Monday, July 26, 2010

Maximizing MM Hunter DPS Passively

Playing a hunter today is much different that it was in any other expansion. The class use to be more utility (kiting and crowd controling) than most pure dps classes and Blizzard has sought to move away from that. With that said the hunter class today is capable of some serious damage output when put into the correct hands. Today I'm going to talk a bit about the ways you can maximize your Marksman output with automation and instantly reap the benefits.There are roughly 5 ways as a hunter you can passively increase your output. Three of them involve using macro (no, not in that way you silly BC hunter) and 2 involve basic consumables. Let's begin with some basic macro.

The Silent Treatment
 As a Marksman hunter you get unique access to Silencing Shot, found near the very bottom of the tree. There was a time when this talent was solely for PVP purposes but no longer is that the case. For a measly 6% of your base mana you get an instant cast shot that deals 50% weapon damage and silences the target for 3 sec. Non-player victim spell casting is also interrupted for 3 sec. What makes this shot so unique is that it silences AND deals damage. Furthering it's rise to MM fame is it's ability to be cast off the global cool down. What does this mean for us? That means we are going to macro this shot in with another ability to guarantee it's used each and every time it's available. Because it's macro'd in with another shot it will not require us to mentally think about including it within the priority or take the time to click / key-bind it. I personally macro this in with Aimed Shot, I just like the thought of the physically damaging aimed shot with the nut-shot of the's really up to you. Just make sure the shot you are macro'ing this with is cast at least once every 20 seconds, for example Arcane Shot (if you still use that), Aimed Shot, or Chimera Shot.

When it's bad - This macro is bad news if you have a assignment to be on silences. Because this macro involves automation it can leave your Silencing Shot on cool down when you need it most. For the most part if you are fighting something that can benefit from a silence (Lady Deathwhisper, Dreamwalker add's) just do your priority and if you catch an interrupt (which I find happens often) then bonus.

#showtooltip Aimed Shot
/cast Aimed Shot
/cast Silencing Shot

SIC EM Fido!
Another ability that is often overlooked by all hunters today and in the past, is Kill Command. In the past, KC used to be reactive (a quality I absolutely loved), meaning whenever you scored a critical hit you could activate KC and have your pet do increased damage on it's next attack. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Today it's a bit lackluster by comparison. As the tooltip reads; Give the command to kill, increasing your pet's damage done from special attacks by 60% for 30 sec.  Each special attack done by the pet reduces the damage bonus by 20%. The mana cost is low and the cool down is one minute on this bad boy. So how can we implement this? The best way us hunters know how, MACRO! The idea is you want to use KC every time it's available AS SOON as it's available. This part is very important, considering it has a longer cool down than Silencing Shot but not super long (like a 3 minute trinket) we want to maximize our KC uptime. What is a hunter ability that we use more than all the rest? If you guessed Steady Shot you are correct. We use Steady Shot as our filler and as a result it's our most used ability. Perfect for a base to macro in our KC ability. You will have ZERO knowledge that when you are using Steady Shot you are casting KC and your pet is doing increased damage and that summarizes the beauty of this suggestion.

#showtooltip Steady Shot
/cast Steady Shot
/cast [target=pettarget,exists] Kill Command

ARRRRGUH ARRRRGUHH RAW!!! (or insert some other Bloodlusty Sound here)
The last macro ability I want to talk about is what you would commonly use when your raid leader says "Pop everything you got, the healers is OOM!". The basic idea of a trinket macro is one that dates back to pre-BC but I'd like to insert my spin on this today. The basic idea is to include everything that can be cast simultaneously, not necessarily off the global cool down, and can include a funny saying you will /s or /y. There you have it, the secret to the best hunter damage! I joke, I kid! So here is the breakdown on this nifty macro, at least from MY perceptive and feel free to modify this depending on what trinkets you have, what race you are, and what pet you have. My approach to this is to activate my Rapid Fire, Blood Fury and, most importantly, Call of the Wild. Now Call is a learned ability if you have a Ferocity family pet. The current raid standard is a wolf, which is in that family. Call is also on a very long cool down, so long in fact it's not worth worrying about, meaning trying to use early to have again at the end of an encounter. As a hunter you want to avoid using Rapid Fire in junction with Bloodlust (it will cause your Steady Shot to clip and decrease the overall effectiveness of each) so in order to avoid that we'll be using this macro early. My suggestion is to use it fast, possibly in conjunction with Misdirection. The next part is where a good hunter is made great. I'll then wait until A] the macro effects have subsided and B] my Chimera Shot and Aimed Shot are on cool down. I will then activate my Readiness ability, reapply the macro (which will only include Rapid Fire) and unload my highest priority shots into the boss. This creates a huge amount of damage and threat (another reason why a misdirect during the first half is advisable) in an extremely short amount of time. The important thing to note for this macro is to activate this while off the global cool down, to include ALL the abilities.
/cast Rapid Fire
/cast Blood Fury
/cast Call of the Wild
/use Trinket Name
/s zomg spread yo shit!
Being Drunk and getting the Munchies!
The last two items you can passively do to increase your hunter damage are very simple items that most seasoned raiders know and practice. The idea of what you put into your body has an effect on your output also applies in game too! The last tip I can give you to passively increase your damage output is to A] always flask up and B] make sure to have either agility (a fishing recipe) or armor penetration food. Sure you can probably get away without drinking a flask and by eating the great feast someone dropped, but if you take seriously the damage you output I recommend always ALWAYS having your own ready and on hand. With the addition of Frozo the cost of flasks has never been lower so make sure to have those Flask of Endless Rage on hand. For food I recommend either Blackened Dragonfin or Hearty Rhino. I highly recommend leveling both cooking and fishing in order to expedite this process.

Go Forth and PWN!
Well there you have it folks, the five things you can do in passively increase your output as a MM hunter! As always if you have questions, concerns, or issues post a response below and I'll do my best to accommodate them!

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