Hunter PvP Guide [Legion Updates in Progress]

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7.0 Legion Hunter PvP Guide [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Hello everyone! Challenger Qualk here with the fourth installment of my Hunter PvP Guide series, The Legion Hunter PvP Guide. Some of the things in here will be copied from my old guides (what is still relevant) but most of it is going to be newly written. As always, please respond with constructive criticism and let me know if you disagree with anything or I missed anything. I hope this is just as useful to everyone as my last guide was!

Table of Contents:

I. What’s new in 7.0? [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

II. General Rules and Tips [UPDATED FOR LEGION (Marks only)]

III. Talents [UPDATED FOR LEGION(Marks only)]



VI.Enchants and Stat Priority [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]




X.Random Tips and Tricks [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

XI. Works Cited, Helpful Links [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

XII. A Hunter's Guide to Fighting Demon Hunters [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

XIII. Class Specific Strategies [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

XIV. Qualk's RP story
I. What’s New in 7.0? [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

This section is for those of you who just want a rundown of what’s new in Legion.


For Legion Hunters have been almost completely overhauled. Many of our abilities have been changed, moved to other specs, or just plain removed.


Sorry I'm just a tad bit excited for that.

Steady Shot - Removed
Arcane Shot - Now generates 5 focus

[NEW] Marked Shot - High damage shot only usable on targets afflicted with Hunter's Mark

Rapid Fire - Removed
[NEW] Trueshot - Increases ranged haste and causes every arcane shot to apply Hunter's Mark

Deterrence - Removed
[NEW] Aspect of the Turtle - Deflects all attacks and reduces damage taken 3 min CD

Aspect of the Cheetah - Drastically increase run speed and then marginally increase run speed 3 min CD

Explosive Shot - Removed from Survival and now a talent. Slow moving projectile that must be detonated when near the target to deal massive damage.

Black Arrow - Removed from Survival and now a talent. Deals damage over time and summons a spectral beast to taunt the target. CD resets on a kill.

Chimera Shot - Now for BM

Freezing, Explosive Traps - Now survival exclusive

Frost trap - removed

-New ability changes for other classes that you should know


Death Knights:
Icebound Fortitude - Removed
Empower Rune Weapon - Removed
Death Pact - Removed

Wraith Walk [NEW] - Channeled ability that removes all roots/snares and prevents additional applications. DK cannot take action during the channel or it cancels the effect. Watch for this when kiting DK's. They turn a ghosty white color.


Stampeding Roar - Removed
Dash - Now Feral only
Cyclone - Now Resto/Moonkin only
Incapacitating Roar - Now baseline
Druids can now cast Rebirth in Bear form

Ironbark cooldown has been increased to 1.5 minutes and the increased healing to heal over time effects has been removed. However, the level 100 Stonebark talent reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds and adds a 20% increased healing to heal over time effects (essentially returning Ironbark back to its Warlords of Draenor functionality). [courtesy: wowhead]


Deep Freeze - Removed
Invisibility - Now baseline
Blast Wave - Now only has one charge


Fists of Fury - No longer stuns but can now be cast while moving
Touch of Death - Now deals it's damage after 8 seconds, so Monks will use this more often as an opener than an execute.
Effuse - New WW Monk heal - 1.5 sec cast time
Zen Meditation - Removed
Vivify - New MW Monk heal - you'll want to counter shot this


Exorcism - Removed
Hammer of Wrath - Removed
Hammer of Righteousness - Removed
Blessing of Sacrifice - Removed
Divine Protection - Removed
Emancipate - Removed
Blessing of Protection - Target can now physically attack during the effect
Divine Shield - No longer reduces damage dealt
Word of Glory - Now a talent
Holy Paladin's mastery now causes them to heal more based on their proximity to the target.
Holy Power mechanic - removed


Now use a new resource - Insanity - instead of mana
When insanity is maxed Shadowform becomes Voidform and allows new abilities to be used.
II. General Rules and Tips

With the removal of a lot of our abilities in Legion, there are a number of keybinding spots now open to us. I highly recommend you bind 2 different keys for normal counter shot and a counter shot macro that casts it at your focus, in addition to a set focus hotkey, a concussive shot, and concussive shot at focus button, and additional hotkeys to cast roar of sacrifice on each party member. See the macro section for these macros.

Keybind, Keybind, KEYBIND!!! All of your main abilities. If you find that you are running out of keys to bind you can use ESDF instead of WASD (or IJKL instead of OKL: if you’re left handed) for movement, this also makes it easier for your hands to find their place on the keyboard with the indent on the F(or J) key on most keyboards. Keybinding your abilities allows you to use them faster and frees up your mouse so that you can use it to turn your character and view much quicker and more dynamically than by turning your character via the keyboard. It also makes it much easier for your eyes to be focused on more important things than where your own abilities are on your bars, such as if that warrior just used shield wall, or if there’s a healer who joins the fight. If you’re busy clicking on your abilities you may not see this crucial information quick enough. However, I’m sure there are many fantastic players who click their abilities, I’m not saying that if you click your abilities you’re a bad player. I just personally believe it’s the best way to play in pvp, if you’re more comfortable clicking your abilities then go for it, but I implore you to at least try keybinding. If you have difficulty getting used to a lot of new keybinds try binding a couple abilities and playing for a few days with them and then every day add a few more and get used to them until eventually your whole repertoire is bound. Feel free to use your own keybinds obviously but these are the keybinds I use just to give you an idea of how many abilities you should have bound.

W - run forward
Q - strafe left
E - strafe right
D - Bullheaded (Intimidation if BM and ferocity pet)
C - Bursting Shot / Scatter Shot
F - aspect of the cheetah
X - disengage
Z - mount
V – Exhilaration / Healthstone
T - Bandage
1 - Arcane Shot/ Sidewinders
2 – Barrage
shift+2 - Marked Shot
3 - Concussive shot
4 - Binding Shot
5 - Explosive Shot
shift+W - set focus / clear focus
shift+A - multi-shot
shift+S - flare
shift+Q - aimed shot
shift+E - counter shot
shift+R - feign death
shift+C - counter shot [@focus]
shift+F - Black Arrow
shift+G - roar of sacrifice
shift+X - mend pet / Revive pet
shift+T - pet attack
shift+tab - Aspect of the Turtle
shift+V - Trueshot
R - misdirection
shift+mouse wheel scroll down - pet follow/stop attacking
shift+mouse wheel scroll up - engineering nitro boosts (belt tinker)
left side mouse button - auto run
spacebar - jump
shift+spacebar - PvP Trinket
b. General Mindset and "Rotation"

Note: This is just for Marks right now, BM and Survival coming soon

I put rotation in quotation marks because there isn't really a set rotation in PvP. I'm going to put this here because people ask all the time "What's the best PvP rotation?" It's not a rotation but more of a priority system you should naturally think about during the course of a fight. I'm going to list what you should be thinking about and doing in order of most important to least important. Obviously this changes every second based on the situation but I'll just try to give new players an idea of everything you have to think about as a hunter in PvP.

TLDR General Priority:
1: Conc Shot
2: Black Arrow
3: Barrage
4: Arcane Shot / Sidewinders
5: Marked Shot
6: Aimed Shot (if you can afford to stand still)

TLDR Maximum Burst:
1: Trueshot
2: Sidewinders
3: Marked Shot
4: Sidewinders
5: Marked Shot
6: Barrage

1. Positioning

This is the most important thing you should be concerned with at all times in PvP, no matter if you're in a BG, an arena, or a duel, where your character is on the battlefield should always be on your mind. Correct positioning will save your life or help your team net a kill. Poor positioning can cost your life. Pay attention to your entire team's health levels and communicate with your team whenever possible about positioning changes you'll be making. Know what to do, for instance is your healer CCed with you at 50% health? It might be a good idea in that situation to disengage behind a pillar instead of trying to do some extra damage. If you're reading this going "oh man, I never think about that I just mash Bestial Wrath and hope for a kill" that's okay, you'll probably still win (jk jk lol...well not really) but you should start to pay attention to positioning, even if you start to forget about other things just get yourself to do this naturally and everything else will fall into place. Note: This also includes your pet's positioning. Know when you send your pet in, when to call him back, etc. You obviously don't want to pop Bestial Wrath if your pet is not in line of sight of your target. Always pay attention to where your pet is.

2. Interrupt and CC the Healer

Locking down healers is the second most important thing. It doesn't matter if you're doing a bazillion dps because his healer is probably healing a bazillion and one hps. A well timed counter shot can be WAY better for your team than an extra bit of damage. Pay attention to what's going on around you. If you see someone's health bar shoot up, immediately scan the battlefield to find the healer and do something to make his life miserable.

3. Think about your Cooldowns

Bestial Wrath, Trueshot, Bursting Shot, Aspect of the Turtle, Aspect of the Cheetah. Should you use it? Should you wait? Decide and communicate with your team.

4. Concussive Shot

Think about concussive shot. It's a very strong ability and it should always be in the back of your mind when to use it and on whom. Most of the time you will just use it on the dps target, but sometimes you might need to use it as a peel or to set up a swap.
III. Talents


TLDR Version:

PvP Talents:

Level 15:

My Choice: Careful Aim

Lone Wolf is great if you want to be a glass cannon and do as much damage as possible, but in my opinion you lose way too much utility by missing out on Roar of Sacrifice. Careful Aim is the natural selection here because it allows you to keep your pet and increases your initial burst. Focus is not a problem right now so Steady Focus is not necessary.

Level 30

My Choice: Black Arrow

Black Arrow is a fairly straightforward choice here. It gives you the most consistent DPS increase out of the 3 options. Lock and Load is too random, and you'll never be standing still long enough to benefit much from True Aim.

Level 45

My Choice: Posthaste

The other talents in this tier just simply do not compare to the amount of raw utility and kiting potential that you get from Posthaste. Farstrider is too random, and Dash is just awful. There is no choice here.

Level 60

My Choice: Patient Sniper

While Explosive Shot is fun, and does a ton of damage, Patient Sniper is the more practical choice here. Explosive Shot is extremely hard to hit a good player with because you need to detonate it when the enemy is nearby so it can be dodged. You can always Bursting Shot into Explosive Shot but then you waste valuable time aiming when you need to be getting some distance. Also Explosive Shot doesn't follow terrain, so if you launch it from the top of a hill it'll just sail straight over everyone's head. And you'll rarely have an opportunity to take full advantage of Sentinel. As for Patient Sniper, the main thing here is that it reduces the ramp up time required for stacking marks on your target, thereby allowing you to do significantly more burst. The focus increase is a nice bonus.
Level 75

My Choice: Binding Shot

Binding shot is great for all around PvP, duels, World, Battlegrounds, etc. But specific arena comps may get a better use out of Wyvern Sting or Camo so swap out as needed but pick Binding Shot by default.

Level 90

My Choice: Barrage

This talent does the most damage in this tier. You'll also be able to weave it in more often than aMoC because of the lower cooldown. If you're worried about breaking CC just make sure to position yourself so your back is facing anyone who is in CC. The damage will also come out much faster during Trueshot which makes this slightly better for Marks.

Level 100

My Choice: Sidewinders

This talent is the best in this tier because of the extra consistent damage you get in your rotation. Focus should never be an issue for you so don't worry about not being able to spam Arcane Shot anymore. If you're worried about breaking CC use the same positioning you would for Barrage and you'll be fine. Trick Shot is awful, you really shouldn't be getting off enough Aimed Shots for this to be worth it. Piercing shot could be an option for you in certain situations but Sidewinders gives you better sustained DPS.

IV. Pets

With MoP, hunters can now make any pet ferocity, cunning, or tenacity, so this removes the restriction on a lot of pets not being usable in PvP which is nice both cosmetically (I've been wanting to use my lava turtle in pvp for a while) as well as for practical reasons like what abilities the pets have. I'll go over the pros and cons of each pet spec.

Ferocity - This is the best pure dps pet spec. Do not pick Ferocity for your pet unless you are BM.

Tenacity - This is the tanking/soloing pet tree. This does not have any use in PvP.

Cunning - This is the utility/PvP pet tree and has some excellent PvP pet abilities. Roar of Sacrifice and Bullheaded are very nice abilities for your pet to have. As BM you're going to want to have a ferocity pet so you can do as much damage as possible with your pet, espeically if you're going to take the Adaptation talent, which gives you access to roar of sacrifice even if you have a ferocity pet. As Marks or Survival you should always have a cunning pet.

New Legion Pets:

[Note: Mechanicals can only be tamed by Goblin and Gnome hunters initially. Other races must first craft or use a Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix (this can be crafted by engineers in Legion)]



Recommended Pet Spec:

BM - I'd recommend a Ferocity pet no matter what kind of pet you have to maximize the damage and it gives you a free rez with Heart of the Phoenix in case your pet dies.

Marks and Survival - Use a cunning pet no matter what kind you have, roar of sacrifice and bullheaded are just too good to pass up.

Recommended Pets:

For arenas you're going to want to bring whatever pet buff your team doesnt have, or the mortal wounds (healing taken reduction) debuff. Multistrike, crit, mastery, etc. Now that Warlords has removed pet crowd control abilities you have much more freedom over which pet you bring to a PvP encounter, not to mention that you can make any pet any spec.

Make sure that you have the optimal buff for your spec if it's not already covered by your group. Multistrike for Survival, Mastery for BM, and Critical Strike for Marksmanship.
V. Gearing Up





Skirmishes are back! Now you can once again queue as a solo player (or grouped) for a 2v2 or 3v3 match. If you win you also get a small amount of honor. Skirmishes are an excellent way to try out a new spec, new talents, or a new 3v3 comp in a risk free environment and I highly recommend them if you're just getting used to arenas.

Note: After an arena skirmish ends you have an additional option to queue for the next one with the same partner you just had. So if you guys just did really well you can click that button and it will give your partner a chance to agree, which could lead to a lot of wins and honor or even a new friendship!
VI. Gems


VII. Enchants

VIII. Macros

My Macros:

Concussive Shot on Focus target

#showtooltip Concussive Shot
/cast [@focus]Concussive Shot

Counter Shot on Focus target

#showtooltip Counter Shot
/cast [@focus] Counter Shot

Roar of Sacrifice

#showtooltip Roar of Sacrifice
/cast [target=target] Roar of Sacrifice
/cast [target=targettarget] Roar of Sacrifice
/cast [target=player] Roar of Sacrifice

Note: This will cast roar of sacrifice on your target, if friendly. If you're targetting a hostile target, it will cast roar of sacrifice on your target's target. If your target is targetting an enemy, it will cast it on yourself.

Roar of Sacrifice on a party member

#showtooltip Roar of Sacrifice
/cast [@<insert party member's name here>] Roar of Sacrifice

Eagle Eye

#showtooltip Eagle Eye
/use !Eagle Eye

This lets you eagle eye when you're in eagle eye, allowing you to eagle eye hop endlessly. Pretty fun.

IX. Arenas

"Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt."
-Sun Tzu

6.0 Update: Blizzard has finally brought back arena skirmishes! I 100% approve of this re-addition. Skirmishes are a really fun way to try out new specs or gem choices or just practice arena in general without the pressure of rating. Skirmishes now also grant you a small amount of honor on a victory, and you can do 2v2 or 3v3 skirmishes.

5.0 Update: You can now see the class and spec of your opponents in the preparation phase before the arena match begins! You can also switch out your glyphs and talents before the match starts. This is huge! You can pick wyvern sting if you're up against two rogues etc etc. Pay attention to who you're facing in a match so you can plan your talents and glyphs accordingly.

a. 2v2 Common Compositions and Strategies

The 2200 rating requirement to purchase the best pvp armor and weapons has long since been removed from the 2v2 bracket. It is a widely agreed upon opinion that 2v2 is the least balanced of the three brackets. There are very few ways that a hunter can be successful in 2’s. In my opinion, if you’re going for rating, find another person and do 3’s and you’ll have much more success.

1. Double dps setups
In 2v2 I personally prefer to play with another dps class and attempt to burst down the enemy team, this requires a lot of dps and great cc to pull off. If you’re going double dps, you need to be spot on with your cc and interrupts if you hope to win. Take a look at you and your partner’s cc abilities and communicate when you’re going to use them and on who while coordinating your burst at the same time on the other target.

2. Healer Hunter setups
If you’re running with a healer, you’re going to need a lot of patience because games can be very...very long against other healer teams. Be very patient and keep track of enemy defensive cooldowns to find an opening to coordinate cc with your healer and get a kill.

b. 3v3 Common Compositions and Strategies

3v3 is in my opinion, the most balanced and fun bracket in arenas today. Matches will rarely last a long time and are extremely fast and exciting to play in, hunters can also find some really good comps to play in. And don’t ask me why every team has cleave at the end...(I think that means it has 2 physical dps classes...) For a full list of silly comp names, see this post on AJ by Zergrushkeke.

1. KFC
KFC (Kung-Fu Cleave) is the name for the comp with a hunter, an arms warrior, and a healer. This is a great comp because if you or your healer get focused the warrior has excellent peels for you, if the warrior gets focused he has really good defensive cooldowns to use, and both you and the warrior together provide excellent burst damage.

2. Jungle Cleave
Jungle Cleave consists of a marks hunter, a feral druid, and a healer. I’ve been running this lately with a holy paladin and it is a very strong comp. If we can string together a couple cyclones, hammer of justice, scatter, trap, and silence on their healer while coordinating our burst on one of the dps we get a lot of very fast kills, sometimes even before they have a chance to use their defensive cooldowns.

3. Beast Cleave
Beast cleave is a BM hunter, enhance shaman, and a holy paladin. This, in my opinion, is an inferior comp to KFC because a shaman has much less utility than a warrior in this situation and your cc is going to be fairly weak here. However, it can still work if you coordinate your dps well.

4. Thug Cleave
This is a hunter, rogue and healer. Similar to jungle cleave, instead of cyclones you’ll have blind and sap for cc as well as significantly more stun capability. I achieved my Challenger title last season with this comp, peaking our rating around 1950.

5. African Turtle Cleave
This is a very interesting comp consisting of a hunter, protection warrior, and a holy paladin. Obviously the goal with this comp is going to be relying on the warrior’s ridiculous amounts of stun and control options and all of you being incredibly hard to kill.

6. PHD (Paladin Hunter DK)
This is pretty much a KFC variant with a DK instead of a warrior. This is a great comp to counter caster teams as the DK is very hard for casters to take down, as shown at Blizzcon 2011 with a korean PHD team winning it all! Your CC chain should look something like silencing shot, monkey blind, freezing trap, scatter shot, healer’s cc, strangulate, hungering cold or ghoul gnaw (depending on dk’s spec).

7. HLD (Hunter Warlock Druid)
This is a good comp because your cc’s are all on different DR tables, so you can get a full scatter trap, silence, fearx2, cyclonex2 chain on the enemy healer.

8. RHR (Ret Paladin Hunter Rogue) (also called Scooby Doo Cleave because of how you sound when saying "Ret Rogue" outloud.)

This is an amazing comp right now because of incredible amounts of burst damage combined with instant CC from each member of the team.

c. 5v5 Common Compositions and Strategies

5v5 setups can vary drastically, but there are generally three basic kinds.

1. 4 dps 1 healer
This comp is obviously going to rely on extremely fast burst initially to down a target early in the match. However, having only one healer severely limits the groups survivability, meaning the longer the match goes on without your team getting a kill the higher your chances of losing. If you’re in this kind of a comp you’re going to want to burn your cooldowns early and often and be aggressive with your silencing shots and traps on their healers. If you have someone who can stun or root make sure you tell them to try and stun or root the dps target in your line of sight and preferably far enough away from a pillar so they can’t quickly line of sight you, or alternatively you can just use a crab or spider root yourself.

2. 3 dps 2 healer
This comp is probably the most common in 5v5 teams as it is the most balanced between burst and survivability. Consider saving your cooldowns for after the opposing healers use their defensive cooldowns because you will have much less burst in this comp than with 4 dps and you will also be able to survive much longer with 2 healers.

3. 2 dps 3 healer
This comp is fairly rare, but occasionally you’ll find it being run. I have never actually played in a 5v5 team with 3 healers but I can imagine that bursting someone down in a 5v5 with just 2 dps would be exceedingly difficult, especially as a hunter. However, this comp will most likely be able to counter 4 dps 1 healer comps very well due to their extremely high survivability.

d. Blade’s Edge Arena

Blade’s Edge is one of the more complex arenas, with an upper area and a lower area, multiple ramps and many different line of sight options. I find that I have more success here when we keep the fight on the bridge as much as possible because there are less line of sight options than down below. The shadow sight buffs appear on top of the two pillars next to the bridge.

e. Nagrand Arena

This is one of the simpler arenas. It is flat with four pillars in each corner. Always try to dps near one of the pillars so that you can quickly slip behind it to dodge unfriendly casts while being careful not to LOS your healer. The shadowsight spawns at the east and west ends of the arena (the ends where the teams don’t start).

f. Dalaran Sewers

Ugh. Dalaran Sewers. This is hands down the worst arena for hunters. The boxes on the top level are way too close to the edge and this makes it so players can simply run around the boxes and sit back there, giving us about 3-6 yards to shoot them and if you jump down to the lower level they can just run back around the boxes again. Water will also randomly fall in the middle of the platform creating a LOS obstacle that is able to be moved through. If at all possible I try to keep the fight on the lower level of this arena. The shadowsight spawns on the lower level in the corners.

g. Ruins of Lordaeron

This probably wins the award for simplest arena, having just one single pillar in the center that is able to be run over. There’s also a couple small pillars on one side. As a hunter try to keep your opponents away from the pillar in the middle and in the open as much as possible. The shadowsight spawns at 10 o’clock and 4 o’clock next to the wall if you’re looking at the arena like it’s a clock.

h. Ring of Valor

This has been significantly changed since its initial inception during wrath of the lich king. Now instead of both teams being risen up on platforms at the middle of the arena both teams start at either end. The fire that spawned occasionally has also been removed. There are four pillars, but only two of them will be up at any one time. The pillars alternate raising and lowering with the ones across from eachother always doing the same thing. I strongly discourage going on the pillar to be raised up because this will usually cause your pet to bug and not attack anything or be able to use any abilities. Also, if an opponent does this, your pet will not be able to attack him, so be aware of this if you get this arena. I recommend trying to keep your opponents in the middle of the arena here. The shadowsight spawns behind the two pillars on the east and west side near the walls.

i. Tol'viron Arena

This is the new arena added in MoP. It's basically Nagrand arena except there's only three pillars, one on one side and two on the other. The shadowsight buff spawns near the walls on each side. An interesting note about this map, the pillars are square at the bottom, not round. It's also larger than Nagrand.
j. Positioning

Positioning is very important in arenas and is usually what separates a 2200 team from a team that hovers around 1850. Knowing when to hide behind pillars, when to bait opponents to chase you behind pillars, and when to chase opponents behind pillars is a skill that really only comes with a ton of practice and communication with your teammates. Pillars can be used both offensively and defensively. For example, if your healer gets hit with a full duration cc and has no way out you can stall your opponent’s dps by kiting them around the pillar until your healer is out of his cc, or if you see an opponent burn a high dps cooldown you can stall it out by LOS-ing around a pillar with your healer. You can also root or stun an opponent behind a pillar with his healer on the other side in order to get a kill. You can quickly step behind an obstacle if you see an enemy casting something at you in order to interrupt it. Hunters can also dance in and out of line of sight while casting steady or cobra shot. Just start casting, then while it’s casting step behind the pillar and then back out from behind the pillar just as the cast is finishing. Also be careful that you don’t use pillars against yourself, as in recklessly chasing a low health enemy behind a pillar causing you to LOS your healer and get killed. You can read as much as you want about positioning and pillars but the best way to get better is to just do it. Practice, practice, practice, until you just do it without thinking about it, but start now if you haven’t yet, start thinking about these things so eventually they’re second nature.

k. Diminishing Returns

Diminishing returns are very important in arenas, knowing when you can get a full cc on your enemies is extremely helpful. Different categories of abilities are on the same diminishing returns, so its helpful when choosing what classes to play with to know what abilities are on what diminishing return tables. If an ability from the same diminishing returns school is used on an enemy within 18 seconds it will have half the effectiveness, decreasing more with each additional application of the cc. For example, an 8 second fear would instead be a 4 second fear, and then a 2 second fear, a 1 second fear, and then that character will be immune to fear for approximately 18 seconds.

[6.0 UPDATE] In Warlords of Draenor, many diminishing returns categories have been merged in addition to a lot of classes having their CC abilities removed or added cast times.

After about 18 seconds elapse with a player not receiving any forms of cc from that diminishing returns school they will reset and be able to be hit with a full duration cc from that school.

l. Crowd Control

Gone are the days when arenas revolved around which healer ran out of mana first, now cc rules, and kills are obtained with perfect cc chains. In order to understand how cc works in arenas you must understand how diminishing returns work in pvp (see above). Crowd control is the act of using stuns, interrupts, fears, or disorients to stop a healer from healing or a dps from dpsing for a certain amount of time. If you’re cc-ing a healer, you’re going to want the least amount of time in between cc abilities so that the healer doesn’t have time to cast any heals. You’re also not going to want to stack your cc abilities, for example using cyclone and trap at the same time, because it will make one of them ineffective. Communicate with your teammates what cc ability is going to be used next and when. Gladius is an addon that helps immensely with this as it shows what cc is on what target, and how much time is left on it. Also be communicating with your team what level of diminishing returns your cc is on and what cc is on you, for example instead of saying “I’m feared”, say “I’m in a full fear”, or “I’m in an 8 second fear”, or “I’m in a 4 second fear” if that’s the case, this way your partners know about how long you’ll be out of the fight. If you need to burn scatter shot on something besides using it to set up a freeze trap you can have your partners set up your trap for you via a stun or root so that way your trap is more likely to hit.
m. Focus

Focus is the the idea of setting a target as your focus. This makes it so you can use /target focus macros for your abilities which can make it much easier to cc one target while dpsing another without having to switch targets. If you have gladius, the default option is you right click the enemy player’s name to set him as your focus. You can also make a /set focus macro. I have recently started using this method and I have to say has improved my CC tremendously and I highly recommend trying it out.

n. Picking Targets

"The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset and prompt in his decision."
-Sun Tzu

Picking which target to cc and which target to dps depends largely on what comp you’re running and what your partners are capable of. For example, if I’m doing 2’s with an afflict lock, we will rarely try to burst a death knight, because they can strip all his dots with anti-magic shell and become immune to fear. However, if I’m with someone like a feral druid, we may elect to try to blow up the death knight. When picking dps and cc targets at the start of a match you need to consider these things...

1. Gear level
This is the most important thing when determining who you should be killing. No matter what class it is, a low health target will die much faster than a high health target. The quickest way for me to tell this is their health totals. You can also sometimes quickly tell just by looking at the character portrait. If all of your opponents’ gear levels are the same then move on to #2.

2. Class
This is the second most important factor in determining who you should kill and who you should cc. Think carefully about what defensive cooldowns each class you’re facing has and if you’ll be able to get around them somehow. For example, unless I’m running with a priest with mass dispel I rarely select a mage or paladin as a dps target because ice block and divine shield are such good defensive cooldowns. You’ll also need to consider what a class is capable of if you leave them alone (in 3’s this is very important because usually one person from each team will be free because one person from each team will be focused and one person cc-ed). So you also need to consider if you’d rather leave that warlock or hunter alone to dps and cc you. Once you consider this move on to #3.

3. Your Team’s Comp
This is equally as important as #2 in determining your target selection. For example, if your healer happens to be a disc priest, you may very well select a ret paladin as the dps target because your priest can cast mass dispel to get rid of his most powerful defensive cooldown. Or if you’re running with a class that has a lot of ways to interrupt casts like a rogue you could elect to kill the warlock or priest. Be aware of what abilities each class has, not just your own. Also, some comps can be very successful split dpsing. This is where you dps two targets simultaneously, hopefully causing the healer to have to choose who to heal initially, thereby creating a hole where you can swap your dps to the target that didn’t receive a heal first while cc-ing the healer.

After deciding what targets you’re going to cc and dps and you rush into battle one of three things will happen.

1. Your plan works perfectly and you get your cc off and coordinate your burst and get a kill and high five and walk off with your conquest points.

2. Your plan doesn’t work and you get counter cc-ed, out-healed or out-dpsed and you lose.

3. Neither team’s plan works and the fight goes on longer than one or even two full rounds of cc.

If number 1 happens, great.
If number 2 happens, see part s of this section, “What to do when you lose”.
If number 3 happens, now you need to make a decision. Will you continue with your plan even though it seems to not be working, or will you swap targets?

o. Swapping Targets

Swapping targets can be an extremely effective technique, but requires extra coordination and being able to quickly and accurately assess many different factors during the heat of a match. You need to consider...

1. What cooldowns have been used by your team and the enemy team

2. What opponents have dots on them currently and how long do those dots have left

3. How are the levels of you and your teammates power bars (energy, rage, focus, or mana)

4. Where are your teammates and where are the opponents

It is common practice to try to force a defensive cooldown from the healer and then swap to that healer so that he doesn’t have it to use on himself (think pain suppression or nature’s swiftness), but the timing of the swap is very important. For example, you’re not going to want to call a swap if you have less than 20 focus or if your mage partner is about to blink behind a pillar and evocate because you will not have a lot of burst for the swap. Giving a 5 second warning is a good idea here as it gives you and your teammates time to pool energy, rage, focus, or regen some mana before switching dps to another target.

p. Communication

This is probably the single most important aspect to a team’s success. Communication encompasses all of the above techniques because you need to make your teammates aware of what’s going on whenever you can. Whether letting them know if you’re cc-ed or if you’re going to cc someone or if you’re chasing someone behind a pillar, if your teammates aren’t aware of something important you’re doing, you’re not communicating well enough. Use Ventrilo, Mumble, Teamspeak, or even the built in WoW voice chat because typing during a match is simply not quick enough. If your partners don’t know your voice, talk in 3rd person, for example, “Qualk’s in a full blind” if you are Qualk. Also as mentioned above, tell your teammates what level of diminishing returns your cc is on. You should also be calling out enemy cooldowns when you see them. Note: Gladius keeps track of enemy pvp trinket / every man for himself cooldowns, so you can always take a quick glance at this to see if an opponent will have a quick way out of one of your cc’s.

Here is a link to a GREAT article about communication and arenas in general posted on AJ:
q. The Art of Peeling

Peeling is the term for getting someone (usually a melee dps) off of someone else via a cc or slow of some kind. If a class has good “peels” that means they have a variety of ways on short cooldowns to protect their teammates. As a hunter we have a number of good peels.

Concussive Shot - 5 second cooldown, lasts 6 seconds. This is our go-to peel move here, as it is a great slow that can be used from range, however, if the teammate you are peeling for is also slowed (very likely) you’ll need to stack this peel with another one to help them get away successfully.

Wyvern Sting - 45 second cooldown. This can be a good peel if there’s no dots on the opponent you’re peeling.

Roar of Sacrifice - 1 minute cooldown. This isn’t technically a peel, but I like to think of it as one because it will significantly reduce incoming damage on one of your teammates for 12 seconds, extremely useful if your other peels are on cooldown.

So as you can see, we have quite a few peels we can use to help our teammates (or ourselves). The trick is knowing what to use in what situation and that really only comes with lots and lots of experience and practice. Just practice peeling for people every chance you get, you need to be fast and accurate if your teammates call for a peel, because if you’re even a second too late it could cause you to lose the match. Communication is key here, listening for if your teammate is calling for a peel and being able to quickly find out where he is and what peels you have available. Also call out for peels yourself if your opponents are on you, as it can be very hard to dps and cc when there’s a warrior and a rogue on you.

r. What to do when you win

Winning is great, it feels good, especially when you know you just beat a really good team, or my personal favorite, when you beat a team that recently beat you. However, don’t let these emotions get the best of you and cause you to do something stupid. I consider it bad sportsmanship to emote spam people as they’re dying, all it does is make you look like an idiot. Winning with dignity is important, especially for your teammates to see. Because if you can win with dignity, you’ll most likely be able to lose with dignity as well. Nobody likes to play with someone who’s constantly bragging about themselves and building them-self up when they win and doing nothing but making excuses when they lose. However, don’t be afraid to point out something awesome that you did last match, I enjoy hearing if my partner got a cyclone off 0.1 seconds before the healer got that heal off, as long as he doesn’t point something out every single time. One of the most important things you can do when you win is to compliment your teammates. If you noticed something they did last match that was awesome, mention it! People like to know that their skill is appreciated, and if you start doing it to your teammates they’ll likely start doing it to you as well, which creates a positive playing atmosphere. This is important because there will always come a time where your team hits a wall and goes on a losing streak. If you have this positive history then your team will be much more likely to stick it out and not just bail when things turn sour. Note: This can also apply to PvE situations (and real life!).

s. What to do when you lose

Losing sucks, but it happens to every single team out there. What separates the good teams from the great teams is how they handle the big L. The most important thing to do is to look back at your loss and assess what could’ve caused your team to lose. Was it RNG? Did someone’s cc get resisted or miss? Was it positioning? Counter comp? Gear? A bad target selection? Lag? Someone’s cat caught on fire? Once you figure out the reason(s) why you lost, you can figure out how to correct it for next time.

Make sure you always learn something from a loss. Even if what you learn is simply what caused you to lose the last match, it will go a long way towards helping you win your next one. Don’t blame your teammates either, even if it was a mistake they made that caused your team to lose, just suggest what they can do better next time. This goes the other way too, if you made a mistake that caused your team to lose, be willing to accept that you made a mistake and don’t make an excuse, even point out that you made a mistake so your team knows that you know and know what to do to correct it next time. Note: This can also apply to PvE situations.
X. Addons

Note: Some of these might be outdated. For best results, use only addons that support patch 7.0

X-Perl Unit Frames - highly recommend these unit frames, shows my debuffs much bigger on enemies than other debuffs which makes it easy to see when my snares are about to expire so I can refresh them.

Gladius - invaluable arena addon, shows enemy team members as well as an icon next to their name with the time remaining if they’re in any sort of CC or defensive cooldown. It also shows and keeps track of Diminishing returns. extremely helpful addon.

Titan Panel - helpful addon, not necessarily pvp related, but it helps me keep track of a lot of important information and puts it all neatly at the top of my screen.

Recount - pve addon, shows dps. it also provides detailed information like the percentage of damage that each of your different shots does. not very useful for pvp though.

Dominos - this addon gets rid of the gryphons on the sides of your action bars and makes all your action bars much more flexible. highly recommended for pvp, helps reduce screen clutter for me because I can make the buttons as small as I want and put them wherever I want.

Deadly Boss Mods PvP - This is a good battleground addon, it displays timers for when bases will be taken and in capture the flag BG’s shows which team member has the flags and lets you click on their names to target them.

Sexymap - It makes your minimap sexy!

Tidy Plates - Recommended by a lot of pvpers, this is a great addon that tidies up the name plates of enemies.

Power Auras - Great addon, lets you set icons to pop up on screen for important enemy cooldowns (dispersion, ice block, etc)

Quartz - This is a cast bar addon that I really like, it shows a little white bar above the cast bar for your auto attacks.

Pitbull - This is an alternate unit frames addon if you don’t like x-perl.

Bartender - An alternate action bar addon if you don’t like dominos.

Cooldowns (OmniCC, Doom Cooldown Pulse, Cooldown Watch) - OmniCC will show numbers on the icons of your abilities with cooldowns and also works with a number of other action bar addons.

Doom Cooldown Pulse flashes the icon of your ability when it cools down so you know it’s ready to use again.

Cooldown Watch - shows your cooldowns in a customizable window.

Elkano’s Buff Bar - This is a buff bar that makes seeing when buffs are about to expire much easier.

Afflicted - This lets you keep track of enemy cooldowns such as blink, very useful.
XI. Random Tips and Tricks

a. Uses for disengage

Disengage is an extremely useful and versatile ability that can help us in many different situations. First, there is the obvious use of disengage, which is to get to range on your opponent by jumping backwards from him. Note: I always jump and disengage at the same time to get a little extra distance out of my disengage. If there are any hills in the terrain it’s usually a good idea to disengage down the hill because you get much more distance out of your disengage than if you tried to disengage up a hill.

There is another method of disengaging I like to call “Face Disengaging” which goes like this. A melee class is charging you and you’re kiting them in one direction, now instead of disengaging backwards the way you’re already going you do a quick 180 degree jump spin and disengage back towards your enemy’s face. I usually find that this method catches a lot of people off guard and it may give you a few extra seconds to get additional range. You can also use this method to dodge incoming casts by getting behind the caster if you time it right.

You can also use disengage as a speed boost to continue going the way you’re going by jump spin disengaging. I like to call this “Engaging”. This is useful in many instances, like if someone’s trying to run away from you, you can engage to get them back into your range, or if you have the flag in a capture the flag battleground, it can provide a nice speed boost.

If you’re an engineer you can parachute cloak disengage with a macro. Sometimes this can help to get a little extra range out of your disengage.

The marksmanship talent, posthaste, gives you a 30% run speed boost for 4 seconds after disengaging. This effect stacks with other speed increases, such as aspect of the cheetah, so you can use this for a quick 60% sprint if you’re not getting hit.

In Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks, if you have the flag and are on the roof in wsg or the balcony in twin peaks during a flag standoff and your team returns the enemy flag you can do a quick disengage from the balcony/roof to land right on the flag cap spot.

There are areas of certain battlegrounds that are very high up in elevation, or have a cliff that drops off. Classes like elemental shaman and balance druids like to use their knock back abilities to push people off the edges here. Some of these places include lumber mill and the road between mine and blacksmith in Arathi Basin, the flag spawn point in Eye of the Storm, the Hangar in Isle of Conquest, towers in Alterac Valley, and the roof in Warsong Gulch. If you’re extremely fast you can spin your character around 180 degrees and use disengage as a momentum reverser to launch yourself back onto the elevated area if you get launched off via thunderstorm or typhoon. If this fails, or disengage is on cooldown, engineers can use their parachute cloak to save themselves from an embarrassing death.

b. When to bandage

First aid is a very important ability that anyone can get, and is usable in arenas. So it is helpful to have a decent supply of the best bandages on hand in case the opportunity for a quick bandage comes up. In arenas you can use pillars plus some help from your teammates getting cc on your opponents to buy you some time for a bandage tick or two, make sure you have no dots on you, obviously.

If you don’t have any dots on your opponent and they are not a pet class you can Bursting Shot / bandage to get some health back, sometimes I even try this if I’m facing a melee class and have them rooted or snared far away.

c. Engineering Escape

Useful in world pvp and non-rated BG’s, this is a great method I like to use that can usually get me out of a tough situation. It’s a macro that casts deterrence, master’s call, and the nitro boost belt tinker. You can optionally use disengage when the nitro boosts are about to run out to get a little extra range. Make sure you call your pet back and then feign death, this should put you out of combat, then you’re free to mount and make your escape.
/cast Aspect of the Turtle
/cast Aspect of the Cheetah
/use <Name of your current belt>

d. Feign Death

Feign Death is another very useful hunter ability. It’s instant, makes us look as if we’ve died, and makes the enemy lose their target on us. So the most obvious way to use this ability is to use it while an enemy is casting a harmful spell at you, making them lose their target, basically using it as an interrupt. Feign Death will also cause player pets to stop attacking you until their masters set them on you again after they’ve re-targetted you. If you time it perfectly in a large scale battle, it may fool opponents into actually thinking you’re dead. Rather funny if it works, but don’t count on it. Also, feigning death within a bush or something makes you a little harder to re-target.

e. Using your pet’s Growl in PvP

Useless, right? Wrong. Your pet’s growl can be extremely useful against shaman. Grounding totem will absorb one harmful magical effect that would’ve been cast on the shaman (or reflect if glyphed). What this means for you is that if the shaman has a grounding totem down and you go to trap him the grounding totem will eat the trap for him and you will not trap him. If you see a shaman with the grounding totem buff, you can use your pet’s growl on him and it will absorb the grounding totem effect, allowing you to trap him (or someone else on your team to get a harmful magic effect through).

f. Aspect of the Turtle

Our main defensive cooldown. Besides the obvious use of reducing incoming damage there are a few other ways we can use it. When we are in Turtle we cannot attack, however, there are still a number of things we CAN do...We can command our pet to use abilities and attack or retreat, disengage, feign death, move, and flare all while in Turtle. So whenever you use Turtle keep this in mind to take as much advantage as you can of it.
XII. Works Cited and Helpful Links

a. Arena Junkies
Tranq shot post by Grillmasterx -

Macros -

3v3 comp name list by Zergrushkeke -

b. Wowhead -
Data and Text on Abilities and Talents - Various Wowhead pages.

c. Curse-Gaming -
Data and Links to addons

d. Wowwiki -
diminishing returns tables -

e. Tentonhammer -
article about diminishing returns -

f. Elitist Jerks -
helpful pve articles

g. Female Dwarf -
hunter dps spreadsheets and calculators

h. Arena Stats -
Hunter Representation Data -

i. Warcraft Realms -
Percentage of WoW players playing hunters -
XIII. A Hunter's Guide to Fighting Demon Hunters

XIV. Class Specific Strategies

"If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
-Sun Tzu

a. Foreword

This section is devoted to 1v1 dueling strategies. Knowing how to handle certain classes is extremely important, whether someone jumps you in a contested area, one of your friends decides to bet money on a duel, or if an arena match ends in a 1v1, it’s very important to know what to do when it’s just you and him.

The recommended talents are just guidelines for what I think the best choices are against the class, but feel free to use different ones if it fits your playstyle better.

I will assume that you are fighting in an open space and both of you are aware of eachother’s presence when the fight begins, your enemy knows what he’s doing, and you’re both level 100 with equal gear levels. I will not be covering healers in this section because it’s usually pretty silly to duel healers as both of you won’t die for a long time and in BGs and world PvP you’re probably going to need someone else’s help to take them down anyways. I will be combining some classes and specs if the strategies are similar. 10 is a very difficult fight and 1 is a very easy fight.

b. Warrior – Difficulty – 7/10

Warriors can be a very tough class to take down. Plate armor combined with excellent gap closers and amazing DPS spells a tough fight for us. However, we have a number of tools to keep these blade-wielding rage-mongers at bay.

As Marks keep concussive shot applied 100% of the time. Make sure to save some form of burst cooldown for when the warrior gets low on health because their Second Wind talent lets them regenerate their maximum health every second while below 35% total health. Make sure you make your DPS count when they’re at range because their gap closers are on shorter cooldowns than our gap openers so they will catch us eventually.

c. Warlock – Difficulty – 9/10

Warlocks have become extremely tanky due to talents like Dark Bargain and Dark Regeneration while still being able to put out substantial burst damage. You will need to either outgear or outplay a warlock to win.

Consider taking a pet with the grievous wounds debuff here. Warlocks have tons of ways to heal themselves, and reducing the healing will help you take them down. You will need to interrupt most of their hard casts if you want to have a chance of killing them, so make sure you know what you can use next: Counter Shot, feign death, Turtle, or using line of sight. Watch for the Dark Bargain buff and don’t attack the warlock while it’s up, it absorbs all damage over 8 seconds and then deals 50% of that damage to the warlock over the next 8 seconds. If you interrupt enough of their casts you will have a pretty good chance to kill them.

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