Patch 4.3 Survival Hunter Quick Start Guide – Stats, Gemming and Reforging, Talent Spec, Rotation, Enchants, Changes And Glyphs

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:

Standard talent build for level 85 Survival hunter

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.

Survival Enchants

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.

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Survival Hunter Stats, Rotation And Glyphs In Patch 4.0.1+

This guide is out of date! But have no fear – go over to our Survival Hunter Rotation, Reforging, Talent Spec and More guide for 4.2 to get the latest info!

Logged in to your Survival hunter after WoW patch 4.0.1 and goggling at your screen? Hunters have had some big changes, not to mention the new focus bar shaking up the basics of huntering. You don’t need to fall prey to the patch. Let us show you what’s lying in wait so you can focus ready for the wild times to come in Cataclysm.

Survival hunter rotation:

Hunter’s Mark > Serpent Sting > Explosive Shot if you have focus, it’s off cooldown or you get a Lock and Load proc > Black Arrow > Serpent Sting if it’s fallen off the target >  Arcane Shot if you have 70+ focus > Explosive Shot any time it’s off cooldown > Black Arrow…

If you need to regain Focus, use Steady Shot.

Survival talent spec:

Standard talent build for level 80 Survival hunter

Stats, reforging and gems as a Survival Hunter: <

Stats order: Hit (until hit capped at248) > Agility > Mastery > Critical Strike Rating > Haste

  • Reforge Critical Strike Rating into Mastery.
  • Gem Agility.


Primes: Glyph of Steady ShotGlyph of Kill ShotGlyph of Arcane Shot

Major: Glyph of Disengage

Minor: Glyph of Feign Death


_Did you find this useful? Maybe you’ll also find our One Stop Shop Class Guide for 4.0.1 useful for your other classes._

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