Marksmanship Hunter talents are fairly straight forward. We typically run this setup for any kind of AoE, especially in Mythic+. Below I talk about the different talents we take and the reasoning behind each.
Tier 1 (Level 15)
Master Marksman causes all ranged attacks (essentially everything but our Auto Attackes) to apply a bleed after critcally striking for 15% of the damage dealt over 6 sec. It gives a nice chunk of passive damage that scales directly off of Critical Strikes. This talent makes Marksmanship love Crit. The bleed works similar to Ignite, meaning additional Critical Strike procs are additive and are not overwritten.
Tier 2 (Level 25)
Fires an explosive shot that deals massive damage after 3 sec. Explosive Shot is our go-to for any AoE. With current tuning, it should be used if there are enemies period. Remember, it has a delayed reaction so be sure to plan accordingly when using it.
Tier 3 (Level 30)
You and your pet blend in, gaining stealth for 1 min. Camouflage is very useful to facilitate skips during dungeons. The healing it gives is also nothing to scoff at, and is an easy button to push to top yourself off and to help your healers out while out of combat.
Tier 4 (Level 35)
Streamline simply increases Rapid Fire's damage by a flat amount and gives a small quality of life to Aimed Shot by reducing its cast time. Streamline is our goto AoE talent. It also pairs well with Surging Shots which is our go-to AoE legendary if you're Kyrian.
Tier 5 (Level 40)
Disengage removes all snares and increases movement speed by 50% for 4 sec. This will be your default dungeon and raid talent for added movement speed and positioning. The snare removal is also extremely helpful in certain situations.
Tier 6 (Level 45)
Your next Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire will replicate, dealing 100% additional damage. Double Tap can be used in both single target situations and in AoE situations as it works with Trick Shots. Double Tap excels in situations that require on-demand burst damage. It is currently our best talent in this row by a fair margin.
Tier 7 (Level 50)
Raid arrows from the sky dealing a large amount of physical damage over 6 sec. Volley is our default pick in AoE situations. In addition to dealing damage, Volley enables Trick Shots for 6 sec. This means that we can cast Aimed Shots and Rapid Fires to AoE without having to cast Multi-Shot to enable Trickshots. With Volley, our damage profile shifts to a heavy up-front burst, approximately every minute. It also improves our two target cleave a fair bit.
Your go-to talent in this row will always be Camouflage. Its stealth is very useful in dungeons, allowing you to skip certain packs. It also gives you passive healing, which can be used to heal yourself in between packs, instead of eating food, or to help your healer top you off (think Grievous weeks). That being said, Exhilaration does have merit when dungeons get rough and the stealth from Camouflage isn't needed. Sometimes having one or two extra Exhilarations may make or break certain dungeon encounters.
Careful Aim is only the better pick in pure single target, sustained situations. If any type of AoE is involved in the fight, you should swap to Explosive Shot. That being said, Careful Aim does have merit in AoE, but it's typically rather hard to fit enough Aimed Shots within the health threshold for it to become worth. In dungeons, mobs lose health too quickly to properly benefit from it. Explosive Shot also synergizes very well with Volley and does a massive amount of damage over the course of the dungeon (and way less to play around).
In a sustained single target situation, Steady Focus is our best option by a fair margin. If there is frequent target swapping or downtime, Steady Focus will lose some value. Steady Focus and Streamline actually sim fairly closely in sustained AoE situations. That being said, there's no such thing as sustained AoE. When AoE occurs, we typically want to unload our burst as quickly as possible. Having to maintain Steady Focus while adds are spawning can be a huge loss. Likewise, Steady Focus loses value if we continually drop combat (think Mythic+). Thus, Streamline is typically our go-to for most AoE situations since it simply gives us some passive damage to Rapid Fire without having to maintain anything. In 1-2 target situations where maintaining Steady Focus isn't realistic, Chimaera Shot will take over (especially in sustained two target situations).
If the talent comparison is not listed above, you should always use the default talents. The standard talent build is talked about here.
Versatility increases all the damage you do, and reduces all damage taken. A decent stat to have that also provides a bit of survivability. DPS-wise, this is our worst performing stat.
Mastery for Marksmanship Hunters simply buffs the majority of our abilities passively. It is our second-best stat. While it’s a bit behind Crit in pure single target situations, it gains value in multiple target scenarios. Mastery falls off when a pet is required since pets do not scale with our Mastery.
Critical Strike has skyrocketed to the forefront as our best stat. A couple of different factors such as Kill Shot Rank 2 and Master Marksman play a major role. As the target count increases, Crit starts to fall off a bit. We want any piece of gear that has Crit on it.
Haste has fallen in relevance for Marksmanship. While Haste does improve focus generation and reduces cast time, Marksmanship’s damage is largely limited by Aimed Shot charges. While it isn’t necessarily bad, other stats are typically better to aim for.
Enchants, Gems & Enhancements
Consumables are a vital part of high-level content in WoW, especially in Mythic+. Below is a list of consumables I highly suggest having on hand at all times if you wish to perform well in dungeons.
In Shadowlands, multiple pieces of gear can have enchants. For mail users, we can enchant Weapons, Rings, Chest, Cloaks, Gloves, and Boots. Shadowlands also brings some new items – Oils and Sharpening Stones. For Marksmanship, we will be using Oils as Sharpening Stones are typically reserved for melee DPS. There are also glove enchants which can assist with professions gather speed or make your hearthstone quicker.
Weapon: Celestial Guidance
Will sometimes increase your Agility by 5% when attacking or using spells and abiities.
Oil: Shadowcore Oil
Apply to a weapon for 60 min, giving you a high chance to deal an additional Shadow damage when you damage an enemy.
Chest: Eternal Stats
Permanently increases all secondary stats by 30.
Cloak: Fortified Leech
Increases your Stamina by 20 and your Leech by 30.
Rings: Enchnat Ring – Tenet of Critical Strike
Increases your Critical Strike by 16.
Gloves: Eternal Strength
Increases your Strength by 15.
Boots: Eternal Agility
Increase your Agility by 15.
In Shadowlands, all gems fit with all sockets and there is no bonus for putting in certain types of gems in particular slots.
All gems should be Deadly Jewel Cluster for single target or Masterful Jewel Cluster for AoE.
Sockets work differently in Shadowlands! Now only Helms, Rings, Necks, Bracers, and Belts can have sockets on them. Similar to before, those specific slots have a random chance to roll a socket when obtaining them. In Shadowlands, questing in the Maw allows you to buy sockets to place on your gear. Ve’nari, a friendly NPC located in the Maw, will sell a consumable that works similar to Gouged Eye of N’Zoth purchased with Stygia – a currency farmed within the Maw.
Food and Drink
Unfortuntaely, Fish Feasts have been removed in Shadowlands. There doesn’t seem to be anything comparable to them, so we’re stuck with our normal food that takes awhile to eat.
Feast of Gluttonous Hedonism should be used when possible. If not, Spinefin Souffle and Fries for a personal food.
Potions and Flasks
Similar to before, there are multiple types of consumbales that you should be conerned with. Remember, potions are on a 5 minute cooldown now, so use them wisely!
Flask: Spectral Flask of Power
Increases Agility by 70 for 1 hour. Persists through death.
Single Target Potion: Potion of Phantom Fire
Your attacks and spells have a chance to send out a fiery projection at your target dealing Shadowflame damage. If you consume this potion while your weapon is augmented with Shadowcore Oil, the additional damage is increased by 10%. Lasts 25 sec.
AoE Potion: Potion of Spectral Agility
Increases your Agility by 190 for 25 sec.
In Shadowlands, ranged DPS are now required to use Shadowcore Oil. It can be applied in addition to your standard weapon enchant. Make sure to have it applied as it amplifies damage done by Potion of Phantom Fire!