Red Line DPS Hunter ‘Bowmaster’ Build
Table of Contents
- Stat Goals
- Trait Trees
- Legendary Items
- Single Bow Setup
- Swap LIs
Welcome, here you will find a really good build for Red Hunters, tuned specifically for high-end DPS in endgame Raids. Red Hunter recently received big buffs to their DPS in Red Line, which has helped them receive a spot in Raids. Even their AoE (which was non-existent sometime ago) has received a significant buff, which is welcomed.
Hunter DPS has always been a safe choice in raids because raid mechanics do not usually interfere with it. It’s been in the low-end for quite some time since Blue Line nerfs a few years ago, but now Red Line almost feels like it should be where it is right now. Red Hunters have quite nice Burst potential and has the sustained DPS too, which it needs (with no power problems which plagued Hunters in the past).
The only downside to bringing Hunter DPS into raids is the fact that it requires quite a lot of additional support from willing Lore-masters (namely Fire debuffs) and that’s something which is quite irritating. That’s something which needs looking into from SSG’s side and no class should be that reliant on support from any other class.
*This applies to all levels, from 0 to 130.
Red Hunter’s primary role is DPS, and their stat goals should be:
Physical Mastery > Critical Rating > Vitality > Finesse
(These stats are acquired from Essences, Virtues, LIs, etc.)
With Endgame gear and correct placement of Essences, Virtues and so on, Hunter’s unbuffed stats should be:
- Physical Mastery at ~800K
- Critical Rating at ~580K
You should aim for those 2 stats at that level, so with a Red Captain in your group, you’ll be able to cap both, Mastery and Crit. That is the most efficient way to build your Hunter. You will get some Essence Slots open that way, which you can use Vitality Essences to get more Morale for your Hunter.
* While you are gearing up, remove all Essences from your current Gear, and then slot Essences as per the Stat goals. After you have met the Stat goals, then place the right Virtues (more down on that down below). This way you can plan your setup better, and utilize Essences perfectly, and can dump the remaining Essences in Vitality or other Stat of your choice after meeting Stat goals mentioned above.
Red Hunter got a very nice set bonus from Remmorchant Raid, called ‘Heart’s End’, and it reduces Heartseeker’s cooldown by 15s, which is excellent. Along with Crits/Devs reducing Heartseeker’s cooldown by 1/2s, and 15s from set, Heartseeker can be effectively used every ~20s. You should go for 4x Red Line Set and 2x Yellow Line Set, if you can manage to.
If you don’t have any Raid pieces, go for the T1 Armor until you get the Raid set. Use Essences till you meet the Stat Goals, as listed above, 800k Mastery, 580k Critical (Capped Virtues help a lot).
These are my unbuffed stats, by using 4x Red Line set, and 2x Yellow Line set. Please note that my Stats/Morale are high because most of my Virtues are capped. If you cannot achieve these stats, replace some of the Vitality essences (down below) with Physical Mastery/Critical Rating till you reach the Stat Goals.
Here is my gear and essence combo, you can see it in detail here:
By using this setup, I reach my Stat Goals, and pretty much Cap all my stats when grouped with a Captain, while having a decent Morale pool.
Here are the Jewels:
- Earrings: Shadowed King T5
- Pocket: Thrang T2
- Necklace, Bracelets and Rings: Amdân Dammul (New WotTP Raid)
Alternatively, you can also Anvil set for -10% Induction times. This is recommended to use only if you can cap your stats while wearing it, 580K+ Critical and 790K+ Mastery. This set will give a small DPS boost but its nice to have for complete Min/Max. Make sure to keep the other 4 pieces of the Red Heartseeker set.
Here are the pieces I use:
Here are how the Stats look like while wearing this set:
Special Trigger Essences to use:
You need both of these as a must, you can place them wherever you like. I slot them on Necklace so I can share them between my Alts.
There are two trait trees required for Red Hunter, one is for Single-target DPS and the other is for AoE.
Here is my tree for Single-target DPS:
I take best out of both worlds (lines) in this tree, and this is pretty much the perfect setup for Single-target PvE Hunter, in my opinion.
Next, here is my AoE tree, which contains maxed out Rain of Arrows and Split-shot, without losing any crucial trait elements.
These are the virtues I use to reach the Stat Goals. You can play around with these to get the numbers you want, but I would not recommend using any Mits virtues (apart from Fidelity) as you don’t gain much from them. You can swap around, depending on the fight, can swap in more Morale ones in for example, Fidelity for Zeal, it just depends on the fight.
By using these Virtues, I reach my Stat Goals, while still maintaining a good Morale pool.
- Valour (Best DPS virtue for Physical classes)
- Determination (Best DPS virtue for Agility classes)
- Confidence (Best Critical Rating virtue for all classes)
- Zeal (Good for extra Mastery and Critical)
- Loyalty (Great for extra Morale, which you will need for T3 content)
Red Hunter legacies are all over the place, and they suffer the same fate as of Champion. There are so many good legacies of Hunter which are on Bow, that one Bow is simply just not enough for every legacy.
*Note, Bow Swapping is optional if you are not doing serious endgame T3+ content. You can get away without Bow Swapping for most of the other content.
So, back to the point. Bow swapping is ideal for 4 skills, then you need to swap back to main Bow. The skills you should swap for are: Heartseeker, Swift Bow and DoTs (Barbed Arrow/Blood Arrows-Exsanguinate). The bad thing here is that sometimes there will be no visual cue when you swap your Bow, only a little sound and a flash on screen. So it gets cumbersome to keep track of that. But with enough practice, you’ll eventually get the hang of it. (Once again, not entirely necessary to Bow swap if you are not doing endgame content).
If you don’t want to swap any Bows, skip right down below, there is a picture of a Bow provided using just a Single-Bow Setup.
Here are all the Primary LIs:
Here are the Bows separately.
This Bow is used for the following skills:
- Quick Shot
- Penetrating Shot
- Merciful Shot
Here is the Second Bow:
The Second Bow is used for the following Skills:
- Swift Bow
- Barbed Arrow
- Blood Arrow
Single Bow Setup
Here are the legacies I find the best for a Single Bow setup.
Swap Legendary Items
Yes, there are additional swaps on Hunter too. There’s an extra imbued Crossbow swap used for Burn Hot and an unimbued Sword swap used for a few other skills.
- Crossbow swap is used for Burn Hot. This is very important to use. Don’t forget to swap back, although here you get a nice visual cue as Crossbow looks quite different from Bow.
- Swap Stick is used as a swap for the following skills:
- Beneath Notice cooldown
- Desperate Flight cooldown
- Press Onward cooldown (If traited for it in PvP)
Here is what I do on Red Hunter:
- Let’s start first with traps, and a Burst rotation, and then move to Normal rotation.
- If you have an extra trait line available, I would really recommend to have a Yellow Line Swap, so you can put traps down before the fight starts. Think of it like how Minstrels swap to Yellow to put anthems.
- There are 5 traps you can put down and I recommend to start putting them down at least 15s before the fight starts.
- Start with Triple Trap – Tripwire – The One Trap – Piercing Trap – Deadly Decoy. These all put nice little debuffs on target, such as +15% incoming damage, some DoTs (damage over time), a little morale absorb and +10% incoming critical chance. These debuffs last for a small duration but its a nice boost for you and your group.
- Now traps are placed and you have a few seconds left before your Tank engages the boss. So, go in Camouflage (stealth), this gives you +50% critical chance on your first hit against target.
- After in Camouflage, swap to your Crossbow swap and use Burn Hot. After its done, swap back to main bow and use Improved Focus, which gives you another +25% Critical chance. And with your 30% or critical chance from your gear, this means your next hit is guaranteed to crit.
- Now the boss has started, use Heartseeker first for a nice big crit/dev, and follow it up with quick Penetrating Shot for the debuff, and follow that with an Upshot. Follow the Upshot with a Swift Bow, then Blood Arrow, then Exsanguinate (for the Dot), and finish it up with a Barbed Arrow. That concludes the Burst rotation.
Now the normal rotation:
- Please read the Legendary Items section and check which Bow is used for which skill. Try to memorize that before reading further. If you want to skip Bow swapping, then go right ahead, although its a quite a DPS loss if you don’t Bow Swap.
- Hunter has quite a lot of skills to keep a track of, and if you understand those, the rotation will feel quite simple to you.
- First is Penetrating Shot, it puts a -4% mitigation debuff on target and +10% ranged critical chance for 10s. So this is a skill you need to use every 8 seconds or so. It helps if you can track this via a plugin. (Namely Buffbars or Debuff Vitals)
- Next up is the Barbed Arrow, use this skill once every 10 seconds or so.
- Next is the Exsanguinate dot, which lasts for 20s and has a cooldown of 20s. You open this skill from using Blood Arrow, which has a cooldown of 15s. Don’t use Blood Arrow on cooldown as sometimes you might not be apply to reapply Exsanguinate dot as it times out. So, ideally use Blood Arrow every 20s, so you can place the Exsanguinate dot.
- That’s your bleeds and debuff covered. Next is the usage of Upshot and Heartseeker, your key skills on DPS contribution. As mentioned earlier, your Crits/Devs will reduce the cooldown of those skills by 1-2s, and you want to keep both of those skills on cooldown as much as you can. Try to maintain Upshot usage with Max Focus for best DPS results. So, keep Upshot (ideally with Max Focus spent on it) and Heartseeker on cooldown.
- Next up is Swift Bow, which is again a good contributor to your overall DPS. Use this skill when Heartseeker and Upshot are on cooldown. If you have the proc from Quickshot which makes this skill instant, even better. If you don’t have the proc, it’s fine, use it regardless when HS/Upshot are on cooldown.
- Next, Quick shot, your best Focus generator skill, this should always be used when you need Focus and if your big spenders (such as Upshot/Blood Arrow) are on cooldown.
- Keep Merciful Shot on cooldown when the target meets the health requirements for the skill, use this skill to fill in gaps when Upshot, Heartseeker and Swift Bow are on cooldown.
- If you followed my legacies, you should always swap Bows for additional Swift Bow and Heartseeker damage, it will nicely boost your overall DPS.
- To conclude, there is no strict rotation for sustained Red Line DPS. You should just focus on keeping:
- Your DoTs active (Barbed Arrow and Exsanguinate)
- Penetrating Shot debuff
- Heartseeker and Upshot on cooldown
- Using Swift Bow when HS/Upshot are on cooldown.
- Using Quick shot to fill in gaps and getting Proc for Swift Bow
- Using Merciful Shot when HS/Upshot/SB are on cooldown.
- Swapping Bows for Swift Bow, Heartseeker, Barbed Arrow and Blood Arrow-Exsanguinate
There are the consumables I use on Hunter:
- Focus Pots. I use these to get a Focus Boost along with some Devastate magnitude, I only use these when there are Oathbreakers on the target, or for PvP.
- Fire-oil. Goes without saying, every Hunter needs these. Makes all your damage Fire-based and puts a small fire dot on target.
- Breach-finders. Not what they once were, but better than using nothing I suppose.
This is the food I use on Hunter:
Updated as of U28.