How to Maximize Hunter DPS in "World of Warcraft"

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Capable of powerfully focused single-target damage and hard-hitting area of effect damage, the hunters of "World of Warcraft" are mighty allies when played by skilled players -- or huge liabilities if played inexpertly. To avoid earning one of the many labels of shame the "WoW" community has invented for hunters, you need to understand the finer points of your hunter: what statistics work, what talents are most useful and how to best use your moves.

Stat Priority

  • Agility is the hunter's primary statistic, and is required on every piece of gear outside of trinkets, which may have other useful stats or abilities on them. Each of the specializations have different priorities for secondary stats, with Multistrike and Critical Strike often occupying the top two spots. Most of the stats are very close in value after those two, depending on your specialization. While leveling, focus on just getting pieces with more Agility, and don't worry about other stats until you reach about level 80.

DPS-Enhancing Talents and Glyphs

  • Hunters have several talents for improving DPS. At level 60, Beast Mastery (BM) hunters do well with Dire Beast, while Marksmanship (MM) does best with Thrill of the Hunt or Steady Focus. Survival (SV) is a toss-up between Thrill of the Hunt and Dire Beast. At level 75, A Murder of Crows is the best talent for all hunters, while at level 90 Glaive Toss is best for single-target and Barrage for situations with more enemies. At level 100, BM hunters do best with Adaptation, while MM and SV hunters are best suited with Lone Wolf. Since hunter glyphs are primarily for utility and survivability, none are useful for enhancing your DPS.

Basic Rotation Elements

  • All hunters have a set of moves to prioritize based on the situation, called a rotation. Since each specialization has unique abilities with their own priorities, this section only covers the common elements. If you've taken Dire Beast and A Murder of Crows, use them on cooldown. Glaive Toss and Barrage should also be on cooldown, and use Kill Shot as much as possible when the target is below 20 percent health. BM hunters use Cobra Shot to generate Focus, while MM and SV hunters use Steady Shot. BM and SV hunters dump excess Focus with Arcane Shot, while MM hunters use Aimed Shot. In multi-target situations, replace Arcane shot with Multi-Shot, use Barrage if you took that talent and set down Explosive Traps in the midst of the enemies.

Pet Selection and Important Gameplay Considerations

  • Pet choice is important due to the buff it brings to the group. Sporebats are popular as they provide haste, an uncommon buff. Players using the Lone Wolf talent forgo pets entirely, but can select a buff to provide to the group. When running with a group, always allow the tank a second or two to grab a threat before attacking, as your attacks can easily pull mobs off the tank otherwise. Always spec your pet for Ferocity when in a group, as this is the strongest DPS type -- Tenacity is to make your pet a tank during questing and solo content, and Cunning is generally for stuns, roots and other crowd control during Player vs. Player.

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