What’s that talent do? Marksman (Part 2)

Morynne —  February 15, 2010 — 12 Comments

Welcome back!

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.

Improved Arcane Shot

  • 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).

Aimed Shot

  • 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.

Rapid Killing

  • 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.


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Morynne is an avid hunter, and prefers Marksmanship. She has co-hosted the Hunting Party Podcast, and appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. For more information, click here.

12 responses to What’s that talent do? Marksman (Part 2)

  1. Hello,

    Nice to see another MM! Pah to those survival hunters.

    I'd advise against Arcane shot. – I'd rather take the increase in aimed shot dmg in imp barrage because quite simply a shot used 5 times a fight simply isn't worth talenting and if you've gone MM for the dps, then in all honesty you've probably picked up the level of arp needed to make it competitive. Arp doesnt affect Arcane and it doesn't proc piercing shots as well.

    I'm beginning to love focused aim means I've got a load more slack for my gems/rings
    .-= Echo´s last blog ..Having the balls to fail =-.

    • I'm going through the talents tier by tier, I'll cover Imp Barrage in a couple days. Marks really does benefit *almost* as much from Agi as it does from ArP — so if you haven't stacked to nearly get 1k ArP before any procs and gems, you're still doing crazy DPS. I've tried the Imp Barrage route for the Imp Aimed Shot and I haven't seen a huge difference between working in Arcane. To me, Arcane has a shorter cooldown, so I am able to work it in more frequently than 5 times a fight. Ultimately we're talking about points that can be moved around without drastic impact to your raid performance. When I'm beating the other hunter in my raid by about 300 DPS consistently during a fight who has spec'd into Imp Barrage, I'm not feeling too bad. :)

      • "When I’m beating the other hunter in my raid by about 300 DPS consistently during a fight who has spec’d into Imp Barrage, I’m not feeling too bad."

        Don't say that! Frosthiem will shank you! The plural of anecdote is not data :p

        I found with reasonably similar gear that MM outperformed surv for me. Getting a couple upgrades and experimenting I'm sitting at around 800 (could push for more but not willing to do a complete overhaul of my gems just yet) and my dps has gone up a buttload. As soon as I get more sanctified pieces and the arp trinket from saurfang I'll try and hover at softcap.

        And Myze – I dropped being mark bitch because PEOPLE KEPT REMARKING MY GODDAMN MARK *breathes* Now on fights when I'm able to get on nobody marks because they've all removed it from their macros :p
        .-= Echo´s last blog ..Having the balls to fail =-.

        • I say bring it. Frostheim and I think a lot alike as far as raid DPS is concerned. You should always optimize your DPS as much as possible. For the way I play, I have the data to back up that Arcane nets more damage than SS for me. At least for now.

          For what it's worth, I'm glad that the hunter column on wow.com is in good hands. He's not afraid to provoke debate — and there's nothing wrong with stirring the pot a little bit.

          • Does Arcane Shot still come out ahead of Steady when you count the extra 30% damage you get on steady crits thanks to piercing shot? That math can be a bit tricky.

            That said, Arcane is always worth while on movement heavy fights, and there's more than a few of those in ICC.

            I'm a bit disappointed you didn't touch on Imp. Hunter's Mark, most raids you'll want at least one hunter with points there, and possibly the glyph, too.

          • Does Arcane Shot still come out ahead of Steady when you count the extra 30% damage you get on steady crits thanks to piercing shot?

            For me? Yes, absolutely. The main reason why is there aren't very many stand still and DPS fights in ICC. On a fight like Festergut though where there is time to stand and DPS, I will drop arcane from my rotation and net a little bit more DPS. I'm nowhere near the ArP soft cap that people chase after, so I'm not quite to the point where I'll drop it entirely from my rotation.

            I did cover Imp Hunter's mark briefly in my first installment of this series. I never said it was a bad thing to have, just not in the standard build. The Imp Hunter's Mark only really impacts other hunters, so unless you've got 4-5 of them in your raid, it's almost not worth it.

  2. I generally pop 2 Rapid Fires pretty close to each other, so in a five minute fight, you can actually get 4. It also works quite well with Hero/lust because you can fit both Rapid Fires in the entire length of it. Pop your misdirect and all of a sudden your tank is doing 12k more TPS! RAWR!

    I am also an advocate of dropping Arcane Shot from your rotation so long as Steady Shot hits harder. You obviously still want to fire Arcanes when you are moving and don't have Chimera or Aimed up. My current gear is all ToC25/ToGC25 gear, and I don't have much ArP (only 370 or so,) so if you've been raiding ICC for a little bit now, you're probably already at that point where Steady Shot is hitting harder.

    Also, I'm currently specced as a Mark bitch, and dropping Improved Arcane Shot frees up the points for that.

    • That's exactly right! If you're not stacking enough ArP, dropping Arcane doesn't make sense. I've been reading various places that you don't want to really get into pushing for ArP until you have about 1k without procs. On my gear currently I'm only around 500, so I'm still chasing Agi and leaving Arcane in my rotation.

      Good call dropping the Arcane shot for being the Improved Mark person in your raid. Just is unfortunate because it really only benefits the other hunters in your raid.

  3. Great write-up… very clear and informative. I look forward to the remaining entries.

    One question: how does Rapid Fire impact Volley?

    • Good question.

      The answer is that it doesn't. Rapid Fire only impacts physical damage shots (Aimed, Steady, Auto), where Volley is an Arcane channeled ability.

      • Are you sure? Volley is effected by haste and RF is a haste spell.
        .-= Lyraat´s last blog ..LnL: Doin’ it wrong =-.

        • Everything I've read on it basically says it doesn't increase the shot frequency of volley, but reduces the duration of the channel, which ultimately reduces the potential damage you can get from 1 cast. So yes, while it might be impacted by a haste spell, probably not the best idea to maximize the damage you're getting from the mana used.

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