Thrill of the Spreadsheet: SV Rotation with MS Procs

Sylvanus Survival Hunters Multistrike Rotation

I'm really torn, regarding how I feel about the change in Survival's priorities during various procs we get.  On the one hand, I really enjoy changing up the rotation every now and then, or more, I like having something to react to.  As a spec without any major CDs or an execute, having a different rotation during procs breaks up a the monotony a bit.  On the other hand, I feel like I've been trained to be annoyed any time Arcane Shot is better than Explosive Shot.  So, who knows how this one will end up.

It's certainly not a secret at this point, but for those curious what I'm talking about: when an Arcane Shot or Multi-Shot Multistrikes, it applies an additional tick of Serpent Sting. So if your Arcane Shot gets both multistrikes, it does it's normal damage, plus a tick of Serpent sting, plus the damage of both multistrikes, plus the damage of 2 more Serpent Sting ticks (one for each multistrike). Because of that, as you get closer to Multistrike capping (6270 MS unbuffed) during trinket procs, the relative value of Arcane or Multi-Shot goes way up.

Arcane Shot

Let's start by looking at Arcane, since we'll have a degree less of complication only thinking about single target, for the moment.  Let's say I'm a typical, heroic geared hunter, with 670 gear.  My Arcane Shot without any multistrikes, will do about 19,495.1 damage, on average (ok, not about, but exactly, I pulled these off logs).  Of that, 13,024.3 is from the Arcane Shot itself, and 6470.7 is coming from the Serpent Sting tick.

As our Multistrike goes up, we'll see our average damage increasing in several different ways.  First off, we've got the damage from the Arcane Multistriking, which can be represented as MS%*.72 (if you'd like an explanation of that, check out this article here).  Then for each Arcane Shot, our chance to get one extra Serpent Sting tick is:


And our chance at getting both exta Serpent Sting Ticks is simply:


Adding those together to get our expected value, we have:

Which simplifies to:

Knowing the chance we have to to deal multistrike damage, and the chance we have to apply additional serpent sting ticks, and the chance those serpent sting ticks have to themselves multistrike, we can calculate the expected value of each Arcane Shot using the following (note, for anyone following at home, I'm going to use "m" to represent multistrike%, A to represent base arcane damage, and S to represent average damage from a tick of Serpent Sting):

(A+S+Sm2)(1+.72m) = Avg Damage per Cast

With that, we can plug in the damage from Arcane Shot and Serpent Sting along with variable Multistrike to get the expected value of the entire shot, which we can then compare with other abilities (which scale linearly with varying MS%).  

For Arcane, that might look something like this:

AbilityMS%Avg./castFocus Cast TimeDam/CTD/FThrill D/F
Serpent Sting0%6283.4
Arcane Shot0%18930.630118930.6631.01893.1
Arcane Shot10%21640.830121640.8721.42164.1
Arcane Shot20%24531.930124531.9817.72453.2
Arcane Shot25%26045.330126045.3868.22604.5
Arcane Shot30%27604.030127604.0920.12760.4
Arcane Shot35%29207.930129207.9973.62920.8
Arcane Shot40%30857.030130857.01028.63085.7
Arcane Shot50%34291.030134291.01143.03429.1
Arcane Shot60%37906.030137906.01263.53790.6
Arcane Shot70%41701.930141701.91390.14170.2
Arcane Shot80%45678.830145678.81522.64567.9
Arcane Shot90%49836.730149836.71661.24983.7
Arcane Shot100%54175.530154175.51805.95417.6

*I added a new column, since both Multi-shot and Arcane benefit from Thrill of the Hunt, and thought it would be handier to have the Damage per Focus during Thrill right there, instead of making a new chart.

What we see here is the value of Arcane Shot shooting way up with greater amounts of Multistrike, doing 226.18% more damage at 100% MS (than 0% MS) where as most abilities do only 72% more damage with 100% MS than they do with 0% Multistrike.

More simply put, Arcane Shot benefits from Multistrike at a rate of 2.26% increased damage per 1% MS, where as most abilities increase at a rate of .72% increased damage per 1% MS.


Multi-Shot works with the same functionality as Arcane Shot, but then increases, of course, per target.  It would take up a lot of space on the page to include everything, but I'll still include a few target sizes to show the general idea:

AbilityMS%Avg./castFocus CTDam/CTD/FThrill D/F
Serpent Sting0%6470.7
Multishot (st)0%8934.24018934.2223.4446.7
Multishot (3t)0%26802.640126802.6670.11340.1
Multishot (3t)20%39545.240139545.2988.61977.3
Multishot (3t)30%46755.140146755.11168.92337.8
Multishot (3t)40%54524.140154524.11363.12726.2
Multishot (3t)50%62852.140162852.11571.33142.6
Multishot (3t)60%71739.340171739.31793.53587.0
Multishot (3t)70%81185.440181185.42029.64059.3
Multishot (3t)80%91190.740191190.72279.84559.5
Multishot (3t)90%101755.0401101755.02543.95087.8
Multishot (3t)100%112878.4401112878.42822.05643.9
Multishot (4t)0%35736.840135736.8893.41786.8
Multishot (4t)20%52727.040152727.01318.22636.3
Multishot (4t)30%62340.240162340.21558.53117.0
Multishot (4t)40%72698.840172698.81817.53634.9
Multishot (4t)50%83802.840183802.82095.14190.1
Multishot (4t)60%95652.340195652.32391.34782.6
Multishot (4t)70%108247.3401108247.32706.25412.4
Multishot (4t)80%121587.6401121587.63039.76079.4
Multishot (4t)90%135673.4401135673.43391.86783.7
Multishot (4t)100%150504.6401150504.63762.67525.2
Multishot (5t)0%44671.040144671.01116.82233.6
Multishot (5t)20%65908.740165908.71647.73295.4
Multishot (5t)30%77925.240177925.21948.13896.3
Multishot (5t)40%90873.540190873.52271.84543.7
Multishot (5t)50%104753.6401104753.62618.85237.7
Multishot (5t)60%119565.4401119565.42989.15978.3
Multishot (5t)70%135309.1401135309.13382.76765.5
Multishot (5t)80%151984.5401151984.53799.67599.2
Multishot (5t)90%169591.7401169591.74239.88479.6
Multishot (5t)100%188130.7401188130.74703.39406.5

Basically, Multi-Shot increases in damage at a rate of 4.21% per 1% of Multistrike.

Priority Rotational Changes

How this affects our rotation will change slightly depending on anyone's actual Multistrike rating from their gear, and which versions of Multistrike trinkets you have.

For Scales of Doom, we can get anywhere from 1743 MS on the 655 version, up to 2439 MS from the heroic WF version.  The Bleeding Heart of the Mountain provides an on-use MS buff from 1467 - 2050 (ilvl 665 up to ilvl 701).  And of course, Oglethorp's Missle Splitter gives us a proc of 750 MS.

Any SV hunter would have to plug in their own MS stat, and compare it to the stats they have when they have MS procs to get a definitive priority change. But it's a pretty safe assumption to say that any time you have Scales of Doom proc'ed and Thrill of the Hunt proc'ed, then Arcane will become your top priority ability (or if you're fighting 3+ targets, then Multi-Shot).

If you don't have Thrill of the Hunt proc'ed, the answer's a bit murkier.  Around 80% MS, Arcane Shot becomes more valuable than Explosive Shot.  As for other single target abilities like a Murder of Crows or Black Arrow, Arcane will never have a higher Damage per Cast, or Damage per Focus rate, but because both of these abilities have longer CDs, you may end up being better off using Arcane Shot for the duration of the proc.  If that means delaying BA by more than ~5 seconds, or delaying aMoC by more than ~15 seconds, then you'll be better off casting them on CD.  If you'll only be delaying them by a few seconds, then it'll be better to cast the Arcanes for the duration of the proc.  


  1. Is these a way that you can create a weak aura that only shows when you have a certain amount of multistrike

    1. Give this a try:


      It'll show your MS% while you're in combat. I'll have to play around with a trigger for an icon/spell effect type WA to see how that would work.