So I got a new weapon recently, and I’m sure by now most of you have managed to pick up something from ToC that’s giving you good mileage, which means it’s time to look at marksmanship! Of course, a lot of you PvE as marks. MM is by far the most fun spec to play in PvP, but until you have a good weapon (ilvl 232 or better) it can be hard to unlock it’s true potential.
I’ve been having a ton of fun in arenas as MM, especially in 5v5. I’ve been finding readiness to be invaluable in locking down pesky casters like mages, locks, and ele shamans, however knowing which spells to interrupt can be tricky. Always try to get the lava burst, but if a mage is casting on you, it’s better to interrupt him when he tries to polymorph your healer and just tank the frostbolts. If a mage is casting on your healer, however, just interrupt the bolts to help keep your healer alive, because you can feign death or deterrence when he tries to sheep you. Warlocks are tricky, too. Interrupt the fear, or the chaos bolt. You have to play it by ear, but it’s going to take the help of a teammate to keep a warlock locked out. Warlocks can just fear us and go wild, so putting a hunter alone against a warlock never works.
I’ve also specced some talents that in the past I’ve gone on the record defaming. I now swear by such talents as wild quiver (it never occurred to me until I learned recently that this ability ignores your target’s armor) and concussive barrage now- I find them invaluable when it comes to burst damage and kiting, respectively.
Lately I’ve been having a really rough time in arenas with all the spell cleave teams. I’d say you should be at 900 resil to compete against a spell cleave team. Also, using a pet with roar of sacrifice is now necessary with all the burst that people are capable of. One thing to realize about the spell cleave teams is that they will ping-pong from target to target until their opponents run out of cooldowns to escape or defend themselves. Try to use roar of sacrifice as quickly as possible once you know the casters have picked a target. If you wait too long, chances are they will just switch off and hit someone else (probably you) and your roar will be wasted. If you want a clue to who they will hit next, see who is stuck in a polymorph or a fear. Chances are they will load up on that person, because he won’t be able to get behind a pillar or pre-heal himself.
Some advice for hunters with established teams: use one of your brackets for points and use your other to teamhop. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing different comps with different people, even in the same day. It’s really fun to play against the same team and lose to them with one comp and defeat them with another. Teamhopping always helps me enjoy arenas more, and it prevents me from taking myself and my ratings too seriously :)
I’ve been playing on a lot of teams with DKs lately, and I have to reverse myself on another opinion I’ve been known to express, specifically that DKs and hunters have no synergy. In fact, a hunter’s main problems are casters who can dps with two schools of magic and melee who sit in our deadzone, and DKs can help us against both with stuff like anti-magic zone, mind freeze, ghoul stun, death grip etc. A DK’s main weakness is being snared, and we can help them out with master’s call. Obviously, you can’t just pop all these cooldowns at once, so get your DK to call for snare removal, and get in the habit of coordinating your interrupts with him.
One final note, for anyone looking for any insight on the next flavor of the month hunter comp: hunter/shadow priest/healer is getting popular and will be buffed a ton in 3.3. Find a shadow priest and a healer and have fun! I’d recommend survival for this comp if you want to run it. If you want to know how to beat it, wait till you’re all dotted up then run behind a pillar and get healed up before re-engaging. Once the shadow priest gets dots rolling you’re in for a world of hurt. If your healer can’t top you up even after you’ve LOSed the priest/hunter, try CCing the priest. If they are using a paladin healer, CCing the priest won’t work well so you’re just going to have to train him to keep him locked down, but if they have a druid or shaman healer you should be able to keep the priest stunned/feared/slept/scattered/silenced/trapped the whole fight. Shadow priests run out of mana quickly, so just drag the fight out and you’ll win. Whatever you do, do not underestimate this comp, it does sick damage.