PvE Marksmanship Hunter Rotation, Cooldowns, & Abilities

tbc pve marksmanship hunter rotation, cooldowns, & abilities

Below you will find effective rotations for both Single-Target encounters and AoE pulls along with an explanation for each choice.

Single-Target Rotation

As a Marksmanship Hunter in The Burning Crusade Classic, there are a few things to keep in mind when focusing on what rotation you should be using for Single-Target encounters. We’ll start with your opener:

  1. Apply Hunter’s Mark (If you are the Hunter designated to do so)
  2. Cast Misdirection onto the tank (This is incredibly important since it allows the tank to receive additional threat so they will have less of a chance to lose aggro)
  3. Cast Aimed Shot (If your group is using a pull timer, aim to have the cast finish as the tank is beginning the pull, or by the time the timer hits ‘0’)
  4. Because MANY DPS will not hold back, even in the early seconds of an encounter, you may find benefit from using Distracting Shot while Misdirection is still active on your tank since it is your highest threat-producing ability
  5. If you have a racial that can increase DPS like Blood Fury, or Berserking, use that now, and if not, you can use any on-use-effect trinkets you have equipped
  6. Using Rapid Fire will increase your ranged attack speed

With this opener, we’ve not only set ourselves up for success, but we’ve also given the tank plenty of extra threat, as well, so they should be far enough on the threat table that we can DPS like normal now. There are two rotations that Hunters choose from, depending on their ranged attack speed:

The first rotation is referred to as 1:1 Rotation – this is used when your attack speed is roughly 1.5-2.1:

  1. Auto Shot
  2. Steady Shot
  3. Auto Shot
  4. Steady Shot

*Since Multi-Shot does do more damage per use than Steady Shot, it’s possible to replace one of the Steady Shots every time Multi-Shot is off cooldown. We will also be using Kill Command every time it is off cooldown since it does not trigger the Global Cooldown and it’s only requirement is that we land a critical strike.

The second rotation is referred to as 1:1.5 Rotation, and is most commonly used with weapon speed is between 2.2-2.4 seconds. The idea behind this rotation is to combine 2 Steady Shots with 1 other instant-cast shot for every 2 Auto Shots:

  1. Auto Shot
  2. Steady Shot
  3. Multi-Shot or Arcane Shot
  4. Auto Shot
  5. Steady Shot
  6. Auto Shot

Multi-Target/AoE Rotation

While Hunters don’t have consistent AoE damage like Blizzard or Rain of Fire, we do have some abilities that are well worth mentioning:

While Volley is a pure AoE ability, it is fairly weak and should really only be used on pulls in excess of 7-8 mobs and if Multi-Shot and Explosive Trap are on cooldown.

An important note when using Explosive Trap is that if it activates as soon as you lay it down, your threat leniency is reduced, since you would be within melee range when the damage occurs. Personally, I would recommend waiting a second or two before laying the trap down so your tank(s) has/have sufficient threat to cover your immediate threat burst from Explosive Trap.

Multi-Shot runs on a 6-second cooldown, hitting up to 3 targets. However, with both Barrage and Improved Barrage, its damage is good enough to count on for the AoE rotation.


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Long-time WoW enthusiast who can't say no to a good-old poutine.
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