Survival Hunter PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / Patch 9.2.5)
PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Survival Hunter, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.
This page is part of our Survival Hunter PvP Guide.
Playstyle for Survival Hunters
The main role for a Survival Hunter is simple: use your mobility to land Freezing Traps on the enemy healer and use your strong single-target cooldowns to burst an enemy down. Unlike other melee classes, Survival Hunters have strong crowd control and kiting abilities. This makes them very hard to kill and extremely deadly.
How to Crowd Control
Before going into how to deal damage as a Survival Hunter, it is important to know how to crowd control the enemy team. Hunter comps rely heavily on landing Freezing Trap on the enemy healer and requires some setup. Normally, you will have a Rogue or Paladin on your team that can stun before you Freezing Trap, but here are some ways you can crowd control an enemy without help from teammates:
- Using Intimidation:
- Using Harpoon:
- Using Tracker's Net:
- Using Steel Trap:
Survival has another unique CC in the form of Steel Trap. It is a 20-second root that cannot be dispelled, though it does break on damage. It also does a bit of damage, but we primarily use it as a CC tool. Use this to save your teammates from melee by rooting them during their burst, or to root healers in a place where they cannot heal their own teammates.
Before Gates Open
Make sure to use Camouflage before the gates open if you are using this regular talent. This will guarantee an opener from you. If you are playing against a team with stealth, make sure to use Flare to try to reveal them.
The Opener/Burst Rotation
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, Intimidation and Spider Sting, which can help to this end.
This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.
- Apply Hunter's Mark to the target you expect to be dealing the most damage to you.
- Make sure to activate Camouflage, and to Flare out the enemy if one of them is stealthed.
- Apply Serpent Sting and Flayed Shot to your main target and Harpoon.
- Use Wing Clip to slow your main target.
- Activate Coordinated Assault.
- Use one charge of Wildfire Infusion.
- Use Chakrams.
- Use 1x Raptor Strike.
- Use Flanking Strike.
- Use 2x Raptor Strikes.
- Use your second charge of Wildfire Bomb.
- Use Kill Command to generate Focus again.
- Above all, whenever you get Kill Shot procs, use them, even if it disturbs the rotation above.
- You should also spend Serpent Sting procs when you get them at all times.
- Proceed with your normal rotation below.
Sustained Damage/General Rotation
Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.
- Apply and maintain Serpent Sting constantly.
- Maintain Wing Clip on mobile targets.
- Cast Flayed Shot on cooldown.
- Cast Kill Shot as often as you can.
- Cast Serpent Sting when it procs.
- Cast Wildfire Bomb on cooldown. Try not to overlap the 6-second DoT it applies, and space them out as much as possible, unless you are going for a quick, bursty kill.
- Cast Flanking Strike on cooldown.
- Cast Chakrams on cooldown.
- Use Kill Command to generate Focus. Try not to overcap on Focus.
- Use Raptor Strike to spend Focus.
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 on an enemy healer could be crucial.
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.
Master's Call removed all roots and snares on your target and makes them immune to these for 4 seconds. This can be used on you or your teammates and is best used when your team needs to kite away from enemies.
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.
Mending Bandage instantly clears all bleeds, poisons and diseases from your target, and heals for 30% damage over 6 sec. Being attacked will stop you from using Mending Bandage. You should take this PvP talent when playing against specializations like Feral Druid or Assassination Rogues.
Survival Tactics causes Feign Death to remove all harmful magical effects, and reduces damage taken by 99% for 1.5 seconds. This is a mandatory talent when playing against classes with multiple DoTs (Affliction Warlock, Shadow Priest, Balance Druid). This reduces the enemies' overall damage and helps your healer with dispelling harmful effects. You can also use this to stop incoming spells that are being cast on you.
Scare Beast is a unique ability that allows you to fear beasts. This can be used on Hunter pets and also on Druids that are in their forms. Keep this in mind when you are playing against a Feral Druid who is primarily in Cat Form.
It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 28 Feb. 2022: Updated the burst and general rotation.
- 10 Nov. 2021: Updated all Damage rotations.
- 03 Jul. 2021: Updated Burst and Sustained damage rotations.
- 30 Mar. 2021: No updates needed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to include Covenant Abilities.
- 29 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
- 16 Oct. 2020: Added How to Crowd Control section.
- Updated all Damage Rotation section.
- Updated Defensive section.
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