Best SV Hunter Talents

Posted: by Delirium

reviewed and accurate
Reviewed 2/24/2015
Patch 6.1

View other WHU WoW hunter guides. Updated for patch 6.1.

This guide will cover the optimal raid dps hunter spec for level 100 Survival hunters in Warlords of Draenor.

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.

SV Hunter Raid Talents:

  • 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:   Iron Hawk is generally the default raid talent, as it smooths out times of heavy damage, when heals are needed the most by everyone.
  • Level 60 Talent:  Thrill of the Hunt will generally provide the best DPS, and should be taken when pairing with Lone Wolf, or if there will be any times of multiple targets.  With the tier 17 set bonuses, Steady Focus may pull ahead when paired with Focusing Shot, as you’ll have more focus free shots, and less time to cast Arcane Shots.
  • Level 75 Talent: A Murder of Crows or Stampede; as it currently stands, both options provide good single target DPS, and the value of either will change depending on fight length and particular mechanics.  If the boss is moving a lot, Crows becomes the preferable talent, if on the other hand, the fight will last just under 6 minutes, Stampede will provide significantly greater DPS than Crows.
  • Level 90 TalentBarrage is currently providing the greatest DPS, compared to the other two talents in this tier. When taking Lone Wolf, Glaive Toss may be preferable, with its lower Focus Cost.
  • Level 100 Talent: Focusing Shot has the greatest potential for single target DPS, however, requires the movement restrictions will lead some hunters to choose Lone Wolf, as it isn’t very far behind in single target damage, while not having any movement restrictions. With the tier 17 set bonuses, Lone Wolf should pull ahead of Focusing Shot in damage provided.


SV AoE and 5-man Hunter Talents:

When dealing with occasional Cleave needs, SV Hunters can use the single target rotation, simply using Barrage on adds, or keeping up Serpent Sting through the use of occasional Multi-shots.  With 4 or more targets, however, the following represents 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. In raids, though, Iron Hawk will remain the best talent choice.
  • Level 60 Talent:  Thrill of the Hunt provides the best general and sustained AoE DPS, as it allows more Multi-Shot/Serpent Spread spam.
  • Level 75 Talent: A Murder of Crows should be used on targets with 12-15 seconds left to live.  Even though it is a single-target ability, it remains our most efficient ability, and when taking advantage of its reset mechanic, can provide great DPS boosts to our AoE rotation.  
  • Level 90 Talent: Barrage is the general choice for an AoE talents. When paired with Focusing Shot, its high focus cost isn’t too difficult to manage, though it’s important to note that if the focus management causes too much trouble with higher priority shots, Barrage can result in a DPS loss. 
  • Level 100 Talent: In AoE fights, Focusing Shot provides the greatest DPS boost, in the form of additional Multi-shots, and an easy way to insure the use of Barrage on CD.

The talents that really impact your 5-man or AoE DPS are the level 60, level 90 and level 100 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.  Though it may be counter-intuitive for AoE fights, which generally require greater movement, the additional Multi-shots you’ll be able to use from Focusing Shot should put it ahead of the rest at Level 100.

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  1. Dracodraco says:

    Dire beast is not the strongest surv talent. Fervor is, by far, the strongest of the 3. I don’t even know why you’d suggest dire beast as it’s the weakest. FD shows me at a 7.3K dps loss, going from fervor to dire beast.

    • Frostheim says:

      It’s certainly possible that you have a specific combination of gearing that favors Fervor; however, I suspect you might be getting an anomalous result. Try manually bumping your haste up and down by 5 or so — it can sometimes radically change the benefit of certain abilities.

  2. Dracodraco says:

    Feel free to simulate me yourself – Dracodraco on Laughing Skull EU.
    136320.00 DPS with fervor.
    129066.10 DPS with Dire Beast.
    Adding and subtracting 5-10-15… and so on haste, up to a total of +50 and -50, the biggest difference is:
    -274.92 at +30 haste.
    -181.01 at -50 haste.

    There’s just no way that this is a case of shot shifting or small overvalueing. But hey, if you can find the error, feel free. It’s probably because Dire beast doesn’t scale as well with gear as the focus from fervor does, I do have 523 ilvl after all.

  3. Dracodraco says:

    Aah, I found it now – I forgot to add dire beast to my shot priority :). My bad ;s.

  4. wtf says:

    wtf how does someone with a 523 ilvl not know how to play?

  5. Anjan says:

    Thrill of hunt actually quite good. it grants u 3 free arcane shot. As long as u dont see red and keep pushing the arcane shot button more than thrice u will be fine. ur primary target is explosive shot, but when ToH procs, which procs often and can proc from any attack, quickly fire 3 shots.

    Also its worth noticing that –

    1) T15 4 set bonus can proc a free 100% weapon damage as nature while u cast arcane and multi shot

    2) if u have the legendary meta gem, u will absolutely love the 3 free arcane shot, as sometimes each of the 3 arcane shot fired grants u 3 charges. and upon reaching 5 charges u electrify the current target :D

    Most of all, played right u shouldn’t be focus starved, and playing as surv ur beast is not as powerful as compared to a BM hunter. ur kitty only get stronger if ur atack power increases. So that kinda make dire beast or fervor less preferable for me :D

    Also, the less cooldown i have to track the better :P

    just my thoughts!

  6. Link10 says:

    I have a feeling the decision for tier 4 talent changes with T16 2piece
    ToTH with that 2 piece, may equal about 4 or more rapid fires on a every long encounter
    8 seconds CD reduced per arcane shot, arcane shot regularly costs 30, with proc 10. 3 times as many arcane shots. instead of regular 8 seconds reduction, 24. Ideally, as long you do not forget any other ability (LnL, BA) you can have 16 seconds quicker Rapid Fire. Around 5 procs you have a rapid fire again, and then with ToTH and a new rapid fire you are getting closer to the next rapid fire.

    • MonsterNRG says:

      This brings up a good point, i have not looked/thought of this as i am currently running Dire Beast. I think i’ll switch to ToTH tonight and see how this flows.