Classic Hunter PvP Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Hunter in a PvP environment in WoW Classic, with a focus on Battlegrounds but also including World PvP and Dueling. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses.
Hunters are a great choice for organized PvP and duels, but open world PvP is where they truly excel. With the longest range out of any class through Hawk Eye, Hunters are able to kite extremely well while still out-ranging casters. Concussive Shot is one of the best slows in the game due to its instant cast time, which is one of the main reason Hunters excel at kiting. Lastly, Hunters have excellent burst through Aimed Shot, Auto Shot, and Multi-Shot, making them able to make quick work of low armor targets, like Priests and Mages.
If you are looking to perfect your gear for PvP, you can find the recommended BiS gear for Hunters in our guide below.
Hunter Talent Builds for PvP
Unlike raid builds, there is lots of room for personal preference in what build you want to play in PvP. All three specs have great talents for PvP in their respective trees, making all thee specs viable in PvP. In addition, each spec has a powerful crowd control ability deep in their trees, with Intimidation, Scatter Shot, and Wyvern Sting.
In all of the builds, you will see some consistent talents, the most notable of which is Improved Concussive Shot. This is one of the single best talents that hunters have for PvP, even though it is a chance based ability.
Marksmanship PvP/PvE Talent Build
Switching between a full PvE build and a full PvP build can be costly if you want to change often. Most players will want to run a more hybrid build that makes minor sacrifices for both PvE and PvP, while picking up the major talents for each. This Marksmanship build takes all of the major talents for PvE, while also having Improved Concussive Shot and Scatter Shot for PvP. This is a great general use build, and is perfectly viable to both raid and PvP with, saving you gold from not having to switch talents. One of the major choices you can make with this build as well is changing out 3 points from Ferocity into Humanoid Slaying for more damage against Humanoid targets, which includes players. Basically, it comes down to whether you want slightly more damage in PvP or PvE.
Marksmanship PvP Talent Build
This is one of the most common PvP specs for Hunters. You get the damage that Marksmanship provides, the utility of Scatter Shot and Improved Concussive Shot, and the defensive and tenacity traits that Survival provides. With Surefooted and Deterrence, you are much stronger against melee without sacrificing your damage or kiting ability. In terms of competitiveness, this is arguably the all-round best and most competitive PvP spec for Hunters.
One of the other most important strengths of this build is from Frost Trap. Entrapment, Clever Traps, and Trap Mastery combine to make Frost Trap an amazing spell that will endlessly root your enemies when they walk over it. Entrapment causes your traps to have a 25% chance to root enemies for 5 seconds when they hit, but Frost trap constantly "pulses" its slow aura, which means that 25% chance is constantly ticking. This results in most enemies being rooted at some point in the trap. This build turns Frost Trap into an incredibly powerful control tool, and is critical in winning huge group battles in Blackrock Mountain or in other places around the world.
Beast Mastery PvP Talent Build
This is a general PvP build as a Beast Mastery Hunter. While some points can be moved around, they key talents to take are Intimidation and Bestial Wrath. You can choose to go into Survival for Deterrence and Surefooted instead of Marksmanship, but Aimed Shot and Hawk Eye are going to be better for burst damage and for kiting, which is incredibly important in PvP.
Survival PvP Talent Build
This is a very powerful PvP spec with lots of improved crowd control options. Improved Wing Clip will greatly help your ability to deal with melee on top of you, along with Deterrence and Counterattack. It is important to take Lightning Reflexes for the extra Agility, which increases your AP, Critical Strike Chance, and Dodge Chance. The major choice to make is whether you want Scatter Shot or Wyvern Sting. The recommended choice is Scatter Shot, but you can choose Wyvern Sting if you prefer. Scatter Shot is strong because it plays to a Hunter's weakness in that it can be used on targets in melee range, allowing you to follow up with another slow or trap.
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 on cooldown while making use of your instant abilities like Serpent Sting, Multi-Shot, and Arcane Shot while on the move. If you have the space, stop for just enough time to get an Auto Shot off when you can.
Melee will sometimes get into your minimum range, or your "dead zone." 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, especially if you have Improved Wing Clip. Save Scatter Shot for when they are on top of you, giving you a 4 second window to move away and set up to kite again.
Freezing Trap is your most powerful crowd control ability, freezing a target for 20 seconds if they walk over the trap. While you can set up the trap in strategic spots, it is hard to predict where people will run in the open world. This presents a problem, because Freezing Trap cannot be used in combat. This is solved however through Feign Death. By using Feign Death, you can quickly drop combat to throw down a Freezing Trap, even while fighting other players. This is incredibly hard to avoid if you drop a trap on top of them, and is almost a guaranteed hit if you aim well. Once you trap your target, you have time to reset your positioning, bandage yourself, or eat/drink before opening on them again when you are ready. This is one of the most important tricks to learn as a Hunter and is critical to your success in PvP.
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 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 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, allowing them to quickly close the gap and get casts off. If you want to set up some burst, consider using Scatter Shot into an Aimed Shot, Auto Shot, and a Multi-Shot in quick succession. This will be a devastating amount of damage, and potentially will finish off your target.
Viper 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.
Another great use of Feign Death besides dropping combat is that it drops your enemy's target. If a Mage is trying to cast a Frostbolt 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 or Fear, off on you.
Consumables for PvP as a Hunter
Consumables are an important part of PvP in Classic. While they are not required, and especially as a Hunter you can win fights without them, they definitely will give you the edge in fights. If you use as many consumables as possible all the time, you will quickly drive yourself bankrupt, but having some of the more important ones in your bags for when you really need to win an important fight is highly recommended. Some of the most important consumables for PvP are listed below:
- Major Healing Potion
- Major Mana Potion
- Heavy Runecloth Bandage
- Limited Invulnerability Potion
- Free Action Potion
- Living Action Potion
- Invisibility Potion
- Swiftness Potion
- Magic Dust
- Clutch of Foresight
- Wail of the Banshee
Noggenfogger Elixir is also a popular consumable used for PvP. When you drink it, it will do one of three things: make you smaller, turn you into a skeleton, or cast a slow fall spell on you. The shrink effect can be useful to make it harder for players to see and target you, and the slow fall can allow to jump off high places and not die, while attackers will not be able to follow.
Engineering is a powerful profession for PvP. There are many consumables and trinkets that are very strong in PvP, which is why Engineering is such a common profession for PvP focused players. Some of the useful consumables and items from Engineering as listed below.
- Arcanite Dragonling
- Dense Dynamite
- Goblin Sapper Charge
- Goblin Land Mine
- Dark Iron Bomb
- Iron Grenade
- Thorium Grenade
- 10 Dec. 2019: Added section on gearing and Hunter BiS for PvP.
- 29 Sep. 2019: Reworked the MM hunter PvP build.
- 12 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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