ToTS: Explosive Spam vs Kill Shot

Over on the battle.net hunter forums, a question came up regarding the priority of Kill Shot vs Explosive Shot, and I was very surprised that several people replied suggesting that you should prioritize Kill Shot over Explosive Shot.  So, I thought it might be worth while to take some time to look at the particulars of how each of these abilities work.

To start off, they are considerably different working shots in that Kill Shot is modified primarily by Weapon Damage, while Explosive Shot is modified primarily by Attack Power.  The formulas to determine how much damage either shot will do is as follows:

Kill Shot
Kill Shot damage = (Weapon Damage + .2*RAP) * 4.2

Explosive Shot
Total Explosive Shot damage = 1.2903*RAP + 1610.4
Per Tick Explosive Shot damage =  .4301*RAP + 536.8

The trick is, of course, if you have very high weapon damage, but not very high ranged Attack Power, then you'll have a more powerful Kill Shot.   This is the case for one of my alt hunters, who is in almost all 496 timeless isle gear,  but has a 569 ilvl weapon (the BoA from normal Garry).  For that character, Kill shot does about 159,227 damage, while Explosive Shot (including all ticks) only does about 147,258.    My main hunter, however, has almost all 58x gear, with a weapon around the same ilvl as most of my gear.  In this case, my Kill Shot only does 267,890, while my Explosive Shot does 335,322.

Another thing to consider is that Explosive shot, because it is a pure AP modified shot, benefits much more from any temporary agility buffs you might have from trinket procs or from your potion; while kill shot, being a Weapon Damage modified shot, won't get as much of a boost.  

Anyhow, the point of all of this is: in the vast majority of cases, Explosive Shot is higher priority than Kill Shot.

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