Best Hunter PvP Spec
New: Updated for Cataclysm!

Click here to get WoW CrusherIf you want to win as many arena games as possible or deal the most damage and get the most killing blows in battlegrounds, then it is important for you to choose the Best Hunter PvP spec. In this article, I will discuss the top specs for both arenas and battlegrounds and the pros and cons of each approach.

Note: I will update this best Hunter PvP spec list for Cataclysm once patch 4.0 goes live!

Best Hunter PvP Spec for Arena

If I had to declare one spec as the "best Hunter PvP spec", it would be the following:

0/3/60 (0 Beast Mastery, 3 Marksmanship, 38 Survival)

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Marksmanship Talents:

3/3 Efficiency

Survival Talents:

3/3 Hunter vs. Wild
2/2 Improved Serpent Sting (which you will use thanks to Noxious Stings)
2/2 Survival tactics
3/3 Trap Mastery
2/2 Entrapment
2/2 Point of No Escape
3/3 Thrill of the Hunt
1/1 Counterattack
2/2 Lock and Load
3/3 Resourcefulness
2/2 Mirrored Blades
2/2 T.N.T.
2/2 Toxicology
1/1 Wyvern Sting
2/2 Noxious Stings
1/1 Hunting Party
3/3 Sniper Training
1/2 Serpent Spread
1/1 Black Arrow

Let me be the first to say that the new Hunter Survival tree is amazing. When trying to figure out the Best Hunter PvP Spec, I kept going back and forth amongst the talents as they are all so good.

I recommend taking nearly everything in Survival as the tree is so good for PvP. Mirrored Blades is amazing as now Deterrence is a 100% spell reflect for its entire duration.

The Survival Hunter also now has several powerful DoT effects. Serpent Sting, Black Arrow, Explosive Shot, and Wyvern Sting will combine for a very, very strong DoT effect.

Lock and Load / T.N.T. are as good as ever and are only getting better with Cataclysm. The 10% damage bonus to targets affilicted by Serpent Sting is also a nice perk for Hunters and now we will see Serpent Sting regularly used.

Best Hunter PvP Spec for Battlegrounds

In Battleground, I find that I (and most other players) have the most fun by racking up lots of kills and doing a lot of damage. Winning is fun too, but that generally follows if you kill a lot of players! Since Hunters are able to sit back out of the fray, pretty much any spec that maximizes damage is going to be optimal for Battlegrounds.

If you have really bad gear, I recommend going the same spec mentioned in my WoW Hunter Leveling Spec article. This spec works out well because it maximizes your pet's damage rather than your own. This way, your pet can do the heavy lifting while you stay out of harm's way.

The only change I would recommend is pulling 3 points out of Marksmanship (keep Aimed Shot naturally) and put them into Hawk's Eye in Survival, making the spec 57 (Beast Mastery) / 11 (marksmanship) / 3 (Survival) works out perfectly.

If you have a good set of gear, I recommend going Marksmanship. Speccing similarly to a raid spec is great for dishing out tons of damage and racking up kills in battlegrounds. Without further ado, here is the best Hunter PvP Spec for Battlegrounds, assuming your gear is good of course:

0 (Beast Mastery) / 34 Marksmanship / 7 Survival)


3/3 Efficiency
2/2 Rapid Killing
3/3 Improved Steady Shot
2/2 Careful Aim
1/1 Silencing Shot
2/2 Concussive Barrage
3/3 Piercing Shots
2/2 Bombardment
1/1 Trueshot Aura
2/2 termination
2/2 Resistance is Futile
2/2 Rapid Recuperation
3/3 Master Marksman
1/1 Readiness
2/2 Posthaste
2/2 Marked for Death
1/1 Chimera Shot


3/3 Pathing
2/2 Improved Serpent Sting
2/2 Entrapment

Note that I would never recommend the above spec for arena. This is particularly designed for Battlegrounds, especially a place like Alterac Valley, where you can sit back and deal tons of damage without ever risking being put in combat yourself.

All of the talents are designed to increase your Hunter's ranged damage and the talents ignore survivability and pet strength as these are trivial in a big battleground.

Some of the perks of a build like this are the Rapid Recuperation talent. This gives you 50 Focus every time you gain Rapid Killing (which we specced as well). In an Alterac Valley match it is not uncommon to get 20 Killing Blows in a short game or 50+ in a long game. This equates to over 1,000 focus regenerated and will lead to a huge damage burst in PvP.


Now you know the Best Hunter PvP specs. For well-geared players, Survival should be your go-to spec for arena and Marksmanship should be your go-to spec for Battlegrounds. Players with bad equipment should opt for Beast Mastery, no matter what the situation! 

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