Classic Hunter DPS Guide
Welcome to our Hunter DPS guide for WoW Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play the Hunter class as DPS. Click the links #below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Hunter guides:
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 lots of ranged damage and versatility.
Hunters in the Season of Mastery
Although the Season of Mastery brings with it a number of changes to how you may experience the content of WoW Classic, these tweaks do not include any adjustments to how you play Hunter. As such, this guide will cover all you need to know regardless of which version of Classic you wish to play.
However, due to certain pieces of content from later Phases now being available at an earlier date, gearing recommendations for Hunter will be different. Because of this, we have created additional pages detailing your best in slot items for both pre-raid gear and the current raids available.
- The easiest and fastest class to level from 1-60
- Strong damage in the first raids and dungeons
- The best class in the game for most solo content
- One of the best classes for open world PvP
- Strong utility and crowd control
- Easy to learn, hard to master
- Damage falls off in later tiers
- Gearing can be difficult because you compete with Rogues and Warriors for lots of pieces
- Lots of extra items needed, such as ammo and pet food
- No self healing or major defensive cooldowns
Best Horde Races for Hunters
Troll and Orc are very close in terms of damage gained, but Troll is slightly better due to Berserking being such a strong ability. Orc is the best race for PvP because of Hardiness and will help you against melee more than Tauren's War Stomp. For a mix of both PvE and PvP, Orc is the best choice, as you still get a competitive damage bonus from Command while being the dominant PvP race.
Overview of Horde Races for Hunters
- Beast Slaying gives a 5% damage bonus against Beasts.
- Berserking is a 3-minute cooldown that gives you between 10-30% increased attack and casting speed depending on your health, with the effect being greater the more hurt you are.
- Bow Specialization increases your skill with Bows by 5, which increases your chance to hit with a bow.
- Regeneration gives +10% passive health regeneration and allows you to regenerate 10% of your total health regeneration during combat.
Trolls are the best choice if your goal is to maximize your damage. Berserking is the most powerful racial ability of any race and will let you get more auto shots off while it is active. Keep in mind that it is more effective when used while you are missing health. Beast Slaying is powerful while leveling, but is only useful for a handful of bosses in raids and dungeons. Bow Specialization is also useful, but not as powerful as weapon specializations for other classes. Auto Shot cannot be parried or be a glancing blow, which makes weapon skill less important, but is still a noticeable boost to your chance to hit. At Level 60, it is much easier to get hit capped and this bonus becomes less important.
- Axe Specialization increases your skill with Axes by 5, which increases your chance to hit and lowers your chance to be parried or deal a glancing blow with axes.
- Blood Fury is a 2-minute cooldown that increases your base melee Attack Power by 25% for 15 seconds and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 seconds.
- Command increases your pet damage dealt by 5%.
- Hardiness increases your chance to resist stuns by 25%.
Orc is the go-to PvP race choice for hunter. Hardiness is an incredibly powerful racial and can change the outcome of any fight where you resist a stun, especially against Rogues. Command provides a nice damage bonus to your pet, making Orc competitive with Troll for damage. The Axe Specialization will help you for the first few levels, but once you get your pet at Level 10, you will rarely melee. For the same reason, Blood Fury is not a great cooldown for Hunters and does not provide much use past Level 10.
- Cultivation increases your Herbalism skill by 15.
- Endurance increases your total health by 5%.
- Nature Resistance increases your Nature Resistance by 10.
- War Stomp is a 2-minute cooldown that stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds, with a 0.5 second cast time.
War Stomp can be a great ability for PvP and the 5% increased health from Endurance is nice, but Tauren does not give any damage increase. War Stomp is also only situationally useful, as it requires you to be close to your target, which only really happens when you have a melee target chasing you. Tauren is the weakest choice for PvE and only situationally good in PvP.
Best Alliance Races for Hunters
The best Hunter Alliance race for PvE is Night Elf, while for PvP or a mix of PvE and PvP, the choice is down to personal preference.
Night Elf and Dwarf are both strong races and you should not feel compelled to pick either one. Night Elf is technically stronger for pure damage, but only because of the higher base Agility, which is a very minor gain. For PvP, it comes down to whether you prefer Shadowmeld or Stoneform, which depends on what you will mainly be doing. For open world PvP and defending in battlegrounds, Shadowmeld is going to be better because it allows you to sit stealthed, scouting out enemy positions and getting the opener on anyone approaching without them knowing you are there. For duels and fighting against melee, Stoneform is strong and can potentially be the difference between winning and losing if you have a melee on you.
Overview of Alliance Races for Hunters
- Nature Resistance increases your Nature Resistance by 10.
- Quickness increases your Dodge Chance by 1%.
- Shadowmeld is an ability that allows you to become stealthed while standing still when used, on a 10 second cooldown. This cannot be used in combat.
- Wisp Spirit causes you to transform into a wisp upon death, increasing your movement speed by 50% while dead.
Shadowmeld is a powerful ability for PvP which allows you to stealth in a single spot, potentially giving you the opener if you can position yourself carefully. It is also very useful while leveling because you can macro Shadowmeld together with your food and water to eat and drink while stealthed, reducing the chance that something will catch you off guard. Endurance is also useful in PvP when fighting melee. Night Elf is technically superior to Dwarf for damage, but only because of their higher base Agility, meaning the difference is marginal.
- Find Treasure allows you to sense nearby treasure (chests mainly), making it appear on the minimap.
- Frost Resistance increases your Frost Resistance by 10.
- Gun Specialization increases your skill with Guns by 5, which increases your chance to hit with a gun.
- Stoneform makes you immune to all bleed, poison, and disease effects, as well as increasing your armour for 8 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown.
Gun Specialization is not as good as Troll's Bow Specialization because guns are much rarer. At Level 60, none of the best weapons from any raid or dungeon are guns, which makes it much less useful. You can use guns occasionally while leveling, but they are still rarer than bows and crossbows. Stoneform is a very powerful ability for PvP and can give you the edge when fighting Warriors and Rogues, as you can immune their bleeds and poisons.
Best Professions for Hunters
The best profession to have as a Hunter is Engineering. It provides powerful items that you can use in both PvE and PvP content to either deal damage or help you get out of a tough spot.
Leatherworking is also a great choice for Hunters. The Devilsaur set is a BiS crafted set that you can make for when you are max level, and is very strong throughout the first raid tier.
While Engineering and Leatherworking are great professions, the likely more important thing to think about is how you plan to make gold. Gold is incredibly important in WoW Classic for a number of reasons and will be quite hard to come by, especially at the start. Check out the Hunter Goldmaking section for more information on other potential professions for making gold.
- 16 Nov. 2021 (rotation page): Updated for Season of Mastery to reflect debuff limit being removed.
- 02 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Phase 6.
- 02 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with Phase 6 Naxxramas Enchants.
- 06 Aug. 2020 (gear page): Reworked for Phase 5 BiS with alternatives.
- 15 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Added link to Ahn'Qiraj BiS.
- 18 May 2020 (enchants page): Updated with current World Buffs as of Phase 4.
- 18 May 2020 (pets page): Updated with the Zul'Gurub Wind Serpents.
- 25 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Added missing weapon.
- 14 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Zul'Gurub.
- 14 Apr. 2020 (enchants page): Updated for Zul'Gurub.
- 13 Mar. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Arathi Basin gear.
- 12 Feb. 2020 (gear page): Revamped page for Phase 3.
- 10 Dec. 2019 (gear page): Added link to PvP BiS section.
- 05 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Added Raid BiS list.
- 22 Oct. 2019 (gear page): Updated Pre-Raid BiS to include Dire Maul.
- 25 Sep. 2019 (gear page): Updated list to specify what is BiS, and made some changes to reflect 1.4 drops.
- 18 Jun. 2019 (this page): Added notes on Professions.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (gear page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (stats page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (pets page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (spells page): Page added.
- 12 Jun. 2019 (this page): Page added.
- 13 Mar. 2019 (enchants page): Added Phase 3 enchants.
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