The Jump Shot is comprised of seven separate actions combined into one smooth sequence:
- While you're running away from your target...
- Jump into the air
- Spin 180 degrees so that you are facing your target
- Fire an instant-cast shot
- Spin back 180 degrees so that you are facing away from your target again
- Continue running
The first thing we need to ask is: How do you run? Do you use the 'W' key? For the Jump Shot we're going to ask you to use the mouse. You can use your mouse to run by holding down both the left and right mouse buttons simultaneously. Notice that when you're holding down the two mouse buttons and you move the mouse, your ability to effectively maneuver is both increased and decreased. It's increased in that the speed with which you can change direction is tremendously more rapid than using the 'A' and 'D' keys. But it's decreased in that, since you're not used to the speed with which you're turning, your ability to control your direction is hampered. It will seem difficult at first but with practice you'll master this mouse-maneuvering, we promise.
We're going to assume you only have a two-button mouse and teach the rest of the steps using the keyboard. If you have a mouse with extra buttons we can adapt our technique to use those with great efficiency. We'll talk about that later.
Jumping into the air is done with the space bar, of course. Now that you can run by just using the mouse, start incorporating jumps by using your other hand to mash the space bar. Inevitably you'll start jumping and turning at the same time. Keep it up. Learn to change direction by jumping and turning in mid-air. What you're going to aim for is the ability to reverse direction by running, jumping, spinning around 180 degrees and keep running when you land. The technique to turn exactly 180 degrees is learned through practice; there is no magical or mental technique to it. Do this activity for a couple of days until reversing course while jumping is old hat.
If you can run, jump and spin 180 degrees, you're doing well. Now speed it up. However long it took you to use your mouse to turn 180 degrees, we're going to ask you to cut that time in half. Speed is critical so do it faster and faster. Your screen should almost blur you're turning so quickly. More practice, that's right.
Now we're going to add the hard part, the return rotation. You've learned how to turn in mid-air very quickly, now turn back. If you've been pulling the mouse to your left to turn you have to push it back the other way to return to the direction you were originally going. You're holding both mouse buttons, you press the space bar, you pull the mouse towards you to spin 180 degrees, so now we want you to push the mouse away from you to spin back to your original course. Yes, you're going to need a few days to make this work. Remember that if it were easy everybody would be doing it. This is Hard, folks, so take pride in your efforts.
You know what's last and that's adding an instant-cast shot. You have three main choices for shots in your Jump Shot:
All three are instant-casts -- unlike Steady Shot or Aimed Shot -- which is what we require as we're firing while spinning, airborne and flying backwards. Obviously we'd use Concussive Shot to get to greater range, Serpent to do some damage-over-time, and Arcane as our money-shot. We recommend that you put your three Jump Shot shots close to each other for easy access with your left hand, (for right-hand mouse users, we use our left hand for the jump and shots.) We use the numbers 4, 5, and 7 keys for these, but any will do.
Again, Practice is our mantra. Substitute the Rank 1 spells in your action bar and castsequence macro for the Arcane and Serpent stings and head out to Arathi Highlands, or whatever your favorite practice area is, and get to work. Run with the mouse, jump, spin, fire, spin back, land and continue running. Rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat. This isn't easy stuff to get right once or twice, let alone master.
Let's finish with some of the variations and trips-n-tricks on the Jump Shot that may intrigue you.
Hunters don't have to have our ranged weapon pointing directly at our target; we have a 60 degree off-target-axis zone in which we can still shoot our target. This means we can be facing 60 degrees to the left or right of our target and still shoot at it. What this means for our Jump Shot is that we don't have to spin exactly 180 degrees, we really only have to spin 120 degrees. You can use this difference to slow your spin rate to be more accurate, or keep your spin rate fast and complete the Jump Shot sooner.
Another twist is to not stop and spin back, but to do a complete 360 degree spin in mid-air, firing when your spin is at 180 degrees. Imagine running away from your target, jumping and spinning in a complete circle while firing Concussive Shot when you're facing your target, landing and running, jumping again, spinning in the other direction and smacking your target with Arcane Shot, landing and running. Pull this insanity off during your next Eye of the Storm and you'll be a total freak-show and you'll rock.
Can macros help us? Certainly. Instead of having those three shots on separate keys, we can make a castsequence macro that combines them.
/castsequence reset=10 Concussive Shot, Serpent Sting, Arcane Shot
If after ten seconds you haven't fired all three shots, the macro will reset to shooting Concussive Shot. You can make the reset timer whatever you like, of course, depending on your comfort level with jump-shooting.
What if you have a multi-button mouse? Now we can get a little fancier. You can program your extra mouse keys to fire any of the three shots we use, the castsequence macro, or even the jump itself.
One final trick: If you add a speed enchant to your boots, all the better.
When you do master the Jump Shot... they shall quickly learn to fear you. Yes, we use it in PvE all the time, just not in succession. It still elicits comments, even from those with whom we regularly run. But in PvP, the Jump Shot is King. Your ability to get and stay at range makes you deadly to all. Granted there are some classes that are much harder for us to take down than others -- paladins and shaman especially -- but maximizing your get-to-range capabilities is one of the best ways to improve your odds at matching BRK's 24,669 PvP kills.
And you'll look wicked-cool doing it. Natch.
Daniel Howell continues his quest to solidify the Hunter Reputation as the clothie-destroyers they are as the hunter-pet duo extraordinaire known to lore as BigRedKitty. More of his theorycrafting and slanderous belittling of the lesser classes can be found at bigredkitty.blogspot.com.
[Fan art by Moody Moony]