5. Rift Stalker Two-Piece Bonus. Doesn't matter which pieces of hunter Tier Five you had -- like the chest we're linking -- you never gave up two of them, or at least gritted your teeth when you put on your four-piece set bonus from Tier 6. The "15% of all damage-done is healing to your pet" bonus was so amazing, so glorious, so jaw-droppingly spectacular, that you swore you'd never give it up. We still carry the leggings and shoulder with us at all times. The fact that the bonus scales with the hunter means these pieces are still usable in WotLK. Throw on two pieces of Tier Five, grab a gorilla-pet, and AoE-tank and Volley stuff down till Arthas comes. The giggle-factor -- you just laugh when you see your pet getting healed from your inflicted damage -- and scalability of this set puts it on our list at number five.
4. Vengeful Gladiator's Waraxe. When this item was introduced, it became obvious that if one lost ten arena matches a week for a few weeks, one could replace just about every hunter-melee weapon in the game. One didn't set out to lose; that wouldn't have been proper. But even if you did, and you learned you loathed arenas, you got a massive reward for the time you invested. Not only did it had tremendous stats, but one didn't need to have an arena-rating to buy it! Even gear from Black Temple didn't have significantly better stats than this chunk of steel. It was wonderful for both PvE and PvP and it wouldn't get shoved off your toon, probably until Sunwell. The awesome power and silly ease-of-acquisition of the S3 axe puts it at number four.
3. Thori'dal, the Stars' Fury. A legendary ranged weapon, our dreams were answered. Even the Rhok'delar wasn't "Legendary". One had to put in one's raiding-time, running 25-mans all over Outland, and then finally defeat Kil'jaeden, but the promise of an orange bow was there. Of course, very few hunters ever achieved the goal of acquiring one, but for the sheer audacity of putting a legendary bow in the game, something so amazing that we'd threaten /gquit if it were given to a rogue, this weapon makes it into our top three.
2. Crossbow of Relentless Strikes. Run enough heroics and for 150 Badges of Justice, this... ugly piece of phooting-hell was yours. Every hunter who could run a heroic was capable of getting one, and we'd guess that the huge majority of hunters eventually did. But holy Elune was it grotesque. Just fugly in every sense of the non-existing word. Hideous. Yucky. But it packed a whallop. Does it compare in stats to Thori'dal? Of course not. But for it's popularity and power, which made every ranged weapon outside of Black Temple basically obsolete, and despite the vulgarity of the design, The Crossbow of Relentless Strikes surpasses the legendary bow and makes our number two spot.
1. Legacy. One word, that's all it took. It was huge, it had a history, and it was eye-candy. A hunter with Legacy was a raiding hunter, and all of Shattrath knew it. You might have Tier Four gloves and helm, but this is what everybody saw. This is the first melee-weapon most hunters desired above all else. This was why you went to Kara in the first place, right? And this is why you hated running with another hunter in your raid. For the mystique, the popularity, the power, the desire, and the fun that was involved with getting one...
Legacy is our Number-One Piece of Hunter Loot for 2008!
Nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.