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Tips & Tricks for Playing Hunter in Hardcore Classic WoW

Are you a fan of playing the hunter class in Classic WoW? Hunter is an excellent option due to its pet tank and huge auto-attack range. However, as with any class, there are unique mechanics that players need to understand in order to play effectively. In this guide, we will break down the strengths and weaknesses of Hunter, as well as provide tips and tricks to help you on your Hardcore journey.


Tips & Tricks for Playing Hunter in Hardcore Classic WoW


New Player Friendly

The Hunter is an excellent choice for new players in WoW, as it is easy to pick up and has a very safe playstyle with the help of a pet. However, there are unique mechanics that players should be aware of. For example, there is a minimum range requirement for attacks in vanilla WoW, which means that if an enemy is standing between five to eight yards away, you will be unable to attack them. This is called the "dead zone," and players need to be careful to avoid getting caught in it.


Additionally, pet management is a key aspect of playing Hunter in Classic WoW. Players need to actively work on their pets just as much as they do on their characters. To start off, you will not get a pet until level 10, and those first 10 levels can be quite difficult. Once you do get a pet, you will need to access core abilities such as Revive Pet and Beast Training by visiting your faction's capital city.

WoW Classic Playing Hunter Screenshot 1

You will also need to feed your pet to increase its happiness. Different pets eat different types of food, which can be checked via the pet tab under your character. Feeding your pet the appropriate food directly boosts the damage that they deal with and causes them to gain loyalty. Loyalty determines how much your pet likes you, and it is a stat that you want to max out on your main pet. As your pet gains experience, their loyalty level increases, and you gain training points to spend on your pet.


Solo Play

As mentioned earlier, the Hunter is an excellent solo player. With a pet to help you, you can easily take on mobs that are higher level than you. You can also use your ranged attacks to your advantage, as they cannot be parried, dodged, or blocked. Use your Aspect of the Cheetah and Concussive Shot to keep your distance from enemies while dealing damage.

WoW Classic Playing Hunter Screenshot 2

It's important to note that while the Hunter is great for solo play, you should still exercise caution when taking on higher-level mobs. Avoid orange and red mobs if possible, as they can still be a challenge. Keep your gear and weapons up to date, and don't be afraid to use your pet's abilities to your advantage.


Group Play

When playing in a group, the Hunter can provide additional utility beyond just dealing with damage. Use Frost or Freezing Traps to control groups of enemies and use Flare to check for stealthed mobs ahead. Your pet can also be used as an off-tank to pull large groups of enemies.

WoW Classic Playing Hunter Screenshot 3

However, it's important to note that your pet can also be a hindrance in group play if you're not careful. Make sure you're controlling your pet's pathing and using its abilities wisely. Be aware of your pet's taunt ability and turn it off when necessary to avoid pulling aggro from the tank.



While Hunter's survivability is often praised, it could be more amazing than people make it out to be. The Hunter has the ability to feign death, which is the single best defensive spell. It removes you from combat and completely drops you from the threat table, making it an "I win" button in the defensive category. However, it can be resisted against higher-level mobs or when pulling multiple mobs, making it a single point of failure. Additionally, you don't get to feign death until level 30, so you'll need to rely on other survival skills in the early levels.

WoW Classic Playing Hunter Screenshot 4

Weapon skill and defence are important for Hunter survivability. You need to train your active melee weapon because it's not just a stat stick. If a mob gets on you and the wing clip gets parried and dodged multiple times, you'll feel bad about it. Also, your defence skill is unlikely to be capped for your level because you need to be hit for it to go up. If your defence skill is 15 or more levels lower than its possible count at any given level, a mob at the same level as you will be able to hit you with crushing blows, which deal 150% of normal damage. Make sure you level your defence skill and melee weapon up.


Leveling Speed

Hunter is one of the fastest leveling classes in Classic WoW, even for players who aren't trying to min-max. The low downtime and access to Aspects of the Cheetah from an early level make it easier to move around and kill multiple mobs at once.


Talent Builds

The Beast Mastery talent tree is the best choice for leveling up as a hunter. It beefs up your pet and your own personal walking tank and provides extra movement speed on Aspects of the Cheetah. Some key talents to prioritize while leveling include:

  • Intimidation: A stun and a big threat modifier for your pet. This is the only way you can interrupt spellcasting, so it's really useful to have.
  • Frenzy: A passive talent that increases your pet's attack speed by up to 30% after a critical hit. It's important to get at least four out of five points in this talent for optimal damage output.
  • Bestial Wrath: A two-minute cooldown that provides a 50% extra damage increase and immunity to a variety of different effects for 18 seconds. It's a great cool down to use when facing multiple mobs or tough enemies.


Key Abilities

As a hunter, your key abilities will be Hunter's Mark, Serpent Sting, and Arcane Shot. Hunter's Mark applies a debuff to the target, increasing your damage and that of your party members. Serpent Sting is a damage-over-time ability that deals nature damage to the target.

WoW Classic Playing Hunter Screenshot 5

Arcane Shot is your primary damage ability, dealing arcane damage to the target. Other important abilities to consider include traps, which can control mobs and provide extra damage, and Distracting Shot, which generates high threats and can keep your pet alive in dangerous situations.


Weapon Progression

While weapons are essential for most classes, they are less critical for hunters, as most of their damage comes from their pets. However, having a good weapon can still be beneficial, and it's important to upgrade your weapon as you level up. Common quality bows from vendors can be a good starting point, but there are also several quest rewards that offer upgrades.


Some of the best upgrades for hunters include the Orcish Battle Bow from the Centaur Braces quest in the Barrens (Horde) and the Ivory Bow from the Hunter's Boast quest in Eastern Loch Modan (Alliance). Later on, the Big Game Hunter quest in Stranglethorn Vale rewards a powerful weapon upgrade, and the Verdant Keeper's Aim from Maraudon is an endgame weapon that will last you for a long time.


Macros and Add-ons

Firstly, it's essential to have the right macros and add-ons to maximize your efficiency as a Hunter. One of the most important add-ons for a Hunter is a swing timer. There is a wind-up time when you go to shoot your ranged weapon, and knowing when this is for kiting or just moving, in general, is really useful. We also recommend getting a threat add-on, such as Details! Tiny Threat, which adds a threat number to the top of the enemy's portraits. This is useful as your pet is going to be tanking most of the time, and you're going to be second on Threat. Having a good idea when you're going to be taking aggro is useful.

WoW Classic Playing Hunter Screenshot 6

In terms of macros, we highly recommend a cast auto-shot macro. This makes it so you cannot toggle your auto-shot on or off, and you can spam the button. This is incredibly useful as it stops you from accidentally toggling auto-shot on and off by mistake. You can also throw a pet attack macro into your auto-shot too, so your pet will always be going after your main target. Additionally, We would bind pet passive as well. This calls your pet back to you, which is useful if mobs are running in fear towards other groups, and you don't want your pet to chase.



The Hunter is an excellent class for players looking to play Classic WoW in hardcore mode. With its versatile toolkit, strong solo capabilities, and high skill cap, the Hunter can provide a challenging and rewarding experience for players of all skill levels. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to mastering this powerful class. So, grab your bow and arrows, and let the hunt begin!

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