This guide will cover the optimal raid dps hunter spec for level 90 Survival hunters in Mists of Pandaria. MoP launched with SV just behind BM in the spec race, and after some buffs in patch 5.2 SV is nearly neck & neck for the top dps spec, just a hair behind BM but with superior AoE capabilities. SV remains one of the top AoE specs in the game.
For a raiding SV hunter choosing talents, we traditionally consider which talents will have the greatest impact on single-target DPS. Keep in mind there will be fights where multi-target or AoE DPS matter more, and you’ll want to tweak your SV hunter spec for those fights.
We’re going to take a look at the best SV hunter talents for both raid and 5-man (AoE) situations.
SV Hunter Raid Talents for level 90 MoP:
- Level 15 Talent: This tier does not impact DPS. Take the talent you’d like.
- Level 30 Talent: Any talent of your choice; note that Binding Shot is a useful talent in some boss encounters.
- Level 45 Talent: Aspect of the Iron Hawk is the default raid talent, as it reduces total heal demand the most.
- Level 60 Talent: Dire Beast
- Level 75 Talent: A Murder of Crows Be aware you cannot have this ability active twice at once. If you use Readiness to reset A Murder of Crows, you still need to wait for the full duration to expire. If you reapply it while the crows are active, you’ll overwrite it — effectively ending the effect and starting over with a new one.
- Level 90 Talent: Glaive Toss
It’s worth stressing that while these are the theoretical best talents for top SV DPS in most single-target situations, very often there are alternative talents that are very nearly as good. I would stress, however, that Thrill of the Hunt is a poor choice for non-AoE fights. I point this out because it is a very deceptive but fun talent that lures many hunters into sub-optimal DPS… especially SV hunters for some reason, who are lulled into the dream of endless Arcane Shots and end up neglecting more damaging shots.
SV 5-Man / AoE Hunter Talents for MoP
I group 5-man and AoE together because, frankly, 5-mans are all about AoE. You spend far more time AoEing down trash than you do fighting bosses — and killing those bosses isn’t hard, so it’s not like you need to optimize to avoid a wipe.
Here are your SV AoE and 5-man talent selections:
- Level 15 Talent: Any talent of your choice. This tier does not impact DPS.
- Level 30 Talent: Any talent of your choice; note that Binding Shot and Wyvern Sting are the generally preferred 5-man choices, depending on your group make-up.
- Level 45 Talent: Spirit Bond is usually best for 5-mans, where you can’t always rely on a healer willing to heal.
- Level 60 Talent: Thrill of the Hunt provides the best general or sustained AoE DPS ability, though Fervor is better for AoE-on-demand – when you need to AoE hard at the drop of a hat, but aren’t generally AoEing most of the time. I usually stick with Thrill of the Hunt until it’s a raid boss where you know Fervor will be better.
- Level 75 Talent: Lynx Rush is my preferred AoE talent in this tier, although it doesn’t make a huge difference. A Murder of Crows is essentially useless in the short AoE burn situations, but it can be worth hanging onto for the bosses.
- Level 90 Talent: Barrage is the clear winner in AoE talents. Just be aware that it likes to shoot off at odd angles and long distances to pull in extra packs of mobs. With a little practice and positioning experience, however, you can learn to prevent these accidents.
The two talents that really impact your 5-man or AoE DPS are the level 60 and level 90 talents. At level 90 Barrage is a must — it is massively superior to Glaive Toss in AoE. For level 60 Thrill of the Hunt will generally serve you best in 5-mans, and Fervor can sometimes be better for certain raid bosses. But for raid trash I’d still stick with Thrill of the Hunt.