Hunters have developed a special little name for themselves: Huntards.
Why do people who play hunters become known as ‘huntards?’ It’s simple: people who play hunters are infamous for making mistakes. Some of these mistakes are easily preventable. Wait, scratch that … all of these mistakes are preventable. Though, admittedly, I chose a hunter myself because I love the idea of having pets. People think they are an easy class to play, but they aren’t. You can easily make a better experience not just for yourself, but for those you run into.
The use and misuse of growl is a big one. So big -in fact- that Blizzard is actually changing the way this works in the next expansion. In the meantime, turn it off when entering dungeons or LFRs. There are some exceptions. If you have a tank pet like a bear or a turtle, and your tank dies, it’s advisable to turn your growl on to finish the mob or boss. Make sure you turn it back off once the tank is resurrected. This also pertains to situations where the tank leaves for whatever reason.
The long forgotten art of “MD Pulling” as it was called before. MD stands for Misdirection. This allows you to ‘pull’ and transfer your aggro to the tank. Do NOT do this unless the tank is okay with you actually pulling. But, it is a good idea to keep MD up on the tank at all times. This is especially useful when you have a new tank. Learn your misdirection and how to use it. It’s easy! All you have to target the tank and click the spell Misdirection.
Barrage is a talent that you can pick up toward max level. It is an AOE, but can also bring disaster to your party. Like any other class, you need to be mindful of your AOE’s and plan them accordingly. You also should not use Barrage in a dungeon unless you are specifically told that it is okay to do so.
Stampede is another ability that can bring disaster if not used properly. You should really watch where you cast it. This can prevent accidental pulls and allow you to use Stampede to the best of your abilities. This counts as an AOE and should be used wisely. Position yourself so that AOE’s do not accidentally pull mobs. This includes Stampede, Barrage, Volley, Murder of Crows, any AOE you might have or chosen to get.
There are times you really should dismiss your pets. If you don’t dismiss them, then you could end up pulling mobs accidentally. Even if you put your pet on passive, they will still pull the mobs. This is something any class with a pet should remember, whether it be a frost mage or a warlock. It’s not just hunters that forget this: if you have to jump off a ledge and there is a ramp your pet will go down the ramp. If there are mobs on the ramp, then they will get pulled as your pet runs down that ramp. This includes taking shortcuts.
There is a correct time to use your CC and Traps. You should learn what each one does. Study all of your crowd control and traps, and learn when to use them. Learn where is the best place to place them. For instance, in a dungeon where CC is not the main mechanic, you could place your frost trap in front of where the healer is standing. This way, if a guy gets away from the tank, and aims for your healer then your trap can catch them. Though, this only works if your healer is staying in one place.
Disengage is a great ability. It’s particularly useful in battlegrounds. It is also a great ability to use in raids or dungeons. If you get a movement impairing effects you cast Disengage and leap backward removing any impairing effects on you. There is a problem with this though, if you are not paying attention to your surroundings you could leap into a mob and kill an unsuspecting party. It is very important to pay attention to your surroundings, especially if your party skipped a lot of trash along the way.
Don’t Stand in The Bad
Ok, so this is the golden rule for anyone. The only stuff you should stand in is the good stuff from healers! If it’s not from a healer, then you shouldn’t stand in it. There is an addon called GTFO that is very helpful. It gives off a loud irritating noise when you are standing in something you shouldn’t be. This is a great addon to have regardless of whether you are a raider or not. It can be helpful in dungeons, raiding, PvP, and questing.
This is important no matter what class or spec you are. You should be aware of your cooldowns, and ideal times to use them. This isn’t just you, your pets have cooldowns too. For example, did you know one of your pets has a Battle Rez? Quilen offer a battle rez. Find out where you can tame one, and bring that utility to the party! It might come in handy one day, even if you don’t use it on a regular basis. Your cooldown on a hunter could vary based on what spec you are, or what talents you have chosen. Learn your cooldowns. They can come in handy if utilized properly.
Protect the Healer
The long forgotten art of protecting the healer. Many people don’t even think about the healers nowadays. You have growl, misdirect, traps. All these to protect your healer. So, try this: say something gets away from the tank and heads for your healer. Lay down a trap, put MD on the tank and send it over to the tank. You can also turn growl on and send your pet over to take the guy away from the healer. This is another acceptable use for growl being turned on, but remember to turn it back off!
Remember, only YOU can help prevent hunters from being called huntards. We have that nickname because so many make the same mistakes. It won’t be overnight, but together we can band together and drop the “huntard” name! Will you help me? Let me know what you think in the comments. Are there any tips you might have given a new hunter?