Welcome to my WoW TBC Hunter Essential Guide. I am going to cover Hunter's talents, stats, new skills, rotations, pets, consumables & buffs, and I hope that this guide is helpful for you.
The essential ability is Talent. Survival Hunter has good damage, good utility, good flexibility & good survivability. There are quite a few options for your spec, but it's a balancing act. Our goal is to have 100% uptime on our Expose Weakness Talent and do the maximum damage simultaneously.
Marksmanship Hunter can bring some utility with Trueshot Aura , but its DPS will lose. Compared to Beast Mastery Hunter, it is not enough to make up for it.
It is the overall worst PvE spec. Beast Mastery and Survival will fair much better, as each raid will want a Survival Hunter for their unique debuff that they place on the target - Expose Weakness, and Beast Mastery Hunter does the most damage out of all Hunter specializations.
Stats and Gems
Stat Priority for Hunter in TBC
Hit Rating - It is critical so that I won't miss it. There are a few different breakpoints you need to reach, depending on a few situations. In 10-man raids, such as Karazhan, you will not always have a Balance Druid, so you will want to keep a 9% Hit Chance gearset on hand. In 25-man raids, you should always have a Balance Druid, so your main focus will be around gearing for 6%.
Agility - Agility is the main and one of the most important stats for Hunter. It provides Ranged Attack Power and Crit Rating. Agility will be quite a bit more valuable for Survival Hunter compared to Beast Mastery, though it increases the Attack Power benefit of Expose Weakness.
Crit Rating - I have enough Crit abilities like Kill Command and Expose Weakness. Now Crit is even more important than in Classic WoW.
Attack Power (AP) - It can increase your raw DPS output.
Let's talk about new skills and how to use them. Aspect of the Viper is easy, which gives you mana, pretty simple for leveling and soloing. It's excellent and really helps to sustain, but for raids, I don't want to use it, and I want to stay an Aspect of the Hawk as much as possible. If I am not in Hawk and spec for that, I will waste five talent points.
You can't attack Kill Command as your pet will get a bit of damage. Every time you score a crit, you can't use it while casting. It is off the global cooldown, so you can use it while doing Arcane Shot. It's also important to note that your pet doesn't hit your target.
Hunters can use different rotations during a fight depending on their current haste value or effective weapon swing (eWS).
Stacking all available haste effects, Hunter can achieve 3.36 additional haste for a total of 4.64 with BM talents. This pushes the eWS down to 0.62 seconds. This relies on having Improved Aspect of the Hawk and the proc of Dragon Spine Trophy up during your own stacked haste effects from Bloodlust, Rapid Fire, Drums of Battle, and Haste Potion. This can only happen for a maximum of 10 seconds every 10 minutes, but I will do huge DPS during this time. Most of the time, I have a lower Haste rating. This is good, and I can still do top-notch DPS without this excessive stacking.
The most important thing is to have a pet that can use two abilities. If your pet only has one ability, for example, a Crab has Claw ability, your pet will miss out on potential damage and threat. Cats (Bite and Claw), Owls (Claw and Screech), and Raptors (Bite and Claw) are all great choices that you can pick up early on in the game, depending on your starting zone.
At level 61, Hunter has access to the Ravager in Outland, specifically the level 62-63 Quillfang Skitterers in Hellfire Peninsula. Ravager is the best PvE pet for both leveling and damage output early on in TBC. Most importantly, it has a strong DPS stat and the unique ability - Gore, which is an incredibly strong focus ability.
At level 70, you can still use your Ravager to start. Ravager continues to be the best pet for quite some time until you eventually get enough gear - Wind Serpents.
Consumables and Buffs
These are the strongest Hunter DPS consumables for raids, including flasks, elixirs, food, and potions.
Best Flask: Flask of Relentless Assault
Best Elixirs: Elixir of Major Agility, Elixir of Major Mageblood, and Elixir of Demonslaying.
Best Food: Spicy Hot Talbuk, Warp Burger, and Grilled Mudfish.
Best Pet Food and Consumables: Kibler's Bits, Scroll of Agility V, and Scroll of Strength V.
Best Potions: Haste Potion and Fel Mana Potion.
These are the valuable raid buffs for Hunter DPS:
Beast Mastery Hunter - Ferocious Inspiration
Fury Warrior - Battle Shout - Talented with Commanding Presence
Enhancement Shaman - Windfury Totem and Grace of Air Totem
Feral Druid - Leader of the Pack
Most of the content is quoted from Bigbobbedboi's video.