Each week we’ll look at the history and utility of some of the greatest abilities in Hunter’s arsenal
This week’s shot is Arcane Shot. It’s a dps ability available to all specs, and is a part of each spec’s rotation. Hunters get this ability at level one, so it’s one of the first shots that a Hunter will learn to use. So what exactly does it do?
Arcane Shot is an instant ability with no cooldown, meaning you can fire it whenever you want. It costs 20 focus to use, although this is changing in patch 5.4, and it does Arcane damage (duh).
Arcane damage is magic damage which means it ignores the target’s armor and can be partially resisted. Despite dealing magic damage, it is not a magic spell, and thus does not benefit from Spell Power or Spell Crit. Please, please do not put any of those stats on your gear.
In PvE Arcane Shot is mainly used as a focus dump, meaning if everything else is on cooldown and you have a decent amount of focus to burn, you will want to fire this shot. It has good synergy with other abilities. It applies Hunter’s Mark to your target. It can cause Cobra Strikes to proc, and the Thrill of the Hunt talent reduces its focus cost by 20.
It has decent utility in PvP allowing Hunters to easily fire on the run, and it is useful against those silly plate wearing Paladins, Death Knights and Warriors as it will ignore all of their shiny armor.
In patch 5.4 Arcane Shot is having it’s damage buffed and it’s focus cost increased to 30. It will also interact with the T16 2-piece bonus reducing the cooldown of Rapid Fire by 12 seconds each time you use it (or so the tooltip says).
The set bonus combined with the damage increase has raised some concern that Arcane Shot will be so good that it will surpass some signature shots in priority, and make Thrill of the Hunt almost mandatory. Tuning for 5.4 is underway and it’s unlikely that Arcane Shot will push abilities like Explosive Shot out of the rotation, but it’s definitely going to hit harder and play a more prominent role in the rotations. And that in a nutshell, is Arcane Shot.