WoD Beta: Survival Tier Bonuses

Last (and possibly least): a look at the tier 17 Survival set bonuses.  I'm sorry to say that they're not quite as impressive as the BM or MM set bonuses.  Between when Blizzard released the t17 bonuses to test, and when I got around to writing this, the SV 4-piece bonus received a fairly significant buff, indicating, I think, that they at least are aware that the set bonuses were fairly lackluster.  It seems more than possible that these set bonuses might change again before long, but just in case they don't, I thought I'd go through how they're looking right now.

This is somewhat fun.  Though not quite as powerful as BM's or MM's 2-piece, it provides an opportunity for planning out a little bit of burst damage.  

With the increased (even after the last round of nerfs) daage of Black Arrow, you can't quite delay BA until right after you cast an Explosive Shot.  Though, around when there are less than 2 seconds left on the CD of  ES, it does become (most likely, still RNG to factor) worth it to delay BA until right after the Explosive Shot.  

Other than that situation with Explosive Shots, Black Arrow is going to be at the top of our priority list, including keeping Serpent Sting up (though there shouldn't be any occasion where you have to choose between the two).  

The other area this really affects is your opener.  Just like we used to pre-casting Ice Trap, the 2-piece gives us a chance to force proc LnL on our opener, while all of our trinkets and pre-pot are up.  At early x-pace haste levels, this does mean we'll have a fairly limited options on the opener.  My favorite opener looked like this:  

-1 - Pre-pot
-1 - Arcane Shot (must be 40 yards back)
Pull - aMoC (or stampede, perhaps)
+1 - Explosive Shot
+2 - Black Arrow
+3 - Explosive Shot
+4 - Explosive Shot
+5 - Explosive Shot
+6 - Cobra Shot

This opener leaves us with almost 0 focus left after that last Explosive Shot, and we're actually almost out of focus when we cast Black Arrow.  Depending on our gears haste rating, we might have to wait a small fraction of a second before casting the last Explosive Shot.  

Another option I considered, was if we used GT to begin. We would run out of focus before getting off all of our explosive shots if we used GT and Arcane at the beginning, so instead we'd have to push it back until after the last ES. If we did that, we could either use arcane shot at the +6 sec mark, or a second and a half later after a cobra shot, depending on whether TotH proc'ed or not.   However, in this situation, we'd be delaying losing three ticks of Serpent Sting, and the damage from an Arcane Shot and 3 ticks of SS is about 33% more than just a Glaive Toss.  

Regardless, the point of all that is, while having a guaranteed LnL proc in the pull might not be as impressive as two back-to-back Bestial Wraths, or that 45% increased crit damage at the end of Rapid Fire, at least it's something. 

Out of four 17 - 20 minute training dummy fights, during the fight I had this buff up the least, it's up-time was around 90%.  On the other three fights, it's up-time was >99%, which at this point we're assuming is the intended mechanic of bonus.  The only effect it's going to have on players is making Multi-strike a bit more valuable as a stat on gear.  If we still had DoT snap-shotting, there might be a way to take advantage of the extra stats, but as the mechanics are working in WoD, there shouldn't be any change to our rotation.

Neither of these set bonuses, as they exist right now, look like enough of a buff to bring SV to a very viable place in tier 17.  Perhaps these could create some fun times soloing, or using SV in other PvE situations, though.  We still haven't received any explanations of the recent nerfs SV has received to Black Arrow or Explosive Shot, so, though it's doubtful, there must be a chance that SV has the potential to do more damage in a way we haven't considered.  Unfortunately, I'm afraid that blizzard has sort of painted themselves into a corner, in a matter of speaking.  Both of the other Hunter specs' tier bonuses rely heavily on their being a spec CD that they can use.  That's been true for a while now, that at least one of the set bonuses would augment a CD.  Perhaps I'm too quick to judge, but with SV having no CD or Execute outside of talents, they seem to be coming up short on ways to make effective, fun tier set bonuses.  

The biggest help doing all of this testing has been, is I'm finally getting used to refreshing SS with my Arcane Shot instead of Cobra Shot, so my up-times are back up where they should be.  It's the little things in life, so they say.  

For anyone curious, the following are the stats I had when testing:

Weapon Damage952-1430

Here are my shot values in this gear, with LW, aMoC, TotH and Glaives:

Tick/HitCrit TickPer cast ave:Focus CostCast/GCDDam/SecDam/FocusFocus/KDam.
Explosive Shot4846963421235.6315121235.631415.717.06
LnL Exp Shot4846963421235.630121235.630
Black Arrow4550908269268.2935169268.291979.095.05
Arcane TotH88811791014196.4310114196.431419.647.04

I'm never sure how much information people who read these types of blogs are interested in, but if anyone would like more numbers, feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Warning, this information might be old as the last time I tested survival was over the weekend.

    The opening rotation as you suggested will not work as the tier set currently is. The black arrow proc of LnL does not reset the cooldown. So if you fire an explosive shot before black arrow you will not be able to shoot explosive after black arrow as it will still have 5 seconds left on its cooldown even if there will be the free shots sitting there for you when it does come off, albeit with time ticking down to use them.

    I hope they fix this but if they do not than I believe, but you are the math guy so correct me if I am wrong, that the best time to fire black arrow is before explosive shot, or when explosive is 1 second from coming off cooldown. That way you can use the proc instantly.

    Another thing to note, since the beginning of the expansion I have been opening with GT. Reason being is that I can cast it, then pop my potion and any other of the global things I might have like the herbalism haste buff or the engineer gloves, and then another shot, and it does not put my potion on cooldown. Unless they changed when GT puts you in battle to the time it is fired instead of the time it hits, if you are far enough way it will remain the best shot to hit first as it basically becomes a free shot and has 2 chances of procing our trinkets. So I think GT will still be our best opening shot and I would try to find a way to continue to make it work that way.

    Hope my comments can help you a little with your math, and even more so hope they fix the instant proc from BA because it really sucks to proc it and then have to wait for it to come off cooldown.

    1. As of the latest build, it is resetting the CD of Explosive Shot, so the first LnL works just like a normal LnL proc.

      I can definitely concede an argument that GT is a better first cast. It is still working the same way with potions, since it doesn't put you into combat until it hits the target. Once we get a little bit more haste, we'll be able to hit GT at -2 seconds from the pull, then use our pre-pot and arcane/ss at -1 second.

      As I mentioned above, the only reason I don't put both in, is because we then don't have enough focus to use them both, and if you replace Arcane with GT, even if you can then start your rotation a little early, you end up with less total damage from the Glaives (than from Arcane + SS).

      The point about two chances to proc your trinkets is a good one. That's the primary reason why I put aMoC up there (though it is a really powerful ability now). If using Glaives gives you a definite proc of both trinkets during your Explosive Shots, and arcane/ss doesn't, then that would give it an edge in total damage done.

    2. Good point about the focus issues there. Might be a little bit of gear away from GT being better on the pull again. I just like to be a sneaky hunter and try to squeeze in that extra shot. ;)

      I was just coming here to say I had tested it just now and it was fixed but seems you know that already. Still not happy with the lack of burst on survival however for questing purposes the explosive, black arrow, explosive spam will kill any non elite, so it seems to have some, even if limited uses. I still think SV needs another button for some on demand burst, even if only slight burst. I hate having a low mob where it is usually "kill shot range means dead" and still having to do the entire rotation. Just feels wrong.

    3. yeah, I've been really struggling in Ashran, remembering to pool focus for the last 20 - 40%. It's very weird. Even though Kill Shots didn't hit that hard, two free fairly powerful shots to finish off some bursting is just amazing. Now that we've lost fervor, too, if I get someone down to 20% health, I'm out of focus and have to hit cobra shots... :-P