Slowly updating this thread to 5.1
Everyone is open to contribute to this thread, if you have some information / numbers that are valid and/or other information, feel free to post and I will see to it that the thread is updated.
Note: This is a gathering of info from various sites + some of my personal opinions. I do not take credit for everything in this guide. This guide is posted to give a overview of the basics, if you wish to go deeper into the World of Theorycrafting, follow my links.
Table of Content
1.1 A few words
1.2 Abbreviations and Acronyms
2.0 Your Character
- 2.2.1 Prime
- 2.2.2 Major
- 2.2.3 Minor
3.0 Your Gear
- 3.1.1 Hit
- 3.1.2 Crit
- 3.1.3 Haste
- 3.1.4 Mastery
4.0 Haste Plateaus
5.0 Rotations / Priority system
7.0 Set Bonuses
8.0 Mods / Tools / Addons
9.0 Change log
10.0 Posters notes
1.1 A few words
In this guide I will gather information found across several sources, and put them in a clean and easy way for the reader to comprehend and understand the material. This guide is meant for PvE purposes only, and should not be followed for PvP or Solo / Dungeons. Most of the DPS comparisons in this thread was done in a 378 T12 set using Femaledwarf.
1.2 Abbreviations / Acronyms
Props to Whitefyst of Elitistjerks for this table.
2.0 Your Character
Mists of Pandaria changed the talent system completely (I assume you've noticed this by now), therefore there aren't really that many different options to go from.
This is the standard raiding spec you'll want to use.
Barrage would beat Glaive Shot in AoE heavy fights as Barrage can proc quite a few Wild Quivers.
Glyph of Marked for Death
Glyph of Deterrence
Glyph of Animal Bond
Those glyphs are the main three glyphs you'll want for raiding. Marked for Death means you don't need to reapply Hunter's mark for the longer fights, Deterrence gives more damage reduction for abilities and effects that it wont protect you from, and the Animal Bond gives you more healing, which is always nice.
Glyph of Aimed Shot can be a nice glyph for fights involving a lot of moment, or if you're like me, you like to jump around while DPSing.
As for minor glyphs, the only one I recommend having is Revive Pet. The rest is situational and personal preference. Glyph of Direction currently makes your Misdirection have no cooldown, which makes it a really nice glyph. You can use it on a tank constantly. This will probably be fixed soon.
Whitefyst has done an excellent job looking at the DPS difference of races in Mists of Pandaria. The modeling was done as an Orc, so the values are how much less/more dps you'd do as a different race. Note that this modeling is for T14H gear.
Note that Femaledwarf averages out Blood Fury (Orc racial), meaning it might not be accurate - Orc might the better than Troll. The difference is minimal either way.
Race DPS/Difference % Difference Troll +93 +0.1% Orc 104567 0% Pandaren -7 -0% Worgen -225 -0.2% Forsaken -304 -0.3% Goblins -581 -0.6% Draenei -642 -0.6% Dwarf -899 -0.9% Blood Elf -988 -0.9% Night Elf -1032 -1.0% Human -1049 -1.0% Tauren -1062 -1.0% Gnome Not applicable
Most of the main professions grants a 320 agility boosts which makes them roughly equal. It's not worth mentioning all the professions. Take whichever you could benefit most from in terms of crafted gear/reagents and whatnot.
Herbalism is actually a very strong profession now if you use Lifeblood correctly. It can be a significant DPS boost (2880 haste for 20 sec every 2 min), and with the extra focus regen it also grants, it can be a very strong DPS cooldown.)
The only Consumables you should take are
Flask of the Winds
Potion of the Tol'vir
Macro for Rapid Fire, Racial, Potion of the Tol'vir, and pet Ability
#showtooltip Rapid Fire
/cast Call of the Wild (Ferocity pet)
/cast Roar of Recovery (Cunning pet, might not want to use this with Rapid Fire.)
/cast Blood Fury (Replace with your own racial)
/cast Rapid Fire
/use Potion of the Tol'vir
Macro to Misdirect your Focus, if you have no focus, it will misdirect your pet instead.
/cast [@focus,exists] Misdirection;[@pet,exists] Misdirection
Usefull macro: /castsequence !Aspect of the Hawk, !Aspect of the Fox
This will make you cast hawk first time you press the button, fox second. I've bound it to mousewheel down so I can click it while on the move easily, to switch between the aspects as needs be.
This macro will make you stop casting your current cobra/steady/aimed shot (can't activate deterrence in the middle of a cast, so if you're in fox, you might get pwnt by whatever is flying your way before it finishes). It will also cancel any current deterrence up (first thing happening). After canceling, if you have deterrence off cooldown, it'll use deterrence.
Basically, this is another button that pops deterrence first click, takes it off second (no need to waste 4 seconds of dps time if you dodged the big hit in the first second of it, is there?). Along with that, the stopcasting line is really useful on fights like heroic rag, where you go into fox to dodge engulfings, if you happen to find yourself caught and can't get out in time.
Agility is obviously the best stat for Hunters. Ranged DPS will always be better, meaning a higher itemlevel weapon will usually always be an upgrade.
The stat priority is as follows: Agility > Hit to cap (961) > Crit > Haste > Mastery >> Stamina
3.1.1 Hit rating
120.109 hit rating = 1% hit, and we need 961 (841 if Draenei), or 8% hit, to hit cap our yellow shots. This is an easy cap to reach through reforging, and shouldn't be gemmed for unless the socket bonus makes it worthwhile.
Note that a boss can block your ranged attacks, so it's usually a good idea to try to stand behind the boss, or at least not in front of him.
3.1.2 Crit rating
179.28 crit rating = 1% crit, and Crit is our most important stats, at least as of now. It's discussed that with BiS gear, haste becomes the best, but that will probably require more testing.
During the Careful Aim phase of the boss, your Steady Shot and Aimed Shot recieves a 60% boost to Crit Chance. Then, you're basically hit a cap of 40.6% Crit with those two spells. You should not try to stay at this crit chance though, crit is still good beyond this "Soft Cap".
3.1.3 Haste rating
128.057 haste rating = 1% haste, our second most important secondary stat. Haste is a bit tricky when it comes to MM, as there are certain "plateaus" where you can squeeze in an extra shot in your rotation. This will be covered further down in the guide.
3.1.4 Mastery rating
Mastery is our least favored secondary stat, at least until you've reached a haste plateau and don't really want more haste after that, if you're one of those. Wild Quiver is pretty awesome when it comes to AoE, as each shot of your multishot has a chance to proc it.
179.28 mastery rating adds a 2.1% chance to proc Wild Quiver.
With reforging you can change 40% of one of the secondary stat on your gear. This means we're able to more easily control the secondary stats on our gear, and change them accordingly to our Stat weights.
It is preferred to reforge your Mastery Rating to reach the hit cap of 961 hit rating fist. If you are above the cap, you should reforge Hit to Crit where possible, otherwise Haste, or lastly Mastery. You should never really reforge out of Crit.
A good reforging tool is http://wowreforge.com/ input your own stat weights and you can easily see how to exactly hit the 961 hit rating cap through reforging. You can also make it show you how to reforge while having exactly 1300 haste, or similar.
Meta Gem: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond is the best meta gem for any spec.
You should gem +50 agility in ANY SOCKET, unless there is a +20 agility bonus. If you have a leg item with a red and yellow gem, with a +20 agility socket bonus, you should gem a +50 agility and a +25 Agility +25 Crit rating gem. If a blue gem, fill it with a +25 agility +25 hit rating gem.
Red gem: Delicate Queen's Garnet
Yellow Gem: Deadly Lava Coral
Blue gem: Glinting Shadow Spinel
Red gem: Delicate Inferno Ruby
Yellow Gem: Deadly Ember Topaz
Blue gem: Glinting Demonseye
You should really never gem anything else, as you do not want to waste gems with secondary stats instead of gems with your main stat, Agility. Never use +40 hit rating gems or similar, reforge to get your hit cap up.
Head: Arcanum of the Ramkahen
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Critical Strike
Chest: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Wrist:Enchant Bracer - Agility
Gloves: Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Major Agility
Belt: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Pants: Dragonscale Leg Armor
Boots: Enchant Boots - Assassin's Step
2h Weapon: Enchant 2H Weapon - Mighty Agility
Ranged: Flintlocke's Woodchucker
4.0 Haste Plateaus
The value of haste plateaus has declined. It's my recommendation that you ignore them, and dont gear towards specific haste plateaus. Instead, I recommend that you simply reforge with Crit being the priority, and try to get your haste level as high as you can, at the expense of mastery or exessive hit. Try to never reforge Crit to Haste.
I strongly, strongly recommend that you use the Aimed Shot dump method in T13 content. Most of the movement on the different boss fights can be very predictable, meaning you should know when to Aimed Shot safely, and when you should switch to Arcane Shot.
If you still feel haste plateaus are the way to go for you, Elitistjerks recommends any haste level between the old 12.93% and up to 26.48%. It all depends on your situation.
5.0 Rotation / Priority system
Hunters has a few different "phases" for their DPS rotation. The "Careful Aim phase", The "normal phase", the "Termination phase", and the "Kill Shot phase".
Careful Aim Phase
This phase is when the health of your target is at 100>90% health. This is where you want to make sure you pre-pot if possible, and you blow 2 Rapid Fire, while dumping focus with Aimed Shot. With the 2cp T13 bonus you should in general be able to maintain a 2 SS > Aimed > SS > Aimed > SS Aimed > SS Aimed, "rotation" going. Just remember to keep Improved Steady Shot up.
Use Readiness after the first Rapid Fire has ended.
This is basically the phase from 90>25% health, which consists of your normal priority system. To be quite honest there isn't a rotation for Hunters. You just work based on a priority system, which consists of:
Ensuring ISS is up > Keeping Chimera Shot on cooldown > Keeping SrS up > MMM AI procs > Dumping focus with Aimed/Arcane > Steady Shot for focus.
Using the Aimed Shot build you should get off as many Aimed Shots as you can, while of course using Steady Shot in pairs when ISS has 3-4 sec left on it's duration. You should also use Chimera Shot as soon as possible, since it's quite focus effective - but it's not dangerous to extend it by some seconds. You should try to use Arcane Shot whenever your 4cp T13 bonus is off the ICD (110 seconds or so), to ensure a high uptime of the haste buffs, which is quite amazing.
Using the Arcane Shot build, you can in theory use a SS > SS > AS > AS > AS > SS > SS > CS cycle, however you would most likely end up focus capped with the T13 2cp bonus, specially during the Termination phase. You should, however, ALWAYS dump with Aimed Shot whenever you are under a haste effect such as Rapid Fire, Bloodlust, or the T13 4cp bonus.
This is when the boss is at 25>0% health. This makes your Steady Shot generate more focus, isn't it amazing, more focus! Anyway, not much changes here as you are getting a LOT of focus already with the 2cp T13 bonus. Dump more focus.
Kill Shot Phase
Kill shot is a focus free shot, and should be used on Cooldown. You will most likely end up focus capped here, not much can help that.
For the guys at EJ's view, visit this link.
Now that all pets do more or less the same DPS, you should chose your pet based on your raid composition. If your raid is lacking 5% crit, you should go with a Wolf pet, as it grants the raid 5% crit, and so on.
If all buffs are filled, it's a matter of preference. I quote this from Elitistjerks:
Contrary to popular belief, the Sporebat is not really the best pet for DPS.Even if a Cunning pet and a Ferocity pet provide you with the exact same DPS, there are still choices to make. The Cunning pet does more of the overall DPS while the hunter does with a Ferocity pet. Thus, if its a fight with high hunter DPS uptime and lower pet attack uptime, a Ferocity pet choice will be better. Conversely, if the fight has high pet attack uptime but low hunter DPS uptime, the Cunning pet is better, especially since it relies less on its focus regen from the hunter who is doing less attacks to regen its focus.
7.0 Set bonuses
T11 Set bonuses
The 2cp gives you +5% Crit on SrS. This is a very, very weak bonus for MM, worth around 18 DPS in Normal T11 gear, and 19.9 DPS in Heroic Tier11 gear. This bonus is better for Survival due to their SrS spread on Multi Shot, and 100% bonus dmg on SrS tick crits.
The 4cp gives you 0.2 sec faster Steady / Cobra Shot cast times. The 4cp is determined to be worth around 550-600 DPS.
T12 Set bonuses
The 2-set bonus is that SS casts have a 10% chance to trigger a Flaming Arrow (FA), doing 80% of weapon damage as a fire damage. This is around a 400 DPS increase, with full raid buffs. If you have 8% spell damage debuff on the buss, the bonus will deal 94% (1.80 * 1.08 = 1.94400) damage, instead of just 80%.
The 4-set bonus is that autoshots have a 10% chance to cause our next shot or Kill Command to cost not focus. There is such overwhelming amount of Theorycrafting about this set bonus, I will have to redirect to you this post. It is determined to give from 300-600 DPS increase, if played right.
T13 Set bonuses
The 2-set bonus grants your Steady / Cobra twice the amount of focus. This bonus is quite good, and you should drop T12 4cp for it, even if you're going from 391 ilvl to 384 Raid Finder version (The T13 armor has more gem slots, which makes you get more agility by actually downgrading in ilevel). You want this bonus.
The 4-set bonus makes your Arcane Shot grant you and your pet 30% haste for 15 seconds. You definitively want this bonus. It's quite awesome for the Aimed Shot dumping method, as long as you remember to use Arcane Shot when the ICD is off. The proc chance is about 40% and the ICD is around 100 to 110 seconds.
8.0 Mods / Tools
WarcraftHuntersUnion is a great site for all Hunters, with tons of guides. Go there. But come back here on MMO Champion to post stuff!
Petopia, all you need to know about pets, and then some more.
Femaledwarf, great simulator for Hunter DPS and stuff.
wowreforge, I use this site to change my reforging then import it to Femaledwarf. Make sure you edit the stat weights though, they might be off.
Serenity , great addon for tracking buffs, debuffs, focus bar, etc.
9.0 Change log
18.12.2011 18:36 - Updated some to 4.3, should be fine.
18.12.2011 18:35 - Realized I have completely forgotten about the changelog.
25.08.2011 08:56 - Fixed some spelling, fixed some links.
24.08.2011 15:29 - Added Macros
24.08.2011 15:19 - Added Set bonuses.
10.0 Posters notes
After some testing with the 2cp T13 bonus, not much has changed for the Arcane Shot rotation.