TBC Classic Marksmanship Hunter Stat Priority
On this page, you will find out the optimal PvE stat priority for your Marksmanship Hunter in TBC Classic. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations.
Stat Priority for Marksmanship Hunters
- Hit chance until 5% (Raid Hit Cap);
- Armor Penetration;
- Attack Power;
Stats Explained for Hunter
The most complicated thing about gearing usually comes down to optimizing your hit rating. The hit cap is 9% hit for raid bosses. 9% hit comes out to 142 hit rating required, which needs to be achieved through your gear, gems, enchants, and buffs. For raids, there are two main buffs that you will probably have access to. Boomkins bring Improved Faerie Fire, which gives the whole raid 3% hit chance against the target. If you have a Draenei in your group, you will get Heroic Presence, which is an additional 1% hit. Assuming you have these buffs, that means 5% hit or 79 hit rating needs to come from your gear. Gems are a particularly good way to optimize this since you want to get to 79 hit rating exactly, or barely going over since any hit rating past that has no value while raid buffed. Once you are hit capped, you mostly are just stacking Agility wherever you can while picking up Armor Penetration, Attack Power, and Crit that you find on pieces.
As a Hunter, your ranged attacks cannot be parried or be glancing blows; your attacks can only miss or be blocked. Against targets your level, you have a 5% chance to miss attacks. Raid and dungeon bosses are considered to be 3 levels above you, meaning your chance to miss attacks is slightly higher at 9%. Reaching the cap on hit means having a 9% increased chance to hit which equates to 142 hit rating. In raids however, thanks to the buffs from Balance Druids and Draenei, you should only need 5% hit or 79 hit rating to cap. Until you are hit capped, this is your most valuable DPS stat.
Armor Penetration allows you to ignore a portion of your target's armor. Armor has diminishing returns however, meaning Armor Penetration has increasing returns for the lower you can get a target's armor. Ignoring armor against a low-target is significantly more damage than ignoring the same amount of armor against a high-armor target. This will not affect your decision-making process for gear much in PvE, but is worth knowing for how the stat works. Overall, this is a strong stat regardless.
As a Hunter, 1 Agility gives you 1 ranged Attack Power, 1 melee AP, a small increase to your chance to critically strike (40 Agility = 1% Crit Chance), 2 armor, and a small increase to your chance to dodge. Agility will be your main source of Attack Power and is going to be your most common stat found on gear, as it is your best primary stat.
Attack Power increases the damage you deal. The damage of all of your abilities and attacks are calculated based off your AP. It is important to note that ranged attack power and melee attack power are separate stats. If something increases your attack power, it affects both, but sometimes items will specify either ranged or melee attack power, which only affect your ranged and melee attacks respectively.
When you deal a critical strike, your attacks will do 100% increased damage. As a Hunter, this is slightly higher due to your Mortal Shots talent, which increases your damage from critical strikes by 30%. More importantly though, Hunters use Kill Command as one of our core abilities. This ability is only usable after you crit, which makes crit quite valuable since more crit gives you more uses of Kill Command. This makes your chance to critically strike with attacks quite important, but you also gain a large amount of crit chance from your Agility. For crit rating, about 22 crit rating is a 1% increase to your crit chance.
Stamina increases your health, and is important for your survival. A higher amount of health means that you can take more damage before dying, which gives healers more time to heal you during raids or dungeons.
Intellect increases your Mana pool and your chance to critically strike with spells. Spells refer to magic damage, and none of the Hunter abilities that you use in your normal rotation count as spells in this context. The increased Mana pool is useful to make sure we never run out of Mana during a fight.
Mp5 increases your Mana regeneration, even while in combat. This is actually a decent stat since we can run into Mana issues on longer encounters, but we also do have Aspect of the Viper.
Spirit increases your out-of-combat health and Mana regeneration. Your Mana regenerates according to the 5 second rule, which is easy to follow for Hunters because your spells are used when you open on an enemy and then you will finish most enemies off with Auto Shot, allowing your Mana to naturally regenerate. Spirit is ranked low because you should not normally be losing much health, due to your pet tanking, and you can naturally regenerate most Mana if you use the correct rotation without needing additional spirit.
Lastly, Strength increases your melee attack power. This is not useful to hunters since the majority of damage we deal is ranged damage, which is unaffected by melee attack power. There are small exceptions on some bosses and encounters where you can occasionally use melee attacks between shots, but these are rare enough that you should not gear for them.
- 25 May 2021: Guide added.
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