The value of Multistrike through the eyes of a Marksman
As I started researching secondary stats for Hunters, I kept seeing Multistrike pop up as the number one secondary stat on various websites. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to really do a whole lot more in terms of DPS based on the tooltip. I decided to do some research and see what exactly all the fuss was about, and try to determine for myself what its effect was on my DPS and damage.
Hunters have a soft crit cap at 43% for Warlords of Draenor bosses, which means our Aimed Shots (as Marksmanship) will have a 100% crit chance on raid bosses (through Careful Aim) during the first part of fights while they are above 80% health. After you get 43%, there is no reason to stack any more crit. You can consult your paper doll to see where you are at. It helps to look when you are fully buffed (not including random procs) to see exactly where you stand when you enter a raid.
Initially I liked Mastery as a secondary stat, until I saw that we needed 220 mastery rating per percentage, which is just too much to justify front-loading (BM only needs 55 rating per percentage though, which is crazy). Additionally, versatility requiring 130 per damage increase percentage is also too much to justify front-loading. Again, just too much per point to really make me want to put a lot of it into my gear choices.
Your Multistrike percentage will increase by 1% for every 66 Multi-strike rating you have at level 100, which seems very reasonable in terms of being able to actually acquire a few percentage points early on after hitting level 100, and likely you’ll already have 5% or more as soon as you reach level 100.
The tooltip in game reads “Grants two XX% chances to deliver extra attacks or heals for 30.00% of normal value on each target.” It doesn’t specify what the damage is based on, or how exactly it works, so you can see why I was initially confused. I also had no easy way of seeing when my attacks were actually multi-striking in the middle of fights to tell what was actually happening (I also wasn’t really trying to watch for it until very recently).
After a bit of combat log reading, and just kind of watching for it, it turns out that Multistrike works on every source of damage you put out. It was even proccing on the ticks from Murder of Crows, which I wasn’t expecting. So for a bit of quick math, if my basic shot hits for 6,000 damage (with no other considerations), my Multistrike procs will hit for 1800. If both chances happen to hit on one hit, my total damage for that shot will be 9600, which is effectively a 60% damage increase for that one shot. Not too shabby.
As with any theory-crafting, you have to weigh the ups and downs of prioritizing any secondary stat, and in Warlords of Draenor it’s no different. Marksmanship has always been a crit-heavy specialization, relying on heavy hits from the Hunter and less from the pet, so prioritizing crit until you reach the soft cap is still priority number one in my opinion. Double damage from an attack outweighs two extra chances to do 30% more damage from your attacks. With the Lone Wolf talent, this puts the Hunter’s damage at the forefront completely since you will not have a pet out at all in raids.
For those that are just hitting 100 and are wondering where to get some Multistrike for your gear choices or upgrades, here are some easy to access options without having to delve into end game content.
- Engineering: Oglethorpe’s Missile Splitter as a crafted scope
- Jewelcrafting: Green Multistrike Gems are very cheap on AH
- Enchanting: Rings, Cloak, and Neck can all be enchanted with Multistrike
- Any crafted gear with “of the Savage”, “of the Deft”, “of the Merciless”, or “of the Strategist” will have Multistrike on it.