One of the major changes for hunters in Mists of Pandaria is the introduction of expertise as a hunter stat. Starting in MoP hunter shots will be able to be dodged by our enemies, and we will need to collect expertise rating to ensure that our shots are not dodged.

We’ll go into some more detail about how MoP expertise works in a bit, but first let’s cover the basics.

The Hunter Expertise Cap Basics

As a hunter in Mists of Pandaria (or any time after patch 5.0 hits) your shots will sometimes be dodged, even if the shot would otherwise be a hit (you still need to be hit-capped to avoid missing). Your chance to be dodged depends on what level mob you’re attacking in relation to your level. The percentages will stay the same at level 85 and 90, but the ratings will vary.

Level 85 Hunter (after patch 5.0 hits):

102.446 Expertise Rating = 1% Expertise at lvl 85
3% Expertise needed (308 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 85 mob

4.5% Expertise needed (461 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 86 mob
6% Expertise needed (615 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 87 mob (heroic boss)
7.5% Expertise needed (769 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 88 mob (Cata raid boss)

Note that hit ratings will be identical. Level 85 conversion comes from Simulationcraft & I have not yet confirmed, though they’re a very reliable source. Level 85 hunters will need to get their expertise by reforging into it. Note that the amount of hit rating required to be hit capped will drop my nearly 200 hit rating, making reforging into the expertise cap a bit easier. Still, it might be a good idea to start gathering more hit gear: you want to be hit-capped without having to reforge at all, since you’ll want to spend nearly all your reforges pushing stats into expertise.

Level 90 Hunter:

340 Expertise Rating = 1% Expertise
3% Expertise needed (1,020 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 90 mob

4.5% Expertise needed (1,530 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 91 mob
6% Expertise needed (2,040 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 92 mob (heroic boss)
7.5% Expertise needed (2,550 Expertise Rating) – capped against a level 93 mob (MoP raid boss)

This means that if you’re fighting a raid boss, 7.5% of your shots will be dodged by the boss. Attacking from behind does not prevent your shots from being dodged. The only way to reduce that is by having enough expertise rating to reduce your dodge chance by 7.5%, at which point none of your shots will ever be dodged.

Being at the dodge expertise cap is very important and is considered mandatory for all Mists of Pandaria hunters. Note however that any expertise rating you have over the cap is completely useless and doesn’t help at all.

Hit and Expertise work identically for hunters in MoP.

Dwarf & Troll racials: In Mists of Pandaria Dwarves and Trolls both gain 1% expertise as their new racial, thus their Expertise Cap is 6.5%, rather than 7.5%. This means that at level 85 they need 666 expertise rating, and at level 90 they need 2,210 to be expertise capped against a raid boss.

Hunter Pets and Expertise

Attacks from hunter pets can be dodged just like hunter shots, and expertise will reduce that chance. Hunter pets inherit expertise from the hunter — but in a very interesting way:

Hunter pets inherit expertise as half expertise and half hit rating. Thus if a hunter has 2% expertise, the pet will get 1% expertise and 1% hit. They inherit hit in exactly the same way. Thus if a hunter is both hit capped and expertise capped, their pets will be hit capped and (dodge) expertise capped.

It’s worth noting that hunter pet attacks can be parried as well as dodged (but not Kill Command — it cannot be parried), and being at 7.5% expertise will not prevent attacks from being parried.

Expertise and Parry

Expertise actually does more than just reduce your chance to be dodged. After you hit the dodge cap, expertise will reduce the chance that your attacks will be parried. Thus in WoW expertise has two caps: a dodge cap and a much higher parry cap. Since hunter shots cannot be parried anyway, we don’t care about getting more expertise than the dodge cap — so whenever we talk about the hunter expertise cap, we’re referring to the dodge cap.

Our pet attacks can be parried (but not Kill Command). However, enemies can only parry attacks that come from the front. By default hunter pets attack from behind as long as they don’t have aggro. Thus parry is not a concern for raiding.

However for pet tanking (including when leveling) your pet will have aggro and be attacking from the front, and its attacks can be parried. Unfortunately you can’t just stack extra expertise, since half of it gets wasted as more pet hit, and all of it is wasted for hunter shots.

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  1. Arth says:


    Thanks for the primer; doesn’t seem complex. Though I hope that this is a play balancing thing, not a conceptual change to make hunters seem more “huntery.” Because anyone can balance stats well with the proper attention to them, but juggling a new stat doesn’t do anything to enhance the class.

    • Frostheim says:

      I think this change was about class stat balance. All other physical damage classes need expertise, and all magic damage classes have a vastly higher hit cap. Hunters kind of slipped in between the two, so it makes sense that we had to go with one or the other.

  2. Itukaaj says:

    Thanks for the info

  3. Nostromo says:

    I understand that this was introduced to help itemization (agi accessories with enh shammies, kitties and rogues and agi mail with enh shamies), but after you download one of the few reforging addons going around, it all seems kind of pointless.

    Nevertheless, thank you frostheim! It’s because of things like this, that I keep comming back to WHU.

    • Thornon says:

      This is what will always separate the so so players from the good ones. Sure you can dl one of the addons but you still will not understand what they are doing. By understanding the caps you understand how your character works and can judge un refroged gear on he fly as to if you really need it or not. Willing to bet you use dps macro’s too and have no idea what they actually do.

  4. Omogon says:

    well……while it might be possible for a boss to dodge an arrow from some silly bow, it seems pretty odd that these big old clumsy mobs could dodge a bullet fired by an expert marksman

    New Racial Ability for Dwarves: “can’t dodge a bullet” 7.5% expertise when using guns :D

    • Zabada says:

      New Racial Ability for Dwarves: “can’t dodge a bullet” 7.5% expertise when using guns :D


      I second THAT !

    • Anonymous says:

      So glad I got the heroic agility ring with expertise should last me a good day of mop leveling

  5. Lokrick says:

    There is a small, incidental convenience of the way pet hit works, at least during leveling and gearing up. Since pets get the average of the hunter’s hit and expertise for both it’s hit and expertise. Thus, even if you are under on one stat, the pet will benefit from being over on the other stat, even if he hunter does not. So if the hunter has 7% hit and 8% expertise, the hunter will miss 0.5% of the time and waste some expertise. However the pet will be at exactly 7.5% hit and expertise. I haven’t done the math to see how much that convenience buys, but since it keeps the pet effective, it would be most relevant for BM, since the pet does relatively more damage there.

  6. BigSal says:

    Are we going to have enough secondary stat rating in our gear to be able to cap hit and expertise?

    • Frostheim says:

      In mists, absolutely. At level 85 during patch 5.0… it helps that the hit rating for the hit cap is going down, but if you’re already reforging heavily into hit, probably not. You’ll want to get more hit gear so that you can reforge your secondary stats into expertise.

    • Ril says:

      just fit the new values in and see. i didn’t have issues achieving both caps precisely, but have to reforge almost everything into exp.

      • ayashi says:

        I’d like to point out, in case it wasn’t obvious, that the hit/exp change has made so that EVERYONE (dpsers) needs a total of 5100 “touch” rating.
        Either 5100 hit for casters, or 2550hit+2550exp for melees and us.
        But I don’t doubt we’ll see people complain about this homogenisation (^_^)

  7. Lumchan says:

    What about burning Mastery for Expertise as well?

    • Ril says:

      exp will be worth as much as hit. it’s like a second hit stat.

      every other 2nd stat will be worth less.

  8. Ltradium says:

    damn was 5 rating points off like 2 months ago, hit rating is also the same.

  9. Pepprgefarm says:

    The question for a lot of hunters is how will expertise affect PVP balance. The introduction of expertise means that against classes with high dodge (rogues, ferals, enhance shamans), hunters will have to worry about expertise affecting our ccs/snares/slows, which frankly are quite a bit more important than other ranged classes in our ability to kite. Getting to the hit cap for pvp as a ranged caster is possible in live. It looks doubtful that we’d ever be able to reach a similar cap for expertise against high agility classes, which introduces RNG to our ccs, snares, etc. Unless blizzard decides to make certain shots/abilities undodgeable, this does not bode well for hunter PVP in MoP.

    • Itukaaj says:

      For 99% of us we expect a return to jousting play style. Classes such as Pallis with 40 yard snares and gap closers will be hard to keep off. Although the Sims are showing huge drop offs in damage top raid beta testers are still performing ok.

      The problem is it seems to becoming from autistic weapon damage pet damage and Stampede. This bodes poorly for signature shot burst. And with expected resilience hunters may have some issues pressuring anyone at all. The very things we need to be successful in PVP threaten our PVE balance.

      Hopefully when all is said and done we get good TTK (time to kill) but right now some anecdotal TTK is that it is infinite. Which means we will not kill anyone.

      If and how we will be compensated remains to be seen. But I recommend getting really good at controlling your pet. Because they are the new dot/Raptor Strike to the 0 minimum range hunter who finds himself without range and opponents will be looking to take them down or control them.

  10. Muggshott says:

    Heh heh heh. Dwarf level 85 Expertise cap is 665.899.

    Anyway, was the pet Expertise tested with the Dwarven racial? I haven’t seen any information in that regard and the Draenei racial hit was bugged for quite some time.

  11. Shaun says:

    Blizz hates Hunters, they blow balls in MoP. Reroll warrior ftw.

    • Frostheim says:

      It’s a bit premature to be making these kinds of pronoucements. After all, just a couple weeks ago hunters were doing crazy high damage on the beta. Lots of changes still happening.

      • Shaun says:

        It’s an awesome class to play don’t get me wrong. Just seems you have to put out a whole lot more to be able to fully enjoy the class to its fullest portential and be able to keep up nowadays. Seemed like a down hill effect since Vaniilla/BC. Mabey it’s just me. That’s my opinion..

      • Shaun says:

        I hope Blizz dosen’t let us down! Can’t wait for MoP!!!

  12. Itukaaj says:

    I have a question for anyone who knows can we weapon chain and enchant/scope our ranged weapon in beta. This would be along the lines of tinker + enchant for gloves. Weapon chains will be mandatory in PVP

    • Pepprdgefarm says:

      I’ve been asking this question ever since they announced they were getting rid of melee weapons for MoP, however, I have yet to receive a response. My guess is we won’t be able to both weapon chain and use a scope. It sucks but what else can one say?

  13. FarElf says:

    I don’t know what has suddenly happened, but I am getting a syntax error every time I come to this site. I am also picking up a malware warning.

  14. ando says:

    thank you

  15. Xertia says:

    Thank god for hunters union. I just got home from work and I cant want to start playing with the new patch changes. Thanks for being dependable as always Frostheim. I’m too old and to slow to have to figure this out from step one.

  16. Hëman says:

    I currently have zero in expertise… which stat do I sacrifice to get to 7.5%? Crit, Haste?

  17. Agns says:

    So, this might be a silly question but I will ask it anyway…….as with other classes that use expertise, does the hunter now have to attack from behind to get the best DPS ?

  18. Frithael says:

    As a lvl 70 hunter Im not very happy about this update. I can only find 1 piece of gear with expertise and will have to gem for the rest at a huge loss of agility. Introducing a new stat for hunters and not updating older raid gear is not cool..

  19. Zuzu says:

    thanks for guide, but
    please HOLD ME … i’m about to cry !
    i “LOOOOOOOOVE” blizz soooo PHOOCKIN’ MUCH … :D

  20. Gaping says:

    MoP is a serious hunter upgrade:
    No minimum range.
    Much faster focus regen.
    Extra OP snare (disengage/binding shot)
    Innate Kill Shot glyph.
    Silence Shot for all specs
    Readiness for all specs
    Free Kill Command equivalent (lynx rush, ghost something etc)
    Lowered damage across the board.

    Until they nerf all the new OP Mop snares I will be on the hunter.

  21. Ryshat says:

    With engineering goggles I can put two +600 stat cog wheels in there. Are expertise and hit my best bets considering that would free up gear for optimized reforging or are there other secondary stats that would be better there?

  22. Gorokar says:

    So if I am a troll and therefore only need 6,5 % expertise to be capped, is my pet also hit an expertise capped? Or do I still have to aim for 7,5 % expertise to let the pet be hit/expertise capped?