Survival Hunter Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

So, new patch – it’s time for us Survival Hunters to roll the dice again. Will we be great? Will we suck? Who knows? But what we do know is that patches always change something – talents, new glyphs, stat priorities, reforging or gems. This guide will get you back Explosively Shotting in WoW patch [patchnumber] and MoP in no time – no need to read a wall of text!

Updated [guideupdated] to World of Warcraft Patch [patchnumber]

Survival Hunter changes in Patch [patchnumber]

Readiness has gone away.

Survival “Rotation” and Priorities

Remember, Misdirect is important! Always Misdirect onto the tank at the start of any pull.

Single-target DPS

When starting to attack any target, put Hunter’s Mark and Serpent Sting up on them. You shouldn’t subsequently have to refresh either.

  • Top Priority: Fire Explosive Shot if it’s available. If Kill Shot is available, use that.
  • Second Priority: Otherwise, fire Black Arrow if it’s available. Fire Serpent Sting if it’s no longer up for some reason.
  • Third Priority: If you’ve got more than 60 Focus, use Arcane Shot. If not, use Cobra Shot.


For less than 4 opponents, perform your single-target rotation, but use Trap Launcher with Explosive Trap rather than Black Arrow and Multi-Shot rather than Arcane Shot.

Against 4 or more opponents:

  • Top Priority: Fire Multi-shot if it’s available. Place an Explosive Trap under your opponents with Trap Launcher, if one’s not already running.
  • Second Priority: Fire Black Arrow on cooldown. Fire Explosive Shot on Lock and Load. Fire Kill Shot if it becomes available.
  • Third Priority: Fire Cobra Shot.


  • Rapid Fire – Use whenever it’s available.
  • Feign Death – Please do remember to use this if you get aggro!
  • Disengage – Leap backward – useful in a wide variety of situations.
  • Stampede – Powerful DPS cooldown – use whenever it’s available.
  • Deterrance – Powerful defensive CD – most often useful if Feign Death is on cooldown or didn’t work!


Keep Aspect of the Hawk up.

Survival Hunter Talent Choices

Several tiers of Hunter talents are very situational – Tier 1 and 3 in particular for PvE – so you should experiment to find your favourite talents. However, here’s a solid build to get going with:

  • Tier 1: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera.
  • Tier 2: Silencing Shot – gives you a spell interrupt ability.
  • Tier 3: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
  • Tier 4: Dire Beast – gives you a new damage cooldown. Use whenever it’s available.
  • Tier 5: Murder of Crows – another damage cooldown. Use whenever it’s available.
  • Tier 6: Glaive Toss – ANOTHER damage cooldown. Use whenever it’s available, etc, etc.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Survival Hunter

Big change here: we need Expertise now.

Stats order: Agility > Hit (until capped at 2,550 / 7.5%) and Expertise (until capped at 2,550 / 7.5%) > Critical Strike Rating > Haste > Mastery

Reforging: Reforge for Hit and Expertise cap first, then reforge for Crit. Reforge out of excess Hit and Expertise first, then Mastery, then Haste.

Gems: Delicate gems in Red sockets, Deadly gems in Yellow sockets, Glinting gems in Blue sockets.

Meta Gem: Agile meta gems.

Survival Glyphs

Glyphs are a matter of personal preference these days, so don’t feel there’s a “right” option. However, here are some good ones for PvE:

Major: Glyph of Deterrence, Glyph of Animal Bond, Glyph of Liberation

Minor: Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah is great, as is Glyph of Fetch – with the latter, your pet can loot for you!

Survival Hunter enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
  • Cloak – Accuracy or Superior Critical Strike, depending on if you’re at hit cap.
  • Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Wrist – Greater Agility
  • Hands – Superior Expertise
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
  • Feet – Blurred Speed
  • Ranged – Lord Blastington’s Scope of Doom

If you want to get into more detail with your Survival play:

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