Hunter Class Overview

Last updated on Jun 22, 2023 at 15:28 by Impakt 1 comment

Hunters are master marksmen and, with the help of a fierce animal companion, can deal damage from range without ever letting their target get close. With special tracking abilities, traps, and a wide range of utility spells, Hunters are a great choice for anyone looking for a strong solo class with incredible ranged damage and unique utility.


Hunter Playstyle

Hunter is the only class in the game that is a physical, range DPS class, scaling off Attack Power. Hunter utilizes the combination of devastating ranged attacks and a pet to deal damage from afar, with a wide arsenal of utility unique to the class. Every Hunter build revolves around a rotation of your ranged shots, where your limiting factor is the various cooldowns. Hunter uses Mana as a primary resource, but in most raid encounters you will never need to worry about running out of Mana, making time your limiting resource. In our guides listed below, we will go over the optimal ways to rotate your shots, use your cooldowns, and spend your time in encounters to maximize both your damage and utility as a Hunter.

Hunter is one of only two classes in the game with permanent pets available to ever specialization. Choosing, taming, managing, and training your pet is an important part of your toolkit as a Hunter, offering unique options for damage, utility, and class fantasy.

Hunter Class Crest WotLK Guide

Hunter Specializations

Hunter are able to choose from 3 specializations: beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival. All three specializations play relatively similarly as they are all range DPS specializations that focus on a combination of bow and pet attacks. However, the specs place emphasis on different areas.

  • Beast Mastery Hunter is a range-DPS specialization that focuses on maximizing your pet's damage in combination with your own.
  • Marksmanship Hunter is a range-DPS specialization that focuses on maximizing your own damage from ranged attacks, specifically Physical shots. Marksmanship also brings the aura Trueshot Aura IconTrueshot Aura.
  • Survival Hunter is a range-DPS specialization that focuses on buffing your traps and attacking with more magic-damage based shots that leave DoTs on your target. For the entirety of the expansion, Survival will be the strongest and most popular Hunter specialization in PvE content.

What Specialization Should I Play?

As a Hunter in Wrath, you can play one of three specializations: Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival. All three specs have their own pros and cons in both PvE and PvP, but first and foremost all of the Hunter specs are 100% viable in all content. However, some are better than others at certain things.

Survival Hunter is the best Hunter specialization in Wrath for PvE content. Specifically, Survival centers around Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot, its new final talent which does absolutely stellar damage in both PvE and PvP. Survival has high base damage values across the board, allowing it to do excellent damage even with little to no gear. Survival also has Explosive Trap IconExplosive Trap, which offers some of the strongest AoE damage and passive cleave in the game. Survival has some of the strongest AoE damage in the game.

Marksmanship Hunter is the second most viable Hunter spec in PvE. Marksmanship requires a fair bit of gear to really start to do competitive damage, only becoming competitive with Survival towards the end of the expansion. However, Survival will always be at least slightly better in terms of possible damage output. Marksmanship focuses on Physical damage, and scales very well with Armor Penetration as a stat. In both PvP and PvE, once you get a little bit of gear, Marksmanship becomes deadly.

Beast Mastery Hunter was the strongest Hunter spec in TBC, it is by far the weakest Hunter spec in Wrath. Marksmanship and Survival simply have better damage talents and abilities to build around. Beast Mastery is a bit better in PvP and still brings nice burst due to Bestial Wrath IconBestial Wrath, but the overall damage is not as good as for the other two specializations. If you are a player who really enjoys the pet-based playstyle and you want to focus around that however, Beast Mastery could be the spec for you.


What are the Best Playable Races for Hunter?

Hunter can be played by Draenei, Night Elf, and Dwarf for Alliance. On Horde, Hunter can be played by Orc, Tauren, and Troll.

The best race for Hunter is Draenei if you are Alliance and Orc if you are Horde. Orc is the far better choice if you do not mind changing factions.


Hunter Gearing

Hunter is relatively easy to gear due to a lack of competition for most pieces, along with several of your important pieces coming from crafting professions. Some trinkets and jewelry pieces will have lots of competition however from other melee classes. Mail is the least used armor type, meaning for the majority of your gear you will only be competing with Enhancement Shaman. This is even more true for weapons, where you should have priority on any Ranged weapon. There are not specific benefits to wielding any type of weapon, so generally you will want to look at the stats on the weapon to determine what is best to use.


Hunter Addons and Macros

Addons and Macros are a solid way to help improve your gameplay and experience throughout Wrath Classic, whether it be while leveling, doing dailies, dungeons, or raiding. Both of the pages below provide information and recommendations on some of the best addons you can use.


Hunter Leveling Guides

Hunter are exceptional at leveling, and are perhaps the single best class for solo leveling in WoW. Hunter pets are just the perfect tool while leveling, and Hunter have a base power level that is significantly higher than most classes. Leveling as a Hunter should be safe, efficient, and easy to do. Hunter are the ideal solo class, but also perform well in groups and can do some insane damage early on.


Are Hunters good in Wrath?

Absolutely! Hunters were undeniably one of the best DPS in the game throughput TBC, but they are not quite as dominant in Wrath. That being said, every raid will always want at least a couple of Hunter, and they are still exceptionally powerful at every stage of the expansion, just maybe A-tier instead of S-tier throughout.


What are the biggest changes from TBC for Hunters?

The single most important change is that Hunter now have an incredible movement ability: Disengage IconDisengage now finally works as it does on retail, propelling you backwards when used. Hunters additionally get several amazing new abilities including Kill Shot IconKill Shot and Freezing Arrow IconFreezing Arrow that serve both as huge damage increases and quality of life improvements. Finally, pets have gotten a huge overhaul and now have their own talent trees to consider.


What is the best Hunter spec in Wrath?

Survival performs the best all throughout Wrath, particularly on AoE. Marksmanship is a close second at the end of the expansion, but Survival will always be the dominant specialization.


How many Hunters should be in a raid?

You will usually see 1-3 Hunters in most 25m raids. The most important thing for 25m raids is ensuring you have all raid buffs covered which takes up 80% or more of your slotting, but Hunters are still good enough to warrant bringing more than 1, especially for the utility and odd jobs they can do.



  • 22 Jun. 2023: Updated with new format for later phases.
  • 28 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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