Survival Hunter DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Oct 09, 2021 at 14:48 by Azortharion 20 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Survival Hunter guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. Here, you will learn how to play as a Survival Hunter in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Survival Hunter guide.

1.

Survival Hunter Overview

2.

Introducing the Survival Hunter

Survival is the Melee Hunter spec. It is a relatively mobile Melee spec with a lot of heavily themed abilities. It has a very unique playstyle compared to any other Melee spec, and it is also one of the least played specs in the game, although this is not because it is bad by any means.

3.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Very high Leech due to Ferocity pets, extremely strong self-healing and survivability.
  • +Very high AoE Burst Damage.
X Weaknesses
  • -Good single-target, but depends a lot on full uptime.
  • -Struggles to excel at both single-target and AoE in a single build like other specs.
4.

Patch 9.1 Changes for Hunters

We are maintaining a list of changes for Hunters, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Survival's specific changes this patch.

5.

Covenant Recommendation Change in Patch 9.1

ATTENTION

As of Patch 9.1 the recommended Covenant for Survival Hunter HAS CHANGED. Please check out the Covenant page of this guide for more information.

6.

Leveling a Survival Hunter

If you want to play a Survival Hunter, but currently do not have one at max level, you can check out our leveling guide for tips on your journey.

Once you reach max level, it can be somewhat overwhelming to completely change the way you play by suddenly implementing a large number of addons in a short space of time, especially if they have a heavy visual impact on your UI. We recommend using some of the more basic addons recommended on our Addons page below while leveling, so that you have more time to get used to them during the easier phases of playing your class.

7.

Basics of Survival Hunter Gameplay

Survival Hunter is a spec that is heavily about Focus management, and knowing your priorities.

The core of the gameplay is generating Focus with Kill Command Icon Kill Command and spending it with Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite, as well as casting Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb off cooldown and maintaining your Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting DoT. The difficulty of the spec comes from knowing when to ignore Wildfire Bomb and Serpent Sting in favor of casting Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite (the popular, meta talent) to maximize your benefit from its Mongoose Fury Icon Mongoose Fury buff.

If you are an absolute beginner to the spec, but would like to learn the basic fundamentals of the class, recommend looking through the Spell Summary first, as well as the Easy Mode page linked below.

Below, you will find the most important pages for learning the intricacies of the spec.

8.

How to Gear Up A Survival Hunter

Despite the fact that gearing has become more challenging, due to the huge number of variables that depend on your character, you can find information on how best to gear as Survival on our dedicated gearing page, which includes the current Best in Slot from this tier.

Once you have started to gear, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate consumables, gems, enchants, and more. We have a dedicated page for exactly this, as shown below, as well as the stats page, where you can find more information on the possibility of a changing stat priority and the necessary changes you may need to make for consumables.

9.

Endgame as a Survival Hunter

Starting off as Survival can look very different from the absolute end-game raiding and progression as one. Our Mythic+, Torghast, Raiding, and PvP guides can guide you to performing as well as possible, regardless of your focus in end-game content.

10.

Improving as a Survival Hunter

If you are finding your performance lackluster, but are not sure where you are going wrong, you can check out the pages below for potential tips, or answers to questions you may have.

11.

Changelog

  • 09 Oct. 2021 (talents page): Clarified the differences between Alpha Predator and Viper's Venom and when they are most commonly used.
  • 25 Sep. 2021 (talents page): Updated the recommendation status of Tip of the Spear.
  • 03 Sep. 2021 (gear page): Updated the optimal Domination Gem Set Bonus and individual gems.
  • 03 Sep. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added a section for the best Enhanced Soulbind Conduits.
  • 18 Aug. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Added a tip for the Eye of the Jailer.
  • 18 Aug. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated the optimal Soulbind for Survival single-target as Night Fae.
  • 10 Aug. 2021 (this page): Updated the Weaknesses of Survival.
  • 10 Aug. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated the description of the Bag of Munitions as it is simmable now.
  • 02 Aug. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Added a tip for The Nine.
  • 02 Aug. 2021 (gear page): Updated the optimal Domination Gem Set Bonus after Blood Link was buffed.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added information about the best Tormented Anima Mythic+ Powers to take.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (Legendaries): Added the Night Fae, Necrolord, and Venthyr Legendaries to the rankings, as they are easily quantifiable.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Updated thoughts on all of the Covenant-specific Legendaries, and added the July 13th Hunter Buffs to the changes.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Added some basic tips for some bosses and updated the build/talent recommendation for several bosses.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (rotation page): Fixed an issue where two lines of Serpent Sting would appear under certain checkbox conditions, and other small fixes.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Page added.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (enchants page): Changed the optimal temporary enchant from an Oil to a Sharpening Stone.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (simulations page): Added a link to the Icy Veins Guide to Simming Yourself.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated the ranking of the Condensed Anima Sphere Icon Condensed Anima Sphere Endurance Conduit.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (Legendaries): Added a note that the Pact of the Soulstalkers Legendary stacks.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (talents page): Noted that Butchery is optimal for purely 2-target situations.
  • 01 Jul. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Several changes.
    • Added the Condensed Anima Sphere Icon Condensed Anima Sphere Endurance Conduit to our rankings.
    • Simplified the Covenant/Soulbind table slightly and clarified that it is based on max Renown.
    • Added a note that it is recommended to sim your Covenants and Soulbinds to find out when you might want to switch.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated the optimal craft slot for Nesingwary's Trapping Apparatus.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (WeakAuras page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 10 Jun. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Added information about the Venthyr-specific Legendary.
  • 12 May 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Added information about 4 new Covenant-specific Legendaries and updated some of the "highlighted" Soulbind Abilities.
  • 05 May 2021 (mythic+ page): Added Flanking Strike to the AoE Opener Rotation, and changed its recommendation status for Survival Mythic+.
  • 03 May 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Page created with initial information.
  • 28 Apr. 2021 (talents page): Corrected an inconsistency in Level 45 Talent choice.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added information about Binding Shot and Tranquilizing Shot to the utility spells section.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added a note that Mastery should nearly always be avoided.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Several additions.
    • Added tips for Sire Denathrius and Stone Legion Generals, mostly relevant for Mythic.
    • Expanded on the Council of Blood tip.
    • Added a tip for Lady Inerva Darkvein.
    • Added a tip for Hungering Destroyer.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Moved Bone Barbs from E-Tier to B-Tier.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Slightly updated and specified Shrapnel and Pheromone Bomb usage.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Updated the recommendation status of Flanking Strike.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Added a note about Nesingwary's Trapping Apparatus under Raiding Legendaries.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Several small changes.
    • Updated the recommended Mythic+ Soulbind Tree for Korayn.
    • Moved up Venthyr's Empowered Release to S-Tier.
    • Moved Stinging Strike from A to B-tier, but added a note that it is S-Tier for Birds of Prey-based builds.
    • Updated the recommendation status of Venthyr vs Kyrian as the second-best Covenant for Survival Hunters.
    • Updated the Dreamweaver recommendation description.
    • Updated the Forgelite Mikanikos recommendation description as he is very strong for Mythic+.
    • Updated the source of Korayn's strength in Mythic+ to be First Strike rather than Wild Hunt Tactics.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Updated the recommended Weapon Enchant for Survival Mythic+ to Celestial Guidance.
  • 19 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Several updates.
    • Updated the recommended Mythic+ Soulbind to Korayn.
    • Updated the recommended Kyrian Mythic+ Soulbind to Forgelite Prime Mikanikos.
    • Added a note that you do not want to waste Wildfire Bomb while trying to cast Carve on cooldown.
    • Added Scare Beast to the Key Abilities section.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added a section dedicated to Valor Point upgrades.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (this page): Updated the Strengths and Weaknesses to better reflect the Patch 9.0.5 Meta.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2021 (gear page): Added note about the Inscrutable Quantum Device.
  • 09 Jan. 2021 (Legendaries): Added note about which stats to put on your Legendary Item.
  • 16 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added a pet choice tip for Hungering Destroyer.
  • 12 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Removed note about clipping Wildfire Bomb as it is not relevant when using Wildfire Infusion.
  • 11 Dec. 2020 (Torghast): Updated the Tier List location of Soulsteen Pinion and Lens of Elchaver.
  • 08 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated the page with recommended Talents, Legendaries, and some early playstyle tips for Heroic week.
  • 08 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated with information about the best Legendaries and Covenants for Survival Mythic+.
  • 04 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Added Armor Kits to the Chest Enchants section.
  • 04 Dec. 2020 (addons page): Added [@cursor] macros for Wild Spirits and Resonating Arrow.
  • 03 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Removed the BFA Agility Gem suggestions from the guide as they were nerfed.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Added optimal Cloak Enchant.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 27 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated the Trinket Sims.
  • 25 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (WeakAuras page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 24 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Added a paragraph to talk about Potion usage, and removed it from the opener.
  • 16 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Added new, useful macros.
  • 15 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Updated the BiS Bracers, Belt, Gloves, and Rings.
  • 14 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated the recommended pet section.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (WeakAuras page): Page added.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 18 Jan. 2020 (Legendaries): Updated the recommended all-rounder Legendary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Oct. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added tips for Mythic TEP Bosses for Survival. Thank you to Thyminde for providing most of the tips!
  • 23 Aug. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added tips for more bosses.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added Survival tips for Uu'nat.
  • 01 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added Survival tips for The Restless Cabal.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added boss tips for Survival Hunter in Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added content to the page.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added (empty for now).
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