Hunter’s Guide to Mists of Pandaria Changes
Note: As of August 2013, Frostheim has retired, and these guides are no longer being updated.
This is a broad overview of the major changes happening to the hunter class in Mists of Pandaria. Many of these changes are examined in much greater detail on other pages, and I’ll be linking to those pages from here, rather than stuffing this page and making it into a giant behemoth.
Here’s the shortcut to various MoP guides on the WHU:
- Hunter Patch 5.0.4 Guide
- MoP Stat Conversions & Combat Ratings
- MoP Hunter Hit Cap Guide
- Hunter Expertise in MoP
- Best MoP Hunter Gems
- Best MoP Hunter Enchants
- MoP Pre-Raid Gear List
- New & Changed Hunter Abilities Roundup
- MoP Hunter Talents
- MoP Hunter Glyphs
- MoP Hunter Buffs
- MoP Hunter Pet changes
- Overview & Basics
- Stats, Consumable, Gems, & Enchants
- Spec & Glyphs
- Pet Management & Rotation
- Pet Tanking Heroics
- New Hunter Abilities: Hunters are of course getting some sweet new abilities. Some of these are found in the form of talents, but others come in the form of new class or spec abilities. This includes the level 87 Stampede that lets us bring out a bunch of pets at once, Beast Cleave which lets BM pets cleave for their own little AoE, and others, as well as changes to existing abilities. See the New & Changed Hunter Abilities Roundup for a current list of all the new and changed stuff — not counting talents, which can be found on the talent page.
- Talents & Talent System Overhaul: One of the largest changes happening to hunters (and all classes) in Mists of Pandaria is the overhaul to the talent system. In MoP we’ll be using a streamlined talent system that is designed to give us more meaningful choices (rather than a bunch of choices that really had a “right” answer). You can read out article about the new MoP Talent System and how it works, and also see the most current list of the MoP Hunter Talents.
- No Minimum Range: minimum range is going away in Mists of Pandaria, and hunters everywhere rejoice! In MoP we will be able to shoot enemies in the face just as well as we can from five yards away.
- No Melee Weapons: in MoP hunters will equip ranged weapons and melee weapons in the same slot — thus we’re always going to want to wield ranged weapons, and not melee. Hunters are still able to equip 2-handed melee weapons and dual wield 1-handed melee weapons, but doing so means that you won’t be able to equip a gun, bow, or crossbow. The ability was just left in for roleplay reasons, and possibly fishing. In practice hunters should no longer be rolling on any melee weapons — and no one else should be rolling on ranged weapons, by the way. Blizzard has said that the stats that we used to get from our melee weapons will be incorporated into our ranged weapons — which will make ranged weapons even more enormously important.
- Stat Changes & Expertise: In Mists of Pandaria hunter’s ranged attacks will be able to be dodged, which means that hunters will want to go after the expertise stat, and stack it up to the dodge cap. The hit cap is going to change slightly, and in PvP resilience is going away and being replaced by a whole new system. Finally, critical hits will always do double damage as base, rather than some of them doing 1.5 damage (like Serpent Sting and Black Arrow do in Cataclysm). You can read about the details and how hunter expertise works in the MoP Hunter Stats & Expertise article.
- New Glyphs: prime glyphs are being removed in MoP and we’ll only have major and minor glyphs. Many abilities that used to be hunter talents in Cataclysm are turning into major glyphs in MoP. To see the full list you can read our article on MoP Hunter Glyphs.
- Raid Buff Overhaul: Blizzard is further streamlining the raid buff and debuff system in Mists of Pandaria, which includes changing hunter buffs. Several buffs are going away and one new one is being added (+5 mastery). Every hunter spec will be able to bring the hunter raid buffs, so you won’t have to respec just to provide a buff. Hunter pets will continue to provide missing buffs and debuffs. Also, a new UI element will show all your raid buffs in a single box and list, for example 7/8 if you have 7 of the 8 possible buffs, and you can click on it to see which buffs you’re missing. To see the complete list see the MoP Hunter Buffs article, which does list all buffs as well as which ones hunters bring.
- Hunter Pets & Pet Talents: In MoP hunters will be able to make any pet any spec — so you can make your turtle a ferocity pet, for example. Pets will no longer have any talent points at all, but instead many talents will be wrapped up into pet spec abilities. For a full list of all the abilities each spec has, see the MoP Hunter Pet changes.