Survival Hunter Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 26, 2024 at 08:18 by Azortharion 27 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Survival Hunter changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Survival Hunter in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Survival Hunter. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Survival Hunter or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."

1.

Survival Hunter: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Survival Hunter. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Survival Hunter spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Survival Hunter, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.

2.

The War Within Changes for Survival Hunter

2.1.

Hunter Core Changes

The Hunter Class Tree has received a substantial rework, with the entirety of the Class Talent Tree as well as all Spec Trees having been redesigned. Below, I have listed some of the most central changes that will affect your gameplay, decision-making, and power in The War Within, with commentary in italics. I have not included every single change, particularly not if it has no impact beyond mere numbers.

  • Survival of the Fittest Icon Survival of the Fittest is now a 30% baseline damage reduction. Through other talents, it can get a 1.5-minute cooldown, 2 charges, and an 8-second duration. This is a huge boost to Hunter survivability!
  • Counter Shot Icon Counter Shot can now, via talents, get a 22-second cooldown, down from 24.
  • Tranquilizing Shot Icon Tranquilizing Shot can now, via Talents, either remove an additional Magic effect on cast, or have a 5s shorter cooldown if it only removes one Enrage effect.
  • Intimidation Icon Intimidation can now, via Talents, hit up to 2 additional targets for 50% effectiveness.
  • Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot is now placed in the Class Tree in such a way that all Hunter specs will be using it, all the time.
  • Feign Death Icon Feign Death and Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle can now, via a Talent, remove all Poison and Disease effects from you. This is extremely powerful in some niche scenarios.
  • Bursting Shot Icon Bursting Shot is now available in the Class Tree.
  • Intimidation Icon Intimidation and Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot can now, via Talents, have their cooldowns reduced significantly via Scrappy Icon Scrappy.
  • Steel Trap Icon Steel Trap and Death Chakram Icon Death Chakram have been removed.
  • The new talent, Implosive Trap Icon Implosive Trap (choice node with High Explosive Trap Icon High Explosive Trap) is an AoE knock-up trap that can be used as an AoE stop.
  • In additional, several Talents that used to be 2-pointers are now 1-pointers. This means that we can have all of the DPS-related Talents in the Class Tree, and most of the utility without having to choose. There are other changes too, but these are the most important ones.
2.2.

Survival Hunter Changes

The Survival Hunter Spec Tree has also been reworked from the ground up. Below, I will list all of the new talents and some interesting interactions and outcomes from the redesigned layout of the Tree.

  • Redesigned Talent: Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the SpearKill Command Icon Kill Command increases the damage of your next non-pet spell by 15%, stacking up to 3 times. You now consume one stack of Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear at a time and multiple stacks of Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear no longer increase its damage bonus. This is basically a new core mechanic of Survival. The goal is to have every non-Kill Command ability be affected by Tip of the Spear.
  • Redesigned Talent: Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike — Now replaces Kill Command Icon Kill Command on every 4th cast, had its range increased to 25 yards, and generates 15 Focus.
  • Redesigned Talent: Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault — It now deals heavy damage on cast, and then increases all the damage of you and your pet by 20% for 20 seconds. Kill Command Icon Kill Command's reset chance is also increased by 15%. the choice nodes below it can also cause it to either reduce its cooldown to 1 minute and grant 3 stacks of Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear instantly on cast, or increase your Haste, Tip of the Spear generation rate,, and improve Tip's damage bonus during it. This means no more pesky Kill Shot and Pet Basic Attack Macros.
  • New Talent: Grenade Juggler Icon Grenade JugglerWildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb deals 5% increased damage and has a 25% chance to fire an Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot, and Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot reduces the cooldown of Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb by 2 seconds.
  • New Talent: Exposed Flank Icon Exposed Flank — Your Flanking Strike Icon Flanking Strike now strikes 2 additional nearby targets at 100% effectiveness, and causes your Kill Command Icon Kill Command to hit 2 additional nearby enemies for 10 sec.
  • New Talent: Merciless Blows Icon Merciless Blows — Casting Butchery Icon Butchery makes your next Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike or Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite hit up to three nearby targets.
  • New Talent: Sic 'Em Icon Sic 'EmKill Command Icon Kill Command has a 15% chance to reset the cooldown of Kill Shot Icon Kill Shot and make it usable on any target, and strike up to 2 additional targets. This chance is doubled during Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault.
  • New Choice Node Talent: Relentless Primal Ferocity Icon Relentless Primal Ferocity — While Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault is active, Kill Command Icon Kill Command generates 2 stacks of Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear, you gain 10% Haste, and Tip of the Spear Icon Tip of the Spear's damage bonus is increased by 50%.
  • New Talent: Flanker's Advantage Icon Flanker's AdvantageKill Command Icon Kill Command has a 10% increased chance to immediately reset its cooldown, increased by 100% when Kill Command Icon Kill Command critically strikes a target.
  • Wildfire Infusion Icon Wildfire Infusion has been redesigned — Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite and Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike have a 15% chance to reset Kill Command Icon Kill Command's cooldown. Kill Command Icon Kill Command reduces the cooldown of Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb by 2 seconds. This means no more multi-colored Bombs.
  • Redesigned Talent: Spearhead Icon Spearhead — You and your pet charge your enemy target, applying a heavy bleed that increases your chance to critically strike them by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Redesigned Talent: Deadly Duo Icon Deadly Duo — The cooldown of Spearhead Icon Spearhead is reduced by 30 seconds and increases your critical strike damage against the target by 30% for 10 seconds.
  • Mastery: Spirit Bond Icon Mastery: Spirit Bond has been redesigned — You and your pet deal increased damage and take reduced damage, increased by 100% when within 25 yards of each other. There is a 10-second grace period on this effect, which lets it persist even if you leave the range of your pet for a few seconds.
  • Mongoose Fury Icon Mongoose Fury now stacks 3 times, and lasts 10 seconds. It also refreshes its duration when it is reapplied. This turns Mongoose Fury Icon Mongoose Fury into more of a maintenance buff, and shifts Survival more towards the playstyle of using Kill Command Icon Kill Command empowers for other abilities as the primary gameplay loop.
  • Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb's damage over time effect is now a rolling periodic. Essentially, this means that back-to-back Wildfire Bombs will not cost you any ticks, as existing DoT ticks get rolled into the next debuff. This is crucial now that we no longer have multi-colored Bombs.
  • Kill Command Icon Kill Command and Alpha Predator Icon Alpha Predator are now Survival talents (were Class).
  • Bombardier Icon Bombardier has been redesigned — Casting Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault grants 2 charges of Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb. When Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault ends, you gain 2 free charges of Explosive Shot Icon Explosive Shot.
  • Ruthless Marauder Icon Ruthless Marauder has been redesigned — Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb cooldown reduction effect is now 1 second by default and no longer is increased by the second talent point.
  • Many 2-point talents are now 1 pointers.
2.3.

Systems Changes

Aside from the changes to Survival Hunter's core features, The War Within also has major implications for all specs thanks to the Hero Talent Tree system, new tier sets, and the natural reduction in secondary stats when entering a new expansion.

Survival Hunter gets to choose between the Sentinel and Dark Ranger Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec, and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch.

3.

Survival Hunter Hero Talents in The War Within

Sentinel Pack Leader

Sentinel Hero Talents for Survival Hunter in The War Within

The Sentinel Hero Tree Talents are primarily based on the passive interactions of the core Sentinel Icon Sentinel mechanic, with the rest of your kit. Extremely powerful effects like Symphonic Arsenal Icon Symphonic Arsenal and Lunar Storm Icon Lunar Storm also add heavy passive damage.

Gameplay-wise, expect an almost entirely passive kit that regularly gives you tiny slivers of Focus via Invigorating Pulse Icon Invigorating Pulse, and potential cooldown reduction on Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault via the Sentinel Watch Icon Sentinel Watch choice node. Combining this choice node with Symbiotic Adrenaline Icon Symbiotic Adrenaline can enable Coordinated Assault Icon Coordinated Assault cooldowns of 45 seconds!

Power-wise, expect a powerful all-rounder that "just works" for all types of content with no management required. Not only does the Sentinel kit do serious damage on the Beta right now, but it also amplifies all of your other damage passively via Lunar Storm Icon Lunar Storm.

Defensively, Sentinel is pretty good. Don't Look Back Icon Don't Look Back has extremely high uptime and will replenish itself constantly, especially on AoE, and in high Mythic+ you can expect to have the 10% absorb shield fully stacked for most one-shot mechanics.

Pack Leader Hero Talents for Survival Hunter in The War Within

The Pack Leader Hero Tree Talents are primarily based on interactions of Kill Command Icon Kill Command and pet Basic Attacks like Claw Icon Claw, Bite Icon Bite, and Smack Icon Smack.

Gameplay-wise, expect a mostly passive kit that occasionally gives you cooldown resets of Kill Command Icon Kill Command, improved Tip of the Spear stack generation via Frenzied Tear Icon Frenzied Tear, and occasional free Mongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bites via Furious Assault Icon Furious Assault.

Power-wise, expect a solid single-target kit buff that amplifies our existing kit more than applying new stuff on top of it. Pack Leader's focus on Kill Command Icon Kill Command and lack of AoE effects compared to Sentinel suggests that it will be more of a single-target choice than an AoE or Mythic+ one.

Defensively, Pack Leader is pretty weak. Den Recovery Icon Den Recovery attaches a decent 20% heal to Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle and Survival of the Fittest Icon Survival of the Fittest, and an extra +5% if used sub-50% HP.

4.

Survival Hunter Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Survival Hunter in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Hunter Survival 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Hunter Survival 11.0 Class Set 2pcWildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb damage increased by 5%. It is hard to provide any commentary on this.
  • Hunter Survival 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Hunter Survival 11.0 Class Set 4pcMongoose Bite Icon Mongoose Bite/Raptor Strike Icon Raptor Strike deals 10% increased damage to targets affected by Wildfire Bomb Icon Wildfire Bomb. With Bombs being so plentiful, this will be up for the vast majority of the time.

Both set bonuses are completely passive and are not expected to have any gameplay impact.

How Good is the Survival Hunter Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The 2-piece bonus is numerically very weak. Even in pure, raw AoE scenarios where Wildfire Bomb damage contribution can exceed 40%, we are still only looking at 2%. On single-target, expect half that, or worse.

The 4-piece bonus is similarly very weak, expected to be 2% on single-target at best, and likely worse on AoE.

The total expected value of the Tier Set is around 4%. Overall, this is extremely weak. The damage buffs on offer for some core spells are simply too low.

5.

Survival Hunter Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Significantly more durable thanks to 1-minute, 2-charge Survival of the Fittest.
  • +Still has excellent single-target in AoE builds and vice versa for flexibility.
  • +Increased durability from a Mastery granting damage reduction.
  • +Modern and engaging rotation.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Subjectively, Survival Hunter's rotation can feel quite bloated and busy.
6.

Changelog

  • 26 Jun. 2024: Updated for the June 25th changes.
  • 18 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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