Hunters are primarily referred to as a physical dps class. And while it’s true that a large chunk of our damage comes from physical dps, a number of our abilities actually fall under the various schools of damage found in WoW.
While most fights don’t require us to know what type of damage we’re dealing, there are circumstance where it is important, and every hunter should be aware of which abilities do which type of damage.
So when is it helpful to understand what types of damage our abilities do?
Lady Deathwhisper is a great example of an encounter where we have to pay attention and understand which types of damage we are doing to our targets. We have the advantage of being able to fight all kinds of empowered targets, but we can’t just bang through our rotation.
Empowered adherents are immune to everything but physical damage. That means Steady Shot, Auto Shot, Aimed Shot and Piercing Shots are all good. Firing anything else is just wasting GCDs and mana. Likewise, empowered fanatics are immune to physical dps. That means we can fire Arcane, Chimera, Explosive Shot, Black Arrow and stings.
Spec and Gem Choices
Understanding damage types is useful when making decisions about how to build your character. It’s very fashionable right now to go with an Armor Pen. spec and ArP gems.
Armor Pen. is very dependent on physical damage. Our auto shots, Aimed Shots, Steady Shots and Piercing shots are a large chunk of the ArP hunter’s damage. This is why ArP. is not recommended for anyone but MM hunters. Remember that when you gem ArP you sacrifice attack power and crit. Your non-physical dps shots are going to be weaker.
Knowing which shots benefit from ArP it can help you determine when it’s the right time to make this move.
Understanding damage types can also help you make better gear choices. I’ve seen a number of hunters spending badges on the Herkuml War Token trinket. While this isn’t a completely horrible trinket for hunters, it’s really designed for melee.
The trinket’s proc is called Rage of the Fallen, and it’s triggered by physical damage only. This is why rogues with this trinket spam Fan of Knives and yell “ZOMG, ZOMG, ZOMG”, and hunters with this trinket spam Volley and file a GM ticket (Hint: Volley = Arcane Damage).
Finally, I leave you with this handy, dandy chart of our main abilities and the type of damage they deal. Print it, frame it, or put in your wallet. Also, if I missed anything let me know.