PvE Marksmanship Hunter DPS Guide

tbc classic pve marksmanship hunter guide burning crusade classic

Welcome to Warcraft Tavern’s guide for playing a Marksmanship Hunter in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic. During your read, you will learn about what each race offers, which profession is most optimal for you, which gems and enchants to keep your eyes open for, what your rotation would be and what stats to keep in mind when gearing. You’ll also be presented with a list of your Pre-Raid and each Phase’s BiS gearing options. Without further ado, let’s jump into it!

Best Races

There are a total of 7 playable races for Hunters: 3 on the Alliance and 4 on the Horde. We did not include the starting stats in this section since the differences are minute overall. While we have listed what we deem to be the best race from either Faction, it is recommended to play what you like best.


Dwarf: Dwarf Hunters receive a couple of different benefits: Gun Specialization and Stoneform. While Stoneform is not as beneficial to Hunters as it would be to tanks, immunity to certain debuffs and slightly higher damage mitigation from physical attacks through increased armor is always a welcomed addition. Gun Specialization is certainly beneficial as it does increase our critical strike chance when using guns. However, most phases will see a bow (whether bow or crossbow) as our BiS weapon.

Night Elf: Night Elf Hunters receive Shadowmeld and Quickness. Shadowmeld has limited use when it comes to PvE, but it can offer a great tool if you are going AFK, to lower the risk of a mob attacking you. Quickness increases your chance to dodge attacks by 1% – hopefully, in dungeons and raids, this won’t be called upon since we’re all hoping that the tank(s) don’t lose aggro but it’s nice to know in the event that that does happen, we have a higher chance to avoid all forms (magic and physical) of attacks. Combined with Aspect of the Monkey, your dodge chance could be increased by 9%, rather than 8%.

Draenei: Draenei Hunters have two major benefits waiting for them: Gift of the Naaru and Heroic Presence. Heroic Presence is something your entire group can benefit from as it is a party-wide buff that increases hit rating by 1%, effectively reducing the required hit rating from 9% down to 8% for anyone in your group – note that this is not a raid-wide buff, though. Gift of the Naaru is a free heal-over-time with a fairly short cast time.

Best Alliance Race?

Because Shadowmeld must be used outside of combat and it doesn’t see much use outside of PvP (Arenas and Battlegrounds) we wouldn’t put too much value behind it when comparing the races. The decision comes down to Dwarf and Draenei since both do offer significant benefits for Hunters – Gun Specialization, Stoneform and Heroic Presence respectively. Because it’s easy enough to reach and maintain the 9% Hit Rating requirement without Heroic Presence, and the usefulness of Stoneform on some boss fights, Dwarves would be deemed best to play on the Alliance.


Orc: Orc Hunters receive two majorly beneficial racials: Blood Fury and Command. Blood Fury increases your attack power by nearly 300 at level 70 but also reduces healing done to you by 50%. The reduced healing shouldn’t be a determining factor in whether or not to use this, or even to question its value since while in groups, Hunters should stay below the tank’s threat. However, if they were to pass the tank’s threat, they always have Feign Death, Frost Trap or even Misdirection to try and help the tank gain aggro. Command is strictly for our pets, increasing the damage they cause by 5%.

Tauren: Tauren Hunters don’t gain anything exclusively helpful to their class but the Tauren do gain Endurance, increasing their total health by 5%. The Tauren also receive War Stomp, allowing them to stun up 5 mobs within 8 yards, thereby allowing them extra time to retreat, or more time for the tank to pick the affected mobs up.

Trolls: Troll Hunters benefit from Bow Specialization, Beast Slaying, and Berserking. Similar to the idea of Gun Specialization, Bow Specialization increases our critical strike chance when wielding a bow by 1%. Beast Slaying increases our damage done to Beasts by 5%. Berserking increases our attack speed by 10-30% – the actual amount depends on your current health when it’s activated. In most groups, your healer will be able to keep you at or nearly full health, so it’s not uncommon to see the buff on the lower end of the spectrum rather than the full 30% speed increase.

Blood Elves: Similar to the Tauren, Blood Elves don’t receive racials specifically useful to Hunters. As such, we’ll cover their racials without diving deep into them: Arcane Torrent – this allows you to silence all nearby enemies for a short time, which can be helpful in terms of assisting tanks bring casters into range for their abilities. It also grants you mana depending on how many charges of Mana Tap you have currently – up to a maximum of 3. Mana Tap – this ability reduces the target’s mana, which can be useful against caster-type mobs.

Best Horde Race?

Because Marksmanship Hunters don’t rely on their pets to cause damage as much as Beast Mastery Hunters do, Orcs would only really bring Blood Fury to the table, allowing the Trolls’ racials to far exceed their value, and thus, Trolls would be deemed the best Horde race for Hunters, even if they’re not the easiest on the eyes sometimes.

Best Professions

Alchemy: The main appeal for choosing Alchemy is the ability to create your own consumables throughout each Phase, potentially saving you varying amounts of gold as you progress through each phase, raiding and completing heroics. The secondary appeal to choosing Alchemy comes in Phase 5, when we’re able to craft Assassin’s Alchemist Stone.

Blacksmithing: Unfortunately, the only two benefits that Blacksmithing has for Hunters would be the ability to craft several types of keys, allowing them to unlock chests that would otherwise remain locked, or require a Rogue to open. (Yes, I would recommend allowing the Rogue to unlock them if you have one in your group to save your keys) Blacksmithing does provide Hunters the ability to craft certain pieces of armor that may be of use to them such as Twisting Nether Plate Shirt. However, we would be switching this out for our Pre-Raid BiS and BiS gearing choices.

Enchanting: Enchanting provides two benefits to players: the ability to enchant our rings with enchants unique to high-level enchanters such as Enchant Ring – Stats, and the ability to disenchant items that no one needs and sell the materials on the Auction House, or hang on to the materials for when a guild member needs an enchant.

Engineering: Considered one of the more exciting professions, Engineering provides Hunter with the opportunity to craft a high-level helmet, Deathblow X11 Goggles or Surestrike Goggles v2.0 beginning in Phase 2, and upgrade to Quad Deathblow X44 Goggles and Surestrike Goggles v3.0, respectively, in Phase 5. Engineering does allow you to craft your own bullets to use, but you are unable to craft arrows until a later phase. While we wouldn’t be using these, it is possible, however, to trade in your Crafted Thorium Shells for Thorium Headed Arrows in either Ironforge or Orgrimmar.

Jewelcrafting: Jewelcrafting affords players the ability to craft gems usable only by themselves such as Crimson Sun, or Stone of Blades, along with others. The other notable thing with Jewelcrafting is the ability to craft various trinkets such as Figurine – Felsteel Boar in Phase 1 and Figurine – Khorium Boar in Phase 5.

Leatherworking: Leatherworking is invaluable for Hunters since it allows us to craft various high-level pieces of equipment such as the Netherscale Armor Set, and the Primal Intent Armor Set in Phase 1, while we are able to craft Swiftstrike Shoulders, Carapace of Sun and Shadow, among others beginning in Phase 3 and Phase 5, respectively. Leatherworking also affords us the ability to create various versions of Drums of Battle.

Tailoring: Tailoring doesn’t provide anything for Hunters outside the ability to craft your own bags since Leatherworking allows you to craft your own Quivers and Pouches for your ammunition.

Gathering Professions: Because Hunters should be picking Leatherworking, they should pair that with Skinning to maintain their own supply of materials for their Leatherworking profession. Mining would not provide any benefit outside of gold making, just the same as Herbalism.


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