A Survival Hunter is a pathfinder that relies on various traps, their pet and their own physical power while chasing their game down.
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Possession of an immune;
- High stable damage on a single target
- Pretty simple and interesting mechanic
- Poor switch;
- Average AOE potential
- Does not have an advantage among other melee classes so not the most popular hunter’s spec
Basic information on the spec:
Survival – is a melee hunter’s spec that requires to use a polearm or a stuff. Like with other Hunters, Survival’s key resource is Focus that works in a way quite similar to that of regular Energy.
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(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your azerite armor has.
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Kill command – Give the command to attack a target, causing your pet to deal physical damage and generate 15 Focus. Has 25% chance to immediately reset its cooldown.
Raptor Strike costs 25 Focus and deals physical damage to the selected target. WIth the talent it turns into Mongoose bite that gives you a buff Mongoose Fury increasing Mongoose Bite damage dealt by 50% for 14 sec, stacking up to 5 times.
Wildfire bomb – 18 sec cd ability dealing high damage in a cone and putting a dot on enemies for 6 sec.
Serpent sting – 20 focus ability that stings a target dealing minor damage and inflicting poison on a target for 12 sec. The poison duration decreases depending on your character’s haste and also it can be refreshed in the last 30% of its duration.
Carve – A sweeping attack that strikes all enemies in front of you and costs 35 focus. It delas average AOE damage and reduces the remaining cooldown of Wildfire bomb for 1-5 sec depending on the number of hit targets.
Beast Lore allows you to find out information about the pet you choose – its characteristics, food type and whether it is considered exotic or not.
Dismiss Pet allows you to temporarily remove your pet in 3 secs.
Feed Pet can be used out of combat. Restores your pet 50% of their Health. Different pet types feed of different types of food.
Mend Pet allows you to restore 25% of their max Health within 10 secs. CD 10 secs.
Tame Beast is used when you have an empty pet summoning slot, and none of your pets are summoned at the moment. The spell allows you to try and tame a beast of your choice. You cannot tame exotic beasts.
Call Pet allows you to summon one of your tamed pets instantly.
Coordinated assault – increases your damage by 20% and to chance to reset KIll command by 25% for 20 seconds. Cooldown is 2 minutes.
Mastery spirit bond – You and your pet’s spending abilities deal increased damage depending on your character’s mastery.
Aspect of the Turtle allows you, for 8 secs, delect all attacks and receive 30% less damage. CD 3 min.
Exhilaration instantly restores you 30% of your max Health, and to your pet – 100%. CD 2 min
Feign Death helps you simulate your death (to quit a combat completely, you need to first call your pet off, or buy at your class hall a Pet Training Manual: Play Dead, that allows your pet to have the same ability Play Dead). Active for 6 min or until cancelled. CD 30 secs, starts only when you exit the condition.
Disengage – allows you to leap back for average distance, 30 sec cd.
Harpoon allows you to use a harpoon on a target within the 5 to 40-m radius. By applying it you immobilize your target for 3 secs and then get dragged towards it. CD 20 secs.
Aspect of the Cheetah increases your running speed by 90% for 3 secs, and by extra 30% over the following 9 secs. CD 3 min.
Aspect of the Eagle – increases the range of your Mongoose bite to 40 yds for 15 sec. Cd is 1.5 min
Freezing Trap allows you to throw the trap onto the selected spot. The first enemy to hit it becomes paralyzed for 1 min. Any damage dealt to the enemy cancels the trap’s effect. Can be maintained on no more than 1 enemy at a time. The trap exists for 1 min. CD 30 secs.
Tar Trap allows you to throw the trap onto the selected spot; when an enemy activates it, the trap explodes and creates a tar pool with an 8-m range for 30 secs. Your enemies’ moving speed within the pool shrinks by 50%. The trap exists for 1 min.
Muzzle interrupts the casting of a spell by your enemy and prevents them from casting a spell of the same school for the following 3 secs. CD 15 secs.
Eagle Eye allows you to move your point of view over to the selected area for a minute.
Flare lights up the selected area for 20 secs which allows you to uncover the invisible enemies. CD 20 secs.
Wing Clip costs 30 Focus and allows you to slow your current target down by 50% for 15 secs.
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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15
*You have 2 options:
Viper’s venom would be better if you have at least 1 atent poison trait. This talent is good for any type of combat.
Alpha predator has almost the same result for single target, but it should never be used at cleave and aoe encounters.
Tier 2. Lvl 30
- Guerrilla tactics . Wildfire bomb now has 2 charges and the initial explosion now deals 100% increased damage.
- Hydra’s bite. Serpent sting fires arrows at 2 additional enemies near your target, and its damage over time is increased by 10%.
- Butchery. An ability which is replacing Carve. It has 3 stacks from every 9 sec cd,costs 30 Focus, deals average damage around the player. Also reduces the remaining cooldown on Wildfire bomb.
*It is the best to take Guerrilla tactics talent here, it is good for solo target and AoE also. It minimizes gaps while using Wildfire bomb. You would need to use Wildfire bomb every cooldown without this talent. It allows you not to force it while at least one charge of ability is on cooldown.
Tier 3. Lvl 45
- Trailblazer. Your movement speed is increased by 30% anytime you have not attacked anyone for 30 seconds.
- Natural mending. For every 20 spent Focus reduces the remaining time on Exhilaration by 1 second
- Camouflage. You and your pet gain stealth for 1 min with 1 min cd
*Talents of this tier are designed for survivability of your character, choose what you like the most. It is more profitable to use Natural mending in raid for minor heal increase. In mythic mode it would be more reasonable to take Camouflage allowing you to pass by packs in stealth.
Tier 4. Lvl 60
- Bloodseeker. Kill command causes the target to bleed for average damage for 8 sec.Your haste is increased by 10% for every target with bleeding effect ( even if the bleeding was caused by other players) in 12 yrd range.
- Steel trap. Immobilizes the first enemy that approaches making them bleed for 20 sec. Damage other than Steel trap may break the immobilization effect. Steel trap will exist for 1 min.It has 30 sec cd, the maximum amount you can use – 1.
- A murder of crows. Summons a flock of crows to attack your target dealing damage over 15 seconds. If the target dies while under attack, cooldown of the ability is reset
*You should take Bloodseeker here, this talent is good for any situation.
Tier 5. Lvl 75
- Born to be wild. Reduces the cooldowns of your aspects for 20%
- Posthaste. Disengage frees you from all movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 50% for 4 sec
- Binding shot. You fire an arrow tethering all enemies within 5 yards, the arrow explosion roots the enemy for 5 sec.
* You should choose what talent is the best for you because they all grant unique abilities without affecting your dps.
Tier 6. Lvl 90
*In this tier Mongoose bite is the only option currently. Other talents require buff in comparison with this one.
Tier 7. Lvl 100
- Wildfire infusion.Your wildfire bomb gains extra random enhancement depending on the icon color:
Shrapnel bomb – Mongoose bite or Butchery attacks apply bleeding on a target for 9 sec stacking up to 3 times.
Pheromone bomb – Kill command has 100% chance to reset
Volatile bomb – Refreshes all the Serpent stings on targets and also deals additional damage
- Chakrams. Throw a pair of chakrams at your target, slicing all enemies in the chakrams’ path. The chakrams will return to you, damaging enemies again. Your primary target takes 100% increased damage. Weak talent in any situation.
*In 7th tier Birds of Prey. is a standard talent to take. Wildfire infusion could be used in mythic keys and sometimes in raids but in overall this talent is a bit weak on a single target.
The standard build looks like this:
- Viper’s venom / Alpha predator
- Guerrilla tactics
- Natural mending
- Mongoose bite
- Birds of Prey.
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BfA introduced a new trait system. Now helmet, shoulders and chest are special items with traits improved by azerite.
Survival has several top traits you need to obtain:
Blur of talons – your priority trait improving your Coordinated assault. You need to collect 3 of those.
Latent poison – this trait is equally good as Blur of talons but it is not that good to combine them together. Using Latent poison means using often Serpent sting while Blur of talons trait requires to inflict more physical damage with Mongoose bite under Coordinated attack effect. If you want to combine them then you should take Viper’s venom in the first tier and change the gameplay that way so you can you can keep up 100% uptime of Serpent sting even when bursting or gaining Mongoose fury .
Primeval Intuition – gives you additional Critical strike chance.
Wilderness Survival – Extremely good trait that reduces the cooldown of wildfire bomb by 1 sec for each Mongoose bite. Also Mongoose bite deals additional damage with this trait. The trait is useful for the reduction of the remaining time so to have one of such is enough.
Apart from these priority traits there are other common traits which are not attached to some class or ability and also could be useful.
You can use chart on herodamage.com or go on raidbots.com to see the best stats for your character.
Apart from major traits there are also minor traits which increase stats a little bit or some damage.
The best minor trait for Survival is Overwhelming power – when it procs it grants haste which is your primary stat. Another good trait is Gutripper for its increased chance for execution proc. It is useful on mythic bosses where the most difficult fights are the last phases.
Stats for AzeritePowerWeights:
( AzeritePowerWeights:2:"herodamage.com - Stacks_1T_T24":3:255: 575=10, 371=9.68, 562=8.49, 163=7.38, 372=6.78, 479=6.42, 494=6.33, 488=6.33, 157=6.21, 522=6.10, 82=6.10, 504=6.05, 526=6.01, 483=5.95, 193=5.95, 501=5.87, 478=5.81, 373=5.59, 485=5.53, 195=5.38, 194=5.36, 196=5.34, 482=5.31, 495=5.29, 489=5.29, 213=5.17, 523=5.11, 192=5.09, 561=4.68, 480=4.42, 521=4.38, 30=4.31, 505=4.13, 498=3.99, 486=3.90, 492=3.90, 365=3.84, 481=3.81, 107=3.52, 156=3.46, 500=3.14, 31=2.96, 22=2.73, 576=2.73, 110=2.55, 499=2.36, 560=2.19, 487=2.16, 493=2.16, 459=2.03, 21=1.95, 491=1.86, 497=1.86, 461=1.78, 541=1.75, 462=1.67, 18=1.46, 496=1.33, 490=1.33: )
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These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams (Source: Nazjatar questing) – your best essence in any case
- The Crucible of Flame (Source: Heart of Azeroth level) becomes a great tool for aditional dps increse, especially at level 3
- Essence of the Focusing Iris – strong option for heavy aoe encounters
Damage priority in raiding build would look like this:
- You use your only bursting ability Coordinated assault every cooldown.
- Then you need to use Wildfire bomb that way so at least one charge would be on cooldown and the ability would not stand idle. That is the priority in your gameplay.
- The next important thing is to use Kill command when both charges are not on cooldown so it will not lead to focus overcap.
- If both of those tips are followed you can start Mongoose fury window having as much focus as possible preferably not less than 70.
- While Fury buff lasts you spend focus on Mongoose bite not forgetting about other priorities.
- A very important moment is not to forget about WIldfire bomb and Kill command. Having Mongoose fury buff doesn’t affect your rotation much like in Legion so don’t focus on spamming Mongoose bites forgetting everything else.
- The main thing is to start Fury window at high focus.
About Serpent sting:
- Also when it comes to Serpent sting do not use it during Coordinated assault unless you have Latent poison trait. If you have 2 or more of such traits you should keep up 100% uptime of Serpent sting on the target.
- Without these poison traits you have 2 options how to use Coordinated assault: you either keep up its uptime on the target refreshing it even during window of Mongoose Fury or you use it rarely only between these windows.
- The difference between these variants is 100 dps limit and practically keeping up 100% uptime of dot while not having Coordinated assault buff is not important.
- You can do it on a single target when you don’t need to switch on any additional target but keep the difference in mind.
That’s the whole priority system when it comes to damaging a single target.There is no only one opener but considering previous information the rotation would look like this:
- Use prepot
- Use Harpoon to reach the target if its needed. In patch 8.1 Harpoon has no global cooldown anymore.
- Serpent sting
- Wildfire bomb
- Coordinated assault
- Use 1 or 2 Mongoose bite and then Kill command
- Keep dealing damage according to priority system
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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Haste > Crit > Versatility > Mastery
This specialization’s Mastery increases the chance of receiving an additional Mongoose Bite stack off your pet’s attacks.
Haste facilitates Focus regeneration, the frequency of automatic attacks, both yours and your pet’s; it also increases the restoring speed some abilities like Butchery. Besides haste is very important to keep up high uptime of Coordinated assault for the frequent use of Mongoose bite.
Some of your characteristics are close to each other in value by default. This means, if one of them grows, the other ones start growing, too. Check your character’s stats on raidbots.com in Stat weights tab. You can also use Pawn addon to import the information from the site into the game.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
Leviathan’s Eye of Agility
Quick Sand Spinel 50 haste
Rings: Accord of Haste
Weapon: Quick navigation
Raid feast for 131 agility or Baked Port Tato Haste
- Flasks and pots
Greater Flask of the Currents 360 agility for 1 hour
Superior Battle Potion of Agility – Most versatile for all situations
Potion of Unbridled Fury – Single Target encounters
Potion of Empowered Proximity – Consistent 4+ target AoE situations
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Muzzle with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
Cancel Aspect of the Turtle – you can’t always be in it because you can’t attack while it’s active.
/cancelaura Aspect of the Turtle
It is recommended that you have combined macros encompassing your attack and an order to your pet to attack your target
#showtooltip Raptor Strike
/cast Raptor Strike
Trap macros There are two convenient options: you can set your macros to place a trap under your character or at your cursor’s position. Here are the respective examples:
/cast [@player] Freezing Trap
/cast [@cursor] Freezing Trap
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- Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
- Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
- Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.
Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.