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An Introduction to Hunter Talent Trees in the World of Warcraft, written for the Azeroth Advisor

You're quickly approaching level 10; congratulations! At level 10, you
get your first look at talent trees, which allow you to specialize
your character. Leveling is a great time to explore the talents and
decide which kind of hunter you want to be.

When you reach level 10, you'll be able to bring up your talent pane
by pressing "n" or clicking the bullseye icon in your minimenu. There
are three tabs in the talent pane, one for each tree: Beast Mastery,
Marksmanship, and Survival.

The first tree, Beast Mastery (BM), is a popular option both for
leveling and for endgame raiding. Most of the talents in this tree
will make your pet stronger and its attacks more damaging. Many people
like to take Endurance Training as their first BM talent; this
increases your pet's health and your own. If you plan to send your pet
in first, letting it take most of the hits, this talent is a sure bet.
Improved Aspect of the Hawk can increase your damage output, but you
may want to wait to put points into this talent since you'll probably
end up using Aspect of the Viper more often as you level.

Marksmanship (MM) is often considered the PvP tree, and is definitely
worth a look if you enjoy player versus player combat. It provides the
hunter with a number of specialized shots, enabling you to silence,
stun, or otherwise incapacitate your enemies. The tree also contains
some talents that increase the hunter's damage. Lethal Shots can be
particularly nice even for PvE; this talent means your shots have a
higher chance to critically strike the enemy, doing more damage with
less ammunition. Improved Concussive Shot gives you a chance to stun
your target; if you plan to participate in a lot of battlegrounds,
this can be a lifesaver.

Last but certainly not least, the Survival tree enhances the hunter's
ability to stay far away from the target, and grants a few aces up the
sleeve for close combat. Hawk Eye increases your range with a bow or
gun, buying you extra time to kill your target before it reaches you.
Monster Slaying and Humanoid Slaying are somewhat limited since
they're only effective against certain types of enemies; you may want
to see how often you encounter these types before spending points
here. Finally, Savage Strikes improves your special melee attacks;
this talent is good if you enjoy getting down and dirty in close
combat.

While many hunters will insist that BM is the best tree for leveling,
the choice is yours. You can try any talent tree you'd like, and if it
turns out to be a bad fit, well, it'll just cost a few gold to change
-- at least the first time! It's all about having fun, and the more
you tailor your talents to suit your style, the more you'll enjoy your
character.

Happy hunting!
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