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Survival Hunter Talents
This section of the Survival Hunter guide provides an overview of all talents, information on which talents work well in different situations, and popular builds in Wowhead's talent calculator. This guide is written by
the Thrill of the Wild
the Hunting Party Podcast
. Updated for the latest patch.
Rotation & Abilities
Quick Talent Builds
Survival Hunters in 7.2.5 have a unique condition, in that nearly all talents are viable, and can be used in the right combinations; the top Parses for survival have been varied in their choices of Talents on nearly all bosses in Nighthold. The following represents builds considered optimal for many raid bosses in the Nighthold raid, but should be tweaked depending on the specific boss, or specific strategy your raid team is using; this does not mean these are the only good builds, or nothing else is acceptable.
Tiers not selected on the Talent Calculators below do no affect DPS, and should be chosen based on personal preference or the utility needs of a specific boss encounter; there are no specific talents in these tiers which are best in all situations, except that
is always unreasonably awesome.
The following builds were developed based on the performance of top hunters on raid logging sites, mathematical analysis, simulations and common sense. There are situations where one Talent may give you more potential DPS than another, but still not be preferable if it has too many other drawbacks. This is generally only the case in talents that do lots of AoE damage, but cause you to perform significantly less priority target damage, and will be worse for you as a member of a raid team. With that said, different teams have different needs, and experimenting with various builds to see what works best with your specific set of circumstances is always advisable.
Recommended Single Target Talents:
Recommended Optimal Cleave/AOE Talents:
Easier Cleave/AOE Build:
Level 15 Tier
- Flanking Strike also reduces the remaining cooldown by 3 seconds of one of:
Aspect of the Eagle
. This talent doesn't pair too well with
- Throw Axes at your enemies. This talent's only benefit is allowing you to do more ranged damage on the occasion that you cannot be in melee.
Way of the Mok'Nathal
- Increases your attack power by up to 12% when you use
at least once every 10 seconds. This talent provides high potential single target damage, and can provide a boost to on-demand burst AoE. This can be a fairly difficult talent to maintain high up-time on, depending on your other talents, as Survival Hunters already have a lot of short cooldowns to track, and have more abilities they can use than they have GCDs to use them in.
Level 30 Tier
A Murder of Crows
- Crows attack your target for 15 seconds. This talent provides massive single target, on-demand burst damage. The reset mechanic, makes this an ideal selection for bursting down priority targets.
- Lacerate ticks have a very small chance to proc
Mastery: Hunting Companion
. While this doesn't seem like much, it's not actually much worse than the other two talents, though it is less than optimal.
- Instantly gives you 3 charges of Mongoose Bite. This can be an excellent selection, allowing you to, on occasion, avoid some of the bad RNG that may happen with the nature of
Mastery: Hunting Companion
. For SV hunters who also play MM or BM, you're likely to have enough Mastery on your gear that you always get plenty of
Mastery: Hunting Companion
procs regardless of this talent.
Author's Note: For what it's worth, I personally am not a big fan of Snake Hunter; however, most of the top SV hunters in the world take this talent religiously, and do amazing damage with it.
Level 45 Tier: Movement
Increases speed after using
. As you are generally
ing to a target you're going to hit, having the increased movement speed isn't often helpful in PvE content.
This talent provides excellent movement enhancement, and is just plain awesome as you fly backwards through the air. The combination of
gives SV hunters a quick, reliable way to avoid ground mechanics and then get back to DPSing as quickly as possible.
This talent will of course not provide any benefit in raiding situations, but may be useful in Mythic+ dungeons that have long runs without encountering enemies.
Level 60 Tier: Traps
This is a good option for Multi-target fights.
The extra damage on
doesn't quite make this talent competitive. However, this may be a good choice if you're struggling to maintain good up-time on both
This is a solid chunk of damage, and should be taken in most single-target situations. It can be a good option when you need extra burst on a high HP, high-priority add.
Level 75 Tier: Utility
A difficult to use knock back with a delay. There are not many situations in raids or dungeons where this will be useful.
A root and slow can be useful for add management on fights like
High Botanist Tel'arn
; however, the 30 focus cost will reduce your DPS output further than just a lost GCD, so you should plan out with your raid leader when you should use this talent.
This is the most chosen talent for solo content or when you're trying to sneak around monsters in dungeons and raids. This extra heal may provide some small utility on certain fights, but comes at the cost of not DPSing, and thus isn't a reliable choice for raiding.
Level 90 Tier
A very strong AoE ability for on-demand burst. This talent will be taken in nearly all AoE/Cleave situations.
While this received a decent sized buff for patch 7.2.5, it still isn't ideal for most situations.
This is a strong choice in this tier for single-target fights, and has the added benefit of not requiring an extra ability to use or manage. This talent pairs well with
Way of the Mok'Nathal
Level 100 Tier
This talent does a strong amount of single target damage and provides a little bit of extra focus for 30 seconds out of every minute.
This is a passive ability that improves all of your traps, including increasing your
's damage significantly. It's only really useful in mass AoE situations when paired with
Aspect of the Beast
This is generally not the best choice for competitive raiding or dungeons, but may have some uses in soloing content with alternative pet specs.
Share your comments about this guide in our Hunter forum!
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