WotLK Classic Survival Hunter Guide
Welcome to our Survival Hunter guide for WotLK Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play Survival Hunter proficiently. Click the links below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.
Hunters are master marksmen and, with the help of a fierce animal companion, can deal damage from range without ever letting their target get close. With special tracking abilities, traps, and a wide range of utility spells, Hunters are a great choice for anyone looking for a strong solo class with incredible ranged damage and unique utility.
Survival Hunters specifically focus on dealing massive damage through their traps and DoT-based shots. While Survival was overshadowed slightly by Beast Mastery in TBC, they are the premier Hunter spec for at least the first tier of Wrath. With their new talent Explosive Shot, Survival has an amazing damage and utility toolkit that makes it incredible for the early tier 7 raids. It also cannot be understated just how important Hunter is for raids when it comes to CC, pulling trash, and other odd-jobs. Thanks to their exceptional base damage on abilities, Survival is quite strong early on in Wrath, and is worth giving a try if you are at all interested in Hunter.
If you would like to see where Survival Hunters fall in the overall rankings among DPS specs for both PvE and PvP in Wrath Classic, we have created pages dedicated to explaining what classes and specializations are the best of the best through multiple factors. However, ultimately, you should not let these lists dissuade you from playing what you enjoy.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Excellent damage of all types, both on AoE and single target.
- Brings a raid buff with Hunting Party.
- Strong utility, including Misdirection and Feign Death.
- One of the easiest classes to gear early on in Wrath.
- Incredible leveling speed and solo-play ability out in the world.
- Pet-based class, which means you will need to micro-manage your pet sometimes.
- Damage falls off slightly in later tiers.
- Lack of defensive and self-healing cooldowns.
Best Horde Races for Hunters
The best Horde Hunter race for both PvE and PvP is Orc.
For Horde, the choice is close between Orc and Troll, but Orc is slightly better. Orc gives you 5% more pet damage from Command and Blood Fury as a nice DPS cooldown. This combination is quite strong, and Orcs will be the best PvE and PvP race almost all of the time.
Overview of Horde Races for Hunters
- Beast Slaying gives a 5% damage bonus against Beasts.
- Berserking is a 3-minute cooldown that gives you 20% increased attack and casting speed for 10 seconds.
- Bow Specialization increases your crit chance by 1% when using a bow.
- Throwing Specialization increases your crit chance by 1% when using a thrown weapon.
- Regeneration gives +10% passive health regeneration and allows you to regenerate 10% of your total health regeneration during combat.
Trolls are a strong PvE choice, but ultimately are slightly worse than Orcs. Berserking is a strong offensive cooldown, and Beast Slaying is powerful while leveling, but is only useful for a handful of bosses in raids and dungeons. Bow Specialization is also quite strong, but only if you are using a bow. Unfortunately, you will not use a bow for most of Wrath in PvE. Throwing Specialization and Regeneration are both ultimately negligible and should not influence your choice of race.
- Axe Specialization increases your Expertise by 5 while wielding an axe.
- Blood Fury is a 2-minute cooldown that increases your Attack Power for 15 seconds.
- Command increases your pet damage dealt by 5%.
- Hardiness reduces the duration of stun effects by 15%.
Orc is the dominant race choice for both PvP and PvE as a Survival Hunter. Hardiness is a decent racial in PvP, as Hunters are susceptible to being bursted down in a single stun. Command provides a strong damage bonus to your pet, which is what makes Orc so powerful in PvE with how strong pets are for Hunters in Wrath. Blood Fury is also a great DPS cooldown now that the boosts both you and your pet.
- Cultivation increases your Herbalism skill by 15.
- Endurance increases your total health by 5%.
- Nature Resistance increases your Nature Resistance by 10.
- War Stomp is a 2-minute cooldown that stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds, with a 0.5-second cast time.
War Stomp can be a great ability for PvP and the 5% increased health from Endurance is nice, but Tauren does not give any damage increase. War Stomp is also only situationally useful, as it requires you to be close to your target, which only really happens when you have a melee target chasing you. Tauren is the weakest choice for PvE and only situationally good in PvP.
Best Alliance Races for Hunters
The best Hunter Alliance race is ultimately a personal choice for PvE, with a slight lean towards Draenei. For PvP, Night Elf is going to be the best race.
For PvE, Draenei will be the best choice early on because of Heroic Presence. This is incredibly useful in getting the Hit cap early, and is even a party-wide aura. However, this just means that each group in a raid only needs one Draenei for the entire group to benefit from the aura. All Shamans will be Draenei for the Alliance, so they usually have that covered, but it does give you another buff you bring to raids. However, Night Elf and Dwarf offer no meaningful PvE benefits other than Night Elf having a slightly higher base Agility, so if you did want to make the investment, you could.
For PvP, the choice is much easier. Night Elf is the best PvP race entirely because of Shadowmeld. Shadowmeld is an incredibly strong ability in Wrath, effectively giving you a Vanish that can be used in combat. This will also stop casting against you, and can even negate spells in the air. It is hard to overstate just how nice of an ability Shadowmeld is for PvP when you use it properly.
Overview of Alliance Races for Hunters
- Nature Resistance increases your Nature Resistance by 10.
- Quickness increases your Dodge Chance by 1%.
- Shadowmeld is now a 2-minute cooldown, allowing you to enter a pseudo-Stealth state while standing still, but it can now be used in combat. It also does not drop threat.
- Wisp Spirit causes you to transform into a wisp upon death, increasing your movement speed by 50% while dead.
Shadowmeld is a powerful ability for PvP which allows you to stealth in a single spot, potentially giving you the opener if you can position yourself carefully. It is also very useful while leveling because you can macro Shadowmeld together with your food and water to eat and drink while stealthed, reducing the chance that something will catch you off guard. Quickness is also useful in PvP when fighting melee. Night Elf is technically superior to Dwarf for damage, but only because of their higher base Agility, meaning the difference is marginal.
- Find Treasure allows you to sense nearby treasure (chests mainly), making it appear on the minimap.
- Frost Resistance increases your Frost Resistance by 10.
- Gun Specialization increases your crit chance by 1% while using a gun.
- Stoneform removes all bleed, poison, and disease effects, as well as increasing your Armor for 8 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown.
Gun Specialization would be strong, but unfortunately Hunters almost never use guns throughout Wrath. In PvE, the best weapons are almost exclusively bows and crossbows all the way through the expansion. Stoneform is a very powerful ability for PvP and can give you the edge when fighting Warriors and Rogues, as you can immune their bleeds and poisons.
- Gemcutting increases your Jewelcrafting skill by 5.
- Shadow Resistance increases your Shadow Resistance by 10.
- Gift of the Naaru is a scaling heal that will heal your target over the course of 15 seconds.
- Heroic Presence increases the hit chance for everyone in your party within 30 yards by 1%
Hunters do lack self-healing in combat, so Gift of the Naaru can be quite nice to have, especially in PvP. For PvE, Heroic Presence is an excellent party buff that is incredibly strong early on for every group to have. However, only one person in the group needs to be a Draenei for everyone to benefit – this does not stack.
Best Professions for Survival Hunters
In Wrath, your choice of profession matters more than ever before. All professions now give some sort of stat bonuses when leveled up, making the choice important if you want to get the best DPS setup possible. That being said, the actual DPS difference between a profession like JC and another crafting profession is actually pretty minimal. For instance, Enchanting gives 80 AP while JC gives 84, so a difference of 4 AP. If you are okay with that small difference, then freely choose any non-gathering profession you wish.
The best profession to have as a Hunter is Engineering. In addition to several incredible utility tinkers, Engineering's primary appeal is the Hyperspeed Accelerators tinker, which gives you an on-use buff of 340 Haste for 12 seconds every minute. This is the only profession buff that is an actual cooldown instead of a static buff, and it is incredibly powerful for most classes.
Jewelcrafting is the second best profession for Hunters, especially before Epic gems are added in. Being a JC allows you to craft special gems with extra stats, for a total net gain of an additional 84 AP or 42 Agility over using normal gems.
- 29 May 2023 (pre-raid gear page): Updated for Phase 3.
- 21 May 2023 (gear page): Updated for Phase 3 ahead of ToGC raid release.
- 21 May 2023 (enchants page): Updated for Phase 3 ahead of ToGC raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (enchants page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (stats page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (pets page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (talents page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (spells page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (this page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 17 Jan. 2023 (pre-raid gear page): Updated for Phase 2.
- 17 Jan. 2023 (gear page): Updated for Phase 2.
- 17 Jan. 2023 (rotation page): Updated for Phase 2.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (pre-raid gear page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (gear page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (enchants page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (stats page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (rotation page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (pets page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (talents page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (spells page): Page added.
- 01 Sep. 2022 (this page): Page added.
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