Marksman and WarWithin

This post is intended to provide positive and negative feedback towards the Marksman Hunter spec and ideas and suggestions on how to improve the spec. If something doesnt work for it just tag it with a No and move along.

Spec Lore and Concept:
being the only actual class in the game that relies 100% on its Ranged weapon (beast master uses it but lets be honest, its all pets), The marksman spec should feel more forward hitting and direct with its skills and abilities while not giving up Defensive Skills obtained through pets.

Hunter Base Tree Changes to help All three specs:

The core problem with marksman is the use of no pet for higher sustained damage. Lone Wolf adding such a huge damage increase makes the spec its self suffer.

Id like to point out Lonewolf should not go anywhere. it should be baked in passively.

To fix the problem its a 3step process-

  1. Remove Pets as a choice for Marksman completely.
  2. Alter the way Pet Behavior influences defensive and offensive usage for the entire class.
  3. Introduce an aspect system back into Hunters.

The core gameplay of Hunters in classic wow through about Mists of Pandaria is the Aspects. We still have Aspect of the Turtle and Aspect of the cheetah but have lost Aspect of the Hawk, Viper, Serpent, Mongoose, Pack.

Introducing aspects back in is the solution to the lack of Defensive and Pet diversity for other specs (BM needs a hard revisit with spirit beasts on this matter).

*( NEW ) One Within - Uses the current aspect to empower its effects. (does not effect or interact with Aspect of the Turtle) 90second Cooldown.

  • Aspect of the Turtle - Protects the Hunter from Damage. (unchanged from live)

  • ( NEW ) Aspect of the Bear - Increases The hunters base Health of the hunter and their pets by 15% (30% for marksman)(10% in pvp). Using One Within with this effect active will reduce damage taken by 30%. 8 second Duration.

  • ( REWORKED ) Aspect of the Cheetah- Increases the hunters Movement speed by 15% for 10seconds. Using One Within with this effect active will Grant the Hunters Party/Raid 30% movement speed for 4seconds.

  • ( NEW ) Aspect of the Fox - Your Attacks have a chance to strike a second time for 10% of the damage done. Using One Within with this effect active will increase this damage to 50%. (survival only) 6second Duration.

  • ( NEW ) Aspect of the Eagle - Makes your Aimed shots bleed the target for 10% damage done. Using One Within with this effect active will increase Range and Haste of actions by 30%. (Marksman only) 8 second Duration.

  • ( NEW ) Aspect of the Cobra - Your Cobra Shot will now extend the duration of your Thrill of the hunt by 1second. Using One Within with this effect active will make your pets Attack the target and apply Serpent Sting to the target. (Beast Mastery Only)

  • ( NEW ) Aspect of the Tiger - Increases attack speed of the hunter by 5%. Using One Within with this effect active will Grant the group/raid Hysteria. Leaves all targets effected by Hysteria with Sated. 5minute CD.

Id put this where Trailblazer is as it works the same while under aspect of the cheetah in proposed change.

This would add Defensive and Damage options for all 3 specs. I would say make the Aspects changeable in combat, this would allow you a buff that allows the hunter to pick and choose what aspect to have active. They should also be off the global cooldown so they can be macro’d for combinations Like, Aspect of the tiger, One Within, Aspect of the Eagle. all in 1 button press to activate Bloodlust with out losing dps window.

Outside of just giving them Fortitude of the Bear or Hysteria as a button i think this is probably the most likely way to get Defensive talents or skills for Marksman to allow them to survive encounters.

These should all have unique animations aswell:

Turtle - Lightly animated Turtle with the shell being unchanged from live.

Bear - Lightly animated bear Roaring.

Cheetah - the Aspect of the cheetah symbol with Hunter roaring during use effect.

Fox- Small fox runs around above the Hunter (think the fox mount animation)

Eagle - Lightly Animated Eagle attack animation

Cobra - Old Shaman Serpent totem Animation, but green.

Tiger - Lightly Animated Tiger Clawing at target above your head.


First of all Move Barrage to the Marksman Tree. Its a purely Ranged weapon thing and since Beast Mastery has amazing Cleave as is and Survival doesnt use Ranged weapons it allows us to make this skill part of the marksman core rotation for AOE.

Make it a choice node with Volley. Change Volley CD to 20seconds. All Talents involving Volley should also apply to Barrage.

Increase Channel time of Barrage to 4seconds but make it fire 200% more arrows.

For 10seocnds after Barrage has been cast your next 2 Aimed shots will Trick shot automatically.

SALVO: Your Next Volley or Barrage now also applies Explosive shot to up to 2 targets hit.

SHARPSHOOTER: Grants 2% Crit. Now Also Grants a 5% chance for Trick shots to reset or Grant a charge of Volley and Barrage.

Why does this talent interact with targets differently then what something like, Starfall does.

It uses the same system Starfall use to use and starfall use to pull like crazy over and over, outside of bugs now it never pulls. Give Barrage this treatment.


Increase Volley Area of Effect by about 10-15%


Change Heavy Ammo to make the Hunter fire off Two Aimed shots during Volley, and 1 during Barrage when Cast.

Light Ammo Fires off a Rapid Fire during Barrage and Grants Volley a second charge.

Moved to baseline for Marksman.


RICOCHET Placed in TRICKSHOT location


BOMBARDMENT Reworked: Trickshots now Ricochets to 2 fewer Targets but each ricochet deals an additional 25% damage. (Heavy Ammo reposition)

If you look at this with out thinking about it you will think this is a weird dumb change, but if you look a little more into it the only thing you are missing from this whole thing is Light Ammo hitting 2 more targets with Trickshots. There is an argument to be made you could just increase the number of targets of Trickshots by 1 to 6 to just make this counter its self but that would make the Bombardment change into Heavy Ammo about 25% more powerful so i couldnt touch that with out feedback.



No opinion is wrong aslong as its productive


That’s a no from me. I’d rather have both options be real/competitive options, not go from one real option (for AoE) to just literally one option (for anything/everything).

I feel like I could probably appreciate what you’re attempting with Aspects, but for now they’re kind of a mess, with 4 of them seeming largely redundant with one another.


youll never get both options be competitive if one offers pet buffs and the other does not. Making it so when the pet isnt out will only result in an actual lack of defensive’s for with pet out.

Marksman isnt a pet spec, thats BM/Survival. Lone wolf exists and will always be better


Then don’t do that?

Literally, that’s all it is.

Pets currently uniquely give…

  • A separate unit (separate, health pool, threat table, position, and status effects)
  • The pet’s defensive or gimmick
  • A taunt
  • A short utility CD
  • A longer utility CD (MC, PR, FotB)
  • Access to Intimidate
  • Access to Roar of Sacrifice

Without a pet, of those above features, we currently have…

  • Access to FotB

We should instead, even without a pet, have access to all but…

  • A separate unit (separate, health pool, threat table, position, and status effects)
  • The pet’s defensive or gimmick

That means allowing…

  • A taunt
  • A short utility CD
  • A longer utility CD (MC, PR, FotB)
  • Access to Intimidate
  • Access to Roar of Sacrifice
  • Etc.

…to be available without the pet, even if in conditionally renamed and reskinned form.

In turn, Lone Wolf should be baseline for MM and only replace the damage lost to not having a pet (i.e., white damage to one’s primary target, such as by just increasing auto-attack damage).

Lone Wolf, as it’s been implemented thus far, is crap. Its having existed so malformed and stinkily for a while now does not make it necessary, let alone ideal.


forcing people to use a pet for a 25% damage reduction is not how any other class in the game works… you dont use this active pet class skill to reduce your damage so you can have a defensive that every other class in the game has. Its a weird thought process


Nor is it how Hunter works even now.

Nothing in the Hunter’s kit grants 25% damage reduction; we have only a 20% talentable to 40%, and a 30%.

There isn’t even a %damage reduction skill that depends on having a pet out, period; FotB just grants 20% current and maximum HP for 10s.

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Fortitude of the bear is a health increase. While it might not seem like a 30% damage reduction it is a defensive cooldown.

Requires pet to be out

Then call it a defensive, not a % damage reduction. All %damage reductions are defensives, but not all defensives are %DRs.

Regardless, I’m not sure why you’re mentioning any of this given what you already quoted. No part of what I wrote said to keep Lone Wolf the same. I explicitly said otherwise and noted what needs to change.

mm gets fortitude of the bear without a pet it only needs a pet out for masters call or primal rage (bloodlust)


I’m not sure how you figure further removing core class capabilities from MM would make people like the spec more. It should be needless to say that it won’t work out and it’s a bad idea. I didn’t read beyond this point.


Marksman, in my opinion, needs an entire redesign. I want to see pets stripped from the specialization as well, with the utility, defensives, CC, etc., added back into the Marksman tree.

I hate managing pets and swapping, and would prefer to run the spec as a long-distance ranger class which I envision the marksman archetype to be.

Pets are basically half-baked when considering MM anyways. Lone wolf is disastrous.


I agree with the elf. I believe we should always be getting new options instead of losing them.

I do however like the notion of a refocusing in on Aspects. Esp for survival.

I think some lessons could be learned from the Mistweaver spec tree. It’s one of the only (if not THE only) spec tree that simultaneously offers two completely different playstyles (Fistweaving vs. Mistweaving), most of which is done through choice nodes which lean heavily toward one playstyle or the other.

I’d like to see a Marksmanship tree that leans into the traditional Marksmanship playstyle (centered around Aimed Shot), and an alternate playstyle which centers around the old ranged Survival playstyle (leveraging poisons and such, likely centered around a re-imagined Rapid Fire).

Lone Wolf is dynamic in how/when it applies its benefits, so I think it’d be fine to bake in passively for Marksmanship Hunters (it’d save a talent point), but it’s otherwise fine as is. Maybe some of the trade-off Blizzard wants to maintain is the utility loss included with not using a pet.

Leveraging “passive, but with an active ability” Aspects would be a neat addition to the hunter toolkit and call back to their roots. I can’t remember why Blizzard has moved away from “passive” aspect abilities though… maybe there was a reason… I think it was primarily related to hunters never moving off of whichever Aspect produced their highest DPS gain (thus all other aspects just went largely unused).

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Because marksman fulfills two competing class fantasies. Sniping marksman and having a pet. BM gives you the pet side but marksman is the one stop shop for those who want to use a bow/gun and have their player (not the pet) do meaningful damage.

Lone wolf has been awesome because it allows you avoid the clunkiness of managing a pet, horrible pathing, and other pet-related issues.

Just because having a pet is the core to you, doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Lone wolf has been around a long time and for me it’s been a huge boon. Thus, I would enjoy if lone wolf gave me all the abilities. You may disagree, but I think being able to have lone wolf and give up nothing but an aggro-sponge would be great. I still want marksman to have access to pets though. Taking away options is nearly always bad.


should be split into two different specs. Fistweaving is not mistweaving and mistweaving is not fistweaving… thats a whole different class discussion tho

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This. The unique value of having the pet… should be only the literal pet (a separate unit with separate position, threat, [de]buffs, and HP). That said, both the option to take our pet and the option to avoid any pet should be fully competitive with each other. Simple as that.


I agree. I only started playing hunter much when lone wolf become a good option. I could now be an archer without having to deal with blizzard’s buggy pet implementation. My desires are no less valid than someone who has played since Vanilla beta.

But I also get those people who play hunter specially for the pets. My rebuttal is that BM already scratches that it, but I have nowhere else to be an archer. I must admit I love having a pet for open world stuff, but dislike it in instances and PvP occasionally.

It feels kinda like when warlock used to require a pet for an interrupt and it was fixed for a time. It was liberating. You had the choice between the pluses and minuses between pet vs no-pet. I can’t recall if blizzard undid petless spell lock or not.

I like your ideas.

Hunter just needs more utility and some better burst mobility for PVP. Like a quick dash or something.

Turtle would be cool if it actually reflected spells like old deterrence did. Make it last only a few seconds but give us 2 charges like old deterrence.

Also with dark ranger hero talents they gotta buff lone wolf so i can play it in PVP. Needing a pet for key utility like sac\freedom and pet stun,lust is annoying.

I like the idea of adding back in aspects i am enjoying aspects on sod. But if i have to manage a pet on top of all the other spells I think its just too much keybinds if they added aspects back in

How about no?


If MM has pets that is just like 5 or 6 pet keybinds you have to have on your bars and blizzard class devs can only add so much keybinds so if MM gets pets it just means less actual spells.

If i could replace pet attack, pet follow, Pet summon, Pet dismiss, Pet heal\revive with like a Dash, or a new shot, or a CC or some kind of utility i would remove the pet anyday