Survival Hunter DPS Spell Summary — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as a Survival Hunter in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Hunter spells.
This will cover synergies, cooldowns, and core concepts of the spec to get it working. If you already have experience and are very comfortable with Survival, it is okay to skip past this, otherwise this is a great point to get a base understanding before moving onto later sections of the guide that covers nuances of gameplay.
Main Resource of Survival Hunter
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).
Note that this page simply lists all the different abilities, assuming you are at max level. If you are leveling, check out our dedicated Hunter Leveling page, which has detailed information on when you unlock all of these abilities.
Basic Abilities of Survival Hunter
Kill Command is your primary Focus generator. It deals low damage on a 6-second cooldown, and it generates 15 Focus. It also has a 25% chance to reset its own cooldown when you use it, allowing you to use it multiple times in a row.
Raptor Strike is your big hitter. It deals heavy Physical damage with no cooldown, and it costs 30 Focus. It is what you will be pressing the most during a single-target encounter and it does a big part of your damage.
Wildfire Bomb is a DoT ability with an 18-second cooldown. It hits all targets in a cone in front of you and does instant Fire damage when it hits, and then applies a DoT for 6 seconds to all targets hit.
Serpent Sting is an ability that applies a DoT for 12 seconds. It has no cooldown, but it costs 20 Focus. This is generally just meant to be maintained throughout the fight, and refreshed when it is about to expire. Its duration is reduced by Haste.
For a detailed guide on how to actually put these abilities together in your rotation, check out our Rotation page below.
Talented DPS Abilities of Survival Hunter
Aside from the basic toolkit, you will come across new abilities via your Talents, depending on the ones you choose. We will outline the active abilities here.
Steel Trap places a trap on the ground that will immobilize the first target to walk into it, and deal heavy damage over 20 seconds. Attacking the immobilized target will cause it to break free of the immobilization, but it will still take damage.
A Murder of Crows applies a strong DoT to the target for 15 seconds. If the target dies in this 15-second window, the cooldown is reset. It has a 1-minute cooldown and costs 30 Focus.
Mongoose Bite replaces Raptor Strike. Using it activates Mongoose Fury, a 14-second buff that increases the damage of successive Mongoose Bites by 15%, stacking up to 5 times. It costs 30 Focus, like Raptor Strike.
Flanking Strike causes you and your pet to deal heavy damage to the target. It generates 30 Focus for both you and your pet, and it has a 30-second cooldown.
Chakrams throws a pair of glaives at your target, slicing all enemies in their path. Once they hit their target, they will return to you, dealing damage once again to all enemies in their path. Your primary target takes double the damage. It costs 15 Focus and has a 20-second cooldown.
|Wildfire Infusion Type||Description|
|Shrapnel Bomb (Blue)||Causes your Raptor Strike, Carve, and Butchery (talent) abilities to apply a 9-second bleed to all targets hit that stacks up to 3 times.|
|Pheromone Bomb (Red)||Gives your Kill Command a 100% chance to reset its cooldown for 5 seconds.|
|Volatile Bomb (Green)||Causes your bomb to explode for 50% additional damage on all targets that are already affected by Serpent Sting, and refreshes all of those Serpent Stings.|
To learn which Talents to choose and how to use them in your rotation, check out our Talents page.
Disengage is your primary mobility ability. It causes you to leap backwards on a 20-second cooldown at no cost. Certain talents like Posthaste amplify this ability, causing it to give you increased movement speed for a few seconds. You can use this to quickly go from one place to another — even in a forwards direction by jumping, turning around and casting Disengage to catapult you forwards instead of backwards.
Harpoon is Survival's unique gap closer. It flings a Harpoon at the target, and then quickly flies you toward it. Certain talents amplify this ability to make it do damage and generate Focus, but its primary role is a gap closer, both on the pull and when swapping targets mid-combat.
Aspect of the Cheetah is your second mobility ability, acting as more of a movement cooldown. It increases your movement speed by 90% for 3 seconds, and then by 30% for another 9 seconds on a 3-minute cooldown. Note it does not stack with Posthaste, so you should make sure to use Disengage and Aspect of the Cheetah separately for movement.
Important Procs and Passives of Survival Hunter
Mastery: Spirit Bond increases the damage of you and your pet's Focus-spending abilities, and causes you both to heal slightly every 5 seconds. The damage increase and healing per 5 seconds is all based on how much Mastery you have.
Offensive Cooldowns of Survival Hunter
Coordinated Assault is Survival's primary DPS cooldown. It increases all your damage done by 20%, and increases Kill Command's chance of resetting its cooldown by 25% for 20 seconds. It has a 2-minute cooldown.
Additional Utility & Trap of Survival Hunter
Muzzle interrupts your target's spell casting. It also prevents any other cast in that school from being started for 3 seconds. It has a 15-second cooldown.
Aspect of the Turtle is the Hunter's primary defensive. It is an 8-second immune (from most abilities) and 30% damage reduction that makes you unable to attack for its duration. As mentioned, it is an immunity from most attacks, although many important encounter mechanics will still target you or do damage to you when it is active. It has a 3-minute cooldown.
Exhilaration is the Hunter's self heal. It heals you for 30% of your total health, and your pet for its full health on a 2-minute cooldown.
Intimidation stuns your pet's target for 5 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.
Freezing Trap is a long-term crowd control for all Hunter specs. It places a trap on the ground that encases the first enemy (not bosses or most big encounter adds) to touch it in ice for 1 minute. The effect breaks on damage. The trap has a 30-second cooldown, and the trap will exist for 1 minute after placing it.
Tar Trap is an AoE slow for all Hunter specs. It places a trap on the ground that causes a patch of tar to appear on the ground in an 8 yard radius around it when it is triggered, slowing all enemies in it by 50% for as long as they are in it. The patch of tar persists for 30 seconds, and the trap itself will exist for up to 1 minute before being triggered.
Flare places a flare on the ground that reveals stealthed players and mobs nearby. It lasts for 20 seconds, and has a 20-second cooldown.
Feign Death lets you pretend to be dead, dropping all threat/aggro on all enemies. When not in raid or dungeon encounters, it is a quick way to drop you from combat. In raids and dungeons, it can help you survive a wipe by using it when everyone else is about to die.
Misdirection causes you to redirect all the threat you do to a friendly target for the next 8 seconds. It has a 30-second cooldown. It is very useful for aiding your tank in picking up enemies that are spread far apart, such as wide-scale dungeon trash pulls. Note that this only applies to threat you personally generate, not that of your pet(s).
There are 3 different pet specializations. These specializations are determined by your pet family and they cannot be changed. We recommend having a variety of pets of each spec, so that you can cover any situation.
|Pet Spec||Passive Effect||Active Ability|
|Ferocity||Predator's Thirst gives you and your pet 10% Leech. Leech heals you based on how much damage you do.||Primal Rage, which provides the Bloodlust/ Heroism effect, increasing Haste for you and all nearby allies by 30% for 40 seconds. This shares cooldown with Bloodlust/Heroism and similar effects.|
|Tenacity||Endurance Training increases the maximum health of you and your pet by 5%.||Survival of the Fittest is a defensive ability that reduces the damage taken by you and your pet by 20% for 6 seconds. It has a 3-minute cooldown.|
|Cunning||Pathfinding increases the movement speed of you and your pet by 8%.||Master's Call removes all movement-impairing effects from your pet and a friendly target, and makes them immune to movement-impairing effects for 4 seconds. The friendly target can be you. It has a 45-second cooldown.|
Pet Families and Abilities
Every Pet Family has a special ability. We recommend having at least one of every special ability and spec combination.
|Special Ability||Description||Pet Families|
|Damage Reduction Cooldown||Reduces the damage taken of your pet by 50% for 12 seconds. This has a 1-minute cooldown.||Core Hound (Exotic), Scalehide.|
|Dispel Enrage/Magic||Removes 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from your pet's target. This has a 10-second cooldown.||Bat, Nether Ray.|
|Healing Reduction||Reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25% for 10 seconds. This has a 6-second cooldown, which means that it will be active all the time.||Carrion Bird, Ravager, Scorpid, Wasp.|
|Damage Reduction On Low Health||Reduces your pet's damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds when your pet falls below 40% health.||Gorilla.|
|Dodge Chance Cooldown||This ability increases your pet's Dodge chance by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.||Cat, Wind Serpent|
|Slow/Snare||Reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Crocolisk, Spider, Tallstrider, Wolf, Chimaera.|
|Special Ability||Description||Pet Families|
|Damage Reduction Cooldown||Reduces the damage taken of your pet by 50% for 12 seconds. This has a 1-minute cooldown.||Krolusk (Exotic), Beetle, Turtle.|
|Dispel Enrage/Magic||Removes 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from your pet's target. This has a 10-second cooldown.||Spirit Beast (Exotic), Crane, Stag.|
|Healing Reduction||Reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25% for 10 seconds. This has a 6-second cooldown, which means that it will be active all the time.||Direhorn, Hydra, Riverbeast, Lizard.|
|Damage Reduction On Low Health||Reduces your pet's damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds when your pet falls below 40% health.||Oxen, Bear.|
|Dodge Chance Cooldown||This ability increases your pet's Dodge chance by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.||*Feathermane, Dragonhawk, Toad.|
|Slow/Snare||Reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Worm (Exotic), Crab.|
*Feathermane pets also have Updraft, which enables Slow Fall for you and your pet, allowing you to fall safely from almost any height while the pet is active for 30 seconds.
|Special Ability||Description||Pet Families|
|Damage Reduction Cooldown||Reduces the damage taken of your pet by 50% for 12 seconds. This has a 1-minute cooldown.||Shale Spider (Exotic), Boar, Mechanical.|
|Dispel Enrage/Magic||Removes 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from your pet's target. This has a 10-second cooldown.||*Water Strider (Exotic), Moth, Sporebat.|
|Healing Reduction||Reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25% for 10 seconds. This has a 6-second cooldown, which means that it will be active all the time.||Hyena, Rodent, Raptor.|
|Damage Reduction On Low Health||Reduces your pet's damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds when your pet falls below 40% health.||Goat, Pterrodax|
|Dodge Chance Cooldown||This ability increases your pet's Dodge chance by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.||Fox, Monkey, Serpent.|
|Slow/Snare||Reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Basilisk, Bird of Prey, Dog, Warp Stalker, Silithid (Exotic).|
* Water Strider pets also have Surface Trot, a passive ability that lets you and your pet walk on water while out of combat. Damage will break this effect.
Exotic Pets (Beast Mastery-only)
|Pet Family||Specialization||Special Ability||Exotic Ability|
|Core Hound||Ferocity||Obsidian Skin reduces your pet's damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.||Molten Hide causes your pet to gain Molten Hide when it gets hit by a melee attack, causing it to deal slight Fire damage to all further melee attackers for 10 seconds. It can only activate every 60 seconds.|
|Chimaera||Ferocity||Frost Breath reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Froststorm Breath is an 8-second channeled ability for your pet that deals AoE damage to all enemies within 12 yards every 2 seconds. It costs 10 Focus to activate, and then 5 Focus per second to maintain.|
|Devilsaur||Ferocity||Monstrous Bite reduces the healing taken of your pet's target by 25%. It lasts 10 seconds and has a 6-second cooldown, meaning it is up all the time.||Feast lets you order your pet to consume a nearby Humanoid or Beast corpse within 5 yards, healing your pet for 20% of its maximum health, and restoring 20 Focus over 6 seconds.|
|Clefthoof||Ferocity||Thick Hide gives your pet a 60% damage reduction for 15 seconds when it falls below 40% health. This can only occur once every 2 minutes.||Blood of the Rhino is a passive effect that increases your pet's armor by 10%, and increases the effectiveness of all healing done to it by 20%.|
|Quilen||Tenacity||Stone Armor buffs your pet when it falls below 40% health, reducing its damage taken by 40% and healing it for 3% of its maximum health every 1 second for 15 seconds. This effect can only occur every 2 minutes.||Eternal Guardian is an instant resurrection for your pet. If your pet has died, you can use it to instantly revive it with 100% of its health. It has an 8-minute cooldown.|
|Spirit Beast||Tenacity||Spirit Shock removes 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from your pet's target. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Spirit Mend heals a friendly target for a small amount instantly, and applies a small healing DoT for 10 seconds. It costs 5 pet Focus. It can be cast on yourself as well. Spirit Beasts also have the Prowl stealth ability, like Cats.|
|Worm||Tenacity||Acid Spit reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Burrow Attack is an 8-second channeled ability for your pet that deals AoE damage to all enemies within 12 yards every 2 seconds. It costs 10 Focus to activate, and then 5 Focus per second to maintain.|
|Krolusk||Tenacity||Bulwark reduces your pet's damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.||Calcified Carapace passively reduces your pet's Physical damage taken by approximately 10%. The proper spell data is not in the game for this ability yet.|
|Shale Spider||Cunning||Solid Shell reduces your pet's damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown.||Shimmering Shale passively reduces your pet's magic damage taken by approximately 10%. The proper spell data is not in the game for this ability yet.|
|Silithid||Cunning||Tendon Rip reduces the movement speed of your pet's target by 50% for 6 seconds. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Dune Strider passively increases your pet's movement speed by 30%.|
|Water Strider||Cunning||Soothing Water removes 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from your pet's target. It has a 10-second cooldown.||Surface Trot allows you and your pet to walk on water. Any damage taken will cancel the effect and cause you to fall in the water.|
- 13 Jan. 2020: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
- 24 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 14 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 04 Aug. 2018: Added Muzzle to the spell list.
- 31 Jul. 2018: Added some missing BfA pets to the pet family overview.
- 20 Jul. 2018: Moved the Gorilla and its Special Ability from Tenacity to Ferocity.
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