When I read this post by Delirium espousing the benefits of using Explosive Trap in Survival’s single target rotation, I thought it would be a good topic for Episode 208. I also wanted to hear for myself that Survival Hunters should consider using Explosive Trap for single target DPS.
It seems that every expansion we go through this analysis. If my memory serves me correct, we reached a point in Mists where it was a DPS loss to use the trap as part of the rotation. From a design standpoint I think Blizzard would prefer it this way. In fact, I’m sure most players would prefer that too, but like the IRS trying to squeeze every last penny out of taxpayers, we Hunters like to squeeze every ounce of DPS that our stout dwarven bodies can muster.
With Glaive Toss and Barrage we’re used to using AoE abilities as part of our rotation, but Explosive Trap seems different. Part of the problem is it’s awkward to use. It’s not a shot. We have to pull up the targeting reticle, aim the trap, and then launch it. This is further complicated now that our trap launcher has been redesigned by Azeroth’s “finest” Goblin engineers and is never on when you need it.
Seriously, there was nothing wrong with the way Trap Launcher’s worked in Mists of Pandaria. I don’t know how many episodes of the podcast we recorded during Mists, but I’m pretty sure we neither praised or complained about how Trap Launcher functioned. It was perfect, and didn’t merit any discussion.
Now it toggles off whenever you switch specs, change talents, sneeze, breath, open your inventory, blink, and any number of seemingly random acts.
The good news is that while using Explosive Trap can be a DPS gain, it certainly isn’t mandatory to mix it into your rotation, and if you’re not efficient with launching it, you could cost yourself some GCD’s and negate the DPS gains of using it.
The best tip I heard for using it was to pull up the reticle while you’re casting Cobra/Focusing Shot and then launch the trap as soon as the cast is over.
I’m not sure how much I’ll mix this in, but I’m definitely playing more Survival now than I was before.
If you do mix Explosive Trap into your rotation, let me know how it goes. Perhaps I can just live vicariously through you on this one.