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WOW Classic SOD: How To Get The Most Out Of Melee Hunter For Phase 2 PvP? - Talents, Runes, Gear & Gameplay

Posted: Feb 22, 2024

Melee Hunter has emerged as a powerful choice in Phase 2 of Season of Discovery, demonstrating significant strength. Given the absence of any mention regarding adjustments in the latest round of class changes, it seems likely that this playstyle will persist for the foreseeable future. To begin, let's provide a brief summary covering talents, runes, gear & gameplay strategies.

WOW Classic SOD: How To Get The Most Out Of Melee Hunter For Phase 2 PvP? - Talents, Runes, Gear & Gameplay


There are 2 primary build paths for Melee Hunter: one emphasizes pet-focused Beast Mastery, while the other delves into an all-in Lone Wolf Deep Survival approach. No matter which path you choose, you will inevitably need to invest a lot of WoW SOD Gold.

In PvE scenarios, Deep Survival holds an edge in simulation testing and theoretical calculations. However, Beast Mastery performs admirably with current pre-Best in Slot (BiS) gear. Conversely, in PvP environments, despite pets boasting significant damage output, Beast Mastery faces a key challenge: it heavily relies on pets, which can be vulnerable to crowd control effects when major abilities like Bestial Wrath are on cooldown.

Bestial Wrath provides your pet with crowd control immunity, but its cooldown leaves you susceptible to single crowd control effects like polymorph or fear. While the stun it offers is beneficial, its reliance on pets makes it less dependable in the current meta. 

The Survival tree, on the other hand, offers a plethora of valuable PvP abilities that enhance your resilience and diminish the importance of your pet. These include increased stamina, defensive cooldowns like Deterrence, improved hit chance, crowd control resistance, and enhanced trap effectiveness—all highly advantageous in PvP engagements.

Survival presents players with a multitude of beneficial options, necessitating some tough decisions. Due to limited talent points, prioritizing between various crowd control improvements becomes crucial. Players may choose to allocate points differently between talents like improved Wing Clip and trap enhancements based on their preferred playstyle and situational needs. 

While traps are potent tools, they often require setup or the use of Feign Death to be effective. Conversely, Wing Clip offers versatility, enabling players to immobilize flag carriers, enemy melee, and occasionally ranged opponents. Players should experiment with talent point allocation based on personal preferences and playstyle, ensuring essential active abilities such as Deterrence, Counterattack, and Wyvern Sting are prioritized.


When considering runes for a Melee Hunter build, flexibility is limited, particularly on the right side of the rune tree.

To optimize Melee Hunter performance, prioritizing full melee runes is essential. Both Dual Wield Specialization and Melee Specialist are indispensable for maximizing damage output, leaving little room for deviation. The remaining rune slots present a choice of the best available options. 

However, the chest slot offers the only significant decision point. Here, players must choose between compromising the build to incorporate a pet with Heart of the Lion or committing fully to the Lone Wolf playstyle.

Despite potential concerns about sacrificing pet utility, especially in PvP scenarios, current dynamics suggest otherwise. In Phase 2 PvP, the focus revolves around rapid bursts of damage or swift elimination, where the Lone Wolf approach aligns seamlessly with the prevailing meta. Opting to retain a pet may warrant considering Beast Mastery over Carve, although otherwise, the rune selection remains relatively standard.


When it comes to gearing, the focus should be on acquiring items with high agility, strength, and attack power attributes. However, special attention is warranted for weapon selection.

For pre-BiS setups, prioritize equipping the Warsong or Silverwing PvP sword in the main hand and the Razorfen Downs quest reward in the off hand. These weapons are easily obtainable and offer superior performance compared to other options until acquiring loot from Gnomeregan, particularly the dual fist weapons. 

WoW SoD Razorfen Downs quest

Due to the mechanics of Dual Wield Specialization requiring identical weapon types in both hands, it's essential to maintain consistency. While Orcs seeking to maximize their racial bonuses may consider the axes, acquiring them, especially as one is a BoE drop, can be more challenging, making the swords a more practical choice.

For the bow slot, the STV epic (Bloodlash Bow) stands out as the optimal choice due to its impact on proc effects during melee attacks. While primarily functioning as a ranged weapon, its proc effect significantly enhances its utility, making it the top choice among available options. 

For those seeking meticulous optimization, carrying a dedicated ranged weapon such as a standard gun or the Warsong faction reputation bow alongside the Bloodlash Bow allows for macro-based swapping in situations such as being rooted, pursuing an opponent, or kiting. While not strictly necessary, having these options available can prove advantageous.


Now, let's delve into general gameplay strategies.

Firstly, it's crucial to acknowledge that the classic Hunter archetype struggles to adapt as a true melee class. Unlike modern iterations of the Survival spec, the original 2004 Hunter lacks essential tools for close-quarters combat, such as gap closers and reliable defensive abilities. Despite these limitations, the spec excels not only in sheer damage output but also in its unique playstyle reminiscent of Rogues.

In combat, focus on maintaining a dynamic approach, utilizing abilities like Raptor Strike and Flanking Strike to unleash bursts of damage while capitalizing on control tools to dictate the flow of battle. Adeptly navigating multi-target scenarios is a key strength, but exercise caution to avoid overcommitting in open spaces. Embrace your ranged capabilities, strategically deploying abilities like Multi-Shot and stings while positioning yourself for opportune moments to engage in melee combat.

In defensive situations, Hunters shine as vigilant guardians, leveraging utility to support allies and disrupt enemy tactics. Deploy traps and flares strategically, cripple enemy melee threats with Wing Clip, and neutralize key targets with Wyvern Sting—a versatile ability that serves various purposes, from crowd control to damage over time application.

Utilize Feign Death not only to evade threats but also as an interrupt tool against enemy spellcasters. By timing Feign Death to disrupt incoming casts, you can gain crucial advantages in combat. Additionally, remember to exploit aspect shifting to adapt to different scenarios. While Monkey aspect offers combat benefits, Cheetah and Pack aspects provide tactical advantages for mobility and group support, respectively.

Maintain awareness of positioning during combat, maximizing the effectiveness of Dodge and Parry by keeping foes in front of you. Strafing to face opponents may seem unconventional but significantly enhances survivability, especially when combined with defensive abilities like Deterrence.

In PvP encounters, capitalize on disruptive abilities like Viper Sting to drain enemy resources and impair their effectiveness. Target classes vulnerable to Viper Sting, such as Mages, to exert control over the battlefield. Similarly, exploit the utility of Scare Beast against Druids and Shamans, disrupting their strategies and draining their resources even if they manage to evade the effect.


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