Today I’ll be going over how to gem and enchant your hunter, regardless of spec. First off, you need to know what goal will give you the most bang for your buck. To that end, import your character into www.femaledwarf.com and we’ll get started. Here‘s a guide for how to use it if you’re not sure. Make sure you’re using a buff profile similar to what you can expect in your typical group, however if you raid 25 man, it’s safe to just click “Enable best raid buffs/debuffs”.
Now the important parts here are:
No matter what spec you are, you will almost always see that you’ll get the most DPS from hit rating until you’re hit capped. After that, it will be usually agility, however might sometimes be armor penetration (at least until the upcoming nerf). For beast master hunters, it might even be attack power. Thus, we want to either gem or enchant hit until we’re at the hit cap of 8% (in order to gain the full benefit of hit rating’s effects on pet expertise, you can not rely on focused aim), and then stack our next best stat.
Here are a list of enchants by slot, and where you can get them:
- Heartseeker scope from the AH or an engineer friend is usually best in slot, and easiest to get.
- The Biznicks 247×128 accurascope is actually more DPS if you can use it to replace some hit itemization (gems, for example) with agility, however the challenge with hunter gear these days is to find ways to stay at or below hit cap.
- Massacre is what you need. There are lesser versions that would do in a pinch, but with the new flooring of enchanting mat prices, there’s little reason not to get this.
- Accuracy could give you the most DPS if, again, you can arrange for the hit rating to push more agility in elsewhere.
- Exceptional agility is 26 agility, and is usually best here.
- Superior potency is your next best bet.
- Arcanum of torment is from the Ebon Blade faction. You’ll be able to get to the required reputation just by running instances and questing to 80.
- Greater inscription of the axe from the Sons of hodir is the goal here, however that’s expensive and/or time consuming to get.
- Master’s inscription of the axe is one of the things that makes being a scribe so appealing- it prevents you from having to do a month of dailies and buy ridiculous amounts of relics of ulduar to grind your way up with the sons of hodir.
- Major agility is your primary choice here.
- Powerful stats is 10 to all stats, and in theory the best choice.
- Super stats is 8 to all stats, which represents a reduction of a tenth of a percent of your DPS. If the money you save on this increases the frequency that you’ll use agility food over the free fish feast, then use more agility food and take 8 to stats.
- Precision is hit rating, which is the most DPS if you can actually use it.
- Major agility is the next best choice for most hunters with 20 agility.
- However, crusher could be more if your agility is not significantly better per itemization point than AP.
- While not strictly an enchant, everyone can buy an eternal belt buckle here.
- Icescale leg armor from the AH or a leatherworking friend.
- Icewalker is the most DPS if you can use the hit, and has a really amazing passive effect- it allows you to walk on ice! Try it out.
- Superior agility is best for agility hunters who can’t use icewalker’s hit (and aren’t concerned about walking on ice).
- Greater assault is only if you get more DPS from attack power than agility.
Now, there are many things that professions give us that I did not cover here (other than inscription). For a full rundown of all the professions and their PvE bonuses, click here.
Notice that as far as enchants go, we don’t have much choice beyond agility/hit/AP/crit. Armor penetration is totally absent. If you get the most DPS from armor penetration (probably as a marks hunter in high end gear), you’ll need to gem for it.
As for hit rating, there are a few enchants that actually give more itemization points worth of hit than their non-hit competitors. For example, accuracy to a 1h weapon. Check into it, and maybe enchant for hit before gemming for it. Gems’ itemization points are fixed, enchants are not always.
Make sure you have the belt buckle, as mentioned above, and then look at your DPS grid. Is hit the #1 DPS stat? If so, look at your current hit rating, and see how much you have left after enchants. Now figure out how much hit you need. Your meta gem requires one of each red, yellow, and blue gems to activate your meta bonus. Some of your gear might have a good socket bonus.
The way gems work is that each stat has a color associated with it. For example, agility, attack power, and armor penetration are all red. Hit and crit are yellow. Stamina is blue. Each gem is either a mixture of two stats, or a pure stat. You can, for example, get a +20 agility gem which would be pure red, or a +10 agility +10 hit gem which would be red and yellow (orange). If you have a socket or meta gem requirement for a red and a yellow gem, the orange counts as both, however the red only counts as a single red.
When you are filling in your gem planning, you want to figure out how many hit gems you need (if any), and then how many non-red gems you need to activate your meta gem, and then whether there are any socket bonuses compelling and attainable enough to justify not ignoring them and gemming straight agility (or AP or ArP or whatever). There might be a crossover- for example, the legguards of the lurking threat will give me 6 agility if I pop a blue and a yellow gem in there. Since I happen to need one of these for my meta to activate, I might as well put them here. I wouldn’t put a pure blue or a pure yellow, however. I’ll put a mixed gem that’s half red and half either blue or yellow. Once I’ve activated the meta, however, I’m safe ignoring anything but the most compelling socket bonuses. Don’t forget, if you have to gem something other than whatever gives you the highest DPS per point (according to your femaledwarf.com calculations), you’re losing DPS that has to be made up for by the socket bonus.
All that said, here’s a list of epic gems you can use to fill in this puzzle (mostly researched at www.wow-gem.com):
Pure Red DPS
Pure red is what you want to focus on once your meta is active and you’re hit capped. You’ll have more of these than anything else. Red gems provide many of the primary stats for all DPS classes as well.
- Delicate cardinal ruby is the bread and butter gem that will fill most your gear. 20 agility is the best option for most hunters who are at hit cap.
- Fractured cardinal ruby is for marksman hunters who are stacking armor penetration, and gives 20 ArP. Note that this is one of two armor penetration gems, and the other is a purple gem with stamina on it.
- Bright cardinal ruby is for (usually beast master) hunters who get more DPS from attack power than anything else, and gives 40 attack power.
Pure yellow gems provide hit, int, resilience, crit, defence, and haste. Of these, we only ever need to gem hit (with pure gems).
- Rigid king’s amber is 20 hit.
If you are hit capped and the only reason you’re using a yellow gem is to satisfy a meta requirement or socket bonus (or both, ideally), you will use other stats than hit, obviously. However, if you’re simply too close to hit cap to justify a 20 hit gem, use one of the hit options.
- Deadly ametrine is 10 crit, 10 agility, and would be used to fill a meta or socket requirement without going over the hit cap. edit: This gem is only slightly worse than 20 agility for many hunters, and if it lets you get a socket bonus, go for it. You’ll end up with more DPS overall.
- Wicked ametrine is 10 crit, 20 attack power.
The only time to use these is for socket bonuses. Blue gems give us stamina, mp5, spirit, and spell pen. Of these, the only one remotely useful is stam, and that’s of low use. It helps us take a few more hits in emergencies, but doesn’t affect our DPS, unless we’re survival and then barely does.
- Shifting dreadstone is 10 agility and 15 stamina.
- Puissant dreadstone is 10 armor pen and 15 stamina (the only non-pure red gem with ArP).
- Balanced dreadstone is 20 attack power and 15 stamina.
If you don’t have any useful socket bonuses and just want to satisfy your meta on one piece of gear, you can use a green gem to do this.
- Vivid eye of zul is 10 hit and 15 stamina, and is the only green hit gem you will want to consider.
- Jagged eye of zul is 10 crit and 15 stamina, and is for hit capped hunters.
Edit: This is the best way to fill a blue gem requirement for your meta if you are hit capped. It counts as one of each color gem, which means you can ignore your meta requirement, and just gem straight red DPS gems (agility, ArP, or AP).
- Nightmare tear is +10 to all stats.
There you have it, gemming and enchanting made… easy? Well, made bite sized, at least. And easier. Ask questions in the comments (or point out gross factual errors, you know, whatever)!