Hunter Basics: The Jump Shot

Lisselis, NE Hunter

If you’ve played a hunter for any significant amount of time, you’ve probably at least heard of the jump shot.

While running away from an enemy target, the hunter spins around 180 degrees, fires a shot, spins back around, and continues to run in the original direction.

When I first read about this move, it was regarding PVP strategies and involved wing-clipping and frost-trapping in addition to the jump shot. I thought it sounded complicated, difficult to execute, and only useful for hard-core PVP hunters.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

This move is surprisingly easy to get the hang of. It might even come naturally if you’re in a situation where you absolutely need to use it.

The easiest way to pull this move off is to use your right hand on the mouse and your left hand on the keyboard. Use both mouse buttons to move your character forward. Tap the space bar with your keyboard hand and use your mouse, with both mouse buttons pressed, to spin your character around 180 degrees. While your character is airborne, use your left hand to hit the hotkey for one of your instant-cast shots, and then use your mouse to spin your character back to your original direction by the time your character hits the ground. Head to one of the capital cities for your faction and give it a try on the training dummies.

If you’ve done much jousting for Argent Tournament dailies or Trial of the Champion (as any class), you’ve probably done the first half of the move before—jumping and then using the mouse to spin around 180 degrees to charge or shield-break.

I’m not a PVPer; I’m a PVE hunter through and through. Hence, it may not be obvious why this move is so important to master. However, I find myself using this move more and more as I progress through end-game content.

The first time I really found myself using (and needing) this move was on the new Vault of Archavon boss, Toravon the Ice Watcher. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the Toravon fight, he periodically summons frost orbs that need to be burned down quickly. Following normal aggro mechanics, they target the first player that hits them and move in that direction. The catch is that these orbs do pretty serious damage to any players in melee range, meaning ranged dps must be on the ball. As a hunter, I find the jump shot indispensible in kiting and killing the frost orbs and downing Toravon.

Shortly after the Toravon encounter was released, I joined a 10-man Icecrown Citadel group with my guild. It turns out that my guild was repeatedly short on ranged dps, and hunters happen to be incredibly useful in Icecrown, particularly on Deathbringer Saurfang, the fourth boss in the Lower Spire.

Like Toravon, Saurfang periodically summons adds—a pair of Blood Beasts—throughout the fight that ranged dps must quickly pick up. The Blood Beasts must not be allowed to hit a player or Saurfang gets a boost (they also hit pretty hard). As a hunter, I have a couple of slowing abilities that are necessary here, namely Concussive Shot and Frost Trap, but even with these abilities, I usually can’t quite get a Blood Beast down by the time it gets to me. Hence, I have to move away and finish it off with a couple of jump shots. With proper use of my hunter abilities and mastery of the jump shot, I can get one blood beast down while the other ranged dps (2-3 players) are still working on theirs.

There you have it. One simple move saves my butt, and my raid’s butt, time and time again.

It’s good to be a hunter.

– Lisselis

7 thoughts on “Hunter Basics: The Jump Shot”

  1. I accidentally found out about the 90 degree arc while running around Ick during an Explosive Barrage. Reminds me of my Quake days.

  2. Glad to see a write-up like this one. I wish that I’d known about resources like this site when I was a young hunter. Hope to see more on the way for the sake of huntering’s posterity.

    I myself, as a child of TBC, didn’t get the benefit of the Rhok’delar quest, but learned this and other kiting techniques when pulling ghouls through Hyjal NPCs to get them a little more proactive in defending the camps was en vogue.

    Fear not though, budding hunters, for there are still opportunities to test your kiting meddle in WotLK, and you don’t need to be ready for ICC to do it. If you’re new to raiding as a hunter, try to kite the zombie chow on the gluth fight (note: 10-man is the best place to start, as 25-man solo-kiting is a Tad more challenging, though not impossible). Just run in a big figure-eight, jump-shotting as you go. Your group mates will love you for it and the hunter community will be proud of your new found skill set.

  3. Oh Artorius was my favorite of the demons to kill, it was so fun! I still pull out my Rhok n Lhok from time to time~ But on my server, many hunters paid to have this one killed cause they could not do it themselves, or just to lazy. I got offered 500g back then by quite a few hunters, I know one guy who got rich doing it for them.

  4. That’s a great point, Skor, and something I meant to put in there! You don’t actually have to be facing the target straight on, which makes things easier. As for strafing, I’ve never quite gotten the hang of that, but I’ve been trying it out a bit on Festergut. I’ll have to try it out some more and see how it goes.

    • My recommendation for anyone attempting to master strafe shooting is to go out and find a big slow mob, preferably one that is susceptible to Concussive Shot (to help make sure it remains slow) and strafe kite it. Fire off Scorpid Sting (or Viper) since it does no damage allowing you to keep the target alive for a good long time. Start strafing.

      Now that you have the mob’s attention, see how long you can run away from it while keeping aggro which, of course, necessitates firing off a shot every few seconds to keep it aggro’d to you. It gives you a chance to practice switching between running forward and turning to slipping into a straffing run. It also gives you a chance to intuitively learn just how much you need to turn to get that 90 degree arc onto the target. This will also give you a chance to determine if strafing left or strafing right is easier for you (the goal is to master both, of course, but figure out which comes more naturally for now). And, most importantly, this is a great chance to learn without doing it in a raid setting where failure could lead to a wipe. 😉

      Heading back to older zones to pick a lower level target is obviously recommended so, should things go hinky, you will probably survive a few direct hits.

      In PvE, this skill has many uses that will make various situations significantly safer for you. In PvP, this is an absolutely invaluable skill. When a hunter masters this _and_ stutter shooting (pausing running long enough to fire off an autoshot before resuming running), the hunter will have gone a LONG ways towards being a deadly threat to many a character.

      As a side note, any hunter who has done the quest for Rhok’delar will remember mastering this skill in an effort to kill Artorius the Doombringer.

      Ok, enough rambling for me. 🙂

  5. Something to keep in mind – the jump shot is a lot easier than that. You do not need to turn 180 degrees – you need to turn just over 90 degrees. The “front” arc is 90 degrees to your left through to 90 degrees to your right so you only need to turn enough to get the target into that 90 degree side arc. Once hunters realize this, the jump shot becomes quite a bit easier.

    Also, because it’s only that 90 degree arc, I’ve found that firing on the run, without jumping, to often be easier – running forward, I turn 90 degrees and immediately start strafing (a move that has become almost second nature due to practice) while firing at the target behind me. That, of course, is just a matter of preference – I’m sure many simply prefer the jump shot rather than strafing shot.

  6. Ha! Glad I am not the only that did that on Toravon. I was also saddened that the other hunters asked me why I was doing it.


Leave a Comment