Survival Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, Pet Talents, and Glyphs (WoD 6.1)

Survival Hunter Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Survival Hunters in World of Warcraft WoD 6.1. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Survival Hunter guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Nnx, a top Hunter who raids in Huge in Japan, and whose stream you can watch on Twitch, and by Azortharion, one of the best Hunters in the world, who raids in Danish Terrace. He maintains his own Hunter guide, and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Posthaste Narrow Escape Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimaera
30 Binding Shot Wyvern Sting Intimidation
45 Exhilaration Iron Hawk Spirit Bond
60 Steady Focus Dire Beast Thrill of the Hunt
75 A Murder of Crows Blink Strikes Stampede
90 Glaive Toss Powershot Barrage
100 Exotic Munitions Focusing Shot Lone Wolf
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

Talents can easily be changed, thanks to Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind. You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 means of improving your movement and mobility (although they also have some secondary benefits).

Given the amazing usefulness of Deterrence Icon Deterrence, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimaera Icon Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimaera is the top choice for most encounters.

Posthaste Icon Posthaste is better for fights where you need extra mobility more than you need extra survival (or if Deterrence is not particularly useful in the encounter).

Narrow Escape Icon Narrow Escape can probably be quite useful in situations where you have to kite adds, but the number of such situations is quite low.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents offer you a choice between 3 talents that provide you crowd control and utility.

  • Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot fires an arrow at a random enemy, debuffing this player and allies of theirs within 5 yards, causing them to be stunned for 5 seconds if they move more than 5 yards from the location of the arrow. Being affected by the arrow causes players to be immune to Binding Shot for 10 seconds. It has a 45-second cooldown.
  • Wyvern Sting Icon Wyvern Sting puts the target to sleep for 30 seconds. The ability has a 45-second cooldown. Any damage done to the target will break the effect.
  • Intimidation Icon Intimidation commands your pet to stun the target for 3 seconds, with a 1-minute cooldown.

While none of these talents will have any effect on your DPS, Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot can bring some raid utility, as it can be used as a reliable stun for fights with adds. It can also be used as an interrupt, since placing it so that the add is at the edge of the targeted area will instantly stun it, regardless of whether or not it moves.

You should choose the talent that best suits your situation.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents offer you a choice between 3 means of improving your survivability.

  • Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration is a self-heal that heals you for 30% of your maximum health, and your pet for 100% of its maximum health. It has a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Iron Hawk Icon Iron Hawk reduces all damage you take by 10%.
  • Spirit Bond Icon Spirit Bond causes you and your pet to regenerate 2% of your maximum health every 2 seconds, while your pet is active.

In our opinion, the choice for maximising your survivability will come down to either Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration or Iron Hawk Icon Iron Hawk, but Iron Hawk takes the lead in most situations.

Iron Hawk provides you with a constant 10% damage reduction. This is a great asset, especially on fights where there are prolonged periods of intense raid damage. For progression raiding, this is undeniably the best choice.

Exhilaration gives you a great on-demand self-heal, which will undoubtedly save your life and help out your healers many times. Unfortunately, most deaths at this point of the game (progression-wise) come from burst damage, so damage reduction is always going to be better than reacting to the damage with a self-heal. Also, the fact that you have to actively use (and keybind) this spell is a further inconvenience, considering how many active abilities Hunters already have. Lastly, there is already something in the game which you can use to heal up instantly, namely Healthstone, so Exhilaration is really not needed.

Spirit Bond Icon Spirit Bond can be useful on fights where you are constantly taking damage (so that it does not overheal), but where the damage is too low for Iron Hawk to be efficient. In any case, we deem this talent to be lackluster in its current incarnation.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between 3 talents that increase your DPS.

  • Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus grants you a 50% increase in Focus regeneration for 10 seconds whenever you use two Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shots in a row.
  • Dire Beast Icon Dire Beast summons a beast to attack the target for 15 seconds. Each time the beast deals damage, you gain 2 Focus.
  • Thrill of the Hunt Icon Thrill of the Hunt is a passive ability that gives you a 6% chance to trigger a special effect each time you spend 10 Focus. When this effect is triggered, your next 3 Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shots or Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shots cost 20 Focus less.

Thrill of the Hunt Icon Thrill of the Hunt is currently the best choice in this tier. Steady Focus Icon Steady Focus is a close second, and Dire Beast Icon Dire Beast is currently the worst of the three.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between 3 DPS cooldowns:

  • A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows summons a flock of crows to attack your target for 15 seconds, with a 1-minute cooldown. If the target dies while under attack, the cooldown of A Murder of Crows is reset.
  • Blink Strikes Icon Blink Strikes grants your pet a passive ability, causing its Basic Attacks to deal 50% increased damage. Moreover, when Blink Strikes is taken, the pet uses its Basic Attacks from up to 30 yards away (with a minimum range of 10 yards) from the target, instantly teleporting behind the target. The teleportation effect has a 20-second internal cooldown.
  • Stampede Icon Stampede summons all your pets to fight your current target for 40 seconds.

Stampede Icon Stampede is the best choice in practically every situation. Neither A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows nor Blink Strikes Icon Blink Strikes can be viably used.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between 3 DPS abilities.

  • Glaive Toss Icon Glaive Toss throws two glaives at a target ahead of you. The glaives deal damage to all enemies in their path towards the main target, and slow them by 30% for 3 seconds. The glaives then return to you, dealing damage and applying their slow on their way back. The main target takes 4 times the damage that secondary targets take.
  • Powershot Icon Powershot is a powerful shot with a long cast time and a 45-second cooldown. It deals 450% weapon damage to the target, as well as 225% weapon damage to all enemies between you and the target.
  • Barrage Icon Barrage is a channeled spell that fires a barrage of shots at the main target, dealing damage over 3 seconds (a total of 16 shots in quick succession), while also dealing damage to all other enemy targets in a cone in front you (a total of 8 shots in quick succession to each target).

Powershot Icon Powershot is the best single target talent, but Glaive Toss Icon Glaive Toss is also a good option if the fight contains too much movement for Powershot to be efficiently used. For multiple target situations, Barrage Icon Barrage is the best choice.

8. Tier 7 Talents↑top

Tier 7 talents offer you a choice of various means of enhancing your DPS performance.

  • Exotic Munitions Icon Exotic Munitions allows you to modify your ranged weapon to passively have one of three effects. Each effect lasts for 1 hour, and only one can be active at any one time.
    • Incendiary Ammo Icon Incendiary Ammo causes your autoshots to deal additional Fire damage to all targets within 8 yards of your initial target.
    • Poisoned Ammo Icon Poisoned Ammo causes your autoshots to deal additional Nature damage over 16 seconds. When this effect is refreshed, the damage remaining on the existing DoT is added to the new one.
    • Frozen Ammo Icon Frozen Ammo causes your autoshots to deal additional Frost damage and reduce the target's movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds.
  • Focusing Shot Icon Focusing Shot is an improvement over Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shot, which it replaces. It has a longer cast time and cannot be used while moving, but it does vastly more damage, and generates considerably more Focus (14 for Cobra Shot and 50 for Focusing Shot).
  • Lone Wolf Icon Lone Wolf is a passive ability that increases your damage done with Auto Shot, Arcane Shot Icon Arcane Shot, Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shot, Black Arrow Icon Black Arrow, and Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot by 30% whenever you do not have an active pet. Lone Wolf also allows you to choose a raid buff to provide, from among all the raid buffs that pets can provide.

Lone Wolf Icon Lone Wolf is the best choice for single target fights, as well as for fights where the number of targets is low (2-3). For encounters with sustained AoE damage situations, or where you have to cleave a large number of targets, Focusing Shot Icon Focusing Shot is better. Exotic Munitions Icon Exotic Munitions is not currently viable.

9. Pet Talents↑top

Pets do not have talent trees. Instead, you can simply choose one of three specialisations for your pet (Ferocious Adaptation, Tenacious Adaptation, and Cunning Adaptation). You can change your pet's specialisation at any time (while out of combat), free of cost.

Each specialisation grants your pet a few specific abilities. Currently, Ferocious Adaptation provides the highest DPS in a raid environment, so it should be the default choice.

10. Major Glyphs↑top

There are several Major Glyphs that provide you with survival and utility improvements. You should choose these based on the encounter and based on your own personal needs.

  • Glyph of Animal Bond Icon Glyph of Animal Bond increases the healing you and your pet receive by 10% while your pet is active. If you are using a pet (so, not the Lone Wolf Icon Lone Wolf talent), then this glyph is a valuable asset during raids, and it is the only practically mandatory glyph.
  • Glyph of Deterrence Icon Glyph of Deterrence increases the damage reduction offered by Deterrence Icon Deterrence by 20%. This glyph is very useful and should be taken in practically all situations
  • Glyph of Disengage Icon Glyph of Disengage increases the distance you travel while disengaging. This glyph is very useful, but you must be aware that in some cases traveling farther when Disengaging might not be beneficial.
  • Glyph of Liberation Icon Glyph of Liberation heals you for 4% of your maximum health each time you use Disengage Icon Disengage. While this glyph can be useful in some situations, keep in mind that it is exclusive with Glyph of Disengage Icon Glyph of Disengage.
  • Glyph of Distracting Shot Icon Glyph of Distracting Shot sends the target of your Distracting Shot Icon Distracting Shot to attack your pet instead of you. The usefulness of this remains to be determined based on which bosses are susceptible to Distracting Shot.
  • Glyph of Mending Icon Glyph of Mending causes Mend Pet Icon Mend Pet to now tick every 1 second, and also increases the amount of healing by 25%. This can prove very useful for keeping your pet alive.
  • Glyph of Mirrored Blades Icon Glyph of Mirrored Blades causes all spells cast against you during Deterrence Icon Deterrence to be reflected back to the attacker, but it does not work against raid bosses. Also note that this glyph is exclusive with Glyph of Deterrence Icon Glyph of Deterrence.
  • Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot Icon Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot removes the Focus cost of Tranquilizing Shot Icon Tranquilizing Shot, but gives the spell a 10-second cooldown. This could prove to be a very minor DPS boost in fights where you need to seldom use Tranquilizing Shot.

11. Minor Glyphs↑top

Minor Glyphs do not provide any improvements to your performance, but there are a few that we believe are still worth mentioning.

  • Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah removes the dazing penalty when you are attacked while Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah is active. Instead, your Aspect is removed. This glyph can be very useful in a number of encounters, where you are able to benefit from the increased movement speed for extended periods of time (and it allows you to do so without the risk of being dazed).
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Pack Icon Glyph of Aspect of the Pack increases the range of Aspect of the Pack Icon Aspect of the Pack by 15 yards, making it more convenient to use in raid groups.
  • Glyph of Fetch Icon Glyph of Fetch teaches you the Fetch Icon Fetch ability, which allows you to have your pet retrieve the loot from a far-away corpse. This ability is excellent while questing or farming, significantly reducing the amount of time you spend running around to loot corpses.
  • Glyph of Play Dead Icon Glyph of Play Dead causes your pet to also feign death when you do. This glyph is extremely useful.
  • Glyph of Lesser Proportion Icon Glyph of Lesser Proportion reduces the size of your pet, slightly. This can be useful in raids, so that other raid members (especially tanks and melee healers) can have a better view of the boss and the boss mechanics.
  • Glyph of Tame Beast Icon Glyph of Tame Beast reduces the cast time of Tame Beast Icon Tame Beast by 4 seconds making it easier to tame some rare or damaging pets.

12. Changelog↑top

  • 15 Mar. 2015: Updated the tier 5, 6, and 7 talent discussions.
  • 16 Feb. 2015: Updated the tier 6 talent discussion.
  • 10 Jan. 2015: Updated tier 5, 6, and 7 talent discussions.
  • 02 Jan. 2015: Updated tier 4 talent discussion.
  • 26 Dec. 2014: Updated tier 4, 6, and 7 talent discussions.