Marksmanship Hunter PvP Guide for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Oct 08, 2023 at 12:00 by Impakt 1 comment

Welcome to our PvP Marksmanship Hunter guide for Wrath Classic. Here you will learn all you need to know to properly play Marksmanship Hunter in PvP scenarios.



Marksmanship is the meta Hunter specialization for high-end arena. Viper Sting IconViper Sting is still a powerful Mana drain, with the added bonus that Marksmanship gets up to double effectiveness through Chimera Shot IconChimera Shot refreshes. More importantly however, Marksmanship has extremely good high frequency burst thanks to the combination of multiple instant damaging shots, all with cooldowns of 10 seconds or less. Marksmanship also brings some better control abilities over the other Hunter specializations, specifically Scatter Shot IconScatter Shot and Silencing Shot IconSilencing Shot. Silencing Shot in particular is unique to Marksmanship, making it the only Hunter spec with an interrupt ability.


Talent Build

This is one of the most common PvP specs for Hunters, especially as you get into higher ratings in arena. Marksmanship excels at a few specific things, and this build is built around those. As stated above, Viper Sting IconViper Sting is a hugely valuable tool, specifically when combined with Chimera Shot IconChimera Shot to refresh it and give you Mana back. Improved Stings IconImproved Stings is critical to buffing Viper Sting, helping you to drain more Mana. Marksmanship also does more frequent burst windows than Beast Mastery thanks to Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot and Chimera Shot IconChimera Shot. Your sustained damage is decent, but having kill-worthy burst windows every 10-15 seconds is incredibly hard to keep up with for enemy healers.

This build also puts 13 points into Survival. These points are actually quite critical, as Scatter Shot IconScatter Shot is too important of a CC ability to pass up, and Entrapment IconEntrapment turns your snake and frost traps into roots. Plus, the range bonus from Hawk Eye IconHawk Eye is incredibly useful for kiting and outranging casters when needed. Finally, the combination of Survival Tactics IconSurvival Tactics and the Glyph of Disengage Icon Glyph of Disengage drops Disengage IconDisengage down to just a 16-second cooldown down from 25 seconds, giving you a much more reliable way to get out of melee.


PvP Gameplay Tips for Hunters


Playing Against Melee

As stated above, Hunters are excellent at kiting. This is an incredibly powerful tool against melee, giving you the advantage in most fights. Focus on keeping your target a reasonable distance away, usually 30+ yards when possible. You want to keep them well out of melee range, but not max distance. Ideally, you want to be able to turn around and follow them if they try to run without letting them run outside of your max range. Use Concussive Shot IconConcussive Shot on cooldown while making use of your instant abilities like Serpent Sting IconSerpent Sting, Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot, and Arcane Shot IconArcane Shot while on the move. If you have the space, stop for just enough time to get an Auto Shot IconAuto Shot off when you can.

Melee will sometimes get into your minimum range. Unless they are close to death, do not try to fight melee in melee range, since they will have the advantage. Your main goal should be to get away from them so you can go back to kiting more. Make use of Wing Clip IconWing Clip, and always ensure you have either Disengage IconDisengage for a quick getaway or Deterrence IconDeterrence to stop the incoming burst. Save instant-CC abilities like Scatter Shot IconScatter Shot for when they are on top of you, giving you a 4-second window to move away and set up to kite again.

In arenas, melee will have the option to line-of-sight (LoS) you more, since you cannot hit what you cannot see. This is why many Hunters choose to play the slower-paced drain build, as rushing and finishing off players is actually quite difficult sometimes because of LoS around pillars. Remember to drop traps and utilize Aspect of the Cheetah IconAspect of the Cheetah when you can to help catch up if you are chasing someone down. Traps specifically can be placed around pillars as an obstacle, forcing players to either run into them or take a longer kite path around the trap.


Freezing Trap

Freezing Trap IconFreezing Trap is your most powerful crowd control ability, freezing a target for 8 seconds if they walk over the trap (10.4 when talented into Trap Mastery IconTrap Mastery). Freezing Trap is one of your best tools against melee, since it gives you an on-use obstacle to play around. They either have to avoid it, which means you can run around it using it like a pillar, or they run into it and are frozen for an extended period.

Also, remember that in Wrath of the Lich King Classic Hunters now have access to Freezing Arrow IconFreezing Arrow, which is a ranged version of Freezing Trap IconFreezing Trap. You should swap permanently to using Freezing Arrow once it is available.


Playing Against Ranged

Against ranged, your goal should be to keep them as far away as possible. As a Hunter, you will out range them due to your Hawk Eye IconHawk Eye talent. This allows you to get attacks off at range before moving back out of their max range once they start casting. This is one of the best skills to work on, and is what can make for a great Hunter. Positioning properly can be challenging, and can require you to predict what and when they might cast. This can be harder against Mages due to their Blink IconBlink, allowing them to quickly close the gap and get casts off. If you want to set up some burst, consider using Scatter Shot IconScatter Shot into an Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot, Auto Shot IconAuto Shot, and a Multi-Shot IconMulti-Shot in quick succession. This will be a devastating amount of damage, and potentially will finish off your target.


Mana Drain

Viper Sting IconViper Sting is an incredibly powerful ability against any class that uses Mana. Especially early on, Mana pools will be low, making your Viper Sting even more effective. Keep this up on whatever target you are fighting, while kiting them at max range until they are out of Mana. Once they are completely out, you can finish them off easily without having to worry about them casting into you. It is hard to understate just how important this is in arena against any caster or healer. Marksmanship also has the added benefit that Chimera Shot IconChimera Shot will refresh the duration of Viper String.


Feign Death

Another great use of Feign Death IconFeign Death, besides dropping combat, is that it drops your enemy's target. If a Mage is trying to cast a Frostbolt IconFrostbolt at you, but you Feign Death before it finishes, their target will drop and their cast will stop. This can be a great way to stop them and delay them in getting an important cast, such as Polymorph IconPolymorph or Fear IconFear, off on you.



While your offensive stat priorities do not really change as a Hunter, you now also need to worry about defensive stats: Stamina and Resilience. Resilience is your most important defensive stat, and is even stronger now in Wrath Classic. Resilience gives you flat damage reduction from all sources, making it incredibly valuable in reducing your damage intake for PvP. Additionally, Resilience reduces your chance to be crit, and reduces the damage done by critical strikes. Stamina, of course, increases your health pool, making you harder to burst down. There is no set priority, but generally you should still be trying to get lots of Agility and your offensive stats while going for gear that also brings Stamina and Resilience. The easiest way to achieve that is through the PvP arena gear.



The list linked below will include the best possible gear set up for a Hunter in PvP.


Marksmanship Hunter Arena Teams and Compositions

When it comes to evaluating Marksmanship Hunter's place within the Arena, we have created a number of guides devoted to listing a variety of popular team compositions which you can find below.



  • 08 Oct. 2023: Updated for Phase 4.
  • 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 24 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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