Here we’re going to look at the third tier of talents for the typical 7/57/7 build Marksman hunter.
You’ll notice that there’s points in every single one of these talents — which may change based on your gear, so just keep that in mind.
Go for the Throat (1/2)
- Rank 1 – Your ranged critical hits cause your pet to generate 25 Focus.
- Rank 2 – Your ranged critical hits cause your pet to generate 50 Focus.
Why only one point here? Well, remember, as a MM, you’re critting all the time. Because of that, your pet has a constant flow of Focus that never seems to run out. Generating 50 focus every crit you deliver would be a waste since you do crit so often. Fido’s Focus dump ability has a cooldown on it, and you’re critting more frequently than that, so one point here is more than enough.
- Rank 1 – Increases the damage done by your Arcane Shot by 5%.
- Rank 2 – Increases the damage done by your Arcane Shot by 10%.
- Rank 3 – Increases the damage done by your Arcane Shot by 15%.
This talent is one that can be taken or left. It all depends on how your gear plays out. If you are chasing Armor Penetration, this is likely going to be 3 points you can move elsewhere. Personally, I really like having it, despite chasing ArP because it gives me another instant shot with a short cooldown that hits like a Mack Truck when I’m moving. Most end-game fights aren’t stand and DPS fights, so you may see some benefit to this talent. If your Steady Shot is constantly hitting for more than your Arcane Shot, and you’re proficient with stutter-stepping to not miss auto-shots, then this talent can be skipped also. Getting really proficient with stutter-stepping takes a lot of practice though, so keep that in mind if you decide to drop another instant shot from your rotation. Good trade-offs for this talent are: Focused Aim if you’re low on hit, or Improved Barrage (more details on this later on in this series).
- Rank 1 – Instant Cast, 8% base mana, 5-35 yard range. 10sec. cooldown. An aimed shot that increases ranged damage by 5 and reduces healing done to that target by 50%. Lasts 10 seconds.
This is the gateway talent to a staple shot for nearly every hunter specialization. Rank 9 at level 80 increases ranged damage by 408, and if it’s glyphed, the cooldown of this talent is 8 seconds vs. the typical 10. I’ll cover glyphing in another article after I get through this article series. This is all but a must-have ability.
- Rank 1 – Reduces the cooldown of your Rapid Fire ability by 1 min. In addition, after killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot causes 10% additional damage. Lasts 20 sec.
- Rank 2 – Reduces the cooldown of your Rapid Fire ability by 2 min. In addition, after killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot causes 20% additional damage. Lasts 20 sec.
Rapid Killing can really go either way. Some people love it, some hate it. I personally love it for reducing the cooldown on my Rapid Fire ability, and the second part of it for trash before boss kills. With this talent, you can get 3 Rapid Fires versus 2 in a 5 minute boss fight, assuming you have the Readiness talent. You’re essentially giving yourself 3 Heroism/Blood Lust on a 5 minute fight without even needing a Shaman. The additional haste you get from Rapid Fire will get your Steady Shot ability to about the global cool down timer, so you’re maximizing your gains from Steady Shot during the times when you’re getting haste buffs.
The next installment of this series will cover Improved Stings, Readiness, and Barrage — and why Efficiency’s points can be used elsewhere for bigger DPS gains.
As always, ask me questions! Either leave a comment on this entry, or drop me an email.