though generally you will want to.

When you pick Marksmanship as your spec you get the following abilities:

  • Aimed Shot - A powerful aimed shot that deals 200% ranged weapon damage plus additional damage based on your ranged attack power.
  • Artisan Quiver - Ranged auto-attack damage increased by 15%.
  • Mastery: Wild Quiver - Grants a chance for your ranged attacks to also instantly fire an additional ranged shot. Each point of Mastery increases the chance by an additional percentage.

 

Cataclysm Level 85 Marksman Hunter DPS Spec (7/31/3)

(View this Build )

This is intended to be a general DPS for the Marksman, but it also depends on you and how you play, the buffs and debuffs your group can put on the opposition, your exact gear, yada, yada, yada. Condider it a starting point and adjust as you see fit.

Marksmanship (31 Points)

Go for the Throat - Rank 2/2
Your ranged auto-shot critical hits cause your pet to generate 10 Focus.

Efficiency - Rank 3/3
Reduces the focus cost of your Arcane Shot by 3, and your Explosive Shot and Chimera Shot by 6.

Rapid Killing - Rank 1/2
After killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, your next Aimed Shot, Steady Shot or Cobra Shot causes 10% additional damage. Lasts 20 sec.

Sic 'Em! - Rank 2/2
When you critically hit with your Arcane Shot, Aimed Shot or Explosive Shot the focus cost of your Pet's next basic attack is reduced by 100% for 12 sec.

Improved Steady Shot - Rank 3/3
When you Steady Shot twice in a row, your ranged attack speed will be increased by 15% for 8 sec.

Careful Aim - Rank 2/2
Increases the critical strike chance of your Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Aimed Shot by 60% on targets who are above 80% health.

Silencing Shot - Rank 1/1
A shot that silences the target and interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec.

Piercing Shots - Rank 3/3
Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec.

Bombardment - Rank 2/2
When you critically hit with your Multi-Shot your next Multi-Shot's focus cost will be reduced by 50%.

Trueshot Aura - Rank 1/1
Increases the attack power of party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%.

Rapid Recuperation - Rank 2/2
You gain 12 focus every 3 sec while under the effect of Rapid Fire, and you gain 50 focus instantly when you gain Rapid Killing.

Master Marksman - Rank 3/3
You have a 60% chance when you Steady Shot to gain the Master Marksman effect, lasting 30 sec. After reaching 5 stacks, your next Aimed Shot's cast time and focus cost are reduced by 100% for 10 sec.

Readiness - Rank 1/1
When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on all Hunter abilities.

Posthaste - Rank 2/2
Reduces the cooldown of your Rapid Fire by 2 min, and your movement speed is increased by 30% for 4 sec after you use Disengage.

Marked for Death - Rank 2/2
Your Arcane Shot and Chimera Shot have a 100% chance to automatically apply the Marked for Death effect.

Marked for Death is the same as Hunter's Mark, but undispellable, does not restrict stealth or invisibility and lasts 15 sec.

Chimera Shot - Rank 1/1
An instant shot that causes ranged weapon damage plus RAP*0.732+ 1620 , refreshing the duration of your Serpent Sting and healing you for 5% of your total health.
Survival (3 Points)

Pathing - Rank 3/3
Increases ranged haste by 3%.

Beast Mastery (7 Points)

One with Nature - Rank 3/3
Increases the attack power bonus of your Aspect of the Hawk by 30%, and increases the amount of focus restored by your Aspect of the Fox by 3.

Bestial Discipline - Rank 2/3
Increases the Focus regeneration of your pets by 20%.

Frenzy - Rank 2/3
Your pet gains 4% attack speed after attacking with a Basic Attack, lasting for 10 sec and stacking up to 5 times.
Glyphs

Glyph of Steady Shot (Prime Glyph)
Increases the damage dealt by Steady Shot by 10%.

Glyph of Arcane Shot (Prime Glyph)
Your Arcane Shot deals 12% more damage.

Glyph of Chimera Shot (Prime Glyph)
Reduces the cooldown of Chimera Shot by 1 sec.

Glyph of Misdirection (Major Glyph)
When you use Misdirection on your pet, the cooldown on your Misdirection is reset.

Glyph of Raptor Strike (Major Glyph)
Reduces damage taken by 20% for 5 sec after using Raptor Strike.

Glyph of Trap Launcher (Major Glyph)
Reduces the focus cost of Trap Launcher by 10.

Glyph of Feign Death (Minor Glyph)
Reduces the cooldown of your Feign Death spell by 5 sec.

Glyph of Revive Pet (Minor Glyph)
Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Revive Pet by 100%.

Glyph of Mend Pet (Minor Glyph)
Your Mend Pet spell increases your pet's happiness slightly.

 

Leveling Marksmanship Build

See our Hunter Leveing Guide for leveling with the Marksman spec or check out the 1-85 leveling guide, below.

 

 

Cataclysm Level 85 Hunter Marksmanship PVP Build (0/31/10)

Marksmanship Spec (31 Points)
  1. Go for the Throat - Rank 2/2 - Your ranged auto-shot critical hits cause your pet to generate 10 Focus.
  2. Efficiency - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the focus cost of your Arcane Shot by 3, and your Explosive Shot and Chimera Shot by 6.

  3. Sic 'Em! - Rank 1/2 - When you critically hit with your Arcane Shot, Aimed Shot or Explosive Shot the focus cost of your Pet's next basic attack is reduced by 50% for 12 sec.
  4. Improved Steady Shot - Rank 3/3 - When you Steady Shot twice in a row, your ranged attack speed will be increased by 15% for 8 sec. -
  5. Careful Aim - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of your Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Aimed Shot by 60% on targets who are above 80% health.

  6. Silencing Shot - Rank 1/1 - A shot that silences the target and interrupts spellcasting for 3 sec.
  7. Concussive Barrage - Rank 2/2 - Your successful Chimera Shot and Multi-Shot attacks have a 100% chance to daze the target for 4 sec.
  8. Piercing Shots - Rank 3/3 - Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec.

  9. Trueshot Aura - Rank 1/1 - Increases the attack power of party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%.
  10. Termination - Rank 2/2 - Your Steady Shot and Cobra Shot abilities grant an additional 6 Focus when dealt on targets at or below 25% health.

  11. Rapid Recuperation - Rank 2/2 - You gain 12 focus every 3 sec while under the effect of Rapid Fire, and you gain 50 focus instantly when you gain Rapid Killing.
  12. Master Marksman - Rank 3/3 - You have a 60% chance when you Steady Shot to gain the Master Marksman effect, lasting 30 sec. After reaching 5 stacks, your next Aimed Shot's cast time and focus cost are reduced by 100% for 10 sec.
  13. Readiness - Rank 1/1 - When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on all Hunter abilities.

  14. Posthaste - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the cooldown of your Rapid Fire by 2 min, and your movement speed is increased by 30% for 4 sec after you use Disengage.
  15. Marked for Death - Rank 2/2 - Your Arcane Shot and Chimera Shot have a 100% chance to automatically apply the Marked for Death effect.
  16. Marked for Death is the same as Hunter's Mark, but undispellable, does not restrict stealth or invisibility and lasts 15 sec.

  17. Chimera Shot - Rank 1/1 - An instant shot that causes ranged weapon damage plus, refreshing the duration of your Serpent Sting and healing you for 5% of your total health.
 
Survival (10 Points)
  1. Hunter vs. Wild - Rank 3/3 - Increases your total Stamina by 10%.
  2. Pathing - Rank 3/3 - Increases ranged haste by 3%.

  3. Survival Tactics - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the chance that your trap spells will be resisted by 4%, and reduces the cooldown of your Disengage ability by 4 sec.
  4. Entrapment - Rank 2/2 - When your Ice Trap or Snake Trap are triggered you entrap all afflicted targets, preventing them from moving for 4 sec.
Glyphs
  1. Glyph of Steady Shot (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage dealt by Steady Shot by 10%.
  2. Glyph of Arcane Shot (Prime Glyph) - Your Arcane Shot deals 12% more damage.
  3. Glyph of Chimera Shot (Prime Glyph) - Reduces the cooldown of Chimera Shot by 1 sec.

  4. Glyph of Master's Call (Major Glyph) - Increases the duration of your Master's Call by 4 sec.
  5. Glyph of Disengage (Major Glyph) - Decreases the cooldown of Disengage by 5 sec.
  6. Glyph of Raptor Strike (Major Glyph) - Reduces damage taken by 20% for 5 sec after using Raptor Strike.

  7. Glyph of Feign Death (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the cooldown of your Feign Death spell by 5 sec.
  8. Glyph of Scare Beast (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Scare Beast by 75%.
  9. Glyph of Mend Pet (Minor Glyph) - Your Mend Pet spell increases your pet's happiness slightly.

 

PvP Pet choice

  • Monkey - for the "bad manners" ability (which will be "fixed" in 4.06, but will still be useful.)
  • Spider - for the webs

 

 

Hunter Pets

Pets are devided into three classes (Ferocity, Tenacity and Cunning) and each class has a number of pet families. Each family has severa members, all with common abilities and special attacks. Click the links below for a list of available pet families, their food requirements, and their specials.

  • Ferocity is for DPS pets. Cats and dogs and raptors and wolves, and so on. They can tank a couple of mobs just fine, but their main job is damage. Generally, in raids, your pet will be Ferocity. Past level 60 or so they don't hold aggro as well as they do at earlier levels.

  • Tenacity is the build that your tanking pets (bears, rhinos, turtles, etc.) will have. These pets will keep the attentions of several mobs, and survive, while you burn them down. Some Hunters even tank dungeons with these pets and then make the boss into a pet, such as with King Dred. Generally, the Tenacity pets don't bring enough in damage or buffs to make them interesting for raids, but that depends on your exact group and duffs/debuffs that will be available.

    If you do use your Tenacity pet in a dungeon or raid, and you're not the tank, make sure you have all of its threat generating abilities turned off.

  • Cunning pets have certain special abilities that are useful in particular situations, such as the Monkey's Bad Manners ability for PvP. Some cunning pets may have specials that are particularly useful in certain raids or encounters.

  • For PvP - Interesting specials are the webs that Spiders cast, the Monkey's "Bad Manners," the Owl's "Disarm," and so on. Crowd control abilities have more PvP utility than straight up damage.

Pet notes:

Pets inherit 100% of the Hunter's hit, haste, and crit, and scale considerably from AP. All 3 pet types inherit the same AP scaling, so differences in DPS come from the pet's basic abilities and their talents.

  • Pets inherit nothing from your Strength
  • Pet consumables are no longer available.
  • If you're Draenei your pet will inherit your hit racial.

 

 

WoW Cataclysm: Marksmanship Hunter Video Guide 4.0.6

This is a video of a level 85 MM Hunter on the target dummies and is good for the 4.06 patch. Marksman rotations and a few other tips are covered here.

<><><><>

 

 

Skills and Stats and so on

Armor - Mail Specialization, at level 50, gives a 5% bonus to Agility. Since Ag is by far your best stat this means that you should be in full mail armor if at all possible.

Stats

  1. Ranged DPS - This is the #1 thing to look for on your weapon.
  2. Agility - the best of the stats. Adds to attack power and a bit of crit.
  3. Hit - you need 8% for all of your physical damage. Going over this amount has zero value. This is 961 rating points (841 for Draenei.)
  4. Attack Power - Roughly equal to the value of Hit, but AP doesn't appear on much stuff anymore. Just some trinkets, enchants, and here and there.
  5. Crit - a number of MM talents rely on crit and so does your pet's damage, since it inherits your crit values.
  6. Haste - Aimed Shot has been enrfed in 4.06 so Haste has lost some of it's value. However, it's a fickle stat and it's value depends on gear, latency, your timing, phase of the moon, and so on.
  7. Mastery - The extra shots are not as important as the extra damage from the crit. This stat shold be reforged to hit or crit.
  8. PvP - Stamina has far more importance in PvP than it does in PvE.
  9. PvP - Ditto for resilience.

By and large greater item level is an upgrade, but keep the secondary stats in mind.

More sockets are better. Keep in mind that a socket is worth 40 Agility and small socket bonuses should be ignored, if they're not red gem sockets.

 

Gems and enchants

Less expensive enchants are also included.

Gems - gems for agility regardless of socket unless the socket bonus is really juicy.

Lunch and other Consumables

Professions and Bonuses

All of the professions have some bonus that's useful for Marksman Hunters. If you have lots of gold then you can level one up just for those bonuses. Leatherworking and Skinning are a good combo and will get you into good PvE or PvP gear before you start raiding. It's also a good money making combo.

These are all self-only enchants:

  • Leatherworking provides bracer enchants of 130 Agility
  • Blacksmithing provides an extra gem socket for gloves and bracers.
  • Jewelcrafting lets you create and use three +67 Agil gems, for a total gain of 81 Ag.
  • Alchemy lets you create many useful potions, especially while leveling and in combination with herbalism. Mixology lets you get +80 Ag out of your Ag pots.
  • Enchanting allows you to add +40 Ag to each of your rings
  • Inscription provides a 130 Ag shoulder enchant
  • Engineering has lots of useful goodies, but the Synapse Springs glove widget adds an average (over time) of 80 Ag. It stacks with your other glove enchant. The tooltip says Int, but it actually provides your best stat.

  • Skinning gives 80 crit rating, yawn, or roughly the value of 27 Ag, less than one gem.
  • Mining - 80 stam has no value in PvE and less value than Ag in PvP.
  • Herbalism - A small heal and 480 Haste for 20 seconds every 2 min. This works out to about 80 haste rating over a long fight, which is a lot less than 80 Agility.
  • Tailoring: Swordguard Embroidery gives 1,000 AP for 15 seconds, averaging to about 220 AP or 73 agility equivalent. This replaces the 65 crit you'll usually have on your cloak, so the net gain is an average of about 50 Ag.

 

 

1-85 Hunter Leveling Guide

WoW's in game quest helper is a nifty gadget, showing you where to go and giving you some idea of what to do. What it doesn't show you is the most efficient path to take among all the bazillion quests and it misses a few in the "where to go and what to do" department.

Zygor's guides miss nothing and show you the best path to take, whether Horde or Alliance, at all times, and even displays an arrow showing the right way to go. With Zygor's Smart Injection System it doesn't matter if you stop your questing to gain a few levels in PvP or the dungeons. Come back to the quests and the SiS will figure out where you should be, based on your new level, and update the guide accordingly. Pretty slick.

You're not even locked into any particular build for best results. Zygor's guide has a talent advisor which will recommend talents for either Marksman, Beastmastery, or Survival, depending on what you like.

About the only way to get to 85 faster is to buy a character off of ebay, but that will get you banned and Zygor's won't.

Check it out, grab a copy, and blast to 85, or read our review, here.



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