Marksmanship Hunter DPS Spell Summary — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as a Marksmanship Hunter in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Hunter spells.
This will cover synergies, cooldowns, and core concepts of the spec to get it working. If you already have experience and are very comfortable with Marksmanship, it is okay to skip past this, otherwise this is a great point to get a base understanding before moving onto later sections of the guide that covers nuances of gameplay.
Main Resource of Marksmanship Hunter
Hunters and their pets use a unique resource, called Focus. Focus works in much the same way as other class resources, like Rage and Energy, in the sense that some abilities grant Focus, while others cost Focus to be used.
A Marksmanship Hunter's Focus has a maximum capacity of 100, and regenerates at a slow rate that varies by spec. In addition to this passive flow of incoming Focus, certain talents and abilities will amplify your Focus regeneration, or simply generate more of it.
Hunter pet Focus works similarly, and is of no concern to you as you cannot do anything to modify it, nor will you be casting pet abilities manually.
As a general rule, you should always have enough Focus to cast your abilities as soon as they come off cooldown, but also to never have 100 Focus (as any extra Focus you generate would then go to waste).
Note that this page simply lists all the different abilities, assuming you are at max level. If you are leveling, check out our dedicated Hunter Leveling page, which has detailed information on when you unlock all of these abilities.
Basic Abilities of Marksmanship Hunter
Arcane Shot is a Focus dump without a cooldown that costs 15 Focus. It is primarily a filler ability for when you have too much Focus or want to spend some. Arcane Shot is also affected by proc mechanics such as Precise Shots, which is procced by Aimed Shot. These procs are spent by casting Arcane Shot and are a big part of the rotation.
Aimed Shot is your primary damage ability. It has 2 charges on a 12-second cooldown, a 2.5-second cast time and it costs 30 Focus. It cannot be cast while moving. When you cast it, it procs Precise Shots which buffs your Arcane Shot.
Rapid Fire is a high-damage Focus generator. It is a channelled cast that takes 3 seconds and generates 10 Focus in the process. It has a 20-second cooldown. Using this on cooldown is a big part of maximizing your damage.
Steady Shot is your low-damage Focus generator. It has a 1.5-second cast time and it generates 10 Focus. It can be cast while moving and it is cast when there is nothing else to do in the rotation.
Kill Shot is an execute ability that is only available below 20% health. It deals heavy damage and has a 10-second cooldown. It costs 10 Focus.
For a detailed guide on how to actually put these abilities together in your rotation, check out our Rotation page below.
Talented DPS Abilities of Marksmanship Hunter
Aside from the basic toolkit, you will come across new abilities via your Talents, depending on the ones you choose. We will outline the active abilities here.
Serpent Sting applies an 18-second DoT to the target and deals a bit of damage on hit. It costs 10 Focus.
Explosive Shot fires a projectile that slowly flies out directly in front of you. After 3 seconds, the projectile explodes and does AoE damage on up to 6 targets nearby. It is a unique "skill shot" ability in World of Warcraft.
Chimaera Shot fires a shot that hits up to two targets for moderate damage. It generates 10 Focus for each target it hits, and has a 15-second cooldown.
A Murder of Crows applies a strong DoT to the target for 15 seconds. If the target dies in this 15-second window, the cooldown is reset. It has a 1-minute cooldown and costs 30 Focus.
Barrage is a 3-second channel that continuously fires shots and hits up to 8 targets in front of you. You can move while it is channeling. It has a 20-second cooldown and costs 60 Focus.
Volley lets you target an area with your mouse. Activating Volley causes all targets in this area to take heavy damage over 6 seconds, and all enemies caught get automatically affected by Trick Shots without having to use Multi-Shot. It has a 45-second cooldown.
To learn which Talents to choose and how to use them in your rotation, check out our Talents page.
Disengage is your primary mobility ability. It causes you to leap backwards on a 20-second cooldown at no cost. Certain talents like Posthaste amplify this ability, causing it to give you increased movement speed for a few seconds. You can use this to quickly go from one place to another — even in a forwards direction by jumping, turning around and casting Disengage to catapult you forwards instead of backwards.
Aspect of the Cheetah is your second mobility ability, acting as more of a cooldown. It increases your movement speed by 90% for 5 seconds, and then by 30% for another 9 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown. Note it does not stack with Posthaste, so you should make sure to use Disengage and Aspect of the Cheetah separately for movement.
Important Procs and Passives of Marksmanship Hunter
Trick Shots is a new AoE mechanic that is the basis of Marksmanship's AoE. When you cast Multi-Shot on 3 targets or above, your next Aimed Shot or Rapid Fire will cleave up to 5 additional targets for 50% of normal damage. It does not generate additional Focus from hitting the additional targets.
Offensive Cooldowns of Marksmanship Hunter
Additional Utility & Traps of Marksmanship Hunter
Hunter's Mark is an ability that lets you mark a target, so that you can always track it on your mini-map. Only one Mark can be applied at a time.
Eyes of the Beast lets you take direct control of your pet's model and see through its eyes for one minute.
Counter Shot interrupts your target's spell casting. It also prevents any other cast in that school from being started for 3 seconds. It has a 24-second cooldown.
Aspect of the Turtle is the Hunter's primary defensive. It is an 8-second immune (from most abilities) and 30% damage reduction that makes you unable to attack for its duration. It has a 3-minute cooldown.
Bursting Shot is a short-term crowd control ability. It knocks back all enemies immediately in front of you, interrupting spellcasting and snaring them for 4 seconds. It has a 30-second cooldown and costs 10 Focus.
Wing Clip is a 50% slow ability that lasts for 15 seconds on enemy targets. It costs 30 Focus.
Scare Beast is an ability that lets you fear any Beast-type creature for up to 20 seconds. Damaging it cancels the effect, and only one Beast can be feared at a time. It costs 25 Focus.
Tranquilizing Shot is an ability that dispels 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from an enemy target. It also generates 10 Focus when you successfully do so.
Exhilaration is the Hunter's self heal. It heals you for 30% of your total health, and your pet for its full health on a 2-minute cooldown.
Freezing Trap is a long-term crowd control for all Hunter specs. It places a trap on the ground that encases the first enemy (not bosses or most big encounter adds) to touch it in ice for 1 minute. The effect breaks on damage. The trap has a 30-second cooldown, and the trap will exist for 1 minute after placing it.
Tar Trap is an AoE slow for all Hunter specs. It places a trap on the ground that causes a patch of tar to appear on the ground in an 8 yard radius around it when it is triggered, slowing all enemies in it by 50% for as long as they are in it. The patch of tar persists for 30 seconds, and the trap itself will exist for up to 1 minute before being triggered.
Flare places a flare on the ground that reveals stealthed players and mobs nearby. It lasts for 20 seconds, and has a 20-second cooldown.
Feign Death lets you pretend to be dead, dropping all threat/aggro on all enemies. When not in raid or dungeon encounters, it is a quick way to drop you from combat. In raids and dungeons, it can help you survive a wipe by using it when everyone else is about to die.
Misdirection causes you to redirect all the threat you do to a friendly target for the next 8 seconds. It has a 30-second cooldown. It is very useful for aiding your tank in picking up enemies that are spread far apart, such as wide-scale dungeon trash pulls. Note that this only applies to threat you personally generate, not that of your pet(s).
There are 3 different pet specializations. These specializations are determined by your pet family and they cannot be changed. We recommend having a variety of pets of each spec, so that you can cover any situation.
|Pet Spec||Passive Effect||Active Ability|
|Ferocity||Predator's Thirst gives you and your pet 10% Leech. Leech heals you based on how much damage you do.||Primal Rage, which provides the Bloodlust/ Heroism effect, increasing Haste for you and all nearby allies by 30% for 40 seconds. This shares cooldown with Bloodlust/Heroism and similar effects.|
|Tenacity||Endurance Training increases the maximum health of you and your pet by 5%.||Survival of the Fittest is a defensive ability that reduces the damage taken by you and your pet by 20% for 6 seconds. It has a 3-minute cooldown.|
|Cunning||Pathfinding increases the movement speed of you and your pet by 8%.||Master's Call removes all movement-impairing effects from your pet and a friendly target, and makes them immune to movement-impairing effects for 4 seconds. The friendly target can be you. It has a 45-second cooldown.|
Pet Families and Abilities
Every Pet Family has a special ability. We recommend having at least one of every special ability and spec combination.
|Special Ability||Description||Pet Families|
|Damage Reduction Cooldown||Reduces the damage taken of your pet by 50% for 12 seconds. This has a 1-minute cooldown.||Core Hound (Exotic), Scalehide.|
|Self-Dispel||Removes 1 Disease, 1 Magic, and 1 Poison effect from your pet. 10-second cooldown.||Bat, Ray|
|Healing Reduction||Reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25% for 10 seconds. This has a 6-second cooldown, which means that it will be active all the time.||Carrion Bird, Ravager, Scorpid, Wasp.|
|Damage Reduction On Low Health||Reduces your pet's damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds when your pet falls below 40% health.||Gorilla.|
|Dodge Chance Cooldown||This ability increases your pet's Dodge chance by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.||Cat, Wind Serpent|
|Slow/Snare||Reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Crocolisk, Spider, Tallstrider, Wolf, Chimaera.|
|Special Ability||Description||Pet Families|
|Damage Reduction Cooldown||Reduces the damage taken of your pet by 50% for 12 seconds. This has a 1-minute cooldown.||Krolusk (Exotic), Beetle, Turtle.|
|Self-Dispel||Removes 1 Disease, 1 Magic, and 1 Poison effect from your pet. 10-second cooldown.||Spirit Beast (Exotic), Crane, Stag|
|Healing Reduction||Reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25% for 10 seconds. This has a 6-second cooldown, which means that it will be active all the time.||Direhorn, Hydra, Riverbeast, Lizard.|
|Damage Reduction On Low Health||Reduces your pet's damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds when your pet falls below 40% health.||Oxen, Bear.|
|Dodge Chance Cooldown||This ability increases your pet's Dodge chance by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.||*Feathermane, Dragonhawk, Toad.|
|Slow/Snare||Reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Worm (Exotic), Crab.|
*Feathermane pets also have Updraft, which enables Slow Fall for you and your pet, allowing you to fall safely from almost any height while the pet is active for 30 seconds.
|Special Ability||Description||Pet Families|
|Damage Reduction Cooldown||Reduces the damage taken of your pet by 50% for 12 seconds. This has a 1-minute cooldown.||Shale Spider (Exotic), Boar, Mechanical.|
|Self-Dispel||Removes 1 Disease, 1 Magic, and 1 Poison effect from your pet. 10-second cooldown.||Sporebat, Moth, Water Strider (Exotic)|
|Healing Reduction||Reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25% for 10 seconds. This has a 6-second cooldown, which means that it will be active all the time.||Hyena, Rodent, Raptor.|
|Damage Reduction On Low Health||Reduces your pet's damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds when your pet falls below 40% health.||Goat, Pterrodax|
|Dodge Chance Cooldown||This ability increases your pet's Dodge chance by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.||Fox, Monkey, Serpent.|
|Slow/Snare||Reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Basilisk, Bird of Prey, Dog, Warp Stalker, Aqiri (Exotic).|
* Water Strider pets also have Surface Trot, a passive ability that lets you and your pet walk on water while out of combat. Damage will break this effect.
Exotic Pets (Beast Mastery-only)
|Pet Family||Specialization||Special Ability||Exotic Ability|
|Core Hound||Ferocity||Obsidian Skin reduces your pet's damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.||Molten Hide causes your pet to gain Molten Hide when it gets hit by a melee attack, causing it to deal slight Fire damage to all further melee attackers for 10 seconds. It can only activate every 60 seconds.|
|Chimaera||Ferocity||Frost Breath reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Froststorm Breath is an 8-second channeled ability for your pet that deals AoE damage to all enemies within 12 yards every 2 seconds. It costs 10 Focus to activate, and then 5 Focus per second to maintain.|
|Devilsaur||Ferocity||Monstrous Bite reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25%. It lasts 10 seconds and has a 6-second cooldown, meaning it is up all the time.||Feast lets you order your pet to consume a nearby Humanoid or Beast corpse within 5 yards, healing your pet for 20% of its maximum health, and restoring 20 Focus over 6 seconds.|
|Clefthoof||Ferocity||Thick Hide gives your pet a 60% damage reduction for 15 seconds when it falls below 40% health. This can only occur once every 2 minutes.||Blood of the Rhino is a passive effect that increases your pet's armor by 10%, and increases the effectiveness of all healing done to it by 20%.|
|Quilen||Tenacity||Stone Armor buffs your pet when it falls below 40% health, reducing its damage taken by 40% and healing it for 3% of its maximum health every 1 second for 15 seconds. This effect can only occur every 2 minutes.||Eternal Guardian is an instant resurrection for your pet. If your pet has died, you can use it to instantly revive it with 100% of its health. It has an 8-minute cooldown.|
|Spirit Beast||Tenacity||Spirit Pulse removes 1 Magic, 1 Disease, and 1 Poison effect from itself. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Spirit Mend heals a friendly target for a small amount instantly, and applies a small healing DoT for 10 seconds. It costs 5 pet Focus. It can be cast on yourself as well. Spirit Beasts also have the Prowl stealth ability, like Cats.|
|Worm||Tenacity||Acid Spit reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Burrow Attack is an 8-second channeled ability for your pet that deals AoE damage to all enemies within 12 yards every 2 seconds. It costs 10 Focus to activate, and then 5 Focus per second to maintain.|
|Krolusk||Tenacity||Bulwark reduces your pet's damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.||Calcified Carapace passively reduces your pet's Physical damage taken by approximately 10%. The proper spell data is not in the game for this ability yet.|
|Shale Spider||Cunning||Solid Shell reduces your pet's damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.||Shimmering Shale passively reduces your pet's magic damage taken by approximately 10%. The proper spell data is not in the game for this ability yet.|
|Aqiri||Cunning||Tendon Rip reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Dune Strider passively increases your pet's movement speed by 30%.|
|Water Strider||Cunning||Soothing Waters removes 1 Magic, 1 Disease, and 1 Poison effect from itself. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Surface Trot allows you and your pet to walk on water. Any damage taken will cancel the effect and cause you to fall in the water.|
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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