Hunter’s Got Talent

Okay so I figured it was time I wrote something “Huntery” in this space. Today’s topic is my Survival spec.

The good news is that if you were Survival before, you’ll pretty much want to take the same talents that you had before, for many of the same reasons.

Right now I’m using a 1/15/55 spec.


Improved Tracking – 5% dps increase. Just make sure you don’t have Find Fish or Stable Master up when you enter the instance.

Trap Mastery – For PvE raiding, this buffs Black Arrow. Since Black Arrow is one of our priority shots you should sink all three points here. Prior to 3.1 this was a one point talent way down in the tree.

Survival Instincts – You had this before 3.1 and you should take it now for the same reason, it increases the crit chance of some key shots.

Survivalist – Increases our stamina and when taken in conjunction with Hunter vs Wild it increases our attack power. Attack Power is good.

T.N.T. – Increases the damage of our Explosive Shot. I think we’ve been known to fire that from time-to-time.

Hunter vs Wild – This converts stamina to attack power. Nothing but good things here.

Lock and Load – Two free Explosive Shots that now proc’s off of Black Arrow (about one per minute). Also, with patch 3.1 they’ve added and in-game notification when it procs. It sucks, I recommend you use and addOn like PowerAuras Classic to help track this.

Killer Instinct – More crit goodness thrown our way.

Lightning Reflexes – 15% agility increase, and when taken in conjunction with Expose Weakness it gives us even more attack power.

Expose Weakness – It has been pretty much proven that two points is all that needed to guarantee nearly 100% up-time.

Resourcefulness – If you were Survival before, you may not have taken this talent. You want to now. It will reduce the cooldown of Black Arrow by six seconds. The more Black Arrows you can fire the more damage you do, and the better your chance for Lock and Loads.

Wyvern Sting – The only reason to get this before was so you could get Noxious Stings. That’s still the case, however, the duration of Wyvern Sting is now 30 seconds. On that rare occasion where your are asked to crowed control (e.g., running a heroic with a new level 80 tank) it is now a viable option.

Noxious Stings – 3% dps increase when Serpent Sting is applied. While Serpent Sting no longer procs Lock and Load, we’ll still be using it, along with its glyph.

Thrill of the Hunt – Nice mana regen talent.

Master Tactician – Again more crit goodness thrown our way.

Black Arrow – This is how we proc Lock and Load. It has a 15 second DOT that does shadow damage and increases our dps by 6%. It’s a trap so it has 24 second cooldown (assuming you have Resourcefulness, hint, hint).

Sniper Training – This has been redesigned for 3.1. In order to get the buff you need to be standing still for six seconds. It should be noted that you do not have to be in combat to get this buff (i.e., try to be standing still before the start of the fight). It increases the critical strike chance of Kill Shot by 15% and increases the damage of Explosive Shot, Aimed Shot, Steady Shot and Black Arrow by 6% for 15 second. One thing to note is that you only have to be standing still to get the buff. Once you have the buff you can move without dispelling it.

Hunting Party – In addition to regenerating mana it also increase our agility by 1% for each point taken. That really isn’t that much of a boost and you can get away with one or two points in this talent.

Explosive Shot – This is the franchise player of our arsenal. Fire it early and often.


For Marksman we’re pretty much going take the same talents we had before (at least I had them).

Lethal Shots – 5% increased crit chance.

Careful Aim – Converts intellect into attack power.

Mortal Shots – Increases the damage of our critical strikes.

Go for the Throat – Only one point is needed here due to our high critical strike chance. This talent allows our pets to fire off their special abilities.

Aimed Shot – Does decent damage and is an instant cast that can be fired on the run. It shares a cooldown with Multi-shot.


Improved Aspect of the Hawk – I’m putting one point here to help with my haste. I find it’s a struggle to weave in Steady Shots and I figure this can help.

So this is my main talent spec for patch 3.1. Feel free to comment and let me know how I can make it better.

Good Hunting!


  1. Excellent point by point breakdown of the new spec 🙂

    Personally, I decided not to go for improved aspect of the hawk. Its uptime is sporadic, and I don't need it to get below 1.5 seconds cast time on steady shot. I call that the floater point- people who aren't hit capped would do well to use that in FA (now that it passes hit to pets especially), and personally, I put it in a second point in hunting party.

  2. I may switch again and put that point back in Hunting party. I'm probably being a bit obsessive. It's just that every time I'm in the middle of casting Steady Shot, it seems another shot that I'd rather be firing comes off cooldown. Heh.

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