I think everybody at some point will venture into heroics, whether casual or not so casual. I have had a few people ask me advice about heroicing as a hunter and I have picked up a few tips on making heroics go faster. Of course, I assume the majority of you reading this already know this stuff, and bear in mind this is how I do heroics. However, there are alts and new 80s whom this will benefit. I play as Marksman, though I know not everybody does. For anything I’ve missed, check my hunter guides.
The first thing you want to know about, I guess as a newcomer at least, is gear. Well, as of patch 3.3 you can now get Emblems of Triumph from any heroic or raid (excluding Icecrown Citadel, which gives Emblems of Frost). These give you Trial of the Crusader level gear, the raid just below Icecrown, including the 4 parts of Tier 9. Although, don’t get 4 pieces, just two, preferably the helm and legs. The 4 set is not worth it. The non-set shoulders from Triumph are decent, as is the agility ring. To check what else you can get and from where, I have spent a lot of time creating and updating a hunter pre-raid gear list, please feel free to use it.
I also assume some of you may want to know how best to deal the most damage. I tend to volley trash of 3 or more mobs, less than that I’ll stick to my shot priority, which will also be used on bosses. After Misdirecting the tank, pop any CDs and nuke the boss down as much as you can using the same ‘rotations’. Another factor that may affect your damage is your gemming, enchants, spec and the type of ammo you are using. The best ammo you can get at the moment is Iceblade Arrows/Shatter Rounds. These can be made by engineers with honoured Ashen Verdict rep, the mats to make them may not be very much, but they will charge you a little bit because it’s still a little rare to find a crafter. I think a stack of 1,000 on my server sells for about 10g.
I recommend when you join a heroic setting the tank as your focus (target them and /focus). If you find they can’t keep up with your threat, you can use Misdirect on every pull/when it’s needed and off cooldown. Using the following macro:
/cast [target=focus, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=focustarget, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=target, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=targettarget, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=pet, nodead, exists] Misdirection
If all else fails USE FEIGN DEATH. I’ve seen so many hunters who won’t feign when they gain aggro, and other classes would kill to have that ability. It’s an instant and complete aggro drop for a hunter and one of my favourite abilities in PuGs.
I use 2 macros to control my pet properly, which saves a lot of clicking. The first is to send my pet in and cast Hunter’s Mark at the same time (which I also have on my bars with a separate macro excluding it for times when I’m grouped with a hunter using Improved Hunter’s Mark).
/cast Hunter’s Mark
The second is very important. There are times your pet will have a mind of its’ own and run off into packs and all sorts.. and so I also use a macro to pull my pet back to me whenever I need to.
Another thing you may notice while heroicing is mana issues. You can’t sit down and drink all of the time, but you also don’t want to use Aspect of the Viper while damaging too much. So the moment the boss/mob dies, pop Aspect of the Viper. When you reach full mana or the next mob/boss, pop Aspect of the Dragonhawk (Aspect of the Hawk for lower levels). If you’re a blood elf, also make good use of Arcane Torrent. It’s only a small amount of mana back, but it’s still a small amount of time you don’t have to spend in Viper. If really necessary, you can use Viper while dpsing but the idea is to reduce dps time in Viper by as much as possible, one idea is to just use it while using Steady Shot, then pop back to Dragonhawk for your other shots, if you need to Viper at all. To make a little space on your bars for switching, I have yet another macro. It will cast Dragonhawk first if not already up, if it is, it will cast Viper, and then back to Dragonhawk when you use it again.
/cast Aspect of the Dragonhawk
/cast Aspect of the Viper