Survival Hunter DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.2.5

Last updated on May 31, 2022 at 00:05 by Azortharion 22 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Survival Hunter in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.2.5.

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


Survival Hunter Rotation

Welcome to our Rotation page for Survival Hunters. On this page you will find everything you need to know about actually playing the spec in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.


Easy Mode

If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.



The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.


Single Target Rotation for Survival Hunter

The single target rotation for a Survival Hunter is based on the following priority system:

Racials Talents Covenant Abilities Legendaries
Mag'har Orc Birds of Prey Icon Birds of Prey Wild Spirits Icon Wild Spirits Soulforge Embers Icon Soulforge Embers
Troll Steel Trap Icon Steel Trap Resonating Arrow Icon Resonating Arrow Latent Poison Injectors Icon Latent Poison Injectors
Orc Terms of Engagement Icon Terms of Engagement Death Chakram Icon Death Chakram Rylakstalker's Confounding Strikes Icon Rylakstalker's Confounding Strikes
Lightforged Draenei Alpha Predator Icon Alpha Predator Flayed Shot Icon Flayed Shot Nesingwary's Trapping Apparatus Icon Nesingwary's Trapping Apparatus
Vulpera A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows 2PC Tier Set Bonus
Dark Iron Dwarf Viper's Venom Icon Viper's Venom
Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite
Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion
Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike
Chakrams Icon Chakrams
Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear

Survival Hunter Single-Target Rotation

  1. Cast your potion alongside Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault. Remember that you will only have one Potion per 5 minutes.
  2. Cast Aspect of the Eagle Icon Aspect of the Eagle when you are forced to be out of melee range.
  3. Cast Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting when it is not active on the target,
  4. Cast Wild Spirits Icon Wild Spirits on cooldown.
  5. Cast Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault on cooldown.
  6. Cast Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot on cooldown.
  7. Cast Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb to keep it from reaching 2 charges. If the next bomb is Volatile Bomb Icon Volatile Bomb, then try to use it when Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting has less than 3 seconds remaining. If the next bomb is Pheromone Bomb Icon Pheromone Bomb, then you should cast it whenever you have around 33 Focus.
  8. Cast Kill Command Icon Kill Command when the Pheromone Bomb Icon Pheromone Bomb buff is active, and you do not have a Mad Bombardier proc to spend.
  9. Cast Kill Command Icon Kill Command if it is about to reach 2 charges, when it will not Focus cap you
  10. Cast Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike when you have 3 stacks of Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear or if Shrapnel Bomb Icon Shrapnel Bomb is active.
  11. Cast Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting to refresh and maintain the DoT.
  12. If your next bomb is Shrapnel Bomb Icon Shrapnel Bomb, cast it when you have more than 60 Focus and Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting has more than 7 seconds remaining.
  13. Cast Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike if you have nothing else to do.
  14. Cast Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb when Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting is up if it is green. Cast it at above 50 Focus if it is blue. Cast it regardless if it is red, or if there is nothing else to do.

Multi-Target Rotation for Survival Hunter

On multiple targets, you should use Carve Icon Carve to reduce the cooldown on Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb. It is important to not waste this cooldown-reduction, and to always keep Wildfire Bomb from reaching 2 charges. If you have the 2PC and your Pheromone Bomb Icon Pheromone Bomb is active, do not Carve and instead spam Kill Command Icon Kill Command to generate procs.

Kill Command Icon Kill Command is still a high priority and should be cast on cooldown whenever it will not Focus cap you. Carve is expensive and Kill Command is necessary to sustain Focus for the cleave rotation.

Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting should be maintained on as many targets as possible, provided that they will live for a significant amount of time. Spreading around Serpent Sting is a low priority, however, and is treated as a filler when you cannot Bomb, Carve, or Kill Command without Focus capping.

Otherwise, stick to the fundamental rules of the single-target rotation, and remember that a Mythic+ pack is only as fast as the last mob to die within it.


Mythic+ Rotation for Survival Hunters

For information about Mythic+ as a Survival Hunter and the rotation you need to use in this game mode, please refer to our Mythic+ page.


WeakAuras for Survival Hunters

WeakAuras can have a tremendously positive effect on your performance. Since this is a broad topic, we will soon have a page dedicated to it.


Cooldown Usage

As a Survival Hunter, your main DPS cooldown is Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault. It is a hefty, flat damage increase, and it makes the cooldown of Kill Command Icon Kill Command reset much more often.


Opener Sequence

This section describes the recommended way to start the fight as a Survival Hunter. It assumes you are using the recommended talents for the spec.

  1. Use Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting
  2. Use your Covenant Ability along with Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault
  3. Use a Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb
  4. Use Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike
  5. Use Kill Command Icon Kill Command
  6. Proceed with your normal rotation.

Potion Usage

In almost all cases, the ideal time to use your combat potion is along with Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism. In most, but not all, situations, this is when the fight starts.

On fights that last longer than 5 minutes, you will be able to use two potions, provided that you use one of them at the beginning of the fight.


Optional Read: Mastering Your Survival Hunter

While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield very good results, there are many things you should be aware of, in order to play your Survival Hunter to its full potential. You will need to understand all the subtleties, pertaining to your abilities, rotations, and cooldown usage, that we present below.



Hunters and their pets use a unique resource, called Focus. Focus works in much the same way as other class resources, like Rage and Energy, in the sense that some abilities grant Focus, while others cost Focus to be used.

A Survival Hunter's Focus has a maximum capacity of 100, and regenerates at a slow rate that varies by spec. In addition to this passive flow of incoming Focus, certain talents and abilities will amplify your Focus regeneration, or simply generate more of it.

Hunter pet Focus works similarly, and is of no concern to you as you cannot do anything to modify it, nor will you be casting pet abilities manually.

As a general rule, you should always have enough Focus to cast your abilities as soon as they come off cooldown, but also to never have 100 Focus (as any extra Focus you generate would then go to waste).



  • 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 24 May 2022: Updated rotation caveats for AoE.
  • 21 Feb. 2022: Updated information to take the Tier Set Bonus into account.
  • 10 Jan. 2022: Clarified when to use Wildfire Bomb in the opener.
  • 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 06 Jul. 2021: Fixed an issue where two lines of Serpent Sting would appear under certain checkbox conditions, and other small fixes.
  • 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 19 Mar. 2021: Slightly updated and specified Shrapnel and Pheromone Bomb usage.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 12 Dec. 2020: Removed note about clipping Wildfire Bomb as it is not relevant when using Wildfire Infusion.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 24 Oct. 2020: Added a paragraph to talk about Potion usage, and removed it from the opener.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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