Survival Hunter Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Survival Hunter. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Survival Hunter community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Survival Hunter Guide
Ghosteld is a Hunter Expert in Trueshot Lodge and raider in <Solaris>. If you ever have any questions or want to discuss hunter stuff, you can find him on discord Ghosteld#0069 or you can watch him on
Kuro is a regular in the TSL discord server. If you ever have Survival question, you can find him on discord KuroTheCrazy#1917, or you can watch him stream on
Changes from Legion
Survival hunter has been completely changed from how it was in Legion. While some ability names may look the same, the spec’s core abilities and talents are entirely different.
and Hunter’s Companion systems have been removed, and
has been moved to a focus-based talent.
Mastery has been changed to work like Legion Marksmanship’s mastery, increasing the damage of abilities that cost focus. It also provides a heal every five seconds.
The main focus-spending ability is
, which now deals respectable damage, and focus is generated through
usage (which differs from Beast Mastery’s spell).
Our damage distribution has shifted, more damage has been moved to damage-over-time abilities, like the new
(which works like the old
(which resembles Dragonsfire Grenade).
AoE damage consists of
. Different talents increase the value of each, along options to spread
to multiple enemies.
has been changed to a utility cooldown that lets you use
at range. Legion’s
has been replaced by
, which grants increased damage and focus generation through additional
have been added to Survival as well, giving us more utility.
Pets have been completely reworked. All specs are now equal in DPS but provide different utility.
How does the spec feel now?
Blizzard’s second pass at Survival feels vastly better than in Legion. While some players enjoyed the design in Legion, it had many design flaws that were never entirely cleared up by Blizzard, and certain parts of the spec left many players unhappy with its gameplay. Now in Battle for Azeroth, the new design works much better and is more appealing to general players. The new talents provide a healthy amount of diversity in use and builds, while all remaining close in balance and unique in playstyle.
now do notable damage and pets actually feel like part of the spec now.
has been introduced as the primary focus generator. Spells such as
provide more interaction with your pet than in Legion. Overall, Survival has become streamlined and many aspects of the spec now feel very cohesive. Unfortunately, survival still carries around its stigma from Legion. Survival is still a melee spec and many players refuse to play it when a ranged option is available while some hope for the return of the old ranged Survival spec.
Pets have been reworked. Many quality of life changes happened to pets, including auto turning off growl in instances and reduced aggro radius. Pets deal the same damage across the board and each pet spec offers a different form of utility. For more info on pets, check out our
Hunter Pet Guide
Talents + Recommend Changes and tuning issues:
Tier 1 (Level 15) - While
may initially seem like the strongest talent choice on this row, its damage is slightly behind what is given currently by
, which gives a more reliable focus-spending reduction and more damage than what
is currently the worst in a sandbox environment, but has the potential to be better if you can get multiple resets for the extra
Tier 2 (Level 30) - This is probably the most versatile row of our entire kit. All 3 talents have a certain use and they all enforce a certain playstyle.
is a good talent for smoothing out the single target rotation, while giving some use for multiple targets.
is really good cleave talent which saves you a lot of focus and it’s also a really good quality of life talent, while also giving strong synergy with the
excels in burst situations with a lot of targets, and benefits from having downtime to gain the charges back. This is currently a really good and balanced row, although
gives no benefit to single target damage, while the other choices do.
Tier 3 (Level 45) - Most of the talents in this row remain from Legion.
is primary use for open world content, leveling and old transmog runs.
is our go to PvP talent and has some niche uses in dungeons.
is a new talent in this row that slightly reduces the cooldown of
is really the only viable talent for most PvE outside of certain niche scenarios.
Tier 4 (Level 60) - At the moment, you will take
for most situations. This talent has good damage potential in single target, and performs especially well in multi-target situations while grouped with an AoE bleed spec like Feral or Guardian.
has the potential to outperform
by getting cooldown resets, but generally will not work as well.
’s damage has room for improvement, and won’t scale with Mastery like Crows can, so it currently won’t be used outside of niche situations and could use some attention.
Tier 5 (level 75) -
is very niche. It’s reduced cooldown gives
a shorter cooldown, giving more movement speed. It also reduces
cooldowns which which provide some added utility.
, giving us movement speed and snare removal on every cast.
is now a Survival talent and acts similar to Legion, however it’s lost the stun component to it. It now snares mobs rather than stunning them, which in general is much worse. The go to talent is generally
as it provides the most movement speed and utility of the three however
will be used in very heavy movement fights for the added
Tier 6 (Level 90) -
provides a similar-yet-different peek into the Legion style of Survival, but now works from focus instead of charges, and scales differently with the
buff. This talent can provide some fun depth to your rotation, while not being as strict as it was in Legion.
is a more passive, yet still competitive option for those who do not enjoy working with
, and can work better in AoE situations.
works decently enough for AoE, but overall does not have much impact due to the long cooldown.
Tier 7 (Level 100) - This row is quite balanced.
has the potential to be best option, though it requires high uptime on your target and good play. If both are not present, it can be lacking to the other options.
is the most gameplay changing talent we have; it has impact on both single target and AoE situations, and is a really good talent all around. While the damage on the bleed is weak, and the RNG of the talent can hold it back, it works well for a wide spread of situations.
currently only fits very niche situations. It’s damage is quite low, so it needs a fight with spread out targets where the value from the other two options will be missed. It’s fine that
fits this role, but it would be nice for its damage to be more competitive with the rest of the row.
Recommended Changes and Tuning Issues:
- Currently, the damage-over-time effect from this ability cannot crit, and has not been able to since the beta. This leaves its value scaling with crit weaker than other stats, like haste and versatility.
- While this talent can perform well in niche situations, the constant nerfs to its damage and focus generation, along with the increased minimum range to
, have left the talent awkward to work with and lacking in value.
- The damage on this trap was competitive before, but has since been reduced to being unsuitable for most scenarios.
- While the talent has a decent design, it is held back by two things - its long cooldown, and it’s low damage and focus generation relative to the other options on this row. Without changing one of these, the talent is not very appealing for most scenarios. This talent is also held back by the fact that it does not benefit at all from haste, which affects the rest of our kit and is currently the top secondary stat for the spec - making the cooldown get reduced by haste would be a big benefit to it.
- As mentioned before, the damage on this talent has much to be desired compared to the other two options, and is only useful in niche situations where it becomes awkward to use to its best potential. This talent is also held back by the fact that it does not benefit at all from haste, which affects the rest of our kit and is currently the top secondary stat for the spec - making the cooldown get reduced by haste would be a big benefit to it.
- While this talent can add great diversity to gameplay and great bonuses in a fight, it is held back significantly by the RNG of its design. Since it currently is not especially strong in damage or value, it would feel much better to work on a system like Exotic Munitions, where you can pick which bonus you would like.
: Although secondary stats affect so little in Battle For Azeroth, our mastery is currently a significantly worse stat than the other secondaries. White damage (auto-attacks + pet damage) got buffed in Battle for Azeroth which means that our mastery has less use It also does not affect Wildfire Grenade damage, which is a large portion of our AoE damage.
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