Best MM Hunter Talents

Posted: by Delirium


reviewed and accurate
Reviewed 10/08/2014
Patch 6.0.2

View other WHU WoW WoD hunter guides. Updated for patch 6.0.2

This guide will cover the optimal raid dps hunter spec for level 100 Marksmanship hunters in Warlords of Draenor. MM hunters started the game off in vanilla as the top raid spec, and the spec has had its ups and downs since.  During the WoD Beta, MM has been the top hunter spec for single target DPS.

For a raiding MM hunter choosing talents, we traditionally consider which talents will have the greatest impact on single-target DPS. Keep in mind there will be fights where multi-target or AoE DPS matter more, and you’ll want to tweak your MM hunter spec for those fights.

We’re going to take a look at the best MM hunter talents for both raid and 5-man (AoE) situations.

MM Hunter Raid Talents for level 100 WoD:

  • Level 15 Talent: Any talent of your choice. This tier does not impact DPS.
  • Level 30 Talent:  Any talent of your choice; note that Binding Shot is a useful talent in many boss encounters, and is usually the preferred raid talent for the level 30 tier.
  • Level 45 Talent:  Iron Hawk is generally the default raid talent, as it smooths out times of heavy damage, when heals are needed the most by everyone. However, due to the increased health pools and other changes to healing in Warlords, Spirit Bond will often provide more healing than Iron Hawk will provide mitigation. This generally won’t be an issue because Lone Wolf is such a strong talent, but is worth mentioning.
  • Level 60 Talent:  Thrill of the Hunt will provide the greatest amount of focus saved/gained in most situations for MM hunters.  While a case could be made for the use of Steady Focus, TotH’s cheaper Aimed Shots during Careful Aim will make it the go to talent for MM hunters.
  • Level 75 Talent: A Murder of Crows As it currently stands, aMoC provides the greatest increase to single target DPS for MM hunters, and with the reduced focus cost, CD and duration, it is much simpler to fit into your rotation.
  • Level 90 Talent: Barrage is currently providing the greatest DPS, compared to the other two talents in this tier.  However, its value to your overall DPS will be dependent on whether or not you take Lone Wolf (in the level 100 Tier).  With Lone Wolf, Barrage isn’t going to be as valuable as your Aimed Shot (after you consider the focus cost, along with damage), so Glaive Toss will make a better choice for pure single target DPS, since MM is lacking in instant cast, low-cost abilities. If you do not take Lone Wolf, or if there are ever any adds in the fight, then Barrage becomes the go-to talent for this tier.
  • Level 100 Talent: As it currently stands, Lone Wolf has the greatest impact on single target DPS for MM hunters. It has the benefit of working well with our CD (Rapid Fire) and multiplicatively increasing the value of the tier 17 set bonus.

It’s worth stressing that while these are the theoretical best talents for top MM DPS in most situations, very often there are alternative talents that are very nearly as good.

MM Raid 2-5 Target AoE / Cleave Hunter Talents for WoD

Here are your MM 2-6 target AoE/Cleave talent selections:

  • Level 15 Talent: Any talent of your choice. This tier does not impact DPS.
  • Level 30 Talent:  Any talent of your choice; note that Binding Shot and Wyvern Sting are the generally preferred 5-man choices, depending on your group make-up.
  • Level 45 Talent:  Iron Hawk is generally the default raid talent, as it smooths out times of heavy damage, when heals are needed the most by everyone. However, due to the increased health pools and other changes to healing in Warlords, Spirit Bond will often provide more healing than Iron Hawk will provide mitigation. This generally won’t be an issue because Lone Wolf is such a strong talent, but is worth mentioning.
  • Level 60 Talent:  Thrill of the Hunt provides the best general or sustained DPS ability.
  • Level 75 Talent: AMoC still provides the most DPS, assuming there is a main boss or priority target you can put Crows on, while AoEing the pack.  
  • Level 90 Talent: Barrage is the clear winner in AoE talents.
  • Level 100 Talent: For small packs of adds (less than 6), not using Multi-shot, and simply single target casting Aimed Shot with the Lone Wolf Buff.  This in addition to Lone Wolf buffing the already huge cleave damage of Chimaera Shot leaves Lone Wolf as the clear winner in this tier.

The two talents that really impact your cleave damage are the level 100 and level 90 talents. At level 90 Barrage is a must — it is massively superior to Glaive Toss in AoE, and Lone Wolf’s buff to Chimaera Shot is just too much to miss out on.

MM AoE (>5 Targets) and 5-man talent selections:

  • Level 15 Talent: Any talent of your choice. This tier does not impact DPS.
  • Level 30 Talent:  Any talent of your choice; note that Binding Shot and Wyvern Sting are the generally preferred 5-man choices, depending on your group make-up.
  • Level 45 Talent:  Spirit Bond is usually best for 5-mans, where you can’t always rely on a healer willing to heal.  Depending on if you take Lone Wolf or not, Iron Hawk can be used.
  • Level 60 Talent:  Thrill of the Hunt provides the best general or sustained AoE DPS ability.
  • Level 75 Talent: This tier does not provide a lot of AoE options for MM Hunters.  Blink Strikes tends to help AoE the most, while aMoC still provides the most DPS, if there is a main boss you can put Crows on, while AoEing the pack.  
  • Level 90 Talent: Barrage is the clear winner in AoE talents, and will be your top priority shot in an AoE rotation.
  • Level 100 Talent: The additional focus from Focusing Shot has the potential to provide the most AoE DPS, in the form of additional Multi-Shots.  It’s also one of the only ways to insure you can keep up your Bombardment buff while using Chimaera Shot and Barrage.  However, it has that pesky movement penalty, so in mechanic intensive AoE fights, Incendiary Ammo may be more appropriate.  And, depending on different needs throughout the fight, Lone Wolf’s buff to Chimaera Shot may be enough to put it into the lead.

The two talents that really impact your 5-man or AoE DPS are the level 60 and level 90 talents. At level 90 Barrage is a must — it is massively superior to Glaive Toss in AoE. For level 60 Thrill of the Hunt will generally serve  you well, as when coupled with Bombardment, it gives you free Multi-shots.

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  1. DionysiusEC says:

    Great site THX mate!!!1

  2. Dixy says:

    Hi, I cant find anywhere any advice on which the best pets for MM raiding in 5.4, I know there are pets that give the best stats for the raid, but I’d also like to know when that’s not needed which would specifically be best for me as MM hunter, thank you :-)