Marksman 1-80: Level 80

Level 80

Welcome to level 80!

At level 80, I put the last talent point into Combat Experience, for that little stat boost. You also get a new major glyph; I generally go with Trueshot Aura, since this is a soloing/PVP build, and the aura isn't going to be overwritten.

Skills, Level 80:
  • 80: Aimed Shot (Rank 9), Aspect of the Dragonhawk (Rank 2), Call Stabled Pet, Freezing Arrow (Rank 1), Kill Shot (Rank 3), Mend Pet (Rank 10), Mongoose Bite (Rank 6), Multi-Shot (Rank 8), Volley (Rank 6)

You get a bunch of new ranks at 80, plus two new skills. One is Call Stable Pet. Right now it's on a 30 minute cooldown, but that's getting shortened to 5 in the 3.3 patch. It lets you swap pets without going to a stable master. I use it when I switch between my soloing and group specs, to go from my bear to my wolf, and also in Trial of the Crusader to pull out my hyena (for the hamstring) for the Faction Champions.

Your other new level 80 skill is Freezing Arrow. This lets you drop a Freezing Trap at ranged, which is good for pulling with a trap. (We were using it with some success on our Thorim-25 attempts, and with another Hunter, we duoed a couple level 70 heroics using simultaneous ranged traps.) It shares a cooldown with the other Ice traps.

At this point, if you're interested in 5-mans or raids, your spec isn't terrible, but isn't optimal; this is why I developed a raiding spec. It has evolved over time, depending on hit rating from gear and whether or not I was likely to have Replenishment.
If you want a nice pre-raiding ranged weapon, there are several options. The crossbow from Heroic Utgarde Keep is popular; Loken in the Halls of Lightning drops a nice gun; engineers can make you a nicer gun. There are other options - the Argent Tournament, Heroic Culling of Stratholme, Heroic Old Kingdom.

For other level 80 pre-raiding gear, there are shoulders and a good two-hander from the Ebon Blade, a head enchant from the Ebon Blade, a breastplate and a cloak from the Argent Crusade, good pants in both Heroic Halls of Lightning and Heroic Azjol-Nerub, a good BoE belt (Tasseled Lanterns), the amazingly long-lasting Eaglebane Bracers, good boots off Keristrazsa in Heroic Nexus, great gloves off Cyanigosa in Heroic Violet Hold, a good badge trinket (Mirror of Truth), a nice haste-proc trinket in Heroic Utgarde Pinacle, and various nice rings and necks. Assuming you don't go straight to buying stuff with Conquest Badges and pick up some tier 8.5 for the very nice 2-piece bonus.

You might want to pick up a wolf for groups if you haven't yet. No matter how much you love your soloing pet, people you PUG with who know anything about hunters will go, "Hm..." if you have something besides a wolf or maybe a cat.

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