Cooldown Management

One of my regular visitors asked this question in a comment from a previous post. It was shortly following the Worgen madness that swept through Azeroth, hence the “Garwal” reference. ๐Ÿ˜‰

@ Garwalโ€ฆ err Garwulf

Iโ€™d like to ask you a new article: โ€œhow and when use cooldowns while raidingโ€

Iโ€™m not the best at โ€œtimingโ€ things. For example what should I do when Kings is up? What should I do to optimize Rapid Fire and Readiness? What should I do when Kings is up while downing a boss?

Stuff like this to allow me/us/everyone discover how to reach our maximum firepower

Let me begin by saying, I’m not an authority on proper cooldown management, but what I do seems to work just fine for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If anyone has any other recommendations or suggestions on how to improve cooldown usage, please share.

Okay, so first of all… I don’t begin a boss fight unless I have at least 8mins or so left on my buffs. Experienced raiders will usually refresh buffs if needed before a boss fight. However, if you ever notice that you’re missing a buff or are within minutes of losing one, always ask to have it refreshed in raid chat. In PuGs it can sometimes be a little more difficult to get all the necessary buffs for you and your pet, so just be vocal yet courteous about it. Whispers are always effective too.

The ideal buffs you’re going to want on your Hunter before you begin a boss fight are as follows:

  • Food buff of course. Fish Feast is the winner here since it feeds the entire raid. I always pack a few Mega Mammoth Meals too for added insurance (Poached Northern Sculpin if fishing is your thing).
  • Flask of Endless Rage (180AP)
  • Blessing of Might
  • Blessing of Kings
  • Blessing of Wisdom (unless a Shaman is available w/ Mana Spring Totem)
  • Gift of the Wild
  • Arcane Intellect
  • Spiced Mammoth Treats for your pet

Prayer of Fortitude is worth a mention since it aids in pet survivability. SV Hunters benefit the most from it due to Hunter vs. Wild, but we’re talking about MM here. Also, make sure that you get Blessing of Might on your pet and Kings too if possible.

There are other beneficial buffs, but those will either be proc-based, passive, or shorter duration buffs which will be continually refreshed throughout the fight (Horn of Winter, Leader of the Pack, etc.)

For the next part, I’m only going to talk about things specific to the Marksman spec since that’s what I raid as (Dalaila’s MM too, so I’m sure that’s all he wants to know about anyway).

I like to cast my Misdirection early so that by the time the tank has pulled aggro and I’ve gotten off my three shots, I’m immediately able to cast another. This buys me a lot of time to unleash on the target without having to worry about aggro gain too much. The ideal encounter would begin something like this:

Misdirection > Arcane > Aimed > Serpent Sting > Misdirection > Chimera Shot (w/ on-use trinket – Loatheb’s in my case) > Arcane > Steady Shot

After that, I’ll pop Rapid Fire and just go into my standard shot priority: Chimera > Aimed > Arcane > Steady

Once Rapid Fire expires I’ll usually Feign Death, as by that time my aggro should be pretty high. Once I cast my next Chimera Shot after the feign, I then pop Readiness immediately followed by another Chimera, Aimed, and Arcane Shot. At this point I blow Rapid Fire again and settle back into my regular shot priority.

In some fights, the RL may call for Heroism right away. If that’s the case, then wait until Heroism is over before popping your Rapid Fire. Using Rapid Fire along with Heroism actually translates into a slight DPS loss over having the effects one after the other. However, if it’s a relatively short fight such as Patchwerk, then you may want to pop Rapid Fire anyway so that you can get it back by the end of the fight.

So that covers about the first minute of an encounter. Aside from just firing off Chimera, Aimed, Arcane and Steadies, I do a couple of other things.

  • I refresh my Serpent Sting during a Mirror of Truth proc so that I get maximum benefit from the DoT, but mostly so my Chimera hits harder. Power Auras is an addon I highly recommend for spell and proc notifications.
  • I’m not the best at this yet, but in the event of an Improved Steady Shot I try to ensure that Chimera Shot is the one I use the effect on.
  • I blast off Silencing Shot whenever it’s up. Silencing Shot is off the GCD, so firing it every 20 seconds is easy additional DPS. I have it bound into a Steady Shot macro, so it’s a no-brainer.
  • If necessary, I’ll go into Aspect of the Viper for about 6-8 seconds, but only in between Chimera Shots. Since the change to Master Marksman, I’ve really not had issues with mana management. I don’t typically drain casting bosses because I find that usually the mana regen from the Viper/Chimera effect is overkill. Plus, you end up having to reapply Serpent Sting as well as losing some valuable DPS from the weakened Chimera Shot effect. I usually go for the bare minimum that’s needed here in order to get me through the fight. In a 10 man however, draining a boss can be a good option due to there being less mana replenishment buffs available.
  • I usually try to pack a few Potions of Speed when I raid. I’ll suck one down in between Heroism and Rapid Fire for a little extra pew-pew. These can also be used in conjunction with Aspect of the Viper for quicker mana regen.

Alright… so moving along to the latter part of the fight… As soon as Rapid Fire is available, I pop it again. Once Kill Shot is available, then it’s Readiness time. Unless I have less than a couple seconds left on Chimera, I’ll pop Readiness right after my first Kill Shot. If Chimera is coming off of cooldown within say three seconds or less, I’ll wait until after I blast off a Chimera, then I’ll hit Readiness immediately followed by: Kill Shot > Chimera > Aimed > Arcane

Of course, these rules mainly apply to ideal “Hunter friendly” encounters. If the fight is more complicated and/or involves a lot of movement, target switching, etc…, then you’ll have to adjust on the fly. For these types of fights, you almost need to have a different guide for each one. Best bet here would be to ask questions pertaining to specific boss fights. Unfortunately, I’m a little green when it comes to Ulduar, but if you have any questions pertaining to Naxx then fire away.

So that’s about it. I may have overlooked or failed to mention a couple of things, but please keep in mind that this post is a very basic reference for Hunter raid buffs and Marksman Hunter specific cooldowns.

Oh! One more thing… If you’re not using an addon called OmniCC, I highly recommend checking it out. It adds a countdown to your spell icons showing you exactly how much time is left on your cooldown. A very handy addon.

Feel free to expand upon this or enlighten me with suggestions or constructive criticism. I’m all ears. Well, that goes without saying actually… I’m a Night Elf! Nyuk, Nyuk.

11 thoughts on “Cooldown Management”

  1. ok, i’m new to the leet aspect of rotations, macros, and global cooldowns, but now that i’ve found this sight i’ve been tweeking like crazy. My first major tweek came from ur articly on macros, Huntingfolks scratches himself, ahhh much better, was a surprising emote side affect that came from your macro that combined chimera with trinket use, kill command, and silencing shot, by the way…was cool my guildies got a kick out of having flee jokes about it during raid…Anyway i got a grip on macro writing and remedied the prob. So what i have done now is macroed my trinket and silencing shot with chimera shot. I have tied rapid fire to my arcane shot, and have tied kill command to my aimed shot. that being said, my shot priority is serpent sting, chimera, arcane, aimed, with kill always being the most important of cours. This allows me to have a clean rotation of 4 main shots that doesn’t neglect, or not use, my trinkets, my kill command, rapid fire procs, or silencing shot. I cast MD at the end of every pull so that as long as we get to the next group of trash in 30 sec i’m gtg, and refresh if needed, i also tied autoshoat and HM together for marking on the fly, but kept the real HM on my action bar for premarking. Tank pulls i shoot Serp S(which procs my trinket and shoots Sil S, and chimera) then comes arcane(which also casts rapid fire), then aimed(whic casts kill command) and steady shot to fill the GCD times. normal ideal rotation is SS-CS-ArcS-AiS-StS-ArS-AiS-CS-AiS wash and repeat, i go through two rotations of CS and cast readiness, which eats up all of my rapid fire time before resetting my rotation. I will for now on be watching for heroism proc to time my readiness to not conflict with that GCD,,i hadn’t thought of that yet….YOUR SITE ROCKS AND HAS BEEN A HUGE HELP…and if the emote previously mentioned was an intentional byprodust of your macro i forgive you, i still learned alot from it and we all laughed at my expense.
    Huntingfolks scratches himself, ahhh much better

  2. Honestly Gar, I took the talent point for pvp and got used to never using the shot that I haven’t been using it. It seems to crit less than multishot though I haven’t done any extensive testing on it. I’ll throw it in and see how it works, it is about 120 mana less for me which would be a big help in conserving mana. Leave me a lone, I’m rusty:).

  3. indeed some helpfull tips here. I for myself though that a combo of rapid fire and heroism would increase its effect.

    Will we perhaps see the same post about survival? ( I seem to prefer SV above MM in both PVP and PVE).

  4. @ Dracky

    Tell me you’re not using Multi over Aimed. ๐Ÿ™

    Just makin’ sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good to have you back home btw. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Wow. I just gave you THREE smilies.

  5. For some reason it never dawned on me to throw in silencing shot when possible, that’s a fantastic tip. Since LK came out I have found need to run a macro since there is no need to leave room for auto shot.

    Depending on the fight, I generally pop rapid fire right off the bat followed by readiness if I know the fight will last more than 3 minutes. Otherwise I save it until about 25% since I want to be ready to hit my cooldowns at 20%. I’ve noticed that if I wait until 20% to hit readiness it takes up valuable shot time because I’m also popping rapid fire then as well. I usually go with the 40 crit rating foods instead of the 80 rap simply because I want to consistently have bleeds going off. Also Chimera shot crits for 12k make me smile. The more I crit the better I feel, as marks anyway.

    Gar, after tonight I’ve given up the thoughts about switching to survival.

    Essentially as marks I have the 3 special shots on cooldown in precedence order: Chimera, Multi, Arcane. In 10 man I find myself using multi only on bosses but 25 mans it’s all out on every fight since there is so much regen available. I don’t miss chugging fel mana potions, I’ll tell you that much.

  6. Awesome post! I second the comment about about macro-ing silencing shot to nigh everything. It’s cool makin it on the interrupt meters for general and such XD

    IMO preemptively speak to raid leaders and find out when they plan on calling it so you can burn your CDs accordingly. In my raiding situation we get heroism kind of willy-nilly and it is fraking annoying to have found yourself with a sudden heroism after burning a rapid fire, soft haste cap and all. D: *waves fist at her RL*

    Also, I like to use Blackened Dragonfin on farmed content (where I won’t be dying and burning thru it) since it scales better with kings and such.

    Also, awesome Nelf ears are awesome! <3

  7. I edited the post to add Mega Mammoth and Poached Northern Sculpin. I like Fish Feast because it feeds the entire raid, but any of those three will do. Basically, you want the 80AP / 40 Stam food buff.

    I cast readiness after my first Rapid Fire, which typically allows me 4 Rapid Fires during most fights. I just try to be a little more surgical when using it, so that it’s GCD doesn’t delay some high priority shots. Rapid Fire doesn’t reduce the GCD, so I see it as mainly just a boost to white damage. Blizz really needs to take it and Readiness off of the GCD imo.

  8. Wow man. Big happy-making post. First, fish feast over mega mammoth meal? I don’t get it. Second, I totally never thought about casting misdirection that early, but that will definitely be incorporated to my game. Really, your shot rot is completely different than mine, but i’m gonna give it a shot. I find it interesting how you use Rapid Fire with steadies. I always popped it beginning of fight to “make my shots faster,” but i guess i never thought about the whole gcd thing. I bet it doesnt speed those up. Third, I always cast Readiness after my first set of shots, unless its a short fight. Like:
    Kill Command-Rapid-Serpent-Aimed-Chim-Arc-Readiness-repeat minus rapid fire
    Idk, I always find on long boss fights my readiness will be back up by killshot time.
    No silencing for me, :(. I miss it, but I like the point in mana regen for now. we’ll see.
    Dude, this was an awesome post. Kudos. I would like to ask though, what’s ur avg dps in raids? on single bosses? Once again, boss post man! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I added Silencing Shot to every main shot -via macro- coupled with an error-suppression line:

    /script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”);
    /cast Chimera Shot
    /cast Silencing Shot

    /script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”);
    /cast Arcane Shot
    /cast Silencing Shot

    And so on. So you really NEVER EVER miss a silencing shot ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Cool one, I was anxiously waiting for this post and you fulfilled my expectations. I’ll have to work a little on PowerAuras now ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks Garwal… er…. Garwulf ๐Ÿ˜€


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