Hey everyone. Today we’ll talk about what it is the beginning pvper needs to know as far as gearing and setting up for pvp. I’ll try to cover the most basic things that everyone should know without favoring one type of PvP over another.
As far as stats and gemming, you want to consider your spec(s) before deciding what to focus on. If you only like survival, or you only like marks, or you are sorta cool with both but definitely hate BM, then you should really focus on agility. At least in red sockets, slap 20 agi gems in there. If you’re low on stamina for whatever reason (generally 20k hp or less unbuffed is low) you might want to consider stamina gems for blue sockets. If all you do is BGs, then you can certainly get away with 20k hp or less and might as well stuff more agi gems into blue and yellow sockets.
One thing any MM/surv hunter needs to consider is Spell Pen gems. 75 is the magic number anyone who wants to arena should have. Even if all you do is BG I would consider having 75 spell pen, because you can lose a ton of explosive shot/chimera shot/arcane shot damage to a druid with mark of the wild, a paladin with fire resist aura, or a mage with mage armor. For arenas I would also use yellow sockets for resilience gems. 900 is the number I would shoot for when it comes to resil, give or take 50. If all you care about is BGs, then you can get by with just the resil on your offset pieces + 2pc pvp gear. 600-700 is more than enough. As I always say, positioning and cooldowns will save your life, not gear, and in a BG when you’re getting focused by 10 people nothing will save you.
If you think you might wanna try BM, then you need to go with AP gems of course, and this style of gemming also lends itself to the MM spec, so you can make MM your offspec without needing to regem continually.
Always be hitcapped on a level 80 target (164 hit rating). Don’t be afraid to spend points on hit talents to get to this number. If you can’t get 164 hit rating without making major dps sacrifices, just get focused aim. If you find yourself 20 rating under or 30 rating over, consider adding a hit gem (and swapping out a hit item, if necessary). I usually grind out enough honor for both the hit and crit pvp offset gear because it gives me flexibility, but this season I seem to have discovered a sweet spot using both crit pieces so I may not have to do that.
Interface and Focus
Make sure you hotkey everything. I’ve spoken about this before but I can’t emphasize it enough. All your pet abilities, including pet commands like stay and follow and passive, should be hotkeyed. Use mouseover macros for really important cooldowns like Master’s Call and Roar of Sacrifice (see the keybinding section of this post for more details).
Whenever you pvp, try to keep an line of sight object handy. A feign death will interrupt a polymorph if you’re fast enough, but the mage can simply retarget you and try to poly you again. You could deterrence, or you could jump behind something and wait it out. This takes a lot of presence of mind, but if you can make it second nature you will profit. Always consider the ramifications before chasing someone behind a pillar or behind enemy lines. If you’re going to expose yourself, make sure your healers know, and be ready for the enemy to try and turn the situation around on you. Often people try to get hunters to chase them around corners only to surprise attack them from melee range. Avoid this at all costs unless you have informed your team and they are prepared to support you.
Always have a focus target. If I’m BGing with a partner, I will make them my focus so I can keep track of them more easily. If I’m arenaing, picking a focus target will be the first thing I do. Train yourself to keep track of your focus. Don’t just watch your focus and wait for him/her to start casting, but keep track of your focus target’s physical position on the map. This kind of information is important so that you can land a clutch freezing arrow, or so that you aren’t surprised when you spam Scatter Shot or Silencing Shot and it won’t go off because your target is out of LoS.
As far as pets, you have plenty of options. For BGs I like the wolf and spider. Spider is great for catching people as they try to run by on their mounts, and my spider has gotten me out of plenty of tight spots with roar of sacrifice and roar of recovery. Wolves are good for the same reason they’re good in pve: they can buff you really well. More details about pets can be found in this post.