Buckle up my fine friends, because I am about to take you on a wondrous tour of on what is perhaps, the rarest class specialization in all of WoW classic. The power, the grandeur, the flair, and esteem, of the Arcane Shot, Spell Powered Hunter.
Certainly many of you are wondering, "But, why man? Why would you?" Well, for the simple reason, because its fun! Why else would someone play a video game? Not only that, it actually does viable DPS compared to AP Hunters, more or less… Proof you say?
Yup, thats me. The living legend. In the virtual flesh. Now I do suppose it would be a good time to detail why I'm making this guide. And to kick off with it, I'll say this. I am NOT promoting the use of Spell Power hunters over Attack Power Hunters in any way. I am in NO WAY saying arcane shot is better than aimed shot, nor am I suggesting anyone to switch over to spell power. The intent of this tutorial is to provide a means for anyone wanting to play around with Spell Power Hunter, as an offspec, as a pvp spec, as a "I want to mess around with it" kind of spec, though it will focus primarily around PVE raid applications. I personally have chosen this to be my main spec because I hated the toxic min/maxers that avidly spout hatred and sheer contempt for anyone not playing in the most absolute optimal way. So I chose what is perhaps, the least optimal spec in existence. And I have made it work. That being said, I am not against min/maxing in general, and have had to do it myself in order to get the most DPS I can out of this unique playstyle.
Pro's and Cons
- Unique and more engaging playstyle and rotation than standard aimed shot hunters (melee weaving is entirely different and is a challenging but rewarding style)
- High mobility, making it great in pvp. In conjunction, arcane shot and serpent sting ignore armor, allowing more sustained and kite-able damage on those plate wearers.
- More PVE dmg in DUNGEON content, stemming from personal experience. And more PVE dmg on raid TRASH. Again from experience.
- Doesn't take as much weapons from melee.
- You can mock anyone that tries to discredit the spec if they do less dps than you.
- Less PVE dmg in raid content
- Highly mana intensive. So lots of drinking in PVP and PVE. And you'd better have major mana pots if you're doing anything serious.
- Casters hate you. People in general, will hate you.
- Very few, serious raiding guilds will ever accept you. You'll most likely be laughed at if you try.
- Be even more difficult, to get the loot you need in any semblance of reasonable time.
- While it doesnt require it, it most definitely is a major boon, but a serpent sting debuff slot adds 10% DPS.
Here I be describing the numbers behind all things spellpower.
First and Foremost, Arcane Shot!
Arcane Shot base SP scaling is 43.5%. Meaning every 1 SP adds .435 dmg to your arcane shot.
However, through talents this can be improved. The full Talent Tree will be described later. Ranged Weapon Specilazation 5/5, changes the scaling of Arcane Shot to 48.5%
The same thing occurs with Humanoid and Monster Slaying Talents, which increase dmg done by 3%. These talents increase scaling of Arcane Shot further from 48.5% to 51.5%
In addition, in raid content. Warlocks have a fun curse called Curse of Shadows, which further increases arcane dmg done to the target by 10% (when the lock is specced into it). Thus, using the previous talents, arcane shot has a spell power coefficient of 61.5%. Which, is not too shabby.
Now here's the fun thing, arcane shot, unlike most spells, has an inherent 200% scaling on critical strikes. And when specced in Mortal Strikes 5/5, in addition to the other talents, arcane shot scales at 140% spell power when it critically strikes.
Now for the second interesting spell, Serpent Sting!
Serpent sting (SS) scales at 100% spellpower. So over its duration 100% of your spellpower is added to your overall DoT damage. The most fascinating fact of how DoTs scale however, is that the minimum duration for 100% spellpower scaling is 15 seconds. The exact duration of serpent sting. Meaning your total spellpower is divided into 5 ticks every 3 seconds for 15 seconds, rather than by 6 ticks every 3 seconds for 18 seconds. So i.e. 100 SP/5 rather than 100 SP/6. Making SS the best SP scaling DoT in the game.
Unfortunately it has mediocre base dmg of 490. So it takes a bit of SP for it to catch up to more common DoTs like corruption. My SS DoT normally hovers in the 30-40 DPS unflasked with 211 SP. While corruption is around 70-80 DPS on top warlocks from logs that I have seen (I do not know if they were SP flasked or not so I assume not for sake of comparison. When I've Flasked, my SS goes up to 50-60 DPS). A benefit to serpent sting, is that it does not take up a Global Cooldown. A warlock has to stop casting Shadowbolt in order to apply or reapply corruption, losing 1.5 seconds of a cast to their primary damage spell. In some cases, a warlock is better off not reapplying the corruption to prevent the loss in cast time of their hard hitting attack. So with enough SP it is entirely feasible to replace corruption with SS.
And lastly, Volley!
Volley has 33% Spellpower scaling. It still sucks. Fully flasked @400 SP and improved barrage talents, it did 130 dmg a tick, which is like base blizzard dmg. Never use it unless there a 10+ mobs .
But wait, there's more!
Arcane Shot and Serpent Sting, both rely on regular hit %. NOT spell hit. So 9% is enough to hit cap you. Oddly enough, neither of them can be fully resisted either. You will never, ever, see a "resist" when these are cast (at least I haven't, even on Shazzrah). It is possible for them to be Partially resisted however.
Arcane Shot also is based on your Ranged Critical Chance, NOT spell crit. So ignore spell crit. In addition, Arcane Infused Gem Scales 1:1 with Spellpower. So the dmg on the tooltip adds whatever your spellpower is to it. The trinket though, does not add the Dmg of the arcane shot itself to the aoe. The arcane shot only hits the targetted Mob, and then the explosion is a separate attack that occurs simultaneously.
- Agility: Since Multi Shot and Auto Shots will still provide 60%+ of the damage, it is important to not neglect agility. More agility means more crit and more AP, and more crits means bigger arcane shot numbers.
- Hit: Must have 9% hit. No ifs, ands, or buts.
- Crit: As much as you can. Better off following conventional Hunter conversions in terms of Equivalent AP (eAP). Thus 1 crit is equal to approximately 32 AP and 1 agility = 2.6 unbuffed, 2.9 with kings, and 3.3 with kings + ZG buff. Go with whatever item gives more eAP.
- Spell Power: Spell Power is the hardest to come by for a hunter. As not a whole lot is tailored to them stacking it. Simply put, 160 SP is the bare minimum needed to cast Arcane Shot and it be worth anything, not including consumables. So in a Raid you'd have 195 SP with arcane elixir and no flask. For all other situations, 200+ SP is ideal.
- Int/MP5: Take what you can get, int is slighty better and you can use consumables to last through most fights.
- Stamina: Health never hurts, wouldnt gear towards it specfically though.
- Strength/Spirit/HP5: All useless.
For current Phase 4 content PVE, this is what I use. Marksmen still reigns supreme as the DPS Spec.
For Phase 5 content PVE, not a huge difference.
Though if you were to raid and weren't allowed a SS debuff spot
Survival is interesting for PVP. I personally have not been a huge PVP kind of player, but I did do some rank pushing and below is what I used for a PVP and PVE mix.
You'll notice I still take aimed shot. This is because it still has many applications. In PVE, it is useful for starting an engagement, for arcane resistant dragonkin and Chromagg, on Shazzrah (who has high Arcane Resist), for magic immune elfs in BWL, etc, and in PVP because it still provides nice burst damage.
Rotation and Trinkets
Because of the Hunters Unique ability to trinket swap in the midst of battles, I'm lumping the trinkets in with this section over the gearing section because Hunters should be trying to use 4 On-Use trinkets whenever they can.
The neat thing about Spell Power Hunter, is arcane shot, serpent sting, and multi shot, cause no delay in auto attacks (well multi shot can but it is rather neglible). Meaning the rotation itself isn't that complicated. Multi Shot is gonna be your biggest DPS ability. Always use it first whenever its off CD. So the typical first 6 seconds should look like this.
Multi Shot -> Arcane Shot -> Serpent sting -> Arcane Shot
And then after, should always prioritize Multi Shot over Arcane Shot, and Arcane Shot over Serpent Sting, should their cooldowns/debuff timers overlap. And never apply serpent sting on top of a serpent sting. Because it does damage every 3 seconds, if you apply too early it will reset the DoT counter, losing whatever seconds had already passed for the next DoT tick.
Now when it comes to trinkets, for a sub 1 minute fight, you should trinket swap to passive trinkets. Ones with no active effect like Blackhands Breadth or Royal Seal of Eldre'Thalas. Which basically means all raid bosses in MC and BWL. Some notable exceptions are Onyxia, Firemaw, and Nefarion, as longer fights but thats more dependent on your raid team.
So that being said, I'm going to break it down into 3 Categories. 30 Seconds, 1 Minute, and 2 Minute fights.
For a 30 second fight I do not recommend trinket swapping whatsoever. What I use is Devilsaur's Eye 1st, followed by Arcane Infused Gem. Though a better option would most likely be Rentaki's Charm of Beasts. Its always better to use an instant type trinket second, because they put other trinkets on cooldown for 10 seconds. Thus if the fight lasts less than 30 seconds, you get the full benefit of the Buff Trinket as well as the instant cast. Technically speaking, using aimed shot during the Devilasaur eye buff would be the better DPS option. This is because 1. Aimed shot is inherently stronger and 2. Devilasaur Eye buffs AP moves. I normally stick to arcane shot in most cases because, because that's what the spec revolves around.
For a 1 minute fight, I usually start the fight with two Active Trinkets equipped, in this case Devilsaur's Eye and Zanadalari Hero's Charm. In this case, I use the Hero Charm first, and it doesn't really modify the attack rotation. Just make sure to activate the trinket before arcane shot.
Multi Shot -> Zandalari Hero Charm -> Arcane Shot -> Serpent sting -> Arcane Shot
It is important to not reapply Serpent sting until the 1st one is expired, because reapplying it will override the +190 SP shot with a +160 or so. Not huge differences, but enough you don't want to do it needlessly. Because of the duration of the trinket, you have plenty of time to get a second serpent sting with the Charms buff out.
On multi Targets, the rotation becomes
Multi Shot -> Zandalari Hero Charm -> Arcane Shot -> Serpent Sting 1st Target – Serpent sting 2nd Target – Serpent Sting 3rd Target -> Arcane shot, and keep putting up serpent stings whenever you can between Arcane and Multi shots.
Anyway, once the Hero Charm is used up, feign swap to Blackhand's Breadth, and use aimed shot while feigned due to the nature of feign death resetting your swing timer, while simultaneously casting Devilsaur's eye and Rapid fire. Then you can continue using aimed shot for its duration. Do not feign swap again. Use/continue arcane shot again once the Devilasaur's eye duration is gone. Though if the fight is one that lingers into the 1:20 minute zones, then swapping the Eye to the Royal Seal would be wise.
2 Minute Fights
Two minute fights rely on having 4 active trinkets. In Phase 4 I would recommend using Hero Charm and Arcane Infused gem, then feign swapping both to the Devilsaurs Eye and Rentaki's Charm of Beasts. This should successfully be accomplished 25 seconds into the fight. Then the 30 second wait on both the other trinkets comes up. So then at 55 Seconds you can then use Devilasaur eye followed by Rentaki's in another 25 second stint. So at this time, 80 seconds into the fight (1:20 minutes) you can then swap to two passive trinkets, Royal Seal and Blackhands Breadth. However, if it exceeds 2 mins, say 2:30, it would be better swap back to the 1st set of trinkets, to get another use out of them.
Come AQ (Phase 5), Devilsaur's eye should be replaced with Earthstrike or Jom Gabbar. And one could reasonably pair these trinkets with Badge of the Swarmguard depending on boss armor or mechanics. It does have the issue of a 3 min cooldown which makes its position in the trinket swapping rather iffy when it comes to longer fights.
The moment most of you have been waiting for. Just what exactly does this Hunter steal from our beloved vending machine classes? Well, you shall see.
The gearing is slightly dependent on the current phase. Primarily, pre-phase 5 they take some caster gear and weapons. Phase 5 and after it only takes weapons and maybe some trinkets. One thing that will become quickly apparent, is that there is not a whole lot of Caster Gear in these lists. This is because of fact that most, if not all, spellpower gear pieces contain less DPS attributes than their AP counterparts. Pre-phase 5 gearing revolves around finding which AP pieces will have the least impact to DPS when swapped to SP in order to reach that 160 breaking point. The only true exception to this, I have found, are weapons. For some odd reason, weapons have added Spellpower values of obscene amounts because, at their core, they were made for hunters.
You will also notice, no two-handers are presented. This is due to the fact that using two 1-handed weapons provides 2 SP enchants, and also provides 2 Brillant Wizard Oil spots. Switching to a two handed weapon would be a loss in over 100 SP. Thus melee weaving is something I've never gotten to attempt fully fleshed out. That and if I took Staff of the Shadowflame the casters would actually start frothing at the mouth.
So, this will be broken down into 4 parts. Pre-raid BiS, Pre-raid with PvP gear and AQ20 and ZG, Phase 4 Raid, and Phase 5 Raid gearing. I am excluding all r12-14 gearing choices because I can't imagine many people pushing rank for those. I will mention though, that Duel r14 Mageblades would be BiS til Naxx.
Another thing to note, is that enchants are 100% necessary for this spec. This is not a cheap playstyle, you cannot kinda enchant and make it be meaningful. Its all or nothing.
This will not include ZG or AQ20, nor world raids and bosses. It is strictly stuff from dungeons or world quests.
This is what I believe to be the best options available to achieve Pre-BiS for spellpower hunters. Key Goals are to have 9% hit, 160+ SP and then as much agil as you can grab. There are most likely plenty of other combinations available once you start weaving in ZG, pvp, AQ20, etc into the mix.
Pre-Raid With PVP
This part will also include PVP, ZG, and AQ 20 items into the mix.
Things of note, are the signent Ring of the Bronze Dragonflight, requires neutral with the Brood of Nozdormu. But running AQ20 should achieve that on its own. Flarecore leggings are craftables that do require raid materials. But they can be purchased on the AH. Sageclaw requires AB exalted. You can duel wield these if you don't have/want to get bloodcaller.
Is also a good, similar, setup. Thing is, so many options become available for hit once the ZG's enchants come out, that specific gearing is hard to determine without creating massive spreadsheets to run simulations (which I have not nor intend to do). Also not included in either of them is the +18 SP shoulder enchant or the +30 AP enchant. Technically speaking the +30 is gonna be more DPS but depending on your gearing or what gear is available that youre willing to spend gold on, use the +18 to get to the 160 SP threshold. And more realistically you'll get Rhok'delar before getting that crossbow with the 1% hit on it, so some gearing changes would need to be adjusted between these sets. Namely adding the AQ20 Hunter cloak, Cloak on Unseen Path, or using Don Julios and Signet Ring to get 2% Hit from rings rather than 1, using Giantstalker Gauntlets instead of Dragonstalker, etc.
Phase 4 Raid
Here is what I wish I had, I'm very close to it but have a few of the lesser versions of things, namely Fang of the Faceless instead of Brutality Blade or Mageblade, Rhok'delar instead of the Crossbow of Smiting, and Don Julio's and Quick Strike ring instead of the Jin Ring Set.
Anyway, here it is https://classic.wowhead.com/gear-set/phase-4-bis-74352
Technically, personal DPS would have r10 PVP pieces thrown in, but I prefer the 5/8 t2 bonus for pet survivability. In addition you'll notice a 51 SP increase. Like I said, 160 is the bare minimum to use the spec, more is always better. Though this relies on getting a pretty big item, Claw of Chromaggus, and possibly Mantle of the Blackwing Cabal. Again, technically speaking, dragonstalker's belt would probably be stronger in raid content. I personally don't run it since 1. I have not yet gotten it, and 2. I do a lot of things outside raids and like to maintain that 200 SP. But, since this is not obtainable for most people, here is a separate list I've created.
Phase 5 BiS
Here is the dream goal of AQ40. The entire premise of the spellpower hunter revolves around the simple fact that Blizzard themselves wanted it. Tier 2.5
There will be competition because of the shared tier pieces with other classes, there is the Sharpened Silithid Femur, there is a gun desired by melee. It truly is the jack of all trades taking loot from everyone gearing. The pinnacle of SP Hunter in phase 5.
Also, the gloves may need to be replaced with Black Grasp of the Destroyer, which are amazing gloves for mana regen. As I've said, this spec uses a lot of mana and depending on the fight length, these gloves are king, especially if you want to save time/gold on major pots and dark runes. Without a doubt I'd recommend every SP get these for AQ.
Finally, the dreadful list of consumables a Spell Power Hunter has to bare.
- Greater Arcane Elixir
- Mongoose Elixir
- Brilliant Wizard Oil (on each weapon – Phase 5 only)
- Major Mana Potions
That was the bare minimum of consumables you should have on at all times when raiding. Even in a casual guild. Now, for the list of all the fun stuff.
- Scorpid Assay
- Flask of Supreme Power
- Scroll of Agility IV (for pet)
- Juju Might (for pet)
- Juju Power (pet)
- Scroll of Protection IV (for pet)
- Dark runes/Demonic Runes
- Lei of Lillies
- Juju Ember (situational)
- Fire, Nature, Shadow, Protection Potions (situational)
- Limited Invulnerability Potions (situational)
- Roasted Chicken (Feeding Pet)
- Thorium Arrows/Thorium Bullets or Doomshot/Miniature Cannonballs
Though I would like to thank my Discord Pin Pal, Infinity, for providing amazing feedback and constant ideas to help me create the ultimate version of this meme spec. And of course, my guild for accepting my memey ways.
Pretty amazing ain't it? The meme of all memes has just finished slapping you across the face with its presence, and to many of you I'm sure it is appalling to the senses. Enjoy it, soak it all in. Now, let the flaming begin.
- State of Survival Hunter in Shadowlands (Feels bad, remove Hunters mark)
- Cast time inconsistencies on hunter abilities – Possible bug?
- AQ 20 Rogue & Hunter Farm. 200-900g an hour?
More about World of Warcraft (WoW)Post: "Classic Spell Power Hunter – The Little Arcane Shot that Could." specifically for the game World of Warcraft (WoW). Other useful information about this game:
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