This week on Build Shop I'm checking out a possible Marksman PvP build for the hunters out there. Hunters have been underrepresented in the Arena until recently, but they've been a staple in battlegrounds for a long while, so it's nice to see them finally gaining a foothold. Today's build focuses on increasing stamina, survivability, ranged damage, and picking up a few nifty utility skills. This is definitely more of a PvP build, and as such you'll want gear that maximizes your ranged attack power, resilience, and stamina to support it. Once you're geared up though, this build should serve you quite well.

One thing this build doesn't include that I'm curious to hear your thoughts on is Improved Arcane Shot. It seems like with the new dispelling power of this shot, you'd want to take this talent but I can't find 5 points to spare for it from anywhere. Perhaps that's why I haven't seen too many builds that have it, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Is it worth it, or is it more situational? Better in some brackets but not in others? These are some of the questions I'm hoping you can help me answer (because honestly, I don't PvP on my Hunter... I PvP with my Warlock). Read on for my dissection of the 0/45/16 build!

Marksmanship (45 points)
  • Improved Concussive Shot (5/5): Gives your concussive shot a 20% chance to stun the target for 3 seconds. I think this is definitely handy to have, especially if you like to kite your targets, as it'll give you time to load up a big attack like Aimed Shot before you start running again.
  • Lethal Shots (5/5): Increases your chance to crit with ranged weapons by 5%. I see no reason not to pick this up, even with all the resilience people are running around with today.
  • Rapid Killing (2/2): Reduces the cooldown of Rapid Fire by 2 minutes and gives your next Auto/Arcane/Aimed Shot after killing a target a 20% damage bonus. I like using Rapid Fire as much as possible, and this talent lets you use it even more often.
  • Aimed Shot (1/1): Now with Mortal Strike (tm)! A 3 second cast time can seem like an eternity in the Arena, but it should do big damage if you can get it off. In addition, it now reduces healing effects on the target by 50% for 10 seconds, so this might be best used at a time when your target needs a big heal to keep him/her up.
  • Go for the Throat (2/2): A Marksman Hunter doesn't rely as much on his pet as a Beastmaster would, but your pet can be used to harass and DPS softer targets, so there's no reason not to dump some extra Focus on him when you crit.
  • Mortal Shots (5/5): Increases critical damage from ranged weapons by 30%. Does exactly what it says, and makes your crits 30% bigger.
  • Scatter Shot (1/1): A short range shot that does 50% weapon damage and confuses the target for 4 seconds. Although it's short range, I've seen myriad uses of this shot -- it can be used offensively or defensively, to interrupt a spellcast, save a squishy target... the list goes on.
  • Barrage (3/3): Increases the damage of Multi-Shot and Volley by 12%. Not a huge damage increase, but is required for Improved Barrage further down in the tree. You'll likely use Multi-Shot a lot anyway, so you might as well increase its damage.
  • Ranged Weapon Specialization (5/5): Increases damage dealt with a ranged weapon by 5%. A nice, passive damage increase, since most of your damage should come from ranged weapons.
  • Combat Experience (2/2): Increases your Agility by 2% and your Intellect by 6%. Not a huge buff but a buff nonetheless. I'd almost want to pull these points out and put them in Improved Arcane Shot (more on that later).
  • Careful Aim (3/3): Increases your ranged attack power by 45% of your Intellect. As a Marksman Hunter, you'll want all the RAP you can get your hands on, so this is a pretty solid talent.
  • Trueshot Aura (1/1): Increases the attack power of all party members within 45 yards by 125. This also applies to you -- pile on that attack power!
  • Improved Barrage (3/3): Increases the crit chance of Multi-Shot by 12% and gives you a 100% chance to ignore interruptions caused by damage when channeling Volley. An additional 12% crit on a shot that sees a lot of use seems like a good thing to me. I can't imagine using Volley too much in PvP, but it might have its uses.
  • Master Marksman (5/5): Increases your ranged attack power by 10%. Yet another talent that increases attack power -- anyone seeing a trend, here?
  • Silencing Shot (1/1): An instant shot that deals 50% weapon damage and silences the target for 3 seconds. This shot is also the bane of my existence when facing a Marksman Hunter. Its usefulness in PvP combat cannot be understated.

Survival (16 points)
  • Humanoid Slaying (3/3): Increases the damage you deal to humanoids by 3%, and also increases critical strike damage against humanoids by 3%. Almost all of your targets in PvP encounters will be humanoids, so this is a nice passive buff.
  • Hawk Eye (3/3): Increases the range of your ranged weapons by 6 yards. Being able to stay further away from your target while shooting it will usually limit the amount of actions it can take to retaliate. Great for kiting.
  • Improved Wing Clip (3/3): Gives your Wing Clip a 20% chance to immobilize the target for 5 seconds. For those occasions when you have to get up close and personal, you'll usually Wing Clip and then retreat to a safe distance. Being a 20% chance, it procs fairly often and can be spammed until it procs.
  • Survivalist (5/5): Increases your health by 10%. This is a good thing when it comes to PvP -- the more health you have, the harder you are to kill.
  • Deterrence (1/1): Increases dodge/parry chance by 25% for 10 seconds. It's got a 5 minute cooldown, so it's definitely situational, but this functions as a nice emergency button.

I was left with 1 extra point in each tree, with no clear place I wanted to put them. In the Marksman tree I put 1 point into Improved Arcane Shot, but I wonder if it's worthwhile to pull points out of Combat Expertise (and perhaps something else) to max it out. Anyone have some insight into this? I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on why (or why not). In the Survival tree I threw 1 point into Entrapment for that small chance to entrap targets when using Frost/Explosive/Immolation/Snake traps. I had also thought about shifting points around to try and pick up Endurance Training from the BM tree for another 5% health. Has anyone done that? Is it worth sacrificing other talents? If so, what do you sacrifice?

Despite these questions, I feel this is a pretty solid build that should serve you well in battlegrounds and arenas. That wraps up this edition of Build Shop, but I'll be back again next week. What do you want to see on Build Shop? Send me an email with your questions or comments, and we'll talk shop.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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