Marksmanship Hunter DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Oct 19, 2018 at 11:25 by Azortharion 74 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

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 8.0.1 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 Icon Heart of Azeroth opens up the Azerite system.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Azortharion, the main theorycrafter of the spec for many years. He is an accomplished player with dozen of top parses for all specs throughout the game's history. He is also the Admin of Trueshot Lodge, the Hunter Class Discord, and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

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 Icon Blood Rite) to an extremely good one (Steady Aim Icon Steady Aim). 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. Reorigination Array

The Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array is a buff that is activated within Uldir when you are using one trait of either Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix. The Array increases your highest secondary stat by 75 per stack. Every week, it gains a stack when you kill 3 raid bosses in Uldir on any difficulty. It tops out at 10 stacks, or 750 of your highest secondary stat.

Because of this, using either Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix is mandatory inside Uldir. You only need one trait to activate the Reorigination Array.

There are no traits that are so good that it is worth dropping Reorigination Array.

2.2. 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.

Steady Aim Icon Steady Aim is generally the best single-target trait for Marksmanship Hunters, and it should be the default choice for almost any raiding scenario. Using this trait will also let you use the Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus talent for a DPS boost, while also significantly speeding up your rotation.

Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix and Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans are essentially mandatory traits to have on your gear when raiding in Uldir on any difficulty. This is because having at least one of these traits will activate Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, a passive effect that vastly increases your highest secondary stat each week. Archive of the Titans is generally the best one, but it is not very important which one you have, as long as you have at least one in Uldir.

Focused Fire Icon Focused Fire is generally the best multi-target trait for Marksmanship Hunters, and should be used as a default for most Mythic+. Using this trait also makes Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire worth using on cooldown, even if you are using the Lethal Shots Icon Lethal Shots talent with it.

2.3. 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 Icon 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 Icon Heed My Call is almost as good as Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power, but it does not have the caveat of losing efficiency when you take damage. It also outperforms Overwhelming Power on AoE, so it is a better default option.

Azerite Globules Icon 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.

2.4. Inner Ring

The Inner Ring consists mostly of defensive or utility traits.

Duck and Cover Icon Duck and Cover reduces Feign Death Icon 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.

Shellshock Icon Shellshock allows your main defensive, Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle to also heal you, this can be situationally useful and it is a good choice since its effect is entirely in your control.

Longstrider Icon 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 Icon 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. DPS Azerite Trait Ranking for Marksmanship Hunter

Both of these simulations are based on Heroic Uldir gear with a good distribution of stats for the spec. Trinkets have been left out, as they can arbitrarily alter the results. As always, treat these simulations as a guideline, not a rule, and always sim your own character to be sure.

The traits listed here are mostly from the Outer Ring, or in the case of "TIER 2" marked traits, they are from the Middle Ring. The Inner Ring traits do not provide a DPS increase. Almost all your item choices should be based on the trait in the Outer Ring, as the difference between Tier 2 traits is very small.

4.2. Single-Target

4.3. 3 Targets (Mythic+, etc)

If a trait is missing from this list, then it is likely because it is not properly implemented in SimulationCraft yet.

You can see the spreadsheet source for this simulation here.

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.

Filter #1:
Filter #2:
Filter #3:
Reset Filters
Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

6. Changelog

  • 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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