Marksmanship Hunter Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis

Last updated on Jan 15, 2024 at 15:00 by Azortharion 127 comments
General Information

On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Marksmanship Hunter affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.


Marksmanship Hunter Patch 9.1 Changes Overview

For this section of the guide, we will go over all of the important changes for Marksmanship Hunters going into Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands. This page is an active work-in-progress and will be updated as new content is added to the PTR. These changes are not live yet. A full list of changes to the entire Hunter class can be found on our dedicated page below. For an additional list of content coming in Patch 9.1, you can also check out our Patch 9.1 Overview page.


Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1

  • (July 13th) Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot, Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot, and Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire damage increased by 10%.
  • (July 13th) Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot damage increased by 15%.

Talent Changes for Patch 9.1

Marksmanship Hunter currently has no talent changes for 9.1.


Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1

The whole Hunter Class is getting 4 new Covenant-specific Legendaries. These Legendaries are only available to Hunters of a certain Covenant. Their effects are universal, meaning that they are not specific to any Hunter spec.

  • Night Fae: Fragments of the Elder Antlers Icon Fragments of the Elder Antlers causes Wild Spirits Icon Wild Spirits to proc twice whenever it pulses on less than 5 targets. This is powerful for 2-4 target situations, but it is useless on 5 targets and above, making its viability depend a lot on there being very few or no 5-target situations at all.
  • Kyrian: Pact of the Soulstalkers Icon Pact of the Soulstalkers causes Resonating Arrow Icon Resonating Arrow to also increase your party's Crit by 10% for 10 seconds. It is worth remembering that a "party" in tooltips nearly always refers to the 5-man group inside a Raid group. While this has the potential to be reasonably powerful, you are essentially buffing others more than yourself which is rarely fun when playing a pure DPS class. This can be a very slight party DPS increase if you are stacking very bursty DPS classes in the same group, and everyone synchronizes their cooldowns to Resonating Arrow. This is a level of coordination you will likely not see outside the very top guilds, so we do not recommend this for almost anyone.
  • Necrolord: Bag of Munitions Icon Bag of Munitions causes Death Chakram Icon Death Chakram to also apply Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot on up to 5 targets hit by it. Explosive Shot is a Marksmanship Talent that, once applied to the target, will explode for AoE damage after 3 seconds. Applying this to multiple targets would mean that you get an immense, instant burst of AoE damage. This is extremely powerful, but requires you to go Necrolord which is our weakest Covenant. The Covenant is weaker than the Legendary is strong, so it is very unlikely that you will ever use this.
  • Venthyr: Pouch of Razor Fragments Icon Pouch of Razor Fragments causes extra Kill Shots from Flayed Shot Icon Flayed Shot to deal 60% cleave damage to 6 nearby targets. This adds a much-needed AoE component to Venthyr's Covenant Ability, and it is important to remember that the Kill Shots from Flayed Shot are more powerful than regular Kill Shots. However, Marksmanship is a GCD-locked spec, meaning that casting these Kill Shots will necessarily take away from other spells, reducing the value quite significantly. This is still likely to be one of the best Mythic+ Venthyr Legendaries, but it is definitely not going to make Venthyr particularly good for Mythic+.

Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1

All Soulbind Trees for all Covenants will be getting new tiers added with new Soulbind abilities. These can have a significant impact on the best Soulbind, or even the best Covenant overall.

We have listed all of the abilities with a DPS impact below.

  • NiyaBonded Hearts Icon Bonded Hearts — Causes your constantly-generated Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration stacks to grant 50% increased Mastery if you are close to non-Night Fae allies when they are generated.
  • DreamweaverDream Delver Icon Dream Delver — This is essentially just a 3% DPS buff to your current target. Its activation does have a 0.8s internal cooldown, which is just another way of saying that you cannot generate a stack more often than once per 0.8s.
  • KoraynWild Hunt Strategem Icon Wild Hunt Strategem — When you hit a target above 75% health, you gain a 1-minute buff. If you then attack an enemy below 35% health, this buff will be consumed and increase your damage to sub-35% targets by 5% for 10 seconds.
  • Forgelite Prime MikanikosSoulglow Spectrometer Icon Soulglow Spectrometer — Causes you to build a damage buff on the target you are hitting which stacks by 1% every 3 seconds, up to 5%. You cannot start another buff on a new target until you have expired one on the previous target.
  • Forgelite Prime MikanikosEffusive Anima Accelerator Icon Effusive Anima Accelerator — Causes your Resonating Arrow Icon Resonating Arrow to instantly deal Arcane damage, split between all enemies within 12 yards. For every target hit, the cooldown of Resonating Arrow Icon Resonating Arrow is reduced by 4 seconds, up to a maximum of 20 seconds at 5 or more targets hit.
  • PelagosBetter Together Icon Better Together — Gives you a 52 Mastery buff for 1 minute when you move close to an ally. You can only be affected by one buff at a time. This will pretty much be up all of the time.
  • PelagosNewfound Resolve Icon Newfound Resolve — Occasionally spawns a "Doubt" unit near you while in combat. Facing it grants you 12% increased Agility and Stamina for 15 seconds. Depending on proc rate, this could be very strong.
  • KleiaLight the Path Icon Light the Path — Causes your Valiant Strikes Icon Valiant Strikes Soulbind Ability buff to also grant 0.25% Critical Strike per stack. It also causes its heal effect to grant you 5% Critical Strike for 12 seconds. Given the 1-minute limit on Valiant Strikes, this is a bit weak.
  • EmeniPustule Eruption Icon Pustule Eruption — Causes Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft to grant you 9 pustule stacks. When you take damage or get healed, they blow up for 48% AP of damage on nearby enemies. Each pustule explosion is ~28% as powerful as an Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot. Thus, 9 pustules is over 2 Aimed Shots' worth of damage.
  • Bonesmith HeirmirCarver's Eye Icon Carver's Eye — Grants you a Mastery buff when you hit a target above 90% health which lasts 5 seconds and stacks to 5, but refreshes its duration when you generate a new stack. There is a 10-second forced gap between initial applications of this buff.
  • Bonesmith HeirmirMnemonic Equipment Icon Mnemonic Equipment — Causes your attacks on targets below 35% health to deal 3% extra damage over 5 seconds.
  • Plague Deviser MarilethKevin's Oozeling Icon Kevin's Oozeling — Causes your Death Chakram Icon Death Chakram to spawn an Oozeling to attack your target. You also deal 2% increased damage to whatever he is targeting. He is up roughly 40-45% of the time, so he is essentially a ~0.9% single-target-DPS buff, on average.
  • Nadjia the MistbladeFatal Flaw Icon Fatal Flaw — Enhances Thrill Seeker Icon Thrill Seeker by giving you a Critical Strike/Versatility buff when its Haste buff ends.
  • Theotar the Mad DukeParty Favors Icon Party Favors — Gives you a 3% primary or secondary stat buff for 1 hour each day.
  • General DravenBattlefield Presence Icon Battlefield Presence — Increases your damage done and reduces damage taken by 1% for every enemy within 5 yards of you, up to 3%.

As you can see, there are a number of interesting new Abilities being added. Some highlights for each Covenant include Bonded Hearts Icon Bonded Hearts which is a significant buff to the already very strong Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration, Newfound Resolve Icon Newfound Resolve which has a "Thing From Beyond"-esque flavour to it, but gives you a massive 12% Agility buff. Its proc rate will determine how good it is. Heirmir's Carver's Eye Icon Carver's Eye looks strong on paper, and Nadjia's Fatal Flaw Icon Fatal Flaw looks decent as well.


Anima Power Changes for Torghast in Patch 9.1

There are no changes to Hunter Anima Powers in Patch 9.1 so far.



  • 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 12 Jul. 2021: Updated thoughts on all of the Covenant-specific Legendaries, and added the July 13th Hunter Buffs to the changes.
  • 10 Jun. 2021: Added information about the Venthyr-specific Legendary.
  • 12 May 2021: Added information about 4 new Covenant-specific Legendaries.
  • 25 Apr. 2021: Page created with initial information.
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