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Survival Hunter PvP Guide (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on May 21, 2018 at 06:13 by Mysticall 3 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Survival Hunter in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Survival Hunters

Survival Hunters are one of the best melee specializations in the game right now. They not only have some of the best single-target sustained damage, they also have a large amount of control on enemy players. They use abilities like Caltrops Icon Caltrops/Tar Trap Icon Tar Trap to slow an entire team or Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap to lock a healer down.

1.1. Strengths of Survival Hunter

  • Consistent crowd control abilities
  • Decent mobility
  • Strong burst damage

1.2. Weaknesses of Survival Hunter

  • Difficult for newer players
  • Weak to teams with multiple stuns
  • Very few defensive cooldowns

2. Talent Choices for Survival Hunters

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

2.1. Regular Talents for Survival Hunters

2.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Throwing Axes Icon Throwing Axes is the best choice in this tier. This ability deals a decent amount of damage, and can also be used from range. This makes it useful when an enemy is out of range of other abilities.

2.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Snake Hunter Icon Snake Hunter is the best choice in this tier. This gives you a strong offensive cooldown for sustained or burst damage.

2.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Disengage Icon Disengage is the best choice in this tier. This talent is versatile. It can be used to kite away from enemies, or it can be used to push into the enemy team for a trap.

2.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Guerrilla Tactics Icon Guerrilla Tactics is the best choice in this tier. This gives you more consistent damage.

2.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Camouflage Icon Camouflage is the best talent in this tier. This gives Survival Hunters and their team more control in the opener and prevents teams from focusing you at the beginning of the game. If you are playing against a team where you might struggle to trap an enemy healer or need a root, Ranger's Net Icon Ranger's Net is the best choice in this tier.

2.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Dragonsfire Grenade Icon Dragonsfire Grenade is the best choice in this tier. This is a strong ability with a short cooldown. If you want more sustained damage, Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting is also a good option.

2.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Expert Trapper Icon Expert Trapper is the best choice in this tier. This gives your traps more utility to them. One thing to note is the increased damage to Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap.

2.2. Honor Talents for Survival Hunters

2.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

If you are playing against a team with multiple stuns, Relentless Icon Relentless is the best choice in this tier. Survival Hunters are weak to stuns, so reducing their duration greatly improves survivability.

If you are not and want an on-demand trinket, Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is the standard PvP trinket effect with a 2-minute cooldown.

2.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

If you are playing against a caster, Reinforced Armor Icon Reinforced Armor is the best choice in this tier. Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration does more healing with the increase in health.

If you are playing against two melee classes, Sparring Icon Sparring is the best choice in this tier. It helps with survivability and could save you if you are in a stun with no way out.

2.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

If you are playing against a team with a melee on it, Catlike Reflexes Icon Catlike Reflexes is the best choice in this tier. This grants dodge when you score a Critical Strike, which can helps avoid enemy damage, greatly improving survivability.

If you are playing against a team with two casters, you should take Survival Tactics Icon Survival Tactics in this tier. This makes Feign Death Icon Feign Death a very important cooldown. It can be used to avoid incoming crowd control and, with this talent, you can remove all magical debuffs.

2.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

The best choice in this tier is Spider Sting Icon Spider Sting. This allows more control when playing against casters, and it can be used to stop incoming crowd control.

If there are no casters on the enemy team, Viper Sting Icon Viper Sting is the best choice in this tier. This is a great talent against most healers and can be crucial for getting a kill if it is not dispelled.

2.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Master's Call Icon Master's Call is the best choice in this tier. With a relatively short cooldown, this greatly increases the mobility a Survival Hunter and their partners.

2.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Tracker's Net Icon Tracker's Net is the best choice in this tier. This is a versatile talent. It will mostly be used to land Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap on an enemy. But can also be used to run away from the enemy team.

3. Racial Bonuses for Survival Hunters

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

3.1. Horde

The passive Orc racial bonus (Hardiness Icon Hardiness) is great if you find yourself being stunned a lot and having a hard time against melee classes.

The Blood Elf Silence (Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent) is really strong as well. This adds to the crowd control you can bring to the table.

3.2. Alliance

The Human racial bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns.

4. Playstyle for Survival Hunters

The main role for a Survival Hunter is simple: use your mobility to land Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Traps on the enemy healer and use your strong single-target cooldowns to burst your enemies down. Unlike other melee classes, Survival Hunters have strong crowd control and kiting abilities. This makes them very hard to kill and extremely deadly.

4.1. Before Gates Open

Make sure to use Camouflage Icon Camouflage before the gates open. This will guarantee an opener from you.

If you are playing against a team with stealth, make sure to use Flare Icon Flare to try to reveal them.

4.2. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns. If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. Survival Hunters have Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap and Spider Sting Icon Spider Sting, which can help to this end.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  2. Use Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap.
  3. Use Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  4. Use your burst rotation.
  5. After your burst, perform your sustained damage rotation until your burst cooldowns are available.

4.3. Offensive Rotation

4.3.1. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Use Aspect of the Eagle Icon Aspect of the Eagle.
  2. Use Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike.
  3. Use Dragonsfire Grenade Icon Dragonsfire Grenade.
  4. Use Lacerate Icon Lacerate.
  5. Use Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  6. Use Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  7. Use Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  8. Use Snake Hunter Icon Snake Hunter.
  9. Use Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike.
  10. Use Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  11. Use Fury of the Eagle Icon Fury of the Eagle.

4.3.2. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Use Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike if you have no more charges of Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite.
  2. Maintain the Mongoose Fury Icon Mongoose Fury buff by using Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite on cooldown.
  3. Use Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap on cooldown.
  4. Use Dragonsfire Grenade Icon Dragonsfire Grenade. on cooldown.
  5. Use Throwing Axes Icon Throwing Axes; if you are stuck in roots or slows, it deals a good amount of damage.
  6. Use Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike if you are at maximum Energy.

4.4. Defensive Techniques

Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle is our main defensive cooldown. Use this when the enemy team is focusing you down and your healer can not heal you through the damage or is stuck in crowd control. Although you can not attack with this cooldown active, you still have the ability to trap. Using this to ignore incoming attacks and use Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap on an enemy healer could be crucial.

Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration is a very strong instant heal. Try to stagger Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle and Exhilaration and you will be very hard to kill.

Roar of Sacrifice Icon Roar of Sacrifice is a great utility ability for you or your teammates. This makes the teammate you use this on immune to Critical Strikes by spells and transfers 20% of the damage they are taking to your pet. Use this when the enemy team is using their cooldowns on a teammate or yourself and when not many defensive cooldowns are available.

Tracker's Net Icon Tracker's Net will mostly be used for landing a trap on an enemy, but it can be used to kite enemy players when you are in trouble.

5. Best Team Compositions for Survival Hunters

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the Arena with your team. Survival Hunters are the most unique Hunter specialization. They do not need to rely on teammate to help them setup crowd control, thanks to Ranger's Net Icon Ranger's Net.

5.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena, you have a few options. If you are playing against a healer that is using Vim and Vigor Icon Vim and Vigor, you will want to focus them. This will force the healer to heal themselves more often and results in them using more Mana. If the enemy healer is not using Vim and Vigor Icon Vim and Vigor, it is best to focus the enemy DPS player. When you want to crowd control the enemy healer, you can use Ranger's Net Icon Ranger's Net to root them in place to setup Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap. If you are playing with a Holy Paladin or Restoration Druid, they should use their stun to start the crowd control. Follow that up with a Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap. At the same time you should be doing your sustained damage rotation. With this strategy you are trying to do so much single-target damage to a target that the enemy healer will not be able to heal through it.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Survival Hunter + Discipline Priest
  • Survival Hunter + Restoration Druid
  • Survival Hunter + Holy Paladin
  • Survival Hunter + Mistweaver Monk

5.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You will be focusing on maximizing your single target damage while still crowd controlling the enemy healer with Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap. When you start the crowd control chain, your teammate should stun the kill target and you should use your burst rotation. You do not always have to stun the kill target. If your team only has one reliable stun like Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice or Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash, it is best to use it on the enemy healer. It is important to note that Ranger's Net Icon Ranger's Net can also be used defensively. If you or a teammate cannot kite away from incoming damage, you can use Ranger's Net Icon Ranger's Net to slow enemies and help your teammates.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • Jungle (Survival Hunter + Feral Druid + Holy Paladin/Discipline Priest)
  • Cupid (Survival Hunter + Retribution Paladin + Restoration Druid/ Discipline Priest)
  • Thug (Survival Hunter + Subtlety Rogue + Restoration Druid/Holy Paladin
  • Survival Hunter + Frost/Unholy Death Knight + Holy Paladin/ Restoration Druid

6. Useful Macros for Survival Hunters

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Survival Hunters can benefit from.

6.1. Sting Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [pvptalent:4/1,@focus] Viper Sting; [pvptalent:4/2,@focus] Scorpid Sting; [@focus] Spider Sting

You will often be changing your tier 4 honor talents. This is an all-in-one macro that switches depending on which talent you take. This macro will also use the ability on your focus target, saving a lot of action bar space.

6.2. Wyvern Sting Macro

  • #showtooltip Wyvern Sting
  • /cast [target=focus] Wyvern Sting

If you find that you do not have much room on your action bars, you can use a focus macro. This is much simpler to use than the arena123 macro. Put an enemy on focus and this macro will cast Wyvern Sting Icon Wyvern Sting on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.3. Muzzle Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Muzzle
  • /cast [target=focus] Muzzle

This macro will use Muzzle Icon Muzzle on whichever enemy you have on focus. Because you will be primarily using Muzzle Icon Muzzle on the enemy healer, you should only need this focus macro.

6.4. Tracker's Net 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Tracker's Net
  • /cast [target=arena1] Tracker's Net

Using this macro will use Tracker's Net Icon Tracker's Net on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. This will also help when placing your Freezing Trap Icon Freezing Trap. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

6.5. Roar of Sacrifice party Macro

  • #showtooltip Roar of Sacrifice
  • /cast [target=party1] Roar of Sacrifice

Using this macro will use Roar of Sacrifice Icon Roar of Sacrifice on party player 1. This makes it easier to use this defensive on a teammate while damaging the rest of your team. If you want a macro to use Roar of Sacrifice Icon Roar of Sacrifice the second party member, change the party1 to party2.

6.6. Master's Call party Macro

  • #showtooltip Master's Call
  • /cast [target=party1] Master's Call

Using this macro will use Master's Call Icon Master's Call on party player 1. This makes it easier to use this defensive on a teammate while damaging the rest of your team. If you want a macro to use Master's Call Icon Master's Call the second party member, change the party1 to party2.

7. Gear for Survival Hunters

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

8. Artifact Traits for Survival Hunters

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Embrace of the Aspects,  Icon Hunter's Guile, Icon Bird of Prey and  Icon Aspect of the Skylord) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

8.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you want to reach is  Icon Aspect of the Skylord.

  1. Take  Icon Iron Talons.
  2. Take  Icon Hellcarver.
  3. Take  Icon Raptor's Cry.
  4. Take  Icon Explosive Force.
  5. Take  Icon Aspect of the Skylord.

8.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to go for is  Icon Eagle's Bite.

  1. Take  Icon Hunter's Guile.
  2. Take  Icon Lacerating Talons.
  3. Take  Icon Eagle's Bite.

8.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden trait,  Icon Talon Strike, picking up any remaining traits after that.  Icon Sharpened Fang,  Icon My Beloved Monster,  Icon Bird of Prey,  Icon Embrace of the Aspects are the traits that should be taken before the final golden trait.

9. Relics for Survival Hunters

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

10. ChangeLog

  • 21 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 10 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 13 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 24 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2.
  • 21 Sep. 2017: Several changes needed for Patch 7.3
    • Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
    • Changed recommended tier 5 regular talents.
    • Changed recommended tier 4 honor talents.
  • 12 Jul. 2017: Updated recommended Tier 2 and 4 regular talents, as well as sustained and burst damage rotations.
  • 26 Apr. 2017: Added Roar of Sacrifice under defensive techniques.
  • 09 Apr. 2017: Checked and confirmed that no updates are needed for patch 7.2.
  • 20 Mar. 2017: Survival Hunter PvP guide created.
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