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Marksman Hunter PvE guide (Cataclysm)

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Marksmanship Hunter - the REAL hunter. No, not the one who relies on beasts. No, not the one who relies on traps either. The one who relies on ARROWS/BULLETS. Like the Heavy in TF2 said, "Some people think they can outsmart me. Hmm. I've yet to see one that can outsmart BULLET(or ARROW)."

This is your basic raid talent spec.


Glyphs

The glyphs are listed in the spec and there are 4 empty which don't have such a huge significance and that's why they're left to free will.


Race Choosing

The best race for a hunter for either PvE and PvP is Worgen. +1% critical chance and Darkflight(+40% speed for 10 sec with a 2 min CD)



Rotation

Marksman MM Hunter Shot Rotation During Careful Aim Range (first 10%)

During the first 10% of the fight MM hunter shot rotation is benefiting enormously from a lovely combination of their talents. Careful Aim allows the MM Steady Shots and Aimed Shots to gain an extra 60% crit chance while the boss is over 90% health. This extra crit chance then combos yet again with Piercing Shots, giving all those crit an extra 30% damage.

As always you’ll want to be in Aspect of the Hawk and have Hunter’s Mark on your target. Your priority rotation then becomes:

Aimed Shot procs (instant cast from Master Marksman procs)

Aimed Shot hardcast (manually casting the 2.9-second cast version)

Steady Shot


Standard Marksman MM Hunter Shot Rotation (no Careful Aim)

The standard rotation that MM hunters use for 90% of the fight, when we aren't in Careful Aim range, is this. You will still want to be in Aspect of the Hawk if possible and have Hunter’s Mark and Serpent Sting active. Your shot priority then becomes:

Chimera Shot

Kill Shot (if available)

Aimed Shot procs

Arcane Shot (focus dump)

Steady Shot (in pairs for the 15% haste buff)


Technically, using Aimed Shot as our focus dump instead of Arcane Shot will still yield higher dps.

You are seeing a dps gain from this, but that gain isn't huge — and if you have to move while casting Aimed Shot because of void zones or other fight mechanics, you will quickly lose the benefit.



MM Hunter Cooldowns in the Rotation

MM hunters have the greatest cooldown situation of all hunter specs, due to the power of Readiness combined with Rapid Fire. Because of Readiness, MM hunters will get at least 4 Rapid Fires each fight, and if the fight is long enough, even 6 or 8 rapid fires.

But, you’ll only get them if you actually use the talent regularly!

You absolutely want to use your first two Rapid Fires at the very beginning of the fight. Rapid Fire is strongest during Careful Aim range.



The Hunter Hit Cap Basics

As a level 85 hunter, you sometimes miss when you shoot your target. Your chance to miss depends on what level mob you’re attacking. This percentages have not changed with Cataclysm, but the rating has.

Level 85 Hunter vs:

Level 85 mob: 5% miss chance

Level 87 mob: 6% miss chance (heroic boss)

Level 88 mob: 8% miss chance (raid boss)



Mastery

In Cataclysm your hunter gains mastery by training the Mastery skill at level 78. You gain specializations when you first choose your talent tree.

Marksman (MM hunter)

Bonus Ability: Aimed Shot

Specialization: Artisan Quiver – auto-attack damage increased by 15%

Mastery: Wild Quiver: 16% chance on all ranged attacks to proc a normal damage shot. Each point of Mastery increases the chance by an additional 1.8%. Note that this procs off both auto-shots and special shots.



Gems

Meta Gem

Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 agility & 3% crit damage)


Red Slot Delicate Inferno Ruby (+40 Agility)


Yellow Slot

Deadly Ember Topaz (+20 Agility & +20 Crit)


Blue Slot

Delicate Inferno Ruby (+40 Agility)



Enchants

Head / Helm

Arcanum of the Ramkahen (Ramkahen Revered Rep - Blacksmith Abasi)


Shoulders

Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal (Therazane Exalted Rep - D’lom the Collector)


Back / Cloak

Greater Critical Strike (for most hunters) (Enchanting)

Major Agility (Wrath enchant if your agility is worth more than 3x crit) (Enchanting)


Chest

Peerless Stats (Enchanting)


Wrists / Bracers

Enchant Bracer – Agility (Enchanting)


Hands / Gloves

Major Agility (Wrath enchant) (Enchanting)


Waist / Belt

Ebonsteel Belt Buckle (Blacksmithing)


Legs

Dragonscale Leg Armor (Leatherworking)


Feet / Boots

Assassin’s Step

Major Agility

Precision (Enchanting)


Ranged

Gnomish X-Ray Scope (Engineer)

Flintlocke’s Woodchucker (Engineer)


Melee 2-handed

Mighty Agility (Enchanting)



Pet

IMO, Ferocity is the best DPS spec for Marksmanship, Cunning is for Beast Mastery DPS and Tenacity is for soloing.