Hunter Class Overview

Last updated on Aug 28, 2022 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 Specializations

Hunters 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 is a range-DPS specialization that focuses on maximizing your pet's damage in combination with your own.
  • Marksmanship 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 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.

Are Hunters Viable at 80?

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 is the best Hunter specialization early on in Wrath. 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 with little to no gear. That is not to say Hunters do not also scale well, but with low gear Survival truly shines.

Marksmanship is the second most viable Hunter spec in PvE. However, this will only be true for a brief period of time; once Hunters start to fill out with raid gear at 80, Marksmanship starts to scale exceptionally well. Once you have full tier 7 raid gear, Marksmanship takes over and will out-pace Survival with damage done. Specifically, Marksmanship focuses on Physical damage, and scales insanely well with Armor Penetration as a stat. In both PvP and PvE, once you get a little bit of gear, Marksmanship becomes deadly.

While Beast Mastery 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.


Are Hunters Strong Levelers?

Hunters 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 Hunters have a base power level that is significantly higher than most classes. Leveling as a Hunter should be safe, efficient, and easy to do. Hunters are the ideal solo class, but also perform well in groups and can do some insane damage early on.


Races For Hunters

In Wrath Classic Hunters can be Draenei, Dwarf, or Night Elf if you are playing Alliance or Orc, Troll, and Tauren if you are Horde.




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 Hunters, 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 Hunters 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 is the best spec early on, but Marksmanship will quickly out-scale it toward the end of tier 7 or in tier 8. Marksmanship just needs some Armor Penetration to really get going initially. Survival has incredible base damage making it optimal early on.


How many Hunters should be in a raid?

You will usually see 2-3 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.


What race is best for Hunters?

Orcs are the best for Horde, and Draenei is best for the Alliance. Troll and Orc are quite close for Horde however. For the Alliance, you can basically pick what you want, but Alliance raids will always want 1 Draenei per party for their 1% Hit racial aura, meaning you have an even better chance of getting a raid spot if that is something you are concerned about.


Gearing a Hunter

Hunters are 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.



Hunters are able to wear Cloth and Leather, and can also learn how to use Mail armor at the class trainer after reaching Level 40.



Hunters are one of the most versatile classes and are able to use a huge variety of weapons, including Axes, Bows, Crossbows, Daggers, Fist Weapons, Guns, Polearms, Staves, Swords, Thrown, Two-Handed Axes, and Two-Handed Swords.


Hunter Addons and Macros

Addons and Macros can greatly improve your quality of life in Azeroth and Northrend. Listed below are some of our recommendations on Addons and Macros to help get the most out of your time playing the game.


Hunter Guides for Wrath of the Lich King: Classic

Listed below are guides filled with information to help you play your Hunter optimally in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for Classic WoW.

You might also want to check out our full class guides, which teach you how to play your class at the new Level 80 cap!



  • 28 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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