When we talk about Extreme Hunter Soloing, we’re talking about just hunter and pet soloing instances on normal mode, or instances from previous expansions, including 40-man raids from vanilla or BC. We are not talking about questing or leveling — that’s just soloing. We don’t consider doing a group quest two levels higher than you extreme soloing, because that’s just what we expect from the hunter class.

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


These strategies rely on you knowing the Extreme Soloing Basics.  Specifically, the four basic strategies employed on bosses.  To review:

  • Tank & Spank: You send your pet in and you shoot. You keep up mend pet, and you heal more damage than your pet takes. The fight is eventually won. This covers a surprising amount of extreme soloing fights. These fights are basically just a simple check of your gear and your talent choices.
  • Burn: sometimes your pet is taking slightly more damage than you can heal, often on bosses with mini-bosses, or groups of mobs. In these fights it’s important to single target burn down one of them as fast as possible, so that your healing can once again out heal the incoming damage.
  • Superpet: on fights where there is AoE or other unavoidable damage that you take yourself, a solid strategy is often to just let your pet do all the tanking, and all the dpsing. Typically this works by sending your pet in, and then running out of range of the damage. You then sit just out of range, and step in every time you need to refresh mend pet, then run back out. If you take a bit of damage, you can bandage while waiting for the next Mend Pet.
  • Kiting: every now and then you find a boss where the best strat is just to kite him. You set your pet aside, and jump shot kite the boss to death.

These strategies will not always exist in a vacuum.  Be prepared to mix and match in certain encounters, and to find unique encounters that don’t fall into any of these categories.


The choices are BM and MM.  Like Cata soloing, MM is still our default.  This is primarily because, while all specs got a self-healing buff in MoP, Chimera Shot pushes MM to the head of hunter self-heals.  Threat should never be an issue with Misdirect and Feign Death.  BM will be most useful for “Superpet” strategies and various miscellaneous encounters.

Pet Spec

Tenacity, with extremely rare exceptions.


Lvl 15 Talent

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera will get you the most potential self-heals because of the Glyph of Liberation.

Lvl 30 Talent

Any of the talents are potentially useful.  Depending on the situation (boss with dispellable debuffs, trash pulls, individual trash mobs) the choice may vary.

Lvl 45 Talent

If Aspect of the Iron Hawk is your best mitigation talent, chances are you as a hunter are taking too much damage to live for long.  So that’s out.  Spirit Bond is the default recommendation; for most fights it will produce the most overall heals.  But Exhilaration can be amazing when used well.  Specifically, in “Burn” strategy bosses, 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.  Then use Readiness to do the same thing a second time.  Rinse, repeat.  A potentially powerful strategy.

Lvl 60 Talent

While it may be tempting to use Fervor for “Superpet” fights, most of the time we’ll simply want the dps boost of Dire Beast.

Lvl 75/90 Talents

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



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.

Default Glyphs

Glyph of Animal Bond

Glyph of Mending

Glyph of Chimera Shot (MM only)

Glyph of Liberation

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 damage phases.

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

Glyph of Disengage – I can’t see this being practical, but in theory it COULD be used in “Kiting” strategies.

Don’t Use

Glyph of Misdirection – Threat management in soloing is always possible without this.  This would be a nice quality-of-life glyph, but we have better options.

Glyph of Distracting Shot – Same as MD.


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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.