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Marksmanship Hunter DPS Guide (Legion 7.1.5)

Last updated Yesterday at 22:57 by Azortharion 562 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Marksmanship Hunter DPS guide for World of Warcraft Legion 7.1.5. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing a Marksmanship Hunter in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Azortharion, the main theorycrafter of the spec. He is also an accomplished player who raids in Vanguard. You can also watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Class Overview

The Marksmanship specialization is great at both single-target and multi-target. It is able to do its full AoE damage potential while simultaneously maximizing its single-target damage. The spec's damage scales incredibly quickly with multiple targets. Marksmanship scales excellently with weapon damage, and generally benefits more from higher item levels than the other two specs.

2. What Has Changed in 7.1.5?

The changes for Marksmanship Hunter in 7.1.5 are centered around trying to neuter its extreme AoE capability previously, while addressing its issues with sustained single-target as well. Maximizing Aimed Shots around Vulnerable windows is now even more important, and for the first time in Legion we will not be stuck with Sidewinders being the only level 100 talent worth taking. Other talents are being retuned as well in hopes of more varied playstyles being viable for different situations.

Changes made to Marksmanship in 7.1.5 include:

  • Marksmanship can now use Tar Trap Icon Tar Trap and Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap, previously Survival-only spells.
  • The chance of getting a Marking Targets Icon Marking Targets proc has been increased by roughly 45%.
  • Marksmanship now has a focus pool of 130, up from 120.
  • Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot damage has been increased by 35%.
  • Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot damage has been increased by 54%.
  • Bursting Shot Icon Bursting Shot damage has been increased by 50%.
  • The  Icon Quick Shot artifact trait now reduces Trueshot's cooldown by 8 seconds per point, down from 10.
  • Vulnerable Icon Vulnerable does not stack by default anymore, and it always lasts 7 seconds and increases Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot and Piercing Shot Icon Piercing Shot damage by 100%. Essentially, Patient Sniper Icon Patient Sniper's previous effect is now baseline for the debuff.
  • Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot is no longer affected by Vulnerable. Its base damage has been buffed by 120% to compensate, and its focus cost has been reduced to 25, from 30.
  • Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot now deals 100% increased damage to targets that you have not hit before.
  • The level 15 talent Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus now only needs 2 Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shots in a row to activate its effect, down from 3.
  • The level 30 talent Black Arrow Icon Black Arrow's focus cost was reduced to 10 focus, down from 40.
  • The level 30 talent True Aim Icon True Aim now gives 2% increased damage to certain shots and stacks 10 times, up from 8 times.
  • The level 45 talent Farstrider Icon Farstrider now gives active ability critical strikes a 15% chance to reset the cooldown on Disengage, up from a 10% chance.
  • The level 60 talent Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot's focus cost was changed to 20. It previously cost no focus.
  • The level 60 talent Patient Sniper Icon Patient Sniper has been redesigned as its previous effect is now baseline. It increases the damage bonus of Vulnerable Icon Vulnerable by 10% for every second of its duration.
  • The level 60 talent Sentinel Icon Sentinel has been redesigned. It allows you to place a reticule that applies Hunter's Mark to all targets within it. After 6 seconds, Hunter's Mark is applied again, and this happens twice with the final application being after 18 seconds of placing the reticule. It now has a 1 minute cooldown.
  • The level 90 talent Barrage Icon Barrage now no longer deals double damage to the current target. Instead, it deals the same, low damage to all targets. This is to make it less viable for single-target when it is meant to be an AoE talent.
  • The level 100 talent Piercing Shot Icon Piercing Shot's damage has been reduced by 26%, but it is now affected by Vulnerable.
  • The level 100 talent Sidewinders Icon Sidewinders's focus generation has been reduced to 35 from 50

3. How Does it Work?

  • Focus is the primary resource. It is generated passively at a base rate of 10 focus per second. The spammable ability Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot generates 5 focus per cast as well.
  • Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot is the main ability. It is a 2-second cast that cannot be cast while moving. Its damage is vastly amplified by Vulnerable Icon Vulnerable, and trying to achieve as many casts with Vulnerable active is the bread and butter of the spec.
  • Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot deals moderate damage and applies Vulnerable. It can only be cast when Hunter's Mark is active, which is activated by casting Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot with a a Marking Targets proc. Marking Targets proc come from auto-shots.
  • Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot generates 5 focus per cast and deals low damage. It is the filler ability of the spec when not using Sidewinders Icon Sidewinders which replaces it. It generates the focus needed to execute the rotation, and it provides you with procs that will allow you to activate Vulnerable. Its multi-target equivalent is Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot.
  • Trueshot Icon Trueshot is an extremely powerful cooldown that vastly increases your Haste and causes all Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to activate Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark. With 13 points in the artifact, it also increases critical strike bonus damage by 50%. There are set bonuses, trinkets and legendaries that reduce the cooldown of this ability. Using it effectively is extremely important.
  •  Icon Windburst deals heavy damage on a 20-second cooldown and applies Vulnerable. It costs 20 focus and serves as a gap-filler or simply an additional round of Vulnerable every 20 seconds.

4. Strengths

  • High burst damage on both single-target and AoE with Trueshot.
  • Different talents amplify different strengths (stacked/spread out AoE)

5. Weaknesses

  • Mobility is limited by Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot, an ability on which timing is important, so movement management is absolutely critical.
  • Bad RNG can have a significant negative impact.

6. Viability in the Current Patch (and 7.1.5)

In 7.1.5, Marksmanship's versatility in its talent choices and raw number tuning will most likely see it be the better raiding spec in Nighthold as a general statement in more optimal conditions (and increased reliance on gear and set bonuses), but with its limited mobility being even more of an issue in this patch, it will most likely be worth maintaining a decent Beast Mastery off-spec since some fights will undoubtedly present Marksmanship with movement challenges that good play alone cannot overcome.

7. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 9 pages:

8. ChangeLog

  • 17 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Add BiS list. Trinket sims updated.
  • 14 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Add Legendary trinket to description (but not ranking yet).
  • 13 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Removed Aran's Relaxing Ruby as it was nerfed.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Fresh trinket sims.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Openness to the possibility of using Sidewinders for new players, or players having trouble picking up the new Arcane-Shot based talents.
  • 11 Jan. 2017 (stats page): Updated stat priority and removed Agility from the listing as it does nothing but confuse at this point. Removed the Haste softcap.
  • 11 Jan. 2017 (simulations page): Further updates.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (this page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (simulations page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (artifact page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (stats page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (addons page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (enchants page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 10 Dec. 2016 (rotation page): Added rotational example video.
  • 08 Dec. 2016 (artifact page): Added second-best in slot relic.
  • 08 Dec. 2016 (rotation page): Expanded on the "advanced" stuff and new opener.
  • 08 Dec. 2016 (enchants page): Added note about Potion of Prolonged Power.
  • 27 Nov. 2016 (rotation page): Rotational updates.
  • 27 Nov. 2016 (easy mode page): Added easy mode for Marksmanship Hunters.
  • 14 Nov. 2016 (stats page): Pawn string for Marksmanship updated.
  • 11 Nov. 2016 (simulations page): Added food sims.
  • 02 Nov. 2016 (rotation page): Slight opener change.
  • 30 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Removed talent table at the beginning of the page.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Patch 7.1.
    • Updated Posthaste's duration. Was changed in Patch 7.1 to be 5 seconds (down from 8).
    • Trailblazer replaces Dash.
    • Updated the reference to Vulnerable in the description of Patient Sniper.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (simulations page): Updated all sims and introduced a potion sim.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Updated the Vulnerable paragraph following the changes in Patch 7.1.
  • 22 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Updated Mythic+ talent recommendation.
  • 17 Oct. 2016 (artifact page): Quick Shot is the best in slot relic - explanation.
  • 17 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Ordered statistics explanation in order of priority because OCD.
  • 09 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Added some notes to clarify frequently asked questions.
  • 08 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Updated the opener.
  • 06 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Added rotational tidbits and fixed some ordering in the simplified rotation.
  • 05 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Changed Windburst's priority to be higher than Aim-Vuln.
  • 03 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Updated the opener.
  • 02 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Added Murder of Crows at the top of the rotation priority.
  • 30 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Fishbrul Special is now only advised for pure single-target situations.
  • 27 Sep. 2016 (simulations page): Updated Racial sims.
  • 26 Sep. 2016 (stats page): Mastery > Agility. Windburst now affected by Mastery.
  • 26 Sep. 2016 (simulations page): Updated Neck Enchant sims.
  • 24 Sep. 2016 (talents page): Updated for hotfixes.
  • 20 Sep. 2016 (talents page): Changed recommendation back, as it was founded on a mistake by me.
  • 19 Sep. 2016 (talents page): Changed recommendation from Lock and Load to Black Arrow. Removed sims as they were not useful anymore.
  • 18 Sep. 2016 (artifact page): Talk about Precision and Quick Shot.
  • 16 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Added Fishbrul Special food.
  • 12 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Even more rotational clarifications.
  • 11 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Rotational clarifications and new additions.
  • 10 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Vastly simplified Windburst usage since thinking about it too hard is not really going to be noticeably beneficial.
  • 09 Sep. 2016 (stats page): Haste now better than Critical Strike.
  • 08 Sep. 2016 (stats page): Updated stat weights and Pawn string.
  • 08 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Updated gem recommendation to consider the recent nerf of 250 secondary stat gems.
  • 04 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Clarified Volley explanations to make it more explicit that it is to be used at all times, even on a single target.
  • 01 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Made Masterful Shadowruby the gem of choice for all sockets.
  • 31 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Rewrote Level 90 talent explanations to make Volley viable in stacked AoE situations.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (simulations page): Added.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (this page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (artifact page): Added.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion expansion.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2016 (rotation page): Improved opening rotation.
  • 06 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Added talent simulations for all tiers.
  • 29 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Updated to recommend using the Versatility potion (1500 versatility) instead of Agility (1000 agility). This only goes for Marksmanship.
  • 23 Jul. 2016 (this page): Removed note about weak spread-out target damage as this is wrong when using the advised talents correctly.
  • 23 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Removed talents from rotation to simplify it a bit and avoid confusion.
  • 21 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Added paragraph explaining the cyclical nature of Patient Sniper + Sidewinders usage.
  • 20 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Added simplified rotation and tweaked rotation a bit.
  • 20 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): More rotation tweaks.
  • 19 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Added opener.
  • 19 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Gave more explanations as to why some talents are not currently viable.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (this page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (stats page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 14 Jan. 2016 (rotation page): Updated multi-target rotation.
  • 11 Jan. 2016 (easy mode page): Removed the Haste softcap.
  • 11 Jan. 2016 (rotation page): Settle for 2 Aimed Shots during standard Vulnerable Icon Vulnerable windows. Change opener.
  • 10 Jan. 2016 (rotation page): Updated to reflect changes made from PTR to patch release.
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