Marksmanship Hunter DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5
On this page, we present to you all the information you must have to make the best decisions regarding your Azerite trait and Azerite gear. This information is important to playing your Marksmanship Hunter to its fullest in World of Warcraft's 8.1.5 Battle for Azeroth Patch. As a complement to this guide, we urge you to also read our Heart of Azeroth guide, since the Heart of Azeroth opens up the Azerite system.
1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Marksmanship Hunter
Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay.
The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait ( Blood Rite) to an extremely good one ( Unerring Vision). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.
It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina, increasing your maximum health. A tiny difference in that regard can be the difference between dying and surviving, so item level is almost always king.
2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Marksmanship Hunter
In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. While the traits are ordered by power, this order is not a very strict priority, but more of a guideline.
2.1. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Treacherous Covenant can best be described as a "Glass Cannon" trait. It is a passive ability that increases your Agility when you are above 50% health. In simulations like the ones above where you are always at 100% health, it is a much better Trait than it will be in reality. In a realistic scenario, you will not have 100% uptime, and this can play into your decision-making when it comes to choosing between this trait and others, even if it appears to simulate higher. It only takes one or two deaths caused by this Trait in a night of progression raiding to offset the DPS gained from using it.
Unerring Vision is generally the best trait for Marksmanship Hunters, providing superior single-target and multi-target damage to almost every other trait, on top of enhancing your main cooldown which is especially useful in progression raiding and Mythic+ where the importance of burst damage is emphasized. Having this trait makes Calling the Shots the best Level 100 Talent.
2.2. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are all fairly close, and they will rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Overwhelming Power has the highest DPS potential of the traits in this ring, but it will lose efficiency whenever you take damage, which can be very often in some raid encounters.
Heed My Call and Gutripper are both a significant step below Overwhelming Power, but a step above other secondary traits. Heed My Call is slightly superior for multi-target, and Gutripper is slightly superior for single-target.
Azerite Globules is generally not worth choosing. Its main value comes from AoE damage, but the debuff has to actually stack up 3 times before it does damage. In Mythic+ where AoE is the most prevalent, targets die constantly, meaning that many stacks of this debuff will get lost.
2.3. Inner Ring
The Inner Ring consists mostly of defensive or utility traits.
Duck and Cover reduces Feign Death's cooldown to 25 seconds, and it causes Feign Death to give you a small absorb shield. Because this one is actually entirely in your control, it can be a lifesaver at the right moment. Being able to Feign Death more often can allow you to negate certain spells in Mythic+ more often as well, so it is definitely the best trait in this tier.
Longstrider is arguably the best "DPS" option in this tier. By increasing your movement speed, it allows you to close gaps and dodge things slightly faster.
Resounding Protection is an absorb shield that automatically gets applied every 30 seconds. This is one of the best defensive traits to have, as you will always be able to benefit from it.
3. Azerite Traits Rotation Changes and Details for Marksmanship Hunter
Some of your Azerite Traits in Battle For Azeroth can have a small effect on your rotation. They generally do not change the fundamentals, but they allow you to use their effects to squeeze just a little bit more damage out than your competition.
4. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Marksmanship Hunter
Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.
Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.
We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.
4.1. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are the most important from a DPS perspective.
Here we have listed a ranking for the Outer Ring traits in terms of single-target DPS. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite traits, we have only listed the best 25.
4.2. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are shared for all classes and specs. For any DPS spec, you should always pick among the DPS options and ignore the defensive or heal options for PvE.
Here we have listed a ranking for Middle Ring traits in terms of DPS for single-target situations.
4.3. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits Comparison for Marksmanship Hunter
4.3.1. Outer Ring
Here we have listed a ranking for the Outer Ring traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite traits, we have only listed the best 10.
4.3.2. Middle Ring
Here we have listed a ranking for Middle Ring traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations.
5. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Marksmanship Hunter. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 03 Feb. 2019: Updated information about Overwhelming Power/Heed My Call/Gutripper.
- 21 Jan. 2019: Removed Archive of the Titans and added Treacherous Covenant. Updated description of Unerring Vision.
- 12 Dec. 2018: Added note about Unerring Vision changing the recommended Level 100 talent.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Added note about Archive of the Titans being very competitive, regardless of the need for Reorigination Array.
- 19 Oct. 2018: Added a small section emphasizing that having at least one Uldir trait within the raid is mandatory for optimal performance.
- 25 Sep. 2018: Updated the Azerite Trait simulation to account for the latest hotfixes.
- 20 Sep. 2018: Restructured the page and added some written recommendations.
- 18 Sep. 2018: Updated the Azerite Trait simulation.
- 12 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation to include Meticulous Scheming properly.
- 08 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 05 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 30 Aug. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 23 Aug. 2018: Added a link to the origin spreadsheet for the simulation chart.
- 18 Aug. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 17 Aug. 2018: Updated the traits' impact on the rotation.
- 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
- 27 Jul. 2018: Added Azerite page.
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