WotLK Classic Survival Hunter Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on Oct 08, 2023 at 18:13 by Impakt 7 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Survival Hunter in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in WotLK Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS.



In Vanilla and TBC, Hunters had to deal with clipping auto shots, resulting in a complex rotation revolving around weaving in abilities optimally between autos. In Wrath, auto-shot clipping is finally gone. You will always auto-shot normally, even while casting Steady Shot IconSteady Shot. This means our rotation is now far simpler and easier to manage, falling back to a basic priority list.


Single Target Rotation

Always start by ensuring all the required buffs are active, you have Aspect of the Dragonhawk IconAspect of the Dragonhawk up, and Hunter's Mark IconHunter's Mark is on the target.

  1. Kill Shot IconKill Shot
  2. Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot
  3. Explosive Trap IconExplosive Trap
  4. Kill Command IconKill Command
  5. Maintain Serpent Sting IconSerpent Sting
  6. Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot
  7. Steady Shot IconSteady Shot as your filler.

Kill Command IconKill Command is off the GCD. You can simply macro it into other spells to ensure you always use it properly.


Lock and Load Procs

When Lock and Load IconLock and Load procs, you are able to use three Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot back-to-back. Normally the DoT from your explosive shot would override the previous cast, but we can avoid that by down-ranking Explosive Shot casts. Whenever you get a Lock and Load proc, you still still follow the priority list above, but outside of when Kill Shot IconKill Shot is available you can just spam Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot as follows.

  1. Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot Rank 4
  2. Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot Rank 3
  3. Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot Rank 4

Different ranks of Explosive Shot have different DoTs, meaning they will not clip each other. This is the fastest and highest damage method of using your Lock and Load procs.


Trap Weaving

With the brand new addition of Trap Launcher IconTrap Launcher in Season 4, Hunters never need to worry about trap weaving ever again. You will now always use Explosive Trap on cooldown regardless of the number of targets or the size of their hit-box. Just throw your trap from a safe distance away and rejoice at being a range DPS once more!


AoE Rotation

Hunter AoE revolves entirely around two buttons: Explosive Trap IconExplosive Trap and Volley IconVolley. Volley is significantly more powerful in Wrath than in TBC, and actually makes Hunter AoE some of the strongest in the game. Properly setting up an Explosive Trap into Volley spam on an AoE pack will do absolutely incredible damage that very few other classes can even hope to compete with.



Hunters have several cooldowns that can be lined up for huge burst windows. While the actual timings may vary per fight, in general you should line up all of these on pull and then use them on cooldown afterwards, overlapping them when possible.

  • Rapid Fire IconRapid Fire is a Hunter's most important cooldown. It increases your ranged attack speed by 40% for 15 seconds.
  • Call of the Wild IconCall of the Wild is a cooldown that Ferocity pets can talent into. It gives both you and your pet 10% more AP for 20 seconds.


  • 27 Sep. 2023: Updated for Phase 4.
  • 30 Jul. 2023: Minor updates for later phases.
  • 17 Jan. 2023: Updated for Phase 2.
  • 01 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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