Each week we’ll look at the history and utility of some of the greatest abilities in the Hunter’s arsenal
This week we take a look at every Survival Hunter’s favorite ability- Explosive Shot. Explosive Shot was added to the game in Wrath of the Lich King, and was the top talent in the Survival skill tree. It’s an instant ability that does damage on the hit and then applies a DoT to the target that does additional damage over two seconds. It has six second cooldown, costs 25 focus and has a 40 yard range, and if you’re Survival you want to fire it every time it’s off cooldown.
Explosive shot has great synergy with Black Arrow, Ice Trap and Freezing Trap. All three abilities have a chance to proc Lock and Load, which makes the next two Explosive Shots cost not focus and trigger no cooldown. Black Arrow has a 20% chance to proc Lock and Load whereas Ice Trap and Freezing Trap have a 100% chance. Fights that have adds are great opportunities to drop those traps for Lock and Load procs.
As of Mists of Pandaria Hunters can now spam Explosive Shot during Lock and Load. In the past doing that was bad as you risked clipping the dot and robbing yourself of ticks and thus DPS.
In Patch 5.4 Explosive Shot is getting buffed. Also, Explosive Trap is changing so that it no longer procs Lock and Load and no longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow. A change that many Hunters have wanted for some time now. Additionally Explosive Shot is affected by the T16 4-piece bonus whereby Explosive Shot casts have a 40% chance to not consume a charge of Lock and Load. A very nice bonus indeed.
Explosive Shot is the signature ability for Survival Hunters. It’s a little erratic due to the random nature of Lock and Load, but its a fun ability that should be fired early and often.