Oddly enough, that is the reason hunters don't have a heal, because it would make life easier. Too easy really. Sure, marks has the chimera shot, which is a tiny heal but is an every 10 (or 9 if glyphed) seconds thing. BM has some healing as well with a spirit beast. Even with that, over all you can still say that the hunters are not really in a good place when it comes to healing.
Whenever the question of what class is the best for soloing old content comes up the top two answers are blood DK and hunter and there is a reason for that.
Blood DKs put out a fair amount of damage and they can heal themselves all day long, not to mention they have the biggest collection of defensive cooldowns the game has to offer. So why is the hunter in the same league as the blood DK when it comes to soloing if they can't heal themselves all day long and their defensive cooldowns are somewhat lacking?
It is the rest of the tool box that hunters have, the largest toolbox in the game, that makes them beastly when it comes to soloing old content.
With smart use of our tool box we are capable of doing many things that no other class can do and our pet, when speced correctly makes for a serviceable tank. Adding our personal tank to a tool box that would make any other class drool we are rocking it when it comes to soloing content.
Where blood DKs go in with brute force a hunter goes in with finesse. For anyone that has ever tried to solo content on a hunter you know it is more about timing, positioning, setting things up, wearing the right gear, balancing damage done and survival for you and your pet. Hunter soloing is not for people that are not heavy thinkers. You don't just go in an brute force your way through content. Well, not most of the time.
When a hunter enters brute force mode it is usually because he or she does not have healing and there is no other good way to avoid damage so it becomes a battle of can you kill it before it kills you.
Soloing the trash in stonecore heroic is like that. Those packs with milhouse and the other mobs are a matter of can you scare milhouse away and take out at least 2 mobs before they do too much damage to you.
If anything, that pack is the perfect example of the approach a hunter would take to soloing because of their lack of healing. Even if you break the pull into two parts, a brute force part and a finesse part the brute force part still has a bunch of finesse involved.
At the moment you would go survival, for the double CC, CC the two most dangerous mobs, misdirect the others to your pet, which is on passive, and then have the pet charge, so his AoE will not break out the two CCed targets. You will burn milhouse while your pet keeps the other mobs interested. If all goes well you can make milhouse run away and kill at least two adds. You are brute forcing this, not even healing the pet. Once that is done, you feign death and revive your pet and deal with the others left over one at a time, using the finesse only approach I talked about.
The second boss in VP, even on normal if you are soloing it for the mount all the time, is another effort in complete finesse. Heck, even the first boss takes a little knowledge of your class. Did you know that aspect of the wild all but completely negates the damage done when the hurricanes move in? There is a spot the hurricanes will never hit going in or out, stand there. Send your pet in and pew pew. When hurricanes go in, switch to wild, take nearly no damage, when they come back out, go back to normal. Easy fight, if you use your tool box, because that is why hunters are so great at soloing.
Back to the second boss, which being MM makes this fight a million times easier. A hunter has to mix solid damage and excellent timing as well as a well placed turtle pet to get this baby done but it shows you what you can do when you put your mind to it as a hunter.
Place your pet in a good place, so the dragon is facing away from you of course and then get pew pewing. If you are targeted by breath you need to feign death at the right moment, which seems to be about one third cast, and it will cancel the cast. The second breath you use deterrence to eat it. The third one you can use feign again and then hit readiness right away.
Make sure you have used your rapid fire before the readiness for a little extra damage, which I suggest you do immediately after a breath at some point. Forth breath you FD on again, fifth is deterrence again and sixth is FD once more. You are out of tricks now my hunter friend, so lets hope you did enough damage to kill him in that time. Once you get the timing down it is easy as easy can be but getting that perfect timing on FD takes some work. I wiped at least 20 times before I got the timing down, but then again, I am not really the best solo player, but it sure is still fun. Finesse is where it is at here for hunters.
As you can see, hunters have forever found a way to work around not having healing (or minimal healing) and have still been able to hold their place as one of the best classes in the game to solo content with.
So why don't hunters have a heal?
Because if they had a heal then all that finesse, all that skill, all that knowledge of your tool box would not be as necessary as it is. Being able to heal makes things more forgiving, lets you make a mistake once in a while. It just makes things easier. So even if you do not have the finesse, skill and knowledge, you might be able to do it.
If the hunters had a heal, the people that did know their tool box would be unstoppable. It is because the top end players, the ones that solo the LK would be made so much better by it and the mid level soloing players, like myself that can only solo 85 heroics would now be able to do LK too like the better ones. A heal would also mean that doing the stuff I can currently do would be easier for other hunters that never soloed before. Like the second boss in VP would turn from perfect timing of FD on the breaths to what is big deal being you can heal yourself.
When mists comes it will open whole new doors for hunters with the new items we are getting for our tool box. Iron hawk? That is pure soloing goodness. A heal when you disengage? Beautiful. No minimum range? Thank god that will solve problems. Wyvern sting as marks? You can have it. Readiness as survival? You can have that too.
There is so much coming in mists that the future of soloing looks really good for hunters. Damage reduction, heals and attacking for anywhere will make things much easier. All we have to hope is that our tank pets will still be critical immune and we will be okay.
Hell, who am I kidding, we will be more then okay.
Hunter soloing will be so much easier come mists, the great hunters will get better, the good hunters can finally reach greatness, and the ones that always wanted to try can now have an easier time doing it.
The future of soloing for hunters is looking really bright.
The brightest spots for soloing, as I see them.
- Disengage heal.
- Wyvern for a second CC available to all specs
- Silencing shot available for all specs.
- Ironhawk reducing all damage taken.
- Camo being able to be cast in battle.
- No minimum range.
Soloing (and PvP) for hunters looks like it is heading in a positive direction for mists.