Cataclysm Talents and Glyphs: Marksmanship Hunter
February 8, 2011
Marksmanship is not what you knew at level 80. Now that it’s back on top as the dominant spec, I will clarify the new talents and glyphs that you should be using.
Marksmanship is considered by most top players to have the highest skill cap of the 3 hunter specs. It always has, and likely always will out pace Beast Mastery and Survival specs as you get better gear and higher weapon damage. Being specced as MM will also give you the most effective survivability despite there being a dedicated talent tree titled “Survival”.
There’s really only one optimal MM spec that you can work with, as a result of being required to spec into [Survival Tactics].
The spec we will be using is – 0/31/10(Arena) and 0/31/10(Battlegrounds)
Tier 1 Marksmanship Tree
- [Go for the Throat](2/2) – Your pet does get focus starved, this talent will help your pet dish out more damage overall.
- [Efficiency](3/3) – Causes your Arcane Shot and Chimera Shot to cost less focus, in turn letting you cast more each game, resulting in more damage.
- [Rapid Killing](2/2, BG spec) – You get a ton of killing blows in BG’s, mostly because of Kill Shot and your consistent damage. It serves no purpose in arena, but this is a good talent in battlegrounds. These take the 2 points that you would otherwise spend putting in [Termination], and like I said, it’s not a very great talent to begin with.
Tier 2 Marksmanship Tree
- [Sic 'Em!](1/2) – Similar to Go for the Throat, this helps feed focus to your pet, in turn giving you more DPS. Only 1 point here.
- [Improved Steady Shot](3/3) – Everytime you Steady Shot twice in a row you gain 15% haste. Great talent to have
- [Careful Aim](2/2) – Makes your Steady/Cobra/Aimed Shot 60% more likely to crit when your target has at least 80% hp. Not incredibly great, but certainly worth grabbing.
Tier 3 Marksmanship Tree
- [Silencing Shot] – A staple of the MM tree. Obvious choice here.
- [Concussive Barrage] – Gives you a 50% uncleanseable snare to your Chimera Shot and Multi-Shot.
- [Piercing Shots] – Very good DPS talent. Allows your Steady Shot, Aimed Shot and Chimera Shot crits to apply a bleed for 30% of their damage. This is essentially an additional 30% damage bonus to your crits.
Tier 4 Marksmanship Tree
- [Trueshot Aura](1/1) – 10% AP to you and everyone in your party. Obvious Choice
- [Termination](2/2, Arena Spec) – Your choice at the tier4 talents are between this and [Resistance is Futile]. Neither one of them is particularly great, however, I recommend Termination. [Kill Command] is very clunky in my opinion, and the damage that you would ever get from it (from behind LOS makes the most sense to me) wouldn’t ever matter.
Tier 5 Marksmanship Tree
- [Rapid Recuperation](2/2) – Extra focus regeneration when ever you pop Rapid Fire, great talent for when you’re attempting to land a kill.
- [Master Marksman](3/3) – When you Steady Shot you have a 60% chance to proc a Ready, Set, Aim buff. When you stack 5 times, this will allow you to shoot an instant aimed shot, which is normally a ~2.5 second cast time.
- [Readiness](1/1) – A staple talent of the MM tree. Resets all of your spell cooldowns. It can be used in a multitude of situations.
Tier 6 Marksmanship Tree
- [Posthaste](2/2) – When ever you [Disengage] you will gain a 30% run speed buff. No question about it, you want this talent.
- [Marked for Death](2/2) – Saves you many globals. Automatically puts up a [Hunter's Mark] buff when you Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot, which is undispelable. The downside is you can’t see stealth/invis players with it. Definitely worth getting though.
Tier 7 Marksmanship Tree
- [Chimera Shot](1/1) – The core Shot of the MM tree. It also heals in cataclysm, it’s not a lot, but it’s something.
Tier 1 Survival Tree
- [Hunter vs. Wild](3/3) – 10% more stamina, more HP is always welcomed.
- [Pathing](3/3) – 3% haste. Not the greatest talent, but it’s certainly better than Improved Serpent Sting.
Tier 2 Survival Tree
- [Survival Tactics](2/2) – This is the talent that requires you spec into the survival tree. Reduced the cooldown of disengage, and help your traps to not resist.
- [Entrapment](2/2) – Causes your Ice Trap and Snake Trap root everyone in it for 4 seconds. Very nice talent.
- [Glyph of Feign Death]: This is an incredibly good glyph for it being Minor. 5 seconds off of 1 of your defensive abilities.
- [Glyph of Mend Pet]: Nice glyph to have, your pet should never be less than happy with this.
- [Glyph of Scare Beast]: It’s a choice between Scare Beast or Revive Pet glyph for your 3rd Minor Glyph. So far this expansion, no one has attempted to kill my pet and have never been put in a situation where I needed to summon my pet.
As long as you’re a Marksmanship specced hunter, you should be making use of a pet from the cunning family, more specifically, a Spider. Considering most teams do not attempt to directly kill your pet, I prefer to spec all of my Spiders for maximum damage.
I won’t go very in depth here; there isn’t much to explain, really. I forgo [Bullheaded] as well as some of the other defensive talents, and then I pick up offensive talents such as [Wolverine Bite].
Thanks for reading guys, I hope this has helped some of you. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!