Hunters in 4.0.1 – The complete guide

Ok, so here is a detailed information source about hunters in general, and about the two most popular specializations, MM and BM. Note that I wrote this on my own, so I might need some correction, but I am sure that this is the stuff that many hunters need at the moment. Enjoy.

Warning, huge wall of text!

1.) Hunters in general

Quick Facts

  • Mana is gone, we have a new resource named focus, similar to Rogue’s energy. Because of this, intellect became useless.
  • Agility is buffed. 1 Agility now gives 2 AP, and 0.012% crit (this percentage is valued without the applications of agility buffs, like mail specialization)
  • Armor Penetration is removed. Arp gems are converted to crit gems. (Doh.)
  • We can no longer have attack power gems, they are removed. They are swapped to agi gems.
  • We do not get hit from talents now, so we need 8% hit, which is 246 rating. (216 for Draenei)
  • Hit gems are BLUE now.
  • Mastery is implemented, mastery rating increases the percent of the mastery buff, which is different with every specializations. (See below for more info)
  • If we wear full mail armor, we have an 5% increased agility, so stop needing on leather.
  • We can have 4 pets with us at 80, and we can call them any time. Also we can store 20 more at the stable.
  • All pets should do the same DPS, though the buffs they provide are different.
  • We can now have 3 primal, 3 major and 3 minor glyphs.
  • Ammo is removed, its DPS increasement was implemented in ranged weapon damage.
  • Arcane Shot, Aimed Shot and Multi Shot has got no cooldown.
  • Kill command does direct damage.
  • Aspect of the Monkey has been removed.
  • Aspect of the Dragonhawk has been removed.
  • Eyes of the Beast has been removed.
  • Aspect of the Hawk gives significantly less Attack Power.
  • Silencing Shot does not cause damage anymore.
  • We have Scatter Shot as a trainable basic attack.

Mastery

Mastery is a new implement, what gives a buff, which depends on our talent tree choice. Mastery rating increases the percent of the buff. We currently can only gain mastery rating by reforging. (See below)

Marksmanship Mastery Buff:

Wild Quiver: Gives a 14.4% chance for every ranged attack to fire an additional autoshot.
Every mastery point increases this chance by 1.8%

Beast Mastery Mastery (Awkward…) Buff:

Master of Beasts: Increases pet damage by 13.6%. Every mastery point increases this by 1.7%.

Survival Mastery Buff:

Essence of the Viper: Increases elemental damage by 8%. Every mastery point increases this by 1%.

Reforging

Reforging is a new feature, what allows us to change the green stats (AP, crit, haste, hit, etc) on our gear for a small fee. The NPC can be found near enchanting trainers. It is highly recommended that you reforge every piece of your gear unless you want to replace a piece soon.
Regardless of your talent spec, you should reforge all your gear to get mastery rating. But what stats to reforge?
The answer is simple. Reforge the stat with the most value, to get the most mastery rating out of the piece of gear you reforge. This will be crit rating for most of the time. Do not reforge a big value (like the 155 crit on DBW) for hit.

Gemming in general

As I said in Quick Facts, Arp gems, Attack Power gems, and combined AP/Arp gems are gone. AP gems are converted to agi, which is good. Leave them in for a while until you read the spec-related guides below. But all ARP gems are converted to crit, that is bad.  So most of us are standing there with full crit gemming.

You can already start gemming red slots for agility, but what happens with the blue and yellow sockets?

Here’s the deal: Socket bonuses are far more important than they were, especially agility ones. Thus, we need to gem with keeping this in mind. Gem blue sockets for hit (You know, hit gems are blue now), so you don’t need to waste reforging or enchants, and this helps getting the socket bonuses.

For yellow sockets, you check the socket bonuses on the item and count: for a 8 agility socket bonus (Thats 16 AP, not to mention crit!) it’s definitely worth to put a 10agi/10crit or 10agi/10haste gem inside, since we get 18 agi AND 10 crit or haste. If I just put a 20 agi gem in there, I have 4 AP more, and lose the crit or haste.
Of course if the socket bonus is like “4 crit rating” or something like that, just put an agi gem in there.

But what to choose? Agi/Crit or Agi/Haste ? Well, it depends on what your gear needs more, also on your spec.
Marksmanship for example loves crit, but since our pets inherit 100% of our crit, and we gain a load of raid buffs what give crit, also wolves for example give 5% more crit, we must avoid being crit capped (it’s around 104% or something), or our pet being crit capped. So you need to think a bit nowadays, count a little maybeí, to ensure that you have the best gem setup for your character.

Pets

You should choose different pets for MM or BM but I felt like writing a bit here about pets in general.
All pets do the same DPS, but every PvE hunter prefers to choose a Ferocity pet, since they have more direct damaging abilities and talents what buff them.

Pets now come with raid-wide buffs. That is awesome, although you need to carry the best pet with you for each encounter. Here is a list of all the pet abilities, I think you are all familiar with Petopia.

For example, Cats can be back in business since they give 155str/agi with a buff what can be kept up constantly.
But this is the same as the DK’s Horn of Winter buff, so if you are partying with a DK that won’t be useful.

Core hounds have Bloodlust. In-sa-ne. Perfect if you have no shamans.

I think you got it now, you need to choose the best pets for the best situations. Anyways here is a list with the pets what give useful PvE buffs, debuffs and damage abilities. (Not useful = silence, interrupt, slow, root, disarm etc.)

Cunning

  • Chimaeras(exotic) – Channeled Spell Damage AoE.
  • Dragonhawks, Wind Serpents – 8% increased spell damage taken for the target.
  • Ravagers – 4% increased physical damage taken.
  • Serpents – 4% armor reduce, stacks up to 20%.
  • Silithids(exotic) – Similar buff to the imp’s Blood Pact, gives around 150 stamina to the raid.

Ferocity

  • Carrion Birds – Does 85 to 129 damage and lowers the melee attack power of all enemies in melee range by 573.
  • Cats, Spirit Beasts(exotic) – 155str/agi to raid members.
  • Core Hounds(exotic) – Bloodlust.
  • Devilsaurs(exotic) – 5% crit chance to raid, and 25% heal reduce to target.
  • Hyenas, Boars, Rhinos(exotic) – 30% increased bleed damage taken.
  • Raptors – 4% armor reduce, stacks up to 20%.
  • Wolves – 5% crit chance to raid.

Tenacity

  • Bear – 10% less damage done on target, bugged at the moment, 0 yard range.
  • Worms(exotic) – 4% increased physical damage taken; Channeled AoE.

Conclusion in general:

As you can see, Hunters need more thinking and counting, even some brain, to be sure that we have the best available stats. Don’t be sad, enjoy that you need to do something different after all those mindless months when you went for all out arp gemming and mashed 3-4 buttons. I enjoyed those days myself, but now is the time for a fresh change.


2. ) Marksmanship

Marksmanship is still the best DPS ingame at 80, since it doesn’t rely on Cobra Shot(What we do not have yet)as much as BM and SV. That’s why I only going to speak about its PvE part.

2a. Talents

This is a good starter choice, with some variabilities as well. Since the talent trees are simplified, there’s not much room for variations, but there are still a few options.

– You could Switch Bombardment for Resistance is Futile, but I assume that we specced for boss encounters, where the boss does not move.

– The remaining 2 talent points can be spent into some first-tier BM talents. One with nature is a good choice, but remember that AotH gives MUCH less ap, so if you put 2 points in there, we are talking about around 36 attack power. Pet focus regen is always nice, but as a marksman, you will always crit with auto shot, giving your pet free focus. But still, I think, that you should talent for pet focus.

– We don’t need silencing shot any more, since it does not do damage, so forget your macroes.

– Rapid killing has no use in a boss fight, also it does NOT reduce the CD of Rapid Fire anymore.

2b. Glyphs

Minor:
Feign Death – CD reduction is always good, can save you a lot of times, if you are not sated and need to suicide :P
Mend Pet – Increasing pet happiness without spending time and money on food is always good.
Aspect of the Pack – In raids, this is more useful than Scare Beast, though in some situations that comes in handy aswell. Feel free to choose.

Major:
Disengage – Well, it can save you from some tight situations. There are not many options for dps-increaser major glyphs, oh well.
Mending – Pet heal can come in handy.
Misdirection – Good at soloing, and considering that MD is free if you use it on your pet, its a good choice.
Deterrence – 10 sec CD reduction is not so much, I do not recommend it. Same with Raptor Strike, it’s mostly a PvP glyph.

Prime:
Arcane Shot – This is our focus dump ability, so more damage is nice. It’s a no-brainer.
Steady Shot – No-brainer aswell, recommended.
Kill Shot – Basically it means that you can fire 2 kill shots every 6 seconds in a boss fight. That’s insane, but the damage of Kill Shot is reduced in 4.0.1. Anyways this is still a heavy damage boost.
Chimera Shot – 1 sec less CD. Always good for MM’s signature ability. It’s around the same DPS buff as Kill Shot.
Serpent Sting – 6% more crit chance per tick. Good, but not as good as the previous four.

2c. Stats (In order of importance)

I’m not talking about hit or mastery anymore, they are highly required and recommended, but I mentioned them earlier.

Agility is what you need the most. Go for it. It gives 2 AP per point now. It’s not that uber good though as ArP was, so you can go for socket bonuses, like I told earlier.

Crit is good, but watch your cap. You can freely reforge some crit (if that has the biggest value on an item).

Haste became more useful since the last patches, but still, it is not that important that it’s worth gemming for.

2d. Gems

Red – Agility

Blue – Hit (20hit or 10agi/10hit, depending on how much you need.) If you are capped, just pop an Agi gem there.

Yellow – Agility/Crit if the socket bonus is worth it (I mentioned it earlier), if not, use Agility gems.

Meta – Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. I think all hunters used this prior to 4.0.1, so not much to change. It gives 21 agility and 3% crit damage.

2e. Enchants

They are all the same as they were, don’t be cheap, use the best enchants available. Note that reputation enchants like the Arcanum of Torment are Bind to Account, so it’s enough if you have 1 character with the proper reputation status.

Also, engineering enchants are stacking with normal ones, yay! So you can pop 22 agi AND 23agi+parachute on your cloak for example.

2f. Rotation

We do not have a rotation, instead we have a shot priority list, like the one we had prior to 4.0.1.

Main things to watch are that you must not waste focus (= reach 100), and keep improved SS buff on.

  • Hunter’s Mark (if there is no Marked for Death or previous Hunter’s Mark on target)
  • Kill Shot (if target is below 20%)
  • Chimera Shot
  • Aimed Shot (only if it’s instant)
  • Serpent Sting
  • Steady Shot (if focus won’t reach 100)
  • Arcane Shot (everytime when everything is on CD and we have enough focus)

How to start a fight:

Hunter’s Mark, Serpent Sting, Chimera Shot, then comes the priority list.

The most important thing what changed is that you need to think forward. You must watch your focus and CD’s constantly, to have the right amount focus when the CD is off from a major ability like Chimera Shot. You should fire all your shots ASAP they are off CD. This could be hard to manage at first, but practice makes perfect.

3.) Beast Mastery

Beast mastery deals decent damage, though it deals less than Marksmanship. But I think that this spec is more fun to play. Also this is the most fun PvP spec at the moment.

3a. Talents

This is the PvE spec, no change required. BM relies more on haste than all the other specs, just to let you know.
If you want to go PvP, just swap the ranged haste to stamina on the SV tree, and take away 2 points from One With Nature and put it in the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera talent. There you go.

3b. Glyphs

Minor:
Feign Death – CD reduction is always good, can save you a lot of times, if you are not sated and need to suicide :P
Mend Pet – Increasing pet happiness without spending time and money on food is always good.
Aspect of the Pack – In raids, this is more useful than Scare Beast, but for PvP, Scare Beast is better, since you can fear druids and shamans with it, not to mention other hunter pets.

Major:
Disengage – Well, it can save you from some tight situations. For PvP its a no-brainer.
Bestial Wrath – No-brainer. More Big Red Kitty Button? I’m in.
Deterrence – 10 sec CD reduction is not so much, I do not recommend it. Same with Raptor Strike, it’s mostly a PvP glyph. Choose whichever for PvP, because in PvP these glyphs are insanely good.
These two are still good for PvE:
Mending – Pet heal can come in handy, since you rely more on your pet now.
Misdirection – Good at soloing, and considering that MD is free if you use it on your pet, its a good choice.

Prime:
Arcane Shot – This is our focus dump ability, so more damage is nice. It’s a no-brainer.
Steady Shot – Since we do not have Cobra shot, we sadly need to use this. After we get Cobra Shot, we can use Serpent Sting instead.
Kill Shot – Basically it means that you can fire 2 kill shots every 6 seconds in a boss fight. That’s insane, but the damage of Kill Shot is reduced in 4.0.1. But since we do not have chimera shot, and BW is a major glyph only, stick to this.
Serpent Sting – 6% more crit chance per tick. Good, but not as good as the previous three. As soon as we hit 81, we should swap Steady Shot Glyph with this.

3c. Stats (In order of importance)

Agility is still the best choice for you, already said the reasons.

Haste is more important than it is in MM, but still, it’s not THAT important. (See gemming section.)

Crit is less important for BM, but still you need it for your 20k Kill Command crits :>

Stamina – For your PvPing needs.

3d. Gems

Red – Agility

Blue – Hit (20hit or 10agi/10hit, depending on how much you need.) If you are capped, just pop an Agi gem there.

Yellow – Agility/Haste if the socket bonus is worth it (I mentioned it earlier), if not, use Agility gems.

Meta – Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. I think all hunters used this prior to 4.0.1, so not much to change. It gives 21 agility and 3% crit damage.

3e. Enchants

They are all the same as they were, don’t be cheap, use the best enchants available. Note that reputation enchants like the Arcanum of Torment are Bind to Account, so it’s enough if you have 1 character with the proper reputation status.

Also, engineering enchants are stacking with normal ones, yay! So you can pop 22 agi AND 23agi+parachute on your cloak for example.

3f. Rotation

(KC = Kill Command)

BM’s rotation relies more on procs than MM does. Our primary move is Kill Command, which has a 6 sec CD and does more damage if the previous 2 KC’s were crits. We do not have Cobra Shot yet, so we need to refresh serpent sting manually on the target. Also we can spam more Arcane Shots than MM hunters can.

Main rules:

Hit Focus Fire when it procs ASAP.
Do not reach 110 focus.
Always have Serpent Sting on the target.
Always have enough Focus for Kill command, at least 30, then you can cast a Steady before the CD is off.
Pop Bestial Wrath just before KC CD is off, so you can start right away with a KC.
Shoot as few Steady Shots as you can.
Shoot Arcane Shots whenever you can, and when KC is on CD.
Try to time that you will not need to refresh Serpent Sting during BW.
You won’t need steady shots during BW, at least not for the first 6 – 7 seconds. This is a good time to pop Fervor.

Example:

Hunter’s mark, serpent sting, arcane shot, (Pet reached target), kill command, arcane until we need more focus, Steady to have focus before KC is off, Bestial wrath, KC, arcane spam.

3g. Pets

Try to stick to Exotic pets, since they have bonus abilities what other pets do not have. That means more abilites or buffs/debuffs for you and for your party. A good source to find them is Petopia, and I will post some guides about taming the rarest of them! :P

3h. PvP

Bm PvP is something that requires no skill – That’s what you and many others may think. In some situations it really doesn’t.

Here is a small guide about it with a bunch of advices:

First of all, you don’t need stamina gems, only if you have the PvP hit cap, then gem for some stamina. Leave on some PvE gear, like rings, one trinket and t10 chest. Tame a Spirit Beast for your healing needs. This pet can heal you for a lot, based on your AP. Average is around 2700 instant heal, then 1000 every second for 10 sec.

Use this macro to heal yourself:

#showtooltip
/tar Yourname
/cast Spirit mend
/targetlasttarget

Use intimidation wisely. That’s your only choice to bring down healer classes. Also note that you have scatter shot, which is one more interrupt which can be used.

Do NOT use Focus fire in PvP, since your pet deals the majority of the damage, and he needs the 5 frenzy stack. Imagine a warrior beating on you with bladestorm, you need to deterrence, and if you popped focus fire earlier, then it’s just wasted.

Watch your pet! Since sometimes it’s bugged, bind /petattack on arcane shot or whatever you feel like. Also, many people will try to kill your pet. Use Cower and Spirit mend along with mend pet. Our pets are very squishy, so take care about them. Call them back if needed, you can trap the player who wants to kill your pet in the process.

Raptor Strike glyph is very good against melees and other hunters. Also note that RS is now instant.

These are the things what you need to know, the old things haven’t changed in years.

Good Luck, and I hope I could help :)

Megapull

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