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Top Mistakes Marksmanship Hunters Make (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Mar 20, 2018 at 09:33 by Azortharion 922 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

These are the most common mistakes that players make when playing Marksmanship Hunter. The goal is that you can learn how to improve your own game and avoid mistakes by being more aware of the mistakes that others are making. There is a good chance that some of these apply to you. They are listed in no particular order.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Azortharion, the main theorycrafter of the spec. He is also an accomplished player who raids in Solaris. You can also watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Having High Downtime

Since Marksmanship Hunters are always able to cast something whether we are on the move or not, and because we can generate our own Focus with Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot, Marksmanship Hunters are essentially "GCD-locked", meaning that any given moment in the fight, we are going to be pressing our buttons and casting something. This differs from Beast Mastery Hunters who cannot generate their own Focus, but instead have to sometimes sit and wait passively as they acquire Focus to cast something.

The mistake many make is that they allow downtime to creep into their rotation, meaning time during the fight that is not spent casting anything. It is very important to always be casting something, no matter what happens in a fight. The best Marksmanship Hunters will have way more Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot casts than someone more average, in large part because they do not ever stop casting when moving or dealing with mechanics.

Your goal should be always to be casting something, even during split-second movements or adjustments in your position midfight. Any little "hole" should be filled with Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shots, instead of being left empty. Be aggressive in how you press your buttons — if your hand is ever relaxing mid-fight, you are probably falling behind.

2. Overcapping Focus

Since we are not completely limited by Focus in terms of what we can cast, due to having our own generator, it is a common issue for Marksmanship Hunters to overcap their Focus, effectively wasting it. This is usually due to not casting Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot enough, or letting Vulnerable Icon Vulnerable windows "slide by" without actually utilizing them by casting Aimed Shot, a mistake most commonly made when dealing with mechanics or movement while trying to DPS.

While not overcapping Focus is important, if you do end up reaching the Focus cap, that does not mean you should stop casting things. Minimizing downtime is more important than minimizing Focus waste.

3. Not Saving A Murder of Crows for Execute

Whenever A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows deals damage on a target below 20% health, it will give you a stack of the buff  Icon Bullseye, increasing your critical strike chance. Pairing this buff with Trueshot Icon Trueshot near the end of the fight is essential for good Marksmanship DPS, and if Crows comes up a bit before reaching 20%, you should be delaying it until the moment the boss hits 20%, allowing you to reach 30 stacks quicker, instead of just casting it on cooldown like you usually would during the middle of the fight.

4. Aimed Shot Casts Outside Vulnerable

As a Marksmanship Hunter, the only reason you should ever cast Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot when Vulnerable Icon Vulnerable is not up, is when you do not have any Marking Targets Icon Marking Targets procs and you are about to cap on Focus. In other words, preventing yourself from Focus capping is more important than casting Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot during Vulnerable, but it is still a common mistake that players either forget to put up Vulnerable, or they cast too many Aimed Shots when they have run out of procs. Focus is a valuable resource, save it for when your Aimed Shots are doing 40%+ more damage instead of spending it on weaker non-Vulnerable Aimed Shots, but do not waste your Focus either by overcapping it, as that is even worse.

5. Not Casting Windburst Enough

 Icon Windburst is just like Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot as far as the role it plays in your rotation, but it is a much more valuable, higher-damage cast than Marked Shot is. This means that every time you cast Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot instead of Windburst, you are throwing away free Focus and damage for no good reason. You should not cast Windburst whenever it comes off cooldown, but if it is available and you need to start a new Vulnerable window, you should always use it instead of Marked Shot Icon Marked Shot.

6. Not Knowing How To Sim Yourself

It is impossible to correctly play and optimize an Marksmanship Hunter without using RaidBots to sim your own character, there are simply too many variables involved to intuitively figure out what gear to wear and so on without simming it first. Generally speaking, a simulation should be the first and final say in the gear you end up wearing for any given situation.

On top of this, simming is now very easy with no need to understand SimulationCraft APL's or installation yourself. All you will need is the in-game SimulationCraft AddOn, and the RaidBots website. Below you can find a video on how to sim your own character using the website.

7. Analyzing Your Mistakes as a Marksmanship Hunter

When it comes to identifying and improving your mistakes, we strongly recommend the website WoWAnalyzer - it will analyze your logs and give you a report detailing how you did on the problems above and more.

8. ChangeLog

  • 20 Mar. 2018: Added common mistakes page.
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