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Caperfin's Guide to the Melee Hunter
by Caperfin • 14th April 2019
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Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! Every possible topic that comes to mind will be analysed to answer lingering questions
you might have. In the unfortunate scenario a topic is not addressed or poorly please bring it to my attention. I expect the same amount of
scrutiny from readers as I have put into writing this guide, so don't hold back.

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Traditionally, hunters were designed and relegated to be played as a ranged class and the legitimacy of a hunter in the melee
role was rarely considered. However, with a game that has been dissected for over a decade this dated notion has now been
disregarded with the advent of tools. Therefore, our wild animal taming friend can retire his projectile launching weapon days
and opt for spending his glory days in the heat of battle alongside other melee classes.
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Introduction
Race
Pets
Profession
Buffs
Debuffs
Gear + Enchants
Talents
Spells
Rotations
F.A.Q


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Before continuing, its important to remember you are not only perusing a certain path but also playing a class that demands a
great deal of effort for other players to recognise. A melee hunter in a raid has the ability to not only provide a large amount of
personal damage but also the capability of aiding other teammates. However, you must choose which path to take and invest
all effort into it to be effective.

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Races play a big part as we are grasping for any amount of extra efficiency possible. Hunters are available to 5 races: Night Elf and Dwarf
for the Alliance. Tauren , Orc , and Troll for the Horde. This section will explore the most popular & efficient races for our goals. Let's begin
by taking a look at the most efficient faction as both of them provide different benefits. In our rigorous testing, the Horde faction is the clear
as the tools provided by them heavily trumps what the Alliance has to offer. An example, of one of these tools is https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10614 which, is a massive contribution to our overall melee damage. Next, lets see the most beneficial race within the Horde. As previously mentioned, we are gifted with three possible races: Orc, Troll and Tauren. But sadly our bovine friend doesn't yield any racial benefits. Therefore, our eyes are mostly set on Orc and Troll. There is no clear winner as both races excel under different scenarios. Let's breakdown both to showcase the differences.

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Troll
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20558 ... ialization / https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=26290 ... ialization: Increases chance to hit with bow and thrown while increasing damage.
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20557/beast-slaying: Whether it be physical or magical, all damage against creatures categorised as Beasts is bolstered by 5%.
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20555/regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20554/berserking: Increases your spell casting and attack speed by 10% to 25%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with...

What does this mean?: Ultimately, if a boss can be vanquished in ~2min or less, Troll is the correct decision. It should be noted, Berserking
also improves range attack speed. Contrary to popular belief, melee hunters do use the occasional ranged ability. In conclusion, going Troll
might not be the route for everyone as its very situational and inconsistent.
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Orc
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20574 ... ialization: Increase chance to hit with one handed and two handed axes and increases damage done with them.
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20572/blood-fury: Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec & reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 sec...
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20573/hardiness: Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%. (Sadly, will rarely if ever see any usage in PvE)
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20575/command: Both physical and magical damage dealt by Hunter and Warlock pets is improved by 5%.

What does this mean?: Similar to the previous race, however, Orcs are the better damage option overall. Regardless, of the boss type your
are facing. Ultimately, Orc should deal the most damage. I suggest Orc because the talent setup we will be choosing later compliments our
racial skill Command and the bonus to skill with axes and two-handed axes is nothing to scoff at either as many notable weapons are axes.
Other Races

If you are dead set on affiliating with the Alliance, I suggests Night Elf as they have the highest agility. This isn't to say you should be forced to play a certain race, rather you should be aware of the differences and make the according decision that aligns with your preferences.
Pets

Hunters have the advantage of taming and acquiring a pet at level 10. Our little companion help us not only level at a ludicrously fast speed
but also provides some decent damage in raids once we are level 60. Since this is not a leveling guide, we'll be skipping pets that help with
leveling and go straight to pets used for raiding. It should be noted, if you don't cater to the survival of your pet it will be a detriment to your
overall dps. Therefore, it's not only necessary to move out of the "giant fire" on the ground but also manage the position of your pet. Players who master this notion, should heavily consider investing into buffs for their pet. This section will showcase pets most suited for our needs.
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In terms of bolstering our damage, cats come in first place but more specifically https://classic.wowhead.com/npc=2850/broken-tooth in the Badlands.
Each pet is granted a limited amount of "Training Points" that can be used to bolster certain aspects to be utilised in certain scenarios. It's recommended to have pets in the stable that each have different situational strengths. Down below is the ideal setup of Training Points for each Raid.
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Herbalism
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Alchemy
While leveling, select Herbalism & Alchemy. Herbalism provides reagents for Alchemy and a source of gold for our eventual endgame professions. The goal is to gather a large supply of gold and a bank full of potions the raid might need, for ex: http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13452. A valid case can be made for having a lvl 5 character in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use.
 
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Engineering
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Alchemy
Afterwards abandon Herbalism and go for the late game profession, Engineering. In order to scoop up a few useful tools, such as: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=10725, https://classic.wowhead.com/item=10646 among many other gadgets.

Finally, for secondary professions, I urge grabbing all of them as they all provide valuable assets. A notable item from Cooking is https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12217/ ... eath-chili which does stack with another food buff if Chili is consumed after.
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Some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. Let's highlight a few important facts about buffs. There is a max of 32 buffs: Talents, Set bonuses & Equip effects don't count. But Gear enchants count with exceptions: (Crusader enchant and enchants from the profession enchanting don't count.) Resistance enchants however need to be reconfirmed as they make it seem now like those should count. The following buffs are classified into sub-groups to better highlight their usefulness and showcase different options.

Notable damage increasing Buffs to obtain:
- http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22888
- https://classic.wowhead.com/item=20452/ ... -dumplings
- https://classic.wowhead.com/item=8412/g ... rpok-assay
- http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13452
- http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15366
- http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16609
- http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12217
- http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24425
- https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22817
- https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10614/windfury-totem
- http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25289
- http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10157
- https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12451/juju-power
- http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12460
- https://classic.wowhead.com/item=8410/r-o-i-d-s

Other damage increasing buffs:
Damage Increasing BuffsShow

      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22817: +200 Attack power
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19506: +50 Attack Power.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25289: +185 Attack power for 2 min. (increased by warrior talent & T2 warrior set equipped before casting)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12460: +40 Attack power.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=23736: +10% Agility or +10% damage. (A damage version of this buff also exists)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=8412: +25 Agility.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13452: +25 Agility, +2% Melee Crit. (the agi stat will not stack w/Agamaggan's Agilitiy but the crit part will)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25359: +77 Agility (effect is increased through a shaman talent)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13928: +10 Agility for 10min. (does not stack with other food buffs)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25361: +77 Strength. (effect is increased through a shaman talent)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10157: +31 Intellect.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10725: +5% Attack Speed for 4 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16609: +15% Melee Haste, +300 Hp, 10 mana regen every 5 seconds.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16601: Grants 25% haste to the party for 8 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12450: +3% Attack Speed for 20 sec.


      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10497: +10 mana every 2 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29166: Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=8956: Deals 50 Fire dmg to target within 5yds every 3 sec for 15 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13512: +150 damage done by magical spells & effects for 2 hr. Only 1 flask effect can be active at a time.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13454: +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29534: +5% dmg to melee, range and spell damage dealt.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10060: The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15366: Increases a melee, ranged, or spell to crit by 5%, +15 all stats.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=17774: 2% chance when struck in combat of increasing all stats by 25 for 1 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24425: +10 move speed, +15 all stats.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9885: +384 armor, +12 all attributes,+27 all resistance.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12217: Often deals ~68 dmg at targets in melee. (scales with spell damage) (does not stack with other food buffs).
Pet Buffs

Hunter pets are also capable of receiving buffs and contrary to popular belief, buffs will lose time even when the pet is dismissed the only exception being debuffs.

- https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10938 ... -fortitude
- https://classic.wowhead.com/item=10309/ ... agility-iv
- https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25291 ... g-of-might
- https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9885/mark-of-the-wild
- http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12460
- https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12451/juju-power
- https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11717 ... cklessness

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There can be a total of 16 debuffs applicable on a boss. All debuffs on the list below benefit us and are assumed to be at their maximum rank/talent improvement. The following debuffs are classified into sub-groups to better highlight their usefulness and showcase different options.

DebuffsShow
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11717: - 290 armor but bolsters melee attack power by 45. Only 1 warlock curse can be active on any 1 target.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11198: Reduces target's armor per combo point. (might not stack with Sunder Armor but reduces more than Sunder Armor)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11597: Reduces armor by 450. Can be applied up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12798: Reduces an enemy's armor by 200. Stacks up to 3 times.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9907: Reduces armor by 505 for 40 sec. While active, the target cannot stealth or go invisible.

      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=23578: Increases the Ranged Attack Power of all attackers against that target by 450 for 7 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=9088: The enemy has a 30% chance of being inflicted with disease that increases dmg taken by 8 for 3 min. Lasts 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=19169: Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec.
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The interesting part about gearing a melee hunter is its similarity with the traditional range hunter. It's possible to play as a ranged hunter and transition to melee later fairly easy. You won't need to convince players about your desire for unconventional gear and go into a diatribe about your plan to go melee hunter later. A hunter's melee weapon will often dictate their role in a raid. In the earlier portions/phases of the game, two-handed weapons are more sought after since there's less of a need to get gear with "Hit" on it in order to reach the feasible 9% Hit quota.

General Stat Priority: Hit (9%) > Strength > Agility > Intellect


Down below is a url to a spreadsheet with a plethora of options for proper gearing:
Gear SpreadsheetShow
Updating for Classic WoW

Gear Enchants

Enchants similar to gear need to be tailored for our purposes.

- Head: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=19785 from the quest Falcon's Call from the Zandalar Tribe in Stranglethorn Vale. (It does increase Melee Hit chance)
- Shoulder: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=20077 from the quest Signets of the Zandalar from the Zandalar Tribe in Stranglethorn Vale.
- Back: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=13882
- Chest: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20025
- Wrist: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=16246/ ... r-strength
- Gloves: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20012
- Legs: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=19785 (It does increase Melee Hit chance)
- Feet: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20023
- Melee Weapon: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20034 ... n-crusader
- Ranged Weapon: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=18283/ ... ccurascope

What is FD?

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5384 or refereed to as "FD" is similar to the rogue spell: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=1857. FD grants us the capability to leave combat but because bosses ever so often, pulsate an aura that automatically puts nearby targets in combat, we must be fast with our fingers. The amount of time it takes for the combat aura to effect the hunter depends on the boss. A few of the many actions, we can do while out of combat are: eat food to regenerate our resources, cast hunter trap spells, reset our threat on the target and equip different gear. Its recommended, installing the addon: Item Rack to automatically equip items the very second combat is dropped.
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For the sake of generality and simplicity these talents setups assume you're taking part in a serious guild who are confidently clearing raids. During guild progression it is suggested to fulfil the support role until your guild is comfortable with you going the personal damage increasing role.


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"Short Fights"
31/0/20
https://classicdb.ch/?talent#cVVR0xxRpZI0rrRh
Mostly for ~2min boss fights. This talent setup reaches higher damage if the player is an Orc. It is imperative to keep you pet alive for as long as possible. In the situation, this is not possible, consider the talent setup below.
 
Detailed ExplanationShow

Can I put points in the Marksmanship talent tree?
Yes. Although, situational if a boss fight requires running around and keeping a distance, these talents come into action: https://classicdb.ch/?talent#cE0M0xxRtVVooZI0b


Why https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19377/trap-mastery and not https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19287 ... eign-death?
The boss has a higher chance to resist traps than Feign Death.

Why https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19587 ... e-training & not https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19556 ... f-the-hawk?
Points can be withdrawn from Endurance Training, if your pet rarely approaches death and paced in Improved Aspect of the Hawk for the occasional fight that requires you to move around and stand away from the boss.

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"Anti-Pet Fights"
21/0/30
https://classicdb.ch/?talent#cA0M0xxzZZIbbrRGhx
The solution for your pet dying for whatever reason and +2min fights. But it's an "End game" option since later raiding content gives the required agility from gear to make it relevant. Also, ideal for boss fights with a lot of moving or keeping a distance.

Detailed ExplanationShow

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19587 ... e-training not https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19556 ... f-the-hawk?
Points can be withdrawn from Endurance Training, if your pet rarely approaches death and paced in Improved Aspect of the Hawk for the occasional fight that requires you to move around and stand away from the boss.
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"Support"
0/31/20
https://classicdb.ch/?talent#cZVE0bxhtIbbi0h
Fully devoting yourself to support allies. Typically, this talent setup is taken during a guild's progression through a raid. Most likely you will be placed with warriors who are playing the damage dealing role within a group.

Detailed ExplanationShow

Why https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19587 ... e-training & not https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19556 ... f-the-hawk?
Points can be withdrawn from Endurance Training, if your pet rarely approaches death and paced in Improved Aspect of the Hawk for the occasional fight that requires you to move around and stand away from the boss.
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Be prepared to fill most of your action bars with spells and different ranks of ced spells. World of Warcraft as a default only offers a few action bars, so consider installing an addon to increase the numbers of bars available to you.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=14268: Typically, I suggest the rank 1 version of this spell, unless you posses a plethora of mana regenerative item, than you can go for its maximum rank Wing Clip. A skilled hunter should aim to end a fight with nearly no mana left.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=14317: Weirdly, it scales with spell damage and fire damage increasing effects such as Flame Buffet from an AD. However, we can only cast this trap spell out of combat, we can rectify this problem with the help of FD.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=14266 A standard damage increasing spell that is commonly used.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5384 Mostly, known around the community as FD. There are clever tricks you can pull, such as: granting us the ability to consume food, change gear, place traps, etc... Please refer to the section: What is FD? to learn more about it.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19801 Although our main goal is to deal as much damage as possible, we can't afford the boss to enrage, so we take it upon ourselves to use it when asked.
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Pre-Pull: Before the raid starts, make sure you and your pets get the most buffs out there in the world. It's also possible to acquire http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11717 on your pet and dismiss your pet to preserve the debuff.

Pulling: Summon your pet and ask the raid for the remaining last few buffs on it. Equip https://classic.wowhead.com/itemset=463, cast MS. Immediately, reequip your normal melee weapon and run to the boss alongside other melee classes.

Combat: Activate JuJu Flurry and Oil of Immolation and wait 1-2 seconds until https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11597 and similar debuffs are applied. You will be constantly using Oil of immolation but be cautious it resets your swing timer, so install a swing timer addon to optimize it. Once the majority of damage increasing debuffs are on the boss activate 2 damage increasing trinkets and hit the boss with WG in conjunction with RS. Once the effect from both trinkets are expired, cast FD and equip 2 passive dps trinkets, if mana permits it, you can place an Immolation Trap. Throughout the entire boss fight, simply repeat the normal rotation of RS and WG.

Situational: If you need to run to another target, sneak in an Arcane Shot as you run, either on the boss or the target ahead of you. (If the distance is long enough, you can equip Primal Blessing + a faster ranged weapon such as: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=2824, activate Rapid fire and sneak in a MS. Afterwards, requip your normal gear.) If your pet (who is fully buffed) will foreseeable die to a raid mechanic, cast https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=1002 immediately after a weapon swing to get your pet out of danger.

F.A.Q.

Can you TLDR melee hunters? tell me the essentials, don't worry I know the game terms.
I'll try. Be in melee, use powerful spell damage & physical damage consumables, ex: Flask of Surpreme Power. Equip a life-stealing weapon, enchant with Shadow Oil. Spam Wing Cip and Raptor Strike. If you're looking to support instead, equip a weapon that helps others like Nightfall. DONE.

Why play a Melee Hunter when being a ranged hunter is available?
I addressed this in Introduction. Also, a Personal Damage Hunter (if played properly) has proven to reproduce similar damage as a ranged hunter and out damage them in certain scenarios.

How did you find out about Melee Hunters?
I've been working on these type of non-conventional ways of playing the game for years. It was pure curiosity fulled by trying to put a refreshing spin on an old game.

   teebling Jatlanti Derek centurion aeh Rootdancer atkars
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Wow!
This guide is amazing, not a Mainchar for me, but maybe a twink :p?
Thank you much for that!

Undead Priest @ <reLAX>
Twitch Channel, feel free to take a look :)!
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OC Yojamba
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Caperfin wrote:
1 year ago
Neretzek, The Blood Drinker is the soonest weapon a hunter can acquire to start melee'ing a boss for the purpose of doing personal damage
When the first weapon that makes your build somewhat viable is from AQ40 trash and the other recommend weapon is Ashbringer, I kind of lose interest. I've always wondered if melee Hunter could work, but this portion of the guide is quite disheartening. Melee Hunter could be great fun, but I don't know if it is truly viable. I always wanted a legolas style dual wield melee Hunter to work in Vanilla, but I think that will remain a fantasy.

   Stfuppercut
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hit the boss with WG in conjunction with RS.
Excuse me if I missed an obvious point anywhere, however, what is WG?

Expect the worst. Hope for the best.
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Selexin wrote:
1 year ago
Caperfin wrote:
1 year ago
Neretzek, The Blood Drinker is the soonest weapon a hunter can acquire to start melee'ing a boss for the purpose of doing personal damage
When the first weapon that makes your build somewhat viable is from AQ40 trash and the other recommend weapon is Ashbringer, I kind of lose interest. I've always wondered if melee Hunter could work, but this portion of the guide is quite disheartening. Melee Hunter could be great fun, but I don't know if it is truly viable. I always wanted a legolas style dual wield melee Hunter to work in Vanilla, but I think that will remain a fantasy.
Yeah, the primary argument for a melee hunter would be having the highest potential for nightfall uptime. I have seen some theorycrafting while using ravager and sapper charges for AoE pulls that seems to yield some high numbers as well (on private), but this will be another fringe spec that requires a lot more gear than is realistic for most players.

As soon as you drop the nightfall to increase your own personal DPS you decrease the throughput of the entire team, meaning someone else will need to pickup a nightfall. It is typically just better to let the guy who has always wielded the nightfall to continue doing so.

Nightfall is one of those ace in the hole items that can validate A LOT of fringe specs. If the boomkin could equip this item, it would be used to validate playing a boomkin. If the shadowpriest could wield this item, they would use it to add a value argument to their spec. Unfortunately for many would-be meme specs, there can be only one nightfall wielding player in the raid.

g0bledyg00k wrote:
8 months ago
Never making a single investment again until I 100% know it pays off.
2000 IQ :wink:
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