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Hunter DPS: A Numbers-based Comparison

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So, tonight, I got a rare opportunity while raiding: our raid had three approximately equally geared hunters, one of each spec. (Myself as Beast Mastery, Palatow as Survival, and Hola as Marksmanship.)

Gear Summary:


  • Marksmanship
  • Gear Score: 4903
  • Wow-heroes score: 2587
  • 4-pc Tier 9
  • iLevel 245 Ony Weapon
  • Spreadsheet DPS: 7657


  • Beast Mastery
  • Gear Score: 4926
  • Wow-heroes score: 2647
  • 4-pc Tier 9
  • iLevel 232 Giant’s Bane
  • Spreadsheet DPS: 7147


  • Survival
  • Gear Score: 4923
  • Wow-Heroes Score: 2568
  • 2-pc Tier 8
  • iLevel 245 Ony Weapon
  • Spreadsheet DPS: 7073

These players were present for the three fights we did tonight in Ulduar 25: XT, Kologarn, and Auriaya. A full parse of the evening is available on World of Logs.

Overall DPS: Tetron, 5836. Hola: 5380. Palatow: 3990.

Fight by Fight analysis

XT: All three hunters stayed on the boss for the whole fight. Heroism during latter half of first heart phase. 5 minute fight. Looking at the time graph for DPS shows a very interesting trend: the BM ‘high burst’ buff on heart phases is obvious, while Marks has a ramp up that matches rogue DPS ramp up, and Survival seems to be weighted towards the end; possibly waiting on Survival’s Black Arrow/Explosive shot cooldowns, which may not be available at the beginning of a heart phase.

Kologarn: Ranged were assigned to change DPS to rubble after it spawned. Eyebeamed people need to run to the back of the room until eyebeams are off of them. DPS on right arm until it goes down, then on the body.

Palatow picked up a bunch of DPS by volleying adds — 33% of overall damage. Tetron had 13% of all DPS from volley. Overall, Tetron’s DPS was 20% above (6000 vs. 4820) Hola’s.

Auriaya: Strategy: DPS sentries down, then switch to Auriaya, and DPS a slight amount during swarms to kill Guardians. Do not target feral defender. When defender dies, move.

Unfortunately, Hola died on this fight due to a void zone getting dropped in the raid, immediately after a Screech; a large chunk of the raid went boom around the same time. However, even with the dying early, we can see that Tetron had a significant DPS over Hola — and 48% of Hola’s damage was in the early phases, volleying sentries.

Benefits of BM here: pet (40% of DPS) goes right back to Auriaya after fear, even if the hunter is far away. Bestial Wrath acts as an extra get-out-of-fear-free every 1.17 minutes, helping with ‘standing still’ and DPSing, as well as staying in such a way that the Defender didn’t bother him.

Overall, there’s an obvious trend here: On every fight, an almost-exactly equally geared Marksmanship hunter, who has demonstrated a knowledge of the fights, and a knowledge of the class, was outperformed by a BM hunter. BM hunter had more short term burst — from The Beast Within/Bestial Wrath combined with Rapid Fire — and an extra fear ward.

The spreadsheets show something different — the similarly geared Marks hunter scores higher on the spreadsheets, but lower on DPS on every fight.

If you still think Marksmanship is top dog for everything — or that even Survival is — Keep in mind: on any given encounter, a different spec has different tools which may help it perform better. For fights in The Siege of Ulduar, and the Antechamber, this may well mean that Beast Mastery is better than other options.


Written by wowthoughts

November 20, 2009 at 5:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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