Author Topic: For we kill with the skill to survive (aka Survival Hunter)  (Read 1626 times)


  • Three Rivers Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2158
    • Three Rivers
For we kill with the skill to survive (aka Survival Hunter)
« on: February 25, 2010, 10:20:04 AM »
Survival Hunter is  my current favored hunter spec.  While marksman may be slightly higher dps at the high end gearing, survival provides replenishment and tends to be higher dps until you are fully geared.  It has a dps cycle based entirely around priority based use of abilities.  Personally, I arrange my abilities in order of the priority, and just try to use the ability off cool down to the furthest left.

Shot Priority:
Kill Shot > Explosive Shot > Black Arrow > Aimed Shot|Multishot > Serpent Sting > Steady Shot

Steady Shot is your filler.  Any time all the rest are on cool down (or in the case of serpent sting, already running) you use Steady Shot.

Finesse points:  
* Explosive shot takes 2 seconds to tick.  If you get the proc that makes your next 2 explosive shots not consume a cooldown, you want to do explosive shot->another shot->explosive shot->another shot->explosive shot to prevent clipping the dot damage.
* Try to use aspect of the viper as little as possible.
* Make sure you are tracking a trackable creature and not herbs/minerals.
* Don't clip serpent sting.  Let it tick out before renewing it.
* Against 2-3 opponents, if all your shots are on cooldown tab target around and apply serpent sting.  Also, against 2-3 shots use multishot instead of aimed shot.  They do the same damage and share a cooldown - multishot just costs more mana and requires you to be standing still for 1 second to use.
* Against multiple opponents when low on mana and using aspect of the viper, volley is very bad at getting mana returns.  Multishot is very good, since each target hit by it procs mana returns.  
* Have a macro to tell your pet to stop attacking.

Hunters are on a 1.5 second GCD.  Getting enough haste to get your steady shot down to 1.5 seconds is desireable.  After that, haste is only improving your white damage so a very low priority stat.

Survival hunters have procs off critical hits and off agility, so the proper gemming is generally to gem for agility.  We do get some AP from stamina, so filling blue sockets with agi/sta gems is worth it if the socket bonus is good.  Agi/crit gems are generally the answer for worthwhile yellow sockets.  And as always, you want to be hit capped.  If you have a choice of being 5 points under hit cap or 5 points over, choose over.   Your pet inherits the integer of your hit as its hit and expertise so being at 7.9% hit means your pet only gets 7% hit.  Against bosses, hunters need 8% hit.  At the higher end of gearing, Armor Penetration outstrips agility.  If you are getting to this gear level, you might want to consider investigating Marksman.

Resources of note:  - effectively an online spreadsheet / theorycraft tool.  It can load your info from the armory, and export out to several different gear sites and if you use pawn, provide you with a pawn string.  Also very useful if you want to play with specs or theoretical shot rotations.

And as with most dps, the key to good dps is using the abilities.  It is better to use the "wrong" ability now than wait two seconds for the right ability to come off cooldown.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 09:40:00 AM by ghoselle »