Marksmanship Hunter Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Marksmanship Hunter. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Marksmanship Hunter community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Marksmanship Hunter Guide
is a Hunter Theorycrafter and Wowhead/YouTube Guide Writer and a Moderator/Expert in the Trueshot Lodge. He raids in <Happy Accidents>. You can find him in TSL, his Twitch stream
, on Twitter
, check out his
or join his
- SimC Hunter module maintainer. You can find him in TSL or the SimC Discord.
Changes from Legion
Marksman Hunter has been completely reworked in Battle for Azeroth. Some of the abilities from Legion remain, however their usage and interactions with each other have changed.
Vulnerable, Marked Shot and Patient Sniper have been removed.
Focus regen has gone down from 10 Focus per sec to 3 Focus per sec
Base Focus has gone down from 130 in Legion to 100 in Battle for Azeroth.
are now Focus spenders
Our new Focus generators are
is now on a 2 charge system but remains our primary heavy hitter.
has been introduced, empowering both
is now baseline. We benefit from
automatically when we do not have a pet out.
Pets have been completely reworked. All specs are now equal in DPS but provide different utility.
has been altered, now providing an additional
charge in addition to its Haste.
is now baseline and is a buff applied when you
more than 3 targets. It is capped at 6 targets.
How does the spec feel now?
The removal of Vulnerable and Patient Sniper have been a huge quality of life change. Losing these means that our damage no longer depends on stacking multiple damage modifiers, reducing overall RNG. Unlike Legion, Marksman’s damage distribution is very linear and has little to no RNG outside of a couple optional talents. Marksman now swaps targets with ease, occuring no penalty. The rotation is fairly straightforward and simple, perhaps even lacking a bit of depth. The spec feels fine on single target, but there are some very noticeable gaps in our AoE.
’ interaction with
has target restrictions, constraining
to only spread up to 3 targets and
to 6 targets in total. While the target restrictions feel awful, other classes have received similar treatment. In addition, due to the rework and new interactions of our abilities,
is now an extremely underwhelming cooldown for us. This means we have very little burst potential in both single target and in AoE. Overall, Marksman’s gameplay is very smooth and the spell interactions work well with each other. However, while we’ve recently received some minor buffs and tweaks, much more needs to happen in order for Marksman to be competitive with the other specs in regards to damage tuning and talent adjustments.
Pets have been reworked. Many quality of life changes happened to pets, including auto turning off growl in instances and reduced aggro radius. Pets deal the same damage across the board and each pet spec offers a different form of utility.
is now baseline and allows us to choose to go without a pet, or to use a pet for some added utility and defensives. For more info on pets, check out our
Hunter Pet Guide
Tier 1 (Level 15)
- This talent row is actually fairly balanced and if all the talents were tuned properly would allow for multiple types of gameplay.
is the go to for AoE situations due to the immense Focus cost of our AoE rotation.
are more geared towards single target but both give options in terms of cleave.
has an option to multi-dot while
retains its reset mechanic.
Tier 2 (Level 30)
- The talents in this row are fairly unique in terms of usability. While
has applications in AoE, it is primary used as a single target talent. It is very niche and only really usable in a raid environment. Since
is dependent on
s, you much have a fairly long duration during the >80% and <20% health thresholds, which leans towards raids and discourages use in dungeons, leveling, etc. It is currently our best talent for single target raid situations but, due to
s target restrictions, this falls of in AoE compared to the other talents in this row.
are both heavily focused on AoE. The difference is
is purely RNG while
is a controlled short burst. The concept of
seems fine, but the talent falters when you think about AoE. AoE generally happens in short segments, either short windows of consistent damage (mobs in M+) or waves of adds at specified times (raid encounters). The RNG component of this hurts as
might not even proc when it’s needed for the add damage. On top of that, it’s damage compared to the other talents in this row is awful. We will never take
in its current state.
Tier 3 (Level 45)
- Most of the talents in this row remain from Legion.
is primary use for open world content, leveling and old transmog runs.
is our go to PvP talent and has some niche uses in dungeons.
is a new talent in this row that slightly reduces the cooldown of
is really the only viable talent for most PVE outside of certain niche scenarios.
Tier 4 (Level 60)
- The talents in this row are meant to help you with your focus generation each in a different way.
reduces the cast time of
when it’s cast consecutively. On the surface this talent seems strong, however due to a minimum GCD cast of 0.75 sec, we actually hit this with 2 stacks of
+ Haste buffs. In addition, due to how our rotation plays out, we typically don’t cast 2
s in a row very often, let alone 3 or 4.
is pretty straightforward, giving your
slightly more Focus regen and damage. It is currently our best talent in this row in any AoE situation.
is primarily only used in pure single target situations. While it’s meant to be able to target swap onto priority targets (Gives focus when an add dies with it), the GCD placed on this talent highly discourages swapping your
is our best talent for pure single target in this row.
Tier 5 (Level 75)
- Similar to the other rows, this talent row has very unique uses.
is very niche. It’s reduced cooldown gives
a shorter cooldown, giving more movement speed as well as reducing
cooldown which may be usable in niche raid fights such as Fallen Avatar.
remains the same as it was in Legion, giving us movement speed and snare removal.
is similar to Legion, however it’s lost the stun component to it. It now snares mobs rather than stunning them, which is much worse. The go to talent is generally
as it provides the most movement speed and utility of the three.
Tier 6 (Level 90)
- This row is very AoE centric.
being the most obvious AoE ability, remaining the same as it has been for years.
essentially just buff our
and apply to
. Both of these talents have target restrictions just as
does, so they’re AoE is limited between 3-6 targets as well as having single target applications.
are actually very similar to each other.
is totally RNG and can buff either your
or your next
. You must pray that it aligns with
does the exact same thing but it is a controlled cast. You’re able to use it with
every time. The downside is that its gated by a 1 minute cooldown. Typically,
is better in pure single target and falls off in AoE due to the RNG component.
performs well in single target but excels in mid-range AoE. Since
are restricted to 6 targets,
takes over in mass AoE situations at 6+ targets.
Tier 7 (Level 100)
is the default in this row since both of the other talents are severely undertuned at the moment.
is similar to Legion but is now adapted to the new rotation. Only one charge is gained and its proc chance has been lowered to 5%.
made into a talent which is really cool, however, its a very mediocre talent for us at the moment, due to
has been retained from Legion but now has a flat Focus cost. Currently its damage is undertuned.
, as bad as 5% sounds, is the go to Talent in this row for every situation.
Recommended Changes and Tuning Issues:
- For a major 3 minute cooldown, this ability is very very underwhelming. We essentially gain 2 additional
s from it. During Legion, it was a massive cooldown due to its interaction with applying Marking Targets, increased Critical Strike Damage from
made it a very short cooldown, diversifying its usage. Currently, It's hardly a dps increase at all which feels awful for our only major cooldown, and a 3 minute one at that. In its current state, we are forced to use it during times of Focus regen.
- Currently after dismissing your pet, you gain the
buff, but on a ramping timer (Approx 1% every 6 sec for a total of 1 minute). The issue here is the ramp timer, not necessarily the ability itself. Having to wait a full minute to gain the full benefit of
feels very cumbersome. Any time you dismiss your pet, any time you get battle rezzed and any time you swap a Talent, it takes a full minute to gain the full 10% buff from
- At the moment, this ability competes in single target but falls off hard as soon as you add in another target. The issue here is not the damage, it is the immense focus cost. While 10 Focus doesn't seem very much, our rotation, especially in AoE is very Focus consuming. At the moment we must take
due to the high Focus requirement. Due to the high Focus cost, keeping up
properly you actually must cast less
s because we physically do not have enough Focus to perform our rotation and keep up
- This talent is way too RNG to ever be usable except on an AoE sustained fight which never happens. In most AoE scenarios, waves of adds spawn or in M+ for instance, groups of adds occur in 30-40 sec intervals. With
only being 10%, it might not even deal damage to certain mobs or during AoE. Due to its RNG nature, we would never take this over
. It's damage is also a fair bit behind ES in its current iteration, RNG aside.
- While this talent seems fine at first glance, there are a couple of glaring issues with it. First off, we rarely actually cast multiple
s back to back. To perform optimal DPS, we must cast certain abilities on cooldown -
- and we must dump our
. Because of the timings here along with the charge system of
, we typically cast 1
to give us enough Focus to cast the following ability, and sometimes we cast 2 in a row when we have a slight bit of down time. We rarely cast 2 let alone 3 or 4 in a row like this talent encourages. Secondly, this ability becomes virtually useless during times of high haste i.e
). The baseline cast of
is 1.75 seconds (typically it will be around 1.6 with most peoples haste levels, but these calculations are done without any haste considered). If you have 2 stacks of 20% reduced cast time this becomes baseline 1.05 seconds. Then taking into account
the cast time becomes .78 seconds. Since the minimum GCD is .75 seconds, the haste from
is basically useless in terms of
if you have more than ~7.7% Haste. Much of this talent goes to waste throughout the fight.
- The talent itself is fine and is basically a carry over from
. The problem here goes back to
itself in that this cooldown is not very useful for us. So reducing it’s cooldown doesn't really do much for us. This talent would almost have to be doubled for it to be worth taking with
in its current state.
is on a 30 sec cooldown and it does less damage then
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