PvP Marksmanship Hunter Rotation, Cooldowns & Abilities

pvp marksmanship hunter wotlk rotation cooldown abilities

Player versus Player requires a bit of a different mindset compared to the PvE content. It necessitates fast thinking, fast reactions, and adaptability to each situation. This guide will go over all of your useful spells and cover how to use them as effectisvely as possible.

Abilities Overview

In the sections below we will go through each ability and explain how to properly use it.

Click a section to expand it!

  • Chimera Shot is the most powerful ability in your entire arsenal, allowing you to deal high physical damage, refresh the duration of any sting ability placed on the target, and also apply a special effect depending on the sting itself. This ability has a lot of uses besides being a high damage ability. You can use this ability to either instantly proc 40% of Serpent’s Sting damage, restore up to 60% of the total mana drained by Viper Sting, or attempt to disarm your target for up to 10 seconds. Sadly, the disarm mechanic can not occur more than once per minute. Chimera Shot is also improved by two amazing talents in our build, namely Concussive Barrage, and Piercing Shots, which together provide a guaranteed daze effect and a bleed effect when landing a critical strike. Overall, you will want to spam this ability as much as possible for its high damage. but you should never forget about its utility as well!
  • Silencing Shot is very strong crowd control, especially ’cause you can cast it 41 yards away from your target! This ability silences your target for up to 3 seconds while also dealing 50% weapon damage. One cool fact about Silencing Shot is that the ability itself is not affected by GCD, meaning that you can use it at the same time together with your other abilities through a macro. However, you will not want to blindly use this macro against casters, such a macro has a better use against melee classes as the bonus damage will be more valuable than a well-placed silence effect.
  • Steady Shot is one of the main abilities associated with Marksmanship Hunter, however, it is very difficult to use in PvP. Steady Shot deals high physical damage to your target, but it has a major catch: the ability requires you to stand still for 2 seconds. When thinking of how movement is involved in PvP, this ability might sound like a really bad idea at first, but you can actually use it proficiently if you know how to position yourself and which targets to use it on (see the following sections for details).
  • Serpent Sting is an ability that places a DoT on your target, dealing nature damage while it ticks. This is the main DoT in your arsenal, and you should make sure that you do not forget to place it on your target! This ability should always be up on your target with the exception of situations where you have to place either Viper Sting or Scorpid Sting on your target. This ability is especially powerful due to the effect it has in conjunction with Chimera Shot.
  • Aimed Shot is a strong ability that allows you to severely impact your target’s sustain abilities, reducing any healing received by up to 50% while also dealing medium-high damage. This ability should always be used on cooldown, as the healing reduction plays a huge role in any PvP combat!
  • Arcane Shot is an ability that deals direct arcane damage to your target. This is another one of the instant cast abilities that you will often find yourself using, whether against casters or melee fighters. This ability is pretty straightforward and has no other special interactions (apart from its critical strike chance being influenced by your talents).
  • Kill Shot is your execute tool: it becomes available once your target reaches 20% health, dealing massive damage! You should always use this spell on cooldown once it becomes available, as it will surely hinder any effort made by your enemy to recuperate.
  • Rapid Fire is an ability that buffs your attack speed by 40% for 15 seconds. You will want to use this ability either at the beginning of a fight or when you plan to burst your target.
  • Viper Sting is an ability that will absolutely demolish any magic caster! It transfers up to 8% of a caster’s mana while rejuvenating the hunter with up to 300% of the amount drained. This ability is absolutely terrifying in large part because it can be spammed every 15 seconds! This ability is extremely strong in battlegrounds and arenas, due to how severely it impacts any healer’s performance when combined with Aimed Shot.
  • Volley is an ability that allows you to deal AoE damage to all the enemies caught in the radius of the ability. This ability is channeled over the duration of 6 seconds and can be spammed at will. You will want to use this ability when you are dealing with a cluster of enemies and you find yourself in the back line with the opportunity to channel it safely.
  • Multi-Shot is an ability that can hit up to 3 targets, making it an amazing addition to your instant cast skills! You can choose to use this ability in both AoE and Single-Target situations. Sadly, you can not use Aimed Shot and Multi-Shot at the same time as they both have the same internal cooldown. Having the Glyph of Aimed Shot will also not remove this effect, even if Aimed Shot has a lower cooldown than Multi-Shot.
  • Explosive Trap is an ability that shares its cooldown with Black Arrow, allowing you to place a trap that deals high fire damage to any enemy caught in its radius over 20 seconds. This ability has situational uses in PvP, being useful when setting up a “trap” for your enemy behind a pillar or any other environmental object.
  • Immolation Trap works precisely like Explosive Trap, however, it only deals damage to a single enemy, with the DoT lasting 15 seconds instead of 20 seconds. Like Explosive Trap, this ability has situational uses in PvP.
  • Mongoose Bite is an ability that deals direct weapon damage to your enemy while being in close proximity. You can only use this ability in the melee range, so you should use this ability for free damage against your foe before attempting to create distance.
  • Raptor Strike is our second ability that deals direct physical damage and requires you to be in melee range of your target! This ability can be used in quick succession with Mongoose Bite before moving away from your target.
  • Scatter Shot is an ability that deals medium damage to your target while also disorienting your target for up to 4 seconds. This ability is a strong crowd control that can be used either offensively or defensively.
  • Deterrence is an extremely powerful ability that allows you to deflect all ranged attacks and spells targeted at you while also giving you the ability to parry any melee attack used against you for 5 seconds. However, this ability prevents you from attacking — your pet can still attack though! Keep in mind to not use this ability recklessly as it grants you nigh invulnerability, making it a very valuable cooldown.
  • Disengage is an ability that allows you to jump backward, gaining considerable distance between you and your target. You can use this ability in a multitude of ways, either alone or in conjunction with a gadget such as Flexweave Underlay. You will primarily want to use this ability to gain distance between you and any melee attacker, but you can use this ability to even create a gap between you and a caster, as long as you make sure that you are still in range while they are not.
  • Feign Death is a very interesting ability in your arsenal — it allows you to basically play dead! However, while this ability has high utility in PvE, it has an entirely different role in PvP. In PvP, you will want to use this ability to effectively force your enemy or even multiple enemies at the same time to drop their target. By doing so, you can cancel any spell that is currently being targeted at you, forcing your enemy to manually target you once more.
  • Trueshot Aura is another of your core abilities, enhancing yourself and all of your allies with 10% increased attack power as long as they are in your vicinity. This ability also allows you to increase the critical strike chance of Aimed Shot if you use Glyph of True Shot Aura!
  • Readiness is one of the gimmick abilities in your arsenal, it allows you to reset the cooldown of all your abilities with the exception of it itself (obviously). This ability can be used at any moment to provide you with an instant second cast of your offensive spells or utility spells. This ability is best used in an offensive manner, as it allows you to quickly cast a large number of instant cast abilities!
  • Freezing Arrow is an interesting ability as it allows you to place a Freezing Trap anywhere in a specific radius. This ability is best used to instantly crowd control a target or to block a path, limiting your opponent’s movement options.
  • Flare allows you to literally place a flare on the ground, which reveals any stealthed target in the area. You will want to use this ability constantly against Druids and Rogues to limit their movement range!
  • Concussive Shot is an ability that reduces your target’s movement speed by up to 50% for 4 seconds. This ability can be extremely useful against targets that do not possess a gap-close. Alternatively, you can keep this ability as a countermeasure for after a gap-close is used on you.
  • Hunter’s Mark is an ability that allows you to increase any ranged damage done to a specific target by a considerable amount. The target that is afflicted by this debuff will also be visible, even if they become invisible or stealthed! This is the trademark ability of a Marksmanship Hunter.
  • Frost Trap is an ability that allows you to freeze a large area, slowing any enemy’s movement speed by up to 50% while they are in the area. You should always use this ability against melee assailants if Wing Clip is not available!
  • Freezing Trap is an ability that allows you to entomb an enemy in a block of ice for a limited duration, preventing them from performing any action for 9 seconds! This ability can be used both manually, by placing a trap at your feet, or through the use of Freezing Arrow. Keep in mind that you can not use both Freezing Trap and Freezing Arrow at the same time as they share the same cooldown.
  • Snake Trap is an ability that allows you to place a trap that unleashes a large number of snakes on any unlucky enemy that step on it. This trap will deal moderate damage to anyone caught in the snake’s reach. You should use this trap in combination with Frost Trap as it can provide solid damage and slow!
  • Wing Clip is an instant cast ability that reduces a target’s movement speed by up to 50% for 10 seconds. This ability does not have a cooldown, being affected only by the Global Cooldown. You should use this ability whenever any assailant gets too close to you!
  • Aspect of the Dragonhawk is an ability that allows you to place a permanent buff on yourself that grants you +300 ranged attack power and +18% dodge chance — this is the Hunter aspect you will use most of the time.
  • Aspect of the Viper is an ability that grants you 4% maximum mana regeneration every 3 seconds, while also causing all of your attacks to regenerate your mana; this does come with the penalty of dealing half the damage you would normally do. You will only want to use this aspect when you are about to run out of mana!
  • Aspect of the Pack is an ability that increases your movement speed and that of your allies by up to 30%. However, if you or your allies get struck, they will be dazed for 4 seconds. You can use this aspect in situations in which mounts are not available and you know for sure that you will not be attacked.
  • Scare Beast is an ability that is very useful against other hunters’ pets, druids, and even shamans! You can use this ability on a druid when he is in bear form or cat form and even on shamans when they are in their ghost wolf form to force a fear effect on them.
  • Tranquilizing Shot is a very powerful utility ability that can be used to remove 1 enrage effect and 1 magic effect. There are only a few classes that benefit from enraging effects, those being warriors, druids, hunter pets, and unholy death knights. However, there are a very large number of magic effects in the game, and you can use this ability to dispel them! Even if this ability is not as powerful as a priest’s dispel or a shaman’s purge, you can still make due and remove powerful effects such as Avenging Wrath, Savage Roar, and Innervate!

Strategy & Spell Priority

When it comes to possible strategies and the spell priorities that you will want to employ, we will first take into consideration the fact that every matchup is entirely different and it requires a different approach. Depending on whether you are fighting a caster or a melee physical damage dealer, your approach to combat will drastically change. There is, however, one general tactic that you will want to employ in most PvP situations, and that is kiting your enemy! Since we are quite squishy in melee combat, we want to maintain range at all times and make sure that our enemies do not corner us.

The term “kiting” refers to the action of damaging your enemy while running away from him at the same time. The purpose of this action is to maintain distance at all times while rendering your enemy vulnerable and incapable of taking any actions against you. Kiting allows you to damage your enemy without taking return damage — but only if done properly.

We will now showcase different strategies and spell priorities that you can use depending on what type of encounter you find yourself in.

General Spell Priority

Caster Fights

As a Marksmanship Hunter, you can dominate any spell caster or healer in the expansion. Your total dominance over casters comes from two simple things: the fact that most of your kit is made out of instant cast abilities, and the fact that you simply can simply outrange them and strike first.

Your kit is also filled with a large variety of utility and crowd control spells that allow you to completely outplay any type of caster. Not only that your kit is filled with crowd control abilities but you also have the capacity of dealing extreme amounts of damage in a short period of time. When fighting casters, the most important things to pay attention to are the range difference (between you and your foe) and the environment around you. Few casters in the game have the same range as you have, and knowing how to abuse this is the difference between a swift win and a hard and tedious battle.

When fighting casters, using your environment to its full potential is extremely important. You will have to constantly employ a technique called “LoS”. LoS stands for “Line-of-Sight”, a term used to describe a player using the environment around him (rocks, platforms, walls, and pillars) to constantly get out of sight when another player is trying to cast a spell towards them. By doing this efficiently, you can cancel any spell targeted towards you and rain down hell on any caster with your instant cast abilities!

Your spell priority against casters will look like this:

Kite as much as possible, even while performing the rotation!

Melee Fights

As a Marksmanship Hunter, melee fights are a bit tougher to win, especially if you are not familiar with kiting. A lot of melee classes have access to gap-closing abilities, however, we are fortunate that our spec possesses a large variety of crowd control effects that can be used right after our melee opponent uses their gap-closing abilities.

The most important thing in any fight against a melee class is to successfully keep your distance. You can achieve this by crowd controlling your target, using abilities such as Scatter Shot, Concussive Shot, Wing Clip, Frost Trap, and Freezing Arrow. However, crowd control abilities might not be enough, meaning that you will have to employ abilities such as Disengage to keep your distance, Feign Death to force them to target you again, and Deterrence to survive their attempts to burst you down.

Your main goal is to burst your enemy down as fast as possible while surviving the onslaught they are preparing for you. If a melee combatant manages to come close to you and use their burst, you will most likely die a painful death in a few moments, as Marksmanship Hunters are not very resilient.

Make sure to keep your pet alive, as a melee class will often choose to kill your pet first while LoS-ing you before actually engaging you!

Kite as much as possible, even while performing the rotation!

Your spell priority against casters will look like this:


Your role as a Marksmanship Hunter in battlegrounds is to simply cause terror from afar, eliminating any target that attempts to come close to your allies. You will generally want to do so by maintaining a safe distance and bursting vulnerable targets. You should generally stay with your group and not wander around aimlessly, as you will be an easy target on your own.

Alternatively, you can choose to be aggressive and burst down their caster line while making sure that no dangerous melee opponent makes his way toward you. Since your kit is made in a specific way to harass cloth and leather targets, you should try to select those targets first! Do not attempt to play the role of the lone hunter unless you mastered the ability to kite. Your kit is made in such a way that it allows you to quickly dispatch your enemies, however, you are prone to dying quickly when outnumbered.

You can team up with the caster line in order to burst down dangerous targets, however, keep in mind that you have the longest range and you should use it to its full extent!


As a Marksmanship Hunter, arenas are a lot tougher than the open world and battlegrounds. The main reason for this is the enclosed space you will find yourself in. Arenas can severely limit your kiting option if you are not extremely prepared, thus, every rampart and every pillar is crucial to your success!

As a Marksmanship Hunter, you can choose to pair up with either a strong damage dealer that typically falls under the “Burst-class” archetype, or you can pair up with a strong healer that will cover up for your lack of self-sustain. Your mentality will shift depending on your partner, with double DPS compositions requiring a very aggressive playstyle and Healer & DPS compositions requiring a much more methodical playstyle.

When pairing up with a DPS, your main objective is to burst down your target as fast as possible while crowd controlling their ally. Usually, this tactic is best accomplished when paired up with a class with high burst capabilities that also has some form of healing, essentially a hybrid. If you fail to burst down your target with your combo, you may find yourself in a situation in which the opposite team will simply outlast your efforts and end up killing you.

When pairing up with a Healer, your main objective is to slowly deplete your opponent’s resources, constantly damaging them and wearing them down with your Viper Sting and Aimed Shot. Your main objective is to set up a potential kill and outlast the opponent team. Simply put, trust your healer and make sure to protect him or her with your traps and crowd control abilities while creating an opportunity to finish off an enemy!

You will want to make use of both macros and addons to improve the quality of life of your gameplay, making sure that you keep track of what abilities your enemies have at their disposal and which abilities they have on cooldown. One of the most important aspects of the arena is to maintain calm and collected at all times and make sure that you do not end up panicking and randomly using your abilities!


Macros will help you fight your foes more efficiently; you will want to utilize macros in order to trigger multiple spells at the same time or to improve your overall quality of life.

Cooldown Macro

/cast Rapid Fire
/use [combat] 13
/use [combat] 14
/use [combat] Potion of Speed
/use [combat] 10

Silencing Shot Macro

This macro will help you bind Silencing Shot to all of your abilities, allowing you to use it at the same time you are using the ability you bound it to as it is not affected by GCD. Keep in mind however that you will want to keep Silencing Shot for specific moments against targets such as casters, making this type of macro situational. You can choose to create an entire alternative action bar with abilities that have this macro for fights against melee classes while maintaining your main action bar without these bound abilities.

#showtooltip Chimera Shot
/Cast Chimera Shot
/Cast Silencing Shot

Start Attack Macro

The start attack macro assures you that your character will attack your target with basic attacks, no matter what spell you will utilize. You will genuinely want to make startattack macros for the majority of your spells.

#showtooltip Chimera Shot
/Cast Chimera Shot

Feign Death Macro

You will want this macro to make sure that you cancel any action that you are currently doing in order to perform Feign Death properly

#showtooltip Feign Death
/cast Feign Death

Aspect Change Macro

You will want this macro to quickly switch your aspect. You can customize this macro with any of your aspects!

#showtooltip [stance1] Aspect of the Dragonhawk
/cast [stance2] Aspect of the Dragonhawk
/cast [stance1] Aspect of the Cheetah

Mouseover Macro

You can effectively use any spell in your arsenal with a mouseover macro, it is quite useful when you need to quickly cast a spell without actively switching targets. Fewer buttons to press always makes it easier, right?

#showtooltip Hunter's Mark
/cast [@mouseover,exists] Hunter's Mark

Close Combat Macro

This macro will allow you to use both Mongoose Bite and Raptor Strike at the same time with the use of a single button, as both abilities can be used in fast succession, effectively casting them in almost the same GCD.

#Showtooltip Mongoose Bite
/Cast Mongoose Bite
/Cast Raptor Strike

Pet Macros

Roar of Sacrifice Macro

This macro will help you easily cast Roar of Sacrifice on yourself.

#showtooltip Roar of Sacrifice

/cast [@Player] Roar of Sacrifice

Kill Command Macro

Cast all of your pet’s abilities in one macro, making pet control a small bit easier.

#showtooltip Kill Command
/cast Kill Command
/cast Dash
/cast Rabid
/cast Bite


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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