PvE Marksmanship Hunter DPS Guide

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Only the most elite Rangers have truly mastered the way of the bow or the intricate mechanics of guns, delivering deadly shots with astonishing precision. Such individuals proudly call themselves Marksmen or Sharpshooters, raining down hell on their foes with unfathomable accuracy. Their Mastery of the bow is so impeccable, that they often let loose multiple shots at once, seemingly firing additional shots with each shot they unwind.

This guide will teach you how to play a Marksmanship Hunter in PvE encounters, no matter if they are difficult dungeons or terrifying raids. We will be covering everything from enchants and consumables, to talents, rotations, macros, and addons.

Marksmanship Hunter in Cataclysm

Hunters are one of the few classes that received a complete overhaul when it comes to their resource system! They get to say “goodbye” to Mana and welcome their new Focus resource. Focus is now used in Cataclysm for the majority of their abilities, with most abilities acting as Focus spenders and two abilities acting as Focus generators. Marksmanship Hunters will use Steady Shot as their main Focus generation tool!

Additionally, Hunters no longer require any ammo to fire their weapons, whether we talk about Guns or Bows. This is a huge quality-of-life improvement for Hunters, as they no longer need to clutter their bags with endless stacks of ammo!

In terms of actual gameplay, Marksmanship Hunters have changed considerably when compared to their previous iteration from WotLK Classic. Silencing Shot no longer deals damage while Kill Command is now bound by the GCD, meaning that it can’t be used together with any other ability as a macro. The staple Steady Shot remains your main filler spell, now acting as an even more important tool not only thanks to the Focus generation attribute but also due to the interaction it has with the new Master Marksman and Improved Steady Shot talents.

Aimed Shot was revamped into a long-cast ability while many of the former “Sting” abilities are now gone, with only Serpent Sting remaining. Lastly, Chimera Shot was also revamped, now having improved damage and only acting as a way of refreshing Serpent Sting instead of empowering it.

Marksmanship Hunter Strengths & Weaknesses


  • The New Resource System is Easier to Manage
    Being one of the few classes that received a resource revamp, Hunters now have a way easier time with the new Focus resource system. No longer needing to manage their mana has simplified and enhanced their overall playstyle!
  • Easy Learning Curve
    Marksmanship Hunter is among the easier DPS specializations to learn. Their relatively easy rotation makes the specialization fun and engaging while also making sure that there is close to no downtime.


  • Gear Dependent
    Just like with most specializations in the game, Marksmanship Hunter requires a considerable amount of gear until its true potential can be experienced. As such, the specialization feels underwhelming while having weak equipment.
  • Relatively Mediocre Single-Target/AoE Damage Output
    Marksmanship Hunters have been known to showcase a poorer performance in Cataclysm compared to other DPS specializations. While their damage is not necessarily the worst, their damage output can be considered rather mediocre, falling in line with many other specializations that display a similar weak damage output.

Best Races

Wow Horde CrestHorde

The horde has the better races from a PvE point of view, with most of their racial abilities providing direct damage-enhancing effects. The strongest available race for Marksmanship Hunter is Troll as it has access to Berserking and Bow Specialization, followed by Orc with Blood Fury and Command, and Goblin with Time is Money and Rocket Barrage.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance

The Alliance has stronger PvP racial effects than PvE racials, with most PvE racial effects being represented by passive effects. Worgen is the strongest option due to Viciousness, followed by Dwarf with Gun Specialization, and Draenei with Heroic Presence.


We hope this guide has been able to help you decide if PvE Marksmanship Hunter is the class/spec for you. Make sure to check out our other sections, such as talents, gear, gems, etc, to get more information on how to improve your performance as a Marksmanship Hunter in Cataclysm!


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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