Marksmanship Hunter DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Aug 02, 2020 at 10:32 by Azortharion 103 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) 8.3.

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

1.

Marksmanship Hunter Rotation

Welcome to our Rotation page for Marksmanship Hunters. On this page you will find everything you need to know about actually playing the spec in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.

If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.

If you are looking for specific Mythic+ Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.

If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.

2.

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.

If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.

3.

Marksmanship Hunter Single-Target Rotation

  1. Use Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire on cooldown.
  2. Use Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot on cooldown, but make sure that you have spent all of your Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots charges on Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot before casting it. If Aimed Shot is approaching 2 charges, then you should prioritize casting Aimed Shot, even if you have Precise Shots charges remaining.
  3. Use Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot to spend Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots stacks, and to prevent yourself from capping on Focus. You should almost always follow up Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot with one or two Arcane Shots.
  4. Use Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot when you have 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.

3.1.

Trueshot Rotation

Your Trueshot rotation is the same as the normal one, except for the following changes.

  • You do not spend both of your Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots charges, you only cast the free Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot that is given by Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman. In other words, you will always cast 1 Arcane Shot between Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shots, but never more than that.
  • Instead of always casting Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire when available, you use it when you are low on Focus (less than 35) or if your In The Rhythm Icon In The Rhythm buff is going to expire shortly.
4.

Multi-Target Rotation for Marksmanship Hunter

On 2 targets, do the single-target rotation.

On 3 targets and above, your general rotation is the same, with the exceptions listed below.

5.

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. Make sure to apply Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark before the pull, if you are using this talent.
  2. Just before the encounter starts, use your combat potion.
  3. Start casting Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot roughly 2 seconds before the fight begins.
  4. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  5. Cast Guardian of Azeroth Icon Guardian of Azeroth if you are using this Essence.
  6. Cast Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot (to spend your Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman proc).
  7. Cast Trueshot Icon Trueshot.
  8. Begin the Trueshot Rotation.
6.

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. Make sure to apply Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark before the pull, if you are using this talent.
  2. Just before the encounter starts, use your combat potion.
  3. Start casting Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot roughly 2 seconds before the fight begins.
  4. Cast Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot to activate Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots.
  5. Cast Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire.
  6. Cast Guardian of Azeroth Icon Guardian of Azeroth if you are using this Essence.
  7. Cast Trueshot Icon Trueshot.
  8. Begin the Trueshot Rotation, replacing Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot with Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot.
7.

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.
8.

Talents and the Rotation

8.1.

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.

8.2.

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.

8.3.

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.

8.4.

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.

8.5.

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.

9.

Changelog

  • 02 Aug. 2020: Several rotational updates.
    • Updated and simplified the rotation and opener significantly.
    • Changed the Trueshot Rotation to a list of changes to the base rotation, rather than a separate priority system.
    • Removed redundant Trinket Usage recommendations.
    • Simplified the multi-target rotation to talk about how it changes compared to the single-target rotation, rather than a separate priority system.
  • 13 Jan. 2020: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 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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