View other WHU WoW WoD hunter guides. Updated for patch 6.0.
This guide will cover the optimal raid dps hunter spec for level 100 Survival hunters in Warlords of Draenor. Unfortunately, WoD launched with SV close to the bottom of the DPS charts for single target.
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: Iron Hawk is generally the default raid talent, as it smooths out times of heavy damage, when heals are needed the most by everyone. However, due to the increased health pools and other changes to healing in Warlords, Spirit Bond will often provide more healing than Iron Hawk will provide mitigation. This generally won’t be an issue because Lone Wolf is such a strong talent, but is worth mentioning.
- Level 60 Talent: Dire Beast is currently offering the largest single target DPS boost.
- Level 75 Talent: A Murder of Crows As it currently stands, aMoC provides the greatest increase to single target DPS for MM hunters, and with the reduced focus cost, CD and duration, it is much simpler to fit into your rotation.
- Level 90 Talent: Barrage is currently providing the greatest DPS, compared to the other two talents in this tier.
- Level 100 Talent: As it currently stands, Lone Wolf has the greatest impact on single target DPS for MM hunters.
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, as you won’t have enough time at the beginning of the expantion to use many Arcane Shots. 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 AoE and 5-man Hunter Talents for MoP
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. Due to changes to healing mechanics in WoD, Spirit Bond is now a viable option for a raid talent also, as it will often provide more healing than Iron Hawk will mitigate. However, most healers / raid leaders will prefer you use the damage mitigation talent, as it is most helpful in times of high damage, when healing is more necessary.
- Level 60 Talent: Thrill of the Hunt provides the best general or sustained AoE DPS a, as it allows more Multi-Shot/Serpent Spread spam.
- Level 75 Talent: For AoE, all three level 75 talents provide very similar DPS. Blink Strikes currently has the most potential for general AoE damage; however, because you will generally you need to prioritize one target over others, a Murder of Crows will serve your raid the best.
- 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.
- Level 100 Talent: When dealing with lots of adds, 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.