News
Prof.
Class
Raid
Dungeon
Events
Quests
Transmog
Contact
Views: 78 190
Marksmanship Hunter DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoW 4.3.4)

my image
Available!
5.4.8 guides and etc...
Click here.

Contents


Marksmanship Hunter Art Image

In this article, we list your Marksmanship Hunter (WoW 4.3) core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation). We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that playing a Marksmanship Hunter will face you with. The other articles of our Marksmanship Hunter guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Basic Single Target Rotation↑top

Below, we present the usual single target rotation for Marksmanship Hunters, which consists in a priority list. That said, you need to keep in mind that it can be optimised in various situations, which we detail later on in this article, so we advise you to keep reading. Note that using this priority list all the time we still yield very good results.

  1. Ensure that Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark is on the target.
  2. Apply and maintain Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting to the target
    • it will be refreshed by Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot so it only needs to be done once, normally.
  3. Cast a pair of Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots if there are less than 4 seconds on Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot.
  4. Cast Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot on cooldown.
  5. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! when instant cast (5 charges of Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman).
  6. Cast Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot on cooldown
    • can only be cast when the target is at or below 20% health.
  7. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot to generate focus.
  8. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! while not instant cast OR cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to dump focus.

2. Basic Multiple Target Rotation↑top

When facing 4 or more enemies, you should abandon your basic single-target rotation and use this priority list instead:

  1. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot in pairs to maintain Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot.
  2. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot as often as your focus allows.
  3. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! when instant cast.
  4. Cast Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot.
  5. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot whenever you have insufficient focus for Multi-Shot.

3. Cooldown Usage↑top

Your DPS cooldowns are Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire, Readiness Icon Readiness, and Call of the Wild Icon Call of the Wild. Below, we explain rapidly how to use them. Note that to benefit fully from Rapid Fire, it is advised that you alter your rotation slightly, as explained at in our section that covers the Rapid Fire rotation.

You should always use Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire followed immediately by Readiness Icon Readiness in order to reset its cooldown. Once Rapid Fire runs out, you should use it again. 3 minutes later, both your Rapid Fire and Readiness will come off cooldown (within 15 seconds of each other) and should be used again.

It is also a large DPS increase to use your Ferocity pet's ability, Call of the Wild Icon Call of the Wild, together with Rapid Fire.

4. Aspects↑top

You should always have an Aspect active. As a Marksmanship Hunter, you should always be using Aspect of the Hawk Icon Aspect of the Hawk.

Should your raid require Nature Resistance while lacking another source for it (a Shaman totem), you should use Aspect of the Wild Icon Aspect of the Wild.

When you have to move for extensive amounts of time, consider using Aspect of the Fox Icon Aspect of the Fox, which will allow you to use some of your abilities with a cast time while moving.

Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Pack Icon Aspect of the Pack are generally not advised during combat because of their negative dazing effect, but can be useful for speeding up your raid's running after a wipe.

A hunter's aspect will persist until removed by the hunter or until the hunter's death. Aspects can be changed in combat, but they cannot be changed while a cast is in progress. It is worth mentioning also that hunter aspects are on a different global cooldown, only affected by each other.

5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Marksmanship Hunter↑top

While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield very good results, there are many things you should be aware of, in order to play your Marksmanship Hunter to its full potential. You will need to understand many subtleties, mostly pertaining to your flexible rotation (depends on the target's health), that we present below.

5.1. Focus

Hunters and their pets use a unique resource, called focus. Focus works in much the same way as other class resources, like rage and energy, in the sense that some abilities grant focus, while others cost focus in order to be used.

A Marksmanship Hunter's focus has a maximum capacity of 100, and regenerates at an innate rate of 6 focus per second. This rate is increased by Haste Rating. In addition to this, certain abilities such as Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot and Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shot also grant focus.

Most of the abilities in the hunter rotation cost focus to use, and some talents decrease the focus costs, or offer other ways to gain additional focus.

Hunter pet focus works similarly, and is of no concern to you as you cannot do anything to modify it, nor will you be casting pet abilities manually.

As a general rule, you should aim to always have enough focus to cast your shots, but also to never have 100 focus (as any extra focus you generate would then go to waste).

5.2. Auto-shots and Special Shots

Hunters do the majority of their damage through the use of shots. The rest of the damage is made up of pet damage and DoT damage.

Auto Shot Icon Auto Shot is the default Hunter attack, which works similarly to melee classes' auto attacks or "white swings". It is affected by your Ranged Attack Speed, and it continues to work while moving.

The other hunter shots are of all varieties: instant cast or with a cast time, costing focus or granting focus and some are utility shots which cost no focus and deal no damage.

5.3. Abilities in Detail

This section presents all the abilities you will use as part of your single target and multi-target rotation.

  • Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot: this is your filler shot. It has a cast time, no focus cost or cooldown and it generates 9 focus. Casting it twice in a row will provide you with Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot. Because of Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim, it has a 60% increased critical strike chance on targets above 90% health.
  • Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting: this is a DoT which deals Nature damage to the target over 15 seconds. It is an instant cast, costs 25 focus and has no cooldown. It is refreshed by one of your key abilities.
  • Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot: this is your signature ability as a Marksmanship Hunter. It is an instant cast, costs 50 focus and has a 10 second cooldown (9 if you use the glyph). It refreshes the duration of your Serpent Sting on the target, and also heals you for 5% of your maximum health.
  • Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot!: this ability has a cast time, costs 50 focus and has no cooldown. Because of Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman it will occasionally become an instant cast with no focus cost. Because of Careful Aim it has a 60% increased critical strike chance on targets above 90% health.
  • Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot: this is your focus dump ability. It is an instant cast, costs 25 focus and has no cooldown.
  • Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot: this ability only becomes available when your target is under 20% health. It is an instant cast, costs no focus and has a 10 second cooldown. By using Glyph of Kill Shot it becomes usable twice in a row.
  • Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot: this is your AoE attack. It strikes the target, and all targets within 8 yards of it. It is instant cast, has no cooldown and costs 40 focus.
  • Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap: places a trap on the ground, which explodes when touched by an enemy, and deals fire damage to all enemies in an area around the trap. Useful especially during AoE situations, but depending on the number of enemies and the time they will spend in the affected area, it may not be worth the global cooldown.
  • Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark: this ability places a debuff on your target, increasing the ranged attack power of all attackers on the target. It is an instant cast, it has no focus cost and no cooldown, and casting it does not trigger combat.
  • Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire: this is your DPS cooldown. It grants you 40% (50% if glyphed) increased attack speed for 15 seconds.
  • Readiness Icon Readiness: resets the cooldown on all of your abilities, including (and most importantly) that of Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire. For this reason, the two abilities should always be used in conjuction.

5.4. Key Concepts

Before delving into the actual shot priorities you must execute as a Marksmanship Hunter, a few key concepts need to be properly explained.

5.4.1. Improved Steady Shot

Casting two Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots in a row (meaning, without any other damaging shots in between) provides you with an 8 second buff, called Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot. This buff increases your ranged attack speed by 15% and is an absolutely essential component of competitive Marksmanship DPS.

There is no situation where keeping this buff up is not a top priority, so whenever casting Steady Shot in pairs is mentioned in the sections below, know that it is for this reason.

5.4.2. Master Marksman Procs

Thanks to the Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman talent, each Steady Shot has a 60% chance to grant a charge of Ready, Set, Aim... Icon Ready, Set, Aim.... Once you have gained 5 charges, your next Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! cast within 10 seconds will become instant cast and cost no focus. As a general rule, instant cast Aimed Shots have a high priority.

5.4.3. Serpent Sting and Chimera Shot

As mentioned in the ability section above, casting Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot on a target affected by Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting will refresh the duration of Serpent Sting. Because of this, you will generally only find yourself needing to apply Serpent Sting to the target once, at the start of the fight.

As the cooldown on Chimera Shot is 10 seconds (9 if glyphed), refreshing Serpent Sting is generally not an issue, as in most cases Chimera Shot will be used on cooldown, as detailed in the sections below. If, for whatever reason, your Serpent Sting wears off of the target, it should be reapplied, assuming that the target will live for at least 12 seconds.

It is generally not a DPS increase to apply Serpent Sting to multiple targets simultaneously and try to refresh it on each of them, but this can be done on fights where a target which is currently not your priority target takes increased damage.

5.4.4. Dynamic Haste Effects

For the purpose of the following sections, large dynamic attack and casting speed increasing buffs will be referred to as dynamic haste effects. They are Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire and Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp. This is relevant because the shot priority changes as some shots become stronger under such effects.

5.4.5. More on Rapid Fire Usage

Your goal is to use Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire as many times during an encounter as possible. Because of this, you will want to use it as early as possible (normally, at the pull) and whenever it comes off cooldown after that. There are two exceptions to this:

  • If a particular stage of an encounter requires burst DPS, you should make sure that your cooldowns are available to use then.
  • Avoid stacking Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp with Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire, unless it would allow you to use Rapid Fire an extra time during the encounter.

5.5. Single Target Rotation

For Marksmanship Hunters, the rotation depends on the boss' current health, as follows:

  • 100%-90% or the Careful Aim Phase: because Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim increases the critical strike chance of some abilities greatly while the boss is over 90% health, the rotation here is different than normal.
  • 90%-20% or the Normal Phase: during this time you will make use of the basic rotation.
  • 20%-0% or the Execution Phase: this is the standard execution phase for most classes. In the case of Hunters, it enables the use of Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot, which enters into the rotation, but does not change it very much from the basic one.

Because both the Careful Aim Phase and the Execution Phase are simple derivations of the Normal Phase in terms of rotation, we will begin by explaining the basic rotation.

5.6. Subtleties on the Basic Single Target Rotation

Below, we remind you of the basic single target rotation that we presented above.

  1. Ensure that Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark is on the target.
  2. Apply and maintain Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting to the target
    • it will be refreshed by Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot so it only needs to be done once, normally.
  3. Cast a pair of Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots if there are less than 4 seconds on Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot.
  4. Cast Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot on cooldown.
  5. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! when instant cast (5 charges of Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman.
  6. Cast Steady Shot to generate focus.
  7. Cast Aimed Shot while not instant cast OR cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to dump focus.

The decision between casting Aimed Shot or Arcane Shot to dump your excess focus depends on two factors. If one or both of the following are false, you should use Arcane Shot:

  • You are benefitting from from Improved Icy Talons Icon Improved Icy Talons or Hunting Party Icon Hunting Party.
  • You are able to stand still for the full cast time of Aimed Shot and will rarely if ever be forced to cancel a cast due to movement.

After you have decided which shot you will use to dump your focus, you should use the appropriate Prime Glyph. Thus, if you are using Arcane Shot, you should always have it glyphed with Glyph of Arcane Shot. If you are making use of Aimed Shot, you should instead use Glyph of Aimed Shot.

Therefore, your Normal Phase shot priority revolves around using Chimera Shot on cooldown (thus refreshing your Serpent Sting on the target) and refreshing your Improved Steady Shot between each cast of Chimera Shot. In addition to this, you will often have to dump your focus, with either Arcane Shot or Aimed Shot, as detailed above.

It is very important to never lose sight of your Improved Steady Shot duration, and always prioritise a pair of Steady Shots if your buff is about to fall off, even if this means delaying a Chimera Shot.

As seen in the shot priority, instant cast Aimed Shots are also very valuable, but they can and should be delayed to either cast Chimera Shot or refresh Improved Steady Shot.

If you are using Arcane Shot to dump your focus, you need to be aware not to get carried away with casting many of them in rapid succession (despite the fact that your focus may allow it) because it will consume a lot of the 8 second window for refreshing Improved Steady Shot. Instead, cast two or at most three Arcane Shots in a row, just enough not to cap your focus.

If under any dynamic haste effects, the above holds true, with the only change being that you should use Aimed Shot to dump your focus instead of Arcane Shot, because of its much lowered cast time.

5.6.1. Careful Aim Phase with Dynamic Haste Effects

You will normally want to use Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire at the pull, so during the Careful Aim Phase, unless your raid is using Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp during that time. In either case, you will be under a dynamic haste effect, and your shot priority should be:

  1. Ensure that Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark is on the target.
  2. Cast a pair of Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots if there are less than 4 seconds on Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot.
  3. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot!, whether you benefit from an instant cast proc or not.
  4. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot whenever you have insufficient focus for Aimed Shot.

Your goal here is to cast as many Aimed Shots as possible, as with their nearly 100% chance to be a critical strike (if we assume a raid buffed critical strike chance of 30%, during this phase your Aimed Shots will have a 90% chance to critically hit) they are not surpassed by any of your abilities.

You will want to use Steady Shot in pairs, to refresh your Improved Steady Shot buff, and use all of your focus on Aimed Shot. Right as the fight begins, you may find it a DPS increase to apply Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting and cast Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot once, as these instant casts will allow you get in position while still doing damage. At any rate, you should not worry about refreshing Serpent Sting, nor should you cast Chimera Shot again.

Therefore, your opening ability combination will look something like this:

  1. Apply Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark to the target.
  2. Apply Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting to the target.
  3. Cast Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot.
  4. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  5. Cast Readiness Icon Readiness.
  6. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot twice.
  7. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot!.

When Rapid Fire runs out, simply cast it again (it will be off cooldown because you used Readiness).

Once your second Rapid Fire wears off, you should use the priority described in the section below, as you will then be in the Careful Aim Phase without dynamic haste effects.

It may prove to be a marginal DPS increase under some circumstances to use Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting during the Careful Aim Phase while under dynamic haste effects, and refresh it by using Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot. The DPS increase, if present, is minimal and doing so complicates the rotation and makes it more prone to error.

If, however, during the Careful Aim Phase while under dynamic haste effects you are required to move a great deal (something which is uncommon during the current tier of content) you should use the following priority, which will provide you with more instant casts:

  1. Ensure that Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark is on the target.
  2. Apply Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting and maintain it through use of Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot.
  3. Cast a pair of Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots if there are less than 4 seconds on Improved Steady Shot.
  4. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot!, whether instant cast or not.
  5. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot to generate focus.

This will result in fewer Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot!s and more focus spent on Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot, as well as more of your damage coming from Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting, allowing you to move more.

5.6.2. Careful Aim Phase without Dynamic Haste Effects

If not under any dynamic haste effects, you should maintain Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting up on the target with Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot, while using Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot in pairs and casting Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! whenever you have sufficient focus.

5.6.3. Execution Phase

Your shot priority during this phase does not change much from the standard priority. The only difference is the addition of Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot, and your priority will be:

  1. Ensure that Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark is on the target.
  2. Apply and maintain Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting to the target
    • it will be refreshed by Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot so it only needs to be done once, normally.
  3. Cast a pair of Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots if there are less than 4 seconds on Improved Steady Shot Icon Improved Steady Shot.
  4. Cast Chimera Shot Icon Chimera Shot on cooldown.
  5. Cast Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot.
  6. Cast Aimed Shot! Icon Aimed Shot! when instant cast.
  7. Cast Steady Shot to generate focus.
  8. Cast Aimed Shot while not instant cast OR cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to dump focus.

If you opted to use the Glyph of Kill Shot, simply use Kill Shot twice in a row each time.

5.7. Multiple Target Priority Subtleties

When facing fewer than 4 enemies, you will do better DPS by executing a single target priority on the mobs, and you should do so (alternating between the targets your are attacking, in case they need to die at the same time).

When facing 4 or more enemies, you should use the rotation presented at the beginning of the article for multiple-target DPS.

If the enemies are going to remain in the same general area, and are going to be alive for a sufficient amount of time (10 or more seconds), you can place an Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap as well, through use of Trap Launcher Icon Trap Launcher.

Burst AoE DPS can be achieved by using Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire. Doing this will allow you to use considerably more Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shots and will drastically reduce the amount of Steady Shot Icon Steady Shots you get to cast.




2014-2015 Tauri-Veins.com 2.1