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Hunter Specs differences

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Hi everyone, I'm planning on start a new character and I decided that it would be a hunter, however I still don't get the difference between the 3 specs (specially between MM and SV), so I was wondering if someone could guide me in this by telling me things like "BM focuses con AoE DPS and is better for soloing content", or something like that.

I don't know of this is the right place to be asking this but any help will be apreciated.

And sorry if my english is bad.

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MM and SV are very different when it comes to play style at max level. MM focuses on larger, hard hitting nukes so to speak, while SV is more DoT (damage over time) oriented, with 50%+ of your damage being DoTs. MM excels with a bunch of small adds that can be sniped with aimed and kill shot and benefits from 2 target cleave with chimaera shot (however, the targets practically have to be dry humping each other). SC excels at doing a lot of damage to larger adds, since you can have SS running on multiple targets at once, and has considerably better AoE than MM. Lastly, BM has the best burst AoE out of the hunter specs and puts a lot of the damage on your pet. All three specs are good for soloing, though BM more so for the harder/more recent stuff (MSV, ToT, pandaria world bosses), because of the fact that you can bring a spirit beast for the extra heals (which is pretty important on a couple if fights until you some gear, gara'jal in MSV is a good example). However, anything less than 25H cataclysm raids are easily doable with any spec. This being said, MM and SV have the best damage output for current tier raid, with BM being better suited for mass AoE.

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The spec that focuses on shooting things. Essentially a sniper. 


Main abilities:

  • Kill Shot - instant shot that can be used only against targets below 35%, does a lot of physical damage and can be cast twice in a row.
  • Aimed Shot - a long 2.5 second cast that does respectable physical damage and has +60% crit chance against targets above 80% health - this is called Careful Aim.
  • Chimaera Shot - instant 2-head shot that does a lot of frost or nature damage.
  • Steady Shot - a weak 2 second cast that does physical damage and regenerates focus.


  • Explosive Trap - essentially a fire grenade. Places a fire damage DoT on affected targets.
  • Multi Shot - instant cast, does physical damage to all enemies around your target.
    For MM, gets a damage boost and cost reduction whenever crits at least against one target. Overall weak, and used only when things get really crowded.

Overall the damage done is mostly physical. 

Aimed Shot and Chimaera Shot can be used one after another, doing a huge burst of damage to a single target.


Mastery: a bonus to crit damage and range for 6 seconds if you stand still for 3 seconds or more. 


Burst: Rapid Fire - increases attack and cast speed and grants Careful Aim. Bursting MM is a machine of death, sending a shot after shot with almost guaranteed crit. 


MM does good single target damage, especially at the beginning and end of the fight, and can burst down a pack of bunched up weak targets. 


MM is a guy that sits on a hill and casually dispatches targets with a few shots with deadly precision. Amber Kearnen is a marksman hunter. 



The spec that focuses on traps, explosives and poisons. 


Main abilities:

  • Explosive Shot - an instant cast 4-second DoT that does fire damage. 
  • Black Arrow - an instant cast long DoT on a long cooldown, does shadow damage and sometimes grants Lock and Load, which immediately restores cooldown on Explosive Shot, and allows you to use it 3 times in a row, 2 of which will be for free. Explosive Shot DoT sort of stacks, and if you dump all of them in one target, it's gonna hurt.
  • Arcane Shot - an instant cast that does nature damage. It also applies Serpent Sting to the target - a 15-second DoT that does nature damage. 
  • Cobra Shot - a weak 2 second cast that does nature damage and regenerates focus.


  • Explosive Trap - for SV, does enough damage to be worth it even against one target. SV gets a cooldown reduction to this ability.
  • Multi Shot - also applies Serpent Sting.


All of survival's damage expect auto shot is magical and hence bypasses armor. All of the abilities are instant and cause DoT damage. Survival is the spec that waltzes through battlefield, leaving many enemies suffering from severe burns and poison. 


Mastery: bonus to magic damage.


Burst: no burst of any kind. Lock and Load procs are not that noticeable to call them burst. 


SV is focused on sustained damage to single or multiple targets. John J. Keeshan is a survival hunter.


Beast Mastery

The spec that focuses on taming the deadliest monsters in Azeroth and fighting side by side with them. 


Main abilities:

  • Kill Command - an instant ability that causes your pet to perform a powerful attack, doing physical damage.
  • Kill Shot - instant shot that can be used only against targets below 20%, does a lot of physical damage and can be cast twice in a row.
  • Arcane Shot - an instant cast that does nature damage. 
  • Cobra Shot - a weak 2 second cast that does nature damage and regenerates focus.


  • Explosive Trap
  • Multi Shot - also grants Beast Cleave for 4 seconds, causing your pet to do AoE damage.

About 20% of overall damage is magical, and about 50% of overall damage comes from your pet, including Kill Command.


Mastery: bonus to all damage done by your pets.


Burst: Bestial Wrath - you and your pet embrace the wild. Increases damage, and the cost of all your abilities is cut in half for 10 seconds. If you prepare by pooling focus just before Bestial Wrath, you can unleash a savage sequence of attacks, shooting and ripping your target to shreds.


Beast Mastery does good single target damage, and has a strong burst on a short cooldown, and an execute phase. Has excellent sustained cleave damage when targets are all stacked up. 


Beast Mastery hunters can tame exotic pets, which have unique looks and bonus abilities. Rexxar is a beast mastery hunter. 

Edited by Iridar
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