Updated for Warlords of Draenor
Warlords brings a few changes. Stats were lost (Hit, Expertise,) other gained. Resilience is dead. Abilities have disappeared or been otherwise restricted. You can see the changes on our Warlords Hunter Changes post.
Is Marksmanship still viable in PvP? Oh, hell yes.
This page is specific to Marksmanship Hunter PvP and covers a build, glyphs, gems, enchants, pet info, and “how to.” If you’re looking for PvE (raiding and such) then see our other Marksmanship Hunter page.
Some aspects of this guide may not apply to your Hunter until higher level. If are interested in getting your character to max level quickly, take a look at this leveling guide and get to 100 ASAP.
Other Hunter Guides
Marksmanship Hunter PvP Talents
Keep in mind that talents are easily changed with one Tome of the Clear Mind. Keep a stack and change talents as necessary. These picks are for general PvP use, but there will be times when you want to switch, depending on your team (if any) and what you’re doing.
Tier 1, Level 15:
More Disengages Vs more interesting Disengages.
- Posthaste is a maneuverability boost, leap back and have a few seconds of increased speed. This can greatly help your overall movement, kiting, escaping, or setting up for the next attack.
- Narrow Escape has definite use at times. Stop pursuit, lock up a healer in an inconvenient place (with an easily dispellable root,) keep melee off your own healers, and so on. Useful anywhere an area root is useful. (Note that the webs quickly break on damage, including your own if you attack that target.)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera allows us to use two of our survivability tools more often, which is pretty nice, but its usefulness depends on your game. In the event that you just don’t need more frequent use of these abilities, and they’re not breaking roots or anything, then go with one of the others.
Tier 2, level 30:
Depending on what you’re doing, your team, and your opponents you may be switching between Binding and Wyvern often.
- Binding Shot – this is the only one that has any area effect use and is great for enemies that move around alot. Great for those big BG fights or multiple opponents who will otherwise be moving around a lot. Can be very interesting when used with your traps, including the glyphed explosive trap (which does knockback.)
- Wyvern Sting – Put’s ’em to sleep for a bit, which is always useful. Consider it a stun that breaks on damage, including DOTs. Very useful for small fights, such as 2s. The extra range is also nice. Note that Wyvern Sting is easily cleansed away, so is less useful Vs things like Rets and Druids. That it has a cast time is not a plus. That said, it really does have uses as a nice ranged CC.
- Intimidation – your pet briefly stuns the target. 1 min CD. This can be a good choice if you or your teams really needs the additional stun, otherwise the others are better picks. Binding Shot also stuns and it’s an area effect.
Tier 3, level 45:
- Exhilaration is a small heal on a long cooldown, though it’s strong pet heal. The burst heal is more useful for one on one and smaller fights.
- Iron Hawk is a basic 10% damage reduction, which is always nice. Especially good in larger fights, especially where there’s a lot of constant small to medium damage. It’s also a passive, so it’s one less button to fuss with. It’s also nice if you’re facing the possibility of being quickly bursted down, and it might help you live long enough to get away or for your healer to get to you. Especially useful when you have a healer and don’t need Spirit Bond.
- Spirit Bond is a nice heal that will help keep you up and is probably the best for general use.
Tier 4, level 60:
- Steady Focus gives you 10 seconds of faster focus regen. when you use your Steady Shot twice in a row, or your Focusing Shot, if you take that talent,
- Dire Beast is not that great. The other two are better choices, but if you just have to have an addition beast charging in…
- Thrill of the Hunt has a chance to give you focus free Arcane Shots or reduced cost Multi-Shots. It will allow you to spam more Arcane Shots than the others so is the pick for this tier. With the extra focus you should be able to get off more Chimaera Shots, as well.
Tier 5, level 75:
- A Murder of Crows is the best choice for all Hunter specs. More damage and a much faster cooldown than Stampede. The distracting visuals don’t hurt, either.
- Blink Strike puts your pet where it belongs, right now, especially if it isn’t where it should be. Or even if it is. Also, your pet won’t have to (slowly) wander around obstacles and long paths trying to get to the target. It’s also nice if your target is in an otherwise inaccessible position. This gives you maximum pet uptime on your target. Better (maybe) for BM than MM Hunters.) Murder does more damage and is more generally useful, especially if you take Lone Wolf.
- Stampede is a poor choice as it only does fair damage, at best (damage is massively nerfed in BG and Arena,) and is on a long (5 min) cooldown.
Tier 6, level 90:
- Glaive Toss has decent damage, is instant, low cost, and has a short cooldown. The movement speed reduction (snare) is a nice bonus.
- Powershot does poor damage. Skip it.
- Barrage has the highest damage and the highest cost and is channeled. Get interrupted and you wil lose the cast and the focus cost. Can also break your and your teammate’s CCs.
Tier 7, level 100:
Still need to get to 100? Zygor’s guide will help you get there quickly and easily.
- Exotic Munitions. You can change ammo types, each change lasts an hour. Fire adds an area effect (and will break nearby CCs,) poison adds a DOT, and Freezing adds a slow. This could be a useful talent in certain situations (that make the best use of those abilities) and/or where a lot of movement is required such that you can stand still enough to make good use of Focusing Shot. Need a DOT? Got it. Another (constant) slow? Got it. Another explosion? Got it. Obviously the Poison will be best for single targets, Frozen for kiting/chasing, and the Fire effect is for groups.
- Focusing Shot – allows you to carefully line up your perfect shot for 100% wpn damage and generates 50 focus. It also replaces Steady Shot. While it has a long cast time it does far more damage than Steady Shot and also more than 3x the Focus (14 vs 50.) Works nicely when combined with the steady Focus & Barrage talents. Since you’ll be standing still for those three seconds it will also work well with your Mastery. Unfortunately, “standing still” is not generally a good idea in PvP/Arena.
- Lone Wolf – Don’t want to bother with a pet? Now you can drop it and get 30% more damage. Naturally you lose any abilities that your pet has (such as the healing debuff, Mortal Wounds.) You will also be unable to use any talents that require a pet, such as Spirit Bond.
Marksmanship PvP Glyphs
All of the interesting utility is with the major glyphs, minors are mostly cosmetic. A number of glyphs are useful for various situations. You should keep a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind and swap as necessary. If you can’t afford all your glyphs, gems, etc, then go here.
Major Glyphs – More or less in order of preference.
- Glyph of Explosive Trap – Because knockback is much more useful (and entertaining) than a bit of damage. Since it doesn’t do damage it doesn’t break other traps or CC.
- Glyph of Master’s Call – Extends the duration of a very useful ability, Master’s Call, by 4 seconds.
- Glyph of Disengage – Increases your disengage distance, which is pretty nice in all situations. Also allows you to jump from low to higher ground.
- Glyph of Animal Bond – All healing to you and your pet is increased. Nice if you have a decent healer.
- Glyph of Solace – Your Freezing Trap and Scatter Shot remove all DoTs from the target, which insures that those effects stick. If your partner is DOT happy (Warlocks, Ferals, etc.) then use another glyph.
- Glyph of Liberation adds a small heal when you disengage. Exclusive with Glyph of Disengage.
- Glyph of Chimaera Shot – adds a small heal to your CS.
- Glyph of Mending – Pets are weak and are constantly attacked. This helps to improve their chances.
- Glyph of Mirrored Blades – Definite useful when spells are coming your way.
- Maximize healing? Take the Animal Bond & Chimaera Shot glyphs.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah – makes this aspect much more useful.
- Glyph of Revive Pet – Makes reviving your pet easier when under pressure.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Pack – Helps the group move faster.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Beast – Become untrackable.
MM PvP Stats
In Warlords: Your Hit, Expertise, Resilience, PvP Power, and Reforging are all dead. You have two new stats, Versatility and Multistrike.
Your Stat Priority:
- Useful: Weapon DPS > Agility > Versatility > Crit
- Weak: Multistrike >= Mastery >= Haste
- Every point of Weapon DPS is more valuable that a point of any one stat.
Agility is your #1 stat as it adds to all the damage that you do. Since Agility is not available from WoD gems or enchants, it’s not really a concern.
Versatility is an add to your damage, any healing you do, and also to your damage reduction (at half value,) which will make your healers’ efforts a bit easier. That healing boost and the damage reduction are both pretty nice for PvP and that’s why it rates a bit more highly than Crit.
Crit: PvP is about burst and a high Crit rating helps greatly. Critical hits do 150% damage in PvP, as opposed to 200% in PvE. Even with that, Crits get kills. You have a base of 15%, another 5% from your Lethal Shots ability, and another 5% if you have your Wolf pet up. With your perk, your Aimed Shot crits give you 20 focus. Other than that, nothing procs off of Crit.
Mastery: is just plain more damage, but to use it you have to be able to stay still. This is more easily done in the BGs or world PvP than Arena.
Haste: is great for PvE, with its random Agility proc items and long fights. It’s less useful in PvP, esp since PvP is about burst and it’s better to hit harder than cast faster. Also, at this time, you can’t get enough Haste (outside of your Rapid Fire ability) to be interesting.
Multistrike gives you a chance for extra, weaker, strikes. You get one chance (two in PvE) at an additional strike at 30% effect (that 30% being based off a new roll and not that incredible crit you just got.)
Stacking stats is not as easy as it used to be. There is no PvP gemming and only a few items can be enchanted. Plus, none of those enchants are for Agility. You will have to pick carefully among the available gear options. Go for gear, if possible, that has Versatility & Crit.
Gems for Marksmanship PvP
In Warlords gemming in PvP is really easy. There are no PvP gem sockets so there is no PvP gemming. Easy, right?
So the info below is for lower level gear, that actually has sockets, or for when (if ever) WoD PvP gear gets those sockets. Otherwise, move on to Enchants, below.
Gemming Lower Level Gear
Suggested Offensive gemming for MM Hunters
- Meta socket: Agile Primal Diamond: this one’s easier to get, but the other two are better, esp. the Tyrannical Primal Diamond.
- Red sockets: Delicate Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Deadly Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst
Gemming in Warlords of Draenor
- Currently no sockets are actually available on PvP gear, but perhaps they will be as the expansion progresses. They have a (small) random chance to appear on Raid gear, so maybe someday… Also, there are no meta gems or sockets, there are no socket bonuses, and all sockets are “prismatic,” which means that they will take any available gem.
- The gems themselves are actually available. They are all prismatic, meaning they fit into any socket. None have Int, they all have secondary stats (Mastery, etc.)
- Older (Mists of Pandaria) gems work until item level 600, but the item squish cut them down a bit. What used to be 160 Ag is now 10, for example. The new Prismatic gems are 50 points of Crit or whatever.
- Older gems (Mists of Pandaria and lower) that used to code for Hit now do Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.
- If the gem sockets appear then gem for Versatility.
|Gems for Warlords of Draenor|
|Mists of Pandaria Gems, for gear under ilevel 600.|
|Meta||Agile Primal Diamond: 14 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Powerful Primal Diamond: +20 Stamina and Stun Duration Reduced by 10%
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 10 Agility|
|Yellow||Smooth Sun’s Radiance: 20 Crit|
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +20 Crit|
|Orange||Deadly Vermilion Onyx: 5 Agility, 10 Crit|
|Purple||Glinting Imperial Amethyst: 5 Ag, 10 Crit|
|Green||Jagged Wild Jade: +10 Critical Strike and +8 Stamina
Lightning Wild Jade: +10 Haste and +10 Crit
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 38 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Precise Tinker’s Gear: 38 Haste
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 38 Mastery
If you need more cash to be able to buy these things then check our Tycoon review.
Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under items level 600.
There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings, but not for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)
|Warlords Enchantments for MM|
Main and off hands
Mists: Enchant Cloak – Accuracy: 12 Crit rating
|Other enchants, for gear under item level 600.|
Gearing Up for PvP
How do you gear for Warlords Season 1 PvP? For a detailed guide see our Hunter gearing for PvP page. The brief version is posted here.
If you’re freshly 100
At 90, if you’re flush with cash you can buy the Crafted Malevolent Gladiator set off the Auction House or from a friendly leatherworker. This will quickly get you into decent starting gear and then you can begin the grind for better gear. You can also hit the Timeless isle for 496 PvE gear, which is about equal to the PvP gear, for PvP.
Get a Crafted Malevolent Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity, if you don’t already have something similar. Human Hunters, of course, don’t need one.
At 91 you can buy a crafted ilevel 630 gun and two pieces of 640 armor (head, chest, or legs, pick two.) You can also buy items to reroll stats on those pieces (Crit and Versatility would be nice.) Upgrading those items, by up to 25 points, can be done but is very expensive. (Scroll down a bit for a 91 twink video.)
If you have Archeology you can also get a 620 helm: Headdress of the First Shaman. So you now have, at 91:
- Two 640 armor bits
- Escape trinket
- Potions and flask
At 100 those crafted pieces will still be the best, but you might be able to find PvE items on the AH to replace other items. There is no “crafted PvP gear” as there has been in previous seasons.
PvE Vs PvP gear?
PvP, definitely. Here’s why:
PvP gear in WoD has two ratings, noe for PvE, the other for PvP. For example, the Honor gear is 620/675. The second number applies to any PvP that you do and is higher than any PvE gear that you’re likely to get.
PvE gear is uprated in instanced PvP to 650, but the PvP gear starts at 660 and so is clearly better.
There are actually three tiers of PvP gear in Warlords.
- Primal Aspirant is ilevel 600/660 and is found in strongboxes won from the BGs of Ashran PvP events. It can also be found as “Warforged,” which adds 6 item levels.
- Primal Combatant is the honor gear. It’s 620/675 and can also be Warforged.
- Primal Gladiator is the Conquest gear and is 660/690. It cannot be Warforged.
Every gear slot has two options for the honor gear and three, with sufficient faction rep, for the Conquest gear. Only one of those options come with a set bonus, the others do not. For example:
- Primal Gladiator’s Chain Armor has the set bonus, which you probably really want. This piece has Crit & Haste.
- Primal Gladiator’s Armor has no set bonus and comes with Crit and Mastery.
- Primal Gladiator’s Chestguard, has no set bonus, requires the faction rep, and has Versatility and Multistrike.
The set bonuses are:
Our suggestion is to go for the pieces with the set bonuses.
- Two piece: When your Freezing Trap activates, you gain 50 Focus.
- Four piece: Your Aimed Shot reduces the cooldown of Rapid Fire by 5 sec.
- There is a 10% Damage Reduction (Vs Players) bonus for the PvP trinket pair
Why grind the honor gear?
Because going into the RBGs or Arena with full honor gear will be much less painful than doing it with questing, or even dungeon, gear.
How to Upgrade, What Order do I get Stuff?
- Your PvP trinket (escape) is #1, if you don’t already have one. If you already do then save its upgrade for last.
- Honor Weapons do not have any special requirements to buy, beyond the cost. If you’re working on the honor gear then get these items first.
- Conquest weapons DO have a requirement of 7,250 points earned first. Grab those after getting your gloves and a big item (head, chest, or legs.) The points work out best that way.
- Get the “On Use” DPS trinket.
- Finish the 4 piece set (chest, legs, shoulders, gloves.)
- Head piece, for the Crit & Versatility.
- Get the neck, cloak, and rings, since these items can be enchanted.
- Boots and bracers.
- Save the upgraded escape trinket for last.
The actual items:
In many cases you will only be able to get one “best stat” on an item. The other piece will likely have two stats that you’re not interested in. You DO want the set bonuses, however, so you’ll be giving up a few stat points to get them. The pieces that go into the set bonus are: Head, shoulders, chest, legs, and gloves. Pick one of the larger pieces for the stats, the other for the set bonuses. In the list below the Head piece is the non-set piece, as it has both Crit & Versatility.
The linked pieces are for the Conquest gear, Versatility is not generally available on the honor gear. Rep pieces require “revered” with your faction rep. You get that rep by handing in Artifact fragments acquired in Ashran.
You can Conquest points by winning rated PvP matches (RBGs & Arena,) Ashran events, a smaller amount by winning unrated BGs, and a few via handing in bones to your Gladitor’s Sanctum in your Garrison.
- Set, Shoulders: Primal Gladiator’s Chain Spaulders – Haste & Multistrike
- Set, Chest: Primal Gladiator’s Chain Armor – Crit & Haste
- Set, Gloves: Primal Gladiator’s Chain Gauntlets – Crit & Mastery
- Set, Legs: Primal Gladiator’s Leggings – Haste & Mastery.
- Head: Primal Gladiator’s Coif – Crit & Versatility
- Neck: Primal Gladiator’s Pendant of Prowess – Crit & Haste
- Cloak: Crit & Mastery
- Bracers: Primal Gladiator’s Armbands of Prowess – Crit & Mastery
- Belt: Primal Gladiator’s Waistguard of Victory – Rep piece, Crit & Versatility
- Boots: Primal Gladiator’s Footguards of Victory – Rep piece, Versatility & Mastery
- Ring #1: Primal Gladiator’s Ring of Cruelty – Crit & Mastery
- Ring #2: Primal Gladiator’s Ring of Prowess – Crit & Multistrike
- Trinket #1: Primal Gladiator’s Badge of Conquest
- Trinket #2: Primal Gladiator’s Medallion of Cruelty -Crit. Humans, or those who like to live w/o an escape trinket, might want Primal Gladiator’s Insignia of Conquest (+Vers, Ag proc) instead.
- Weapon: All the weapons are Crit & Mastery and have the same stat values, so pick what you like from longbow, rifle, or x-bow. The conquest weapons have a “points earned” requirement, the honor weapons do not.
Level 91 Twink Gearing
At 91 you can get the ilevel 640 items mentioned above. This video will show you more stuff on how to set up your 91 twink.
Marksman Hunter Play-style
The beauty of playing a Hunter is that almost every Hunter is different – even among similar specs you will find different players do different things in different situations. But to start you off, you need only know of two different styles.
1) The offensive Hunter: A great start for most people, making your enemy go defensive is the best way to prevent your enemy from creating any real pressure. However this can cause many problems, and you will quickly see how easy it is for enemies to Line of Sight you – while this keeps them from being offensive, it also prevents you from creating opportunities so fluidly.
2) The defensive Hunter: Most players experienced in other classes will start off defensive rather than offensive – because they know what other classes are capable of.
This is a great style for Hunters, and it makes things a whole lot easier for your healer. However you also miss out on opportunities that you otherwise could have created had you been more offensive.
Naturally the best thing to do is combine the two, play defensive and pull your opponents into you, so that their healer will follow into the open – giving you an opening to go offensive with some Crowd Control on the healer. Remember one thing though: You should adapt with the season, if games are long, go with some Marksman for some decent control – if Burst is high, go BM and help your caster out with bloodlust, or even Survival with Wind Serpent pet to give him that extra 8% magic damage.
Hunters have an amazing amount of utility outside the arena, make sure you think things through before queuing up. This section was quoted from the ArenaJunkies Hunter (patch 4.3) page
How to Kill the Other Guy, as Marksmanship in PvP
Focus management is a big issue, requiring more attention than does Beast Mastery. This rotation/priority will help with that. This rotation assumes you’re using Thrill of the Hunt, but it will be similar with Dire Beast.
Main Attacks, more or Less in order of Priority
The priority will change, depending on the situation, but this is a good starting point. Use Frozen Ammo (from your Exotic Munitions) for the slowing effect, unless you really need the poison DOT.
- Greater Draenic Agility Flask
- “On Use” trinket and Rapid Fire, in order to start out hard. A Thrill of the Hunt proc would be nice, but will more likely only appear later. Orcs and Trolls can add in their racial cooldowns.
- Murder of Crows – cooldown resets if you kill the target with while Murder is active. Adds a useful distraction to the opponent.
- Chimaera Shot
- Glaive Toss
- Steady Shot – You’ll need the extra focus by now.
- Kill Shot if below 35% (20% if you don’t yet have the perk.)
- Aimed Shot – A.S. is only this low because of the cost and the cast time, and that savvy opponents might break Line of Sight (LOS) killing your shot. If you can keep LOS then spam Aimed Shot when you have Rapid Fire and/or Thrill up.
- All together now: Thrill Proc, Rapid Fire, Racial (Orc or Troll), Damage Trinket, and Draenic Agility Potion
- Aimed Shot (Watch that LOS)
- Chimaera Shot
- A Murder of Crows
- Glaive Toss
Skill-Capped offers a number of high quality video guides for Hunters, as well as a forum, but membership is required (a brutal $4/mo.)
In addition to your escape trinket (or human racial,) you have:
- Deterrence – deflect attacks and take less damage for 5 sec. You can still command your pet and launch traps.
- Feign Death will interrupt cast-time spells coming your way, such as Chaos Bolt or Aimed Shot.
- Disengage lets you leap behind obstacles, breaking LOS. If you’re using webs then you can lock down the opponent.
- Master’s Call
- Roar of Sacrifice
- Freezing trap. Slowing him first makes for easier trap placement, as does educated guessing about where he’ll step next. The latter works very well in BGs or other places that have choke points.
- Concussive Shot
- Disengage with the Narrow Escape talent. After their Dispel is on cooldown web them behind a pillar, or other obstacle, out of Line of Sight (LOS) of his team. If that’s a healer then the team is out of luck for the duration of the web.
- Counter Shot to interrupt, with a brief lockout.
- Glyphed Explosive Trap for knocking people off of bridges, cliffs, ships, etc. Works well with your Binding Shot talent.
- Ice Trap to cause them to slow down for a bit and chill.
Professions for Marksmanship
Nowadays the value in the professions is in what items and gear they can make and whether you can use or sell those pieces. You can only wear three pieces of the crafted armor at one time.
There is no crafted PvP gear.
Leatherworking will let you make entry level armor for raids (ilevel 640.) You can also make the items to reroll the stats and also to upgrade the items to 665, at a cost far exceeding that of the original piece. You can also make Drums of Fury for a Heroism type buff (25% Haste for 40 sec.)
Engineering will let you create a number of useful items, such as rockets and shields, that cannot be used in rated PvP, but that can be used elsewhere, such as World PvP or in Highmaul Coliseum.
Jewelcrafting will allow you to create rings and neck items, but the leatherworking items will come with much higher stats.
Alchemy can create all sorts of useful chemicals, most of which cannot be used in rated PvP.
Inscription is for Glyphs, PvE trinkets, and misc other items.
Archeology will let you pick up ilevel 620 items, usable at 91, which are bind on account. One useful item, for you, is Headdress of the First Shaman. There are four items, but only the one is for you. Here‘s the list.
Blacksmithing and Enchanting are not particularly interesting to you at this time.
The gathering professions are simply for making gold or to supply the appropriate professions. Your garrison building will effectively replace this skills without you having to actually take them.
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour. Any Agility bonuses also add to the food and chemical bonuses. Food buffs go away when you are killed, flasks do not. Your agility flask is better than any pair of elixirs.
You cannot use food or chemicals in rated PvP.
- Feast of Blood: 75 in highest secondary stat, feeds up to 30
- Feast of the Waters: 75 in highest secondary stat, feeds up to 10
- Blackrock Barbecue: 100 Crit
- Gorgrond Chowder: 100 Versatility
- Blackrock Ham or Grilled Gulper: 75 Crit
- Skulker Chowder or Clefthoof Sausages: 75 Versatility
Agility Foods from the Mists
- Greater Draenic Agility Flask: 250 Ag for an hour
- Draenic Agility Flask: 200 Ag for an hour
- Flask of Spring Blossoms: 114 Ag for one hour
- Draenic Agility Potion: +1,000 Ag for 25 seconds
- Virmen’s Bite: 456 Ag for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 12k HP
- Darkwater Potion: When 15 seconds of faster running/swimming might be useful.
- Runescroll of Fortitude III: 8% increased Stamina to your entire group.
In Warlords most of the pet CC abilities have been removed.
Feeding your pet is a much larger and much faster heal than “Mend Pet,” but your pet can keep fighting while you mend. They won’t eat food that’s many levels below them, so just feed them stuff that’s appropriate for your level and you’ll be good.
Cooldowns for pet abilities are longer than than they are in Beast Mastery.
Buffs do not stack with any similar buffs your team might provide, such as Cat Mastery & Shaman Mastery. Make sure you pick your pet to get the best (most complimentary) buffage possible.
With Catalclysm everyone but Gnomes were allowed into the Hunter crowd. Probably because they’re too busy repairing their city or they’re too short to use a bow (how about a Gnomish X4500GT Zarkomatic blaster rifle?)
In Mists of Pandaria Pandarens can become Hunters. but Gnomes are still left out.
Note that all the races bring something to the DPS table.
- Humans for the escape, which lets you use two DPS trinkets, and their Versatility bonus
- Orcs and Trolls for the cooldowns
Pandarens (Mists of Pandaria) can be either Alliance or Horde, they choose a side when they leave their starting area.
- They can put enemies to sleep with a touch of the paw, but you don’t want to be in melee range so this isn’t that much use to you.
- Increased benefits from food buffs are nice, but this doesn’t apply in rated PvP.
- Take less falling damage from being “bouncy.”
- Rested experience lasts longer for faster leveling.
- Skilled at cooking.
Draenei – Small DPS Gain
- A small HoT, Gift of the Naaru, will help with survivability.
- + to agility.
Night Elves – No DPS gain
- Shadowmeld drops aggro in PvE encounters, but it’s redundant with your Feign Death ability. It does not add to your Camouflage ability.
- Night Elf hunters also gain the benefit of a 2% dodge chance increase which is slightly useful in PvP.
- Move faster when dead has little value unless you need to quickly get back to where you were ganked.
- +1% Crit by day changes to +1% Hast by night.
Dwarves – Small DPS gain
- The stone form ability is rather nice, washing away bleeds and reducing damage taken by 10%. You will find plenty of use for this.
- +2% critical effect (152% crits.)
- Dwarves are good with Archeology.
Human – Can use two DPS trinkets. That and Versatility make them a contender for “Best Hunter Race.”
- Their escape ability is quite nice and allows replacing the escape trinket with a DPS trinket. You still get the two PvP trinket set bonus, but can get a an emblem and a badge.
- Their diplomacy ability will help with the rep gains with the many factions of Azeroth and beyond.
- Increased Versatility is nice.
Worgen – Extra Crit is nice, making them the second best best Alliance DPS.
- They have a general 1% increased chance to crit, which is a good stat for you, and
- Worgen can “periodically move more quickly,” which definitely has it’s uses.
- Their increased skinning skill and speed is a nice convenience, but of no special value to Hunters.
- Their big ability is Arcane Torrent, which can be used as an AoE silence when forced into melee range with caster classes. Paladins and Death Knights, for example. Ideally Hunters want to avoid “melee range” like the plague. While it will restore a small amount of focus you will need to be in a really long fight to get even one more shot because of it.
- +1% to crit rating.
- Blood elves are good with Enchanting.
Tauren – Now with slightly improved damage.
- Tauren gain a 5% bonus to health, which is worth about 15k at level 90 (assuming 300k HP)
- You’ll also gain the benefit of Warstomp, an AoE stun that may allow you to gain range from the opposition.
- +2% critical effect (152% crits.)
- Good with Herbalism
Trolls are probably second best of all the races for Hunters.
- Trolls possess the Berserking racial, a potent DPS increase for sustained DPS. Add it to a macro.
- A somewhat more situational ability is the reduced duration Trolls get from movement reducing effects.
Orcs, are the #1 Hunter choice from a DPS perspective and the stun resistance doesn’t hurt their claim any.
- They get the benefit of Blood Fury, a great burst DPS increase. Add it to a macro.
- as well as 1% more pet damage via Command,
- and a 15% resistance to all stuns with Hardiness, a very useful ability.
Undead – their new racial gives them some added DPS and also works well with your Chimaera shot, for that much more survivability.
- Naturally the Undead start with a giant spider as a pet.
- They have no special Hunter abilities, but their “Will of the Forsaken” can wipe off sleeps, charms, etc., a nice ability to have, especially in PvP.
- Being able to eat the brains of those you kill frees up a blag slot (which would otherwise carry food.)
- Undead can drain life from opponents and be healed for the same amount. This is a passive effect and happens occasionally with your damaging attacks, it will add a bit to your overall DPS and self-healing numbers.
- Indefinite underwater breathing might have some situational use somewhere.
Goblin – A small DPS increase
- Rocket Jump has definite uses at times, especially as “gain range” ability when Disengage is on cooldown.
- An increase to Haste is just Ok and
- An increase in Alchemy skill, along with a greater effect from your own healing potions, is also nice.
- Goblins also receive vendor discounts and can summon a personal bank.
- Rocket Barrage is fun, but nothing more than that.
Get Leveled Fast
As mentioned above (in the enchants section) very high level players will crush lower levels like bugs. It happened with 85s (in Cataclysm) destroying lower levels and it’s just about as bad in Warlords, with the level 100 cap. Even with the item squish.
Your solution is to get leveled and get to the top of the power curve ASAP, but leveling can be a bit of a drag, with thousands of quests and a few zillion mobs to kill. Even if you boost to 90 you still have those last ten levels to hit.
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.
What’s even nicer is if the guide will zap all of your obsolete quests (that you’re too high level to get much value from.)
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