How to Level a Hunter in Cataclysm

Posted: by Frostheim

Today over at WoW Insider, I have the hunter leveling guide on leveling starting at level 1:

It’s common knowledge that hunters are not just the best-looking players in WoW, but they are also the best class in the game. In the words of Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer), “Hunters are just awesome.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that Cataclysm is bringing with it a host of new hunters, taking advantage of the new class combos (everyone but gnomes can be hunters now) to start a brand, spanking new hunter from level 1.

We’ve already covered leveling your hunter from 80 to 85 for those of you already at the level cap, so today we’re going to talk about that haul from level 1 on up. Ah, the joys of the fresh young hunter — I remember them well! Taming your very first pet that will stay with you for the rest of your days. The moment you first truly understand that nothing in the game should ever hit you. The funny falls and failures of first learning to kite. I am almost envious of all you new hunters out there, getting to explore the greatest class for the first time.

Join me after the cut for the rundown of what you need to know to grow into the good-looking, radiant beacon of death that you deserve to be… Read More.

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  1. Zilron says:

    I can’t seem to leave a reply at WoW Insider (verification e-mail never arrives), so I’ll put this here.

    Great article (as usual), Frostheim!

    I just wanted to mention that Shift-T is mapped to pet attack (by default, anyway), and I find it easier to hit than Ctrl-1. Also, Ctrl-1 only works if you haven’t removed the attack command from your pet bar to make room for other abilities, like I have (or even just moved it to another part of the bar).

  2. Dourne says:

    Keyboard Remapping. I personally prefer to map my pet attack to the Tilde key. Since it looks like a dagger and that’s what Hunters used to start the game with and it’s right next to the number keys I’m going to be using to do all of my main attacks. Now I add in a Macro to cast Hunter’s Mark at the same time I send in my pet to attack (especially since it’s pretty much free now – just a cooldown) and then I’m ready to fire. This is just a questing leveling preference and if I’m doing a lot of instances I will swap it back for a regular pet attack so that I can control the hunter’s mark independently. I leave my pet attack on the ~ though so that I can send him to different targets quickly without interrupting my shot rotation.

  3. Poisonhorn says:

    Thanks for the great tips grandpappy. I’m so stoked for midnight release tonight. I could to the download, but you cant break tradition.

    Sergeant Poisonhorn the Kingslayer

  4. Jaeger says:

    Nice guide for the new hunters. So for lvling, BM is better to 80 and then MM is better to 85?

  5. Dourne says:

    Of course, after posting my last message, I received my Logitech G-Series Gameboard and now I’m starting all over with key bindings. Nothing like a blank canvas (underlit with soft glowing neon colors of your choosing) to try to figure out where you should put your key bindings. Of course, now that I have a Beast for a PC (cranking out 50+ fps flying in Northrend in Windowed mode while watching Die Hard and Kidd Kraddick in the Morning in other windows), I’m going to consider modifying my UI so that I don’t have all the basic toolbars up. I already added Recount, Omen, DBM and Power Auras (tuning will be fun), but may look at some others for maximizing my new fullscreen real estate.
    And yeah, I know this may sound like I’m the guy with the new PC, but my last PC was still running PC 133 and I was still making it work for over 5 years, so don’t think I haven’t done my time in the bottom rungs. I’m just glad everything has realigned where I can be back toward the top end of the spectrum and actually consider doing Instances and possibly someday some raiding (never a realistic possibility before). So if you have any good ideas, feel free to give a shout out.

  6. jofsson says:

    I’m a level 56 hunter. Most of the time im leveling in5-man dungeons. Should i still spec BM ?

    • Ulfbane says:

      It depends. Although I’m certainly no expert, I’ve heard that with heirlooms MM is the easier spec for leveling. Of course, not all of us have those heirlooms (I certainly don’t). In that case BM is still probably your best bet. Even though your hunter DPS will be lower than in SV or MM, your pet DPS should make up the difference. Besides, BM gives us those nifty little talents like [Pathfinding] to make our lives easier.

      That having been said, you really can’t go wrong with your leveling spec. Just because BM may be the best does not mean the SV and MM are bad choices for the grind to 80, it just means they’re not as suited to leveling.

  7. Al says:

    I rolled Worg hunter to level again – my second hunter. It was such a great experience to level once more knowing all of those things that I actually only picked up having hit 80 after WOTLK!

    It made the experience so much better and I have to say that my preparation for heroics for my main hunter having hit 85 is much more relaxed now that I know what I have to do.

    I must say though that the level to max, heroic, heroic, heroic, gear up, raid shot rotation needs some re-work.

    • Ramsese says:

      what specializations do you have on your worg hunter? i just started one and can’t find any recommendations on it

  8. BoneHunter says:

    Some advice to hunters – make sure you get all of the Deepholm quests done because you will need to get Therazane rep for the shoulder buff, and there’s a ring which you will want as well. I’ve had to go back as a level 85 hunter and spam through the quests which is painfully slow. You will also need Ramaken rep for a belt and the helmet buff. Finally the Twilight Highlands quest sequence for Wildhammer rep for the helm and the gloves at the end of the quest line. So Deepholm-Uldar-Twlight are the 3 areas to focus on. You can skip the underwater area (although it’s amazing), and Hyjal (except for Terrorpene the Turtle).

  9. Frostheim says:

    Actually I’d argue that you really want to do Hyjal for the boots — they’re actually our bis boots at the moment. You’ll replace your Twilight Highlands gear when you raid, but you’ll keep the Treads of Malorne!

  10. nepweacle says:

    You are absolutely right. In it something is also to me this idea is pleasant, I completely with you agree.

  11. wow totally newbi says:

    Did anyone try 100% agility hunter? i mean only str for bows (I’ve never played wow before and I dont know if bows requiere str)

    • snuzzle says:

      Bows do not require strength. Your hunter’s primary stat should be 100% agility, on everything. So yes. Everyone has tried a 100% agility hunter… and that’s the best way to play it :)

  12. Garghuf says:

    whats best marks man proffesions