Patch 4.3 Marksmanship Hunter Quick Start Guide – Build, Talents, Stats, Reforging, Priorities, Rotation, Enchants, Changes And Glyphs

Logged in to your Marksmanship hunter after WoW patch 4.3 and wondering what’s changed? You don’t need to fall prey to the patch. Let us show you what’s lying in wait for your glyphs, spec, stats, enchants, reforging and rotation so you can focus on putting an arrow right through Deathwing’s tentacle.

Updated Nov 29th 2011 for Patch 4.3

Marksmanship Changes in Patch 4.3

Nothing much has changed for us in Patch 4.3, I’m afraid, at least not as far as PvE is concerned. There are no changes to our gearing or play.

Our Tier 13 Set Bonuses will change our play in practise – particularly the 2-piece which doubles focus from Steady Shot – but don’t change our priorities.

Marksmanship hunter rotation:

Hunters don’t use rotations any more, like most Cata DPS classes. Instead, they operate on a priority system:

  1. Before combat, apply Hunter’s Mark to the target and cast Misdirect on the tank. Seriously, people, DO NOT skip Misdirect. Dead hunters do no DPS.
  2. When combat starts, open with Serpent Sting, then an Aimed Shot, then two Steady Shots. All your buffs/debuffs are now up and ticking.
  3. As top priority cast Chimera Shot whenever it’s off cooldown and Serpent Sting if it has dropped.
  4. Second Priority cast Aimed Shot if you’ve got a Master Marksman proc. Cast two Steady Shots if the Improved Steady Shot buff has dropped off.
  5. Third Priority cast Kill Shot if you can, Arcane Shot otherwise, or Steady Shot if you’re out of Focus.

Use Rapid Fire as often as possible, and Readiness likewise.

Oh, and if you have high aggro, please, for the love of Pete, cast Feign Death.

Aimed Shot If you have enough gear that the cast time on Aimed Shot is less than 1.9 seconds, it may be worth using it instead of Arcane Shot in low-movement fights. Try it and see – if there’s no obvious DPS improvement, Arcane Shot is a better choice because of the instant cast.

Buffs: Make sure you’ve got Aspect of the Hawk up.

Multiple Target Priorities:

Much simpler. Cast Hunter’s Mark and Misdirect (REALLY don’t skip Misdirect this time). As the tank’s pulling, cast Trap Launcher and Explosive Trap when the tank has stopped moving the mobs.

Then spam Multishot like it’s going to give you crazy-high DPS – oh wait, it is! – Aimed Shot whenever you get a Master Marksman proc, and Steady Shot whenever you run out of Focus. If you have time, also use Kill Shot whenever it will kill a mob, as this will give you 50 free focus.


Markshmanship talent spec:

Standard Marksmanship talent spec for Patch 4.3

Talents for a Marks hunter can change to a certain extent, largely dependent on Haste – read the Elitist Jerks article linked below if you want a LOT more detail. However, until you’re familiar with the class, the above spec is a good starting point, and won’t give you any particular problems.

Stats, reforging and gems as a Marksmanship Hunter:

Stats order: Agility> Hit (until hit capped at 961 or 841 if you’re Draenai) > Critical Strike Rating > Haste > Mastery.

The last 3 can be considered broadly equal, but Crit is slightly stronger in most situations. Expertise is useless for Hunters.

  • Reforging: Reforge to Hit until you’re hit capped*. After that, reforge any excess hit, plus Mastery and Haste, to Crit.
  • Gem: Agility. Ignore socket bonuses unless they’re 20 or more, in which case use Deadly Ember Topaz (20 agi/crit) or Glinting Demonseye (20 agi/hit) to get the socket bonus.

Reforging can be a LOT more complex than this – again, see the EJ guide – but this provides a good basic approach. If you want to get more complex, a read of the Warcraft Hunters’ Union guide to Marksmanship Haste Plateaus is a good place to start.

Marksmanship Enchants

Check to see if your profession supplies more appropriate enchants before putting these on! Inscription and Engineering in particular may have better options.

Head Arcanum of the Ramkahen
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Agility
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Major Agility or Enchant Boots – Assassin’s Step if you want run speed.
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Mighty Agility
Ranged Weapon Flintlocke’s Woodchucker


Primes: Glyph of Steady ShotGlyph of Kill ShotGlyph of Arcane Shot

Major:Glyph of Disengage, and two of your choice.

Minor: Glyph of Feign Death

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