hunter efficiency

Earlier today, I had a discussion with Tony about the problems hunters have with mana burnout. They don’t get a lot of mana compared to other ‘caster’ classes and they certainly don’t get a lot of mana regen compared to them.

My general experience is that in instance runs, my hunter would be forced into operating at some sort of really low damage output level because despite mage waters, he’d be perpetually drained of juice. I now have some +regen gear (a whopping +11/5 atm) and am loving it to death – because it’s SOMETHING.

The normal procedure for a hunter in general bombardment mode is to use a big, slow weapon and fire off aimed and multi shots in what some people call the 10 second cycle (even though the cycle actually works out to be much longer than that).

So the question is this. What do I (and most other hunters) do wrong with my mana?


My math here isn’t perfect, in fact, it’s kind of lazy. But, even considering that, the point should be pretty clear and valid.

the ‘experiment’

Supposing 100 spirit on hunter with all the right talents for max damage and efficiency with shots and stings in question and no +regen eq.

Mana regen is 100/5 + 15 = 35 every 2 sec tick. 5 seconds after casting a spell that uses mana, this regen is disabled.

Aimed has a 6 sec cooldown and a casting tim of 3 seconds. Multi has a 10 sec cooldown and replaces your normal auto-shot. Aimed shot fires in addition to auto-shot and does not interrupt the auto-shot cooldown.

We will assume that there is only one target and that there’s no kiting or any other silliness going on, and that the hunter is using a weapon with an approx 3 second rate of fire.

The number in brackets is the approximate timestamp in seconds of the action, the column to the right shows what would happen if multi shot were not used.

So, over a 30 second period, it is reasonable to fire off 4 aimed shots and 2 multi’s for a total of +2745 damage +4 extra normal hits worth of damage (from the aimeds). It cost a total of 1550 mana and the player regenned a total of 140, bringing the cost to 1410 mana.

If multi-shots are removed, the amount of damage inflicted is reduced by 345 and the amount of mana spent is reduced by 434 AND the amount of mana regenerated is increased by 3 more ticks of 35 (105) for a total overall cost of only 766 mana.


Using multi-shot more than doubles your mana cost over time and if used against a single target, only increases your damage output by the equivalent of one extra normal shot (your normal shots -do- hit for 300-400 damage each, right?).

Just to grind the numbers a bit further… 10+4 shots in 30 seconds for an average of say 350×14 = 4900 damage (barring criticals) + 2745 from the spells gives us a total of 7645 damage (255 dps) for 1410 mana. 5.42 damage per mana.

Removing multi from the mix, we get 7300 damage (243 dps) for 661 mana and a ratio of 9.53 damage per mana.

Figure the average hunter has 4000 mana. Using aimed+multi, he only has enough juice to go for roughly 90 seconds this way (it’s actually a bit less because after the first 30 end, his next shot is a multi, which slows the regen down even more).

Using aimed alone, he can go for 180 seconds of solid bombardment w/o potions or other sources of mana regeneration.


Throwing stings into the mix makes hunter mana efficiency even worse.

Over the 30 second period, assume a hunter fires off two serpent stings (one at 4 and one at 22 seconds). This costs him an extra 450 mana for a maximum of 1221 damage with a few gotchas.

  1. sting damage is nature type, which is subject to resistance.
  2. dots don’t crit, so the 1221 is the absolute max you’ll inflict with a pair.
  3. because sting is a dot, that also means that the mob has to last for the entire duration to take all the damage.

In addition to costing 450 mana in the 30 second period to fire off the two stings, it also eliminates another mana regen tick, effectively costing 35 more

7645 damage + 40.7x(15+8)=936 from one and a half stings = 8581 damage total in the 30 seconds if the hunter uses sting (286 dps). But it costs 1860 mana to do it, giving us a ratio of 4.61 damage per mana spent and an approximate burn time of only 65 seconds before drained.


As I mentioned earlier, I finally have some +regen/5 eq and I love it. Tony brings up the point that a lot of the endgame hunter gear has this sort of buff on it (not to mention trinkets, etc…).

Most notable among these options would be the new Cryptstalker set (Tier 3 raid gear), almost every piece of which grants +mana/5 (to a total of +26/5). Completion of 6 pieces of the 9 piece set means you get 50 mana back every time you land a crit (which happens a lot since the set has +7% crit in addition to the +283 agi from the entire set for an additional +5.4% crit). Completing 8 pieces of the set reduces the total costs of your aimed and multi shots by 20 mana each…

Of course, I’m never gonna even see a piece of cryptstalker gear, much less ever wear it, much less ever see any of these set bonuses, so why do I care? šŸ™‚

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