PvE Survival Hunter Rotation & Cooldowns 

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The overall playstyle of Survival Hunter remains largely the same, despite the introduction of the new Focus resource! In Cataclysm, the same proc-based playstyle involving Lock and Load is at large, with the most important change being the fact that you will now use a different filler ability which also acts as a resource generation tool compared to the one you used back in WotLK while also no longer having to worry about shifting aspects to regenerate Mana. Furthermore, Kill Command is now affected by GCD, meaning that you can no longer macro it along with your other abilities.

In this section of the guide, we will go over the rotation and abilities of Survival Hunter, in both Single-Target and AoE/Cleave encounters.

Single-Target Rotation

  1. Cast Aspect of the Hawk and maintain it
  2. Cast Aspect of the Fox if you require to move during an encounter
  3. Cast Hunter’s Mark
  4. Cast Serpent Sting at the beginning of the fight
  5. Cast Rapid Fire during Burst Phases
  6. Cast Call of the Wild during Burst Phases
  7. Cast Explosive Shot on cooldown
  8. Cast Black Arrow on cooldown
  9. Cast Kill Shot on cooldown during the Execution Phase
  10. Cast Arcane Shot if both Black Arrow and Explosive Shot are on cooldown and you have more than 75 Focus
  11. Cast Cobra Shot to generate Focus (Main Filler)

For those of you who have played Survival Hunter in WotLk Classic, you will be pleased to find that the gameplay is fairly similar, even with the new Focus resource system! The best part about the new system is that you will no longer be concerned with entering an OoM state and having to switch to the Aspect of the Viper, meaning that the rotation itself has been simplified. With Focus being the new gimmick of the rotation, you will consistently cast Cobra Shot to generate Focus required for the rest of your abilities.

While the rotation is mostly the same, some things have changed. Serpent Sting no longer needs a manual refresh as Cobra Shot automatically extends its duration. Explosive Shot remains the star of the show, especially since Lock and Load is still a core mechanic of the specialization. Black Arrow will be used in Single-Target encounters to trigger the Lock and Load mechanic, being cast on cooldown.

Black Arrow‘s use on cooldown and Explosive Shot‘s use during the Lock and Load proc is the key to succeeding as a Survival Hunter, especially since you no longer have access to different ranks of Explosive Shot. You will want time your Explosive Shots properly during Lock and Load, making sure that the DoT effect has time to tick until a new Explosive Shot is used. Additionally, in between each of your normal Explosive Shot casts, you will want to make sure that you manage to hit at least 3 Cobra Shots. This part is why Haste Rating is so important to Survival Hunters, as they require a reduced casting time to ensure that they always have enough Focus by casting Cobra Shot fast enough.

Once you get to the Execution Phase, Kill Shot will be added into the mix, ideally being used while Explosive Shot is on cooldown. Furthermore, Arcane Shot can be weaved in between Cobra Shots if you have excess Focus, however, many consider the ability to simply be a “bait”, as it can consume necessary Focus that would have been used on either Explosive Shot or Black Arrow.

AoE/Cleave Rotation

  1. Cast Aspect of the Hawk and maintain it
  2. Cast Aspect of the Fox if you require to move during an encounter
  3. Cast Hunter’s Mark on your main target
  4. Cast Rapid Fire during Burst Phases
  5. Cast Call of the Wild during Burst Phases
  6. Use Trap Launcher to place an Explosive Trap whenever it’s available
  7. Cast Multi-Shot to spend Focus and spread Serpent Sting
  8. Cast Kill Shot on cooldown during the Execution Phase
  9. Cast Explosive Shot on cooldown
  10. Cast Cobra Shot to generate Focus (Main Filler)

The AoE/Cleave rotation of Survival Hunter has been massively enhanced when compared to its previous iteration, with one key ability such as Multi-Shot no longer having a target limit while also now spreading Serpent Sting to all affected targets. The rotation itself is a mix of Single-Target and AoE abilities, with Explosive Shot, Kill Shot, and Cobra Shot still playing a vital role in the rotation. Instead of Black Arrow, Explosive Trap will be your bread and butter! This is not only for the Lock and Load procs but also for its massive damage output.

The only thing you will have to keep in mind is that there is a difference between Cleave and AoE rotations. For Cleave encounters, you will want to stick to the Single-Target rotation, only replacing Black Arrow with Explosive Trap. For AoE encounters, you will want to prioritize Multi-Shot, as it will deal far more damage.

 

About the Author

Nevermore

Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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