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Scattered Shots: So you want to be a hunter - Levels 71-80

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly World of Warcraft Hunter class column. This week we wrap up our "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series as we look at Levels 71-80 and see what makes up the best class in the game. So join me, Eddie Carrington, Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge blog and podcast, as we explore what's in store for us hunters.

Hey gang! Welcome to the last installment of the "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series. It's been a long and windy path through grassy plains, sweltering tropics, and fractured planets to finally end up in the frozen wastes of Northrend as we prepare to face the Lich King and hope to get a flying horse when PTR Patch 3.3 is dropped.

As we do every week, we'll review the skills you'll learn. Suggest talent builds for both you and your pet. And help you with finding some solid gear choices by recommending some of the Northrend 5-man instances to run through. And what trek through new territory and levels would be complete without identifying rare tamable beasts along the way?

If you've missed a previous edition, I've outlined below what we have covered in the 7 previous installations of this leveling series.
  • Part 1: We reviewed each race and how their racial bonuses and abilities could affect your how you might play your hunter.
  • Part 2: We quickly talked about the first nine levels. Then we started a review of each talent tree: Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival.
  • Part 3: We discussed what happened from levels 10 through 20. We also went over the quests to learn how to tame your first pet and mount.
  • Part 4: We covered some of the covered attacks, buffs and spells. We also began looking at how to teach your pet new skills by applying pet talents.
  • Part 5: We covered levels 21 through 40. We ended up with you getting your epic riding mount and you now can wear mail. From now on completing quests and gaining levels will be much faster.
  • Part 6: Is where we started to see that we were learning more new ranks than new spells as we leveled from 41 to 60. We ended our time in Outlands with our first flying mount.
  • Part 7: We started at level 61 in Outlands and ended in Northrend at level 70.
As you can see we've covered a lot of ground and we have 10 levels left to go. This week we'll tackle our last 10 levels as we go from 70 to 80.

Level 71-72

When it comes to learning new spells, Levels 71 and 72 can be summed up in two little words, Kill Shot. Then again, there's a catch, there is always a catch. Kill Shot isn't always available. It's a special attach that depends on the target's level of health. Even with this one little snag, Kill Shot is one really cool ability and should be at the top of your shot priority.

Just remember, Kill Shot will only work on enemies with their health at 20% or lower. However, as soon as that happens? You can shell out some massive damage (200% weapon damage plus [RAP * 0.40 + 410]) damage. In other words, if you have a level 72 hunter equipped with the Siege Captain's Gun with a 223 weapon damage and about 1,500 RAP, Kill Shot alone could score out around 1,456 points of damage. Excited now?

We also learn some skill-ups: Explosive Trap (Rank 5), Raptor Strike (Rank 10), Steady Shot (Rank 3), and Counterattack (Rank 5), Immolation Trap (Rank 7).

New Hunter Skills
Hunter Talent Allocations Pet Talent Allocations Dungeon Quest Chains to Consider

As you complete your final push to wrap up leveling, you need to keep in mind what you will need to be prepared to raid when you hit level 80.

For example, one thing that many hunters face is learning how to play in groups. Even though we've said before to treat your pet as the tank and make sure it has and maintains threat, many hunters seem to fail to ever learn this and end up embarrassing themselves during their first raid.

The best way to break many of these nasty habits you may have learned while leveling out side of Northrend, is to start running the 5-man instances in both normal and heroic modes as soon as possible.

This will give you a couple of things. One, it will help get you accustomed to running in larger parties than just you and your pet. Next, it will help you gear up for those infamous raids. So even if you end up having to pug or maybe using the soon to be released Looking For Group utility coming out in Patch 3.3, you'll find that it was time well spent.
Instances to Consider Rare Pets
  • No new pets
Level 73-74

When we hit level 74 we'll learn Aspect of the Dragonhawk. With its ability to increase our ranged attack power by 230 and our dodge by 18% while active (dodge isn't really that important to PvE but the PvP-Arena or Battleground folks might appreciate it), Dragonhawk will become your de facto Aspect to keep active.

We also get some nice skill-ups starting at level 73. Starting with Arcane Shot (Rank 10) and Serpent Sting (Rank 11). Especially the Serpent Sting since we use it for those really important extra damage ticks.

At level 74 we learn Mend Pet (Rank 9), Multi-Shot (Rank 7), and Volley (Rank 5). All of these are staples that you will use pretty regularly.

New Hunter Skills Hunter Talent Allocations Pet Talent Allocations
  • No new pet talents
Dungeon Quest Chains to Consider
Instances to Consider Rare Pets
  • No new pets
Level 75 – 76

When you hit Level 75 you'll pick up Master's Call. Having this skill in your arsenal can make you the hero of the day if you use it right. Being able to cast Master's Call on a stuck healer and having you pet head over and release them could end up being the difference between a dead healer or a dead boss.

Don't worry, this isn't the only skill-up we'll get to see. We also get Aimed Shot (Rank 8), Black Arrow (Rank 5), Explosive Shot (Rank 3), Kill Shot (Rank 2), Wyvern Sting (Rank 5), Aspect of the Wild (Rank 4) and an upgrade to our Hunter's Mark (Rank 5).

New Hunter Skills Hunter Talent Allocations Pet Talent Allocations Dungeon Quest Chains to Consider
Instances to Consider Rare Pets Levels 77 – 78

We're almost to the end of the leveling road. We've reach level 77 and only have a few more to go.

Now is the time to buy Cold Weather Flying, unless you already have an 80 and decided to buy the Tome of Cold Weather Flight. If that's the case, you've probably been flying around everywhere for a while now.

Either way, make sure you have Cold Weather Flying before moving forward. If you don't have it, go get it straightaway. You can't do much very quickly without it going forward. (Well, you can still level, but most of the quests here on out will require you to fly.

As for new hunter skills, levels 77 and 78 seem to disappoint a bit. We don't get anything new and shiny, but we do get some interesting skill ups. First we see an increase to Steady Shot (Rank 4). Next we see that the Survival tree adds a new rank of Explosive Trap (Rank 6).

Now Steady Shot and Explosive Trap will be appreciated. However, Raptor Strike (Rank 11), Counter Attack (Rank 6), and Immolation Trap (Rank 8), might not be so much.

As I said earlier, nothing really new and shiny but a nice skill up to Steady Shot and Explosive Trap at least.

New Hunter Skills
  • No new skills
Hunter Talent Allocations Pet Talent Allocations
  • No new pet talents
Dungeon Quest Chains to Consider IInstances to Consider Rare Pets
Levels 79-80

Here we are! The last two levels on our long and winding journey to level 80. We've finally reached that final plateau (well at least until Cataclysm is released and we have to level to 85.)

You might disagree with me, but the fact that a hunter can now carry all of their pets with them (well not carry the pets but have the ability to access them anywhere) with Call Stabled Pet.

Call Stabled Pet can add tremendous flexibility as well as be a huge help to a hunter. Not sure what I mean? Let's take for example, starting out with your wolf as your raiding pet and enjoy the added attack power from using furious howl. Next, you run up against a where maybe having a pet wasp would be helpful by providing an extra armor debuff. No problem, just use Call Stabled Pet and avoid the mana loss penalty associated with Dual Talent Specialization.

We also learn Freezing Arrow. Now, I have to say I really like this ability. Besides having a really cool effect, Freezing Arrow basically allows you to place a Freezing Trap with near pinpoint accuracy.

No more dropping a trap, followed by pulling your mob, only to have the trap fail and your face almost bitten off by an angry Frostworg. Now, you can fire off the trap pull the mob and freeze it at a safe distance. And if it fails, still have enough time to send in your pet to pick up threat before you have to start kiting practice.

In addition to Freezing Arrow and Call Stabled Pets, you also get some key skill-ups. You will also learn: Arcane Shot (Rank 11), Serpent Sting (Rank 12), Aspect of the Dragonhawk (Rank 2), Black Arrow (Rank 6), Kill Shot (Rank 3), Mend Pet (Rank 10), Multi-Shot (Rank 8), Volley (Rank 6) and Wyvern Sting (Rank 6). All of which will play a critical roll as you start to use Dual Talent Specialization and call stabled pets in future raids and instances.

New Hunter Skills
Hunter Talent Allocations Pet Talent Allocations Dungeon Quest Chains to Consider Instances to Consider Rare Pets (Fanfare plays) Hear ye! Hear ye! Congratulations! You have reached the end of a long and treacherous road. You are n ready to do battle with the biggest and meanest bosses around level 80. Well maybe not completely ready, but you've learned all of your hunter skills. All you need to do now is run some 5-man Instances and maybe even a few Heroics on your way towards acquiring the Epic achievement. Then it's all eyes straight ahead as you continue to gearing up and getting ready for Icecrown to drop in Patch 3.3.

(Authors Note: A previous release of this post had draft notes left in that stated Kill Shot wasn't available to BM Hunters. This isn't true. Beast Master Hunters should pick this skill up and use it. I've even highlighted in a previous Scattered Shots post how when active it should be the first shot in your BM Shot Priority in . I'm sorry for any confusion this caused, and offer my thanks everyone that overwhelmingly notified me so I could correct this right away.)

You want to be a Hunter, eh? Well then you came to the right place. Scattered Shots is the one column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a Hunter. Each week Scattered Shots will cover topics to help you Fix Your DPS, Choosing the Right Spec, Gear Selection, Macros and Pet Selection, Pet Specs and Management.


Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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