View all WHU WoW Hunter Guides.

One of the things I think the WHU does really well is organizing all of the information that we present. Most of this is through the guides section, but lately I’ve been working to improve the organization further as the WHU has more and more hunter information. Thus this guide, which focuses solely on how to find the various hunter builds for Mists of Pandaria hunters.

WoW Hunter Talent Builds Updates

Every hunter guide on the WHU has that “Reviewed and Accurate” logo in the upper right corner. Below the graphic will always be the date and the patch number for the last time a guide has been reviewed for accuracy. Thus you’re always able to tell at a glance that the hunter build information you’re looking at is up-to-date, and not something left over from Wrath.

These hunter builds have been updated for patch 5.2.

These hunter builds have all been constructed for the MoP hunter, and the raid builds are focused on level 90 Mists of Pandaria hunters.

Hunter Raid Builds & Talent Specs

The following hunter builds guides focus on hunter specs to optimize your hunter talents for raiding. These builds are constructed specifically for raid boss fights. We aren’t really concerned about putting a build together just for trash. Trash is going to die anyway, but it’s the bosses that require that your build has every last talent point optimized.

As always, we put together hunter builds that are the best dps builds for the majority of boss fights for that hunter spec. But keep in mind that with the different mechanics of different raid boss fights, sometimes different talent builds will be better in certain fights. For true cutting-edge progression raiders, it’s worth re-speccing to a different build for each boss. For most of the rest of us, we try to find one solid build for our spec that will generally do the best on the majority of the fights — and that’s what you’ll find with these hunter raid builds.


Hunter Pet Talent Builds

As hunters, we need to understand that it’s not just our hunter talents that matter, but our pet talents as well. But in Mists of Pandaria our pets no longer have talents of their own. Instead we just choose whether to make them Ferocity, Cunning, or Tenacity and then they get what they get. Ferocity is always the best DPS pet spec.

Hunter Leveling Builds

Hunters are certainly one of the easiest classes in WoW to level, and it’s worth stressing that you can absolutely level your hunter in any build or spec that you’d like. Leveling is easier than ever in Mists of Pandaria, and it doesn’t require an absolutely optimized leveling build to cruise through quests and 5-mans. That said, if you are interested in maximizing your hunter leveling experience, here are the WHU recommended hunter leveling builds:


Hunter Extreme Soloing Builds

Hunters are one of a handful of classes out there that can participate in extreme soloing — soloing 5-man and raid content that used to take an entire group or raid to handle. Extreme soloing requires a completely different mindset and hunter build than traditional soloing. MoP has made extreme soloing stronger than ever, and here is a great extreme soloing hunter build to get you started:


Hunter Pet Tanking Builds

In addition to our extreme soloing endeavors, hunter pets can actually make surprisingly effective tanks. Hunter pet tanking of raid content is a variation of extreme soloing — tackling content we were never meant to do and proving once again the awesomeness of our class. Like extreme soloing, hunter pet tanking builds require a different set of priorities from normal soloing builds or raiding builds. Arthemystia has you covered for hunter builds for pet tanking:


Hunter PvP Builds

Alas the WHU is not the place to go for hunter PvP answers. We PvP seldom and haven’t done competitive PvP since BC — we’ve tried to get PvP writers on here in the past, but they never seem to stay with the game for long.

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  1. Arthemystia says:

    Technically the first pet tanking guide is still incorrect about the Steady Shot glyph, which was a complete brain fart as I was writing it. There’s no obviously useful tanking Prime glyph outside of KC though, so it’s a minor oversight.

  2. faignz says:

    The compendium is great, really appreciated!

    I was looking to try a BM build this week for Sinestra and see how the 100% increase in haste works in p3. Do you happen to have glyph suggestions for the specs as well besides the point explanations, etc?

    • Frostheim says:

      Click on the “Guides” link on the left nav, or the top nav, and you’ll see all of the hunter guides, including glyph guides for each spec.

  3. Hyrne says:

    And, they rock by the way. ALL of them. I finally forced myself to cave and drop MM as my top dps spec and went BM for the good of the raid because we’ve been missing the 3% damage buff since Cata came out. I know BM wasn’t the awesome billion man parts damage spec, but if it increased everyone else’s DPS, then so be it.

    Nope, I’m still competing for the top of our charts in the raid. Two ‘Locks and I continually push ourselves to top the damage done and be at the bottom of damage taken. The BM spec I snagged from here, including haste levels, glyphs, etc. help me keep us competitive.

    Got heroic Chimeraon down Sunday. Working on Heroic Atremedes now (though I went SV on that for the damn Obnoxious little brats).

  4. Kalven and Hobs says:

    I was going to make a snarky comment comparing this post to a recap episode, but whoops, I just did!

    Thanks for the compendium, though, as it prompted me to double check my SV spec for two in Sic ‘Em or Careful Aim. They’re correctly in Careful Aim, but I then noticed 0/3 One with Nature, 3/3 Bestial Discipline. What was I thinking? More importantly, what was I drinking?

  5. Untitled says:

    Like Kalven, I look at this post as a bit of a content cop out restating that which has already been stated. I find myself wondering what purpose it might serve, although I must admit that Faignz’ question reveals that the information arrangement isn’t so plainly obvious as I thought. :shrug:

    • Frostheim says:

      I feel the like page needed to be created for functionality reasons, to make it easier for people to find the stuff they’re searching for. But also very pleased at the host of comments across various hunter build guides as a result!

  6. GTyoungblood of Garrosh says:

    I’d still have to say that MM is the best for leveling a hunter quickly. It doesn’t really matter until Aimed shot is reached though.

    [Caveat: I just about finished writing this, and realized a disclaimer is in order. This is leveling with a bunch of heirlooms, Shoulders*, Chest* (with stats enchant), Cloak* (with agility enchant), two daggers* with +15 agility enchant at level 1 (ok, 1 dagger until level 20, then both) Bow* with a scope. *These Heirlooms are the ones from the Argent Tournament Dailies. ]

    Once a hunter gets Aimed shot, its all over but the dying. I’ve taken my human Hunter. Crichtonn, to level 83. So far, he almost always kills the quest mobs in single shots. If the first Aimed Shot didn’t kill it, a follow up shot of concussive Shot or maybe an Arcane Shot does finish it off, 99.99% of the time. The pet hardly even gets a chance to do anything at all while I’m leveling, except run back and forth. Often these are mobs 3 or 4 levels higher as well.

    I can see how BM is more fun, my first two hunters, now both 85, are BM/MM and BM/SV. Both of them leveled as BM and it was very enjoyable. But now, I’m spreed leveling Crichtonn 83, and Kaegogi (24) as quick as I can (Heirlooms, etc..) and MM just blows the the barrels out of BM in that comparison.

    Though the DPS is probably comparative, between BM and MM when leveling, the BM spec is relying on the pet to get there first, and hold aggro, at least until level 76 and Misdirect is gained. Then the hunter can begin hitting, trying not to take aggro off the pet. As MM, the hunter sure does get all the aggro, but the mob is dead before it closes in. And on the rare occasion the pet gets to use its charge/stun ability to help you out in that.

  7. Quill2006 says:

    Last night, I realized (after returning to WoW from a two-month hiatus) that all of my pets’ talents had been reset…again. Desperate for a quick fix, since I was queued for a heroic and it was about to pop, I tabbed out and did a Google search for pet talent builds, expecting WHU to show up at or near the top. It did, but for some reason it was the Wrath version of the guide. On most websites, that would have meant searching around for several minutes to find the current version; not on WHU! You’d linked the current version to the out-of-date version and made a note telling your readers to go to that one. Fantastic! I grabbed the build and was prepared for my heroic when the queue popped.

    The time you spend on organization on your site does make a huge difference for your readers, even if we don’t realize it all the time!

  8. Papaoomowmow says:

    As a casual who quit the game for awhile and now is back as an ULTRA casual…. Frost was very correct about the functionality of this page. Thank You Frost!

    One minor note. Zeherah’s site says that with my very humble gear I’m about 125 dps better off dropping one point of Frenzy and maxing pathing in my MM build.

    But of course for raiders with better to much better gear, that may well be different.

  9. Nick says:

    I don’t understand how these are reviewed and tested. Bombardment is essential in a raiding spec. The hardest encounters in the game currently (Cho and Sinestra) both require a good portion of aoe. Wit the multi-shot buffs in 4.1 hunters are very capable of being close to the top aoe class in a raid situation. You have 2/2 in termination yet it’s a wasted talent. You have to keep up ISS by steady shotting in pairs, but you’re also kill shotting the last 20% of a bosses health. The extra focus gained by termination is wasted. Resistance is futile is alright I guess however a point in rapid killing seems to play out much better. In every fight other than Valiona (even valiona if you’re porting), counsel, and Chimaeron there is some add mechanic that you could get a proc from. I don’t understand where you’re getting these talents from when you’re going against every other hunter source and I’m seeing no numbers to back them up either.

    • Nick says:

      Not to mention you got a lot of grief for doing your haste plateaus without pathing, and then you again leave out the third point in the talent build. Its better than frenzy from every other source other than you. How are those sources discredited and yours remains “correct”?

      • Arthemystia says:

        To answer the “when is SV outperforming MM” question, I went to stateofdps to check things out, which is just compiled data from WoL. Positions vary depending on the difficulty (10M, 25M, heroic mode, etc.) but in 10M, SV is the better on Magmaw, Maloriak, Halfus, and very close on a few others (to the point where the difference is largely negligible on the close fights). On 25M it’s just Magmaw. Though it’s interesting that in heroic modes, the gap seems to close considerably, with SV being the better on several fights (6 in 10M Heroic).

        I’m not sure anything concrete can be gleaned from those observations. Suffice it to say that both seem to be viable AoE specs right now, with MM the clear winner in single target currently.

        Your thoughts on Termination seem very dependent on a particular haste level, and may not be true of everyone, especially given difference in spec, buffs, lag/latency, etc. in regard to their haste-to-shot rate. That said, you may be right for a particular subset of hunter, as haste and focus levels vary depending on your situation. But for most, Termination will produce a healthy dps boost, because as long we aren’t capping out on focus during our rotation that extra focus back will indeed mean more shots.

    • Frostheim says:

      Bombardment is essential for aoeing — not for a boss fight spec. Most hunter prefer to bring SV to heavy AoE fights, since it still outperforms on aoe (though arguably BM has the highest short-term burst aoe). You can of course move two points into it (and the guide suggests where to do so, as I recall) if you really want to aoe in your MM spec — because, for example, the raid needs your MM buff.

      Rapid killing is a very poor talent because 1.) you have to have adds to kill, 2.) you have to be the one of your raid to get the killing blow, and 3.) the add has to actually grant experience, and boss adds don’t always do so.

      Termination grants you extra focus which allows additional shots fired. If your focus is getting too high you can replace arcane shots with Kill Commands for increased damage with the same number of global cooldowns. If you’re instead using Aimed Shot hardcasts, then you have a more substantial focus drain anyway.

      The value of any points in pathing is dependent on your position in the haste plateaus. There is, admittedly, no one right answer, even more so than usual : )

      • Nick says:

        On what Aoe fights does SV outperform MM? According to all of world of logs hard modes, MM surpasses SV in every fight including Sinestra, Cho’gall, Maloriak (all of what could be considered aoe essential fights). Not to mention rapid killing procs off of everything. Parasites on Magmaw, Bloods and worms on Cho, Whelps on Sinestra, sound adds on Atra, whelps on halfus, flowers on Conclave, Stormlings on al’akir. Termination isn’t a dps increase because no matter what the focus is wasted. Steady shot in pairs, 2 gcds, kill shot (not only a gcd but a focus free gcd), 1 gcd, a filler shot (or 2 if arcane), 2gcd, and another two steadies, 2 gcds, before your chimera. You’re gcd capped as soon as you put Kill shot into the rotation, thus making any extra focus gained be wasted anyways.

  10. hillbillyhatfield says:

    Thanks frost and everyone. I’m bookmarking this so I can have quick reference on anything. You do alot for us the hunters community.

  11. Papaoomowmow says:


    Does a “marked for death” target qualify as a “marked” target in Resistance is Futile?

    And if not and the target carries a hunter’s mark from another hunter does resistance is futile apply to all hunters in the fight or only the one who applied hunter’s mark?


    • Papaoomowmow says:

      Googled a bit to find that marked for death does not activate resistance is futile.

      I’ll just assume that when multiple hunters are in the fight, you do not have to have applied the hm ypurself to potentially benfit from rif.

  12. Kaikeyi says:

    Would it be possible to add a guide giving an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of each spec?

    I’m just coming back to raiding and I’m trying to work out which two specs I should bring along on raid night. It’s easy enough to find out some of this info (e.g. BM gives a bonus to damage and offers exotic pets), but it’d be nice to have a general discussion about how BM is best for movement-intense fights, while MM offers an interrupt and SV gives the best AoE. Ideally it’d cover both raids and heroic, given the different requirements of the two environments.

    I would like to add that I *love* your guides and find it very hard to play other classes where it’s hard/impossible to find this kind of up-to-date information.

  13. PingHansen says:

    How about a level 85 PVE spec for daily use?

    I don’t raid, as I don’t have the attention span required, but I do plan on running a fair bit of heroic 5-man insyances. Other than that, I’ll be puttering about doing stuff on my own, or helping friends. Thus I’d like a spec with a fair bit of oomph, but with good solo survivability.

    My secondary spec is PVP (Garwulf’s).

  14. PingHansen says:

    Er, perhaps I should mention that I prefer BM ;o)

  15. Ldylime says:

    Just wondering… why do you only have mm and sv builds for pvp? I pvp bm and guarantee I could take anyone in either of those lame pvp specs :P juuuust sayin.

  16. Bob says:

    Can anyone recommend a build for heroic or is survival still the best option? Thank you.

  17. Garghuf says:

    whats the best marks and survival proffesions

  18. HiHoStevo says:

    I am curious as to what the Haste “thresholds” are for a hunter…

    Mr. Robot wants me to re-forge some of my haste into Crit, which I assume is what proc’s my Lock & Load for a SV hunter… but Haste is good also and I want as much as I can get… lol

    Right now I am at 32.78 Haste, 33.39 Crit, 14.85 Mastery

  19. Tanksman514 says:

    Not to sound like a douche or a person that gos against the hunters commin bild but i find that point of no escape and serpent spred a henderince more then use in raiding i mean in raiding by the time you get to that addeven in trash its already worn off so theres no point in it and for serpent spred and point of no escape i mean come on ppl if its just for filler points why not put the 3 points in to hunter vs. wild it adds 15% stam and helps out in raiding the 2 other talints are for more pvp imho

    • Nuadormrac says:

      Some of us don’t find ourselves in need of the 3% extra hp? If we’re not in risk of dieing all the time…

      Now point of no escape I don’t use, but that is filler, as is your suggestion. Serpent spread I would, even if it only helps get trash down faster. Now a few bosses it can matter, but in general, more AoE damage has it’s uses.

      Ya know, the same issue could come up with 2 boot enchants, one with a slight run speed increase, and the other with slightly more dps. Some of us really don’t have problems moving, so don’t need the run speed increase; others seem to never get out of the fire in time, so need it. But those who don’t, shouldn’t penalize their output because some seem to bathe for a few moments. True serpent is more AoE then single target, and most bosses; but still. And no, not every guild CC’s all the trash pulls, even in cata….

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  21. Allarick says:

    That’s not correct, i have MM hunter for raid also for AOE and i have still best dps that other hunters in SV or BM … and then in BM never use a barrage but always Glave Toss!