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Survival Hunter DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we present you with various talent trees for Survival Hunters (WoW 4.3) that you can use in specific situations. We also explain in detail what the talents do, how they work together, and how you can customise your talent tree in order to adapt it to a particular boss. The other articles of our Survival Hunter guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Standard Talent Build↑top

This general-purpose talent build has become very popular in this tier of content and is generally accepted to be the standard build for Survival Hunters.

2. Customising Your Build↑top

First, we will present and explain the fixed talents that a Survival Hunter should always take. Then, we detail the optional talents with which you can customise your talent build. Finally, we list the various mandatory and optional glyphs.

2.1. Talents

In the following image, the fixed talents have been hightlighted in green, while the optional talents have been hightlighted in red:

Survival Talent Build

2.1.1. Fixed Talents

This section will cover each of the fixed talents in the build, with a brief explanation as to why they should be taken.

  • 3/3 Pathing Icon Pathing: provides 3% ranged haste, which translates into a direct DPS increase.
  • 2/2 Improved Serpent Sting Icon Improved Serpent Sting: provides substantial boosts to one of your DoTs, and thus offers a great DPS gain, not only in single target fights, but also in AoE ones thanks to Serpent Spread Icon Serpent Spread, which is covered below.
  • 3/3 Trap Mastery Icon Trap Mastery: this talent is chosen for the increase in damage done to your Black Arrow Icon Black Arrow.
  • 3/3 Thrill of the Hunt Icon Thrill of the Hunt: provides you with occasional focus-return, thus allowing you to cast more shots and do more damage.
  • 2/2 Lock and Load Icon Lock and Load: this talent provides you with Lock and Load, a proc which plays an important part in your rotation, and allows you to take another talent which further affects Lock and Load.
  • 2/2 T.N.T. Icon T.N.T.: gives your Lock and Load a 12% chance to proc off the periodic damage from Black Arrow and Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap, of which you should always be using one or the other.
  • 3/3 Resourcefulness Icon Resourcefulness: reduces the cooldown of one of your most important abilities by 6 seconds, translating into a direct DPS increase.
  • 2/2 Toxicology Icon Toxicology: increases the critical strike damage of both your DoTs by 100% and is an unquestionable DPS increase.
  • 1/1 Wyvern Sting Icon Wyvern Sting: this talent does not provide you with any kind of DPS increase, but it does allow you to take two other talents which are both essential to competitive Survival DPS. In addition to this, it provides a moderately useful form of crowd control.
  • 2/2 Noxious Stings Icon Noxious Stings: increases your damage done to targets affected by Serpent Sting Icon Serpent Sting by 10%, basically meaning a 10% increase to all of your damage done.
  • 1/1 Hunting Party Icon Hunting Party: increases your Agility by 2% and also provides your raid with a 10% increased melee and ranged attack speed buff.
  • 3/3 Sniper Training Icon Sniper Training: provides a 15% critical strike chance increase to one of your hardest-hitting abilities, and also increases damage done by one of the most used abilities after you remain stationary for at least 6 seconds.
  • 1/2 Serpent Spread Icon Serpent Spread: for single-target, this talent provides no benefit whatsoever. However, it is a key element in Survival AoE DPS, and has good synergy with Improved Serpent Sting, as each Multi-Shot Icon Multi-Shot will also deal instant damage equal to 30% of the damage of Serpent Sting.
  • 1/1 Black Arrow Icon Black Arrow: this is one of your most important abilities and an integral part of your rotation.
  • 3/3 Efficiency Icon Efficiency: another straightforward increase to your damage dealt, by reducing the focus cost of your shots.
  • 3/3 One with Nature Icon One with Nature: increases your attack power while in Aspect of the Hawk Icon Aspect of the Hawk by 30% and provides some extra focus regeneration while in Aspect of the Fox Icon Aspect of the Fox.

2.1.2. Optional Talents

This section will cover each of the optional talents and provide a brief explanation of why and when they should be taken.

  • 2/3 Hunter vs. Wild Icon Hunter vs. Wild: offers more stamina and, therefore, more survivability.
  • 2/2 Survival Tactics Icon Survival Tactics: offers a cooldown reduction to Disengage Icon Disengage, which provides you with more mobility.
  • 2/2 Entrapment Icon Entrapment: roots targets affected by your Ice Trap for 4 seconds. May be useful on AoE fights where the targets are not normally stunnable. It should be mentioned that only targets which are in the Ice Trap area when it is triggered are affected, as opposed to any targets which become slowed by it later.
  • 2/2 Point of No Escape Icon Point of No Escape provides you with a 6% increased critical strike chance on targets affected by your Ice Trap, and may prove to be a DPS increase on AoE heavy fights.
  • 2/2 Go for the Throat Icon Go for the Throat: a straightforward increase to the damage your pet deals, by granting it more of its resource.
  • 2/2 Sic 'Em! Icon Sic 'Em!: grants your pet focus-free attacks, increasing its damage output.
  • 2/2 Careful Aim Icon Careful Aim: greatly increases your critical strike chance with Cobra Shot Icon Cobra Shot on targets above 90% health.
  • 2/3 Bestial Discipline Icon Bestial Discipline: increases your pet's focus regeneration, but more importantly allows you to unlock the next talent tier.
  • 2/3 Frenzy Icon Frenzy: provides a large attack speed increase to your pet.

2.2. Glyphs

Glyph choice as a Survival Hunter is very simple.

2.2.1. Prime Glyphs

The following two Prime Glyphs are mandatory:

For the third Prime Glyph, you should choose between Glyph of Arcane Shot and Glyph of Serpent Sting. Their value is very close, although in fights where AoE is required, the latter glyph is preferable.

2.2.2. Major Glyphs

For your Major Glyphs, we recommend you use any of the following:

None of the other glyphs provide DPS increases, though Glyph of Raptor Strike provides you with excellent damage reduction, something that Hunters otherwise sorely lack.

2.2.3. Minor Glyphs

We recommend that you use the following Minor Glyphs:

Glyph of Aspect of the Pack can be useful to extend the range of your Aspect and help your raid run in quicker after wipes. In encounters, it seldom has any practical use due to the movement speed debuff that Aspect of the Pack Icon Aspect of the Pack causes when taking damage.

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