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The role of hunters in arenas

The role and viability of the hunter class in arenas is often contested amongst the class community, as between Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival hunters, there is a very large difference in play style.

As a Beast Mastery hunter, your role will be to put out as much damage as possible paying heed to little else, as a Beast Mastery hunter requires less support from teammates. Your pet will be a source of damage with this spec and a very underestimated one. This style is generally preferred on teams without a healer, or 'gib' or 'rush down' teams. Beastmastery is also a part of a beastcleave team usually made up of a BM hunter, an Enhancement shaman, and a third pet bearing class (Unholy DK, warlock, boomkin, Frost mage).

The Marksman's role is one of utility and damage output. As a Marksman, you will be expected to keep melee damage classes off your healer or more fragile team members with Scattershot, Freezing Arrow, Frost Trap, Concussive Shot, Silencing Shot, your pet’s web or pin abilty (you do have a spider or crab, right?), drain the enemy healer's mana with Viper Sting and keep one of the enemy players controlled with Freezing Trap. In many cases, all of these things are expected of you at once.

Survival adds the utility of Wyvern Sting and extra survival cushion in the form of extra stamina while maintaining near the burst output of a Marks hunter.

These styles have met with differing levels of success, but Marksmanship hunters are generally more successful in higher level brackets while Beast Mastery hunters and Survival hunters are better against more unorthodox teams usually encountered in lower level brackets. This is however a generalization and there are exceptions to both.

 Historically if you were a Marksmanship hunter, many of your fights would be long, since your most popular team setups would be drain teams (often with a disc priest and/or a warlock. In this scenario it was necessary to be patient, and not try to rush the game or rush the burst. A typical drain team game can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. However, in current t10/s8 gear, Marks has pulled ahead of both Survival and BeastMastery as a high burst class while retaining all of its utility.

 Survival hunters are perfect for countering warriors, rogues, enhancement shamans or other hunters. With a diverse arsenal to immobilize (Counterattack,Entrapment for example), high avoidance (Deterrence, Deflection, and for maximum effect, go for the Beast Mastery talent Improved Aspect of the Monkey!) and 20% extra crit on Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite, it's possible to surprise your melee opponents with a barrage of alternating melee crits and short range shots while they are immobilized. Wyvern Sting and Scattershot are excellent arena weapons and give the hunter that much more CC. The downside to a survival build is the decreased ranged damage output and the loss of MM’s silencing shot and because of that, less viability versus casters. Survival should be combined with additional marksmanship talents and Improved Aspect for the Monkey to retain its diversity.

 Work on synergy with your team, and practice good decision making on utilizing your skills. How you play against one team composition may be completely different to how you play against another. Discussing strategy on taking down specific team comps or particularly annoying classes (cough, frost mage, cough), is the key to getting beyond a 1000 rating.

 Getting off your autoshots while kiting is often very important, if you can spare the room while kiting. Often referred to as stutter-stepping, it involves a brief pause while running/strafing away. The cast time for auto shot is 0.5 seconds, so as long as you stop moving 0.5 sec before your next shot, it will go off on time. Using a swing/cast timer like Quartz is extremely useful for getting the timing right, though eventually after practicing with the swing timer you should no longer need it. A slower weapon allows more movement.

 As you are a ranged class, melee combat should always be your last resort. Melee is an entirely impractical style of fighting for hunters. Only four abilities besides Wing Clip are available to the class: Scattershot (early Survival, often in MM Arena builds), Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite, and Counterattack (Only available with deep Survival). It is not recommended to use anything but Wing Clip when engaged in melee, since Raptor Strike is based on next attack swing, Mongoose Bite is situational and Wing Clip is spammable. But your priority is to get out of melee range as fast as possible, using scattershot, Wingclip, Explosive Trap (if spec’d into Entrapment), Snake Trap, Disengage, Deterrence, or Master’s Call.

 Pillars work both ways. Try to stay near them and duck out whenever ranged target you, or when melee turn their focus to, pillars can help to avoid Shadowstep and Intercept. Being comfortable working around pillars is crucial for survival as a hunter in any bracket or level of play. Also using strategies to get a pillar-humper away from his pillar or lock him in place long enough to get some shots off is key. Often you can use the same strategies that you used to get melee off of you, to root a priest, mage or tree that won’t leave that pillar. Also if they are a healer, try to drag their teammates out of range, while staying in range of the healer. That way they will have to come out from behind that pillar or watch their tunnel-visioning dps teammates die. A quick switch back to the unprotected healer often results in a timely kill.

 Protect your Viper Sting. It is one of the hunter's most important tools in Arena. If you are draining a druid, following up a Viper Sting immediately with aSilencing Shot if you are a Marksman or Intimidation if you are a Beast Master, so the first few ticks are guaranteed protection from Abolish Poison. Conversely if your intended drain is something else like a mage, be sure to immediately silence or stun anyone on the mage's team who can dispel the sting. Be sure to work with any other crowd controllers on your team to chain CC effects to keep the sting up as long as possible.

 Use high points such as hills or buildings as firing locations. Any place that is hard to reach is perfect. High slopes in Alterac Valley and cliffs in Nagrand for instance. Also use bushes and trees as cover, making you harder to pin point.

 There are areas where you can shoot through the terrain, such as a hill. Paladins, rogues, and others who aren't ranged and can't charge/intercept you have little to counter this with, since they can't hit a button to find you.

 You can lay traps during combat. The best use of this is to drop a freezing trap, then run through it. Your opponent will likely follow. Once frozen (don't worry, your pet won't attack them), get as much distance as possible and load up an Aimed Shot/Arcane Shot combo. Use Concussive Shot to slow them if they are close then a Scatter Shot and repeat. It is important to note, freezing trap will break on most damage including dots, Serpent Sting and Piercing Shots (proc’d off chimera/aimed shot) will both break freezing trap. In arena, this means never try freezing arrow/trap on your focus target, save it for the healer/non-focus target. If you are trying to get a melee who is under the effect of dots off of you, Scattershot, Frost Trap, or Snake Trap are often more effective. The debuff’s associated with Viper Sting and Scorpid Sting do not break freezing trap’s effect.

 The most effective abilities in the battlegrounds are those that have little to no casting time. Chimera Shot, Explosive Shot, Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot, Kill Shot and Concussive Shot will be your best friends in the battlegrounds. Hunters are very powerful and versatile but require more than a button-mashing approach. Assessing the situation before you engage will always net better results for any class but no class benefits more from smart decisions than hunters.

 Steady Shot is a powerful PvE tool but its usefulness is limited in PvP. As Steady Shot has a 1.5 second casting time, it should only be used when you are not the target of any attackers. It is during this time that the hunter should take advantage of its mana efficient, yet surprisingly devastating damage output.

 For the Eye of the Storm battleground, Frost Trap is a must. On the tight passageways one well-placed frost trap can effectively cripple an enemy's advance. In addition, using Flare in tight passageways like the two eastern and western bridges as well as the Flag spot is great against rogues as well as stealthed Feral druids.

 Try to always keep your Insignia of the Alliance/Horde up as it will remove all crowd control effects from you when used.

 On an interface note, the debate of button pushing/mouse turning vs. clicking/keyboard turning rages on. After reading this article, you may come to the realization that the hunter has a huge array of spells and abilities that will be needed in arena. How could you possibly map keys to the 24 odd “main” abilities of a hunter. Well basically you could conceivably use the alt, shift, and ctrl modifiers to map 8 keys, however the chance of actually putting enough time in to master this configuration and always hit the right key combo at the right time would be immense. Also considering that strafing while kiting can often be far easier that jump shooting and allow more time to plan your next move, it works for many to map out some core abilities that are necessary when a melee manages to get in close enough that keyboard turning becomes a huge liability. It is important that you can switch from the usual wasd-qe movement to mousing on a dime (Especially useful for facing the right direction after a fear, in this case you might want to map your silencing shot, Chimera, big hitters to Alt-1234). Those core abilities are Scattershot, Wing Clip, Traps, Scorpid Sting (Chimera-disarm), Disengage, Deterrence, Master’s Call, Trinket. ZXC work well for Disengage, Deterrence, Trinket. R for freezing trap. 1234 for Scattershot, Wingclip, Frost Trap, and Snake Trap.

General Tips

Tips for fighting and killing each class.


You will mostly need the following skills: [Flare], [Track Hidden], [Hunter's Mark], [Freezing Trap], [Concussive Shot], [Wing Clip], [Feign Death], [Aimed Shot], [Disengage],[Serpent Sting] and [Scorpid Sting]!

  1. Turn [Track Hidden] on and try to use [Hunter's Mark] on the rogue before he fades away.
  2. Place a [Freezing Trap] and stand on it.
  3. If you did not have the chance to, simply use your [Flare] on the last place he was. This way even if the rogue tries to [Disarm] your trap you have a 100% chance to spot him and he'll have no choice but attack you and get close to you, triggering the trap.
  4. When he triggers the [Freezing Trap] just step back and place another [Freezing Trap]. Note that nothing gets on a rogue's nerves like immobilizing and slowing effects since speed is the source of their power.
  5. [Flare] the trapped rogue quickly and fire a [Aimed Shot] and then use [Concussive Shot] to slow him, then [Arcane Shot] for some quick extra damage and repeat until the rogue is dead.
As of Patch 2.01 [Arcane Shot] and [Aimed Shot] are on separate timers. Previously you could not use arcane shot right after Aimed Shot as they were on the same cooldown.
  • If the rogue manages to comes close to you, [Wing Clip] and [Disengage] or run away at all costs. Although there are times when it is unavoidable (such as if the rogue surprises you from stealth, and you are in a confined space) melee combat is generally to be avoided with rogues due to their speed and their ability to create stunlocks.
  • Changing Aspects during that time (from [Aspect of the Hawk] to [Aspect of the Cheetah]) is not very wise if you do not know what are you doing. I suggest not doing that until you really know when to do that. Timing is everything. [Aspect of the Monkey] is ideal if the rogue approaches you. If your time permits, changing from [Aspect of the Monkey] to [Aspect of the Hawk] for the duration of your mez-breaking [Aimed Shot] might be worth it.
  • If the rogue manages to get the first hit on you, or if you are lucky/skilled enough to see him before he gets the first hit use [Scatter Shot]->Lay a [Freezing Trap] right under his feet, and do what it says above.
  • A hunter can kite almost any class with talents in [Hawk Eye]. The trick is to stay as far away as possible and try to slow them down, a warlock will for instance be out of range for DoTs if you are at 40yd range.
  • NOTE: Since patch 2.01, hunters can now lay [Freezing Trap] while in combat. This negates the need to [Feign Death] in order to lay freezing traps. Additionally, pets will now automatically cease attacking a target that is frozen; however, normal guidelines, such as being sure that the target isn't DoTed and that your auto attack is off, still apply.
  • You can DoT the rogue with [Serpent Sting] or an [Immolation Trap] keeping him from effectively staying stealthed if he vanishes or goes out of combat to restealth. This works best in groups where your freeze traps aren't the focus and you can help the team by keeping the rogue from opening on someone else, or in conjunction with freeze traps when you get the rogue at distance and can force him to close it unstealthed. He may even not expect a freeze because of the DoT, and before he closes in going out of range, simply remember to apply [Scorpid Sting] to remove the DoT, allowing a safe freeze and acting as a safeguard if it does become a close quarters fight if the trap is resisted or breaks.

Additional Notes

  • Crippling Poison
    Ability poisonsting.png
    • Crippling Poison
    • 3 sec cast
    • Requires One-Handed Melee Weapon
    • Coats your weapons with a Non-Lethal Poison that lasts for 1 hour. Each strike has a 50% chance of poisoning the enemy, slowing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.
    Usable by
    Casting time3 sec cast
    Level required20
    Other information
    RequirementsRequires One-Handed Melee Weapon
    Related buff
    Ability poisonsting.png
    • Crippling Poison
    • Each strike has a chance of poisoning the enemy, slowing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.
    • Duration: 1 hour
    Related debuff
    Ability poisonsting.png
    • Poison
    • Crippling Poison
    • Movement slowed by 50%.
    • Duration: 12 seconds
    TCG image
    is your bane. A successful proc will essentially make this battle next to impossible to win since you will be slowed to 30% of your movement speed for the next 12 seconds, taking away your ability to kite. Dwarven hunters can counter this with [Stoneform] (Racial Ability), dispelling any poison, bleed, or disease effects. [Insignia of the Horde] / Alliance also removes the poison. However, it is recommended that it should only be used after they land a [Kidney Shot] on you as they can poison you again if you're unlucky.
    • Do not use [Aspect of the Cheetah] if the rogue you are fighting against is quick and agile. [Aspect of the Cheetah] should never be on if you aren't moving or kiting at all, as getting jumped by a rogue means you'll become instantly dazed for 4 seconds and that's another advantage for the rogue. More likely than not the rogue will use a ranged attack to daze you. Some may also use a DoT effect but as of patch 1.9 this does not apply the daze effect. [Deadly Throw] also reduces your chances of a successful kite.
    • Rogues that do not use [Crippling Poison] and don't get the jump on you are relatively easy since you can normally kite them to death. Rogues that do get the jump on you can use abilities like [Ambush] and [Backstab] to take away most of your health in one hit (unless you're quick to move out).
    • Rogues can [Sprint] once per battle (5 minute cooldown) for 15 seconds so they CAN close the gap at least once. [Improved Sprint] only removes all movement impairing effects when activated, but doesn't provide immunity to them.
    • Subtlety specced rogues can use [Preparation] to permit an additional [Vanish] and [Sprint]. In addition, they may also have [Premeditation], which instantly adds combo points. These will normally be used to stunlock you.
    • It may be better to have the trap ready for use instead of using it in the middle of the [Flare], many rogues use [Cloak of Shadows] before entering flare to prevent getting trapped.
    • Rogues above level 64 have [Deadly Throw] which can be used from 8-30 yd range and slows your movement speed by 50% - although this ability requires at least one combo point.
    • Another way of killing a rogue is the use of [Snake Trap]. First, it puts on the rogue the same
      Crippling Poison
      Ability poisonsting.png
      • Crippling Poison
      • 3 sec cast
      • Requires One-Handed Melee Weapon
      • Coats your weapons with a Non-Lethal Poison that lasts for 1 hour. Each strike has a 50% chance of poisoning the enemy, slowing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.
      Usable by
      Casting time3 sec cast
      Level required20
      Other information
      RequirementsRequires One-Handed Melee Weapon
      Related buff
      Ability poisonsting.png
      • Crippling Poison
      • Each strike has a chance of poisoning the enemy, slowing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.
      • Duration: 1 hour
      Related debuff
      Ability poisonsting.png
      • Poison
      • Crippling Poison
      • Movement slowed by 50%.
      • Duration: 12 seconds
      TCG image
      they use on you, and second, it puts a DoT on the rogue, preventing a [Vanish]. You can kite the rogue for 12 safe seconds of Crippling poison. Note that a skillful Subtlety rogue can [Cloak of Shadows], [Vanish], [Shadowstep] in your back and stunlock you. Be ready to [Flare] and [Scatter Shot] him if you have that skill. Remember that, as of a recent patch, Rogues no longer have to be in stealth to use [Shadowstep].


      The king of the arena, but an extremely limited brick on legs anywhere outside it. The typical strategy for fighting any warrior is to kite. Warriors have much higher damage mitigation than a hunter, but on the plus side, they have no ranged capabilities whatsoever, which thus means that ensuring that they don't touch you is your main priority. If you have the jump on the warrior normally you would follow this technique. Charge and Intercept have a maximum of only 25 yards range (30 with Glyph of Charge), which is 10 yards less than a hunter's maximum shooting range. A skilled warrior will attempt to make liberal use of Intercept, but as long as you are constantly above 30 yards from the warrior, it shouldn't be too difficult at all.

      1. Lay Freezing Trap.
      2. Aimed Shot (or whatever other high damage shot you can do).
      3. Concussive Shot
      4. Multi-Shot
      5. When he hits your Freezing Trap, run and then turn around to do another Aimed Shot, then send pet, Concussive Shot, Serpent Sting, and Auto Shoot.
      6. When he reaches you, Wing Clip him and then start kiting.
      • Be wary of Charge and Intercept. Intercept has a 30 second cooldown, which can be reduced to 20 seconds with their Improved Intercept talent (Fury warriors), and can be further reduced by 5 seconds with the 4 piece set bonus from Gladiator's Battlegear. Protection and Arms warriors can use Charge even while in combat, though the Arms warrior has a 5 seconds longer cooldown as a trade for this ability. A Protection warrior's Charge and Intercept will also remove any movement impairing effects from him, which makes him a really hard target to kite. Combined with high damage mitigation and the ability to stun you for a long time (if you are not Beast Mastery specced), this makes him the hardest warrior to beat as a hunter.

      Alternate Strategy

      1. Lay Frost/Freezing Trap
      2. Concussive Shot
      3. Send Pet
      4. Keep running around, doing Shots and Serpent/Scorpid Sting (don't forget Aimed Shot)
      • Keep away from the warrior at all costs - if he manages to stun, he'll melee you to death.
      • Watch the warrior - if the Concussive Shot fades, reapply it as soon as possible, then another Concussive Shot or hit him with a Wing Clip.

      If you're Beast Mastery specced and have Bestial Wrath and The Beast Within, fighting against warriors shouldn't be difficult at all. Once activated, nothing stops you from kiting them if you're immune to their Hamstring, Intercept, Piercing Howl and even Intimidating Shout. 10 seconds should be just enough.


      Killing a Priest is very difficult for a hunter, and if the priest knows what she is doing, it's better to run.

      Facing a shadow priest: A priest's greatest offense is his dots, able to take out well over 10k in a few seconds and sometimes even more. I suggest you open with a silencing shot if you are facing a shadow priest. The priest will open with an disarm, which is for 10 seconds, during that time you will watch him add his dots and call his pet Shadowfiend upon you. You have lost.

      When facing a shadowpriest the best thing you can do is to put your legs behind your back, but if you are forced to encounter him open with a Silencing Shot you can't afford losing the 10 seconds at the start, or even 5 if you have chain that is critical. As you have the priest silenced, it is time to start nuking. There is no use trying to viper sting him as you won't be able to take out a pool of 20k in mere seconds, and as a dot round only costs 3k mana, you better open up with everything and really keep the pressure on him. As you start nuking while he's silenced he will (if you are unlucky) disperse and after the disperse open with a disarm, cast his dots and keep himself alive healing and shielding. The best thing you can do when he is out of Dispersion is to shoot him with the silencing shot and start nuking again. But basicly, with all the priest's shields, heals, fears and offensive spells, you have basiclly lost even before you start it. Even if you know exactly how to do, against a skilled shadow priest a hunter alone stands no chance and sometimes not even with a friend.

      Facing a disc priest Begin with aimed shot or another high damage shot. Keep your pet on the priest to keep him in combat and distracted. Make sure you stay at a safe distance and avoid getting dotted or damaged as the priest can heal up, but you can't, neither can you dispell. the priests dotts will have taken 10k off of you in about 20 seconds (full duration) in a duel, dont even consider mana burning a disc priest, if he goes on the offensive when seeing you viper sting, he can be a powerful foe, with power infusion, smite dotts and penance, he could come close to your own damage, the only difference is that he can heal. How do i counter this? A hunters best way of killing a disc priest is simply to nuke him, give it your all and using silence shot when hes down on around 15k, if your lucky, you will kill him. Remember, you dont have much time since three rounds of his dots could kill you.

      you could always try using Viper Sting to continuously drain mana. Once mana is out of the way, just keep kiting. Without mana the priest is pretty much hopeless against you. Even if they try to melee you they have no chance against you without their spells. Keep in mind however that they need only a small amount of mana to cause some damage so keep the Viper Sting active. It may also help to run around in circles whilst draining their mana as they will have a harder time hitting you with their spells. This will not work against a shadow priest, but could work against a disc if hes not ready, or simply cant go on the offense. this way of dealing with a priest is recomended in the arena.

      I would recommend not closing with a priest to fight them, if they come close they may be trying to use Psychic Scream. Also bear in mind that Mind Flay has a short range (~20 yards, depending on talents) so you may be able to kite out of range of that, only eating mind blasts. But the problem with Psychic Horror still remains if your facing a shadow, against a disc, this is strongly recomended.

      NB: Hunter vs priest combat can sometimes be very gear dependent, since if you meet a well equipped Shadow priest he can quite easily down you fast with SW:Pain, Devouring plague and Mind Blast/Mind Flay if you're not careful. Its advised to use Scatter Shot and Feign Death/trap when you get the chance so you can deal heavy damage to him before he can start chewing down your health. Tapping their mana won't be effective if they get your health down 50-70% before you can start nuking them back. The bad news is that priests can attack you and you won't notice your health diminishing.

      Quick Tip: Dont ever worry about being mana burned, if your facing a shadow priest, he will simply add dots and try to take you out that way, and if its a discipline priest (arena) his job in the team will probably be healing, and he wont have time mana burning anyone. Even in a duel, mana burning is a discipline priests last choice of play facing a hunter but its not often he gets the time to do so as your damage is prity heavy on a clothie, he will be busy healing and adding dots onto you.


      Warlocks can be very dangerous opponents, their level of danger is reflected by which pet they have out. They will most certainly apply a Curse as well as other DoT spells which will inflict a lot of damage to you. Your pet will be a target of these as well. Be warned that warlocks have a Fear spell and will use it on your pet to remove it from the battle. If you have the talent Bestial Wrath it would be a good idea to activate it before the pet can be feared. Also a hit with Intimidation just before Bestial Wrath falls will help. You should use Concussive Shot to allow you to keep the warlock out of your dead zone. As always a Freezing Trap is very useful to keep the warlock or his pet at range. The bulk of a warlock's damage is Shadow based but they have Fire based spells as well.

      The Survival talent Wyvern Sting can be exceptionally useful against warlocks, as it is an effective pre-emptive counter to the initial use of Fear. Use it as an opener, and if you are successful, the warlock will be asleep for 12 seconds. You then have the option of an Aimed/Arcane/Multi crit combo if you have 20 points in Marks, or rapid dual wield pet-assisted melee with Blood Fury/Berserking (if you're Horde), and an Immolation trap otherwise, (an Immolation trap plus Wyvern Sting will give you 1500 DoT) which can work very well due to a 'lock's comparative lack of armor. Warlocks tend to expect hunters to both kite and be afraid of them; the initial use of a spell they generally won't have heard of (Wyvern Sting), followed by a barrage of rapid fire melee has been known to surprise them sufficiently that they are uncertain how to react. While they're wondering what to do, you can finish cutting them up.

      Destruction 'locks can easily be primarily fire hoping for Soul Fire crits and Immolate and conflagrate. Most of all watch out for a start of battle death coil, it may waste the healing effect but gives them time to fear pet and seduce you. Be aware that some warlocks may try to close to your dead zone and use howl of terror, an area of effect fear.

      How to deal with warlock pets:

      • If they have the imp out kill it first as it can be both a source of heavy damage to you or mana to the warlock. It has very little health and will go down quickly.

      Send your pet to attack the warlock while you take out the imp quickly. The pet will help stop the warlock from casting non-instant spells. This can be very helpful especially if they are casting a long move like Soul Fire.

      • If they have a succubus out don't let it get close or else you may find yourself Seduced while they try to kill your pet.

      The succubus can seduce at a good range. They are often invisible, making the warlock look petless. If you rush in foolishly believing that, you'll be defeated quickly. Seduce is a 1.5 or 2 sec cast and will probably interrupt something like Aimed Shot. Meanwhile the warlock will be Fearing your pet. Some warlocks follow up a Seduce with high damage moves, a common series is Soul Fire -> Immolate -> Conflagrate -> Shadow Burn, followed up by another Seduce.

      • A felhunter is not much of a threat provided you don't attack it in melee;

      The following ability has been removed from felhunters and is no longer available to warlocks: Tainted Blood which reduces your attack power.

      • A voidwalker's damage can essentially be ignored and it does not have any special powers that function in PvP, however a warlock with a voidwalker in a PvP setting is probably planning to sacrifice it. A voidwalker sacrifice gives the warlock a shield that is roughly twice as powerful as that of a priest. If you're facing a warlock with a voidwalker out, try to do as much damage as quickly as possible so you might kill them before they sacrifice. Using a DoT against a warlock is always a good idea because it will continue to damage them while you are feared.
      • With the addition of Burning Crusade a felguard is now a prime warlock pet to watch out for. They can do significant damage if left alone, and have an intercept stun which can stop you from getting into firing distance. The best course of action for them is to lay down a freezing or frost trap (freezing more effective to stop the intercept) and stay away from it. If the warlock is distracted, killing the felguard will actually significantly lower their damage and fighting capabilities in general since demonology draws much of its strength from the pet. If the warlock's health is low enough then a simple Feign Death to drop aggro is quite useful.
      • An infernal is not a normal pet. As of patch 3.03: This pet will disappear after one minute.* A general tip for all pet-foes a hunter encounters in PvP: Use Feign Death, the pet will deaggro you, and some less experienced warlocks might not think to send their pets back, or are too busy casting damage spells to resend
      • The Beast Within is probably one of the best warlock counters in the game. Without their myriad of CC options, a warlock can safely be brought low by your powerful bow shots or melee swipes. It's important that you kill the warlock as fast as possible when using TBW, because you will be at a significant disadvantage once it wears off.
      • If a warlock engages you at a close range, it's important to get away quickly. A skilled warlock, especially with correct talents, can Drain Tank you and effectively drain your health to keep themselves alive, all the while killing you slowly with their DoTs.


      While a competent Frost specced mage can be a problem, they are rare. An important point to remember is that a mage ideally wants range in which to operate to an even greater extent than a hunter, because unlike a hunter, a mage has no melee component whatsoever. Because of this, although the advice given against a warrior was to kite, the opposite applies here. If you can get close, apply Wing Clip, and engage in rapid melee, you will probably kill most mages very quickly.

      • If you're lucky and get an Aimed Shot crit, you may kill or nearly kill a mage in one hit. Especially at low levels, some inexperienced mages run around with very little stamina gear. This is a good indication that you are fighting a sub-par player.
      • Viper Sting may seem a wise choice against mages, but mages have a VERY large mana pool and while Viper Sting will hurt mages in the long run, mages don't need much time to kill you. mages have a high rate of mana regeneration, as well as mana gems they can consume if they run low on mana. Plus, the Viper Sting costs you a lot of mana. Due to the mage's low armor and health, it is wiser to go with the Serpent Sting, as it is likely their health will run out before their mana. Survival hunters can start the fight with Wyvern Sting, then used Aimed Shot while the mage is asleep (alternative to freezing trap).
      • Mages can Blink over traps, and use Ice Block to get out of a Freezing Trap; it might be wiser to use an Immolation Trap - the resulting damage is quite a lot, considering the usually low HP of any mage.
      • Mages can root the hunter through Frost Nova and nuke the hunter from the hunter's dead zone.NOTE: The dead-zone for hunters was removed. When that happens, use your Scatter Shot and/or your Insignia of the Alliance/Horde and get away. If you are specced for Beast Mastery you can also use The Beast Within to escape. Do not be misled by the pet talent Avoidance, for while it will reduce AoE damage taken, it will NOT help the pet resist Frost Nova. If you and your pet are helplessly stuck in Frost Nova you can try to lay a freezing trap near the mage if he is close enough, or use Volley just to do any damage...
      • Mages will likely Polymorph you into a sheep while they work on your pet or vice-versa. Unless he uses it as an opener to be followed up with Pyroblast, if he is silly enough to sheep you mid-fight, thank him. He's most likely just given you all of your health back.
      • If you are a Beast Mastery skilled hunter, mages are ridiculously easy targets. Attack with your pet, activate Intimidation, activate Rage, give him an Aimed Shot and a Serpent Sting to be sure, and look for another target. Pretty much the only thing he can use to survive is his Ice Block, and even then he'll be at a great disadvantage.
      • It can be a good idea to drop a damage dealing trap at the feet of a mage in Ice Block. Snake Trap can prove particularly effective if the mage fails to Blink fast enough out of danger.
      • Another trick that you can do against mage's Ice Block is to run 20 yards in the direction he is facing and drop a Freezing Trap - many mages will blink out of Ice Block to Nova\Cone of Cold you.


      • NOTE: The dead-zone for hunters has been removed, disregard any information mentioning the dead-zone, as it's no longer an issue
      • If you get the drop on them, an Aimed Shot is your best bet, followed quickly by Concussive Shot to keep them from getting inside your dead zone.
      • Frost Trap can slow them down, enabling you to get back into range.
      • They will root you and attempt to get inside your dead zone. There are some potions and a few items which you can use to negate this effect but do not count on them.
      • The talent Intimidation from the Beast Mastery talent tree can be used to stun to get range. Best used when they attempt to heal themselves.
      • Scorpid Sting is useful while they are in animal form as they have to shift to clear it. This can help burn up their mana.
      • Viper Sting on druids is risky due to their instant cast Abolish Poison.

      -Note, you can still drain a druid's mana while it is shape shifted as a moonkin or tree of life. Plus, a druid can only abolish poison in caster form.

      • When the druid is in one of his/her Forms (Bear, Cat, Travel Form, Aquatic Form) they count as a beasts. Use your ability Fear Beasts to get them off your back, but be wary of any DoTs, or your pet, as damage can and will break the Fear state. This is a good time for you to gain some distance, or to bandage.

      -Note, a druid will most likely have the "Enemy Cast Bar" active, so be prepared to cancel the cast if he shifts out. If timed correctly, you can hit him with a Scatter Shot before the druid can shift back.

      -Note, if they cast entangling roots on you then come in, in cat form it will be to hit you with tons of dots so place a freezing trap and get back fast.

      • Beware of balance druids (moonkin), they are the only spec that can do decent ranged damage, and as such the only ones you have to worry about in your dead zone. Their ability to sleep your pet and then root you in place can make you close to helpless against them. They can also summon their treants to help them get your health down in melee range and there is little you can do to stop them.

      Your best bet is to damage them early on with an aimed shot and get them to a point where they have to come out of moonkin to heal. Unlike feral druids, the moonkin depends on its mana pool for damage as well as healing so if you can make them shift you've gone a long way towards draining their mana. Be wary however as moonkin can and will drink health and mana pots without having to shift out. If a balance druid shifts into bear form it's usually as a last resort and it's unlikely he will have spent the talent points in feral charge so now is your time to use concussive shot and put your pet on him, you should be able to keep him at bay until he's dead. That is, if you're still alive.


      • Melee combat for a hunter must be taken very seriously, and should only be attempted by survival hunters as marksmen and beast masters have very few reliable melee skills.
      • A good survival hunter, on the other hand can be a very lethal foe. Every hunter should put at least a few points in beast mastery in order to polish up their aspects to suit whatever build it is they are going for.
      • Improved aspect of the monkey gives an incredible increase to dodge (14%) when maxed out, and 2/2 pathfinding allows any hunter to easily outrun nearly any class except for shaman, druids and sprinting rogues, but any of these can be chased down successfully if the concussive shot is used well enough.
      • What makes a hunter lethal is his ability to deal out massive amounts of damage while taking very little in return.
      • An increased dodge ability means that roughly 1 out of every 4 attacks will be dodged, and this percentage will only get better as dodge bonus gear is collected over time.
      • If one acquires the survival ultimate skill Wyvern Sting, he will find himself at a great advantage over most other players. Wyvern sting does not enable the auto-shoot ability so you don't have to worry about firing off a round and waking up your target. Against Marksmen in particular, open with Wyvern Sting, get close, drop an Immolation trap, and give them a demonstration of why hunter melee isn't as invisible as they think.
      • If the target is by itself you can simply walk up, point and laugh and wait for your traps to become re-enabled, an immolation trap plus the damage over time effects of the wyvern sting, in addition to the hunters raptor strikes and pet damage will have a tremendous effect on damage output.
      • Since you bothered to get wyvern sting you'll most likely have the deterrence ability, which is crucial for going toe to toe with any foe, as while active you will find that perhaps 1 out of every 4 attacks will actually hit you, if that.
      • This tactic can be devastating to any class in the game be it rogue, casters, mail classes or even warriors and paladins. You'd better hope you know what you're doing though, because don't forget you're still a hunter, and melee combat should always be the last resort.
      • When fighting other hunters, the trick is to control the battle. Weave in and out of close and long range. A hunter would prefer to stay at range, so just confuse them by not letting them know where you're going to be. If you're just standing there trading shots with your opponent, you'll only win if you crit more than they do, and that's not something you should be counting on.


      Paladins are probably the single most highly revered class in the game, and there are a few key points to keep in mind when fighting them. Most fights are you frantically shooting them and them coming closer and closer. However, defeating them is not only possible, but enormously satisfying for the hunter, given that paladin players tend to view themselves as invincible. They will generally remove any debuffs you try.

      First, keep your distance. Paladins will win in melee combat. Paladins have no base ranged attacks (with the exceptions of Hammer of Wrath, Avenger's Shield, and Holy Shock) so try to use Wing Clip and Concussive Shot to maintain a safe distance. Secondly, Viper Sting is the key to defeating paladins, and is the main reason why they are more manageable for hunters than other classes. Although it is true that the paladin does have a number of impressive abilities, virtually all of these rely on their mana pool. Once the mana pool is empty, the only thing a paladin has is their melee weapon, which sometimes won't be anything particularly special, since some tend to lean on their magic. Unfortunately their pools empty slowly and their weapons can be dangerous to you.

      Additional Notes

      • Viper Sting costs a hunter a great deal of mana. The paladin can Cleanse the effect instantly for far less mana than the hunter spent casting the sting. At level 36, Viper Sting costs 135 mana. At level 56, Viper Sting costs 215 mana. Cleanse costs 60. However, if you are a well-equipped Survivalist, after you have cast Viper Sting, switch to Aspect of the Monkey, send the pet, and close to melee range. If you keep a constant barrage of melee attacks focused on the paladin, it is likely that he will be so busy initially trying to fend of those that he will be distracted from using Cleanse until it is too late. It also helps if you cast Silencing Shot if they start to bubble or heal.
      • Generally this match is a long, drawn out battle with an edge to the hunter. If played right, the paladin will have a very hard time getting in range to do any kind of damage to the hunter, but the paladin's survivability is absurd and he'll just keep going and going and going thanks to his heals and shields. Paladins also have a very good chance of winning, especially Retribution paladins.
      • Aspect of the Cheetah can be used against paladins if you're good at measuring distance. Although, bear in mind that Judgements do damages, and a Paladin going at you when you are under Repentance will daze you for sure.
      • Beware of the paladins many survival spells. With a 6 second stun (the longest in the game, the paladin also has loads of other stuns), a full heal/small mana regen (usable once every 20 minutes), and the almighty bubble, a paladin can outlast a good number of enemies before falling.
      • Also bear in mind that paladins can use Blessing of Freedom, which is really annoying for hunters, so when a paladin uses blessing of freedom run away from him as fast as you can, and keep draining his mana. when his mana pool is empty he's (almost: see Lay on Hands) safe to attack. also use Tranquilizing Shot to remove his buffs when he uses his blessings.
      • All in all, paladins are very good at PVP, often better than you. Protection paladins have an even higher survivability rate, Holy paladins can cleanse and stun and Retribution paladins have very dangerous melee skills as well as magic.


      Shamans are difficult to deal with 1v1 because their abilities cater to this battle. Additionally, the shaman has talents that can make a huge difference in the performance of any of their three roles (caster, melee, or healer) and it's difficult to determine what spec a shaman is until you have been killed by him.

      Some things however, are universally true of all shamans:

      The first thing you note about a shaman is the lack of crowd control. A shaman cannot incapacitate you at all (minus the short-range Warstomp on a tauren), and one of the two abilities to slow you down has serious issues.

      An extremely deadly weapon in the shaman's arsenal where hunters are concerned is the Earthbind Totem; however it only has 5 health, and has a short 10-yard range. It works in a system of pulses, which means that it will affect you slightly after it's dropped (the totem is actually casting the snare, so there is a slight delay), and that it doesn't fade from you when the totem is destroyed (the totem refreshes the snare, but the snare has a short duration of its own). The cooldown on the totem is 15 seconds.

      Shocks also have 20-yard range, which is about half of yours.

      Knowing this, you can usually keep the shaman at bay. Traps, range, Concussive Shot, and Wing Clip, as well as judicious use of your pet are key.

      The shaman's greatest weapon is the Lesser Healing Wave it possesses. With a 1.5 second cast time, it's often hard to stop it. It is, however, not entirely impossible to either prevent him from using it (with abilities such as scatter shot, or the 20% improved concussion shot), slow him down (a fast attack pet, Auto Shot, Multi Shot and Arcane Shot), or simply outlast his small mana pool. In addition, Elemental/Enhancement shamans have 70% resistance to damage pushback at best, so your pet can be expected to noticeably increase the casting time of this spell.

      Viper Sting is a good thing to use. A shaman will most often use a poison cleansing totem, which takes time to pulse, or cleanse poison, which might not remove it on the first application. Either way, you should come ahead in the mana race. Totems are expensive (some are 4-5% of his mana), and if he has to cast them often, you will bleed him dry. Your mail armor will soak up some of the Windfury damage, which means that often, he'll be forced to constantly shock you, in order to get you down before you can.

      A Marksmanship hunter is definitely something to be feared for any shaman. A 41 yard range is hard to overcome, especially as you can open up with an Aimed Shot, then kite them, and possibly destroy them before they even get into range (at which point, Wing Clip/Frost Trap, or Scatter Shot/Freezing Trap to reset the range). Hence, as long as you stay beyond 20 yards, about the only thing he'll be able to do is swear at you in frustration.

      Facing a hunter, some shamans will equip a shield, and just try to outlast you by healing and nuking away. This is generally a terrible idea, as your pet will often out-damage a one handed equipped shaman in melee, and the shaman's limited mana pool means that he will lose the war very quickly. Your mail armor also means that that little mace or dagger he's wielding does next to nothing, even on a feared "Windfury triple-crit", which happens once every 1000 or so attacks.

      Weapon-switch macros, however, still figure in a good shaman's arsenal, and he will have Windfury on both a big 2h and a small 1h. He will keep the shield until he gets near you, to decrease damage, then switch back, and hope for a big WF to start whittling down your health. The longer it takes him to get there, and the shorter you can make that last, the better your chances are at winning.

      Most of the above information is focused on melee shamans, and it's true, a melee shaman is an easy kill for a hunter. However, an elemental shaman is a force to be reckoned with. Consider the power of a Chain Lightning crit (around 2k) followed up by an earth shock (1.5k if it crits). This is enough to blast most hunters out of the water, and the damage dealt completely ignores armor. The hunter's single best defense against this is Silencing Shot. As you see his hands sparkle with lightning, hit him with a silencing shot, then pepper him.

      Restoration shamans are very well suited to fighting hunters. Their melee damage capacity is very weak, but their passive healing means that they can focus on doing nothing but closing with you. Since a hunter needs to stand still for maximum damage potential, many hunters attempt to stand their ground and get off a few shots and stings before running. This is often a mistake, because if that Restoration Shaman ever once gets into Frost Shock range, you are not getting away again unless he makes an error. The key in this fight is the Shaman's armor and passive healing. Any Restoration Shaman worth his salt in PvP will be wearing a shield, and Earth Shield and Nature's Guardian provide excellent passive healing. A restoration Shaman with as little as 1200 or so +healing will see his Earth Shield tick for over 700hp, and crit for 1K. This allows the Shaman to concentrate on only getting to melee range and staying there. They will then whittle you down with shocks. Nature's Swiftness also means that they can reach out and daze you at a range of 30 yards if you are using Aspect of the Cheetah to maintain range, allowing them to abuse server latency and the travel time of Concussive Shot (possibly in conjunction with Ghost Wolf) to daze you and get back into snare range. Maintain distance at all costs and be sure to heal your pet if it gets damaged; eventually it and your shots/stings will run him out of mana, since Earth Shield does cost around 900 mana to cast.

      Do not fall into the trap that many fellow players put for you, by exaggerating and exalting the abilities of a shaman. With a bit of care, a shaman can be a fairly easy kill, as it really doesn't do much other than auto-attack and shock. If you have good control of your pet to take care of the very few totems that actually matter (which kills the shaman's low mana pool), it really should be no trouble to take one down.

      Engineering is especially useful for hunters in taking down shamans. The area effect dynamite and bombs will knock out the shaman's totems, and the bombs have a chance to stun, preventing the shaman from casting for a few seconds. The bomb stun does not cause the target to wander like scatter shot, and the few seconds are long enough to drop an ice trap and step back for a 12 second distance.

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