- Stat priority
- Critical Strike
|Mastery: Sniper Training||78|
"At close quarters, an archer is an unarmed man."
Marksmanship was a Hunter talent tree. Marksmanship used to be the dominant Hunter spec before the release of the Burning Crusade expansion. Patch 2.1, with its improvements to Survival, as well as The Burning Crusade's review of Beast Mastery, knocked Marksmanship off its throne a bit, but 14-20 points in Marks (down to and including Mortal Shots) was still largely considered mandatory for Hunters, irrespective of whatever other tree the Hunter chooses to invest the rest of their points in. Additionally, the tree was still enormously viable in many scenarios, particularly PvP, due to the high burst damage provided not only by Lethal/Mortal Shots, but also by the attack power enhancement talents deeper in the tree.
The tree's main purpose was to deal major amounts of ranged damage. It did so by several talents that increased the overall damage of the hunter — such as the specialization, and talents, and bonuses to specific damage skills — such as and and also offers an additional high-yield skill, the .
The pinnacle of this talent tree used to be , which at the highest level granted 125 additional attack power to all members of the group the Hunter was in, making the hunter very useful in groups of other hunters, rogues, and warriors. The 41 point Marksmanship talent was , which prevented a target from casting spells for 3 seconds. This is effective against casting player characters (warlocks or shamans) in PvP as well as its excellent application for PvE crowd control (pulling casters into the hunter's in instances and raids.) And the current 51 point talent was which dealt 125% weapon damage, refreshed the sting on the target and triggered an effect based on whatever sting was on the target.
With Wrath of the Lich King patches and the implementation of the Ulduar raid instance, the markmanship tree had enjoyed a resurgence among hunters in raiding guilds in much the same way that Wrath of the Lich King made improvements to the Survival tree. The mana-inefficiency noted as the primary downfall of hunters specializing in markmanship was largely addressed as of Patch 3.1, particularly so in raiding environments where mana users benefitted from multiple sources of replenishment. Both the survival and markmanship tree produced high DPS, with the markmanship tree possessed slightly higher DPS potential than Survival when the highest level of gear was available.