Season of Discovery Survival Hunter Ranged DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Ranged DPS Survival Hunter, in WoW Classic - Season of Discovery. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, and others in order to minmax your damage efficiency.
The Hunter rotation is based around maximizing your Auto Shot usage. Whenever you use an ability, it has the potential to delay your Auto Shot if your Auto Shot is off cooldown and ready to go, meaning most of the time, you will want to use abilities in the down time between Auto Shot uses.
As an important note: this rotation page is virtually identical for both Marksmanship and Survival. Both specs take nearly identical talent builds at this level, meaning their play and optimization or going to be the same.
Normally, the only two abilities that you will use in your normal single-target rotation are Aimed Shot and Multi-Shot. You will never use Serpent Sting or Arcane Shot. There are two reasons for each. First, they are both magic-damage based abilities, meaning they do not scaled with your ranged AP. The more gear you get, the more your Aimed Shot and Multi Shot's physical damage will out scale them. Now that debuff limits are removed in the Season of Discovery, Serpent Sting is a solid choice for one of these slots, but is only worth using if you have the Mana to support it. Arcane Shot is bad because it shares a cooldown with Aimed Shot. Since you can only choose to use one of them, always use Aimed Shot. The only exception would be if the target was going to die before the Aimed Shot cast finished and you could get the Arcane Shot off instead.
However, with the new runes added in the Season of Discovery, you have the choice to have a third shot added into your rotation, placed as the highest priority ability. Currently, this is Chimera Shot. If you use Chimera Shot, you also will keep up Serpent Sting, as it will automatically be refreshed through your use of Chimera Shot.
Survival Hunter PvE Rotation
As a Hunter, unfortunately the pet runes are far too powerful to not take right now. The rotation below will be as if you take Chimera Shot, but that is not the optimal choice currently. If you take the standard pet runes, just drop Chimera Shot from the rotation below and replace those gaps with more melee weaving.
This is the basic full rotation. It will not always follow this exact order, but this is the order you should start with. Remember that the full rotation is all about maximizing Auto Shot usage, so prioritize getting Auto Shots off and using Chimera Shot and Aimed Shot in the downtime between shots. Multi Shot has a 10 second cooldown and will be a lower priority than your other two shots in single target scenarios.
Hunters are unique in that they have both a melee and a ranged basic attack with separate cooldowns and short animation times. During an open spot in your rotation, you can choose to run into melee to use Raptor Strike and Flanking Strike for some extra burst damage. To pull this off, you need to be doing your ranged rotation from the minimum distance, or 8 yards. As soon as you finish the Auto Shot, run into melee (within 5 yards), and use Raptor Strike. Once the Raptor Strike goes off, turn around and run back to the minimum ranged distance. You should only have to run 3-5 yards depending on your character's and the boss' hitboxes, making it a relatively short distance.
Especially when you are so limited in the number of ranged shots, melee weaving is where your skill can really shine. Maximizing melee weaving into the open ability slots in the rotation listed above is critical to maximizing your damage. In general, you'll want to use the following rotation listed below. You'll want to melee weave every 3 ranged auto shots, alternating melee weaving with two ranged shots and 3 auto shots in between.
A very important note: melee weaving is only worthwhile if you are not running either Aimed Shot or Chimera Shot. If you have both, staying at range full time will be more DPS.
Cooldowns for PvE as a Hunter
At level 40, Hunters now have access to Rapid Fire. This is your main damage cooldown, but is actually relatively weak comparatively. The general best practice is to use it on-pull with other damage based racial abilities since most encounters are short. Otherwise, just use your abilities when they're up or when you need them on encounters.
- Upcoming Season of Discovery Phase 2 Class Tuning: February 27th
- WoW Hardcore Self-Found Mode Begins February 29th
- Dragonflight 10.2.5 and Season of Discovery Hotfixes, February 21st
- Gnomeregan Trinket Sends Player to Forbidden Zones in SoD Phase 2
- Season of Discovery Hotfixes: February 20th
- Blizzard Acknowledges Gnomeregan Raid Lockout Bug
- Blizzard on AoE Threat in SoD Phase 2
- Season of Discovery and Classic Era Hotfixes: February 16th