The World of Warcraft Hunter Guide for Beginners: Information and Gameplay Tactics

Beast Mastery

Everyone has a favorite race and class in WOW. For me, I really like the Pandaren race but the Hunter is my favorite class. I do not have a Pandaren Hunter yet; however, I do have a blood elf hunter, a troll hunter, and an undead hunter. Anyhow, here is my quick and dirty guide to hunting.

Brief Summary of the Hunter

I’m not going to bore you with a lengthy guide about every hunting detail. If you want to read every little morsel about hunters, I would suggest that you head over to the forums at Blizzard

Many people think that the hunter is the easiest class to play; it isn’t. Yes, there are some pretty simple concepts to manage but the higher the level of your toon, the more advanced skills you need. Hunters should know how to properly control their pet, how to keep aggro focused on their pet and not themselves, and how to kite.

What is the best race for a hunter? That really depends on your playing style. I personally love the undead hunter, but it took creating about 4 different types of hunter for me to figure that out. My best advice, choose the race you think you will like the best. After all, you will probably be playing with that same character for quite awhile.


Hunters are only able to wear cloth and leather until level 40 and leather would be preferable. Once a hunter hits level 40, she can, and should, wear mail. A hunter is not able to ever wear plate. Hunters benefit most from gear that adds to Agility. Strength, Spirit, and Intellect do not benefit hunters, so you can pass on those items.

Hunters are able to use bows, crossbows, and guns for weapons.



Hunters are a DPS (damage per second) class which means that their role is dealing shots that deal damage over time. A hunter’s most effective weapon though is their pet (more on pets later). Once you reach level 10, you can choose one of the following three hunter specializations: Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, or Survival. Beast Mastery is best for soloing and leveling up; Marksmanship for raiding; Survival for PvP.




Once you get to level 15, you can start picking talents. You will be able to choose one talent every 15 levels. Again, you will want to choose the one based on YOUR style of gameplay.



Glyphs are scrolls that enhance your abilities or spells. They are created by inscriptionists and can be found in the AH. The glyphs you choose will be based upon your specialization, but some of the most popular hunter glyphs are Glyph of Animal Bond, Liberation, Mending, Revive Pet, Aspect of the Cheetah, and Tame Beast. There are three levels of glyphs—prime, major, and minor. The slots for glyphs open up depending on your level:

            Level 25- 1 Prime, 1 Major, and 1 Minor.

            Level 50- 2 Prime, 2 major, and 2 Minor.

            Level 75- 3 Prime, 3 Major, and 3 Minor.


The strategy can be broken down into simple terms- let your pet take the hits while you kill. Ok, it is a bit more complicated than that . . . you have to make sure you keep your pet healed and controlled. If you are in an instance, you don’t want your pet to run off and pull a huge mob. It will happen, especially if the target affects your pet with fear, but it shouldn’t happen often.  If you don’t keep your pet healed, guess what? The pet dies and then the mob it was attacking will now be attacking you. Your shot rotation will differ depending on whether you are soloing or raiding. Generally speaking, you will want to stay away from shots or spells that will cause you or your pet to develop agro while raiding. You do, however, want your pet to develop agro if you are soloing. Always use the Hunter’s Mark and Serpent Sting as they will improve your DPS. Take advantage of your Aspect of the Hawk as well. Shot rotation will also depend on your specialization. Here is a shot rotation example based on a Beast Mastery specialization:

    1. Hunter’s Mark
    2. Serpent Sting
    3. Cobra Shot (if available)
    4. Kill Command
    5. Kill Shot (if available)

You may have a different rotation that you feel works best for you.


Kiting is a type of strategy best used for raiding, but it can also be employed while soloing. Basically, you want to set a trap for a mob (usually a frost). The mob triggers the trap and you hit the mob with an aimed shot, staying in your ranged area but out of the melee area. When the mob gets close to your melee area, jump back or run to your range area. You can drop another trap as soon as the ability is ready. The idea is to keep agro on you without allowing the mob to get into a range where they can do melee damage to you. Caution- If you do not kite properly, you could end up getting the healer killed. It is best to use this technique in a raid *if* the tank is in trouble. You are not the tank, so please don’t act like you are.


One of the many cool features of the hunter is the ability to tame and control animals.

Your pet will then fight for you in battles, helping to take the brunt of the hits. Like the hunter, the pet also has a specialization depending on the type of animal you choose. Your pet could have Ferocity (damage), Tenacity (tank), or Cunning (damage). A good example of each type: Ferocity – Wolf; Tenacity- Bear; Cunning- Spider. Each type of animal will come with its own abilities unique to that type of pet.

Happy Hunting!

Please be aware that these pets are NOT the same as vanity pets or battle pets that any race or class can own!