The Role of Hunters in Arena
The role and viability of the Hunter class in Arena is often contested amongst the class community, as between Beast Mastery and Marksmanship Hunters, there is a very large difference in play style. As a Beast Mastery Hunter, your role will be to put out as much damage as possible paying heed to little else, as a Beast Mastery Hunter requires less support from teammates. Your pet will be a source of damage with this spec and a very underestimated one. This style is generally preferred on teams without a healer, or 'gib' or 'rush down' teams. BM however does suffer the longer the match progresses so Marksmanship Hunters are preferred on 'outlast' teams.
The Marksman's role is one of utility, rather than oppressive damage. As a Marksman, you will be expected to keep melee damage classes off of your healer or more fragile team members with Wing Clip , drain the enemy healer's mana with Viper Sting and keep one of the enemy players controlled with Freezing Trap. In many cases, all of these things are expected of you all at once.
These styles have met with differing levels of success, but Marksmanship Hunters are generally more successful in higher level brackets while Beast Mastery Hunters are better against more unorthodox teams usually encountered in lower level brackets. This is however a generalization and there are exceptions to both.
- If you are a Marksmanship Hunter, many of your fights will be long, since your most popular team setups will be drain teams. Be patient, and don't try to rush the game or rush the burst. A typical Marksmanship hunter team game can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Although your spells are cheap, you don't have a large mana pool, so it is very important for you not only to gem and enchant your gear to make up for this shortcoming, but also that you use your skills economically. If possible try to save Arcane Shot to dispel in your shot rotation, and DPS a target nice and easy while it or the opposing team's healer lose their mana.
- Survival hunters are perfect for countering warriors, rogues, enhancement shamans or other hunters. With a diverse arsenal to immobilize (Improved Wing Clip, Counterattack, Entrapment for example), high avoidance (Deterrence, Deflection (Hunter), and for maximum effect, go for the Beastmaster talent Improved Aspect of the Monkey!) and 20% extra crit on Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite, it's possible to surprise your melee opponents with a barrage of alternating melee crits and short range shots while they are immobilized. Wyvern Sting and Readiness are excellent arena weapons and give the hunter that much more CC. The downside to a survival build is the decreased ranged damage output and because of that, less viability versus casters. Survival should be combined with additional marksmanship talents and Improved Aspect for the Monkey to retain its diversity.
- Work on synergy with your team, and practice good decision making on utilizing your skills. For example, if you fight a team with no defensive dispeller like a priest or a paladin, it may be a better idea to Freezing Trap a target rather than kiting with Frost Trap. You could set this up by using Scatter Shot (if specced Marksman) or Intimidation (if specced Beast Mastery) on your intended trap target, laying it under him and then forcing him into the CC, and it can be followed up by an Entangling Roots, Fear, Polymorph, Blind, etc depending who you run with. Coordination with your team is vital to success.
- If possible, flag warriors in combat from max range with a quick attack like Arcane Shot to deny them the ability to Charge.
- The cast time for auto shot is 0.5 seconds, so as long as you stop moving 0.5 sec before your next shot, it will go off on time. A swing/cast timer like Quartz is extremely useful for getting the timing right. A slower weapon allows more movement.
- As you are a ranged class, melee combat should always be your last resort. Melee is an entirely impractical style of fighting for hunters. Only three abilities besides Wing Clip are available to the class: Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite, and Counterattack (Only available with deep Survival). It is not recommended to use anything but Wing Clip when engaged in melee, since Raptor Strike is based on next attack swing, Mongoose Bite is situational and Wing Clip is spammable, meaning you can keep stacking it and hope for an Improved Wing Clip proc (Survival tree talent) to get away.
- Pillars work both ways. Try to stick by them and duck out whenever ranged target you, or melee turn their attentions to you so they can Intercept or Shadowstep. Being comfortable working around pillars is crucial for survival as a Hunter in any bracket or level of play.
- Protect your Viper Sting. It is one of the Hunter's most important tools in Arena. If you are draining a druid, following up a Viper Sting immediately with a Silencing Shot if you are a Marksman or Intimidation if you are a Beast Master, so the first few ticks are guaranteed protection from Abolish Poison. Conversely if your intended drain is something else like a mage, be sure to immediately silence or stun anyone on the mage's team who can dispel the sting. Be sure to work with any other crowd controllers on your team to chain CC effects to keep the sting up as long as possible.
- Use high points such as hills or buildings as firing locations. Any place that is hard to reach is perfect. High slopes in Alterac Valley and cliffs in Nagrand for instance. Also use bushes and trees as cover, making yourself harder to pin point.
- There are areas where you can shoot through the terrain, such as a hill. Paladins, rogues, and others who aren't ranged and can't charge/intercept you have little to counter this with, since they can't hit a button to find you.
- You can lay traps during combat (as of Patch 2.0.1). The best use of this is to drop a freezing trap, then run through it. Your opponent will likely follow. Once frozen (be sure your pet is not attacking or it will break the freeze), get as much distance as possible and load up an Aimed Shot/Arcane Shot combo. Possibly a Concussive Shot to slow them and/or if they are close, a Scatter Shot and then rinse and repeat.
- The most effective abilities in the battlegrounds are those that have little to no casting time. Arcane Shot, Multi Shot (despite a 0.5 second delay), and Concussive Shot will be your best friends in the battlegrounds. Aimed Shot can still be effective (especially when you want to really put the finishing touch on an enemy) but pick your timing: any enemy can close the distance during the Aimed Shot casting time. Never sacrifice range by getting greedy and looking for the killing blow. Hunters are very powerful and versatile but require more than a button-mashing approach. Assessing the situation before you engage will always net better results for any class but no class benefits more from smart decisions than hunters.
- Steady Shot is a powerful PvE tool but its usefulness is limited in PvP. As Steady Shot has a 1.5 second casting time, it should only be used when you are not the target of any attackers. It is during this time that the Hunter should take advantage of its mana efficient, yet surprisingly devastating damage output.
- For the Eye of the Storm battleground, Frost Trap is a must. On the tight passageways one well-placed frost trap can effectively cripple an enemy's advance. In addition, using Flare in tight passageways like the two eastern and western bridges as well as the Flag spot is great against rogues as well as stealthed Feral druids.
- Try to always keep your Insignia of the Alliance/Horde up, it will remove all crowd control effects from you when used. This is always useful when the enemy is in your dead zone.
- Remember that as of Patch 2.3.0, you no longer have a dead zone. Classes with rooting abilities such as Mages and Druids may be unaware of this and attempt to exploit it.
- Place a Freezing Trap and stand on it.
- Turn Track Hidden on and try to use Hunter's Mark on the Rogue before he fades away.
- If you did not have the chance to, simply use your Flare on the last place he was. This way even if the Rogue tries to disarm your trap you have a 100% chance to spot him and he'll have no choice but attack you and get close to you, triggering the trap.
- When he triggers the Freezing Trap just step back and place another Freezing Trap. Note that nothing gets on a rogue's nerves like immobilizing and slowing effects since speed is the source of their power.
- Flare the trapped Rogue quickly and fire a Aimed Shot and then use Concussive Shot to slow him, then Arcane Shot for some quick extra damage and repeat until the Rogue is dead.
- As of Patch 2.01 Arcane Shot and Aimed Shot are on separate timers. Previously you could not use arcane shot right after Aimed Shot as they were on the same cooldown.
- If the Rogue manages to comes close to you, Wing Clip and run away at all costs. Although there are times when it is unavoidable, (such as if the Rogue surprises you from stealth, and you are in a confined space) melee combat is generally to be avoided with Rogues due to their speed and their ability to create stunlocks.
- If you are survival specialized, it is possible to beat a rogue in nearly melee combat. Simply spam wing clip for an extra +40 DPS and the chance to immobilize, when you do, jump back and aimed shot, or use the 3 seconds of the time casting aimed shot to get greater distant and Arcane shot>Concussive Shot>Scorpid Sting/Serpent Sting>Multi Shot, rinse and repeat. This angers the Rogue - a lot.
- Changing Aspects during that time (from Aspect of the Hawk to Aspect of the Cheetah) is not very wise if you do not know what are you doing. I suggest not doing that until you really know when to do that. Timing is everything. Aspect of the Monkey is ideal if the Rogue approaches you. If your time permits, changing from Aspect of the Monkey to Aspect of the Hawk for the duration of your mez-breaking Aimed Shot might be worth it.
- If you are skilled enough you can use your pet and Scatter Shot but your pet must NOT be attacking the target otherwise the mez effect will be broken.
- If you get jumped by a Rogue (such as being sapped and your pet is killed), use Feign Death immediately and repeat the same things as listed above. Freezing Trap and so on ...
- Feign Death does not forcibly cancel combat mode, the only way combat is exited is if they stop attacking both you and your pet. So it would be a rare occasion where Feign Death allows you to exit combat mode in a PvP engagement. However, if you're very quick and are sure to have your pet follow you when you feign, you can freeze a rogue filleting you with an Eskhandar's set proc.
- If the Rogue manages to get the first hit on you, or if you are lucky/skilled enough to see him before he gets the first hit use Scatter Shot>Lay a Freezing Trap right under his feet, and do what it says above.
Feign death does forcibly cancel combat mode, you must not have your pet out for it to work every time however. If I have my pet out for caster killing and I see a rogue stealth, the first thing I do is drop a Freezing Trap on him, then flare the Freezing trap, then dismiss my pet. Pets are more of a pain then they are a use vs a rogue.
- A hunter can kite almost any class with talents in Hawk Eye. The trick is to stay as far away as possible and try to slow them down, a warlock will for instance be out of range for DoTs if you are at 40yd range.
- NOTE: Since patch 2.01, hunters can now lay freezing traps while in combat. This negates the need to feign death in order to lay freezing traps. Additionally, it seems that pets will now automatically cease attacking a target that is frozen; however, normal guidelines, such as being sure that the target isn't DoTed and that your auto attack is off, still apply.
- You can DoT the Rogue with Serpent Sting or an Immolation Trap keeping him from effectively staying stealthed if he vanishes or goes out of combat to restealth. This works best in groups where your freeze traps aren't the focus and you can help the team by keeping the rogue from opening on someone else, or in conjunction with freeze traps when you get the Rogue at distance and can force him to close it unstealthed. He may even not expect a freeze because of the DoT, and before he closes in going out of range, simply remember to apply Scorpid Sting to remove the DoT, allowing a safe freeze and acting as a safeguard if it does become a close quarters fight if the trap is resisted or breaks.
- Crippling Poison is your bane. A successful proc will essentially make this battle next to impossible to win since you will be slowed to 30% of your movement speed for the next 12 seconds, taking away your ability to kite. It's still possible to win if you're survival specced, but it will be highly difficult. Dwarven hunters can counter this with Stoneform (Racial Ability), dispelling any poison, bleed, or disease effects. Insignia of the Horde/Alliance also removes the poison. However, it is recommended that it should only be used after they land a Kidney Shot on you as they can poison you again if you're unlucky attempting to escape the deadzone.
- Do not use Aspect of the Cheetah if the Rogue you are fighting against is quick and agile. Aspect of the Cheetah should never be on if you aren't moving or kiting at all, as getting jumped by a Rogue means you'll become instantly dazed for 4 seconds and that's another advantage for the Rogue. More likely than not the Rogue will use a ranged attack to daze you. Some may also use a DoT effect but as of patch 1.9 this does not apply the daze effect. Deadly Throw also reduces your chances of a successful kite.
- Rogues that do not use Crippling Poison and don't get the jump on you are relatively easy since you can normally kite them to death. Rogues that do get the jump on you can use abilities like Ambush and Backstab to take away most of your health in one hit (unless you're quick to move out).
- Rogues can Sprint once a battle (5 minute cooldown) for 15 seconds so they CAN close the gap at least once a battle. Improved Sprint only removes all movement impairing effects when activated, but doesn't provide immunity to them.
- As of a recent patch you are no longer able to feign death during a duel to break combat and lay another Freezing trap. (but this is not a problem since patch 2.01, see above).
- Subtlety specced rogues can use Preparation to permit an additional vanish and sprint. In addition, they may also have Premeditation, which instantly adds combo points. These will normally be used to stunlock you.
- Freezing Trap has a 2 second arming time.
- If the rogue is 66 or above it has Cloak of Shadows which will when used most likely make it resist your Freezing Trap.
- It may be better to have the trap ready for use instead of using it in the middle of the flare, many rogues use Cloak of Shadows before entering flare to prevent getting trapped.
- Rogues above level 64 have Deadly Throw which can be used from 8-30 yd range and slows your movement speed by 50% - although this ability requires at least one combo point.
- Another way of killing a rogue is the use of Snake Trap. First, it puts on the rogue the same Crippling poison they use on us, and second, it puts a DoT on the rogue, preventing a vanish. You can kite the rogue for 12 safe seconds of Crippling poison. Note that it eats up the cooldown of a Freezing trap, and a skillful Subtlety rogue can Cloak of Shadow, Vanish, Shadowstep in your back and stunlock you. Be ready to flare and scatter shot him if you have that skill. Remember that, as of a recent patch, Rogues no longer have to be in stealth to use Shadowstep.
The king of the Arena, but an extremely limited brick on legs anywhere outside it. The typical strategy for fighting any warrior is to kite. Warriors have much higher damage mitigation than a Hunter, but on the plus side, they have no ranged capabilities whatsoever, which thus means that ensuring that they don't touch you is your main priority. If you have the jump on the warrior normally you would follow this technique. Charge and Intercept have a maximum of only 25 yards range, which is just 16 yards lesser than our maximum shooting range. A skilled Warrior will attempt to make liberal use of Intercept, but as long as you are constantly above 25 yards from the warrior, it shouldn't be too difficult at all.
The Warrior is the natural rival of the Survival Hunter; Warriors also have a tendency to view themselves as being the greatest overall class in the game, and so killing one successfully (especially if you can do so with a substantial amount of the fight spent in semi-melee) can help demonstrate how they are mistaken in that belief.
- Lay Freezing Trap
- Aimed Shot (or whatever other high damage shot you can do)
- Concussive Shot
- When he hits your Freezing Trap, run and then turn around to do another Aimed Shot, then send pet, Concussive Shot, Serpent Sting, and Auto Shoot.
- When he reaches you, Wing Clip him and then start kiting.
- Lay Frost/Freezing Trap
- Concussive Shot
- Send Pet
- Keep running around, doing Shots and Serpent/Scorpid Sting (don't forget Aimed Shot)
If you have exceptionally high Stamina, Dodge percentage, (improved Aspect of the Monkey is a must) a strong pet, a powerful weapon, and are daring, it *is* possible for Hunters to successfully kill Warriors in melee combat; it should generally be avoided, however, as Warriors with Improved Overpower can be devastating. Note that, with a high enough dodge and something like Deterrence, you can actually survive quite well in melee with a Warrior; while his Overpowers might hurt you significantly, don't forget that most of the rest of his normal attacks will be dodged or be parried. Without this high Dodge/Parry percentage (such as on a Marksmanship Hunter), it's highly recommend that you avoid meleeing a Warrior as much as possible. However, if you can successfully beat a Warrior melee, the psychological effect will be as devastating for him as it is positive for you.
If you're Beast Mastery specced and have Bestial Wrath and The Beast Within, fighting against Warriors shouldn't be difficult at all. Once activated, nothing stops you from kiting them if you're immune to their Hamstring, Intercept, Piercing Howl and even Intimidating Shout. 18 seconds should be just enough.
Also keep in mind that Scorpid Sting is excellent against fury warriors! Dual Wielding Warriors already have a large chance to miss, another 5% just helps you that much more.
Priest killing is simple enough. Begin with aimed shot or another high damage shot. Keep your pet on the priest to keep him in combat and distracted. Make sure you stay at a safe distance and keep using Viper Sting to continuously drain mana. Once mana is out of the way, just keep kiting. Without mana the priest is pretty much hopeless against you. Even if they try to melee you they have no chance against you without their spells. Keep in mind however that they need only a small amount of mana to cause some damage so keep the viper sting active. It may also help to run around in circles whilst draining their mana as they will have a harder time hitting you with their spells.
I would recommend not closing with a Priest to fight them, if they come close they may be trying to use psychic scream. Also bear in mind that Mind Flay has a short range (~20 yards, depending on talents) so you may be able to kite out of range of that, only eating mind blasts.
NB: Hunter vs Priest combat can sometimes be very gear dependent, since if you meet a well equipped shadowpriest he can quite easily down you fast with SW:Pain and mindblast/mindflay if you're not careful. Its advised to use scatter and feign death/trap when you get the chance so you can deal heavy dmg to him before he can start chewing down your health. Tapping their mana won't be effective if they get your health down 50-70% before you can start nuking them back.
Quick Tip: A smart priest may burn off your mana with their annoying Mana Burn spell, but don't let that get to you. The best counter to that particular ability is Aspect of the Viper and a good old Silencing Shot. If you are not a Marks Hunter, then the thing to do is trap.
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Warlocks can be very dangerous opponents, their level of danger is reflected by which pet they have out. They will most certainly apply a Curse as well as other DoT spells which will inflict a lot of damage to you. Your pet will be a target of these as well. Be warned that Warlocks have a Fear spell and will use it on your pet to remove it from the battle. If you have the talent Bestial Wrath it would be a good idea to activate it before the pet can be feared. Also a hit with Intimidation just before Bestial Wrath falls will help. You should use Concussive Shot to allow you to keep the Warlock out of your dead zone. As always a Freezing Trap is very useful to keep the warlock or his pet at range. The bulk of a Warlock's damage is Shadow based but they have Fire based spells as well.
The Survival talent Wyvern Sting can be exceptionally useful against Warlocks, as it is an effective pre-emptive counter to the initial use of Fear. Use it as an opener, and if you are successful, the Warlock will be asleep for 12 seconds. You then have the option of an Aimed/Arcane/Multi crit combo if you have 20 points in Marks, or rapid dual wield pet-assisted melee with Blood Fury/Berserking (if you're Horde), and an Immolation trap otherwise, (an Immolation trap plus Wyvern Sting will give you 1500 DoT) which can work very well due to a 'lock's comparative lack of armor. Warlocks tend to expect Hunters to both kite and be afraid of them; the initial use of a spell they generally won't have heard of (Wyvern Sting), followed by a barrage of rapid fire melee has been known to surprise them sufficiently that they are uncertain how to react. While they're wondering what to do, you can finish cutting them up.
Destruction 'locks can easily be primarily fire hoping for soulfire crits and immolate and conflagrate. Most of all watch out for a start of battle death coil, it may waste the healing effect but gives them time to fear pet and seduce you. Be aware that some warlocks may try to close to your dead zone and use howl of terror, an area of effect fear.
How to deal with Warlock pets.
- If they have the Imp out kill it first as it can be both a source of heavy damage to you or mana to the warlock. It has very little health and will go down quickly.
Send your pet to attack the warlock while you take out the imp quickly. The pet will help stop the warlock from casting non-instant spells. This can be very helpful especially if they are casting a long move like soulfire.
- If they have a Succubus out don't let it get close or else you may find yourself Seduced while they try to kill your pet.
The Succubus can seduce at a good range. They are often invisible, making the warlock look petless. If you rush in foolishly believing that, you'll be defeated quickly. Seduce is a 1.5 or 2 sec cast and will probably interrupt something like aimed shot. Meanwhile the warlock will be fearing your pet. Some warlocks follow up a seduce with high damage moves, a common series is soulfire -> immolate -> conflagrate -> shadow burn, followed up by another seduce.
- A Felhunter is not much of a threat provided you don't attack it in melee; as you will be inflicted with Tainted Blood which reduces your attack power.
- A Voidwalker's damage can essentially be ignored and it does not have any special powers that function in PvP, however a warlock with a Voidwalker in a PvP setting is probably planning to sacrifice it. A voidwalker sacrifice gives the warlock a shield that is roughly twice as powerful as that of a priest. If you're facing a warlock with a voidwalker out, try to do as much damage as quickly as possible so you might kill them before they sacrifice. Using a DoT against a warlock is always a good idea because it will continue to damage them while you are feared.
- With the addition of Burning Crusade a Felguard (Warlock pet) is now a prime Warlock pet to watch out for. They can do significant damage if left alone, and have an intercept stun which can stop you from getting into firing distance. The best course of action for them is to lay down a freezing or frost trap (freezing more effective to stop the intercept) and stay away from it. If the Warlock is distracted, killing the Felguard will actually significantly lower their damage and fighting capabilities in general since demonology draws much of its strength from the pet. If the Warlock's health is low enough then a simple Feign Death to drop aggro is quite useful.
- An Infernal is not a normal pet. It will turn on the Warlock after 5 minutes of play. As such do not be distracted by it and instead either kill the Warlock or ensure that the 5 minutes elapse. But note that s/he can try to re-enslave it.
- A general tip for all pet-foes a hunter encounters in PvP: Use Feign death, the pet will deaggro you, and some less experienced Warlocks might not think to send their pets back, or are too busy casting damage spells to resend
- The Beast Within is probably one of the best Warlock counters in the game. Without their myriad of CC options, a Warlock can safely be brought low by your powerful bow shots or melee swipes. It's important that you kill the Warlock as fast as possible when using TBW, because you will be at a significant disadvantage once it wears off.
- If a Warlock engages you at a close range, it's important to get away quickly. A skilled Warlock, especially with correct talents, can Drain Tank you and effectively drain your health to keep themselves alive, all the while killing you slowly with their DoTs.
While a competent Frost specced Mage can be a problem, they are rare. An important point to remember is that a Mage ideally wants range in which to operate to an even greater extent than a Hunter, because unlike a Hunter, a Mage has no melee component whatsoever. Because of this, although the advice given against a Warrior was to kite, the opposite applies here. If you can get close, apply Wing Clip, and engage in rapid melee, you will probably kill most Mages very quickly.
- If you're lucky and get an Aimed Shot crit, you may kill or nearly kill a Mage in one hit. Especially at low levels, some inexperienced mages run around with very little stamina gear. This is a good indication that you are fighting a sub-par player.
- Viper Sting may seem a wise choice against mages, but mages have a VERY large mana pool and while Viper Sting will hurt mages in the long run, Mages don't need much time to kill you. Mages have a high rate of mana regeneration, as well as mana gems they can consume if they run low on mana. Plus, the Viper Sting costs you a lot of mana. Due to the mage's low armor and health, it is wiser to go with the Serpent Sting, as it is likely their health will run out before their mana. Survival hunters can start the fight with Wyvern sting, then used Aimed Shot while the mage is asleep (alternative to freezing trap).
- Mages can Blink over traps, and use Ice Block to get out of a Freezing Trap; it might be wiser to use an Immolation Trap - the resulting damage is quite a lot, considering the usually low HP of any Mage.
- Mages can root the Hunter through Frost Nova and nuke the Hunter from the Hunter's dead zone.NOTE: The dead-zone for Hunters was removed. When that happens, use your Scatter Shot and/or your Insignia of the Alliance/Horde and get away. If you are specced for Beast Mastery you can also use The Beast Within to escape. Do not be misled by the Pet talent Avoidance, for while it will reduce AOE damage taken, it will NOT help the pet resist Frost Nova. If you and your pet are helplessly stuck in Frost Nova you can try to lay a freezing trap near the mage if he is close enough, or use Volley just to do any damage...
- Mages will likely Polymorph you into a sheep while they work on your pet or vice-versa. Unless he uses it as an opener to be followed up with Pyroblast, if he is silly enough to sheep you mid-fight, thank him. He's most likely just given you all of your health back.
- If you are a Beast Mastery skilled hunter, Mages are ridiculously easy targets. Attack with your pet, activate Intimidation, activate Rage, give him an Aimed Shot and a Serpent Sting to be sure, and look for another target. Pretty much the only thing he can use to survive is his Ice Block, and even then he'll be at a great disadvantage.
- It can be a good idea to drop a damage dealing trap at the feet of a mage in Ice Block. Snake Trap can prove particularly effective if the mage fails to Blink fast enough out of danger.
- Another trick that you can do against mage's Ice Block is to run 20 yards in the direction he is facing and drop a Freezing trap - many mages will blink out of Ice Block to Nova\Cone of Cold you.
- NOTE: The dead-zone for Hunters has been removed, disregard any information mentioning the dead-zone, as it's no longer an issue
- If you get the drop on them, an Aimed Shot is your best bet, followed quickly by Concussive Shot to keep them from getting inside your dead zone.
- Frost Trap can slow them down, enabling you to get back into range.
- They will root you and attempt to get inside your dead zone. There are some potions and a few items which you can use to negate this effect but do not count on them.
- The talent Intimidation from the Beast Mastery talent tree can be used to stun to get range. Best used when they attempt to heal themselves.
- Scorpid Sting is useful while they are in animal form as they have to shift to clear it. This can help burn up their mana.
- Viper Sting on Druids is risky due to their instant cast Abolish Poison.
- When the Druid is in one of his/her Forms (Bear, Cat, Travel Form, Aquatic Form) they count as a Beasts. Use your ability to Fear Beasts to get them off your back, but be wary of any DoTs, or your pet, as damage can and will break the Fear state. This is a good time for you to gain some distance, or to bandage.
-Note, a Druid will most likely have the "Enemy Cast Bar" active, so be prepared to cancel the cast if he shifts out. If timed correctly, you can hit him with a Scatter Shot before the Druid can shift back.
-Note, if they cast entangling roots on you then come in, in cat form it will be to hit you with tons of dots so place a freezing trap and get back fast.
- Beware of balance druids (moonkin), they are the only spec that can do decent ranged damage, and as such the only ones you have to worry about in your dead zone. Their ability to sleep your pet and then root you in place can make you close to helpless against them. They can also summon their treants to help them get your health down in melee range and there is little you can do to stop them.
Your best bet is to damage them early on with an aimed shot and get them to a point where they have to come out of moonkin to heal. Unlike feral druids, the moonkin depends on its mana pool for damage as well as healing so if you can make them shift you've gone a long way towards draining their mana. Be wary however as moonkin can and will drink health and mana pots without having to shift out. If a balance druid shifts into bear form it's usually as a last resort and it's unlikely he will have spent the talent points in feral charge so now is your time to use concussive shot and put your pet on him, you should be able to keep him at bay until he's dead. That is, if you're still alive.
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- Melee combat for a hunter must be taken very seriously, and should only be attempted by survival hunters as marksmen and beast masters have very few reliable melee skills.
- A good survival hunter, on the other hand can be a very lethal foe. Every hunter should put at least a few points in beast mastery in order to polish up their aspects to suit whatever build it is they are going for.
- Improved aspect of the monkey gives an incredible increase to dodge (14%) when maxed out, and 2/2 pathfinding allows any hunter to easily outrun nearly any class except for shaman, druids and sprinting rogues, but any of these can be chased down successfully if the concussive shot is used well enough.
- What makes a hunter lethal is his ability to deal out massive amounts of damage while taking very little in return.
- An increased dodge ability means that roughly 1 out of every 4 attacks will be dodged, and this percentage will only get better as dodge bonus gear is collected over time.
- If one acquires the survival ultimate skill Wyvern Sting, he will find himself at a great advantage over most other players. Wyvern sting does not enable the auto-shoot ability so you don't have to worry about firing off a round and waking up your target. Against Marksmen in particular, open with Wyvern Sting, get close, drop an Immolation trap, and give them a demonstration of why Hunter melee isn't as inviable as they think.
- If the target is by itself you can simply walk up, point and laugh and wait for your traps to become re-enabled, an immolation trap plus the damage over time effects of the wyvern sting, in addition to the hunters raptor strikes and pet damage will have a tremendous effect on damage output.
- Since you bothered to get wyvern sting you'll most likely have the deterrence ability, which is crucial for going toe to toe with any foe, as while active you will find that perhaps 1 out of every 4 attacks will actually hit you, if that.
- This tactic can be devastating to any class in the game be it rogue, casters, mail classes or even warriors and paladins. You'd better hope you know what you're doing though, because don't forget you're still a hunter, and melee combat should always be the last resort.
- When fighting other hunters, the trick is to control the battle. Weave in and out of close and long range. A hunter would prefer to stay at range, so just confuse them by not letting them know where you're going to be. If you're just standing there trading shots with your opponent, you'll only win if you crit more than they do, and that's not something you should be counting on.
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Paladins are probably the single most highly revered class in the game, and there are a few key points to keep in mind when fighting them. The cave troll fight sequence from the first Lord of the Rings film is a useful analogy for a fight with a skilled Paladin. However, defeating them is not only extremely possible, but enormously satisfying for the Hunter, given that players of the Paladin class have a marked tendency to view themselves as being invincible.
First, keep your distance. Paladins have no base ranged attacks (with the exceptions of Hammer of Wrath, Avenger's Shield, and Holy Shock) so try to use Wing Clip and Concussive Shot to maintain a safe distance. Secondly, Viper Sting is the key to defeating Paladins, and is the main reason why they are more manageable for Hunters than other classes. Although it is true that the Paladin does have a number of awesome abilities, virtually all of these rely on their mana pool. Once the mana pool is empty, the only thing a Paladin has is their melee weapon, which very often won't be anything particularly special, since they have a tendency to lean on their magic.
- Use Viper Sting, but be aware of its limitations. Viper Sting costs a Hunter a great deal of mana. The Paladin can Cleanse the effect instantly for far less mana than the Hunter spent casting the sting. At level 36, Viper Sting costs 135 mana. At level 56, Viper Sting costs 215 mana. Cleanse costs 60. However, if you are a well-equipped Survivalist, after you have cast Viper Sting, switch to Aspect of the Monkey, send the pet, and close to melee range. If you keep a constant barrage of melee attacks focussed on the Paladin, it is likely that he will be so busy initially trying to fend of those that he will be distracted from using Cleanse until it is too late.
- Generally this match is a long, drawn out battle with an edge to the Hunter. If played right, the Paladin will have a very hard time getting in range to do any kind of damage to the Hunter, but the Paladin's survivability is absurd and he'll just keep going and going and going thanks to his heals and shields.
- Aspect of the Cheetah can be used against Paladins if you're good at measuring distance.
- Beware of the paladins many survival spells. With a 6 second stun (the longest in the game, the paladin also has loads of other stuns), a full heal/small mana regen (usable once an hour), and the almighty bubble, a paladin can outlast a good number of enemies before falling.
- Also bear in mind that paladins can use Blessing of Freedom, wich is really annoying for hunters, so when a paladin uses blessing of freedom run away from him as fast as you can, and keep draining his mana. when his mana pool is empty he's (almost: see Lay on Hands) safe to attack. also use arcane shot (rank 6 and higher) to remove his buffs when he uses his blessings.
Shamans are difficult to deal with 1v1 because their abilities cater to this battle. Additionally, the shaman has talents that can make a huge difference in the performance of any of their three roles (caster, melee, or healer) and it's difficult to determine what spec a shaman is until you have been killed by him.
Some things however, are universally true of all shamans:
The first thing you note about a shaman is the lack of crowd control. A shaman cannot incapacitate you at all (minus the short-range Warstomp on a tauren), and one of the two abilities to slow you down has serious issues.
An extremely deadly weapon in the shaman's arsenal where hunters are concerned is the Earthbind Totem; however it only has 5 health, and has a short 10-yard range. It works in a system of pulses, which means that it will affect you slightly after it's dropped (the totem is actually casting the snare, so there is a slight delay), and that it doesn't fade from you when the totem is destroyed (the totem refreshes the snare, but the snare has a short duration of its own). The cooldown on the totem is 15 seconds.
Shocks also have 20-yard range, which is about half of yours.
Knowing this, you can usually keep the shaman at bay. Traps, range, concussive shot, and wing clip, as well as judicious use of your pet are key.
The shaman's greatest weapon is the Lesser Healing Wave it possesses. With a 1.5 second cast time, it's often hard to stop it. It is, however, not entirely impossible to either prevent him from using it (with abilities such as scatter shot, or the 20% improved concussion shot), slow him down (a fast attack pet, auto-shot, multi-shot and arcane shot), or simply outlast his small mana pool. In addition, Elemental/Enhancement shamans have 70% resistance to damage pushback at best, so your pet can be expected to noticeably increase the casting time of this spell.
Viper Sting is a good thing to use. A shaman will most often use a poison cleansing totem, which takes time to pulse, or cleanse poison, which might not remove it on the first application. Either way, you should come ahead in the mana race. Totems are expensive (some are 4-5% of his mana), and if he has to cast them often, you will bleed him dry. Your mail armor will soak up some of the Windfury damage, which means that often, he'll be forced to constantly shock you, in order to get you down before you can.
A marksmanship hunter is definitely something to be feared for any shaman. A 41 yard range is hard to overcome, especially as you can open up with an Aimed Shot, then kite them, and possibly destroy them before they even get into range (at which point, wing clip/frost trap, or Scattershot/freezing trap to reset the range). Hence, as long as you stay beyond 20 yards, about the only thing he'll be able to do is swear at you in frustration.
Facing a hunter, some shamans will equip a shield, and just try to outlast you by healing and nuking away. This is generally a terrible idea, as your pet will often out-damage a one handed equipped shaman in melee, and the shaman's limited mana pool means that he will lose the war very quickly. Your mail armor also means that that little mace or dagger he's wielding does next to nothing, even on a feared "windfury triple-crit", which happens once every 1000 or so attacks.
Weapon-switch macros, however, still figure in a good shaman's arsenal, and he will have Windfury on both a big 2h and a small 1h. He will keep the shield until he gets near you, to decrease damage, then switch back, and hope for a big WF to start whittling down your health. The longer it takes him to get there, and the shorter you can make that last, the better your chances are at winning.
Most of the above information is focused on melee shamans, and it's true, a melee shaman is an easy kill for a hunter. However, an elemental shaman is a force to be reckoned with. Consider the power of a chain lightning crit (around 2k) followed up by an earth shock (1.5k if it crits). This is enough to blast most hunters out of the water, and the damage dealt completely ignores armor. The hunter's single best defense against this is Silencing Shot. As you see his hands sparkle with lightning, hit him with a silencing shot, then pepper him.
Restoration Shamans are very well suited to fighting hunters. Their melee damage capacity is very weak, but their passive healing means that they can focus on doing nothing but closing with you. Since a hunter needs to stand still for maximum damage potential, many hunters attempt to stand their ground and get off a few shots and stings before running. This is often a mistake, because if that Restoration Shaman ever once gets into Frost Shock range, you are not getting away again unless he makes an error. The key in this fight is the Shaman's armor and passive healing. Any Restoration Shaman worth his salt in PvP will be wearing a shield, and Earth Shield and Nature's Guardian provide excellent passive healing. A Resto Shaman with as little as 1200 or so +healing will see his Earth Shield tick for over 700hp, and crit for 1K. This allows the Shaman to concentrate on only getting to melee range and staying there. They will then whittle you down with shocks. Nature's Swiftness also means that they can reach out and daze you at a range of 30 yards if you are using Aspect of the Cheetah to maintain range, allowing them to abuse server latency and the travel time of Concussive Shot (possibly in conjunction with Ghost Wolf) to daze you and get back into snare range. Maintain distance at all costs and be sure to heal your pet if it gets damaged; eventually it and your shots/stings will run him out of mana, since Earth Shield does cost around 900 mana to cast.
Do not fall into the trap that many fellow players put for you, by exaggerating and exalting the abilities of a shaman. With a bit of care, a shaman can be a fairly easy kill, as it really doesn't do much other than auto-attack and shock. If you have good control of your pet to take care of the very few totems that actually matter (which kills the shaman's low mana pool), it really should be no trouble to take one down.
Engineering is especially useful for hunters in taking down shamans. The area effect dynamite and bombs will knock out the shaman's totems, and the bombs have a chance to stun, preventing the shaman from casting for a few seconds. The bomb stun does not cause the target to wander like scatter shot, and the few seconds are long enough to drop an ice trap and step back for a 12 second distance.