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Hunter Specs

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Cabe Bedlam

Cabe Bedlam

    Master of Magic, no really I'm serious

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The Hunter Takens from Hunter builds - WoWWiki - Your guide to the World of Warcraft

The Hunter is known for their pets, their long-range, sustained DPS, and their traps.

The three trees of a Hunter are all viable for a hunter to choose for leveling, player versus player combat, or end game raids or instances, but since only two of the three trees allows for the complete use of talent points the player is forced to cross trees, hybridizing into other talent trees. The three trees all have options to offer for utility, open DPS, and survivability.

Beast Mastery

The Beast Mastery tree centers around the Hunter's pet, providing talents and skills that enhance various aspects of the pet and the Hunter's Beast Mastery abilities, such as Improved Aspect of the Hawk and Improved Aspect of the Monkey. Its deeper points also strengthen the integration of Hunter and Pet with abilities such as Intimidation, Bestial Wrath, and Ferocious Inspiration.

The Beast Mastery tree is popular for grinding and leveling because of its high damage for mana ratio, which is attainable with virtually no gear investment. In addition, it also boasts the ability to kill mobs while under the effects of Resurrection Sickness. However, the primary strength of the tree is in the reduction of downtime through placing much the damage generation on pets, who DPS for free, while the hunter's damage is augmented by a faster autoshot with none of the damage penalties related to weapon speed.

The tree can be versatile in PVP because The Beast Within offers a hunter one of the few innate crowd control breakers in the game. For solo and freestyle PvP, this is a valuable skill since it gives the hunter the window for a quick kill when used with a carefully timed Intimidation. However, in arena, the spec's utilities are limited as opponents with higher HP are able to break the stun, if not outlast the duration of immunity. In addition, spending 41 points for The Beast Within sacrifices a vast plenum of abilities from the Marksmanship and Survival tree that would might better serve an arena group. The value of TBW as a CC-breaker has eroded greatly with the revision of PvP trinkets and increasing amounts of health and damage mitigation that players can obtain. This has returned Beast Mastery largely to the domain of PvE.

In high-end raiding, deep Beast Mastery builds offer some of the strongest DPS in the game. This is derived largely from Serpent's Swiftness, which effectively removes the downtime of Steady Shot/Auto-shot threading. Meanwhile much of the damage is focused on the pet, who like mentioned before, does free DPS and also displaces the Hunter's threat, serving as a pseudo threat reduction. Kill Command also adds significant damage to the arsenal and it can be used without disrupting shot rotations. The Hunter's increased mana efficiency is compounded by The Beast Within, which temporarily reduces the mana cost of abilities and increases the DPS of the Hunter and more so the pet. Ferocious Inspiration procs benefit the entire group and their effect is scaled to each individual player rather than relying on the Hunter's gear, making the BM hunter a viable in any mix of gear levels. While the BM hunter is capable of relatively high outputs, they are also challenged with having to play both a ranged and melee class as they manage their pet.

Nevertheless, a large part of the Hunter's damage is imbued in the pet, who must be alive in order to use Bestial Wrath/Beast Within. This is frequently seen as a fatal flaw to the build. However, in PvP situations the pet is often ignored or exceptionally tough to kill with a skilled healer. In raids, the hunter alone should have no trouble keeping their pet alive with Improved Mend Pet and careful control of the pet's actions. Should the pet die, the Beast Master can recover quickly and cheaply with Improved Revive Pet. Nevertheless, Beast Mastery play-style requires a significant amount of diligence in managing the pet on top of managing the threats to the hunter.


The Marksmanship tree focuses on the Hunter's ranged attacks as well as improving synergy of their ranged abilities with the immediate group and their pet. Its first four tiers are seen as essential to any Hunter build. Lethal Shots increases crit chance at tier one, while the second tier gives hunters Improved Hunter's Mark and Efficiency. Virtually every hunter build dips at least 20 points into the Marksmanship tree for Mortal Shots, which increases critical strike damage by 30%. The third tier contains Rapid Killing and Go for the Throat, which are typically taken along with Aimed Shot to enhance pet synergy and setup burst damage opportunities. Improved Arcane Shot is generally considered unfavorable, although it does make it possible to tweak the cooldown to fall more in line with attack speed.

Deep Marksmanship is somewhat limited in raiding. Trueshot Aura's static AP makes its uses limited around players with high gear levels, and most of the talents affect only attack power, which does not encompass the full damage equation. Beast Mastery and Survival builds are both able to out-scale Marksmanship's net damage output as their core raiding talents are scalable and affect a wider range of players. Although Marksmanship is still an effective build for pulling due to having the highest front-end damage, the majority of the Hunter's actions in raid still fall outside of this task. The ultimate talent, Silencing Shot, typically does nothing in this situation and there are generally plenty of interrupt classes around that can take care of it more efficiently. In 5-mans, however, it might be useful for pulling roaming casters. This contrasts greatly with PvP.

For Arena, Marksmanship offers the Hunter the potential for a ranged stun through Improved Concussive Shot, as well as an spell interrupts with Silencing Shot. Scatter Shot is also vital as it is the only ranged ability the Hunter can use at point blank. Improved Stings makes the Hunter's various debuffs more effective and also creates a potential for healers to waste mana if their cure fails. This on top of a Scorpid pet, along with the interrupts from Scatter Shot and Silencing Shot, make the hunter a powerful counter to strong healers and teams that rely on them to outlast opponents. Typically, Marksmanship PvP builds are integrated with Survival talents to increase their health pool provide anti-melee support through Survivalist, Improved Wing Clip, and Entrapment. Barrage and Improved Barrage significantly boosts Multi-Shot, which can be used to hit players out of line of sight.

While the tree's depths do not serve grinding specifically, Go for the Throat and Improved Hunter's Mark do lend the hunter some pet synergy, while Rapid Killing and Aimed Shot allows the hunter to open with a relatively strong attack that can drastically shorten the fight if it crits. The high front-end damage offered by Marksmanship is well served in PvP since the pet is not always on the principal target of damage, but rather tying up enemy casters either by keeping them from leaving combat or simply pushing back their spells.


The survival tree is all about getting enemies out of melee and keeping them there and--well--surviving! Deterrence and Improved Wing Clip are very important talents to use for this purpose as well as Wyvern Sting to get yourself collect and ready. (Note that any damage done to the enemy will break the sleep effect of Wyvern Sting) Some of the other talent points improve your traps (Trap Mastery) and burst damage (Killer Instinct). The level 20, 30 and 40 learn-able talents are Deterrence, Counterattack and Wyvern Sting, respectively. At level 50 the Survivalist Hunter can learn Readiness

Also, the Survival tree is the most complete of any hunter tree with what many hunters consider to be fewer useless talents (although some argue over things like Improved Feign Death).

The Survival tree is excellent for PvPing. With such important talents like Improved Wing Clip and Counterattack hunters no longer have a dead zone. A hunter can choose to focus on improving his traps, his melee fighting skill or his ability to get back to ranged.

This tree can also be quite good for raiding. Although there are not many talents that increase your damage, Lightning Reflexes gets better with higher level gear. It is possible for a hunter to obtain over 700 agility with Naxxramas gear and Lightning Reflexes. Also, many hunters like the utility their characters have outside of the raid.

Some hunters have found success with being Survival and grinding. The trap talents make kiting a much easier task, and skills like Clever Traps and Wyvern Sting allow a hunter to crowd control multiple targets at a time.


The most important thing to realize about hunters is that you can choose any build and find success with it. Even the seemingly useless builds like a Survival/Beast Mastery spec can be very good for people who solely want to PvP. The idea is to find the build that you like and which best fits your playing style.

Which build is best for ___?


In heroic instances a hunter is required to CC targets, forcing them into a build with clever traps and the reliance that those traps will work. Heroic CC This build leaves 40 points open for whichever route the hunter wishes to take, either Beast Mastery, Marksman, or continuing Survival.


The Beast Mastery tree and the Marksmanship tree are both well suited for hunters who deal high amounts of damage with talents, whilst the Survival tree has more talents focusing on crowd control, raid utilities and survivability at the cost of some personal damage. Survival scales well the more Agility your gear has on it, and with less pet friendly encounters found in Serpentshrine and Black Temple, although with good pet control and healing on your pet from you and healers, or a shadow priest in your group can put Survival and Beast Masters on par with each other, leaving it down to a matter of preference.

Beast Mastery

Beast Mastery hunters offer one buff to players in their party, Ferocious Inspiration a 3 percent increase in damage after your pet scores a critical strike which lasts for 10 seconds. With the talents which greatly increase pet critical strike rating, this buff will be up very often, if not for the majority of the duration of the fight. Ferocious Inspiration affects both melee and magical damage. It stacks with itself and with other BM hunter's. It affects members of the hunter's party.

This buff relies heavily on the pet attacking a target, and the majority of healers tend to heal a hunter's pet considerably less than other players, however with patch 2.1 the new hunter abilities allows for a hunter to keep his pet in combat considerably more than before.

Other talents worth diving deep into the Beast Mastery tree are Serpent's Swiftness, Bestial Wrath and The Beast Within. Serpent's Swiftness gives the hunter and his pet a 20% increased attack speed (with 5 points 4% a point). This talent takes a bow with speed of 2.8 and makes it slightly longer than 2 seconds. This is perfect for using a steady shot in your shot rotation.

Bestial Wrath makes your pet immune to everything except damage and gives it a 50% damage boost for 18 seconds. The Beast Within makes the hunter immune to everything except damage and gives a 10% damage boost and 10% reduced mana cost. These talents are extremely handy in a fight where a boss CCs everything, Maiden of Virtue is a great example of this type of CC. After being repentanced the first time and with the use of a mod such as Deadly Boss Mod, it is possible to time Beastial Wrath so that during her next repentance you can still dps for the 10 sec, this gives hunters an advantage over most other ranged classes. In fights where mass CC isn't used hunters can time Bestial Wrath in such a way that the hunter can take advantage of a shaman's blood lust. Bestial Wrath in conjunction with Rapid Fire, Blood Lust, and other speed enhancing trinkets, potions, or racials, allow for increased damage output with a huge increase in attack speed.


Survival hunters can be very beneficial to their group. With Expose Weakness the entire raid can gain upwards of 200 attack power. This buff works when the hunter critically hits his target. All other members attacking the same target will receive an additional amount of Attack Power equal to 25% of the hunter's agility. Since it is based upon Attack Power it does not affect casters.

The main downside to this talent build is that the hunter is recommended to have at least 800 agility before he should consider taking this talent build, and his damage output may be noticeably lower than the Beast Mastery and Marksmanship builds. Because of the high agility requirements, most hunters will need BT gear to make use of it. However, it is often the build of choice for hunters working on Illidan, since he kills pets making BM useless, and the raid needs all the attack power it can get.

It is untrue That you need BT gear to make use of this talent. Pre-kara It is easily possible to get over 700 agil unbuffed. With proper raid buffs you'll be nearly to 1k agil making a definite nice addition to any raid. In addition this build gives a hunter nearly unmatched versatility as far as CC goes.


Marksmanship has Improved Hunter's Mark, that gives a permanent increase of 110 attack power to all melee and ranged attackers for the duration of the mark. Also Trueshot Aura, which is a buff that gives 125 Attack Power (at highest rank) to all party members within 45 feet of the hunter.

Silencing Shot, which is at the bottom of the talent tree, can be very helpful when pulling either a single mob or a group containing a caster.

A downside to this build is due to this tree's nature, the hunter himself causes considerable more damage as opposed to being spread between him and his pet, which can build up considerably more threat. This can be countered with Feign Death. The Marksmanship tree suffers from slightly lower mana efficiency than the two other trees. In a long fight, this will end up lowering a Marksmanship hunter's overall damage output while short, damage intensive fights make the build shine.

Other Info

So all three hunters bring something to the raid, either it be for their party or for the entire raid, but bring at least one or you won't be bringing anything home with you that night. If there are two hunters, one Marksmanship and the other Beast Mastery, it is a very good idea to place those two together in the same group, as the Trueshot Aura will benefit both hunters damage and also their pets damage, and Ferocious Inspiration will add on top of that damage, not to mention the rest of the group. Three hunters can provide excellent synergy to each other especially when coupled with a shadow priest.

A hunter choosing a talent build should choose one which best fits his play-style, as you will perform much better as opposed to try and play with a method which does not best suit you.

Beast Master Builds

With the expansion of The Burning Crusade the talent tree has no longer been looked at singly as a method for the hunter to level easily. Talents that used to benefit just the pet now benefit the hunter to a large degree. Beast Mastery builds are now highly looked upon for Player versus Player combat and end game raiding for sustained DPS, especially because of Serpent's Swiftness

Recommended talents

* Endurance Training(Soloing only)
* Thick Hide(Soloing only)
* Improved Revive Pet
* Unleashed Fury
* Ferocity
* Improved Mend Pet
* Intimidation
* Bestial Discipline
* Frenzy
* Bestial Wrath
* Serpent's Swiftness
* The Beast Within

The key elements in this build are Intimidation, which provides you with a quick 3 second stun and a large amount of threat against the mob you are fighting, and Bestial Wrath, which is then used to apply a substantial amount of damage to the target.


* Mordikaiin's Beast Master Build
* Boonman's Build
* Rapid Fire
* Sharlin's Build
* Leozero's Build
* Dragomir's build
* Kl's Build
* Lemli's Build
* Majestueux's PvP & Farming Build
* Lund's Build
* Pwninski's build*, allows you and your pet to dish out lots of dmg.

This next build allows for max dps while removing pts from improved mend pet, improved revive pet, and thick hide. I've found that in raids since the damage that a pet takes isn't physical--it's magical--the extra armor isn't needed, however, you do lose the solo-ability of 70 elites because my pet's armor drops from almost 13k to 9k. Most debuffs in raids can't be dispelled or cured and the ones that can are cast on the top of the aggro list, because of this improved mend pet isn't a necessity. If your pet happens to die in combat I doubt that most hunters will take the time to revive the pet mid battle, because of this the improved revive pet is kinda wasted. Take the 3 points from thick hide, 2 from improved mend pet, and 2 from improved revive pet and you can move them around to make a hunter that'll out dps raid spec mages in long battles. Also for you pet to maximize damage 2 points in Bestial Discipline and 2 points in the marks talent [Go for the Throat] are needed for a pet to keep talents like gore or claw on at all times. In order to maximize your damage 5 points in Lethal Shots and 5 points in Mortal Shots allow a hunter's auto-shot crits to reach 1300 with the 20% increased attack speed from Serpent's Swiftness you will attack faster and hit harder. The 5 points in Improved Hunter's Mark give the rouges, enhance shamans, and tanks extra 110 attack power, However, if you are looking to maximize only your DPS you could move the 5 points from Improved Hunter's Mark to Efficiency, this would allow for a sustained shot rotation. I put the 2 points into Rapid Killing because a 3 min [Rapid Fire] allows for 2 combinations of Rapid Fire and Bestial Wrath during long boss battles.

* Sallego's Raid Build

Why did I choose the following? First the BM tree as we all know is dedicated to sustained damage with a large percent of that damage coming from your pet. In later instances bosses and adds have many AOE abilities that tend to kill your pet if his/her health is unwatched. On top of this many healers will not heal your pet (in parties however you might have this luxury) and so mend pet is required. Incidentally if your pet were to die you can fall back on imp revive pet to cut back on casting time and mana. Another point worth mention is why I only placed 4/5 points in Frenzy. The reasoning behind this is that from the talent Animal Handler your pet gains 4% to hit and at raiding level % to hit is very important for not only the hunter himself but also the pet. This does leave frenzy missing one point which means that 80% of your pets critical strikes will cause it to go on frenzy but I find the sacrifice to be more then worth it. What’s the point of having a pet that doesn’t even land hits if you’re planning on them to be a large source of damage?

The marksman talents are self explanatory as they are focused on increasing the hunters own damage, however Go for the Throat is an amazing talent to greatly increase your pets overall damage. For you to get the most out of this talent make sure your pet has a focus dump ability such a ravagers gore. While I’m on this topic, if your focused on topping the damage meters in this spec a scorpion with max level poison is one of the highest DPS pets due to stacking poisons. In boss fights especially you see your scorpions overall damage skyrocket. Be sure to only have poison on as the scorpion must keep reapplying in order for it to stack, if claw is on auto cast then the focus might be used to activate that skill instead of poison and the debuff could ware off. This defeats the purpose of a scorpion as the main goal is to stack poison!

Finally, Here's a pure RAID DPS spec.

* Toushiro's Pure Raid DPS Build

As you can see, it's quite similar to the previous spec, but instead of maxing out Endurance Training, Improved Aspect of the Hawk was chosen instead. In raids, the extra 10% health and armor (for your pet) from the previous spec shouldn't make a difference in the outcome of the fight if you watch your pet's health carefully and heal it when appropriate. For most fights, pets don't take much damage in raids when you pay attention to them. On the topic of pets, the two best pets you can have for raid dps are for most ravagers, but cats are only a few DPS behind.

Arena and PVP Build

* Huttch's Arena Build

IMO BM is by far the best hunter spec you can have, due to its utility in both pvp and pve. The build I am providing here is a strictly pvp build, however it does not differ greatly from that of the Build up above. Now if you are new to arena this spec is pretty simple, just make sure to hit Wrath when facing warlocks, priests or any other fear or moving impairing class.I run this build with a holy pally, and we do very well. Things you will need to look out for are a smart team that will try to kill your pet destroying half your damage in the process. If you and your partner/s are aware of this it should not be a problem and you should climb the later quite quickly. Read up on how to kill each class in the PvP section if you are new to it. If you do run this build with a healer be sure to lay Ice Trap next to him for when they decide they wanna beat up on him, this allows an extra heal to get off on himself and can save you the match. Also a Cat or other High DPS pets with Claw 9 work best due to the focus dump of this build.

This is my favorite leveling build, it gives you the Animal Handler talent (speed increase useless at 69 with Riding Crop but not the hit rating). I've got a couple talents that I would get rid of at 70. Anyway it lets you regain HP in combat, but also gives you Rapid Killing in marksmanship which is good for grinding out levels or killing mobs for a quest.

* Leveling Build

Marksmanship Builds

With the expansion of The Burning Crusade and the elaboration of the Marksmanship Build, hunters have received quite a bit of flak for being "overpowered." Hunters were given a silencing spell, along with several talents that directly increase their attack power. But almost since it's conception Marksmanship has been the end game/raid tree.

Recommended talents

* Lethal Shots
* Efficiency
* Aimed Shot
* Rapid Killing
* Mortal Shots
* Scatter shot
* Barrage
* Ranged Weapon Specialization
* Improved Barrage
* Careful Aim
* Trueshot Aura
* Master Marksman
* Silencing shot

This list may seem intimidating, since there are more talent options to take than a player might want to, but that is because the Marksmanship tree has been given almost no "junk talents." Try what works, respec if need be, and have fun.


* Raid/Heroic DPS & CC by Dreanys
* Mordikaiin's DPS Marksmen Build
* Mordikaiin's DPS/CC Marksman Build
* Mordikaiin's PvP Marksmen Build
* Innerdemons Hemo Build
* Innerdemons Raid Build
* Rifkind's Build
* Ithar's Build
* Clubsoda's Build
* Biron's Build
* Luckymarlin's build
* Beck's build
* Whiteminn's build
* Manere's UBAH build
* Ibey's build
* Caelas's Uber Raiding Build

Marksmanship has become a less viable spec for raid DPS although some hunters refuse to leave it, but it's still a very good spec for PVP. Examples of this build can be found below:

* Lemli's PVP Build
* Adonreia's PVP build
* Kyudo's PvP/Heroics Build
* Enki's PvP Build

Survival Builds

Survival tree is about keeping the target out of the hunter's dead zone and keeping them there, although with patch 2.3 the dead zone is much smaller then before. With the Burning Crusade expansion the tree has seen a major refurbishing with the addition of Readiness, Hawk Eye, and Master Tactician. Survival tree has been easily turned to for putting a player's extra talent points or for a Player versus Player oriented Hunter. Survival Hunters are also becoming much more viable in raids, especially 25 man raids where the guild brings a nice buff to the attack power dps classes (feral druids, rogues, Retribution Paladins, Fury/Arms, warriors and other hunters) with their Expose Weakness Talent.

Recommended talents

* Monster Slaying
* Humanoid Slaying
* Hawk Eye
* Savage Strikes
* Deflection
* Improved Wing Clip
* Clever Traps
* Survivalist
* Deterrence
* Survival Instincts
* Killer Instinct
* Lightning Reflexes
* Wyvern Sting
* Master Tactician
* Readiness


* Mordikaiin's DPS/CC Survival Build
* Mordikaiin's PvP Survival Build
* Innerdemon's Build
* Jelar's Build
* [1]
* Obold's Build
* Velourium's Build
* Myrddrael's Build
* [2](Woof's ultra sexy pvp/raid build)
* [3] [Kanta's PvP MM/SV Spec]
* [4] [SA3K's build: Solo, PvP, and PvE combo, outagro pet, move Improved hawk to Endurance Training if you prefer soloing and PvP to PvE]
* Tillmow's Raid Survival Build (PvE only)
* Lemli's Raid 'helper' Spec
* Ghostshot's Best Spec
* Stormseeker's PvP Survivability Spec (The points in rapid fire/go for the throat can be changed to match your play style, such as putting them and possibly one point from deflection into imp concussive, imp hunter's mark, imp arcane shot, etc. Also, instead of 5/5 mortal shots and scatter shot, it is possible to put those points into master tactician and readiness to give more, though less powerful, crits.)
* |Rangzor's awesomely awesome Hunter PvP Spec
* | Rangzor's equally awesome PvP spec

Hybrid Builds

Hybrid hunters are all about all round stability. A hybrid hunter will almost never be highest on DPS but will be the guy who is most able to be in control of every situation, "The Ultimate Crowd Control Hunter." Putting enough talents in Beast Mastery so that your pet can hold aggro and give some decent damage, enough talents in Marksman so you do some decent damage and buff the group, and enough talents in Survival to be able to trap well. A hybrid hunter can easily chain trap one target, while off tanking another with his pet, all while helping DPS the main target, although using this spec doesn't guarantee that you will be top in DPS!

Recommended talents

* Endurance Training
* Thick Hide
* Unleashed Fury
* Lethal Shots
* Efficiency
* Improved Arcane Shot
* Scatter Shot
* Trueshot Aura
* Monster Slaying
* Humanoid Slaying
* Entrapment
* Clever Traps


* Areena's Marks/BM PvP Build

This spec is good for a lot of stun control if you are going to be protecting the flag in Warsong, or trying to stop a flag capping in Arathi. It includes both Intimidation and Scattershot. You won't do as much damage as a straight BM or Marks hunter, but you will be great for crowd control if Survival isn't your thing. I also like this spec for Arena too.

* Mordikaiin's Build

This is primarily a Marksman build with a little Beast Mastery and Surival thrown in. Most of the points are dedicated to increase DPS for your pet and for your ranged attacks, but you also get some utilitarian talents from all three trees. From Marksman, the 31 point talent is Trueshot Aura, but you also get Scatter Shot for last-minute crowd control, and Improved Arcane Shot. From Beast Mastery, the Improved Mend Pet removes debuffs from your pet. From Survival, Hawk Eye increases your range and Clever Traps enhances the power of your traps. Dividing your talents across all three trees has its disappointments. This build falls just short of Intimidation, the best 20 point talent in the BM tree. It also sacrifices Trap Mastery in Survival, so your traps will be somewhat unreliable.
Retrieved from "http://www.wowwiki.com/Hunter_builds"


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