Marksmanship Hunter Talents
This section of the Marksmanship Hunter guide provides an overview of all talents, information on which talents work well in different situations, and popular builds in Wowhead's talent calculator. This guide is written by
the Thrill of the Wild
the Hunting Party Podcast
. Updated for the latest patch.
Rotation & Abilities
Quick Talent Builds
Marksmanship Hunters in 7.2.5 will have some variation in what talents they take depending on the type of encounter they face. The following represents the builds considered optimal for most raid bosses in the
Tomb of Sargeras
raid, but will need to be tweaked depending on the specific boss, or specific strategy your raid team is using.
Tiers not selected on the Talent Calculators below do no affect DPS, and should be chosen based on personal preference, and the utility needs of a specific boss encounter; there are no specific talents in these tiers which are best in all situations, except that
is always awesome.
The following builds were developed based on the performance of top hunters on raid logging sites, mathematical analysis, simulations and common sense. There are situations where one Talent may give you more potential DPS than another, but still not be preferable if it has too many other drawbacks. This is generally only the case in talents that do lots of AoE damage, but cause you to perform significantly less priority target damage, and will be worse for you as a member of a raid team. With that said, different teams have different needs, and experimenting with various builds to see what works best with your specific set of circumstances is always advisable.
Recommended Single Target Raiding Talents
Recommended Priority Target with some Target Swapping Raiding Talents
Recommended Multi-Target Raiding Talents
- Increases all damage done by 18% at the cost of having your pet. This is generally the best choice for raiding.
- Using Arcane Shot or Multi-shot twice in a row increases your focus regeneration by 25% for 12 seconds.
and Multi-shot have 20% increased critical strike chance against targets above 80% health. Those critical strikes deal an additional 30% damage.
- Your ranged auto attacks have an 8% chance to trigger
, causing your next two
s to cost no focus and be instant. Despite the rarity of possible
procs, this talent is generally the best option for dungeons or any time you won't be able to get full stacks of
. It is an especially strong choice for AoE fights with a high priority target when paired with
, allowing you to do very good single target damage and strong cleave.
- Fires a
at the target, dealing shadow damage over 8 seconds and summoning a skeletal pet that will taunt your current target. This is generally the easiest talent to take when leveling, but in raids this talent has a lower potential for damage dealing than the other two talents in this tier.
- Each successive
fired at the same target increases the damage those shots deal to the target by 2%, stacking up to10 times. This is considered a strong talent for most raiding situations, but does have a higher skill requirement than other talents in this tier, without very much reward.
- Frees you from all movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 60% for 5 seconds.
- Your ability critical strikes have a 10% chance to reset the cooldown on
- Increases the duration of
by 3 seconds.
- Fires a slow-moving shot that moves forward in the direction you're facing (not at your target), dealing significant fire damage to all enemies within 8 yards when detonated. This provides large on-demand AoE burst when targets can be stacked, and should be used in those situations.
- Place a 10-yard radius circle on the ground which lasts for 18 seconds, every 6 seconds until it expires all enemies in this area are marked with Hunter's Mark. This talent was forgotten about when Blizzard nerfed Marked Shot to not increase in damage from Vulnerable several patches ago. As such, this talent is not worth taking ever.
- Increases your maximum focus by 30, and causes Vulnerable to increase your
damage by an additional 6% every second until Vulnerable expires. This is considered the best single target option for Marksmanship Hunters.
- Stuns all enemies within 5 yards of targeted location for 5 seconds if they attempt to move outside the targeted area.
- Puts your target to sleep for 30 seconds.
- You and your pet blend into the surroundings and gain stealth for minute. While camouflaged, you heal for 2% every second.
- A murder of crows attack your target for 15 seconds, dealing damage each second. This is a strong single target ability with a small focus cost. It technically provides the highest potential damage for pure single fights, and provides much greater burst damage for priority targets; however, there aren't many fights in Nighthold that take advantage of that fact, so many MM Hunters choose to use Volley instead.
- Fires a spray of shots for 3 seconds. This ability was nerfed considerably in patch 7.1.5, and no longer does double damage to its target, and as such, is no longer a viable option when there is a priority target. The only time it may become relevant is in AoE situations which are too spread out to hit with
and when burst AoE is more important than damaging any particular target.
- While active, your auto shots cost 3 focus, and drop a volley of arrows that hit your target and all other nearby enemies. This is the highest potential AoE ability in this tier, but does not cover a wide range, and thus requires the adds to all be stacked relatively close to your target. Because this provides some additional single target damage, this is a very good option for fights that have a mixture of AoE and Single Target, as its single target potential is not much lower than a Murder of Crows, but it's AoE potential is significantly greater.
-Launches a snake from your bow which travels toward the target, weaving back and forth and dealing nature damage to each target hit, also applying
to all targets as well as
is proc'ed, and generating 35 focus. Because
is no longer buffed by
, this is not as enticing of a talent as it was in the beginning of the expansion. You may, however, find it useful on the occasion that your targets are too spread out to hit with
. In that case, targeting the enemy who is farthest away will allow
to hit most every target in a room.
- A shot which uses between 20 and 100 focus, dealing 1350% weapon damage at 100 focus, scaling down to 270% weapon damage at 20 focus, and also dealing half as much damage to any enemies between you and the target. Despite respectable AoE damage when lined up well, the focus cost of this ability will generally cause you to lose too much priority target DPS to make this talent a good choice. When it is taken, it is best to use this talent with 100 or greater focus, getting the full damage potential. Do so when you're having an unlucky streak of no Marking Targets procs, and you'll have respectable damage from this talent.
will now also ricochet and hit all
targets for 30% as much damage. When there are no
targets, the damage of your next
is increased by 15%. Because of the baseline buff to Aimed Shot, this talent is now considered the top choice for single target situations, and has the added benefit of allowing you to preform your max priority target rotation while doing decent AoE/cleave damage.
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