I am not ashamed to say that I haven’t always been the leet MQoSRDPS machine I am now. There are many mistakes I made as a young (and not so young) hunter, and I want to share these with you, not just for your amusement, but so no one else out there has to make the same mistakes.
Make a macro to recall your pet. Make it easily accessible. For a long time, whenever I wanted to bring my pet back to my side, I would physically click the little tiny “follow” or the “passive” buttons on the pet bar. This has proved to be not quick enough, and when paired with the unlisted lesson “make sure you have the right target before you attack”, can annoy many mages and other CC’ers. I have since changed my key bindings so that /petattack is bound to Shift-W and /petfollow is bound to Shift-S. This way it emulates the moving forward, pulling back motion my character makes (without the Shift).
Do not place Hunter’s Mark next to Multi-shot on your action bar. I must admit… I haven’t remedied this yet. They are still beside each other. It is, indeed, a recipe for disaster. One slip of the finger and… well, you know the story.
Misdirect is built for a focus-macro. If you have your tank set as your focus all the time, and you don’t have to target them to misdirect, it makes for much smoother pulls, and much easier aggro-loss recovery. I will go more in-depth when I get around to doing a macro post.
Pets can be well fed too. A little extra strength never hurt anyone, right? Go kill some buzzards and get yourself some treats.
Keep an eye on your pet. This one is mostly for the other Beast Masters out there. Your pet is an important part of your role. It makes up a third of your damage, so you do not want to lose that. You can’t heal anyone but him, so keep that Mend Pet flowing. Spend the points in Improved Revive Pet if you can. If your pet dies early on in a boss fight, it is well worth 4 seconds to get back a significant amount of your damage. You wouldn’t stop casting Steady Shot if you were low on mana, would you? No! You’d pot, you’d AotV, and you’d get that valuable damage back. Your pet is just as important. DO NOT LET HIM DIE.
You do not need Blessing of Salvation. Feign Death has a 30 second cooldown, and when you are on an aggro-aware boss fight, you can clear your aggro if you start to creep up on the tank. If a you have less than 4 Paladins in your raid, you should not have Salv. You should have Might, Wisdom and Kings.
Learn how and when to use your traps. I leveled up before the 2.0 switch to trapping in combat, and I never really saw the use of them. Consequently, I pretty much forgot they existed, and the first time I really tried using a freezing trap was in my first run with Unemployed, in Steamvaults at 67. Like I said, I was a noob. All of the traps have their uses, and you should be familiar with them and take advantage of them whenever you can.
Cooldowns are meant to be used. Between my Beast Within, Bloodlust Brooch, Bladefist’s Breadth, Berserking, Rapid Fire and Drums of War, I pretty much have a an extra buff going at all times. Even during trash pulls. Every little bit helps! I used to always save my trinkets and abilities for emergencies or burst DPS phases, but the ones that have 1-3 minute cooldowns will be back up so quickly, you might as well use them whenever you can.
Check who is next for aggro BEFORE you Feign Death. Do Ferguson and his fellow healers a favour. If you somehow happen to get aggro, whether it is by overtaking the tank, or because the tank has been incapacitated, your immediate reaction is “OMGWTFFD!” It’s good to be quick on the feigning, but you should be aware – the mob is going to go for whoever is next on his threat list. If that’s a healer, then that healer is going down. Remember that you can kite and take hits a lot better than most clothies can. Try to get control of the situation without automatically resorting to the Play Dead button.
You will never know everything about your class. Keep learning. You may think you’re an expert now, but there are still things you can learn from people who play the game differently. Keep up with resources like BigRedKitty and even Elitist Jerks, and you’ll be constantly learning something new. All of the blogs I have linked to from here are great tools to help you improve yourself, so be sure to check them out!
Someday I hope to have a similar post about priests, but I still have a lot of learning to do in that field. If anyone has any other lessons they’ve learned and would like to share, please leave a comment!
- Misdirection: Ten Do’s and Don’t's
- Mend Pet – Healers and Hunter Pets in Instances
- The Macro Post Pt. 1
- A Hunter in Karazhan: What’s in it for me?
- Hunter: Gearing for Karazhan (on a budget!)