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Marksmanship Hunter: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

9 replies to this topic Started by Vlad, Jul 03 2012 11:08 PM news mop hunter marksmanship rotation talents glyphs
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Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:08 PM

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Vlad
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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Marksmanship Hunter guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Marksmanship Hunter rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Marksmanship Hunter Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

New Abilities

  • Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between Fervor and Readiness (and Thrill of the Hunt, but this is a passive talent). We currently believe that Fervor is the least attractice choice. Which of the other two is a larger DPS gain remains to be determined, but it is important to note that Readiness can also help you reset cooldowns of useful abilities such as Deterrence.
  • Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between A Murder of Crows, Dire Beast, and Lynx Rush. At the moment, it seems that A Murder of Crows is the biggest DPS boost.
  • Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between Glaive Toss, Powershot, and Barrage. While each of these abilities seems designed for multiple target DPS, we would put forth that Barrage will prove to be the most useful in both single and multiple target situtions. This remains to be determined accurately, however.
  • Stampede is a burst DPS ability, that causes all your current pets (all 5 of them - the ones in your stable are not counted) to attack the target for 20 seconds. Due to its 5 minute cooldown, this spell is not affected by Readiness.

Changes to Existing Mechanics

  • Minimum range has now been removed from the game. You can shoot the target from any range.
  • Master Marksman now requires 3 stacks, down from 5, in order to make your next Aimed Shot instant cast and free of cost.
  • Kill Shot's cooldown is reset if it does not kill the target. This effect can only happen once every 6 seconds. This used to be provided by a glyph, in Cataclysm.
  • Hunter's Mark now increases damage done to the target, by ranged attacks, by 5%. Previously, it used to increase the attack power of the ranged attackers against the target. Since the attack power increase was fixed, this change allows Hunter's Mark to scale with your gear.
  • Aspect of the Hawk now increases attack power by 10%, instead of by a fixed value. This allows it to scale with your gear.
  • Improved Steady Shot has been changed slightly, and renamed to Steady Focus. The buff now lasts 10 seconds (up from 8) and also increases the amount of focus generated by Steady Shot by 3.
  • Steady Shot now generates 14 focus, up from 9.
  • Bombardment now also increases the damage of the next Multi-Shot by 30%. It is no longer provided by a talent - instead, it is simply granted to you as a passive spell.

Removed Abilities

Rotation and Playstyle

The rotation for Marksmanship Hunters remains practically unchanged from its Cataclysm version. The only differences arise from the integration of the new abilities. However, since these abilities are on rather long cooldowns, their impact is minimised. Additionally, you should make sure that Hunter's Mark is always on the target.

Careful Aim remains unchanged. Therefore, the "Careful Aim Phase" rotation should still be maintained, just like in Cataclysm.

Cooldowns

This section assumes you have chosen A Murder of Crows, Readiness, and Powershot from your talents.
  • Rapid Fire remains your major DPS cooldown. You should make sure to use it as many times during the fight as possible. Ideally, it should be used when the boss is taking increased damage or when you need to do burst damage. It is also ideal to stack it with your potions or procs from other items or enchants.
  • A Murder of Crows (in case you have chosen it as a talent) should also be used as many times as possible during a fight. You should ideally use it together with Rapid Fire, so that you can reset both their cooldowns with Readiness (see below).
  • Readiness (in case you have chosen it as a talent) should be used immediately after Rapid Fire and A Murder of Crows, in order to reset their cooldown and allow you to use them again.
  • Powershot (in case you have chosen it as a talent) should be used on cooldown. Ideally, you should find a moment for this spell's long cast time when Chimera Shot is on cooldown. You should also attempt to use it after you use Rapid Fire and A Murder of Crows, so that you can reset its cooldown with Readiness as well.

Multiple Target Rotation

Against 2-3 enemies, you are best off performing a single target rotation. If it is imperative that the targets are AoE'd (though this will lower your DPS), you should spam Multi-Shot.

Against 4 or more enemies, you should spam Multi-Shot. In case the enemies are stationary and in a group, you should place an Explosive Trap under them.

Bombardment still exists (though it now also increases the damage of the next Multi-Shot by 30%), and this is what makes Multi-Shot viable as an AoE spell.

Talents

Tier 1 talents offer you a choice between several movement-enhancing abilities: Narrow Escape seems tailored for PvP use. Thus, in PvE, the choice will almost surely be made between Posthaste and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera. Which of these you choose will depend on the requirements of the encounter, but we currently see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera as being best.

Tier 2 talents offer a choice between Silencing Shot, Wyvern Sting, and Binding Shot. Which one you pick will depend on the encounter, but for raiders, it seems that Silencing Shot will have the most use.

Tier 3 is centered around survival and self-healing. Your options are: For progression PvE raiding, it would seem that Spirit Bond is at a slight disadvantage. The choice between a powerful, active self-heal and passive damage reduction will probably be determined by the encounter mechanics.

We have discussed Tier 4, 5, and 6 talents at the start of the article.

Glyphs

The only glyph which can play any part in your DPS performance is Glyph of Marked for Death. This causes your Arcane Shot and Chimera Shot to automatically apply Hunter's Mark to the target. This will save you a global cooldown at the start of the fight, and it will also save you from having to refresh the buff during the fight.

Of the other glyphs, these can help improve your survivability and they will probably be mandatory for raiders: Finally, Glyph of Disengage may prove very useful on some encounters.

This concludes our Marksmanship Hunter preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!

Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:08 PM

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Peelyon
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Just from your first glances Vlad do you think SV or MM will be the most viable spec for PvE hunters? Sorry to ask the question so early haha!

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:13 PM

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Vlad
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Just from your first glances Vlad do you think SV or MM will be the most viable spec for PvE hunters? Sorry to ask the question so early haha!


You totally didn't have time to read this before posting!

But anyway, it's hard to tell. I think Survival is in a pretty good place. One of the reasons Marksmanship has a good reputation of being high DPS is because:
  • During late WotLK, it benefited greatly from Armor Penetration, which is now gone;
  • During the first part of Cataclysm, Careful Aim was active for the first 20% of the mobs' health. The 10% it's active for now is just less impactful.
I wouldn't count out BM. It's looking pretty good to me right now - stay tuned for the preview for that spec over the next few days!

Posted 03 July 2012 - 11:29 PM

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Peelyon
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You totally didn't have time to read this before posting!

But anyway, it's hard to tell. I think Survival is in a pretty good place. One of the reasons Marksmanship has a good reputation of being high DPS is because:

  • During late WotLK, it benefited greatly from Armor Penetration, which is now gone;
  • During the first part of Cataclysm, Careful Aim was active for the first 20% of the mobs' health. The 10% it's active for now is just less impactful.
I wouldn't count out BM. It's looking pretty good to me right now - stay tuned for the preview for that spec over the next few days!


Haha as soon as I told my guildies it was up they wanted to know, I dont read hunter stuff :P! Majority of my friends and guildies have naturally preferred SV just because they saw it as an easier rotation. Without many changes I think they will stick to SV. Will get them all to try out both specs though :D

@peterlyon85 peelyon#2117

Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:10 PM

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Alierya
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I prefer MM in general, I will only change if the DPS is conserably higher on Surv. I approve of marked for death being a glyph... I don't waste any tallents on it, as I don't think it takes time to refresh a mark durning a fight, generally only need to do this once and I'd rather have the point free for something else. So it's better as a glyph as you are not losing much of anything by deciding to chose it. I'd like to put forward that narrow esape may be useful during some boss fights for CC - for example in current content you could run up and hit the oozes in chogall or the little spiders in beth - then pop backwards to safety and nuke from where the rest of the raid is stacked. Drop a couple of slowing traps between yourselfs and the adds from where they are rooted to slow them once they become unrooted. So I think it may end up being more useful than it first looks in certian senarios. Barrage looks like it could pull things from all over... YAS! Our ninja pulling abilities were hampered severly when they 'fied' multi-shot. Shooting randomly in front of you just sounds like a really really good plan. Nay joy tanks...

Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:00 PM

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Vlad
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I prefer MM in general, I will only change if the DPS is conserably higher on Surv.

I approve of marked for death being a glyph... I don't waste any tallents on it, as I don't think it takes time to refresh a mark durning a fight, generally only need to do this once and I'd rather have the point free for something else. So it's better as a glyph as you are not losing much of anything by deciding to chose it.

I'd like to put forward that narrow esape may be useful during some boss fights for CC - for example in current content you could run up and hit the oozes in chogall or the little spiders in beth - then pop backwards to safety and nuke from where the rest of the raid is stacked. Drop a couple of slowing traps between yourselfs and the adds from where they are rooted to slow them once they become unrooted. So I think it may end up being more useful than it first looks in certian senarios.

Barrage looks like it could pull things from all over... YAS! Our ninja pulling abilities were hampered severly when they 'fied' multi-shot. Shooting randomly in front of you just sounds like a really really good plan. Nay joy tanks...


Well, not to disagree with you (except that that's just what I'm doing :P), but I think the Glyph of Marked for Death is mandatory for any raiding hunter. It is THE only glyph that will actually improve your performance. You still have two other glyph spots for other survival glyphs.

You say it "takes no time at all", but that's not actually true. It takes precisely one global cooldown if the fight lasts more than 5 minutes and 2 global cooldowns if it lasts more than 10 minutes. This isn't counting any additional global cooldowns you are using to apply it to various adds that you may have to attack. The alternative is losing 5% damage done on the adds because you didn't apply it.

The only time taking this glyph is not needed, in my opinion, is when there are at least 2 Hunters in the raid. In that case, it's enough if one takes the glyph.

Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:11 PM

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Alierya
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No I think you misundersand me, I meant that a glyph is better than a talent in terms of where the ability(?) is located. Ie if it was a talent in the new system you would need to choose between that and two other moves, where as because it is a glyph you are not 'losing out' on something else. In current content I have another hunter in my group who has specced into MfD so therefor there is no point in me doing it as well. I don't think anyone would not apply hunters mark, that would just be silly. Yes in a fight with lots of adds it would be bad not to have someone with that in the group however on a boss with lots of adds I'd go surv instead of MM because the dps is difference is just far too great, rendering the point moot. On a single target boss I don't think that one global cool down against the added haste bonus is a massive loss, I don't think many of the single target bosses in ds last more than 5 mins. Also depends when you time it during the fight.

Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:47 PM

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No I think you misundersand me, I meant that a glyph is better than a talent in terms of where the ability(?) is located. Ie if it was a talent in the new system you would need to choose between that and two other moves, where as because it is a glyph you are not 'losing out' on something else.

In current content I have another hunter in my group who has specced into MfD so therefor there is no point in me doing it as well. I don't think anyone would not apply hunters mark, that would just be silly. Yes in a fight with lots of adds it would be bad not to have someone with that in the group however on a boss with lots of adds I'd go surv instead of MM because the dps is difference is just far too great, rendering the point moot. On a single target boss I don't think that one global cool down against the added haste bonus is a massive loss, I don't think many of the single target bosses in ds last more than 5 mins. Also depends when you time it during the fight.


Ok, fair enough about your point regarding it being a glyph and not a talent.

It's not just a question of "AoE" fights. Think of a fight like Madness. It's a very long fight with a lot of target switching, yet there's nothing in it to make you automatically prefer Survival.

So, on Madness, you need to apply a Hunter's Mark to:
  • Every Arm/Wing Tentacle (4 global cooldowns gone there, although we can reduce that to 1, if we assume you somehow manage to apply Hunter's Mark to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tentacles while you are still traveling to them and you're out of attack range).
  • Every Mutated Corruption. Here, it's absolutely a wasted global cooldown to do it.
  • Every Elementium Bolt. Due to the urgency with which that add must die, you won't have time to apply it manually, anyway, without increasing the time it takes to kill the mob greatly.
  • Elementium Terror(s), Deathwing's head at the end.
Now, keep in mind that, since you can only have Hunter's Mark up on one target at one time, you will have to apply it to the Arm Tentacle, then to the Mutated Corruption, then on the Arm Tentacle again when you switch back to it. Same for the Elementium Terrors.

The same can be said for Yor'sahj, Hagara, Blackhorn and Spine of Deathwing (using a global cooldown to put Hunter's Mark on the Tendon is kind of a waste, when you can have it done automatically).

Fights like Morchok, Zon'ozz (normal only) and Ultraxion are the only ones where I'd say the glyph has no use.

I agree that on some fights, it's possible to "time it" in such a way that your DPS loss is minimal (i.e., do it while you are moving). For example, I used to refresh my Hunter's Mark on heroic Chimaeron when I was affected by the debuff that reduced my chance to hit. But not every encounter has these types of opportunities, and in any case it adds a layer of difficulty.

Also, what does it have to do with haste? :)

Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:37 PM

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Alierya
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On DW the I would take the first arm out of the equation as you can pop it mid flight as it has a longer range than any of your other shots so you don't lose anything to do that. Corruption you can pop it on it whilst you get your MD sorted I guess, but fair enough I'd say you miss a global cool down for that and then back to the arm. Yor is defo an aoe fight (well depending on your luck) so I go surv for that and general notice a big dps difference on this. Hagara I totally disagree. I would say that you can refresh your mark at the end of each phase before you can target the boss with a damaging spell. I feel that in the gunship first phase it is more about balancing movement and dps than pure pewpew, so I although marked for death may provide a notable difference in this fight I don't think it is crutial to my groups success. We don't do spine on HC yet and on normal it's only a dps race on the tendons, but again I have another hunter who has the tallent plus with low health it goes down very quickly and it's not essential for a kill for my group on this fight. I'd replace 'difficulty' with 'challange' - nice to be able to get to know a fight and develop your perfomance in these kind of areas. Haste has everything to do with it... since that's what I put the extra tallent point in. To be fair at the end of the day I had this specced into (one point), took it out and put it into a different tallent then saw a noted dps increase. It may not be right for everyone but it suits my playstyle. NB on your own guide it is recommended but not essential... Just sayin! :P

Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:06 AM

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It's interesting to note that you now only need 3 stacks of Master Marksman to make your next Aimed Shot instant cast and free of cost, down from 5 stacks.

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