wotlk classic pve marksmanship hunter best races

In Wrath of the Lich King, players can pick Hunter as a Night Elf, Dwarf or Draenei for the Alliance, or as an Orc, Troll, Tauren or Blood Elf for the Horde.

Your choice of race will be very important as a Horde Hunter, but all 3 of the Alliance races that can be Hunter are more or less equally strong.

Wow Horde Crest Horde

Wow Orc CrestOrc is the strongest race for Horde Marksmanship Hunters, though Troll is relatively close in power and has the edge on a small portion of fights. They both benefit from powerful on-use racials in Blood Fury & Berserking respectively, so they’re even very similar mechanically, although Orc still ends up being more powerful overall.

Often considered the best race for Horde Marksmanship Hunters in PvE, Orcs provide several powerful racial effects that make them extremely strong. It’s only fitting that one of the most famous Hunters in the lore, Rexxar, is an Orc.

  • Blood Fury is an on-use spell that increases your Attack Power and scales with your level. At level 80 it will provide +322 attack power for 15 seconds on a 2-minute cooldown. The fact that this is an on-use ability has big implications for burst phases / stacking your cooldowns.
  • Command is a very powerful racial for Hunters, increasing our pet damage. Our pets won’t be as big a percentage of our damage as it will for our Beast Mastery brothers, but this is a neat little buff to our overall damage nonetheless.
  • Hardiness provides you with resistance to crowd control effects, which is better suited for PvP scenarios but it can also help you during certain PvE encounters.
  • Axe Specialization increases your expertise by 5 when using axes or fist weapons. As Hunters attack with their ranged weapons almost exclusively, this racial is unfortunately almost completely pointless.

Trolls have a close relationship with the land, which makes it very fitting that they’re commonly seen as the 2nd strongest race for Horde Hunters.

  • Berserking is an on-use spell that offers +20% increased attack speed for 10 seconds on a 3-minute cooldown. The fact that this is an on-use ability has big implications for burst phases / stacking your cooldowns.
  • Beast Slaying increases your damage dealt to Beast type enemies by 5%, which is very powerful. Unfortunately, Beasts are far and few between in WotLK, with only Maexxna and the Northrend Beasts coming to mind as Beast raid bosses, meaning this racial is a bit weaker in practice.
  • Bow Specialization and Throwing Specialization increase your critical strike chance with bows & throwing weapons by 1%. A modest boost, but unfortunately, bows are typically not the strongest weapon available to you, so you’ll rarely benefit from this racial.
  • Da Voodoo Shuffle passively reduces the duration of movement slowing & immobilizing effects on you by 15%. Generally a PvP racial, but it can occasionally come in handy in PvE as well.
  • Regeneration increases health regeneration by 10% and allows you to regenerate health during combat at 10% of your normal regeneration rate. This racial is just not very useful to Marksmanship Hunters, as they have no health regeneration effects.

Blood Elves became a fan-favourite race after their introduction in OG TBC. Their racials are pretty underwhelming for Marksmanship Hunters, being just a tiny bit better than Taurens, another terrible Hunter race. However, if we’re being honest, you’re probably playing Blood Elf for the looks rather than the racials anyway, and unfortunately being cute doesn’t increase your DPS.

  • Arcane Torrent is an on-use spell on a 2-minute cooldown that silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds, while also restoring 6% of your total Mana. As a Marksmanship Hunter you won’t really have mana issues, so the silence effect is all you get out of this deal — and while it can occasionally be useful, the 8-yard range requirement means you’ll rarely be in a position to use it anyway.
  • Magic Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Magic spells by 2%. This essentially combines all of the various Resistance-type racials out there, making it surprisingly flexible. Still, its benefit is mostly negligible in PvE, while being alright in PvP.
  • Arcane Affinity increases your initial and maximum Enchanting skill by 15. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides minor convenience.

Taurens are arguably the closest to nature of all the Horde races, making it a huge shame that they’re almost indisputably the weakest race for Horde Hunters in PvE. Their racials are far more suited for tanking or PvP.

  • Endurance increases base health by 5% — meaning your natural health at level 80, without your extra health or stamina from equipment, buffs, etc. This can help you survive slightly better than other Hunter races, but only marginally so.
  • War Stomp gives you an on-use AoE stun with a 2-minute cooldown. While it’s mostly useful in PvP situations, it can also be used to provide a quick crowd control effect to aid your tank or your healer — but generally not too useful.
  • Nature Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%. This is mostly a neglectable racial when it comes to PvE.
  • Cultivation increases your initial Herbalism skill by 15. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides minor convenience.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance

Wow Dwarf CrestDwarf and Wow Draenei CrestDraenei are tied for best Alliance race for Marksmanship Hunters, but Wow Night Elf CrestNight Elf are close enough that you could honestly pick whichever race you like the most. As they have the most base agility out of all the available Alliance classes, Wow Draenei CrestDraenei are the best race for team players, so if your guild is short on Wow Draenei CrestDraenei for the Heroic Presence, don’t hesitate, go space goat.

Dwarf Hunters are iconic, dating back to the first ever World of Warcraft vanilla trailer. It’s no surprise then that they’re debatably the strongest Alliance race for Hunters — though not really by a lot.

  • Gun Specialization increases your critical strike chance with guns by 1%. This is the reason you pick Dwarf. Phase 1 is full of guns so you’ll get a decent benefit out of this racial, though later phases tend to favor other weapons, meaning Dwarves unfortunately fall off.
  • Stoneform is an on-use spell that gives you +10% increased armor for 8 seconds on a 2-minute cooldown. This only helps in a handful of fights.
  • Frost Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Frost spells by 2%. This is mostly a neglectable racial when it comes to PvE.
  • Find Treasure is a fun RP / questing racial, which unfortunately does not benefit you in the slightest in raids.
  • Mace Specialization increases your expertise by 5 when using maces. As Hunters attack with their ranged weapons almost exclusively, this racial is unfortunately almost completely pointless.

Draenei are another great pick for Marksmanship Hunters, and could be argued to be the best race for a Hunter thanks to the amazing Heroic Presence racial. However, let’s be honest here — you’re mostly picking Draenei for the female Draenei crossbow animation, and the racial buff is just a bonus.

  • Heroic Presence increases the chance to hit with spells and physical attacks by 1% for you and all party members within 30 yards. Every single DPS group will want to have at least 1 Draenei for this powerful buff, and Hunters are a great choice for Heroic Presence provider as their other races don’t provide much of a benefit anyway.
  • Gift of the Naaru places a heal-over-time effect on a single target that lasts 15 seconds, with a 3-minute cooldown. This can help save your life occasionally, and may even come in clutch with healing the tank during a high damage period, but it’s generally not a great racial. It’s worth noting that it does scale with gear, however.
  • Shadow Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Shadow spells by 2%. This is mostly a neglectable racial when it comes to PvE.
  • Gemcutting increases your initial Jewelcrafting skill by 5. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides minor convenience.

Night Elves are the archetypical Hunter race — so many people rolled a Night Elf Hunter just so they could be like Legolas. It’s a shame then that they aren’t a particularly great race for Hunters, as their racial effects are mostly useless. Their only real benefit is that they have the highest base Agility stat in the game, having 9 more Agility than Dwarves and 8 more than Draenei — which is sadly nothing to write home about. They’re technically the strongest race for personal DPS in Phase 2 onwards, with Dwarves no longer benefiting from their 1% crit racial, but the difference is so small that you don’t have a reason to roll Night Elf in specific. Only really pick this if your raid doesn’t need more Draenei for the 1% hit racial.

  • Quickness reduces the chance you’ll be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 2%. This does very little for us Hunters, as we typically don’t want to be getting hit by attacks anyway.
  • Nature Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%. This is mostly a neglectable racial when it comes to PvE.
  • Shadowmeld can be used in order to escape combat and become stealthed once every 2 minutes. It will also cause you to drop all threat on every target you’re currently engaged in combat with, but all threat will be restored the moment you leave stealth. This can work as a 2nd Feign Death, that lasts only temporarily. All in all, not very useful.
  • Elusiveness reduces the chance to be detected if you are stealthed. The only way to go stealth as a Hunter is through Shadowmeld, making this nearly pointless, sadly.
  • Wisp Spirit increases your movement speed by 75% while dead. As a Hunter, you can avoid death with Feign Death, so you really, really don’t want to be dead!

 

About the Author

Nevermore

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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