Esoth has written a new guide for Survival hunters in Mists of Pandaria.
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Esoth: This is the thread for Survival hunter discussion for Cataclysm. For an explanation of acronyms used, see here.
Tool of Choice
Throughout this article I will refer to using your preferred tool of choice to get the most accurate answer. Classically, we would just say “check the spreadsheet” but there are a lot more tools available these days. Here are a few:
Abilities and Cooldowns
This should look very similar to the Cataclysm SV guide but with some notes on important changes.
- Explosive Shot – Our primary nuke ability. You want to use this as often as possible. New in MoP: This costs significantly less focus now. More on this in the Rotation and Lock and Load sections.
- Black Arrow – Shadow damage over time with a long cooldown. It has low DPS but a very high DPCT (damage per casting time), so you will want to use it on targets that will be alive long enough to get the full effect. This also has a chance to proc Lock and Load on ticks.
- Serpent Sting – Since Cobra Shot refreshes this, you will only have to apply it once per target in most cases. Like Black Arrow, it also has low DPS but a very high DPCT (theoretically infinite, with cobra shot refreshing it). New in MoP: Noxious Stings is no more so we do not get a direct damage increase on targets that have this. Viper Venom does make it so that we want to have this on at least one target to achieve the most focus regeneration.
- Arcane Shot – This is our focus dump ability. No cooldown, 20 focus. New in MoP: The reduced focus cost of this and especially explosive shot means we will use this much more.
- Cobra Shot – Generates 14 focus and refreshes Serpent Sting. NEW in MoP: The focus generation is increased. Also, steady shot isn’t even an option (it was almost never worthwhile anyway).
- Hunter’s Mark – Damage Bonus ability. Applied manually or with the Glyph of Marked for Death. New in MoP: Access to this glyph (formerly a MM talent) makes target switching less detrimental. HM is also now a straight damage modifier instead of an AP modifier.
- Multi Shot – A very strong AoE ability for Survival. See the AoE section for more detail.
- Explosive Trap – Shares a cooldown with Black Arrow, but does more damage on multi mob situations in which they stay in the affected area for the duration (20 seconds)
- Kill Shot – 420% weapon damage execute ability. New in MoP: This ability is significantly stronger than last expansion which increases its relative value as well as the percentage of our damage to come from execute range (sub 20%). Keep this in mind when planning things like potion usage. We also no longer need a glyph for double kill shots – this is now default behavior.
- Rapid Fire – Increases attack speed and focus generation by 40% (this is more powerful than Bloodlust while it is up). New in MoP: The cooldown is now 3 minutes for all specs.
- Readiness – New in MoP. This was previously for Marksmanship only but is now included for all specs. It works for every ability with a cooldown except for Stampede.
- Dire Beast/Fervor – New in MoP: Discussed in the talent section
- A Muder of Crows/Lynx Rush/Blink Strike – New in MoP: Discussed in the talent section
- Powershot/Glaive Toss/Barrage – New in MoP: Discussed in the talent section . . . Read full article