This is the thread for Survival hunter discussion for 5.4. For an explanation of acronyms used, see here.
Some good tools for evaluating your performance and getting stat recommendations based on your gear:
BM currently sims a bit better for single target DPS, but SV is still competitive (within 1% variance for some gear sets), for varying levels of "competitive". In some situations it perform better, depending on cooldown and AoE requirements of an encounter.
This should look very similar to the Cataclysm SV guide but with some notes on important changes.
- Explosive Shot - Our primary nuke ability. You want to use this as often as possible.
- Black Arrow - Shadow damage over time with a long cooldown. It has low DPS but a very high DPCT (damage per casting time), so you will want to use it on targets that will be alive long enough to get the full effect. This also has a chance to proc Lock and Load on ticks.
- Serpent Sting - Since Cobra Shot refreshes this, you will only have to apply it once per target in most cases. Like Black Arrow, it also has low DPS but a very high DPCT (theoretically infinite, with cobra shot refreshing it). New in MoP: Noxious Stings is no more so we do not get a direct damage increase on targets that have this. Viper Venom does make it so that we want to have this on at least one target to achieve the most focus regeneration.
- Arcane Shot - This is our focus dump ability. No cooldown, 30 focus. New in 5.4: The focus cost has been increased from 20 to 30, but the damage has also been increased from 100% to 125% ranged weapon damage.
- Cobra Shot - Generates 14 focus and refreshes Serpent Sting.
- Hunter's Mark - Damage Bonus ability. Applied manually or automatically with your first Arcane Shot, Chimera Shot, Kill Command, or Explosive Shot.
- Multi-Shot - A very strong AoE ability for Survival. See the AoE section for more detail.
- Explosive Trap - AoE damage trap (or knockback, if glyphed). New in 5.4: No longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow. Can no longer proc Lock and Load. Damage reduced.
- Kill Shot - "Execute" ability, usable under 20% of target health. A Kill Shot that does not kill a target resets the cooldown, but this new Kill Shot cannot cause the same effect. In most cases, this means Kill Shot effectively has 2 charges.
- Rapid Fire - Increases attack speed and focus generation by 40% (this is more powerful than Bloodlust while it is up). 3 minute base cooldown, but lowered with the tier 16 2 piece.
- Readiness - Removed! New in 5.4: This ability is removed. As partial compensation, Deterrence has 2 charges.
- Dire Beast/Fervor - Level 60 talents. Discussed in the talent section
- A Murder of Crows/Lynx Rush - Level 75 talents. Discussed in the talent section
- Powershot/Glaive Toss/Barrage - Level 90 talents. Discussed in the talent section
In raids you will never or almost never use any aspect other than Aspect of the Hawk. Cheetah and Pack may have some niche utility if movement speed is crucial but extended use (with or without Glyph of Cheetah) is not recommended as the damage loss and loss of damage reduction via Irownhawk is too steep.
These talents have no direct DPS value and should be taken for their situational utility. In most boss encounters the reduced cooldown on deterrence from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera is the most powerful, but this should be analyzed on a per encounter basis.
These talents have no direct DPS value and should be taken for their situational utility.
These talents have no direct DPS value and should be taken for their situational utility. If you have outside healing (like you will in a raid), Aspect of the Iron Hawk has the most benefit. Note that this is true even with the change from 15% reduced damage taken down to 10% damage taken this patch.
Dire Beast currently models higher than the other two choices for SV, though Fervor is not far behind. In AoE situations, Fervor and Thrill of the Hunt have typically been more powerful - Fervor in particular if you can anticipate AoE burst necessity and save the cooldown for a few seconds (such as on Lei Shen).
All three are very close and probably require modeling specific to your gear to find the best, with Murder of Crows and Lynx Rush a bit further ahead of Blink Strikes. Murder of Crows does suffer from the most caveats though - the steep focus cost and long duration make it more difficult to use maximally. Blink Strikes is the easiest to use and offers the best pet mobility.
Glaive Toss is the best single target damage while Barrage is slightly stronger for AoE, with the added benefit (or curse!) that it can shoot through enemies to hit several enemies without changing your target. You will want to balance how much single target vs. AoE damage you need.
The basic shot priority will be something like the following but subject to minor changes in priority. As always, use your tool of choice to verify.
- Explosive Shot
- If the mob is below 20% health, Kill shot
- Black Arrow
- Serpent Sting
- Arcane shot, if you have enough focus to use other abilities when they come off of cooldown
- Cobra Shot
Stampede, Rapid Fire, Dire Beast (or alternative), the , the level 75 talents, and the level 90 talents will mostly be used on cooldown. Cooldown collision priority appears to be a relatively minor concern as long as you are not capping focus - playing around with priorities in Female Dwarf yielded less than 0.05% difference in total DPS. Indeed, for a Patchwerk-style fight, using your abilities as quickly as available appears to be more important than performing them in a certain order.
There are no glyphs that enhance our damage, but some are useful for utility.
Recommended in 99.9% of raid content:
- Glyph of Animal Bold - extra healing received for you and your pet
Other useful glyphs:
- [Glyph of Deterrence] - some abilities cannot be completely negated, but you can use deterrence to reduce the damage of any incoming attacks or DoTs. By default the reduction is 30%, so this brings it to 50%.
- [Glyph of Disengage] - can be handy for covering distances more quickly. With PosthasteYou can cover a lot of ground very quickly.
- [Glyph of Pathfinding] - may be useful for the disarming role on Siegecrafter Blackfuse
- Glyph of Enduring Deceit - New in 5.4. Magic damage mitigation
- [Glyph of Mending] - Normally pets do not take any significant damage in raid settings. On the PTR however, pets were taking large amounts of damage in some situations. This is possibly a bug but it's worth being mindful of this glyph should the need arise.
Legacy section - there is no reason to do anything other than spam explosive shot these days. They will stack and create a stronger damage over time effect.
Every Ferocity pet provides equal DPS for Survival, and all pets can specialize in Ferocity. 10m raiders should consider any needed buffs/debuffs, otherwise pick whatever pet is prettiest.
Survival has excellent AoE damage, both in burst and sustained damage. Serpent Spread and Improved Serpent Sting cause Multi-Shot to also do instant nature damage and leave a DoT on all targets. Explosive Trap does a bit less damage this patch, but does have the benefit of no longer needing to worry about whether you will need a Black Arrow later instead. It also no longer procs Lock and Load, but this isn't needed in AoE situations anyway. Additionally, level 90 talents provide AoE benefits which each have their own quirks. Powershot is not recommended for most AoE purposes because of the knockback. Glaive Toss will pass through all targets on the way to your primary target, and again on the way back to you, so you should target the enemy furthest away. Not that this target will receive more damage, so it is plausible that you might not wish to target the furthest away if some targets are more significant. Barrage will pass through target and all other targets within a small cone based on the direction you are facing - not based on the direction to your target. It will pass through all targets and continue hitting those behind. This makes the ability quite powerful but be wary of hitting nearby targets you wish to avoid.
- Agility - increases damage of each shot and the chance for it to do double damage (critical strike)
- Hit - increases the chance your shot will be hit. You need 7.5% hit to cap against a raid boss.
- Expertise - ranged attacks can be dodged but this can be countered by expertise. You need 7.5% dodge reduction to cap against a raid boss.
- Crit - increases the chance your shot will do double damage (critical strike)
- Haste - increases your focus regen (which has a base rate of 4 per second) and the speed of your non-instant attacks. This includes Cobra Shot, Auto Shot, Powershot, and Barrage.
- Mastery - increases your magic damage done. Almost all of Survival's damage is magic, with the exceptions being pet damage from Dire Beast, Lynx Rush, Murder of Crows, and Blink Strike, and our level 90 talents Powershot, Barrage, or Glaive Toss.
Use the various tools to determine which stats are best for your gear. The most common priority is agi > hit = exp > crit > haste > mastery. The difference between crit/haste/mastery is not as pronounced as it is for other classes. Also, in practice you should not have to worry about valuing agility against anything - reforging should handle your hit and expertise needs unless you just hit 90.
- Ranged - [Lord Blastington's Scope of Doom]
- Shoulder - [Greater Tiger Claw Inscription] or [secret Tiger Claw Inscription] (Inscription)
- Cloak - Superior Critical Strike
- Chest - Glorious Stats
- Wrist - Greater Agility or Fur Lining - Agility (Leatherworker)
- Hands - Greater Haste (alternative: Greater Mastery)
- Legs - [shadowleather Leg Armor] or Primal Leg Reinforcements (Tailoring)
- Feet - Blurred Speed
- Rings - Greater Agility - Enchanting
Secondary stats are more attractive than in previous expansions, but you may still be better off with a pure agility gem for poor stat bonuses.
Presented here are the normal versions from raids. Every item has a Raid Finder, Flex, Warforged, Heroic, and Heroic Warforged counterpart with the following exceptions.
- Hellscream's Warbow is 2 item levels higher than other normal/heroic weapons, but cannot be upgraded.
- Ordos only drops Warforged gear
- Tier items cannot be Warforged or Heroic Warforged
- Crafted gear has only one version
- Legendary quest cloaks
Kor'kron Hand Cannon - Malkorok
Hisek's Reserve Longbow - Paragons of the Klaaxi
Hellscream's Warbow - Garrosh Hellscream
Death Lotus Crossbow - The Fallen Protectors
Dagryn's Discarded Longbow - Galakras
Penetrating Gaze of Y'Shaarj - Garrosh Hellscream
Headguard of the Unblinking Vigil - Thok the Bloodthirsty
Haromm's Horrifying Helm - Kor'kron Dark Shaman
Crest of Burning Deeds - Ordos
Smoldering Eye - Ordos
Immerseus' Crystalline Eye - Immerseus
Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur - Thok the Bloodthirsty
Spaulders of the Unblinking Vigil - Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Shoulderguards of Intended Power - Garrosh Hellscream
Quarantine Shoulderguards - Norushen
Firearrow Shoulderguards - Ordos
Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen - Legendary quest (5.4)
Tigerfang Wrap - Legendary quest (5.3)
Poisonmist Nightcloak - Kor'kron Dark Shaman
Tunic of the Unblinking Vigil - Sha of Pride
Moonhee's Mean Vest - Ordos
Chestguard of Relentless Tyranny - Garrosh Hellscream
Ancient Archer's Chestguard - Spoils of Pandaria
Wristguards of Ruination - Malkorok
Dagryn's Fuselight Bracers - Galakras
Bracers of Infinite Pipes - Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Bowflight Wristguard - Ordos
Precision Cutters - Iron Juggernaut
Grips of Unending Anguish - The Fallen Protectors
Gloves of the Unblinking Vigil - General Nazgrim
Light Kindler Waistguards - Ordos
Gorge Stalker Belt - Leatherworking
Cannoneer's Multipocket Gunbelt - Galakras
Arrowflight Girdle - Spoils of Pandaria
Legguards of the Unblinking Vigil - Paragons of the Klaaxi
Leggings of Unabashed Anger - Norushen
Gorge Stalker Legplates - Leatherworking
Desirae's Dashing Leggings - Ordos
Ravager's Pathwalkers - General Nazgrim
Puddle Punishers - Immerseus
Minelayer's Padded Boots - Iron Juggernaut
Swift Serpent Sigil - Galakras
Ring of Restless Energy - Malkorok
Reality Ripper Ring - Norushen
Kil'ruk's Band of Ascendancy - Paragons of the Klaaxi
Ticking Ebon Detonator - Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Sigil of Rampage - Spoils of Pandaria
Haromm's Talisman - Kor'kron Dark Shaman
Assurance of Consequence - Sha of Pride (affects Rapid Fire, Stampede, Disengage, Black Arrow, Feign Death, Camouflage)