Survival Hunter: First Impression of the New Hunter Talent Trees in Dragonflight
With the reveal of the Dragonflight Hunter talent trees, our Survival Hunter writer DoolB provides initial reactions and thoughts on this revamped system. We break down the Survival Hunter talent trees, discussing the new talents and providing some sample builds. Join us as we predict how this class could play in Dragonflight!
To learn about the best PvE talent builds in Dragonflight for this class, and export these builds into the game, please check out our Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival Hunter class guides:
Beast Mastery Hunter Talent BuildsMarksmanship Hunter Talent BuildsSurvival Hunter Talent Builds
Hunter Dragonflight Talents
Hunter Dragonflight Talents—What’s New?
Welcome to our newest WoW expansion! Dragonflight brings us a brand new and refreshing talent tree system. This system is inspired by the talent-trees of yesteryear—before Mists of Pandaria revamped and streamlined the talent system. Now, we will have two talent trees: one dedicated to all things Hunter to promote a more unified class identity while the other encourages further specialization identity. This multifaceted approach is intended to give us as players a more flexible way to build our characters—including things like damage abilities, utilities, and more.
As Survival Hunters, we get a bit of a unique approach to a shared class tree. As the only melee DPS spec on a class with two ranged DPS specs, a lot of us were curious how Blizzard would handle a shared tree. Many were impressed with the conceptual fluidness of the shared talent tree and, aside from a few points of contention discussed later, it is a quite nice shared tree for Survival.
We now have access to some pretty unique abilities and combinations previously unavailable to us. Before we go further, rest assured that Blizzard has confirmed that the current intention is that
abilities in the shared tree will be usable for all Hunters, with
as the single possible exception.
One of the cool things is that, with the current layout of the talent tree, Survival will have an effective free point when it’s all said and done that we can slot into something like
, or even
depending on tuning and the situation you find yourself in.
now finds itself as a generic Hunter spell and with it an awesome choice node of
. No more competition with
We also get some pretty cool combinations of older utility focused abilities like having access to
simultaneously. We even can get access to
for the first time! A final few talents we’d like to highlight on our first impression is the buffed
—12 Focus per 1 second of cooldown reduction on
instead of the current 20 is quite a lot for how much Focus we dump! Additionally, the soon-to-be-reworked
(perhaps the name will change?) will apply a Bleed on all of our special attack crits—anything but white hits!
: Now, we even have access to a baseline defensive:
! This is moving from a Tenacity pet only ability to our tree, as well as a powerful choice node to modify it with a shorter cooldown and longer direction or a more bulkier defensive. We also are going to be experimenting with a new form of group utility—an ability that lets us ignore line of sight, much like
. However, the current plans for this completely work-in-progress, potential, not-a-promise ability also includes a choice node to allow our party to ignore LoS (more beneficial in PvP) or a group Leech/Avoidance buff. This Sentinel's Owl spell is in no way guaranteed to make it out of testing, but it is neat to think about!
Hunter Dragonflight Talents—First Impressions
As stated above, the shared Hunter tree is much more smooth than many thought it would be for Survival. The structure is relatively intuitive, there aren’t many confusing nodes, and there aren’t any less-than-ideal picks blocking off better options for us. It has a lot of cool features, combinations, and abilities being brought forward into Dragonflight.
With the latest rounds of feedback responded to by Nimox, many of our main points of concern have been addressed. As mentioned earlier, we’re getting a defensive (Survival of the Fittest) as well as Utility (Sentinel’s Owl). Of course, a lot will depend on the actual numbers involved but many are very optimistic at how they will turn out.
However, there is a caveat. Many assume that Sentinel’s Owl group utility will be incredibly overpowered in PvP and incredibly niche in PvE. Time will tell how this ends up, but we’re definitely looking forward to further iterations!
It's not all sunshine and roses, however.
is an extremely dull talent, especially with how deep in the tree it is. Not to mention, this talent also directly benefits the current version of
by reducing the cooldown of the trap involved. As Survival, we've had the "honors" of dealing with
being our "meta" Single Target legendary, serving as a crutch to
, with limited success.
Its play style has been seen unintuitive and needlessly complex as it adds ground targeted "skill shots" to your spec which in some extreme cases cannot even be used properly, such as Eye of the Jailer. Survival Hunters often opted for alternative legendaries despite its status as the "best" legendary for single target.
is also very deep in the tree but again, nobody is clamoring and rushing to pick up this talent as it will be very impractical to use in PvE and seems more like a PvP talent.
All in all there aren't too many grim options in the general tree, but many believe that moving away from things such as
and related talents would be great. Especially for those that prefer Marksmanship Hunters and the Lone Wolf playstyle.
Survival Dragonflight Talents
Survival Hunter Dragonflight Talents—What’s New?
Survival itself gets a few exciting new toys with the new talent system!
- A deceptively simple passive talent that increases the Focus we gain from
- Increases the reset chance of
stack. Currently it seems a bit counter productive as with high stacks you’re not going to be
ing that often and instead opting to squeeze out as many
as you can but with all the
synergy in the tree this may change!
- Adds a bit more oomph to our execute with
slightly lowering the CD of
. More bombs are always good.
- A brand new single-target oriented offensive cooldown that greatly increases the damage of your
by enabling them to apply an extra bleed, on top of the usual pet damage increase and increased chance to reset
resets have a moderate chance of firing off an immediate and free Arcane Shot. Hey, extra single-target damage is never a bad thing!
- Has been completely redesigned and functions as an AoE / Execute specific cooldown focusing on
—with a new
passive that even turns
into a Focus generator!
We also have some old abilities returning as well!
— Yes, our Artifact ability from Legion is returning! Albeit slightly different, this ability is now detached entirely from Mongoose Fury and now synergizes with, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before,
resetting itself. There’s even a new talent (
) that really ramps up the effectiveness of Fury of the Eagle in Execute range. (However, it’s an extremely tight 20% execute range which often times can be too low to get any real value in AoE)
- This is similar to our old Azerite Trait,
. However, it does lack the Critical Strike bonus and instead just increases our (and our pets!) total Focus.
is back (sort of) and is now a passive chance to apply
on your target after your
.However, the two-point budget here makes it a bit of a waste of a proc, as 30% is awfully high for easily maintaining.
is another throwback to our artifact, increasing our range by 3 Yards. Very useful all of the time as it frees up space in melee and makes it potentially easier to avoid certain mechanics. A very safe decision.
There are also some important things to notice as well. For the first time ever, we’re able to talent into
all at the same time! Now, what does this mean to you? Well, with Tip of the Spear stacking and spending itself naturally in the rotation, as well as Mongoose Fury building itself up as well, your maximum stacked Mongoose Bites are going to hit pretty darn hard. With all of the passive damage modifiers we have flying around the talent tree, it would be the equivalent (assuming current tuning) of smacking your target with back to back 40K Mongoose Bite critical hits in Shadowlands Season 3. While a maximum stacked bite like this is going to be unrealistic, it's not impossible, and all these mesh together very well to help our single-target output as well as potential for target-switching and on-demand burst damage.
Survival Hunter Dragonflight Talents—First Impressions
We must be honest with you dear reader, this is not a first impression—for the last several weeks of Alpha, Blizzard has iterated and further developed our tree each and every week based on feedback the community has shared on the feedback forums. This has resulted in many great changes, the most prominent being a fantastic re-budgeting of our tree. Early in the testing cycle, Survival had 10 nodes that cost 3 points which was an absurd amount—now we are down to one.
We have also received an increased amount of synergy compared to our earlier builds—the majority of which relies on Kill Command resetting. This is a first for Survival in quite some time and many are appreciating the baseline synergy. We even have a talent (
) that directly synergizes with our Mongoose Fury stacks! It’s a very interesting concept—although a bit counterproductive currently. As mentioned earlier, when you have that high of Mongoose Fury stacks you'll want to sneak in as many Mongoose Bites as you possibly can instead of a Kill Command with a slightly higher reset chance. Instead, some suggest a similar talent that would reduce the cooldown of Flanking Strike with some sort of Mongoose Bite interaction to ensure it’s availability for each Mongoose Fury window or perhaps a slight retooling to be similar to
Memory of Lucid Dreams
from Battle for Azeroth.
Our tree seems very cut and dry with the layout. Aiming for a more AoE centric build? Go down the left side. Feeling single-targety? Fill out the right side. The lack of choice nodes compared to other specs means it’s going to be pretty hard to have a suboptimal build moving forward in Dragonflight.
Moving forward with the testing process, many in the community are excited to see what re-budgeting brings. Whether it be a bit more flexibility or versatility in our builds or even new talents, it's an exciting time with such a communicative feedback cycle.
A big concern with the Survival tree, much like the Hunter tree, is the lack of unique group utility or defensives. We know certain specs can get utility with Arms’ Skull Banner and we know specs can get special defensives like Feral’s Survival Instincts. Hunter itself is getting access to these tools, but traditionally it can be hard for a Melee spec (without necessary group utility) to find a spot in a 20-person roster, so an extra tool certainly wouldn't hurt.
Below is a very extensive write-up by Thyminde, the co-writer for the Survival Guide. This goes through each and every talent point on our current tree. We hope you enjoy!
0-8 Point Gate Summary
Currently, it doesn't feel too bad spending talent points here, although most of it (6 points) is spent on "essentials".
After which we get to choose between what is essentially 10% pet damage (
), or a combination of
. Assuming live tuning, our pets don't actually deal that much of our damage despite running several talents to buff it (
), our pet still only barely contributes to 18% of our damage, even with our current tier-set bonus heavily overusing Kill Command.
to a 1 point node to mirror Harpoon's side of the tree could be beneficial, making it easier to reach
. Energetic Ally itself could use a bit of TLC as well—perhaps a small amount of passive focus regen, as opposed to the active focus regen Terms of Engagement provides.
Alternatively, it could even swap position with
, having Ferocity compete with the choice of Energetic Ally, and
to reach further into the left side of the tree seems much more reasonable. The downside of doing this would be that it makes the first part of the talent tree very rigid, but Guerilla Tactics is powerful enough to be considered "essential" and ultimately is a talent you'll likely want to go for in every situation. The second charge is just that powerful, as it was incredibly overcentralizing for the last 4 years.
This also still ignores the fact that Harpoon or Aspect of the Eagle are required to serve as a connection point to Mongoose Bite past the 8 point barrier, which for Single Target output seems critical.
8-20 Point Summary
this is basically Essential with a capital E. It provides great throughput on its own and it smooths out the AoE rotation. Additionally, it even smooths out Wildfire Infusion so incredibly well from a min-maxing point of view. Carve or Butchery without it would often result in wasted cooldown reduction and without the second charge there is very little room to exploit the benefits of Wildfire Infusion bomb variants. It also leaves you room to better play around Mongoose Fury.
Note: Currently, 1 yard range increase on Alpha—this is almost definitely a bug from the old three point version.
3 Yards range is incredibly underrated, and is something we had baseline throughout Legion. The amount of freedom it gives you in melee can turn some hectic fights into comfy fights (spreading with risky mechanics) as well as dramatically help with landing Carve/Butchery.
Our single choice node in the entire spec side of the tree.
Critical in sustained AoE, not useful for ST at all. Whether we actually pick this will depend on the encounter or content we're doing. With that said, with the current tuning the node heavily favors
in almost every way except cooldown.
Even with the lower CD, there are doubts that
will actually be competitive. Giving it either an even lower cooldown or a flat once per cast extra Wildfire Bomb CDR might help offset this without tuning
in such a way that the "oomph" is gone.
Butchery's popularity in Legion mostly came down to its animation and its incredible upfront damage.
Tuning these choice nodes in a way where it heavily differentiates between Sustained and Burst damage could help replicate this, as well as giving each of the node choices a distinct purpose. Slowing down its charge rate, potentially upping the focus cost of Butchery paired with the plentiful amount of Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite modifiers in the tree, there should be room to dramatically buff Butchery’s damage, without it becoming a "meta" Single target talent.
Note: Butchery doesn't actually work on Alpha right now.
Very powerful in Single Target and provides a much needed gameplay loop to the spec as without it, you're just keeping your dot up and hitting everything else on cooldown. It is inherently weaker than Raptor Strike, making it less suitable for AoE where your heavy-hitting filler-spender is used significantly less, but the Mongoose Fury stacks make up for it in single-target.
A fun bonus is that the Mongoose Bite animation dynamically changes with how many stacks of Mongoose Fury you have. This really adds weight to the ability and makes it very satisfying to use.
Here’s a bit of history: over time, Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite have lost their power relative to other abilities or sources within the spec. In Dragonflight, this is looking to change. There are plenty of modifiers buffing up Mongoose Bite/Raptor Strike, and it is now no longer exclusive with Tip of the Spear. (Can we have a special 3-tip 5-fury animation? Please?)
The damage potential of a Mongoose Bite is looking impressive, and will definitely be helpful in focusing damage onto a single target when we build for it.
Gives us more focus to spend, but looks a lot less interesting at first glance than it really is.
With our passive regen sitting at 7.5 per GCD, a Kill Command GCD will generate 22.5 (15+7.5) focus, and a Raptor Strike GCD spends 22.5 (30-7.5) focus.
Intense Focus stops that balance, and instead lets us generate more focus per GCD than we typically spend per GCD.
Every 4th KC, we will have generated a little more than an extra Kill Command GCD worth of focus. (24 compared to the originally mentioned 22.5).
This means less Kill Commands, and more Raptor Strikes/Mongoose Bites/Serpent Stings, impacting anything that relies or interacts with the cast frequency of these abilities.
Examples include Mongoose Fury, Tip of the Spear, Predator procs, Deadly Duo, Pheromone Bomb, Spearhead, Latent Poison Injectors, Coordinated Kill and more.
Survival has always had a slight amount of a focus limitation, seeking Borrowed Powers to help offset it (lucid dreams, NTA). This was especially relevant whenever Wildfire Infusion wasn't taken.
Essentially a 2 point node to give us back Wildfire Bomb rank 2. Interestingly, this is currently multiplicative with Guerilla Tactics's direct damage buff on Alpha, whereas that hasn't been the case with our current Wildfire Bomb rank 2.
Regardless, it is a typical 2 point node that happens to be AoE biased, but is still effective for single. Nothing much else to say, simple and effective.
Similar to Carve/Butchery, it has very limited value for ST damage, which is okay.
This has been a critical component in our sustained AoE damage throughout BFA and Shadowlands, and it will likely remain that way. But it doesn't provide all that much for Burst damage, especially when the cooldown reduction doesn't actually amount to an additional bomb. I could definitely see a range of encounters where Butchery might be picked, but Frenzy Strikes is ignored.
An example encounter might be something like Painsmith Raznal Mythic and its short damage window to deal with the few adds. The rest of our talent tree could provide plenty of options to deal with Burst AoE already. Between Fury of the Eagle, Explosive Shot, Death chakrams' weakening effect, Stampede, Wildfire Bombs and 3 Butchery GCDs we can already continue AoEing for a short while.
The lack of Wildfire Cluster also makes our Wildfire Bombs (and as such, the CDR) a little less impactful. Especially when part of its damage output includes DoT damage, which isn't always useful when mobs are dying quickly.
AKA strong Kill Command. Its relatively high CD for a seemingly filler spell, as well as its similarity to Kill Command makes it a little less exciting than it could have been.
Perhaps lowering its cooldown to 20 seconds, and allowing each Mongoose Fury stack to reduce its cooldown by 1 second allows it to be used once per Mongoose Fury window, giving the ability a bit extra synergy in single-target—especially considering Mongoose Bite serves as a connection point to Flanking Strike. Perhaps it could also consume all Tip/Mongoose stacks to increase its own damage done and turn into a huge nuke.
Regardless, it's a point well spent as it is, and does interact with Frenzy Strikes when taken. The downside is that the interaction is only really relevant as long as there is AoE to be done.
Basically similar, but inferior to a later talent:
. It does serve as a connection point to Bloody Claws. Depending on how much damage Mongoose Bite actually ends up doing, this can still be a valuable talent node regardless.
has been redesigned and now will place the DoT of Serpent Sting directly on your target. Increasing the odds per point feels a little weird for this talent.
15% might not be enough to maintain the DoT, 30% might proc it too often for the 2nd point to be worthwhile investment. Especially as we start gaining Haste, increasing the frequency of our spenders and thus, more opportunities to proc it. Because it serves as a connection point to some more powerful talents, reluctantly spending 2 points on it can still be reasonable. 1 point for a static chance would feel better with the budget.
Seemingly undertuned (which can of course be fixed), Has no specific mechanical interactions with the rest of our kit and has very little purpose as a connection point to anything. Probably the most "fluff" talent in our entire tree, which speaks volumes about sharp and crisp our tree is. Great job! Perhaps baking this in with Lunge makes a little more sense given how Lunge is the only talent past the 8 point barrier that does not directly impact damage in some way.
Of course, not every talent needs to be a direct damage increase, but Lunge very much stands out given its position in the tree.
Objectively better Spear focus, enhancing additional abilities. You could argue its position in the talent tree is also slightly more favorable.
Simple damage node, nothing wrong with this. Some people may argue that it seems like a Bomb/AoE talent in the right side of the tree, which are otherwise dominantly Single Target talents.
However this isn't necessarily a bad thing, Flanking Strike and Wildfire Bomb are both used in Single Target. If you are building for AoE damage, you'll likely have picked the Carve/Butchery node already. and going further down into Flanking Strike and Tactical Advantage isn't that outlandish, especially considering Frenzy Strike's synergy with Flanking Strike. Another side effect of talents being positioned this way is that it also give more opportunity to branch out into other parts of the tree if desired.
With that said,
remains rather simplistic. Perhaps Tactical Advantage, as a connection point from Flanking Strike itself, could introduce the Flanking Strike on Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite synergy mechanic, referring to what was mentioned in the commentary on Flanking Strike earlier.
- Historically we weren't so much in the habit of using Kill Command as much as we built our Mongoose Fury stacks unless we absolutely had to. So at first glance this talent seems a little counterproductive. We do not yet know whether the addition of Tip of the Spear as well as the plethora of Kill Command interactions would change this "default" behavior however, so this may very well end up incredibly useful.
It has light "counter synergy" when paired with Wildfire Infusion, which I will touch on later.
8-20 point gate Summary
Points in the middle section of the tree feel rather "costly", especially after the recent changes to the post-20 point barrier. This can make it difficult to justify a talent such as Lunge, being the only non damage talent surrounded in a sea of damage amps/abilities.
While it is entirely fine to lose a mere 5% Mongoose Bite damage in favor of something like Lunge, This isn't exactly the position we're in.
as an example.
After we pick up our essentials (Guerilla Tactics, Mongoose Bite, Flanking Strike, and Sweeping Spear to connect further down into the tree) we then spend our way to connect to Wildfire Infusion and Quick shot, which both seem like powerful 1 drop talents, we're only left with 3 points to spend until we unlock the 20pt barrier, which is where the more game changing talents seem to be.
At this stage we still haven't opted into Carve/Butchery (in case AoE is relevant). And we still have several powerful damage nodes to pick from (improved WFB, Tactical Advantage, or Spear focus to get into Bloody Claws.)
While the power of some specific nodes is a bit speculative at the moment, the middle part of the talent tree feels restrictive. Several solutions could be explored to help alleviate this a bit.
Viper's Venom could be retuned to a 1 pt node, since it is the only route towards Wildfire Infusion. Given the nature of the increased proc rate leading to potential wasted procs especially during high haste/spender moments, spending the extra point here can feel "wasted".
Alternatively, it can be swapped with Quick Shot. Quick Shot has obvious interactions with Wildfire Infusions' Pheromone Bomb, but works as a standalone talent. Viper's Venom's new position would then allow it to feasibly spend a single point if desired.
Merge Lunge with Sharp Edges into a 1pt node. Currently, Lunge doesn't Serve as a meaningful connection point, and Sharp Edges currently feels a little fluffy or extra as it is.
Spear focus currently feels too similar to Sweeping Spear. And at 2 points, it feels like it blocks off Bloody Claws too much. Instead, it could be converted to a 1pt node which instead buffs the damage amp effect of Mongoose Fury. This also mirrors Flanking Strike's route in regards to the total points you have to spend to progress further down into the tree towards Spearhead.
With these changes we would potentially free up to 3 points, at which point we would still lack some of the more powerful nodes. but it would give a little bit more breathing room and build flexibility.
Post 20 Gate
Probably one of the more interesting talents in the entire tree and has been wildly popular.
A minor nuisance with Shrapnel Bomb and its interactions with our abilities is how Kill Shot does not add an Internal Bleeding stack, despite also being a physical spender like Raptor Strike/Carve/Mongoose bite. Despite how weak Internal Bleeding actually is, it almost feels a little annoying to end up with a 2 stack bleed because you just so happened to have kill shot available.
Additionally, Pheromone Bomb seems to invalidate a somewhat meaningful portion and direction of the talent tree, Building into KC reset mechanics. A 100% proc rate on Predator/KC reset can make the increased reset rates provided by Bloody Claws, and Spearhead's KC feel wasted during its uptime.
Perhaps for every % beyond 100, KCs damage could be amped by 1% to help offset this.
Alternatively, the guaranteed proc rate could be lowered with some of its power being put into enhanced Kill Command damage instead to make room for other reset talents to remain meaningful.
Guaranteed procs with no additional effort also set a "risky" foundation for builds that end up plain Kill Command spamming despite your current Focus,(especially with interactions such as Quick Shot). This then undermines some of the main objectives within a builder-generator spec. Such as we have seen with the current Mad Bombardier set bonus. Perhaps this is a non-issue given Pheromone Bombs limited uptime in a typical situation, especially since it doesn't seem likely to build into Bloody Claws when going for an AoE focused build anyway. but it is worth noting.
I like the idea of this talent assuming this will end up working with our Sidearm crossbow, it is a neat little interaction that leans into off spec fantasy a bit. Hopefully it won't be powerful enough to undermine the specs overall playstyle resulting in "proc Fishing" at max focus. In my opinion, this should be a neat bonus/reward for triggering a KC reset, and not a playstyle on its own.
Since the rework to Bonded Companion (now Deadly Duo) It makes a little more sense, However the Kill Shot portion of the talent remains fundamentally unusable (outside of the 20% HP threshold) until talented into Deadly Duo. Perhaps swapping the “Kill Shot can be used on any target regardless of the target’s HP”-effect with "Bleeding Gash" between Coordinated Assault and Deadly Duo is preferable. with Deadly Duo giving a 50/100% chance to trigger Bleeding Gash.
Buffs KC, plain and simple. Its spot in the tree makes sense, but perhaps its power for a 2 node talent in the midst of all the other talents in this part of the tree does not.
Fairly praised within Trueshot Lodge's Survival Hunter Discord community. It is clearly meant as an AoE tool especially with Ruthless Marauder, as its Channel Time and power over the 4 sec channel on a single target is rather weak, similar to how it was in Legion.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. But its bonus "Execute" interactions with Ruthless Marauder does lead to potentially strange gameplay.
Note: The cooldown reduction on a Kill Command reset doesn't currently work.
Simple damage amp, providing a wide range of extra damage to ranged abilities.
This is very useful indeed, and its position in the tree is ideal. Viper's Venom and Coordinated Assault building off of Serpent Sting and Kill Shot respectively can both quite easily reach Ranger.
Recently reworked, as spoken about when discussing Coordinated Assault, the Bleeding Gash and Kill Shot parts of the respective talents could be swapped to solve the light dependency issue.
The cooldown Reduction on Wildfire Bombs can end up a little "too much" depending on how this interacts with Explosive Expert. If you're not talented into Wildfire Infusion, regular Wildfire Bombs are not capable of stacking its dot onto the target and additionally are not capable of adding onto an existing dot timer through the "pandemic" mechanic as you would normally expect. Wildfire Bombs also do not possess the ability to stack its dot through "ignite" mechanics, something that
could do, for instance.
With this in mind, you need 6 seconds in between every bomb to ensure that no damage is wasted. We only need 50% haste, which is easily achievable during bloodlust, to hit a 12-second cooldown on our Wildfire Bombs. if we then cut this cooldown in half (aka the 50% provided by Deadly Duo), we're already at the 6 second cooldown mark where we can no longer benefit (without a loss) of the cooldown reduction. And this isn't even considering the cooldown reduction Explosives Expert is providing yet, which will further lower the amount of haste we need before we run into this problem.
Whether this interaction is an oversight, or intended to be built around, we currently have two solutions to this problem
1. Just don't talent into Explosives expert.
Not ideal at all from a design perspective, even if we wouldn't want the talent anyway
2. Make sure you talent into Wildfire Infusion
The different bomb colors provided by Wildfire Infusion can independently be on the same target simultaneously, conveniently "dodging" a lack of Wildfire Bomb's capability to "ignite" its DoT power.
Ideally however, allowing these dots to "Ignite" would solve this interaction, and would solve such issues in the future, as this hasn't been the first time we run into this problem.
Adds some good value to Kill Shot in AoE/add waves. Technically works standalone on ST, but works best with Coordinated Assault and Deadly Duo.
Lovely new cooldown, Providing a long range leap and meaningful Raptor Strike/ Mongoose Bite damage, as well as providing some KC reset chance making it quite similar to our old version of Coordinated Assault.
In its Baseline form, this isn't really a button you will “feel”—it is rather passive in the way it deals its damage, but it can be expanded on with Coordinated Kill.
Expands onto Fury of the Eagle's Execute mechanic, but in a way that leads to potentially strange gameplay. Its crit rates are also a little overboard.
First of all, Fury of the Eagle provides an additional 30% critical hit rate, that's a lot of crit rate already.
Then Ruthless Marauder adds an additional 45% Critical Hit, which will put its crit rate at 85%—even if our character has no additional crit from any other source, given that a Hunter has a baseline crit chance of 10%. Despite the execute crit rate of Fury of the Eagle being reduced from 50% to 30% not long ago, making it a bit more reasonable, overcapping crit chance will still be fairly easy.
Secondly, it only provides this extra crit rate against enemies under 20% HP, as well as refunding Wildfire Bomb and Flanking Strike CD as it crits. This makes it dramatically stronger under 20% health, However in typical AoE packs this is too low of a health threshold to channel a 4 sec channel inside of the execute threshold. It also makes it difficult to make use of the refunded Wildfire Bomb CDR following the somewhat long channel on low health targets, not to mention Wildfire Bombs DoT.
Raising the Health threshold in which the secondary mechanic works would be very helpful, in addition to reducing its baseline crit gain, allowing other talents and stats to build a little more into this crit mechanic.
The dev’s have commented that this is probably going to be reworked and make more sense with the current new Coordinated Assault.
This talent has only ever been amazing when helped through massive borrowed power crutches such as
Memory of Lucid Dreams
. Even then it is a massive struggle to maintain in AoE, making this effectively a Single Target/Raid gimmick.
The playstyle that results from these extensions is often frustrating if not tuned accordingly, it is disproportionately punished by downtime for what often seems to be massive amounts of more work for little reward.
Furthermore, There have been tiers where we could in theory reach ~3.5 minute Coordinated Assault uptimes (on a 2 min cd) this exact same philosophy has been reined in for other classes, Notably for
putting measures in place to stop infinite CD loops.
ideally, the extension mechanic is replaced entirely, perhaps with an empowerment based on focus spent. since Spearhead is already getting such an extension mechanic.
Provides effects you can "feel" to Spearhead, reduced cost granting a more spammy spender.
While I'm personally not a fan of a Kill Command Reset based extension mechanic, it does make sense to interact with Kill Command resets given that Spearhead itself builds into that mechanic as well. Perhaps the Spearhead bleed could add a larger portion of Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite's damage to what is presumably an ignited dot.
Post 20 Point Gate Summary
Generally, the points available to spend here feel pretty well balanced and sensible assuming we're not spending any more in the previous nodes. Some individual talents have some questionable design choices but overall it looks good!
Interested in playing Survival Hunter now? Check our out live guide for this spec!
Survival Hunter Guide
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