Raiding as a hunter Specs
Right now, Survival is the raiding spec of choice although buffs to Marksmen and Beast Mastery seem to be coming up so check back in here after the next patch
The current Cookie Cutter spec is 1/9/31
. Why Careful Aim?
Simply because it's more dps than an extra 20% focus regen for your pet or 20% extra attack power from Aspect of the Hawk. Why only 1/2 Serpent Spread?
Because 6 seconds of Serpent Sting is enough, most of the AoE damage you do comes from improved Serpent Sting and Multi Shot anyway plus you'll either shoot a new Multi within 6 seconds or the mobs are dead.
The Prime Glyphs should be fairly obvious, although you can substitute Serpent Sting for Arcane if you find that you are using Arcane Shot a lot. In ideal circumstances these two glyphs are currently pretty much equal in dps.
For Major Glyphs it is a little less clear. I find Mending to be very valuable as it gives your pet a lot more survivability when it takes AoE damage. Disengage should be pretty obvious as it's a great tool to avoid AoE or unnecessary movement with and a shorter cooldown on that is always good. The last spot could be filled by Trap Launcher, Ice Trap, Master's Call, Deterrence or Wyvern sting depending upon the needs of an encounter.
Minor Glyphs are standard and pretty straight forward. How do I play this spec?
Keep Explosive Shot on cooldown
Keep Black Arrow on cooldown
Keep up Serpent Sting
Shoot Cobra Shots in between.
Use Arcane Shot to dump focus.
Or with a few more words: It's all about Explosive Shot.
Explosive shot has a cooldown of 6 seconds and with a global cooldown (GCD) of 1 second you can fit 5 GCDs in between Explosive Shots.
However, Cobra Shot has a base cast time of 2.0 seconds. You should aim for enough haste to get this down to 1.66 seconds so you can fit 3 Cobra Shots in between Explosive Shots.
This does create a conflict when you need to (re)apply Black Arrow or Serpent Sting as those are instant, what is currently thought to be the best dps is to use an extra Arcane Shot (so you're shooting 2 Cobra Shots and 2 instants) and delay your next Explosive Shot by 0.5 seconds.
During cooldowns such as Bloodlust/Heroism or Rapid Fire your Cobra Shot cast time drops a lot and you'll simply be firing more Cobra Shots and more Arcane Shots to dump focus in between Explosive Shots. So what about Lock & Load?
Explosive Shot > Cobra Shot > Explosive Shot > Arcane Shot (Or Black Arrow if it's off cooldown) > Explosive Shot. Why should I spec cookie cutter?
Because it's the spec that will get you the most dps and that's what we do in raids.
You're most likely not reading this to know more about the hunter theorycrafting but because you want the basic info you need to start raiding so you're best off using the cookie cutter spec. This is also why I'm not going into details about the other specs here, they're simply not competitive. But I like spec Y or Z better than spec X!
They're really not very different so get used to it. All three specs need to keep their pets alive and whether it deals 10% or 40% of your total dps is just numbers. And shooting a chimera shot instead of an explosive shot doesn't really make any difference either. Get over your sentimental clinging to a certain spec or your desire to be unique through a different spec and spec cookie cutter so you can do the best at what you need to do in a raid: Dps. Pets
Right now, you want a cat
as it's the best dps pet by far.
There are other pets that bring raid buffs/debuffs that can be very good in certain circumstances but I'll pay more attention to those in the what can I bring to a raid section. For straight up Dps, you simply want a cat so if you don't have one yet, this is the time to tame one. Professions
Leatherworking: Currently the single best hunter profession due to the 130 agility on wrists enchant.
Jewelcrafting: profession #2 because you can get agility.
Blacksmithing: A fairly expensive profession that has little to do with hunters but the option of gemming extra agility gems makes it good for dps.
The rest of the professions are more or less equal in dps. What can I bring to a raid? - 10 man - 25 man Preparing for raids Tips & tricks Edited, Dec 31st 2010 12:03pm by Aethien