Hunters guide Archives

Hunters guide Archives

hunters guide Archives

hunters guide Archives

Hunter builds/Archive


Hunters are known for their pets, their long-range, sustained DPS, and their traps.

The three trees of a Hunter are all viable for a hunter to choose for leveling, player versus player combat, or end game raids or instances. The three trees all have options to offer for utility, open DPS, and survivability.

Leveling Specs

All hunter specs are viable for leveling, although most hunters choose Beast Mastery. Considered to be the fastest leveling build, as uptime is limited only by the health of your high-armor pet. The choice of pet for your spec is also very important, as Beast Mastery talents better equip a tanking pet.

A helpful leveling macro for this build is:

#showtooltip /castsequence reset=combat/10/modifier Serpent Sting, Arcane Shot, Concussive Shot, Steady Shot, Steady Shot, Arcane shot, Steady Shot, Steady Shot

This is a macro that can be continuously used over and over and is good as soon as you get steady shot.

Example Beast Mastery Leveling Spec

A recommendation for how the talents might be placed as you level up:
[Spirit Bond] will greatly reduce downtime, as well as [Endurance],  [Thick Hide] and [Improved Mend Pet] for pet survivability. As your pet will also do a large amount of damage and you are very vulnerable without him, you may choose to put points in [Improved Revive Pet].


There are many pets with different strengths. There are 3 sorts of pets: Ferocity (aggressive), Tenacity (defensive) and Cunning (a mix, mostly used in PvP). Here are some pet talent builds that can be used in PvP.

Beast Mastery

Beast Mastery offers decent DPS in the game for hunters in the raiding environment, but is substantially behind Marksmanship and Survival.

Example Specs

This build requires Glyph of Steady Shot. (Paledine (US) Dragonblight)

PvP Specs

A PvP spec that's focused on your pet and survival.

A PvP spec that will make sure you get high DPS and survival with your pet.

Disadvantages of Beast Mastery

A large part of the Hunter's damage is imbued in the pet, who must be alive in order to use Bestial Wrath/Beast Within. This is frequently seen as a fatal flaw to the build. This is especially the case in arenas, where your pet will often be the main target of the opponent. Seeing as it scales only very little with your armor and stamina, it makes an easy target which severely cripples a BM hunter. In raids, the hunter alone should have no trouble keeping their pet alive with [Mend Pet] and careful control of the pet's actions (treat your pet as a player, if you wouldn't draw aggro from the Main Tank, neither should it). Should the pet die, the Beast Master can recover quickly and cheaply with [Improved Revive Pet]. Nevertheless, Beast Mastery play-style requires a significant amount of diligence in managing the pet's actions and threats on top of managing threats to the hunter.


The strength of this tree lies in burst damage. Your shots are far slower than that of the BM hunter, but you hit quite a bit harder. This tree is also the land of PVP talents. Marksmanship builds tend to be roughly equivalent in overall damage output to Survival builds at lower gear levels. At higher gear levels, marksmanship pulls ahead of survival by a large margin. In terms of mana efficiency however, marksmanship falls behind survival, but in most cases, this isn't a big concern.

PvE Specs

This Spec is a high damage Marksman PvE spec that focuses on physical damage. This spec also takes 1/3 [Focused Aim], so the hit cap becomes 7% without a Draenei, as opposed to 8%. This spec is reliant on Armor Penetration, and will only overtake a Survival build at higher levels of gear where ArP becomes rather prevalent. For this same reason, [Arcane Shot] is dropped from the rotation, in favor of another [Steady Shot], which grants more damage at these levels of Armor Pen. This spec benefits greatly from an ArP proc trinket.

The amount of Steadys also has a bearing on the Glyph choice.  [Glyph of Serpent Sting] is only in the lineup for its increase in damage to Chimera Shot, but both  [Glyph of Steady Shot] and  [Glyph of the Hawk] are directly useful for the face that each rotation will have 3-4 Steadys fired.

The mechanics for this spec are something like this: Open with a [Serpent Sting], tied to a [Silencing Shot], followed by a Chimera Shot, and an [Aimed Shot]. From here, just repeat [Steady Shot] until Chimera and Aimed are back up again, and use Silencing whenever it is off cooldown, as it has no GCD. Once you have used enough mana that the gain from [Rapid Recuperation] will not be wasted, use [Rapid Fire] and [Readiness] for 30 seconds of very high damage. Used early enough, this should be up twice on a decently long fight.

Even with 2/2 [Rapid Recuperation], this spec is still rather more mana inefficient than a Survival build, and the benefit of both [Replenishment] and Judgment of Wisdom will be very clearly felt.

This Spec is a PvP viable high damage Marksman PvE spec. This spec takes 1/1 [Scatter Shot], for increased survivability. this is not a recomended spec and it will be hard to equal damage on other Marksman hunters. For this spec to be on the same ground you will need to have very good gear, gem and enchant to be hit capped, and is posted as a viable spec for those who dont take dual spec and wish to raid and do some pvp as well.

The mechanics for this spec are the same as the spec above.

PvP specs

This spec is primarily a utility role, and requires you to have ~5% hit rating, while adding nice burst DPS. Its main focus, is to survive to get back to range against almost any class, and keep them there. Allowing you to scatter shot melee classes that get close to lay down a Frost Trap, which will in-turn grant you 3 Arcane Shots, and root them for 4 seconds. Starting off against melee classes with a Scorpid+Chimera combo to disarm them of their ability to damage you and DKs to heal themselves, switching it back up with Serpent Sting after. I also took into consideration the Disarm Mechanics that most PvP builds overlook, seeing as Mages, Priests, Rogues, and Warriors, are all capable of disarming you of your ranged weapon and added Deflection to reduce the effect by 50% with out the use of an enchant. For the most part this build will burn through any caster class, save Disco Priests, with Serpent, Aimed, Arcane, Chimera+Silence, Readiness, Chimera+Silence, Aimed, Arcane, Kill Shot. Provided you are able to deal 3k Aimed Crits, and 5k Chimera Crits, and 2.5k Chimera-Serpent crits, the overall damage if you crit every shot would be approx 31k in about 12 seconds, as Silence Shot does not suffer a GCD, and not counting Auto/Wild Quiver hits. Keep in mind you have readiness at your disposal, that means, 2x FD, Disengage, Silence, Deterrence, Traps, Scatter Shot, and Rapid Fire (which I barely use in a PvP situation other than BGs and 5v5). No mana saving here, as in PvP you either kill or die first.



Of the three Talent trees available to Hunters, Survival currently remains the tree with the highest sustained dps output in a PvE context. Patch notes can be found at Patch_3.1.0 for specific details on changes

Making your Survival Build

First and foremost there is no such thing as the SV hunter build. Although you might have read or heard the first sentence before let's take a few lines to look into why there is no such thing as the ideal SV hunter build because this might help you in creating your own talent build.

First of all it depends on what you want to do with your SV hunter, if you have a desire to mainly PvP this has different implications for your build than if you prefer to PvE. And even if you prefer to PvP there are significant differences between Battlegrounds and Arenas. On the other hand, being a good Raider requires a different build than instancing HC's or soloing your way through Icecrown. This being said, the following deals with PvE often from a raider's perspective.

Another important reason why there is no such thing as the ideal SV Hunter Build is because it depends on the gear you have managed to acquire or rather on the stats you have. For example if you have 750 Agility vs. having 1700 Agility, a 1% increase of your Agility from [Hunting Party] will have strongly differing effects. If your Agility is low you might very well be better off spending your talent point elsewhere.

The same goes for being Hit capped. Being hit capped is very important if you like raiding and reasonably important if you spend lots of time in Heroic Dungeons. Hunters are hit capped at a hit rating of 263 or a hit percentage of 8%. Being hit capped basically means that your attacks won't miss in boss encounters, which is important as 8% miss chance translates into 8% dps loss. The talent [Focused Aim] give you a 1/2/3% increase in your hit percentage (Which now applies to your pet as well), you should strive to get your full 263 hit rating (8%) from your gear, gems, enchants and food because this leaves you free to spend talent points elsewhere than in [Focused Aim].

You can go even further in making decisions on your build: in raid encounters, for example, you may consider Pet Survivability or the amount of movement that a boss encounter requires and favor different builds on the outcome of such considerations.

Ultimately, while there are several more common builds for survival hunters, the decision is left to you to determine what works best for you. Many hunters will use a specific build because of its personal use, or what it could bring to the raid - for example, more points in Hunting Party so that your healers can regenerate a bit more mana. Play around with your specs, and see what works best while keeping in mind that your job is to help kill bosses faster. Never be afraid to ask another hunter what his spec and shot rotation are, if you're not good at figuring things out. Most of us - your fellow hunters - are willing to advise you on how to spec properly based on your goals. We may even take you to the training dummies to see what you're doing and offer help that way.

Suggested talents

1. [Explosive Shot] - This is the 51-point talent for the Survival tree. [Lock and Load], [T.N.T.] and other talents help boost the potency of this particular shot, making it the bread & butter shot for most Survival hunters.

2. [Improved Tracking] - This is commonly agreed to be the best point to start your SV hunter talent build, it is strongly suggested to spend your first 5 points here. It yields a simple 5% overall damage increase, just don't forget to turn your tracking on!

3. [Survival Instincts] is another clear choice. While the damage reduction is a nice bonus for soloing as well as helping reduce the burden on healers in groups, the real prize here is the 4% critical strike increase for your [Steady Shot] & [Explosive Shot].

4. [Trap Mastery] - You need to spend another 3 points to get to the next tier on the talent tree, but this probably is your best bet due to a direct damage boost and extended trap durations. That being said there are situations in raids where a little extra range could be very useful, but we'll discuss the situational merits of [Hawk Eye] later on.

5. [Survivalist] - More hit points for soloing and group work is always nice, but the real DPS aspect of this talent comes into play when combined with [Hunter vs. Wild]. Talent points are well spent here.

6. [T.N.T.]- The damage increase to your [Explosive Shot] can make this 3 talent points well spent. However, if you find yourself in need of reaching the Hit cap, sacrificing the needed points to here may be an option cost of reduced damage for [Explosive Shot]

7. [Lock and Load] - While it may seem impractical considering the discrepancy between the proc chance of traps compared with actual damage, this talent does serve its purpose. That extra arrow/bullet and lack of a cooldown could mean the difference between winning and wiping.

8. [Hunter vs. Wild] - Attack power increases with stamina. Hard to pass this one up.

9. [Killer Instinct] - Another clear choice, gives you 3% extra critical chance.

10. Lightning Reflexes (hunter talent) - Gaining 15% extra agility is not to be missed.

11. [Expose Weakness] - If you have a solid critical chance, you should only need to spend 2 out of 3 talent points to keep this up most of the time.

12. [Master Tactician] - Increases your crit % significantly, especially over extended fights. Spending 5 talent points here is a pretty safe bet.

13. Sniper Training - 15% crit increase on your [Kill Shot] ability, plus a nice damage boost for the core Survival shots while standing still.

14. [Black Arrow] - Gives a 6% damage boost and a Shadow DoT while active and can proc [Lock and Load]. Pretty much mandatory in a raiding situation.

If you followed these suggestions you now have 43 or 44 talent points spent in the SV tree (holding off on [Explosive Shot] for the moment), depending on what you did with [T.N.T.] and assuming you put 2 in [Expose Weakness].

MM Talents you want

Before we continue with the more debatable talent points, we will first jump to the Marksmen tree to pick up some useful talents there.

1. [Lethal Shots] - Very safe place to drop another 5 talent points to gain 5% crit chance

2. [Mortal Shots] - Significant damage increase to your critical shots, also makes Aimed Shot an option for later on. Another good choice to drop 5 points.

3. [Careful Aim] - causes one Intellect to give you one AP, remember to take this into account when deciding between pieces of gear (same goes for Stamina in a lesser extent from [Hunter vs. Wild]. Safe choice for another 3 talent points.

4. [Focused Aim] - If you cannot make the hit cap by any other means but do want to perform well in raids, this talent is a must have. Use as many as you need to make the hit cap for raiding purposes. Once again the hit cap is 8% or 263 hit rating. This talent stacks with your pet's hit rating.

5. [Go for the Throat] - Critical Strikes cause your pet to generate more focus depending on points spent, which means a dps increase. One point spent should be sufficient, but play around with it and see which works better.

Situational/Debatable SV Talent Points

We now jump back to the survival tree, starting at the top to discuss the merits of some more debatable or situational talent points.

1. [Hawk Eye] - This talent no longer gives you the buff from Sniper Training and therefore its value has decreased a lot. This being said there are situations that would favor that little bit of extra range. In a PvP environment or on a PvP server being able to hit them before they can hit you can make a large difference. In a soloing environment getting that mob down before he gets to you can be very useful (you should not have this issue if you picked the right pet and pet talent points). In a raiding environment it can be useful if you have to spend much of the fight on significant distance of the boss or if the boss does a lot of moving around (Heigan the Unclean, for example). Also if you are kiting this should make your job a bit easier, since retaking aggro for the mob that got away or the one that slipped through will be significantly easier.

2. [Scatter Shot] - Scatter Shot isn't as useful as some other talents in a raiding environment, as most mobs and ALL bosses are immune. Scatter Shot is generally more useful as a boost in a BM leveling spec, or as part of your MM PvP spec. However, some raiding occasions might arise where Scatter Shot is actually useful and efficient, but these are few and far between.

3. [Resourcefulness] - Reduce the CD and mana cost of your Traps and [Black Arrow], there seems to be a lot of debate if this is your best choice in a raid context. That being said this will increase the up-time of your [Black Arrow] and with that the 6% damage buff included, next to this [Black Arrow] is the source of [Lock and Load] procs which are a nice thing to have. Probably worth having in a raid context especially if you don't require the points elsewhere. As for a soloing PvE view, well its main point is to increase damage done, if you would like some extra damage vs. other utilities this is an option.

4. [Wyvern Sting] - In a soloing PvE context this one definitely has its merits since it allows you to temporarily and effectively take a mob out of combat from range for a longer duration and more accurately than [Freezing Arrow]. It is also very useful if you make your home in a PvP realm since it gives you another option if the opposing player avoids or breaks your trap. From a raiding perspective its utility is lessened, even though it is a valid option for crowd control and non-boss kiting situations. The main reason however to take this is that it give you access to [Noxious Stings] which will give you a 1/2/3% damage boost if your [Serpent Sting] is active on the target which does stack with the damage boost from [Black Arrow].

5. [Noxious Stings] - Gives you a 1/2/3% damage boost while your [Serpent Sting] is active on the target.

6. [Thrill of the Hunt] - This refunds 40% of your mana spend on shots that crit - as a SV hunter, you crit a lot. If you have mana issues this is a very valid choice. That being said most people that solo have the time to take a drink and in 25man raids that are well organized mana issues should be sparse except for long fights or if a lot of raid members have a tendency to die. However, in Dungeons or 10man raids you will encounter a lot more OOM situations, so if you spend a lot of time there it might be a wise choice. An important aspect however is that it gives you access to [Hunting Party], which is usually a requirement of a proper end-game raiding hunter.

7. [Hunting Party] - gives a 1/2/3% increase in your Agility and occasionally puts the [Replenishment] buff on your party/raid members. The buff might be helpful while instancing although it doesn't stack with the same buff from Ret Paladins and Shadow priest so communicate with these raid members about what would be optimum.

8. [Point of No Escape] - Has no value in a raid context since it doesn't work on Bosses. If you often use your traps and like engaging large groups of mobs this will work nicely with [Trap Mastery].

Situational/Debatable BM/MM Talent Points for a SV Build

If you followed the suggestions made throughout this article (the SV part) you now have spend at least 51 talent points in the SV tree and at least 14 points in the MM tree. It means you also have weighed some of the pros and cons of some SV talent points for your own special needs. At this point you will then have a maximum of 6 talent points left. Following we will discuss some of your option in the BM/MM trees to spend these talent points, don't forget to include the talents dealt with in the Situational/Debatable SV Talent Points part in your decision-making process for these last few points.

BM Talents:

[Improved Aspect of the Hawk]- Increases ranged attack speed, which leads to a dps boost. There is some debate as to how significant this damage boost is compared to others that can be gained through talent points. If you have a low haste rating it probably is a valid choice (Soft haste cap used to be 528 I believe, not sure what it is now, fact check anybody please). Anyhow leaving extreme fine-tuning for what it is for a moment, this is probably a reasonably good choice although spending 5 points here probably is a bit to much, a few should suffice. (You might consider using the Glyph of the Hawk to get more out of this talent.)

[Endurance Training] - A health boost for you and your pet, doesnt have much merit in an instancing context, however in a soloing PvE or a PvP context it can be a big "staying alive" bonus.

[Focused Fire] - Overall damage boost of 1% if your pet is active, it is somewhat unlikely that you'll get this far in to the BM talent tree especially if your game is raiding. Still it is a valid damage boost if you can live with the tradeoffs. Keep in mind though that many reports are coming in that pet survivability is a complete nightmare in Ulduar ergo if you go there you might want to minimize the dps coming from your pet and maximize your own. If your game is soloing there are some viable builds that will get you here, nothing wrong with it if you are looking for another damage boost. If you prefer to improve your survival chances a bit more you might want to go for:

 [Thick Hide] - has its validity in PvE soloing or PvP situations. It simply increases the amount of damage you can take.

[Improved Revive Pet] - If you have trouble keeping your pet alive a point here maybe very nice to have. No matter what build you have a chunk of your dps is in your pet, if it's down then so is your dps. If pet survivability is a real issue, having a point here may significantly increase your pet uptime for an acceptable cost.

MM Talents:

[Improved Concussive Shot] - Has some utility in a soloing PvE context especially on a PvP Server. Probably has more use in a PvP environment. You might find this a useful talent for you specifically, although chances are that for a PvE SV Hunter, these points might be better spent elsewhere.

[Improved Hunter's Mark] - You are soloing in a PvE context, your attack power is absolute crap, maybe because your still lvl 20 or something in that case this is a valid choice. The only other reason to have this is that you have a Hybrid Raid Support build, like the one way below in this article, or if your a MM hunter and want to help out some more.

[Aimed Shot] - Lots of debate on this being a good choice or not. Aimed Shot used to be the Hunter's coup-de-grace on most mobs, however this was after a significant cast time. Now, it is an instant cast and the debuff functions much the same way as a Warrior's Mortal Strike, but the damage has been lessened to the point of being virtually no different than a non-crit Steady Shot. If you are in a situation where a healing debuff is necessary this shot is a good choice, but it is advised that you look into the areas you'll be raiding before you choose this shot.

[Rapid Killing] - Decreases the cooldown of Rapid Fire by a minute per rank, up to two. Also increase the damage done by Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot, and Chimera Shot when used after you kill a mob which would generally grant you XP or Honor. Kind of useless in a full SV spec, but still comes in handy from time to time.

Efficiency - Reduces the mana cost of all your shots and stings, a valid choice if you have mana issues.

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DoMO Guide Archives

Raybarker's Hunter Guide

Postby Leirosa »

Original Author: Raybarker
Retrieved from Aeria by Angitia.
Raybarker wrote:I thought you may find this useful. I wrote it and have been updating it for several months - Zathura's my IGN over on the european server. Keeping an eye on it here in case anyone finds errors, or evidence of brainworms.
EDIT:updated to 1.4 - whole bunch of minor changes.
IMPORTANT: as of January 1st 2010 my hunter is being deleted, along with the rest of the european server. there's no way I'm relevelling all those jobs, so looks like I'm done :/
Until there's Mount-Babel grade tweaks or overpowered items added, this guide should be pretty much up-to-date. If you're new, be sure to look through the replies to make sure this guide has not turned to garbage. Anways, have fun playing DoMO!
Zathura's POST NERF Hunter guide v1.4-2009.09.13

When I started this there were 2 other hunter "guides" out there on the net, but they were both from 2007, and so old as to be either near-useless or actually misleading. Since then the Hunter was "nerfed." The skills have changed slightly and several jobs (most notably Witch-Doctor) have also been released. These can have a substantial effect on the Hunter class, depending on your preferred play style.

This guide is aimed squarely at the hunter endgame. It presumes you know how to play DOMO, and therefore know where to level and can make up your own mind about what you want to do and how you want to play. All skill comparisons etc presume they are at the max possible level. It presumes anyone trying to level hunter has at least lvl 40 sub-skills from other jobs. There is a reason for this - hunter is EXPENSIVE. That NPC's not kidding when they say it's not very suitable for beginners. It is not suitable for those who don't want to spend a few hundred thousand gold's worth of arrows, unless you can equip a melee weapon from another class and avoid the cost issue.

You'll need MULTIPLE arrow boxes. so attend weddings of strangers, take pupils or get a magical big pack. For the arrows themselves, join a guild and ask everyone to save their arrows, beg in Eversun City. Steal them. Just whatever you do, try not to buy them full price from NPCs. To a non-hunter, arrows are a valueless drop, and most players will either give them or sell them to you at half the NPC price or less. Alternately, use an equip weapon skill.

So basically, if hunter is your first job? Good luck, but I recommend you stop here and go pick something easier.

Here's what this guide covers

1.1 starting stats
1.2 what you get
1.3 stat builds (and what they do)
2.1 general skill advice
2.2 Archery
2.3 Hunter's Instincts
2.4 Hunting skills (passive)
3.1 general sub-skill advice
3.2 active
3.3 passive
appendix 1: skill descriptions, and personal opinions of each.
appendix 2: a note on PVP

1.1 starting stats
1.2 what you get
1.3 common builds (and what they do)


These are the Hunter starting stats:

Strength 16 (that's Power, for you Aeria Games players)
Physique 7
Wisdom 6
Agility 7
Dexterity 15
Durability 7


To make a reasonable build, you'll need to know what those points get you:

1 Strength = 2 Attack
1 Wisdom = 1.67 MP + .47 MagAtt + .33 MagDef
1 Agility = 1 Attack + 1.33 Evasion + .27 MagEvasion
1 Dexterity = 1.5 Attack + 1.6 Acc. + .2 MagAtt + .27 MagAcc + .13 Critical
1 Physique = .33 Defense + .13 MagDef + 6.27 HP
1 Durability = 1 Defence

These figures are are not exact, but they provide a general indication of the bonuses. (it's actually more complex, with player-level bonuses, etc.)

My opinion:

Stuff will die when you hit it but it provides nothing *but* attack. There are better choices for skill or buff fighting, so would recommend those that provide a wider range of benefits.

Hunter skills are attack based, so this IS a poor choice. the only benefit is a tiny bit of MP
(1.67MP per point) and better default MP regen.

your base attack will be weaker than strength(power) or even dexterity, but the casting/cooldown reduction (capped at 103 agi) actually over-compensates for this. 1.33 evasion and 0.27 magic evasion will be very useful for the dedicated soloist or PVPer. Strongly recommended.

In terms of base attack, dex is weaker than strength, but that 0.13 critical (capped at 33) adds up, and you will rarely miss. In early levels a Dex-based hunter will do less damage than a strength based one, but in later levels will do *more* damage per hit for their regular attack, and hit more often. Your actual critical rate will vary according to Fighting Chance(luck system) and the monsters you are fighting, so unfortunately it can vary wildly. Critical Attack is capped at 33. In my opinion, at least SOME dex is a must in nearly any hunter build - a very, very good stat for the hunter to have.

tank stats, with no attack. what you gain in defense you lose in killing more slowly. Not recommended.


There are 2 definite "best" stat builds - this has been proven and is unlikely to change. These are full dex, and 103 agi/rest dex.

Full Dex - optimum build for buff-based DPS, which doesn't get as much benefit from agility, but no defense. Dexterity wins over strength due to the high critical rate received with regular attack. Best option in terms of damage per MP point. Will not see the word "miss" much (either over mobs heads, or your own.)

103 Agi, rest Dex - agi-tank and fast caster. 103 agi for the cooldown cap, rest dex because it brings the most general benefits. In DPS terms, the ideal skill-based fighter. Has low base attack, but due to cooldown reduction will do more skill DPS than other builds. Not a great idea for skill those wishing to maximise their regular damage. Strongly recommended for those that wish to fight mainly by skillspamming or have a great love of PVP. Worth noting that this will use 42% more MP per minute than other builds, so will require good MP regen skills to be effective. If you're taking agi, take it early for higher damage ASAP, or late for higher damage per MP when MP skills are low.

It's your Hunter, so you don't have to choose one of these - feel free to make an odd hybrid like 2 dex 1 agi or just go crazy, but be aware that you'll probably end up restatting to one of these two builds in the end. If you can't decide which to choose, I'd probably suggest the 103 agi option.

2.1 general skill advice
2.2 Archery
2.3 Hunter's Instincts
2.4 Hunting skills (passive)


Like most jobs, there are not enough skill points to go around, and you're gonna have to make some hard choices with skills. The earlier you make them, the better. Basically, you need to consider your preferred play style, and choose accordingly.

It's best to choose 1 skill tree to focus on, either Archery, for skill spamming, or Hunter's instincts for buff-based attacks. If you take the "equip bow" skill from "Hunting skills" then you will be very short of points, and have to almost completely ignore one hunter skill-tree. Therefore If you enjoy Hunter and wish to use it as a "main" job, I *strongly* recommend you do not take any of the equip skills.

As mentioned before, there's two basic ways to play a hunter - as a skillspammer, or as a buff-based fighter - and they both have their benefits and problems.

Skill-spammer: Basically, focus on the Archery skill tree, and your DPS will be very good (perhaps best in game) for as long as you can keep going. The downside to this is the high MP consumption. until you have excellent MP regen from items or skills it will be hard to avoid downtime. Good damage per arrow ratio too. for DPS this works best on a high-agi build.

Buff-fighting: very decent damage but costly if using a bow. High damage per MP but low damage per arrow. Popular with those who already have a weapon equip skill with good physical attack and are levelling to get Hunters Instincts. Having a good buff fighting sub helps (such as All-out Assault from Swordsman/Blademaster, or Martial Hex from Witchdoctor) for DPS this works best on a high-dex build.

Basically put, If you have good MP recovery available, then focusing on Archery may be the right choice for you. Otherwise, you'll be buff-fighting or sitting a lot.

On the other hand, Hunters instincts does not require a bow to be equipped, and makes an good sub-skill set for any physical attack job such as swordsman, thief, etcetera. If you have good attack buffs (such as Martyr Arts or Blood Curse Poison) this may be a better focus.

Unfortunately there is no single correct answer or this guide would just be a stat build and a list of skills to take. It's easier to buff-fight, particularly in the early levels when MP regen skills are poor, but skills use less arrows and do more damage, particularly without regular attack buffs from other jobs. therefore the most common skill build is this:

Hybrid: a mix of both play styles - fight with skills until out of MP, then buff-fight while MP bar refills. The benefit is minimal downtime, and you get a feel for how hunter plays in both ways. The downside to not this is that you may not be a heavy hitter, but at least if you restat/reskill at high level you'll have some idea what you want.

First off, the AOE attacks that hunter has(Dart Deluge/Dark Deluge) are terrible. simply terrible. DO NOT GET THEM. Level 5 dart deluge cannot reliably kill 1 level 6 hedgehog. Dark Deluge is much better, but has a 50 second cooldown. that's a lot of points to get only 1 decent AOE. The only feasible use for these is pulling for a party, and single target attacks will do that nearly as well.

All other archery skills are single target, and exomega255 on the Aeria forums ( ) has provided an analysis from the IC DOMO servers ranking the most powerful attack skills.

These 3 lists are pretty much all you need to know:

Most damaging over time:
Alchemy» birds»additive»strongbow»bowstring»full draw »demonslayer»assassin

Most MP used:
Alchemy»full draw »strongbow»birds»demon slayer »bowstring»additive»assassin

Most damage per MP:
Alchemy»additive»birds»bowstring»assassin»strongbow »demon slayer »full draw

These are fairly old, but I've tested this and it's still essentially the same. The order of these lists varies slightly according to the level of the skill you have at the time, of course - at level 65 I repeated these experiments and discovered the highest damage per MP skill is Additive Arrow, then 2 Birds with 1 Stone, then Arrow Alchemy, although everything else was essentially the same as before. This is probably partly because alchemy is an unusual skill - see appendix 1 for more on this.

early on, the Hunter's Instincts skills are rather poor. just about the only tier 1 skill that you might regularly use is Ankle Strike, particularly early in the game.

I recommend not taking Concentrated fury early on, without a good reason. It's purpose is to save you arrows, but it cannot be used with skills. In most cases you would be better served by getting All-out Assault from swordsman. please see appendix 1 for more. There is an high level skill-spamming strategy using this skill, which relies on overcoming the m.acc. debuff - Wouldn't recommend it unless you can raise m.acc to the 10-20 range. This is rather difficult, but definitely possible if you have the right things available to you. If you can achieve this, then every skill will be hitting the damage cap, regardless of how much attack your build gives you. this is most effective on a high agility build, but easiest to achieve on a high dex build.

After level 30, the skills get MUCH better. Ready For action is probably the single best buff in the entire game. (up to 10% on attack, defense, magical attack, magical defense, accuracy and evasion. Stacks with other buffs!) Aim is a great attack speed buff, particularly on an agi build. Weak Spotter on a build with dexterity can give you a critical rate of 1 in 3 or better!

Hunting skills (passive)
Hunter has 3 passive skills:

EQUIP BOW: what it says. not recommended if you want to use it as a main job! I'm told some people use equip bow on high-strength swordsmen(blademaster) and I can see that would do a lot of damage. Don't forget that all other jobs get a damage penalty when using bow, so you'll have to spend between 27 to 35 skill points on Bow Mastery to use it most efficiently, depending on which job you intend to use it with. If you just want to use it to pull monsters, buy a beginner bow instead.

BOW MASTERY: allows bows to be used at full strength on other jobs (NEEDS EQUIP BOW!) Increases efficiency by 5% per level. Job penalties are generally between 30% and 50% so plan on spending 12-16 points here if you're actually taking equip bow

SHARPENED ARROW: increases physical skill damage by x% (1/2 for other jobs) 10% at lvl 65 is a significant increase! worth getting at later levels.

3.1 general sub-skill advice
3.2 active
3.3 passive


The most unique feature of DOMO is of course the sub-skill system. I have been told that Hunter is actually the best class in terms of damage if you do not have any sub-skills to use with it, however if you don't have sub-skills to use you are either going to spend a lot of money very quickly or spend a lot of time farming arrows from low-experience monsters.

I can't tell you exactly what to sub, as I don't know what you have available, and there are many ways to combine each set of jobs depending on what skills, summoners and equipment you have and what you want to do. For example Akumi has produced dozens of specialist Thief builds, and I have no intention of being that in-depth here.

I can however suggest a few obvious options that work well together. Experience and your own preferences for play-style should help guide you far more than I could in this regard. Of course, I strongly recommend that any sub-skill set you use regularly should be levelled as high as possible, particularly as some have much better buffs and skills on their second page..

For solo work: unless you can heal with items or summoners you will probably need both MP and HP regen and defensive subs. I would probably recommend Medical Treatment for this, as well as either an offensive set such as Martyr Arts, or Close Combat for even more MP and HP regen and the Premonition skill. Unfortunately as bow is a 2-handed weapon, the Mercenary defensive skills such as better blocker will not be usable.

For buff-based fighting: the combination of Martyr Arts, Blood Curse Poison, with Swordsman(Blademaster) and Fencer passives on a full dex/hunters instincts build will possibly do the most damage of any combination of skills on a hunter, particularly if you have attack speed pills and team buffs from a spear merc, but at the cost of using a LOT of arrows, and having to rely on a team doctor or summoner to keep you alive. the combination of Aim/Lash Out for speed and Concentrated Fury/All-out Assault + Martial Hex to buff your regular attack to a ridiculous level. With lvl 40+ subs this may well be the most efficient killing machine you can make with a buff-based hunter, but not really sustainable unless you can afford a massive amount of arrows or can equip a master dagger or a saber with no weapon class penalty (by default they get a 30% penalty.) Generally, this will do approximately the same damage as a skill-spamming hunter, as at very high levels approx ~30% of hits will be double damage on a full dex build. Unfortunately that will vary wildly depending on what you're fighting and your Fighting Chance.

For skill based fighting: if you have good MP regen items and team-buffs, you can equip attacks buffs. If you need to maximise your MP regen, a combination of either Close Combat and Doctors Inner Magic, a Wizards Cataclysmic Converter, Shamans Spring Cleaning or Merchants MP Medicine boost. It's worth noting that Merchant and Thief skills have no penalty when used with a hunter. Alternatively you can attempt to overcome the Concentrated Fury problem with a combination of buffs and items.

These suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg, and depending on what you have, what you're planning to do, and how you prefer to play, many possible combinations can be used. The buffs mentioned here are not necessarily the best (for example, AKFrost points out Frog Force is better than burning rage) and are provided primarily as examples.

best advice I can give you is: think about what you have, and make it work for you, but don't be silly. Hunter is a physical damage dealer - your sub-skills should either help with physical attacks, or keep you (or your pets) alive. Otherwise you're doing it wrong.


SWORDSMAN(BLADEMASTER): Martyr arts; pretty much every skill in the Martyr arts section can be useful for a hunter. Swordsman and Hunter are very complimentary skill sets, although there is a 10% MP/cooldown penalty.

THIEF: Close Combat; if you have high level thief Close Combat Skills, these may be very useful for MP restoration, and to a lesser extent HP restoration. Also, premonition for it's +1 attack speed.

DOCTOR: Medical Treatment; Regeneration, First Aid and Inner Magic are a great sub, and it's incredibly useful when levelling without a doctor. if you have regen 11, remember it's a % based heal, so fill your hat with HP+20% onyxes if you can!

MUSICIAN: Pet Sounds; Not directly useful for the hunter itself, but If you play with pets then it can provide very substantial buffs for them.

WITCH DOCTOR: Blood Curse Poison; for the buff fighter, Martial Hex is very strong. Blood Boil is too, but casting it 5 times in a row is far too annoying for most players.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and most other jobs do have usable skills that you can sub to hunter, but these ones are the commonly available skill sets, unless you have the equip weapon skill from a job and can use a wider range of buffs.


THIEF: equip dagger: if you do not want to spend a lot of time or money getting arrows, the next best weapon is the dagger as it has the lowest job penalty. Those archery skills won't be much use to you though. likewise with other equips.

SWORDSMAN(BLADEMASTER): Equip Light Armour, Equip Saber; has an attack bonus and more def than clothing, so useful for the skillspammer. Saber has high attack and allows you to use saber skills, so like dagger it 's useful for those who wish to avoid the arrow cost problems.

DANCER; Equip Dancewear; if you're going for maximum attack speed, you can use a combination of dancewear and clothing. Clothing pants and top with dancewear wrists and boots gives a 20% attack speed boost, but at the cost of a reduction in defence. A fully gold-statted clothing set will give the same 20% boost, along with +20%HP/MP and many more bonuses, but is very difficult and expensive to get. Also, when fighting magic monsters at later levels the ability to equip something with m.def will come in handy.

MERCENARY: Equip Heavy Armour; not recommended for the speed freaks, but if you skillspam this will keep you alive longer against physical attack monsters

WIZARD: Equip Robes; I would not recommend this for general use as it has a physical attack penalty, but It will help against strong magic users.

APPENDIX 1: skill descriptions, and personal opinions of each.

Archery Skills

Unless stated otherwise, all are single target attacks and require a bow and arrows.

--Full Draw
Description:Draws a bow back fully for a stronger attack.
-good basic tier 1 skill, medium damage but uses a lot of MP, tier 2 skill is better, so you may want to abandon leveling it once Strongbow becomes available.

--Additive Arrow
Description:Fires arrows in quick succession, increasing damage to the enemy.
-good tier 1 skill. strongly recommended, but uses arrows at a crazy rate, particularly at max level.

--Dart Deluge
Description:Fires a volley of arrows to inflict damage on surrounding enemies. Consumes 5 arrows. Area of effect attack,
-absolutely terrible skill which does nearly no damage. only worth considering as a requirement for Dark Deluge, and certainly not worth maxing.

--Arrow Alchemy
Description:Converts magic power into arrows. Useful when you have no arrows left.
-When used, it feels almost pathetic - does low damage compared to other skills. However it's THE strongest skill in terms of damage per second when leveled, so strongly recommended. This skill is unusual in that it has no damage cap, and is instead a multiplier of the normal attack damage rate, which increases each level. Also raising the level reduces the cooldown.

--Assassin's Arrow
Description:Shoots an arrow at the enemy from a distance when they are not looking. Causes great damage, but does not hit easily.
-does a quite lot of damage, if it hits, but has a very long cooldown so not a recommended skill unless you have spare points.

Description:Draws the bowstring back with great force for a more powerful shot.
note:Needs Full Draw (Level 5)
-basically a better version of Full Draw. if you have to choose between the two, go with this one.

--Two Birds With One Stone
Description:Uses one arrow to hit the enemy up to x times.
note:Needs Additive Arrow (Level 5)
-initially very poor. but at lv 10 it's joint second place for best archery skill. Like all multiple-hit skills, it stops when it gets a miss, so it will be weaker on a low-dex build.

--Dark Deluge
Description:Fires a bloody rain of arrows to inflict damage on surrounding enemies. Consumes 5 arrows.
note:Area of effect, Needs Dart Deluge (Level 5)
-decent AOE attack, but not worth the 10 points wasted in Dart Deluge, in my opinion. There are few instances where you will find these skills useful (such as when the giant king glob explodes in the high level Tricksy Tortoise dungeon) but overall, it's cooldown means it's rarely practical for general use.

Bowstring Shockwave
Description:Uses force on the bowstring to create a shockwave that damages the enemy without using an arrow.
note:Needs Arrow Alchemy (Level 5)
- a very "medium" attack. not a must-have, but not to be avoided at all costs, either.

Demonslayer Arrow
Description:Shoots an arrow at the enemy from a great distance with high accuracy but low damage.
note:Needs Assassin's Arrow (Level 5)
-an instant super-long-range attack that hits hard but has a massive 90 second cooldown. I would not recommend getting this skill for general use, and I know of no-one who's leveled beyond lv 1. Might be useful in PVP due to range and instant cast time.

Hunter's Instincts

--Unerring Aim
Description:Concentrates the user's powers, giving double accuracy for the duration.
note:Covered by Focus (from Swordsman Martyr Arts)
-decent accuracy buff. worth getting just for tier 2 skill Ready for Action.

--Sneak Peek
Description:When activated, the HP of the enemy can be seen, and invisibility can be detected as well.
-only has 1 level. useful for PVP, invisible monsters, or those curious about boss HP. needed for Aim.

--Concentrated Fury
Description:Uses an extra % attack time to increase attack by %. Reduces magical accuracy at the same time.
note:does not stack with Burning Rage or All-Out Assault (from Swordsman Martyr Arts)
- A massive attack buff with a massive magic accuracy and attack speed debuff. Not a great buff fighting skill - level 1 all-out assault is better than fury at max level. Useless as a buff for skill fighting, unless you can overcome the debuff (if you can, fury becomes the best physical skill buff in the game, but it's not easy to achieve) It will do more damage per arrow, which may be desirable. If you DO take it, max it - At high level it can be kept always-on, and it's power boost increases to ~33% for regular attacks and 240% for skills. Notably stacks with Martial Hex from witchdoctor. To re-iterate: not recommended AT ALL unless you are focusing on buff-based fighting and have nothing better, or if you are confident you can buff your way into positive magic accuracy for skillspamming.

--Ankle Strike
Description:Aims for the ankle of the enemy, reducing movement speed for 30 seconds (1/3 against other players).
-useful skill for hunters who party with melee fighters. Worth raising to 5 to get Weak Spotter for most players. This is a particularly good skill if you're teamed up with melee fighters, as otherwise the mob will chase you around with them in tow and they won't get a chance to hit it at all. It's kinda funny, but frustrating for the other players, and counterproductive.

Description:Calms the enemy and reduces their bad feeling toward you.
-an "okay" skill, but not a must-have. only really useful to lose aggro when you have too many monsters. relatively long cooldown, so not easily usable on multiple monsters attacking you.

--Ready For Action
Description:Readies the user for combat, raising attack, defense, magical attack, magical defense, accuracy and evasion.
note:Needs Unerring Aim (Level 5)
- Single best buff in any job, in my opinion. long lasting, but has a 30-40 second gap between duration and cooldown, otherwise nearly perfect self-buff - with some agility it can be always on. maxes out as a 10% buff of all those stats. Stacks with all other buffs.

Description:Concentrates and locks onto the enemy, increasing attack speed, but reducing movement speed and evasion.
Stacks with Premonition (Thief skill) but covers Lash Out (Swordsman skill)
note:Needs Sneak Peek (Level 1)
-very strong attack speed buff but duration reduces and cooldown increases for each level. Beyond level 4 it will not be possible to keep this buff constantly applied, even with a full agility build. When purely buff-fighting using a weapon with negative attack speed, the highest average attack speed this skill provides is reached at Aim Level 7. This appears to be true in all cases except with a high agility and attack speed is never allowed to drop below 0, in which case Level 10 provides the maximum average attack speed.

--Poison Weapon
Applies poison to the user's weapon. Enemies hit have a chance of being poisoned and losing HP every 5 seconds for 6 minutes.
note:Needs Concentrated Fury (Level 5)
-It's a buff that works on the first hit after casting, so in effect this is a single target attack with both instant damage and a fixed damage-over-time component. It's basically ok but not a must-have. I would not recommend taking this unless you are solely focusing on the Hunters Instincts skill tree. stacks with and works with witchdoctor poison-related skills.

--Weak Spotter
Description:Analyzes the enemy's weak points, increasing the chance of a critical attack.
note:Needs Ankle Strike (Level 5)
-excellent for buff-based fighters of any class, as they will achieve a substantial critical rate. Note that maximum critical rate is capped at 33.

--Go For the Throat
Description:Attacks the enemy's throat, stopping them from using skills for 29 seconds (1/4 against other players).
note:Needs Appease (Level 5)
-another "okay" skill. probably not worth the 5 ranks of appease needed, unless you're building for PVP. Potentially useful against magic attack monsters , but the long cooldown means it can't be used as a substitute for robes or dancewear.

APPENDIX 2:a note on PVP

PVP in this game is tacked-on and terrible! If you crave PVP, you'd be better off playing one of the MMORPGs that are built around it as a central concept. On the other hand, IC domo just released a guildwar feature.

other than that, IMO Hunter's a PVP sub, not a main job. The two best PVP skills (sneak peek and go for the throat) are both sub-able. If you want to use hunter for PVP you'll have to build for full Agi and kite like heck to stay out of skill range. It's very good at killing invisible thieves though....

This guide is getting so big - I never expected to go this far, and I've learned a lot about hunter just from making it»
THANKS TO:Nagisa, Akumi, Topoi, Zes, RinnSohma, AKFrost, scheherazade and a whole host of other people for helping me compile this, helping me test crazy theories, feedback, or providing vital info online! - Zathura

If you have any comments, corrections or insults please contact me on the here, the GT forum or my wikia userpage(no login required!):

Mod Edit: Stickeh!
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