Cataclysm is here, and with it comes a massive revision to hunter mechanics. As such, everyone who plans to level a hunter can benefit from the use of a Cataclysm hunter guide.
One of the most important hunter leveling tips is in choice of pet. As hunters can now bring up to five pets with them, it is now possible to always bring the right pet for any task. In general, choice of pet is important only in certain situations: for simple leveling, any pet will do, regardless of specialization. However, given the capacity to do so, it can benefit you to always have at least the option to trade out a heavy-hitting ferocity pet for a durable tenacity pet or a versatile cunning pet.
Any Cataclysm hunter guide will tell you that focus has replaced mana as a hunter’s primary resource. With this, the removal of ammunition, and the careful use of glyphs, you don’t even necessarily need to carry food around. However, as another of many hard-won hunter leveling tips, do so anyway. Food is an important resource, helping you keep your pet happy, often buffing your stats which in turn carry over to your pet, and helping you recover quickly on the rare-to-frequent chance you pull aggro off your pet.
For the last of the hunter leveling tips covered by this brief Cataclysm hunter guide we’ll discuss spec. Hands down, Beast Mastery is the most efficient hunter specialization for leveling quickly. This is because Beast Mastery has minimal down time: the pet should be taking all of the hits, and using the new, focus-free Mend Pet skill at an appropriate moment means there is basically no time between pulls. Beast Mastery is also an excellent spec for single-target burst damage at level cap, meaning there is little to no need to change your specialization once you’re done leveling.