Marksmanship Hunter DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5

Last updated on Oct 25, 2019 at 11:23 by Azortharion 101 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Marksmanship Hunter in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Hunter rotation.

1.

Important Abilities, Procs and The General Rotation of Marksmanship Hunter

To play Marksmanship, there are a few basic mechanics you must understand to fully unlock the potential of the spec.

Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots is a buff that is activated whenever you cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot. It causes your next 1-2 Arcane Shots after casting Aimed Shot to do 75% more damage. You do not want to waste this buff by casting Aimed Shot when you have it active. You always want to spend the charges first.

Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots is the primary AoE mechanic. When you cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot on 3 targets or above, your next Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot or Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire will cleave up to 5 additional targets for 50% of its original damage. You simply want this buff to be active when casting Aimed Shot or Rapid Fire while dealing with 3 or more targets.

2.

Marksmanship Hunter Single-Target Rotation

  1. Activate Double Tap Icon Double Tap when your next cast will be Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire rather than Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot. If Rapid Fire's cooldown is less than that of Aimed Shot, you can cast Double Tap already.
  2. Activate Trueshot Icon Trueshot when the following conditions are met:
  3. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire on cooldown when Trueshot Icon Trueshot is down. When Trueshot is up, cast it when you are below 70 Focus.
  4. During Trueshot Icon Trueshot: Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to spend Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman procs (generally right after Aimed Shot at all times).
  5. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot under the following conditions:
    • When Trueshot Icon Trueshot is up, you should essentially always cast Aimed Shot when you can. The conditions below assume that Trueshot is down.
    • When Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots is down (when Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot is not glowing);
    • When it is about to cap on 2 charges.
  6. Without Trueshot Icon Trueshot: Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to spend Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots charges, but keep your Focus above ~40. If Trueshot Icon Trueshot is coming up shortly, use Arcane Shot to get to around 70 Focus.
  7. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot as a filler when there is nothing else to do.

The goal of the rotation is to never cap Focus, never reach 2 charges of Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot, maximizing Focus generated by Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire by casting it on cooldown (but never Focus capping still), and spending every Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots proc.

2.1.

Double Tap Usage

Double Tap Icon Double Tap should be used with Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire by default. When the target is above 80%, or below 20% health, you should use it on Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot instead due to Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim buffing Aimed Shot by 50% during those conditions.

When using it with Rapid Fire, keep in mind that the Focus generation will be doubled. You should ensure that you have low Focus before using it.

2.2.

Trueshot Rotation

During Trueshot itself, your goal is to maximize your Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shots, spending every Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman proc and filling in with Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire when neither of those are available. Thus, the Trueshot priority looks something like this:

  1. Double Tap Icon Double Tap should not be delayed for Trueshot Icon Trueshot, but if it comes up during it, you should still use it with Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.>
  2. Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot when Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman is up (right after Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot).
  3. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire when you have less than 70 Focus.
  4. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot on cooldown.
  5. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot.
3.

Multi-Target Rotation for Marksmanship Hunter

On 2 targets, do the single-target rotation.

On 3 targets, your general rotation is the same, but there are a few changes to keep in mind. These changed are summarized in the priority system below.

  1. Ensure that Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots is activated before casting Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire and Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot. There is no rush to cast it, but it has to be up for those abilities.
  2. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire on cooldown when it will not cause Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot to cap at 2 charges.
  3. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot when Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots is up.
  4. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot on cooldown. Do not let it cap on 2 charges.
  5. Cast Piercing Shot Icon Piercing Shot if you have chosen this talent.
  6. Cast A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows if you have chosen this talent.
  7. Cast Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot if you have chosen this talent.
  8. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot to keep yourself from Focus capping. Using it to stay at a low amount of Focus is fine.
  9. Cast Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot as a filler.
4.

Opener Sequence for Marksmanship Hunter

This section describes the recommended way to start the fight as a Marksmanship Hunter. It assumes you are using the recommended single-target talents for the spec.

  1. Precast Double Tap Icon Double Tap with around 10 seconds remaining on the pull-timer.
  2. Make sure to apply Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark before the pull, if you are using this talent.
  3. Just before the encounter starts, use your combat potion.
  4. Start casting Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot roughly 2 seconds before the fight begins.
  5. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  6. Cast Guardian of Azeroth Icon Guardian of Azeroth if you are using this Essence.
  7. Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot (to spend your Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman proc).
  8. Cast Trueshot Icon Trueshot.
  9. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot.
  10. Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot (to spend your Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman proc).
  11. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot.
  12. Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot (to spend your Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman proc).
  13. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot.
  14. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  15. Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot (to spend your Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman proc).
  16. Follow the Trueshot Rotation above until Trueshot ends, and then proceed with the normal Single-Target Rotation.
5.

Multi-Target/AoE Opener Sequence for Marksmanship Hunter

This section describes how to best open on fights that have AoE from the beginning, such as Champions of the Light, King Rastakhan, and Jaina.

  1. Precast Double Tap Icon Double Tap with around 10 seconds remaining on the pull-timer.
  2. Make sure to apply Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark before the pull, if you are using this talent.
  3. Just before the encounter starts, use your combat potion.
  4. Cast Trueshot Icon Trueshot around 1.5 seconds before the encounter starts.
  5. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot.
  6. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot.
  7. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot.
  8. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  9. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot.
  10. Cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot.
  11. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot.
  12. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  13. Follow the Trueshot Rotation above until Trueshot ends, and then proceed with the normal rotation.
6.

Trinket Usage

Some trinkets have to be used in a particular way. We cover the most interesting ones here.

  • Ashvane's Razor Coral Icon Ashvane's Razor Coral should be activated on the pull, and it should be activated again when you cast your second Guardian of Azeroth Icon Guardian of Azeroth alongside Trueshot Icon Trueshot. You want all 3 of these effects to line up with each other. Afterwards, reapply the Coral debuff and use it again with your next Guardian + Trueshot combo, ideally when the boss is below 20% health.
  • Azshara's Font of Power Icon Azshara's Font of Power should be precast around the 6-second mark, so that you have time to precast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot as well. During the fight, make sure that you use it shortly before Trueshot to line them up. Try your best to not cap on Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot charges when doing your channel.
  • The Cyclotronic Blast Icon Cyclotronic Blast Red Punchcard effect which is used by the Pocket-Sized Computation Device Icon Pocket-Sized Computation Device should be used after your opener Trueshot Icon Trueshot is over, and it should be used outside of Trueshot for the rest of the encounter as well.

When combining Azshara's Font of Power Icon Azshara's Font of Power and Ashvane's Razor Coral Icon Ashvane's Razor Coral, you should use the Font ~19 seconds before Trueshot Icon Trueshot, then use Trueshot with 15 seconds left of the Latent Arcana Icon Latent Arcana buff. Immediately follow this up by triggering the stacks of the Coral trinket to gain all 3 buffs at once.

7.

Talents and the Rotation

7.1.

Tier 1 Talents

Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman does not change your rotation in any fundamental way. You should be aware of when it is up so that you know when your Arcane and Multi-Shot will not cost any Focus, as this helps manage your Focus correctly.

Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting is a DoT that should be kept up at all times. You can refresh it with 3 seconds remaining and not waste any of its duration.

A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows should be cast on cooldown. You can get even more damage out of it by casting it on targets that are about 10 seconds from dying. When they die, this will reset the cooldown of the ability and allow you to use it again for a large damage boost.

7.2.

Tier 2 Talents

Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim does not change anything fundamental in your rotation, although you do want to try and use Trueshot Icon Trueshot when it is active.

Volley Icon Volley does not change anything in your rotation.

Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot should be used on as many targets as possible. If you are only fighting one target, it should be used on cooldown and delayed as little as possible. It has a lower priority than Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire and Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot. It is worth it to delay it significantly if you can hit multiple targets.

7.3.

Tier 4 Talents

Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus encourages casting Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot in multiples that are grouped up together. Instead of going Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, Steady Shot, you would always move the Arcane Shot either in front of or behind the two Steady Shots to ensure you benefit from the buff as much as possible.

Streamline Icon Streamline essentially increases your Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire Focus regeneration by 2. It does not change your rotation in any meaningful way.

Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark should be applied to the primary target you are fighting. It is on the Global Cooldown, meaning that if you are swapping targets, you must be doing a significant amount of damage to it before it is worth spending your Hunter's Mark on it. It is generally worth re-marking anything that you are going to attack for more than 15-20 seconds. This can also depend on how important the target is to kill.

7.4.

Tier 6 Talents

Lethal Shots Icon Lethal Shots procs from Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot every so often. It does not have a significant effect on your rotation, although it helps to be aware of your Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire cooldown so that you can react to a proc more quickly.

Barrage Icon Barrage should not be used on a single target if you have chosen the talent, unless you are in a situation where you need to burn a lot of Focus quickly for any reason. It should be used on cooldown if you are fighting 2 targets or above.

Double Tap Icon Double Tap should be used right before Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire in a standard rotation, and right before Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot when Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim is active (when the boss is under 20%, or above 80% health).

During Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim, you should always use Double Tap on Aimed Shot, regardless of your Azerite Traits.

7.5.

Tier 7 Talents

Calling the Shots Icon Calling the Shots does not have a fundamental effect on your rotation.

Lock and Load Icon Lock and Load procs should be used as soon as possible, but you should always attempt to spend any Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots procs that you have already before using the procced Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot.

Piercing Shot Icon Piercing Shot should be used on cooldown. It is worth delaying it if you can hit multiple targets with it however. If you can hit 2 targets, it is worth delaying up to 7 seconds to make that happen. If you can hit 3, it is worth delaying even more.

8.

Changelog

  • 25 Oct. 2019: Updated the rotation and Trueshot rotations significantly.
  • 10 Aug. 2019: Essences and Trinkets
    • Added the Condensed Life-Force Essence Major to the opener, as it is by far the most popular raiding essence.
    • Added information about how to use the popular on-use trinkets of Patch 8.2, as well as how to use them together.
  • 24 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Apr. 2019: Added detailed information about using Lurker's Insidious Gift and Galecaller's Boon together.
  • 14 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
  • 06 Mar. 2019: Updated the single-target opener slightly.
  • 24 Feb. 2019: Added a precast of Double Tap to the multi-target opener, and put one Aimed Shot in front of Rapid Fire.
  • 22 Feb. 2019: Added a multi-target opener.
  • 20 Feb. 2019: Expanded a little on some rotational subtleties.
  • 30 Jan. 2019: Updated the recommended usage of Double Tap significantly, and added an optional step to the opener.
  • 28 Jan. 2019: Changed the recommended usage of Double Tap slightly (included mention of Careful Aim).
  • 22 Jan. 2019: Added a dedicated paragraph about Double Tap usage with Calling the Shots.
  • 21 Jan. 2019: Added note about delaying Double Tap until the end of Trueshot with Unerring Vision.
  • 04 Jan. 2019: Updated the opener slightly (removed an Arcane Shot, as you do not want to spend Master Marksman procs while already Focus capped).
  • 18 Dec. 2018: Updated the opener to make use of Master Marksman, and added a specific Trueshot Shot Priority.
  • 14 Dec. 2018: Expanded slightly on Lethal Shots' role in the rotation.
  • 11 Dec. 2018: Added Double Tap to the opener and rotation.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Updated the rotation, opener, Talents and cooldown usage for Patch 8.1.
  • 19 Oct. 2018: Various updates.
    • Updated Trueshot criteria slightly.
    • Added note about Careful Aim affecting Trueshot usage.
    • Changed Trueshot's position and criteria in the opener.
  • 17 Oct. 2018: Rotational updates.
    • Updated the rotations and split it into 2 builds.
    • Updated the Trueshot section vastly.
  • 04 Oct. 2018: Rotational updates.
    • Added a note of Aimed Shot's high priority when it is about to reach 2 charges.
    • Added a clarifying note that Lethal Shots procs on AoE are best spent on Rapid Fire, but that will not always be possible.
  • 28 Sep. 2018: Cut down the size of the rotation and altered the format.
  • 30 Aug. 2018: Edited the rotation slightly, mostly for ease of understanding.
  • 29 Aug. 2018: Added a rarely used line to the Lethal Shots rotation.
  • 25 Aug. 2018: Updated the opener sequence to be easier to react to and execute.
  • 24 Aug. 2018: Added Trueshot to the rotation priority list.
  • 21 Aug. 2018: Added checklists to the rotation, to make it easier to distinguish between the playstyles of different talents.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated the Marksmanship Hunter rotation to be more clear on single-target priorities, and multi-target changes to the playstyle.
  • 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth release.
  • 07 Aug. 2018: Significant updates to the general playstyle with Lethal Shots, and updated the rotation with a new format.
  • 23 Jul. 2018: Updated multi-target rotation.
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