Picking a race
In the past, Hunters really had to pay attention to the racial bonuses. Today it seems racials are more about your play style and preferences. Don't think this means you should just dismiss racials, nope not at all. They still play an important role in how well your Hunter will perform as you level and when you start end game content.
If you have decided to play Horde, you have the opportunity to play some of the most interesting races in the game. (Really, who can't help but shout "Hammer time!" when they see an Orc dance?)
And as a Hunter you can play an Orc, Troll, Tauren, or Blood Elf. So, let's take a look at the different Hunter related Horde racials and see how they can will help your Hunter.
Starting off, Blood Fury is a will increase your attack power by an amount based on your level and class for 15 seconds. For Hunters this works out to be (Level*4)+ 2) or an instant +6 AP for a level one Orc!) Just remember it has a 2 minute cooldown.
Couple this with Command that gives a 5% increase to Pet damage and this makes Orcs a lethal combination you don't want to walk up on.
We don't want to forget a couple of other abilities Orcs have. One would include Hardiness. Hardiness reduces the duration of you being stunned by 15%. Also, the Orcs enjoy Axe Specialization giving a +5 Expertise will help Hunters that notice their pets are missing, especially BM Hunters. (Edit: After more research it seems I was wrong and Expertise does not transfer to the pet. Thanks to everyone that pointed this out in the comments.)
I personally love Taurens for both soloing and PvP. Just keep in mind, Tauren racials don't add directly to your DPS but do help in other ways.
For example, War Stomp is the reason I love playing a Tauren in PvP. Instantly stunning 5 enemy's within 8 yards for 2 seconds is a great fun. A good way to think of it is, you can Warstomp, lay a trap, and then Disengage for distance. Talk about being the perfect race for kiting.
Add to that Endurance, for a 5% increase to their base health and Nature Resistance's ability to reduce the chance of getting hit by a Nature Spell by 2%, and the Tauren Hunter truly is a warhorse.
With Cultivation adding a 15 point to Herbalism it will be extremely useful to those with Inscription and Alchemy this could prove to be a serious money maker as you level up.
One of the more fun races to play would be the Troll. Why? Who can't like a race that has multi-colored mohawks and run around in their bare feet?
If you've ever faced a Troll in PvP you know that as they seem to have amazing attack speed. This is due to Berserking giving a 20% increase in attack speed.
Try to slow them down and they'll just use Da Voodoo Shuffle to reduce the snare duration. If you don't kill them then, and they get away, Regeneration increases their health regeneration by 10% and allows them to regenerate 10% of their health while in combat.
Don't make the mistake and think Trolls are only about escaping. They have two racials that make them great DPS Hunters.
First, they get an automatic 1% Crit for bows. This gives Trolls a head start down the Marksman or Survival path. Next, Beast Slaying gives Trolls an additional 5% damage bonus against Beasts.
All of this makes Troll Hunters a great addition to any raid.
The Blood Elves are the last Horde race to discuss. Like the Taurens, Blood Elf racials are more supportive than direct DPS gains.
For example, Arcane Torrent will silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. It also gains you 6% mana with a 2minute cool down.
Blood Elves also have Magic Resistance reducing your chance of being hit by spells by 2%. This can be great in either PvP or PvE.
Blood Elves also have a profession bonus with Arcane Affinity giving a 10 point skill bonus to Enchanting.
That wraps up the Horde racials. As you can see, if you are planning on mostly using your Hunter as a solo or PvP character, then you might want to consider playing a Tauren or Blood ElF. However, if you prefer big crit numbers and awesome DPS, then maybe try out an Orc or a Troll. Either way, all of the Horde races make really solid additions to any PvE or PvP group.
Don't feel left out of the fun if you prefer to play Alliance. The Alliance Hunters are just as much fun and interesting. For example, you can have the infectious humor combined with some powerful crits from a Dwarf. Or maybe you would prefer the speed and grace of a Night Elf. And if there was ever a reason to play a Draenei, being a Hunter should be at the top of the list.
Playing a dwarf is constant source of enjoyment. Having a combination of utility and DPS, make Dwarves a solid choice for a Hunter.
If you PvP or PvE, Stoneform will become one of the racials you'll quickly learn to love. When you cast Stoneform you remove poisons, diseases or bleed effects. Not only that, Stoneform also adds an additional 10% Armor for the next 8 seconds on top of that.
Stoneform alone would make Dwarves fun to play. But that's not all you get as a Dwarf. You also get Frost Resistance that reduces the chance to be hit by Frost spells by 2%.
Dwarves also have Gun Specialization that increases your critical hit chance by 1% when using Guns. And since there are so many cool guns in WoTLK, like the recently added BRK-1000, it will never go to waste.
Finally, Dwarves make great leveling companions. When you're not tracking a mob, you can use Find Treasure to help see any "node type" quests. (These are the go pick up my "lost toolbox" type quests.) Trust me, there have been many times that my only way of finding that hidden item was by turning on Find Treasure.
Night Elves aren't to be outdone by the Dwarves. They have their own racials that will help you in a battle.
For example, Night Elves have Shadowmeld that acts as an extra aggro dump. It isn't the greatest and when used will restore whatever agro you had prior to using it. However, I can attest to it saving many a raid from a wipe when a Feign Death was resisted.
Night Elves also have Nature Resistance that will reduce your chance of being hit by a Nature spell by 2%.
To help further mitigate damage, Night Elves also have Quickness. Quickness reduces both melee and ranged attackers chance to hit you by 2%.
Finally there's Wisp Spirit. Even though this isn't a DPS increase, nor is it really a buff, it still helps make leveling faster. Wisp Spirit enables you to get back to your body from those long corpse runs.
If you like something different, I'd highly recommend consider rolling a Draenei as your next Hunter. Besides having a jam packed starting zone making earning reputation and leveling faster, Draenei have some really great racials.
First there's the Gift of the Naaru. Gift of the Naaru heals your target of 170 damage over 15sec. What is great about this racial are 2 things. One, it scales as you level. So the higher your level and greater your attack power the more Gift of the Naaru heals. Second, it can be used on another target. So besides being able to heal yourself, it's an extra mend pet, or more importantly, a save the Healer racial. You don't want to underestimate this racial.
One of the other Draenei racials that is often overlooked is Heroic Presence. Heroic Presence increases your chance to hit by 1% (approximately 32.99 Hit Rating). This reduces your hit cap from the approximate 263 Hit Rating cap to around 231. That could mean the difference between losing a talent point in Focused Aim and adding an extra point into Focused Fire.
You also get Shadow Resistance as a Draenei. Shadow Resistance will reduce your chance of being hit by Shadow spells by 2%. This is nice when facing those pesky Shadow Priests or Warlocks.
And not to be outdone by the Dwarves with Find Treasure, Draenei make the perfect Alliance Jewel Crafter by getting a 5 point skill bonus to Jewelcrafting.
As you can tell, the Alliance races aren't lacking in the racial department either. If I do roll another Alliance Hunter, it'll be a Draenei. The combination of Heroic Presence and the Gift of the Naaru is just too tempting to pass up in my opinion.
So there you have it, an overview of the different racials for both Horde and Alliance. Now you can make an informed decision on what you would like to play.
What about you? What's your favorite race to play? Do you have a suggestion for what race a new Hunter should consider? Why not share them below?
And don't forget to come back next week when we continue our "So you want to be a Hunter" series and focus on leveling your hunter in preparation for end game.
You want to be a Hunter, eh? Well then you came to the right place. Scattered Shots is the one column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a Hunter. Each week Scattered Shots will cover topics to help you Fix Your DPS, Choosing the Right Spec, Gear Selection, Macros
and Pet Selection, Pet Specs and Management.