[Hunter] Leveling – Talents and Tips – (1-80) – Updated for 3.2


Hunter Leveling – Talent Build and Tips

Original guide by Zerinj. Updated by Shizu.

Table of Contents

  1. Talent Build
  2. Pet Choice
  3. Rotations
  4. Glyphs
  5. Useful Addons

Talent Build

On the way to 80 there is one Talent Build you should use, and that is the Beast Mastery tree. This tree will focus on improving your pet, so that you can send it in and burn the mob down with ease, and it can put out solid dps in instances as well.

Note: This is the build I used to level MY hunter. This is just a guide on where you should put the talents but if you just don’t like one you can always change it!

Here is the build and why you should put that there:

10-14: Endurace Training – 5/5 – This will increase your health and your pet’s by a considerable amount! Remember the more health you have the more your pet so he can receive more damage!

15-17: Thick Hide – 3/3 – This will put some more armor to you and your pet

18-19: Improved Revive Pet – 2/2 – I like this talent more than Focused Fire because you spend less mana and your pet comes to life with more health. Much people will see the 2% more damage and yes that’s a lot BUT kill command is needed for the 20% crit chance of the special pet abilities.Feel free to put Focused Fire if you want

20-24: Unleashed Fury – 5/5 – More damage yay!

25-29: Ferocity – 5/5 – This is a must!

30-30: Intimidation – 1/1 – Our first stun! And is a requirement for one of the best BM talents.

31-32: Bestial Discipline – 2/2 Focus regeneration for your pet=more atacks quicker

33-34: Improved Mend Pet – 2/2 – Less mana cost and a chance to clean your pet.

35-38: Frenzy – 4/5 – I really don’t recommend 5/5 in this talent…Why? Simple your pet will crit a lot by this moment so he always has this buff up if you want to trade 1 point in this talent for another one. Be my guest but less than 2/5 is useless.

39-39: Aspect Mastery – 1/1 – This is a very nice talent. By this moment you will be switching to Aspect of the Viper a lot so the 10% penalty reduction is great!

40-40: Bestial Wrath – 1/1 – Yay this is the meat and potatoes of the beast master hunter!! 50% more damage for your pet plus he cannot be feared. And he grows and gets red :D!

41-43: Ferocius Inspiration – 3/3 – Your party and raid will love you for this beauty! All damage increased by 3%!!

44-44: Spirit Bond – 1/2 – Ok this is another “your call” talent. I really like the 1% regeneration all the time but some hunters just don’t! In other times this point was for animal handler because it gives 5 expertise but no more.

45-49: Serpent’s swiftness – 5/5 – This is one of the most useful talents IMHO quicker pew pew=dead mob faster

50-50: The Beast Within – 1/1 – Same as Bestial Wrath but for you!

51-53: Longevity – 3/3 – Less cooldown = More red Use it!

54-54: Invigoration – 1/2 – Yea your pet will crit enough for this talent to get paid

55-59: Kindred Spirits – 5/5 – Don’t actually have to explain this right?

So here’s the debate you could spend the last point in the Beast Mastery tree to tame the exotic beasts (and I recommend that you do) but its actually useless now that ALL the pets, including exotic, have been regulated. Anyway its a nice talent because you have 4 extra talent points for your pet.

60-60: Beast Mastery

Now we go into the Marksman Tree.

61-65: Lethal Shots – 5/5 – More crit for you!

66-70: Mortal Shots – 5/5 – See above

71-73: Careful Aim – 3/3 – More Ranged Attack Power period!

74-75: Go For the Throat – 2/2 – More regeneration for your pet focus!

76-80: So now were in the final lap! Just 5 levels and you reach 80. But this 5 point could be in 3 talents (5/5): Efficiency, Improved Stings or Improved Arcane Shot. Or maybe you just want to put something in the Surv tree.I leave it to your own personal choice; not because I’m lazy its more because I don’t know your playstyle maybe your more big numbers and choice Imp. stings or Imp. Arcane Shot or more like me that like some less mana wasted and go for Efficiency.

Another thing if you DID NOT spend the last point in beast mastery tree; put that point in Readiness

==NOTE== At 80 I would recommend respeccing to a build that suits what you want to accomplish at end-game be it raiding, pvp or farming.

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Pet of choice

Ok now that you have your talents done lets talk about the Hunter’s best friend: The pet!

At level 10 you are sent to tame 3 beasts from your starting zone and by level 12 you MUST have always a pet out!

I wont tell you about the types of pets available because that would take just too long but if you want to know about this topic in specific please visit Petopia

Ok so here we go! Before patch 3.1 it was recommended to level to 32-35 and train a gorilla for his Thunderstomp, but the times has changed. Now just train one pet from the Tenacity Tree. Anyone will do the job done but some pets have some useful skills that you may want to search. But if you’re like me and don’t really care about the abilities just go for the most appealing pet you can find! When you find a nice pet that you like (doesn’t matter if its for his skin or abilities) you’re ready to rock!

*Note:I know this is a guide but I’m against the people that just follow a guide and never experience for themselves and do they own researches but hey I’m putting link to the important stuff 😛

Ill list here some tenacity pets:

Now the rotation will be all the same until you have spend 6 talent points in YOUR pet tree to get Thunderstomp talent around 44 or so.

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1-10: You do not have your pet yet, so just Serpent Sting and then melee the mob down.

Aspect of the Viper: From Level 20 onwards if you ever finding you are running low on mana, simply turn on Aspect of the Viper to quickly regain that mana.


  • Hunter’s Mark
  • Mend PetThis maybe looks like a waste of mana in the start of the fight but the healing over time will increase your pet aggro
  • Send Pet
  • Serpent StingA DoT(Damage over Time) its always welcome
  • Arcane shot
  • By this time the mob should be dead.Feel free to try all your shots and sting but remeber to put mend pet before you send the pet

40-50: Now you have learned Volley you can use an AoE rotation to kill multiple enemies but be careful not to gain aggro, or continue to use the above rotation for single target damage.

Once your pet learn Thunderstomp the rotation changes to something like this

==NOTE== The AoE rotation stays the same from now on.

50-71: Steady Shot it took us 50 levels to get it, but we have it now. This is your new Single Target rotation: Hunter’s Mark, Serpent Sting, Steady Shot until dead. (Be sure to renew Serpent Sting if it goes through the entire duration.)

71-80: Now we can train Kill Shot. Now your dps becomes even easier.

I’m not that great in pvp but i’ll put some tips you may want to know about hunters in pvp.


  • Always use Bestial Wrath: and when i mean always its always! This let you do 50% more damage and makes you inmmune to fear effects!
  • Aim for cloties! it doesnt mater if youre been attacked by the plate weares try to CC them and aim for the priests, mages or warlocks! If you try to beat down a plate wearer (death knights, warrior or paladins) your wasting your time and ammo.if theres no cloties in your range try the leather ones!
  • For the love of god or watherver religion you are or belive!! USE YOUR TRAPS!!! If you’re in WG put slowing traps in the entrance of the tunnels or in the feet of the enemys! this make them mad!! If there are more hunters in your team try to rotate your cooldown with the traps! Its easy first you and then the other one!! Easy and there always a trap out of cooldown; if you are in AB put your nasty explosive, inmlation or your freezing trap just in the feet of the flags! this will interrupt your enemys in theri try to grab the flags!
  • If you find you’re self surronded; send your pet for distraction and run!!Its not coward to run for reinforcements!. If you try to engage them you’ll die for sure….this just a waste of time and you dont have to suffer it.
  • Help your healers and clothies!! You ARE a support class so DO YOUR JOB; i just hate that hunters that leave the cloties and go all alone to be the “superman” and when they get killed,they blame the others for not support them!
  • I know you can kill tough mobs in pve but in pvp there are not AI so please by all means stay with the group
  • As a principle (and all clases need to follow) is aim for the healers!! if you fin yourself tryind to break the big bad warrior in the shield…just mark the healer you will see that a lot of your teammates will focus fire the healer and when hes death you WILL see that he big bad warrior will be just another easy to break player
  • Dont go with your tenacity pet to bgs! yea he can manage big stikes but in bg your enemys wont go for the pet (unless they are new people who thinks the pet is another player or someon trying to make you mad) So try to get a cat or a scorpid even a ravager its good because they attack fast enough to slow down the casters…

Note:To make a macro type /macro or in the game menu the Macro option; select a name and write down the macro move it to your action bars and your done

I used this one for my aspects
/cast[button:1]Aspect of the Hawk
/cast[button:2]Aspect of the Viper
/cast[button:3]Aspect of the Monkey
If you have more mouse buttons you may want to add them.

#showtooltip ‘Mountname’
/use !Aspect of the Viper
/use ‘Mountname’

This macro will turn aspect of viper when you mount up
Thanks to Tzu Iop for the macro!

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Major Glyphs:

Minor Glyphs:

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Useful Addons

Titan Panel: This is a very useful addon for showing your Repair Percentage and Current Repair Bill and how much Ammo you have left.

OmniCC: This addon basically adds text to items/spells that are on cooldown to indicate when they’ll be ready for use once again.

MSBT: Replacement to the default scrolling battle text.

Bartender4: Highly customizable Action Bar addon. You can create custom bars for your Traps, Aspects and etc…

I like the FuBar addon instead of the Titan Panel but that’s my opinion

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    Oct 20, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    Moved to Archive SectionWe are recently working on improving the quality of content here on, both by limiting low ranked guides and by moving out of date guides into archives. For more information, see [url=]the full news post detailing this process[/url].

    Your guide has been moved to the archive section for the following reasons:
    [list][*]The guide is significantly out of date.[/list]

    If you improve your guide to address these issues, you are welcome to move the guide back to it’s proper category. If someone else would like to adopt the guide, please leave a comment.

    If you have any questions about this process, feel free to comment here.

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    Oct 18, 2010 @ 21:14 pm

    New guide..Someone should make a new hunter guide, with patch 4.0.1 , most class guides got destroyed.

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    Oct 11, 2010 @ 2:31 am

    It may be late but it’sIt may be late but it’s still perfectly valid 🙂

    Tenacity pets do have some useful abilities for PvP, but they aren’t the best choice by a long way. Also remember big crits aren’t the only thing you should be looking for – they are very nice to have yes, but they are probably one of the least important tools you have.

    Ferocity pets are probably a slightly better choice, due to teh fact that the attack speed is faster, meaning they attack more often. The reason you would want this is against casters… If a Mage for example is casting a Pyroblast and someone or something attacks them, then the spell get’s a ‘knockback’ effect – they lose some of their cast and have to spend longer casting the spell. If they get another attack against them, it make sthe cast longer again. If you can slow down any caster with this method, then you greatly up your chances of winning against them. A DPS won’t be able to cast their big spells effectively, and a healer will be stuck trying to heal themselves or their ally but also won’t be as effective at it. This can be very important in PvP play.

    Cunning pets though are by far the best choice for PvP. They have the tools and utility offered by some Tenacity pets, and have them upgraded so they perform them better and have more of them available. They mostly also have the higher attack speed of the Ferocity pets so you can annoy the casters even more 🙂 Their damage that you see may be lower in numbers and you won’t get the big crits, but high damage alone will not help you win.


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    Oct 10, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    Pvp petsI know this comment comes like what, a year late? But i’ve just started to read your little guide here. The thing when it comes to hunter PvP, you say ” You should not bring your tenacity pet into BG’s”. I find that wrong. I always have my gorilla out, and yesterday while i was doing Arathi basin he critted for 404 dmg, and im a 48 hunter(he was 47). Yeah , maybe ferocity pets dmg more faster, doesn’t mean there better. As many ppl is going to PvP at lower lvls than 80, even 60, their pet won’t have avoidance (AoE dmg reduction with 90%). Many ppl use AoE spells in bg’s if they meet alot of defenders at a base, thus making the pet die. Same thing if like a warrior does cleave. So my question is ; Why is it better to have a ferocity pet that sometimes may die when you can have a tenacity pet that wont? the dmg is almost the same.

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    Apr 7, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    A little macro.This one off the macros that I use all the time on my hunter and on any hunter I make. When you get the Disengage spell:

    #showtooltip Disengage
    /script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”);
    /cast Wing Clip
    /cast Raptor Strike
    /cast Disengage
    /script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”);

    Use is when you get that mob that just will not aggro to your pet this will stop what you where doing when it closes to close combat. It will cast Wing Clip to slow it down then it will cast Raptor Strike for some damage. Then you will Disengage. The script part is if per-say that Raptor Strike was on cool down it pop an Error Message this just stop that from happening because we all know that is annoying to see and it just gets in the way on the screen.

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    Dec 29, 2009 @ 16:48 pm

    That would be a bear.That would be a bear.

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    Dec 29, 2009 @ 4:12 am

    Pet choice!!!!!Get a pet in Darkshore! (Kalimdor)
    They got a spell called Swipe wich deal damage to 3 targets wich will help alot to hold aggro on 2+ mobs when u do AoE Rotation or just a bigger pull when u are 1-40

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    Dec 7, 2009 @ 15:21 pm

    Rotationher are 2 macros that makes your Leveling Betweeen 14-40 MUCH easyer(Single target)(Requiers a pet , the spells : Mend pet , arcane shot , hunters mark , serpent sting .. works any rank)
    First Make this macro:

    #show Mend pet
    /cast Mend pet

    Put that on Action bar 1
    Now make this macro :

    #show Arcane Shot
    /castsequence Hunter’s Mark, Serpent Sting, Arcane Shot, Concussive Shot, Arcane Shot, Hunter’s Mark, Serpent sting, Arcane Shot, Concussive shot,

    Put that on action bar 2
    Then when u going to fight just click First Mend pet macro (Action bar 1) Then SPAM The other macro (Action bar 2) Dont care about the Cooldown it shows … Keep clicking like hell to the enemy is dead!

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    Nov 19, 2009 @ 14:35 pm

    I was thinking about thisI was thinking about this while working on my Pet guide. When leveling in the Beast Mastery Tree, you should [u]definitely[/u] take the [url=]Beast Mastery[/url] Talent for the 4 extra points. If at 80 you want to take [url=]Readiness[/url], then respec your Talents. Saving that point for 20 levels just isn’t worth it when 4 more points for your Pet can help out immediately.

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    Oct 30, 2009 @ 19:52 pm

    I agreeSerpent Sting is a pretty poor leveling skill, even when using the Glyphs of Serpent Sting and Steady Shot. DOTs are plain and simple a waste of mana while leveling; they aren’t worth it unless they tick to their full duration, and if they do, you’re probably doing something wrong because mobs should die faster than that.

    I also don’t like this guide’s emphasis on AoE after level 40. While AoE is great when the opportunity arises, the fact of the matter is that most of the time you can’t simply gather mobs and Volley them down (whether because of terrain, the presence of casters, distance between mobs, or whatever). If you’re following Jame’s guides — which I assume you are or why are you at this site? — your focus should be on single-target damage. That’s what you will be spending most of your time doing.

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    Aug 28, 2009 @ 18:18 pm

    Srry for the late answer iSrry for the late answer i been preparing myself for the blizzcon sooo i stayed out off all :P. i added a note in the pvp tips that i think says everything!

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    Tzu Iop
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:30 pm

    Mana managementActually i don’t like your rotation advise because in my opinion you can ignore Serpent Sting almost completely while leveling. Since nonglyphed it provides less Dmg per Mana than Arcane Shot and Steady Shot also it does nearly never last for the full duration of 15 seconds as the mobs die beforehand making the Dmg per Mana Ratio even worse. Sure it adds some DPS but not in amounts to make up for the increased time you spend in Viper.
    Also due to the fact that only very few mobs last for full 15s duration of Serpent Sting the Glyph is rather useless for leveling since you will rarely get the benefit of two additional ticks before Serpent Sting exspires.
    I would use Glyph of Mending instead of Serpent Sting together with Bestial Wrath. (You have only two glyphslots for leveling as the third comes with level 80) Btw. the pet should hold aggro over you, unless you are packed with Heirloomitems and i am not not sure were you get that from, that you won’t get healing aggro from mend pet. Nevertheless i would save Mend Pet for occasion when you really need it, again for mana saving reasons.

    Last but not least a makro i find helpful as a hunter:
    #showtooltip ‘Mountname’
    /use !Aspect of the Viper
    /use ‘Mountname’

    This makro will always turn on Aspect of the Viper when you mount up.

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    Aug 19, 2009 @ 22:32 pm

    I would disagree that peopleI would disagree that people who use this guide would automatically know that they shouldn’t PvP until they are confident in their class. I think people come to the guide because they are new to the class, especially a leveling guide like this. So you might want to include a note.

    Also, it’s okay that you are inexperienced in PvP, this is not a PvP guide like you said. But, that’s the perfect reason to take constructive input from others seriously and use it to improve your guide! I have done the same for my tree guide, because I am also inexperienced in PvP (though I’m actually getting into it lately!)

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    Aug 19, 2009 @ 18:14 pm

    As i tell in the guide imAs i tell in the guide im not that great on pvp i just put some things I do while im on bgs..Also this is not a pvp guide this are just some tips i highly recomend. Also most of the people that use a guide to know a hunter shouldnt go to bgs until he/she feels confident and know a bit the abilities if the class.
    Anyway thanks for the coment but i did not say to spam bestial wrath just to remeber to use it…its very handy and 1 min cooldown its almost nothing…

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    Aug 19, 2009 @ 1:28 am

    mmI think this guide is fine, but eventually each hunter is going to have to realize that he needs to eventually be able to make talent decisions and PvP decisions on his own.

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    Aug 19, 2009 @ 0:20 am

    Since this was your guideSince this was your guide originally, Zerinj, I think it would be great if you two could work together to improve the guide. I don’t think I can make both of you author’s, unfortunately, but Shizu should definitely take your comment seriously.

    Alternatively, if you like you could update your version of the guide (it has not been deleted), and we could ask Shizu to edit this one to make it all his own, if it turns out you two disagree significantly on hunter advice.

    Let me know, both of you, what you would like to do and I’ll do what I can to assist.

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    Aug 18, 2009 @ 22:02 pm

    PvP TipsI hate to be frank but a lot of the PvP tips are pretty mediocre. You don’t want to be spamming Bestial Wrath every time it’s off cooldown, you’d be better of saving it for fighting a Rogue or say someone with a fear. Also aiming for clothies is fine for Honorable Kills, but you completely left out the situation if you’re getting violated by a plate wearer. There is also very little information about using Disengage and Freezing/Frost Trap/Arrow effectively. Also I would not include the point about pets in PvP, since they are all unique and bring certain benefits to the PvP situation, and you would be better off choosing a pet on what play style you have.

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    Aug 17, 2009 @ 17:04 pm

    Thanks for the corrections iThanks for the corrections i added a short list of 4 tenacity pets that are very easy to find in low levels and thanks for putting the credit in some place visible i included but i think tha it was in the wrong place!

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    Aug 17, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    Great GuideMy main is a 70 orc hunter and I was a big noob when it came to picking pets and knowing a good spell rotation when I started out.

    If you want to kill fast heck yeah go for a tenacity pet. Thunderstomp is the best thing ever made for a hunter. I started off with a cat from 10-39 and then I used a gorilla from 40-69. So I went to Borean Tundra and tamed a Rhino at 70, which is SOOOO much better than my gorilla was. It has Stampede, which causes the enemy to bleed for 60 seconds for X amount of damage, I forget how much.

    (Oh and Beastial Wrath makes a Rhino look 4x the size of an orc!)

    I went my own way with my Beast Mastery talent tree, and I am just now going into Marksmanship at 70 so I suck, but my pets are not to be handled with 😉

    Btw a good taming tip, lay down a freezing trap, I can’t tell ya how many times a gorilla slapped me from taming it at the last second, even with it trapped. If your friends with a mage, ask him to help you out too. My friend turned my Rhino into a chicken while I was taming him. :cheers:

    Is there some sort of a hunter PVP guide? I love playing battlegrounds and I would like to see some tips for a beast mastery hunter on staying alive longer.

    Great guide dude

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    Aug 16, 2009 @ 7:48 am

    Post 3.2 Hunter leveling tipsA good guide. For what it’s worth, by the way, your pet should have access to Thunderstomp when you (or rather, your pet) hit level 40.

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    Aug 15, 2009 @ 21:55 pm

    Good update. I know EnglishGood update. I know English is a second language for you, and there were quite a few spelling and grammar errors. Since it would probably be difficult for you to fix those on your own, I fixed as many of them as I noticed for now. Others may point out specific things which you can fix later.

    Overall I think the update has improved the guide, particularly the rotation section – it seems more fleshed out and clear now. I don’t know hunters well so I don’t know if the advice is good or not, someone else will have to comment on that.

    As for improvements, I definitely think you should list the type of pets that are in the tenacity tree. As a hunter noob, I would have no idea which ones are tenacity, and it wouldn’t take up too much space to list them. I don’t mean individual mob names, just types (like “Gorilla” and “Turtle” and whatever else there is).

    Anyway, good job! I’m moving this guide to the main hunter section so it can be easily found. I’m also going to add a note giving some credit to the original author, Zerinj.

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