Marksmanship Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Pet Talents — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 23, 2020 at 17:55 by Azortharion 10 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Marksmanship Hunter in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

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

1.

Talent Choices for Marksmanship Hunter

Level Choices
15 Master Marksman Master Marksman Serpent Sting Serpent Sting A Murder of Crows A Murder of Crows
25 Careful Aim Careful Aim Barrage Barrage Explosive Shot Explosive Shot
30 Trailblazer ? Trailblazer Natural Mending Natural Mending Camouflage ? Camouflage
35 Steady Focus Steady Focus Streamline Streamline Chimaera Shot ? Chimaera Shot
40 Born To Be Wild ? Born To Be Wild Posthaste Posthaste Binding Shackles ? Binding Shackles
45 Lethal Shots Lethal Shots Dead Eye Dead Eye Double Tap Double Tap
50 Calling the Shots Calling the Shots Lock and Load Lock and Load Volley Volley

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2.

Talent Cheat Sheets for Marksmanship Hunter

These talent recommendations are based on simulations and logs/statistics to help you pick the best choice for any situation.

2.1.

Best Single-Target Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This is the best Marksmanship build for almost all raiding and single-target fights.

2.2.

Best AoE and Mythic+ Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This is our recommended Marksmanship build for encounters with cleave and intermittent AoE, as well as Mythic+ dungeons.

2.3.

Raiding

The builds suggested above do not account for specific fights in the current raid tier. If you wish to have a boss-by-boss breakdown of talent choices, you should check out our dedicated page below.

2.4.

Mythic+

Mythic+ can potentially require a mix of certain AoE and Single-Target talents, depending on affixes and other variables. If you want advice that is specific to Mythic+, you should check out our page below.

2.5.

How To Use Marksmanship Hunter Talents

Some talents will require you to play in a particular way to get the most out of them. You can find more information on how your rotation will look after selecting your talents on our rotation page below.

3.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

Master Marksman Master Marksman Serpent Sting Serpent Sting A Murder of Crows A Murder of Crows
  • Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman causes your abilities' crits to make the target bleed for 15% of the initial damage over 6 seconds.
  • Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting is a DoT ability that costs 10 Focus and applies a DoT for 18 seconds. It also does a small amount of initial damage when you cast it. This is generally just to be kept up at all times, and can be useful for multi-DoTting as well.
  • A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows is a DoT ability that costs 20 Focus with a 1-minute cooldown. It applies a powerful 15-second DoT to the target that deals Physical damage every second. If your target dies while the DoT is active, the cooldown of A Murder of Crows is reset.

Master Marksman Icon Master Marksman should be chosen for all situations.

Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting should not be chosen in any situation. It is very far behind in all situations.

A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows should not be chosen in any situation. It is extremely far behind in all situations.

4.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Careful Aim Careful Aim Barrage Barrage Explosive Shot Explosive Shot
  • Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim causes your Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot to deal 50% additional damage to targets above 70% health. This essentially means that 30% of the time, your Aimed Shot will do 50% additional damage, effectively giving you a 15% damage increase to Aimed Shot on average, although the benefits of the extra opening burst can be greater than this damage bonus alone.
  • Barrage Icon Barrage is an ability on a 20-second cooldown that deals moderate Physical damage to all targets in a cone in front of you. It has a 3-second channeling time and costs 30 Focus. It hits up to 8 targets.
  • Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot is a simple AoE ability that deals heavy AoE damage to all targets near your target. It costs 20 Focus and has a 30-second cooldown.

Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim should be chosen for all single-target situations.

Barrage Icon Barrage should not be chosen for any situation. It is very far behind in single-target situations. It is a bit more acceptable for AoE situations, but still inferior to Explosive Shot for this scenario.

Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot should be chosen for AoE situations such as Mythic+. It is very far behind for single-target situations, however.

5.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your utility, mobility and survivability.

Trailblazer ? Trailblazer Natural Mending Natural Mending Camouflage ? Camouflage
  • Trailblazer Icon Trailblazer increases your movement speed by 30% whenever you have not attacked for 3 seconds. This is essentially just a helpful passive for moving between packs in Mythic+, or rare raid situations where you need to move for a while and are not able to attack anything.
  • Natural Mending Icon Natural Mending causes your Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration ability's remaining cooldown to be reduced by 1 second for every 20 (Marksmanship and Survival) or 30 (Beast Mastery) Focus you spend. We can generally expect a cooldown reduction of over 30 seconds.
  • Camouflage Icon Camouflage puts you in stealth for 1 minute and heals you for 2% of your maximum health every second. It has a 1-minute cooldown, and the cooldown only starts ticking once Camouflage has been cancelled.

Your choice of talent in this tier is mostly situational, but for general survivability in raids and dungeons, we recommend Natural Mending Icon Natural Mending by default.

6.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Steady Focus Steady Focus Streamline Streamline Chimaera Shot ? Chimaera Shot
  • Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus causes Steady Shot Icon Steady Shot to increase your Haste by 7% when you use it twice in a row, for 15 seconds.
  • Streamline Icon Streamline increases the damage done by Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire by 15%, and also causes it to reduce your next Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot's cast time by 30%.
  • Chimaera Shot Icon Chimaera Shot is an ability that replaces Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot. It deals significantly more damage, and it can hit an additional target for half of its original damage.

Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus should be used for all single-target situations.

Streamline Icon Streamline should only be used for consistently heavy AoE. We will explore the choice of Streamline versus Steady Focus a bit more below.

Chimaera Shot Icon Chimaera Shot should pretty much never be chosen. It is only the best talent for purely 2-target fights. As soon as you add more targets, Steady Focus and Streamline pull back ahead. On pure single-target, it is no match for Steady Focus.

Technically speaking, Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus is the best talent for all situations except 2-target in simulations. The problem is that simulations assume that you are keeping the buff up at 100% uptime. In a real, practical AoE situation such as Mythic+, you will constantly drop the buff between packs.

In addition, when you do start attacking a new pack, you have so many other priorities to get through before you can even think about casting Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus. By the time you get to cast two Steady Shots in a row, the pack will possibly be half-dead already.

If you do find yourself able to keep up Steady Focus in Mythic+, you should be using it. However, for most people in most situations, we recommend Streamline Icon Streamline.

7.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your utility, mobility and survivability.

Born To Be Wild ? Born To Be Wild Posthaste Posthaste Binding Shackles ? Binding Shackles

Your choice of talent in this tier is mostly situational, but for general survivability in raids and dungeons, we recommend Posthaste Icon Posthaste by default.

8.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Lethal Shots Lethal Shots Dead Eye Dead Eye Double Tap Double Tap
  • Lethal Shots Icon Lethal Shots gives your Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot a 30% chance to reduce the cooldown of Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire by 5 seconds.
  • Dead Eye Icon Dead Eye gives Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot 2 charges, and causes Kill Shot to speed up Aimed Shot's recharge time by 60% (effectively causing its cooldown to tick down 60% faster).
  • Double Tap Icon Double Tap is a mini-cooldown with a 1-minute cooldown. It causes your next Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot to fire an additional time (although the second Aimed Shot cannot proc Precise Shots Icon Precise Shots or anything else activated by Aimed Shot), or your next Rapid Fire Icon Rapid Fire to shoot twice as many shots in the same amount of time, doubling its damage and Focus generation. With Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots active, the additional Aimed Shot will also cleave up to 5 additional targets.

Double Tap Icon Double Tap should be used for all situations.

Lethal Shots Icon Lethal Shots is reasonably competitive, but not worth using in any situation as it has inferior burst and general output to Double Tap.

Dead Eye Icon Dead Eye should not be used in any situation.

9.

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

Calling the Shots Calling the Shots Lock and Load Lock and Load Volley Volley
  • Calling the Shots Icon Calling the Shots causes Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot to reduce the remaining cooldown of Trueshot Icon Trueshot by 2.5 seconds. This can be a powerful talent for certain fights that benefit from short Trueshot timings. You can expect over a minute of total cooldown reduction from using this talent.
  • Lock and Load Icon Lock and Load gives your Auto-Shots an 8% chance to make your next Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot free and instant cast. Because of the new charge system for Aimed Shot, Lock and Load now also refunds you a charge so you can spend the proc immediately.
  • Volley Icon Volley lets you select a location on the ground. All targets in the placed circle effect will take heavy damage over 6 seconds, and they will all be affected by Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots for its duration.

Lock and Load Icon Lock and Load is the best choice for raiding and single-target situations.

Volley Icon Volley is extremely powerful for any sort of multi-target scenario, and should be chosen if there is even a little bit of AoE potential in an encounter. Even for pure single-target scenarios, it is only 1-2% behind Lock and Load.

Calling the Shots Icon Calling the Shots should not be chosen in any situation.

10.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

Since Battle for Azeroth, there is the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • At least 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

10.1.

Marksmanship Hunter War Mode Talents

In this section, we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of all PvP Talents for Marksmanship Hunter

10.1.1.

Marksmanship Hunter PvP Talents

  1. Sniper Shot Icon Sniper Shot is an ability that deals 20% of the target's maximum health from up to 55 yards away, and increases the range of all your other abilities by 40% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown. This is extremely useful for pulling mobs from afar before others can get to them, and finishing them off before they can get close.
  2. Trueshot Mastery Icon Trueshot Mastery refunds all your Focus when you use Trueshot Icon Trueshot, and reduces its cooldown by 20 seconds.
  3. Ranger's Finesse Icon Ranger's Finesse is a good default choice as it will passively reduce the cooldown of your Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle and Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration abilities significantly.
  4. Hunting Pack Icon Hunting Pack is a useful mobility option, allowing you to use Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah much more often.

Scatter Shot Icon Scatter Shot, Survival Tactics Icon Survival Tactics, Dragonscale Armor Icon Dragonscale Armor, Viper Sting Icon Viper Sting, Spider Sting Icon Spider Sting, Scorpid Sting Icon Scorpid Sting, and Hi-Explosive Trap Icon Hi-Explosive Trap have limited use in PvE content in terms of increasing your damage in the open world, but they can be situationally useful.

11.

Pet Talents

Pets do not have talent trees. Instead, different types of pet belong to one of three difference specs: Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning.

Each specialisation grants your pet a few specific abilities. Currently, there is no DPS difference between the different pet specs. The only differences are in utility.

12.

Changelog

  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 19 Oct. 2020: Fixed Careful Aim's description (above 70% health rather than above 80%.)
  • 17 Oct. 2020: Updated the M+ Talent Cheat Sheet to include Streamline.
  • 15 Oct. 2020: Updated the Calling the Shots "X" to a checkmark, as it is viable in certain builds.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Fixed an inconsistency in the AoE/M+ Talent Cheat Sheet (changed to Explosive Shot).
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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