Explosive Shot is the signature ability of the survival tree. However, I often find that many hunters are unaware of how and when to properly use it, especially in the event of a Lock and Load proc.
Until Kill Shot becomes available (once the kill target is at or below 20% health), Explosive Shot is the number one priority shot. In other words, its cast should not be delayed for anything. Many players have the wrong impression, thinking that Black Arrow and/or Serpent Sting should be applied first in order to further buff the shot. This is incorrect. Delaying Explosive Shot for any shot besides Kill Shot results in a DPS loss.