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WoW 201: Classes in MoP

Marksmanship Hunter Combat

Normal Rotations

A combat rotation is a sequence of attacks repeated cyclically throughout a typical encounter. Normal rotations are used for most fights in raids and instances and the bulk of all boss fights. (For MM Hunters, there are different, specialized rotations to begin boss fights or to use while hastened, questing, or dealing with swarms.)

Normal Marksmanship rotations start with Chimera Shot and are intended to take just long enough (nine seconds, now) to return to Chimera Shot when it's off cooldown and ready to be used again. In general, the more shots you can squeeze in between Chimera Shots, the higher your dps.

The release of Patch 5.04 has simplified both Marksmanship combat and this guide because the shortened cooldown of Chimera Shot eliminated the most complicated Cataclysm MM rotations. (Because of the global cooldown, real-world latency, and nonzero reaction times, you can't fire nine shots in nine seconds, no matter how much Haste you have.)

Basic Rotation

This is the simplest version of the Marksmanship rotation. In addition to Auto Shot, it involves only three skills and four steps:

  1. Chimera Shot
  2. Steady Shot x2 (that is, click Steady Shot twice in a row)
  3. Arcane Shot
  4. Steady Shot x2

Repeat steps 1-4 until target is dead.


Supplemental Combat Skills

Once you learn the basic rotation, add these skills when appropriate.

Hunter's Mark
Before the fight starts, mark the initial kill target with Hunter's Mark. The Glyph of Marked for Death allows you to skip this step on subsequent targets.
Before the fight starts, Misdirect to the tank.
Serpent Sting
For bosses, minibosses, and similar targets with a lot of health, use Serpent Sting first, before starting your regular rotation, whatever it is. (Think of it as Step 0.) Skip this step on any foe that will die in 10 seconds or less.
Since Chimera Shot refreshes Serpent Sting, you normally need to Sting a target only once. (For bosses that disappear or become immune periodically, you may need to reapply Serpent Sting after the boss reappears or loses its immunity.)
Kill Shot
Use Kill Shot any time it lights up (that is, any time it's available).
Aimed Shot
Use Aimed Shot whenever it lights up (as a result of three stacks of the Master Marksman effect). At that point, it's free (of focus costs) and instant. You'll see a green targeting icon onscreen as an additional reminder of the proc.
A Murder of Crows, Blink Strike, or Lynx Rush
In general, use your chosen talent whenever it's available (off cooldown).

Standard Rotation (Rotation 1)

As soon as you have learned the supplemental skills, the Basic Rotation becomes the more flexible Standard Rotation:

  1. Chimera Shot
  2. Steady Shot x2
  3. Kill Shot (if available),
    Aimed Shot! (if it procs from Master Marksman), or
    Arcane Shot (otherwise)
  4. Steady Shot x2


Raid Rotation (Rotation 2)

  1. Chimera Shot
  2. Steady Shot x2
  3. Arcane Shot
  4. Kill Shot (if available),
    Aimed Shot! (if it procs from Master Marksman), or
    Arcane Shot (otherwise)
  5. Steady Shot x2


Hastened Rotations

Properly timed, Rapid Fire, Readiness (after 15 seconds), and Rapid Fire (again) gives a Marksmanship Hunter 30 seconds of high dps at the start of a boss fight - followed, periodically, by 15-second bursts of Rapid Fire throughout the fight.

Do not use Rapid Fire in conjunction with Bloodlust or Time Warp: Much of their multiplicative haste would be wasted.

The Careful Aim Phase

Because of the Careful Aim skill, use this sequence to begin combat against bosses and minibosses:

  1. Misdirect to the tank.
  2. Cast A Murder of Crows, Blink Strike, or (possibly) Lynx Rush (whichever you have).
  3. Cast Rapid Fire.
  4. For 15 seconds, use the Careful Aim rotation:
    1. Aimed Shot (the normal, long-cast version, not the proc)
    2. Steady Shot x2.
  5. Readiness.
  6. Rapid Fire.
  7. If the boss's health is above 90%, return to the Careful Aim rotation for 15 seconds:
    1. Aimed Shot
    2. Steady Shot x2.
    Otherwise, use the Rapid Rotation for 15 seconds.
  8. Return to your regular rotation.


Rapid Rotation

Outside of the Careful Aim Phase, Rapid Fire, Bloodlust, or Time Warp provides enough Haste (temporarily!) to add an additional shot to your normal rotation - moving you, in effect, from Rotation 1 to Rotation 2 or, with the "raid buff", from Rotation 2 to this Rapid Rotation:

  1. Chimera Shot
  2. Kill Shot (if available),
    Aimed Shot! (if it procs from Master Marksman), or
    Arcane Shot (otherwise)
  3. Steady Shot x2
  4. Arcane Shot
  5. Kill Shot, Aimed Shot!, or Arcane Shot (as above)
  6. Steady Shot x2


Other Encounters

Solo Rotation

If you are questing or farming, use this (very different) rotation when you are killing single targets. (This assumes you don't aggro the target until your first shot.)

  1. Aimed Shot
  2. Chimera Shot
  3. Kill Shot (if available) or Arcane Shot (if not)
  4. Kill Shot (if available) or Arcane Shot (if not)
  5. Steady Shot x2



Swarms typically comprise 5-10 low-health foes, sometimes accompanied by one or two higher-health individuals (as on the second floor of Halls of Origination). Against swarms, target the highest-health foe (if any), and use this simple rotation:

  1. Misdirect to the tank (if you have time, and MD is off cooldown.
  2. Fire (not drop) Explosive Trap (if you have time, and the swarm is not moving too quickly).
  3. Spam Multi-Shot until you run out of Focus
  4. Steady Shot x2.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until all targets are dead.
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