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Hand Me Downs: Hunters

01 Dec

I realize that my Hand Me Downs: A Poor Man’s Heirlooms post was a huge wall of text, so I’ve decided to do a breakdown of it so that it’s more useful to those who want try it out.

To do this, I’m going to do a breakdown of each class and show you which Hand Me Downs (HMD’s) I suggest using for the given class and spec. Most of this information is copied and pasted from the original post, but I’ve put in specifics related to the Warrior class and specs and hopefully given a bit more detail and direction for why I chose what I did.

General Concept
The basic idea of what I call “hand-me-downs” (or HMD’s) is that you’re taking items that can be passed from one toon to the next (so Common, White-quality items) and enhancing them them to make them better. Enhancements that we’re going to talk about here come mostly from the Enchanting profession, though a few may also be found in Blacksmithing (counterweights, sheild spikes, etc), Leatherworking (armor kits), and Engineering (scopes).

The whole point here is to get low level gear that you can pass around to any alts that you ever roll to make them more powerful starting out. As Cynwise and I have proved through experiment in both PvE and PvP at low levels, it isn’t heirlooms that make your character so overpowered, it’s actually the enchants.

So if you’re trying to decide on which class to role, or what to go take one for a test drive for 10 levels or so before deciding whether or not to keep them, this is a great way to get a feel for how the class is going to play for you without putting in investment that’s going to be wasted. Since these items can be passed around due to their lack of binding, it’s not a big deal to roll a character, gain a few levels, scrap them and reroll another, and so on until you find a nice fit.

Ranged and Melee Weapons
We’re going to start off with weapons because they have more potential than armor for making your low level toons extra powerful. As far as Hunters are concerned though, melee weapons are most often nothing more than “stat sticks” meaning that you take them simply for the stats that they give you with no intention of ever actually using it in combat.

Ranged Weapons
Cadet’s Bow: [Lvl: -] 4-9 Damage (3.2 DPS), 2.00 Speed
Hornwood Recurve Bow: [Lvl: 3] 6-13 Damage (4.4 DPS), 2.10 Speed
Ornate Blunderbuss: [Lvl: 4] 7-15 Damage (5.1 DPS), 2.20 Speed

The highest damage you can find on a bow at level 1 is sadly the Cadet’s Bow which has a low drop rate and from only a few mobs. If you want to hunt the bow down, then feel free to do so, but it’s pretty easily replaced by better ranged weapons that are available at levels 3 or 4.

The only class that really needs to worry about having a high-DPS ranged weapon is the Hunter, and with their power at low level they can make it to level 4 in the blink of an eye and bypass the need for the Cadet or Hornwood bows. If you’re going to roll a Hunter I suggest you skip the Cadet’s Bow and aim for either the Hornwood Bow or Ornate Blunderbuss when they become available, and then upgrade to better weapons once you get close to level 10.

I didn’t bother listing other HMD ranged weapons beyond that level because the Hornwood Bow or Ornate Blunderbuss should be more than enough to get you to level 10 and at that point you’re better of ditching HMD’s and using other weapons instead. The easiest ones to obtain, or make yourself, come from the Engineering profession. They tend to have higher damage than green drops in dungeons and they’re almost always an affordable option as well. If you can’t find them, it’s not that hard to pick up the Engineering profession yourself and level it up high enough to make your own.

The “enchants” available for ranged weapons right now really suck too, so it doesn’t matter that you’re replacing your ranged weapon quickly because you’re better off just not bothering to enchant them in the first place.

Ranged Weapon Enchants
Crude Scope (Req. 5): +1 Damage to a bow or gun
Standard Scope (Req. 10): +2 Damage to a bow or gun

Your Ranged weapons are pretty lonely in the enchanting category as your only options really are a +1 Damage scope that requires level 5 to benefit from, and a +2 Damage scope that requires level 10. The best HMD enchants you can give a hunter are actually his melee weapons by using the +Agility enchants mentioned below with the +25 Agi on a two-hander prior to level 20 and then +15 Agi on dual one-handers from 20 on.

Melee Weapons
Bastard Sword: [Lvl: -] 5-8 Damage (2.1 DPS), 3.00 Speed
Broad Axe: [Lvl: -] 5-8 Damage (2.1 DPS), 3.10 Speed
Frostbit Staff: [Lvl: 5] 12-19 Damage (5.8 DPS), 2.70 Speed
Cutlass: [Lvl: 10] 10-20 Damage (7.0 DPS), 2.20 Speed
Jambiya: [Lvl: 11] 7-14 Damage (7.4 DPS), 1.40 Speed
Hatchet: [Lvl: 11] 12-25 Damage (7.4 DPS), 2.50 Speed
Scimitar: [Lvl: 14] 14-27 Damage (8.7 DPS), 2.30 Speed

I have a few options listed for two-handed weapons just to give you a little variety, and then some one-handed weapons as well. As I mentioned above, you’re not going to use your melee weapon unless you’re somehow forced to do so, so the only reason you’re going to consider a two-handed weapon is because you can enchant it with +25 Agility which gives you 50 Attack Power.

The one-handed weapons listed here are for when you reach level 20 and can dual wield. The best thing to do here is just borrow a pair of weapons that you would have used on your Rogue and use them instead. Having two one-handed weapons allows you to use dual +15 Agility enchants for a total of 60 Attack Power.

Melee Weapon Enchants
Enchant 2H Weapon – Agility: +25 Agility
Enchant Weapon – Agility: +15 Agility
Enchant Weapon – Fiery Weapon: Proc: +40 Fire damage (x2 crit)

As a Hunter, the only enchants you’re concerned about for your melee HMD’s is Agility, and the more you have the better it is. If you can’t find or can’t afford the agility enchants, then the only other thing to really even consider is Fiery Weapon so that in those few, rare occasions that you are forced into melee you can at least get some more bang for your buck.

Use a two-hander with +25 Agility if at all possible, and then switch to dual one-handers with +15 Agility once you reach level 20.

Armor
Armor isn’t nearly as important as your weapons because in the levels that you’ll use HMD’s you should not have very many issues with survivability, making the armor stat much less impressive than it really is. The main benefit that you’ll get from your HMD’s then is actually the enchants that you place on them. The best-in-slot items for both chest and leg slots (that can be used at level 1) are interestingly cloth items; Haliscan Jacket and Haliscan Pantaloons.

And since the whole point of HMD’s is to enchant them in order to make them more powerful than regular gear, we’re not going to bother making HMD’s that cannot benefit from enchants, or which benefit only a very small amount. So we’re not going to look at Belts, jewelry or trinkets.

Leather Armor Set
Chest: Haliscan Jacket: 90 Armor (Cloth), Sun Cured Vest: 33 Armor
Legs: Haliscan Pantaloons: 77 Armor, Black Tuxedo Pants: 54 Armor, Sun Cured Pants: 29 Armor
Waist: Squeeler’s Belt: 22 Armor, Sun Cured Belt: 18 Armor
Bracer: Sun Cured Bracers: 14 Armor
Gloves: Sun Cured Gloves: 20 Armor
Feet: Sun Cured Boots: 23 Armor
Back: Linen Cloak: 12 Armor

Above is the vendor bought Leather set from the Blood Elf starting area. For level 1 characters these do end up being the strongest items available to you, so I haven’t bothered listing items for other levels as armor upgrades really aren’t important for your first 20 levels unless you’re a tank.

The Haliscan Jacket and Pantaloons and the Tuxedo Pants easily beat out the best leather options at level 1, so they’re listed here as well even though they’re cloth. They also happen to have higher item levels than all of the other options, giving you the ability to put more worthwhile enchants on them as well.

Chest Enchants
Enchant Chest – Exceptional Stats: +6 All Stats [ilvl 35+]
Enchant Chest – Greater Stats: +4 All Stats
Enchant Chest – Stats: +3 All Stats
Enchant Chest – Exceptional Health: +150 Health [ilvl 35+]
Enchant Chest – Major Health: +100 Health

It’s hard to be +6 Stats no matter which class you’re playing, and the Hunter is no exception. Go for +6 or +4 if you can find them, otherwise I’d suggest even +3 Stats above 150 or 100 Health. Hunters have a lot of survivability due to their pets and their abilities to avoid melee combat such as Disengage and traps, so straight health isn’t all that great.

Bracer Enchants
Enchant Bracer – Minor Agility: +1 Agility
Enchant Bracer – Superior Strength: +9 Strength
Enchant Bracer – Superior Stamina: +9 Stamina

The one exception I make for using +1 Agility over +9 Strength is for the Hunter. You get almost nothing at all from Strength, so 1 Agility is the better of the two. If you feel the need for health then 9 Stamina is a way to do it, but you’re a Hunter…just move away and shoot them in the face.

Glove Enchants
Enchant Gloves – Superior Agility: +15 Agility
Enchant Gloves – Greater Agility: +7 Agility
Enchant Gloves – Minor Haste: +10 Haste

Gloves provide us one of the best enchants of all of our HMD’s with Superior Agility (+15 Agi). The +15 Agi enchant isn’t exactly easy to find though, because it’s not exactly easy to farm either. If you can’t find it, then look for the +7 Agi instead. Having that +15 Agi enchant is like giving us a third weapon though, it’s actually pretty sick as far as HMD enchants are concerned.

Haste is the only other option that’s really worth considering here as it will help you attack a bit faster and also help your DoT’s tick a bit quicker. It’s not the best thing in the world, but it’s better than nothing (or Strength).

Leg Enchants
Light Armor Kit: +8 Armor to Chest, Legs, Hands or Feet
Medium Armor Kit: [Lvl: 5] +16 Armor to Chest, Legs, Hands or Feet

I’m going to go ahead and list these here just for the sake of completion. I don’t use HMD pants because of the fact that these are the only enchants you can put on them. A little extra armor never hurt anybody, but it never really helps for your low level toons either. Not when we’re talking about 8-16 points of it, at least. If you want to use them, then here they are.

Boot Enchants
Enchant Boots – Greater Agility: +7 Agility
Enchant Boots – Minor Speed: +7% Run Speed
Enchant Boots – Lesser Accuracy: +5 Hit

For Hunters I prefer to go all out when it comes to damage, so I go for +7 Agility even over Minor Speed. Also, Hunters eventually get Aspect of the Cheetah which increases their run speed and doesn’t stack with the enchant. By the time you get the spell (in your 20’s, I believe) you probably already have your HMD boots replaced anyway.

Minor Speed is still a really good option until that point, especially if you want to use a lot of kiting or practice your Jump Shots, but since it doesn’t stack it will eventually be nullified by your class abilities.

The other option is Lesser Accuracy which is still good for a low level boost to your Hit chance, but I don’t find myself missing very often as a Hunter anyway so I generally don’t bother.

Cloak Enchants
Enchant Cloak – Stealth: +8 Agility, +8 Dodge
Enchant Cloak – Lesser Agility: +3 Agility
Enchant Cloak – Subtlety: -2% Threat
Enchant Cloak – Superior Defense: +70 Armor

The Stealth enchant has stepped up in 4.0.3a as the top enchant for Agility-based HMD’s. Rather than making it harder to be noticed while it stealth, it now gives you +8 Agility and +8 Dodge making it far superior to every other cloak enchant available on your HMD’s. The mats for it are also fairly inexpensive given how powerful this enchant is.

Hunters have a ton of burst damage in low levels compared to many of the other classes, so if you’re doing dungeon runs you may give some serious consideration to the Subtlety enchant to reduce your threat. It’s not great, but every little bit helps. It also helps with pulling threat off of your pet, so it’s a lot better for Hunters than it is for any other class.

Your other option is +70 Armor, but you’re a Hunter, remember? NO MELEE FOR YOU!

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