Marksmanship Hunter Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 29, 2012

Yep, it’s WoW Patch 5.4, and this time we get to kill Garrosh. Finally. So, let us get you up to speed with your new glyphs, talents, rotation, stat priorities, reforging and gems for MoP, so you can get to the target dummies and start practising to grind the damn Survival types into the dirt!

Updated 17th September 2013 for World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Marksmanship Hunter changes in Patch 5.4

Stat priority changes and a couple of talent changes. Also, Readiness went away.

Marksmanship “Rotation” and Priorities

Marksmanship’s rotation is more complicated than ever in MoP – although Steady Shot changes give us a little more slack.

As a MM hunter, you’ll work through two phases: when the target is above 80% health and all the other times.

Remember, Misdirect is important! Always Misdirect onto the tank at the start of any pull.

Single-target DPS

When starting to attack any target, put Hunter’s Mark up on them. You shouldn’t subsequently have to refresh it. Note that this rotation assumes you’re using our recommended talents.

80% and above:

Pop all your cooldowns when starting to attack!

  • Top Priority: If you don’t have the Steady Focus buff or it will drop in the next 4 seconds, fire a pair of Steady Shots.
  • Second Priority: Fire Aimed Shot if you have the Focus, or if you have 3 stacks of the Master Marksman buff.
  • Third Priority: Fire Steady Shot.

The Rest Of The Time:

When moving into this phase, start by firing Serpent Sting. After that:

  • Top Priority: Fire 2 Steady Shots if Steady Focus is about to drop. If not, fire Chimera Shot if that’s available.
  • Second Priority: Fire Aimed Shot if you have 3 stacks of the Master Marksman buff. Fire Kill Shot if it’s available.
  • Third Priority: If you have 70 or more Focus, fire Arcane Shot, otherwise fire 2 Steady Shots.

Complications to this rotation:

  • The most important thing is to make sure you can cast Chimera Shot whenever it’s available. Judging your Focus becomes key.
  • If you’re under Heroism or Rapid Fire, cast Aimed Shot rather than Arcane Shot.


For less than 4 opponents, perform your single-target rotation.

Against 4 or more opponents:

  • Top Priority: If you don’t have the Steady Focus buff or it will drop in the next 4 seconds, fire a pair of Steady Shots. Fire Multi-Shot if available.
  • Second Priority: Place an Explosive Trap under your opponents with Trap Launcher, if one’s not already running. Fire Aimed Shot if you have 3 stacks of the Master Marksman buff.
  • Third Priority: Fire Kill Shot if it’s available, or a pair of Steady Shots otherwise.


  • Rapid Fire – Use whenever it’s available.
  • Stampede – Use whenever available.
  • Feign Death – Hunters who forget to Feign Death are the subject of mockery. If you’re being attacked, Feign!
  • Disengage – Leap backward – useful in a wide variety of situations.
  • Deterrance – Powerful defensive CD – most often useful if Feign Death is on cooldown or didn’t work!


Keep Aspect of the Hawk up.

Marksmanship Hunter Talent Choices

Tiers 4 and 5 are pretty much locked in for Markmanship Hunters, but the other three tiers are mostly governed by personal choice – experiment! Having said that, here’s a good build to get started with:

  • Tier 1: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
  • Tier 2: Silencing Shot – gives you a spell interrupt ability.
  • Tier 3: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
  • Tier 4: Dire Beast – gives you a new damage cooldown. Use whenever it’s available. Pop this with Rapid Fire in the 90% phase.
  • Tier 5: Murder of Crows – another damage cooldown. Use whenever it’s available. Pop this with Rapid Fire in the 90% phase.
  • Tier 6: Glaive Toss.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Marksmanship Hunter

We need Expertise now! Apparently monsters have learned to dodge bullets…

Stats order: Agility > Hit (until capped at 2550 / 7.5%) and Expertise (until capped at 2550 / 7.5%) > Critical Strike Rating > Haste > Mastery

Reforging: Reforge for Hit and Expertise cap first, then reforge for Crit. Reforge out of excess Hit and Expertise first, then Haste, then Mastery.
Gems: Delicate (Agility) gems in Red sockets. Deadly (Agi/Crit) in Yellow sockets. Glinting (agi/hit) in blue sockets.
Meta Gem: Agile meta gem.

Marksmanship Glyphs

For detailed discussion of Glyphs, see the guides in Links, below. However, here’s a good loadout to get started quickly with:

Major: Glyph of Animal Bond, Glyph of Liberation, Glyph of Aimed Shot.
Minor: Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah is great, as is Glyph of Fetch – with the latter, your pet can loot for you!

Marksmanship Hunter enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
  • Cloak – Accuracy or Superior Critical Strike, depending on if you’re at hit cap.
  • Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Wrist – Greater Agility
  • Hands – Superior Expertise
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
  • Feet – Blurred Speed
  • Ranged – Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom


If you want to get into more detail with your Marksmanship play:

  • Elitist Jerks’ Marksmanship Hunter guide is excellent if extremely complicated
  • Icy Veins have a good Marksmanship Hunter guide – ]easier to read but less exhaustive than EJ](
  • And of course, Warcraft Hunter’s Union is an excellent source for all styles of Hunter
  • Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.

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