I was looking over some raid logs this morning and noted I’m either ahead of or close to two of the other hunters in my guild when they really should be blowing me (and others) out of the water. I think some of this is due to missing out on some of the nuances of being a Marksman Hunter so I compiled some tips for them.
Some of these are from researching the web, some are from experience and a good number are from our raid leader and his Hunter buddies on another server (some of this goes back to discussions while I was in Paranormal Society).
I might as well share here as well:
What is your shot rotation?
You have dropped Arcane Shot from your rotation, right? Arcane Shot is not as good mana/damage as Steady Shot, you’re better off dropping Arcane Shot since it you’ll find yourself needing to Viper up which hurts overall DPS.
Your shot rotation should be Serpent Sting -> Chimera Shot -> Aimed Shot -> Steady Shot (x2 or x3 depending on your haste).
Obviously you want to use Kill Shot immediately when it’s available.
When are you burning your cooldowns?
You’re not saving them for Heroism, are you? Rapid Fire does NOT stack with Heroism since they’re both hastes and Heroism will put you at the Haste cap therefore Rapid Fire is wasted. You should be using your Rapid Fire/Readiness/Rapid Fire when you know Heroism is NOT coming.
When this gets used is going to depend on what fight it is, but generally we don’t fire Heroism until later in the fight so getting this off right at the beginning is best – it also means if the fight runs long, you’ll be able to fire it all off a second time which could mean reaping the benefits of Kill Shot, Readiness, Kill Shot at the tail end.
When are you reapplying Serpent’s Sting?
You’re applying Serpent’s Sting when you have the 2pc T10 bonus going as well?
In some cases, you want to do it when all three or four stars align: 2pc T10 bonus is up (it’s raw extra %s damage!), Heroism, Deathwhisper’s trinket procs and Death’s Verdict procs (assuming you have all four). View each addition of these as a step up when it is a step up. When you see a better combination active, slip Serpent Sting in (i.e. you’ve got regular sting running and paragon procs; reapply.. 2pc T10 procs while paragon is up, reapply… etc.) – I use Power Auras to notify me when certain buffs are up.
Once you get a Serpent Sting running with all that do not Sting again (unless you’ve got a better combination going), just keep it going with Chimera. (If you’re using a 2pc T9 set for the sting crits you should be seeing some really sweet DoT crit damage from this.)
You may also want to tab Sting things when there is the opportunity to do so; tab to various targets and drop a Serpent Sting on them. Some of the best Hunters out there maintain Serpent Sting on at least two targets by alternating Chimera shots between the two. I’m not a fan of this because it’s a bit of a numbers thing (I’d rather get the boss down and save the Chimera Shot damage for the boss), but I do have to tab Sting since my 4pc T10 proc only triggers off Sting tick damages. The more Stings I have going, the more ticks and the better chance of the 4pc buff going off (keep that in mind if you go for the 4pc T10).
(This can and does include things like max stacks of the Hekumi trinket from T10, the T10 4pc set bonus, wolf pet buff, etc.)
When do you use Misdirection?
Misdirection is your friend. It’s quick to cast if macro’ed, dumps threat (increases tank threat too) and means you don’t have to FD to clear agro which is more of a loss of DPS than firing MD. It’s also not just an agro dump, it’s a tool for redirecting mobs off healers or other casters (but mainly healers).
Use it off the get go since you are likely also making use of your cooldowns so that’s even more of a threat dump/boost to the tank. I slip this in almost every time it is available on boss fights (if you check recent logs, I use it almost twice as often as other Hunters and it doesn’t hurt my DPS on bosses).
(Side note: checking logs from last night’s raid, I MDed 78 times, another hunter MDed 48 times and the other one MDed 8 times.)
Are you having mana issues?
Look for good times to use Aspect of the Viper in raids so you can keep mana up for phases where it will matter. Two immediate examples are Sindragosa’s ice blocking phase (if you’re targeted to be an ice block, use it or even use it while outside the block to control DPS on the ice blocks) and try to switch to it before the ‘stunning’ phases of Putricide. Just remember to switch back.
If you are hurting for mana and need to switch, only use Steady Shot. It’s low mana cost will actually help in getting mana back faster. In some cases I might fire Rapid Fire if it’s up for a quick burst of mana regen.
Potions/consumables are your friend as well.
(I slack here a bit, I almost never have Mana Pots, I don’t use the pot that increases the mana pool and I never have the AGI scrolls but I do use my mammoth treats on the pooch and dragonfin food for myself – 40 AGI > 80 AtkPwr. )
You know about the stutter step and the jump shot?
Stutter step is taking a brief pause when moving to let autoshot go then continuing. The idea is that autoshot will not fire while you’re moving but the cooldown on it triggering still counts down. If you’re moving for long stretches, pause every sec, face the mob and let the autoshot get off. Once you get a feel for timing it’s easy.
Jump shot is just being able to flip your view around to the boss (or target) while running away so you can pop off some of your instant shots. People do this while jumping = jump keeps you moving forward, mouse look back, fire instant at mob, mouse look forward to land and keep moving away.
You can also do this while strafing, it just takes a little more finger dexterity.
Examples of where these are useful would be Bonestorm from Marrowgar and other fights that have you kiting or running away from the boss (Bloodfiends on Saurfang).
It’s not just a faceroll…