User Submitted Strategies and Tactics


These are my SV and some MM talent points for Aimed Shot Hunter tactics to maximize high DPS while on PVE, PVP or Raiding

  1. Cast [Hunter's Mark]
  2. Get to maximum range
  3. Cast Missdirection on pet
  4. Send the pet to attack target
  5. Use [Multi-Shot] to focus threat on the pet and wait a bit until it gains solid Aggro
  6. Apply [Serpent Sting]
  7. Cast Explossive Shot, [Aimed Shot], [Concussive Shot], [Steady Shot]
  8. Repeat Rotation until Mob reaches less than 20% HP and start unleashing [Kill Shot]

This sequence is quite Mana effective and promotes high DPS. [Serpent Sting] aside from DoT has the chance to proc Lock N' Load if that happens, unleash all the Explossive Shot and continue with the rotation another good effect is that T.N.T adds some crits to Explossive Shot if it stuns the target. Be careful, sometimes you'll get more aggro than your pet but generally the mob will be dead before it gets the chance to hit you, have in mind that if the mob reaches less than 20% cast [Kill Shot] instead following the rotation that ensures killing the mob with just one Kill Shot almost all the times. In case the mobs manages to get too close, shot a Concussive Shot, [Feign Death] or Dissengage to restablish range and repeat rotation.

On groups Feign Death ocassionally to avoid steal aggro from the Tank


Level 64 and up strategy for conserving mana. I use this technique in Outlands all the time.

  1. I get to my maximum range.
  2. I make sure I have [Aspect of the Viper] on, as well as [Trueshot Aura].
  3. Cast [Hunter's Mark].
  4. Send in my pet and wait until he acquires enough aggro.
  5. While he's on his way towards the mob, I shoot a [Concussive Shot].
  6. I follow that with a [Steady Shot] (hits for bonus damage on stunned targets and only costs me 100 mana).
  7. Then I keep alternating between a lower rank [Arcane Shot] (I use Rank 4, it costs me only 74 mana) and Steady Shot. I would say I can do 2 to 3 Steady Shots between Arcane Shots. All the while my pet keeps the mob distracted.
  8. Once the mob goes down, you should notice that your mana bar is still a good 3/4 full.

The reason why I prefer [Aspect of the Viper] over [Aspect of the Hawk] is that although you have less Attack Power, you don't have to sit around drinking  [Filtered Draenic Water] all day, thus you can kill more mobs per hour and save your gold for your flying mount.


My particular method of soloing goes something like this (situationally it may change a little):

  1. I get at the very edge of my ranged abilities
  2. I cast [Hunter's Mark]
  3. If the mob is equal or within a level of my pet, I send the pet to initiate the fight, otherwise I begin the show with a [Concussive Shot], as a general rule, and immediately send the pet to intercept and gain aggro.
  4. As the pet gains aggro, I squeeze off a sting such as [Serpent Sting], [Scorpid Sting] or [Viper Sting] for the DoT effect. The type of Sting used depends upon the effect the Hunter wishes to inflict the mob with.
  5. Slowly and rythmically (a second or so between shots is sufficient, in my limited experience), a pace at which the pet can keep aggro, I begin firing [Arcane Shot].

I'm constantly keeping watch to insure that the pet is alright. If the pet needs it, I cast my [Mend Pet] on him and go back to plinking at the mob. Once the mob is down around 1/3 HP points, I go ahead and let the next round of shots auto-fire to finish them.

I also keep close eye on my mini-map, watching that the immediate vicinity stays free of aggro by using whichever of the tracking abilities is applicable. If aggro is getting too near us, or there are a lot of mobs beginning to show on the mini-map, I visually check to see if the pet and I need to be thinking of heading for the high-country or not.

As I mention above, this plan changes according to situations and circumstances, but that is pretty much how I fight 90% of my fights. Though my methodology may sound repititious and boring to some, since my moves are tailored to each and every fight, the pattern never really becomes a matter of spamming any given 'I WIN!' button like some games I've played. With a Hunter, as much or moreso than any class, one must learn the strengths and weaknesses of the class and be paying pretty close attention when hunting/traveling in unsafe areas.


I tend to use [Hunter's Mark] while running into range, Aimed Shot, Pet attack, Concussive shot for meleers or sting for spellcasters, Arcane shot as needed, Concussive shot at the end to stop running. The pet tends to get to the mobs just as the Aimed Shot lands and growls which usually stops the mob there to kill the pet. If I crit the Aimed shot the mob isn't always conviced though. I turn off Bite if I am fighting Yellow+ mobs since it's instant cast and tends to keep the pet low on Focus which could be used for Growl. Green mobs get bite since the damage front load can get them below 50% health before the pet is out of focus. My pet with Growl 3 (level 20) holds aggro even with max DPS shooting except on 29 and some 28 level mobs. So I basically fire arcane as soon as the timer runs out every time. Elites from 26+ are really bad about losing interest in my pet. Does growl not hold aggro well after the 40s?


If the mob is solo, I will mark it and send my pet in to gain aggro. If the pet has any taunting abilities, I will immediately line up an Aimed Shot and fire, followed by a Concussive Shot, then Scorpoid Sting for the DoT. Then I will allow the auto-shot to assist my pet in getting the mob dead in the shortest possible time. About 90% of the time, barring a critical Aimed Shot, I will never draw aggro. If the Aimed Shot does critical hit, the Concussive Shot will slow the mob enough to bring it to me at less than half health at which point I have always been successful at killing it using melee skills. This tactic has been successful for me for mobs up to 110% of my level.


Mark-Trap-Kill: My usual (and mechanical) process for farming (at this time, mountain lions in Alterac Mountains) is to set pet to growl/claw, lay an immolation trap, mark the target, send out the pet while aimed shot is casting, spam concussive, autoshot while the pet regains aggro, then switch the pet to growl only and supplement with arcane shot. Save the concussive for runners, and switch to melee if the mob comes too close - at which point the immolation trap chimes in to help. I only melee long enough to wing clip and disengage, then run through the mob, switch to AotH again and finish the mob off with autoshot and arcane shot. Then move to the next target. After a few kills, go back and loot/skin, then move back to a safe place before the mobs start to respawn (they seem to respawn at once for an area, rather than individually on their own timers). -- Feysharnalie


Even though most of these are fighting techniques, I think that some could benefit from reading about my [Tame Beast] strategy. This is designed mainly for those of us who like taming rare elite beasts commonly found in Instances - and want to do so safely and relatively easily. Basically, you get another Hunter to help you by staying out of the combat and dropping one [Freezing Trap] after another to keep the mob frozen in place. If done properly, this will keep the Taming Hunter from receiving any damage as well as protecting them from any Taming breaking stuns. (Technically, other types of Crowd Control should achieve a similar effect but not as efficiently. I have successfully performed this technique though with a Druid using [Entangling Roots], though the Druid was apt to steal aggro and break the Taming.) -- Strawberree


I keep reading about needing to set up, but, at least as a [Exotic Beasts] spec hunter, I've found that I never need to, for non-elites. I find it takes more time than just marking, sending the pet ahead, and starting shooting as soon as the pet made contact. Yes, the trap does a lot of damage, but in the same time my pet and I could do even more damage and be done with the mob sooner.

In fact, I often find the trap and pull setup to be counterproductive, for example, when 2-3 mobs would be aggroed at the same time. It's more work to try to lose the aggro after a pull, than to just send the pet ahead and let everyone aggro on it naturally. It can be done, quite easily, but, you know, why bother when sending the pet ahead is faster and easier?

Even an offensive pet with [Endurance Training], Thick Hide (Hunter talent) and [Natural Armor] can take a tremendous amount of damage from melee-only enemies and keep fighting. Once you also get [Spirit Bond], it gets even better. It's not only a great downtime reducer, you can actually think of that healing per second as being subtracted from the enemies' total DPS. I've actually had 5 non-elite melee-only mobs pounding on my cat in more than one place or level range, and it had no problems surviving that. A boar or bear, doubly so.

Speaking of which, a "skill" people IMHO should train early is knowing how to use the pet to grab aggro from multiple mobs. There are times when 2-3 mobs aggroed on you, or worse on the healer, and you can't just ignore that and keep shooting at the one mob that the pet is keeping the attention of. Switch the pet's targets until it growled on everyone. Also keep in mind that enemies you've damaged will be harder to pull off than enemies who just aggroed by proximity or because of your healing the pet. If you can remember who did what to whom and how, start with the enemies that don't have much reason to have a preferred target. It will usually take only a growl, or just a couple of attacks, to pull their attention to the pet.

Also, IMHO something that probably should be reminded to newbie hunters is that since BC, your total Stamina, Armor Class and Attack Power also affect your pet and are multiplied by the relevant Beast Mastery talents. So getting "of the Monkey" or "of Power" equipment doesn't just make one a better hunter, it also makes the pet deadlier, more survivable and harder to ignore by the mobs. Just sending the pet ahead never was easier.

Also as a pet-related piece of advice, [Screech] is a great aggro-holding mechanism. It's not exactly a group taunt, like the warlocks' Voidwalker gets, but it's as close as you can get to one as a hunter. Being debuffed by the pet gives those enemies a lot more reason to hate the pet than mere proximity, and can go a long way towards having extra mobs ignore the healer or your healing the pet. It also makes the pet even more survivable against melee enemy groups. Also, unlike Thunderstomp, it does not break sheep or other crowd control. It's a great tool.

Downside: I've found that most groups hate birds, for a variety of reasons including the sound they make or making it almost impossible to click on an enemy when the bird is in the way. You were warned. If you choose to get a bird for Screech, expect every single group to complain about it. --Moraelin

Other Tips

  • Traps are fast to drop and add damage, or, placing one at your feet, some Defense in case of an add. I usually pull from a long distance with my Pet. Set a Fire(immolation) Trap, send pet out, While pet is heading to Mob, im Marking and laying Trap. Start with Dash if you have it and if a Long ways away, the focus will be mostly back. Pet tags and gets a Growl in, and you call the pet back with the follow command. I stand behind the fire trap if I placed it, and wait for the mob to reach it, usually just behind the pet, send pet back in, and start Firing. -- Nanokiss
  • Also, as you level, don't forget to melee. This will keep both Weapon skills and Defense skills up. Hunters that always stay at range have low Defense skill, and as such, when they are attacked, go down that much faster. -- Nanokiss
  • The 1.2.2 patch will "claim" the mob as yours when your pet attacks it, so no more creep jacking. Same will go for the Warlock summons. -- Aquabeast

Tip: Using the options, set the tilde "~" key, which is left of the number 1 on your keyboard, to the Pet attack command. This way it's easy to quickly tell your pet to attack your current target without even looking at the keyboard. --Sta'rus

Whatever you do, get the SmartPet add-on, (its not a cheat) its available at currently in version 2.2-What it does is, cast the different pet spells with maximum focus and efficiency. This is what the blizz auto-cast is supposed to do,and yes you can do it manually. I personally like the Auto-Warnings when health is low, and the Auto Cower At a certain percentage of health. I also like to have the pet stop chasing when the target flees in certain situations like an instance. nuff said.--Jakobus


I tend to play my hunter very aggressively, in normal environments; non-elites; my pet is almost always killing something while I loot, skin, or use a trade skill. People in my guild tend to hate going "on follow" with me as I cliff jump too much for most of them :) I have been told my hunter is afflicted with ADD but isn't that the prettiest flower you ever saw? User:Sharlin/Sig 11:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Aspect | 99% its Aspect of the Viper
Macro | Cast Hunter's Mark; Pet Attack (or whatever)
Build | Beast Master (for sustained DPS)
Traps | Freezing if I really really must have one
Stings | Scorpid if any. Serpent on runners, very rare

Common theme.

  • Use Hunter's Mark Macro to tag mob and send pet.
  • Cast Mend Pet before it engages if target is elite or if pet is low from previous
  • Scorpid Sting if target is elite, hard hitting, or multiples.
  • Auto-Shot and Stead Shot rotation till dead.
  • If dangerouns multiples then Freezing Trap and multishot to lure pets other "friend"
  • If caster let pet stun it


I have been thinking about a possible tactic for using pets in instances and other group situations.

Normally you wouldn't consider putting a pet on Aggressive in such a situation; a pet could too easily end up attacking an unengaged enemy, drawing one or more adds onto the group.

I'm thinking of a possible use for an aggressive pet, though, and I want to get some feedback on it before I propose testing it with a group in a dungeon.

As you approach an area where you will be engaging monsters, order the pet to Stay well to the rear of the party, outside the fighting area. Make the pet Aggressive there. The pet should be far enough from the fighting that it won't go after anything the group is battling. An attack on the hunter might set it off, but that shouldn't be a problem against enemies that don't have ranged attacks.

There are two reasons I think this might be a useful tactic.

  1. The pet will be well positioned to watch the party's backs. If a patrol comes up behind the party while they're engaged, the pet will pick it up. The patrol will have to deal with the pet before it can move on to hit the group from behind, which may give just enough warning to avoid a bad ambush situation.
  2. The pet will be in a good position to assist group's healer(s) and/or nuker(s) in the event some monster aggroes them. They can simply move close to the pet, which will aggro the attacking mob. Since most pets have [Growl], they can quickly pull the mob off the cloth-wearing group member.

Has this tactic been attempted by others? If so, has it proven successful?

kites in outlands

Many of the elites in Outlands are immune to slowing effects and snares, (tusker and banther etc for the ultimate bloodsports quest chain for example). The way I've been dealing with them.

1- aspect of cheetah.
2- jumpshot arcane rank1 every 5 seconds or so to keep the mob on your tail (conserving mana).
3- keep highest rank serpent sting on the target at all times (via jumpshotting) to gradually ware them down.
4- most of them seem to slow right down when they get to 25%health or less, you can start throwing multishots, auto shots etc at them at this point.

Also in most kites you can turn off all of your pets abilities other then cower and put them on auto attack, This also serves as an "extra life". If you get hit whilst under the effects of your cheetah aspect you are stunned, if your pet is active you can feign passing agro into it then run away a short distance and use distracting shot to get the agro back on too you again.


Preserved for history

Prior to version 2.0 of World of Warcraft, shot rotations dubbed "10-second full" and "9-second clipped" existed. The theory behind the shot rotations was to automatically fire an autoshot immediately followed by an Aimed Shot (typically using a 3.0 attack speed or greater ranged weapon because Aimed Shot takes 3 seconds to cast and the shot cycle depends on a speed equal to or greater than this time in order to for it to work efficiently), and after Aimed Shot fired your autoshot would again let off another shot, and directly after you would manually use up your Multi-shot ability. Multi-shot has a 10-second cooldown timer, and during this time you would have your hunter on autoshot only, allowing you two ticks of mana regen. After the 10-seconds of autoshot and mana regen you begin the process anew with another Aimed Shot immediately after the auto shot yet not before a full 10-seconds transpired (hence the name "10-second full" rotation).

A slightly altered variation of this rotation would start the Aimed Shot slightly early (at around the 6-second timeframe of Multi-shot cooldown), taking advantage of the fact that the shot takes 3 seconds to cast and if Multishot would end it's cooldown before or right as the Aimed Shot fired. Since an Aimed Shot would fire (3-second cast time) and be followed by an autoshot as well as a global 1-second cooldown (3 cast plus 1 cool = 4 seconds total), the Multi-shot would be available to fire at the ten-second mark. Looking at the math you will see that the Aimed Shot fired at 9-seconds into the Multi-shot). Unfortunately, while this method often provided a higher overall DPS with many ranged weapons, it was not as mana efficient because you miss the second tick of mana regen at the 10-second mark as well as firing your Aimed Shot more often. The end result would also often take away an autoshot from your rotation, because the 9-second rotation is much more strict in order to work correctly as you would start your Aimed Shot at a specific time instead of waiting for an Autoshot to be fired first, thus 'clipping' the number of shots you would take automatically without using mana (hence the name "9-second clipped" rotation). The amount of extra damage this rotation could provide compared to the amount of mana you could save and regen with a 10-second rotation has been argued many times over, but what it really comes down to is the scenario at hand, your personal play style, the amount of mana you possess, and the amount of DPS you wish to dish out, as well as the overall attack speed of your chosen ranged weapon.

However, all of this is in the past. The 10-second and 9-second rotation are rarely used anymore as Aimed Shot has been changed. The changes lie in that Autoshot used to continue its timer while Aimed Shot was being cast, resulting in an immediate autoshot following the Aimed Shot ... essentially, a 2-for-1 package that was deadly. Currently, and forever more (says Blizzard), the timer will freeze the instant Aimed Shot is started and will not continue until Aimed Shot is fired, so there will be no more free autoshots following an Aimed Shot. Not only does the timer freeze, it actually resets and starts anew after an Aimed Shot. Goodbye sweet, sweet rotation theory!

Focus Dumps and Wind Serpents

I just wanted to point out that wind serpents with Lightning Breath (50 focus, no CD) can also very efficiently dump focus gained from Go for the Throat and Bestial Discipline. Especially since their other offensive damage skill is Bite, which has a considerable cooldown, wind serpents left to their own devices will use LB as often as they aren't using Growl. In group situations where the pet isn't needed as a tank or off-tank (with Growl off), this means all focus generated is funneled into Lightning Breath. In fact, given how much LB boosts a wind serpent's DPS (being Nature damage, it ignores armor), and its very high cost, I would say that a hunter with a wind serpent as her main pet should absolutely have both focus regeneration talents to keep the snake happy. Even Marksmanship hunters can benefit from talenting far enough into Beast Mastery to get Bestial Discipline for a wind serpent--LB's damage scales with a hunter's RAP, which MM hunters have out the gills. Now that patch 2.2 has fixed the "broken" levels of damage Scorpid Poison was cranking out, the wind serpent may be the way to go. The only "problem" with this is that the wind serpent AI makes them back off to their full 20-yard range before using LB against a stunned enemy, before closing again to resume the attack. (They will often use Dive again when doing this, which means you don't lose as much time as you think you would as they move away and then close to melee again, but that can also be a problem with this little idiosyncrasy of theirs.)

Just my two cents, however. :) My wind serpent is now my hunter's main pet, beating out a cat (with its famously high DPS and focus dump in Claw), and I don't regret it in the least.

I agree. I don't see how scorpid poison could be a focus dump according to petopia. It uses 30 focus and has a 4 sec cooldown, during that time you could generate 80 focus with bestial discipline. (Assuming base 10/sec like rogue energy) Lightning breath looks like the only real focus dump capable of outspending bestial discipline by itself. Lightning breath would use 50/30 of the focus regen, which means it outspends regen by 40/3 focus per second. You would need to crit once per 3.75 seconds to keep up.
This btw results in a dps difference of 27.6833 even without counting armor vs gore/bite and only giving lightning breath as much RAP benefit as fire breath gets. Not a huge deal considering it requires 4 talent points. Pretty cool since it requires only 2 more talent points than what it takes to have consistent gore/claw if you are already in the tree. (Most talents add about 6 or so dps per point though they all vary a bit) If it gets the full bonus of pet spell damage from RAP its about 87.68 more dps, and that is obscence.

Tactic Article Overhaul

Melrian (talk) 15:04, 5 February 2011 (UTC) With the coming of the Cataclysm, Hunters were just about completely redone, meaning their tactics have changed. I would like to fix this, problem is, I don't know where to start. Could someone experienced please come in and give this page a much needed overhaul?


while this was discovered on a lvl 35 hunter it works extreamly well the general gist of it is [1) pulling with the highest damage possible 2) FD to set aggro to pet 3) auto shot 4) move a step in and smack with a big 2 hander and 5) repeat 3 and 4 till dead] may not be highest damage (though it is a surprising amount) its completely mana free. this tactic is only made possible thanks to one of the recent patches that eliminated dead zone now all it takes is one step to be in range. if done correctly you will get a weapon hit and then shot without missing a beat. keep in mind that there is almost no way this will work while dual wielding the slower the weapons the better. {note} you can even mix arcane shots, raptor strikes or a disengage in there. Vegeofalls 19:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)freshkill of crushridge