Profiting From Survival

As I’d mentioned earlier, I decided to go Survival once I ditched Beast Mastery as my PvP spec. Oddly enough, at this same time I also elected to go Survival for raiding as well. This may sound strange to those of you who follow the site, because I’d stated a few times in the past that Survival had been my least favorite spec.

I’ve had a change of heart… what can I say.

The reasons I went Survival for PvP should be pretty obvious to most. Survival is currently the most dominant spec for arena due to the combination of burst, survivability and crowd control. I had contemplated Marksmanship, but it’s a little too squishy for my tastes and I don’t like that the spec’s heavy burst is reliant upon a setup shot. Too many classes have the ability to dispel Serpent Sting, which in turn negates a lot of Marksman’s burst. For BGs, Marksman is a blast, but I’m not brave enough to venture into arena with it just yet.

Now, as far as Survival for a raiding spec… The reason I chose this route is because I found that my absence from raids hadn’t been helping my DPS any. I was falling behind gear-wise and still rocking a 141 DPS crossbow. With Marksmanship being more dependent upon weapon damage than Survival, I felt it may be time for a change.

For kicks, I decided to plug into Zehera’s Online DPS Analyzer and see if there was some room for improvement. Much to my delight, I managed to configure a Survival setup with my then current gear, which showed a 12% DPS increase. Needless to say, the next evening I respecced SV and profited.

Heroic VOA

Heroic ToC

The irony is, immediately after this change I obtained the high damage weapon my Marksmanship spec so sorely needed. πŸ˜‰

The first screenshot is from a VOA clear, and the second was from Northrend Beasts just after we dropped Gormokk the Impaler. Both of these occurred before I obtained my new crossbow. So as you can see, Survival allows you to get away with a lot more damage in lieu of a good weapon because the bulk of the spec’s damage is based on attack power.

I may end up returning to Marksmanship at some point, but probably not until I upgrade from my *cough* Valorous 2pc bonus. I am really feeling comfortable with Survival now, plus I like the mana efficiency of the spec. Not only did I manage to avoid Viper during our 25 man ToC raid, I don’t think my mana pool ever went below 80%.

Now I’ve never been one to go with the cookie cutter spec of the day just because it was the best possible DPS. I typically spec what I enjoy playing and squeeze every ounce of DPS possible from it. Yet, last week I felt like my contribution to the raid was lessening, hence the change. In the end, I’m glad that I did because it forced me to revisit the spec and finally learn to play it effectively.

In my next post(s) I’ll offer up a few basic tips and fundamentals concerning Survival and how to get the most out of it for both PvE and PvP, so stay tuned…

Oh, and by the way, here is my spec: 0/15/56

16 thoughts on “Profiting From Survival”

  1. Hey Gar, I know this is an old post but I’m wondering if you have any thoughts in Cataclysm about what the best raiding dps spec is. I have jumped between Marksmanship and Survival but I am thinking of changing back to Survival permanently due to the recent change making Aimed Shot uncastable while in Aspect of the Fox. It just seems as though Survival dps is both more mobile and less restricted. Let me know your thoughts!


  2. > I out DPS’d a MM Hunter that had
    > the Rifle and Polearm from H ToC…
    > and he had better armor

    Don’t forget than more than gear… *SKILL* makes the difference. I remember countless MM hunters who out-dps SV hunters with better gear. It’s a matter of playing well your cards. MM and SV are very close in terms of dps.

    Some fights will be better with MM, others with SV. If you “out-dps a better geared hunter” it’s mostly because he’s not playing that good πŸ˜‰

    • @ Dalaila

      I’m with you on the skill > gear belief. However, there comes a point where you can’t increase your DPS through skill alone. In my case, I saw SV as a quick DPS boost without the need to upgrade my gear.

      If I can ever get my hands on the 2pc Serpent Sting set bonus, I’ll probably consider going back to marks.

  3. My DPS as a SV Hunter is stupid (the good kind). I out DPS’d a MM Hunter that had the Rifle and Polearm from H ToC…and he had better armor! I think I might be falling in love…it’s kind of nice knowing that I don’t need to depend on my pet so much anymore. I am getting the hang of things.

    • Chocolate chip? Those are my favorite, with peanut butter a close second. Oh wait… I like those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey’s Kiss in the center. Yum!

  4. @ Perceuss

    I believe so. I see some Hunters running around with raptors and some with cats, but as far as I know wolf is still king for non-BM Hunters.

    By the way… I’m working on your post right now. It’s a big’un, so it’s taking me awhile. I may not get it done tonight, but I’ll try. πŸ˜‰

  5. Hey!! I see an addon I havent seen before and it looks nifty! I’m assuming you have emalon targeted and its off to the right on the first picture where it shows who is targeting him, etc etc. Share the love man. Share the love. πŸ™‚

  6. T8 2x set bonus is nice indeed but I feel it’s not worth keeping 2 pieces of tier 8 as soon as you switch to T9. Some t9 items offer a huge upgrade. Also, testing what is better… is really hard.

    My sting ticked 660-700 while wearing 2x T8. Now I switched to 2x T9 (losing 10% viper bonus from T8) and sting ticks for 1100-1200. Sting crits are awesome, indeed!


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