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[Cataclysm] 4.3 Marksmanship Guide


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#1 Whitefyst

Whitefyst

    Great Tiger

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:06 PM

******** The MM guide is fully updated for Tier 13. Additional information on the impacts of the T13 2P to the base MM rotations provided in the guide may be found in the following addendum to the MM guide ****here****. A link to this post also exists in the T13 discussion section of the guide. ******

Before commenting in this thread, please make sure to read the guide first. There are many posts that are made in this thread that are already answered in the guide. These posts can possibly result in infractions for those that ask them as well as those that answer them. Hence, I am trying to ignore most of these to prevent receiving infractions myself. I realize that the guide is long, which can be daunting for some people. However, I provide a table of contents to help you get to pertinent parts of the guide. Furthermore, you can also do keyword searches in the guide as well.

Note that since 3/3 Pathing is not required (although highly recommended) and cannot be assumed, the required haste numbers listed are the overall haste from gear and Pathing combined. Please note that the haste from Pathing is multiplicative with your haste on gear and is not additive. Thus, 1% Pathing is not necessarily equal to 1% haste on gear or 120.057 haste rating. The table below illustrates this for the several haste points used in this guide.

[TABLE]Pathing|Haste*|Rating* |Haste*|Rating*|Haste*|Rating*|Haste*|Rating*
Ranks|For 5.4%|For 5.4%|For 12.93%|For 12.93%|For 20.66%|For 20.66%|For 26.48%|For 26.48%
0%|5.40%|692|12.93%|1656|20.66%|2646|26.48%|3391
1%|4.36%|558|11.81%|1513|19.47%|2493|25.23%|3231
2%|3.33%|427|10.72%|1373|18.29%|2343|24.00%|3074
3%|2.33%|299|9.64%|1235|17.15%|2196|22.80%|2920[/TABLE]
* Haste or rating from gear.

As can be seen above, the higher haste rating you have from gear, the greater value a point in Pathing is worth in equivalent haste rating. The 1% Pathing applied to 25.23% haste from gear is equivalent to 160 haste rating. The 1% Pathing applied to 11.81% haste from gear is equivalent to 143 haste rating, while the 1% applied to 299 haste rating is just worth 128 haste rating. Thus, points in Pathing save you more haste rating and are more valuable at higher haste levels than at lower haste levels, and thus, each point of Pathing you use to make your haste requirement reduces the value of all of your points in Pathing since it results in less haste on gear for those points to be multiplied.

Recommendation

For those of you who want just a quick answer, here are my recommendations for best performance. If you want more detailed information, the guide has plenty of information to make your eyes gloss over.

The recommendations are currently broken down into two major recommendations depending on whether you prefer to or its better for your current situation to use a more heavy Arcane Shot (AS) focus dump or an Aimed Shot (AI) focus dump.

Generally, AS should always be used as your focus dump when moving or when a boss ability is about to occur that can interrupt or pushback casts. AS is recommended as the focus dump when under no dynamic haste effects with lower lower static haste levels or when without the 10% raid haste buff (which both results in a too slow AI hardcast). Generally, AI should be used as the focus dump when in the Careful Aim phase, when your AI cast is sufficiently hasted (guideline is roughly 1.8s), or as a preference when unhasted with higher ilevel gear and when not moving or in threat of interruption/pushbacks.

Note that when I list shot rotations, I am basically just listing the shots and not necessarily a specific ordering of the shots. The key is the shot selection with a player able to change the order of the shots within the limitations of maintaining ISS and the focus constraints.

General Recommendations for Tier 13

- Use the SS glyph.
- If you use at least a decent amount of ASs, use the AS glyph. Otherwise, suggest the AI glyph.
- Use the RF glyph as your third glyph. It is a little behind on damage with specials DPS, but should be the best when factor in its benefits to non-specials DPS.
-- The KS glyph is a good option if want to increase DPS during the KS phase and you use AS as the focus dump during that phase.
- Pick up one point in Termination
- Use RF pairs most ideally during the CA phase and during the KS phase
- MMM AI procs replace the current focus dump (AS or AI), unless specified otherwise.
- Serpent Sting (SrS) and Chimera Shot (CS) can be ignored preferentially during the Careful Aim phase.
- Since an SS pair generates roughly 50 focus unhasted, you will overcap focus if start the SS pair at or above 50 focus. Hence, it is highly recommend to generally use up as much focus as possible before casting an SS pair to reduce the amount of focus overcapping experienced.

Arcane Shot Recommendation (Still Uses Aimed Shot When Sufficiently Hasted)

This Arcane Shot recommendation applies to those hunters with lower ilevel gear where you have less of a secondary stat pool to buff static haste sufficiently while still maintaining good levels of crit and where you do not yet have any good haste trinkets. It also applies to high gear hunters who want more flexibility for fights with high movement, interruption, and/or AoE components. The information shown below is for the recommendation for MM hunters with the T13 2P bonuses. More detailed information on the impacts of the T13 2P bonus may be found in section 4.2.3 T13 Set Bonuses. For those with the T12 4P, please refer to 4.2.2 T12 Set Bonuses for information on how the T12 4-set bonus impacts the base MM rotation. For those with neither the T12 4P or T13 2P, please refer to the subsections in 6.5 Shot Phases and Rotations that do apply to either of those set bonuses. This information can be utilized to understand the similar impacts for the other fight phases for which detailed analysis is not provided.

- Use a haste level anywhere between 12.93% (old recommendation for 1.4s SS cast time) and 26.48% (value required for a 1.25s SS cast time) haste from gear Pathing. Which haste level is best depends on your specific situation including spec, gearing, desired stat balancing, and focus dump switch decision points. Some interesting haste points in this range include:
-- 14.98%: At this haste level, the deadtime in the CS cycle is 0.5s without the 4th AS with the CS delay being 0.5s with the 4th AS. Focus is almost balanced here, losing about 0.7 focus per cycle. In addition, since the AI cast time is about 2s, you can perform 2 AIs in the same time as the 4 ASs if prefer to do so without affecting the CS cycle. Using the AIs instead result in just a slightly more focus negative cycle at losing about 1.1 focus per cycle. Note though on cycles with an MMM AI proc, you will have 0.5s of deadtime in the CS cycle.
-- 18.50%: At about this haste level, the CS cycle has 0.34s delay with the 4th AS, and the cycle is focus balanced.
-- 21.20%: At about this haste level with about a 1.89s AI cast time, the unhasted AI cycle is tight and almost focus balanced, but with about 0.89s deadtime in the CS cycle on MMM AI proc cycles.
-- 21.62%: At this haste level, SS casts are GCD capped during BL or T13 4P procs. This allows a 5th AS to be cast during a tight CS cycle; however, it also is focus negative by about 8 focus requiring a 5th SS to be fired instead on about every 4th cycle to balance focus. However, using AI as the focus dump is still recommended during BL and T13 4P procs.
-- 26.48%: At about this haste level with a 1.25s SS cast time, the CS cycle has no delay with the 4th AS, and the cycle is slightly focus positive.

CA phase:
- When unhasted, perform the following base cycle. To balance focus, an extra SS can be cast as seldomly needed on MMM AI proc cycles to use the deadtime in the CS cycle on those cycles.
CS-AIx2-SSx4
- During RFs, perform the following base cycle with an extra SS seldomly cast on MMM AI proc cycles to balance DPS
CS-AIx4-SSx5
- During BLs and T13 4P procs, perform the following base cycle with an extra SS on about every other MMM AI proc cycle:
CS-AIx3-SSx5

Standard/Termination Phases:
- When unhasted, perform the following base cycle. Depending on your haste level, very seldomly, an SS may need to replace an AS to balance focus.
CS-ASx4-SSx4
-- During Termination if have at least one point in Termination, the extra SS is never needed.
- During RFs, perform the following base cycle with an extra SS seldomly cast on MMM AI proc cycles to balance DPS
CS-AIx4-SSx5
-- During Termination if have at least one point in Termination, the extra SS is never needed.
- During BLs and T13 4P procs, perform the following base cycle with an extra SS on about every other MMM AI proc cycle:
CS-AIx3-SSx5
-- During Termination if have at least one point in Termination, the extra SS is never needed.

KS Phase:
- When unhasted, perform the following base cycle. The KS replaces an AS in the cycle.
CS-KS-ASx3-SSx4
- During RFs, perform the following base cycle. The KS is added into the Standard phase cycle.
CS-KS-AIx4-SSx5
- During BLs and T13 4P procs, perform the following base cycle. The KS is added into the Standard phase cycle.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx5

Aimed Shot Recommendation (May Still Use Arcane Shot When Unhasted)

This recommendation applies mostly to hunters with high gear ilevel (at least 378) that stack haste rating and want to cast AI as the focus dump as much as possible. This recommendation can be used at lower ilevels, but it is less effective then since you have less secondary stats to play with and have to lower your crit rating too much. There are also different levels of this situation that you can chose depending on your current gear and preferences.

This recommendation takes advantage of the fact that when sufficiently hasted that AI is a more effective focus dump than AS. With the higher amount of secondary stat pool with higher ilevel gear and haste trinkets, hunters can increase the situations in which it is favorable to use AI as your focus dump.

With assuming ISS, 3/3 Pathing, and the raid haste buff, 3029 haste rating (23.65%) is required to get your AI cast time down to the 1.8s guideline. This is possible to achieve with T13 gear. However, you have to sacrifice a lot of other stats in order to achieve it.
However, during haste trinket procs, the guideline is achievable with a reasonable amount of haste. With the 2904 haste from a normal Starcatcher Compass trinket proc, only 125 haste rating is needed from gear to meet the criteria to cast AI.

An optional step is to increase your haste rating even higher so that it is worthwhile casting AIs even when under no dynamic haste effects but to use a slower cast time as the cutoff point. You can chose to cast AI at slightly slower cast times with between 1.8s to 2s casttimes being a gray area in the decision. For a 1.9s AI casttime, only 2196 haste rating (17.14%) is required from gear with 3/3 Pathing. This amount is very achievable in T13 normal gear with still having a somewhat balanced set of secondary stats.

The rotations for using AI as the focus dump all of the time are exactly the same as that recommended for the AS unhasted/AI hasted case previously listed except that all of the unhasted rotations follow the same CS cycle as listed for the unhasted rotation during the CA phase. During the KS phase, the KS is just added as an additional shot to the rotation.

=1.0 Introduction=

This is a compendium of information on raiding as a Marksmanship Hunter in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. It contains everything a beginner needs to achieve basic competence at raid DPS, as well more detailed discussion for people more interested in understanding the theory or more advanced play. This guide is designed to provide information for raiding (PvE). It is not meant to be a complete or accurate source for PvP, soloing, or dungeons.

This information is gathered from many sources, some of which are referenced at the end. The most recent data for DPS comparison was done using Female Dwarf with a 378 T12 normal gear set.

This guide will be updated as gear level progresses and Blizzard changes the game to attempt to be up to the current end game raiding. This guide is currently updated for patch 4.2.

Post any comments/requests/contributions specific to this guide as a comment on this thread (please ensure it's not something already covered here) with following all EJ forum rules.

==1.1 Acronyms and Abbreviations==

[TABLE]Acronym|Definition
Agi|Agility
AI|Aimed Shot
AP|Attack Power
AS|Arcane Shot
Auto|Autoshot
BD|Bestial Discipline
BL|Bloodlust
BiS|Best-in-Slot
Bomb|Bombardment
BM|Beastmastery
CA|Careful Aim
Cata|Cataclysm
CB|Concussive Barrage
CC|Crowd Control
CD|Cooldown
CoS|Cobra Shot
CotW|Call of the Wild
Crit|Critical Strike
CS|Chimera Shot
CtH/CotH|Culling the Herd
DPF|Damage Per Focus
DPS|Damage Per Second
DoT|Damage over Time
Eff|Efficiency
ET|Phone Home or Explosive Trap
FA|Flaming Arrow
FD|Feign Death or Female Dwarf
FPS|Focus Per Second
GCD|Global Cooldown
GfTT|Go for the Throat
HM|Hunter's Mark
HPS|Health Per Second
HvW|Hunter vs. Wild
Ilevel|Item Level
IKC|Improved Kill Command
IMP|Improved Mend Pet
ISrS|Improved Serpent Sting
ISS|Improved Steady Shot
IT|Immolation Trap
KC|and the Sunshine Band or Kill Command
KS|Kill Shot
LoS|Line of Sight
MD|Misdirection
MfD|Marked for Death
MM|Marksmanship
MMM|Master Marksman
MS|Multishot
OF| Owl's Focus or of
OwN|One with Nature
PH|Posthaste
PoNE|Point of No Escape
PS|Piercing Shots
PvE|Player versus Environment
PvP|Player versus Player
RF|Rapid Fire
RiF|Resistance is Futile
RK|Rapid Killing
RoR|Roar of Recovery
RR|Rapid Recuperation
s|seconds
SA|Jaws or Shark Attack
SB|Spirit Bond
SE|Sic'Em
SilS|Silencing Shot
Spec|Talent Specification
SS|Steady Shot
ST|Survival Tactics
Sta|Stamina
SV|Survival
T|Tier or Time
Term|Termination
TM|Trap Mastery
TSA|Trueshot Aura
WB|Wolverine Bite
WH|Wild Hunt
WotLK/Wrath|Wrath of the Lich King
WoW|World of Warcraft
WQ|Wild Quiver[/TABLE]

=2.0 Talents, Glyphs, and Race=

==2.1 The Spec==

This is one example of a maximum DPS Marksmanship spec for current Cataclysm (an AoE spec is provided later in this section): http://www.wowhead.c...uroc:Vzc0fRc0M'>MM spec

The above spec includes the core talents that all MM hunters should include, the situational talents that currently work best for me, and my preferential placement of the optional talents. Many other viable options exist beyond that shown, and the information that follows is meant to help guide you in making your own choices for how to spend your talent points given your situation and play style.

Any PvE Marksmanship spec should include the following talents in the Marksmanship (MM) tree, accounting for 24 of the 31 required talent points in the tree to open up the other hunter trees:
Go for the Throat (GftT), Efficiency (Eff), Sic’Em (SE), Improved Steady Shot (ISS), Careful Aim (CA), Piercing Shots (PS), Rapid Recuperation (RR), Master Marksman (MMM), Readiness, Posthaste (PH), and Chimera Shot (CS).

That leaves 7 points in the Marksmanship tree. Options for these talents have mostly utility or situational DPS benefits. At least 5 of the 7 points must be in any of the following talents in order to open up the fifth tier:
Rapid Killing (RK), Silencing Shot (SilS), Concussive Barrage (CB), Bombardment (Bomb), Trueshot Aura (TSA), Termination (Term), and Resistance is Futile (RiF).

The last two points can be in either of the above talents or Marked for Death (MfD).

For these last 7 points in the MM tree, there's no generally best choice for these, although there are some worst choices. Which is best depends on your raid situation, play style, and personal preferences.

For the final 10 talent points, it is recommended that they are spent outside the MM tree. With our stats at 85, the optimal DPS use of our final 10 talent points is to spend 7 to 8 in the Beast Mastery (BM) tree, mostly to increase our pet DPS and the AP from Aspect of the Hawk. The remaining two to three points should usually be placed in Pathing providing the best DPS results from the SV tree.

Note my preferential choices on some talents:
- I have my 10th non-MM talent point in Pathing instead of Frenzy. Depending on your situation, preferences, and race, topping off Frenzy instead of Pathing may be better. With all of the haste rating on T13 gear and with the current benefits from stacking more haste, 3/3 Pathing is the better option in most cases, even for Orcs
- For the last two talent points in the MM tree to open up the 5th tier, I have chosen a point each in Rapid Killing and Termination.
-- I prefer to talent Rapid Killing primarily for its synergy with RR and the 50 focus returned on killing blows. Although this has no benefit on boss fights with no adds, it does have plenty of benefits on boss fights with adds and trash, especially in 10-mans where you are more likely to get a killing blow. The focus returned from Rapid Killing is especially useful when AoEing since the focus return allows you to continue using MS without needing SSs to regain focus. The fact that I can get a 10% damage bonus on my next AI or SS is just an additional benefit.
-- I prefer a single point in Termination mostly for its benefits when I am hasted. When I am unhasted and using AS as the focus dump, Termination has limited benefits since there are only so many ASs that you can perform in a tight CS cycle while still performing the SSs required to maintain ISS. However, when hasted and using AI as your focus dump, the additional focus from Termination can be very valuable since it can allow an extra AI to be cast periodically instead of an SS. Thus, the more often you are hasted in the Termination/Kill Shot phases, the more valuable this talent is.
-- The alternatives to these choices include Silencing Shot (which I do not talent in my primary PvE spec since I am rarely needed to interrupt casts), Resistance is Futile (a talent of which I am not fond), and the second point in Termination (which is not as useful generally as the first and because I prefer Rapid Killing).
- I talent TSA. Although there are other sources of TSA in my 10-man raid, we rotate in 12 players with some changing roles from fight to fight. Hence, at any given time, I may be the only source of the 10% AP buff since our paladin may be out that week, our Death Knight tank may be DPSing since it is a single tank fight, and we have no Enhancement shaman. To ensure that my raids always have the powerful 10% AP buff, I talent TSA. I also talent TSA to make sure I have it when soloing and doing dungeons. Considering how powerful TSA is personally and to the group and raid and how weak the alternative talent choices are, I generally recommend talenting for TSA. However, if you raid in a group where alternative sources of the 10% AP buff always exist and yours is not needed and you want to optimize your DPS, then dropping TSA for another talent can be beneficial (I recommend topping off Term).
- I choose to talent Marked for Death. Although its benefit does not apply on single target fights of less than 5 mins, it is beneficial on fights that last more than 5 mins or with target switching since the talent provides a Hunter’s Mark debuff (lots of AP) on targets with being able to spend the GCD on an attack instead of casting Hunter’s Mark.

Here is an example of an AoE/adds control spec for certain fights that may require it (such as Magmaw or Bethilac if on adds): MM AoE Spec

The main difference between this spec and the maximum DPS spec is that it primarily gives up pet damage to increase AoE damage and add control. However, it still maintains most of your non-pet talents so that hunter DPS is mostly unaffected for parts of the fight when you may not be AoEing. The pet talents sacrificed include Frenzy, Bestial Discipline, and 1 or more points in Sic’Em. In this example spec, the point in Termination is removed as well since when AoEing you will be doing less SSs in general and especially when adds are dyeing and focus is being returned via the RK and RR synergy. The main goal of these changes is to pick up Entrapment in the Survival tree to help control adds. The other major change is to pick up Concussive Barrage to also help with add control. Furthermore, the major glyphs of Trap Launcher (to save focus when launching traps for AoE), Ice Trap (to increase its radius to help with add control), and Scatter Shot (decent focus free AoE attack that can possibly provide add control as well when low on focus).

The following helps to explain each talent to describe why it is either a mandatory or optional talent as well as its benefits for PvE.

===2.1.1 Marksmanship Talent details===

• Go for the Throat (GftT): Provides 5/10 focus for your pet each time your autoshot crits. This talent helps to maintain pet focus so it can attack at its maximum rate. Providing sufficient focus for your pet is even more important with the Wild Hunt (WH) pet talent design that buffs its DPS when at higher focus levels. With current crit rates, we are not able to maintain enough pet focus with 2/2 WH to support 100% uptime. Hence, we need every possible pet focus regen talent available to increase our pet (and our) DPS. Assuming an average 2s autoshot frequency and a 40% crit rate, this talent provides your pet with 10 focus every 5s or 2 focus per second (fps), which is equivalent to about the focus regen for your pet from 50% haste when otherwise unhasted. The benefit of this talent is reduced in non-ideal fight situations where you are not autoshotting constantly or when autoshot is locked out by Aimed Shot (AI) hardcasts.
• Efficiency (Eff): Reduces the cost of our CS by 6 (down to 44) and our Arcane Shot (AS) by 3 (to 22). This talent saves focus for two of our three main focus costing shots to allow more of them to be performed. Assuming a 10s CS rotation with 3 AS within it, this talent saves 15 focus over that 10s or 1.5 fps. This is the equivalent to the focus regen from 37.5% haste when under no other haste effects. For those with the CS glyph doing 2 ASs every 9s CS cycle, this talent saved 12 focus over 10s or 1.2 fps, equivalent to the focus regen from 30% haste when under no other haste effects. Cycles with a Master Marksman AI proc replacing an AS, reduces the benefit of this talent some. For a CS cycle with AI as the focus dump, this talent is a little less beneficial since only 6 focus is saved per cycle. With an AI focus dump cycle lasting anywhere between 10 and 15s, this equates to about 0.4 to 0.6 fps, equivalent to the focus regen from 10 to 15% haste when under no other haste effects.
• Rapid Killing (RK): This optional talent provides two effects whenever you get a killing blow – 10/20% bonus damage to your next Steady Shot (SS) or Aimed Shot (AI) and 25/50 focus depending on how many points you have in Rapid Recuperation (RR). Although the bonus damage is nice, the main reason for this talent is the instant focus to allow more higher damage shots. This talent is optional since it requires a killing blow to get any benefit. Many bosses are the only target throughout the duration of the fight, resulting in no opportunities for a killing blow. Even if there are opportunities for killing blows, you may not get it since another DPS in the raid may get the killing blow instead. Hence, the talent has more potential in 10-man raids over 25-man raids where there is less competition for the killing blow. Regardless, there are still plenty of situations on boss fights where a single point in this talent has a nice DPS potential with ways to increase your chances to get the killing blow. This talent is very useful when performing AoE since you have a much larger chance of getting a killing blow and doing so empowers more Multishots (MS) without having to regen focus via SS, which increases your AoE output. This talent is also very useful while fighting trash mobs between bosses. Since you only need 1 point in RK to get the full 50 focus benefit from RR when you get a killing blow, only 1 point in this talent is recommended.
• Sic’Em (SE): Allows your pet to take a focus free basic attack after you crit with AS or AI. Note that the savings is always the base 25 focus and not the actual full cost due to WH. Hence, with 2/2 WH, Sic'Em reduces the focus cost from 50 to 25 focus. This is another talent like GftT that is needed to maximize your pet’s DPS. It is difficult to quantify the benefit of this talent since it depends not only on how frequently you are using AS and AI and their crit rates but also on when these procs occur relative to your pet's focus levels. Assuming at least one AS or AI crit every 10s CS cycle, this talent saves 2.5 pet fps, which is roughly equivalent to the focus regen from 62% haste. Note that with the roughly 100% crit rate of AI during the Careful Aim phase, this talent saves a lot of your pet's focus during that phase allowing it to have high WH uptimes in that phase. One item to note with this talent is possible Sic’Em overwrites. Since your pet’s basic attack occurs every 3 seconds, it is possible to get a second Sic’Em proc before your pet has been able to utilize the first, in which case the first Sic’Em procs provides not benefit. Because of this fact when you have flexibility in the order of your shots, it is recommended not to perform too many ASs or hasted AIs consecutively to reduce the chance of Sic’Em overwrites.
• Improved Steady Shot (ISS): Provides a 15% haste buff after you perform consecutive SSs. Just like any other haste buff, the benefits from this is reduced SS cast time, reduced AI cast time, and higher autoshot frequency. Note that this haste does not affect focus regen for you or your pet (although the more frequent autoshots does result in more GftT procs, increasing pet focus). This talent has an impact on how we perform our shot priority, which is discussed later.
• Careful Aim (CA): Increases your crit rate for SS and AI by 30/60% on targets above 90% health. Although this talent only applies to 10% of the health of a target, it is still very beneficial, and there are no better DPS talents to take to help open up the fifth tier of the MM tree. 2 points in this talent is recommended. This 30/60% increased crit rate on SS and AI is also beneficial since these shots also get the bonus crit damage from Piercing Shots (PS). This talent can have an impact on the maximum DPS shot priority over the first 10% of boss health and is discussed later.
• Silencing Shot (SilS): Focus free instant shot with no GCD that interrupts the target and silences it for 3s. Since SilS no longer does damage, it is no longer the DPS benefit that it was during Wrath. Furthermore, there are also plenty of other sources of interrupts and silences out there that we do not necessarily need this shot. Hence, I list it as an optional talent; however, I recommend it depending on your raid’s availability for alternative interrupts. It is just a single point for a nice ranged silence/interrupt that can be a useful utility shot for several boss strategies. Even if not part of a boss strategy, timely use of this shot can prevent casts by caster targets, increasing the survivability of the raid and conserving healer mana. In addition, since it costs no focus or GCD, you can also macro or modifier key it into your other shots to randomly provide the raid survivability benefit if you are not needed to specifically interrupt a target. One word of warning if you do macro SilS into your other shots, is that your SilS interrupts can possibly through the timing off for planned interrupts for those responsible for doing so. Hence, on fights with interrupt timing that you are not involved in, be prepared to comment out (#) the SilS lines in your shot macros or use some other method to prevent its casts. There are many dungeon boss fights where the use of SilS can make the fight much easier to survive if your group does not have alternative interrupters.
• Concussive Barrage (CB): Your CS and MS daze the target for 4s. Although this may be a beneficial talent situationally for PvE, it is more a PvP and soloing talent. Dazing targets generally provides no DPS benefits. In addition, it can inhibit the tanks ability to move a mob around. It can be beneficial in situations where you still want to do damage but also want to slow targets or when kiting. This talent is not generally recommended for most PvE situations since if you really want to daze single-targets, you can use Concussive Shot (albeit with no damage done) instead. This talent can be useful on fights where AoE add control is helpful, such as the parasites in the Magmaw encounter.
• Piercing Shots (PS): SS, AI, and CS crits apply a bleed on the target for 30% of the damage done. This is essentially an additional 30% damage bonus to your crits. The benefit is actually 39% for targets that have the 30% extra bleed damage debuff (such as Mangle) on them. Considering that you should normally be doing 5-6 of the shots affected by PS every 10s CS rotation, assuming a 40% crit rate, that is over two PS procs on average every 10s. For single-target fights, PS should be accounting for at least 10 to 12% of your DPS. On fights with a lot of AoE, the benefit of PS is reduced, but it is still significant. For those unfamiliar with how PS works, this is how it works with assuming for simplicity that all shots that proc PS do 10K damage and that the target does not have the bleed debuff on it. When the first PS procs, 3K damage is set up to tick off every second for 8s at 375 (=3K/ 8) damage per tick. If no other PS proc occurs within that 8s, the PS bleed will fall off the target at the end of the 8s. If a second PS proc occurs before the first PS proc expires, the PS effect is recalculated using the full amount for the current proc and the remaining amount of the existing proc. Hence, if the first proc had ticked 4 times, it still had 1500 damage to go. The amount of the new tick is calculated by adding the new and remaining damage together and dividing by 8. Thus, in this scenario, the new tick would be (3000 + 1500) / 8 = 562. Hence, you will only see changes in your PS amount when either a proc occurs (causing a step change in the amount of the ticks) or the tick falls off. The step change when a proc occurs can either be a step up or down in damage depending on the relative damage of the new proc to previous procs and the number of ticks remaining.
• Bombardment (Bomb): The focus cost of your next MS is reduced by 25/50% when your MS crits. Since you should only be using MS usually in AoE situations where there are at least 3 targets, you should usually proc this with every MS done, allowing you to do more MSs before needing to do a SS to regain focus. This talent is listed as optional since it is only beneficial in AoE situations. I chose this talent since when we do need to do AoE, it makes a huge difference, and since the current raiding tier has several boss fights with critical AoE portions (e.g, Magmaw, Maloriak, Halfus, Cho'gall, Conclave of the Four Winds).
• Trueshot Aura (TSA): Provides a 10% AP buff to the raid. This is a huge benefit to the raid. How much of a benefit depends on how much of your raid does physical damage and how much damage they do, but regardless, the benefit is considerable. This talent is optional although it has such a tremendous DPS benefit to you and the raid since there are many other sources for this buff. The most common source is a paladin’s Blessing of Might, which they are now more likely to buff since the druid’s Mark of the Wild is equivalent to Blessing of Kings. The benefit is also provided by Blood DKs, Enh Shamans, and the Shale Spider pet. Because of this situation, many hunters decide to skip this talent to put the point into additional utility. Although I do have an alternate source of the buff in my raids, I still take TSA since it only costs 1 point for a huge benefit, to provide a little raid redundancy on this important buff, and so that I will have the buff while soloing or doing dungeons.
• Termination (Term): Allows your SS shot to regain 3/6 additional focus on target below 25% health. If doing 4 SSs per 10s CS cycle, that is 24 focus every 10s or 2.4 fps, which is equivalent to the focus regen from about 60% haste. At first glance, this may seem like a very beneficial talent. Although it is indeed very beneficial in some cases, it can actually provide no benefit in others, which is why I list it as an optional talent. The problem with this talent is that roughly 80% of its duration applies to targets being below 20% health, at which point Kill Shot (KS) gets added into our shot priority. Since KS is a focus free shot and normally takes the place of a focus dump in the rotation (which saves us 22-100 focus depending on whether you have the KS glyph or not and whether you are using AS or AI as the focus dump), we often already have more focus than we can use when the target is below 20% health if we are maintaining ISS. Hence, in those situations, Term provides no or little benefit since that extra focus is just often wasted. The primary situation where Term becomes beneficial is if you are hasted during its effects. The recommended rotations when we are hasted are not tight CS cycles that are GCD limited and often have spare SSs beyond the 4 required to maintain ISS such that we can take advantage of the extra focus from Termination to add in additional focus dumps or replace extra SSs with them. Thus, if you are under dynamic haste effects for a significant portion of the last 25% of the boss fight, Termination can have significant DPS benefits. Termination can also be beneficial when unhasted if you are willing to not maintain ISS at 100% uptime over the last 20% of boss health. If you are willing to replace the last 2 SSs used to maintain 100% ISS uptime with ASs, then you can take advantage of that extra focus while still maintaining ISS uptime at roughly 80 or 88%, depending on whether you have the CS glyph. The problems with this situation is that you lose some autoshot frequency (and resulting pet focus) with the lost ISS uptime and with only doing 2 SSs per cycle, Term is now only providing 12 focus every 10s or 1.2 fps, equivalent to the focus regen from 30% haste. Furthermore, this 2 SS/Term rotation is only sustainable for 1 to 2 cycles, meaning that you will have to “alternate” it with the 4 SS cycle in which Term provides no or little benefits if the last 20% lasts longer than 15-20s. This ISS downtime approach with Term works best with the CS glyph since your ISS downtime will be shorter with only 2 SSs per rotation and since you only have 1 focus free KS every 10s instead 2 every 11s meaning that you are doing more ASs that will benefit from the extra focus from Term. Thus, Term can be a significant DPS gain in some situations (primarily when hasted) and can be only a small DPS gain in others.
• Resistance is Futile (RiF): Provides a 4/8% chance for a focus free Kill Command (KC) on our marked target. This is listed as an optional talent due to its situational benefit and since it is more of a PvP and soloing talent. It provides us no benefit on targets that either do not move, or which the strategy is not to move them. On targets that do move, RiF can provide a DPS benefit since KC does more damage than AS and since it is focus free and does not cost the expensive 40 focus that it normally does and saves the 22 focus we would have spent on AS. However, whenever KC replaces AS, we do lose the opportunity to get benefits from Sic’Em. Other problems with this ability is that it requires your pet to be on a target to benefit from the KC and that it can proc out of combat on moving targets pre-marked and trigger its ICD. Similar to MMM, when RiF procs, you get 3 UI cues, a floating combat message (believe it’s “Resitance is Futile”), an aura, and your KC button is highlighted.
• Rapid Recuperation (RR): Provides 6/12 focus every 3 seconds while under the effect of Rapid Fire (RF). This is equivalent to 2/4 fps or the focus regen from about 50/100% haste. This benefit is on top of the additional focus regen from the haste of RF. RR empowers you with plenty of focus to shoot AIs while under the effect of RF. When under RF, you should be close to or below a 1s SS cast time, meaning that you can do about 1 to 2 more GCDs per CS cycle. With those GCDs being an AI for maximum DPS, that is an additional 50 focus cost per cycle, which the 4 fps from RR alone almost makes up. The additional focus regen from the haste of RF, makes up the additional focus needed to power the extra AI.
• Master Marksman (MMM): Each SS has a 60% chance to gain the MMM effect. When MM stacks up to 5, we get a focus free, instant cast AI. We readily know when we have the free AI since we get several cues in the form of a “Fire!” message, a crossed-arrows graphic aura, and our AI button becoming highlighted. On average, it should take about 8 to 9 SSs to get the free AI. With doing at least 4 SSs per cycle to maintain ISS, we should get a free AI roughly at least every other CS cycle or at least every 20s (18s with CS glyph). With how much damage AI does, with how much focus it normally costs, and with how long its cast time can be with a base cast time of 2.9s, having an instant cast, focus free version is a huge benefit.
• Readiness: Resets all of our hunter abilities’ CDs. It does not reset the CDs on any gear or items. The DPS benefit of this talent is allowing the hunter to do back to back RFs, CSs (if have sufficient focus), and KSs (if available). It also has other utility benefits of resetting our FD, MD, Deterrence, Disengage, etc. CDs.
• Posthaste (PH): The main benefit of this talent is the reduction of the RF CD to 3 mins. Besides allowing a more frequent RF, the key benefit of the CD reduction is to line up the RF CD with the Readiness CD so that every time we use Readiness we can do back to back RFs too. The additional benefit is the 15% movement speed buff for 4s after every use of Disengage. Since we only use Disengage when we need to move, the extra movement speed helps us either to survive or get back into combat quicker. • Marked for Death (MfD): Allows your CS and AS to automatically apply a Hunter’s Mark (HM) equivalent effect on the target. The MfD has the same AP benefits as HM and can be applied to multiple targets. The benefit of this talent is that you do not have to spend a GCD to mark a target with HM when you change targets in combat. It removes the decision on how long the target is going to live to know whether it is worth casting HM. Previously, we either used a GCD to apply HM or went without the additional and significant AP benefits of HM. With MfD, the decision is removed, and we get the DPS benefit of HM while spending the GCD to take high damage attacks. The reason that this talent is listed as optional is because it only provides a benefit on fights where you switch targets or where it lasts over 5 mins. On single target fights of less than 5 mins in duration, the talent is useless since you would apply HM before combat. However, on non-single target fights, which most trash fights and plenty of boss fights are, or on fights lasting more than 5-mins that would require a HM refresh, this talent has DPS benefits for you and other hunters in the raid on your target.
• Chimera Shot (CS): Besides being our second highest damaging shot (especially when adding in the 30% crit damage bonus from PS), CS provides two additional benefits. First, it refreshes the Serpent Sting (SrS) duration on the target. The current implementation of the refresh of SrS does not reset when ticks occur. For instance, if CS refreshes SrS when it has 5s left on its 15s duration, the SrS duration is set to 17s, which includes the two remaining seconds to the next tick. Hence, the next tick will be 2s later instead of 3s. Thus, while SrS is on the target, it will tick every 3s regardless of where in the 3s tick cycle CS is cast such that ticks are not lost. The second effect is healing you for 5% of your total health, which is a nice survival benefit. On some fights, the number 1 heal on me is my own CS self-heals.

===2.1.2 Beast Mastery Talent details===

• Improved Kill Command (IKC): Increases the crit chance of KC by 5/10%. Since regular KCs (ones that cost focus) are not a part of the standard MM shot priority, this talent is only beneficial if you also talent RiF for the focus free KCs or utilize KC instead of AS on T12 4-set procs. Even then, this talent is not that useful since its just 10% crit on an ability that you use infrequently.
• One with Nature (OwN): OwN has two effects. The first increases the AP bonus of Aspect of the Hawk (AotH) by 10/20/30%. Since AotH now provides 2000 AP, OwN provides 220/440/660 AP including the 10% AP bonus, which is a nice DPS benefit, making this a required talent for the maximum DPS build. The second increases the amount of focus restored by melee attacks against you by 1/2/3 while in Aspect of the Fox (AotF). The latter benefit is more of a PvP benefit.
• Bestial Discipline (BD): Increases pet’s focus regen by 10/20/30%. BD is important in early Cataclysm to help maintain pet focus and WH uptime. With 3/3 OwN being preferred to get to the next BM tier, 2/3 BD is highly recommended.
• Pathfinding: Provides speed benefits in various situations that we normally would not be using in PvE combat. Thus, this talent is not recommended.
• Spirit Bond: While your pet is active, provides 1/2% healing per 10s to you and your pet and increases heals on you both by 10%. Although not a DPS talent, it is a great survival talent, and you can only DPS is you are alive. I have not chosen this talent since survival in fights is usually not a problem for most hunters. However, if survival starts to be a problem in Cataclysm raids, then this talent will be a good option. However, considering that MMs already have a better self heal (5% instead of 2% every 10s) from CS, I doubt that this talent will be needed.
• Frenzy: Increases pet attack speed by 2/4/6% after it makes a basic attack. This talent provides a nice increase to pet DPS. However, it is only beneficial in fights where your pet is able to attack regularly. . If you are an orc, then the racial Command makes this talent more desirable.
• Improved Mend Pet: Allows your Mend Pet the chance to remove a status ailment from your pet. This is a nice utility ability, especially since it saves others in your raid from having to spend resources to remove status effects from your pet. However, it is not worth it in most cases.

===2.1.3 Survival Talent details===

• Hunter vs. Wild (HvW): Increases stamina by 4/7/10%. This is a nice survival boost; however, it has no DPS benefit if you are surviving fine already. Hence, it is not recommended unless you are having trouble surviving; however, in most of those cases, it still doesn’t help you if you do not move out of the fire.
• Pathing: Provides 1/2/3% ranged haste. This talent generally provides a significant DPS boost since it saves you at least the equivalent of 1% haste on gear when acquiring the recommended haste amounts for specific rotations. Note that the benefit of this talent increases with the amount of haste rating that you have on gear since this talent is multiplicative with your haste on gear. Conversely, since having more points in this talent results in you needing less haste from gear to achieve a haste recommendation, having more points in this talent indirectly reduces the benefit of each point in the talent if your haste rating from gear is reduced because of it. The haste from Pathing does increase our focus regen amount.
• Improved Serpent Sting (ISrS): ISrS has two effects. The first is to apply a 15/30% bonus instant damage to your SrS casts. This effect is very weak for MMs since it only applies to the cast of SrS and not the refreshes by CS. Thus, in most boss fights where we have 100% SrS uptime with only a single SrS cast, we would only get the 30% bonus damage (about 4 to 5K damage currently) once over the full duration of the fight (which results in only about a 13 to 17 DPS gain for a 5 min fight). The second benefit is the 5/10% extra chance for SrS ticks to crit. This part of the talent is more beneficial for MM hunters, but still less beneficial than other alternatives.
• Survival Tactics (ST): This talent has two utility benefits, neither that are necessary for most PvE situations. The first is a 2/4% reduced chance that your traps will be resisted. This has little to no benefit in most situations in PvE. The second is a 2/4s reduction in the Disengage CD. Thus, this talent is not recommended.
• Trap Mastery ™: This talent increases the duration of your water based control traps (Ice and Freezing) by 10/20%, your fire based damage traps (Immolation and Explosive) by 10/20%, and the number of snakes in a snake trap by 2/4. With how seldom we normally use traps in raid situations, how unlikely the increased duration of control traps is necessary, and with how small the damage increase to the fire traps is compared to our overall DPS, this talent is not recommended, although it may be beneficial on certain fights for certain strategies. However, normally any benefits that this talent can provide are outweighed by the losses in the talent(s) sacrificed to get this one.
• Entrapment: Entraps all affected targets for 2/4s when Ice Trap or Snake Trap is triggered. With how seldom we use traps in PvE and how seldom entrapping them is necessary, this talent is not recommended in a maximum DPS build. However, there may be some fights where the additional AoE control that can be provided by this talent (such as on the parasites on the Magmaw encounter) may be more beneficial for that particular encounter over the DPS loss for acquiring this talent.
• Point of No Escape (PoNE): Increases your critical strike chance on all targets affected by your Ice or Freezing Traps by 3/6%. Once again, with how seldom we use these traps in PvE, this talent is not recommended.

==2.2 Glyphs==

===2.2.1 Prime Glyphs===

The prime glyphs in order of rough DPS benefit from my analysis using a 397 gear set are provided below. Note that the suggestions here are based on the preference of having AS as your primary focus dump outside the CA phase and when not under dynamic haste effects. This is modeled in FD using the a T13 normal gear set. If you prefer to use AI as your primary focus dump at all times, then the value of the AS glyph decreases dramatically where you probably do not want to take it, while the value of the AI glyph increases where it may be a good option depending on whether you need the additional focus savings. In addition, if you go with a low haste from gear build, the value of the CS glyph is reduced, while the value of the RF glyph is increased. Finally, if you use AI as your focus dump more often, then the value of the CS glyph is generally reduced since it is harder to have a tight 9s CS cycle when casting AI at cast times that vary with different dynamic haste levels.

Steady Shot: +10% damage on SS, our by far most used special with at least 4 every 9 to 10s. Female Dwarf shows it as worth about a 550 DPS. This glyph is a must have for MMs. Note though that with the T13 2P requiring less SS to be cast to maintain focus that the value of the glyph has decreased a little.

The next several glyphs are all good options for MM for the final two glyph spots depending on your situation and preferrences. These are listed in no particular order.

Aimed Shot: 5 focus returned on a AI crit. This glyph is obviously only beneficial when we are hardcasting AI, which is during the CA phase and when under dynamic haste conditions or almost always for those that prefer it for the standstill focus dump. It provides no benefit to MMM AI procs since they are focus free. For a 5 min fight, we are under dynamic haste effects (not including any trinket procs) for 1:40 min if there is no overlap of RF and BL. You can also get 3 T13 4P procs for an additional 1 min of haste time if there is no overlap with RF and BL, for 2:40 mins total, assuming that you do not have a haste trinket. A haste trinket can increase the hasted uptime more, but is also likely to overlap with other haste effects some as well. Since a haste trinket is not in the two best trinkets, I do not include a haste trinket in the analysis. Hence, about 47% of the fight is unhasted, during which we are not hardcasting AI and during which this glyph has no benefit. This glyph has its biggest benefit during the CA phase where every AI hardcast is a crit and benefits from this glyph. During this period, we should be under the effects of RF, which allows more AI hardcasts to benefit from the glyph due to both the shorter cast times and the higher focus regen from the additional RF haste and the effects of RR. However, this glyph may not provide much benefit during that period. Considering that the glyph saves 5 focus per crit, we need to cast 10 AIs before we save enough focus for an additional one during the CA phase. In the best case scenario of the RF glyph and not casting CS/SrS during the CA phase, at most about 11 or 12 AIs can be cast. Thus, the glyph can empower at most about 1 extra AI over this phase. Without the RF glyph, you can only perform about 10 or 11 AIs over that period, empowering an extra AI. If you also use CS/SrS over the RF period, you can only cast at most 7 AIs. During 30s of RF outside the CA phase, we can hardcast a maximum of 7 AIs. During 100s of BL and T13 4P procs, we can also hardcast a maximum of 14 AIs. That is a total of 21 AIs outside the CA phase (all other AIs are MMM procs), which with assuming a 40% crit rate, would have on average 8.4 crits and save 42 focus. The benefit of the glyph over the whole fight is basically about 2 additional AI hardcasts at most replacing alternative shots. At the lower haste amounts or without the haste trinkets, the benefit of the glyph is lower since we are performing less AIs during this period since their cast times are longer and we have less dynamic haste periods. Other factors that adversely affect this glyph are when we replace AI hardcasts with ASs while moving or when concerned the cast could be interrupted/pushbacked or when T12 4-set procs result in a focus free AI hardcast, removing the opportunity for the glyph to provide any benefit on that cast. For my set up, FD shows the AI glyph as a +152 DPS over having no glyph and -180 DPS less than the AS glyph. In a model with casting AI as the focus dump all of the time, the AI glyph only provides a +236 DPS benefit. This value is reduced by any of the several items previously mentioned such as lower haste amounts, having to use more ASs for any of several reasons, and not having haste trinkets. Hence, I do not recommend this glyph unless you are using hardcast AI as your focus dump always or a very large percentage of the fight, in which case this glyph could replace the AS glyph.

Arcane Shot: +12% damage on AS. With using AS as our primary focus dump outside the CA phase and when unhasted, FD shows this glyph worth about 332 DPS in this case with doing 52 AS over the 5 mins (about 1 every 5.8s). The value of this glyph is even higher when you account for using ASs while moving or when possibly being interrupted during periods where you would normally be using AI as the focus dump, if you have less dynamic haste effects (i.e., under effects of BL debuff) resulting in using AS more often, or if you prefer to use AS more often. If you prefer AI as your focus dump and only rarely use AS, then this glyph is a poor option. Also note that the benefit of this glyph is slightly reduced if you also have the CS glyph since the CS glyph cycles perform slightly fewer ASs. Note that the benefit of this glyph is increased in T13 content with being able to cast more ASs per CS cycle since need to cast less SS to maintain focus.

Chimera Shot: Reduces CS CD by 1s. With how much more damage that CS does than our other shots (besides AI) and its additional benefits, reducing its CD to allow more CSs has the potential for a lot of benefit, but depending on your gear and shot selection. Female Dwarf shows a wide range of benefits from this glyph depending on your situation with the benefit being anywhere from 0 to several hundred DPS if you can somewhat consistently maintain a tight 9s CS cycle. With the gear set used in my analysis, FD shows the CS glyph as about a 371 DPS gain (when used with SS and AS glyphs) over no glyph but a 72 DPS loss when compared to the RF glyph. If instead the case uses the SS and RF glyphs, the CS glyph replacing the AS glyph loses about 100 DPS with the T13 gear set , when it used to be a gain over the AS glyph in some cases. The main reason for this change is that prior to the T13 2P, the 3 AS 10s CS cycle, was focus negative with shortening the cycle to 9s helping with focus management. However, with the extra focus from the T13 2P, we now not only have enough focus to cast the 3 AS, but also have enough in most situations to make it worthwhile to delay our CS casts to cast a 4th AS. Another reason I do not recommend the CS glyph with the T13 gear is that it is almost impossible to have a consistently tight 9s CS cycle without wasting a lot of focus or having significant deadtime in the CS cycle to be able to cast CS immediately off CD. It has the further complication of the fact that we have so many various haste effects, where you have to decide for what situation to ideally design the 9s CS cycle and possibly take a hit in other haste situations. The largest consistent shot rotation part of the fight is when you are unhasted. If using AS as your focus dump unhasted, there are two haste cases for a tight CS cycle. These are at 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing (which is impossible to achieve in T13 gear and results in a lot of wasted focus) and 26.48% haste from gear and Pathing (which requires sacrificing a lot of other stats to achieve). Either case is not ideal for T13 gear and the haste levels that are easily achieveable. With these haste levels, you will usually either have significant delay in your CS cast eating into the benefit of the CS glyph or have significant deadtime and focus wasting that could be used to cast more shots for more DPS. If using AI as you focus dump unhasted, then a tight, fairly focus balanced 10s CS cycle is achieveable at about a reasonable 21.2% haste from gear and Pathing. However, with the CS glyph, there are no clean CS cycles. At about 7.8% haste from gear and Pathing, you can have a 1 AI CS cycle, but it has a several problems, including a slow 2.13s cast time, wasting about 40 focus per cycle, and 1.13s of deadtime on MMM AI proc cycles. The haste level for a tight 9s CS cycle with 2 AIs in it, requires an impossibly high 36.4% haste from gear and Pathing, and although it is focus balanced, still has 0.7s deadtime on MMM AI proc cycles. The deadtime on the AI MM proc cycles is balanced with a delay in the CS cycle at about 30.2% haste from gear and Pathing, which is too high as well. Another option would be to design the haste level for AI rotations when under the effect of BL and T13 4P procs, but even then, you still have the problem of the impact of MMM AI procs on about every other cycle or more. Thus, I still recommend not using the CS glyph for most players and situations. To fully benefit from the CS glyph, you have to design your rotation around it with aiming for the ideal amounts of static haste to maximize the glyph, with is made difficult with various and numerous dynamic haste levels and the MMM AI procs.

Rapid Fire: Increases haste from RF by 10%. This glyph is a better option at the lower haste recommendation of 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing, since it lowers your SS casts during RFs to about the 1s GCD. As you gain static haste from 5.4% to 12.93%, the benefit of the glyph to SS casts is reduced until it is eliminated at 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing. However, even above the 12.93% haste recommendation or at higher haste levels, the glyph still has benefits since during RFs it still increases your autoshots and all DPS effects derived from them and reduces your AI cast time, possibly allowing an extra AI to be cast on some CS cycles. With the gear set used for this analysis (which is much higher than 12.93% haste where the glyph does not benefit SS casts) and having the SS and AS glyphs chosen as well, the RF glyph has about a 445 DPS benefit, making it the second highest DPS glyph. Hence, I recommend this glyph with the T13 gear set. Not that the value of this glyph is reduced if not able to casts the maximum number of AIs during it; thus, to maximize the benefit of this glyph, it is important to cast RF outside the CA phase in periods where it is safe to cast AIs.

Kill Shot: Resets your KS CD if KS does not kill the target with a 6s CD on the reset. This theoretically allows 2 KS every 11s. However, since KS is only available during the last 20% of boss health, this glyph has a limited benefit. Whether the KS glyph is a good option for the third glyph or not used to not be straightforward decision; however, it is more of a straightfoward decision with T13 gear, with that decision being to generally avoid this glyph. This is because the KS glyph has two potential benefits with its use. These are the focus savings and the damage done as compared to the shot it replaces. With the T13 gear set, the focus savings from KS is not needed as much. In fact, in some cases the focus savings from the KS without the KS glyph is not needed at all, although it still helps in other cases. Hence, the focus savings from the 2nd KS due to the glyph is pretty much never needed anymore and results in overcapping. The damage of KS is still more than AS, so replacing an AS with a KS is still a good situation; however, if you are using AI as the focus dump, then replacing a hasted AI with a KS is a poor decision. Furthermore, in many situations, the benefit of the glyph can be minimal and lesser than the other options. Additional factors include:
- You cannot perform both KSs every CS cycle when performing a tight CS cycle. This is because the 11s “CD” on the back to back KSs is longer than the normal 10s CS cycle. This means that your back to back KSs must float in your rotation and not be in consistent locations. Thus, you will be unable to perform the back-to-back KSs every so many cycles since it will essentially be on CD the whole CS cycle. The number of non-KS cycles is increased by the limitations of when you can cast your KSs. Since CS and MMM AI procs do higher damage, they have higher priority as does the second SS in an SS pair to maintain ISS. Hence, although just by reading the glyph it may appear that you can perform about 82% more KSs with the glyph (2 in 11s instead of 1 in 10s), the percent of additional KSs that can be performed with the KS glyph is actually a lot less. The number is even lower with the CS glyph with its shorter CS cycle and greater GCD limitations. Hence, I do not recommend the CS and KS glyphs ever be taken together.
- If you are on the move a lot during the KS phase. If so, having additional focus free, instant cast shots to perform is a benefit.
- You may not actually be able to fire back-to-back KSs. Due to travel time, the server having to determine whether the target is still alive to reset the CD, and your latency, there is actually a delay between when you cast the first KS to when you can cast the reset KS. Depending on how long that delay is for you, it may be better to use a GCD to cast another shot between the KS casts. This further reduces the benefit of the KS glyph, especially with the impact of some of the limitations previously listed.
- Some players have reported a bug where sometimes the KS CD is not reset on targets that are still alive.
Hence, I do not recommend the KS glyph. With the T13 gear set with the AS and SS glyphs already chosen, the KS glyph was only a 222 DPS increase. The RF glyph was twice as good in this case, despite the fact that this case was not an ideal case from the RF perspective since it used RF on CD instead of waiting until the KS phase. If RF was used in the KS phase, the benefit of the RF glyph over the KS glyph would be even larger.

The following glyphs are not too useful for MMs in most situations:

Serpent Sting: Increases SrS crit chance by 6%. Female Dwarf shows it as a 29 DPS increase, when not using SrS over the CA phase. The problem is that SrS crits are only at the base 50% bonus of magical attacks. With 3660 SrS ticks, a crit is only about 1830 more damage. With SrS ticking every 3s, there are 100 ticks in a 5 min fight. Hence, you can expect 6 extra crits of SrS due to the glyph. That is 10980 damage over 300s or 37 DPS if using SrS the whole fight and less DPS if not using SrS over the CA phase, validating Female Dwarf’s low numbers. Thus, this glyph is a poor option for MM hunters.

Dazzled Prey: Your SS provides an additional 2 focus on dazed targets. Obviously, this glyph is only beneficial on targets that are dazed. I do not know how often other classes routinely provide the daze effect on targets, but I assume it is not standard. To make this glyph beneficial, we have to take CB instead of Bomb. Female Dwarf does not model CB, so it cannot provide any numbers. With this glyph, we would need to cast SS immediately after CS to make sure our first pair goes off during the dazed effect from CB on the target. That pair of CSs would generate 4 focus per 10s CS cycle. Hence, it would take a full minute to generate enough focus to get an extra AS shot.

Kill Command: Reduces the focus cost of KC by 3 focus. With nominally performing no KCs, this glyph has no benefits. Even for those that choose to talent Resistance is Futile for the focus free KC procs or use the KC for AS replacement to consume T12 4-set procs, the number of KCs performed is still relatively small where the benefit of this glyph is negligible.

===2.2.2 Major Glyphs===

There is not much DPS benefit with any of the major glyphs for the standard actions that MMs take, so I will not go into as much analysis as for the Prime glyphs. The ones with DPS potential are:

Silencing Shot: Provides 10 focus whenever you silence an enemy’s cast. The benefit of the glyph is 0 focus gained on non-caster targets or when no silences to optimally 3 silences and 30 focus a minute with the 20s CD. That is a little more than enough to empower an extra AS, putting it a little ahead of the prime glyphs Serpent Sting and Dazzled Prey, but only if you are successfully silencing a target every 20s, which is not likely to happen.

Trap Launcher: Reduces the focus cost of launching traps in combat for damage or CC by 10 focus. Obviously, it has no benefit if not launching traps in combat. However, if you are launching traps in combat, it reduces its focus cost in half to 10 focus.

Immolation Trap: Reduces duration by 6s but increases damage per tick by 100%. Female Dwarf shows it as a 18 DPS increase over not having the glyph if doing Immolation Trap (IT) at the lowest priority. This is because IT does so little damage, only 6000. The glyph only increases damage by about 700, which with a 30s CD is only 23 DPS if using IT off CD. Additionally, in most PvE situations where our targets stay mostly in place, we would never use IT since Explosive Trap actually does more damage on a single target as long as it stays inside the trap effect.

Snake Trap: Reduces AoE damage to your snakes by 90%. Obviously, if your snakes live longer they do more damage and more interrupting. However, this is more of a PvP glyph since I believe that snakes already take less AoE damage from Cataclysm mobs. Anyway, we do not usually use Snake Trap (ST).

All of the remaining glyphs are utility glyphs. A few of note are:

Misdirection: Resets your MD when cast on your pet. The benefits of this glyph are obvious when soloing since you should never be able to pull mobs off your pet. It can also be beneficial in raids to manage threat when FD is on CD.

Disengage: Reduces the CD by 5s. This is great for those hunters that like to Disengage everywhere and has synergy with the haste buff after Disengages from Posthaste.

Raptor Strike: Reduces damage by 20% for 5s after using Raptor Strike. This glyph is useful during high damage parts of some fights to increase your survivability and to reduce the stress on healers a little.

Mending: Increases the amount of healing done by Mend Pet by 60%. This essentially increases the healing done by Mend Pet from 25% of the pet's health to 40%. The glyph is very useful when having to do pet tanking. I personally use it in my 10-man group since we only have 2 tanks. My turtle tanked a drake during the Halfus fight.

In summary, there are no consistently great DPS or utility benefits from Major glyphs. So pick the ones that meet your raid strategies and personal preference.

===2.2.3 Minor Glyphs===

None of the minor glyphs provide any direct DPS benefit, so pick whichever ones your prefer. However, I would strongly suggest the Feign Death (FD) glyph since the 5s CD reduction can be a life saver. Furthermore, if you ever need to rez your pet n combat, the Revive Pet one can make it happen sooner in some instances. The Aspect of the Pack glyph can be useful in some situations, especially with getting the raid group to move long distances between combat.

==2.3 Race==

I have reperformed this analysis for T13 normal gear. Since the analysis uses an Orc, the result for an Orc is the basis for which all other races are compared. When doing the comparison, I used the same ranged weapon throughout and adjusted crit rating appropriately for assuming the weapon was the kind favored (or not) by that race. Hence, it does not take into account the stats on the currently available best ranged weapon of each type. Analysis was done using Female Dwarf. Note that Female Dwarf averages the benefit of abilities like Blood Fury (Berserking is now explicitly handled though); hence, in game use of the abilities at the correct time with stacking upon other abilities can result in better DPS than shown below. The difference in DPS between the races with no DPS racial is their base stats at 85.

Note that part of the benefit of a Troll over other races has been decreased some with this setup having a more balanced set of stats over the high haste case from the previous analysis.

Troll w/ Bow: Bow Specialization for 1% crit, Berserking for haste, Da Voodoo Shuffle for snare resistance, and Regeneration. The increased value of haste for hunters along with the best ranged weapon in T13 content being a bow have made Trolls currently the best race. FD’s improved modeling of Berserking helps as well. A Troll with a bow is about 319 DPS better than an Orc.

Orc: Blood Fury for increased AP, Command for increased pet damage, and Hardiness for recovering from stuns/snares faster. Although maybe no longer the best race, Orcs are still competitive, especially on fights where your pet is attacking 100% of the time and the hunter is moving a lot and not taking advantage as much from haste effects. FD shows Orcs as 42407 DPS in the T13 gear chosen for this analysis and serves as a basis for which all other race’s DPS is compared. Note that the Orc’s DPS is slightly devalued in FD due to the averaging of Blood Fury instead of stacking it at key times for maximum DPS, which should close the gap with Trolls with a bow some and definitely put them ahead of Troll without a bow. Blood Fury during the CA phase with RF and haste trinket procs is a very powerful boost.

Trolls w/o Bow: Berserking for haste, Da Voodoo Shuffle for snare resistance, and Regeneration. With the increase value of haste for MM hunters, even without a bow, a troll does good DPS. FD shows it as +5 DPS over an Orc, but due FD averaging the benefit of Blood Fury, Orcs are actually better.

Worgen: Viciousness for 1% crit. Darkflight for increased movement speed and Aberration for decreased curse durations. FD shows it as -101 DPS when compared to an Orc, so -420 when compared to a Troll with a bow.

Dwarf w/ Gun: Gun Specialization for 1% crit, Frost Resistance, and Stoneform to remove some status ailments. -126 DPS compared to an Orc, and -445 when compared to a Troll. Note that since the best ranged weapon currently is not a gun, maximum Dwarf DPS relative to a Troll is actually the Dwarf w/o Gun case below.

Goblins: Time is Money for 1% attack speed. Rocket Jump for short burst movements and Rocket Barrage for some damage. -243 DPS relative to an Orc, and -562 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Draenei: Heroic Presence for 1% hit, Shadow Resistance, and Gift of the Naaru for a heal. Also -243 DPS relative to an Orc, and -562 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Night Elf: Shadowmeld, Nature Resistance, Quickness to avoid damage. -454 DPS relative to an Orc, and -773 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Human: Every Man for Himself to shake off speed reduction and traps. -474 DPS relative to an Orc, and -793 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent for silencing nearby enemies and 15 focus every 2 mins and resistance to magic. -480 DPS relative to an Orc, and -799 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Forsaken: Will of the Forsaken to remove certain status effects and Shadow Resistance. -481 DPS relative to an Orc, and -800 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Taurens: War Stomp for a stun, Nature Resistance, and Endurance for extra health. -490 DPS relative to an Orc, and -809 DPS relative to a Troll with a bow.

Dwarf w/o Gun: Frost Resistance, and Stoneform to remove some status ailments. Also -490 DPS relative to an Orc, so – 809 DPS relative to a Troll.

Gnome: Cannot be a hunter.

From this information above, it appears that Troll hunter with a bow still currently does the most damage. Part of this is the expected gains that Berserking would have as gear scales. Note though that the DPS difference for the races is a little smaller for the hardcast AI all the time case. The reason for this is that Beserking no longer provides the advantage for the Troll where it now casts AI while the other races would still be using AS. In this case, everyone is always casting AI with Trolls just casting faster when Beserking is in effect.

One question I often receive is why Dreanei are rated lower than Worgen when crit is a lower rated stat than hit. The reason is that the stat ranks are per point of a stat not per percentage. Since different stats can require dissimilar rating total per percentage, stat percentage priority may not match single stat rating priorities. That is the case here and in other similar situations. 1 hit rating (up to the cap) is generally better than 1 crit rating. However, since it takes only about 120 hit rating for 1% hit but about 179 crit rating for 1% crit, the difference in the two racials is actually 179 crit rating versus 120 hit rating. This requires hit rating to be 1.5 times better than crit rating over that whole range of stat ratings, which it is usually not. Furthermore, when adding in the benefit of reforging and assuming you can reforge the full benefit of the racials, 179 reforge points is worth more than 120.

=3.0 Stats=

Below is a summary of the precedence in hunter stats currently depending on the situation. Note that the order of our secondary stats (crit, mastery, and haste) may change depending on your current gear, shot selection, and reforging situation putting you past a tipping point where changes in stats can cause a reordering of their precedence. However, I believe that the ordering below is generally true for each case, and it is agreed upon by other sources.

AS focus dump:

Range DPS >> agi > hit = 2 AP > crit > haste > mastery >> stamina

Crit is the best secondary stat. Haste allows the extra AS to be cast per cycle with less delay in the CS cast. Mastery is close but behind the other stats. Note that if you are doing a larger number of AIs than ASs that the AI focus dump case may be better.

AI focus dump:

Range DPS >> agi > hit = 2 AP > haste > crit > mastery >> stamina

Haste is the most important stat since it allows faster and more frequent AIs in addition to a faster autoshot frequency. Crit is still important for all of our abilities that depend on it.

AoE:

Range DPS >> agi > hit = 2 AP > mastery > crit > haste >> stamina

For AoE, mastery is the best stat. This is because every attack produced by a single MS has a chance to proc WQ. Crit is the next best stat due to the extra damage generated over all the attacks. Haste is the lowest stat since it only affects our base focus regen and our autoshots and SSs, which are only performed on a single target.

Here is a more detailed discussion of each stat:

==3.1 Range DPS==

This stat only applies to ranged weapons. Of all pieces of hunter gear, our ranged weapon is by far the highest contributor to our DPS, and the reason is the amount of DPS done by the weapon. An increase in Range DPS is much greater than an increase in other stats. Because of this, a higher item level ranged weapon will generally provide more DPS than a lower item level range weapon regardless of the stats on both (although some exceptions may exist).

Note that I did not include weapon speed in the list of hunter stats since the renormalization of hunter shots reduced the large dependency of weapon speed that we had after 4.01 was released. With that said, if two weapons do the same range DPS and have the same stats, the slower range weapon will do slightly more damage for a MM hunter.

==3.2 Agility==

Of the stats generally on all pieces of gear, agility provides the largest DPS benefit and is the primary stat that MM hunters want to stack. It affects both how hard each shot hits and how often a shot crits. Without any buffs:

1 agility =
2 AP and
1/324.85 = 0.0031% crit or 0.552 crit rating

With including the 5% stat buff and the 5% agility buff from wearing all mail and the 10% AP buff:

1 agility -> 1.1 agility (stat buff and mail bonus) =
2.2 AP -> 2.42 AP (AP buff) and
1.1/324.85 = 0.0034% crit or 0.607 crit rating

Agility is not a reforgeable stat, so we generally want to acquire as much of it as possible from gear, gems, and enchants without sacrificing too much in other stats where it results in a DPS loss.

There is no cap on the amount of agility that benefits a hunter.

==3.3 Hit Chance and Rating==

Hit rating affects the chance that our shots will hit or miss the target. A missed shot does no damage. Hence, it is important never to miss our targets.

120.109 hit rating = 1% hit

Everyone knows that hit rating is the most important stat for hunters. Well, this maxim is no longer true in all situations. Agility can be a better stat than hit rating due to it worth as discussed in 3.2. Compared to Wrath, the benefit of agility went up when it became worth 2 AP instead of 1 AP. With factoring in the crit benefit of agility, the weighting of agility increased by a factor somewhere between 1.5 and 2. While it is still true that the benefit of 1% hit continues to increase as our DPS increases, it now takes 120.109 hit to make 1% hit when it used to only take 35.79, meaning that in Cataclysm, hit rating is roughly worth 3.5 times less than what it was. Of course, as our DPS increases throughout Cataclysm, the value of hit rating will increase where it could eventually overcome agility as the number one common gear stat again.

Hit rating is capped at 100% hit chance. Any hit rating above that needed to get 100% hit has no DPS benefit. However, since hit usually comes in chunks of rating, it is very difficult to get exactly the cap. Going over the cap by less than 5 hit rating is preferred. For level 88 bosses, it requires 8% hit from gear, gems, enchants, food, potions/elixers, and abilities to be able to have a 100% hit chance.

100% hit requires 961 hit rating (or 841 if you are Draenei)

Hit rating is reforgeable, so you do not have to sacrifice better DPS pieces of gear (including gems and enchants) to get hit rating from gear. Instead, you can reforge the worst of your secondary stats to make up any deficiencies.

Note that even with 100% hit chance, bosses can still block your ranged attacks if you are attacking from the front. Blocks result in a shot doing only partial damage. Since a target cannot block attacks from behind, it is best to attack a target from within the 180 degree cone centered directly behind the target.

==3.4 Attack Power (AP)==

AP is a stat that you will generally not see on gear anymore, with a few exceptions. Generally, it will appear only on enchants, trinkets, and other items as proc effects. 2 AP equals 1 point of itemization. Thus, you need to half the amount of AP when comparing it to other stats.

2 AP is essentially the same benefit as agility but without the gains from the stat buff and mail bonus and without the small benefit to crit. Hence, 2 AP is roughly 0.75 agility.

==3.5 Critical Strike Chance and Rating==

179.28 crit rating = 1% crit

Critical strike rating is a very important stat for MM hunters. MM hunters depend on crits for the following reasons:
• Our shots do more damage when they crit. Generally, our shots do twice as much damage when they crit. The exception to this is SrS ticks which do only the 50% base bonus damage for magical crits. Having a meta gem with the 3% crit damage bonus results in each of our crits doing even more damage.
• Our pets inherit our crit. Thus, how often our pet crits is dependent on how much crit we have.
• Our pets regain or conserve focus on our crits. Due to Go for the Throat and Sic’Em, our pets get focus benefits from our autoshot, AS, and AI crits. More focus for our pets result in more attacks and more DPS. It also results in a higher WH uptime, increasing pet DPS more.
• Crits of our CS, AI, and SS trigger the PS bleed effects for an additional 30% damage (39% if the target has the bleed debuff on it).
• Your pet’s crits on basic attacks provide the Culling of the Herd (CotH) buff increasing damage by 3% for you and your pet. More frequent crits result in a higher uptime of CotH.
• For Cunning pets, its crits allow your pet do perform Wolverine Bite.

Crit does have some soft and hard caps.

The hard cap is at 100% crit. In Cataclysm, there is a 0.6% crit depression on a level 88 boss. Thus, we can have 100.6% crit before crit chance is actually capped. Our raw crit chance will never be at the hard cap with the range that crit chance will be in Cataclysm; however, a couple soft caps exist in conjunction with the hard cap.

The first crit soft cap has to do with the talent Careful Aim (CA). CA provides 30/60% bonus crit chance on SS and AI attacks on targets above 90% health. Thus, with 2/2 CA, your SS and AI shots will be crit capped if you have 40.6% crit chance. This is just a soft cap though, you do not want to reduce your base crit chance below 40.6% in order to maximize your CA benefit since it lowers your crit rate for those shots for 90% of the boss health and the rest of your shots for 100% of the boss health. What this soft cap means is either that crit percent above 40.6% is worth a little less or that the second point in CA is now worth a little less.

The second soft cap concerns Ferocity pets. The talent Spider Bite provides them with 9% more crit chance over the crit chance that they inherit from you. Thus, your Ferocity pet’s chance to crit is capped when you are at 91.6% crit chance. Since we should never be close to that high of a base crit chance, this soft cap really is not applicable.

==3.6 Mastery and Mastery rating==

The MM mastery is Wild Quiver (WQ). It gives our ranged attacks a chance to proc an additional shot similar to an autoshot. WQ can proc from autoshot and any of our special attacks. It also has a chance to proc from each shot that our MS does, making it very valuable in AoE situations.

179.28 mastery rating adds a 2.1% to proc WQ on each range attack.

Note that WQ does not proc from attacks that are not shots, such as Kill Command.

==3.7 Haste and Haste Rating==

Haste is a fickle. Depending on the situation, it can either be the most important or the least important of our secondary stats. There are a several critical haste points and numerous minor haste points that affect the current value of additional haste.

128.057 haste rating = 1% haste

The benefits of haste to MM hunters are numerous, resulting in haste being difficult to easily quantify, and include:
• Increases autoshot frequency. This is important for MM hunters due to the 15% buff we get to our autoshot damage and due to the increased chance to proc WQ. It also allows a greater chance to regain focus for your pet from GftT.
• Decreases SS cast time. At certain SS cast times, GCDs can be saved allowing additional shots to be taken. These additional shots will normally be our focus dump, currently AS or AI (depending on the situation and preferences), for not only additional damage but also the possibility to conserve more pet focus from Sic’Em.
• Decreases AI cast time. Similarly to reducing SS cast times, reducing AI cast times allow additional shots to be taken during a CS cycle. Furthermore, reducing AI cast time reduces your exposure to get you AI casts interrupted or push backed.
• Increases focus regen rate for both the hunter and the pet (note that some attack speed buffs do not affect focus regen)
• Increases your pets attack rate since it inherits our haste
• Increases the uptime or effect of proc abilities like PS and stacking trinkets.

Haste does not affect how often our DoTs (SrS and PS bleeds) tick for damage. These are both classified as physical attacks and are therefore unaffected by haste.

Another factor impacting haste is latency (see 6.3.2) and human reaction times. Any haste amounts quoted in this guide are for the ideal case assuming no latency and perfect reaction time. Each player will need to adjust the listed haste amounts to account for their latency and reaction times in order to get the full benefits of that listed haste.

As mentioned previously, several break points exist for haste. To understand these and haste better, let's explore how haste effects the different aspects of MM performance.

===3.7.1 Haste and Autoshot===

There is no break point where additional haste has a reduction of benefit to our autoshots. The more haste we have, the higher the frequency of our autoshots. If all other stats are constant, our autoshot DPS scales linearly with the amount of haste we have and at a slope dependent on our weapon damage, crit rate, and AP. So if our autoshot scales linearly with haste, we should stack haste then, right? Not exactly, haste is never free and comes at the cost of other stats. Thus, at some point, although we are taking more frequent autoshots, they are hitting for so much less per shot that the DPS has decreased. Where this point is gear dependent and not really anything to design your shot selection around.

===3.7.2 Haste and Steady Shot===

Similar to autoshot, SS DPS generally increases with haste since the cast time is reduced. However, unlike autoshot, SS has several soft and hard haste amounts where the benefit of additional haste is reduced or even eliminated in regards to SS. These all revolve around the 1s GCD.

As a baseline, the default raid cast time for SS when under the effects of the 10% raid buff and the 15% haste from ISS is 1.58s with 0% haste from gear and 0/3 Pathing. If you notice your SS casts taking longer than this number, then you are missing one of the critical haste buffs. With 3/3 Pathing as well, the SS cast time is 1.53s.

The hard cap where additional static haste will no longer provide you any benefit to SS is the amount that brings your SS cast time to the GCD of 1s. This static haste from gear hard cap is at 58.1% without Pathing and 53.5% with Pathing. With T12 heroic gear, these amounts of static haste are not obtainable from gear.

What are obtainable are the various soft caps where your SS cast becomes temporarily below the 1s GCD due to dynamic haste effects. Below is a list of the amount of haste from gear and Pathing combined required to reach the soft cap under various dynamic haste effects. This list is not exhaustive since it does not include a lot of proc haste effects (such as from some trinkets) but a similar concept applies for these as well. Since the haste procs from trinket are usually well below the haste amount from BL and since that haste amount is not easily achievable, the soft cap for just a trinket proc is not achievable either and not necessary to discuss. The list only shows the dynamic haste effects that all MM hunters should/can experience in raids.

Glyphed RF: 5.4%
Unglyphed RF: 12.93%
Bloodlust: 21.6%

Any static haste (from gear and Pathing) above the amounts listed for each dynamic haste effect has reduced benefit to your SS casts since they have no benefit when that dynamic haste effect is present.

The other major effect of haste on SS casts is reducing the cast time to allow additional shots into the CS cycle or during the course of the fight. With how much more damage that CS does over our other shots (with the exception of AI), we normally want to cast CS off CD. This helps to make the haste values required to gain additional shots per cycle more quantifiable. See section 3.7.2.1 Haste and Steady Shot with AS as Focus Dump for more details.

The final item to note in regards to SS and haste, is that during an SS cast, an MM hunter always theoretically gains around 15.32 focus (18.32/21.32 when under the effects of 1/2 Termination) regardless of the cast time as shown in the table below. In addition to the constant 9 (12/15 with Term) focus received with each SS cast, the amount of focus regeneration that occurs during the cast is roughly constant since the effect of haste on reducing the cast length increases the focus per second regen rate by an inverse amount minus the lack of regen benefits from ISS and the raid buff. If ISS and the raid buff affected regen, the SS would return a constant 17 focus per cast.

*** Note that with the additional 9 focus per SS cast with the T13 2P that the actual focus gain for SS casts above the GCD is 9 higher at 24.32. The table below is not updated to reflect this, but just add 9 to all values like you would add 3/6 for ranks in Termination. ***

[TABLE]Haste*..|Base^|BL^...|RF^...|RF'^...|Base$|BL$...|RF$...|RF'$...|RF&...|RF'&...|Base&..|BL&...|RF&-...|RF'&-...
0.0%|4.00|5.20|9.60|10.00|1.58|1.22|1.13|1.05|19.84|19.54|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.32
1.0%|4.04|5.25|9.66|10.06|1.57|1.20|1.12|1.04|19.80|19.50|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.32
2.0%|4.08|5.30|9.71|10.12|1.55|1.19|1.11|1.03|19.75|19.46|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.32
3.0%|4.12|5.36|9.77|10.18|1.53|1.18|1.10|1.02|19.71|19.42|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.32
4.0%|4.16|5.41|9.82|10.24|1.52|1.17|1.09|1.01|19.67|19.38|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.32
5.0%|4.20|5.46|9.88|10.30|1.51|1.16|1.08|1.00|19.63|19.34|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.32
6.0%|4.24|5.51|9.94|10.36|1.49|1.15|1.07|1.00|19.59|19.36|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.36
7.0%|4.28|5.56|9.99|10.42|1.48|1.14|1.06|1.00|19.55|19.42|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.42
8.0%|4.32|5.62|10.05|10.48|1.46|1.13|1.05|1.00|19.51|19.48|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.48
9.0%|4.36|5.67|10.10|10.54|1.45|1.12|1.04|1.00|19.47|19.54|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.54
10.0%|4.40|5.72|10.16|10.60|1.44|1.11|1.03|1.00|19.43|19.60|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.60
11.0%|4.44|5.77|10.22|10.66|1.42|1.10|1.02|1.00|19.39|19.66|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.66
12.0%|4.48|5.82|10.27|10.72|1.41|1.09|1.01|1.00|19.36|19.72|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.72
13.0%|4.52|5.88|10.33|10.78|1.40|1.08|1.00|1.00|19.32|19.78|15.32|15.32|15.32|15.78
14.0%|4.56|5.93|10.38|10.84|1.39|1.07|1.00|1.00|19.38|19.84|15.32|15.32|15.38|15.84
15.0%|4.60|5.98|10.44|10.90|1.37|1.06|1.00|1.00|19.44|19.90|15.32|15.32|15.44|15.90[/TABLE]
* From both gear and Pathing combined
^ Focus Regen
' RF glyphed
$ SS cast Time
& Total focus gain during the SS cast
- No RR

As can be seen at all haste amounts, the focus regen from an SS cast is a constant 15.32 focus regardless of the SS cast time, after removing the benefit of RR from RF numbers, up until the SS cast is GCD capped during which case the focus regen is slightly higher due to the duration of the base focus regen between the GCD and where the SS cast stops.

The effect of the T13 2-set bonus on this information is that each SS cast now gains 18 instead of 9 focus. This increases the number in the tables by 9, such that the constant amount of focus that a SS cast gains when not GCD limited is 24.32 instead of 15.32.

====3.7.2.1 Haste and Steady Shot with AS as Focus Dump ====

The majority of every boss fight is spent in what is referred to as the Standard phase unhasted. This is the phase of the fight where we are not in either CA phase or KS phase and when we are not under dynamic haste effects. With assuming proportional fight phase durations to boss health, the non-CA or KS phases of the fights are about 70%, which is about 3.5 mins of a 5 min fight. With assuming that one RF pair is performed in the CA phase and Bloodlust during the KS phase, that leaves only one RF pair during this phase, making the unhasted portion about 3 mins along or 60% of the fight if you do not have any haste trinkets. Since this phase is the longest most consistent portion of the fight and the major part of the fight where we are constrained to want to have a tight CS cycle (as discussed later), it makes sense to design your haste amounts around those required for this phase, which we now do.

Here is the information on the breakpoints where reduction in SS cast time gains additional GCDs during a CS cycle. Note that whether you have the CS glyph or not does not affect the amount of haste needed to save a GCD. All it does is reduce the number of GCDs available in the cycle. All cases assume that the base rotation includes at least two SS pairs to maintain ISS uptime. Other limitations on the analysis is that the SS cast time is constrained between the 1s GCD and the 1.58s cast time with zero haste from gear and Pathing when fully raid buffed, the maximum of 8 (with the CS glyph) and 9 GCDs available per cycle minus the GCD for CS, and the desire for the total SS cast time to be a multiple of a GCD so that we have a tight CD cycle. The possibilities that meet these limitations is shown in the table below:

[TABLE]#SSs|GCDs Used|GCDs Left|GCDs Left CS|Cast Time|Haste Needed
4|6|3|2|1.50|5.40%
4|5|4|3|1.25|26.48%
4|4|5|4|1.00|58.10%
5|7|2|1|1.40|12.93%
5|6|3|2|1.20|31.75%
5|5|4|3|1.00|58.10%
6|8|1|0|1.33|18.58%
6|7|2|1|1.17|35.52%
6|6|3|2|1.00|58.10%
7|9|0|-1|1.29|22.97%
7|8|1|0|1.14|38.34%
7|7|2|1|1.00|58.10%
8|9|0|-1|1.13|40.54%
8|8|1|0|1.00|58.10%
9|9|0|-1|1.00|58.10%[/TABLE]
#SSs is the number of SS to cast each CS cycle
GCDs Used is the GCDs used by the SSs
GCDs Left is the GCDs remaining in the CS cycle minus the GCD for the CS
GCDs Left CS is the GCDs remaining in the glyphed CS cycle minus the GCD for the CS
Cast Time is the required cast time to perform the indicated number of SSs in the number of GCDs. The value is limited between 1s and 1.58s, the base SS cast time when raid buffed
Haste Needed is the haste requirement from gear and Pathing combined to achieve the SS cast time

Of the possibilities in the table, I originally struck out all haste amounts over 25% as not really being feasible. That left only 4 options. Two of those 4 options left had at most 1 or 0 GCDs to use for focus dumps and are eliminated as non useful options. This left only two cases of doing 4 SSs in 6s and 5 SSs in 7s, which require 5.4% and 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing combined as the only feasible options for a tight CS cycle. Hence, these are the only two major haste points that are evaluated in this guide. Note that to optimize some shot scenarios that it may be necessary to slightly modify these haste amounts for particular cases, which is discussed in more detail for those cases.

With the addition of T13 gear, an additional third option is actually feasible. This is the case of 4 SSs in 5s, which requires 26.48% haste from gear and Pathing. At this haste level our AI cast times are fast enough (1.813s) where AI should be used as the focus dump instead of AS when it can be safely cast. Since AI cast time is not a GCD at this haste level and since casting CS off CD when using AI as the focus dump is not as critical, the corresponding analysis for this haste point is not meaningful.

===3.7.3 Haste and Aimed Shot ===

The effect of haste on AI is similar to that for SS, except that with the longer base cast time, it takes more haste to reach the hard and soft caps.

As a baseline, the default raid cast time for AI when under the effects of the 10% raid buff and the 15% haste from ISS is 2.292 with 0% haste from gear and 0/3 Pathing. If you notice your AI casts taking longer than this number, then you are probably missing one of the critical haste buffs. With 3/3 Pathing as well, the AI cast time is 2.226s.

The hard cap where additional static haste will no longer provide you any benefit to AI is the amount that brings your cast time to the GCD of 1s. This static haste from gear hard cap is at 129.3% without Pathing and 122.6% with Pathing. These amounts of static haste are not obtainable, so do not worry about the AI haste hard cap.

What can be obtainable but usually are not (except when stacking multiple dynamic haste effects) are the various soft caps where your AI cast becomes temporarily below the 1s GCD due to dynamic haste effects. Below is a list of the amount of haste from gear and Pathing combined required to reach the soft cap under various dynamic haste effects. This list is not exhaustive since it does not include a lot of proc haste effects (such as from some trinkets) but a similar concept applies for these as well.

Glyphed RF and BL: 17.6%
Glyphed RF: 52.8%
Unglyphed RF: 63.8%
Bloodlust or T13 4P: 76.4%

For all practical intents and purposes, unless you are stacking multiple dynamic haste effects, which is not recommended except in regards to proc effects, your AI will almost never be at any hard or soft haste cap with current gear.

The other major effect of haste on AI casts is reducing the cast time to allow additional shots into the CS cycle or during the course of the fight similar to as discussed in the SS section.

The portions of the fight during which we hardcast AI are relatively small at lower gear levels where less haste on gear is available and haste trinkets are not necessarily the best trinket options. With 2 RF pairs (one during the CA phase) and a BL during a 5 min fight, you will only be hardcasting AI at most for about 1:40 mins of a 5 mins fight or for 33%.

The portions of the fight during which we hardcast AI are much larger at higher gear levels where more haste on gear is available and haste trinkets are options. Furthermore, the T13 4P provides periodic Bloodlust levels of haste. In these cases, even when still using AS as the focus dump when unhasted, you can easily be under dynamic haste effects for over 53% of the fight and casting AIs over those periods. However, with enough static haste on gear, you can get your unhasted AI cast time to below 1.9s, where its cast is fast enough to be preferentially used at the focus dump at all times (except when moving or in threat of cast interruptions).

As discussed later, since AI has higher priority for casting than CS, we are not constrained to a tight CS cycle over these periods. Furthermore, the ratio of AIs to SSs and the duration of the CS cycle will vary depending on the type of dynamic haste effect, whether we need to perform an extra SS on a particular cycle or not to balance focus, and whether we have a MMM AI proc. Because of the variation in cycles and less restrictions when casting AI as our focus dump and the possibility that we may cast ASs instead of AIs when cannot or should not safely cast AIs, it does not make sense to design your haste amounts around these cycles.

===3.7.4 Haste and Focus Regen ===

Base focus hunter regen is 4 fps. This is modified by your current total haste effects. The exception are that the 10% attack speed raid buff and the ISS attack speed buff do not currently effect focus regen. For instance, with ISS, 3/3 Pathing, the raid buff, and 10% haste from gear, your total haste is 43.32%, but only 13.30% of it affects your focus regen. Your focus regen at the haste is 4 * 1.1330 = 4.532. When using RF on top of that, your haste is 100.65% (only 58.62% of that affects focus) with focus regen of 6.345. When using glyphed RF, your haste is 115% (only 70% of that affects focus) with focus regen of 6.798.

If you have Rapid Recuperation, your RF provides the equivalent of an additional 4 fps during its duration. Thus, the real focus regen during the RF in the above case is 10.345 fps unglyphed and 10.798 glyphed.

Your SS casts statically and during all dynamic haste effects regen a constant 15.32 (24.32 with the T13 2-set) focus per cast up to the point where you SS cast is GCD capped. At this point, the focus per cast amount increases since you have the 15.32 focus per actual cast plus the additional focus regen from the time that the cast actually ended at that haste to the GCD boundary. See 3.7.2 Haste and Steady Shot for a table illustrating this situation.

Additional haste critical points are those that provide sufficient amount of focus regen where you can replace additional SSs beyond the 4 required to maintain ISS uptime needed periodically to maintain focus with an AI or AS. These points are much more complex to quantify since they depend on shot priority, attack speed, and other factors that are beyond the scope of what I want to discuss here. However, I do want to make you aware of that these points exist since you will probably periodically cross their thresholds when evaluating different gear and reforging options that may produce unexpected results in simulations or testing.

===3.7.5 Haste Calculations===

For those unfamiliar with haste and how haste is calculated, here is a brief discussion. There are two types of haste effects. Those that provide haste ratings and those that are haste/speed percents.

Effects that provide haste rating are additive with each other. You add all of the haste rating together before dividing by 128.057 to get the haste percent from them. This includes haste rating from gear, gems, enchants, potions/elixers, and some procs, including those from haste trinkets. For instance if you have 1000 haste rating from gear, gems, and enchants, are using a Potion of Speed (500 haste rating), and have proced an ability that provides 300 haste rating, you are currently operating at 1800 haste rating or about 14% haste.

Effects that provide haste percents are multiplicative. This includes Bloodlust, RF, the resulting haste from all of your haste rating, Pathing, ISS, the raid buff, and some procs. For instance, the total haste from the haste rating above (14%), ISS (15%), and the raid buff (10%) is 1.14 * 1.15 * 1.1 = 1.4421, which means you are experiencing 44.21% haste (although they add up to only 39%).

To calculate your SS cast time, just divide the base cast time of 2s (1.8s with the T11 4-set) by the haste amount. Hence, 2s / 1.4421 = 1.39s.

Your AI cast time can be calculated similarly by dividing its base cast time of 2.9s by the haste amount. Hence, 2.9 / 1.4421 = 2.01s.

Your autoshot speed can be calculated similarly by taking the weapon speed divided by the haste amount.

Finally, if it can be avoided, you do not want to stack dynamic haste buffs (RF and Bloodlust) since much of the haste will be well above the SS soft cap. You are better off staggering these effects so that you can be closer to the 1s GCD on SS more often since it gains you 2 shots per 10s CS rotation. Staggering the large dynamic haste effects also increases the periods over which casting AI is ideal.

=4.0 Gear and Raid Preparation=

I'm not going to provide a full best-in-slot list here, for a few different reasons. The Best Possible DPS thread and other tools are a good source of suggested best-in-slot gear. But here's some overall advice to help provide some guidance.

In general, for non-trinket slots, hunters want to choose gear with higher item level. The reason for this is that both range weapon DPS and agility, our two primary stats on gear, generally increase with item level. However, just do not blindly use a piece because it has higher item level since the secondary stats can still make a difference.

Hunter epics have Agility, Stamina, and possibly AP in the case of weapons, and 2 out of the 4 secondary stats: crit rating, hit rating, haste rating, or mastery rating. Keep in mind a few rules of thumb, which are enough to get a quick estimate of the value of any piece:
• Higher item level gear is generally stronger. Agility usually increases very regularly with item level, so we have a predictable gain.
• More sockets are better (since they allow us to stack more Agility, primarily).
• Hit rating is the best secondary stat followed probably by crit or haste depending on the situation

Since the 5% Agility from Mail Specialization is a strong bonus, you should ignore leather gear.

To compare items more precisely and check for upgrades, I recommend using an addon that compares stats for you or a simulation tool, such as Female Dwarf or Simulation Craft.

==4.1 Gems==

Concerning meta gems for your head slot, the best Cataclysm meta gem is the Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 agility and +3% crit damage). Since it just requires 3 red gems to activate, it enables us to gem for agility as much as we can. We no longer need a yellow and a blue shaded gem in the piece with the best socket bonuses to activate the meta. We can gem all agility gems if desired; however, that is probably not the best option since there are many pieces with good agi socket bonuses with a yellow or blue gem slot.

For all other sockets, our default gem to use is the Delicate Inferno Ruby (+40 agi) since we want to stack agility.

To get good socket bonuses, then the recommended gems are:
Yellow socket: Deadly Ember Topaz (20 agi/crit) or Deft Ember Topaz (20 agi/haste) are good options with Adept Ember Topaz (20 agi/mastery) being a lesser possibility
Blue socket: Glinting Demonseye (20 agi/hit)

If you have epic gems available to you with 50 stats on them, then you will definitely want to use the corresponding epic gem over the rare gem. The epic to rare gem mappings are:

[table]Color|Rare|Epic
Red for Red sockets| Inferno Ruby|Queen’s Garnet
Orange for Yellow Sockets| Ember Topaz|Lava Coral
Purple for Blue Sockets|Demonseye|Shadow Spinel[/table]

Another item to note is that until you are able to replace all Inferno Rubies with Queen’s Garnets in blue and yellow sockets in which you previously broke the set bonuses, then you maybe be better off replacing the Inferno Rubies with Lava Coral or Shadow Spinel depending on the socket and socket bonus. For instance, if you previously had an item with a red and yellow socket with a 20 crit bonus, the trade off was 20 agi for breaking the socket bonus versus 40 crit for keeping the socket bonus. With an epic orange gem versus a rare red gem, the trade off is now 15 agi versus 45 crit. This is 3 crit per adi instead of 2 crit per agility and now makes the orange epic gem the better option over the red rare.

Hence, use the epic red gems in red sockets first so that you can get some use out of orange and purple epic gems in yellow and blue sockets, respectively, for DPS gains until you have enough epic gems to replace those as well.

If you are short of hit on gear, note that you generally do not want to put Glinting Demonseyes/Shadow Spinels into your blue sockets that grant poor socket bonuses or Rigid Ocean Sapphires/Deepholm Iolite (40/50 hit) into any socket. This is because you are sacrificing your #1 stat agility to get more of your #2 stat hit. This is not only a direct DPS loss but even a greater DPS loss over other available options. You are better off stacking the agility and then reforging the worse of your secondary stats to get the hit. An exception are cases where you are less than around 20/25 hit from cap and do not have any small hit reforge options. Adding a glinting gem in a blue socket with a good agility bonus and barely getting over the hit cap can be better than reforging a piece for hit and ending up well over the hit cap with more wasted stat points.

==4.2 Set Bonuses==

===4.2.1 T11 Set Bonuses===

The Tier 11 hunter set is called Lightning-Charged.

The 2-set bonus is +5% crit on SrS ticks. This is pretty weak for MM hunters. It is equivalent to the secondary effect of one point in the talent ISrS, which we do not take since it is a bad talent for MM. It is worth about 19.9 DPS in T11 heroic gear (up from 18.6 DPS in T11 normal gear). This is the difference between a SrS tick normal and crit damage (1195) * 0.05 then divided by the 3 second tick duration. Female Dwarf confirms my hand numbers. This bonus is poor for BM as well, but it is a little better for them due to their bonus AP. This bonus is best for SV since their talents provide a 100% damage bonus on SrS crits instead of the 50% we get and since their mastery increases the nature damage.

The 4-set bonus was improved in 4.0.6 to reduce the base cast time of SS by 0.2s. This reduction is applied prior to the application of any haste; hence, the new SS casts times are not 0.2s faster with the 4-set. They are 0.2s / current haste amounter shorter. Thus, with only haste from the raid buffs and none from gear or Pathing, the reduction in your SS cast time is 0.2s / (1.15 * 1.1) = 0.158s, which is still significant. How much DPS the 4-set bonus provides is significant but difficult to quantify since it depends on many factors, including your average ilevel, shot selection, and haste amount. For the T11 heroic gear set up I used in some analyses, dropping one piece in the T11 4-set was a 584 DPS loss (well above any DPS differences between the 2 372 ilevel pieces).

Archived detailed information concerning the impacts of the T11 4-set can be found ***here***.


===4.2.2 T12 Set Bonuses===

The Tier 12 hunter set is called Flamewalker’s.

The 2-set bonus is that SS casts have a 10% chance to trigger a Flaming Arrow (FA), doing 80% of weapon damage as a fire damage. This is a very beneficial 2-set bonus since we get the benefit naturally by casting SSs and considering all of the SSs that we perform. With doing 4 to 5 SSs per 10s, on average this results in a FA about every 20 to 25s. In the FD simulation at the 12.93% haste level in 378 gear, a FA occurred about every 21.5s and accounted for about 400 DPS. Fully raid buffed, the each FA did about 96% of autoshot damage due to the buffing of magic damage on targets.

The 4-set bonus is that autoshots have a 10% chance to cause our next shot or Kill Command to cost not focus. Note that this proc is only consumed by abilities that cost focus; hence, it will never be wasted on a SS, KS, MMM AI proc, or other non-focus costing shots. This can also be a very beneficial bonus since it provides additional focus to possibly use to perform more damage. Note though that the benefit from this ability does have some limitations. If your rotation over a certain fight phase already has the minimum 4 SSs and is focus balanced, then the additional focus generated by this proc could just be wasted focus. Luckily, we are not always in such situations if we ever are. Anytime your normal rotation is focus negative, this proc can help make it focus positive or at least less focus negative. Furthermore, if your rotation has extra SSs required to balance focus, this proc will help reduce or eliminate the number of those additional SSs needed. When under dynamic haste effects with casting AIs and not performing a tight CS rotation, these procs will usually power additional AI casts for more DPS.

For more information concerning the impacts of the T12 4-set bonus, refer to ****this post****.

===4.2.3 T13 Set Bonuses===

The Tier 13 hunter set is called Wyrmstalker’s.

The 2-set bonus is that SS casts provide double the focus base gain. This effects the normal 9 focus that SS generates but does not affect additional SS focus generation from Termination. Hence, each SS generates 18 focus instead of 9 focus. With 1/2 Termination, each SS generates 21/24 focus instead of 12/15 focus. This bonus is very powerful.

For AS focus dump cycles, the minimum 4 SSs per CS cycle now generate 72 focus instead of 36. Without the CS glyph, a typical AS focus dump cycle performs a CS and 3 ASs, costing 110 focus, resulting in a net focus from shots of -38 focus, which is more than made up for by our base focus regen, which recovers about 45 focus per CS cycle at about 13% haste from gear and Pathing. Add in the focus savings from MMM AI procs replacing an AS, and the AS focus dump cycle is always way focus positive. This means that the AS focus dump cycle with this tier bonus never has to perform an extra SS to balance. In fact, with standard haste amounts, each CS cycle can waste upwards of 16 focus per cycle.

For an AI focus dump cycles, roughly every 5 to 6 SSs generate enough extra focus to cast an additional AI than what was possible previously. The result will be casting more AIs with requiring less SSs to do so.

The T13 4-set bonus provides a 30% haste proc on AS casts for 15s. This is basically a mini-Bloodlust and is also very powerful since that much haste will result in additional AIs. The current understanding of the proc is that each AS has a 40% chance to proc it and that the proc has a 105s ICD. Using a binomial estimation, a 40% proc rate means that on average a proc should occur after 2 ASs (64% chance) and that we should almost be guaranteed a proc after 5 ASs (92% chance).

The trouble with this powerful bonus is that it is actually counter to the focus dump choice trend as gear scales. As gear scales and we have more and more static haste and sources for dynamic haste effects, we tend to want to cast a larger percentage of our focus dumps as AIs, with casting AI all of the time as our focus dump being the ultimate goal (except when moving or in jeopardy of interruptions). The huge benefit of this 4-set bonus will now require us to cast ASs periodically in order to gain the buff. When the buff is active, then we will want to utilize that haste to cast AIs. Once the buff is worn off but the ability is on ICD still, then we should use our focus dump of preference (AI for most of us). Once the proc comes off CD, then generally we will want to cast ASs again to proc it. That will be the general case with this T13 4-set bonus; however, there are some situations in which we probably will want to delay casting ASs to get the proc.

These situations include:
  • The CA phase: Since SS and AI are crit buffed during this phase and since we are usually hasted already from RF and trinket procs, it probably is not worth it to use the few GCDs we have during the CA phase to proc the 4-set haste buff when we are probably already sufficiently hasted.
  • When we are already under large dynamic haste effects, such as RF and BL. In these situations, we probably do not need the additional haste or want to spare hasted GCDs to cast 2 or more ASs to get the haste buff.

Thus, generally, we are only going to want to cast the ASs to get the haste buff when we are outside the CA phase and not under other large dynamic haste effects. This situation can be gamed a little by trying to fit in RFs and BL periods in the deadtime after the haste proc has expired and while the proc is still on ICD.

The actual ideal strategy for utilizing the T13 4-set haste buff will ultimately depend on your specific situation and preferences as well as the actual final implementation of the proc, so the information above is still subject to change.

Early analysis and discussion of the T13 set bonuses may be found starting ***here***.

Live analysis of the T132P bonus may be found ****here****.


==4.3 Consumables==

Use Flask of the Wind (300 agi) or a Cauldron of Battle.

Similarly use a 90 agi food, such as Skewered Eel, a Fortune Cookie, or a Seafood Magnifique Feast.

The best DPS potion is Potion of Tol’Vir (1200 agi for 25s). You want to use it during Rapid Fire or Bloodlust when you have more shots being performed. Prepotting works out nice since the benefit exists during the CA phase when SSs and AIs are hasted from RFs and almost guaranteed to crit.

==4.4 Enchants==

Excluding profession bonuses, the best MM hunter enchants are:
• Head: Arcanum of Ramkahen - 60 agi/35 haste (Ramkahen revered).
• Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal - 50 agi/25 mastery (Therazane exalted).
• Back – Greater Critical Strike – 65 crit (22 agi enchant is close)
• Chest – Peerless Stats - 20 stats
• Wrists – Agility – 50 agility
• Gloves – Major Agility – 20 agility or Greater Mastery - 65
• Belt – Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
• Legs – Dragonscale Leg Armor: 190 AP/55 crit
• Boots – Assassin’s Step – 25 agi and movement speed, Major Agility – 35 agi, or Precision - 50 hit
• 2H Melee Weapon – Might Agility – 130 agi
• Range Weapon – Flintlocke’s Woodchucker – 300 agi proc and rabid critter damage; Gnomish X-ray Scope – 800 AP proc is not far behind

==4.5 Optimizing Gear/Gems/Enchants/Reforges==

Given all of the options we have for shuffling stats around now, it can be confusing to find the optimal way to select gear and gem/reforge it while remaining at the hit cap. Computational optimizers like Female Dwarf can assist with this, but knowing the basic guidelines can save you a lot of time when going over your options.

This is a basic way to approach reforging that covers most situations:
1) In each slot, put on your best individual DPS item, ignoring the hit cap. This will generally be your highest item level mail item, preferring hit/crit over mastery/haste.
2) Gem in the way described earlier.

If you are under the hit cap of 961:
3A) Start reforging mastery to hit. If you still need more hit, then reforge crit or haste, if have more than you ideally need, to hit.
4A) If you still don't reach the hit cap, don't worry about it. It's generally not worth giving up agility (via gems or using lower item level gear) to get more hit rating but if you have a reasonable socket bonus you can gain by using a Glinting, then you may want to do so.

If you were over the hit cap of 961:
3B) Start reforging hit to crit on pieces with haste and no crit and to haste on items without haste if you could use more.
4B) Then start reforging hit to mastery on any items without mastery

5) Once you are at hit cap, if any of your items are hit/mastery and unreforged, you can reforge the mastery to crit or haste as long as you stay in a good haste range
6) There's some possible further optimization by reforging haste/mastery to hit on some items and reforging the hit back to crit on others, but worrying about that is for the hardcore optimizers.

Note that the reforging suggestions above are those that play exclusively as MM. If you are a hunter than switches between MM and SV a lot, you are probably better off reforging for mastery instead of haste. Doing so is a relatively small DPS loss for your MM spec (a couple hundred DPS at most) but a large gain for your SV spec due to how much more important mastery is for SV over haste.

=5.0 Professions=

The following professions are all roughly equal and good options for MM hunters:

Leatherworking: 130 agi to bracers in place of the usual 50 agi enchant gives a DPS equivalent of 80 agility.
Blacksmithing is similar. An extra socket each in your wrists and gloves, each with a Delicate Inferno Ruby gives 80 agility
Alchemy: Mixology with your flask will give you 80 agility
Enchanting: 40 agi to each ring gives 80 agility
Inscription: Swiftsteel Inscription (130 agi/25 mastery) to shoulders in place of the Therazane enchant gives 80 agility
Engineering: The synapse springs with the 480 aqi proc is 80 agi on average. Engineering does have some other perks that increase survivability and may improve DPS uptime, including Flexweave Underlay, are further perks. Nitro Boosts now have a failure rate and can no longer be safely used in raids. Engineering does provide epic 359 helms with Cogwheel sockets to pick what secondary stats you want on it; however, these are obsolete in T12 content.

Herbalism now gives a haste cooldown via Lifeblood. At 480 haste (3.75%) for 20s every 2 minutes, it averages out to 80 haste or 0.625% or about 40 agility equivalent. This may seem small but you never get it as an average amount, you always get the full amount, which when used at proper times can provide a significant increase in DPS. Furthermore, it provides additional focus regen and a some healing. Thus, Herbalism is potentially the best profession with proper Lifeblood utilization.

The remaining professions are weaker:
Jewelcrafting: 3 Delicate Chimera’s Eye instead of 3 Delicate Inferno Rubies gives 81 agility, making JC potentially equivalent to the best professions. However, with the availability of epic gems, the bonus from each Chimera’s Eye is now 17 agi instead of 27 agi for a net of only 51 agi, making it a lesser option that other professions. Note though that until you have all your red gems as epic gems or Chimera's Eyes, that all or part of the previously full benefit of JC still applies.
Tailoring: Swordguard Embroidery gives 1000 AP for 15 seconds, 20% proc on hit, 60 second cooldown (check this). The average benefit is around 250 AP or about 83 agility equivalent, minus the 65 crit you usually have on your cloak, which gives a DPS equivalent of around 61 agility.
Skinning gives 80 crit rating or about 27 agility equivalent
Mining provides minor survivability benefits, but no DPS gain.

=6.0 Shots and Shot Priority/Rotation=

There are a few general concepts that should be understood concerning hunter rotations and abilities. These include:

Passive Attacks: Attacks that are generally continuously performed by you while in combat and after initiating attacks. These include autoshot/autoattack and standard pet attacks. Once you have initiated attacking a target, your autoshots are performed continuously at the current hasted speed of your ranged weapon as long as you maintain LoS to the target. Furthermore, if you get too close to a target, you may automatically take a melee attack instead of an autoshot. Once your pet has been sent to attack a target, it continues to do so until the target dies or you recall it. Your pet continuously performs its basic attack, its melee attack, and any of its special attacks that are enabled as they come off CD. Any ability where you have to hit a button to cause a single instance of it to be performed is not a passive attack.

Passive Procs: A random attack or ability performed by you without having to take any specific direct action to cause them. These include our mastery bonus Wild Quiver, which randomly does bonus damage off our ranged attacks. Passive Procs also include the T12 2-set bonus (Flaming Arrow), pet focus gains from GftT and Sic’Em, and extra damage from Piercing Shots. Passive Procs also include the procs from trinkets and other equipment, such as a scope.

Single-Use Attacks/Abilities: Attacks or abilities in which only a single instance of it is performed per each initiation of the attack or ability. This includes most of our attacks and abilities listed in 6.1, such as Chimera Shot, Raptor Strike, Kill Command, Hunter’s Mark, and Readiness. I classify these into five groups: Primary CDs, Focus Dumps, Focus Gains, Active Procs, and Utilities.

Primary CD: An attack or ability that has a CD and whose impact is significant enough that our rotations are designed around maximizing their number of uses. These abilities do not necessary have to be used immediately off CD, but it is generally best to utilize them shortly off CD. The Primary CD for MMs is Chimera Shot, with the goal to fit in as many other shots as we can between its uses. Another Primary CD, but of longer duration for MMs, is our Rapid Fire and Readiness combination. Kill Shot is also a Primary CD when it is available, but Chimera Shot has priority over it. For AoE situations, Explosive Trap is the Primary CD ability.

Focus Dumps: A high damage ability that costs focus but does not have a CD so that we can use it as often as we want to utilize our focus. For MMs, the two focus dump choices for single target combat are Aimed Shot (AI) and Arcane Shot (AS). Although attacks like Chimera Shot (CS) and Kill Command (KC) do large damage and cost focus, they also have CDs, meaning that they are not focus dumps (although in special cases MMs may periodically use Kill Command like a focus dump). For AoE situations, Multishot is the focus dump.

Focus Gains: A damage attack that has no CD and also causes us to gain focus as a result of the attack. For MMs, the Focus Gain is Steady Shot, which provides 9 focus per cast.

Active Procs: A proc is a single-use ability that can only be performed if random conditions have occurred. For MMs, the primary active procs are our instant, focus free Aimed Shots from Master Masksman procs and our focus free Kill Commands from Resistance is Futile.

Utilities: All other attacks or abilities, regardless of whether they have a CD or cost focus. These are only used infrequently as a response to a certain situation and are not a part of the standard rotation. For instance, we normally do not use Tranquilizing Shot, but if there is an enraged target that needs to be calmed down, we can cast it on them.


==6.1 Standard Shots and Abilities==

The following is a list of the shots or abilities (in alphabetical order) that a MM hunter should normally be using on a standard boss fight:

• Aimed Shot (AI): AI is a physical attack. The standard AI costs 50 focus and takes 2.9s to cast. It is also our hardest hitting shot, especially during the CA phase when it has 60% bonus crit. Hence, we want to use it as our primary focus dump during the CA phase. Outside the CA phase, due to its slow base cast time, we only want to use it as the focus dump when not moving or not in threat of being interrupted or having cast pushback and when sufficiently hasted such that its cast time is fast enough to make it worthwhile using (see 6.2.2 Aimed Shot versus Arcane Shot). The general guideline is to utilize AI as the focus dump when its cast time is less than 1.8s, with its use being preferential at cast times between 1.8 and 2s; otherwise, Arcane Shot should be used as the focus dump. Note that the AI hardcast locks out and resets your autoshot casts during its cast. A second version of AI is the focus-free, instant cast version from MMM procs. We want to use this version everytime it procs since it is giving us our hardest hitting shot for no focus cost and with minimum cast time. These procs should normally take the place of a focus dump (either AS or AI) or any extra SS beyond the 2 pairs to maintain ISS. Other benefits of AI include generating pet focus on crits due to Sic’Em, 60% crit bonus over the first 10% of target health due to CA, extra crit damage due to PS, and bonus damage due to RK. If you have the Aimed Shot glyph, 5 focus is refunded on crits.
• Arcane Shot (AS): AS is a magical attack. It costs 25 focus, with the cost reduced to 22 focus with Efficiency. When moving, in threat of cast interruptions or pushback, or when at low haste levels, AS should be your primary focus dump. The exception is during the CA phase when AI should be used as the focus dump instead due to 60% crit buff on it in that phase. Even during the CA phase, you still may want to use AS as the focus dump when moving or when experiencing a lot of interruptions/pushback where you cannot effectively cast AI. Additional benefits of AS include its crits generate pet focus due to Sic’Em and it also applying the MfD effect on targets. The AS glyph increases its damage by 12%.
• Chimera Shot (CS): CS is our second highest damaging shot (especially when adding in the 30% crit damage bonus from PS) just behind AI during non-CA phases, refreshes our SrS, and heals us for 5% of our health pool. CS is a magical attack with a bas e10s CD. If you have MfD talented, then CS also applies the MfD HM-like effect to your targets. Since CS is almost our hardest hitting shot, you generally want to use CS off CD or shortly thereafter. At a minimum, CS should be cast soon enough to refresh SrS before its duration falls off. When using AS as the focus dump, you want to cast CS as soon off CD as possible since it does so much more damage than AS. When using AI as your focus dump, CS only needs to be cast soon enough to refresh SrS since AI does comparable damage. CS costs 50 focus, with the cost reduced to 44 focus due to Efficiency. You need to make sure to conserve enough focus to be able to cast CS off CD and to extend your SrS. On new targets, you will prefer to open with CS if it is off CD to mark the target with MfD if in combat. The CS glyph reduces its CD by 1s to 9s.
• Explosive Trap (ET): ET is the trap that we will primarily use for damage since it does AoE damage and since if the target stays in the effect the entire time, it actually does more damage on a single target than Immolation Trap. It is often used with Trap Launcher (TL) with preferably being able to use TL before the pull to save the button pushing out of combat and to allow the TL focus cost to regen some prior to combat. Then in combat it is just the matter of placing where the trap should land and then starting attacks. The Trap Mastery talent in the SV tree increases its damage by 10/20/30%.
• Feign Death (FD): As always, FD is the main method for a hunter to manage its threat and should be used when necessary to drop all threat from a target. FD can also be used to cancel some enemy casts that are targeting you while they are being cast.
• Hunter’s Mark (HM): HM applies a debuff to the target that allows you and your pet’s attacks (as well as those for other hunters) against that target to do extra damage due to additional AP. HM is instant cast and costs no focus, but it does cost a GCD. As such, HM should generally only be used out of combat to mark a target pre-pull. HM should not be used in combat to mark a target since MMs get free HMs on every target we attack with CS or AS due to MfD. MfD allows us to use the GCD that we may have used to HM the target to do damage instead while still getting the HM benefit.
• Kill Command (KC): KC is a physical attack that costs 40 focus. If you do not have RiF, then you generally do not want to be using KC since it does only a little more damage than AS at a lot higher focus cost and without the additional MM benefits that AS provides. The exceptions are if your pet is on the target but the target is out of your LoS where you cannot shoot it or if you have a T12 4-set proc and prefer to consume the proc with KC, if available, instead of AS. If you have RiF, then you want to use focus-free KC when RiF procs as discussed previously. The KC glyph reduces its focus cost by 3.
• Kill Shot (KS): KS is a physical attack that is instant cast and costs no focus and has a 10s CD. It is currently our third hardest hitting shot well below CS and AI. Hence, KS is not much of a Kill Shot anymore. Its main benefit is that it is a focus free higher damage additional shot during the last 20% of target health. The Kill Shot glyph resets the KS CD (with a 6s ICD) whenever your KS does not kill the target.
• Misdirection (MD): MD is an ability that when applied to a friendly target (preferably a tank or your pet) transfers the first 4s of your threat production temporarily to the target. The threat transfer in Cataclysm goes away after 30s. MD should normally be used at the start of combat or during combat when new targets spawn to help get the targets to the tanks. Other than that, there generally is not a need to use MD during combat, with the main exception being to help get mobs off healers who have drawn healer aggro and who cannot run to the tank to have them pulled off. The Misdirection glyph resets the CD on MD whenever it is cast on your pet; however, you are unable to recast it on your pet until the current 4s MS effect wears off it.
• Multishot (MS): Multishot is the main AoE focus dump. Multishot hits all targets within a cone relative to the main target. In addition, our Mastery, WQ, has a chance to proc off of each of the shots of the MS, providing additional damage potential. MS benefits from the talent Bombardment as discussed previously. Currently, MS on a single target does about 76% of the damage of AS and 22% of the damage of AI, when also factoring in the average WQ benefit. Thus, when using AS as your focus dump, MS does more damage (including the benefit from possible Sic’Em procs from AS) if there are two or more targets and costs about the same focus when Bombardament is in effect. Thus, when there are at least 2 targets, it is better to use MS instead AS as your focus dump. When using a full hasted AI as your focus dump, 5 targets are required to make MS the better choice as a focus dump since it does a little more damage (making up for Sic’Em procs) and costs less focus. When AI casts are slower, less targets (3 or 4 depending on the cast time) are needed to make using MS the better choice of a focus dump than AI.
• Rapid Fire (RF): RF costs no focus and is instant cast. It provides a 40% haste buff (50% if glyphed) for 15s. This haste provides both increased SS, AI, and autoshot frequency and higher focus regen. In addition, with RR, you gain an additional 4 fps during RF. Thus, during RF, you generally have a lot of focus to dump and your SS to regain focus are much faster allowing more focus dumps per CS cycle. RF has a 5 min CD that is reduced to 3 min with Posthaste. As discussed previously, this makes the RF CD coincide with the Readiness CD so that you can ideally use Readiness to refresh your RF CD for back to back RFs. You generally want to use RF at the start of combat so that you will have a better chance to use more RFs during that combat later and to shorten the AI cast times during the CA phase. An exception to this rule is if the raid is using Bloodlust at the start. Since it is not ideal to stack the large dynamic haste effects, you may want to delay the use of RF until after Bloodlust as long as it doesn’t result in less RFs during the fight.
• Readiness: As discussed earlier, Readiness refreshes the CDs on all hunter specific abilities, such as CS, KS, RF, Disengage, etc. It does not refresh the CDs (or ICDs) on gear-related or other CDs, like those from trinkets or tier sets. For maximum DPS, Readiness should be used to reset the CDs of RF and CS. Readiness can also be used if necessary for survival to reset MD, FD, Disengage, and Deterrence.
• Serpent Sting (SrS): SrS is an instant cast shot that costs 25 focus and applies a DoT to the target that ticks every 3s for 15s total (hence, 5 ticks). SrS does not do any immediate damage on cast (unless you are talented into ISrS). As discussed earlier, CS, which should usually be cast off its CD, refreshes the full duration of SrS on the target in such a way that ticks continue to occur every 3 seconds from when the original SrS was cast. SrS should only be cast once on a target with CS refreshing its duration. It should only be recast if it falls of the target. Since SrS only does a little more damage than an AS for about the same focus cost, SrS should only be cast on targets that are going to live long enough to experience at least 4 to 5 ticks. Thus, if the target is going to die in less than 12 to 15s, it is not worth casting SrS on it. The SrS glyph increases the crit chance of its ticks by 6%.
• Silencing Shot (SilS): SilS was discussed previously. SilS is an instant cast, focus-free shot that does no damage but also does not cost a GCD. Its benefit is to interrupt casts and silence targets. There may be specific fights where you actually need to use SilS to interrupt or silence as part of the strategy, but generally you do not and can instead use it to silence caster targets and save the raid from the impacts of whatever the target was casting. Note though that on fights where you are not on interrupt duty and others are, that you want to make sure not to use SilS since you can throw off their interrupt timing. The SilS glyph returns 10 focus on SilS casts that interrupts the targets cast.
• Steady Shot (SS): SS is a physical attack. It is our focus gain shot that not only costs no focus but also generates 9 focus per cast (up to 15 focus per cast on targets with < 25% health if talented for Term). Note that with the T13 2P that the 9 focus per cast is increased to 18 focus per cast. Its main use is to generate the focus that our focus costing shots require. However, it has many additional benefits for MM hunters. The largest of these is the 15% haste buff from ISS, which was discussed previously. To maintain this at 100% uptime, we generally want to fire at a minimum 2 SS pairs (4 total) per CS cycle. SS casts also have a chance to proc MMM as discussed previously for focus-free, instant cast AI periodically and to proc FA for free fire damage. With at least 4 SSs per CS cycle, you can expect a MMM proc on average about every other cycle and a FA proc a little more than every other cycle. SS also benefits from PS doing extra damage when it crits. SS also receives a 60% crit bonus during the first 10% of the targets health from CA as discussed earlier. Finally, SS benefits from RK and gets the damage bonus, although it is preferred to use it on CS or AI if available. SS is our most used special. The SS glyph increases its damage by 10%.

In addition to the above listed shots and abilities, hunters have many more shots and abilities that are not generally used on standard fights and are only used in specific situations or as preferred by an individual playstyle or raid strategy. These include Concussive Shot, Disengage, Distracting Shot, Deterrence, Master’s Call, Mend Pet, Revive, Scare Beast, Scatter Shot, Tranquilizing Shot, Widow Venom, the various Aspects, and other traps. This results in a large list of abilities and with hunters having one of the busiest sets of ability bars.

==6.2 Shot Comparisons==

This section address some questions that have been asked over time concerning which shots to use. The summary is:

- For your filler focus gain shot, always use Steady Shot. Never use Cobra Shot.
- For your focus dump:
-- Use Aimed Shot as your focus dump only when sufficiently hasted (below about 1.9s as a guideline) and when not experiencing interruptions or cast pushbacks.
-- Use AS as your focus dump when you are unhasted, on the move, or when experiencing possible interruptions or pushbacks.
- During the CA phase, recommend still using SrS and CS but only casting CS soon enough to refresh SrS.
- Steady shot spamming (not using any focus dumps and just casting CS and SS to get more MMM AI procs and T12 2-set procs) is a DPS loss over using the proper focus dump for the current phase.
- When AS is your focus dump, KC can be used instead of AS to consume T12 4-set procs for additional DPS if can do so efficiently.
- KS is always a DPS gain when replacing AS; however, it may or may not be a DPS gain when replacing AI depending on your gearing, focus balancing, and haste levels. Currently with T13 gear, I suggest just adding the KS into the CS cycle with no shot replacement when casting AI as the focus dump.

For more detailed information for each case, refer to the pertinent subsection.

Note that most of the analysis below was performed using T12 heroic gear and is not updated for T13 gear since I do not anticipate that the gear increase will change the decision in any of the cases below.

===6.2.1 Steady Shot versus Cobra Shot===

One of the most frequent questions or debates early in Cataclysm is whether we should be using Cobra Shot (CoS) as our focus gain shot since it does more damage with better scaling. Although CoS is the definitely the filler shot that BM and SV should use, it is definitely not for MM.

Despite the lower damage, SS is the focus gain shot for MM for the following reasons (using the 391 gear set in FD):
• The CoS extension of SrS is not generally needed by MMs since CS refreshes SrS and already saves us from having to recast SrS
• SS crits get the extra damage benefit from PS. This actually makes an SS crit better than a CoS crit currently by about 1200 damage (20305 to 19135, respectively). This results in SSs doing much more damage than CoS during the CA phase.
• Despite SS not crits being lower than CoS non-crits by about 6700, the benefits of PS make the average damage of SS outside the CA phase a lot less lower at about 12400 to 13860 damage (about a 1460 damage difference).
• 44 SSs are required per CS cycle to maintain 100% ISS uptime for the 15% more haste. That 15% extra haste has many benefits beyond the additional focus gain, including more autoshots (3 more in a 5 min fight resulting in about +100 DPS direct autoshot DPS), faster static SS casts not including haste from gear (1.53 versus 1.77) such that the SS damage per cast time when factoring in the PS difference is actually better than that for CoS by about 8106 to 8058 (+48) with no haste on gear and 9727 to 9670 (+57) with 20% haste from gear (showing that the 15% ISS benefit helps SS more with more haste on gear), faster SS casts also result in more total special shots by about 10, resulting in more WQ procs (about 3 more for +96 DPS). In order to make up for this lost in 15% haste from ISS, then a lot more haste is required from gear to achieve the haste soft floor and ceiling caps as listed earlier.
• SS attacks proc the MMM affect allowing free AIs, our hardest hitting shot
• The loss of the 15% haste from ISS is often the difference between being sufficiently hasted enough to cast AIs during solo trinket procs and not being able to cast AIs at all when unhasted since the cast time is so slow (2.13s even with a high 20% haste from gear). FD shows the CoS case casting 30 more ASs but 32 less AIs and 8 less CoS casts than SS casts. Definitely, 32 more AIs and 8 more SSs along with the 3 additional autoshots and WQs for the SS cast is vastly superior to the 30 more ASs in the CoS case.

In this 391 gear analysis in Female Dwarf, a MM rotation using SS instead of CoS as its filler shot does about +5000 DPS because of all of the factors listed above. That number does not include replacing the SS glyph with another glyph, but a glyph change to the 4th best MM option is not going to increase DPS by more than a couple hundred.

===6.2.2 Aimed Shot versus Arcane Shot As Focus Dump===

Another debate is which shot should be used as our focus dump, Aimed Shot or Arcane Shot. From the analysis below using FD data for a 391 gear set and from in game observations, it is not 100% clear to me which should be used as the general focus dump all of the time since both have merits in different situations, but I believe that it should usually follow the general decision process below depending on your AI cast time.

When AI cast time is > 2s, use AS
When AI cast time is < 1.8s use AI
When AI cast time is between 1.8s and 2s, the choice of focus dump is preferential (I usually switch around 1.9s)

Additional items that affect the decision on which focus dump to use include:
• The CA phase. AI should generally be used as the focus dump during the CA phase since almost every cast will be a crit, making its DPS much larger than AS’s while also resulting in more Sic’Em procs to potentially increase pet DPS too. Since we should ideally be hasted for most (if not all) of the CA phase for most bosses, AI cast time should be below the criteria for casting it anyway.
• When moving AS should be used as the focus dumped since cannot cast AI while moving. Note though that most movement phases should be small or allow pause periods when you can cast such that smart shot selection can reduce the number of AS for AI substitutions that must be made when moving and sufficiently hasted to cast AIs.
• When in threat of cast interruptions or pushbacks, using instant cast shots, like CS and AS, over the danger period can be a DPS gain. For instance, losing just 1 average AI outside the CA phase due to interruption can be a 195 DPS loss over a 5 min fight just from the lost shot plus additional potential DPS from lost Sic’Em and WQ procs from that shot. Note though that if the danger is only pushback and the resultant AI cast after the pushback is still under the 1.9s guideline, then it is still generally better to use AI as the focus dump even if it is experiencing pushback.

Here is the analysis using a 391 gear set in FD:

From my FD analysis using the Best Possible DPS thread cases for both the AI only and AS when unhasted focus dump cases, using AI as the focus dump always seems to be theoretically the better choice by about 500 DPS (stats in both these cases are close enough for direct comparison). However, this is an idealized simulation for BIS gear and does not account for several factors that may affect players in general, including:
• impacts of moving or interruptions/pushback on AI casts (results in less autoshots and WQs too)
• absence of one or both haste trinkets resulting in less dynamic haste hurting the AI case
• not BIS gear resulting in less static haste making AI unhasted cast times slower and not as good a DPS choice
• having higher mastery than in these cases, which dump as much mastery as possible, favors AS

Note that due to the AI hardcast lockout and reset of autoshot that it is important to include an estimate of the lost autoshot DPS. In addition, the on average WQ and FA proc damage from the shots in the comparison need to be accounted as well. Note that this analysis does not include the additional T12 4-set procs to save focus due to not having autoshots locked out.

Here is the pertinent shot data from FD with including PS effects:

AI 56427 91896 (CA phase)
CS 53383
AS 14487 16226 (with AS glyph)
Auto 10006
WQ 9567 * 24.44% chance = 2338 WQ dmg per shot
FA 9706 * 1/7^ chance = 1387 per SS
SS 12468 20305 (CA phase) = 13854 21692 (CA phase) with including FA damage
SrS 16527 total, 3305 per tick, 11018 over 10s, 14323 over 13s
Crit 40.19% 100.19% (CA crit)

^ With applying a binomial probability on the 10% FA chance per SS, a FA should occur about every 7th SS on average.

Assuming that the AI cast lasts as long as 2 AS casts when under no dynamic haste effects (AI hardcast is 2s at about 11.29% haste from gear alone assuming 3/3 Pathing), then for the scenario of losing about 1.25 autoshots per AI:

AI + 1 * WQ vs. 2 * AS + 1.25 * auto + 3.25 * WQ
58765 > 52559

(Note that the tipping point in this estimate is where about 1.75 autoshots is lost per AI cast. With lower gear, the tipping point is lower. It was 1.675 with 378 gear.)

As mentioned, the above looks like AI is better as the default focus dump over AS; however, the numbers do not include the increased pet DPS from improved WH uptime due to twice the chance for Sic'Em procs (2 ASs vs 1 AI) and the additional chances for GftT procs from the additional autoshots. The AS case performed 40 more autoshots, with an expected 161 pet focus gained and 3 more focus dumps for an estimated 1.2 more Sic’Ems, resulting in a 2.2% difference in WH uptime and in slightly higher pet DPS (about 30 DPS). It also does not include any benefits from the additional chance for T12 4-set procs to save focus. Using a binomial probably estimate, the 40 extra autoshots in the AS case would result in about 6 more T12 4-set procs. The above numbers also do not include the adverse impacts to the AI case from moving and interruptions and pushback. The above also does not include the difference in focus costs. The AS case costs anywhere from 4 to 6 focus less. With the standard CS CD, that is from 0.4 to 0.6 fps, the equivalent of focus regen from 10% to 15% haste. The focus savings either requires less haste to support the rotation or allows more shots to be taken. Thus, it is believed that AS is the preferred default focus dump at AI cast times greater than 2s However, under ideal conditions and the proper set up, it is possible that AI can theoretically still be the better focus dump.

For more experienced players who want to maximize their DPS a little bit, one can choose to cast an AI as the focus dump instead of AS in situations where you are confident that you will be able to stand still long enough to cast AI without any interruptions or pushback.

During the CA phase where the average AI damage increases by about 35K and when we are usually under dynamic haste effects reducing its cast time, AI is clearly the superior choice as the focus dump.

During RFs and BL and any other sufficiently large dynamic haste effects, the AI cast time is reduced. This reduces the number of ASs (and Sic'Em procs) and associated WQs to compare it to (although the number of autoshots and its WQ chances should remain about constant due to the similar frequency/cast time) and pushes AI clearly ahead as the focus dump choice.

===6.2.3 Aimed Shot versus Chimera Shot Priority===

Another common MM debate is the priority of CS and AI. Is CS higher priority than AI and should be fired as soon off of CD as possible? Or is AI the priority with only needing to fire CS soon enough to extend SrS? During the CA phase is AI enough of a priority where we no longer want to cast CS and SrS during that phase? These questions are answered here.

In summary, AI damage outside the CA phase to just above CS, along with AIs longer cast time and autoshot lockout, the recommendations are:
• Outside the CA phase, cast CS as soon as possible off of CD
• During the CA phase or when under high dynamic haste effects, still use CS and SrS, but CS only needs to be cast soon enough to extend SrS. Note that with how your rotation works out with balancing focus, this can work out to casting CS closer to its CD than to the SrS refresh. An exception here is if you have near T12 BiS gear with high static haste and haste trinkets, in which case it is better to skip CS and SrS during the CA phase since your AI casts are very fast.

Note that if you are analyzing the second case in FD that you need to properly account for latency and that FD can currently skew the result in favor of the AI only case in the CA phase due to the current modeling of saving focus for CS.

Here is the analysis using the same shot data as in 6.2.2:

Assuming that the AI cast lasts about 2s when under no dynamic haste effects (AI hardcast is 2s at about 11.29% haste from gear alone assuming 3/3 Pathing), then CS and a partial SS can be cast during this time. At this haste, standard SS cast time is about 1.38s so about 72.5% of a SS can be cast in the remaining AI cast time after the CS. This analysis is done with assuming 1.25 autoshots are lost during the AI.

Outside the CA phase:

AI + 1 * WQ vs. CS + 0.725 * SS + 1.25 * auto + 2.975 * WQ
58765 << 81885

This clearly shows that when not in the CA phase or under dynamic haste effects that CS definitely has the priority by a large amount and should be cast off CD.

Now let us look at dynamic haste situations with using the best case scenario of a glyphed RF. At this additional haste, the AI cast time is 1.33, and the SS cast time is 1s. Thus, 0.33s of an SS can be cast during the extra AI cast time. The result is:

AI + 1 * WQ vs. CS + 0.33 * SS + 1.25 * auto + 2.58 * WQ
58765 << 76037

Thus, during dynamic haste effects outside the CA phase, you still want to cast CS off CD when possible. Note though that is some situations where there is a lot of extra focus in the rotation with firing CS just off CD that it can be beneficial to extend the CS cycle a bit to fire an additional AI (and maybe a focus balancing SS) to utilize that extra focus.

During the CA phase, both the AI and SS damage is higher. The result when unhasted is:

AI + 1 * WQ vs. CS + 0.725 * SS + 1.25 * auto + 2.975 * WQ
94234 > 87567
94234 < 101891 (with 13s of SrS)

This indicates that during the CA phase, even unhasted, AI has a much higher priority and that it is okay to delay CS cast; however, when also adding in the SrS damage, it is clear that you still want to cast both SrS and CS. Although the result is close, you get extra benefits from the CS and additional autoshots.

Hasted during the CA phase, the question is whether it is still worth casting SrS and CS. The result for the best case scenario of a glyphed RF is:

AI + 1 * WQ vs. CS + 0.35 * SS + 1.25 * auto + 1.6 * WQ + SrS
94234 > 78623
94234 < 92947 (with 13s of SrS)

Showing that forgoing CS and SrS may be slighltly better when ignoring the additional benefits of the CS and additional autoshots. Furthermore, as the haste amount is decreased, the difference between the two becomes smaller until the inflexion point.

Hence, although as a preference one could forgo CS/SrS in the CA phase, especially when hasted by glyphed RF, it may not actually be better to do so unless you have a larger amount of haste on gear than used in this analysis (11.29% or 1446 haste rating) or have additional dynamic haste effects above the RF, such as trinket procs. This is the case for the current end game hunters and the Best Possible DPS cases, such that it is safe to forgo CS and SrS during the initial part of the CA phase. Once either the dynamic haste effects wear off or the CA phase is complete, then SrS should be cast and CS used. For players with lower static haste amounts and no haste trinkets, it is better to still use CS and SrS in the CA phase.

===6.2.4 Steady Shot Spamming vs. Arcane Shot outside the CA Phase===

Another case that has been proposed is to only spam SSs between CS casts when not in the CA phase instead of using AS as the focus dump. This is not recommended.

It is possible that doing only SSs between CSs instead of using AS as the focus dump may be an increase in hunter only DPS. This is because although SS does less damage than AS, doing just SSs results in more MMM AI and FA procs, which may make up for the lost damage of using SSs instead of ASs. However, several factors make the SS spam situation inferior to using AS to dump focus.

1) When not using AS, you lose a lot of Sic'Em procs, resulting in lower pet WH uptime and DPS. The loss of pet DPS is greater than the gain in hunter only DPS resulting in an overall loss of DPS. If your pet is dead though, it may be better to spam SSs between CSs since Sic'Em does not matter then.

2) Although SS damage is not much less than AS damage, SS casts usually takes much longer than the AS GCD, actually making the cost of substitution higher. At the 5.4% haste level, SS casts are 1.5s, resulting in 3 AS casts only being able to be substituted by 2 SS casts. At the 12.93% level, SS casts are 1.4s, meaning that 3 AS casts can be substituted by only 2.14 SS casts. At the little over 20% static haste for the Best Possible DPS case. SS casts are about 1.28s, meaning that 3 AS casts can be substituted by 2.35 SS casts.

3) The comparison also needs to factor in that dynamic haste effects will favor the SS spam case over the using AS case since the dynamic haste effects reduce the SS cast time (up to the GCD) but not the AS cast time. However, since the recommendation is to use hardcasted AI while under large dynamic haste effects, this benefit for the SS spam case does not really exist since both cases should be doing the same shots while under large dynamic haste effects.

Hence, this trade off only really applies when not under dynamic haste effects and not in the CA phase. It also has less application during the KS phase where the addition of KSs results in less ASs to be substituted by SSs. Thus, the main phase to analyze is the Standard phase unhasted.

With using the tight CS-ASx3-SSx4 rotation at the 5.4% haste level to illustrate the change in hunter DPS, the trade off is the average damage of the 3 ASs plus their average WQ damage versus the damage of the 2 SSs that can substitute for the ASs plus 2/8ths of a AI plus 2/7ths of a FA plus the average WQ damage per shot for the two shots as shown below. Note that the 2/8ths of an AI is derived from it taking at best 8 SSs on average to proc an MMM AI with 2 additional SS chances to do so. The MMM AI proc actually takes the place of a SS with a 0.5s deadtime in the cycle that it occurs. Hence, the chance for the MMM AI proc actually reduces the number of SSs to a little below 2, but for simplicity and since the result is not close, I do not account for the reduction of the number of SS, which would reduce its number a little bit. The 2/7ths of a FA is derived from the 10% chance for a FA proc using a binomial probability requiring 7 SSs to proc and 2 additional SSs to proc them.

3 * AS + 3 * WQ vs. 2 * SS + 0.25 * AI + 2/7 * FA + 2 * WQ
56751 > 46492

Thus, despite that taking extra SSs beyond those needed for ISS and focus balancing in place of ASs results in more MMM AI and FA procs, it is a loss in hunter damage due to the slightly higher damage of AS over SS and the fact that you can perform more ASs than SSs in a set amount of time. Add on top of this the additional pet damage of the AS case due to more Sic’Em procs, using AS to dump focus instead of spamming SS is better. Using AI as the focus dump when sufficiently hasted is even better.

Note that faster SS casts close the damage difference between these two cases; however, the haste at which the two cases meet is around the point where you want to be using AI as your focus dump anyway since you are sufficiently hasted to do so.

===6.2.5 Kill Command or Arcane Shot for T12 4-Set Procs===

Another case that has been proposed is to utilize KC instead of AS for T12 4-set procs when it would be consumed by an AS. In these cases, using KC instead of AS is clearly better DPS when looking solely at the direct ability damage since KC does about 1.17 to 1.37 times as much damage (18983/19943 depending on whether an Orc vs. 14487/16226 depending on whether using AS glyph) and both are instant cast and cost no focus in this situation. The negatives of using KC instead of AS include:
• Loss of possible Sic’Em procs from the AS. However, over the approximately 3 mins of a 5 min fight that you are using AS as the focus dump and assuming a 2s autoshot frequency, you can expect only 9 T12 4-set procs. With assuming a 60% chance at most that the proc will be used by AS instead of CS, that reduces the number of instance of KC for AS replacements to 5.4. With assuming a 40% crit rate, this means that only about 2.2 Sic’Em procs are lost over the course of the fight. The loss of the Sic’Em procs result in a reduction in pet WH uptime and pet DPS. For the Best Possible DPS case, the result was a 2.2 to 3.3% loss in WH uptime and 31 to 48 loss in pet DPS depending on whether you were an Orc.
• The T12 4-set proc may occur in the middle of casting multiple ASs or right before you were already prepared to cast an AS. In these cases it may not be possible to recognize the 4-set proc in time to avoid casting the AS. This is fine and unavoidable. In other cases, you may be able to recognize the T12 4-set proc in time to switch casts, but switching casts may cost you human reaction time and end up being a negative instead of positive change since it pushed out your cycle some. In cases where the proc occurs while you are casting SSs and have plenty of time to both recognize it and prepare to cast a KC, it is definitely better to use KC.
• Kill Command is not a shot. Hence, it does not have any chance to proc our mastery WQ like AS does. Hence, the expected average WQ damage per shot of 2338 is lost when using KC. Adding in the average expected WQ damage shifts to AS, the KC to AS damage ratios decrease to about 1.02 to 1.19 times (18983/19943 depending on whether an Orc vs. 16825/18564 depending on whether using AS glyph).
• If you are under dynamic haste effects often where you are using AI as the focus dump more often, then you less opportunities for the KC for AS replacement, with the limiting situation of 0 if you are always using AI as the focus dump.

Hence, I do not generally recommend replacing ASs with KCs for T12 4-set procs since there is very little overall DPS benefit gained, if any, at additional complexity in the shot selections with additional opportunities for human reaction inefficiencies. However, the difference is close enough where if you can perform the KS for AS substitution without adversely impacting your shot timing, then the choice is preferential. If you are an Orc with Command buffing pet damage, then the choice to perform the KC for AS substitution on T12 4-set procs is a little better but still not enough to warrant recommending the substitution. To corroborate this, FD shows only a 32 DPS gain with the substitution for an Orc who does not use the AS glyph (which is you are doing a decent number of ASs as this case assumes, you should use the glyph). For a Troll with the AS glyph, the substitution is a 20 DPS loss. Thus, the change is small either way, even with the sims perfect implementation of the substitution. With imperfect implementation, the substitution is probably a DPS loss even for an Orc without the AS glyph.

Since the substitution is not recommended and since when you can do replace the AS is variable, I consider the extra damage bonus damage and not anything that can be reliably counted upon. Thus, the rotation analyses will not explicitly account for the KC replacements.

Another question is whether with the T12 4-set procs possibly providing a lot of wasted focus whether it is better to use KC as our focus dump instead of AS all of the time. The answer here is that it is definitely not. As shown previously, even a sporadic KS for AS substitution for T12 4 set procs is about a wash depending on your race and glyphs. Using KC all of the time makes the situation worse since you lose even more Sic’Em procs, reducing pet WH uptime and DPS, and even more WQ damage. On top of that, KC has a 6s CD, meaning that it cannot replace every AS cast that you would want to make anyway. Furthermore, AS is a more efficient shot, with only costing 22 focus compared to 40 for KC. Hence, it does 676 damage per focus compared to 519 for KC. To make just one KC for AS replacement be acceptable from a focus balancing standpoint, your average CS cycle has to be wasting 18 focus per cycle. With KC having a 6s CD, you can possibly perform 3 KCs every 2 CS cycles or 1.5 KCs on average per cycle. For focus balancing, your CS cycle must be wasting 27 focus per cycle.

FD shows the case of using KC off CD but using AS otherwise when unhasted is a DPS loss. Just adding in the KC replacements is a 397 DPS loss. Then replacing the KC glyph for the AS glyph is another 380 DPS loss. Finally, moving points from BD into IKC is another 146 DPS loss.

FD shows the case of using KC as your focus dump all the time when unhasted as a DPS loss as well. Adding in KC and removing AS is a 646 DPS loss. Then replacing the AS glyph with the KC glyph is another 163 DPS. The DPS loss here occurred despite the fact that we went from a glyph with no DPS benefit to one with a DPS benefit. This is because the additional focus savings actually allowed more KCs to be performed while unhasted and took focus away from casting AIs while hasted resulting in less AI casts. Moving points from BD into IKC resulted in another 109 DPS loss.

==6.3 Maximizing DPS==

The first rule of DPS is not to talk about DPS. Actually, the first rule is to always be attacking (or waiting out a GCD after an instant). Anytime an attack ends, you should already have queued your next one (see below). Don't delay a cast to make a decision or react to a proc, train yourself to start another attack regardless of what's going on, and change the subsequent attack if necessary after you've had another second to think.

===6.2.6 Use of Kill Shot with T13 2P ===

The decision on how to most effectively use KS with T13 2P is documented in the T13 2P addendum in the post ****here**** .

A quick summary is that with the T13 2P resulting in our CS cycles to be better focused balanced that the focus savings benefit of casting KS is no longer much of a benefit. The only practical benefit of KS now is the damage it relative to the shot that it is replacing.

When using AS as the focus dump, it is always beneficial to replace an AS with a KS since KS does about twice the damage.

When using AI as the focus dump, it is almost never beneficial to replace an AI with a KS. Due to the damage ratio between the shots being about 1.75 and that we do not normally not cast AI unless its cast time is below 1.75s, an AI (unless cast with a long cast time) always does more DPS than KS. However, since KS does more DPS than the average DPS of an AI focus dump cycle (with factoring in the CS and SSs), it is still beneficial to use KS and to just add it into the rotation with delaying the CS cast 1 GCD.

===6.3.1 Ability Queuing===

First, recall that the client processes events when you release the key. Keep that in mind for learning your timing. Some mods have options to change this if you like (e.g. Clique).

Cataclysm introduced a new ability queuing system, similar to the single-spell queue in Wrath but more consistent and more customizable.

When you send an attack command to the server, if your character is unable to attack immediately (typically because it's still casting or GCD-locked from your last attack), the server will see if you become ready to cast within a certain short window. If you do, it will begin the cast immediately. You can set the length of this window with an interface option called "Custom Latency Tolerance." You want to set this value to a high enough amount that you can always press the next spell key comfortably before the current spell finishes, and never have a gap between casts. But you don't want to set it too high, because you can't change your mind after you queue a spell, so your reaction time is effectively slower if you "lock in" each spell a long time before it begins casting. Experiment and find something you're comfortable with.

===6.3.2 Latency===

Even with ability queuing, some shots cannot have latency reduced or eliminated for them. These are instant cast abilities. Note that this also used to apply to any cast time shots whose cast time is reduced by haste effects to below the 1s GCD, but that at some point a change was made to allow us to start queuing the next cast once the previous cast ends even if the GCD has not expired yet. Thus, latency still has an impact on your rotations, especially with the number of instant cast attacks that MMs use.

Since latency levels vary from player to player, this guide does not attempt to take into account latency. All haste values quoted in this guide are with assuming a 0 latency situation. Depending on the typical latency that a player experiences and the number of shots impacted by it per CS cycle, a player will require additional haste amounts to counteract it and have the tight rotations specified.

For example, in a CS-ASx2-SSx5 cycle, three of the shots (CS and the 2 ASs) are affected by latency. If your latency is 100 ms. This is 300 ms or 0.3s lost per CS cycle. To reduce the value back to a 10s cycle, 3% haste is needed. To reduce it back to the 9s for a glyphed CS cycle, 3.3% haste is required. Note though that there is always a tradeoff in acquiring additional haste, it may be better for you to eat the latency and keep the delay in your CS cycle than to tradeoff other stats for additional haste. Whether acquiring more haste or not to account for the latency is an improvement or not depends on your situation.

Also note that FD by default incorporates 150ms of latency. To get results more consistent with the recommendations in this guide, you will either need to set the latency in FD to 0 or apply additional amounts of haste to make up for the amount of latency that you set in FD.

Refer to the post ***here*** for more details on adjusting for latency with either haste case.


==6.4 Shot Rotation/Priority==

MM hunters do not have a set rotation. This is because what we need to cast differs under various haste effects and where we are on our focus bar. MM hunters use a priority system instead that defines which shot to take. In this guide, when I use the word rotation, I do not mean a fixed shot order, I mean a set of shots whose order is somewhat interchangeable and which is fluid under various conditions. When I list a specific rotation, that rotation is just an example rotation that could occur under the applicable haste and focus maintenance conditions.

The MM priority currently has a few high-level driving principals. These are
- Apply SrS at the start of all fights on targets that will live longer than 12s (optionally it can be applied at the end of the CA phase)
- Use CS during the whole fight (optionally it can be skipped during the CA phase)
-- Use CS in time to extend SrS during the CA phase or when under large dynamic haste effects
-- Use CS off CD otherwise (usually whenever using AS as your focus dump)
- Use AI as your focus dump during the CA phase and when under large dynamic haste effects
- Use AS as your focus dump at all other times
- Use MMM AI procs soon after they occur but not in the middle of an SS pair needed to maintain ISS uptime or if CS or KS is off CD. In these situations, the MMM AI can be delayed shortly.
- Use SS as your filler shot to regen focus, to maintain ISS uptime, and gain MMM AI procs
-- Each CS cycle should contain at least 2 SS pairs to maintain ISS uptime

===6.4.1 Single Target Shot Priority===

The general MM shot/ability priority is as follows for single targets:
1) Shortly before combat starts apply HM to the target
2) Shortly before combat starts cast MD on the target’s tank
3) SrS (only if the target will live longer than 12s)
4) CS if new target that is not marked to apply MfD or to refresh SrS
5) AI MMM proc
6) SS pair if no ISS buff
7) KS
8) RF
9) Readiness (RD)
10) AS (or KC with T12 4-set proc)/AI hardcast
11) SS pair (if less than 3 to 4s on the ISS buff)
12) KC (if have a RiF or pet is on the target and target is out of LoS)
13) SS

At the start of fights on premarked targets, if you can start precasting an AI during the pull, then do so. Otherwise, I suggest starting with:
SrS->RF->AI hardcast->SS pair to get the ISS buff to reduce AI cast times->AI hardcast-> AI hardcast-> Readiness->SS pair->continuing with the standard priority

I prefer to always start with SrS so I do not have to remember to apply it later and will have it on the target the whole time. It also uses up some focus that will regen during the first AI hardcast. I follow the SrS with RF to speed up the subsequent AI hardcasts and increase focus generation. I prefer to cast the first SS pair to start the ISS buff until after the first AI hardcast since that way I can take advantage of at least some of the focus generated by the SS pair. After the SS pair, I am usually at 100% focus and can follow them with an AI pair, which leaves me low in focus requiring another SS pair to generated enough focus to continue with the normal shot priority.

When switching targets, I suggest opening with CS if it is off CD to apply the MfD effect to mark the target. If CS is on CD for a while, you can optionally use an AS instead to mark the target.

===6.4.2 Multiple Target Shot Priority===

The general MM shot/ability priority is as follows for multiple targets:
1) Shortly before combat starts apply HM to the prime target (can be skipped if not enough time)
2) Shortly before combat starts cast MD on the main tank for the targets
3) Shortly before combat starts cast Trap Launcher and then ET
4) At the start of combat, place ET where the tank will tank the targets (recast off CD if targets not close to dead yet)
5) MS (plus the WQ procs)
6) MMM AI (especially if your current target is about to die for chance of killing blow and 50 focus)
7) KS (especially if your current target is about to die for chance of killing blow and 50 focus)
8) SS (to regen focus for more MSs - can do a pair for the ISS buff and better focus regen)

It usually is not worth it to use RF and Readiness on AoE packs since those are usually trash and you want to make sure to have both ready for boss fights or they are usually adds and you instead prefer to utilize the RFs to improve your single target DPS. However, if it is a really difficult AoE pack of long enough duration, it may be beneficial to use RF and Readiness for the additional focus regen from RF and the faster SS cast times to power more MSs.

It is also usually not worthwhile to use CS on most multi-target situations. This is because its focus cost (44) is twice that of MS (20) if talented for Bombardment and it is in effect. Furthermore, as shown in the table below, at a little over 4 targets, the MS damage overcomes the CS damage. Considering the extra focus cost of CS, it really is not worth using in AoE situations until you have two or three targets.

[TABLE]# Targets|CS+WQ|MS+WQ|AS+WQ
1|51696|12099|17442
2|51696|24197|17442
3|51696|36296|17442
4|51696|48394|17442
5|51696|60493|17442
6|51696|72592|17442
7|51696|84690|17442
8|51696|96789|17442
9|51696|108887|17442
10|51696|120986|17442[/TABLE]

Note that it is currently worthwhile to use the AoE rotation on packs of at least 3 targets. Single target DPS is generally better on packs of size 2, especially when under dynamic haste effects. However, on dual targets while unhasted, it can possibly be better to utilize the multitarget rotation as long as you are talented for Bombardment. This is because when Bombardment is in effect, your MSs casts actually cost less focus (20) than AS (22) and does more damage, especially when factoring in the additional WQ procs, as shown in the table above. The only thing lost by using MS instead of AS is the chance for Sic’Em procs, but the additional hunter damage outweighs the additional pet damage. The one concern with using MS on dual-targets is maintaining the Bombardment buff for the reduced cast cost while also still using CS, MMM AI procs, and cast SS pairs for regen focus. If you are able to maintain the Bombardment buff and still use your high single-target attacks, then using MS instead of AS is worthwhile; otherwise, it is not.

Also note that the DPS you do on the primary target is considerably higher than the DPS on the other targets due to the autoshots, SSs, MMM AIs, KSs, and extra WQs. Over a long duration AoE battle, the DPS on the primary target can still be more DPS than that on up to another 5 to 6 secondary targets as shown in the table below. On shorter AoE battles where most of the attacks are MSs, the percentage of the damage on the primary target is still higher than the secondary targets but a lot closer.

[TABLE]# Targets\DPS|Single-Target|Multi-target|Overall
1|21116|5132|26248
2|21116|10264|31380
3|21116|15395|36512
4|21116|20527|41643
5|21116|25659|46775
6|21116|30791|51907
7|21116|35923|57039
8|21116|41054|62171
9|21116|46186|67302
10|21116|51318|72434[/TABLE]

==6.5 Shot Phases and Rotations==

Now that we have discussed the general shot priorities, we can now discuss how they apply to actually playing your MM hunter. Depending on how you have spent your talents, there are up to four different phases of a boss fight. These are:
1) The CA phase. This phase only applies if you have at least 1 point in CA, which all MM hunters should. It applies over the first 10% of boss health.
2) Standard phase: This is the phase where the standard shot priority applies. It is in effect from boss health of 90% to 25% or 20% depending if Termination is talented.
3) Termination phase: This is the phase where the extra focus regain of SS applies if you are talented into Termination. It uniquely applies over boss health of 25% to 20% but also applies over the Kill Shot phase.
4) Kill Shot phase: This is the phase where KS become available. It applies from boss health of 20% to 0%.

In addition to the phases, your current SS and AI cast times affect how many shots you can take in a CS cycle and whether to cast CS off CD or just soon enough to refresh SrS. Your focus regeneration rate affects your shot selection as well. Since both your cast times and focus regeneration rate are a function of haste, what shots you can perform in a CS cycle is dependent on your amount of haste. Furthermore, whether you have the CS glyph of not also dictates how many shots you can take per CS cycle and the ideal amounts of haste to do so.

The basic overall premise of the MM rotation is to cast as many CSs and focus dumps (AIs or ASs depending on the fight phase or haste effects) as possible while maintaining sufficient focus. To help accomplish this, you need to consistently maintain the ISS buff to both reduce AI and SS cast time.

Although in some additional cases than previously listed AI may be the better focus dump for some people, this guide does not currently provide full support for any rotations beyond the recommended situations.

The following phase discussion will only focus on in combat shots. They will not discuss pre-combat preparations since they do not apply generically. Also, the use of RF and Readiness will not be explicitly mentioned since their casts are done only when available; however, the effects of being under RF are discussed. The rotation discussions will also not mention RiF procs since they do not occur predictably and since it is not part of the standard build. If you are talented for RiF, squeeze them into the rotation in a similar manner as MMM AI procs are.

Due to needing to focus balance your shots, your general shot selection should generally be 1 to 3 focus costing specials (CS, AI, or AS) followed by sufficient SSs to regen focus and refresh the ISS buff. If you do not care too much about maximizing DPS, then this general guideline should provide sufficient DPS at all times.

In the sections below, I provide suggested rotations for each phase, useful Prime glyph possibilities (CS, KS, RF, and AI), the two pertinent haste points (5.4% and 12.93% combined from gear and Pathing) for the base generic MM rotation without any set bonuses. (For information on how the different tier set bonuses affect the base MM rotations, then reference the applicable tier’s section in 4.2 Set Bonuses. These sections include links that provide more details for rotations with those set bonuses.) These rotations are the shot selections that fall out of the shot priority for a given situation. These ideal rotations will need to be adjusted as dynamic events occur throughout the course of the fight, especially when under various dynamic haste effects.

Also since there are a large variation of possible shot selections to use, to limit the analysis, I am confining it to the current shot recommendations of:
- CA Phase:
-- Use AI as your focus dump
-- Use SrS and CS but CS can be delayed to just refresh SrS (optionally skipped)
- All other phases:
-- Use AS as the focus dump and cast CS ideally off CD when not under large dynamic haste effects
-- Use AI as the focus dump when under large dynamic haste effects

Also note that when I list shot rotations, I am basically just listing the shots and not necessarily a specific ordering of the shots. The key is the shot selection with a player able to change the order of the shots within the limitations of maintaining ISS and the focus constraints. Thus, ignore anywhere in my shot tables where the focus goes over 100 or under 0 since the tables are just meant to determine the net results. Furthermore, although the rotation information may show where a MMM AI proc occurs, where it actually is used in the cycle is flexible as well.

===6.5.1 Standard Phase===

Although the Standard Phase does not occur first in a boss fight, we will discuss the Standard Phase first since it is, well, the standard that occurs over the largest part of the fight, from 90% boss health to 25 or 20% depending on whether talented for Termination.

As discussed previously, the goals during this phase are:
- Cast CS off CD
- Use AS as the focus dump when not under large haste effects (RF or BL)
- Use AI as the focus dump when under large haste effects
- Cast at least 2 SS pairs per CS cycle to maintain ISS uptime

====6.5.1.1 Standard Phase Summary and Recommendations====

For the 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With the AI, KS, or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AS or the extra SS at about a 3 to 1 ratio in order to balance focus consumption. Note that on average this cycle has some small delay in CS cycle time that some additional haste can reduce.
CS-ASx2-SSx5
- With the CS glyph, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs always replacing an AS and an AS being replaced by a 5th SS roughly every 10th cycle to balance focus consumption.
CS-ASx2-SSx4
- During RFs:
-- With the CS or KS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. For max DPS during RF pair but about a net 30 focus loss, perform this cycle. To balance focus, an extra SS is needed about half the time.
CS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the AI glyph, the same base cycle as for the KS glyph can be performed with only losing about 18 focus over the whole RF pair. If you want to balance focus, then it is suggested to cast an extra SS on non-MMM AI cycles.
-- With the RF glyph, the same base cycle as for the KS glyph is performed with taking 0.74s less per cycle and with losing about 37 focus over the RF pair. Since the cycle will bottom out on focus, I suggest using one extra SS on a MMM AI proc cycle. If you want focus balance, then perform an extra SS on all MMM AI proc cycles.
- During BLss:
-- With all glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and adding an extra SS on cycles with a MMM AI proc to eliminate the resultant deadtime in the cycle, increase DPS, and balance focus.
CS-AIx2-SSx5

For the 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With the AI, KS, or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing the extra SS on every 3 of 4 procs and an AS on the other procs.
CS-ASx2-SSx5
- With the CS glyph, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs always replacing an AS and an AS being replaced by a 5th SS roughly every 10th cycle to balance focus consumption.
CS-ASx2-SSx4
- During RFs:
-- With the CS or KS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. For max DPS during the RF pair about a net 37 focus is lost, perform this cycle. Since the cycle will bottom out on focus, I suggest using one extra SS on a MMM AI proc cycle. If you want focus balance, then perform an extra SS on all MMM AI proc cycles.
CS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the AI glyph, the same base cycle as for the KS glyph can be performed with only losing about 25 focus over the whole RF pair. If you want to balance focus, then it is suggested to cast an extra SS on non-MMM AI cycles.
-- With the RF glyph, an additional AI and SS can be performed to increase DPS with the base cycle listed below with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. This cycle cannot actually be performed every cycle since it is focus negative and hits focus limitations. To fix this, an extra SS cast is required on all cycles with a MMM AI proc.
CS-AIx4-SSx6
- During BLss:
-- With all glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. It is focus positive.
CS-AIx2-SSx6

====6.5.1.2 Standard Phase Detailed Information====

For those who want more information about how I came about with the above recommendations, the detailed information can be seen **here**.

===6.5.2 Careful Aim Phase===

Over the first 10% of boss health, the Careful Aim (CA) talent provides 60% additional crit to our SSs and AIs. This is especially nice since both shots get extra crit damage bonuses from PS. The increased average AI crit damage results in it being prioritized over CS during this phase (see 6.2.3 AI vs CS), especially since you should be operating during this phase with dynamic haste effects over as much of this phase as possible to maximize AI DPS. We generally still want to use SrS and CS during this phase; however, since CS is lower priority, you do not need to use it off CD. You only need to use it soon enough to refresh CS. Optionally, you may choose to forgo SrS and CS.

For those of you with the CS glyph, it is useless for the most part in this phase since we are delaying our CS casts.

The general rules over this phase are:
- Use SrS with using CS soon enough to refresh SrS (optionally both can be skipped)
- Use AI as your focus dump
- Use at least 2 SS pairs to maintain ISS uptime
- Utilize the haste from gear requirements from the Standard phase

====6.5.2.1 Careful Aim Phase Summary and Recommendations====

For the 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With all glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. To sufficiently balance focus, perform an extra SS on all cycles with a MMM AI proc.
CS-AIx2-SSx5
- During RFs:
-- With the CS or KS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. For max DPS during RF pair but about a net 30 focus loss, perform this cycle. To balance focus, an extra SS is needed about half the time.
CS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the AI glyph, the same base cycle as for the KS glyph can be performed with only losing about 18 focus over the whole RF pair. If you want to balance focus, then it is suggested to cast an extra SS on non-MMM AI cycles.
-- With the RF glyph, the same base cycle as for the KS glyph is performed with taking 0.74s less per cycle and with losing about 37 focus over the RF pair. Since the cycle will bottom out on focus, I suggest using one extra SS on a MMM AI proc cycle. If you want focus balance, then perform an extra SS on all MMM AI proc cycles.
- During BLss:
-- With all glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and adding an extra SS on cycles with a MMM AI proc to eliminate the resultant deadtime in the cycle, increase DPS, and balance focus.
CS-AIx2-SSx5

For the 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With the CS, KS, or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. To sufficiently balance focus, perform an extra SS on all cycles with a MMM AI proc.
CS-AIx2-SSx5
-- With the AI glyphs, perform the same rotation as for the other glyphs except that extra SSs only occur on the cycles without an MMM AI proc
- During RFs:
-- With the CS or KS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. For max DPS during the RF pair about a net 37 focus is lost, perform this cycle. Since the cycle will bottom out on focus, I suggest using one extra SS on a MMM AI proc cycle. If you want focus balance, then perform an extra SS on all MMM AI proc cycles.
CS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the AI glyph, the same base cycle is that shown below with losing about 5 focus over the RF. It replaces an AI with MMM AI procs and adds an additional SS on non-MMM AI proc cycles.
CS-AIx4-SSx6
-- With the RF glyph, an additional AI and SS can be performed to increase DPS with the base cycle listed below with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast. This cycle cannot actually be performed every cycle since it is focus negative and hits focus limitations. To fix this, an extra SS cast is required on all cycles with a MMM AI proc.
CS-AIx4-SSx6
- During BLss:
-- With the CS, KS, or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI and with an extra SS on all MMM AI proc cycles:
CS-AIx3-SSx7
-- With the AI glyph, perform the same cycle as for the other glyphs but skip the extra SS that is performed on MMM AI cycles.

====6.5.2.2 Careful Aim Phase Detailed Information====

For those of you wanting to know the method to my madness, the details may be found **here**.

===6.5.3 Termination Phase===

The goals for this phase are the same as those for the Standard phase.

If you are not talented for Termination, then this phase is the same as the Standard phase.

If you are talented for Termination, in lieu of more detailed information for this phase, assume that you are still performing the Standard rotation with focus being less of a concern with possibly being able to drop extra SSs from your cycle to replace with focus dumps.

Looking at the benefits of talenting Termination to this short phase, Termination is a DPS increase in all cases (both haste levels and both unhasted and under dynamic haste effects) since it allows you to be able to drop extra SS casts.

In many cases, the Term cycle is the same as the same as the cycle during the Standard phase except that focus levels are higher and extra SSs can be dropped. Hence, shot cycle information is not repeated unless it is different with referencing the cycles from the Standard phase.

Note that the effects of Termination during the Kill Shot phase are provided in section 6.5.5.

====6.5.3.1 Termination Phase Summary and Recommendations====

For the 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With the AI, KS, or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AS.
CS-ASx3-SSx4
- With the CS glyph, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs always replacing an AS.
CS-ASx2-SSx4
- During RFs:
-- With the CS, KS, or RF glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and with a 6th SS performed on cycles with a MMM AI proc.
CS-AIx4-SSx5
-- With the AI glyph, use the same cycle as for the KS glyph except that the 6th SS is ideally performed on non-MMM AI cycles.
- During BLss:
-- With AI, KS, or RF glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast
CS-AIx3-SSx6
-- With the CS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and with a 5th SS performed on MMM AI proc cycles to eliminate the deadtime and balance focus.
CS-AIx2-SSx4

For the 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With all glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AS.
CS-ASx3-SSx4
- During RFs:
-- With all glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and with a 6th SS performed on cycles with a MMM AI proc.
CS-AIx4-SSx5
- During BLss:
-- With CS, KS, or RF glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast
CS-AIx3-SSx6
-- With the AI glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and with performing a 6th SS on cycles with MMM AI procs.
CS-AIx3-SSx5

As can be seen, an effect of Termination is that it not only increases DPS as compared to the Standard phase but that it also simplifies the cycles.

====6.5.3.2 Termination Phase Detailed Information====

For those of you wanting to know the method to my madness, the details may be found **here**.

===6.5.4 Kill Shot Phase===

The Kill Shot phase applies over the last 20% of target health, at which point KS is available to use.

The Kill Shot glyph in theory allows you to cast back to back KSs on a 11s cycle.

If you are not talented for Termination, then the Kill Shot phase is very similar to the Standard phase with the exception that you have an additional instant cast, focus-free shot, KS, that you can perform up to every 10s without the KS glyph and more frequently with the KS glyph.

In general, adding KSs into the rotation is similar to adding in MMM AI procs. Both are instant cast, focus-free shots that do considerably more damage than AS or SS. The desire here is for KS casts to replace extra SS casts not needed for focus regen or AS casts.

Section 6.5.5 covers the case of the Kill Shot Phase when talented for Termination.

====6.5.4.1 Kill Shot Phase Summary and Recommendations====

For the 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With the AI or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AS.
CS-KS-ASx2-SSx4
- With the CS glyph, the KS cast floats in location in the cycle since its CD is longer than the glyphed CS CD. The following two cycles are used depending on whether KS is available or not that cycle with MMM AI procs always replacing an AS. KS is lower priority than CS, the second SS in an SS pair, and MMM AI procs if a SS cast is next.
CS-KS-AS-SSx4
CS-ASx2-SSx4
- With the KS glyph, the KS casts float in location in the cycle since its 2 KS CD is longer than the CS CD. The following two cycles are used depending on whether both KSs are available or not that cycle with MMM AI procs always replacing an AS. KS is lower priority than CS, the second SS in an SS pair, and MMM AI procs if a SS cast is next.
CS-KSx2-AS-SSx4
CS-KS-ASx2-SSx4
- During RFs:
-- With the AI, CS, or RF glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the KS glyph, use the same cycle as for the CS glyph except that an additional KS is performed and the 5th SS is ideally performed only on MMM AI cycles.
CS-KSx2-AIx3-SSx5
- During BLss:
-- With AI or RF glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and a 6th SS performed on non-MMM AI cycles to balance focus.
CS-KS-AIx2-SSx5
-- With the CS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing the extra SS.
CS-KS-AI-SSx5
-- With the KS glyph, use the same cycle as for the RF glyph except that an additional KS is performed and the 6th SS is not needed.
CS-KSx2-AIx3-SSx5

For the 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- With AI, CS, or RF glyphs, perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AS.
CS-KS-ASx2-SSx4
- With the KS glyph, the KS casts float in location in the cycle since its 2 KS CD is longer than the CS CD. The following two cycles are used depending on whether both KSs are available or not that cycle with MMM AI procs always replacing an AS. KS is lower priority than CS, the second SS in an SS pair, and MMM AI procs if a SS cast is next.
CS-KSx2-AS-SSx4
CS-KS-ASx2-SSx4
- During RFs:
-- With the AI, CS, or RF glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the KS glyph, use the same cycle as for the CS glyph except that an additional KS is performed.
CS-KSx2-AIx3-SSx5
- During BLss:
-- With AI or RF glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and a 6th SS performed on non-MMM AI cycles to balance focus.
CS-KS-AIx2-SSx5
-- With the CS glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing the extra SS.
CS-KS-AI-SSx5
-- With the KS glyph, use the same cycle as for the RF glyph except that an additional KS is performed and the 6th SS is not needed.
CS-KSx2-AIx2-SSx5

====6.5.4.2 Kill Shot Phase Detailed Information====

For those of you wanting to know the method to my madness, the details may be found **here**.

===6.5.5 Kill Shot Phase with Termination===

This section investigates the benefit of Termination during the KS phase. Refer to 6.5.3 for general information in Termination and 6.5.4 on the standard rotation during the KS phase.

====6.5.5.1 Kill Shot Phase with Termination Summary and Recommendations====

ISS downtime cycles are not beneficial during hasted phases as discussed in the Termination section.

For the 5.4% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- Termination does not really help in any of the glyph cases when performing normal rotations.
-- Only the CS glyph has a possibly worthwhile ISS downtime cycle
- During RFs:
-- With the AI, CS, or RF glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx4
-- With the KS glyph, use the same cycle as for the CS glyph except that an additional KS is performed
CS-KSx2-AIx3-SSx4
- During BLss:
-- With AI, CS, or RF glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and a 6th SS performed on MMM AI cycles to balance focus.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx5 with MMM AI procs replacing an AI and a 6th SS on MMM AI proc cycles
-- With the KS glyph, use the following cycle with MMM AI procs replacing AIs
CS-KSx2-AIx2-SSx4

For the 12.93% haste from gear and Pathing case:
- When unhasted:
-- Termination helps in the AI, KS, and RF glyph cases by over 400 DPS
-- Termination does not help the CS glyph rotations
-- The ISS downtime cycles are not recommended for any glyph case.
- During RFs:
-- With the AI, CS, or RF glyph perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx4
-- With the KS glyph, use the same cycle as for the CS glyph except that an additional KS is performed
CS-KSx2-AIx3-SSx4
- During BLss:
-- With AI or RF glyphs perform the following base cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI hardcast and a 6th SS performed on MMM AI cycles to balance focus.
CS-KS-AIx3-SSx5
-- With the CS glyph, use the following cycle with MMM AI procs replacing an AI
CS-KS-AIx2-SSx4
-- With the KS glyph, use the following cycle with MMM AI procs replacing AIs
CS-KSx2-AIx2-SSx4

====6.5.5.2 Kill Shot Phase with Termination Detailed Information====

For those of you wanting to know the method to my madness, the details may be found **here**.

=7.0 Other Information=

==7.1 Movement==

Movement will always be a negative situation for a MM hunter compared to a standstill fight; however, we have many tools to limit the adverse effects of moving. These include:
- If needing to move for a long mostly continuous duration, Aspect of the Fox will allow you to still cast your SSs while moving, which is important due to all of the benefits our SSs have to our rotation.
- We have plenty of instant cast attacks that can be utilized if we have sufficient focus. For dumping focus while moving, AS and AI instants should be utilized instead of AI casts.
- Disengage for a quick movement out of trouble or to where you want to be.
- Aspect of the Cheetah/Pack are nice for movement if you are sure you are not going to be attacked and dazed.

One tool that we no longer need to employ is stutter stepping since starting in 4.0.6, our autoshots still cast while we are moving.

It is important to understand all the tools that you have available as a hunter and how they can be utilized in various scenarios.

==7.2 Pets==

If all buffs that your pets can provide are already present in the raid, then the pet choice comes down to what type (Ferocity or Cunning) provides you with the most personal DPS. The answer depends on your gear, but generally a Ferocity pet is better DPS due to the benefits of Call of the Wild, which buffs both you and your pet's AP. At currently available gear levels, the DPS difference between a Ferocity and Cunning pet is at most several hundred DPS.

Even if a Cunning pet and a Ferocity pet provide you with the exact same DPS, there are still choices to make. The Cunning pet does more of the overall DPS while the hunter does with a Ferocity pet. Thus, if its a fight with high hunter DPS uptime and lower pet attack uptime, a Ferocity pet choice will be better. Conversely, if the fight has high pet attack uptime but low hunter DPS uptime, the Cunning pet is better, especially since it relies less on its focus regen from the hunter who is doing less attacks to regen its focus.

If your raid is missing one or more buffs, then the pet choice should be the pet that provides the buff that has the largest raid benefit. Which buff that is depends on which are missing, your raid composition, and the relative DPS of each member. Consult your raid on which buff they want you to provide if there are multiple choices. Choosing a pet that buffs the raid, even if it is a personal DPS loss over other pet choices increases overall raid DPS. One final note is that if the chosen buff is provided by both Cunning and Ferocity pets, pick the pet type that is the best DPS for you.

==7.3 Mods, Tools, and References==

Warcraft Hunter’s Union: A good source of hunter guides.
Zeherah’s Hunter DPS Analyzer (Female Dwarf): A good hunter simulator.
Petopia: A great source for hunter pet information.

Quartz: As a DPSer, you should have a proper cast bar and swing/shot timer. This is an excellent one.

===7.3.1 Recommended Female Dwarf Settings===

Since the settings in Female Dwarf can make a big difference in the results that one receives and the conclusions to be made from them, I am providing my recommended settings that I believe best model the shot selections I recommend. Note that the settings discussed here are only the common settings that apply to all players and not any settings having to do with professions, etc.

Note that even with these settings, FD will not exactly perform the desired rotations in all situations.

Shot Priority Tab

Enabled Shots Below setting:
SrS
CS (before Readiness so CD is reset)
KS (before Readiness so CD is reset)
RF
Readiness
AI (after RF to benefit from the haste)
AS
SS

Save Focus For: "Chimera Shot"
Note the current implementation of Save Focus For requires enough focus to shot both Chimera Shot and the current shot before it will shot the current shot even if there is plenty of time to regen the focus for CS. For instance, to shot AI, you must have at least 94 focus. This can result in using less focus dumps throughout the fight. If it appears that is happening, then try "Not Selected". Be aware though that this settings can cause CS casts to be delayed and can even result in SrS falling off the target in some situations.

Wait Time: "0.3"sec
Note that this is a preferrential value. I prefer not to waste too much of a GCD waiting on a shot. Some people prefer "0.5" or half a GCD, and that is fine.

Wait Shots: "Kill Shot" disabled, "Chimera Shot" enabled, "Kill Command" disabled
I enable Chimera Shot since its does so much damage and defines our cycle. I am willing to wait a little bit for it, especially if you have the CS glyph. KS is disabled since it does not do that much more damage over SS and AS and does less damage than CS and AI. There usually is not much penalty delaying it a bit to fit in another shot in what would otherwise be dead time. The exception is that if you have the KS glyph, it may be worth enabling the wait.

Minimum Focus to use Arcane Shot: "0" (the default value)

Trap Cast Time: "2" (the default value)
Since traps are not a big part of MM rotations in most cases, this setting usually does not matter. It only really matters if doing AoE or any other analysis if traps in the priority list.

Don't save focus for serpent sting if it falls off: Enabled
Saving focus for SrS means that you have 25 less focus with which to use for other shots. If saving for CS as well, that is 69 focus being reserved, which is very constraining. If SrS falls off, it is not that important to refresh it immediately. It can just replace an AS cast since they have similar focus costs and are both instants.

Disable Arcane Shot while Careful Aim is active: Enabled
During CA phase only want to use CS and the two shots buffed by CA - SS and AI

Disable Kill Command when 4pc T12 proc isn't active: Enabled
When we had the T12 4P, some people liked to use the 4P T12 procs on KC instead of AS, but putting KC in the priority list would cause it to be used at other times if this setting was not applied. Without the T12 4P, KC should not be in the priority list for most players, and this setting should not matter.

Don't suppress Arcane Shot when 4pc T13 proc is off cooldown: Disabled
In general, MMs do not want this setting enabled. Enabling allows AS to be cast during the CA phase to try to proc the T13 4P bonus. This is bad since it casts ASs instead of much superior AIs in the CA phase, adds additional haste that should not be needed on top of the RF being performed then, and loses an additional haste period after the CA phase is over.

Improved Steady Shot Behavior: "steady shot in pairs if ISS <= 4 sec left"
Enforces ISS uptime. The "3 sec" option is okay as well, I just prefer the 4 sec option to be safe.

Aimed Shot Behavior: "manual cast and instant"
Allows both forms of AI to be used. The next setting controls when the manual cast version is used.

Maximum speed to cast Aimed Shot (suppressing Arcane Shot): "1.9" "except during careful aim"
This setting will always use AI as the focus dump during the CA phase regardless of its cast time. Outside the CA phase, it only hardcasts AI if it is sufficiently hasted. The value of 1.9 can be adjusted to suit your desires.

Chimera Shot Careful Aim Behavior: "disable sting and chimera"
- The best results currently due to AI damage scaling relative to weak scaling of SrS is to skip SrS and CS during the CA phase. However, this choice is not much better than the "standard priority" option if you choose to still use both during the CA phase. The worst option currently is "delay until <= 2.9 sec left on sting". Although casting CS in that late window can be a DPS benefit on some cycles, it is currently a DPS loss to force CS to be cast in that late window when it would be better to naturally cast it sooner.

Settings

The first six options for fight length, phase percentages, and when to use BL are preferrential and should be set per your typical situation. The Dark Intent, Target Level, and Target Armor settings, I leave as the default.

sec. minimum focus shot speed to activate haste cooldowns (Heroism/Bloodlust, Rapid Fire, Berserking and Lifeblood): "0"
I use the default here since I enforce BL and RF not overlapping by delaying when BL is cast to an appropriate time that does not overlap with RF.

Latency (in ms): " 0"
150 is the default. Update it to reflect your typical in raid latency. Note that higher latency adversely effects shots that take less than a GCD to cast. 0 latency is the amount used in base rotation analyses.

% Aspect of the Hawk Uptime: "100"
For most fights I try to stay in AotH 100% of the time since that is higher DPS, although there are some cases I switch to Fox. Set this setting as it applies to your play style.

Use Aspect of the Fox for Cobra/Steady Shot: Disabled
This is a significant DPS loss. Although there are situations where you need to use Fox to cast SS, these should be rare situations since shot planning can eliminate the need for Fox in most instances. Furthermore, I prefer to disable Fox in simulations so that I get a full fell for maximum DPS potential.

Don't use Aspect of the Fox during Careful Aim: N/A
This setting only applies if the previous setting is Enabled. It forces Hawk to still be used for SS during the CA phase.

Use Averaging of Abilities Over Time: Enabled

Don't Emulate Known Bugs: Disabled
Want FD to simulate current game play.

Display Debug Data : Enabled
This setting is optional, but I always have it turned on since I like to review the detailed information.

=8.0 History=

This section will maintain a list of updates made to this guide.

12/31/2010: Initial release for 4.0.3a
1/2/2010: Added Viciousness to Worgen racials and Time is Money to Goblin racials. These racials were already included in the DPS numbers. Removed the engineering plasma shield since not viable for raids. Added the Fleet meta as a viable gem option.
1/5/2011: Completed updates per analysis with T11 non-heroic raid gear. This includes updating all number to this analysis and providing some comparisons with the preraid gear analysis. Updated spec with moving a point from OwN to Pathing. Added discussion on having a 3rd point in BD versus OwN when have 2/2 Pathing. Updated CS glyph description. Updated racial data. Added hit rating required to cap hit. Added KS glyph versus CS glyph comparison section. Addressed the engineering helm and cogwheels.
1/6/2011: Updated the CA phase information. The DPS differences in the CA special rotation and standard rotation during the CA phase had the incorrect sign at the slower SS cast speeds. The analysis had just enough crit rate where the slower SS casts were now better than a quicker AS cast. However, for the CS glyph case the standard rotation is still better due to dead time in CA rotation. Also corrected some numbers in the CS vs KS glyph discussion for corrections in the analysis provide in other posts.
1/30/11: Added the Raptor Strike glyph.
2/7/11: Until complete guide is updated for 4.0.6, added some guidelines at the start of the post.
2/8/11: Added additional rotation suggestions for both the cases with or without the T11 4-set.
2/9/11: Updated the spec and glyph sections for 4.0.9.
2/10/11: Updated the race section using T11 heroic gear. Updated the stat and complete gear and preparation sections. Updated the professions section with inlcuding in impacts of new agi wrist enchant and engineering synapse springs. Updated the other information section.
2/12/11: Updated all of section 6 up to 6.5.
2/15/11: Updated over half of section 6.5. Updated the shot information for the two most important phases - Standard and CA. Put placeholder suggestions in Term and KS phase until their analysis is done. Removed the KS versus CS glyph debate since no longer applicable.
2/16/11: Updated the AI versus CS analysis. After reading a WHU post, I decided to use a more accurate analysis with factoring in autoshots, SS, and WQ damage as well. This really did not change anything in the Standard phase, but it did affect the CA phase results.
2/17/11: Clarified SilS use a little. Updated the hit section to reflect that hit becoming a better stat that agility again is possible with current gear and DPS scaling, especially after the 4.0.6 changes. Clarified gemming section to state a case were gemming one glinting for hit can possibly be better than reforging for hit.
2/18/11: Added acronym list
2/23/11: Updated spec for hotfix changes to have 3/3 OwN. Updated glyph information. Added confirmation in new AI vs. AS section that AI should still be the focus dump after the hotfix.
2/25/11: Updated the talent and glyph information for AS being the focus dump when both outside the CA phase and when not under dynamic haste effects (BL and RF). Updated the Sic'Em talent discussion to update that it always refunds 25 focus regardless of whether the basic attack costs more due to WH. Updated the haste section for the devaluing of haste post-hotfix and to redo discussion for gaining GCDs in the CS cycle. Also updated the focus regen discussion to not include the 10% raid haste buff.
2/26/11: Updated the shot descriptions.
2/27/11: Updated the shot comparison section including adding in a CS vs AI section. Updated Standard Phase discussion when unhasted.
3/1/11: Added a latency section to clarify its impacts some. Added a brief SS vs. AS comparison when outside the CA phase since that case was recently brought up and can have misleading results. Completed analysis of the standard phase and started analysis of the CA phase.
3/2/11: Added FD settings section. Updated pets section for change in understanding of WH and Sic'Em. Updated the CA phase information since realized I left it in a half new, half old state. Will finish the CA phase soon.
3/4/11: Completed CA phase analysis. Added clarification on AS vs AI analysis and usage.
3/8/11: Updated glyph section to provide alternative suggestion if prefer AI over AS as the focus dump.
3/11/11: Added the table for the CS glyph Standard phase case that had been promised but forgotten. Added some other tables for the T11 4-set case, which is the current end game case so I am providing more details than for the case without it. Added KS phase analysis for the non-Termination case.
3/14/11: Updated AoE priority and added some AoE notes. Added missing KS phase recommendations. Added some information for the Termination phase.
3/15/11: Added table for KS phase with T11 4-set and CS glyph. Added overall recommendation for endgame hunter. Added a brief Termination in KS phase section.
3/21/11: Updated haste and focus regen section for ISS not providing focus regen as had previously thought it did. Updated the Standard phase to account for ISS not providing focus regen.
3/22/11: Updated the CA phase information for ISS not providing focus regen. Updated focus regen section to add some values per SS cast.
4/6/11: Updated recommendations to forgo CS and SrS during the CA phase while under dynamic haste effects. (Only partly updated, still in the process of completely updating the post for this change.)
4/9/11: Updated Tailoring info since had value of cloak enchant out-of-date.
4/25/11: Indicated that the guide is updated for 4.1.
5/1/11: Did a guide cleanup for all but sections 6.2 to 7.0. Made too many numerous updates/clarifications to list.
6/26/11: Updated guide for 4.2. Does not include complete Tier 12 4-set support yet.
6/27/11: Added 4.2 shot summary information and recommendations for without the T12 4-set.
6/28/11: To reduce the size of the OP, moved the shot details for each phase to separate posts referenced in the main post.
7/2/11: fixed copy and paste error in standard phase unhasted recommendation at the top. It is only 2 ASs.
7/5/11: Entered first part of T12 4-set support by adding subsections 4.2.2.
7/8/11: Added link to latency post in the latency section.
7/16/11: Updated this post and the Standard phase details post for T12 4-set support.
7/21/11: Updated the preface to remove some of the less significant 4.2 MM hunter changes and to add in Standard phase recommendations for T12 4-set. Moved the detailed discussion of the T12 4-set from 4.2 Set Bonuses to a separate post with a link to that post provided in 4.2.2. Removed references to hit and crit boss requirements increasing with raid tier since it was not implemented.
10/6/11: Updated the preface to include recommendations for the high haste rating case that takes advantage of haste trinket procs to cast more AIs. Additional updates in the details concerning this case forthcoming.
10/11/11: Updated the Spec section along with adding an AoE spec suggestion.
10/12/11: Updated some talent information (mostly additional notes for Eff, Sic'Em, and Frenzy). Updated glyph information (mostly Prime glyphs)
10/13/11: Updated race information and introduction to stat section with providing 3 seperate stat priorities depending on the situation.
10/14/11: Updated the rest of the stat section, including the haste section for the increased MM reliance on haste at higher gear levels. Added preliminary T13 set bonus information.
10/18/11: Updated shot and ability information in 6.1. Also defined terms like Focus Dump in 6.0 and categorized our shots and abilities for hopefully some additional clarity.
10/30/11: Updated shot comparison information in 6.2 for 391 gear set and updated understanding.
12/6/11: Updated ICD for T13 4P.
12/16/11: Updated the recommendation at the start of the guide for T13 2P impacts.
12/19/11: Updated the following for T13: Spec, glyph information, race DPS analysis, added 26.48% AS focus dump option, gemming choices, and various other cleanups up to section 4.2.
12/21/11: Cleaned up T13 set bonus section. Updated JC profession. Added effective use of KS section with T13 2P.
12/30/11: Cleaned up FD settings and other sections. Removed section 6.6 since it had obsolete data and was not worth updating.

#2 Shadowzuka

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 11:02 PM

I would like to point out that while the grounded plasma shield is nice, it has the drawbacks of turning all attacks made against you into critical hits, stunning you for 5 seconds, or taunting everything in a 40 yard radius. I do think the shield shows up when you get stunned, however the potential drawbacks of the shield make it better, to me at least, to skip it entirely.

#3 Fridge

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 12:38 AM

Worgen: Darkflight for increased movement speed and Aberration for decreased curse durations. -160 DPS


I was surprised after reading the Worgen racials that their DPS was so high since I did not see any of the racials that looked like they were DPS benefits. Can someone familiar with the Worgen racials please explain which provide a DPS benefit.


This is because you forgot the most important Worgen Racial:
Viciousness-> Increases critical strike chance by 1%.

#4 Nebelwerfer

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:50 AM

Goblins: Rocket Jump for short burst movements and Rocket Barrage for some damage. -221 DPS


Not sure if you've included it in your calculations (a cursory glance at the numbers suggests not), but worth listing is the other racial for Goblins: Time is Money - Spell - World of Warcraft

#5 Noleafclover

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 02:09 AM

Firstly, thanks for your work on creating this thread. The amount of information you included is really impressive and 99% of it is great. That said, I'll try and point out the 1% I think might be improved or expanded:

1. Races

As was pointed out, you forgot that Worgen have 1% extra crit. That explains your confusion with Worgen being so high on the dps list. You also forgot that Goblins have the "Time is money" racial which gives them 1% extra haste. It is probably the main reason why they are relatively high as well. Their belt rockets take a global cooldown (and it's 1.5s rather than 1s I believe), so they're probably not very beneficial offensively. In fact, it might be worth checking if they're worth using at all - would be nice if some goblin hunters could share info on how much they hit for at 85.

2. Gems

I would add that when it comes to choosing meta, Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond (54 mastery + 8% movement speed) is a very viable option at the moment. Although aspect of the fox makes us lose far less dps while moving than back in WotLK, being able to move from point A to point B fast is still pretty much mandatory in my book for high-end raiding because virtually all the truly difficult encounters require a LOT of movement. We might gain the extra movement speed by getting Assassin's steps on boots, but that's a loss of 10 agility compared to the 35 agi enchant.
Therefore if you want to get the 8% movement buff (which again, I highly recommend) 54 mastery + 10 agility definitely wins against 54 crit + some near useless effect such as 1% spell reflect.

3. Professions

A few words about engineering - as shadowzuka mentioned, plasma shield is NOT usable in raid environment. Something that can root you in place for several seconds, or worse still, taunt everything within 40 yards (including raid bosses!) has way too much potential to wipe the entire raid to be used. In fact, all the belt tinker enhancements save for the cardboard assasin are just useless for pve (and probably pvp for that matter).


4. Glyphs

Chimera Shot: Reduces CS CD by 1s. With how much more damage that CS does than our other shots and its additional benefits, reducing its CD to allow more CSs has the potential for a lot of benefit. Female Dwarf shows it as 147 DPS increase (155 if I move 2 points from Bomb to Term). The problem with the CS glyph though is that it requires you to cast CS immediately off CD to get the full benefit. If you cast CS 1s late every time, you get no benefit from the glyph. If you cast CS between 0 to 1s late, then you will get a decreased benefit to the glyph relative to your average delay in casting CS. Thus, I do not normally recommend this glyph for most hunters and avoid it myself. However, if you are someone that can always hit CS off CD every time, this glyph can be a good option for you to increase your DPS.


I'm sorry, but I fail to grasp your logic on this one.
All the hunter spec rotations are to some point determined by cooldowns on our most powerful attacks. If BM is expected to use Kill Command and SV is expected to use Explosive Shot every 6 seconds to maintain an optimal rotation, I see no reason why MM could not be expected to use Chimera Shot every 9 seconds. I also see no reason to be late on using it - there are many addons out there that help keep track of cooldowns.

Moreover, even if indeed a player finds it hard to use CS in a timely manner when it is on 9 second cooldown, he will be equally unable to do so when it is on a 10 second cooldown. After all, longer cd doesn't really help pressing that button on time, does it? If he is 1 second late every time as in your example, the glyph will simply make him use it every 10 seconds rather than every 11 seconds. The benefit is slightly lower than in the perfect case of reducing it from 10 to 9 seconds, but it's still very much there.

Now, the real question is whether the CS glyph wins over the KS glyph.

From my experience so far (granted, as SV but I doubt it will be much different for MM - correct me if I'm wrong), Kill Shot is only about 3-4% of our total damage - even when glyphed. Unglyphed, it will lose about 45% of it's damage, which will be 1.4-1.8% of our dps.

CS glyph on the other hand would increase CS damage by 11%. It means that as long as CS and related damage is at least 13-16% of our total damage, CS glyph is an obvious win.

Now, of course the above is simplified because more frequent Chimeras leave less focus for the Arcanes, so the benefit would in fact be slightly less than stated above. However, precisely because of the heightened focus demand of glyphed Chimeras combined with fewer free shots below 20%, Termination suddenly starts to make much more sense. In the end of the day, I strongly suspect that glyphed CS + Termination will win over unglyphed CS and dubious talents such as Rapid Killing.

Speaking of which...

5. Talents

Rapid Killing - since you seem to prefer not to glyph CS and therefore not to take Termination, I guess there aren't that many good choices out there, but this is still a terrible talent. Firstly, you need a fight with at least some adds - otherwise it's absolutely useless. Then, you need a killling blow. If you're in a 10 man, there will probably be 5 dpsers out there, so you only get on average 20% chance to proc it on every mob killed. Less, if the mob is tanked, as the tank has a chance to kill it as well. In a 25 man you might easily kill a dozen mobs without proccing it once. And if you do proc it, you'll only get the full benefit if you're below 50 focus... To be honest, even Resistance is Futile or Termination without the CS glyph still look far more attractive.

Bombardment - when discussing the CS glyph, you suggest moving points from Bombardment to Termination. I realize that Bomb is situational, but the "situation" when you need to AoE something is frequent enough to make it valuable. I would suggest ditching Rapid Killing first (for reasons stated above) and then Marked for Death before touching Bombardment.

One with Nature - this talent provides whooping 64 AP per point. Given that with Hunter's Mark and raid buffs you should have something like 14000 - 15 000 RAP even in partly blue gear, this talent would only provide about 0.4% damage increase per point and doesn't scale in ANY way, so it's actual value drops as you gear up. Furthermore, if the fight is movement-heavy and you need to go fox, it loses it's value even more. I realize you need 2 points in this if you want to go Frenzy, but the third point is an absolute waste if you could spend it on Pathing instead.

Frenzy - assuming pet's damage is about 10% of our total damage, and auto-attack damage is about half of pet's damage, this talent would provide no more than 0.5% damage per point. That is if it had 100% uptime which it obviously won't, as it will need to stack up first and then may drop off for various reasons during the encounter.

Now, given that OwN and Frenzy between them are unlikely to increase your dps by more than 3% for 8 talent points, you might consider a few alternatives to the example build you posted:

Frenzy

This is basically the same as yours, but with one point from OwN moved to Pathing and one point from Rapid Killing moved to either Termination or Resistance is Futile (depending on preference).

Full Marksman

This one ditches OwN and Frenzy completely and picks up full Termination, Resistance is Futile and Pathing instead. KS glyph is replaced with the CS one so Termination can be used to it's full effect. There is one more ball in the air to watch out for which is Resistance is Futile procs. This makes this build slightly more difficult than the previous one, but also with a higher dps potential especially against moving targets. There's one floating point in this build, which may be used on whatever you like.

Magmaw

This build picks up Entrapment and is custom crafted for Magmaw, though it will be useful in virtually every fight where groups of adds need to be slowed and contained. The great thing about it is that it doesn't really lose much damage compared to previous builds and it adds situational, but potentially very beneficial utility.

Again, thanks for the thread, hope for more soon.

#6 Whitefyst

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:27 PM

[quote name='Noleafclover']
I'm sorry, but I fail to grasp your logic on this one.
All the hunter spec rotations are to some point determined by cooldowns on our most powerful attacks. I see no reason why MM could not be expected to use Chimera Shot every 9 seconds. I also see no reason to be late on using it - there are many addons out there that help keep track of cooldowns.

Moreover, even if indeed a player finds it hard to use CS in a timely manner when it is on 9 second cooldown, he will be equally unable to do so when it is on a 10 second cooldown. After all, longer cd doesn't really help pressing that button on time, does it? If he is 1 second late every time as in your example, the glyph will simply make him use it every 10 seconds rather than every 11 seconds. The benefit is slightly lower than in the perfect case of reducing it from 10 to 9 seconds, but it's still very much there.

Now, the real question is whether the CS glyph wins over the KS glyph.

From my experience so far (granted, as SV but I doubt it will be much different for MM - correct me if I'm wrong), Kill Shot is only about 3-4% of our total damage - even when glyphed. Unglyphed, it will lose about 45% of it's damage, which will be 1.4-1.8% of our dps.

CS glyph on the other hand would increase CS damage by 11%. It means that as long as CS and related damage is at least 13-16% of our total damage, CS glyph is an obvious win.

Now, of course the above is simplified because more frequent Chimeras leave less focus for the Arcanes, so the benefit would in fact be slightly less than stated above. However, precisely because of the heightened focus demand of glyphed Chimeras combined with fewer free shots below 20%, Termination suddenly starts to make much more sense. In the end of the day, I strongly suspect that glyphed CS + Termination will win over unglyphed CS and dubious talents such as Rapid Killing. [/QUOTE]

My point concerning the CS glyph is that due to timing that it is very easy to not get the full benefit of the glyph, especially if your last shot GCD used in the rotation does not align with the 9s boundary. In those cases, you have the choice of either forgoing the last shot so you can use CS off CD or casting CS late. Which option is better depends on how large of a DPS gap you would have before the CS cast and how long you are delaying CS.

Now its true that the same situation exists when casting CS off the normal CD, but the difference is that if you delay the CS cast in that situation you are not losing part of the benefit of any of your glyphs. In the 1s late case, with the CS glyph you are completely losing the benefit of the glyph but in the non-CS glyph case you are not losing the benefit of any glyphs.

In addition, there is also the inefficiency in hitting the CS button in a timely manner. Sure, mods and hardware can help, but there is still the possibility of inefficiencies. Just a 100ms consistent delay in pressing the button will cost you about 10% of the benefit of the glyph.

I clearly pointed out that theoretically that the CS glyph is a little better than the KS glyph (and will be even more better after CS is buffed), but I needed to caveat that with the limitations on inefficiencies in timely casting of the CS glyph hurting the value of the CS glyph where it can actually be a worse option than the KS glyph depending on your playstyle.

[quote name='Noleafclover']

Rapid Killing - since you seem to prefer not to glyph CS and therefore not to take Termination, I guess there aren't that many good choices out there, but this is still a terrible talent. Firstly, you need a fight with at least some adds - otherwise it's absolutely useless. Then, you need a killling blow. If you're in a 10 man, there will probably be 5 dpsers out there, so you only get on average 20% chance to proc it on every mob killed. Less, if the mob is tanked, as the tank has a chance to kill it as well. In a 25 man you might easily kill a dozen mobs without proccing it once. And if you do proc it, you'll only get the full benefit if you're below 50 focus... To be honest, even Resistance is Futile or Termination without the CS glyph still look far more attractive.
[/QUOTE]

I clearly state that this talent is an optional talent and that I take if for my preferrential reasons. I also clearly state the pros and cons that you listed so that the MM hunter can decide whether to take the talent or not.

I only do 10-man raids now, so I have a much better chance of getting Killing Blows, and I do quite often. When I do, this one point is very beneficial in powering more high damage attacks. This talent is extremely useful in AoE situations since every Killing Blow powers 2 more MSs instead of having to do SSs instead to regain focus.

[quote name='Noleafclover']

Bombardment - when discussing the CS glyph, you suggest moving points from Bombardment to Termination. I realize that Bomb is situational, but the "situation" when you need to AoE something is frequent enough to make it valuable. I would suggest ditching Rapid Killing first (for reasons stated above) and then Marked for Death before touching Bombardment.
[/QUOTE]

If you are concerned with AoE, then I consider RK a very synergetic talent with Bomb. You are much more likely to get Killing Blows in AoE than on single target due to Explosive Trap, MS, and WQ damage on multiple targets. Furthermore, it is easier in AoE situation to game Killing Blows by tabbing through the targets to the low health ones and casting KS to get the Killing Blow. Clearly one KS cast with the 50 focus from RK is better than having to take 3 SSs to get the same amount of focus.

But once again, this is just preferrential, and I tried in the guide information for each talent to provide the pros and cons so that each player can decide for themselves which optional talents are best for them.

[quote name='Noleafclover']

One with Nature - this talent provides whooping 64 AP per point. Given that with Hunter's Mark and raid buffs you should have something like 14000 - 15 000 RAP even in partly blue gear, this talent would only provide about 0.4% damage increase per point and doesn't scale in ANY way, so it's actual value drops as you gear up. Furthermore, if the fight is movement-heavy and you need to go fox, it loses it's value even more. I realize you need 2 points in this if you want to go Frenzy, but the third point is an absolute waste if you could spend it on Pathing instead.
[/QUOTE]

I agree that the benefit of OwN does not scale and that it will be a poorer option laster in Cataclysm. However, I was addressing the best talents for now, with the gear that is currently available. As our gear scales and Blizzard makes changes to the game, then I plan to update the guide accordingly. The guide was built originally several weeks ago using BiS pre-raid gear. I plan to update it shortly using analysis for BiS T11 raid gear. Normally, I would have already done that but I have not due to the holidays and wanting to prepare my characters for raiding.

You seem to agree with me that 2/3 in OwN is a must for now to get Frenzy. I list the third point in OwN as optional with a seocnd point in Pathing being a good option. Currently for my character, 3rd point in OwN is a little better than a second in Pathing since I am over the haste floor without it, but definitely if I had a lower amount of haste or as my gear scales a little more, then Pathing will win out.

It appears though that I did not clearly specify this, so I will update the guide to make this more clear.

[quote name='Noleafclover']

Frenzy - assuming pet's damage is about 10% of our total damage, and auto-attack damage is about half of pet's damage, this talent would provide no more than 0.5% damage per point. That is if it had 100% uptime which it obviously won't, as it will need to stack up first and then may drop off for various reasons during the encounter.

Now, given that OwN and Frenzy between them are unlikely to increase your dps by more than 3% for 8 talent points
[/QUOTE]

If your pet is specced and used correctly, it should theoretically be doing about 16-19% of your damage. FD shows my pet doing 18.7% of my damage. Frenzy is worth 392 DPS while OwN is 118 DPS, which is about a 3% gain as you list.
[/QUOTE]

[quote name='Noleafclover'] You might consider a few alternatives to the example build you posted:
[/QUOTE]

Yes, your alternate builds are viable options depending on the situation and preferrences. This guide is not meant to preclude any of those builds. My listed build was just meant to be an example with providing the information to help each player chose the build that it best for them. Going back and reading the guide, I now realize that I did not make that fact clear and have updated to the guide to attempt to do so. I do not ploan to list alternate specs since there are so many permutations depending on the situation or preferrence.

#7 Lore666

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:31 PM

About the professions.
Think you forgot the engineering epic helm you can craft with the oh so awesome cogwheel gems.

#8 Schniepel

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

My point concerning the CS glyph is that due to timing that it is very easy to not get the full benefit of the glyph, especially if your last shot GCD used in the rotation does not align with the 9s boundary. In those cases, you have the choice of either forgoing the last shot so you can use CS off CD or casting CS late. Which option is better depends on how large of a DPS gap you would have before the CS cast and how long you are delaying CS.

Now its true that the same situation exists when casting CS off the normal CD, but the difference is that if you delay the CS cast in that situation you are not losing part of the benefit of any of your glyphs. In the 1s late case, with the CS glyph you are completely losing the benefit of the glyph but in the non-CS glyph case you are not losing the benefit of any glyphs.

In addition, there is also the inefficiency in hitting the CS button in a timely manner. Sure, mods and hardware can help, but there is still the possibility of inefficiencies. Just a 100ms consistent delay in pressing the button will cost you about 10% of the benefit of the glyph.

I clearly pointed out that theoretically that the CS glyph is a little better than the KS glyph (and will be even more better after CS is buffed), but I needed to caveat that with the limitations on inefficiencies in timely casting of the CS glyph hurting the value of the CS glyph where it can actually be a worse option than the KS glyph depending on your playstyle.

I totally understand your point, but isn't it that when clipping the CS cooldown with 9s here and there as well as with 10s the net gain in CS frequency supposed to be roundabout 10% anyway? By that logic you would basically always get the full benefit of the glyph.

Case in point:

In the 1s late case, with the CS glyph you are completely losing the benefit of the glyph but in the non-CS glyph case you are not losing the benefit of any glyphs.

This is kind of a moot point, because if you have had the glyph you wouldn't have delayed the unglyphed CS in the first place, but instead probably used it 'on time'.

#9 Whitefyst

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 02:50 PM

This is kind of a moot point, because if you have had the glyph you wouldn't have delayed the unglyphed CS in the first place, but instead probably used it 'on time'.


Good points. Now that I think more on it, I remind myself that the problem of the CS glyph is reduced in Cata with the 1s GCD since the GCD length coincides with the benefit gain of the CS glyph. Thus, as you point out, even if the CS cast is delayed a bit, you are still doing it 1s sooner than you would in the non-CS glyph case since the shot you would be adding going from the CS glyph to non-CS glyph case is just an additional 1s AS.

So with proper shot selection, the CS glyph should be a winner no matter at what haste you are.

I will update my comments on the CS glyph later when I have more time.

Edit: Okay, I redid some quick analysis on the CS glyph using Female Dwarf (FD). The only thing I changed in the first comparison was just to swap the KS and CS glyphs. In this case, DPS dropped by 97 in FD. But I looked further to see why. Hunter DPS actually increased by 60 DPS with 3 more CSs and 2 more SSs versus 4 less KSs and 1 less AI. I was really surprised that there was 1 less AI since I figured that there would be the same or more with two extra SSs. The difference is probably due to the timing of on which SS in a pair the proc occurred. Pet DPS decreased by 157 though. I took a deeper look into this to see if it was a real pet DPS loss or solely the random Sic'Em timing situation. WH uptime dropped from 88% to 75% with 2/2 WH. This was because 4 less Sic'Ems occurred, which really does not make sense considering that we only lost 1 Sic'Em proccing shot from 70 to 69. Hence, I really do not put too much stock into the pet DPS loss numbers. I tried seeing how going to 1 SA and 1 WH instead of 2 WH would affect things, but I was still better off with 2 WH.

Now with also changing 2/2 Bomb to 2/2 Termination, there really was not any noticeable change.

I will do some hand calculations later when I have more time since this is really a complicated issue since you have to trade off shots and focus usage as well as impacts to procs. I may wait to do this when I do my T11 raid gear analysis.

#10 nurofen

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 07:42 PM

Hi, I am slightly confused about the rotation. Do we include Kill Command in the rotation when it is ready or not? It seems that Kill Command has its own rotation and demands a lot of focus, so you'd need to build up a lot with SS before using it. Which means there would be no room left for AS. I am currently trying a rotation to fit everything in. Ideally we do not want to lose the speed buff from ISS, we do not want to delay casting CS after it is ready (with or without glyph) and we also need to fit Kill Command whenever it is ready, and in addition use AS because we have glyphed it and it is good. I think I will leave AS out of the rotation and only to be used when moving or when something is dieing.

#11 Whitefyst

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 12:51 AM

Hi, I am slightly confused about the rotation. Do we include Kill Command in the rotation when it is ready or not? It seems that Kill Command has its own rotation and demands a lot of focus, so you'd need to build up a lot with SS before using it. Which means there would be no room left for AS. I am currently trying a rotation to fit everything in. Ideally we do not want to lose the speed buff from ISS, we do not want to delay casting CS after it is ready (with or without glyph) and we also need to fit Kill Command whenever it is ready, and in addition use AS because we have glyphed it and it is good. I think I will leave AS out of the rotation and only to be used when moving or when something is dieing.


If you look in section 6.4.1 Single Target Shot Priority and in the Kill Command description in 6.1, you will see that MM hunters should only be using KC if they are talented with Resistance is Futile (RiF) and RiF has procced (your KC button is highlighted) or your target is out of line of sight but your pet is still on it and you will not be getting back into line of sight soon.

Generally, Kill Command (KC) is worse for MM hunters than AS for the following reasons:
1) Although KC does a little more damage, AS has higher damage per focus (DPF). For my character, KC does 12528 damage and costs 40 focus for 313 DPF. AS does 10183 damage and costs 22 focus for 463 DPF. Hence, you will be able to do more ASs than KCs, resulting in more damage.
2) KC provides no additional benefits to the hunter while AS provides many benefits, including:
..a) Sic'Em procs from AS crits allowing focus free pet attacks. This helps maintain a higher pet Wild Hunt uptime so that your pet does more damage.
..B) Applying Marked for Death Hunter's Mark if talented for it

Using KC instead of AS in the MM rotation is a 1183 DPS (6%) loss for me according to Female Dwarf. Wild Hunt uptime for the pet dropped from 88% to 31%. Switching to 1 WH and 1 SA only gained back about 123 DPS. Switching the KC glyph for the AS one really didnt affect DPS much since the simulation was at 100 focus a lot with using 2 high focus CD abilities.

Using normal KC off CD and AS to dump focus is still a 590 DPS loss with providing a more difficult "rotation".

#12 Whitefyst

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:04 PM

I have updated the guide per analysis using T11 non-heroic gear.

As part of the update, I added section 6.5.5 to provide a CS versus KS glyph comparison.

From the results that I am seeing in Female Dwarf and per my hand analysis, I see no compelling reason yet to use the CS glyph over the KS glyph. The numbers are so close that I am willing to call it a preferrential choice at this time for that gear set with personally preferring the KS glyph still at lower gear, especially since it allows me to spec Bomb instead of Term for better AoE.

I will continue to monitor the comparison with higher tier gear analyses.

If FD or I am missing anything in regards to the comparison, please let Rivkah (for FD) or myself know.

#13 Nooska

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:53 AM

I have updated the guide per analysis using T11 non-heroic gear.

As part of the update, I added section 6.5.5 to provide a CS versus KS glyph comparison.

From the results that I am seeing in Female Dwarf and per my hand analysis, I see no compelling reason yet to use the CS glyph over the KS glyph. The numbers are so close that I am willing to call it a preferrential choice at this time for that gear set with personally preferring the KS glyph still at lower gear, especially since it allows me to spec Bomb instead of Term for better AoE.

I will continue to monitor the comparison with higher tier gear analyses.

If FD or I am missing anything in regards to the comparison, please let Rivkah (for FD) or myself know.

One point in favor of the CS glyph over the KS glyph that you aren't discussing, that is important to remember.
KS glyph (and KS itself) only gives the full benefit on a fight where you consistently down the boss. CS glyph therefore wins in progression (numerically) because, in a progression fight, you won't get the full benefit of the KS glyph - excepting possibly where the fight requires a burn from 20% -> 0% and that is the tricky part (rather than getting to 20%).

#14 Sidis

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 01:13 PM

The assumption is that you won't be killing the boss, so the KS glyph loses value. Personally I plan on killing bosses, and will base glyph choices accordingly. For any fight where the boss does die, Whitefyst's analysis is valid. I don't understand the mentality of "I know we're going to fail, so my glyph choice should be x."

#15 Nooska

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 03:49 PM

The assumption is that you won't be killing the boss, so the KS glyph loses value. Personally I plan on killing bosses, and will base glyph choices accordingly. For any fight where the boss does die, Whitefyst's analysis is valid. I don't understand the mentality of "I know we're going to fail, so my glyph choice should be x."

I said for progression fights. The definition of progression fights is that you don't down the boss, but wipe several times while getting closer and closer to killing it. With the number so close, the CS glyph clearly wins in any scnario where you are not killing the boss. I'll parallel this to an ability that lets you immediately take away the last 1% of the boss life - it has absolutely zero value if you don't get to the 10% mark. By the same count, the CS glyph is more valuable in cases where you are not getting the boss down, as FeDw would also show if you could set a "wipe point".

#16 Whitefyst

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:29 PM

I agree with Sidis in that in general you architect your character for boss kills, even during progression.

But I also understand part of Nooska's point as well. If it was that the KS glyph was a clear, overwhelming favorite, then his discussion would be invalid. But with the choice being currently close, fuzzy, and basically preferrential, then part of his point is valid.

To illustrate the situation better, below is a tabular breakdown of the DPS numbers my analysis used over each of the fight phases for the case with using Bloodlust early:

[TABLE]|Duration|KS glyph|CS glyph|CS + Term
CA phase hasted|20.00%|16470|16627|16627
Standard phase|42.00%|9562|9656|9656
Standard phase hasted|13.00%|11782|12017|12017
Term phase|5.00%|9562|9656|10171
KS phase|20.00%|10614|10059|10917
Total|100.00%|11443|11438|11635
Difference from KS glyph| | |-5|+192[/TABLE]

If the overall boss DPS of the 2 glyphs are equal and the choice truly preferrential, the difference is that the CS glyph provides a little more damage over the first 80% of the boss fight, helping a progression raid go a little deeper in boss health faster. On the other hand, the KS glyph allows a lot more DPS over the last 20% of the boss fight, helping the raid finish the boss off better once you are able to get it below 20%. Which is more important depends on you and your raid's preferrence. I personally prefer being able to finish the boss off faster, if all things are equal.

The part of Nooska's argument concerning if you do not get deep enough into the boss fight to utilize a talent or ability that its value is zero is an invalid argument. Its value is the same regardless of whether you get to the point where you would use it or not. Sure, its value will not show up in the DPS numbers for the wipe log, but that is just a side effect of the wipe. On the other hand, anytime you make changes to inflate your DPS numbers for a wipe, you are then hurting your overall DPS if your raid progresses farther and has a chance to kill the boss.

Edit: I incorrectly linked in the wrong DPS for the KS glyph in the table. I have corrected the value from 11640 to 10614. This decreased the total numbers for the KS glyph in this case with Bloodlust early from 11648 to 11443. Hence, the KS glyph is equivalent with the CS glyph without Termination and is about 200 DPS worse than the CS glyph with Termination. Note though that the with Termination numbers does not factor in the DPS loss from the ISS downtime, which probably evens things out. You are also giving up the benefits of alternate talents to Termination, like Bombardment.

#17 Schniepel

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:49 PM

Considering the nature of burn phases (CD timing, Bloodlust, Execute-like ablites of other classes) it may be not very realistic to model KS time as 20% of the fight. This doesn't devalue the usefulness of the glyph, but the actual dps gain may be a lot lower.

#18 Whitefyst

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:43 PM

Considering the nature of burn phases (CD timing, Bloodlust, Execute-like ablites of other classes) it may be not very realistic to model KS time as 20% of the fight. This doesn't devalue the usefulness of the glyph, but the actual dps gain may be a lot lower.


Agreed, and this is one of the items I mentioned in the guide. The problem though is that there really is no good way to accurately determine what % the last 20% is without looking at a raid log, but then the amount will differ from raid to raid (some like to use Bloodlust early when everyone is alive) and from boss to boss and is affected by the number of DPS remaining alive and their available remaining attack resources. Furthermore, if you modify the KS phase duration, then the CA phase, which favors the CS glyph, probably needs to be modified as well. That is when the MM DPS is the highest due to CA. It is also where most DPS classes have guaranteed trinket uses and also use CDs. Then even during the standard phase, we are going to use our second RF-RD-RF and other classes will probably have DPS boosts as well, shortening its duration a little too from the steady state DPS rate.

Thus, I just used time percentages equal to health percentages as a rough estimate with making assumptions that the CA and KS shorter durations than listed roughly balance out.

Note that the numbers in the previous post were for the analysis with Bloodlust near the start of the fight. Here are the numbers with assuming Bloodlust at the end, which favors the CS glyph case a little more since it provides more focus to use the maximum Termination DPS rotations more instead of using focus regen rotations.

[TABLE]|Duration|KS glyph|CS glyph|CS + Term
CA phase hasted|10.00%|16470|16627|16627
CA phase unhasted|10.00%|12357|12599|12599
Standard phase unhasted|45.00%|9562|9656|9656
Standard phase hasted|10.00%|11782|12017|12017
Term phase|5.00%|9562|9656|10171
KS phase hasted|13.33%|12667|12569|12800
KS phase unhasted|6.67%|10614|10059|10917
Total|100.00%|11240|11299|11412
Difference from KS glyph| | |+59|+172[/TABLE]

Edit: After looking over this post, I realized that I had linked in the wrong numbers in a couple of places in these tables which affect the analyses. The KS unhasted phase number for the KS glyph is 10614 instead of 11640. In addition, I still had the unhasted numbers in the KS phase hasted row for all columns. Hence, the KS glyph is a little behind the CS glyph without Termination and is about 172 DPS worse than the CS glyph with Termination. Note though that the with Termination numbers does not factor in the DPS loss from the ISS downtime, which probably evens things out. Either way, the differences are close enough currently where the choice is prefferential.

Edit2: Also realized that for the CA phase unhasted numbers I had used the numbers for the rotations without AS instead of the numbers for the rotations using AS, which are better unhasted due to the longer SS cast times. Updated Edit 1 as well as the table. The guide will be updated later today.

Edit3: Okay, found another problem. Sorry, these tables were new to the analysis this time and were added at the end when tired plus some characteristics changed from the last analysis. For the unhasted CA numbers, the KS glyph is slightly better at the higher crit rates now to use the special CA rotation during the CA phase when not hasted; however, the CS glyph cases are better off using the standard rotations during the CA phase when not hasted since 1.5s SS cast time results in 0.5s deadtime when just casting SSs between CSs.

#19 Noleafclover

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:53 PM

It seem we've been buffed big time :)

* Aimed Shot! weapon damage has been increased to 200%.
* Aspect of the Wild, Aspect of the Hawk, and Aspect of the Fox can now be cast while mounted.
* Deterrence now provides 100% chance for melee attacks to miss instead of 100% parry chance. This means that attacks that cannot be parried, notably some rogue abilities, can now be prevented by Deterrence, and the hunter will gain the benefit of Deterrence even if disarmed.
* Dust Cloud's cooldown and duration have been modified to make it closer aligned with Tailspin (same effect, different pet).
* Kill Command's damage has been increased by 20%.
* Kill Shot's attack power scaling has been increased by 50%.
* Master's Call now has a 35-second cooldown, down from 1 minute. In addition, the visual effect is more obvious.


Talent Specializations
Marksmanship

* Chimera Shot's attack power scaling has been increased by 20%.


Survival

* Into the Wilderness (passive) has been reduced to a 10% Agility increase, down from 15%.


Pets

* Pets now have 70% of the master's armor, rather than a different value based on which type of pet they are.
* Shale Spiders now correctly have a special ability (Web Wrap).
* Bad Manner (monkey) now properly breaks from damage.


Aimed shot's base damage is doubled. Chimera is up by 20%. Another 20% buff was certainly meant for BM, but the side effect for us is the increased value of Resistance is Futile. Overall it seems like a very significant damage increase.

PS. That is PTR data so far, so don't expect to see it on live yet. I just realised I didn't make it clear originally.

#20 Feanoro

Feanoro

    Von Kaiser

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 06:20 AM

Jan. 12 patch notes have some very interesting items for us, in particular:

• Aimed Shot weapon damage has been increased to 200%, up from 150%. In addition, the base cast time has been reduced to 2.4 seconds, down from 3.
• Arcane Shot damage has been increased by 15%.
• Hunters can now use Auto Shot while moving.
• Cobra Shot change reverted (waiting on code change to make haste scaling more consistent with spell haste)
• Steady Shot change reverted (waiting on code change to make haste scaling more consistent with spell haste)

Marksmanship
• Chimera Shot's overall damage has been increased by roughly 50%.


Some of this we already knew, some is unclear if it's in addition to or supercedes the previous changes (ie, Chimera Shot damage), but all welcome news. I'm particularly amazed by AutoShot on the move, after years of Blizzard insisting that would be catastrophic. Perhaps this is a part of the philosopy shift that saw us become a full-fledged physical class? In any case, it certainly increases the value of our Artisan Quiver mastery, especially as so much movement is required now.

Further, by virtue of increased shots, it should also offer a boost to Wild Quiver and therefore the value of mastery rating.

Hey guys, I heard that Blizzard puts out these things called "patches" that contain "content"

Yeah but it hasn't happened since Ulduar.





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