Thursday, February 17, 2011

Marksman Hunter DPS in 4.0.6

I am using a 7/31/3 Marksman talent build for all my non-AoE fights.  I've heard a few questions about talents in the past week or two.  First, you want one point in Rapid Killing so you can get Rapid Recuperation's big benefit of +50 focus.  Second, I put two points in Frenzy and three in Pathing.  This works best for my gear.  For other gear levels reversing the two may be marginally better.

I am habitually addicted to double-tap Kill Shots.  A better Glyph to take would be Chimera Shot. It's not radically better especially with the current de-emphasis on Chimera Shot. If you have double-tap Kill Shots wired into your fingers and you like to hit readiness right after to do a second round, then I recommend the following.  If you don't, then go with the Chimera Shot glyph instead of the Kill Shot glyph. The major and minor glyphs are good but not huge DPS differences.

Shot Priority
If you have call-outs on the timing of a boss pull, you can tee-off with a manual cast misdirecting Aimed Shot against a marked boss.  Pre-pots are kinda expensive and you lose ~3sec on the AiS cast time, so it's not exactly worth it in a majority of situations.

Generally speaking for Marksman, you want to always be casting steady shot in pairs of two to keep your haste buff up.

You want to toss your chimera shot to refresh your serpent sting.  It is possible to get better DPS right now by gaming the system by tossing a cobra shot, saving the focus and using it on manual cast aimed shots -- while the boss is at 80% or above.  If that was a confusing sentence, don't worry.  I don't recommend this. The shot priority you want is to do your two steadies, take your chimera shot when it's off cooldown to refresh the serpent sting, and use the manual long cast Aimed Shot as a focus dump.  If you can't do Aimed Shot because of moving, then and only then you can dump some focus by using an Arcane Shot.

You will always take the focus-free instant Aimed Shot as soon as possible.

Definitely don't forget to use Rapid Fire twice at the beginning of a fight and twice at the end.   Not only is it better to get to use it twice, but at the beginning you are in the Careful Aim health range and at the end you are in the Kill Shot health range.  (Make sure to get an extra two Kill Shots with that readiness.)

Your meta gem is new.  It's most likely still a little pricey.  It is worth it.  You should ignore socket bonuses in almost all cases and gem for agility.   If the socket bonus is too incredibly tasty stop and consider that agility is at least twice as good as crit.  Often it's three times as good.  Do the math.

Reforge everything that can be made crit into crit.  Then reforge everything that isn't crit into hit until you meet the hit cap of 961 hit rating.  Then the rest to haste until your personal soft cap, and then mastery.  You can find out your personal haste soft cap with a nifty little tool.  Or you can see what works for you by playing with the shot simulator and varying your haste and raid buffs.  There probably wont be too much wiggle room anyway.

Note: I was planning on letting things settle down, but it's time for an update.  That said, we have a nerf to Aimed Shot en-route.  I authored this post in anticipation of that, but also with the current state of play.


  1. Awesome post! Thanks for bringing a little bit of clarity for me. I've not played Marksman before and it seems to be the new thing! =)

  2. i've been reforging everything to haste after i get my hit cap of course im at 1354 haste 10.57%. Should I instead stack crit with reforging?

  3. Has anyone else noticed the Aimed shot procs seemed to have been majorly nerfed? Seems I'm lucky to get 2 in an entire heroic boss fight now, what the heck? My dps is now #2-3 at best, sometimes as low as 4 in a group, and my gear is almost topped out...

  4. Anonymous: same problem and it sucks by week 5-6 of cata I was doing 10-11kdmg in surv with full heroic set when most people were still doing 6-7k.

    Now people are hitting 13-16k and I'm down to 8k, wth. I have 4 epics now and still lost a lot of dps. ended up switching to MM so came across this site.

    I enjoy playing a hunter but they keep nerfing over and over.

  5. Verry useful ghide for hunters . I'm BM and are more than 12k dps can not remove it. MM I'll try and see the difference with your help. Thx