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Overview

Starting at level 10, a Hunter can begin spending talent points to gain new abilities and spells, strengthen existing abilities, and specialize how he/she functions. See the entry on Talents for more information about the Talent system. Hunter Talents have undergone significant changes with the 1.5 patch.

Hunter Talent Trees

Hunters train in three schools: Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival.

Talent Categories

See also:

Beast Mastery

Key Beast Mastery Talents

Improved Aspect of the Hawk If you are involved in end-game raiding, this talent can significantly increase your DPS rate over a sustained period of auto-attacking. This is especially true in instances such as MC or BWL, where sustained, high DPS is important. Note that in normal PvE this talent is not quite as useful, but provides a nice bonus to your damage. No real benefit for PvP.

Endurance Training The 15% boost to your pet's health can mean two or three extra hits before going down.

Improved Aspect of the Monkey This raises your dodge from 8% to a maximum of 13%. Very useful in PvP and PvE. Hunters are not great in melee and damage avoidance is a must.

Thick Hide Reduces the damage your pet takes in battle. Really pays off when you are faced with two or more opponents. This combined with Endurance Training can save you mana from having to heal your pet as often.

Unleashed Fury Increases your pet's damage which also pays off in increasing its ability to maintain aggro.

Bestial Swiftness Does provide noticable help in getting your pet to and from the target. Well worth the one point it will cost. Use it as backfill.

Improved Mend Pet A must have for the long term. The ability to remove debuffs from your pet reduces your downtime and increases your pet's longevity in fights, especially with those long, annoying debuffs.

Ferocity Anything that increases your pet's ability to damage the target is good as it means faster fights and less chance of losing aggro.

Intimidation A great means of interrupting spell casters and also for giving you and your pet a few seconds to recover or inflict damage without taking any yourself. This spell also works well if your pet needs to steal aggro away from you or from casters in your party.

Bestial Discipline This allows your pet to use his specials and growl more often keeping the aggro on the pet and off of you.

Frenzy Another damage increase that pays off mightly.

Bestial Wrath The focus of the tree. Pays off in PvE and PvP. Increased damage and immunity to fear cannot be underestimated. Great when you need your pet to finish off one mob to move to another quickly. This skill easily increases the maximum level mob you and your pet can solo by 2 to 5.

Marksmanship

Key Marksmanship Talents

Improved Concussive Shot This talent provides one of the only chances a Hunter has in stopping a spell from being cast other than Beast Mastery Intimidation. It is provides the ability to flee combat or give yourself or your pet a few seconds of relief.

Lethal Shots Provides a means of increasing damage and as such cannot be passed up.

Aimed Shot An ability that can be used by Elves in shadowmeld form. Also the essential means of taking down spell casters quickly with a huge upfront punch.

Nerfed in 1.10 - Night Elves can NOT Shadowmeld + Aimed Shot any more.

Scatter Shot Great PvE means to give yourself a few seconds of safety. No minimum range also makes this a good way to get back in range in PvP. Works well on non-beasts (otherwise, use Scare Beast).

Trueshot Aura A bonus the hunter can provide his groupmates with. Rogues, DPS warriors and beast mastery/survival spec hunters will love you for this. Requires points in Barrage.

Survival

Key Survival Talents

Humanoid Slaying With the first three talents, this and Monster Slaying are the best to get. Deflection is not worth it, as your mail armor and parry are quite enough to keep you alive until you are safely back in gun/bow range, especially if you have ...

Improved Wing Clip Avoiding melee is key to a Hunter's success. This talent allows you a possible root to make range on your target.

Deterrence Without a doubt a must have in the tree. 25% bonus to parry and dodge can be the difference between life and death.

Surefooted You get both a boost to your chance to hit as well as the possiblity of negating a root effect.

Killer Instinct Increasing the critical hit chance of your attacks is always good.

Counterattack A must have for any Survival build. Will always hit, always root your target, and does damage all after you successfully parry attack.

Lightning Reflexes A 15% possible boost to agility should not be underestimated.

Wyvern Sting A must have if you're delving deep into Survival already. It is a weak form of crowd control, but more importantly, it wakes them up with a better debuff than Serpent Sting. You - or anyone also - can also wake the target early, so it's great for manipulating PvP or PvE. Since you can also use freezing trap, this makes a survival hunter one of few who can crowd control two mobs at once.

Talent Discussion

Factual information on specific talents should be added to the specific talent page
Discussion on Strengths and Weaknesses should be saved for the Hunter Talent Discussion section

References

*A portion or version of this article was copied from a WoWWiki icon stampWoWWiki archived page ( Sept-12-2006 ) . See list of authors.

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