Regional FlagJecht's "How to Hunter" GuideSource
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#0 - 2010/02/11 01:02:00 AM
Hey there hunters. I've never really done anything like this before but I thought i'd give it a try. I made this hunter guide for my own guildies to use, but after receiving a positive response from it I thought i'd share it with you guys too. I've always been a bit nervous with posting because of the sheer amount of flamers I see on here whenever I read a post, but what the hey! Feel free to use this guide if you would like to better your alts also.

The first thing you need to think about is spec. The obvious two specs which come to mind are Marksmanship and Survival. I'll try to cover both as in-depth as I possibly can, so here we go!


    Itemization -

Firstly, your primary concern with itemizing your gear should be maintaining your hit cap. As a hunter, the cap is 8% completely buffless and talentless. The first tier of the marksmanship tree offers a talent (Focused Aim) which you can gain an additional 3% from (using 3 talent points).
Many people see this as the Beginners' talent as they feel that once they have achieved the hit cap without this talent (263, 230 with a draenei), they should spec for other damage increasing talents, but in reality the alternative talents (from speccing correctly) provide very little increase in comparison to the extra stats you could gain from having to itemize for much less hit. But yeah, keep your hit cap in whichever way you can! For future reference, the hit rating -> % look something like this:

1% Hit -> 32.875~ Hit Rating
+0% Increased Hit - 263 Hit Rating
+1% Increased Hit - 230 Hit Rating
+2% Increased Hit - 198 Hit Rating
+3% Increased Hit - 165 Hit Rating
+4% Increased Hit (Draenei + 3/3 Focused Aim) - 132 Hit Rating

Bare in mind that pet hit is slightly different. While the pet hit cap is still 8% and your hit stats are converted to your pet, Focused Aim will not affect your pet, and the hit rating rounds down. Meaning if you are at, say 7.99% hit, your pet will only be at 7%. Knowing this shouldn't really change the way you itemize your gear, but it's nice to be aware of it.

Obviously, as Marksmanship, the majority of your damage is going to be physical. I'm not entirely sure on the exact % of physical:magical damage output, but it's enough to warrant you choosing Armor Penetration as your primary stat.
If you're starting off as a marksmanship hunter, the chances are you won't have a decent amount of armor pen on your gear alone. I'd suggest attempting to get 700-800~ from gear alone (+ an armor pen proc trinket) before you even consider thinking about gemming full out armor pen. Until this point, there are a few things you can do to make your damage look decent for your gear standards, such as changing your priority/rotation (Which I will get to later on).
Armor Pen, like other stats, gets more effective for the more you have. The goal for Armor Penetration is, essentially, to reach 100%. Some trinkets in game, such as Grim Toll, Mjolnir Runestone and Needle-Encrusted Scorpion have armor pen procs which take you to 100%. Many people mistake this as reaching the cap, but this is only partial truth. If you are reaching 100% with the use/proc of one of these trinkets, this is known as 'soft capping'. For hunters atleast, I'd recommend gemming past the soft cap, but not too much that your armor pen will be wasted.
Once you reach around 75%-80%~ unbuffed, I'd recommend either changing your trinket, or to start gemming for a secondary stat, such as Agility.
Obviously, you can't JUST choose to itemize for Armor Pen, you need a secondary stat aswell (All of your gear, by default will have Agi, Stam, Int, Attack Power and 2 variable stats). Providing your steady shot remains <your Global Cool Down (GCD), you should not worry about haste at all, and itemize completely for Crit. In extreme cases, there may be too much of a lack of agility or intellect on a piece of gear (as agility is both straight crit & AP, and Intellect is, with the use Careful Aim, a straight AP bonus) for it to be an upgrade, so always look out for this.

    Enchants -

Enchanting can be pretty situational. In general it's quite easy to understand which enchants you should be using, but often, it can be difficult to do the math specifically for your gear, without proper analysis. You can use this as a guideline:

Head - Arcanum of Torment, Knights of the Ebon Blade Rep
Shoulder - Greater Inscription, Sons of Hodir Rep
Cloak - 22 Agility
Chest - 10 Stats
Bracers - 50 Attack Power
Weapon(s) - 110 Attack Power, if you're dual-weilding then I'd still go for the double 65 AP.

Scope - In black and white, you should be using a Heartseeker Scope (40 Crit Rating), although there is such a thing in the game as a Hit scope, back from the days of Molten Core. I can't garuntee that finding a crafter will be easy, but if you REALLY want one i'm sure you see find one around, but don't expect it to be cheap.

Gloves - Again, black and white you should be using 20 Agi. It is important that if you are under hit you should use this enchant slot to gem for 20 hit rating, as if you gemmed instead, you would lose the oppertunity of 20 armor pen, instead of the 20 agility from the enchant slot.


Legs - Icescale Leg Armor (75 Attack Power, 22 Crit Rating).

Boots - Tough one, very situational. For pure damage, you should be using 16 Agility. If you lack hit, use Icewalker (12 Hit, 12 Crit). The third option is Cat's Swiftness (Agility and minor run speed). Argueably, movement = downtime, downtime = DPS loss, so movement speed = DPS increase, but as I said, it's pretty situational. Personally, I'd use Cat's Swiftness.

    Spec and Notes -

Ideally, your spec should look something very similar to this -

The 5/5 in Improved Aspect of the Hawk allows you to not worry about Haste to reach a <1.5 second (GCD) Steady Shot.
The 3/3 Focused Aim is to allow you reach the Hit Cap easily, so you can itemize for other stats on your gear.

1/2 Go for the Throat. In high-end gear, you should have enough Crit to allow your GFTT to continiously supply your pet with enough focus to continiously Claw/Bite without having to wait for regen. If you have lesser gear, and can afford to, you should take out 1 point in Focused Aim and put it in this talent to reach 2/2. This applies until you reach around 40-42% fully UB crit.

0/5 Efficiency - Some hunters decide to max out this talent, although I find the points are better suited elsewhere, as if you are supplied with every raid buff possible, you should not have to worry about mana unless the fight is particuarly long, or particuarly strenuous on mana, and you can always just use Aspect of the Viper to regen.

0/1 True Shot Aura - If your raid lacks the 10% Ap buff, you can quite happily spec out of Rapid Recuperation and spec into this. Many hunters have two specs, with just this one talent point difference.

1/1 Silencing Shot - Although Silencing Shot does not deal a great amount of damage, it is not actually on the Global CoolDown, meaning you can use it while you're casting other shots (except Steady Shot), this makes it a pure damage increase with no comprimises.

    Glyphs -

There are a few variations for hunter glyphs and in the end it essentially comes down to personal preference as there are very little difference between them, but the 3 glyphs which I have chosen are:

Glyph of Serpent Sting - Your chimera shot deals damage according to a few variables, but one of the more affecting variables is the damage of a full duration Serpent Sting. In glyphing for an additional 6 seconds worth, your chimera shot will deal roughly 1.5k extra damage every time you use it.

Glyph of Steady Shot - Although steady shot is your least damaging offensive ability in rotation, it is also your most used. As you will always have a serpent sting ticking on a mob, it is a great idea to gem for an additional 10% damage worth on your steady shots.

Glyph of Kill Shot - Alot of hunters think that the third hunter glyph in use should be Chimera Shot, or that it atleast deserves one of the 3 glyph spots. I deduced that with the scaling of gear, Kill Shot increases in base damage % increases far more than Chimera Shot does, but the obvious flaw with Glyph of Kill Shot is that it will not be in use for the first 80% of an average fight (not including adds), although the last 20% is generally the push for a boss kill. Spreadsheets show that with high-end gear, Kill Shot glyph & Chimera Shot glyph are generally on par with each other, so really it boils down to personal preference and the duration of the bossfight in question.

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#24 - 2010/02/16 10:44:59 AM
Good work! Adding this thread to the informative threads sticky!