Now, it’s time for Marksmanship!
This tree is probably seeing the biggest changes of all three. Right off the board, the Tier 1 talents look completely different. Lethal Shots is still there being one of the best ever Tier 1 talents of any class, but it is now joined by a slightly different variation of Improved Concussive Shot (Old/New) and a new talent called Focused Aim. Let’s start firstly on the changes to Imp. Concussive Shot as they are simply a better working version of the old talent. The old talent definately had alot of debate over its viability as a 5 point talent and whether it really was worth getting over other 5 point talents such as Efficiency to get those 10 points to get to Aimed Shot. I personally have specced 5 points in the old talent and found it useful at times, but one of those talents that can’t really be justified, even for PvP. The new version of it is more solid and doesn’t rely on a proc rate. The new version will give you 2 more seconds on kiting time, which in pvp will help to get those extra few yards away from any melee trying to stuff their blades into your large intestine.
Now Focused Aim is also a pretty solid talent. A reduction in interuption time on Steady Shots and Aimed Shots is something extremely desirable in pvp. When I’ve pvped against another hunter, some fights come down to “whoever didnt try to steady shot the other wins” as you can push their steady shot back well beyond their auto shots. This talent will help with this problem but with that in mind, it may not be so much of an issue now as Auto Shots are not clippable by other shots. It’s another one of those talents that we’ll just have to wait and see if it’s worth getting or not.
The next change comes in at Tier 2, with a rehashed version of an already existing talent, Careful Aim. The old version was alot further down in MM and only gave you a 45% ap bonus for your intellect. It’s weird to see it being so low down and being so good. It seems to be that Blizzard expect people to go either Survival or BM and are putting all the “must have” talents in MM snuck down at the bottom meaning that every player will always be x/16/y. It’s a bit of a disapointment to be honest for Blizzard to do this but I guess it is their game, they probably have bigger plans with the talent arrangements than a mere mortal like myself could ever comprehend. Or of course, they’re being totally lame.
The next new talent is at Tier 7. Before then however, there is a rearrangement of Efficiency and Concussive Barrage now includes Volley. Subtle changes but I guess they make sense. Efficiency should be deeper in than a Tier 2 talent as it does help alot with mana consumption. The change to Concussive Shot wasn’t necessary as no one took the talent anyway and I can hardly see that changing. Like I said however, the next new talent is at Tier 7 in the form of Piercing Shots. Now, I’m not overally hot on the benefits of Armor Penetration and couldn’t really give you guys any math on this. I can however say that a 6% armor ignore is going to be pretty good. This is something I can see being beneficial in PvP, Arena and PvE. Armor P is another one of those new stats that Blizzard is hoping to catch on, just look at loot post Zul Aman, all going for Armor P and Haste. Since they are so new, I haven’t seen too much math on the benefits, but the general consensus is that you should mix up your stats, don’t whore one stat.
Now at Tier 8, we have another new talent, Rapid Recuperation. 60% off the cost of spells and abilites whilst under Rapid Fire is a pretty nice trade off, especially since it’s only 3 talent points. This will be useful in situations in Arena and PvE when you’re running low on mana but you need to get that enemy down quickly but also throw out some other shots. A very nice talent indeed and will definately be worth getting if you go this deep into MM.
At Tier 9 there are 2 new talents. The first I’d like to talk about is Wild Quiver. I’m not overly keen on proc chance talents, especially if the proc rate can’t be improved like if it was tied to your crit chance. I suppose it could be said to be tied to your Hit rating, but that connection is pretty loose. 3 points in this talent will give you a 10% chance on your auto shots to give you a shot that deals 60% auto shot damage. This talent to me will only be totally viable if you are only planning on doing PvE content. It’s something that you can’t solely rely on but is a very nice extra source of dps. Combine this with Rapid Fire and Improved Aspect of The Hawk and you have yourself a winner. In any other circumstances with a lack of continual shooting you won’t be having such a great time.
The other Tier 9 talent is Improved Steady Shot. Again, another talent that relies on proccing. This time however, it promotes mixing your shots up a bit by increasing certain shots’ dmg aswell as giving them some mana reduction. Now, I’m all for mixing up rotations, but being forced into one because of a talent proc isn’t something i’m too fond off, especially since it’s an RNG (Random Number Generation) talent. I guess however it will be useful for PvE in keeping your dmg up but also your mana up.
The next talent at Tier 10 is called Marked For Death, although I think the name is rather far from the truth. It gives you another 5% dmg done to the target along with giving your Aimed Shot, Kill Shot and Steady a 10% critical strike damage bonus. It does give a nice 5% flat dmg bonus and the crit dmg bonus is also nice. However, the wording of the talent is slightly odd and could lead one to believe that you’ll only get +5% dmg to your shots (such as Aimed Shot) rather than all your ranged attacks, which is the usual wording of such +dmg talents. A nice talent for PvE and PvP but isn’t crushing for enemies. It also pends on enemies being markable or not.
Finally, the end talent here is Chimera Shot. This talent has seen some changes since the start of the Beta and definately has recieved alot of debate. It used to cost 540 mana and only dealt 30% dmg. Now, it’s down to 375 mana and the dmg has been up’d to 150%. A big difference indeed which means that there is going to be fresh debate over it’s usefulness. I personally can see the use of it in Arena and PvE with both the Serpant Sting consumption and also the Scorpid Sting consumption. With the top rank of Serpent Sting, if you are on 3000 ap, you’ll be dealing 171 dmg from Serpent Sting every 3 seconds. If you let this tick 4 times that’s 684 dmg done to the target. Now fire off a Chimera and you’ll be hitting with 150% dmg along with another 273.6 dmg. This is a nice piece of burst dps and can be the difference between taking someone down enough to make Kill Shot extremely useful or not. The Viper Sting consumption however seems a bit odd. I can see that it’s not meant to be a mana back talent, but the amount it will drain isn’t all that different to how much it would if you just left it ticking. However, the 150% dmg and an annoying effect will be fun to play with in Arena. Overall, a good talent but Viper Sting in general needs some rethinking.
So, the MM build for me for Arena would be this.
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