Hunter Talents (WoW)  


See also: Hunter Talent Builds

Hunter talents, along with the rest of the hunter abilities, are divided into three separate points of focus for the class: Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival.

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Beast Mastery (BM)

The Beast Mastery tree focuses on the hunter's connection with nature and with his/her pet. Most of the talents improve the usefulness of the pet in some way, and the remaining talents generally affect aspects. One of the critical aspects of the Beast Mastery is the two talents that enhance the attack speed of the hunter, which has significant impact in later levels on shot rotations. Beast Mastery is also often considered the best tree for leveling in a class that needs no help leveling.

Key Talents

  • One With Nature - Provides Attack Power bonus when in Aspect of the Hawk. Common non-BM choice.
  • Frenzy - Provides attack speed bonus to pets.
  • Improved Mend Pet - gives the hunter a way to remove status effects from the pet.
  • Frevor - Instantly provides 50 focus.
  • Ferocious Inspiration - All party and raid members receive 3% damage increase.
  • Bestial Wrath/The Beast Within - makes the hunter and pet immune to crowd control, and improves their damage, for 18 seconds.
  • Beast Mastery - Allows the hunter to tame exotic beasts.

See Beast Mastery for more in-depth commentary on the Beast Mastery talents.

Marksmanship (MM)

The Marksmanship aspect of the hunter class emphasizes their use of ranged weapons. Critical skills enhance general shot damage, as well as improving select shot and sting skills, and adding a few new ones. Marksmanship hunters generally have the highest damage when only the hunter themselves is included, however they are typically outdamaged by beast masters when the pet is also considered. Considering marksmanship does not add anything particularly unique to a dungeon or raid group, they are generally not considered to be very desireable, but the activated abilities that come with the tree work very well in the arena.

Key Talents

  • Efficiency - Lowers the focus cost of widely used shots.
  • Go For the Throat - Greatly increases your pet's focus regeneration by adding 5 focus after every crit. Common non-MM choice.
  • Readiness - Finishes the cooldown of all hunter abilities.
  • Trueshot Aura - The Marksmanship talent boon for the rest of the group, "TSA" adds attack power to everyone in the party including the hunter and his pet.
  • Silencing Shot - A very poweful skill against casters, silencing shot can nullify spellcasting for 3 seconds out of every 20.
  • Chimera Shot - Refreshes Serpent Sting and provides 5% health back.

See Marksmanship for more details about the Marksmanship talent tree.

Survival (SV)

While hunters can output very high-level damage, and provide a tank for soloing or a PvP nuisance with their pets, the rest of the hunter's array of skills are related to keeping the hunter alive and to providing utility. In addition to wearing mail armor and having very high dodge rates, hunters are able to crowd control opponents using traps and the survival talent ability Wyvern Sting. Survival hunters, in particular, are very effective at these aspects of the class, and although their damage output tends to be lower than the other two specs, the idea is that survivalists bring something more to the group beyond just their DPS.

Key Talents

Note: Unlike other talent trees, the early and mid-range talents of the survival tree are heavily up to opinion and playstyle.

  • Hunter vs. Wild - Increases stamina by 4/7/10%.
  • Pathing - Increases ranged haste by 1/2/3%. Common non-SV choice.
  • Lock and Load - Chance to cause your next 2 Arcane or Explosive Shots to cost no focus and have no cooldown.
  • Thrill of the Hunt - Helps the hunter regen focus.
  • Hunting Party - Increases hunters agi and also increases raids ranged and melee attack speed.
  • Black Arrow - Provides a shadow damage dot to enemies.

See Survival for more details.

Talent Builds and Selections

Choice of how a player "builds" their character is based heavily on playstyle -- both their own tastes, and the parts of the game they engage in mostly.

  • Leveling: Beast Mastery is usually considered the optimal tree, with Marksmanship also being decent. Pets have difficulty maintaining aggro over survival hunters, and their damage is lower, making it a slower tree for soloing.
  • Instances: Each talent tree offers its own valid points. Beast Mastery and Marksmanship both do considerable damage, but Survival gives greater flexibility to react to situations and to help handle adds.
  • Raiding: During raid encounters, generally any spec has it's ups and downs. It really depends on how you like to play. Each spec provides the raid with unique buffs. One spec will ultimately reign over total dps but it's generally best to play what you are comfortable playing.
  • PvP: Each tree has their advantages. Survival hunters are harder to kill and can apply better crowd control, and beast masters cannot be crowd controlled while The Beast Within is active and have a pet that can chew up casters. However, for arenas, marksmanship is usually considered ideal since preventing heals through Scatter Shot and Silencing Shot is critical and the hunter's role in arena is limited to begin with.

See Hunter Talent Builds for common talent set-ups.

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This page last modified 2010-11-01 15:11:45.