Hunter Playstyle FAQ

Hunter Playstyle:

Are hunters any good?

Yes. The question is are you willing to become a good one?

Hunter’s are possibly the best solo class in warcraft, deadly in PvP, have great crowd control, and deal damage from range where they often don’t get hurt. With so many advantages though, many players become lazy when playing with others. To the point that they don’t pull their own weight in groups, and brand everyone that plays a hunter: ‘Huntards.’

To play a hunter well, takes more skill than possibly any other class.

How do you play a hunter?

A hunter’s most powerful spells are done from ranged distance which is considered by the game to be greater than 8 yards. The few that can be used in close are mainly used to get away from the opponent to resume ranged damage. One of the main purposes of having a pet is for the pet to keep a mob’s attention while you kill it from far away.

A typical fight goes like this. Send in the pet to attack and wait for the first hit. Begin using auto shot and ranged spells to kill the mob. If the mob should run towards you, you can try to kill him with your melee weapons if he is low on health, or you should try to get away to ranged distance again.

Guns or Bows?

When I first started, I thought this was a major issue. It’s not. Dwarves get a bonus to their gun skill, and trolls to their bow, but neither is a reason to pass up a better weapon. I recommend spending the 10 silver to buy both by level 15, and crossbows by level 20. Sooner if you happen to find an upgrade.

Which weapon skills should I take?

Again I originally thought this was a big deal, but it’s not. Repeat this line “My melee weapon is a Stats Stick.”  You’re looking for stats on your weapons, not damage. Extra agility on an axe helps your bow, extra damage does not. And you are spending most of your time firing your bow right?

Anything that says “chance on hit” does not apply to you and is a waste.

Train in every possible weapon type available. If you need to level up a skill, fight a lower level mob in melee range and use the lowest rank of Wing Clip as much as possible. A mage’s int buff does help a bit too.

2H or dual wield?

This doesn’t matter too much.  For leveling, I recommend buying 2H weapons to save money. Upgrading 2 weapons from the auction house costs twice as much especially if you’re buying rares. Again, you’re looking at stats, though. Two axes with +5Agi each are better than one +9Agi 2H axe. The other advantage to dual wield is that you can enchant each. There again though, you’re going to be paying for 2 enchants instead of 1.

Again, do not buy ‘chance on hit’ melee weapons. They do not affect ranged damage at all, and are too infrequent for the amount of time you should be in melee range.

What weapon enchants should I take?

The main enchants hunters look for are +Agi and +AP. You’re looking for stats instead of ‘chance on hit’ procs.

What stats are important?

For leveling, your main stats are Agility, Attack Power, Stamina, and as you get into your 50s, Crit Rating and Hit Rating. When you start raiding, you will also want to pay attention to Intelligence, Mana per 5 seconds (MP5), and just a dash of spirit.

What’s with the ‘hunter gear’ jokes?

As you can see from the above, there are very few stats that are not advantageous to a hunter. It often happens that although that dagger will boost your current Agi by 5, the rogue that is also in your party gets a 5DPS bonus in addition to the Agi. There’s nothing wrong with rolling need on any gear that’s an upgrade, but when it’s more of an upgrade for someone else… Well to quote ‘The Dude‘ “You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an a-hole.” Thats ok sometimes too. Especially, if its a pick-up group.

What professions should I take?

If this is your first character, I highly, highly, really, really truly recommend taking 2 gathering skills, and one of them should be skinning.  Both mining and herbalism will force a choice between tracking mobs and tracking stuff to gather, but taking just one of them shouldn’t hinder you too much. By taking a crafting tradeskill, you not only have to spend money buying patterns and materials, you also lose all the money you could have made selling those materials.

I don’t know anyone that has made more money on trade skills than they have spent on them. On my latest alt, I had enough to buy my first mount at level 30 (10 levels early), and that’s with buying some nice rare weapons to help level.

If you really want that crafted chest piece, gather the mats yourself and take advantage of that poor (unhappy), poor (no money) sucker thats been trying to level up leatherworking. He’ll even be happy you paid him more than a vendor for the item.

Now once you hit 70 and have bought both your regular and epic mount as soon as you dinged (and sent a nice ‘thank you’ to me for the advice), you can drop one of those skills and THEN become the leatherworker you’ve always wanted to be.

You still want to take a crafting tradeskill? /headdesk. Engineering has some goodies for hunters with guns and bullets (feigning death and then using jumper-cables has made many hunters heroes). Leatherworkers craft the types of armor we use. Even blacksmithing can craft some nice weapons for us in the end-game at 70. Alchemy’s potions can help any class.

Should I play differently in a group?

Yes, yes double yes. First of all, you have 2 jobs to do in a group. The first is to kill things as normal, second is to keep things occupied. The hunter is unique in that as one person you can crowd control 2 mobs while dealing damage. How? Well you’ve been doing one all along. Your pet can do a great job keeping a mob occupied while the rest of the group kills his friend. Also you may notice that eventually, your freeze traps can last almost as long as their cooldown. If you plan ahead and place a trap before the fight starts, you can keep a mob frozen for quite awhile. Some big no-nos:

  • Do not use multi-shot or volley unless you know (Not think, KNOW) it will not break someone else’s crowd control.
  • Turn off growl. Your pet should never cause the mob to attack it instead of the tank. Healers still seem to ignore pets too, so it will save you some food.
  • Know what’s behind you. Every hunter has backed up a bit to get to ranged distance and gotten too close to the next group of mobs. Delay this humiliation as long as possible.
  • Do not pull until the caster’s are ready.
  • Do not pull until the tank is ready.
  • Do not pull just because that impatient rogue says ‘Lets hurry it up buddy!’

Should I use traps?

Solo, you really shouldn’t need to. A freeze trap can help out a lot to make a quick exit when there’s too many mobs or someone jumps you in PvP. Later on, they become a good source of crowd control while in groups, and fun in PvP.

How should I spend my talent points?

I highly recommend Beast Mastery for leveling. It’s much less gear dependent, and great for soloing. Survival will give you more survivability (you don’t die as much or as quickly), but then I didn’t die much anyway. I’ve found it generally just makes fights longer. Marksman does kill things faster, but I found that most times the mob will end up running towards me, and then I’m back to melee.



  1. Anonymous said,

    Great tips, good job

  2. Blackhawke said,

    Using a BE Hunter as my alt, I found your comments very valuable.

  3. Eric said,

    If you take herbalism as a gathering skill (which I highly suggest) it’s good to note which nodes will make you the most money. Unlike leatherworking and blacksmithing whose plans generally tend to take a linear scale of materials (ie: you work with Copper for a while, then later Fel Iron) Alchemy takes hinge materials. For instance, Silverleaf is required in almost ALL of the low level Alchemy recipes. Also, fadeleaf and swifthistle are doubly used by Rogues for different purposes. On my mage, I’ve made a killing on Briarthorn which is abundant in the UD 10-20 levelling area. Generally 2g – 4g per stack. I could be wrong but I believe Briarthorn is used in Speed pots that a lot of high levelled folks use in BG’s.

  4. roadsinternational said,

    It’s Swiftthistle in the speed pots, not Briarthorn, though you can only get Swiftthistle from Briarthorn nodes. It procs in those sometimes.

  5. Zefram said,

    Engineering is nice, just because it gives you even more flexibility.

    You get:
    – Jumper Cables
    – You make all your own ammo until level 40. In the field, assuming you smelt bronze whenever you’re at a town.
    – Bombs that do damage (and, more importantly, stun the mobs/players)
    – Additional combat guardians (harvest reaper helped me out on several kill quests where the mob was red to me)
    – You always have a decent weapon
    – You always have a scope on your weapon
    – You get the mote extraction stuff in Netherstorm
    – You get the BoP Surestrike goggles when you hit 70
    – You get (from Goblin engineering, which you want to take for the XL Jumper Cables, and the Area 52 teleport if you’re Horde) more bombs for extra ranged damage
    – If you take Gnomish, you get a 15s polymorph item
    – Goblin Land Mine — another trap that doesn’t share your trap’s cooldowns

    More importantly, you get to have fun with all the weird stuff. Note that you can’t use the Universal Remote with your pet out, though :-(

    It doesn’t really cost any money, as mining feeds it almost anything it needs. It does, obviously, cost the money that you could have made selling the mining materials and selling the leather from skinning — but I want to have the Surestrike goggles as soon after I hit 70 as I can, so I don’t want to spend all of that money in retrospect to level it. Besides, having a current weapon and decent ammo makes the grind that much faster to 70 anyway.

  6. Znodis said,

    I tried engineering on my 2nd level 60 alt, a warrior. It was really fun. If you’re taking a trade for pure enjoyment, engineering is it. I did find that I needed to buy lots of non-mining mats for most cool items, which were expensive.

    However, there is no such thing as “no cost” for professions. You could have easily sold those mats and made a load of money. Not only that, but you’re missing out on a 2nd gathering profession and making even more.

    Maybe if I made a simplified example. By level 40 you can:
    *make X00g by mining
    *make X00g by skinning
    *spend X00g on leatherworking making useful things.

    So, by taking LW you end up with zero gold, but some useful items. If you didn’t take LW you would have made X00g from skinning, so taking LW cost you that much. However, if you didn’t have LW, you could also take mining earning you another X00g. So now you have 2 x X00g.

    On my level 30 hunter, I have been able to buy:
    Ranger Bow –
    Harpyclaw Short Bow –
    Skystriker Bow –

    with lots of gold left over. This is on a low pop => low demand server. On my high pop server alt, I’m over 50g at level 20.

    So with no trades you:
    – miss out on jumper cables
    – miss out on bomb stuns
    – can buy cheaper ammo because
    – you always have an Awesome weapon
    – you can always buy a scope
    – you can still find an engineer to make you ammo for free since you have mats
    – have tons of money
    – can use said money to drop a profession at level 70 and easily level to gain access to anything you missed.

    If you HAVE TO take a profession, go for it. Really. Have fun. But you will be much, much poorer.

    I do not RECOMMEND it to anyone.

    • hermit said,

      Jumper cables are a hunters best friend. With the whole feign death thing it is impossible to ignore how important a new hunter can be in a group situation with this engineering more than any other class. Is it cost effective, compared to a gathering skill? No not really, but as hero worship goes and making quick clean kills of an instance, mining and engineering are the perfect combo for a hunter.


  7. Assia said,

    Hi. Level 70 Draenei Warrior… and I am almost at 375 in Gnomish Engineering.
    My only word of advice: Be prepared to be poor.

    Engineers make a lot of items that are engineer-use only, which includes the armor equipment and trinkets for the most part. This is a profession you have to enjoy to do so you don’t notice the hole in your money purse.

  8. tobarstep said,

    On leveled my first character on a low pop server as an orc hunter with mining/engineering. I bought my mount at 40 (with 200g left over), my epic mount at 60 (with 100g left over). When I finally hit 70 I had 1500g saved up already and got my flyer immediately as well. That was before the flying machine mounts. It isn’t that hard to do. Ammo sells well (people use it in BGs). Scopes also sell well. I even made quite a bit selling the Goblin Rocket Fuel recipe. Engineering recipes are nowhere near as material intensive as blacksmithing is for example. I always mined enough stuff to craft what I needed and still sell almost half of what I had mined. On my blacksmithing alt, I can’t even mine what I need. I still need to buy stuff off the AH on top of what I mine.

  9. Helldragon said,

    I love this except for the beast mastery part i hate when people get all go bm and everything.Other than that its awsome.

  10. 00ZER00 said,

    BM is definatly the fastest for leveling, I’ve tried with 4 different hunters, 3 going full on each tree and one combining Bm and Marksmanship. The BM one leveled faster.

  11. Predãtor said,

    What is the fastest running speed a hunter could have? I’m a new hunter and it just struck me. What are some running speeds thats can stack with the 30% aspect of the cheetah?

    Minor running speed+aspect of cheetah? +swift potion? boost? engineering running shoes?

  12. Znodis said,

    For stacking permanent run effects (boot enchants etc)I know the cap is at 8%, and I’m pretty sure cheetah and pack don’t stack with anything unless they’ve changed things recently.

  13. Jaldor said,

    Hi! I play a Dranei shaman and I always thought I would never like them. However, I decided to try them out and now I love hunter! I just made him so this guide was really helpful. Thanks, and keep up the good work ; )

  14. catfood said,

    I’m a MM and bang out some nasty crits from a distance and am often in top damage in AV, but I wanted to get feedback on which specs people are having successes with in other PVP, BG, Arena, etc. Obviously much of it depends on play style, but i wanted to see what other hunter strategies are.

    And this site is very helpful, thank you.

  15. Znodis said,

    I’m glad you like the site.

    I’m trying to keep my focus on newbie issues right now especially the FAQs. So rather than going into a discussion, I’ll point you to these guys that would be happy to help you out..

    Anyone interested in advanced huntering should head there.

  16. Rhonen said,

    Very nice job here.. i wished knew about this site earlier.

  17. ShadowEyeS said,

    Hmm, very very nice, except one thing. I think it is better to put your talents on marksmanship…. Just my opinion.

  18. Znodis said,

    @17 Other opinions are welcome as long as they are supported. Why do you like MM better? ( I say this because other comments like this will go unpublished in the future.)

    As stated above, I found that when I was MM I could do more damage, but my pet couldn’t hold agro. I had to ‘throttle back” and not do as much damage so that didn’t happen. Damage you could do, but don’t is a waste. Going with BM, my pet does more damage than MM, and I can do as much damage as I want. Example with some made up numbers but pretty spot on ratios:

    Suppose that if your DPS is double your pet’s, that you will pull agro after 10s in a fight against a mob with 1500 HP.

    MM can do 75 DPS ranged,25 DPS melee, and pet has 25 DPS
    Full out you’d do 1000 damage for the first 10s and then the next 500 damage will take 10s or so.
    Throttling back, would still take 20s.

    BM can do 66 DPS and pet 33 DPS => 1500 damage for the whole fight.

    Additionally, there’s a lot of things to know when you’re just starting out as a hunter, and going BM means you don’t need to worry about advanced topics like agro management right away.

  19. Raheem said,

    This is some really great info. I am glad I took time from my Hunter to read alittle. lol

  20. Jake said,

    So, which two profession skills should i go for? I have skinning, but from the paragraph below I can’t tell if that was a good choice. Should I just get herbalism and mining as a way to make the most money quickly?

    “If this is your first character, I highly, highly, really, really truly recommend taking 2 gathering skills. Skinning is great for hunters, but both mining and herbalism will force a choice between tracking mobs and tracking stuff to gather. By taking a crafting tradeskill, you not only have to spend money buying patterns and materials, you also lose all the money you could have made selling those materials.”

  21. Znodis said,

    I’ll have to alter that paragraph, I can see how you could get confused. You do want to take skinning.

    The problem with mining and herbalism is that to be effective you have to have tracking turned on. It is pointless to take both of them since you’d have to switch back and forth between them all the time. However it’s even more pointless for a hunter, since when you’re tracking minerals or plants you cannot track beasts, humanoids, etc. negating one of the hunter’s primary advantages.

    Personally, I have mining. When leveling I would basically ignore that I could track, and would just gather what I happened to spot while killing things, maybe turning on track if I was traveling somewhere. If I started finding nodes I couldn’t mine, then I’d go back to the lower level areas and grind mining a bit without having to worry about agro much.

    When comparing the 2, I think mining is a bit more straight forward to sell, and more professions use it so there’s more demand. Herbalism seems to have a wide variety of items and you have to keep track of prices for each. The upside is that you will save a bunch of money, by giving the mats to an alchemist to make potions for raiding.

  22. Bomyne said,

    I differ on opinion about growl. My cat makes a better tank then any warrior :)

  23. arkanabar said,

    Engineers *can* make some money as they grind their way up. You have to know which items are required to finish quests, but those items usually sell in the AH for about quest level x 7-10s. It was by spotting some of these that my Horde hunter/engineer had 40g at 28.

  24. Ivellinosius said,

    Hey, I’m a level 36 (250)engineer/(220)miner on my first char, and from experience, I can say that the combination can be really productive if you’re willing to work hard. I do have to spend the occasional gold on obscure engineering mats (i.e. ) but within my group of friends, I’ve worked it out so that i have a friend in each of the gathering professions which really cuts down on the money that I have to spend. As for having to loose all that money that you would get from selling your mining mats and supposedly becoming poor, I can easily make up three times that amount just by turning on my mining tracker, and going on a “mining run” for maybe a half hour. Most mining nodes are set up in such a way that if you take a specific path through an area, you’ll run across a node every couple hundred yards. LOTS of ore! As for the benefits of engineering, I have an extraordinary gun for my level, I can make ammo for myself and others, I had head gear before any other non-engineers, I can open any simple lock just by blowing it up, I have a bunch of different trinkets to choose from, I can make my own fishing bait and/or sell it, I frequently sell blacksmithing plans for a gold or two more than they’re worth, and I can make my own flying mount when the time comes etc. etc. etc. If you work at your profession, money is no object, and you get some nice gear besides. I would recommend mining/engineering to any serious hunter.

  25. Znodis said,

    That’s exactly the advice I’m trying to counter by recommending 2 gathering skills, so let me dissect your post to make my points a bit more clear. But first let me reiterate that I do think there are advantages to tradeskills, there are just more advantages to gathering skills.

    You: mining + engineering can be productive if you work at it.
    Me: mining/herbalism + skinning can be productive without working at it.

    You: I have to spend money on patterns mats, but I have others helping me out
    Me: I don’t have to spend money on mats, AND I can help others out or sell the mats

    You: I didn’t become poor by spending money on patterns and mats
    Me: You would have been richer if you hadn’t

    You: I can make tons just by turning on mining tracker and going on a “mining run”
    Me: How does not having engineering prevent me from doing this? In fact, I recommend mining runs to anyone taking mining. Keen!

    You: I have a great gun for my level and can make bullets.
    Me: Or you could have found someone to make that exact same gun with the mats you gathered, and you didn’t have to level the skill up. Likewise for bullets

    You: I got a head item early, can pick locks, and get some fancy trinkets… flying mount
    Me: You get an even better epic BoP engineering head piece at 70, that some consider worth leveling the entire craft for. All valid points.

    You: I can make my own fishing bait
    Me: … You fish? … Ok, my armory shows I have 300 fishing too. :) Bright bobbles are around 20s for a stack. A stack of Aquadynamic fish attractors uses about a stack of bronze and half a stack of coarse stone which sell for 1-2g per stack each on my server. I’d take the 1.5g over the +25 fishing skill. Or you could just find a vendor that sells them OR you could get an engeneering friend to make them for you if you insist on the +25 skill. Again, I can do this without being an engineer.

    You: I sell smithing plans
    Me: You have to be an engineer to do that? (Inlaid Mithril Cylinder Plans?) Compare there to this phrase “I sell leather from every beast I kill” and ask yourself which makes more.

    You: If you work at a profession money is no object and you get some nice gear.
    Me: Actually you mean “if you work at getting money” money is no object. With 2 gathering skills you don’t even have to work at it. The only things you mention that make money have nothing to do with engineering. As for nice gear, how much of it do you NEED engineering to use and how much of THOSE items have equivalent BoE gear in the AH that anyone could buy. That leaves you with a cool hat, a cool mount, lockpicking, and cool trinkets. None of those things are necessary, and none of those things will even really matter until you’re 70. By then you could have so much money saved up that you can spend a single day and go from 1 to 375.

    If you really, really want to take a tradeskill, both engineering and leatherworking are good choices. However, I do not RECOMMEND anything other than dual gathering.

  26. Phredd said,

    Your section about weapon stats mentioned “chance on hit” weapons do not apply to you and are a waste. This is partially incorrect.

    While the “chance on hit” proc doesn’t apply to your ranged attacks, it does apply to your melee attacks. And as a hunter still in the phase of leveling up and learning how to play, you will be doing quite a bit of melee fighting.

  27. Znodis said,

    You shouldn’t be.

    If you’re pet isn’t holding agro for at least 80% of the fight (they should die in 1-2 melee hits), you need to change your playstyle. Mobs die so much faster at range that it’s worth it not to use every shot every battle just to keep them there. If you do pull agro, quickly use concussive or feign death and get back to ranged. I highly suggest getting the addon Omen to keep track of your pet’s threat.

    You don’t need to go this far, but it should be your goal:

    Now should you still want to just hit every spell every fight and pull agro constantly, consider this: how often is that proc really going to help you? My shaman used Fiery War Axe and Burning War Axe for leveling up. The proc there goes off about 75% of the time for each 15s fight or about 3/minute. If I had that on my hunter (and was pulling agro each fight), I’d be in ranged combat about 10s and melee about 5s. So I only have a 25% chance for it to go off (ie: do anything useful). That also means it will probably go off about 1x each minute. +200 damage every minute is just over +1DPS.

    Now compare that to the much cheaper (but useful) Manslayer that not only gives you 80 health, but more than +2.5DPS to both your ranged and melee attacks. That’s 150% improvement with a health bonus added in on a rare weapon rather than an epic.

    Now add in how much extra time you’re wasting by meleeing instead of feigning death and getting to ranged. Part of the reason I don’t recommend ‘chance on hit’ is that it encourages new players to melee ‘to get the most out of it.’ Melee should be a punishment that teaches players they want to stay at ranged.

    Think about it.

    PS: ‘On Equip’ effects DO generally work for both ranged and melee attacks, or at least I can’t think of any exceptions.

  28. EJ said,

    In the profession discussion:

    Don’t forget about the possibility of enchanting. Selling mats is hugely profitable, plus you can upgrade your own equipment as you get new stuff.

    And it’s always nice to have someone who can DE the instance blues when no one wants to roll on them.

  29. Znodis said,

    I am actually an enchanter, and I made a good deal of money from the profession going from 60-70. However, the main reason I made money is that I didn’t do diddly squat to level enchanting during that time.

    Enchanting is horribly expensive to level for the exact reason it’s lucrative: the mats are freaking expensive. In preperation for disenchanting items in WotLK, I recently spent ~2000g, and that’s with doing SSO dailies and staving the mats disenchanted from supplies (about half the cost). I think most will tell you that going 300-375 is the same cost as buying an epic flying mount. Additionally, you don’t really get anything that great out of it since the good recipes are almost all random drops.

    In summary, enchanting ~can~ make you money, but it takes effort. I don’t recommend it if this is your first character.

  30. Swampordie said,

    I just found this site and I have to say I’ve been playing Hunters as my prime for several years. I have always taken 2 profs usually LW/Skinning. I have always been scraping for money to get better equiptment and training. After reading the comments here I’m going to drop the LW and pickup another gathering skill probably mining.

    The rest of what I read I agree with completely. Hunters do range not melee, if you are up close and personal after lvl 10 you’re doing something wrong. Drop the hunter’s mark and send in the pet.

    I personally find that the Enraged Ravenger in Blood Myst and just about any Scorpid make great Tank pets that hold agro especially at low lvls.

    Just my opinion I hope it helps some beginning hunters.

  31. Some Hunter said,

    When you have skinning, dead monsters are basically money lying on the ground. Not really sexy as a money maker, but very steady. Never had a problem with money and was able to buy my mounts as soon as I dinged. I dropped skinning at level 64 and now it bugs me to see all those corpses lying around after a kill the beasty quest.

  32. Mithrilina said,

    Hmmm… I have to agree that my crafting profession (leatherworking) kept me rather envious of all those miners and dual-gatherers until I reached fairly advanced stages in that profession.

    However: crafting leatherworking item enhancements (armour kits and leg armour) changed all that. I generally spend money like it’s going out of fashion, but am never broke (except just after buying my epic riding skill, and that lasted for a day). Perhaps I could be richer, but I am definitely not poor, since reaching L70.

    Also, raiding high-level content starts to require drums later on. Read up on some of the top raiding guilds, and they’ll all tell you that advanced leatherworking is highly desirable for most players in end-game raids, because it helps to keep the effects of drums up for longer… specifically, the haste effects of Drums of War.

    Just my tuppence worth. :-)

    Also: Totally agree regarding hunters doing melee; the only time you should ever be doing melee is when you are stunlocked while getting ganked by a rogue. :-P

  33. ShatteredMoon said,

    Thanks for the excellent guide. I’ve been playing WoW for two years now, and the only class I’ve ever leveled to 70 is my Shaman. I, too, am something of a specialist who would rather learn and experience all he can about one class, rather than spread his limited time over multiple classes.

    However, I rolled a hunter this week on a whim, and it rocks. I’m only at level 16, but already I think I may have found another favorite class! Thanks for answering a lot of basic questions in this FAQ section, as well as more specialized questions about pet choice in other sections.

    In addition to stubbornly sticking with my Shaman, I’ve been an engineer on my main from day one. First, the goggles came out…l ZOMG the mail healing goggles were the 4th best mail healing helm in the game, pre 2.4!

    The profession was definitely a money sink while leveling, but once I started seriously using the mote extractor as a farming tool in Sept/Oct 2008, I stopped trying to make money from mining, and turned almost exclusively to selling primal airs and waters at 30-40g each. I funded my epic flying mount training with the mote extractor. I never did dailies until 2.4 came out, and I only do the handful of those that I consider fun (like the ravager-pet quest in Terokkar!).

    As an accountant, I would be interested in knowing how many times I’ve earned back the cost of leveling engineering, through sales of primals. Not gonna figure it out, though… I do my best to leave the financial spreadsheets at work, lol. Engineering may cost money to level, but the mote extractor can provide a solid income stream, and I would argue that it qualifies engineering as a gathering trade.

  34. ShatteredMoon said,

    “…but once I started seriously using the mote extractor as a farming tool in Sept/Oct 2008…”

    Oops, I meant 2007.

  35. froglikker said,

    Why didn’t I find this site sooner? Thank you for all the great work!

  36. Tozi said,

    Hey! Great guide thank-you SO SO SO much! Can’t thank you enough ! Im starting a Troll Hunter soon and am really excited about it, these tips are a great help!

    Cheers mate

  37. Wolfslayer wont drop! said,

    The best professions i think for a hunter is engineering and Lwing, Engineering for the Surefire goggles and jumper cables (During wipes, fd and then use cables on healer if needed} And Lwing is a nice profession because of the mail/leather items, when you get the epics in lwing you will thank me. You should spec in both professions if you have enough money to use ah for your mats or if you have other chars that can gather your mats.

  38. Goeben said,

    I definitely concur that dual gathering is the way to make money — far more money than any combination of crafting professions. And in my experience on several different servers, mining is the most lucrative gathering profession. With all that cash, you can buy almost anything you could craft. If easy money and easy leveling is your priority, definitely go with dual gathering.

    But I have only leveled one character (to about 30) dual gathering. Why? I enjoy crafting professions. I know I will be poorer, and I put in the extra effort necessary to make money despite the expenses and lost income of crafting. I find the leveling experience more fun and immersive if my characters craft, plus for some professions there are crafting-specific quests that are fun to do along the way.

    All crafting professions currently have a substantial upside once you reach 70, but while you are leveling, it’s a different story. Hands down, the most useful crafting profession while leveling is Alchemy, paired with Herbalism. As long as you keep your skill level up (a good rule of thumb is your character level x 5) you will always be able to make at least a few potions and elixirs that are useful to you. It is relatively cheap to level (usually just buy vials), plus, you will usually have enough herbs and extra potions to sell on the AH.

    Engineering is the “fun” profession. If you want to play around with wacky gear and trinkets, this is the profession for you. Some items are priceless because they give your character abilities you usually wouldn’t have — my 70 hunter always carried his Parachute Cloak until he earned his Skyguard cape. And it’s not too expensive to level, if you don’t go overboard buying exotic materials for special recipes.

    But it’s not without drawbacks. Guns and ammo are nice, but you can buy or earn better weapons easily, and the ammo isn’t always better than vendor. For example, you can’t use Mithril Slugs until 37, so at levels 35 and 36, vendor ammo is actually better than anything you can make. And at any level, the value of the materials you put into ammo is far greater than the cost of slightly weaker vendor ammo.

    Tailoring, Jewelcrafting and Leatherworking are not bad professions to have while leveling. Sometimes you will be able to make gear that is useful for your character, but you will go through “dry spells” where you have to make a bunch of junk you can’t use, just to level the profession. Each profession has items that can potentially sell well on the AH, but not well enough to make you as rich as dual gathering.

    Blacksmithing and Enchanting are the hardest to level as you level your character. Both require a lot of expensive materials — blacksmithing uses insane amounts of metal, and enchanting requires you to disenchant a lot of items that might otherwise sell well on the AH. You won’t be able to get enough materials for either profession without spending a lot of time or money on them.

    My recommendations:

    If your main goal is to get to 70 in a hurry with lots of money, dual gather.

    If you want to have fun along the way and you enjoy crafting, go ahead a take a crafting profession. If you are a veteran, do whatever you want — you know what you are getting into. If you are a new player and you want to experience crafting before you get to 70, go with Herbalism/Alchemy, Skinning/LW, Mining/Engineering or Mining/JC. For a hunter Skinning/LW is the easiest, since you don’t have to worry about tracking herbs or ore. (If you are starting a cloth-wearer you might want to consider Tailoring with Mining or Skinning, but since this is a hunter site, I doubt too many clothies will read this.)

  39. dexx said,

    Discombobulator Ray (if thats how you spell it)

    This item requires a low level in engineering. It can be used (sold to) non-engineers. The mats are readily available.

    This item alone makes engineering worthwhile. I use it all the time in bg on my lvl29 hunter. Catch me now little rogue or should I say little green leper gnome rogue. I don’t know how well this item works on higher level targets but I can say at level 29 the resist chance on this is very low.

    I’ve never had one used on me so I can’t explain the effect but judging by the number of Alliance I have chasing me down it must be good.

  40. Chrom said,

    Love this guide, very well done.
    Just a few comments,

    At #17
    ShadowEyeS said,
    March 28, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Hmm, very very nice, except one thing. I think it is better to put your talents on marksmanship…. Just my opinion.

    If you enjoy playine a MM better than BM. Great. Good for you.
    But as far as being better, BM hands down. a well geared BM can do some of the best DPS in the game. that is a FACT. Not based on any opinion

    Bomyne said,
    April 8, 2008 at 1:00 am

    I differ on opinion about growl. My cat makes a better tank then any warrior :)

    Pets make Great off tanks. however the lack many of the real damage mitigation talents that a REAL tank has, like a pally or warrior.
    without proper damage mitigation, that means your healer or you have to spam more heals or mend pets, which leads to poor mana efficiency. Pets are perfectly capable of tanking regular mobs while you pick them off from afar, and good off tanks in instances, but if you are in a level and gear appropriate instance, not really what the group is looking for.
    but if you are a 70 epic BM hunter however and are looking to tank Stratholme, go for it!

  41. Markendal of Veknilash said,

    Get info.
    I have a 70 NE Hunter with Humar (Black Lion) as a pet.
    He was my first toon; my main and my most favorite to play.

    Here are a few comments I have.

    1) BM is IMHO the bets overall spec – damage, crowd control, survivability, hunter-pet balance aka aggro management.

  42. Markendal of Veknilash said,

    Sorry Tabbed and Submitted Accidentally.

    To Continue.

    I meant Great Info in the first line.

    2) Hunters are great PVPers if balanced and played well.

    3) Hunters can level fast and well.

    4) Hunters can be the jack of all trades in instance running.

    5) Hunters can make LOTS of money fast if you concentrate on gathering and grinding a bit.

    6) Hunters are just plain fun.

    So here are some more specific comments.

    – The BM spec especially the pet damage boost talents – Unleash Fury; Ferocity; Bestial Wrath; etc really put your DPS pets (cats and such) into a whole nother level. Your pet will easily become the equal of a “second main hand” in melee and will add 50-75% damage to your DPS depending on you focus dump attack and if you took focus enhancements – Bestial discipline and Go for the Throat (MM) in the talent trees.

    – Crowd Control – Hunters are great at CC. Sometimes CC is your pet as an off tank (looking forward to them being better in WotLK); your traps; concussive shots; or just plain old kiting (running around with the mob chasing as you use him for a pin cushion and a pet chew toy). Basically, few classes can CC multiple mobs or have so many tools to do CC as the hunter. Also, once the hunter learns to use the focus frame and assist commands for pet attack, trapping, concussing, etc, you can do the crowd control and still DPS.

    – More on pet tanking. Pets can tank – though not the best choice in instances. With a hunter tanked Blood Furnace with a Boar. I tanked the final boss and his dragon in Hellfire Citadel with my cat with the help of a great heal spec priest from my guild. My cat is speced with lots of resistance which was necessary for the dragon. Also the resistance is great in PVP.

    – The BM spec is great for pet survivability and also provides the hunter with some survival boost like health, armor, dodge, etc.

    – But most important the BM spec allows for the balancing between the hunter and pet. The pet improvements have multiplicative effects. The pet can survive longer in combat especially against elites and multiple mobs. The pet can deal out more damage than the pets of MM or SV speced hunters. This allows faster killing and more overall DPS for the hunter and pet combined based on my experience. Other MM and SV hunters may disagree.

    – Finally, the survival and damage balance yields a secondary, but highly important effect – Aggro. The increased pet damage generates more aggro. This is a great counter balance to the aggro the hunter generates especially if you have a high crit rating (I’m about 25-27% depending on the gear i’m using). And we all understand higher aggro / threat lets your pet hold the target better and longer.

    2) PVP. Often a topic of some controversy. I have an unpopular view and strategy for PVP. Hunters have to be able to melee. Though we are moderate at best in melee, PVP always results in melee with feral druids, rogues, warriors, etc. This is a reality and though most hunters believe in getting back to range (as I do too) it is not the only way to fight PVP. I tend to engage in melee for as long as is required to get back to range, but I will fight and not just try to run for range. The Hunter possesses the tools to accomplish this feat quite well. And I did prove it to my dissenting non-believing bother and nephew when they wawtched me PVP.
    So here is a little Hunter PVP Melee strategy that I have found that works. Bear in mind, once your get back out to range and can continue shooting do so. So here is the scenario. Lets say a rogue, warrior, or feral gets in close. Now the melee in unavoidable.
    I run Aspect of the Monkey at all times in PVP so I can have the benifit of the high dodge (about 28% for me) and the ability to dodge and get moving once engaged melee.
    I use a technique I call the circle others I’ve seen use the run and jump method, but waht is important is you get moving. The circle is just like it sounds. Run in a circle around your opponent. Do this using the Strafe right or left and the opposite Turn left or right. So Strafe Left and Turn Right or Strafe Right and Turn Left. This makes you run sideways and continue to face your enemy.
    Next, use your abilities. Wing Clip is a great opener in this situation as it slows down your enemy.
    TRAP TRAP TRAP!!!. The Frost Trap is good when you have multiple melee opponents as it affects them all.
    Once they are slowed, just keep running and hitting them. If you can get behind them while they are slowed you can deal out some good damage and also look for an opening to go to range. Disengage can be useful to break contact and get to range then concussive shot the opponent. Use your pet to deal out some damage on your attacker. Use Intimidate to stun the attacker.
    In the course of your damage dealing, use your raptor strikes and mongoose bite. I have a 2 talent points in Savage Strikes in the Survival tree which adds 20% to my crit rate with these abilities. Since I have a high dodge and use aspect of the monkey Mongoose Bite procs often. I’ve had 4 and 5 procced in succession.
    Use your explosive trap if you want to deal out some damage to multiple opponents. And if you go a little into the Survivial tree you can get Entrapment and Improved Wing Clip which can immobile / snare your target(s). Both of which are good for CC in instances as well.

    5) The last one I want to talk about is the Money making potential. Hunters being a great solo class can go most anywhere and gather / grind for valuable items. Hunters with gathering skills can make lots of money by just killing and skinning or mining or herbalism. Hunters can also grind mobs for drops like elementals for Motes to make Primals which can be sold for good money in the AH. Just use Thottbot or WowHead to find out which mobs have the best drop rates.
    Now I make 1200+ gold in a day just running lots of the quests in hadn’t done in Outland once I made 70. Since Hunters can solo most everything and even most of the elite or group 2-3 quests the money making at ~12 gold a quest adds up quick. Additionally, the is all the loot money and items as well as the quest items that can be vendored for good money. Thats probably why the gold farmers like hunters as well.

    I could literally go on and on (as you can tell) about the hunter.
    My advice is play around with the hunter’s abilities and learn the uses and complementary nature of many of the abilities, then find what works for you.

    Good Luck and Happy Hunting

    10% Luck
    20% Skill
    15% Concentrated Power of Will
    5% Pleasure
    50% Pain
    100% Reason to Remember the Name

  43. Dread :D said,

    survival rules all the schools

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