Survival Hunter Leveling Guide From 1 to 80 for WotLK Classic
On this page, you will find our level-by-level Survival leveling guide for Wrath Classic. Make sure to use the slider to make the guide adapt to your level. For more general leveling information, please refer to our Hunter leveling guide. We also have an Marksmanship Hunter leveling guide and a Beast Mastery Hunter leveling guide.
Survival is an amazing spec at Level 80, and is the best Hunter spec by far for early Wrath PvE content. For leveling, while it does lack some of the consistency that BM offers by buffing their pets, Survival brings more personal damage output, especially when it comes to AoE. If you are a more advanced player, leveling with a group, or doing dungeons, then Survival could very well be a better choice for leveling than Beast Mastery. If you are playing a Hunter for the first time however and are leveling alone, we would recommend trying out Beast Mastery while leveling.
Leveling Rotation, Talents, and Trainer Skills
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- Levels 10 to 14 — 5 points in Improved Tracking
- Levels 15 & 16 — 2 points in Survival Instincts
- Levels 17 to 19 — 3 points in Trap Mastery
Improved Tracking, Survival Instincts, and Trap Mastery are all excellent damage increases. These are mandatory in the first 3 rows. Pick up these before moving into some more preference choices.
- Levels 20 to 22 — 3 points in Hawk Eye
- Levels 23 & 24 — 2 points in Entrapment
- Level 25 to 27 — 3 points in Lock and Load
- Level 28 & 29 — 2 points in T.N.T.
With the next 5 points, these are more for quality of life. You can move these around if you wish, but Hawk Eye for the extra range is the best choice. After that, Entrapment gives you a solid defensive option for setting up AoE roots with your Frost Trap. This also will be very useful later on for setting up larger AoE pulls. Lock and Load and T.N.T. are absolutely required talents for the damage they bring.
- Level 30 — 1 point in T.N.T.
- Level 31 to 33 — 3 points in Killer Instinct
- Level 34 — 1 point in Entrapment
- Levels 35 to 39 — 5 points in Lightning Reflexes
Killer Instinct and Lightning Reflexes are straightforward damage increases, and required to get to more important points later in the tree.
- Level 40 — 1 point in Wyvern Sting
- Levels 41 to 43 — 3 points in Expose Weakness
- Level 44 — 1 point in Thrill of the Hunt
- Levels 45 to 49 — 5 points in Master Tactician
Wyvern Sting is an instant-cast, ranged-CC ability that is unbelievably useful in the open world and for PvP. This is a must-have as soon as you can get it. Expose Weakness is one of the most important DPS talents in the tree. Survival Instincts and Master Tactician are more damage increases, so dump your points into them.
- Level 50 — 1 point in Black Arrow
- Levels 51 to 53 — 3 points in Sniper Training
- Levels 54 & 55 — 2 points in Thrill of the Hunt
- Level 56 to 58 — 3 points in Resourcefulness
- Level 59 — 1 point in Hunting Party
Black Arrow gives you a new high-damage single-target option instead of just using traps. After picking up Black Arrow, you have some choices. Ultimately you will want most of the talents here, but the order you grab them in is more person preference. Hunting Party for instance might be more valuable if you are playing in a group of casters.
- Levels 60 — 1 point in Explosive Shot
- Levels 61 to 65 — 5 points in Lethal Shots
- Levels 66 to 70 — 5 points in Mortal Shots
Finish off the Survival tree with Explosive Shot. This is your biggest and most powerful shot, and will be the primary source of your damage from now on. Move over into the MM tree and pick up the standard points in Lethal Shots and Mortal Shots.
- Levels 71 — 1 point in Aimed Shot
- Levels 72 — 1 point in Go for the Throat
- Levels 73 & 74 — 2 points in Rapid Killing
- Levels 75 — 1 point in Go for the Throat
- Levels 76 to 80 — 5 points in Improved Aspect of the Hawk
Grab Aimed Shot first. The final points are a bit more of your choice, but again Go for the Throat and Rapid Killing are excellent options for leveling when you want to minimize down time. Finally, Improved Aspect of the Hawk is the best DPS option with what is left on the tree. You should also heavily consider finishing off Hunting Party if you are in a group with other mana-users.
- Command your pet to attack the target;
- Misdirection on your pet;
- Hunter's Mark;
- Kill Shot when target is below 20%;
- Kill Command whenever available;
- Serpent Sting;
- Explosive Shot;
- Black Arrow;
- Aimed Shot;
- Arcane Shot;
- Fill with Steady Shot.
The key at any level is getting as many Auto Shots off as possible before the target reaches you. The best way to accomplish this is by kiting backwards, moving in between each shot. At Level 8 Concussive Shot can help with this.
Do your class quest to get your pet. Once you have your pet, your kill speed and efficiency should become much better. Make sure you are careful with your threat, and try to let your pet tank whenever possible.
Feign Death is a great way to drop threat while fighting enemies. You can combine this with Aimed Shot or Multi-Shot to deal a burst of damage right before dropping threat to ensure your pet keeps aggro.
Wyvern Sting is an excellent crowd control tool.
Steady Shot is a spammable ability, and is one of your best DPS spells. This will be most of your damage from here on out.
List of Trainer Skills to Buy
All Hunter specs benefit from upgrading the same skills, so our list of skills to buy from trainers is the same, regardless of the spec. For this reason, you will find that list in our general Hunter leveling page.
How to Continue to Improve your Survival Hunter at Level 80
Some of the most relevant pages to dive deeper into are:
- The Survival Hunter Talent builds guide offers a default build to maximize your damage as a Survival Hunter;
- Our Survival Hunter Rotation guide teaches you how to actually deal damage in a variety of situations. It also includes tips on how to utilize your cool downs and utility.
- Check out the Survival Hunter Stats guide if you would like to learn how each stat affects your damage;
- The Gear guide for Survival Hunter includes a list of gear to for you to acquire and where to find it.
- 31 Aug. 2022: Page added.
- Wrath Classic Patch 3.4.1 Notes
- Wrath Classic Phase 2 Launching on January 17th
- Naxxramas Achievement Rewards to Remain Available Throughout Wrath Classic
- Patch 3.4.1 PTR Development Notes: January 6th
- Summon Gargoyle Changes on the Wrath Classic PTR
- Ahead of the Curve and Cutting Edge Achievements Coming to Wrath Classic
- No Changes Planned for Ulduar Tier Sets Beyond 6 Item Level Bump
- Wrath Classic Season 1 Ends January 9th