The Fudgehammer Will Fix It

One of the bigger topics floating around for Hunters is the lack of burst DPS in Warlords of Draenor. With Rapid Fire going away and Stampede now a talent, many Hunters are wondering where that big burst of DPS might come from. For Marksmanship Hunters that salvation may come in the form of Careful Aim.

There have been rumors that Careful Aim is getting buffed in Warlords. Some folks have heard that it may become a talent or an active CD. Cloak and Quiver host, Solar reached out to Celestalon and got some clarification on how it’s changing, or in this case staying the same.


First, let’s take a look at what Careful Aim actually does in Warlords of Draenor.

Increases the critical strike chance of your Steady Shot and Aimed Shot by 75% on targets who are above 80% health. 

Pretty straightforward, for the first 20% of the mob’s life you’re likely to critically hit when using Aimed Shot and Steady Shot.

This is precisely how Careful Aim works now, so that isn’t changing. If it’s not changing, then how will it be improved in WoD?

Here are the perks that affect Careful Aim.

So for that first 20%, you’re likely to regen 30 Focus with each Aimed Shot , effectively reducing the cost of Aimed Shot  from 50 to 20 Focus.

Steady Shot will have same critical strike chance, so there’s less of a penalty for using it that during this period and you’ll generate three more Focus per critical hit. Marksman will also benefit from having 120 Focus to start.

You’ll want to cast Steady Shot back-to-back to get the Steady Focus buff, which will reduce the cast time of Aimed Shot , allowing you to fire more of them during Careful Aim.

Remember too that Steady Shot has a chance to proc Master Marksman, giving you a free Aimed Shot , although that is something that will occur naturally at some point, and not something where you should try to force a proc.

For the most part I’d expect the Careful Aim rotation to be similar to what it is now.

From there it’s really about getting in as many Aimed Shots as possible while maintaining the Steady Focus buff and firing Chimera Shot off of CD.

It’s possible that shots like Glaive Toss could be ignored during this time, but if you have Stampede or A Murder of Crows you’ll want to pop those.

The one question I have is where will Focusing Shot fit into all of this. I posted that question to Celestalon, and he confirmed that it will benefit from Careful Aim.

So it looks like Marksman Hunter stand a chance of tearing things up early in a fight. As for the other specs? I say the solution is to just let them carry around the Fudgehammer. That ought to do it.

[EDIT: Post updated with response from Celestalon regarding Focusing Shot]

One comment

  1. Celestalon answered:
    Perks, no (it’s balanced around the post-perk numbers). Careful Aim, Steady Focus, yes.

    So Focusing Shot will benefit from Careful Aim, but it’s damage is already corrected for level 100 so it doesn’t benefit from Cobra/Steady Shot perks.

    What he didn’t say is if Focusing Shot can also cause Piercing Shots. If Focusing Shot crits do not cause Piercing Shots then 2 Steady Shots might be better during Careful Aim (especially since Aimed Shot crits also give 20 focus, so focus may not be a problem).

    I’m looking forward to see how MM does compared to BM/SV. Since MM has 2 phases of increased damage (the first 20% and last 35% of an enemies health) which coincide with the times when heroism/bloodlust is typically used. MM hunters will also be able to optimize the use of their 2 potions: 1 pre-fight for Careful Aim, 1 mid-fight during the Careful Aim or Kill Shot phase.

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