I was under the general assumption that Marksman Hunters must focus on Attack Power over Agility. Not that Agility was bad for Marks, but with the change made to Trueshot Aura scaling with AP, Marksmen Hunters were to stack it when possible for more DPS. All that has changed since 3.1 with the new mechanics of Piercing Shots.

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Piercing Shots works like this: when a critical strike is made from Aimed Shot, Chimera Shot or Steady shot, a bleed effect will proc 30% of the damage of the orginal shot over 8 seconds. To put it simply, if Aimed Shot crits for 1000, Piercing Shots will do an extra 37.5 damage over 8 seconds for a total of 300 more damage. If you want to see better of a breakdown Nassira has been kind enough to do so. However, the reason of this post isn’t to look at the math Piercing Shots, but how to get more bang out of talent.

For starters, if you’re  beginning your level 80 journey and your gear is mostly blue then consider Attack Power your bread and butter. Once you start progressing through Naxx and you have earned some nice epic loot your new focus should slowly shift to Agility than AP. Understand that the damage we do is a product of  our Attack Power and a Critical Strike will beef up that damage. With how Piercing Shots behaves if your damage is huge but your crits are small this makes the talent  pretty worthless. If your crit is high, yet damage is low the bleed effect will be so-so. This is why the balance between the two is key and Agility is the best way to achieve that. Hard hits with big crits will give you that nice little boost in your bleed effect from Piercing Shots.

Now I wouldn’t run and switch all my  gems/enchants to pure Agility just yet and I defiantly would not to stack Agility like Survival Hunters do. That would be silly for one talent, but I believe this gives Marks Hunters a little more flexibility when it comes to a gem slot or an enchant.

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