Survival Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Pet Talents — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 23, 2020 at 17:55 by Azortharion 8 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Survival Hunter in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Hunter talents.

1.

Talent Choices for Survival Hunter

Level Choices
15 Viper's Venom ? Viper's Venom Terms of Engagement Terms of Engagement Alpha Predator Alpha Predator
25 Guerrilla Tactics Guerrilla Tactics Hydra's Bite Hydra's Bite Butchery Butchery
30 Trailblazer ? Trailblazer Natural Mending Natural Mending Camouflage ? Camouflage
35 Bloodseeker Bloodseeker Steel Trap ? Steel Trap A Murder of Crows A Murder of Crows
40 Born To Be Wild ? Born To Be Wild Posthaste Posthaste Binding Shot ? Binding Shot
45 Tip of the Spear Tip of the Spear Mongoose Bite ? Mongoose Bite Flanking Strike Flanking Strike
50 Birds of Prey ? Birds of Prey Wildfire Infusion Wildfire Infusion Chakrams Chakrams

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Still Mind Icon Tome of the Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind Icon Codex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2.

Talent Cheat Sheets for Survival Hunter

These talent recommendations are based on simulations and logs/statistics to help you pick the best choice for any situation.

2.1.

Best Single-Target Talents for Survival Hunter

This is the best Survival build for almost all raiding and single-target fights.

2.2.

Best AoE and Mythic+ Talents for Survival Hunter

This is our recommended Survival build for encounters with cleave and intermittent AoE, as well as Mythic+ dungeons.

2.3.

About Birds of Prey

There are builds including Birds of Prey Icon Birds of Prey that outperform Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion by roughly 2%. However, these have very different requirements for talents, Conduits, playstyle, and situation. Specifically, they are only really useful in consistent, unbroken single-target since Birds of Prey requires you to constantly be attacking. Otherwise you will lose uptime on your Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault. With this small of a difference, we currently believe that this build is beyond the scope of this guide, and we will focus primarily on Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion.

2.4.

Raiding

The builds suggested above do not account for specific fights in the current raid tier. If you wish to have a boss-by-boss breakdown of talent choices, you should check out our dedicated page below.

2.5.

Mythic+

Mythic+ can potentially require a mix of certain AoE and Single-Target talents, depending on affixes and other variables. If you want advice that is specific to Mythic+, you should check out our page below.

2.6.

How To Use Survival Hunter Talents

Some talents will require you to play in a particular way to get the most out of them. You can find more information on how your rotation will look after selecting your talents on our rotation page below.

3.

Best Pet for Survival Hunter

Firstly, it is important to note that all pets do the same damage. They only differ in their utility and occasionally defensive capabilities.

For Raiding and Mythic+, we recommend using a Ferocity pet in pretty much all situations. They grant you Leech, which causes you to heal yourself whenever you do damage. This self-sustain is extremely useful and makes the spec partly live up to its name in Raiding situations.

For open-world content and leveling, we also recommend using a Ferocity pet. The Special Abilities of Scalehides are generally the best for such content, due to their defensive abilities.

Cunning Pets provide a movement speed bonus, trading in defensive passives for mobility. This is useful when you are farming old, trivial content.

You can see a list of all pet families and their special abilities on the //www.icy-veins.com/wow/survival-hunter-pve-dps-spell-summary page of this guide.

4.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Survival Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Viper's Venom ? Viper's Venom Terms of Engagement Terms of Engagement Alpha Predator Alpha Predator

Viper's Venom Icon Viper's Venom is only very slightly weaker than Alpha Predator Icon Alpha Predator, but we prefer the flexibility on AoE offered by Alpha Predator.

Alpha Predator Icon Alpha Predator is the ideal choice for almost all situations.

Terms of Engagement Icon Terms of Engagement is technically inferior to the other two options, but it is only slightly. If you are swapping targets often and using Harpoon Icon Harpoon anyway, it could be a worthwhile choice, but we do not generally recommend it.

The talents in this tier, particularly Viper's Venom Icon Viper's Venom and Alpha Predator Icon Alpha Predator, are very close to the point of being interchangeable. Our recommendation is based on the best theoretical performer.

5.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Survival Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Guerrilla Tactics Guerrilla Tactics Hydra's Bite Hydra's Bite Butchery Butchery
  • Guerrilla Tactics Icon Guerrilla Tactics gives Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb 2 charges, and causes the initial hit to do 100% increased damage.
  • Hydra's Bite Icon Hydra's Bite causes Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting to hit up to 2 targets that are close to your current target, allowing you to apply multiple Serpent Stings with a single usage.
  • Butchery Icon Butchery replaces Carve Icon Carve as your big-hitting AoE ability. It has 3 charges on a 9-second recharge and does extremely heavy AoE damage to 5 targets around you. It reduces the cooldown of Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb in the same way that Carve does.

Guerrilla Tactics Icon Guerrilla Tactics should be chosen for practically all situations.

Hydra's Bite Icon Hydra's Bite can be useful when fighting multiple, stacked targets for a very long time. This does not currently fit any encounter, however, and Mythic+ is more geared towards AoE burst which Guerrilla Tactics Icon Guerrilla Tactics does much better.

Butchery Icon Butchery should not be chosen for any situation.

6.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Survival Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your utility, mobility and survivability.

Trailblazer ? Trailblazer Natural Mending Natural Mending Camouflage ? Camouflage
  • Trailblazer Icon Trailblazer increases your movement speed by 30% whenever you have not attacked for 3 seconds. This is essentially just a helpful passive for moving between packs in Mythic+, or rare raid situations where you need to move for a while and are not able to attack anything.
  • Natural Mending Icon Natural Mending causes your Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration ability's remaining cooldown to be reduced by 1 second for every 20 (Marksmanship and Survival) or 30 (Beast Mastery) Focus you spend. We can generally expect a cooldown reduction of over 30 seconds.
  • Camouflage Icon Camouflage puts you in stealth for 1 minute and heals you for 2% of your maximum health every second. It has a 1-minute cooldown, and the cooldown only starts ticking once Camouflage has been cancelled.

Your choice of talent in this tier is mostly situational, but for general survivability in raids and dungeons, we recommend Natural Mending Icon Natural Mending by default.

7.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Survival Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Bloodseeker Bloodseeker Steel Trap ? Steel Trap A Murder of Crows A Murder of Crows
  • Bloodseeker Icon Bloodseeker causes Kill Command Icon Kill Command to apply a bleeding DoT for 8 seconds. It also increases your attack speed by 10% for every bleeding enemy within 12 yards of you. This applies to all bleeds, even those applied by others.
  • Steel Trap Icon Steel Trap is an ability that puts a trap on the ground for one minute. The first enemy that touches it will take heavy Physical damage over 20 seconds. It also immobilizes them for 20 seconds, although this does not work on bosses or certain mobs.
  • A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows is a DoT ability that costs 30 Focus with a 1-minute cooldown. It applies a powerful 15-second DoT to the target that deals Physical damage every second. If your target dies while the DoT is active, the cooldown of A Murder of Crows is reset.

Bloodseeker Icon Bloodseeker should be chosen for all situations.

Steel Trap Icon Steel Trap combined with Birds of Prey Icon Birds of Prey and the Nessingwary's Trapping Apparatus Icon Nessingwary's Trapping Apparatus Legendary make up the best possible single-target build for Survival, but as explained in the top of this page, that is beyond the scope of the guide and not really recommended.

A Murder of Crows Icon A Murder of Crows should not be chosen for any situation.

8.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Survival Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your utility, mobility and survivability.

Born To Be Wild ? Born To Be Wild Posthaste Posthaste Binding Shot ? Binding Shot
  • Born To Be Wild Icon Born To Be Wild reduces the cooldown of your Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle, Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Eagle Icon Aspect of the Eagle (Survival) abilities by 20%, reducing their cooldowns to 2 minutes and 24 seconds, and 1 minute and 20 seconds respectively.
  • Posthaste Icon Posthaste increases your movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds after using Disengage Icon Disengage
  • Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot fires an arrow at a targeted location on the ground. If an enemy comes within 5 yards of the arrow, and then steps more than 5 yards away from it again, they will be rooted for 5 seconds. This ability has a 45-second cooldown.

Your choice of talent in this tier is mostly situational, but for general survivability in raids and dungeons, we recommend Posthaste Icon Posthaste by default.

9.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Survival Hunter

This row consists of talents that improve your DPS in various ways.

Tip of the Spear Tip of the Spear Mongoose Bite ? Mongoose Bite Flanking Strike Flanking Strike
  • Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear causes Kill Command Icon Kill Command to stack a buff that increases the damage done by Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike by 20% per stack. This buff can stack up to 3 times.
  • Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite replaces Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike. When you first cast it, it applies Mongoose Fury Icon Mongoose Fury which increases the damage of consecutive Mongoose Bites by 15%. Every cast of Mongoose Bite after that will add a stack to the buff, up to a maximum of 5 stacks, or a 75% damage increase.
  • Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike is a heavy-hitting ability on a 30-second cooldown. It also generates 30 Focus for both you and your pet.

Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear is the default choice for Survival Hunters, although by a slim margin.

Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite is currently just behind Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear, but with more Haste and gear it should become the default single-target choice.

Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike should not be used for any situation.

10.

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Survival Hunter

Birds of Prey ? Birds of Prey Wildfire Infusion Wildfire Infusion Chakrams Chakrams

Tier 7 talents offer you a choice between 3 talents that increase your DPS.

  • Birds of Prey Icon Birds of Prey causes Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike and Carve Icon Carve to extend the duration of your Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault cooldown by 1.5 seconds per cast.
  • Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion causes your Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb to give you a random special effect for 5 seconds (which is the duration of the DoT itself) every time you throw it. Whenever you use it, the special effect for your next one changes randomly. You can see what effect your next Bomb will have on the icon, so that you know what you will be casting. You will find a detailed rundown of the different effects below.
  • Chakrams Icon Chakrams is an ability with a 20-second cooldown that throws two pairs of chakrams/glaives at your target that deal moderate Physical damage once when they reach the target, and then again when they return to your hand. Your primary target takes 100% increased damage from this ability. It costs 30 Focus.

Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion is the best choice for pretty much all relevant situations.

Birds of Prey Icon Birds of Prey has a 2% higher theoretical single-target maximum than Wildfire Infusion, but it also requires a lot of other things from your setup, so it is not recommended.

Chakrams Icon Chakrams is not worth using in any situation.

10.1.

Wildfire Infusion

Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion Type Description
Shrapnel Bomb Icon Shrapnel Bomb (Blue) Causes your Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike, Carve Icon Carve, and Butchery Icon Butchery (talent) abilities to apply a 9-second bleed to all targets hit that stacks up to 3 times.
Pheromone Bomb Icon Pheromone Bomb (Red) Gives your Kill Command Icon Kill Command a 100% chance to reset its cooldown for 5 seconds.
Volatile Bomb Icon Volatile Bomb (Green) Causes your bomb to explode for 50% additional damage on all targets that are already affected by Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting, and refreshes all of those Serpent Stings.
11.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

Since Battle for Azeroth, there is the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • At least 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

11.1.

Survival Hunter War Mode Talents

In this section, we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of all PvP Talents for Survival Hunter.

11.1.1.

Survival Hunter PvP Talents

  1. Sticky Tar Icon Sticky Tar reduces the melee attack speed of enemies affected by your Tar Trap Icon Tar Trap by 80% for 5 seconds. This can be used to significantly weaken melee attackers when you are close to dying.
  2. Dragonscale Armor Icon Dragonscale Armor causes magical DoT effects to do 20% less damage to you. This is a decent survivability option.
  3. Survival Tactics Icon Survival Tactics causes Feign Death Icon Feign Death to clear all harmful magic effects from you. It also reduces all damage taken by 99% for 1.5 seconds. This is useful for narrowly avoiding death from caster mobs, especially when they have already fired a spell at you.
  4. Hunting Pack Icon Hunting Pack is a useful mobility option, allowing you to use Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah much more often.

Mending Bandage Icon Mending Bandage, Diamond Ice Icon Diamond Ice, Viper Sting Icon Viper Sting, Spider Sting Icon Spider Sting, Scorpid Sting Icon Scorpid Sting, Tracker's Net Icon Tracker's Net and Hi-Explosive Trap Icon Hi-Explosive Trap have limited use in PvE content in terms of increasing your damage in the open world, but they can be situationally useful.

For details on how to play in Survival Hunter PvP, please visit our Survival Hunter PvP page.

12.

Pet Talents

Pets do not have talent trees. Instead, different types of pet belong to one of three difference specs: Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning.

Each specialisation grants your pet a few specific abilities. Currently, there is no DPS difference between the different pet specs. The only differences are in utility.

13.

Changelog

  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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