Marksmanship Hunter Playstyle and Rotation Guide

Patch 10.2.5 Last Updated: 23rd Jan, 2024
Qenjua Marksmanship Hunter Author

Playstyle & Rotation

General ST Rotation:

Note: Keep an eye out on your Legacy of the Windrunners talent. It shoots out 4 small Wind Arrows every time you cast Aimed Shot. After your target gets hit by 24 Wind Arrows you instantly replenish 35 Focus and a charge of Aimed Shot. Keep that in mind, so you can spam cast Aimed Shot when it procs.

You can track this Buff using the WeakAura in the according part of the guide!

ST Opener:

Multi Target:

The AoE/Cleave Rotation, starting at 3+ target, is similar to the ST rotation. You want to cast every Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire under the Trick Shots effect. It will require you to cast Multi-Shot (outside of Volley windows) to activate it, which means you will no longer cast Arcane Shot. You also want to use your Precise Shots procs on Multi-Shot starting at 2 targets and above.

Priority list for Multi Target:

  1. Cast Explosive Shot
  2. Cast Death Chakram 
  3. Cast Volley + Salvo (macro Salvo into Volley as shown in “Macros”)
  4. Cast Rapid Fire when Trick Shots is active.
  5. Cast Trueshot on cooldown
  6. Cast Aimed Shot on cooldown when Trick Shots is active. You should never let it reach 2 charges. 
  7. Cast Multi-Shot to spend Precise Shots stacks, to activate Trick Shots, and as a filler when you have more than 55 Focus. Ignore Precise Shots if your Aimed Shot is about to cap on charges. Ignore Precise Shots entirely during Trueshot.
  8. Cast Steady Shot as a filler to regenerate Focus

Multi Opener:


Careful Aim Playstyle

Careful Aim (while talented at rank 2) gives 50% bonus damage to your Aimed Shot on targets above 70% health. This means you want to hit targets above 70% hp as much as possible, so switching targets to keep this bonus can be the play unless you need to keep hitting that low target for strategy reasons.

Trueshot Management

This is your big burst with a 2 mins cooldown. During your Trueshot windows, the cooldown of your Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire is reduced, and the cast of Aimed Shot is 50% faster. It means that you can easily hit 2 stacks on Aimed Shot, and you have to ensure that this doesn't happen.

Make sure also to have your Rapid Fire ready at the start of this window. Refresh Steady Focus before pressing Trueshot, and don't refresh it until the Trueshot window is finished; focus on casting as much Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire as you can.

If you get a Kill Shot proc from Deathblow, it is still the priority, even during Trueshot.

Volley window (AoE/cleave)

With the new Tier-Set you can skip Multi-Shot entirely until your Trueshot is over. Rapid Fire cast, given that it’s cleaving from Trick Shots, is casting a free Volley on your targets. Since Volley lasts for 6 seconds, and Rapid Fire has a cooldown of less than 6 seconds during Trueshot, you can basically stay inside your “Volley-Window” for the entirety of Trueshot.

Volley is taken in your single target raid build, that means that you can AoE-Burst with your cooldown without spending a single talent point for AoE talents.

Make sure NOT to cast any Multi-Shot while Volley is still active: it already gives the Trick Shots effect, so there is no need.

You should be able to cast 3-4 times (2-3x Aimed Shot and a Rapid Fire) during this window (depending on your Haste) while under Trueshot or Bloodlust effect; otherwise, 2-3 times (Aimed Shot into Rapid Fire into Aimed Shot).

You can easily put Volley and Salvo together in a macro if it’s more comfortable for you. It can be better not to do it in some situations, however, these are very rare now, in 99% of cases you just want to macro them together.

Precise Shot Procs

Make sure to spend them on Arcane Shot in ST and on Multi-Shot in 3+ targets.

It is better not to waste a proc by pressing Multi-Shot twice, even if you technically waste one Trick Shots effect.

Hunter's survivability

Hunters are one of the weakest classes in terms of defensive cooldown and survivability.

In Dragonflight, we have now gained Survival of the Fittest and Fortitude of the Bear baseline. Survival of the Fittest gets an extra 20% damage reduction with Nature's Endurance. We can now have Born To Be Wild and Posthaste simultaneously, which is nice and allows you to use Survival of the Fittest and Aspect of the Turtle more often! We also have baseline avoidance with the Hunter's Avoidance talent, and we are keeping Exhilaration with additional healing on it.

In conclusion, we have more cooldowns reducing spike damage but are weaker on fights with damage taken over time.