Survival: it’s great! It’s rubbish! It’s great again! It’s sort of OK! Survival’s been up and down like a Cataclysm healer’s mana (well, OK, that’s mostly down) -what will Patch 4.3 bring for your DPS? Read on for a guide to your updated rotation, best talent spec and glyphs, and how to reforge and gem in the new patch.
Updated 6th March 2012 for Patch 4.3
Survival Hunter changes in Patch 4.3
Survival Hunters have only seen one change in Patch 4.3 – a 15% buff to the damage from Explosive Shot. This is a very nice buff indeed, but as Explosive Shot is already our top priority, doesn’t change our shot rotation. It does make it more important than ever to get Lock and Load right, though!
You may hear that we also have a buff to the chance of Lock and Load – that doesn’t appear to have made it into the live realms, sadly.
Our two-and four-piece set bonuses for this tier are nice, but we don’t have solid info on how, if at all, they change our rotation yet.
Survival hunter rotation / Priorities
Survival Hunters use a priority system – use the ability that’s highest on the list and off cooldown at any given time.
Make sure you have Aspect of the Hawk up.
- Before the pull: Put Hunter’s Mark on the target and use Misdirect on the tank. Please, please remember Misdirect. Hunter aggro makes tanks cry.
- Top Priority: Apply Serpent Sting if it’s not on the target. Use Explosive Shot unless you’re in Lock and Load (see below).
- Second Priority: Use Kill Shot if possible, followed by Black Arrow if it’s off cooldown.
- Third Priority: Use Arcane Shot if you have plenty of Focus available, and Cobra Shot if you’re below 50 or so.
Lock and Load
When Lock and Load procs, we get 3 Explosive Shots in a row. However, since Explosive Shot is a DOT, we want to alternate using our Explosive Shots and another shot. Cobra Shot is, most of the time, the only sensible choice.
So, when you get Lock and Load, go into a rotation: Explosive Shot, Cobra Shot, Explosive Shot, Cobra Shot, Explosive Shot, then go back to your priorities.
If you’re very high on Focus (above 90) when Lock and Load procs, you can also use Arcane Shot after the first Explosive Shot.
Rapid Fire: Rapid Fire only really affects Cobra Shot and Auto Shot for Survival hunters. Hence, the best time to use Rapid Fire is when you’ve used up all your Focus. Other than that, use it as soon as it cools down. If you have other buffs (notably Potion of the Tol’Vir), use them at the same time.
Survival Hunter AOE Rotation
Put an Explosive Trap where the tank takes the mobs at the start of the pull, using Trap Launcher.
MAKE SURE TO USE MISDIRECT TOO, unless you want your tank to hate you.
Then simply spam Multi-shot until you run out of focus, then Cobra Shot, then Multi-shot again, until everything’s dead and your DPS resembles the national debt figures.
Note: You don’t need to use Serpent Sting in AOE – your Serpent Spread talent applies it automagically.
Survival talent spec:
Stats, reforging and gems as a Survival Hunter
Stats order: Agility > Hit (until hit capped at 961 or 841 if you’re a Draenai) > Critical Strike Rating > Haste > Mastery
- Reforge Mastery and Haste to Hit, then excess Hit and any remaining Mastery to Crit.
- Gem Agility. Always. Ignore socket bonuses unless they’re HUGE, then use an AGI/Hit or AGI/Haste gem.
Haste is a complicated stat for Hunters – these guides will work well for you, but if you want to tweak some more, see the Warcraft Hunter’s Union guide to Haste Plateaus.
Check to see if your profession supplies more appropriate enchants before putting these on! Inscription and Engineering in particular may have better options.
|Head||Arcanum of the Ramkahen|
|Shoulders||Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal|
|Back||Enchant Cloak – Major Agility|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats|
|Wrist||Enchant Bracer – Agility|
|Hands||Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery|
|Belt||Ebonsteel Belt Buckle|
|Legs||Dragonscale Leg Armor|
|Feet||Enchant Boots – Major Agility or Enchant Boots – Assassin’s Step if you want run speed.|
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Mighty Agility|
|Ranged Weapon||Flintlocke’s Woodchucker|
Primes: Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting, Kill Shot.
Major: The only important one is Glyph of Disengage.
Minor: Feign Death is the only important Minor Glyph for Survival.
- Warcraft Hunter’s Union – the best resource for Hunters on the ‘net, IMO. Has 4.3 guides already
- WoW Insider’s hunter column – very informative, if wordy.
- Elitist Jerks’ Hunter guide – not yet updated for 4.3
- MMO Champion Survival guide – well-explained and worth reading, although the Lock and Load recommendations are odd.
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