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Melee Hunter Guide - Playing World of Warcraft as a Melee Hunter

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I'm Caperfin. Got questions? see my Livestream: twitch.tv/caperfin
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Intro

Originally, hunters were designed to be played as a ranged class and the legitimacy of a hunter in the melee role was rarely considered. However, with a game that has been dissected for over a decade this dated notion has now been disregarded. It's crucial to remember your melee journey demands a large amount of effort for players to recognise. Painting yourself in the most positive light possible will have lasting results. See Video to learn more.

Being attentive and well mannered will have positive ripple effects later on. You want as much working for you as possible. If done properly, you’ll be known as not only a skilled Hunter but a proficient Melee Hunter who goes above and beyond expectations.

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Video: Melee Hunter - Races - Video Explanation

Horde races have the benefit of Windfury Totem, thus the superior faction. The best races being Troll excelling on ~45 seconds fights due to Berserking & Orc with Blood Fury excelling on longer fights. To learn more about race options, see the Video.

Pets

Video: Melee Hunter - What Pet? - Youtube

A pet contributes a decent amount to our general damage. But, if you don’t cater to the survival of a pet it will be a detriment to your DPS. Therefore, it’s not only advised to move out of the “giant fire” on the ground but also manage the position of a pet. Those who master this notion, should consider investing into buffs for their pet. In terms of damage, the pet family: "Cat", come in first place but more specifically Broken Tooth who has a unique 1.0 second attack speed.

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Video: Melee Hunter - Which Professions?

Engineering for: Gnomish Battle ChickenGoblin Sapper ChargeGoblin Jumper Cables XL among many other items. As a second profession, pick an easy or high gold generating one, this helps you buy powerful potions.

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Video: Melee Hunter - Buffs

There's a max of 32 Buffs, avoid nearing the max as it may result in Buffs getting mistakenly removed, the addon: Buff Cap Tracker helps. Use Buff Cap Calc to see what Buffs stack. Being in melee leads to a higher chance of dying, so get a few Buffs to bolster your survival. A max of 16 Debuffs can be on a mob, Faerie Fire and other armor reducing debuffs are the most influential.

Phantom of the Wing Clip

The basic spell Wing Clip performs a “Phantom Strike”, which causes a melee swing but no actual damage is dealt but it will still trigger effects that require a melee swing to activate, ex: Windfury Totem, Hand of Justice, Dragonbreath Chili among others.

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Video: Melee Hunter - How to gear? - Video Explanation

We gear similarly to a traditional ranged hunter. It’s possible to play as a ranged hunter and get Melee Hunter gear without anyone noticing. Here's an example of a Melee Hunter gear set in Phase5. General Stat Priority: Dual-Wield Melee Hit Cap (12%) > Agility > Strength/Attack Power > Intellect. General Stat Priority: Dual-Wield Melee Hit Cap (12%) > Agility > Strength/Attack Power > Intellect.

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Video: Melee Hunter - Best Talents?

  • Short Fights: (31/0/21) Mostly for ~2min fights. It's crucial to keep you pet alive for as long as possible. If this is not feasible, consider the next setup.
  • Support: (0/31/20) Typically, this setup is for a guild’s progression through a raid. You will likely be put in a group with damage dealing Warriors. You might also be asked to equip Nightfall for the first ~30 seconds of a fight.
  • Anti-Pet Fights/Long Fights: (21/0/30) The setup solution for a pet dying often and +2min fights. It requires gear from AQ to unlock its potential. Also, ideal for fights where keeping a distance is sometimes needed.

 

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Video: Melee Hunter - Rotation

1. Pre Pull: Before the fight starts, make sure you and your pet get the most buffs out there in the world. Buffs will slowly start to countdown, so be sure to Log Out to keep their duration and log back into the game when the raid is ready. In terms of Hunter Aspects, use Aspect of the Monkey, if the fight has moments when you cannot go in melee than instead use Aspect of the Hawk. If the fight requires attacking targets that have distance between each other use Aspect of the Cheetah to reach the next target faster.

2. Pulling: Summon your pet and ask the Raid for the few remaining buffs.

  • Pulling-Situational: If it’s required to keep a distance for a few seconds either at the start or later in a fight, equip Primal Blessing and Hurricane, cast Rapid Fire and get as many ranged auto-attacks out as possible before being allowed to go into melee. Once you get the Primal Blessing buff, equip all your normal gear and head towards the target.

3. Combat: Run towards the mob, use Arcane Shot, use Raptor Strike while pressing Wing Clip. Once you reach the mob, use a trinket, ex: Earthstrike. Spam WG until RS comes of cooldown. Continuously repeat the WG and RS process.

  • Combat-Situational: If you accidentally Aggro a target and it’s about to attack you. Use the talent spell Deterrence to enable the possibility to Mongoose Bite, after use Limited Invulnerability Potion (cancels Aggro), after help the tank reposition the mob and go behind its back.

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    • By Joh141
      Onenightshot´s Survival Hunter Guide. For patch 5.4
       
      To begin with i would like to say that i did left some talents and glyphs etc out becuase they are useless or are made just for fun so they havent been used by me at all since i started playing my hunter.
      If there should be any questions please post it in the comment and i will reply on it and add it in the right section!
       
      Stat priority:
      Agility -> Hit/Expertise (7.5%) -> Crit -> Haste -> Mastery. 
       
      Agility
      Agility will grant you Attack Power and also critical strike rating and that makes it your number one priority. 
       
      Hit and expertise cap for a hunter is 7.5% (2550 rating) 
       
      Critical Strike
      Critical strikes can make a big diffrence even though your spells dont hit as high as a firemage or a warlock. you still benefit the most from critical strike rating low Ilvl or high-end gear. 
       
      Haste:
      Haste will give you both focus regen and reduce the cast time on your cobra shot which makes it easier to manage your rotation.
      It also benefits your serpent stick and black arrow.
       
      Mastery:
      Your Mastery increases all your magic damage. Serpent Sting, Black Arrow, Explosive Shot. however it does not increase your dmg or reward as much as haste will. 
       
      Spell Priorities / Rotation:
      Black arrow -> serpent sting-> Explosive shot ->Glaive toss / Barrage -> Arcane Shot -> Cobra Shot.
       
      Black arrow:
      Black arrow is most important becuase of its proc "lock and load" which gives you 2 free Explosive shots and resets the cooldown aswell. (3 shots but 2 of them are free of focus) 
       
      Serpent sting:
      Every 3 sec your serpent sting will give you 3 focus back so if you dont keep this up you basicly loose the potential of your focus regen by alot in longer fights. 
       
      Explosive shot:
      Though some people say the lvl 90 talents come before explosive shot i disagree becuase we have lock and load which can reset our cooldown of it and becuase we can use more explosive shots in a fight. Also throughout my time as a hunter i have never seen glaive toss doing more dmg than explosive shot overall in a fight.
       
      Glaive Toss / Barrage (or Powershot if anyone uses that ability):
      Why you wanna prio this after explosive is this. lets say you got 1 enemy ahead of you and you would use glaive toss it would hit 1 enemy. though if you have multiple enemies it will hit them all if you line it up good but more about this in talents section.
       
      Arcane shot:
      Is a good resource for damage, though with 5.4 it will cost you abit more to cast compared to what it used to so if you have the tier 15 4set. i recommend you go with "thrill of the hunt" talent. Also keep in mind to always have focus left for glaivetoss / barrage and explosive shots on cooldowns. 
       
      Cobra shot:
      Use this ability whenever you need to regain focus or load up focus for a small burst. 
       
       
      Summary of Spell Rotation:
      Keep Black Arrow up to get more lock and load procs, keep serpent sting up at all time for focus regen. Make sure to use Explosive shot as much as possible. Glaive toss is on a short cooldown, make sure to use it as much as you can. Whenever you dont have any of the above, use cobra shot to regen focus or use Arcane shot if you have enough Focus.
       
       
      Talents:
      lvl 15:
      Posthaste:
      Good for some fights where you need a speed buff for a short period of time. Good example here is Ji-Kun in Throne of Thunder and maybe on galakras in Siege of Ogrimmar if you are in the tower group.
       
      Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera:
      Reducing your cooldown by 1 minute and your disengage by 10 seconds.
      Useful whenever you dont need a speed buff due to the fact that you have 33% less cooldown on your best defensive CD.
       
      Lvl 30:
      Intimidation:
      Stunning an enemy can always come in handy for adds that need to be stunned or just while doing dailies to interrupt spellcasts.
       
      Lvl 45:
      Aspect of the Iron Hawn:
      Basicly makes you take less damage by 10% which after some time is quite ALOT.
      This is the only really good talent for raiding in my opinion.
       
      Lvl 60:
      All of theese are ok to use. Theese are abit more personal depending on what fight you are on etc.
       
      Fervor:
      30 seconds Cooldown and it gives you 100 focus back, 50 instantly and the other 50 over 10 seconds. I find this talent useful for when you want to save your burst for a specific time of the fight and just load all your cooldowns at once.
       
      Dire Beast:
      Since i just recently played with 4-set from tier 15 i used Thrill of the hunt mostly the last couple of weeks/months. But as far as i remember this talent is not bad at all. It does give you focus regen per hit that the Beast does. So i cant give my opinion on this yet but it shouldnt be complete crap.
       
      Thrill of the hunt:
      If you roll with tier 15 4-set you might wanna have this to get some extra free shots from the proc of arcane shot and Multishot. However if you dont have Tier 15 4set this talent is just as good as "Fervor" depending on your playstyle.
       
      Lvl 75:
      A murder of Crows:
      this is my personal favorite becuase of the fact that if you use it below 20% you get a 1 minute cooldown instead of 2 and the damage it does is actually really impressive. Do keep in mind that this ability costs you 60 focus.
       
      Blink strikes:
      I used this when i was playing beast mastery for some time when i had to switch targets with the pet all the time mainly for the teleport feature and 50% extra dmg from my pet. Though as a Survival hunter i would not reccomend this talent.
       
      Lynx Rush:
      Causes your pet to put a dot up on the target depending on how many target it is, i do believe this can be good for a strong burst at the pull of an encounter but the duration of "a murder of Crows" is simply longer and more benfitial when it comes to reliable stable dps.
       
      Lvl 90:
      Glaive toss:
      Best talent for single target fights. (even with ocational AOE)
      15 sec cooldown, good uptime, useful as AoE aswell. Mainly the best option becuase it´s instant, cheap and in the end it deals a good amount of damage.
       
      Powershot:
      I cant recomend this talent at all. Longer cooldown which means you might not have it up for a trinket proc and loose abit of dmg output. Maybe with a good check on the global CD and etc this might be good but i doubt it can be as good as Glaive toss.
       
      Barrage:
      The best AoE Talent a hunter have, good fights for this is horridon (ToT), Primordius (ToT). Basicly whever you got more than 3-4 adds up most of the times. Not as good in single target BUT performs ok but not as good as Glaive toss for single target.
       
      My personal builds:
       
      Single Target Build:
      15: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera / Posthaste (situational)
      30: Intimidation
      45: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
      60: Fervor
      75: A Murder of Crows
      90: Glaive toss
       
      Multitarget/AOE build:
      15: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera / Posthaste (situational)
      30: Intimidation
      45: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
      60: Thrill of the hunt / Fervor (if there is alot of multishots pickthrill of the hunt)
      75: A Murder of Crows (deals more damage in single target and none of theese abilities does any good AOE damage.)
      90: Barrage
       
      GLYPHS:
      Major:
      Theese are the 5 Glyphs i recomend using for raiding depending on what you need for the fight.
       
      Glyph of Deterrence:
      Reducing damage taken while Deterrence is up by another 20%.
       
      Glyph of Animal Bond:
      Increases the healing you and your pet recieves while your pet is active.
       
      Glyph of Endured Deceit:
      While in Camoflage you take 10% less Spell damage.(depending on fight)
       
      Glyph of liberation:
      Your Disengage now also heals you for 5%
       
      Glyph of Explosive Trap:
      Instead of dealing damage your trap will now work as a knockback. (very situational)
      Since Black Arrow and Explosive trap no longer share a cooldown this might be benefitial in some fights.
       
      Minor:
      There is only one good Glyph when it comes to minor Glyphs.
       
      Glyph of Stampede:
      Now causes your stampede to copy your active pet instead of summoning all 5 pets.
      (makes it easier in case you got taunt on another pet)
       
       
      Defensive Cooldowns:
      Deterrence:
      3 Min CD, 2 Min with speccing into Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera.
      Prevents you from casting any damaging ability but reflects all melee, ranged and magic damage taken for 5 seconds. This ability is proven to be one of the best defences in this game since you can soak almost anything really. It also causes you to take 30% less damage and 50% with it glyphed properly. So even if you should not reflect the ability you can still soak alot of abilities.
       
       
      Feign Death:
      This is not directly a defensive Cooldown but it will reset all of your aggro and this comes in very handy for both raiding, pvp and Questing.
       
      That should be all for now. If you think i missed something please do let me know![/size][/size]
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