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Survival Hunter DPS Guide (Legion 7.2)

Last updated on Apr 18, 2017 at 13:45 by Azortharion 292 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Welcome to our Survival Hunter DPS guide for World of Warcraft Legion 7.2. Here, you will learn everything you need to know about playing a Survival Hunter in a raid environment and in Mythic+ dungeons.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Azortharion, the main theorycrafter of the spec. He is also an accomplished player who raids in Vanguard. You can also watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Class Overview

All the specs have very similar single-target output in patch 7.1.5. Survival has at long last been promoted to a very capable melee spec with a deep versatile toolkit, and perhaps more importantly, different, viable types of playing. It can either be very easy, or very complex without suffering very much either way. It has the strongest burst AoE potential of the Hunter specs, and it has very low reliance on Legendaries compared to the others. In terms of viability, Survival is finally not lacking anything major, but its playstyle might still be off-putting, especially when trying to play it competitively.

2. What Has Changed in 7.2?

3. How Does it Work?

  • Focus is the primary resource. It is generated passively at a base rate of 10 focus per second.
  • Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite is the main ability. It has 3 charges that each take 12 seconds to recharge. When you first cast it, it applies a 14-second buff that increases the damage of consecutive Mongoose Bites by 50% per stack, stacking up to 6 times.
  • Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike is the main "use on cooldown" ability. It deals high damage on a short cooldown, is quite expensive, and it has a high chance of giving you an additional charge of Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  • Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike essentially serves as a focus dump when there is nothing else to do, or when you are about to cap focus. When using certain talents like Way of the Mok'Nathal Icon Way of the Mok'Nathal or Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting, it serves the additional role of refreshing the buffs/debuffs of those talents.
  • Lacerate Icon Lacerate is a simple DoT that should be kept up as much as possible.
  • Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap is a high-damage ability that is used on cooldown and manually placed with the mouse.
  • Fury of the Eagle Icon Fury of the Eagle is the Artifact ability. It deals extremely heavy damage on a 45-second cooldown. It is channeled over 4 seconds, and scales with stacks of Mongoose Fury Icon Mongoose Fury.

4. Strengths

  • Extremely powerful burst AoE
  • The lowest reliance on Legendary for good DPS out of the Hunter specs
  • Flexible toolkit, different viable playstyles (with the complex one being the best)
  • One of the best utility specs in the game.

5. Weaknesses

  • Fairly complex spec to play optimally.
  • Switching targets is a chore, most damage requires setup of some kind
  • Still not as potent DPS as many other melee specs, with fewer spots to compete for than ranged specs.

6. Viability in the Current Patch

Survival Hunters have been rather unwanted by guilds and the community in general so far in Legion — with its complexity and the other specs being so good at what they do, Survival has only been played extensively by a very small subset of players. With Patch 7.1.5 and especially the recent buffs to its main abilities, Survival is now on par with the other Hunter specs in single-target output. It stands out from the others with much stronger utility, especially for dungeons, and very powerful, no-nonsense burst AoE in the form of Butchery Icon Butchery.

7. Contents

To make it easy to navigate the guide, we have split it into 9 pages:

8. ChangeLog

  • 18 Apr. 2017 (simulations page): Removed some simulations that no longer make sense/are adequately covered elsewhere.
  • 17 Apr. 2017 (artifact page): Checked today and deemed updated.
  • 17 Apr. 2017 (stats page): Checked today and deemed updated.
  • 17 Apr. 2017 (rotation page): Checked today and deemed updated.
  • 17 Apr. 2017 (enchants page): Checked today and deemed updated.
  • 17 Apr. 2017 (gear page): Trinket sim updated.
  • 17 Apr. 2017 (talents page): Checked today and deemed updated.
  • 28 Mar. 2017 (this page): Added note about legendary changes to the list of changes in 7.2.
  • 28 Mar. 2017 (enchants page): Made note of eating from the feast when possible, as it gives more stats than regular buff food.
  • 27 Mar. 2017 (talents page): No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 27 Mar. 2017 (artifact page): Artifact path updated for 7.2 and traits vs iLvl chart added.
  • 27 Mar. 2017 (gear page): No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 27 Mar. 2017 (stats page): No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 27 Mar. 2017 (rotation page): Added paragraphs about how certain Legendaries affect the rotation.
  • 27 Mar. 2017 (this page): Added summary of Patch 7.2 changes.
  • 21 Mar. 2017 (simulations page): Legendary sims have been moved to the spreadsheet alongside the trinkets.
  • 17 Mar. 2017 (gear page): The trinket spreadsheet now also has legendary sims in it.
  • 27 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Trinket sim update.
  • 25 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Update BiS belt and trinkets.
  • 24 Feb. 2017 (stats page): Not really worth going all the way to 16% Mastery before Crit/Vers. Just 12%.
  • 18 Feb. 2017 (simulations page): More sim updates.
  • 18 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Updated legendary ranking.
  • 18 Feb. 2017 (rotation page): Added another clarifying paragraph to the rotation.
  • 16 Feb. 2017 (talents page): Level 30 talent rewording. Slight change in Level 15 recommendations.
  • 16 Feb. 2017 (simulations page): Sim updates.
  • 16 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Added link to trinket sim spreadsheet. Updated Legendary rankings. SimCraft's implementation of Aspect was fixed, vastly improving Call of the Wild.
  • 13 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Added new trinket sims. These sims test trinkets at a ton of different item levels, color coded for easy comparison.
  • 11 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Updated BiS legendary to Call of the Wild after SimCraft's issues with Aspect of the Eagle were fixed.
  • 08 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Updated "trinket to look for section", and legendary rankings + Frizzo description.
  • 08 Feb. 2017 (rotation page): Rewrote rotation. Updated opener slightly.
  • 07 Feb. 2017 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority and rotation slightly.
  • 07 Feb. 2017 (talents page): Updated talent cheatsheet recommendations slightly.
  • 07 Feb. 2017 (gear page): Trinket sim update.
  • 07 Feb. 2017 (enchants page): Updated potion recommendation (with gear, Prolonged becomes better, and with Nighthold gear it wins for all situations).
  • 07 Feb. 2017 (stats page): A more nuanced, detailed talk about stat priorities for Survival.
  • 07 Feb. 2017 (rotation page): Update Survival opener. So. Many. Buttons.
  • 05 Feb. 2017 (simulations page): Update racial sim.
  • 04 Feb. 2017 (talents page): Recommended Steel Trap for pure single-target.
  • 28 Jan. 2017 (artifact page): Expanded slightly on Relic choice.
  • 28 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Updated Survival opener.
  • 28 Jan. 2017 (stats page): Updated stat weights.
  • 28 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Update several talent recommendations.
  • 26 Jan. 2017 (simulations page): Added Legendary trinket.
  • 26 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Added set bonus talk.
  • 26 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Updated trinket sims with all the changes in hotfixes since 7.1.5. Updated BiS list accordingly. Added information about second-best tier item slots in case you have a Legendary that breaks the set. Updated legendary ranking.
  • 19 Jan. 2017 (this page): Updated viability section, strengths and weaknesses.
  • 17 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Updated trinket sims. Add BiS list.
  • 14 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Update Call of the Wild description. Add Legendary trinket to description (but not ranking yet).
  • 14 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Add Caltrops to opener.
  • 13 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Legendary boots give 25 focus, not 15 now.
  • 13 Jan. 2017 (enchants page): Updated to Haste food/gems/etc.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (this page): Added Explosive Trap damage increase to Guerilla Tactics mention.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Put Caltrops in the rotation, removed note about Lacerate cooldown, updated best usage of Caltrops and Lacerate as a result.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Changed wording on some changed abilities. Removed note about pet specs and special abilities as they are no longer relevant.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority and talent recommendation to be even easier.
  • 12 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Fresh trinket sims. Update Legendary ranking.
  • 11 Jan. 2017 (stats page): Updated stat priority and removed Agility from the listing as it does nothing but confuse at this point.
  • 11 Jan. 2017 (artifact page): Updated best AoE Relic to Hellcarver.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (gear page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (addons page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (enchants page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (this page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (stats page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (easy mode page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (simulations page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (artifact page): Checked and confirmed for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 09 Jan. 2017 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 19 Dec. 2016 (talents page): Slightly improved our assessment of Butchery.
  • 18 Dec. 2016 (easy mode page): Added easy mode for Survival Hunters.
  • 08 Dec. 2016 (enchants page): Added note about Potion of Prolonged Power.
  • 08 Dec. 2016 (this page): Updated strengths/weaknesses and viability to be more realistic for current content.
  • 11 Nov. 2016 (simulations page): Added food sims.
  • 08 Nov. 2016 (rotation page): Opener update.
  • 06 Nov. 2016 (rotation page): Added Throwing Axes back to the rotation since it is still worth using in some situations.
  • 06 Nov. 2016 (talents page): Updated tier 15 and 30 talent recommendations/discussion.
  • 06 Nov. 2016 (stats page): Updated Pawn string and stat priority.
  • 06 Nov. 2016 (enchants page): Changed enchants to Versatility, following stat priority change.
  • 30 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Removed talent table at the beginning of the page.
  • 29 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Updated Pawn string for Patch 7.1, added note about how the top 3 stats are very close together in value.
  • 29 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Patch 7.1 update with ability buffs and Way of the Mok'Nathal being the recommended talent.
  • 29 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Further Patch 7.1 updates regarding the Level 15 talents. Also added modified that pet section.
  • 29 Oct. 2016 (enchants page): Changed enchants to Haste.
  • 27 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Updates to Mastery description and value.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (simulations page): Updated all sims and introduced a potion sim.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Patch 7.1.
    • Updated Animal Instincts's description and added a note that the talent needs more extensive testing before its strength can be more properly assessed.
    • Updated Posthaste's duration. Was changed in Patch 7.1 to be 5 seconds (down from 8).
    • Trailblazer replaces Dash.
  • 25 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Updated the paragraph about Animal Instincts, following its change in Patch 7.1.
  • 17 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Ordered statistics explanation in order of priority because OCD.
  • 12 Oct. 2016 (enchants page): Switch potion to Old War as it should be.
  • 11 Oct. 2016 (rotation page): Slight opener change.
  • 09 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Added some notes to clarify frequently asked questions.
  • 02 Oct. 2016 (stats page): Updated stat prio to be in line with Pawn weights as it should.
  • 18 Sep. 2016 (enchants page): Now advising Mark of the Hidden Satyr instead of Mark of the Claw for neck enchant.
  • 13 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Added Raptor Strike as a focus dump in the rotation.
  • 08 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Put Fury of the Eagle in the Survival opener.
  • 07 Sep. 2016 (talents page): Added Pet Talent section, which was missing from the guide.
  • 06 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Updated Survival Hunter opener to get the most out of the buff to Mongoose Fury (12s > 14s duration).
  • 05 Sep. 2016 (rotation page): Updated Fury of the Eagle guide.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion expansion.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (artifact page): Added.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (talents page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (this page): Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Aug. 2016 (simulations page): Added.
  • 18 Aug. 2016 (stats page): Updated stat weights after Mastery got buffed by Blizzard.
  • 29 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Better rotation.
  • 28 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated stuff for the Caltrops row of talents to make it much clearer.
  • 27 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Updated opener slightly.
  • 25 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Fixed error with Expert Trapper opinion.
  • 23 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Removed talents from rotation to simplify it, added notes about handling Mongoose Bite stacks that should be easier to understand and put into practice.
  • 19 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Added opener.
  • 19 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Explained in more details why Snake Hunter is so much better than the other Level 30 options.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (rotation page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (this page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (stats page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (enchants page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (talents page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016 (addons page): Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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