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Marksmanship Hunter DPS The Emerald Nightmare Boss by boss (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Nov 02, 2016 at 05:42 by Azortharion 462 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find boss by boss strategies for your Marksmanship Hunter for current content.

The other pages of our Marksmanship Hunter guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

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.


In this section you will find information pertaining to each Emerald Nightmare boss individually. It is recommended you follow the standard talent build found in the Builds, Talents, and Glyphs section of the guide unless otherwise advised on a per boss basis. Much of the information is geared towards Mythic encounters, though it can be applied equally to the lesser difficulties.

1. Nythendra

Minimizing movement is key to mastering Nythendra. You want to have a very good idea of when the boss is going to do its Infested Breath, and you need to have the optimal, shortest route out of it pre-planned in case she points to you. The same goes for the Heart of the Swarm intermission phase where you must find the best place to be before the pools of Rot start closing into the boss, so that you do not have to dance around and dodge them. On Mythic difficulty, you can choose Barrage Icon Barrage and save it if you are having trouble breaking out packs of mind controlled people. You should also be saving Marking Targets Icon Marking Targets procs and position yourself behind the mind controlled position to AoE them out as fast as possible.

In general, you should try to plan your movement beforehand all the time, deliberately introducing downtime by casting Sidewinders Icon Sidewinders a bit earlier than you otherwise would have, for example, in order to have a few global cooldowns to move without losing DPS. You may also choose to wait with casting Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot until you have to move, instead of casting it when you do not have to move and then being stuck not able to cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot a bit later. You should still cast Marked Shot within Vulnerable, however.

You will usually have a Trueshot Icon Trueshot available for the later Mind Controls. This will tend to be worth using, since it is a very efficient way to deal with the adds as you do a lot of AoE damage without losing single-target damage. If breaking out Mind Controls is not an issue, you should save it for as many stacks of  Icon Bullseye as possible, as per usual.

2. Ursoc

Optimizing on Ursoc mainly comes down to ensuring your movement and positioning is immaculate. Take advantage of Disengage Icon Disengage as much as possible during the fight to shorten every phase of movement that you must make when in the ranged group. Make sure you are ahead of the group's movement for every Roaring Cacophony Icon Roaring Cacophony; you want to be in range to soak the ability, but far enough you only have to take little or no steps to escape the Miasma Icon Miasma. Pre-position for the next Roaring Cacophony Icon Roaring Cacophony if you are debuffed with Momentum Icon Momentum. This helps ensure your damage is not interrupted by having to dodge the charge and saves overall movement. Use free-movement abilities like Barrage Icon Barrage and Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot when you are about to get knocked backward.

Save Trueshot Icon Trueshot for the last possible moment in the fight, and when an add is active, ideally opening it with a Barrage Icon Barrage to build your  Icon Bullseye stacks quickly before going ham for the rest of the Trueshot.

3. Elerethe Renferal

Like Ursoc, a lot of damage can be gained on Elerethe Renferal by being efficient with your positioning and movement. You want to use Disengage Icon Disengage and Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah as much as possible to minimize your time spent moving, and you want to be pre-positioned for the pool and tornado mechanics. As with all classes, you should be as close to the boss' middle as possible when she does Gathering Clouds Icon Gathering Clouds, in order to allow you to cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shots without being pushed too far back. Like with Nythendra, you can time your Marked Shot Icon Marked Shots and Barrage Icon Barrages so that you are casting them while you are going to be moving. You should be aware of where the spider adds spawn and where they are going to be positioned so that you can put them between you and the boss for efficient AoE damage. In general, actual DPS uptime on the boss is what wins the DPS meters here, as there are so many mechanics trying to stop you from dealing optimal damage.

4. Dragons of Nightmare

Dragons of Nightmare is a great encounter for Marksmanship Hunters. On Normal and Heroic difficulty, the spread range of the bosses is 40 yards, meaning that if they are positioned correctly, you can hit both bosses with Sidewinders and Marked Shot because of the Mastery which increases your shot range. You can help the group a lot with Misdirection Icon Misdirection here, especially for newly spawned Dread Horror adds. By positioning yourself far away from your current boss target, you can ensure maximum spread of your Sidewinders Icon Sidewinders, allowing you to hit as many things as possible. Whenever Dread Horrors spawn, you should cast Misdirection Icon Misdirection on your current tank while still hitting the current dragon. You should, as all classes should, avoid ever tanking or being close to Dread Horrors, as they decrease your damage done when close to you

Disengage Icon Disengage with Posthaste Icon Posthaste specced can be used to break the root mechanic, removing the need for a healer dispel.

When a tank swap occurs, you can time your Sidewinders so that you will hit both dragons once or twice on their midway point for extra damage as well.

5. Il'gynoth, Heart of Corruption

Hunters are extremely powerful on this fight since we can do full AoE and single-target damage at the same time. Ideally, you will be standing off to the side for most of the fight on Normal and Heroic difficulty, on the opposite side of where the Horror adds will be tanked. From this position, you can ensure that your Sidewinders Icon Sidewinders and Marked Shot Icon Marked Shots will hit all the globules between you and the target. From this position, you can also hit all of the tentacles that are active at the same time. Being able to do full single-target damage to priority adds like Corruptors and Horrors while maintaining full AoE on the globules, makes Marksmanship the best spec on this fight.

On Mythic difficulty, you cannot kill too many globules at the same time. For this reason we recommend using A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows for the encounter on Mythic. Because the globules die at very regular intervals, and also because it is important to maximize damage inside Heart, you can keep resetting A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows on the constantly dying adds throughout the fight. You can also reset it on the Corruptor adds that spawn and thus maximize damage on those.

Marksmanship Hunters are often assigned to be focusing on the adds more than anything else due to how efficient they are for it (losing no single-target damage in the process of doing full AoE), and due to the positional constraints on our damage, we are not very good add kiters. Feign Death Icon Feign Death can be used to drop the Fixate if you get it, causing it to go to another raid member. This can often be beneficial as it will stop you from having to drag the add into a position where you cannot do as efficient damage anymore, while other classes do not lose as much.

6. Cenarius

This is a very high movement encounter, particularly on Mythic difficulty, so clever positioning is key. Pay careful attention to Nightmare Brambles Icon Nightmare Brambles at all times, as getting rooted can easily be a fatal mistake. Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle can be used to clear the pools of bramble lying around the room as the brambles travel around. If you know that you are fixated and find yourself in a bad spot, you can use Feign Death Icon Feign Death to make it target someone else.

Should you get caught by the Brambles anyway, you can use Disengage Icon Disengage with Posthaste Icon Posthaste specced to break the root and save yourself.

Trueshot Icon Trueshot will tend to line up with add phases later in the fight. You should save it for those moments whenever possible, especially the Wisps.

7. Xavius

Xavius is a very straightforward fight on all difficulties. Your focus should be primarily centered around killing adds in the first two phases. Clever positioning with Sidewinders Icon Sidewinders will allow you to deal a lot of damage to multiple, spread-out Inconceivable Horrors. In the third phase of this encounter, Marksmanship Hunters can shine on damage by doing full single-target damage to Xavius, and full AoE damage to the tentacles everywhere in the room. Standing as far away from the boss as possible will widen your Sidewinders' range and allow you to hit as many of them as possible. You should always have a Trueshot Icon Trueshot available for this time.

8. ChangeLog

  • 02 Nov. 2016: Added some Disengage+Posthaste tips for Dragons of Nightmare and Cenarius.
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