Posted by: thakarron | November 15, 2009

No Survivors! Part 2 – Talents

Part 2 of my on-going guide to Survival Hunters. I’ll provide an in-depth look at the “best” raiding Survival spec and break down what makes it the best.

The Spec

0/15/56 – That’s my current spec, and commonly regarded as the most viable. There is an alternative build that forgoes some talents (decreasing raid utility) in order to push your personal DPS as high as it can go (2/18/51) but for the purposes of this guide I’ll be covering the normal spec, the DPS difference is very slim and no one likes a selfish hunter =P

The Breakdown

Survival
Improved Tracking (5/5)
– A free 5% DPS boost as long as you’re tracking something that isn’t a plant or a rock. Sign me up.

Trap Mastery (3/3) – Increasing the duration of Frost/Freezing trap is alright, the main reason to take this talent is the 30% increased periodic damage of Black Arrow.

Survival Instincts (2/2) – 4% increased crit chance to the most used shots in our rotation, not to mention 4% decreased damage. Sounds good right?

Survivalist (5/5) – 10% more stamina doesn’t sound that great but it leads to a talent that allows stamina to give us attack power. This is helpful but its more of a means to an end.

T.N.T. (3/3) – Flat out damage increase to the best shot we have as well as our essential DOT and AoE traps. Simple and effective.

Lock and Load (3/3) – The wording is a little confusing but this talent is a crucial part of our spec, when this procs it allows our stats to scale almost perfectly for its duration. I’ll explain more about how to best use this interactive and fun ability later, why couldn’t all talents be like this!

Hunter vs. Wild (3/3) – Converts some stamina into attack power, considering we’ll have our fair share of stamina this is free DPS.

Killer Instinct (3/3) – 3% more chance to crit with EVERYTHING. Umm..you figure it out.

Lightning Reflexes (5/5) – 15% more of our best scaling stat, I think they call this a no-brainer.

Resourcefulness (3/3) – Reduced cooldown and mana cost means less downtime for our Black Arrow and less time in Viper.

Expose Weakness (2/3) – Allows our crits to place an awesome buff, we don’t need 3/3 since we’ll be critting more than enough times to trigger the effect.

Wyvern Sting (1/1) – An extra way to CC isn’t great, but it’s useful in certain situations and is a prerequisite to a great talent, clicky clicky.

Thrill of the Hunt (3/3) – Gives us mana back on our crits, and we crit alot so this is win. Also a prerequisite to our Replenishment talent.

Master Tactician (5/5) – Ranged attacks can proc 10% more chance to crit, more crit means more killing.

Noxious Stings (3/3) – Gives us more reason to keep Serpent Sting up constantly, 3% free DPS.

Black Arrow (1/1) – Another DOT that increases our DPS when a target is afflicted with it, also our primary means of proccing Lock and Load.

Sniper Training (3/3) – Most of the time we’ll be standing still, so once again more free damage. 15% crit on our highest single-shot damage ability, I’m not seeing a reason not to take this.

Hunting Party (2/3) – Our Replenishment talent that also provides bonus agility, once again only 2 points are needed since we crit our asses off as it is.

Explosive Shot (1/1) – The crowning jewel of Survival, this is a huge portion of our damage and has great synergy with many other talents in the tree. Yum.

Marksmanship
Lethal Shots (5/5) – 5% more chance to critical strike, and you know how much I love critical stikes!

Careful Aim (3/3) – Most of our gear has intellect on it since we also have to worry about our mana pool, now all our intellect becomes attack power also.

Mortal Shots (5/5) – Since hunters crit so often, why not crit harder!

Go for the Throat (1/2) – Our pets rely on focus to power their attacks, our crits will help them regain focus but again only one point is needed since we crit enough to basically give our pet infinite focus.

Aimed Shot (1/1) – A key part of our rotation along with Explosive Shot, also provides a debuff that reduces healing which is very helpful in certain situations.

Now that all that’s done you should be looking at a Survival hunter specced to maximize damage output as well as help out the raid. Now that we have the talents I’ll go over how to use our key abilitiesto the fullest and what makes up a Survival rotation.

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