On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for
Survival Hunters in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and
glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.
The other pages of our Survival Hunter guide can be accessed
from the table of contents on the right.
1. Talent Choices↑top
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There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are
now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance
(and Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90).
You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between
encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics.
Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and
how they affect your play style.
2. Tier 1 Talents↑top
Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 means of improving your movement
and mobility (although they also have some secondary benefits).
Given the amazing usefulness of Deterrence,
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera is the top choice for most encounters.
Posthaste is better for fights where you need extra mobility more
than you need extra survival (or if Deterrence is not particularly useful in
Narrow Escape can probably be quite useful in situations where
you have to kite adds, but the number of such situations is quite low.
3. Tier 2 Talents↑top
Tier 2 talents offer you a choice between 3 talents that provide you crowd
control and utility.
- Binding Shot fires an arrow at a random enemy, debuffing this
player and allies of theirs within 5 yards, causing them to be stunned for
5 seconds if they move more than 5 yards from the location of the arrow.
Being affected by the arrow causes players to be immune to Binding Shot for
10 seconds. It has a 45-second cooldown.
- Wyvern Sting puts the target to sleep for 30 seconds. The ability
has a 45-second cooldown. Any damage done to the target will break the
- Intimidation commands your pet to stun the target for 3 seconds, with
a 1-minute cooldown.
While none of these talents will have any effect on your DPS,
Binding Shot can bring some raid utility, as it can be used as a reliable
stun for fights with adds. It can also be used as an interrupt, since placing
it so that the add is at the edge of the targeted area will instantly stun it,
regardless of whether or not it moves.
You should choose the talent that best suits your situation.
4. Tier 3 Talents↑top
Tier 3 talents offer you a choice between 3 means of improving your
- Exhilaration is a self-heal that heals you for 30% of your maximum
health, and your pet for 100% of its maximum health. It has a 2-minute
- Aspect of the Iron Hawk replaces your Aspect of the Hawk, adding
a 10% damage reduction component to it.
- Spirit Bond causes you and your pet to regenerate 3% of your
maximum health every 2 seconds.
In our opinion, the choice for maximising your survivability will come down
to either Exhilaration or Aspect of the Iron Hawk, but Aspect of the
Iron Hawk takes the lead in most situations.
Aspect of the Iron Hawk provides you with a constant 10% damage reduction.
This is a great asset, especially on fights where there are prolonged periods
of intense raid damage. For progression raiding, this is undeniably the best
Exhilaration gives you a great on-demand self-heal, which will undoubtedly
save your life and help out your healers many times. Unfortunately, most deaths
at this point of the game (progression-wise) come from burst damage, so damage
reduction is always going to be better than reacting to the damage with a
self-heal. Also, the fact that you have to actively use (and keybind) this
spell is a further inconvenience, considering how many active abilities
Hunters already have. Lastly, there is already something in the game which
you can use to heal up instantly, namely Healthstone, so Exhilaration is really
Spirit Bond can be useful on fights where you are
constantly taking damage (so that it does not overheal), but where the damage
is too low for Aspect of the Iron Hawk to be efficient. In any case, we deem
this talent to be lackluster in its current incarnation.
5. Tier 4 Talents↑top
Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between 3 talents that increase your
- Fervor grants you and your pet 50 Focus each, as well as an
additional 50 Focus over 10 seconds.
- Dire Beast summons a beast to attack the target for 15 seconds.
Each time the beast deals damage, you gain 5 Focus.
- Thrill of the Hunt gives you a 30% chance to reduce the Focus cost of
your next 3 Arcane Shots or Multi-Shots by 20, each time you
use an attack that costs Focus.
For maximum DPS, Thrill of the Hunt is slightly better than Fervor.
That said, the fact that you have full control over the use of Fervor causes
this talent to yield higher DPS by flowing better during your rotation,
especially if you are also using @ A Murder of Crows.
Dire Beast is not a terrible choice, but it remains a weak talent
choice here for Survival Hunters.
6. Tier 5 Talents↑top
Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between 3 DPS cooldowns:
- A Murder of Crows summons a flock of crows to attack your target for
30 seconds, with a 2-minute cooldown. If the target is below 20% health, the
cooldown of the spell is reduced to 1 minute.
- Blink Strikes grants your pet a passive ability, causing its Basic
Attacks to deal 50% increased damage. Moreover, when Blink Strikes is taken,
the pet uses its Basic Attacks from up to 30 yards away (with a minimum range
of 10 yards) from the target, instantly teleporting behind the target. The
teleportation effect has a 20-second internal cooldown.
- Lynx Rush causes your pet to apply a bleed effect to the target, which
lasts for 15 seconds, and deals damage every 3 seconds. The pet will perform
9 applications of this bleed effect (which stack). If there are
multiple targets, then the pet jump from target to target, applying the bleed
effect on each of them. Note that it will only apply 9 stacks in total, so if
it jumps to multiple targets, it will not apply 9 stacks to each.
A Murder of Crows provides the highest single target DPS increase.
Blink Strikes is slightly worse, but provides some utility when your pet
has to do a lot of running from one target to another during the fight. So,
choose according to the fight.
Lynx Rush is not a bad choice, either, but we feel it is currently
below the other two.
7. Tier 6 Talents↑top
Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between 3 DPS abilities.
- Glaive Toss throws two glaives at a target ahead of you. The
glaives deal damage to all enemies in their path towards the main target, and
then return to you, dealing damage on their way back. The main target takes 4
times the damage that secondary targets take.
- Powershot is a powerful shot with a long cast time and a 45-second
cooldown. It deals 600% weapon damage to the target, as well as 300%
weapon damage to all enemies between you and the target.
- Barrage is a channeled spell that fires a barrage of shots at the
main target, dealing 640% weapon damage over 3 seconds (a total of 16 shots in
quick succession), while also dealing 320% damage to all other enemy targets in a cone in front you (a total of 8 shots in quick succession to each
Glaive Toss provides the biggest single target DPS increase, and
should be the default choice.
Barrage is the best choice for any AoE situations.
Powershot lags behind both Glaive Toss and Barrage, and it should
really never be taken.
It is worth noting that Barrage and Powershot may be the best choice for
fights where important mechanics or DPS burst phases repeatedly line up with
8. Pet Talents↑top
Pets no longer have talent trees (as they did prior to Mists of Pandaria).
Instead, you can simply choose one of three specialisations for your pet
(Ferocity, Cunning, and Tenacity). You can change your pet's specialisation
at any time (while out of combat), free of cost.
Each specialisation grants your pet a few specific abilities. Currently,
Ferocity provides the highest DPS in a raid environment, so it should be the
default choice. Choosing Ferocity grants your pet an important active
ability, Rabid. We discuss this in the rotation page.
9. Major Glyphs↑top
There are several Major Glyphs that provide you with survival and utility
improvements. You should choose these based on the encounter and based on your
own personal needs.
- Glyph of Animal Bond increases the healing you and your pet receive
by 10%. This is a valuable asset during raids, and this is the only practically
- Glyph of Deterrence increases the damage reduction offered by
Deterrence by 20%. This glyph is very useful and should be taken in
practically all situations
- Glyph of Disengage increases the distance you travel while
disengaging. This glyph is very useful, but you must be aware that in some
cases traveling farther when Disengaging might not be beneficial.
- Glyph of Liberation heals you for 5% of your maximum health each time
you use Disengage.
- Glyph of Distracting Shot sends the target of your
Distracting Shot to attack your pet instead of you. The usefulness of
this remains to be determined based on which bosses are susceptible to
- Glyph of Mending increases the amount of healing done by
Mend Pet by 60%. This can prove very useful for keeping your pet
- Glyph of Mirrored Blades causes all spells cast
against you during Deterrence to be reflected back to the
attacker, but it does not work against raid bosses.
- Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot removes the focus cost
of Tranquilizing Shot, but gives the spell a 10-second cooldown. This
could prove to be a very minor DPS boost in fights where you need to seldom
use Tranquilizing Shot.
10. Minor Glyphs↑top
Minor Glyphs do not provide any improvements to your performance, but there
are a few that we believe are still worth mentioning.
- Glyph of Direction makes the target of your Misdirection appear
larger, and has the (apparently unintended) side-effect of resetting the
cooldown on your Misdirection.
- Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah removes the dazing penalty when you are
attacked while Aspect of the Cheetah is active. Instead, your Aspect is
removed and all your other aspects are placed on a 4-second cooldown. This can
be useful when you want to take the chance of being able to out-run something,
as being hit will not slow you down beyond your normal movement speed
- Glyph of Aspect of the Pack increases the range of
Aspect of the Pack by 15 yards, making it more convenient to use in
- Glyph of Fetch teaches you the Fetch ability, which allows
you to have your pet retrieve the loot from a far-away corpse. This ability is
excellent while questing or farming, significantly reducing the amount of time
you spend running around to loot corpses.
- Glyph of Lesser Proportion reduces the size of your pet, slightly.
This can be useful in raids, so that other raid members (especially tanks and
melee healers) can have a better view of the boss and the boss mechanics.
- Glyph of Tame Beast reduces the cast time of Tame Beast by
4 seconds making it easier to tame some rare or damaging pets.
- 02 Mar. 2014: Made a few updates to the evaluations of talents.
- 19 Nov. 2013: Confirmed that Thrill of the Hunt is still a poor
- 10 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
- Updated the relative value of Tier 5 talents.
- Updated the description of Aspect of the Iron Hawk to account for the
fact that it now reduces damage taken by 10%, down from 15%. Also updated
the description of Spirit Bond to account for the fact that it now
regenerates 3% of total health per tick, up from 2%.
- Replaced Silencing Shot with Binding Shot as a Tier 2
- 15 Jun. 2013: Updated Blink Strikes description to match the
change made to the talent in a hotfix.
- 23 May 2013: Updated the Tier 5 talent discussion to mention that
Blink Strikes is a better choice for AoE.
- 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 updates.
- Replaced Binding Shot with Intimidation among Tier 2
- Updated the description of Blink Strikes to account for the changes
made to the talent, and changed the discussion of that tier's talents to
reflect their current value.
- 20 Apr. 2013: Made several updates.
- 07 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.
- Removed mention of Glyph of Marked for Death following its removal
from the game (the effect is now baseline).
- Updated cooldown of Silencing Shot from 20 to 24 seconds.
- Updated cooldown of Wyvern Sting from 1 minute to 45 seconds.