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
-updated for 5.4.2 Siege of Orgrimmar
-updated with reforge guide and some small tweaks.
-minor updates, small corrections.
4.1- What pet?
4.2- Pet Talents
4.3- Handy Pet Tips
4.4- Pet Stances
- 5.0 Afterword, Acknowledgements and Addons
Playing wow again after a long time, seems survival is the preferred spec now, how times have changed! I had a read of the good old noxxic and icy veins guides and wasn't particularly happy with them so I decided to chip in a little again.
A little about me: I've currently participated in 6/14 heroic bosses on our 3rd reset on heroics.
So first and foremost:
Quite simply it's just a very strong spec now, competitive single target dps compared to BM and has good aoe (not as good as BM though) and not prone to target switching problems as BM is.
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.
Doesn't matter if you've just hit 90 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 in the Siege of Orgrimmar but this can be a useful passive for pvp if that is within your interests.
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% in duration: not useful in any boss encounters but can be useful in pvp.
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, only Nazgrim has any kind of arcane damage in this raid tier however.
Undead:- Touch of the grave is a proc which does around 15k damage with a 20% proc chance and roughly a 20 second ICD which also heals you for the same amount. It seems to be around a 1k dps increase. 1% less shadow damage taken which is actually very useful on many encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
Tauren:- 1% reduction in nature damage (Useful for dark shamans) and 5% increased base health (7500 approx. at level 90). War stomp can be good to stun cc-able adds.
Worgen:- 1% additional crit plus a 40% movement speed buff (for 10 seconds!). They also come with innate nature and shadow resistance, having 1% reduced damage of each. Many fights in SoO have nature or shadow damage in them so that might swing this race in your favour.
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 mildly 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.
Pandas are currently the highest DPS race for alliance and are 3rd for horde coming behind trolls and orcs respectively. Their racial ability means that any stat food doubles in efficiency, effectively giving them 300 agility. Bouncy which reduces falling damage, is actually useful on the malkorok encounter.
Orc is the top horde race and Panda is the top alliance race in terms of raw DPS.
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, the fact that it also has half the cooldown in the execute phase means it will be important in a lot of fights.
Blink Strikes has some uses on heavy target swapping fights where your aMoC will not get it's full duration. The only fight that this is really useful on is spoils since only the boss boxes will live long enough.
Thrill of the Hunt
Are all viable choices for raiding. Thrill of the hunt wins overall for any situation with AoE, with fervor coming fairly close behind. Dire beast should strictly be left for single target situations and potentially is the highest single target DPS talent. Personally I prefer thrill of the hunt since Arcane shot was increased to 30 focus, it helps me manage my focus better and not to delay higher priority shots.
Glaive Toss Is the preferred level 90 talent of choice.
There have been arguments for Barrage on heavy sustained AoE fights such as Galakras, however I feel that the tradeoff for strong single target DPS that glaives provide is not worth it to cheese DPS meters and ultimately will end up with an overall loss in DPS.
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. Otherwise Posthaste is superior as it allows faster repositioning.
I have found Binding Shot to be extremely useful on almost every encounter in some way. Many adds are stunnable and this is basically an AoE stun. The only other useful talent in this tier would be Intimidation but I feel it's far inferior to Binding shot.
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. There may be some situations where Exhilaration could be useful when you are not guaranteed to be in range of healers for a burst of damage, however the other two are far more widely used.
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 Animal Bond
Glyph of Disengage
Glyph of Deterrence
Glyph of Enduring Deceit
The glyphs above are my recommended ones for raiding. Swap out Enduring deceit for disengage as needed.
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 disengage, animal bond and deterrence.
No minor glyphs have any implications in pve. Pick up Glyph of Revive Pet just for those "oops" moments and your pet dies.
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 or one of the justice ones plan around it.
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>haste>mastery
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?
Doesn't matter anymore, hunter priority is so random now that haste plateaus are an old forgotten relic of the past.
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 564 at the moment and im sitting at just about 48% crit fully buffed in a raid. I expect fully geared ilevel 575+ hunters will be sitting at just about 55%+ crit fully buffed and to be honest that's still not enough crit to be near any thresholds like at the end of wotlk.
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.
Reforge any mastery to meet your hit/expertise caps.
Reforge any mastery to crit
Reforge any haste to crit
If the item has crit and mastery on it and you are hit/expertise capped, reforge mastery to haste.
Or to just make things easy, download the Reforgelite addon or use askmrrobot and let them do the reforging for you. 99% of the time if you give them the correct stat weights it will do very accurate reforging for you.
Quick guide on how to use Reforgelite:
1. After you've downloaded the addon, make sure it's enabled and click on the reforge dude. You'll get this screen.
2.Click on the drop down box near the top called "presets" and then select survival.
3.Click on "Calculate".
4.Scroll down and click "Show".
5.You'll get a new window and all you have to do is click "Reforge" and you're done!.
Hunters can use a variety of gems, but the ones most commonly used are:
Delicate Primordial Ruby in red slots and any slot that does not give a 60+ agility socket bonus. For example on the Reality Ripper Ring it only gives you a 60 crit bonus if you use a glinting gem. This means you gain 80 agility and 220 of a secondary stat, at most gear levels 80 agility is worth more than 220 of a secondary stat. If you want to min/max fully you will want to use Simcraft to find your accurate stat weights.
Deadly Vermilion Onyx in yellow slots if the bonus is 60 agility or more.
Glinting Imperial Amethyst in blue slots if the bonus is 60 agility or more.
Again, following stat priorities in section 3.1, you should gem to reach caps if you cannot reforge to meet them.
The ONLY meta-gems that are acceptable are Agile Primal Diamond or Capacitive 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 reforge agility so you want as many gem slots with agility in them.
Shoulders:- Greater Tiger Claw Inscription or Secret Tiger Claw Inscription if you are a Scribe.
Chest:- Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Back:- Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike OR Swordguard Embroidery For tailors
Gloves:- Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise. This one is ideal since you can reforge 170 crit from this instead of just getting 170 haste.
Bracers:- Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility or Fur Lining - Agility if you are a Leatherworker.
Belt:- Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs:- Shadowleather Leg Armor OR Primal Leg Reinforcements for leatherworkers
Feet:- Enchant Boots - Blurred Speed
Ranged Weapon:- Lord Blastington's Scope of Doom
For food you will want to eat:
Sea Mist Rice Noodles or Pandaren Treasure Noodle Soup.
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 http://kallipets.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/hunter-pet-buffs-debuffs-and-utility.html]THIS[/url] 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. Obviously try not to use it just before a phase where your pet cannot reach the boss.
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.
NOTE: as of 5.4.2 the t16 set bonus means that strings of 5+ explosive shots are not uncommon, you will find your serpent sting dropping off and you will focus cap. DO NOT PANIC. Capping focus does not mean you are losing DPS as long as you are using the highest damage per execute time (DPET) skill available to you. When SrS is about to fall off (less than 3 seconds) manually reapply it or if you have the Thrill of the Hunt talent, use multishot to reapply it.
- Explosive Shot* see point 4
- Kill shot* see point 4
- Dire Beast (if trained)
- Black Arrow
- Serpent Sting
- Glaive toss
- Arcane shot
- Cobra shot
Now here are the rules to follow:
1. ES has to be shot every CD, not doing so is a DPS loss. The only situation where you would delay ES is if stampede or aMoC is about to come off cd.
2. Arcane shot should only be used if you will have enough focus for ES when it comes off cd and preferably BA too.
3. When LnL procs you should use all available ES back to back unless you have other higher priority things coming off cooldown.
4. Kill shot range: Kill shot could do more damage than explosive shot depending on your weapon level, if it does then move it higher in the priority list than explosive shot.
5. 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.
6. Stampede now with the new Assurance of Consequence
trinket is now a relatively short cd and should be used mainly to coincide with it's agility proc and/or other high damage phases such as bloodlust/heroism and potions.
7. aMoC updates dynamically so don't be afraid of using it off cooldown. Getting them with trinket procs is nice but never delay it to the point where you lose one usage. 3 uses with no proc alignment is still better than 2 uses with procs.
What do I do with Rapid Fire?
With the T16 2 set bonus, rapid fire has a very low cd. It's suggested you just macro it into your shots as it's off GCD now anyway.
5.2 Encounter Guides
We have a t16 tips and tricks guide already, no need for a duplicate here.
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:
/cast Arcane Shot
/cast rapid fire
/cast Explosive shot
/cast rapid fire
Simple macros I use to have maximum uptime on my glove tinker and rapid fire.
/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 anything with many adds I need to multidot so my pet has as much time doing damage as possible and not changing targets.
/cast [nomod] Aspect of the Hawk
/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.
Kalliope, from http://kallipets.blogspot.co.uk for the incredible pet table for buffs.
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)