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WoW Hunter Guide: Equipment (The Best Armor and Weapons to Use)

Updated Tue, Apr 29, 2008 by Messiah

Hunter's Guide - Equipment

In this section of our Hunter's guide, we take a look at the various weapons and armor your Hunter can equip! Scroll down to have a look at the various tiers of high-end armor that will greatly benefit your character, ranging from the downright easy to obtain to the very rare and powerful!


Weapons

Hunters have lots of weapon options available to them. They can almost pick up anything and fight with it. They can use:

  • Axes
  • Daggers
  • Guns
  • Bows
  • Crossbows (with training)
  • Fist Weapons (with training)
  • Polearms (with training)
  • Staves (with training)
  • Swords both one and two handed (with training)
  • Thrown (with training)
  • Two-handed Axes (with training)
  • Dual-Wield (with training and level twenty)

Looking for a trainer? Need more information on the different weapon types? Well, worry no more! We have the perfect guide for that right here: Choose your Weapon!

Hunters are only allowed light armor. They may wear cloth and leather early in the game and then are allowed mail once they reach level 40.

Best Hunter Equipment

Depending on the character role and playing style you will be aiming for different things out of your armor. For the most part however you will be looking for decent armor with bonuses to attack power, agility, stamina, intellect, critical hit, and hit rating.

Leveling Gear

While leveling up you really need to just focus on what is better for your primary stats. If you are beast master or survival that means agility and stamina, if your marksman that means agility and intellect. Anything else is just icing on the cake, especially any bonuses you can get such as attack power, or critical hit. Every quest reward that grants those stats in a bigger number than you have already is obviously going to be an upgrade. Anything not better can just be sold off.

While leveling it really isn't about the perfect items, because once you do find that perfect item, it's time to replace it already. So simply go with anything that improves your core stats.

PvP Gear

PvP gear at level 70 is relatively simple. You need to still focus on the same core stats as leveling or PvE, however they become secondary to Stamina and Resilience. What you really need to do is get the hunter PvP set, it has all of the stats you need for PvP.

The stats for PvP are the pretty much the same no matter your build, your priorities shift to stamina, resilience, and agility. This is because you will be hit often when your opponent closes range. You still need agility so you can cause damage, but stamina and resilience become higher priorities so that you stay alive to cause damage in return. For bonuses, critical hit becomes more important than hit rating due to the lower hit cap vs another level 70, and you focus on attack power a little more than in PvE so that your basic damage hurts more, as many crits will be nullified by your opponents resilience.

End Game PvE Gear

The end game is where you are at or close to the level cap. This is where the gear you will be getting, you will keep for some time before being replaced by slightly better gear from the next hardest raid, PvP season or heroic instance. This is where you really start to focus on that perfect balance of stats and bonuses.

Stats

Hunter stats should focus on maximizing the amount of damage dealt by your ranged weapon. A hunter is strongest at a distance and relies on stats that help increase ranged damage. Therefore, a hunter's most useful stat is agility. Agility increases attack power, your critical hit chance and your armor. Therefore, a high agility will help in many ways.

Second would be stamina and intellect. Some people think stamina (which increases your overall health) is better for hunters; others think that intellect (increases your mana pool and therefore lasting power) is better. It depends on your play-style and your talent specialization. If you are a beastmaster or survivalist hunter, you may want more stamina gear. This is because your stamina count increases your pet's stamina count as well. This is also useful when playing solo. A pet with higher stamina will stay alive longer, helping you to stay alive longer as well.

In groups, where a hunter is relied on more for dps, rather than taking hits, intellect would be a better option. This is also a good option for marksmanship hunters, because you are focusing more on the amount of damage you deal. A larger mana pool will allow you to keep your damage output higher for longer. Also, a Marksmanship specced hunter can get the ability "Careful Aim". With a full 3 points in this talent, a hunter can increase ranged attack power by an amount equal to 45% of his total Intellect.

Effects

Because hunters want to be able to sustain as much damage as possible over the period of a fight, the best effects for hunters are: attack power, hit rating, and critical hit. These effects will help you do a large amount of ranged damage over a period of time.

Balancing these effects with the stat bonuses from items is very complicated. Even more so since the bonus scales with your level. How many of the bonuses to go for compared to stats is up to you as a player. However we have a guide to help figure out these bonuses, and what they give you so that you can make an educated choice. You can find it all here: What's with all these crazy new numbers?

The priority shifts between these bonuses depending on your build and the environment that you play in. If you are a beast master hunter then you will be aiming for critical hit and then hit rating since when you crit you allow your pet to do more. If you are a marksman hunter then you will be looking for attack power and hit rating predominantly so that you hit harder. If you are an end game raider hit rating becomes the number one priority until you get to the hit cap (142 at level 70) and then you move on to your build priority.

Overall Rating

How to mix and match the stat bonuses with the various bonus effects is always complicated. In essence though it comes down to the following orders.

Marksmanship Hunters: Attack Power, Agility, Hit (to cap), Critical Hit, Intellect, Stamina

Beast mastery / Survival Hunters: Agility, Hit (to cap), Critical Hit, Stamina, Attack Power, Intellect

PvP Hunters (regardless of build): Resilience, Stamina, Build priorities as above.

Armor Sets

Each class has a different set of gear that is specifically for them and has some of the best stats in the game. Here are the names of each set and where most of the parts are located. If you're interested in the details of each set then have a look at our Ten Ton Hammer Database where you can search and find any item you're looking for.

Legend:
- DS: Dungeon Set (Rare to Epic Quality)
- Tier: Tiered Set (Epic Quality)

Set Title Drop Locations Related Guides and Notes
DS 1 Beast Stalker Found in various original high level instances throughout Azeroth as detailed in our DS 1 Drop Location Chart.
DS 2 Beast Master Obtained by upgrading your DS 1 set through a long serious of quests as outlined here: DS 2 set upgrade quest guide.  
Tier 1 Giant Stalker Drops from the various Bosses in the Molten Core, as shown in this chart: Raid Tier 1 Drop Locations.
Tier 2 Dragon Stalker Drops from the various bosses in Blackwing Lair and from Onyxia and Ragnaros as shown in this chart: Raid Tier 2 Drop Locations.
Tier 3 Crypt Stalker Obtained by collecting various drops in Naxxramas. The items required are found here: Raid Tier 3 Set Information.
DS 3 Beast Lord Found in various Outlands Level 70 instances as detailed in our DS 3 Drop Location Chart
DS 3.5 Desolation Battlegear Found in various Outlands Level 70 and Heroic instances as detailed in our 3.5 Drop Location Chart
Tier 4

Demon Stalker

Obtained by gaining tokens from the various bosses in Karazhan, Gruuls Lair and Magtheridon's Lair as shown here: Raid Tier 4 Set Information.

The same tokens can be turned in for any of 3 different Paladin sets depending on your talent specialization.

Tier 5 Rift Stalker

Obtained by gaining tokens from various bosses in Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye as shown here: Raid Tier 5 Set Information.

The same tokens can be turned in for any of 3 different Paladin sets depending on your talent specialization.

 
Tier 6 Gronnstalker's Armor

Obtained by gaining tokens from the various bosses in the Battle of Mount Hyjal and Black Temple raids as shown here: Raid Tier 6 Set Information.

The same tokens can be turned in for any of 3 different Paladin sets depending on your talent specialization.

 
PvP Gladiator's Regalia Arena Season 1  
PvP Merciless Gladiator's Regalia Arena Season 2  
PvP Vengeful Gladiator's Regalia Arena Season 3  

You can find a list of all the items in the set at Blizzards set item site here: High Level Armor Sets .

Comments

Have comments or suggestions? Thought of something that has been missed? I would love to hear from you! Please post in our Hunter Class forum or email Byron Mudry at [email protected]

Ten Ton Hammer's Class Guides - Hunter


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