Marksmanship mastery and Lock and Load changes, T17 Mythic armor

WoD beta build 18505 just hit the servers and with it comes some pretty substantial changes for marksmanship and survival hunters.

Marksmanship Mastery

  • Marksmanship’s mastery is no longer Wild Quiver, and is now Sniper Training.
    • When you stand still for 3 seconds, you gain Sniper Training for 6 sec, which increases your damage, shot range, and critical strike damage by 4%.

It seems like Blizzard is really pushing for marksmanship to be the turret spec. The synergy here with Focusing Shot has enormous potential if this style of play is something you’re interested in. The 4% value is the base mastery, it will be higher with mastery gear. On the beta I got it up to 10% with gear and buffs. Some of you may remember the old Sniper Training talent from back in the day, but that one was just increased damage. This new version adds critical hit damage and shot range. The shot range bit is pretty interesting. 50 yard shots? Very, very cool. I’ve done a quick bit of testing on the beta and it appears that it takes 3 seconds to activate. It doesn’t start counting down from 6 seconds until you begin moving.


The real question is if we’ll be able to give up our bunny-hopping, DPS-on-the-move freedom and revert back to turret style. What do you think?

After testing this for a bit on the beta, one thing it REALLY needs is some kind of visual to let you know you have it. Otherwise, it’s basically a “WeakAuras required” thing to get the most out of it.

Survival Lock and Load Changes

  • Black Arrow, Lock and Load, and Explosive Shot‘s interactions have changed.
    • Each time a Black Arrow tick multistrikes, you gain 1 stack of Lock and Load.
    • Lock and Load causes your next Explosive Shot to not trigger a cooldown. It no longer makes it free to cast nor resets the cooldown. Lock and Load lasts for 15 seconds and stacks up to 5 times
    • Explosive Shot now only costs 15 focus, down from 25 focus.

OK, I really like this change. It will allow you to hold onto extra Explosive Shot charges for times when you may need burst in the short term (something which many would argue survival is lacking, but perhaps less so now). If you’re holding onto stacks, you may still want to bleed one off every 6 seconds or so, or else you’d technically be doing less DPS while you’re waiting to use the extra stacks. Even though they’re no longer free to cast, they are so much cheaper now that it won’t be much of an issue. With all of your passive regen and Viper Venom in the background, you’d need pretty poor planning to focus starve yourself when you unload all of your LnL stacks.


This is potentially interesting gameplay if you ask me. Sometimes you’ll just want to burn off the extra stack right away, and other times you can strategically hold onto them. With buffs, I was able to get my multistrike up to 26% on the beta. LnL procs were happening pretty frequently, but you’d still get dry spells and lucky chain procs from time to time.

My main concern here is what’s going to happen in patch 6.0 at level 90, and before you get any multistrike gear at 100? I took off all my gear in the beta so I had 0% multistrike, and there were no LnL procs.

Update: Asked Celestalon, it seems we’re just going to have to deal with it during this awkward period.

Basically, your only sources of multistrike when patch 6.0 goes live is from a raid buff (or one of these pets: Dragonhawk, Wind Serpent, Fox, Corehound (Exotic), Basilisk) and Haromm’s Talisman. With that combination, and Lightning Reflexes, your multistrike chance will actually be somewhat decent.

Tier 17 Mythic Hunter Armor


This armor seems to move away from the Rylak theme a little bit (compared to the normal T17 armor) in favor of a little more “iron war machine.” Now the spinning turbine engines are not only on the belt but one of the shoulders as well.  The above image is from MMO-C and you can check it out in Wowhead’s model viewer right here. It looks like the gloves/boots are missing right now in model viewer.

What do you think?

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15 thoughts on “Marksmanship mastery and Lock and Load changes, T17 Mythic armor”

  1. As someone who generally plays SV, I’m cautiously optimistic about the LnL changes. I’m hoping that managing it will add a little bit of skill cap to the spec, as well.

  2. I’m not sure how to feel about the marksmenship mastery. My favorite spec may end up being very awkward, or unreasonably powerful. The survival changes may end up drawing me to the spec. Ole faithful BM is always there I suppose.

  3. I really like the new Marksmanship mastery. Pause, shoot, move was the gameplay for a number of years; the hunter community can manage it again, or go with the other two specs.

  4. If you are using haromm’s talisman it will give you a fair amount of multistrike as the rather wordy effect of the trinket is being made into a flat multistrike stat in 6.0 ( So add the new buff to this and you will actually be multistriking MORE when 6.0 hits. It will be a great day for survival hunters!!!

    1. Also don’t forget about the stat attunement which will increase Haromm’s talismans multistrike rating by 5%.

  5. I love how each spec is getting its own flavor. Marksmanship sounds very interesting as the turret spec, as does Survival, my current primary. Is Kill Command any better in the Beta? Every time I try BM, I’m reminded how much it sucks to use whenever Blink Strikes is on cool down.

  6. Do you have a Haromm’s? could you verify for us how much multistrike it has on it (and, I suppose, which version it is)? Did any of the Expertise/Hit stats get changed to MS?

    Also, does “next explosive shot to not trigger a cooldown”, does that mean that we’ll still have to wait for the end of the current CD? I assume if one of the ticks of ES multistrikes, then we don’t get the no cd ES until 6 seconds later?

    I’m sure this is the case, but the 15 seconds resets every time you get a Multistrike, right? I would assume it works like generating frenzy stacks, where even if you’re at the max, and don’t want to use it, your pet will keep generating frenzies, and keep resetting the timer, even if the stacks don’t go any higher?

    What does it look like to have excess LnL procs? I would assume that while you’re “saving” them, there are just no CDs on ES? so if you get more than one multistrike every six seconds, can you still use your normal, every 6 second cd ES while saving the no-cd ones? or do you have to use the no-CD ones? I’m not sure that question makes sense, but hopefully you get what I’m asking.

    Anyhow, thanks for the great info! I’m looking forward to hearing how more of this plays out!

    1. I was only able to copy my alt over (main still won’t copy), but I have Flex haromm’s on there. With it, I have 5.64% multistrike (would be a little more with the attunement), plus you could get another 5% from a pet with the buff.

      Yes, if LnL procs while ES is on cooldown, you have to wait. No CD reset.

      15 sec duration resets with every LnL proc, yup.

      You have to use the no-CD ones if you want to still keep casting an ES every 6 sec (while you hold onto excess procs for later, as an example). I’ve given some feedback to Blizz on this… namely I think it needs a higher duration and bigger stack cap, so we have more flexibility with holding onto it for on-demand burst.

      1. Hmm.. The longer duration or higher stack would be great for fights like Gen, Nazzy G. But I’m afraid it would make SV too bursty for PvP. SV will already be super survivable in PvP, and as is being able to save up five ES in a row will make for amazing bursty kills.

        I’m really curious what it will feel like to save them up. Having ES available and not using it will take some significant retraining of my fingers.

        1. Could be a PvP problem, but at least ES damage is spread out over 3 seconds. Also, SV has no other burst. I just thought there is huge potential there for tactical usage of LnL. As it stands now, there’s only a small amount of potential.

  7. I don’t like the MM Mastery change. Your mastery buff should be something positive while the requirement for sniper training has a negative component to it. Being able to dps while moving is also supposed to be unique to hunters in WoD….except MM it seems.

    Steady Focus was removed because maintaining it wasn’t clear to new hunters. How many noob MM hunters will be running around DPS’ing wondering why their damage is so low. No visual indication just makes things worse.

    It will be a nightmare to balance and we all know that Blizzard is much faster with nerfing a spec then they are with boosting it to make it competitive. If Sniper Training is too powerfull MM hunters will stack mastery, if it is lackluster MM hunters will avoid mastery.

    MM has always been my favourite spec and was hoping that after MoP I would be able to play it again. The initial hunter changes certainly looked promising but after the recent changes I can’t see myself playing MM.

    MM was already feeling like a spellcaster playstyle when I tried it a few days ago. Half your time is spend waiting for steady/aimed cast to finish without pushing any buttons. Now you’re also required to stand still while casting. If I wanted to do that I’d roll a mage.

    If the sky is not falling for MM then the ground seems be rising up very fast.

  8. These notes have restored my faith in the people designing hunters. This is the first time that all three specs seem to be viable and have unique flavor, without stepping on each others toes.

    The mobility issue doesn’t even seem to be much of a concern – I remember the old Sniper Training being very easy to maintain on movement fights, provided you moved FAST and with very good timing. With Disengage/Posthaste/Glyph of Disengage, you can cover a LOT of ground in 3 seconds of movement, likely more than enough to deal with repositioning mid-fight.

    The way I see hunter spec archetypes come WoD:
    BM – Pets, pets, pets. Massive pet damage, fancy pet AoE, pet buffs, exotic pets, Versatility (that talent REALLY needs a new name now that Versa is a stat on gear.)
    MM – Turret. HUGE single-target damage when standing still, stiff penalties for improper movement. Great burst potential.
    SV – Freedom. Need mobility? move as you please! need burst? stack your LnL, shoot 5 ES in a row! need sustained dps? keep dots up, use ES whenever available!

    Now if they would just put a perk, spec passive, anything to buff Multishot for MM, all 3 specs could compete on all encounters at a reasonable level, with certain specs being better for certain fights (which is how they have been trying to design pure dps since Wrath). Maybe something like Piercing Shots, but a much shorter DoT, and only for Multi-Shot. Of course, Bombardment would stay.

    Piercing Shots – Your Multi-Shot fires broadhead arrows, dealing an additional 30% bleed damage over 3 seconds.

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