The Survival Hunter in WotLK
Editted for Patch 3.1 If you find errors or feel I've left things out, please send me a PM and I'll try to fix it.
1.0 Specc – Talent discussion
After 3.1 the spec that is mentioned the most is this one or subtle variation of this spec:
You should allways check Shandara's spreadsheet to judge the relative importance of a given talent for a Hunter with your gear. The given spec has been found for BiS gear and tested by Hunters on the Testrealm.
1.1 Some Talents:
A simple talent that gives 5% damage for 5 talentpoints. Decent. You no longer need an add-on to switch tracking to targettype.Survivalist – Hunter vs. Wild
Stamina is a good raiding stat anyway for fights that have healthchecks (e.g. HWNa’jentus) with these talents all that stamina on our gear even adds to our damage. Scales with BoK. Good talents.Lock and Load
Because Explosive is our most damaging shot, this is a fine talent. If you use L&L, using an addon to show the proc maybe nice to react to the changing rotation within the timeframe. I myself use Elkano’s BuffBars to show me a huge bar centre of my screen when L&L proccs.Lightning Reflexes
Simply mandatoryExpose Weakness
No longer Raidwide but good damagescaling, ~20% of Agility as AP with 2/3 points (factoring in uptime). More is no longer really necessary now that it’s just for your own benefit. With enough Crit you may even want to try with just one point in EW.Wyvern Sting – Noxious Stings
In 3.1 SerpentSting is still better damage per GCD so you should be using it anyway. These 4 Talentpoints will give you an additional 3% damage to all other shots while the target is stinged. With a bonus CC ability on top. Fair enough.Sniper Training
Sniper Training has been buffed so that it's now less situational. The buff lasts 15 secs, so you have to stand still for 6 secs somewhere in those 15 secs for the buff to stay active.
Gives Replenishment. Now also boosts Agility for 1% per talentpoint. The reason only 2/3 is chosen in the specc mentioned above is that 3/3 Resourcefullnes is better damage as per the spreadsheet. YMMV, use the spreadsheet to see what variation of the given spec is better for your gear.Explosive shot
Our best shot after Kill Shot.Killer Instincts, Master Tactician and Thrill of the Hunt are all no-brainers.
1.2 The remaining 20 odd talents go into MM and BM trees.
Lethal Shots, Carefull Aim, Mortal Shots and 1 point in Go for the Throat are mandatory at the moment.
Focussed Aim is optional when you're not hitcapped and/or need gear-itemisation for other things then +Hit. Doesn't lend +Hit to your Pet.
Aimed Shot has become very viable to specc for in 3.0.8 to reduce the number of (badly scaling) Steady shots and to have another instant shot when moving.
Good for Survival Hunters because of the lengthened casttime of Steady Shot. You’ll need 522.738 Hasterating to bring the SteadyShot casttime down to 1,5 seconds again. You could do with less Hasterating when you have points in this talent. Uptime is influenced by hasterating and weaponspeed. With the Glyph of Aspect of the Hawk you can do with less points in Imp Aspect of the Hawk to ensure enough haste to reduce Steady to GCD under Quick Shots. Even when you've reached the Haste softcap both Imp Aspect o/t Hawk and the Glyph are a boost to your white damage. You may still want to combine 1 talentpoint in this talent and combine it with the Glyph of the HawkFocussed Fire, good. Although you'd now have to sacrifice a lot of very good talents in the SV tree to get to Focussed Fire.
In WotLK with the unlocking of Autoshots and Specialshots, max-dps rotations depend on what damage an ability deals relative to others. Manacost per shot is also a factor since the use of more expensive shots may mean more time spent in AotViper. Note that Arcane Shot and Explosive Shot share a CD and therefor Arcane Shot should never be used in a SV Hunter rotation.
A SV Rotation revolves around the following priority list:
1. Kill Shot
2. Explosive Shot
3. Black Arrow
5. Serpent Sting
6. Steady Shot
Note that Kill Shot is now on the GCD and can thus no longer be simply macroed to all your other shots to ensure maximum usage!
You should allways check Shandara's spreadsheet to judge the relative importance of a given stat for a Hunter with your gear and specc. The following pointers are in general.
Like MM Hunters and unlike BM Hunters, SV Hunters value Hasterating because the Steady shot casttime is 2.0 secs (1.7 secs counting the quiver). Bringing the Steady Shot cast time down to the GCD is a dps increase. As said, this requires 522,7 hasterating. When you're specced into ImpAotH, you can do with less.3.2 Agility
Relative to the other Hunter speccs, SV Hunter should value Agility higher. This is offcourse because of the scaling through LR and Hunting Party, but also because of EW procs and the fact that - unlike Attackpower - Agi lends to your critpercent. It is however not the be all end all stat it was in TBC, because your EW no longer affects the entire Raid.3.3 Crit
Because of proc on crit talents, this should be relative highly valued as a SV Hunter. It increases the uptime of EW and Hunting Party and increases your Pets focusregen. Crits return mana through TotHunt as well.3.4 Attack Power
New and improved, now with scaling through Raidbuffs. Still counts towards your Pets Attack Power at 22%.3.5 Intellect
Intellect has become a very relevant stat for Hunters including SV Hunters to the point that we should no longer value Rogue gear as highly as we did in TBC. The reason is twofold.3.6 Weaponspeed
With the unlocking of Autoshots and Specialshots, weaponspeed no longer dictates the weapon of choice. DPS is the most relevant, followed by the stats on said weapon. After that, a slow weapon may be better because some shots do not use normalised speed in the damagecalculations, leading slow weapons to do more damage. On the other hand, all sorts of on hit/crit effects/procs benefit from a fast weapon.4.0 Glyphs
(Courtesy of Mattaos - BM Hunter topic)
1. Glyph of Explosive Shot
2. Glyph of Kill Shot
3. Glyph of Serpent Sting (Allows extra Steady Shots and Explosive Shots before reapplication)
4. Glyph of the Hawk makes less points in Hawk mandatory to reach the soft hastecap. After the soft cap, 6% haste to autoshots is not bad either, also increases Quick Shots uptime. Also valuable in speccs with only 1 or 2 points in Imp Ao/tHawk.
5. Glyph of Steady Shot Surpassed in strength by those mentioned above and the fact that your trying to minimise the amount of filler SS's in your rotation.
Glyph of Mend Pet (Allows the pet to gain happiness in combat)
Glyph of Revive Pet (Allows a faster pet rez during pushback spells)
Glyph of Feign Death (Allows more frequent threatdumps)
For all queries about Pets refer to the Hunter Pet Walhalla: Petopia: Compare Pet Family Skills
At the moment the following Pets have been refered to as valid Raiding Pets in terms of damage and/or Raidbuffs/Debuffs.
When choosing a Pet mind that the difference in percentual damage/hitpoint/armor scaling has now been equalised for all Pet families. A Pets special ability and talent tree has become the only selection criterium because of this.
5.1 Tenacity Pets
5.2 Ferocity Pets
Ferocity Pets bring Call of the Wild. Using this together and/or timed with Bloodlust/Heroism is a good boost in damage. No longer Raid Wide, now only applies to the Pet and the Hunter.
Cat - Brings Rake, a Bleed DoT damageeffect.
Raptor - Savage Rend, a Bleed DoT damageeffect. Relies on Pet crits so may be dubious for a SV Hunter because of our low Petcrit number.
Wolf - Furious Howl. Boosts Hunter and Pet's AP periodically. Now theoretically the most damaging Raiding Pet.
Wasp - Sting, deals damage and reduces the targets armor. If no-one in the Raid brings this debuff then Wasp may prove a good boost to RaidDps.
There has been some talk that a Moth may be worth your time. Testing is insufficient at this time.
5.3 Cunning Pets
In 10-men raiding these pets are valid in my experience because of the Roar of Recovery ability reducing Viper uptime.
Sporebat - for the minor reduce armor debuff if no-one in the Raid brings it.
Wind Serpent - Highest Cunning dps pet.
5.4 Sample Pet Builds
(Courtesy of Mattaos - BM Hunter topic)
*Updating these later*
For Pets that bring a Buff or Debuff, mind that these probably share a slot with other Buffs/Debuffs and that these do not stack. Check these links for compatibility World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Changes to Debuffs, Buffs, and Raid Stacking , Raid Stacking 101 A Dwarf Priest and Patch 3.0.2 - On Debuffs, Buffs, and Raid Stacking
6.1 Crafting professions
*Updating these later*
ALCHEMY - courtesy of ov3rl0rd
Mixology, at 50 skillpoints, but only for Elixers and Flasks you can create yourself.
Flask of Endless Rage provides a total 244 AP, or 64 extra, which is on pair with the other professions;
Elixir of Mighty Agility provides 45*1.35*1.15 = 69.8625 agi, which rounds up to 70, excluding Kings, for a total 77 agi raid buffed
Elixir of Mighty Thoughts provides 45*1.35 = 60.75 int, which rounds up to 61, again, excluding Kings, for a total 67 int raid buffed
77 agi = 0.924 crit chance
EW provides 77*0.25 = 19.25 AP, so the pair of elixirs gives a total (77+67+19.25)*1.1 = 179.685 AP, which rounds up to 180, including AP buff, and the Flask gives 268.4, which rounds down to 268. Overall, Flask is 268 AP and the pair of elixirs is 180 AP and 0.924% crit.
Spreadsheet shows that with Mixology, the pair of elixirs and the flask have less than 1 dps difference if mana doesn't matter, but the larger mana pool is a 30 dps increase if mana ends sometime during the fight.
Both require you to remain Blacksmith in order to keep the bonus.
2x Ring enchants for a total of 64 AP. Enchanter only.
Since 3.1 there are a few Tinkers that are worthwhile. In 3.2 these are reported to get a further boost.
Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket - Spell - World of Warcraft (Boosted to 1654 to 2020 Fire damage in 3.2. possibly)
Nitro Boosts - Spell - World of Warcraft (+12 Hit and +12 Crit in 3.2 possibly)
Flexweave Underlay - Spell - World of Warcraft (Boosted to 23 Agility in 3.2 possibly)
Some utility as wipe recovery with [Item not found!] and FD.
Shoulderslot enchant Shoulderenchant which is better then the Sons of Hodir counterpart by 64 AP.
Can use three of these Gems:
[Bubbliest Brightbrew Charm]
[Item not found!]
[Item not found!]
[Item not found!]
[Item not found!]
[Item not found!]
Over the normal Rare Gems.
Bracer Enchant that is 64 AP better then the commonly used alternative.
6.2 Gathering Professions
Skinning for additional 32 Critrating
Mining for added 50 Stamina
Herbalism adds a Heal (of moderate power, comparable to Gift of the Naaru)
Inscription bought with Knights of the Ebon Blade Rep [Arcanum of Torment]
When under the Hitcap you may want to consider this still from the Cenarion Expedition [Arcanum of Ferocity]
Inscription bought with Sons of Hodir Rep [Greater Inscription of the Axe]
Major Agility Enchant Cloak - Major Agility - Spell - World of Warcraft
Powerful stats Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats - Spell - World of Warcraft
Greater Assault Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault - Spell - World of Warcraft
Crusher Enchant Gloves - Crusher - Spell - World of Warcraft
Precision Enchant Gloves - Precision - Spell - World of Warcraft
Greater Assault Enchant Gloves - Major Agility - Spell - World of Warcraft
Create socket (Blacksmithing) [Eternal Belt Buckle]
Frosthide Leg Armor [Frosthide Leg Armor]
Icescale Leg Armor [Frosthide Leg Armor]
Greater Assault Enchant Boots - Greater Assault - Spell - World of Warcraft
Superior Agility Enchant Boots - Superior Agility - Spell - World of Warcraft
Icewalker Enchant Boots - Icewalker - Spell - World of Warcraft
Accuracy Enchant Weapon - Accuracy - Spell - World of Warcraft
Superior Potency Enchant Weapon - Superior Potency - Spell - World of Warcraft
Exceptional Agility Enchant Weapon - Exceptional Agility - Spell - World of Warcraft
Major Intellect Enchant Weapon - Major Intellect - Spell - World of Warcraft (TBC enchant - still good)
7.11 Two Handed Weapon
Massacre Enchant 2H Weapon - Massacre - Spell - World of Warcraft
7.12 Ranged Weapon
+15 damage [Diamond-cut Refractor Scope] (Hardly an option since the scope only buffs autoshots)
+40 Hasterating [Sun Scope]
+40 Critrating [Heartseeker Scope]
With thanks to Faerdael
9.0 Some modds
For Rangefinding with ST: RangeDisplay - Addons - Curse
For showing L&L Procs: NeedToKnow - Addons - Curse and
EventAlert - Addons - Curse
P.S. You can of course sent me PM’s with requests or summations to alter the above if Ive made mistakes or was incomplete.
Edited in light of patch 3.1 on the 18th of april 2009.
You beat me to it! (I'm just hitting 72 due to leveling my priest-main)
I was compiling a write-up for this very topic to post later this weekend. Much appreciated!
Now to ponder the thoughts.
One thing I've found extremely helpful to use with Improved Tracking is the following macro. It will automatically switch your tracking to the 'type' of mob that is currently targeted. Easy as pie, and I use it in conjunction with Hunter's Mark and /petattack to quickly farm or quest with. If you are using an "incorrect" type of tracking (hunting dragons and currently are tracking herbs) the first macro-press will switch the tracking. A second keypress will be needed to send in the pet and "mark" the mob.
There is a mod called autotrack that will do that for you. A little annoying if you're farming and something attacks you, but easily disabled for those times.
The macro is good for "purists" who are shy about too many mods and add-ons. I dislike them, and prefer macro-control and keybindings for 10-man raiding back in BC-WoW. Manually macro-ing the tracking switch also prevents "annoyance when something attacks you", as you mention this mod did.
I'm also considering this talent build, not so much as Raid DPS, but over-the-top CC and PvP-ish fun.
SV hunter - TrapMaster (7/17/47)
Adendum to the main post idea: (?)
Survival also has a number of very good talents that boost trapping, and enable effective Crowd control.
Survival Tactics, Resourcefulness, and Trap Mastery combined may not increase your raw DPS, but can allow very smooth chain-trapping for instances with mass pulls. A combination of traps, kiting, and Wyvern Sting can be used to solo-famr instances effectively, or PvP with added efficiency.
As far as I can see, stacking haste over and over, Steady Shot's casting time is not reduced by haste rating. Where as everything else on every other toon has a cast time reduction when haste rating is applied, either they broke the tooltip system before introducing Wrath, or haste no longer affects Steady Shot. Anyone have an idea one way or another?
Yea it won't show up on the tooltip. Quartz and other castbars should show it very noticeably though.
6/14/51 should also be thrown in to the main post. Once hit-capped, which is easily attainable, it's tested better for me than any variants listed above. Currently, we're full cleared through everything but 3 drake sarth, which will be downed sunday, so I've seen everything wrath has to offer at the moment and can't find any better generalized locations for the points.
edit: I also believe glyph of iaoth is better placed than iaotv. Rarely, on any boss in current content, do I have the need to switch to viper for more than 10-15seconds before I have enough mana to land around 1-2% when the boss dies. It may be partly my gear, but I rarely have any trouble keeping my mana up and on 90% of all boss fights never use viper even for the small amount of time I previously mentioned. This is also using my pot cc for potions of speed, not mana pots. I guess your mileage may very, but figured it was worth mentioning.
Smoggers how does your DPS compare to other Hunters you might be raiding with? Chim Shot and BM/Readiness specifically.
Also I'm wondering about your choice to go only 2/3 in EW yet 3/5 in HP, I know a lot of people say 2/3 EW will give you close to full uptime, but I just never trust cold streaks and even in my Heroics/Naxx10 gear I'd lose out on ~350ap when it falls off.
On any typical fight, I will pull down around 3.2-3.5k and he'll sit around 4k on average (barring short fights / heroism / etc). Keep in mind these are very generalized numbers as the majority of fights in the game right now have huge factors that alter your dps. On 3-drake sarth, where aoe is a near-constant, I edge past him by 500 or 600 dps for example. Another example where I typically come out ahead is total dps for pre-phase 3 malygos where he isn't able to take full advantage of his pet 100% of the time.
These numbers are also to be assumed as 25man raids; most 10mans at the moment, short of 3drake sarth, can be farmed with even a remotely decent comp of 10 decent players regardless of spec. For example, we did our full 10man naxx clear tonight. Ret pally and myself in the raid. Was there any need for two of us to be providing replenishment? Of course not. Could I have provided slightly higher total raid dps by respeccing for the run? Of course. Does it really matter at that level? Not really. We missed 'undying' by one person on kel'thuzad getting cubed and ranging the healer.
As to your second question regarding my spec. I have EW up nearly constantly. Raid buffed, I have nearly a 60% crit rate at the moment, and with the master poisoner bug still fully in swing, I never miss a single second of EW. As to my 3rd point in hunting party: I just like it there. I like -knowing- I'm providing that buff to the entire raid, at all times. Especially when I'm often only one of maybe two or three people providing it. Could I afford to drop a point for a tiny increase somewhere else? Probably. Am I going to? No. As you can see from my spec, I drop points into utility talents that don't hurt my dps by a significant margin. Entrapment and scatter shot are the perfect example.
In summary, you aren't going to provide maximum dps as survival. You just aren't. If you want to, then respec. I love survival, and let me repeat, I LOVE survival. I play this spec because it's good for the raid, good for my guild, and I enjoy having a ton of utility, providing a cornerstone buff, and still sitting in the top 5dps 50% of the time.
In no way do I claim to be the main resource for survival raiding, but I will answer any questions people have. Feel free to head to frostwolf and bug me as well.
This is the Survival Specc I am currently running:
Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
Personally I think due to the high critrates a survival Hunter can achieve, the talent "Mortal Shots" is a Must have.
When I got enough hit on my Equipment I will respecc to the 5 - 14 - 52, mentioned in the Starting post.
I wish they'd make Noxious Stings work with both Serpent Sting and Wyvern. Oh well...
Also on my wish list: PoNE also worked on Immolation/Explosive Trap. PoNE + Immo trap + glyph + Trap Mastery = another ~5k of damage over 9 seconds, plus the 6% crit bonus during that time. Explosive trap wouldn't do as much damage, but greatly increase the time you get the crit bonus (9 sec vs 20 sec).
Smoggers, do you have any rough breakdowns to your damage sources? Specifically what percentages are from autoshot, ES, stings, steady, and pet? It would help a lot with my theorycrafting to figure out how a 5% increase to one ability could affect your overall DPS.
Having also downed all content, I do like the survival hunter build. I use pretty much the same spec as smoggers.
In terms of damage breakdowns, here is a wws breakdown on patchwerk.
Wow Web Stats
One thing I have found to be a problem compared to say a marksman build is the lack of instants to use when moving.
Also, aimed shot is an excellent skill for one talent point. In situations lacking a rogue or arms warrior, being able to provide this debuff is likely worth more than the DPS you lose using a non-optimal shot + the talent point you would have put somewhere else. Examples include the second boss in Azjol'Nerub, the vampire boss in Old Kingdom, and Mal'ganis in Culling. Besides the debuff, this is an extra instant shot available for situations where you have to move around a lot, providing the same single target damage as multishot with no cast time.
Great to see a survival thread going. I'm not sure if I'll be able to stay survival long term but currently our replenishment supply is inconsistent so I'm running it for now while I hope they balance us out with the other specs.
One thing I've been particularly wondering about is the actual damage gain per talent point investment gained from imp hawk. I've had some problems using the spreadsheet so I'm not really sure how it breaks down compared to other talents and how good the uptime is. Currently my hit is very weak so I've been relying on focused aim, and I ended up going imp stings because the .8% dmg per talent point (currently serpent sting is coming in at about 8% of my damage) seemed pretty decent, and I wasn't sure how imp hawk would compare in terms of point investment. I do notice that imp hawk seems generally more popular though so I'm wondering if I should switch it up. I looked at Regenald's WWS however and my Patchwerk numbers were a bit higher with what I would consider to be weaker gear, so I'm not positive that I'm going about this the wrong way.
Some clarifications for the original post:
- I'd move the comments about call of the wild to the beginning of the ferocity section label rather than tying it in with the cat
- As mentioned by someone else, unless your raid does not have a warrior free to BS or a pali that can buff might, a wolf is a poor choice of a pet
- enchanting should list a bonus of 64 AP (2 32 AP ring enchants)
- jewelcrafters get 3 upgraded gems that they can put in their gear, for example the agil gems are 27 agil instead of the rare 16 agil, giving a 33 agil total benefit if that is the stat you choose to use for the bonus - additionally those special gems count as all colors, giving more flexibility in meeting socket and meta requirements
- inscription gives a 64 AP bonus over the exalted Hodir shoulder enchant (plus the benefit of not having to do the Hodir grind)
- alchemy gives a 64 AP bonus on the flask of endless rage and double duration (4 hrs instead of 2), varying bonuses for other flasks and elixirs, also the alchemy trinket is very nice for starting out (100 AP 50 crit, bonus on healing and mana pots)
- I'd clarify that on blacksmithing the bonus ends up being 32 agil if you socket 2 rare agil gems, putting in estimated numbers will make it easier for folks to compare
- for skinning, the bonus is 25 crit rating
- for mining the bonus is 500 health
- 1 pt in EW may be enough to maintain it the vast majority of the time, especially if your crit is strong- not sure that the additional benefits provided by the second point are very large
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