Marksman 1-80: Levels 21-29

Levels 21-29

Level 20 was busy for skills, and the rest of the 20s are no different. Rapid Killing, Go for the Throat, and Efficiency are probably good places for your talents in this level range.

Skills, Levels 21-29
  • 22: Hunter's Mark (Rank 2), Scorpid Sting
  • 24: Beast Lore, Raptor Strike (Rank 4), Track Hidden
  • 26: Immolation Trap (Rank 2), Rapid Fire, Serpent Sting (Rank 4), Track Elementals
  • 28: Aimed Shot (Rank 2), Arcane Shot (Rank 4), Aspect of the Hawk (Rank 3), Frost Trap, Mend Pet (Rank 3)
You'll pick up new skills every even level in the 20s; in addition to a new rank of Hunter's Mark, level 22 will teach you Scorpid Sting. The Vanilla version of this was a small Str/Agi reduction to the target; in the Burning Crusade it became a 5% reduced chance to hit. For normal soloing play, this is probably most useful on elites. In raid settings, this was a huge help on hard-hitting bosses that had the potential to 2-shot your tanks. (I'm looking at you, Prince Malchezaar.) It hasn't been as much of an issue in Wrath raiding, although I occasionally threw it up on Patchwerk. The Chimera Shot bonus for Scorpid Sting is a disarm effect, which can be useful in PVP.

Level 24 has a new rank of Raptor Strike, Beast Lore, and Track Hidden. Track Hidden is, ahem, basically useless. The increased stealth detection isn't nearly enough to make it useful in PVP (the rogue can still Sap you before he's in range of being seen), and the only PVE use I've ever found for it was the quest to find the Theramore spies in Dustwallow Marsh, because they blend in with the terrain too much even when you're close enough to see them, and they're neutral to you, so you have to hit them first. Beast Lore is a nice little utility spell that will give you a beast's stats, abilities when tamed, and diet in their tooltip when you mouse over them; it'll also tell you if they're tameable. So if you spot something cool and don't want to go to Petopia (because you'd have to tab out, etc.), you can pop this on the mob and see if it would be useful (oh, it's an family, I don't really want it) or if it would be a hassle to feed (cheese and fungus only?!).

Level 26 will let you learn new ranks of Aimed Shot and Serpent Sting, and you'll gain Elemental Tracking. The more exciting new spell at 26 is Rapid Fire, which your points in Rapid Killing will reduce the cooldown on by a full two minutes. You won't get a lot of use out of this skill unless you're in a stand-and-shoot situation (since the point of haste is basically Steady and Auto Shots, and you don't get Steady till 50), but for boss fights (and even some elites), the extra damage will be noticeable. When you pick up Rapid Recuperation later, your shots will cost less while Rapid Fire is active.

When you get to level 28, it begins to look more like your higher levels are going to - four new skill ranks, this time for Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot, Aspect of the Hawk, and Mend Pet. You'll also learn Frost Trap, which is your area-of-effect (AoE) ice trap. Unlike Freezing Trap, it doesn't freeze targets in its area, but slows them down. This makes it useful for kiting, and it's a staple for getting at range from enemeies in PVP.

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