Hardcore Hunter Class Overview

Last updated on Jun 09, 2023 at 12:00 by Crix 1 comment

Hunters are centered around damaging their enemies from range with very helpful tools and a pet to help them survive the Hardcore Challenge.

This guide is specifically directed towards using Hunter on Hardcore servers.


Hardcore Classic Hunter Overview

If you are curious about more general Hardcore tips that apply to not just Hunter checkout our Hardcore Classic Overview that includes tips and tricks that will greatly increase your chances of surviving.


Hardcore Hunter Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Your pet can act as both an extra DPS and a tank, removing a considerable amount of risk if managed well.
  • +Feign Death Icon Feign Death can often acts as a combat reset.
  • +Very high single target damage.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Extremely pet dependent.
  • -Your greatest mobility skill, Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah, must be used very carefully in combat.
  • -Constant pet control is required.

Races for Hunter

In Classic World of Warcraft, you've got a few options for races as a Hunter. Each has its own unique strengths when it comes to surviving the Hardcore Challenge. Hardcore is about safety, and some races bring more safety than others.



  • Dwarf — Dwarf brings Stoneform Icon Stoneform which allows you to dispel any amount of poisons, diseases and bleeds off you, available on a two minute cooldown. Dwarves also have increased damage when using gun skills, making this the best race to be as a Hunter.
  • Night Elves — Night Elves have increased Dodge by 1%, allowing the enemy to miss you more. They also have increased nature resistance, which, admittedly doesn't make much of a difference. However, this can help reduce poison damage dealt by enemies.
  • Human and Gnome cannot be Hunters.


  • Troll — Trolls are an amazing race for Hunters. They have Regeneration Icon Regeneration, which increases your health regeneration rate by 10%, as well as they have Berserking Icon Berserking, which increases your attack speed by 10% to 30%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with a greater effect up to 30% if you are badly hurt when you activate Berserking. This is a very powerful DPS cooldown and to be used with your other DPS cooldowns. Lastly you also get some extra bow skills as well. All of this combined makes Troll the best option for race for Hunters.
  • Orc — Orc has a pretty powerful racial in Hardiness Icon Hardiness, which cannot be underestimated as it increases your chance to resist any kind of stunning ability by 25%. This can be lifesaving in many ways. Not only that, but Orc pets also deal 5% more pet damage.
  • Tauren — have some extra health as well as a War stomp which stuns in melee range, which can be very helpful if you need to get away from melee range.
  • >Undead cannot be Hunters.

Stat Priority

The Stat priority that you will be following for Classic Hardcore is very similar to original Classic, but with a larger emphasis on Stamina. The additional Health can at times be the difference between surviving an encounter with an enemy or not, and is typically more reliable than gearing towards just damage. Even in a best case scenario gear wise you still have a significant chance of missing, and leveling in Hardcore is all about removing variability.

For a more in-depth explanation of what stats you should be prioritizing and their benefits to your leveling experience checkout our Hunter leveling guide listed below, specifically the Hunter Gear section.


Talent Build/Rotation

Beast Mastery is king in Hardcore. With a myriad of talents allowing you to buff your pet up, sit back and let them tear through your enemies, while you shoot from range. Markmsanship is also a pretty good spec that excels early on, while Survival is rarely used, but can bring some niche abilities.

For more information and a detailed route on how to spend each of your talent points while leveling check out our Hunter talent build guide specifically for leveling. These pages also include a priority list of how to deal maximum damage while leveling.



Professions are extremely important for not just Hunters, but for anyone in Hardcore. They do a range of things from providing extra damage, boosting your damage via buffs or providing you with items that can get you out of any sticky situation. When it comes to which professions are the best for Hunters, both Engineering and Alchemy are great. You have the option of pairing them with their gathering profession, for example Engineering would require materials that you'd need to be Mining to get, and Alchemy requires you to pick herbs via Herbalism. However you are allowed to use the auction house on the Official Hardcore server, making it exponentially easy to get the materials, if you don't want to farm them yourself. To make it even easier, you can simply choose to go Engineering, and just buy all the potions and elixirs that Alchemy would provide from the auction house or from trading another player with the Alchemy profession. This allows you to get all the amazing perks of Enchanting, while still getting the perks of Alchemy.

If you're SSF - Solo Self Found - meaning you are not using the auction house or trading, then below will be a brief breakdown on the profession pairings.


Mining and Engineering

Mining and Engineering is the best option for Hunters. It provides the most safety out of the out of the professions as well as a decent amount of extra damage with all the grenades and bombs. Target Dummy Icon Target Dummy is a usable item that will instantly redirect threat to it, causing mobs to stop attacking you for either 15 seconds or until it dies. This is a get out of jail free card. Between your pet tanking and this, you should have no issue surviving or escaping any situation.


Herbalism and Alchemy

Herbalism and Alchemy is a great pairing of professions, as it will allow you to make consumable potions that not only give you a burst of health in an emergency situation, but also offer considerable stat increases and the occasionally solution to a niche situation. You get potions that give you Agility, Defense, Stamina Hp5 and many more. The only downside to this profession being the time you must invest to harvest your own materials via Herbalism.


Skinning and Leatherworking

Some Hunters choose to go Skinning and Leatherworking in order to craft some leather gear while they are leveling. This is not really suggested as you will end up finding gear out in the open world, from quests and from any dungeons you choose to do, but Leatherworking could come in handy if you're looking to fill in some missing slots. Skinning is nice as well, since it provides a nice amount of gold from vendoring all the creatures you skin along your journey.


First Aid, Cooking and Fishing

These are all secondary professions, so you can get them without getting in the way of your two major professions that we're about to talk about. You should always be First Aid and keep your bandages up to date. You can easily use a bandange while you since your pet will be tanking for you, so you'll very easily be able to get a full bandage off. Fishing and Cooking are great for some extra stat buffs and you can level up your cooking simply by fishing.

If you are curious about the most efficient way to level your professions, or would like a list of many of the useful items you can craft, make sure to check out our Classic Profession guides listed below.


Hunter Macros


Duo Leveling

Many people are enjoying Classic Hardcore by duo leveling. Hunter does quite well when paired with almost any another class. Included below is a list of the most popular/effective class duos and their strengths/weaknesses!



  • 09 Jun. 2023: Guide added.
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