21/04/2011 - Version 1.0 release, updated for patch 4.06
25/04/2011- Version 1.01, fixed part on haste plateaus.
03/05/2011- Added links to loot lists in gear section.
27/05/2011- Added new link to wowreforge, corrected reforging flow chart and added useful addons. Updated status on wild hunt bug and pet talents. Added heroic encounter guide.
14/07/2011- Complete overhaul updated for 4.2
-pet focus bug now fixed
-updated for new gear
-updated encounter guides
-added AoE raiding spec
-updated orc racial ability
-added comments on engineering
-updated shot priority.
28/08/2011- Fixed some tooltips plus added in-depth analysis for 4part t12 bonus management.
07/12/2011- Updated for 4.3
-Dragon Soul encounter guides added
-Notes on buffs to survival spec
25/12/2011 (christmas day update!)
-Dragon soul normal encounter guide finished
-Dragon soul heroic encounter guides started
-Updated notes on haste plateaus
-Updated notes on shot priority with new set bonus.
-Updated for patch 4.3.2
-Updated notes regarding LnL changes
-Updated some stuff on encounter guides
-Corrected parts of rotation and priority section
-updated for 5.04
-updated for MoP release 5.05
4.1- What pet?
4.2- Pet Talents
4.3- Handy Pet Tips
4.4- Pet Stances
5.2- Encounter Guide
5.2b- Warlord Zon'ozz
5.2c- Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
5.2d- Hagara the Strombinder
5.2f- Warmaster Blackhorn
5.2g- Spine of Deathwing
5.2h- Madness of Deathwing
- 6.0 Afterword, Acknowledgements and Addons
Well our forums is stuffed full of MM guides I thought I would hand out my experience raiding as survival.
A little about me: I've currently participated in 3/8 hc boss downs in a 10man raiding guild during t13. I took a break playing because cataclysm became pretty boring for me but now im back and eager to see what pandas have for us.
So first and foremost:
Because we currently have the most versatile AoE damage ability in the game which also has the additional benefit of hitting like a truck. We can move while doing it and also our AoE is not ground targeted.
We have competitive single target DPS in addition to the extra utility plus our dps on the move is actually superior to MM and BM so in a lot of encounters we come out on top.
What this guide will tell you
From pre-raid gear to detailed stat breakdowns, this guide will provide you all you need to know about raiding as a survival Hunter. As I progress I will also be updating and adding tips and tricks about every encounter.
Doesn't matter if you've just hit 85 or you've been wanting to try out survival for a while, this guide will have all you need to know.
Any information which is not my own I will list the links to in the last post so you can check it out yourselves.
Please feel free to leave comments about how to improve or additions to my encounter tips which I have not experienced yet!
2. Your Hunter
The most important thing when you dps, you have to get your hunter right in every way if you want to squeeze out every last drop of dps and this part will cover the bare bones of your hunter, the things that every hunter has.
Orc:- Command gives 2% pet damage plus their blood fury adds 4514 attack power at level 90 on a 2minute cooldown. Hardiness can also be useful for damage avoidance by being stunned for less time and therefore being able to move out of incoming boss mechanics, no such encounter exists yet however.
Troll:- Trolls gain 1% additional expertise and also have Berserking which is a 20% attack speed buff for 10 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. Survivability is mildly improved by allowing 10% of your natural health regeneration to continue while in combat and also improves your total health regeneration by 10%. Da voodoo shuffle can also be useful in pre-empting damage by having movement reduction abilities reduced by 15%.
Goblin:- Goblins have a 1% bonus to all attack and casting speed combined with the ability to fire a rocket which deals fire damage based on your level, this triggers GCD so not entirely that useful. Currently I do not know what it scales on as various sources have conflicting opinions, anybody who knows a conclusive formula please don't hesitate to post it! The rocket jump also shares CD with the barrage and arguably is more useful as it can save you from death if disengage is on CD.
Blood Elf:- The only racial trait that grants additional DPS is Arcane Torrent which restores 15 focus instantly on a 2 minute CD. Other significant racials include Arcane resistance which means you get 1% reduction in arcane damage.
Undead:- Touch of the grave is a straight up DPS increase and a mild survivability increase. I have not researched how well it compares to other race's yet but I'm assuming blizzard is going to make it competitive. 1% less shadow damage taken
Tauren:- 1% reduction in nature damage and 5% increased base health (7500 approx. at level 85). War stomp can be good to stun cc-able adds.
Worgen:- Undoubtedly the race with the highest potential DPS. 1% additional crit plus a 40% movement speed buff (for 10 seconds!). They also come with innate nature and shadow resistance, having 85 of each at level 85.
Dwarf:- Second in terms of DPS. Gains an additional 1% expertise. Stoneform can be useful to remove harmful effects, but the majority of the damage is direct so only midly useful. Other racials do not benefit Hunters.
Draenei:- Comes just after Dwarves in terms of DPS. The only thing that adds directly to DPS is their 1% bonus to hit chance. This means you can spend your stat budget on other DPS enhancing stats such as crit/haste/mastery. 1% reduction in shadow damage and they also have a small heal for 20% of their max hp over 15 seconds on a 3minute CD.
Human:- No traits that benefit DPS directly, but every man for himself could potentially break movement and action impairing effects allowing your to either avoid damage or to continue DPS.
Night Elf:- Again no traits that benefit DPS directly, they have 1% nature damage reduction like Taurens and also have a 2% chance increased chance to dodge.
In terms of raw DPS, pandas are going to be on top of every other race right now with their racial granting them double the stats from any buff foods equating to potentially 300 agility. Hopefully this will be changed at some point.
Now with the release of MoP we have our new talent trees given to us. The choices in talents are quite even for pve in most situations but there are a couple which are mandatory for DPS.
A Murder of Crows
This does a lot of damage and at the moment seems to proc effects related to your bow (Vishanka for example). The fact that it also has half the cooldown in the execute phase means it will be important in a lot of fights.
Thrill of the Hunt
Will be contending for the spot in the level 60 talent line. Dire beast seems to be better for single target DPS and thrill of the hunt wins outright when a lot of multishotting is required and is not that far behind dire beast in terms of single target.
Will most likely be the level 90 PvE talent of choice since the other two require channeling and casting and don't do enough damage to justify the time lost.
The rest of the talents are up for speculation. Some fights may require heavy movement and deterrence soaking making Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera superior or there may be adds that need to be rooted making Narrow Escape the talent of choice.
I don't see wyvern sting being useful in a raiding environment, since most encounter mobs are immune to cc and even when they aren't single target cc isn't effective as there are a lot of them. If we ever are needed to interrupt again (I hope not) we can quite easily take silencing shot but I see any kind of fight with cc-able adds binding shot being very effective.
As for the survivability tier at level 45: Spirit Bond is superior for soloplay. Otherwise raiding and dungeons Aspect of the Iron Hawk will be preferred by healers.
Glyphs have seen massive change with the introduction of 5.04. There are no longer any required "Prime glyphs", only major and minor with small changes to some of your skills and not many have a direct impact on your DPS. I will list the ones I believe to be useful here
Glyph of Marked for Death The only "required" glyph in my opinion. Less time marking means more globals for dpsing
Glyph of Animal Bond Good to relieve stress on your healers, also scales with spirit bond
Glyph of Disengage Longer distance when you disengage. Good for positioning but get used to that new range first or you may find yourself somewhere you didn't plan to be
Glyph of Deterrence 20% additional damage reduction for boss mechanics that cannot be deflected, 1minute shield wall in essence and I think this will be the second most popular glyph in pve.
Glyph of Black Ice Good for positioning if there is a fight where adds can trigger ice trap
Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot If we ever need to purge anything we don't want to be wasting focus on it.
These are the only ones I consider useful for raiding and I currently run with marked for death, animal bond and deterrence.
There is only ONE possible glyph that could have an affect on DPS in pve and that is Glyph of Stampede. As far as I am aware all the pets summoned have their skills intact but do 25% of their normal DPS. If this is true and you don't have all 5 pets ferocity specced they will not all have rabid trained. Therefore this glyph ensures all 4 summoned pets have rabid trained and it will be a DPS increase.
The rest of the minors are completely personal preference and have no effect on DPS or raid utility whatsoever.
TECHNICALLY leatherworkers have the highest agility bonus of all the professions with their fur lining giving an extra 330 agility instead of other professions 320 making LW/eng the current MAX DPS combo of professions.
For convenience I would suggest going Alchemy, Leatherworking or Inscription. This gives you a great advantage when using flasks for raids and cheap and easy upgrades for your leg, wrist and shoulder armour.
For absolute min/maxing, you will want engineering. 1920 agility for 10 seconds every 60 seconds does average out to 320 agility but the burst and the potential stacking with other cooldowns makes engineering the profession with the highest potential DPS gain. You will want to use it on cd most of the time, but if you know that certain adds spawn and they coincide with your synapse strings cd, save it for them or save them for when you know your trinkets are off cd or for when your scope procs.
DO NOTE: synapse springs will put a 10 second cooldown on any on-use trinkets you have so those of you planning to use the pvp trinkets when they come out or are currently using flashing steel talisman must be VERY careful to not use the springs when you're going for a big lynx rush with trinket up.
Remember: HUNTER'S WEAR MAIL.
There is absolutely no excuse to be wearing leather at level 90, none at all.
Our number one stat is agility. No exceptions. Don't take anything with strength or intellect on it, it's just a waste of a slot if it doesn't have agility on it.
Survival stat priority after agility is as follows:
weapon dps>hit/expertise to cap>crit>mastery>haste
Hunter hit and expertise cap is exactly 2550 rating (or 7.5% of each), you want to be as close to this as you can but try not to go under but a little bit higher.
Now how much haste rating do we need then?
Right now in current blues and the few epics some people may have, we do not have the haste to get to our original plateau at 1.66 seconds. This is largely due to the loss of pathing (3% haste) in our talents. Possibly once we hit normal/partial heroic t14 gear it will be possible to get back to the 1.66 seconds again but right now, forgo any haste on gear and go straight out crit/mastery.
I heard that haste is better than crit blahblahblahblah
It isn't, crit is our no.1 secondary stat. I have an average ilevel of 463 at the moment and im sitting at just about 23% crit fully buffed in a raid. I expect fully geared ilevel 480+ hunters will be sitting at just about 30% crit fully buffed and to be honest that's still not enough crit to be near any thresholds like at the end of wotlk.
What is this second and third plateau I've heard of?
No longer viable due to loss of melee weapon and it's stats we lose.
So what about mastery?
It's ok as a stat but doesn't affect all of our DPS like crit. Majority of our damage is elemental but still it is not as good as crit. I would say any mastery is ok, but crit will always be better since they affect the entirety of our damage rather than just a portion.
Removed from all items in Cataclysm+ content, just forget about it.Expertise?
Recently added in the 5.04 patch, get capped, don't have to worry about it again.
Following our stat priorities listed above here are the rules to reforging:
Start at the "Are you hit/expertise capped?" box.
NOTE: this flowchart is NOT accurate right now since haste plateaus are not worth going for, just ignore it for now and reforge to meet hit/expertise caps and following this order: crit>mastery>haste
Hunters can use a variety of gems, but the ones most commonly used are:
Delicate Primordial Ruby
Deadly Vermilion Onyx
Glinting Imperial Amethyst
Again, following stat priorities in section 3.1, you should gem to reach caps if you cannot reforge to meet them.
The ONLY meta-gem that is acceptable is Agile Primal Diamond
With the addition to expertise Accurate Imperial Amethyst may be used in blue slots to help reach those caps. This should only be used as a last resort, remember you cannot enchant or reforge agility so you want as many gem slots with agility in them.
Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
Secret Tiger Claw Inscription if you are a Scribe.
Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike
Swordguard Embroidery For tailors
Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise
Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility This won't be available for another month or so due to reputation restrictions so non-leatherworkers must use the old cataclysm enchant for now.
Fur Lining - Agility if you are a Leatherworker.
Living Steel Belt Buckle
Shadowleather Leg Armor
Primal Leg Reinforcements for leatherworkers
Enchant Boots - Blurred Speed
Lord Blastington's Scope of Doom
For food you will want to eat:
Sea Mist Rice Noodles as the top tier food.
Valley Stir Fry this is the second tier food most people will be using.
Sauteed Carrots cheapest available food, very easy to make.
Flask of Spring Blossoms Should be your flask of choice.
Potion that should be used is Virmen's Bite
4.0 Your Pet
No matter what anyone says, your furry/scaly/slimy companion is more than a significant component of your DPS (and your best friend!) and should be looked after properly.
4.1 What Pet?
5.04 changed a lot of the buffs that pets will bring to the table but the principal remains: bring what your raid needs.
I highly suggest looking at THIS page to determine which buff you need to bring. Remember survival cannot use exotic pets.
4.2 Pet Talents
Pets no longer have assignable talents with 5.04, instead you get 3 specialisations: ferocity, tenacity and cunning. Every pet has access to these 3 specs and they can be changed whenever you want to when out of combat.
For the most DPS you will want your pets to be in the ferocity specialisation.
4.3 Handy Pet Tips.
Make sure your Rabid is on autocast, survival hunters don't have any cooldowns you can really line it up with so just make sure it's used as much as possible during a fight.
If you have a pet who can prowl (cat) turn the autocast on it off. Prowling reduces pet movement speed by 50% and can delay your pet getting to the target for a significant amount of time between mobs. This isn't so important for raiding as you will never leave combat for the duration of the encounter but it is very annoying sometimes.
4.4 Pet Stances
In 4.2 they removed aggressive stance and changed defensive stance. I will give a quick overview to our pet's behaviour now:
Assist Stance: Pet will attack the target you are attacking and if you change targets your pet will also change targets after around 2 seconds. Your pet also seems to create an aggro table in this stance so when your current target is dead or not attackable it will run off to attack the next target on it's aggro table regardless of whether you're attacking something or not. Make a petpassive macro to avoid awkward situations.
Defensive stance: Pet will attack any target who is attacking you or your pet, but does not do anything if you attack a target and they are not attacking you. Basically this stance has become completely useless and assist/passive stance will always be better options.
Passive stance: Pet will not automatically perform any attacks unless manually ordered to. Autocast friendly skills such as roar of courage and furious howl will still be used.
5.0 Raid tips
So you got your gear, spec and pet sorted out. Now which buttons do you press and when?
Start of with what any Hunter would do: mark your target then it's time to get into the flow.
Hunter DPS of all specs rely on the fact you use something EVERY GCD. If you are sitting around waiting for shots to come off CD or regaining focus, YOU ARE LOSING DPS.
It isn't uncommon for Hunter's in PvE to be doing 40+ APM (Actions per minute) and only then will you see decent DPS.
So the SV rotation works on a loose priority with a few rules when certain events happen like LnL.
NOTE: as of 5.04 Explosive shot ticks can no longer clip and the best way to use a LnL proc is to fire all 3 back to back.
- Dire Beast (if trained)
- Serpent sting
- Black Arrow
- Kill Shot
- Explosive shot
- Glaive toss
- Arcane shot
- Cobra shot
Now here are the rules to follow:
1. BA and ES have to be shot every CD, not doing so is a DPS loss. The only situation where you would delay ES is if SrS is about to fall off.
2. BA has a higher priority than ES since 4.3.2 since it now reliably procs LnL and having the most amount of LnL procs in the fight is going to make or break your dps
3. Arcane shot should only be used if you will have enough focus for ES when it comes off cd and preferably BA too.
4. When LnL procs you should use 3 ES back to back unless you are above 92 focus in which case you will do: ES>AS>ES>ES
5. Deal with TotH procs accordingly to the rules above, so for example you get a proc after first ES and that takes you over 92 focus, use Glaive toss.
6. Focus capping is bad! Don't do it! Best focus level for survival hunter is between 44-77 focus, you should always aim to be in this range!
7. Kill shot range: Kill shot now does more damage per global than explosive shot again so it's best to get it on cooldown as fast as possible right now
8. Practise is key! Dummies are not there to look pretty, go there and practise until you can master every situation your focus throws at you with your eyes closed.
9. Stampede isn't really that low priority. Most of the time you will only get one per fight so the best time to use it would be to coincide with a lot of agility procs. So for example my scope, searing words and flashing steel trinket are up: this would be the ideal time to use stampede and will be highest priority of anything at that point.
What do I do with Rapid Fire?
Personally this is how I handle RF and it's the way I see i get most benefit out of it:
Rapid fire is a huge haste buff and our only casted shot is CoS, so to benefit as much as we can from RF we want to fire as many CoS in the duration without focus capping. So what i do is I bleed away all my focus by using a ES, AS, Glaive toss and MoC and then CoS with rapid fire up.
5.2 Encounter Guides
T14 Guides coming soon
I don't care what anyone says, Hunters have way too many keybinds, even in PvE. Macros can make your life a whole lot easier in raids and can allow you to react quicker to boss mechanics without having to micromanage the rest of your Hunter, here are a few I use:
#showtooltip Cobra Shot
/cast Cobra Shot
A very simple one I use because I am an engineer, this enables maximum uptime on my glove tinker in a fight.
#showtooltip Arcane Shot
/cast Arcane Shot
Exactly the same thing as above, due to toth we are cobra shotting less and arcane shotting more so having both macros will enable maximum uptime on your gloves.
#showtooltip serpent sting
/cast Serpent Sting
Pretty straightforward, if im serpent stinging something I generally want my pet to target it also, I take this macro off for Yor'sahj and leave pet 100% on same target however.
#showtooltip Aspect of the Hawk
/cast [nomod] Aspect of the Hawk
/cast [mod:alt] Aspect of the Fox
/cast [mod:ctrl] Aspect of the Cheetah
All in one common aspect macro. Means I only need one space on my bars for all the aspects I use regularly.
/cast [target=focus,noharm,exists][target=pet] Misdirection
This misdirects your current focus, if no focus it will cast on friendly target, if no friendly target it will cast it on your pet.
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
I macro this to all my important shots like ES/BA/AS/CoS so that if there is a situation where I get immuned and I no longer need it, I don't have to right click the buff or lose DPS by waiting for it to run out.
6.0 Afterword and Acknowledgements and Addons
So there you have it. Everything I know about SV Hunters, it's probably not nearly enough but that's where you guys come in and give me new things to think about and tell me things I don't know .
I'd like people to check out these great sites and pages where I shamelessly gained my experience from:
Zeherah's Hunter DPS Analyser :-
Indispensable hunter simulation tool.
Great info and constantly updated blogs and posts about the hottest hunter topics.
Up to date theorycraft from a very respected and well-known guild, particularly the MM guide is packed full of detailed info.
Where I got all the item links, pictures and great discussions on skills and items on there helped me a lot in writing this guide.
Fantastic place to perfect your stats. NOT CURRENTLY WORKING
Nikkaszal, from the mmo-champion forums for a better way to handle LnL procs
Asrialol, from mmo-champion forums for confirming orc racial bonus
Rewn, from mmo-champion forums for correcting the shot priority
Vurrin, from mmo-champion forums for bringing up prepotting and clarifying serpent spread.
Judai, from mmo-champion forums for giving some good pet tips.
Dracodraco, our forum moderator for some corrections on rotation and priority
Maeten, for doing the research and uploading logs confirming tick clipping at low latency.
MSBT (Miks scrolling battle text)