Monday, August 11, 2008

So You Want to Play a Hunter? Part 6

Levels 12-20:

So we talked about Hunter 101 last time, right? Alright. Now from here until level 20, you are mostly going to be learning a lot of "filler abilities", in my mind-- stuff that can be useful but which for the most part is not going to be "ZOMG-SUPER-EPIC-HUNTER-STUFF". For that reason, the majority of my hunters (did I mention I've rolled like 17 of them?) get stuck in the levels between 12-20. Once I get past 20 and Aspect of the Cheetah I'm usually on a roll and get more excited about things again.

But I'm ahead of myself. You still learn some stuff in these levels. Let's take a look at them:

Eagle Eye is a move that you learn at level 14. This will zoom up on your vision for quite a distance. Useful for certain quests where you perhaps need to "find the item"; this way you can find out where it is. Similarly handy if you know where you have to go, but want to scope out the dangers beforehand. Also useful in Arathi Basin when you're at Lumber Mill and want to see how many people are guarding Blacksmith.

Eyes of the Beast you also learn at level 14. It lets you temporarily take "control" of your pet and move him around, druid-style. Now, I am going to come right out and say it, and feel free to rebuke me in the comments if I'm missing something epic and obvious: Eyes of the Beast is a party trick. You use it when you're bored and waiting for people to show up at the summoning stone, or when you're on the Deeprun Tram/Arathi Basin before it starts and you want to see how far your pet can run by himself before time runs out.

I'm not going to say it's completely devoid of uses; I can imagine it would be a handy scouting trick if you have a cat with Prowl. And I have actually sacrificed my pet a few times with various Eyes of the Beast strategies that are invariably my partymates' ideas (use him to activate all the bombs in Blood Furnace (that's the one with the bombs right?); use him to pull stuff in Heroic Mech while the rest of us stand at the elevator) but that's about it. If you guys have discovered something super useful with this move, please tell me.

Sorry about all the times I sacrificed you, Locke. =(

Anyways, the other one you learn at 14 is Scare Beast. Scare Beast can be handy for these scary pre-Freezing-Trap days as really your only form of Crowd Control (other than Wing Clip/Concussive Shot), and I often find myself using it frequently in the early levels. Oh, and use it on bear/cat druids in PvP. Much laughter will ensue.

Level 16! Mongoose Bite is a melee attack that you can only use if you successfully dodge an attack. This means that something has to be in melee and hitting you for you to be able to use it. Now I didn't have Mongoose Bite on my action bar for the longest time because I thought it was kind of silly, but then I got an addon which tells me when I can do stuff (such as Kill Command and Mongoose Bite) so I went and found it and put it in some random spot on one of my action bars.

I'm going to say something here that may scare you guys, so feel free to go hide or get a straightjacket or something: I actually kinda like Mongoose Bite. It's highly situational, but I think it is moderately useful. This is when I use it: if a mob is on top of me, strikes at me, and I dodge, and then after that my pet picks up aggro... that's when I use it. I Mongoose Bite while in the process of gaining range (I usually just run straight through the mob; Mongoose Bite on the way). It does a little extra damage and honestly, extra damage can always help.

I do not use it if my pet doesn't have solid aggro on the mob; that's when I use Wing Clip/Feign Death/etc. depending on the situation. And I most certainly do not go melee a mob for the purpose of trying to get a Mongoose Bite in. Bad bad bad.

But if you happen to be in range of the mob and you happen to get a Mongoose Bite in queue, you'd might as well use it.

Immolation Trap
is the other thing you learn at this level; ahhh, your first trap. This trap isn't a CC trap but it does do a lot of damage over time. I tend not to use it in PvE because it will generate a lot of threat which I would rather have on my pet. But it is useful if you are pure-solo and sans-pet for some reason, and I've found it useful sometimes in one-on-one PvP.

At level 18 you learn two things, Track Undead and Multishot. Track Undead is, of course, added to your stable of tracking skills and does exactly what it says it does (Undead players, though, count as Humanoid). Multishot is interesting, let's talk about it a little. If you are a Survival or Marksman hunter, then you may end up using this in your endgame shot rotation. So you may want to take the time to sort of play around with it and get a feel for its odd hidden cast time. For the most part though, I do not use this shot in leveling PvE: you've got plenty of DPS output with Serpent Sting and Arcane Shot alone.

Remember: Multishot will break CC so be especially careful when using this in an instance or similarly delicate situation.

I'ma tell you where Multishot is king though: Epic army on army showdowns in AV. Especially when it crits. Om nom nom.

And ding level 20, congrats! You will learn Aspect of the Cheetah, Disengage, and Freezing Trap.

Aspect of the Cheetah will help you get around faster until you get your mount: remember though that it will cause you to be dazed on hit, so be careful when you use it: it's more of a "travel from place to place" move as opposed to an "escape" move.

Disengage is handy pre-Feign Death for dropping threat; it's kind of a mana hog and requires you to be in melee range, but before level 30 it's basically the best you've got.

Freezing Trap deserves an entry all to itself and will get one in the next installment of SYWtPaH! /bow

In other news, Tawyn is 85 rep points away from being exalted with Stormpike:

The sad thing is, it took her 9376 honor kills to get there. (By contrast, Lunapike has about 3500 honor kills and is halfway through Revered with Frostwolf.) Ohh, Bloodlust Alliance. You are so silly. It's okay though, because the Spirit of Competition Minipet looks AWESOME with my Windserpents:


Karla said...

Ahh, but Eyes of the Beast is more than just a party trick! You know how if you jump down from somewhere, your pet will always run around the long way, possibly aggroing half the area in the process? If you put your pet on passive, use Eyes of the Beast to jump your pet down first, park it there, and then cancel Eyes and jump down yourself, you can avoid that! I'm leveling up a second hunter (a little dwarf girl this time - my first was a blood elf) who is 16 now, and I am loving this skill.

MW said...

What Karla said; when I do get roped into running an instance, I do that all the time, provided the spot we're jumping to is clear. Then your pet doesn't get the loss in happiness that they would if you dismissed and resummoned them, and people don't yell about how you're a huntard. :-D

And grats on being so close with Stormpike!

Marie said...

Ever run a lower-level guildmember through an instance and wanted to just power through?

Ta-dah! Lay Explosive Trap, pop Eyes of the Beast, send your pet to Leroy the next room, return and Volley. Let you guildie loot-gorge on the pile of dead bodies.

Makes shepherd runs through Deadmines fly by.

Works especially well for MM specc.

Alii Silverwing said...

Hehe, another Eyes of the Beast thing:

We used to run Molten Core (oh, ages ago) and our nub strategy for pulling some of the lava packs between GiantRockDude and his Hoedown and Baron Geddon was to send in our trusty hunter pets to gnaw and claw. The suckers moved fast, so if it was a bad pull the hunter didn't go down... just his pet. He'd have time to feign. :3

Admittedly, we were nubs and there are eighty different ways to do it, but our alliance always did the trickiest pulls with Eyes of the Beast.

No idea what it'd be like now if we were all still together.

Rilgon Arcsinh said...

Eyes of the Beast pulls of Geddon were a BLAST.

God I miss Molten Core. :(

Pike said...

@ Karla - Ah yes, I knew I was forgetting something important! /smacks forehead I do use that trick myself, too, although not very often-- I think at this point I've done the instances I do so many times that I've got memorized exactly where to tell my pet to "Stay" so I can jump and resummon him again later. =P But you're right, I should edit that in.

Avaric said...

I remember learning how to use Eyes of the Beast in UBRS. Do not just jump down into Rend's arena, that's very bad. :)

I love that kitten pic too.

Paedolos said...

Meh, you forgot the most useful use for Eyes of the Beast...


My pet always stands on someone else's toes whenever I attempt to take a screenie. With EotB I can pose him where he is most photogenic =)

Capn John said...

You can see part of Old Ironforge using Eyes of the Beast. If you run into the door in the King's chamber, your Pet should run through the door. Tell him to stay then cast Eyes of the Beast and you should take control of him inside the entrance tunnel to Old Ironforge.

I've used this trick to "enter" sealed caves before, just to see what's inside. Usually nothing :P

A former Guildie (and fellow Hunter) and I went up to the IF Airport and there's a sealed tower up there. We used this trick to send our Pets through and discovered a passage that ended at a drop off over the Wetlands. We stood there for a few seconds taking in the view, then almost simultaneously jumped our Pets off the edge. Of course they despawned long before they hit the bottom ;)

Yes, they're Party Tricks, but they're fun Party Tricks ;)

Featherkitty said...


Anonymous said...

Bwaha! Great guides! Maybe now I'll be able to get a hunter past level 15...

Yeah, probably not, but a girl can dream!