4.0.1: Surviving with Survival
(If you’re looking for a general hunter guide to patch 4.0.1 feel free to check out my guide right here. This post also assumes that you reforged the way my guide says and are using the spec/glyphs that are mentioned in the guide.)
I decided I would try the spec that Pre-4.0.1 I hated with an intense passion. Now.. I love it! I don’t know why but I like it a lot more than I did before. I wanted to write a post about my findings, both the good and bad. Of course, once we actually have access to 85 talents and abilities I will be writing a more formal guide to hunters @ 85 and each spec individually. That won’t be till December though.
I get a lot of hunters ask me what is the “spec to be” right now. I’ll tell you this straight up and I mean it. Now is the time in the game where nothing matters. If you’re a DPSing min-maxer who likes to be as perfect as possible at the game, this is your break period! What I want you to do is try all the spec’s you like, find one that’s fun and stick with that until Cataclysm. Play what you ENJOY. Everything is so imbalanced/broken right now because everything is tuned to 85 that nothing really matters (unless you’re progressing on H-LK or any H-ICC fights.) so do what YOU want to do, play what YOU want to play and enjoy the game till the real fun begins. Now that that’s over, lets dive into survival, shall we?
Spec I’ve been using with glyphs: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#cZsZcrhcMhrRsd:RVs0V
(If you’re curious, this is what I think will be the 85 spec for survival: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#mZfzMZcrhcMhrRsd:Rms0V I’m not going to go over this till Cataclysm)
Originally, with that spec I followed the “1.5 second Steady Shot cast” rule that I’ve been following for Marksmanship. Well, I realized something. Assuming you have no gear on and you’re just spec’d the way I have in the link above you have 13% Haste. 10% from Hunting Party and 3 from Pathing. With all of MY gear off that brought my Steady Shots from a 2 second cast time to 1.76 seconds. That’s just a little under half of what you need to get steadys to a 1.5 second cast time. That means that we don’t need that much haste from gear to get to this point. Luckily, if you had gear from Pre-4.0.1 that had ArmorPen on it then you should be at a good amount of haste.
I have come to realize that not only is the 1.5 second Steady shot cast time rule not as big a deal for Survival DPS as it is for Marksmanship but also with just some gear on + Hunting Party and Pathing you should be at an acceptable level of haste for your Steady Shots.
I like Survival right now for a few reasons. For some reason, I actually like the rotation compared to the way it used to be (Really didn’t change. And no, I don’t know why I like it now). I like the fact that if I Multi-Shot into a pack of 5+ mobs I see a whole waterfall of numbers across my screen. Go Go Multi-Shot – Serpent Spread – Improved Serpent Sting with a Launched Explosive Trap! Wyvern Sting will be nice for CC come Cataclysm when we need it. My raid doesn’t have any Enhancement Shamans (I think) or Frost DK’s so I bring the Melee/Range haste buff which is always a nice thing!
There are, of course, some drawbacks that Survival has at 80. The biggest one of them being no Cobra Shot. Not only do we currently have to have to manually refresh Serpent Sting but we have to use Steady Shot which is a psychical attack. Cobra Shot allows us to use a Nature Damage attack that gets the full benefit from our Mastery along with the fact that it keeps Serpent Sting up 100% of the time allowing us to keep 25 focus for other things. Part of Survivals current focus starvation problem is (I think) from the fact that we DO have to use that focus to refresh Serpent Sting instead of using it to cast things like Black Arrow or Explosive Shot.
Luckily for me and all the people who like survival the drawbacks it has currently will be fixed as soon as you ding 81 (and go to your trainer)!
On a side note, I did Molten Core with my hunter friend tonight and I FINALLY got my last piece to complete my Giantstalker Set! Here’s a picture of me in the full set with my Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers
Be on the lookout for Hunter Blizzcon Coverage post coming (Hopefully) some time tomorrow and a post about all my new pets coming soon as well!