Survival Hunter DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
This page will guide you through the new Azerite trait system, helping you find the best traits and items to use. To get the most out of the Azerite system for your Survival Hunter in World of Warcraft's Battle for Azeroth 8.1 Patch, we recommend also reading our complementary Heart of Azeroth guide, which explains the Heart of Azeroth, the item that opens up the Azerite system.
1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Survival Hunter
Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay.
The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait ( Blood Rite) to an extremely good one ( Steady Aim). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.
It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina, increasing your maximum health. A tiny difference in that regard can be the difference between dying and surviving, so item level is almost always king.
2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Survival Hunter
In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. While the traits are ordered by power, this order is not a very strict priority, but more of a guideline.
2.1. Reorigination Array
The Reorigination Array is a buff that is activated within Uldir when you are using one trait of either Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix. The Array increases your highest secondary stat by 75 per stack. Every week, it gains a stack when you kill 3 raid bosses in Uldir on any difficulty. It tops out at 10 stacks, or 750 of your highest secondary stat.
Because of this, using either Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix is mandatory inside Uldir. You only need one trait to activate the Reorigination Array.
There are no traits that are so good that it is worth dropping Reorigination Array.
2.2. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Wilderness Survival is a nearly mandatory trait for Survival, but only the first point of this trait is good, since only the first point of this trait will offer you the cooldown reduction on Wildfire Bomb, which is what gives the trait most of its value.
Blur of Talons is the best pure single-target trait for Survival Hunters and generally the best overall choice for raiding. It is best used with the Birds of Prey talent as they synergize extremely well, and it all adds up to an extremely powerful trait that far exceeds the single-target value of any other trait aside from the first trait of Wilderness Survival.
Archive of the Titans and Laser Matrix are essentially mandatory traits to have on your gear when raiding in Uldir on any difficulty. This is because having at least one of these traits will activate Reorigination Array, a passive effect that vastly increases your highest secondary stat each week. Archive of the Titans is generally the best one, but it is not very important which one you have, as long as you have at least one in Uldir.
2.3. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are all fairly close, and they will rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Overwhelming Power has the highest DPS potential of the traits in this ring, but it will lose efficiency whenever you take damage, which can be very often in some raid encounters.
Gutripper is almost as good as the above two traits for pure single-target scenarios, but most of its value comes in at the execute phase of the fight. This makes it very powerful for high-end raid progression, where the last phases of difficult fights are often about killing the boss before damage ramps up and kills the raid first. Gutripper helps maximize damage at this stage of the fight and deserves a special mention.
Heed My Call is almost as good as Overwhelming Power, but it does not have the caveat of losing efficiency when you take damage. Both traits are entirely viable and choosing between them will almost never dictate a gear swap.
Azerite Globules is generally not worth choosing. Its main value comes from AoE damage, but the debuff has to actually stack up 3 times before it does damage. In Mythic+ where AoE is the most prevalent, targets die constantly, meaning that many stacks of this debuff will get lost.
2.4. Inner Ring
The Inner Ring consists mostly of defensive or utility traits.
Duck and Cover reduces Feign Death's cooldown to 25 seconds, and it causes Feign Death to give you a small absorb shield. Because this one is actually entirely in your control, it can be a lifesaver at the right moment. Being able to Feign Death more often can allow you to negate certain spells in Mythic+ more often as well, so it is definitely the best trait in this tier.
Longstrider is arguably the best "DPS" option in this tier. By increasing your movement speed, it allows you to close gaps and dodge things slightly faster.
Resounding Protection is an absorb shield that automatically gets applied every 30 seconds. This is one of the best defensive traits to have, as you will always be able to benefit from it.
3. Azerite Traits Rotation Changes and Details for Survival Hunter
Some of your Azerite Traits in Battle For Azeroth can have a small effect on your rotation. They generally do not change the fundamentals, but they allow you to use their effects to squeeze just a little bit more damage out than your competition.
- Latent Poison usage is optimized by ensuring that no target ever reaches 10 stacks. If a target is at 9 or 10 stacks, especially in multi-target situations, you should swap to that target and cast Raptor Strike to spend the stacks. There is no particular value in waiting for the debuff to stack up, you are only going to lose DPS by playing too much around this trait.
- Blur of Talons causes Birds of Prey to become the best single-target talent. You should try to maintain the buff as much as possible, but this is usually not very problematic. You should not use or refresh Serpent Sting at all during Coordinated Assault when using this trait/talent combination. Your Focus is better spent on Raptor/Mongoose to keep the buff alive. It is still worth spending Viper's Venom procs.
4. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Survival Hunter
Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.
Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.
We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.
4.1. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are the most important from a DPS perspective.
Here we have listed a ranking for the Outer Ring traits in terms of single-target DPS. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite traits, we have only listed the best 25.
4.2. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are shared for all classes and specs. For any DPS spec, you should always pick among the DPS options and ignore the defensive or heal options for PvE.
Here we have listed a ranking for Middle Ring traits in terms of DPS for single-target situations.
4.3. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits Comparison for Survival Hunter
4.3.1. Outer Ring
Here we have listed a ranking for the Outer Ring traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite traits, we have only listed the best 10.
4.3.2. Middle Ring
Here we have listed a ranking for Middle Ring traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations.
5. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Survival Hunter. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 21 Dec. 2018: Updated the Azerite Trait recommendation for Mythic+.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary. Primeval Intuition, the new Survival Azerite trait in Patch 8.1, is not very good currently and not worthy of a mention in the guide.
- 19 Oct. 2018: Added a small section emphasizing that having at least one Uldir trait within the raid is mandatory for optimal performance.
- 19 Oct. 2018: Added note about Blur of Talons and its effect on Serpent Sting usage during Coordinated Assault.
- 15 Oct. 2018: Added Blur of Talons paragraph to the list of contextual descriptions of some traits.
- 25 Sep. 2018: Updated the Azerite Trait simulation to account for the latest hotfixes.
- 20 Sep. 2018: Restructured the page and added some written recommendations.
- 18 Sep. 2018: Updated the Azerite Trait simulation.
- 12 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation to include Meticulous Scheming properly.
- 08 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 05 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 30 Aug. 2018: Updated Azerite Trait simulation.
- 27 Aug. 2018: Expanded on how to use Latent Poison in AoE situations, and that the /petattack macro is mostly relevant for Birds of Prey users.
- 26 Aug. 2018: Removed mention of a trait requirement to refresh Serpent Sting during Mongoose Fury. It is now worth doing regardless.
- 24 Aug. 2018: Updated the Azerite Simulation.
- 23 Aug. 2018: Added a link to the origin spreadsheet for the simulation chart. Added Blur of Talons to the rotational changes.
- 18 Aug. 2018: Expanded further on the rotational impact of some Azerite Traits, and updated the Azerite simulation.
- 17 Aug. 2018: Expanded on the rotational impact of some Azerite Traits.
- Added a useful /petattack macro for Raptor Strike when using Latent Poison, and added Latent Poison rotation info in general.
- Added note about refreshing Serpent Sting during Mongoose Fury if you have Latent Poison or Venomous Fangs.
- 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 10 Aug. 2018: Added Survival Hunter Azerite page.
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