Elitist Jerks: [MoP] 5.0.4/5.1 Marksmanship Guide

Whitefyst has written two Marksmanship guides for 5.0.4/5.1. One is a quick reference guide with everything you need to know for playing the Marksmanship spec while the other is a detailed guide for those who want to understand the theorycrafting behind the recommendations.

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Whitefyst: This post serves as a quick reference guide for the complete World of Warcraft:Mists of Pandaria Marksmanship Guide, which follows in the subsequent post.

This guide is meant to be accurate for the release of 5.0.4, although there are a few holes that still need to be completed and some fine tunings of information. Furthermore, with all of the tinkering that Blizzard has been doing and will continue to do to hunter abilities in an effort to balance DPS, the information in this guide may be a little out of date, but I will do my best to keep reasonably on top of the changes.

Since 5.0.4 only lasts a month, this guide is targeted to provide information for MM hunters at level 90. However, most of the information in this guide should be fairly applicable at level 85 as well. The major differences between level 85 and 90 are:

  • You do not have the level 87 spell Stampede yet. Since this ability is instant cast and focus free with a long 5 min CD, its presence, or lack thereof, has negligible impacts on our overall shot selections.
  • You do not have your level 90 spec spell yet. For MM hunters, the current recommendation is Glaive Toss (GT). Since GT is instant cast and costs 15 focus, it is a replacement for AS when its off CD. The lack of the 5 focus savings when using GT is significant in that it is an additional about 3 focus per CS cycle, but not a critical amount where its loss is unduly felt.
  • Stat ratings to percent conversions are much larger at 90. For the old stat rating conversions, please refer to the WoW:Cataclysm guide with the addition that Expertise rating conversion is the same as Hit rating.
  • Since 5.0.4 is at the end of an expansion and 5.1 is at the start of an expansion, hunters have more more secondary stats flexibility with being able to make higher haste caps than will be available in 5.1. However, although higher haste amounts than those recommended in this guide may be achievable and possibly a DPS gain, in most cases, they are not worthwhile achieving and you are better off with the higher crit and mastery.
  • The tier set bonuses are different. This does have an impact to the rotation guidelines but are not worth theorycrafting fully for a month to change again soon after.

Furthermore, this guide only provides full detailed analysis for the recommended spec tree spells. Since there are so many permutations with the spec tree spells with various impacts, it is too much information and effort to provide details for the currently non-optimal tier spell options.


The recommended spec can be found here: Mists of Pandaria – Talent Calculator – World of Warcraft

The recommended tier choices are:

Hunter Level Talent
15 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
30 Silencing Shot
45 Aspect of the Iron Hawk
60 Dire Beast
75 A Murder of Crows
90 Glaive Toss


The choices for the first 3 tiers do not directly impact DPS and are preferential or situational. The choices for the final 3 tiers directly impact DPS, and these are the spells that currently increase MM DPS the most in simulations. The choices can change as Blizzard changes abilities or as gearing progresses, but for now these appear to be the best choices. Some of the other choices may be better for certain encounters though. . . . Read full post

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