Posted by: thakarron | December 1, 2009

Hitting the Mark! Part 2 – Talents

Here’s a breakdown of the raiding Marksmanship spec and its variations, it’ll be in the same format as my Survival guide so I’ll be breaking down the benefits of each talent individually.
The Spec

7/53/7 – That’s our base marksmanship spec, with 4 points free to allocate in different ways depending on your gear, style of play, and overall preference. The current spec I run with is a 7/57/7 spec if you want to take a look at that as well.

Talents

Beast Mastery
Improved Aspect of the Hawk (5/5) – Haste means more Auto-Shots and for Marksmanship Auto-Shots are a big part of our damage. This one is a keeper.

Focused Fire (2/2) – 2% more damage as well as more crit chance for our pet, why not?

Marksmanship
Lethal Shots (5/5) – 5% more crit, Marksmanship (like Survival) relies heavily on crit to trigger many of our abilities, not to mention Marksmanship crits can hit like a truck when talented properly.

Careful Aim (3/3) – Allows the Intellect we need to have a decent mana pool to also give us Attack Power, which means its benefits are two-fold

Mortal Shots (5/5) – Makes our crits hit harder, since we won’t crit quite as often as Survival its best to make the ones we have really matter.

Go for the Throat (1/2) – Keeps our pet focus-fed, only one point is needed because we’ll be critting enough as it is.

Improved Arcane Shot (3/3) – One of the key shots in a standard Marksmanship rotation, flat damage increase.

Aimed Shot (1/1) – A big part of our rotation, also its physical damage so it works well with several other abilities and stats.

Rapid Killing (2/2) – The reduced cooldown of Rapid Fire is a huge boon, but the buff after killing a mob is helpful for fights with a lot of adds.

Improved Stings (3/3) – The increased Serpent Sting damage is huge for Marksmanship spec, mainly due to its synergy with Chimera Shot.

Readiness (1/1) – A huge ability that’s useful in so many different situations, there are tons of strategies relying on Readiness that I’ll be going over later on.

Barrage (3/3) – Increased damage on our 2 physical damage instants, as well as Volley, which can be helpful when AoE is necessary or when soloing.

Combat Experience (2/2) – Flat increase to 2 crucial stats, why not?

Ranged Weapon Specialization (3/3) – Umm, more ranged weapon damage.. and everything we do uses a ranged weapon, sounds good to me.

Piercing Shots (3/3) – Causes our Aimed and Chimera Shots to cause a bleed effect on the target, makes these 2 high damage shots even more crucial in our rotation, also the damage can stack.

Improved Barrage (3/3) – Big crit increase to our Aimed Shot, as well as no pushback while channeling Volley.

Master Marksman (5/5) – Free crit percentage, as well as reduced mana cost for our most used shots. Marksman sometimes has mana problems so this is a great talent.

Wild Quiver (3/3) – Pretty much a free shot that can proc off our Auto-Shots, also Nature damage is rarely resisted by most mobs.

Silencing Shot (1/1) – Silences the target, but is also off the GCD which means it can be macroed into Steady Shot to make sure we’re using it as much as possible and keeping the mob silenced.

Marked for Death (5/5) – Flat damage increase on any target with a Hunter’s Mark, which is generally every target, also boosts the crit damage of most of our shots.

Chimera Shot (1/1) – The iconic shot of the Marksmanship tree, huge damage and crit potential, as well as great synergy with any stings on the target. I’ll explain this ability in-depth in a later post.

Survival
Improved Tracking (5/5) – 5% free damage as long as we’re tracking, and we should always be tracking.

Survival Instincts (2/2) – Reduced damage as well as even more crit chance on our Arcane and Steady Shots.

Optional Talents
If you were playing along at home, you’ve noticed that we have 4 points to allocate anywhere. This flexibility is awesome, and one of my favorite parts of the Marksmanship Tree.

Top DPS
Improved Steady Shot (3/3) – Allows our Steady Shots to proc a buff for our other shots, as well as improves mana efficiency.

Rapid Recuperation (1/2) – Provides a little bit of mana regen when we use Rapid Fire (which should be often) as well as gain Rapid Killing, more mana means more shooting!

HMB (Hunter’s Mark Bitch)
Improved Hunter’s Mark (3/3) – When there’s a lot of hunters in a raid its best for one person (generally a dedicated Marksman hunter) to take this talent, which is a loss in personal DPS but buffs all the other Hunter’s DPS as well.

Trueshot Aura (1/1) – Might as well take all the buffs if you’re already gonna be the HMB, so if there aren’t any other classes that can provide a 10% AP buff than we can do it with this talent (in other builds taking a point out of Rapid Recuperation for Trueshot Aura is viable if you never have a DK or Enhancement Shaman around)

Under Hit Cap?
Focused Aim (3/3) – Points can be taken out of either Improved Arcane Shot or Improved Steady Shot to make up for the lack of hit rating on your gear, in an ideal situation you won’t need to take this.

So there we go, the top Marksmanship raiding spec, as well as how to customize it to suit your own individual needs. Next post I’ll go over rotation and key abilities just like I did with Survival. Thanks guys!

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