When we talk about Extreme Hunter Soloing, we aren’t talking about just soloing instances on normal mode,  or a raid boss from a few expansions back. Extreme soloing encompasses such a large range of mechanics and gameplay that are often unexplored frontiers for the soloing world – largely the encounters extreme soloists work on are undefeated or have never been done by our class before, making it a challenging, yet rewarding endeavor to tackle.

This guide will go into talents and glyphs for extreme soloing.

Spec

The choices are generally only Beast Mastery and Marksman. Both have their advantages, and are going to shine individually on a fight by fight basis. Beast Mastery excels exceptionally well at pet survivabilty and utility, thanks to Adaption, as well as gives us access to our two most important soloing pets: Shale Spiders and Spirit Beasts, exclusive to the spec. We’ll talk about why these pets are important later in the guide. With Marksman, we are given an additional source of healing through Glyph of Chimera Shot. While not nearly as potent as it was prior to WoD launch, it is still a considerable and frequent amount of healing. Marksman, especially in its current state, will only ever really be favored on fights where your pet is inactive, dismissed, or performing another role entirely outside of DPS’ing.

Pet Spec

Tenacity, with extremely rare exceptions. Last Stand is too strong of an option to ignore. Rarely will you opt out of ‘tanking’ out your pet for additional Rabid damage.

Talents

Lvl 15 Talent

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera will get you the most potential self-heals because of the Glyph of Liberation, as well as of course reducing the timer on Deterrence charges for more potential uptime over the course of the encounter.

Lvl 30 Talent

All of the talents are potentially useful.  Depending on the situation (boss with dispellable debuffs, trash pulls, individual trash mobs) the choice may vary. I generally prefer Binding Shot, as it is one of the longest stuns in-game (5-sec), AoE’able, and is only on a 45-sec cooldown.

Lvl 45 Talent

While Aspect of the Iron Hawk is our best mitigation talent, chances are we will be taking too much damage in the encounter that outside of our other healing sources, we would die.  So that’s out.  Spirit Bond is the default recommendation; for most fights it will produce the most overall heals, to both you and your pet – a strong option plain and simple.  Exhilaration, as crazy as it sounds, does have some benefit – if there  is an instance where your pet is taking more damage than can be healed through, you can DPS until your pet is about to die, keep him alive for a while using the Glyph of Endless Wrath, then cast Exhilaration for a full heal along with a 10sec immunity, a powerful strategy if there is a need for it.

Lvl 60 Talent

While largely all unrelated to soloing, 9 times out of 10 you’ll be interested in the highest yielding DPS talent for your spec. The only instance where a Lvl60 talent has any extra soloing benefit is Dire Beast, summoning that additional pet for aggro on either a boss or add, whether it is to stay in combat or avoid some damage can be a big deal.

Lvl 75/90 Talents

Use whatever will yield the best DPS gain.  These shouldn’t change much from our general PvE recommendations.

 

Glyphs -

Glyph choice is extremely crucial in soloing.  I’ve broken them into categories because there aren’t 3 glyphs that are right all the time.

Strong Contenders:

Glyph of Animal Bond

Glyph of Mending

Glyph of Misdirection – Threat management in soloing is always possible without this, you’ll just need to consider auto-shotting for a time, or using a well-timed Feign Death between 30-second windows. With that said however, this is still a strong glyph.

Glyph of Chimera Shot (MM only)

Glyph of Liberation (If chosen, become familiar with using Disengage on cooldown)

Healing is usually our #1 concern in extreme soloing.  We’ll rarely deviate from these.

Possible Substitutions

Glyph of Endless Wrath – BM spec only.  This will be great for keeping our pet alive during large, spike damage phases.

Glyph of Mend Pet – When our pet is dying to dispellable debuffs.

 

 

 

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  1. Tymtrvlr says:

    Ok now I’m confused(my normal state). I’ve never liked BM or SV for that matter I’ve been a hardcore MM hunter from the go. Everything I’ve been reading,mostly on this site which by the way is my hunter bible,tells me MM is out. This post remarks on MM as good for extreme soloing? Have they re-nerfed MM so I can get a decent DPS now? I’m leaning a lot from the other types of hunters but I’d prefer MM over all. I’ve still not broken into the BM realm but I’m doing decent with SV even though I have trouble with a steady shot rotation. Keep up the great work and accolades to everyone that helps with this fantastic site. I hope to make it to one of your events sometime.

    • Arth says:

      What Flint said below. Soloing is less about raw dps numbers, more about survivability. If you can survive a fight in any spec, the top dps spec is best (in this case, probably BM). But “extreme” refers to the outliers of soloing content…the hardest stuff. To truly min/max your survivability, you’re either BM or MM depending on the fight, and MM will net more overall heals.

  2. Flint says:

    @ Tymtrvlr – Extreme Soloing is not about DPS burst for the most part it is about Surviving and keeping your pet alive. Your pet keeps more aggro than you and takes the majority of damage. You out heal the damage it takes and you win. That is for the most part the simple rules of Extreme soloing.

  3. Gib says:

    Excellent! Can’t wait to get back to wow next week and try all this out. Thanks for the hard work, this is the best site for hunters!

  4. Saberos says:

    A better glyph might be Glyph of Deterrence, if you’re looking purely at survival. Also, if Glyph of Disengage is a valid option because of kiting, then so is Glyph of Black Ice. But I guess that depends a lot on the situation.

    • Arth says:

      Agreed, and there’s similar nuance to any area of hunter-dom. But guides are about drawing the line somewhere, since you’re writing to a general audience, not for every possible situation.

      Realistically though, I doubt there will a time we want those glyphs over others. But any hunter who is performing soloing endeavors at a high enough level to consider such glyphs…those hunters will be able to make that determination on their own.

  5. Blur says:

    This is great for some of the extreme soloing for irrelevant content that some of us want to revisit and possibly MoP 5-man regs. But what I’d like to see for extreme soloing at this point in the game is how to take down some of the rare elites that abound in Pandaria. Most of them can be soloed with no problem at even a measly 460 ilvl but the bane of my Glorious achievement are the ones in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

    • Amras says:

      460 ilvl? I haven’t hit 450 yet and almost soloed half of all the rares out there. A lot of them with lesser gear or even when i wasn’t lvl 90. It’s not that hard so i’m really looking forward to Brawlers Guild in next patch :)

    • Arth says:

      Well, actual soloing endeavors is the next step. I don’t have an ETA, or the exact targets I’m trying to hit, but I hope to highlight some soloing achievements.

  6. Dx43 says:

    Glyph of Endless Wrath: Keep in mind that your pet will lose aggro for the time it is unkillable.

    • Arth says:

      Yes, but there’s a “but” in there. The aggro dropped has triggered sporadically in my tests, and I’ve also managed to ping pong the mob back to my pet with a FD. There may be a hotfix that makes these not not happen, but for the time being we have some options that make the glyph still viable.

  7. brian9 says:

    I really enjoy farming old content but ive ran into a big issue… everything seems to now be immune to my turtles growl so a lot of time im left tanking cause feign resisted!? Then will usually have to blow readiness so I don’t die md pet he has threat for 20secs and then im back tanking. So ive had to switch to glyph of md and now weave it in constantly. I’d like to try to solo naxx 25 but worried about growl, bt was a nightmare last week without md glyph. Soloing as SV maybe I’ll spec MM.

    Do malygos 10 on a warrior, lock n hunter and the damn void walkers taunt works but not growl

    • Arth says:

      If this is an issue for you, I’d recommend going as BM spec. Reason being, if you prioritize Kill Command every time it’s up, your pet will have more threat than you even without things like MD and FD.

      Also, don’t rely on Growl to work on raid bosses. It doesn’t. However, leave Growl on auto-cast, as there’s a threat mechanic to it outside of the taunt.

  8. Dolphin says:

    Glyph of Misdirect is mandatory for me while soloing.