Survival Hunter Leveling Guide From 1 to 80 for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Aug 31, 2022 at 19:42 by Impakt 1 comment

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

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 70

Leveling Talents

  • Levels 10 to 14 — 5 points in Improved Tracking IconImproved Tracking
  • Levels 15 & 16 — 2 points in Survival Instincts IconSurvival Instincts
  • Levels 17 to 19 — 3 points in Trap Mastery IconTrap Mastery

Improved Tracking IconImproved Tracking, Survival Instincts IconSurvival Instincts, and Trap Mastery IconTrap 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 IconHawk Eye
  • Levels 23 & 24 — 2 points in Entrapment IconEntrapment
  • Level 25 to 27 — 3 points in Lock and Load IconLock and Load
  • Level 28 & 29 — 2 points in T.N.T. IconT.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 IconHawk Eye for the extra range is the best choice. After that, Entrapment IconEntrapment gives you a solid defensive option for setting up AoE roots with your Frost Trap IconFrost Trap. This also will be very useful later on for setting up larger AoE pulls. Lock and Load IconLock and Load and T.N.T. IconT.N.T. are absolutely required talents for the damage they bring.

  • Level 30 — 1 point in T.N.T. IconT.N.T.
  • Level 31 to 33 — 3 points in Killer Instinct IconKiller Instinct
  • Level 34 — 1 point in Entrapment IconEntrapment
  • Levels 35 to 39 — 5 points in Lightning Reflexes IconLightning Reflexes

Killer Instinct IconKiller Instinct and Lightning Reflexes IconLightning Reflexes are straightforward damage increases, and required to get to more important points later in the tree.

  • Level 40 — 1 point in Wyvern Sting IconWyvern Sting
  • Levels 41 to 43 — 3 points in Expose Weakness IconExpose Weakness
  • Level 44 — 1 point in Thrill of the Hunt IconThrill of the Hunt
  • Levels 45 to 49 — 5 points in Master Tactician IconMaster Tactician

Wyvern Sting IconWyvern 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 IconExpose Weakness is one of the most important DPS talents in the tree. Survival Instincts IconSurvival Instincts and Master Tactician IconMaster Tactician are more damage increases, so dump your points into them.

  • Level 50 — 1 point in Black Arrow IconBlack Arrow
  • Levels 51 to 53 — 3 points in Sniper Training IconSniper Training
  • Levels 54 & 55 — 2 points in Thrill of the Hunt IconThrill of the Hunt
  • Level 56 to 58 — 3 points in Resourcefulness IconResourcefulness
  • Level 59 — 1 point in Hunting Party IconHunting Party

Black Arrow IconBlack 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 IconHunting Party for instance might be more valuable if you are playing in a group of casters.

  • Levels 60 — 1 point in Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot
  • Levels 61 to 65 — 5 points in Lethal Shots IconLethal Shots
  • Levels 66 to 70 — 5 points in Mortal Shots IconMortal Shots

Finish off the Survival tree with Explosive Shot IconExplosive 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 IconLethal Shots and Mortal Shots IconMortal Shots.

  • Levels 71 — 1 point in Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot
  • Levels 72 — 1 point in Go for the Throat IconGo for the Throat
  • Levels 73 & 74 — 2 points in Rapid Killing IconRapid Killing
  • Levels 75 — 1 point in Go for the Throat IconGo for the Throat
  • Levels 76 to 80 — 5 points in Improved Aspect of the Hawk IconImproved Aspect of the Hawk

Grab Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot first. The final points are a bit more of your choice, but again Go for the Throat IconGo for the Throat and Rapid Killing IconRapid Killing are excellent options for leveling when you want to minimize down time. Finally, Improved Aspect of the Hawk IconImproved 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 IconHunting Party if you are in a group with other mana-users.


Leveling Rotation

  1. Command your pet to attack the target;
  2. Misdirection IconMisdirection on your pet;
  3. Hunter's Mark IconHunter's Mark;
  4. Kill Shot IconKill Shot when target is below 20%;
  5. Kill Command IconKill Command whenever available;
  6. Serpent Sting IconSerpent Sting;
  7. Explosive Shot IconExplosive Shot;
  8. Black Arrow IconBlack Arrow;
  9. Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot;
  10. Arcane Shot IconArcane Shot;
  11. Fill with Steady Shot IconSteady Shot.

The key at any level is getting as many Auto Shot IconAuto 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 IconConcussive 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 IconFeign Death is a great way to drop threat while fighting enemies. You can combine this with Aimed Shot IconAimed Shot or Multi-Shot IconMulti-Shot to deal a burst of damage right before dropping threat to ensure your pet keeps aggro.

Wyvern Sting IconWyvern Sting is an excellent crowd control tool.

Steady Shot IconSteady 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

Once you achieve Level 80 we suggest you check out Survival Hunter Guide, which goes more in detail of how to play your Level 80 Survival Hunter.

Some of the most relevant pages to dive deeper into are:



  • 31 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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