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[Hunter][Raiding] Survival Hunter

Zerinj's picture

Survival Hunter Raiding Guide




Table of Contents
  1. Talent Builds
  2. Stat Values
  3. Rotations
  4. Glyphs
  5. Enchants
  6. Gem
  7. Pet Choice
  8. Addons


Introduction

With patch 3.08 the Survival Spec has become the new maximum dps build for aspiring hunters everywhere. I will show you what stats to reach for, what builds to use, how to use the rotation effectively and more. First off the Talent build.


Talent Builds

There is a lot of flexibility in the Survival Tree, being that there is no set cookie-cutter build. However there are some core talents that you must take. They are in this talent build.

You will notice that there are 6 points to spare, and you will have to decide for yourself based upon your gear where to spend them. You should be aiming to have Haste and Hit Rating at these values:

  • 10% Unbuffed Haste
  • 8% Hit Rating
If not don't worry. There are talent points to compensate for this. Namely, Focused Aim and Improved Aspect of the Hawk. If you are not at 10% haste then you might want to consider the Aspect of the Hawk Glyph. Here are some sample talent builds.


Stats

As a Survival Hunter you will find that some stats you are looking for are different than that for the Beast Mastery Talent build. Here are some key points on each stat.

Level 80 Stat Conversion

  • 1 agi = 1.15 ap .012% crit
  • 1 ap = 1ap
  • 1 stam = .3 ap
  • 1 int = 1 ap 15 mana

Haste
High Value.

First of all, you will want to be aiming to have:

  • 10% Haste
What this will do, is it will get your Steady Shot cast time to be at 1.5 seconds, allowing you to maximize your dps. You can have less if you have the Glyph, and talent points into the Improved Aspect of the Hawk talent.

Agility
High Value.
Scales with Lightning Reflexes and helps your Expose Weakness, and unlike Attack Power boosts your Crit Percentage.

Critical Strike Rating
High Value.
It increases the uptime of Expose Weakness and Hunting Party and increases your Pets focus regeneration, as well as giving you mana back with Thrill of the Hunt.

Attack Power
Medium Value.
Now scales, still gives your pet 22% of your Attack Power.

Intellect
High Value.
Careful Aim gives 1 AP per 1 Intellect Point. And to Quote Elitist Jerks:

Quote:
More Int means a higher manapool, thus a higher return from the ReplenishmentBuff that Hunting Party lends and a higher return when in AotViper, thus less time spent in AotViper.


Rotation

The Survival Hunter's rotation is extremely straightforward, but requires more attention due to Lock and Load procs. This is the first Standard Rotation:


SERPENT STING --> EXPLOSIVE SHOT --> SS x3
(Remember to only cast Serpent Sting on the first Rotation and then again when it wears off.)

What to do when Lock and Load procs?


EXPLOSIVE --> EXPLOSIVE --> EXPLOSIVE
(You must wait untill atleast 2 of the DoT ticks from Explosive Shots go before firing your next Shot)

Now continue with the Regular Rotation.


Glyphs

Major Glyphs:

Steady Shot - Increases Damage, whats to complain?
Serpent Sting - Less time refreshing, more time dpsing.

3rd slot - Only 2 decent choices.

Hunters Mark - Huge boost to the AP, works extremely well when you are specced into Improved Hunter's Mark as other hunters and you get more AP.

Improved Aspect of the Hawk - Only get if you havent points in the talent, helps you get 1.5 second Steady Shots.


Enchants

Head

Shoulders

Cloak

Chest

Wrists

Hands

Waist

Legs

Feet

1 Handed Weapon

Two Handed Weapon

Ranged Weapon



Gems

This link pretty much shows you what gems for each colour, and what they are required for, far better than I could.


Pets

There are three kinds of pets. Cunning, Ferocity and Tenacity.

Cunning Pets

Viable in 10 mans for their Roar of Recovery. There are currently only two Cunning pets worth noting:

  • Sporebat: Useful for their Armor Reduction if no one else has one.
  • Wind Serpent: Highest DPS cunning pet.
This is the talent build you should be using for your pet.

Ferocity Pets

Viable for their Call of the Wild. Can be used in conjunction with other cooldowns for a dps increase.

  • Wasp: Useful for their Armor Reduction if no one else has one.
  • Cat: Worthwhile for the Rake Bleed DoT.
  • Wolf: Good for Furious Howl, periodic Raid AP increase.
This is the talent build you should be using for your pet.

Tenacity Pets

Useless for Raiding since the Scorpid Nerf.


Addons

These are the addons I use, and what they do:

  • Elkano's BuffBars: You can create a BuffBar that shows you when Lock and Load procs and how many seconds are left till it expires.
  • DeadlyBossMods: Pretty much self explanitory; tells you what the Raid Boss is going to do.
  • Quartz: Shows me my shot timer, cast bar, and how long is left on my Serpent Sting DoT.
  • PowerAuras: Extremely versatile addon, designed for providing visual cues (auras) when you gain buffs, debuffs and many more. Very useful for shorts buffs or debuffs. You can draw into the center of the screen or wherever you want. Extremely customizable.
  • Classtimer: Provides the same functionality as Power Auras. You can add pretty much anything from how long your Hunter's Mark has left up on the target, to how many seconds of Bloodlust you have left on you. Again, extremely customizable.

Comments

Jiyambi's picture

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tommyhales's picture

hey can u update this for

hey can u update this for 3.2 and 3.3 when it comes out thanks as im a bm hunter but im duel spec and my other is suv and i think i should be doing a lot more dps than i currently am

To any hunters that dont

To any hunters that dont know yet:

This guide is outdated as of the 3.1 patch.

Hit Cap

Does anyone know what exact hit rating you need for cap with 2 points in Focused Aim? People have told me 8% is cap and others have said 7% is cap. Thanks.

Brb out of ammo.

Zerinj's picture

6% with 2 points

The hit cap without talents is 8%, so with 2 points spent into Focused Aim it is 6%.

To expand on this (From

To expand on this (From Elitist Jerks)

As Zerinj says, the hit cap is 8% without talents.

At level 80 to gain 1% hit you need to have 32.79% hit rating. This means that with:
0/3 Focused Aim you require 263 hit rating (262.32)
1/2 Focused Aim you require 230 hit rating (229.53)
2/3 Focused Aim you require 197 hit rating (196.74)
3/3 Focused Aim you require 164 hit rating (163.95)

Additionally hit gained from focused aim does NOT transfer to your pet, therefore it is always better to gain the hit cap through gear/gems and enchants.

This guide is well done and

This guide is well done and presented however I just have a few suggestions:

Aimed Shot is an almost vital talent if you're going for maximum dps after the recent buff to it in the last patch. Weaving this into your shot rotation provides a huge boost over spamming steady shot. Of course on multiple mobs you should still be using Multi-Shot.

The shot rotation should end up more of a "priority" for lack of a better word.
If Serpent Sting needs refreshing, refresh it
Cast Explosive Shot
Cast Aimed Shot/Multi-Shot
Cast Steady Shot

In your Lock and Load section you advise waiting in between explosive shots, I disagree. Explosive Shot ticks once every second for 3 seconds which is exactly 2 Global Cooldowns. Therefore after you fire Explosive Shot you are waiting for 1 GCD before you fire it again, why not use this chance to refresh Serpent Sting or add in an Aimed Shot or a haste capped Steady Shot.

In an ideal situation when Lock and Load procs the shot rotation should be: Explosive Shot -> Aimed Shot/Multi-Shot -> Explosive Shot -> Refresh Serpent Sting if it is almost finished/Haste capped Steady Shot -> Explosive Shot.

Additionally removing the waiting period to replace it with a shot also stops "trigger happiness," where you fire the Explosive Shot too early and it ends up clipping the final tick of you're previous Explosive Shot.

I think this may have already been mentioned but the "trap dancing" vs. Sniper training method may be something you would like to look into, or I would be happy to help out with it if you would like, Glyphs such as Glyph of Immolation Trap would have to be added and other things like this.

Finally I would like to recommend adding "Power Auras" This addon has quickly become on of my favorites, it allows you set notifications for hugely customizable certain events. For instance I have notifications for: Lock and Load procs, Aspect of the viper on (in combat) Serpent Sting falling off my enemy target (in combat) and many more. There are some great videos on Youtube on how to set it up for a Hunter UI but it is well presented and easy to use by following the instructions on the download screen. If you would like me to grab you the URLs for any of the videos just let me know and I'll be happy to do it.

Well done on the guide so far, I hope you keep it up.

Zerinj's picture

Thanks

Thanks for the additional info. I will add most of that in in the coming days. (free time is hard to come by.)

The only issue I have whenever I swap multi/aimed shot into my rotation is that I run oom too fast. Otherwise, I have noticed a dps boost.

The videos about customizing Power Auras would be appreciated as I do not use that addon.

I've found Aimed/Multi in

I've found Aimed/Multi in raids is fine at the moment with the insane mana regen we get from blessing of wisdom and Mana Spring Totem, only ever running close to running out of mana on long fights like KT, of course this will change depending on raid composition.

The video I learned to use Power Auras on has mysteriously disappeared however Big Red Kitty (yes yes I know he is controversial) explains how to setup Power Auras extremely well in this video. There is also a great text and picture walkthrough on Power Auras setup at this site.

Anything else I can do to help out let me know Smiling

Any Raid Buff?

First, thank you for your guide. It is well presented and seems has good info.

I haven't gone for raiding with my hunter and still levelling one (74 at the moment). Two questions:

1- What about any buff Survival Hunter brings to the raid? If there is, it is better to mention here.
2- I am levelling my hunter with BM spec. After the patch, is it logical to change to SV? anf if yes, what is your suggestions about talent taking order and shot rotation?

Regards

Deget

Deea's picture

I would suggest you stick

I would suggest you stick with BM until you hit 80, it is (probably) better for leveling (I have noticed my hunter pulls aggro from the pet A LOT as SV compared to BM). At 80 you can respec SV for heroics/raiding if you want, and you don't need to worry about which order to choose for talents.

Zerinj's picture

Hunters bring the

Hunters bring the Replenishment effect, and yes it would be logical. I would suggest taking the core build I have linked, with points into Sniper Training and Improved Aspect of the Hawk.

Deea's picture

This guide is a good

This guide is a good starting point, but you didn't mention THE most important thing when it comes to playing a survival hunter.

There's more to playing SV effectively than spamming the shot rotation. There are basically two ways you can play your SV hunter: Trapdancer or Sniper.

A trapdancer will always be running to the boss to drop an Immolation Trap, to get a proc from Lock and Load. This playstyle has the highest DPS potential, although it only really shines in a tank'n'spank fight like Patchwerk. It's also next to impossible to use for some bosses such as Heigan. It's not easy to perform properly and you most likely will need a lot of practice.

That's why you have the talent Sniper Training, so that when you are in a melee-unfriendly fight or otherwise unable to trapdance, you can still dish out some decent dps. It's also a great way to play your hunter if you just can't seem to get the hang of trapdancing. Hawk Eye is an excellent talent if you want to play a Sniper. The downside is that you wll always have to be at maximum range, which basically requires an addon. I recommend RangeDisplay.

Here is the SV spec I am currently trying out. I was very pleased to see I did as much damage as my pre-3.0.8 50/21 spec. I didn't take Scatter Shot, as it's almost useless in PvE, and decided to take Aimed Shot instead. It's nice to have another instant shot for those fights where you have to move a lot (you can fire it while running) and I believe it's better for DPS purposes that Scatter. This build is focused around Sniper Training, all LnL procs coming from Serpent Sting. You can take points out of Focused Aim and put them into IAotHawk once you are hit capped.

More info about SV post-3.0.8 can be found at elitist jerks. There are also some good stickied guides at the official US hunter forum.



Behold the power of my iWin button!
Shinke's picture

While you're Survival it's

While you're Survival it's illegal to use the iWin button in your comment!!!!

Deea's picture

But but... I miss my iWin

But but... I miss my iWin Button Sad I'm still a Beastmaster at heart, though Eye



Behold the power of my iWin button!
Zerinj's picture

Working on that, will be up

Working on that, will be up later this week.

Benhir's picture

Looks very good, just one

Looks very good, just one thing: you have wrote "Addons" in the pet paragraph Sticking out tongue I think you meant "Pets" Eye

Revision

First of all: Impressive, to-the-point and excellent guide!

However there are a couple of mistakes.

Quote:
Hunters Mark - Huge boost to the AP, works extremely well when you are specced into Improved Hunter's Mark as the melee dps get more AP.

There is no Melee Attack Power added to Hunter's Mark, you're probably thinking of the old version of it. Proof:
Hunter's Mark,Talent,Glyph - This also makes the Glyph rather useless - atleast in my humble oppinion.

2. I would never Spec for Hit, since; 1) Hit is very easy to get on your gear in WotLK, 2) Focused Aim is currently bugged in 2 ways; It doesn't increase the Hit% of your Pet (This might be intended), and it, probably, decreases your Crit Return - The best solution is to Gear, Gem and Enchant for Hit.

3. Multi-Shot should be added to your Shot-Rotation, as it will yield more DPS than only shooting Steady Shot. It simply does more damage.

4. Agility is the superior Stat with Survival Spec - When you're Hitcapped. (Otherwise the Elitist Jerks Gem-Guide wouldn't recommend the Delicate Scarlet Ruby - Unless the author is mistaken..) This means

should be changed so you only recommend Hit and Agility (There's also a typo, it should be Hands, not Wrists Eye ) - Furthermore the same correction should be made to the Enchant recommendations for 1 Handed Weapons and Feet. And Agility's value should be revised in the Stats section as well.

5. Nitpicking/Addon: Your Pet section has the topic "Addons". Smiling - Kharthus's Hunter Timers is an excellent addon to track various Shots/Procs.

I hope this was helpful! Smiling

- Skadie

Zerinj's picture

Thank you for the comments,

Thank you for the comments, I have fixed most of the stuff you suggested.

Very Nice guide

Although on LnL procs i would suggest using this rotaion:

Explo - Steady - Explo - Steady - Explo

Zerinj's picture

That would work but only if

Sorry, but I would highly recommend in not doing that. Even if you are at 1.5 second steady shots the GCD would have passed by, and would have a time frame in which there is no Explosive Shot DoT. The way I recommended ensures that it has basically 100% uptime when LnL procs to maximize the dps you can get.

Deea's picture

Or you could use Aimed, or

Or you could use Aimed, or Multi if you're not specced for Aimed. It's better than nothing. Personally I just hate seeing my toon only autoshooting even if it's just for a few seconds.



Once upon a time, I had an iWin button
Shinke's picture

Exactly.

Exactly.

Jiyambi's picture

This looks very nice, though

This looks very nice, though I can't speak for it's accuracy since I don't play a hunter. However it sounds like you know what you are talking about!

I am so excited, I logged on and three new guides were submitted right after!

I am going to direct a very good friend of mine to this, he loves the survival spec and played it even when it really sucked for raid DPS Smiling

Edit: One suggestion - make those pics in your rotation link to the wowhead spell that they represent, simply by putting url tags around them pointing to that page. This is nice for noobs like me who are curious what those spells are. Actual hunters will know what they are, but it is still nice for completeness!

Shinke's picture

I completely agree! Great

I completely agree! Great guide for the new 80 hunters!

If you're too lazy to link the names, its

SERPENT STING --> EXPLOSIVE SHOT --> SS x3

and when lock n load procs

EXPLOSIVE --> EXPLOSIVE --> EXPLOSIVE Smiling

Zerinj's picture

Added. Thanks for your

Added. Thanks for your comments.

Shinke's picture

Looks good

Looks good Smiling