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Marksmanship Hunter DPS Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated Today at 02:46 by Azortharion 46 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Marksmanship Hunter DPS guide for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing a Marksmanship Hunter in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

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. Class Overview

Marksmanship is the least mobile Hunter spec, as it is the only spec that has to deal with long cast times during which you cannot move. From a playstyle perspective, Marksmanship is relatively simple with only a few central abilities you must understand to play the spec optimally.

2. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Marksmanship Hunter

Marksmanship has been completely redesigned. The Vulnerable mechanic and all the abilities surrounding it are gone, but there are still important ability interactions that you must know about to make good use of the spec.

  • Marksmanship's maximum Focus is now 100.
  • Focus now regenerates passively at a much slower rate.
  • Lone Wolf Icon Lone Wolf is now baseline. It increases your damage done by 10% when you do not have a pet summoned. For single-target, having a pet active is generally superior to the 10% damage bonus from Lone Wolf, while in multi-target scenarios, using Lone Wolf is usually better.
  • Many abilities that were not on the global cooldown before are now affected by it, including main cooldowns like Trueshot Icon Trueshot.
  • Our Mastery: Sniper Training Icon Mastery: Sniper Training now affects all of our abilities, rather than just the ones that cost Focus.
  • Pet specs can no longer be swapped, and pet families will always belong to a certain spec that cannot be changed. For example, Turtles are always Tenacity, Wolves are always Ferocity and so on.
  • All pet specs now do the same damage, but the pet specs now provide different bonuses for defense and utility.

3. Viability of Specs

On this page, we will attempt to give a full picture of what the 3 Hunter specs are good at and when you might want to use them. Generally speaking, all the specs are competitive enough that you can play whichever one you prefer from a playstyle perspective. On this page, we will try to be as objective as possible when determining which spec is the best. To determine this, we will use simulations, intuition and occasionally WarcraftLogs Data to try and get a full picture.

3.1. Single-Target Spec Comparison Simulation

Survival10795+0.1%
Marksmanship10785 
Beast Mastery10606-1.65%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

As the title suggests, this simulation puts the specs up against each other in an ideal scenario for a pure single-target encounter, with no movement. We use a fight length for the simulation that best reflects the actual fight lengths in current Mythic content.

3.2. Multi-Target Spec Comparison Simulation - 3 Targets

Survival17068+5.54%
Marksmanship16172 
Beast Mastery16124-0.3%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.3. Burst AoE Spec Comparison Simulation - 5 Targets for 30 Seconds - No Bloodlust

Marksmanship29387 
Beast Mastery28837-1.87%
Survival25112-14.55%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.4. Bursty Single-Target Spec Comparison Simulation - 1 Target, 30 Seconds

Marksmanship16702 
Survival16676-0.16%
Beast Mastery16620-0.49%
The original results can be found on raidbots.com

3.5. Spec Viability in Practice, Strengths and Weaknesses

Simulations are all well and good, but they cannot provide the same picture of how the specs work in raids as actually playing them can. In this section, we will look at some of the perks and downsides of the different specs in raids and Mythic+.

3.5.1. Beast Mastery

  • Extremely mobile, fairly easy to play.
  • Able to bring numerous types of utility with its pets.
  • Short cooldowns make it a consistent Mythic+ performer.
  • Relies on pet AI, which can be inconsistent.

3.5.2. Marksmanship

  • Capable of extremely high burst damage, especially AoE.
  • Unfortunately does not use a pet for multi-target scenarios, costing it utility/survivability.
  • Short cooldowns make it a consistent Mythic+ performer.
  • Limited/no reliance on pet AI, more damage is in your hands.

3.5.3. Survival

  • Very high sustained AoE damage.
  • Lots of utility in pets.
  • Quite mobile for a melee spec.
  • Relatively simple to play.

4. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 14 pages:

5. ChangeLog

  • 16 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the optimal healing potion to use.
  • 16 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Removed outdated mention of a Legendary.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the optimal gems to correspond with the stat priority.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated the traits' impact on the rotation.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated the Marksmanship Hunter rotation to be more clear on single-target priorities, and multi-target changes to the playstyle.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page created.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Significant updates to the general playstyle with Lethal Shots, and updated the rotation with a new format.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Added Counter Shot to the spell list.
  • 01 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added page.
  • 01 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated the single-target spec comparison.
  • 31 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Added some missing BfA pets to the pet family overview.
  • 27 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Azerite page.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Updated multi-target rotation.
  • 22 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Updated the optimal single-target potion.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Added Steady Shot to the Spell Summary.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Reverted the optimal flask, as the Flask of Falling Leaves was nerfed.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated Celerity of the Windrunners' Haste level from 2% to 3%.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Moved the Gorilla and its Special Ability from Tenacity to Ferocity.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Reverted the optimal gem, as it was nerfed.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated Golganneth's Vitality to just be an Argus Personal Loot drop.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Various updates with old-world gems, enchants, and consumables.
    • Updated the optimal potion to use.
    • Updated the optimal flask to use. Added note about Belt Buckles to the Enchants table.
    • Reverted the optimal potion to use, as Blizzard has nerfed the old one.
    • Updated the wording on the Healthstones/Healing Potion paragraph to say "and", as you can now use both of them at once.
    • Removed Belt Buckles as they were hotfixed.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated the stat priority.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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