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Scattered Shots: Hunter racials in Mists of Pandaria

Scattered Shots Hunter racials in Mists of Pandaria THURSDAY
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.

Of all the different optimization options for the hunter class, racials are the one that is hardest to change. Nevertheless, there are plenty of hunters out there willing to race-change to squeeze out a bit more DPS or to get a little bit closer to the rugged perfection the designers blessed on the dwarves. This means that there are plenty of people asking what the best hunter race is.

In Mists, we have the new racial of the pandaren, plus a few of the old racials changing. Add to that new abilities and new formulas for the old ones, and the common question of what the best hunter race is requires a new set of math.

Or if you don't have one of those cool glass whiteboards with neon markers like they have in TV to do your math on (I really want one of those), we can shortcut it with Zeherah's hot new beta spreadsheet.

Season with salt

As always, we have to take any ranking of Mists of Pandaria abilities with a large grain of salt. As we saw last week, things are still very heavily in motion, and we just recently saw the nerf to the orc racial. So these numbers are highly subject to change.

Mists of Pandaria racial changes

MoP offers us a handful of new racials. Dwarves used to get 1% crit with guns, while trolls got 1% crit with bows; now both races are gaining 1% expertise with any ranged weapons. This is a much-needed improvement to these hunter racials that will finally allow everyone to agree that there's no reason to use anything other than a gun. (But in a pinch, at least these races won't be penalized when the best ranged weapon isn't the one that lines up with their racial.)

Undead get a new racial that gives them a chance to proc a direct damage on attacks that also heals them, finally putting them on the hunter class map.

The orc pet racial that increased pet damage by 5% has been nerfed to only increase pet damage by 2%.

And finally, we have the new race of pandaren, giving a double stat bonus to buff food -- a very good racial indeed.

The racial list

Let's start by reviewing the racial of all the possible hunter races. We're going to be focusing only on the abilities that contribute DPS or could otherwise directly benefit the raiding hunter, which is the way that racial lists are typically evaluated.

Naturally, PvP would require a very different and much more subjective analysis.

Alliance
  • Draenei Heroic Presence gives 1% hit chance, and Gift of the Naaru give a small heal that can be useful in progression raids.
  • Dwarf Crack Shot increases ranged expertise by 1%.
  • Human Nothing meaningful.
  • Night elf Nothing meaningful. Wisp Spirit is evidence that elves are most useful when dead.
  • Pandaren Epicurean doubles the stat bonus from buff food.
  • Worgen Viciousness increases crit chance by 1%. Further, worgen have Darkflight for a temporary movement boost, which can be invaluable in raid fights to the extent that some top guilds even race-changed to worgen en masse to have it available for all raiders.
Horde
  • Blood elf Nothing meaningful.
  • Undead Touch of the Grave gives a direct damage and minor self-heal combined.
  • Goblin Time is Money gives a 1% attack speed bonus, while Rocket Jump is an occasionally useful movement boost.
  • Orc Blood Fury offers a burst AP cooldown, and Command offers an additional 2% pet damage.
  • Pandaren Epicurean doubles the stat bonus from buff food.
  • Tauren Nothing meaningful.
  • Troll Berserking offers a nice burst haste cooldown, while Dead Eye increases ranged expertise by 1%.
Best hunter racials

Taking a quick look at the raw DPS of the possible hunter racials shows that the nerf of the orc racial moved orcs from the clear top DPS hunter race down to -- well, still the top DPS hunter race, just no longer by a huge margin.

If you're looking for the flat best hunter race by DPS numbers alone, orc is the winner. If you want to factor awesomess and magnetic attraction to the opposite sex, then dwarf is the clear winner. If you're looking for faction-specific number, here are your top choices, in order:

Alliance
  1. Pandaren
  2. Worgen
  3. Dwarf / draenei
Since dwarves and draenei have racials that grant 1% expertise and hit respectively, their racials give essentially identical bonuses.

Horde
  1. Orc
  2. Troll
  3. Pandaren
Troll and pandaren are pretty close, but the fact that trolls can use their burst when needed for buff stacking pushes them into the lead position for all specs, in my opinion.

Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter and choosing the best patch 4.2 gear to learning the DPS value of skill, we've got you covered. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?

Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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