Hunter 101: Gear and stats
I almost didn’t even write this post since all loot in the game is hunter loot. But since the other support classes might find that unfair [for whatever reason], I thought I would go ahead and write up a guide on what to look for, should you want to be a kind and benevolent hunter and give lesser gear to the support classes.
In all seriousness, though, we hunters are pretty lucky when it comes to gear. A lot of the gear in the game works for us and it’s relatively easy to find really good gear at low levels.
Agility is the #1 stat for a hunter. Agility increases ranged attack power and chance to crit, so if an item has less agi but more crit, you’re probably better off sticking with the piece with more agility. When you’re leveling, you’ll want to keep an eye out for “of the Bandit” and “of the Monkey” gear, as it is itemized for Hunters.
At lower levels, you’ll find a lot of gear with seemingly random stats on it. If you find an item with more agility, but it’s also got spirit or strength on it, wear it. As long as it’s got more agi, it’s always an upgrade. Keep in mind hunters used to use mana, so you will find a lot of legitimate hunter gear with int/spirit on it at lower levels.
The joke is “it’s all hunter loot”, which is sort of true since we can utilize most items in the game… but don’t loot whore when in random dungeon groups. Once you get past 40, try not to roll on leather against a feral druid or a rogue without checking with them first. I know it’s tough to find good gear at that level, but they’re trying to gear up, too. Sometimes that piece of leather really is the best you’re going to find at your level, though. I know while leveling my holy paladin, sometimes I’d equip cloth or leather gear because I simply wasn’t finding healer mail or plate. But if it’s a quest reward, have at it! That is DEFINITELY hunter loot.
Something else to keep in mind is: as a hunter, you should be able to run content without any gear at all and still survive. You have more than enough tricks up your sleeve to keep aggro on your pet while you safely pew pew from a distance. Don’t believe me? Check out The Naked Troll Project.
This guy leveled a hunter from 1-60 without gear back in classic. So next time you want to get caught up in a loot fight with someone in your group, just think of the naked troll and remind yourself, “I’m a hunter, I don’t NEED loot to be good.” Let the other guy have that gear, you’ll be just fine without it.
Past level 50 when you get Mail Specialization, don’t wear leather unless you have absolutely no other possible gear options. Even then, you probably shouldn’t wear leather. Besides, mail looks way cooler anyway.
Stat priority for a MM hunter is
RDPS >> [Hit to 8%] > Agility > Crit ≥ Haste >> Mastery
The biggest gear upgrade for a hunter, nine times out of ten, will be your ranged weapon. Unless you are a troll or a dwarf, if the weapon has more RDPS on it, it’s better than what you are currently using. It doesn’t matter what the stats are on the weapon, if there’s more RDPS, it’s better. Trolls should, of course, look for bows and dwarves should always be on the lookout for guns. This is a sensitive subject when getting into the upper tiers where there are almost no raiding guns for hunters and the guns we can find are ones like the Crossfire Carbine that are itemized for tanks.
This is a tanking gun, first and foremost, and if a warrior tank is in the run and needs it, it should definitely roll to him first… but if a hunter is still sporting a green quest reward or a crappy ilvl 333 Engineering gun and this drops, it’s fair game for the hunter, too. Why? Because this is merely a stat stick for a warrior, but the top end damage of the gun would legitimately be utilized by the hunter.
I’ve seen the mere discussion of loot rules regarding this gun cause trash farm groups to completely collapse. Do yourself a favor, hunters, farm Conquest Points and grab the PvP weapons instead of buying tank guns. Regardless of whether or not the tank gun is better for you, farming CP is easier than the hassle of owning a tank gun.