SV Hunter Rotation Haste Plateaus

Posted: by Frostheim

reviewed and accurate
Reviewed 6/27/11
Patch 4.2

View other WHU WoW Cataclysm hunter guides.

In Cataclysm our SV hunter shot rotations are more affected by haste than ever before. Haste is a more interesting stat than ever that does a lot for us, but the biggest benefit we gain from haste is its ability to actually alter our shot rotations — unfortunately haste doesn’t scale evenly. At certain points haste is pretty crummy for us, then at other points haste is suddenly great — these are our haste plateaus.

A SV hunter haste plateau is the amount of haste that lets us squeeze an extra Cobra Shot in between each Explosive Shot. We have both hard plateaus — the point at which we can fit an entire extra Cobra Shot in — and soft plateaus — when putting in an extra Cobra Shot is a dps gain, but it pushes our Explosive Shot back a bit.

Haste Plateau Calculations

Note that all of these calculations assume that you have the Hunting Party talent or equivalent raid buff, as well as 3/3 in the Pathing talent. I’m also doing all the calculations outside of the Careful Aim range — this will affect exactly where the break point is for the soft plateau (and only that) – I’m assuming good raid gear and all raid buffs for calculating the break point. I will be rounding numbers in the logical direction — thus if you need 1 & 2/3 haste for a plateau, I’m running the haste rating for 1.66 haste, rather than 1.67 (because technically 1.67 is too slow). But my math is based on a lot more decimals than what I’m showing.

I’ll be going over the amount of haste needed to reach each plateau with and without the hunter tier-11 set bonus (which reduces the base cast time of Cobra Shot), and at the end we’ll discuss how these haste plateaus affect your reforging decisions.

SV Hunter Base Rotation

The SV rotation is built around our signature shot, Explosive Shot. This shot is available every 6 seconds — but when we fire it we trigger the global cooldown. This means that we effectively have 5 seconds of usable time in between Explosive Shots.

Sometimes we’ll be putting in Black Arrows, and on occasion we’ll get a Lock & Load proc, but the vast majority of the time we’re going to be simply shooting 3 Cobra Shots in between each Explosive Shot.

The SV base rotation is 3 Cobra Shots and 1 Explosive Shot, in 6.296 seconds.

Unfortunately Cobra Shot has a base cast time of 2 seconds, and our Pathing and Hunting Party only reduce that cast time to 1.765 seconds. This means that with no haste, the base SV rotation is actually pushing Explosive Shot back slightly. Thus we’re actually casting fewer Explosive Shots over the course of a fight than our cooldown allows.

SV Plateau 1: the First Hard Plateau

The first SV hard plateau is 3 Cobra Shots and 1 Explosive Shot, in 6 seconds.
This requires a Cobra Shot cast time of 1.666 seconds.

Without t11 Set With t11 4-piece Set
5.914% haste Already there
758 haste rating 0 haste rating

Every extra bit of haste that we get up until the first hard plateau is actually increasing the number of Explosive Shots we can fire. Haste is very good for us at this time. This is an incredibly easy number to hit, and most SV hunters will be at the first hard plateau without even trying.

SV Plateau 2: the First Soft Plateau

The first soft plateau is 4 Cobra Shots and 1 Explosive Shot, in 7 seconds.
This requires a Cobra Shot cast time of 1.5 seconds.

Without t11 Set With t11 4-piece Set
17.682% haste 5.914% haste
2,265haste rating 758 haste rating

The first thing I must strongly stress here is that this number will change based on your specific gear and buffs! So for one hunter it might be a 1.53 cast time, and another might be 1.49. In addition, if you’re a bit over this plateau or at the plateau or a bit under, the dps difference is so small you won’t even see it.

This plateau is essentially the haste amount where 4 cobras and pushing an explosive is exactly the same damage as 3 cobras without pushing the explosive.

What that means is the entire range of haste between the first hard plateau and the soft plateau will not meaningfully increase the dps from your rotation. You’ll still be getting all the other benefits of haste to your auto-shot, focus regen, and your pet, but it is not enabling your special shots to do any more damage. The effect of this is, in general, that you do not want to reforge into haste to reach this plateau.

If you get close to the soft plateau naturally, just through haste from gear, then you can start reforging and stacking haste — the real dps benefit comes from going below this point, and that’s where life gets sweet.

But again, if you’re above the soft plateau, you generally do not want to reforge or stack haste until doing so will enable you to get substantially below the soft plateau.

SV Plateau 3: the Second Hard Plateau

The second SV hard plateau is 4 Cobra Shots and 1 Explosive Shot, in 6 seconds
This requires a Cobra Shot cast time of 1.25 seconds.

Without t11 Set With t11 4-piece Set
41.218% haste 27.096% haste
5,279 haste rating 3,470 haste rating

This second hard plateau is the dream state for SV hunters — firing off four cobras between Explosives with no pushback yields a highly focus positive rotation, that will enable you to fire off a lot more Arcane Shots, significantly boosting your dps.

Without the tier 11 4-piece set bonus, the haste required is so high that the plateau is really not reachable. However, with the 4-piece set bonus this plateau suddenly grows within reach, though it’s not easy. The best part is that once you hit the soft plateau above, every bit of haste you get from there to the second hard plateau is boosting your dps significantly, and increasing the number of Explosive Shots you are firing in a fight. It is absolutely worth reforging into haste if you’re already at or beyond the soft plateau — though obviously you’ll want to stop that reforging once you hit this second hard plateau.

How SV Haste Plateaus Affect Reforging

As SV hunters, we know that crit is our best secondary stat (at least for this tier anyway) and haste and mastery are a bit below that. However, the behavior of haste is very difficult to model through averaging. A lot of the reason for that is the way that haste can affect our rotations. By zeroing in on the haste plateaus we can get a better idea of when we should care about haste, and when we shouldn’t.

To be clear, more haste will always help you, it just won’t help you as much as other stats, depending on your position in the SV haste plateaus. Here are the rules of thumb:

  • If you’re not at the first hard plateau, reforge mastery and excess hit into haste.
  • If you’re not at the soft plateau, but are past the first hard plateau, do not reforge for haste. Continue to collect it in gear. Reforge into crit if possible, but if you can’t, haste is still better than mastery.
  • If you are at or close to the soft plateau, reforge for haste and reap the delicious rewards. All excess hit and mastery should be reforged to haste where possible. You probably do not want to reforge your crit, however.
  • Do not gem for haste, continue to gem for agility, unless a socket bonus makes it logical to gem for agility/haste.

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  1. kridence says:

    finally a guide about haste cheers Frost, been trying to get a nice balance on this for a while, as commented somewhere in an old post
    “haste is like a gnome engineer tinkering with a million different things at once”
    refoging to + or – and add or take away another stat its an aqwuard balance, ty for this guide

  2. Daii says:

    Ah, this is wonderful. Makes more sense now.

    Though, in the first soft plateau part towards the end, did you not mix above and below around? Or am i reading it wrong…

  3. Jonaleth says:

    “If you’re not at the first hard plateau, reforge mastery and excess hit into haste.”

    So basicly haste is better than crit in this case? Or should I reforge mastery to haste only, if the item has already crit on it?

    • Catracho says:

      No. Haste isnt better than crit, but you can assume that if you can reforge your mastery into haste, then the gear already has crit on it. If it had haste, then you couldnt reforge into it.
      it remains that Crit > Haste. read between the lines

  4. Delirio says:

    First, excuse my English level, i’m spanish and I don’t speak English since school ^^.
    Now, my question. Reading the post, if I’m near to the soft plateau, do I equip my Atramedes feets instead of “Treads of Malorne” from exalted reputation with the Guardians of Hyjal?
    I say that because it gives me haste instead of mastery.
    And must I use agi/haste gems instead of agi/crit gems on yellow sockets? I think agi/crit gems are better…but I don’t know if I’m at the soft plateau how much benefit me.
    Thanks (and sorry again for all my mistakes :S) .

    • U.E. Admiral says:

      I just want to say that if your post is a representative sample of your English, you have a stronger mastery over the language than many native speakers.

      As for your boots, if you’re near the first soft-plateau without having gone out of your way to get there, then swapping your Mastery Boots out in favor of wearing the Haste Boots is a fair choice. Personally, I’d do some math to find out whether or not you can actually hit the soft-plateau via changing your boots and reforging mastery into haste on your other gear. It would be a waste of time, gold, and possibly a gem if you can’t quite reach the correct haste percentage.

      With regard to the gem question, if you’re already at the soft-plateau, additional haste (unless you can get a whole lot of it) will do you little good, so you’ll want to stick to Agil/Crit gems in that case, and only if the socket bonus is really worth it. If, on the other hand, you’re not yet at the soft-plateau and need just a little more haste to get there, a few Agil/Haste gems might serve you better.

      • Delirio says:

        Thank you very much for your reply and for your time.

      • randle says:

        2 AG gems is almost always better. The number one stat every single time is AG. If the socket bonus doesn’t give you the same AG as two AG gems you always want the two AG gems.

  5. Zelph says:

    Just want to confirm are all those values given not taking into account any sort of raid buffs? excluding heroism/rapid fire etc etc?such as hunting party, etc

    • Esselia says:

      “Note that all of these calculations assume that you have the Hunting Party talent or equivalent raid buff, as well as 3/3 in the Pathing talent. I’m also doing all the calculations outside of the Careful Aim range — this will affect exactly where the break point is for the soft plateau (and only that). I will be rounding numbers in the logical direction — thus if you need 1 & 2/3 haste for a plateau, I’m running the haste rating for 1.66 haste, rather than 1.67 (because technically 1.67 is too slow). But my math is based on a lot more decimals than what I’m showing.”

  6. Esselia says:

    When in between 1st Hard and 1st Soft (1161 rating), do I want to reforge haste into crit/mastery till I’m back to 758 rating, or do I want to leave the haste where it is and wait patiently till I can upgrade to 2265 rating?

    Zeherah’s spreadsheet is confusing me on this point.

  7. Osmin says:

    Hey frost just some clarification, if you can. You said these numbers are assuming we have the 10% haste buff, and as Survival, of course we always will whether we are in a raid or not, and it the buff is now added automatically into our haste value % shown on our character info panel. So that means, for instance, for the 2nd hard plateu with the 4-piece, we should in fact be looking for it to say 37.1% haste, correct? Just trying to avoid confusion here. :)

    • Frostheim says:

      Huh? Where are you getting that number? I’ve no idea where you’re going here…. haste math is not additive, if that’s what you’re suggesting, so you can just add or subtract a percentage at the end.

      But… with 4-piece base cast time is 1.8 / 1.03 (pathing) / 1.1 (10% buff) = 1.5887 / 1.25 = 27.096% haste needed.

      • Osmin says:

        Oh I’m just saying people will be looking at their character info panel and their haste values, and recently they changed it so that it shows our haste % including buffs we currently have. So for survival hunters, while we are in survival spec and providing that buff for ourselves at all times, it will always say 37.1% when we’re only getting 27.1% from gear. I’m not questioning your numbers at all, just pointing out that when looking at our stats in-game, it will be misleading for survival hunters. :)

      • Osmin says:

        Haha I kind of wish I could delete posts since I expressed myself very poorly, I might just be too tired. If I look at my stats in-game, and I go to Ranged Haste, mine says +25.53% which at first hand got me excited, but it includes buffs/talents etc. But that’s not the number you are referring to. If I scroll over it, it shows a tooltip that says “Haste rating 1382 (+10.79% haste).and that’s the number that needs to be at 27.1% to hit the plateau, right? That’s what I was trying to confirm.

      • Frostheim says:

        Aye, the amount I’m showing is the haste you need from haste rating, assuming you have those buffs and talents. Alternatively, just look at the cast time of your Cobra Shot, since that’s ultimately what matters.

  8. Osmin says:

    Also food for thought, I wonder how sure knowledge of these haste plateaus will affect the usefuless of Prestor’s Talisman, since actually it wouldn’t take an insane amount of haste at all to set ourselves to where the proc puts us comfortably at the second hard haste plateu. It looks like I could still prioritize mostly crit in reforging and hit that mark. Or do you think Essence of the Cyclone and fluid death are still better even given that?

  9. Killian says:

    How do Arcane Shots (mentioned in plateau 3) fit in that rotation?

    • Havix says:

      You’ll be generating more focus from the extra cobra shots to dump arcane shots. So it’ll be cobra-cobra-cobra-cobra-explosive-arcane. Something like that.

    • Frostheim says:

      Every now and then (rarely) you’ll fire an arcane instead of a cobra, and have a bit of spare time to ponder philosophy.

  10. Tiren says:

    Thanks Frost. Can’t wait for the BM Analysis. :)

  11. Rima says:

    Question… Based on these results, if I am past the first hard plateau (at say 1200 haste rating, without set piece bonus), should I reforge to mastery, assuming crit is not available?

  12. Gorokar says:

    What about the Global Cooldown on different Shots? Don`t I have to get more haste in order to compensate this? The average “rotation” is more than 6 seconds. I can`t cast 3 Cobra Shots without delaying the Explosive Shot. Or am I mistaken? I hope the point is clear, I´m no native English speaker ;-)

    • Frostheim says:

      This guide is taking that into account. Remember, the gcd starts when you *start* cobra shot — so as long as cobra shot is longer than 1 second, you can immediately begin your next shot.

  13. Rzzr says:

    Am a bit confused as although I am above the first hard plateau Zeherah’s spreadsheet still seems to suggest that haste is better than crit..

    • Oricc says:

      Zeherah’s spreadsheet is pretty wonky with haste modelling. sometimes adding haste results a loss in DPS so I would play around with the haste rating (adding a bit and taking a bit away) to see if tat changes anything. Oftentimes it will.

      • Aravorn says:

        Hello, I’m a lvl 85 surv. Hunter and wanted to understand if I have the right amount of haste. I currently have an ilvl of 373 equipped and have the t12 2/4 piece bonuses. I have reforged everything into crit where possible and into haste when I can’t do crit. I also have all the recommend enchants (except shoulders :/) but I’m still getting what I feel is a low haste rating of only 1605 and am feeling like I can’t reach the optimal shot rotation. Am I doing something wrong or am I where I’m supposed to be?

  14. Lolbroek says:

    Thank you so much for this guide!
    I was so puzzled what secondary stats to go for ever since Blizzard changed the 4 piece T11 setbonus.
    So haste becoming a desirable stat after all… who would have guessed? ;)

    I see no mention about a plateau for 3 Cobra Shots, 1 instant shot (Arcane Shot or Black Arrow) and Explosive Shot, in 6 seconds (Cobra Shot casttime 1.33 seconds, no Explosive Shot pushback).
    Is it safe to assume one would not have enough focus regeneration to support such a sequence and therefore not worth aiming for specifically apart from hitting this along the way while aiming for the second hard plateau?
    And how about alternating between this and a 4 Cobra Shot and Explosive Shot in 6.33 seconds with just a 0.33 second Explosive Shot pushback to compensate for any possible focus deficit every other Explosive cooldown?
    Or is that just me wanting it to be a viable plateau so badly because it would be easier to reach than the second hard cap? :P

    • Lolbroek says:

      This would be possible with 2453 haste rating (19.156% Haste) from gear.

    • Frostheim says:

      You will not be generating enough focus to do this regularly — instead every now and then you’ll get an extra arcane shot, and more often you’ll be doing 4 cobras.

      • Lolbroek says:

        Awww too bad.
        Anyhow, thank you for confirming this!

      • Arcazua says:

        But does doing so affect our goal speed for shifting patterns? After all, the time delay on an Arcane is strictly 1.0 seconds, rather than whatever Cobra Shot is. If you average out a pattern of 8 specials per 2 rotations, one of which is an Arcane, will that allow you to push forward your cut-off point for the soft cap a bit?

        The answer to that question is obviously yes. It’s just a matter of by how much. I’m suspecting it’s not enough for us to care, but it’s worth postulating.

        Just to check that we have enough focus, in 2 rotations, you’ll fire 2 explosives (88 focus), 1 Arcane (22 focus), and half a Black Arrow (18 focus). That’s 128 focus spent. This shot cycle has a base natural time of 18 seconds shot time, for 72 focus. You regain 63 focus from Cobra Shotting. So yes, you’ll have enough focus to do this. (Easily, after TotH and LNL. You might even question doing 2 out of 3.) So the math really just boils down to the shot speed if you want to go this route.

  15. Steppenwolf says:

    I’m finding I get different results in practice from those indicated by the careful theoretical and experimental analysis (kudos to Frost as for the consistent great work). I find that when I reforge to haste above the first plateau (so I’m sitting in the middle of the next plateau – around 1000-1400 haste) my dps increases substantially (compared to reforging to crit or mastery instead). The haste value I get from Zeherah’s is much higher than crit and mastery also while I’m in this range. I don’t know why this is and I discovered it by accident since I fully agree with the analysis Frost has done (and other similar analyses). The only thing I can think of is ‘other environmental factors,’ i.e. things like network latency, amount of movement required in the fight, human latency (reaction speed between chair and keyboard!). I play on two different computers, one of which has significantly more lag problems (due to being not so up to date) than the other.

    Possibly if I stand at the target dummy and just spam the optimal rotation, I might get different results, but when in a dungeon or raid, the extra haste really seems to bump up my dps (I seem to be doing about 17-18k dps in BH, 12-14k in heroics on average +/- depending on the heroic, group make-up, etc.). Anyone else either observe this behavior or have an explanation? I have not done a more careful analysis myself (standing at the dummy, etc,), so it is possible I’m muddying up the waters due to changes in other stats from differing gear, etc., but I play on two different 85 hunters with different gear and I have observed a jump in my dps when I reforge and gear more into haste than mastery or crit. and I’m just baffled by it.

    • Oricc says:

      Also remember you are in CA ranged constantly on the target dummies which means faster Cobra shot casts translates to more DPS than it actually does on a boss fight.

      Also it may be possible during CA range, if you get a crit trinket proc you are actually going over the crit hardcap (this happens to me) so would result in a slightly lower value for crit.

  16. Tempye says:

    Would it be accurate to say the TL;DR version of this is:

    Low stats and no 4pc bonus:
    Hit cap > 758 haste > crit > mastery > extra haste
    Fire 3 cobras per explosive

    High stats but no 4pc bonus:
    Hit cap > ~2265 haste > crit > extra haste > mastery
    Fire 4 cobras per explosive

    Anybody with 4pc bonus:
    Hit cap > 758 haste > crit > extra haste up to 3470 > mastery > haste over 3470
    Fire 4 cobras per explosive

    I’m assuming the ~2265 number you mentioned was modeled using a mastery -> haste conversion to calculate the break even point, so it already takes into account the decreased damage per shot.

    • Phorx says:

      This is how I parsed Frost’s analysis out as well but I’d love to get other confirmation on that.

    • Akkal says:

      From what I understand, this is what Frost meant – but, clarification from him would be nice. This is a much clearer way of illustrating it (at least, to me).

    • Frostheim says:

      Erm.. not exactly. The idea is that you don’t want to chase the soft plateau — you don’t want to reforge to get there, because the dps gain from the 758 to 2265 isn’t that great. But once you’re already *at* the soft plateau — or close to it, then you want to start reforging into haste!

  17. Venadin says:

    Nice guide Frost as usual. I cannot wait for the MM guide. Ever since the 160% aimed shot, I find my rotation messy in raid situations. I am trying to figure out to get an indicator on power aura or some other addon to display my current cast time for steady shot and aimed shot. Currently I am eyeballing it between power aura, tellmewhen and my last cast time on quartz. Ever since the one-move autoshot, I also find I have to be really careful to make I don’t have one queued up from the last mob I was on into the next one. In random To’vir, I had a big huntard moment with that when grouped up with a mage from your server in Ruin and a tank alt from vodka. Also noticed some weird targeting bugs where the autotarget with choose targets in mobs across the room.

  18. hleusink says:

    Thanks Frostheim for an interesting article.
    Personnaly I’m quite curious at which point it is possible to sustain a cycle of 3 cobra shots and 1 arcane shot (black arrow when off cooldown) between explosive shots. With these increased haste levels and associated higher focus regen this might be sustainable for most sets, especially with Lock and Load procs and Thrill of the Hunt to help out on focus regen. Does this ever become a dps increase and if so at which haste level?

    • Frostheim says:

      You don’t actually regen enough focus to do that regularly — you can probably alternate between all cobras one rotation and 3 cobras/1arcane the next though. Basically you’ll be there when you’re at the soft plateau.

  19. Havix says:

    I’m curious to how the affects of rapid fire and bloodlust will affect our haste. If one hits the second hard plateau, what would the cast time for cobra shot be with these cooldowns? And how would this play out with the 1 second global cooldown?

    • Kalven and Hobs says:

      Stacking Rapid Fire with Heroism brings my Cobra Shot below 1 second. Independently used, Rapid Fire or Heroism brings me below 1.25. So, separate haste buffs put me in the dream zone, while an opening salvo has me spamming 5 Cobra Shots between Explosive Shots in the Careful Aim window. It’s like a dream zone within a dream zone.

      dun dun dununun BRAAAAAAAAAHGHG!!!

  20. Kirk says:

    I was wondering if these haste numbers accounted for the lost DPS from reforging out of crit? Or is that something I’ll just have to try? I could make the first soft plateau if I reforged everything reasonable (crit and mastery but not of course agility) into haste. That would reduce my crit substantially.

  21. knowlge2 says:

    Incredible guide, thank you so much. I had a loooooott of questions answered especially since I just got my 4set :)

    Thanks again Frost, you’re great!

  22. chrth says:

    Hey Frost,

    Thanks for the guide, but I’m running into a bit of weirdness in the spreadsheet, and I’m wondering if you can help me out.

    I’m over the first haste cap, and have some haste reforged into mastery. When I reverse it, though, I’m seeing a DPS *increase* at around 876-895. At that point (Mastery is around 1012) I’m getting an extra Arcane Shot off about 4 minutes into the simulation, and the dmg from the extra shot overrides the overall dps increase from mastery. I’m spec’d 3/3 Pathing, and using Hunter Party buff, but have added no other buffs beyond the default (oh, and you need to set food to Grilled Dragon since I don’t raid much I keep my hit at 7.25%). I can’t figure out if what I’m seeing is realistic, or an illusion/flaw in the spreadsheet.

    Characters is Chrth on Bloodhoof, using Shadowclaw as pet.

    • chrth says:

      NVM, I found the issue: “length of fight” can cause an illusion that certain levels of haste bring more DPS because an extra shot or two gets worked in for one haste level but not for a lower one.

  23. Crossfire says:

    Really looking forward to the MM version of this, as I switch back and forth quite a bit between Sv and MM. Zeherah’s shows me reforging into haste is a good thing for MM, but not for Sv, so I ride the fine line of compromise for my gear. Thanks for the analysis Frostheim. :D

  24. clerkenwell says:

    Thanks for this, Frost. Very interesting, although I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. If I have 4pc and approximately 1000 Haste from gear, my Cobra Shot cast time comes out to 1.4736 seconds, so doing 4 in between each Explosive would push back Explosive by about .9 seconds. Is that really worth it?

  25. Galluccio says:

    My cobra shot is at 1.59 per cast. I can get in exactly 3 cobra shots between every explosive shot. If anything it seems like the explosive shot is a tiny bit later after the 3rd cobra shot even after I spamming all my keys. (I don’t have the 4 piece bonus)

    On if I subtract as little as 50 haste I lose about 100 dps. So, if I went for the 1.66 per cast I probably would lose a lot of DPS. And, there’s no way I can hit the 1.5 cast time on the cobra shot.

  26. Jeheil says:

    What effect does lag have on these numbers and is there anyway to mitigate it. I live in a 3rd world country where our internet is delivered by chaining small children together and passing a current through their dental braces. As such even with SSL tunnels or registry hacks most of us run at 250-350ms ping time, which means despite being almost one whole day ahead of America, we are in fact 30 years behind…..

    ….soooooo…..any idea what effect lag would have on such a mathmatically beautiful analysis.

    Jeheil, Sydney 34BC

    • Lolbroek says:

      *** Beware! Napkin math! ***

      I’ll take the first hard plateau as an example here (Cobra Shot casttime 1.66 seconds). Let’s take the average of your latency so around 300ms.
      This means a delay of 0.3 seconds every global cooldown.
      So effectively your global cooldown is not 1 second, but instead it is 1.3 seconds in this case.
      This means an effective ‘cast’ of 1.3 seconds for Explosive Shot instead of the ideal 1 second.

      Note that this has no effect on your Cobra Shot casts as long as you are at the first hard plateau or at the first soft plateau since 1.66s or 1.5s > 1.3s .
      Or to put it in other words; as long as the casttime for Cobra Shot is greater than your effective global cooldown it does not take any additional time to cast the Cobra Shots.

      However, each cycle you have a delay of 0.3 seconds from Explosive Shot!
      Our math has become ugly.
      Ideally you would want to increase your Cobra Shot speed to compensate for this by adding more haste, but is it really worth it?

      The first hard plateau in this example would require an adjusted Cobra Shot cast speed of 1.56s which requires around 1624 haste from gear to completely compensate for latency and make the math beautiful again.
      That is an extra 866 haste which can not be spend on crit and/or mastery which normally would be better secondary stats than haste.
      That is quite alot and the gains (optimal shot cycle) probably do not outweigh the losses (less crit/mastery).

      Don’t forget that our goal is gorgeous dps (very pretty!) and not beautiful math (just looks good)

      So completely compensating for latency in this case is not the best thing to do.
      However, compensating for it a little does not nearly hurt as much and takes away the negative influence of latency a bit.
      Somewhere between 0 and 866 additional haste is that sweet spot.
      Simply run some testing on Female Dwarf by increasing haste to locate that spot.

      Latency is a real dps killer.
      Luckily enough you won’t have to add as much haste at the first soft plateau to compensate for latency since you have now 4 Cobra Shot casts to do so and still only have the 0.3 second delay from Explosive Shot.
      A 1.425s casttime on Cobra Shot from an additional 713 haste would make the math beautiful again.
      Still 713 haste is alot and your sweet spot will once again be somewhere between 0 and 713 additional haste.

      It gets really awful at the second hard plateau of 1.25s where you will have to deal with an effective delay of 0.05 seconds per Cobra Shot cast plus the 0.3 second delay from Explosive Shot.
      You simply will never reach this plateau with 300ms as you are capped at a 1.3s Cobra Shot casttime with your effective global cooldown.

      • Parbear says:

        The other option is adjusting the spell queue to allow for your latency. Try setting it around your latency to allow you more leeway in queuing the next cobra. Doing this does help with your casts, allowing you to have nifty looking cobras shooting with an explosive shot right behind it instead of after the spell is perceived as cast by your connection.

  27. Tempye says:

    It occurred to me last night during raid that haste stacking over mastery may have a significant effect on SV’s AOE damage. Since many hunters take SV as an AOE spec, I’m curious whether the net effect of a mass mastery->haste conversion is negative (reduced elemental damage on serpent/impserpent which are a major component of SV multi-shot damage) or positive (due to greatly increased focus regeneration via pure haste regen and quicker cobra shots).

    • Phorx says:

      I think it’s fair to assume that this analysis was only done for single-target fights in mind. Certainly reforging mastery -> haste will hurt AOE damage so if you’re highly relied upon for this task by your raid you’ll need to keep this in mind.

      • Tempye says:

        That’s what I initially suspected as well, but the standard 6% gearhaste SV AOE rotation looks something like multi-cobra-cobra repeat. A hasted version of this would make those cobras faster (and hence the entire cycle shorter).

        Multi-shot physical damage is not affected by mastery, but if you get more of them off due to better focus regen, the net damage per second goes up. It would be pure gain in this department from haste compared to mastery.

        Improved serpent goes off every time multi does, so more multis per second = more ISpS per second. On the other hand, a masteried version hits harder. I haven’t done the math to see which rating wins out here.

        The serpent DOT is the only thing that wouldn’t scale up with haste, and purely favors mastery.

        Ultimately, I really am curious which reforging pattern wins out on pure AOE.

  28. Phorx says:

    Based on this data I wonder if it would be possible to create a Reforgenator template with these plateaus in mind. I know you can model the first hard plateau, but beyond that I’m not so sure. If any one has had any luck at it please post here!

  29. Tipador says:

    I am curious how important haste is while firing 4 cobra shots on my way to the Second Hard Plateau. I just about have enough valor for my 4th tier piece. Currently I am using…

    Red: +40 Agi
    Yellow: +20 Agi +20 Crit
    Blue: +20 Agi +20 Hit

    Once i get the 4 piece I would like to reforge to haste. Just not sure if I would gain a lot by replacing agility gems for haste gems. Do you have any recommendations on gems to use at this point? Thanks a lot for this guild. It looks like fun to tryout in a couple days.

  30. Ominous says:

    Lovely. BM plateau info, please!

  31. Littlebear says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t really know how to test this:

    I’m sitting under the second soft plateau. I can waver between 21 and 24% with reforging, without any real drastic changes.

    I find after 3 Cobras I have a little time, but not enough for a 4th Cobra. I’ve been trying to slide an Arcane in there, and it feels like I’m close.

    If this can be made to work, that would make swapping out my Serpent Sting glyph for an Arcane Shot glyph.

    Any thoughts?

  32. sith554 says:

    Hello, first time commenting. You didn’t come out and say it so was just wondering that if we found ourselves partway between the first hard plateau and the soft one, is it beneficial to reforge OUT of haste as long as we don’t go below 758 total haste? I apologize if the question seems a little simple but I am longtime user of Zeherah’s DPS analyzer and it frequently rates haste so high it always shows a dps loss when i try reforging out of haste.

  33. Seviin says:

    Does the Goblin racial trait, Time is Money, have an effect on the numbers needed for the various haste plateaus?

    (Sorry, if I missed it somewhere…)

  34. Shadopènguin says:

    The goblin Racial Time is Money, How would this affect the amount of haste needed for each plateaus has anyone worked this out?

  35. Necrofurion says:

    Hey Frost, so now im with 4 piece t11, traded my boots of Malorne for the Boots of vertigo from Atramedes in an attempt to spam as much haste as possible. Got cobra shot down to 1.4 seconds or 1726 haste rating. Just wondering what your thoughts are on the Trinket drop from Nefarian for a Surivia hunter nowdays compared to my usual setup of Fluid death and Essence of the Cyclone?

    Thanks, Necro.

    • Elenser says:

      Would love an answer to this aswell. I have Darkmooncard, Essence of the cyclone and the trinket from neff to choose from as my second trinket and since i have the 4-set bonus the neff trinket looks good since im now stacking haste.

  36. Snowbulk says:

    If i’m already past the 1 soft plateau is it wise to change enchants to haste and does agi/haste gems become more beneficial then agi/crit gems in a yellow socket? I’m thinking yes but just wanted to be sure. thanks again frost for your total awesomeness about all things hunter!

  37. Hockeygurl35 says:

    Concerning the soft plateau cap, is there actually math on the value of 758.
    I only say this because my hunter currently has 706 haste from gear/talents and my cobra shot is currently at the soft cap time of 1.5 seconds. Using FD, actually reforging to hit the 758 ap results in a DPS loss of approximately 65. I was wondering if anyone else has found this to be true.

  38. Frostheim says:

    Yes — just take 1.8 seconds and divide by 1.haste-effect for every haste effect you have. Keep in mind that these numbers are only precise if you have all the buffs and talents listed, and no extras.

    But here’s the math: 1.8 seconds / 1.1 * 1.03 * 1.05914 = 1.49999

    This is (t11 4-piece cast time) / 1.(hunting party) * 1.(pathing) * 1.(758 haste rating from gear) = 1.49999

  39. Drölfeinhalb says:

    Hello guys.
    Very Interesting guide, and its the only one, whos answered nearly all my questions about haste caps.

    But I have one question:

    If an Item has Crit / Haste Stats; I should never reforge crit or haste into mastery, is that right?

    Does a guide exist about the mastery cap, or is mastery useless for SV-Hunters?

    Thanks for Help.

    Greetings Drölfeinhalb

    • Frostheim says:

      You will generally not want to reforge out of crit, except possible if you’re really right on the cusp of a hard plateau.

      Mastery is good, just not as good as other stats can be. There is no mastery cap.

  40. Sgtslaughter says:

    I read this post at work yesterday as I was concerned with my dps over the last few raids, I reforged and changed a few gems this evening and walah! 3k dps, happy to say that all bosses up to nef were over 22k dps. Thanks so much, you have a new fan!

  41. aox says:

    Soo looked over some off the firelands gear. And based on the haste nr’s there (not counting HM’s) i came up whit a max haste of 1753 (purely from gear no reforge, but still only found 3 slots where u can’t get haste). won’t this mean that Haste will be pretty crummy stat for surv hunters as soon as u break your T11 4 piece set (which u wanna do at when u get the T12 ^^ )

    Know that u can potentaly have 2 trinkets that give u haste proc’s, but is it worth gettin as much haste as possible and hope for trinket procs or would it be better too just get the first Plateau and stack crit and mastery after?? (since between the first Plateau and the soft Plateau haste isn’t too good)

    • iggi says:

      That’s exactly what I’m currently thinking about.. Since I broke my T11 4 piece set for T12 2 piece I’m hardly reaching the “SV Plateau 2” and doing less damage then before. Most of my items already offer haste as secondary stat and I own 6 additional nonset items with ilvl 378..

  42. nelson chow says:

    •If you are at or close to the soft plateau, reforge for haste and reap the delicious rewards. All excess hit and mastery should be reforged to haste where possible. You probably do not want to reforge your crit, however

    IF i got extra mastery i reforge to haste…
    but not reforging crit to haste …
    means crit is better than haste still ?
    if thats the case, shouldnt i reforge my mastery to crit ?
    this is kind of confuss me …. thanks if u can help…
    cos if haste is better than crit then i will reforge all crit to haste as well …
    or all hast to crit …after i reach SV Plateau 2: the First Soft Plateau

  43. Wolly says:

    Is the haste % for the second hard plateau a typo? It lists 27.096% haste as the percentage you should need to fit 4 cobras in between explosives, and I am at this percentage as well as have the 4pc. However, it also lists 3,470 as the required rating to reach this plateau, and I’m only at half of this with a cast time of 1.42 seconds.

    I’m sure I’m just missing something, but if someone could tell me what I’d appreciate it.

    • Wolly says:

      Ah, never mind. I think may have figured it out.

      I was looking only at the paper doll ranged tab’s haste line without mousing over it. The numbers I saw must have been taking into account the Hunting Party buff. Once moused over I saw that I was only at +11.99 haste. Guess I’ve got a lot more to go.

  44. Magnescide says:

    Why am I at 27.9% haste but my haste rating is only 1656 !
    Yours says 27.096% should be 3470 haste rating.

    I’m an 85 SV Hunter with 4-set Tier 11

    • Magnescide says:

      by the way… I see the post above. I just don’t really understand the difference between the 2 things it’s telling me. If 3470 is really the number to reach… it isn’t gonna happen.

    • Frostheim says:

      Your character pane shows your *total* haste, including talents and buffs. The number in this article is the amount of additional haste you need from haste rating alone, if you already have the buffs and talents listed.

  45. Magnescide says:

    ok, thanks, that makes sense…..
    but 3470 haste, wouldnt it just be easier to say its not reachable, lol? That seems impossible since I am in top level gear and can only get about 1700 additional haste…meaning i have half of what i need

  46. Necrofurion says:

    Hi Frost, just out of curiosity seen as though most people will be starting to transition to t12 2 set bonus pretty soon, we are going to be losing the 4 piece t11 bonus…is there any new reforging recommendations or do we still want to spam haste when we are hit capped?

  47. Zeon says:

    This is very hard to get accurate since they changed the way haste is displayed it’s really annoying trying to work it all out since the haste in game show’s differently could you please update it so it show’s haste as it doe’s in game because i think that will really help out a lot of people that are confused

    • Frostheim says:

      Just look at the cast time of cobra shot. That is what really matters at the end of the day.

      • Aravorn says:

        Hello Frost, first time commenting, Im a lvl 85 surv. hunter (aravorn on maelstrom) with an ilvl of 373 equipped. i currently just got the t12 4 piece bonus. i have reforged everything into crit and into haste where crit is not possible. i also have all the recommended enchants (except shoulders) but im still getting what i feel is a low haste rating of only 1605. am i doing something wrong or am i where im supposed to be?

  48. Purple says:

    I think I have too much haste on my hunter, he’s over 30% self buffed. My hunter is Pùrple on caelestrasz, currently showing pvp gear on armor sorry, will fix it in the morning.

  49. Fradin says:

    I tried last night to refoge all my mastery refoges to haste but I could only reach about 1250 haste in total plus my 10% buff however I lost dps by about 1000 overall on alot of fights . So I ended up taking my haste back to 800 and refoging my mastery back if I could not get crit. I stay around the 800 haste mark as I find it helps with my Aussie Latency whichs sits around 370 mark. I am using the 2 piece T11 and 2 piece T12 and current sit on just above 30% crit.

  50. Death says:

    So after teaching the 1.25 cobra casting time you stop reforging to mastery and back to crit? or will increasing haste still bring higher dps?

  51. Death says:

    I mean stop reforging haste and back to reforging to crit.

  52. kerbaroth says:

    any calculations for 2p t13 done yet? i can’t figure out a optimal way of reforging my gear

  53. kai says:

    yeah im really looking for the same answers as above…is it possible to reach the 4 cobra’s per 1 explosive with t13 set….i know they offer alot more haste that previously, but you lose the tier bonus which increases your cobra shot cast time. Im currently sitting just above the 6% haste plateau, reforging everything into crit, then w/e cant be converted to crit im putting into mastery. new update on this guide would be awesome

  54. Scott says:

    I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been using the hit > mastery > crit > haste build and I yielded MUCH higher dps that way. I’ve experimented with both and IMO, crit is what all hunters want, but each spec benefits different from mastery or haste. SV has more dots which yes haste will make them tick that much longer. But mastery will make all of them hit harder. I’m pulling around 32k unburied single target dps this way. Around 40k in raids

    • Frostheim says:

      Mmm… well first of all the actual dps difference between the secondary stats is actually very small.

      Also, haste does not make hunter dots tick any faster. That only works on the dots of mana users.

  55. Scott says:


  56. Kai says:

    First, thank Frostheim for writing this awesome guide, I have learned a lot.

    Second, after I have satisfied my Hit-cap and have maximized Crit, I still have 11% haste from gear. According to this guide, I am now good in terms of reforging, and I am supposed to continue to collect haste from gear while reforging into Crit whenever possible.

    However, I have also read another equally extensive guide elsewhere which says different. According to the other guide, with 2 PC T13, I am supposed to keep my haste in the 7%-10% range, and the closer towards 7% the better.

    The “theory” the 2nd guide uses is that 7% haste is already enough to shorten Cobra Shot cast time to the point where it allows me to fire exactly 3 in between two Explosives. Any haste that brings me beyond 10% but far away from the next plateau is supposed to benefit less, because I then have to wait a brief moment before I can cast the next Explosive.

    If the wait time 0.3 seconds, I have two options. Choice 1 is I keep on waiting for Explosive CD and waste more valuable time. Choice 2 is I squeeze in one extra Arcane shot so that I can make use of that extra wait time, but I would then delay my Explosive cast since I now triggered another GCD. This really becomes awkward and at least according to me, is in conflict with your guide.


    I am now having a hard time deciding which guide to follow, because both of them are equally good in the sense that they are both based on extensive analysis. Can anyone help me to decide?

    Sorry for the awfully long post. lol.

    • Kai says:

      Correcting typo in section 2, 3rd paragraph, first sentence.

      “If the wait time is ABOVE 0.3 seconds.” <— revised.

  57. Olang says:

    In 4.3, with the 4-piece T13 set, should be be shooting for the first hard plateau? I started getting outdps’d by hunters in similar gear and the only difference I could notice was that a few of them had haste around 500-1000 and mine was well over 2000. I was finding myself with so much focus that I had to keep dumping with Arcane and the rotation became clumsy. Any thoughts?
    Olang – Skywall

    • Tyggyr says:

      With 2pT13 haste beyond the first plateau is no longer desirable; 4pT13 just makes it worse. Go for hit cap, 758 haste, then crit, then mastery, and you stop feeling like you’re just dumping focus all the time and you can get back into the proper SV rhythm again.

  58. SteelRat says:

    So, if i hawe 4pc t13, and stats forged in to 2k+ haste (unbufed 15, i shopuld drop it to 758 and all left stats forge in to crit? ofcourse keeping 8% hit. Or just kep growing it?

  59. SteelRat says:

    i ment unbufed 15.86 %

  60. SteelRat says:

    O, i hawnt switched to SV, lol :D its then 27.45% with 2041 haste, so what to do? keep it thet way? or add more haste, i got some items with haste reforged to crit, so i can get even more haste if remowing the reforges

  61. Deeds says:

    Does anyone have a link to an armory profile with someone who has hit the 2nd hard plateau? I’m still working at hitting it and am curious about the items, gems, and chants I need to be going after.


    • tyragon says:

      ok so i have read all of this trying to get a grip on why my hunter cant compete with a lock/mage in the dps meters i know for a fact they can do 60,70k + on that last fight in DS yet best i cant ammount is 35,37k

      why is there no guide for T13 set bonus im still struggling to fit in ample ammounts of AS into my rotation to benefit from our 4 set bonus and in my MM spec its even worse im nearly fully kitted out in 397 gear and cant even get close

      any help would be awsome

  62. Vlad says:

    Frost, it is not really clear for me what should I do in my situation. I am SV and have 389 lvl gear (no T11 pieces in place). I have reforged mostly haste -> crit and some haste -> mastery. Current haste value is 1394. The amount of reforged haste is 900. By cancelling reforging I will get to the second soft plateau – 2294 haste. Will it be better for me to cancel reforging?

    • Isli says:

      hey vlad :) it very much depends if you have t13 as the the set bonuses change the values of haste somewhat. (2Pc regens focus with steady and cobra and 4 Pc carries the chance of a haste proc with arcane shot).

      As far as I can see this guide was last updated in patch 4.3.2

      Maths is not my strong point so I don’t want to give more specific advice, however you could try running your set up through Zehera’s spread sheet.

      Hope this helps a little