As a DPS class, it’s our duty to ensure that our potion is on cooldown at the end of every non-trivial fight. Clearing Archivon for the mount? Feel free to save it, but if you’re on a hard fight, you can really increase your DPS this way. Today I’ll go over our options, and talk about when and how to use them.
First up, the basic mechanics. Using a potion out of combat gives you a 1 minute cooldown, but using it in combat prevents you from being able to use one again until after this combat is over. And no, feigning death does not let you take another. Here are the commonly used potions, what they do, and when to use them.
- Potion of speed is the most commonly used potion because it’s “the DPS potion”. It gives you 500 haste rating for 15 seconds. Alas, as we all know, haste for hunters is one of the lowest DPS per point stats we have. It makes our auto-shot go faster, and if we’re not already casting them faster than our global cooldown, our steady shots go faster. Still, 500 haste, even for 15 seconds, will increase your DPS.
- Potion of wild magic is nowhere near as popular for hunters, but I’m listing it second for a reason. The fact that it gives us 200 spell power can be ignored, but the 200 crit it gives? Well, according to all the DPS calculators I use, that’s actually more DPS than 15 seconds of haste. If you want to find out whether this is true for you, you should import your hunter into www.femaledwarf.com and check yourself.
- Runic mana potion is next up, and it gives you a chunk of mana. If the fight you’re in will force you into viper at some point, this will lower the amount of time you need to spend in viper.
- Runic healing potion is last on my list. You need to have these around in case you need them, but the only way they increase your DPS is by preventing you from being turned into a hunter flavored pool of jelly by some (hopefully unavoidable) damage your healers couldn’t fix. For example- on Iron Council hard mode, you need to have one of these for the last few percent in case you get a super-powered static disruption while the healer is out of range to battle res a tank.
Now as for when to use these: if you’re going with a potion of haste or wild magic, you have to try to use them during a heroism/bloodlust. If you’re going to have to use a mana pot, try to save it until you really need it- the later you pop it, the more likely you are to realize that you won’t need it and be able to pop a DPS potion instead.
Sometimes, you won’t have a heroism- in this case, try to use a crit potion during rapid fire (the more shots you have while the crit buff is active, the more effective the potion). Personally, I don’t like blowing haste pots during rapid fire, but I can’t quite pin down why. If that’s the direction I’m going in, I just always use one some other time.
 One last note- some people like to pop a potion just before combat starts so they can use a second one after a minute. This might work for you, or it might not. At the very least, it costs twice as much as just using the single potion, and whether you can time your first use well enough to make sure you don’t get locked out for the rest of the fight, and still have enough time left on it that’s it was actually worth it depends on the fight.
If you’re an engineer or an alchemist, you have additional options, but I’m not going into them because they all fall into the health and mana regen area. Anyone else have any others they like? Maybe something from BC?