From Mana to Focus… The Hunter’s Mastery of Awesomeness

Editors Note: Today’s post is a guest post from Richard Arellano, aka Focushot from Hunter Mastery. Focushot is a former guildmate who has recently returned to WoW, and perhaps to blogging about Hunters. Enjoy!

Greeting hunters alike, for those of you who have no idea who I am, my name is Richard Arellano aka Focushot from Hunter Mastery. I was a Hunter on both Darkspear and Drenden where I mostly did PVP and some PVE. I was once in Frostheim’s guild back in the early days of Wrath of the Lich King which I raided. Then in Cataclysm, I joined up with Euripides’ guild in Cataclysm where I mostly did rated battlegrounds and some raiding in Firelands.

Maybe you’ve heard of me? If not that’s alright, today I wanted to share with you the first part of something I wanted to discuss, the evolution of the hunter class in World of Warcraft. When I was thinking about the many aspects of the game that’s changed and those changes that are coming in Warlords, it was very hard to really focus in on the most important changes.

Sure skills have come and gone, elements of our specs, talents and rotations have changed over the years. However many of the changes that were done were due to one major change that happened to hunters in the Cataclysm beta. The loss of mana as a resource and the birth of focus.

Mana to Focus

Many players would argue that the class played much better with mana. We had options to use mana pots and the rotation was easier than today in Mists. I never played in Vanilla WoW as it’s called by fans today, I did play some in Burning Crusade, but the bulk of my game play with mana was Wrath.

I was in the early beta of Cataclysm and I picked up on how to use focus really quick, the idea of it was a flip from mana. With mana we always wanted to be full. Switching to Aspect of the Viper when we needed a quick regen of mana back in Wrath. With focus you want to almost always be empty because in a fight every point of focus you still have is a damage loss.

Many players would call focus a lifestyle change, along with many of the other aspects of changes that we’ve been given. Who can remember the pet leveling system? Or when you couldn’t hit anything within 3 feet close to you, they called it minimum range. I hear some hunters saying the same thing now that minimum range should be put back in.

I think the true question is this.

Did the change of mana to focus affect all the changes we’ve seen today and keep those changes coming when Warlords is released?

I think so because, focus is what makes us hunters, it makes us mastery of the beasts. I remember when Blizzard, way back even before Blizzcon, announced that hunters would get an overhaul, and one of those changes was they were going to change our resource from mana to focus, and went about explaining the details and plan for it. That was when I changed my hunter’s name from Wolzard to Focushot, I was the first one and I’m proud of that fact, knowing now they are all over the place on many different servers.

What do you think? Do you think that focus was a bad move by Blizzard? I know some players feel it render the class too easy, combined with all the changes to make playing the class a little easier. While I agree to a point and as a result the hunter class has become the most popular class and is mostly played by new players, most of which I don’t feel get past level 60 before they decided to switch classes. You can always tell a great player to an awesome player of the class.

Until next time everyone, I’ll be writing more topics about the evolution of the hunter class in World of Warcraft, however they will be on other hunter blogs. If you have any questions you can always follow me on Twitter (@HunterMastery) or email me at


  1. Welcome back 🙂

    I remember the pet leveling system, and let’s not forget the pet happiness system (having to farm food for your pet so it doesn’t leave off in the middle of the raid). I also remember minimum range (the real one where you couldn’t melee and you couldn’t shoot).

    Hunters have come a long way since vanilla WoW and I welcomed the change from mana to focus. Mana wasn’t so bad in TBC because of Aspect of the Viper. In vanilla without AotV ,hunters had to Feign Death to leave combat so the could drink (mana potions didn’t offer enough mana to last a fight). I think a lot of hunters would have preferred the current focus system back then.

    Btw, did you know hunters were originally designed with focus, which required us to stand still (hello level 100 Focusing Shot ;)) ,but Blizzard couldn’t make it work. I think hunters lost focus when they started moving or something silly like that.

    I don’t think the change from mana to focus really had a very big impact and I actually think the change from mana to focus made hunters a little harder to play since we now had to pay attention to our focus bar to prevent we get focus capped.

    In the end I don’t think mana or focus define the hunter class but rather our pets, traps, range and threat management (Feign Death, Misdirection, Distracting Shot).

  2. Thanks, yeah I was really wanting to talk about everything that has changed but I realized to go into detail comparing all the changes would result in a really long article. I wanted to keep it limited to about 800 words.

    It terms if mana really affected our game play or not, I still agree that it did because of the spells that were taken out due to no longer having mana as a resource. Such as Aspect of the Viper, etc. As I explained in the article I still hold by it.

    I’m also looking forward to seeing how Focusing Shot works in game as well. Seems like Hunters in a way are going back to how it was, but in a much better way. Hopefully this works out for the game as a whole and keeps it around for a few more years.

  3. I liked mana better to use rotations although I must admit to being a scatter shot/kill command BM spammer in BC days. Focus and cool downs made me feel like a wack – moler in MoP.

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