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Soloing Instances as a Hunter



I usually play a mage. One of the things I really enjoy is running old instances solo and whilst doing so I like to use AOE extensively.

Anyway I'm thinking of making a hunter and although I think they're probably a much better class to solo instances with I'm a bit concerned about their AOE.

As far as I know their only real AOE ability is volley so I just wondered how effective it is against packs of elite mobs and how good would a tenacity pet be to hold aggro while using it. I also wondered about mana management while using volley a lot as well.


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Soloing instances as a hunter generally involves less "AOE everything" technique. Instead, you perform managed pulls of small numbers of mobs -- 3-4, though you can go larger if you're talking low level instances -- and single target kill the target your pet is attacking.

Some tenacity pets -- specifically, the Bear and Crocolisk famlies -- have better multi-target threat special skills. The Bear family has a multi-target swipe, which allows them to build up threat, and the Crocolisk family has a Bad Attidue special with 40% uptime, allowing a counter-attack for all attacks on the Crocolisk.

Using Misdirect (obtained at level 70), it is possible to redirect threat to the pet for up to three attacks. This allows you to use a multi-shot (or other threat generating attacks) to keep threat on your pet. With Feign Death being a 100% threat dump, it is also possible to drop threat when needed more effectively than many other pet classes.

For really low level instances, it should be possible to gather up large numbers of mobs with a pet, and AoE them down with volley or similar: no class will have any serious amount of trouble quickly soloing the Stockades, I don't think.

In 3.3, Misdirect is being changed to redirect all threat for four seconds to the pet, rather than being limited to three damaging attacks. This means that after 3.3 is released, you will be able to gather up a large set of mobs, misdirect to your pet, and use volley to generate a significant amount of threat, quickly. The benefits of this for soloing are obvious: you should be able to complete almost a full volley giving your pet the threat, and complete another volley to finish off most low level instance packs.

Until then -- and possibly after as well -- the best technique is likely going to continue to be to gather small packs, single target kill them, and move on to the next ones. Tossing in some AOE to finish off low-health targets shouldn't be a significant problem, nor will using multi-shot to do additional damage while hitting your primary target. However, it is unlikely you will be pulling an entire instance, and then just dropping an AoE to kill all the mobs like you can with some plate wearing strong-AoE classes.

Generally speaking, for soloing as a hunter, you will want:

A pull will typically start with Misdirect, then waiting a few seconds to let the cooldown get closer to being up. Hit Mend Pet, then send pet in, and pop Bestial Wrath immediately before your pet's Thunderstomp. (Previously, this was specific to Gorillas; now, available to all Tenacity pets.) Multi-shot (with multiple targets) or Multi->Arcane->Steady if a single target. This will give your pet a significant aggro lead. Pop Misdirect again as soon as it's up, and remember to use high-threat generating abilities like Arcane/Multi shot when doing so, rather than using up serpent sting ticks where possible.

You can then start a typical DPS rotation, remembering to keep mend pet up as necessary.

Overall, hunters are able to solo a significant amount of content with good pet management, using the single target, rather than AoE, style of killing enemies.



It depends on what you intend on soloing. If you want to solo old raid instances, i.e. ZG, MC, Kara, etc., Beast Mastery is by far and away the way to to go.

For a build: I suggest something like this: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cVbhzggRVuheot0eMoZf:cVizM0

The third glyph can be changed but that glyph of Mending is CRUICIAL. A lot of those old bosses still hit very hard and will quickly overwhelm the pet. Hawk Eye may be scoffed at initially but do not discount what having 6 extra yards can do, especially for bosses that have nasty debuffs cast that have a 40 yard cast range.

For pets, you are going to need a Tenacity pet. You will not be able to do it with a ferocity or cunning pet because they do not have the talents necessary to ensure their own survival.

I'd post a pet build but I can only post one link, /sigh.

If you have the 2pc t5 bonus, great. That will help out immensely and in fact, depending on what you plan on soling, you won't be able to do it without it.

As far as AoE is concerned, as The poster above me stated, it depends on what you are planning to do. If you're level 80 and going back through Azeroth and Outlands, you shouldn't have problems with gathering large groups of mobs and volleying and explosive trapping them down (may be more difficult to do as you progress through Burning Crusade dungeons) but be careful on how many mobs you are AoEing down because there is a mob limit before the AoE does less damage, IIRC.

But if you're after raid instances, slow and steady single-target damage is the key, just utilize freeze traps and try to keep the amount of mobs being killed under control.



Thanks guys both of those answers where very helpful. At least I have a good idea now on how to procede with building this character. Looking forward to it tbh...a completely different way of soloing instances :)


You may want to click the 'checkmark' on one of the answers to mark it as accepted. Also, in general, this would be better as a comment than another answer. Welcome to EpicAdvice; we hope you enjoy your stay :) – Christopher Schmidt (Nov 21 2009 9:34 AM)



Hunter pets do a pretty good job of holding aoe threat, even against volley. When I solo'd Violet Hold with my hunter I had to do a lot of volleying and the bear had no problem holding aggro. That said, I agree with the other posters that you'll mostly be single target killing while your pet tanks.

But I wanted to say that hunters are in fact a fantastic class for extreme soloing: I've solo'd all of Molten Core (including Ragnaros), I've solos normal UK, Nexus, and Violet Hold, I solo Chillmaw every day, Onyxia before the reboot, Thyrm in Zul Drak, etc. Most things that can be solod, hunters can solo :)

Generally for extreme soloing your pet will be a turtle for anything challenging, as they give you more damage reduction (50% damage reduction for 12 sec every 40 sec or so).

The primary key to extreme soloing is the major glyph: Mending, which will let your Mend Pet tick for over 2,200. In general the secret to hunter soloing is to decrease the damage that your pet takes, and increase the healing that you do to your pet.

Generally you want a pet build that's something like this: http://www.warcrafthuntersunion.com/2009/07/extreme-solo-hunter-pet-build/

You want a hunter build like this: http://www.warcrafthuntersunion.com/2009/07/extreme-soloing-max-health-build/

And the other big secret is to get the hunter tier 5 (riftstalker) 2-piece set bonus. This set bonus heals your pet for 15% of the damage you do, which is HUGE for extreme soloing. (Rift Stalker available in Tempest Keep or Serpent Shrine Caverns in BC). More info about hunter extreme soloing gear here: http://www.warcrafthuntersunion.com/2009/08/extreme-solo-hunter-gear-supplies/


Of note: I'm pretty sure it's impossible in current gear to obtain the t5 riftstalker two-piece solo, after having looked it up after this post yesterday :) – Christopher Schmidt (Nov 21 2009 2:43 PM)

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