PvE Survival Hunter Rotation, Cooldowns, & Abilities

tbc pve survival hunter rotation, cooldowns, & abilities

In this section, we will cover a Survival Hunter’s Single-Target and AoE rotations. We’ll then touch on our opener, as well.

Single-Target Rotation

Realistically, your rotation will come down to using just five abilities with the exception of any traps and Misdirection you decide to use. The decision to use a specific rotation will come down to your ranged attack speed. Here are the five abilities that we’ll have either rotation revolve around:

Most Hunters will use a 1:1 rotation – this is the most optimal rotation if your weapon speed is between 1.5 – 2.1 seconds since with a little Haste Rating, it’s easy enough to achieve this speed. (Through just gear or the use of Haste Potion)

This rotation involves alternating between using Steady Shot and Auto Shot continuously:

  1. Auto Shot
  2. Steady Shot
  3. Auto Shot
  4. Steady Shot

Since Kill Command is not on the Global Cooldown (GCD) it is best to use every time it comes off cooldown throughout your rotation. You are able to substitute Multi-Shot for either of your Steady Shots since it generally causes more damage. We would also include Rapid Fire throughout, as well.

If you do have a weapon speed of 2.2+ seconds, your rotation will follow a 1:1.5 rotation. This allows you to combine two Steady Shots with one other instant-cast shot for every two Auto Shots:

AoE Rotation

For Hunters, we have three total abilities that we can use in AoE situations: Multi-Shot, Explosive Trap, and Volley.

Explosive Trap – This causes a fair amount of immediate damage, with a mediocre amount caused over time

Volley – This is fairly weak in comparison to the other two spells, and should only be prioritized for when Explosive Trap and Multi-Shot are both on cooldown, or when you are facing 10+ mobs in the pull

Multi-Shot – This is easily already part of your regular single-target rotation, so adding in more mobs is just a bonus


  1. Hunter’s Mark (If you are the Hunter designated to maintain this)
  2. Misdirection (Place this on the tank designated to build threat on the boss first)
  3. Aimed Shot (We’ll want to finish the cast as our tank begins the pull – if your group is using a pull timer, aim for the cast to end by the time it reaches 0)
  4. Distracting Shot (While this is considered optional, it’s incredibly beneficial to use this for your tank, especially if your tank has TPS-generation issues or if your DPS can pull high numbers early into the fight)
  5. Activate any racial abilities or on-use trinket effects
  6. Rapid Fire

It is good to remember that we can use Readiness to reset all of our cooldowns, as a means to get a second Rapid Fire.


About the Author


Long-time WoW enthusiast who can't say no to a good-old poutine.
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