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Monday, March 31, 2008

3v3

3v3 is great for survival. Get the right combo and you will love it. There is far less pressure on you. 3v3 is by far my favorite bracket, but I did get gladiator in 2v2, not 3v3.

Basically, in 3v3 you get to play the biased referee. You run around and control the fight. Usually you will have a melee dps and a healer. I have done warrior/hunter/paladin pretty well. Basically in 3v3 the strategy is the exact same as 2v2, except there is someone else that can dps for you. You just keep their dps in the frost and off your healer. You run around putting MS up to help your dpser, and draining their healer. Your goal is to control the fight. Keep them from CCing your DPS, the DPS keeps their healer occupied by healing the DPS's target. They will run out of mana sooner rather than later, and then it is a walk in the park. Sometimes they might try to focus you, which usually doesn't work because it doesn't stop the fight. You just keep moving around over the frost, while your viper sting is still on the healer, and your dps gets to go crazy.

If they have a mage, shadow priest, or hunter you really want to drain them before you start draining the healer, same in 2v2, except in 2v2 if they have a healer and a mage or shadow priest, its pretty much a walk in the park. Draining them should be very fast and will cut their dps in half, also preventing them from mana draining your healer. Keep pets off your healer, with 2 dps the pets usually can die pretty fast, allowing your parched teammate to get the water he oh so wants. With a warrior paladin hunter combo, enemy druids are simply a matter of judgement of justice and a warriors fist, and they cannot escape. Don't neglect scare beast, far too many people do and it is a very valuable CC.

2v2

Lets talk about 2v2.

First off what partner?

I have tried with a paladin/priest/warrior/warlock/druid/spriest
I have not tried shaman, but if you speak chinese you can use Goodoopile's guide on how to do that. Just find a Murtdragon.

I started getting good ratings when I went hunter/druid. My druid partner was Albis, a very talented mage. In this situation, it was easy, he could basically take care of himself and I never had to worry. The only problem was It took forever, each fight was usually 30-40 minutes. He eventually went warrior druid when we were around 2k, and a disc priest named Velia paired up with me.

The fights were indeed harder, but they were shorter. At times, it seemed like Velia did more damage with his smite than I did at all. More than one time he managed to burst down warriors while his druid wasn't looking. He also had mana burn, and that sped the process up, but the priest cannot protect himself. Unlike with a druid, I ended up having to protect the priest. My whole strategy would revolve around keeping the melee off of Velia while I drained. Survival was EXTREMELY helpful here. I could have two frost traps down, one on each side of the pillar, with entrapment. I had scattershot and Wyvernsting. More than once improved concussive shot saved Velia's life. Wyvernsting acted as an instant GTFO MY HEALER button.

In the end, I would defenatley say that druid/hunter is easier than priest/hunter. Druids are OP.

You can take a look here at my usual arena spec 0/26/35 to see what I mean about sacrificing damage. Notice how I avoid humanoid slaying, EW, Survival Instincts, barrage? I also have other talents: Traps, deterrence, improved stings(Also works on wyvern sting, can resist dispels), counterattack, improved wing clip, and theres a pattern through it all. The critical strike, not damage talents are all taken.

One thing about the honor gear that doesn't add agility is that it does add critical strike chance, a lot of it. You will have a lot of crit and your dps will come from that.

The goal here however, is to not DPS at all. You want to keep the enemy in control and out of commission. Your pet is essential to keeping the healer in combat, but it is unreliable. I would recommend maxing out its nature resistance and its armor. Druids like to sleep/cyclone/root it and the resistance helps a lot. It is very easy for a druid to get around a pet, seeing as how they can just run away from it and be faster, especially in blades edge where your pet wont follow it off the side, any healer can do that extremely easy. You cannot just leave your pet on the healer and ignore where he goes.

Smart teams will often kill the pet first, and you need it badly versus warrior druid teams. It will die very fast, having no resilience and low hp. Unlike a warlock, it is hard for us to revive. It is a 10 second cast and costs half our mana. Dismissing your pet while a warrior is on it can help, but then he gets angry and starts to beat on you with his winherald =/ Make sure your partner knows to keep your pet alive at all times.

Now when I say no dps, I don't really mean none. What I mean is don't try to kill anyone. You can shoot and attack, just don't keep it up or you run oom very fast.

When they do run out of mana, you can dps them down. Once they are oom it is generallly a good idea to try to get a good drink off and get to full before you start to dps, because the last thing you want to do is run oom while he is at 5% life. Viper sting owns here because it keeps the healer oom and from getting just enough mana to heal. Make sure your healer, whatever it may be, uses any interrupts it has on the healer. My priest usually would help me dps the target, especially if it's a warrior because I can hardly hurt the armor. You will do low damage, but you will crit. It won't take too long for the target to die once his healer is out.

Versus double DPS teams

Longer is better. You want to drag these fights as long as you can. They want it to end in 20 seconds, because they know their weakness. They will have extreme burst damage and well placed cc's which your healer will not be able to outheal. Paladins are great for these teams, as are druids because they will never die in a hurry and can get you out of trouble. When you are with a priest, they will usually go for him first and your only real hope besides wyvern sting (Which they will trinket out of) is to kill one fast. Your critical chance can help this, and you can dps all you want since they have no healer. This however, is a last resort strategy.

You want to play the pillar game. You can oom their dps and make it much, much easier on yourself. Every point of damage you do they will never get back, it is a timed fight. Continue to run around in circles, ABOVE ALL ELSE AVOIDING LOS! Their ranged dpsers will hurt, and the other one will generally lock you down so you can't move. Once one is out of mana, its a walk in the park. Come out of the pillars and just destroy them. A good idea is to remain on your mounts, most often than not one will be a rogue and if you can get away from them at the start it makes it so much easier, since it is very hard to get off of a rogue these days. Double rogue is almost never seen at high ratings, but if they pull it right it can be an extreme bitch.

Arenas

Alright I have basically described a general hunter strategy in the world PvP.. but here is where it all changes: In the arena.

First off, lets talk about the arena. We all know that to most of us it ruins the hunter class. We are basically fighting against the very geometry of the system much less than our opponents, and it seems like we have been taking out of a kiting environment that we have been built for and have been like a child tossed into a pit with a rabid boar.

Basically, If you choose to be a survivalist in the arena, unless you can get it down well, it will be simply hinder you.

First, if you recall the gear discussion, you will see how the very gear is weighted against us. With items like Vindicator's Band of Triumph it is easy to see why. Do you notice something about that item? It has no agility.

Agility is the key stat for survival.

To live in arenas, you need resilience. To be survival, you need agility. You cannot have both. You can either sacrifice your health, or sacrifice your damage.

To sacrifice your health in arenas, you can put out some decent damage. When I am helping some one's 5v5 or 3v3 I usually just roll in my PvE gear & spec because the competition at those ratings tend to be fairly easy, and I just kill things extremely fast. In a higher rating, this strategy does not work. We have all seen how blizzard is eliminating being able to burst someone down. They do not want 30 second arena matches, they want 10 minute ones. Games of efficiency and tactics.


So in order to succeed you will need to sacrifice your damage, and here is where the play style changes. Hunters have always been about high burst and top damage, now it is about doing near zero damage, while attempting to take none.

World PvP

World PvP

At last PvP! World PvP is mostly being ganked/ganking. Survival hunters can dominate this field easily. You start out with the normal Aimed/Multi/Arcane volley, and they hit your trap for the second one like a MM would, but after the second volley, you have Wyvern sting for a third one! Also, wyvern sting lets you sleep someone, feign and mount away to safety when you don’t feel in the mood for PvP.

In world PvP, you generally won’t be using frost traps. It is mostly snakes and freezing, which makes entrapment pretty useless. Why would you want to immobilize the guy who is cc'd anyways?

My real goal is not to teach how to kill each class, but how to improvise and you can find out yourself the best way to kill each class. I can give examples of things I have done, but in general I don't have any strategies.


Be an ass.

That is what survival is good at. Your abnormally high crit chance will guarantee many aimed shots to hit home. Your original volley of shots (Aimed, Multi, Arcane, Auto) is extremely lethal, especially if they all crit. (You will start to see this regularly).
The ultimate goal is to incapacitate people so you can get this volley off multiple times.

Think of it. In the world, people generally don't wear their PvP trinkets. You can sneak up behind someone, unload the first volley, Wyvern sting, second volley, and if they are still alive after that you can remove the dot with scorpid and put a freezing trap at your feet, and you already have your volley #3 lined up, and you haven't taken any damage.

The most upsetting part of world PvP is when you kill someone with your initial volley. You will love yourself the first time you do it, but after about the 30th time, the effect wears off. Especially when you are trying to fraps for a PvP movie...


Other times, either when they use a racial to remove wyvern sting, or they do actually have a trinket on, or of course the inevitable stealthed rogue hiding right next to him... Survival can accommodate. The thing about survival is its flexibility. Survival is good for getting out of sticky situations, where as MM or BM cannot. You can either attempt to CC two people, scatter the third and peace out with cheetah, or feign mount. Probably won't have that chance with MM. Or, you can CC two people, completely destroy one person with your incredible burst damage with everything critting, killing him instantly, and then doing that twice more. That one happens rarely, unfortunately.


Thats they key to being powerful in survival. Improvising. You can theorycraft as much as you want, but it never, ever, goes as planned. You need to be able to think on your feet and fight without a plan. Survival gives you toys to help in this. You live longer, you can maintain the same damage as standing still and unloading with a few well placed crits, or you can use wyvern sting as a "Pause" button if you want to take a break and think it through. Planning never works, except when I use my shadow reflector on warlocks.. but that is a different story.

PvE

There isn't really more than needs to be said that can't be found at nightdrifter.com, Alumatine's site. I try to focus on the actual "Gameplay" of survival, since all the rest of the work has been done.

Most people miss the point of survival. They think they should play it the same as MM, but that is not true.

Gearz

“Why is survival gear dependant?”

Lightning reflexes, mostly. It is said the magic number for going survival is 600 agility. That simply means at 600 agility you will get more DPS benefit from survival than marksmanship. So why isn’t everyone survival once they hit 600 agility? Because in PvE, you only want one SV hunter, and in PvP, survival is different, and most say, harder to play.
So basically, if you don’t have gear, survival will suck?

Yes.

In PvE, you want to get every bit of agility you can for maximum Expose Weakness output, if you want the maximum raid buff. If you want to top DPS as survival, a very feasible venture, you should consider a more balanced approach, after all, the more Agility you have, the more DPS everyone else will do! ;)

In PvP, you want to balance agility, crit rating, and stamina. We don’t want no glass cannons in survival. Use PvE agility jewlry/cloak pieces for PvP, as well as the 5 pc arena set and the honor bracers/belt/boots. Use every piece of PvP gear for arenas. Yes, that kills your agility to around 575, but you don’t want DPS for Arenas. I will explain why later. Remember, survival’s dps is based on critting, but you do NOT stack crit, that leads to weak attacks.

When will you get this gear? Most likely, your gear will not be good enough for survival in just kara or pre-kara gear. Try on some of the arena gear in spots where you cannot otherwise fill with an ample piece. Also, don’t be afraid to ninja rogue leather. They tend to have better stats for survival than mail.

How to socket?

Agility. Put a agility gem every where you can find a hole, and only use other gems to meet the meta requirement of a 12 agi 3% crit damage meta, which you will have.

Where do I find this gear?

Lucky me, Fellow survivalists have been working long and hard at this ultimate question. I do not think I could find a more complete list than.Alumatine's Listings.

Talents.

Over the years, Survival has had a very negative perspective. It has too long been the “Worse” spec, and has too long been treated as such. If you know me, you know I constantly support the survival spec and help anyone who asks about how to play with it.
Back when WoW was new, survival WAS the crappy spec. It was that way for so long, people got used to it being the “crappy” spec. It is no longer, and it is up to us to show fledging survivalists their path.

I will be going over Survival aspects only. If you want a full hunter guide, I’m WAAYY too lazy.

Notice how I refer to Arena PvP and PvP as different things, you will see why later.

1. Talents

Ah yes, what to choose, what to choose? Before deciding what talent spec you want to go with, let us first go over each talent so we can have a better understanding of Survivalism.


Monster/Humanoid slaying
Increases damage and critical strike damage versus said target types.
First off, it is confirmed that humanoid slaying DOES indeed work in PvP.
Monster slaying is obviously purely PvE talent; Humanoid slaying is good for both. I would not recommend humanoid slaying for Arenas. (See arena PvP for explanation)

Hawk Eye
Increases range by 2/4/6 yards.
This obviously has its uses in PvE, however it is not required. It can give you that extra bit of range to avoid crucial AoE effects. PvP it gives you the ability to out range any other class, by a few yards. It is debatable whether it has merit in arenas.

Savage Strikes
Increases Critical strike chance of Mongoose & Raptor strike by 20/40%
It isn’t recommended for PvE, unless you are that “half hand” dwarf hunter.. But you aren’t a melee hunter, are you? This talent received a large indirect buff in 2.3. Due to the removal of the deadzone, other classes would rather take smacks in the face from our overpowered arena axes, rather than our bows. Having this talent can make all the difference versus a mage. I mainly just use it for kicks.

Entrapment
Gives your traps a chance to immobilize the target.
In arena PvP, a lot of MM hunters go into survival for getting this specific talent. This talent is one of the best things we have for arenas, seeing as how useful the frost trap is in an arena setting. This talent, however, is not as useful in world/bg pvp as it is in arena (See world PvP for details)

Deflection
Increases parry chance
Not really worth it for the amount of points required.

Improved wing clip
Gives your wing clip a chance to immobilize the target
This obviously is invaluable in all PvP.

Deterrence
Increases your dodge/parry chance by 25%
This has uses in PvE, but is mostly PvP. In PvE, when your feign inevitabally fails, you pop this and it may save your life. Evasion tank FTW!!!
In PvP, this can be helpful versus melee classes. In arenas it can keep you from getting MS on you, which your healer will love, and it keeps hamstring off of you. It also works quite well versus rogues, but a smart rogue will use a well placed kidney shot to ruin your day.

Clever Traps
Increases duration of your traps/Damage of your traps
Clever traps + Frost trap + pillar = lol
You can also get the longest PvP CC effect in the game with this.

Survivalist
Increases hit points
Obviously very useful in PvP.
In PvE, it isn’t as useful and the talent points can be better spent elsewhere.

Trap Mastery
Decreases chance of trap resist
It is decent for PvE. The one time the raid lead actually wants you to trap something, it would be nice for it to not fail, right? It can also be used in PvP, but trap resists are far less often than in PvE.

Surefooted
Increases hit chance/Increases chance to resist movement impairing effects
If you are going survival, this is a talent you can not pass up. In PvE, it gives you that extra hit %, so you can have more damage gear, and in PvP you can resist the ever hateful Spamstring, Poisons, and frost nova.

Improved feign death
Decreases chance to resist feign death
Lol? No. Points are better spent elsewhere.

Survival Instincts
Increases attack power/reduces damage taken
Very good talent for PvE and PvP, but not as much for arena. (see arena PvP for details)

Killer instinct
Increases critical strike chance
This is another talent you will not pass up.

Counterattack
Can immobilize the target after a successful parry
Pretty much useless in PvE. Can get you out of a sticky situation in PvP. A low % of it happening though, but when you pop deterrence you will get it off.

Resourcefulness
Not very useful for PvE. Decent for PvP if you want that. In arenas it is very useful, having a frost trap on each side of the pillar makes for good dancing.

Lightning reflexes
Increases agility
This is the key talent of survival, and why we need certain gear for it to work. It also was the source of much complaint when they nerfed agility’s AP bonus.
You will get this talent.

Thrill of the Hunt
Gives a % of shot’s mana back on critical
A decent PvE talent, it is debateable whether it is needed, and you may want to put points elsewhere, but it is an open option. You can use it in PvP, but it is not really recommended, nor is it very useful.

Wyvern Sting
Sleeps the target
This is useful in every aspect. It is basically an instant GTFO me button. Has uses for a think fast CC in PvE, and can save a life in PvP

Expose Weakness
Gives a debuff to the target that increases attack power versus it on critical.
This is the main point of PvE viability for a Survival hunter. It gives a raid wide buff, and everyone wants a survival hunter. But they only want ONE, because it doesn’t stack. If you want to be your guilds SV hunter, better stack that agility. In PvP it is debateable whether it is good or not, because most of the time it is just you, and you might want to put those points somewhere else.

Master Tactician and Readiness
Gives a proc to increase critical strike %, and clears all cooldowns
MT is for the most part a useless talent at 5 point requirement. Readiness is good, but no where near the value of Scatter Shot. If you were a PvE only hunter, you MIGHT want it, but I doubt it. Not enough bang for your buck.

Now, where to spend the other points not in survival? MM.
But what about B- no.
Put the points in MM. SV/BM has never been good and probably never will. Plus you get mortal shots, which is a huge boost in damage since survival DPS is based on criticals.
We will go over specific talent specs in later sections.

The Temple of Survivalism

It has been born.

Here is a place where questions can be answered, where tales may be told, and where many survivalists will be born.

What is Survivalism?

Survivalism is a way, a calling. It changes the hunter class completely. Survivalists require completely different gear, they use a very different gameplay, and they should not be classified as the same as a hunter.

What are these differences? Is probably a question you are wondering.

Here, you will learn the differences, and how to become a survivalist.