A Guide to WoW Hunter Tactics — Navigating Survival to Pet Mastery

 Author:  Gameusd

In this guide, we analyze and discuss the choices and strategies for melee Hunters in World of Warcraft based on player experience and data at level 40.

Set Choice

For ranged Hunters, it's a no-brainer to equip mail armor sets; there's no need to hesitate.
Melee Hunters often struggle with choosing between going for a full set of Strength and Agility gear that benefits from 10%/20% Lionheart Blessing or opting for Armor Penetration (AP) and Crit without any such bonuses. Here's the breakdown:

  • At level 40, 1 point of Strength equals 1 Melee Attack Power (AP), 0 Remote AP, and 0 Critical Strike chance.
  • 1 point of Agility equates to 1 Melee AP, 2 Remote AP, and 0.03% Critical Strike chance (which means you need 33 Agility for 1% Crit).
  • 1 point of Intellect provides 14 Mana Points, and Spirit is considered a 'useless' stat at level 60.

An essential factor to consider is your pet's AP, as 1 point of Remote AP translates to 0.22 Pet AP, while Hunter's own Melee AP does not affect their pets.

Hit and Miss Chance

  • Determining how much Hit to stack:
    When your weapon skill is maxed out for your level, attacks against same-level monsters have a 5% miss chance. This increases when facing higher-level foes due to the difference between monster defense skill and your weapon skill.
    For instance, at level 40, if your max weapon skill is 200 and a level 41 monster has a defense skill of 205, attacking a level 43 monster with a defense skill of 215 leads to an additional 3% miss chance on top of the base 5%, totalling 8%.


  • Q: Is the miss rate against a level 43 monster 6.5%?
  • A: No, because once the gap between monster defense and your weapon skill exceeds 10 points, each extra point causes a 0.2% miss instead. So, against a level 43 monster, there's an 8% miss chance.

To fully hit a level 43 monster, you actually need to reach 9% hit rating since the first point provided by gear becomes ineffective when the skill gap surpasses 10 points.

TIP: In later versions after The Burning Crusade (TBC), this mechanic was fixed, and melee characters require only 8% hit to cap against all targets.

Why Hit is the Top Stat

Understanding WoW's attack resolution mechanics shows that all white-damage melee attacks can result in one of these outcomes (in descending priority):

  • Miss
  • Dodge
  • Parry
  • Glance
  • Block
  • Critical Strike
  • Normal Hit

TIP1: Parry and Block occur only from frontal attacks; therefore, melee Hunters should aim for the back whenever possible.
TIP2: Hunters do not have dodge, parry, or block chances in ranged combat.

Not having enough hit not only reduces your white damage but also potentially nullifies critical strikes from abilities like Mongoose Bite and Counterattack. Thus, until hit cap is reached, prioritizing hit over other stats yields high returns.

Dual Wield Hit Penalty

When wielding two weapons, your white hit chance decreases to 76% against same-level enemies. However, this penalty doesn't affect skills' hit chance.

Pets and Abilities

At level 40, Hunters typically use three types of pets: Cats, Wolves, and Wind Serpents.

  • Cat pets deal only physical damage and are highly affected by armor penetration situations, recommended for early bosses in Gnomeregan. Their skills include:

    • Claw 6: Desert Scorpion (level 40-41) in Tanaris
    • Bite 6: Longfang Runner (level 40-41) in Feralas
    • Charge 2: Also learned from Longfang Runner (level 40-41) in Feralas
  • Wind Serpents are suitable for higher-level content in Gnomeregan where boss armor is high and group penetration is low. They require additional damage boosts (e.g., Shred Claw, Elemental Curse, Druid's Faerie Fire). Their skills are:

    • Lightning Breath 3: Ancient Wind Serpent (level 27-29) in Thousand Needles
    • Dive 1: Terrifying Bird (level 36-37) in Desolace
  • Wolves are commonly used by competitive raiding Hunters for their buff ability Furious Howl, which grants nearby allies increased damage for 10 seconds. Skills for wolves:

    • Furious Howl 3: Learned from Longfang Runner (level 40-41) in Feralas
    • Bite 6: Same source as above
    • Charge 2: Also learned from Longfang Runner (level 40-41) in Feralas

Melee Hunter Weapon Selection Calculation

The Raptorstrike damage calculation formula for dual-wielding hunters with dual wield talents active:

  • Main Hand: (Weapon DPH + Hunter's Melee AP / 14 * Weapon normalized speed + Additional Damage)
  • Off Hand: (Weapon DPH + Hunter's Melee AP / 14 * Weapon normalized speed + Additional Damage) * 75%
  • Dagger weapons have a normalized speed of 1.7.
  • Fist Weapons, One-Handed Swords, and Axes have a normalized speed of 2.4.
  • DPH refers to Damage Per Hit, calculated as Weapon DPS * Speed or (Weapon Max Damage + Weapon Min Damage) / 2.


These insights guide melee Hunters towards optimal gear selection, attribute prioritization, and pet management according to their class mechanics, encounter specifics, and available resources in the game. For better gaming, buy WoW Gold from Gameusd to safeguard your gaming experience.