If anyone feels like contributing be it fixing my horrible english or adding content let me know.
Note: English is not my first language so be prepared.
As some of you might remember I was previously a writer here on ArenaJunkies for multiple years but decided to leave the team about 8 months ago due to management disagreements. At the time I was answering hundreds of questions in Ask A Gladiator and because of that people realized that I was always happy to help which lead to me getting an overwhelming amount of PM’s and whispers. That is the main reason I have decided to put together a small guide that I will be updating as I see fit with information relevant to the current Meta game.
Why listen to me?
Short About Hunter:
With the release of Mists of Pandaria the hunter play-style changed but our role stayed the same.
Now how is this going to work out? Previously, we had big limitations by having a minimum range that caused our entire playstyle to focus around progressive positioning, predicting enemy movement and using max range to our benefit. We were put in teams to offer control with numerous instant cast CCs and high burst to open up possible kills for our partners. A common trend for our combos meant creative use of other classes to baby-sit us and fill in the absent synergies. This led us to playing “uncommon” compositions with a lot of off-spec classes such as; Ret Paladins, Prot Warriors, Feral Druids and Enhancement shamans.
With Mists of Pandaria we had two major changes, one being the removal of minimum range. This changed a lot about the way we play as we are no longer constantly staying at max range but instead we moved into the fight. At the same time getting new utility that benefits us being closer to the target, both for defensive and aggressive play. The second major change is the generalization of our specializations causing BM to have the same utilities as MM. This lead to BM being much more attractive and will be the dominant spec until MM catches up with either utility changes or damage buffs.
I won’t go too much into detail about how we should play yet as it will become more obvious as we go through the spells and talents that we will be picking up. At the end of this post I will also be posting a tips and tricks as well as a how to play against X that should give you great insight in how to play your hunter.
We are in the extremely rare situation that our talents are essentially up for debate. Picking talents may vary depending on playstyle, experience, team composition and much more. So I will be explaining the spells below for you to get a feel of what you might want and then what I think is most suitable for different setups.
Extremely versatile utility that acts as a semi passive! The wonderful thing about Narrow Escape is that it allows us to pick a single talent that opens up the possibility for a full team control, aggressive play, defensive play and positioning to a whole new extent. Using it to root melee, root targets, help healers or keep people LOS or to go LOS. I don’t think I need to explain this spell to much as it really speaks for itself.
Mobility and positioning is an extremely important aspect of the game and Posthaste provides us with that increased mobility through increased speed and breaker for roots/slows. This spell requires both practice and experience to understand and utilize it is one of the key aspects in having “progressive positioning”.
This comes natural to some hunters that played pre-cataclysm but can be a challenge for new hunters to learn. I suggest picking up this talent when you are playing in a heavy mobility composition or if you are targeted often, it is great for passive kiting and using LOS to relief pressure.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
In a situation where you are facing a lot of spell-cleaves. The shorter duration of Disengage allows you to much more effectively and consistently get behind pillars to Line of Sight and the Deterrence cooldown reduction combined with Deterrence glyph, can turn a spell-cleaves push into a spell-cleaves death. Notice this is a dangerous talent to pick for winning spell-cleaves, good players will see the hunter deterrence and immediately try to get a dot reflected to be immune to damage sensitive CC for a longer period.
The deterrence is our survival skill and as thus should be treated as such, using it for aggressive purposes is dangerous as it gives reason for enemies to make swap to you. Using the deterrence for reflecting CC is also a possibility and often game changing. Use with caution!
Short cooldown, Long Range, Instant cast and 3 second interruption spell. Most hunters will be picking this as the current meta means playing with melee classes who is short on silence effects and thus no chance of it going on diminishing returns and devaluing. It is instant cast, 40 yards range and off the global cooldown which nearly guarantee you being able to get it off to interrupt or to prevent healing. The short cooldown leaves it open for most situations and an easy tool for setting up crowdcontrol chains.
The not so popular Wyvern Sting! It shared Diminishing Returns with our trap leaving it extremely lacking compared to our beloved silence shot. However if Survival undergo a little changes replacing silence shot with Wyvern sting, and Freezing Trap with constant Frost Trap could prove extremely powerful... enough dreaming.
Although Silencing Shot is better in pretty much every situation I can’t stop but dream of situations where a well-positioned Binding Shot combined with a glyphed Explosive Trap to trigger the stun could make you win the game. But the insecurity, inconsistency and required timing to pull that off makes it not worth it compared to our guaranteed on demand Silence Shot!
Exhilaration has its strength in two fronts: an emergency heal and healing our pet. There will be so many situations where we are low on health and our healer is sitting in a few more seconds of CC, and this spell will be our free-pass. At the same time it will also allow us to use our pet in even more aggressive scenery allowing us to keep up the consistent pressure that BM require to be truly effective. All of the above combined with being reset through Readiness makes it a really valuable spell.
Aspect of the Iron Hawk
As much as an emergency heal is great; there will also be compositions where having a consistent damage reduction will be more valuable. You will have to take notice on this spell yourself, if you often find yourself in situations with sudden bursts, and one CC deaths, then do not pick this up. This spell’s strength is for consistency purposes, if you are often caught in longer games waiting for kills or in situations where you “almost” survived, then pick up this up. I will be explaining this further under the “build” explanation section.
Yeah… not yet.
Thrill of the Hunt:
Early season I would have argued that the in consistency of the spell made it a not looked-for talent. But given that the buff stays on you for a good period and that the meta game of BM require you to prepare burst periods with Arcane Shot I will go head and give this a little more credit than it most likely deserves.
Fervor provides us with an on-demand focus gain for those situations where we need to spam dispel, do extra damage or prepare for damage. Unlike the other talents this has its strength in being on-demand, consistent and very reliable. But it gives us an overwhelming amount of focus that can be hard to dump fast enough! Especially given that when we do eventually go for kills it is mostly combined with other buffs that alone will leave us with overwhelming amount of focus
No, having an extra pet and have focus regeneration rely on yet another pet mechanic is suicidal. We manage with our own pets as they have multiple ways of getting out of CC but Dire Beast is…silly
I will not be commenting on this as it is being changed shortly.
A Murder of Crows:
Glaive toss is instant cast so positioning, besides not breaking CC along the way, is not a primary concern when picking up this talent. One of the dangers with Power Shot is that we often spend long channeling the spell to get interrupt and essentially CCing ourselves. This is not a concern with Glaive Toss as it is instant cast and on a short cooldown we can get it of reliantly and maybe even twice during kill attempts. (Or three if Readiness) With the current meta forcing hunters to pick up the Vicious Talisman of the Shado Pan Assault it is also worth noticing that the most of these we can get off during a proc period, the stronger it gets. (Duhh)
Powerful burs that even with the 25% reduction recently is still an extremely powerful shot which can be utilized for opening bursts or swaps. It has a knock back that can prove useful on blade edge and dalaran but as these arenas are getting changed shortly I will not be going too much into the knockback besides a mini interruption for surrounding healers.
Glyph of Explosive Trap.
Removes the damage, adds knockback effect. Great spell for throwing people out of position, knocking down from Blade’s Edge Bridge/Pillars or Dalaran Sewers boxes. Takes our main weakness, (LOS/Position issues) and makes it into our greatest strengths. (The LOS at Dalaran is not much of a problem given the recent change to our ranged attacks not having a minimum range – and less relevant once they get changed with more stairs!)
Glyph of Morrored Blades.
This could be swapped for Master’s Call or Solace depending on what composition you are playing and where you are lacking as a team. There are more things to consider as written earlier:
“[…] turn a spell-cleaves push into a spell-cleaves death. Notice this is a dangerous talent to pick for winning spell-cleaves, good players will see the hunter deterrence and immediately try to get a dot reflected to be immune to damage sensitive CC for a longer period. The deterrence is our survivability skill and as thus should be treated as such, using it for aggressive purposes is dangerously as it gives reason for enemies to make swap to you. Using the deterrence for reflecting CC is also a possibility and often game changing. Use with caution!”
Glyph of Disengage.
This could be swapped for Master’s Call or Solace depending on what composition you are playing and where you are lacking as a team.
This glyph will increase the length through height in which you disengage; this is extremely useful as it provides you with the possibility to disengage from the bottom of sewers floor, up onto the main platform. It will also allow you to do some stylish disengages on Blade’s Edge Arena.
Glyph of Revive Pet.
When our pet dies, we need it back up, this will be our savior when trying to get that 6 seconds cast off!
Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah.
It isn’t crucial but since none of the other minor glyphs is more interesting this will be our second minor glyph. Use it for those few situations where you need to kite and don’t have any globals to use for other things.
Glyph of Stampede/Random
Depending on what arrangement of pets you choose to go with. I will be explaining this in much further detail under the pets section.
With the publication of Stampede at the release of Mists of Pandaria our pet selection got a whole lot more complicated than previously. During Cataclysm most people would use a wolf and a cat for buffing pre-match and then have a couple of monkeys for swapping out/abandoning dead ones during the fight.
During the stampede our 5 pets will be using all of its “auto-cast” spells, which means any spell that can be toggled to auto-casting will be cast through it. This includes damaging spells, debuffs and their 1 minute buffs.
There is currently one limitation; pets will only cast the spells if they have the auto-cast toggled on individually. If they do not have this you will need to have a macro for all of these spells,
A great place to go for a list of spells is here: http://www.wow-petop...nts/skills.html
The A-Team Pet Setup;
This is the most streamlined set of pets that you can run with. Now you will evidently be playing with team mates that will be bringing certain buffs. I suggest swapping out the pet that is rendered "useless" with one of the swaps listed below depending on what you lack/want as a team.
1. Shale Spider (Primary) Or if MM/Surv Crane (Primary)
2. Quillen (Crit, 2min) Or if MM/Surv Wolf (Crit, 1min)
3. Hyena (Attack Speed, 2min)
4. Spirit Beast (Heal, Mastery, 2min) -///-
5. Shale Spider (Back Up) Or if MM/Surv Crane (Back Up)
Devilsaur: 25% Healing Debuff. Reduce globals by not having to refresh Widow Venom.
Moth: 4 second interrupt.
Birds of Prey: 8 Second Disarm:
Ravager: 4% physical damage taken.
Plainstrider: 12% Armor Reduction. (Stacks off three)
Foxes 30% Casting Speed Reduction AoE (30% 10 yards, 30 sec)
Buff Setup: 5 Buffer’s
Given the swap list above you will should be able to put together a nice collection of pets focused on buffing.
Debuff Setup: 5 Debuffers
Given the swap list above you will should be able to put together a nice collection of pets focused on debuffing.
Role Confused Healing BM Setup: Spirit Beasts
5x Spirit Beasts - You run with a Spirit Beast and you use the Stampede Glyph to get even more spirit beasts. This is a good setup for running 2vs2 or doing battlegrounds, but really not desirable in competitive arena. Although it was extremely strong in the start of the expansion as you could easily put out competitive healing but given the changes it is no longer viable.
The Aggressive Hunter (...)
The Defensive Hunter (...)
The "I am in your face and all over you" Hunter (...)
The Smart Hunter (...)
The "The floor is lava" Hunter (...)
The Confused Hunter (...)
The Average Hunter (99% of Hunter Population)
Head – Coming Soon!
Shoulders – Coming Soon!
Back - PvP Power - Coming Soon!
Chest – Stats - Coming Soon!
Wrist – Agility - Coming Soon!
Hands – Agility - Coming Soon!
Legs - Coming Soon!
Feet – Coming Soon!
Weapon - Coming Soon!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question 1: Zionsfall doesn't even use Focus Fire because it makes you do less dmg is this true?
Tips and Tricks
The Kneeling Trap
One of my earliest self-found tricks is having a keybind specifically for /kneel. The trick might not be as easy to pull off now that the majority of the hunters is using trap launcher as it have caused people to be less aware of the hunters animation.
But using a kneel and letting the animation run for a second, by not moving, will use the same animation as placing trap. This way you can trick enemies into running around in large circles or trying to get around spots, gaining you just a few seconds of free time with this "mindfuck"
When to use it? I tend to do a few kneels at pillars, or in front of pillars and often find people avoiding that area for a long time. You can use it to have them come in at awkward angles or in rare occasions have warriors pop spell-reflect or rogue pop cloak of shadows, etc.
Feign Death into Deterrence
People have gotten better and better and not getting their CC reflected when deterrence is up but there are still way that can enhance your chance besides timing.
Regardless you should be able to see when people are going to CC you, be it from them moving towards you or simply casting, noticing is the most important aspect. Paladins often tend to run towards you and look at you when going for a stun etc Using Feign Death for cancling casts or having the target lose target often get the target in a slight state of "panic" as they attempt to reapply the CC.
Mostly I use it versus warlocks/mages or paladins as they are easier to spot when going for CC, feign death, and wait half a second then pop deterrence. In a majority of situations the player will instantly try to target you again and reapply the cc. Take notice, that some players might not reapply the CC as they don't notice or the situation changed, you will have to get experience at noticing this yourself. Using it is also semi risky given you use a defensive cooldown but might get you the kill or help your team survive.
More Coming Soon!
How to play against:
This will master call you - Unless one of the following is found: shift, ctrl, mouseover, friendly target. If found, it will do it on indicated target.
#showtooltip /use [@mouseover,help][mod:shift,@MATE1][mod:ctrl,@MATE2] Master's Call
Secured Silence Shot
Will silence target, unless you got a mouseover or hold shift for focus target. Second and third line allows for Hand of Protection and Detterence removal.
#showtooltip Silencing Shot /cancelaura Hand of Protection /cancelaura Deterrence /stopcasting /stopcasting /stopcasting /use [@mouseover, harm][mod:shift,@focus][harm] Silencing Shot
Secured Scatter Shot
Read desription above.
#showtooltip Scatter Shot /cancelaura Hand of Protection /cancelaura Deterrence /stopcasting /stopcasting /stopcasting /use [@mouseover, harm][mod:shift,@focus][harm] Scatter Shot
Grounding Totem Destroyer
This is used for destroying Grounding Totems by making your pet growl and thus "eating" it by triggering a spell. A lot of people macro this into their Scatter Shot, but I suggest that you find a seperate keybind for it. This way you will not be limiting yourself and given that there are now multiple ways, beyond scatter, to trap it will prove more useful.
#showtooltip /use [@pettarget] Growl
Level 90 Talent Tree Macro - credit to Ohhrly @ Drak'tharon
Make sure to put in the macro name where is says MACRONAME
#showtooltip /use Glaive Toss /use Powershot /use Barrage /run local G=GetSpellInfo SetMacroSpell("MACRONAME", G"Glaive Toss" or G"Powershot" or "Barrage")
Pet Control (Shale/Crane/Spirit)
Crane/Shale Spider: Will use pet CC on target, unless mouseover or shift for focus is found
Spirit Beast: Will heal you, unless target is friendly or mouseover is found.
#showtooltip [pet:Shale Spider]Web Wrap;[pet:crane]Lullaby;Spirit Mend /use [@mouseover,harm][mod:shift,@focus] Web Wrap /use [@mouseover,harm][mod:shift,@focus] Lullaby /use [@mouseover,help][@target,help][@player] Spirit Mend
Makes sure Feign Death goes off.
#showtooltip Feign Death /stopcasting /stopcasting /stopcasting /use Feign Death
Makes sure Disengage goes off.
#showtooltip Disengage /stopcasting /stopcasting /stopcasting /use Disengage
Will keep the flare area toggled regardless of you spamming it.
#showtooltip Flare /cast !Flare
Will use Heart of the Phoenix when no modifier, will cast ress when using a modifier.
#showtooltip /use [nomod] Heart of the Phoenix /use [mod] Revive Pet
Spam this while pointing at targets arena frame to try and mark someone when gates open before they go to stealth.
#showtooltip /cast [@mouseover,harm][mod:shift,@focus] Hunter's Mark
Recastable Eagle Eye (Like Far Sight) (Useless for Arena, but a must have)
Allow you to keep casting Eagle Eye, even when in Eagle Eye. So you can keep using Eagle Eye away!
#showtooltip Eagle Eye /cast !Eagle Eye
Play around with the numbers to figure out what pet is on what spot.
#showtooltip /use [mod:ctrl] Call Pet 2 /use [nomod] Dismiss Pet /use [mod:shift] Call Pet 5 /use [mod:alt] Call Pet 3