SV Hunter Talents Overview: Tier 1

Improved TrackingImproved Tracking

5 Point Talent

Description: While tracking Beasts, Demons, Dragonkin, Elementals, Giants, Humanoids and Undead, all ranged damage done to those types is increased by 1/2/3/4/5%.


Like Hawk Eye and Lethal Shots, Improved Tracking is another fundamental damage increase talent. As long as you’re tracking one of the mobs described in the tooltip, the Hunter’s ranged damage (pet is not included) will increase by up to 5% vs. any of the mob types listed.

Why take it?

It’s a good talent for all raiding Hunters. For MM and SV it’s pretty much a given that they’ll invest in this talent. BM Hunters may not, since the damage buff does not apply to the pet. Personally, I ignored the SV tree and went with a 53/18/0 build for raiding, but many BM Hunters do spend points in here and I would not advise against it.

For PvP it’s also a decent talent. Up to 5% additional damage vs opponents is a welcome buff.

Why not take it?

Like I said, some BM Hunters may not have the points to dump in here if they plan on grabbing Aimed Shot and/or Improved Arcane Shot, along with 53 points in the BM tree. I’m not a spreadsheet guy, but I do believe that the top DPS BM raiding build does include this talent. I chose to do without it, but it’s definitely worth trying if you’re into min/maxing.

For PvP Hunters, this talent is more of a “get to the 2nd tier talent”. The other two options listed in this post are very PvP friendly, so it’s possible some Hunters may choose to invest fewer points in Improved Tracking, or none at all.

PvP’ing as SV, I chose to go without this talent. The reason being is, Rogues and Druids (especially f**king Rogues) are common opponents in arena. This talent does not work when Track Hidden is on. I leave Track Hidden on about 100% of the time when I arena, so as to sniff out those pesky stealthers and avoid the ass-rape. Sure it’s easy to switch your tracking, but it still burns a GCD, and in arena the 1.5 seconds are precious.

Hawk EyeHawk Eye

3 Point Talent

Description: Increases the range of your ranged weapons by 2/4/6 yards.


This talent increases the Hunter’s maximum firing distance by 2, 4 or 6 yards. It allows you to stand a bit further back from your target when casting your ranged attacks.

Why take it?

It’s a really nice talent, because the further you can place yourself from harm’s way the better.

To me, it’s more of a PvP talent, because it focuses on survivability and not DPS. Being able to attack your opponent, while also staying out of range of their harmful attacks is a definite advantage.

For PvE, I feel it’s a talent that some Hunters may want to use because they’re used to it. I feel if you’ve been using this talent all along, it may be difficult to live without that added cushion.

Why not take it?

Probably the only reason to advise against taking this talent would be for the DPS loss. It’s a good talent, but it isn’t going to help your DPS any. There may be some boss encounters where this talent will provide a Hunter with a situational advantage, thus benefitting their overall damage, but I have yet to see any top DPS Hunters grab this talent.

Although I stated that I believe it to be a good talent for PvP, I don’t use it personally. For one, I don’t have the points to dump in here, and secondly, I find it’s not as advantageous for arena. For BGs it’s fantastic, but with the LoS issues that Hunters face in arena, I find that I’m typically well within the 35 yd range anyway when I’m able to hit my opponents. In summary, great for BGs, subject for debate when it comes to arena.

It’s not say that it isn’t a good talent for arena, I just choose to put the points into talents which will buff my damage and suit my play-style more so.

Savage StrikesSavage Strikes

Savage Strikes

2 Point Talent

Description: Increases the critical strike chance of Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite and Counterattack by 10/20%.


This talent increases the crit chance for our three melee abilities. Not much explanation needed here.

Why take it?

This is a fantastic talent for PvP, especially in the lower levels. Since our melee fights are typically very short and bursty, two points in here give you nearly a guaranteed chance to crit with at least one, or all of your melee strikes in that brief window. I have Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite macro’d together, so they hit simultaneously provided they’re both off cooldown. Combined with this talent, that can make for some melee damage that opponents will notice. In PvP, it is inevitable that at some point you will be stuck in melee range. For times like these, it’s nice to be able to bring the pain.

This talent is incredibly powerful in the lower levels. Hunters can actually produce some pretty devastating melee hits in the lower brackets. If twinking is your thing, then I would highly advise grabbing this. Back when I was active in the 10-19 bracket, my 19 Hunter was critting ~400 with Raptor Strike. That makes for good fun indeed. 😈

Why not take it?

Hunters are not a melee class. Although I tried my hardest to be a melee Hunter when I first started playing, we simply have too few abilities to be viable in close quarters combat. In short, a good Hunter will try to avoid using their melee abilities as much as possible. It’s a great talent in my opinion, but very situational, and definitely not for raiding.

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