Marksman 1-80 (Part 8: Hunter Races)

It's been a while! I've been going through the process of applying to, interviewing for, and (I hope!) getting the job I've been doing for the past year. Now! Hunter races.


Your Alliance options for playing a hunter are Night Elves, Dwarves, and Draenei. (No humans, no gnomes.)

Night Elves' racial abilities are Shadowmeld (a kind of stealth during which you can't move), a reduced chance to be hit, better resistance to nature spells, and wisp form (you move faster while dead). If you're playing Alliance and want to PVP, Shadowmeld gives Night Elves another ace up their sleeve, since, combined with a cat for Prowl, your opponants won't have quite as easy a time getting the drop on you. It's also great for laying ambushes if you're on defense - a couple of Night Elves, or in combination with rogues, can lure opponents into an area by making it look unguarded. (My first character was a Night Elf.)

Dwarves' racial abilities are a bonus to hit with guns, Stoneform (increases armor and removes bleeds, poisons, and diseases), better resistance to frost spells, and Find Treasure (tracks chests and some other objects on the minimap). (They also have a bonus to maces, but since hunters can't use maces...) I've never actually played a Dwarf (mostly because I switched to Horde before I got around to it). However, some of my favorite pet models (the snow leopard, the black bear) are available in Dun Morogh. (Before Wrath, Dun Morogh was the only place to get a snow leopard.) The gun bonus is also nice. A Dwarf hunter with engineering would be able to make his/her own guns and ammunition, find chests, and blast them open with seaforium if needed. Lots of potential.

Draenei's racial abilities are Gift of the Naaru (a small heal), a bonus to party members' hit rating, a bonus to jewelcrafting, and better resistance to shadow spells. They actually begin play with crossbows, and are the only hunter race to do so. The heal and the hit rating bonus both make them a good option. (I have a level 15 or so Draenei hunter.)

Your Horde options for playing a hunter are Taurens, Trolls, Orcs, and Blood Elves. (Basically, you can't be undead.)

Taurens' racial abilites are Warstomp (an AOE stun), better resistance to nature spells, an herbalism buff, and increased hit points. Warstomp is fantastic in both PVE and PVP - you can use it to help chain Freezing Traps, or any time you need to briefly stun mobs to set up for doing something else. The herbalism buff is nice if you want to go into Alchemy or Inscription, or just for the cash. (My main is a Tauren.)

Trolls' racial abilities are Berserking (a haste boost), Da Voodoo Shuffle (reduces the duration of snares), faster hit point regeneration, a bonus to hit with bows, a bonus to throwing weapons (ahem, lol), and deal more damage to beasts. The haste boost and the bonus with bows both make Trolls an attractive option for a Marksman hunter. Faster hit point regeneration can also mean less down time. The snare reduction is fairly new, and I haven't actually tried it yet. (I have a level 13 or so Troll hunter on an RP server.)

Orcs' racial abilities are Blood Fury (an attack/spellpower boost), increased pet damage, better resistance to stuns, and a bonus to axes. Orc is the other race of hunters I haven't actually played (as a hunter, anyway). The AP boost and the increased damage both make orcs good hunter options, although the latter is more attractive to Beast Masters. The stun resistance is always nice in PVP. And a lot of good hunter weapons are axes.

Blood Elves' racial abilities are Arcane Torrent (an AOE silence which also restores some mana), a bonus to enchanting, and better resistance to spells. Blood Elves start with a larger mana pool than any other hunter race, so that favors the Marksman mana-intesity. The silence can be good both in PVE and PVP, especially before you pick up a spell interrupt through talents. (I'm currently leveling a Blood Elf hunter.)

So, none of the hunter races are particularly bad for the class, but if you're looking at a particularly niche (PVP, PVE, farming) or spec, some of them might have better perks than others.

Next up: the actual leveling guide! Woo! (Hopefully 3.2 patch notes don't make me revise more than Aspect of the Cheetah for what's already written...)

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