Cataclysm Hunter Guide


Cataclysm Hunter Guide

Hunter Guide

Patch: 1.12

Author: TheAhrx

Cataclysm Hunter Guide

Cataclysm Hunter Guide



I’m not good at these guides so don’t blame me / flame me, also if you’re here for just the talents / BiS gear then SHOO! away with you! I’m putting a lot of effort into these. Anyways, this guide is / will be based around the Marksman specialization for a hunter (a.k.a. MM hunter) focusing on the PvE aspect of the game.
Note: I’m sorry for any mistakes, bad English as I suck at English and I’ll never be good at anything that’s important in my life;_; (rip)


Hunters are a Physical ranged DPS class capable of dishing out quite some DPS and especially the MM spec, which we will learn today, is welcome in lots of raids because of the AoE attack power buff from Trueshot Aura. Hunters mainly attack from a range and use bows, crossbows and guns as their ranged weapons although they can use melee weapons if an enemy gets too close.


Basically this will be a short section for people who have played WoTLK hunter (like myself) and are now playing on Cata. In cata a new resource was introduced for hunters – focus.
Focus – basically the same as energy (rogues, feral druids) but with a slower regeneration rate.
Arcane shot – our beloved arcane shot has no more 4 second cooldown *yay*
No more volley
And a lot of other changes i won’t go too in-depth now because they won’t really matter for the guide.

The basics – talents

So, a lot of players do the copy talents thing, i don’t like that. I know a lot of people will still do it but i’m going to post 2 trees here anyways.

The 7-31-3 talent tree

Takes 7 points in the beast mastery tree:

for pet focus rengeneration and stacking attack speed + additional damage from your aspect of the hawk

Takes 31 points in the marksmanship tree:

Efficiency 3/3 – Reduces focus costs of 3 of your abilities – Chimera shot (most importantly), Arcane shot (not bad as that’ll the your filler) and killing shot (not very useful but you’ll be using it from time to time so why not?)
Go for the throat 2/2 – generates focus for your pets (always useful)
Sic ‘Em! 2/2 – another focus talent for your pet (once again – useful!)
Improved steady shot 3/3 – increases your ranged attack speed and as you’ll be using steady shot a lot this talent is really good for any MM hunter
Careful aim 2/2 – i take this basically to get forward with the talent tiers this is not very useful as it only affects targets who are above 90% health but it’s a nice dps boost when you start your rotation on a raid boss.
Piercing shots 3/3 – MOAR DAMAGE!
Bombardment 2/2 – helps your focus when dealing with ads, thrash
Trueshot aura 1/1 – the talent that every physical dps will love you for. More damage for the whole raid, including yourself!
Termination 2/2 – more focus regeneration from steady shot, though it’s only after the boss is below 25% health
Rapid recuperation 2/2 – Useful talent on bosses as you’ll be using rapid fire a lot. You can never have enough focus regen.
Master marksman 3/3 – The best passive MM talent, in my opinion, as it gives you a free aimed shot without a cast time from time to time greatly increasing your DPS.
Readiness 1/1 – it’s basically to reset your rapid fire, you want to use this as soon as you hit your rapid fire button
Posthaste 2/2 – reduces the CD of rapid fire by 2 min – great talent as you want your rapid fire up for every boss
Marked for death 2/2 – 2nd Hunter’s mark ftw. a.k.a. more DPS.
Chimera shot 1/1 – One of your most important ability as an MM hunter, resets your serpent sting on the target and does a lot of damage without a cast time.

Takes 3 points in the survival tree:
for increased ranged haste

The 2nd talent tree:


5 in beast mastery basically for the same purpose as in the first talent tree minus the attack speed for your pets
31 in marksman basically for the same reasons as the first talent tree (there are no differences)
5 in survival for:
Pathing 3/3 – increases your ranged haste (same as in the other tree)
Improved serpent sting 2/2 – does 30% of the DoT damage instantly (more burst) and has a 10% increased chance to crit.
Note: from my expirience whenever you cast chimera shot to refresh the serpent sting effect it won’t trigger the 30% instant damage, it only triggers if you use serpent sting.

Conclusion: right now i run with the 2nd tree as i have a slight dps increase when i use this one.
Note: These talent trees are here to give you an example on what talents you should consider (that’s why all the explainations below the images) and you should consider editing these talents to your playstyle / needs.


As much as i like the word “rotation” you won’t get that with this class. I will try to give you something similar to a rotation for this guide. Also before you skip this section because this looks like a total mess – read through it a few times and try it yourself on a training dummy you’ll realize it’s not as messy as it looks.

Single target rotation:

a)you want to pop all your cd’s (rapid fire + readiness) and any potions or other stuff you might have
b)Serpent sting
c)chimera shot
d)1 steady shot
e)2 arcane shots
f)steady shots until your chimera shot is off CD or you have 5 master marksman procs
your chimera shot is off CD
a)you use chimera shot to reset the cooldown of serpent sting
b)1 Steady shot
c)2 Arcane shots
d)Steady shots until your chimer shot is off CD or you have 5 master marksman procs
you have 5 master marksman procs
a)you use aimed shot
b)use chimera shot (it should be off cd by that time, if it’s not then spam steady shots until it is)
c)arcane shots until you can’t cast them anymore (below 22 focus)
d)spam steady shots until chimera shot is off CD
e)chimera shot
f)1 steady shot
g)2 arcane shots
h)steady shot until you have 5 master marksman procs or your chimera shot is off CD
When your rapid fire runs out you should refresh instantly because if you used readiness your rapid fire should be off cooldown instantly.


Spam dat multi-shot (dps on thrash is not that important)

That’s the basic hunter rotation. You can adjust this to your playstyle / needs once you’ve learned the basics.

BiS (best in slot / best gear

I suck at linking things and doing all that fun stuff so i’ll just add the names and you’ll have to search for the gear yourself, SORRY!

  • Head: Wyrmstalker’s headguard
  • Neck: Choker of the vanquished lord
  • Shoulders: Wyrmstalker’s spaulders
  • Back: Dreadfire drape
  • Chest: Wyrmstalker’s Tunic
  • Wrist: Bracers of looming darkness
  • Hands: Sporebeard gauntlets
  • Waist: Belt of the belowed companion
  • Legs: Wyrmstalker’s legguards
  • Feet: Treads of dormant dreams
  • Ring 1: Seal of primordial Shadow
  • Ring 2: Signet of grasping mouths
  • Trinket 1: Vial of shadows
  • Trinket 2: Wrath of unchaining
  • Main Hand: Kiril, fury of beasts
  • Ranged: Vishanka, jaws of the earth

Gemming / enchanting


Meta: 1x Agile shadowspirit diamond
Red: 19x Glinting shadow spinel 1x Delicate Queen’s garnet
Yellow: 1x Deadly lava coral
Prismatic: Glinting Shadow spinel (i added the prismatic ones to the red so you shouldn’t buy more then 19 Glinting shadow spinel’s)

These are my gems and the exact number of gems i use in my current gear (look at the BiS list) If you need a general idea of what gems to use or you don’t have BiS then:
a)if hit cap: Delicate Queen’s garnet
b)if not hit capped: Glinting shadow spinel
a)Delicate Queen’s garnet
a)Deadly lava coral


  • Head: Arcanum of the Ramkahen
  • Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal
  • Back: Enchant Cloak – Major Agility
  • Chest: Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
  • Wrists: Enchant Bracer – Agility
  • Hands: Enchant Gloves – Major Agility
  • Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
  • Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor
  • Feet: Enchant Boots – Assassin’s Step
  • Rings: Enchant Ring – Agility (if you have enchanting)
  • Main hand: Enchant 2H Weapon – Mighty Agility
  • Ranged: Flintlocke’s Woodchucker

Stats priority

  1. 1.Hit rating until you reach 8% hit cap
  2. 2.Agility
  3. 3.Critical Strike Rating
  4. 4.Haste Rating
  5. 5.Mastery Rating


I use a raptor. You can use any pet but i suggest you look for a pet that has the ferocity talent tree.
Ferocity talents:


I use a few macros which are used by most hunters usually as i feel like there’s no need for any specific macros for MM.

The macros:

1.Rapid fire + Call of the Wild (RF + CotW)

#showtooltip Rapid Fire
/cast Rapid Fire
/cast Call of the Wild

Use this only if you have a pet with Call of the Wild


#showtooltip Deterrence
/cast Deterrence
/cancelaura Deterrence


#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [target=mouseover,help,nodead][target=focus,help,nodead][]Misdirection

It’ll cast misdirection on the target you are currently mousing over

That’s it.


There’s literally only 1 addon i use specifically for MM

-Serenity ( )
It provides you with an easy to see focus bad as well as ability cooldowns.

The hunter and the Hunted:

The difference between a mlg hunter and a mediocre hunter are:
-the timing of chimera shot. As you should know by now chimera shot refreshes the cooldown on serpent sting so a good hunter won’t just spam it whenever it comes off cooldown but he will use it to refresh the DoT on serpent sting on the very last moment.
-Focus management. Focus is an endless resource (means you’ll never need to refresh it like mana provided you don’t have 999999999 mana regen) but that doesn’t mean you can’t run out of it mid-fight and mess up your whole rotation. So generally you should pay close attention to your focus bar (that’s what serenity addon is there for) and make sure you don’t run below 40 Focus when your main abilities are about to come off cooldown. The reason i included do x many arcane shots in the rotation is so you don’t spam 50 arcane shots after every steady shot messing up your rotation completely. In the best case you shouldn’t use arcane shot at all when any of your main ability cd’s is below 5 sec. Another thing is overcapping your focus (having 100 focus) having 100 focus is bad because:
a) you are not regening focus (losing out on potentional vaule)
b) you are missing out on extra DPS as you could have used that focus for casting arcane shots
Your focus should be from 20-80 at all times (except when out of combat)
-20 after a full rotation (all your main abilities just went on cd)
-80 when your main abilities are coming up (around 3 sec cd left)


  • 1.Prime:
  • -Glyph of Arcane Shot
  • -Glyph of Rapid Fire
  • -Glyph of Steady Shot
  • 2.Major:
  • -Glyph of Disengage
  • -Glyph of Mending
  • -Glyph of Trap Launcher
  • 3.Minor:
  • -Glyph of Feign Death
  • -Glyph of Lesser Proportion
  • -Glyph of Revive Pet

Note: important glyphs are: Glyph of Arcane Shot, Glyph of Rapid Fire, Glyph of Steady Shot, Glyph of Mending. Any other glyphs can be changed/adjusted to your playstyle

The end

So, that’s about it. If you feel like i missed anything important or i should add something, you disagree with something, want to discuss about something – feel free to comment below as i’ll be happy to respond to your questions / suggestions.

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