The Best Hunter Spec in Dragonflight

Last Updated
Feb 23, 2023

If you’ve played World of Warcraft, you’ll know that Hunters are extremely versatile damage dealers. They’re great fun to play as, with heightened mobility, cool pets, and some interesting DPS abilities.

Each one of the Hunter specs offers something unique for World of Warcraft fans to enjoy, and I personally love playing as them. I have a BM Hunter who I tend to PVP with, and she’s one of my favorite characters on my account.

Before we get into the rankings of which Hunter specialization is the best in Dragonflight, it is worth noting that the most important thing to consider when picking a spec (or class) in WoW is to pick one that you genuinely enjoy. No matter how viable a spec is for PVP or PVE, if you dislike the rotation or vibe, you’ll burn out and lose interest.

There are some Hunter specializations that are better suited for certain areas of the game, of course. To help you pick the one that best suits your needs, I’ve put together this guide on how to pick the best Hunter spec in Dragonflight.

Best Hunter Specialization for Solo Leveling

To start, the ideal Hunter specialization for solo leveling in Dragonflight is Beast Mastery. The Hunter specs are all viable for leveling to some extent, of course, but BM is simply on another level for folk who want to level quickly and easily.

beast mastery hunter

The main reason for this is the pets that Beast Mastery Hunters can have. While it might sound a little obvious as it’s a pet-focused spec, it’s worth saying anyway. BM pets can take a lot of damage and deal it too, with unique abilities that can help with other aspects of leveling, like additional movement speed.

If you’re looking to play a Hunter specifically to have pets while leveling and doing content like dungeons, you can’t go wrong with Beast Mastery. Call of the Wild and Dire Beast are both punchy moves that center around cool wild animals, and they can be a lot of help when trying to take on larger groups of mobs, too.

Beast Mastery Hunters also have some great defensives and utility-based abilities that can help with solo leveling, too. Survival of the Fittest and Fortitude of the Bear are great damage mitigation abilities, the combination of Natural Mending and Exhilaration can be a lifesaver, and Binding Shot can be a great way to control foes.

Beast Mastery Hunters are incredibly mobile and they specialize in single-target damage, making them perfect for solo leveling. It’s my preferred spec to level Hunters with, and I’d highly recommend picking it. Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun to play.

Best PVP Hunter Spec for Arenas

If you take a look at the most popular Arena comps that feature Hunters, you’ll see a lot of Survival Hunters with Marksmanship Hunters following closely in popularity. I’d personally recommend picking Survival Hunters for Arenas, based on my research.

survival hunter tree

One of the main reasons why Survival Hunters are so effective in Arenas is their single-target damage output. Abilities like Mongoose Bite and Flanking Strike are powerful, and abilities like Ranger can add an immense amount of strength to your attacks.

Survival Hunters also offer some great AoE attacks that can be useful for multi-target damage. Wildfire Bomb and Butchery can both be great in Arenas if you time them properly, especially if you have a talent like Guerrilla Tactics selected in your talent tree to give you extra charges for Wildfire Bomb.

There are some great modifiers to be aware of with Survival Hunters too, including Spearhead and Tip of the Spear. Having several punchy modifiers and passive abilities active in an Arena is a simple yet effective way to gain an advantage over an enemy.

Best Hunter Spec for PVP Battlegrounds

My recommendation for the best Hunter spec for Battlegrounds would be Survival again. Marksmanship would be a close second, though, and I’d encourage PVP Hunters to spend some time checking that spec out as well.

I’ve already detailed how Survival Hunters have effective damage output and passive abilities, but it’s worth noting how they have some great DoT abilities that can be super helpful in a team fight. Viper’s Venom is a powerful poison-based move that fans of Rogue specs will enjoy, and Wildfire Infusion can do a lot of damage, too.

Something that makes Survival Hunters stand out as a pick for Battlegrounds is their range. It sounds simple but it can make all the difference, in my opinion. Moves like Aspect of the Eagle and Lunge can help you defeat enemies who are on the move much easier, and they work very well in a Battleground environment.

My main Hunter spec recommendations for most things in Dragonflight will be Beast Mastery or Survival, but I would push Battleground fans to check out Marksmanship, too. It’s a lot of fun to play in a BG, and has some unique abilities that the other specs don’t have.

marksmanship talent tree

Moves like Trueshot in the Marksmanship Hunter talent tree can be incredibly powerful in a Battleground, especially with an ability like Eagletalon’s True Focus. Marksmanship Hunters excel with burst damage and cleave damage, if there are smaller stacks of foes, making them very useful for team fights in Battlegrounds.

While Survival would still be my main recommendation for Battlegrounds, Marksmanship is also viable and worth checking out for PVP fans, too.

Best Hunter Specialization for PVE

If you’ve read my other World of Warcraft guides, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of playing ranged DPS characters, including most of the Warlock specs and Mages, too. The main Hunter specialization that I’d recommend for PVE is Marksmanship.

While the other Hunter specs are certainly viable for PVE, Marksmanship is the most versatile and heavy-hitting by a mile. This is especially true for battles that require AoE and burst damage, so Marksmanship excels in M+ environments.

It is important to note that Marksmanship excels in damage and has a good toolkit for PVE, but that it can struggle with survivability in places. I’d recommend taking a look at your team holistically before setting out and also picking talents that help with longevity, like Quick Load, for example.

Something that makes Marksmanship Hunters stand out from the crowd in terms of Hunter specs is their variety of different damage boosts and buffs. These can help to make all the difference with PVE fights. Bullseye, Double Tap, and Deadeye are examples of abilities that can make you hit harder and quicker.

Best Hunter Spec for Soloing Old Content

Beast Mastery Hunters have got a lot of love in this article, and for good reason. It’s an immensely fun spec that can fit a wide variety of situations with ease. While every Hunter spec is arguably a good pick for soloing old content, I would advise picking Beast Mastery over the other two Hunter specs.

The main reason for this is simply the focus on pets. Having powerful pets with you when attempting to solo raids and dungeons from past expansions is a great way to mitigate damage and make tricky boss mechanics a lot easier.

Having damage mitigation abilities like Natural Mending and Exhilaration can be very handy as well, especially for content from the previous patch that is still somewhat tricky to solo. Beast Mastery is a spec with a lot of survivability.

You can also find some of the best Hunter pets in World of Warcraft while soloing old content, making the BM ability to tame Exotic pets very handy.

What to Do After Picking a Spec

Once you’ve decided which Hunter specialization suits you best, there’s a few things you can do to help make your gameplay experience smoother. Here’s my recommendations:

  1. Take a look at the best Hunter pets in the game and pick one that suits your style of play the best. There’s tons that suit different areas of the game, so if you’re interested in PVP Arenas, for example, you’ll be able to find one that’s specifically useful for that.
  2. If you’re leveling a brand new Hunter, pick up a good Hunter pet in your starting zone and check out some speed leveling methods to help you get to end-game content.
  3. If you’re interested in doing PVE, make sure to start off with the easier dungeons and M+ dungeons as you level to give yourself time to get used to the spec. If PVP is your jam, start off with standard Battlegrounds and see how you get on.

Hunters are a lot of fun to play and they suit lots of different areas of the game. Whether you’re a competitive raider, dedicated PVP fan, or an avid collector, you’ll be able to use the various Hunter specializations to your advantage.