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Cataclysm Hunter PvP Beginners Guide


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#1 Kujaqt

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 01:52 AM

Cataclysm Hunter PvP Beginners Guide

Table of Content:
1. History
2. Talent Trees and Glyphs
3. Pets!
4. Gear, Gems, Enchants and Stat Priorities
5. Play-style
6. Macros
7. Video Links
8. Crowd Control
9. Focus: the do's and dont's.

1 History:

********

(You can skip this section if you wish)
Firstly, it is important to know that Hunter play-style is something that has changed throughout the expansions. In The Burning Crusade (TBC), Hunters did not have many of the tools we have today; we had no Disengage, we had no Deterrence, Chimera Shot  or Explosive Shot and our ranged attacks required different distances than they do now – which created a true ‘Deadzone’, which has recently become known as players in melee range – rather than players too close to shoot and too far away to melee. Now that may sound like we were useless baggage to a team, but we brought viper sting, which drained a large portion of Mana from a target. In The Burning Crusade arena was all about Mana, which made us great additions to comps aiming to outlast.

Hunter damage in The Burning Crusade came in a variety of ways, but mostly based around a rotation. (It is worth noting that in The Burning Crusade an auto attack would not be fired while we were casting Steady Shot!) As Marksman and Survival we could use something called a 3:2 rotation, this meant 3 attacks (Steady Shot > Arcane Shot/Multi-Shot/Steady Shot) to 2 auto-attacks. Beast Mastery damage came from a 1:1 rotation, because of an ability that we no longer have that increased our haste by 20% - making our steady shots just short enough to fit between our auto shots.

In Wrath of the Lich King, Hunters were redesigned, we were given the ability to fire auto shots during our Steady Shot, thus our rotation went from 1:1/3:2 to a more priority based system. The main focus of early PvP in Wrath of the Lich King was burst, which, with the change to Aimed Shot (now instant cast instead of 3 seconds), made us the only class with a ranged, undispellable 50% Mortal Strike effect (50% healing reduction). We were also granted Master’s Call and disengage which were huge ‘anti-gap closers’ and have since become key abilities in Arena as a Hunter.

Wrath of the Lich King was a good expansion for Hunters in terms of Arena, especially in the later seasons which gave birth to some of the most overpowered comps that ever got nerfed.  Holy Paladin, Enhancement Shaman, Beast Mastery Hunter aka ‘Beast Cleave’ was a high powered rush down comp – the strengths of which included being almost unstoppable during the duration of bloodlust, and having a spammable offensive dispel on the target you were trying to kill – this was bad news for mages. Holy Paladin, Protection Warrior, Marksman Hunter aka ‘African Turtle Cleave’ or ‘ATC’ was a high power, control comp. The stuns (and with enough gear, damage) of a protection warrior allowed the Hunter to do pretty much anything he wanted while the warrior controlled a team. Tools such as AOE spell-reflect, improved intervene (damage reduction on the target of your intervene) and shockwave (AOE stun) were just a taste of what a Protection Warrior could offer a Hunter.

And so Cataclysm hit. And it hit hard, Hunters are in a rough shape in terms of damage in PvP (although our PvE damage is pretty much top). Beast Mastery just doesn’t have the damage against high armor targets, Marksman is slightly lacking in terms of damage with the low top end on our weapons, and thus most of us are forced to turn to Survival during the start of Season 9.

********

2 Talent Trees and Glyphs

Since the huge change to Hunters AND talent trees in general, most have found that there is little diversity in our specs amongst our fellow Hunters. With so few talents and so many abilities that are pretty much necessary, we have little room for personal touches to our specs.

Beast Mastery:
About Beast Mastery:

********
(You can skip this if you wish) Beast Mastery is a spec orientated around balancing damage between the Hunter and his pet. Beast Mastery also gains access to some very unique pet abilities such as Ancient Hysteria (bloodlust) and Spirit Mend (a heal on a 28second cooldown). These abilities are unique to their respective pets that are covered in the next section of this guide.
********

There is really only one way to go with Beast Mastery, since the core abilities that give pet focus are based in the early Marksmanship tree, we have no choice but to pick them up after completing our BM tree (of which little can be changed – the only real controversy is whether or not to pick up Focus Fire along the way).

http://www.wowhead.c...t#cfhfckhdRRofM

The core build for Beast Mastery hunters, with 3 talent points left out to place at your choosing. Most will go with 10% increased stamina, I, personally prefer to go with 3% haste.

Glyphs:
Prime:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42915 (Kill command)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42898 (Arcane Shot)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45732 (Kill Shot)
Major:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45735 (Raptor Strike)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45733 (Master's Call)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42902 (Bestial Wrath)
Minor:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43351 (Glyph of Feign Death)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43356 (Glyph of Scare Beast)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43350 (Glyph of Mend Pet)

Marksmanship:
About Marksmanship:

********
(You can skip this if you wish)
Marksmanship in PvP is all about control, increased survivability and mobility through the use of Rediness, and the only spec to gain Silencing Shot – a 3 second silence that can also interrupt a school for 3 seconds if you catch them on cast. Marksman has long been thought of as the ‘true’ PvP spec thanks to Silencing Shot – however it is a spec that relies heavily on gear – making it rather useless during the beginning of an expansion.
********

Marksmanship allows for the most diversity in terms of spec. The core build looking something like this:

http://www.wowhead.c...nt#cZfMGRhkMuro

There is some debate about Improved Steady Shot as Marksmanship; some believe that the damage of Steady Shot is far inferior to Cobra Shot (which is true against high armor targets), while others believe the damage you gain from the 15% haste it provides out ways the instant damage loss. Personally I have found that you can pick up 3/3 Improved Steady Shot if you only take one point in Termination (which is a useless talent anyway, due to the fact it refunds the cost, rather than making it free). This then allows for 10 talent points to be put in one of two ways:

http://www.wowhead.c...cZfMGRhkMuroIMM A control build, which is probably the strongest Marksmanship arena spec.

http://www.wowhead.c...cbbZfMGRhkMuroh A survival build, which is great for battlegrounds when you don’t have a pocket healer.

You can always change the little details in the specs, for example speccing into Improved Serpent Sting to help keep your damage high against spam dispellers.

Glyphs:
Prime:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45625 (Chimera Shot)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42898 (Arcane Shot)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45732 (Kill Shot) OR http://www.wowhead.com/item=42914 (Steady Shot)
Major:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45735 (Raptor Strike)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45733 (Master's Call)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42904 (Disengage)
Minor:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43351 (Glyph of Feign Death)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43356 (Glyph of Scare Beast)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43350 (Glyph of Mend Pet)

Survival:
About Survival:

********
(You can skip this if you wish)
Survival’s main attraction is that it is almost entirely Elemental Damage – making it great against high armor targets. It’s also widely known for the use of many traps – the talent resourcefulness, coupled with the glove bonus (-4 seconds on trap cooldown) makes for 20second cooldown on traps. Survival’s ‘burst’ comes from the talent ‘Lock and Load’ which makes your next two Explosive Shots or Arcane Shots free, and trigger no cooldown – this is huge for PvP as focus can be an issue when people begin to line of sight your Cobra Shots.
********

Survival has an obvious trend to its spec. Blizzard has given us little room to be creative, and leaves us with this spec, and very little room for change:

http://www.wowhead.c...cbbZcZIrGcMhrRo

This is the spec pretty much every Survival Hunter is using in arena at the moment (second week of season 9 at the time of writing this). Black arrow is still under debate; it costs a lot of focus, is dispellable, has a long cooldown and does very little burst damage. Most do not take it, it is far easier and more efficient to drop an explosive trap instead.

http://www.wowhead.c...cbbZcZhrGfMurRo

This is a spec I am trying out at the moment; the increased crit chance on targets affected by our frost trap is something that really pays off while we have low gear, and thus low crit chance. I’m also quite partial to one point in Mirrored blades, giving our deterrence a 50% chance to reflect spells back at attackers. It makes it less useful for purposefully reflecting CC or damage, but instead gives us a way to let RNG play its course during deterrence, and potentially keep pressure high against un-focused players.

Glyphs:
Prime:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45731 (Explosive Shot)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42898 (Arcane Shot)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45732 (Kill Shot)
Major:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45735 (Raptor Strike)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=45733 (Master's Call)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=42904 (Disengage)
Minor:
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43351 (Glyph of Feign Death)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43356 (Glyph of Scare Beast)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=43350 (Glyph of Mend Pet)

3 Pets!

Pets! We all love them, it is the reason most of us chose to play Hunter. There is one very useful site for information on pets: http://www.wow-petopia.com/ get used to using it for finding pets, updates on pet abilities and even the new spirit beasts!

Marksman and Survival Pets:

The beauty of the pet overhaul some time ago is that we now have a pet for every occasion. In addition, we now have the ability to swap our pets in combat – meaning that with thought we can have a pet to counter whatever comp we come across.
The usual pet line-up for non Beast Mastery hunters will consist of some of the following:

Monkey – Gives a 4 second disorient, (however counts as controlled stun that cannot be blinked out of).

Scorpid/Bird of Prey – 10 second disarm (1 minute cooldown).

Moth – 4 second lockout (1 minute cooldown).

Spider – 5 second root that does not break on damage (40 second cooldown).

Wind Serpent – Increases magic damage taken by the target by 8% (great for Survival Hunters or if you are playing with a caster, that is not a warlock).

These 5 pets together provide a well balanced group of pets that can be used to increase the utility of your team.

Beast Mastery Pets:

Core Hound - provides bloodlust and a casting speed debuff.

Spirit Beast – Provides a heal (scaling with attack power) and an equivalent Horn of Winter buff. (Multiple Spirit beasts is highly recommended for double DPS 2s as the heal cooldown is not shared among the different beasts).

Side notes: There are many other pets that give a variety of debuffs, mostly for PVE purposes, in certain situations where you might know who you are facing (such as a tournament) you may find these other pets to be of better use. I highly recommend using http://www.wow-petopia.com/ regularly, add it to your favourites and have a browse through the various pet abilities.

4 Gear, Gems, Enchants and Stat Priorities

Gear:
Hunters are squishy. Very squishy – and with the current state of Warriors, Ferals and Death Knights, it is pretty important for us to get as much resilience as we can! There are various setups you can use, but, trinket wise for new users I would recommend using http://www.wowhead.com/item=64687, it has good on-demand burst when you need it. The rest of your gear is usually decided by your spec; as Marksmanship you want to get as much crit as you can, as Survival you want a balance between the two – they should be roughly equal with crit possibly being slightly higher, and as Beast Mastery you should aim towards Mastery. I highly recommend going full PvP gear, the Engineering helm, although very powerful, has 0 resilience and Hunters are very weak against Damage Over Time (DOTs) - resilience is the only way to reduce DOT damage.

Stat Priorities:
Agility. Love it, live it, smoke it, lick it. It’s amazing, your best friend as any spec (currently). If you ever have the option, it’s the best, when hit-capped. There are a lot of different opinions about how we should prioritise our stats, the main controversy being between weather Mastery is better than Haste.

Marksman:
Hit Rating (until capped) > Agility > Crit > Mastery > Haste
Survival:
Hit Rating (until capped) > Agility > Crit (where Mastery is higher) > Mastery (where Crit is higher) > Haste
Beast Mastery:
Hit Rating (until capped) > Agility > Mastery > Crit > Haste

Enchants:
Our enchants follow the same pattern as our Stat Priorities, they change with specs. The basic setup looks like this:
Head: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=86934
Shoulder: http://www.wowhead.com/item=62346
Back: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74192
Chest: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74214
Bracer:  http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74201
Gloves: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74255 (for high end gloves)
Legs: http://www.wowhead.com/item=56550
Boots: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=74252 (for high end boots)

Gems:
Gemming for all specs is generally the same. We should generally aim for anywhere between 100 to 170 spell penetration.
Meta: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52291 (There are many choices, for new hunters this will generally work out best)
Red slots: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52212
Yellow:  http://www.wowhead.com/item=52204 as Survival and Beast Mastery - http://www.wowhead.com/item=52209 as Marksman
Blue: http://www.wowhead.com/item=52246 x2 then http://www.wowhead.com/item=52237

5 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. With the addition of Aspect of the Fox, Hunters are now able to pull off their entire rotation on the move, which allows you to go begin a cast, then move out of Line of Sight of a target, and then move back in when the cast is about to end, fire and instant shot with that cast, move back out of los until your Global Cooldown Ends, and so on and so forth. 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.

6 Macros

For fear of plagiarism, I won’t copy all the macros in this thread but instead link this very sturdy list of macros http://www.arenajunk...ad.php?t=223898 which can be found in the Hunter forums.
A note on Hunter Macros:
If you want to be REALLY efficient I recommend adding ‘/stopcasting’ to the start of all of your macros, and creating further macros for all important abilities such as Scatter shot and Deterrence – and adding ‘/stopcasting’ to the front of the macro. This will cancel your Steady Shot or Cobra Shot casts, since moving will no longer stop casting whilst in aspect of the fox.

7 Video Links

Currently on Arena Junkies there is only one thread dedicated to Hunter specific videos (Cataclysm).

http://www.arenajunk...ad.php?t=225717 thanks to Squanky for this!

There is another thread that consists of purely non Cataclysm videos, which can be educational at times.

http://www.arenajunk...ad.php?t=197069

8. Crowd Control

Crowd Control in arena is something everyone will get a feel for. You can use it in many ways; You can use it on a healer to score a kill, you can use it on a DPS to prevent a kill or you can use it to help your team reset.

There are other things you can use crowd control for, but for now lets cover the process of 'doing' it.

With scatter shot available to all specs, all specs have a sure fire way to get a trap (or at least get a good chance of landing one).

Scatter (usually focus scatter: see macros section) into Freezing Trap (thrown through the use of trap launcher) is a great CC chain. Keep practising it, in duels or arena. Make sure you can almost always hit it.

There are a number of ways people can stop you from getting the trap, however. One is to stun or silence you when you scatter, so the target will break free if scatter before trap lands. Another is to eat the trap (stand on top of it before the target gets trapped). You can do things to prevent this, however.

When a trap actually lands with a trinket down, its devistating to a healer, its just like a full poly really - its the time to go for a kill. You should therefor not be afraid to do everything you can do to get that trap.

Lets take RMP for example.
You need to trap the priest, but the rogue and mage keep eating the traps! When you scatter, you should web or stun the rogue (depending on your pet) and silence or sleep the mage (depending on your spec). This will pretty much 'cover' your trap. You can then use rediness if you are marksman and silence the healer after trap ends should you need it.

Although it is posted ALL over the forums I will post it here to:

SPELL PEN DOES NOT AFFECT TRAPS, ALTHOUGH SPELL RESIST DOES

You do not get spell pen for traps, you get it for offensive damaging abilities. We all hope it will be fixed one day!

9. Focus: the do's and dont's.

**Coming Soon**

I hope this guide was helpful to you, feel free to post any questions and general hate here at your pleasure.

#2

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 02:56 AM

Although I can't vouch for its accuracy because I don't play a hunter, good work.

#3 Kujaqt

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 04:35 PM

^ Thanks

Updated: Added glyphs

Keliann said:

our paladin's a huge asian flake, PM if you're somewhat close to DC and can make it, will be running TSG and possibly another comp

Originally Posted by clouds
I don't think you can win-trade at MLG

#4 fant0m8

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:02 AM

Pretty good information overall. Especially for beginners. I didn't really read the playstyle section, but all the gear/spec/glyph sections will serve new PVPers well.
Bye again! This game isn't fun when you don't know anyone else that still plays.

#5 Ckasper

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:08 AM

I agree with Russet.
Great guide for beginners.

#6 Vira

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:12 AM

Maybe a basic rotation guide or a small "what-to-spend-focus-on" or could help beginners.

Other than that, good work!

#7 Ckasper

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

Arc. shot

#8 Kujaqt

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:53 PM

Vira said:

Maybe a basic rotation guide or a small "what-to-spend-focus-on" or could help beginners.

Other than that, good work!

Sure, i'll add that in and i'm thinking it needs a CC section aswell.

Plus im sure a lot of people could use some information on RoS/RoR and other pet specs etc.

I'll add that later :)

And i found a few new enchants that might be slightly better than a few of the ones listed, so i'll update those with it.

Keliann said:

our paladin's a huge asian flake, PM if you're somewhat close to DC and can make it, will be running TSG and possibly another comp

Originally Posted by clouds
I don't think you can win-trade at MLG

#9 Kettu

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:38 PM

kujai said:

Beast Mastery:
Hit Rating (until capped) > Agility > Mastery > Crit > Haste

For BM it's Hit > agility > crit > haste > mastery

Also, the wotlk enchant 50ap on bracers is better for all specs than 50crit rating on bracers and 20agi / 20 crit rating gem is better in yellow slots in all specs than 20agi / 20 mastery.

#10 Kujaqt

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:44 PM

updates

Keliann said:

our paladin's a huge asian flake, PM if you're somewhat close to DC and can make it, will be running TSG and possibly another comp

Originally Posted by clouds
I don't think you can win-trade at MLG

#11 Rapture

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 02:37 PM

I have copied this thread from the Content Feedback - Strategy Forum for more discussion and to make it easier to find.

#12 NickyEU

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 06:30 PM

Great work! This is going to help out the beginners a great deal and perhaps make the same questions appear less, great job.
// Frozire // Nicky \\ Aphix \\

#13 Telemanchos

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 06:40 PM

Amazing, good job.

Now I can refer to this thread everytime I'm getting a lot of basic questions from a new player :)

Oh ye, +Rep ofc ;>

#14 Kujaqt

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 07:33 PM

Nice one, i'll update it again with the new sections once the new patch comes with resi enchants and stuff like that :) pretty sure there will be a lot of updates with new patch priorities and glyphs etc

Keliann said:

our paladin's a huge asian flake, PM if you're somewhat close to DC and can make it, will be running TSG and possibly another comp

Originally Posted by clouds
I don't think you can win-trade at MLG

#15 Astéar1296683743

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 08:09 PM

A section for Race cons/pros would be nice.

#16 Loleeta

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 05:32 PM

Also what is best spec to lvl 80-85 :P
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#17 Hallontagg

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 05:39 PM

Loleeta said:

Also what is best spec to lvl 80-85 :P

Whichever specc you intend to play arena on later, it makes you familiar with the abilities and with the playstyle.
Winter comes.

#18 Ckasper

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 05:47 PM

Hallontagg said:

Whichever specc you intend to play arena on later, it makes you familiar with the abilities and with the playstyle.

Agreed.
So that means, in the upcoming patch, MM will be 95% of the prefered leveling spec (:

#19 Loleeta

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:10 AM

Ok some questions that should prolly be obvious to hunters but not to outsiders.

1) How good is aspect of the hawk? In particular, is it worth using it everytime you are not casting steady/cobra on the move? And how are you dealing with it? Have macro that swaps between aspects, or macro it to different abilities? I was thinking of macroing every normal shot to hawk, and then have 2 different steady shots, 1 with hawk and 1 with fox. Will this work, or it will malfunction cause of the aspect CDs fucking me over?

2) How good is cobra (for marksmanship)? The first impression is "use cobra for high armor targets", and seems to be doing quite a lot more damage on your average armor target, but steady offers a great lot for MM hunters. Is it enough to warrant using steady all the time, or cobra is still better vs like plate targets? Is it worth using fox when you are being trained by a melee or have a pet on you for the extra focus?

3) Do we get incrased focus regen from haste coming from Improved steady shot and Rapid fire, like we do from haste from gear? If so I guess it would be best to try to have constant uptime on Improve steady shot? (and most likely that would mean never using cobra on any target).

4) Kill Command. Is it worth using as MM? Hunter's mark. With marked for death is there any reason to use other than on rogues, druids and mages, or for dispel protection?

Prolly should stick those answers to the FAQ :P

Thanks.

Edited by Loleeta, 15 February 2011 - 03:35 PM.

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#20 Zigenz

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  • Shadowburn
  • Posts: 1080
  • Talents: Marksmanship
  • LocationAustralia

Posted 15 July 2011 - 07:02 AM

Excellent work, man. Wanted to wright one up myself but couldn't really be bothered, good job anyways.
[10:18:48] [W From] [85:Mythíc]: who sits a multiglad?
[10:18:58] [W From] [85:Mythíc]: you dont sit multi glads, you suck their balls and thank them after




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