- Author: Jamielolx
- Date: July 12, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Survival Hunters do not have a set rotation but rather choose what spell to cast based on a priority system — if something procs, it’s bound to take priority over whatever else you were doing at the time.
- Explosive Shot – make sure this shot is always on cooldown. It’s almost half of your total damage, so you don’t want to let it go to waste — it’s almost worth it to cancel a finished steady shot for, that is how good it is.
- Kill shot
- Serpent Sting (adds 3% damage in single target build)
- Black Arrow / Trap (Black Arrow adds 6% damage taken to the target, but Explosive Trap deals more damage.)
- Aimed Shot/Multi-Shot
- Steady Shot
AoE Rotation & Lock and Load
lock and load is a proc that gives you three free instant Explosive Shots. Given that Explosive Shot is your biggest damage contributor, this is a very big deal. Unfortunately, the damage-over-time effect from Explosive Shot does not stack unless you use a different rank. To take advantage of this, we will want to use Rank 4 > Rank 3 > Rank 4 during lock and load, wasting no time between shots.
lock and load can proc any time you deal periodic damage with a damaging trap such as Explosive Trap, or with Black Arrow, but only at a 6% chance. You can proc it 100% of the time with your frost trap, freezing arrow, or freezing trap — note that this only applies to mobs and bosses that can be slowed.
For the highest AoE possible you should put an explosive trap where the mobs are going to be tanked, then you spam Volley until your explosive trap is back off cooldown. Remember that Black Arrow shares cooldowns with your damage traps, and is generally the lower DPS choice of the two, even on single target. This means that if you have the ability to move under the boss, drop a trap, and move back out of melee range, without skipping any important shots, you will want to skip Black Arrow. This is what is referred to as “Trap Weaving”
Let’s start off with damage cooldowns since that’s really all we care about… right?
Rapid Fire is a very straight forward cooldown, and to be completely honest, does not do a lot for us, since our GCD is capped at 1.5 seconds – and our Steady Shot at 0 Haste is at around 1.66 seconds so all this cooldown really does on its own is increase auto shot frequency. Rather, the point of this cooldown is to stack it with damage increasing cooldowns so those extra shots gain value cooldowns such as the following:
- Furious Howl, which increases your Attack Power by 320 for 20 seconds
- Call of the Wild which increases your Attack Power by 10% and double dips off other AP cooldowns – this ability can be used before a fight and during a fight (assuming you have two ferocity pets in your stable). You can pop call of the wild, then stable your current pet and its cooldown will be reset, ready to be used right after your first one expires (or a more suitable moment).
You can also stack these cooldowns with trinket cooldowns, both proc and on use, as well as potions and the orc or troll racial. Stacking these up is what makes your Rapid Fire worthwhile, not using it on its own.
feign death has multiple usages. One is to reset all your threat from the boss immediately. The second is to stand in a corner and use the Feign Death and survive, while everyone else is running back or repairing.
Disengage was probably the biggest disappointment I had when I used it in TBC, however, Disengage in Wrath is sort of like a… reverse aerial blink in the air with a parachute… it provides hunters with excellent mobility and tricks on some bosses. You can gain extra distance using this ability while jumping or even flying in the air, as long as you are in combat.
Distracting Shot forces the target to attack you for 6 seconds. This could be any enemy, and does not count as a taunt. This is extremely helpful for bosses that need to be ping-ponged around but cannot become taunt immune (looking at you, Professor Putricide).
Deterrence you essentially become immune to all projectiles thrown at you as well as melee attacks, except those from behind.
Misdirection If you use this ability on a target it will send all the threat you would produce to the target you used Misdirection on instead, helping them with maintaining aggro.
Tranquilizing Shot removes 1 Enrage and 1 Magic buff from a target, rarely used for PvE. Gluth in Phase 1 and Faction Champions in Phase 3 are examples of bosses you can use this on.
Explosive Trap – this is your highest damage trap, it does a lot of AoE and can be glyphed in order to make it crit, it scales off Ranged Crit which Agility helps a ton with, hence why its a bit more powerful on survival than say a Marksmanship Hunter, and honestly should be the only one you use, Immolation trap exists but is worse in every way imaginable, including single target.
Frost Trap puts down a trap at your feet that will trigger an ice patch on the floor that will slow mobs on it for a substantial amount. This lasts really long as survival too, and gives your lock and load a 100% chance to proc (if it finds a target to slow) – assuming the internal cooldown of lock and load is up
Freezing Trap puts down a trap at your feet that will trigger an iceblock around the enemy add walking into it. This acts as crowd control and also triggers lock and load for a 100% chance like Frost Trap. This shares a cooldown and effect with Freezing Arrow, but Freezing Arrow can be used at range instead.
Snake Trap does a little bit of damage but is usually utilized for soaking mechanics like the green ooze on Professor Putricide or by pre-placing it somewhere you know mobs are gonna come. It’s not worth the global cooldown to put down in combat though (damage-wise)