Tag: guide

The Hunter In Cataclysm: Beast Mastery

Courtesy Blizzard

With the Survival and Marksmanship talent builds for the Hunter class in World of Warcraft out of the way, all that remains is Beast Mastery. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a long, hard look at this tree, since I spent most of my time in the specialization spamming my Steady Shot button and generally being bored. Looking at it now, though, I can see a lot of reasons why players interested in either raiding or PvP will want to explore the tree.

[spoiler]

The Beast Mastery Tree

Right from the start, it’s clear that Blizzard has tailored this talent tree to focus just as much on the pet as it does on the Hunter. And this is also the only signature ability of the talents that is not a shot. Intimidation is rather a pet ability with a two-fold purpose. It causes threat, for those pet tanks we use while soloing, and a 3-second stun, which is useful for crowd control and especially in PvP. The more stuff you can throw at someone to lock them down so you can fire off more damage the better. This does have a 1-minute cooldown, so use it wisely. Animal Handler increases you Attack Power, and remember that more Attack Power for you means more for your pet. And for Mastery, we have Master of Beasts, which increases pet damage by a percentage with every point of Mastery.

Improved Kill Command
Kill Command is likely to be one of your biggest sources of damage as a Beast Master. This talent increases the chance the pet’s attack will crit, which works well with both the reduced Focus cost that comes from the glyph and talents further down the tree. Considering that Kill Command is still active during Deterrence, this talent is one you’ll want to pick up for both PvE and PvP builds.

One With Nature
This is a decent talent for any build, even if your taste is more towards the other trees. You get more attack power out of Aspect of the Hawk and more focus back from Aspect of the Fox. In situations where your pet is going to be marginalized, such as PvP, this may be a secondary concern for “floater” points in a Marksmanship or Survival build. Beast Masters should definitely be picking this up.

Bestial Discipline
This is another talent that has appeal for multiple builds. Since our pet is a good portion of our DPS, getting them to do damage more often boost our overall output. This talent, coupled with Go For The Throat, increases the Focus regeneration of your pet by quite a bit. Once you get the pattern & rhythm of your own Focus regeneration down, you can pick this up along with Go For The Throat to maximize your pet’s DPS in a raid. PvP builds in other trees may want to go for One With Nature instead.

Pathfinding
More speed from your Aspects of the Daze and when mounted. I guess this would make corpse runs go more quickly. Other than that, I don’t see much value in spending talent points here.

Spirit Bond
Pretty much a must-have for raiding Beast Masters, this talent makes both you and your pet easier to heal. Not only do you and your pet regenerate health, healing done to both of you is boosted significantly. This means healers spend less time and mana healing you, which they’ll surely appreciate.

Frenzy
This talent is an interesting beast. Every time your pet makes a basic attack, it boosts its attack speed. This effect stacks up to 5 times. Your pet may be attacking up to 30% faster after just a few bites and swipes, which not only benefits your output but also ties into a talent on the next tier that I feel no Beast Master should be without. It goes without saying that you should pick this up.

Improved Mend Pet
This is one of those talents that is probably more useful to a soloing Hunter than one in a group be it a raid or a battleground. If you’re in a raid and you need to hit Mend Pet to cleanse or heal your pet, your healer needs to pay more attention. Time you spend mending your pet is time you’re NOT doing damage to the enemy. Anyway, unless you’re soloing, skip this talent.

Cobra Strikes
Another talent that increases the output of your pet, Cobra Strikes grants crits to your pet’s attacks when you hit with Arcane Shot. Since Arcane’s a high-damage shot to begin with, following it with a pair of crits from the pet yeilds much higher numbers. Worth 3 points easily.

Fervor
This is a decent “panic” button for situations where you need more Focus than standing still and casting Steady or Cobra Shot will yeild you. In addition to that it opens up some of the biggest features of the Beast Mastery tree. Even if you never use Fervor to restore 50 Focus to you and your pet, you’ll want to snag this talent.

Focus Fire
When your pet hits 5 Frenzy, you can hit Focus Fire and, in essence, transfer its haste to you. Your pet gets Focus back, you get a boost to your ranged haste (meaning faster Steady & Cobra Shots!) and your pet begins building up its Frenzy again. At one point, you can’t ask for bigger bang for your buck.

Longevity
You Intimidation cooldown is now 30 seconds instead of a minute. Beastial Wrath is ready to use after one minute instead of two. And your pet’s special abilities? Those will happen more often, too. There’s no reason not to drop 3 points in here as soon as its available.

Killing Streak
You’re going to be using Kill Command a lot as a Beast Master. Statistically this means you’ll also have an increased chance of seeing it crit, especially with Improved Kill Command. Killing Streak makes the third Kill Command after back-to-back crits hit harder and cost less. This talent strikes me as another no-brainer for Beast Masters.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
This is Beast Mastery’s big PvP talent. It reduces the cooldowns of the skills we need to survive in PvP, namely Disengage and Deterrence, every time we’re hit. If we have a healer, this means we’ll be jumping away and immune to damage more often. Remember how Kill Command is still active during Deterrence? Be prepared for a lot of people raging at you and pick this up for your battlegrounds and arenas.

Bestial Wrath
The big, red kitty remains the lynchpin talent of the tree. For 10 seconds, your pet does more damage and becomes immune to crowd control. Need I say more?

Ferocious Inspiration
At the time of this writing, the Ferocious Inspiration buff isn’t overwritten by anything from other classes. It’s a straight damage increase for all party & raid members. It used to, but now it stands alone. Plus it leads us into another very useful talent. Drop a point here.

Kindred Spirits
This is just about the only means a Hunter has to increase both his own Focus and that of his pet. I know I’m started to sound like a broken record, but more focus means more damage. Absolutely worth its 2 points.

The Beast Within
Big red kitty now triggers a big red YOU. More damage, reduced focus cost AND Terminator-style implacability? Grab it.

Invigoration
Whenever your pet gets a crit, you automatically get some Focus back. Considering how often Beast Masters will want enough Focus to hit Kill Command, it goes without saying that this talent is worthwhile. Everything ties together at this point in the tree, and Invigoration just makes all the other talents and abilities synergize even more coherently.

Beast Mastery
Exotic pets and more skill points. Why would you go Beast Mastery and NOT tame a miniature T-Rex or a ghost kitty or a chimera? Especially now that we have so many stable slots.

While this brings us to an end of the talents for Hunters, there’s one more ability coming our way in Cataclysm.

Camouflage

Here’s what we know so far…

You camouflage, blending into into your surroundings, causing you and your pet to be untargetable by ranged attacks, reduces the range at which enemy creatures can detect you, and providing stealth while stationary.

You can lay traps while camouflaged, but any damage done by you or your pet will cancel the effect. Cannot be cast while in combat. Lasts for 1 min.

I am of the opinion that people’s opinions on Hunters in PvP, that they are “useless” or “pointless”, may change when they start using Camouflage. Ambushes and surprise attacks are unfortunately rare in PvP. With Camouflage, Hunters can now join Rogues, feral Druids in cat form and certain Warlock pets in laying vicious traps for incoming opponents. A well-coordinated group of stealthed gladiators can make things very difficult for the other team. I’m not entirely sure how the mechanics of this ability will work quite yet, but I’m excited to find out.

This wraps up the Hunter in Cataclysm series. I may carve out some time to get a video up with all this information before the expansion hits. Not everybody reads my blog, after all.

Even if they should.
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The Hunter in Cataclysm: Marksmanship

Courtesy Blizzard

Last week I kicked off an examination of the talent builds for the Hunter class in World of Warcraft since the class changed radically. I started out with Survival, my primary tree for most of the last expansion. This week we turn our aim to Marksmanship. This talent tree has also been re-balanced to have tools for both raiders and gladiators willing to invest in it.

[spoiler]

The Marksmanship Tree

It’s signature ability, Aimed Shot, delivers powerful damage to a single target at a high cost of Focus and a casting time. At first, it might seem like too much risk for too little reward, as standing around dumping Focus into a single attack might be inconvenient in certain situations, but the tree has a lot of ways to make it worthwhile. Artisan Quiver increases the damage of our auto-attacks and ties nicely into the Mastery buff of Wild Quiver, which procs an additional ranged shot based on RNG, increased by Mastery of course.

Go For The Throat
Every time your auto-attack crits, your pet gains Focus. The more Focus your pet has, the more often they can smack your target around. This means greater overall DPS. In the end, this is a great talent to pick up for just about any build, even if you’re only investing 1 point in it. Combined with Bestial Discipline, your pet will be contributing a lot more to your damage with this talent, making it a great place to plunk a floating point for Beast Masters.

Efficency
Hunters are all about Focus management now that they have the mechanic. This talent makes that management a bit easier as it reduces Focus costs for some of our tools – our Arcane, Explosve and Chimera Shots. If you find yourself struggling with Focus in other trees, a point or two of this might help but you’re probably better off spending your “floaters” elsewhere. As for Marksmanship, grab this. Even though we only use Arcane Shot occasionally, reducing its cost along with Chimera Shot will mean more of those shots more often.

Rapid Killing
I’ve always been a bit lukewarm about this talent. Sure, additional damage is great, but this talent makes the damage buff a bit situational. For levelling and dealing with multiple groups, say for example the oncoming zerg rush in a battleground, this might be more useful in replenishing our Focus when paired with Rapid Recuperation later on. Even in those cases, one point in Rapid Killing should be enough, but I can’t recommend it for a raiding build.

Sic ‘Em!
Investing 2 points in Go For The Throat gives access to this talent. When you critically hit with Arcane, Aimed or Explosive shot, your pet gets a free basic attack at 2 points in Sic ‘Em! A crit from us plus a free attack from our pet yeiled a mess of damage. Raiders should definitely grab this. PvPers may benefit from it as well, but there are other talents down the tree for which you may want to save a few points.

Improved Steady Shot
This talent changes the way Hunters use Steady Shot. In addition to replenishing Focus, casting Steady Shot twice in a row now grants a buff to our attack speed. By the time you finish that second cast, you should have enough Focus for something more interesting and there will be auto-shots in-between for sure. Pretty much a must-have for any Marks build.

Careful Aim
All of our cast-time shots gain an increased critical strike chance with this talent. There’s great synergy here with a lot of talents, like Sic ‘Em! and Piercing Shots. Definitely worth the investment as we head down the tree.

Silencing Shot
Hunters hungry for an interrupt should snatch this as soon as it’s available. For no Focus and a 20-second cooldown, this shot silences the target for 3 seconds and interrupts their spellcasting. It’s a PvP no-brainer. Raiding Hunters may also want to snag it, if they’re going up against bosses who need to have their abilities interrupted. Most raids will have at least a few other classes with interrupting abilities, like a Rogue’s Kick or a Death Knight’s Strangulate, but if you know your party’s lacking the interrupts, a point spent here will increase your utility.

Concussive Barrage
Dazing isn’t really a big deal in raids. Sure, it’ll slow down some of the damage the tank is taking, but most bosses are immune to daze effects and trash is going to die so fast it won’t be an issue. Now, other players? They HATE being dazed. This is a great PvP talent. Not only can it slow down a zerg rush, it can mess up a single player for 4 seconds allowing a team mate to set them up for a deadly combo. It makes a Hunter in a 2v2 arena team a one-stop shop for crowd control. Silence one enemy with Silencing Shot, daze the other with Chimera Shot. Gladiators, grab this one.

Piercing Shots
Remember how increasing our crit chances with Careful Aim was supposed to pay off later? Here’s a good example. Unlike daze effects, bosses are not often immune to bleeding. The more points you put in this talent, the more the enemy bleeds. This is a good talent for any Marksmanship build.

Bombardment
Since Multi-Shot is our most efficient way of contributing to quick trash pulls, we’ll want to use it often before we reach the boss. A couple points in Bombardment ensures we’ll be Multi-Shotting more often meaning trash will drop more quickly. It also means more damage dealt to groups of enemy players. A solid utility talent.

Trueshot Aura
A straightahead buff to attack power. A noteworthy change since Patch 4.0.1 is that this will get overwritten by several other buffs. If a Paladin is in your party and you’re bringing Trueshot Aura, ask them to bless the raid with Kings instead of Might. An Enhancement Shaman’s Unleashed Rage and a Blood Death Knight’s Abomination’s Might will also overwrite this, but you can’t exactly ask them to switch it off. Still, it’s definitely worth having.

Termination
Everything you shoot at is going to run out of hit points sooner or later. When they get close to Kill Shot range, Termination gives you additional Focus from your Steady & Cobra shots to speed the process along. Worth the investment no matter what the build.

Resistance is Futile
Unfortunately, this talent does not give your Hunter cybernetics or introduce you to Seven of Nine. Instead, it gives you the chance to have a free Kill Command whenever your target tries to run, flee or even move. Its benefit to PvP builds should warrant no explanation, while raiders may find it useful in certain situations if they have floating points they do not wish to invest elsewhere.

Rapid Recuperation
This is an interesting talent that shows its worth when other talents and abilities are used. It’s great for levelling as getting Focus when you gain Rapid Killing means you can blast mobs more often. For raiding and PvP, the use or Rapid Fire means we not only shoot more quickly but get Focus back every 3 seconds while we have that buff. Provided you pick up Readiness – and why wouldn’t you? – this means you can hit Rapid Fire, hit Readiness when it expires and then hit it again. This means we sustain high DPS longer in raids, and unload our utility & crowd control shots in PvP much to the chagrin of our opponents. Smart hunters will find lots of uses for this talent’s permutations, so grab it.

Master Marksman
This talent is the definition of synergy. Every time you Steady Shot – which, given previous talents, increases your ranged attack speed, replenishes Focus and crits more often – you have the chance to gain the Master Marksman effect. Gain it 5 times, you get a free and instant Aimed Shot. This talent also unlocks two more talents further down the tree, making it easily worth the 3 point investment.

Readiness
If you’ve been in a raid before, you’ve heard the raid leader call for everyone to “pop cooldowns.” Readiness allows you to pop your cooldowns TWICE. Now, this means we can hit Rapid Fire, Chimera Shot, all of our other big damage dealers, and then after Rapid Fire fades and we’ve done a little Steady Shotting to replenish some Focus, we hit Readiness to do the same dance again. And in PvP, popping Deterrence means that your foes are just waiting for the chance to actually hit you and buys you time to escape. Follow it with Readiness and another Deterrence, and they may ignore you entirely out of sheer annoyance, opening up all sorts of opportunities for you to ruin their day. And it’s one point. Only one! Grab it.

Posthaste
Remember what I said about popping Rapid Fire more often? Posthaste makes it even more viable to do so. Also, you move faster after you Disengage, meaning you can open up even more distance between yourself and whatever mob or player wants to bite or smash your face off. Definitely worth its 2 points.

Marked for Death
Surprisingly, we have a talent on the second-last tier that is not a must-have. Marked for Death has the chance to apply a debuff like Hunter’s Mark that does NOT stack with Hunter’s Mark but isn’t dispellable. Huh. During a long boss battle where we’re not switching targets, there’s no need to hit this when we should be opening with Hunter’s Mark anyway. However, when we engage multiple targets we can hit an off-target with Hunter’s Mark while our primary target gets Marked for Death. Most Marksmanship builds, I think, can get by with 1 point in this talent.

Chimera Shot
This shot does a lot of things all at once, hence the name. Direct damage, refreshing Serpent Sting, even granting us a heal. Not to mention applying Marked for Death, inflicting a bleed and possibly dazing the target. Pop your point in here and start assigning your floaters. Oh, and don’t let the cooldown put you off of it. Between the glyph for the ability, your other shots and Readiness, you’ll have plenty of chances to make your enemies suffer with Chimera Shot.

And now, the prerequisite pontification:

Aspect of the Fox

Here is an interesting specimen. There are a lot of fights & situations where staying mobile is preferable to standing still. This is true for boss fights as well as PvP. Two of the key abilities Hunters do and will be using, Steady Shot and Cobra Shot, have casting times that are interrupted when we move. Aspect of the Fox changes that. By sacrificing the boosted attack power we get from Aspect of the Hawk, we gain the ability to shoot on the move. What’s odd about Aspect of the Fox is that it comes very late in our leveling process. PvP may seem like a struggle to some before this ability shows up at level 83. Also, some configurations and keybinds may make strafing and shooting difficult for players, at least for those who haven’t mastered moving with the mouse. I get the feeling this will be one of those “Your mileage may vary” abilities.

Next: Beast Mastery and Camouflage.

[/spoiler]

The Hunter in Cataclysm: Survival

Courtesy Blizzard

I didn’t have the good fortune to make it into the beta for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm but with the release of the latest Patch, I can now make some educated guesses as to how the different talents of my primary class, the Hunter, are going to fall together. I plan on using my secondary specialization to try out the other talents and offer some thoughts, as I’ve been playing the class and struggling to play it well since Burning Crusade, especially since I met my wife.

So here’s the first in a series of guides to the Hunter talent trees. There may be a video once I’ve covered all three. Even if I don’t have the swank accent of TotalBiscuit. I’m also going to take it in turns to talk about the new abilities coming, in order: Cobra Shot, Aspect of the Fox and Camouflage.

[spoiler]

The Survival Tree

Explosive Shot is the ‘signature ability’ of this tree. With most of our damage over time (dot) effects being Nature-based, a little Fire changes things up even if it’s only a 2-second dot effect. The further you go down the tree, the more benefit you’ll see from using this shot whenever it’s off cooldown and you have the focus to fire it. Into the Wilderness increases your Agility, the statistic you’ll want the most of as you move down the tree. Not only does it translate into ranged attack power, it also increases crit chance and dodge, which is handy for both PvE and PvP. Finally, Essence of the Viper increases all of the Hunter’s elemental damage. That’s Nature, Fire, Shadow, etc. So the more Mastery you have, the more danage your Serpent Sting, Explosive Shot and Black Arrow will do. Can you say Reforging? I thought you could.

Let’s get into the talents.

Hunter vs. Wild

Carrying over from pre-patch days, this is a straight boost to Stamina. A good place for the first three points in a PvP build. For raiding, you may be better suited putting those points in…

Pathing

Gone are the days of needing to switch your tracking to match whatever unfortunate mob you’re filling with tiny shards of metal, be they arrows or bullets. Pathing replaces that micromanagment talent with a no-nonsense increase of ranged haste. Since Steady Shot now has a straight cast time of 1.5 seconds, I believe this has our regular attacks woven into our rotations more frequently rather than reducing that cast time. I’ll test more to confirm this. Anyway, a PvE build would do well to fill this one out. PvP may benefit from this as well, but you may want to circle back to this after grabbing some other talents.

Improved Serpent Sting

Basically, when you hit a mob with Serpent Sting it’ll do instant damage on top of its dot effect. Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to Chimera Shot over on the Marksmanship tree, only to the initial application of Serpent Sting. Chimera Shot refreshes the dot only. Now, Multi-Shot is another story but I’m getting ahead of myself. Either way, grab this talent.

Survival Tactics

While you’re not going to be fooling most real players with Feign Death, mobs are another story. Reducing trap resistance is handy and being able to Disengage more often means more clever ways to get yourself out of a fix. To me, this is more of a solo PvE or PvP talent. Farming or grinding mobs is easier with crowd control they can’t resist, and locking a player in place with an Ice Trap (see Entrapment) can make a big difference in arena situations. I say pick this up if you’re levelling or heading into the arena, pairing it with…

Entrapment

Turning what is normally an annoyance, either a slowing of movement or a lot of little poison effects, into a root is essential for arenas. The more crowd control you can subject your opponents to, the better. With crowd control making a comeback in Cataclysm, this may also become necessary for raiding if you want to spec your Hunter as something beyond a pew-pew-pewing DPS class. I’d say this is pretty much a must-have for top-level PvP, and a ‘maybe’ for raiding.

Trap Mastery

This, on the other hand, is good for all builds. Your ice-based traps last longer, your fire traps and Black Arrow do more damage and Snake Trap produces more snakes. Instill Indiana Jones’ biggest fear on folks with this. This is one of those talents that provides a good immediate benefit and gets even better with talent synergy further down the tree.

Point of No Escape

Keeping with the theme of crowd control’s comeback, this little talent increases the chance of critical strikes on targets affected by our Ice or Freezing Traps. Again, this hasn’t come up as much in the pre-expansion content, due in part to Wrath’s raids being so focused on area-of-effect pulls instead of complex ones requiring crowd control, but looking to the future a raiding Survival Hunter is going to want this talent.

Thrill of the Hunt

This talent helps with our focus management. Arcane Shot, Explosive Shot and Black Arrow having a chance to replenish 40% of their focus costs to me can be very helpful in a fight. More focus means you’re using something other than auto shot or Steady Shot more often which means more damage. Good for any build.

Counterattack

If you’re unfortunate enough to get into melee, this can save you. When it activates, hit it and then Disengage. It’s highly situational, though. With Trap Launcher you can CC an opponent before they close to melee range in arenas, and if you’re quick enough you won’t have to trade blows with an angry Death Knight. We’re just not a melee class. For PvP specs, you may again want to circle back to this after you fill out the other, more universal talents.

Lock and Load

This may be my favorite old talent in Survival. I can’t recall if it included Arcane Shot pre-patch, because Arcane Shot used up too much mana. However, with the advent of Focus and situations in which your pet may be marginalized, weaving Arcane Shot into the old Explosive-Steady-Explosive dance when Lock and Load procs may increase your damage without clipping Explosive Shot’s dot effect. Pick it up and save some points for T.N.T. to get the most out of it.

Resourcefulness

Must-have for all Survival builds. Even if you don’t use traps that often, reducing Black Arrow’s cooldown means more elemental damage, more Lock and Load procs with T.N.T. and higher overall DPS.

Mirrored Blades

Deterrence is our “OH CRAP!” button, and Mirrored Blades just makes it better. Not only are you essentially immune to damage, but you can reflect spells back at your attacker. Definitely a PvP talent especially for arenas. You’ll need the points elsewhere for PvE builds because, frankly, if you’re getting hit with spells often enough that you need to hit Deterrence, somebody’s doing something wrong.

T.N.T.

“I’m DY-NO-MITE!” Crank up the AC/DC and do tons more damage. With this talent, you don’t need to drop a trap for Lock and Load to proc. It’s not the guaranteed proc of the Freezing and Ice traps, but it happens often enough to boost your DPS. And in PvP situations it increases the tools at your disposal to put out more than enough hurt to put down the warrior frothing at the mouth to put an axe in your face.

Toxicology

I’m not a statistician, so I don’t know the numbers as to how often our dots deal critical damage. When it happens, it’s good if they hurt more. Still, there are other talents requiring our attention, and with the other talents on this level you may find yourself only putting one point in here as you progress down the tree. If you’re speccing for PvP, this is a good time to pick up Counterattack instead. PvP is more about burst damage than damage over time, after all.

Wyvern Sting

An additional method of crowd control not bound to a trap. This will probably see more use in Cataclysm’s raids than it does in Wrath’s, and for PvP putting a healer to sleep can really mess up the other team’s day. Not to mention it unlocks Black Arrow. Get it.

Noxious Stings

Makes your Serpent Sting more damaging and Wyvern Sting more annoying. It almost makes Wyvern into a miniature Unstable Affliction, which Affliction Warlocks can tell you piss people off to no end. Definitely worth its points.

Hunting Party

Reduced in cost to 1 talent point, this now gives a raid-wide buff to attack speed as well as giving you even more Agility. Are you really going to pass up that big a bargain? No? Didn’t think so.

Sniper Training

In most raid situations, you’re likely to be standing in one place. Some fights do have you moving around, which I’ll talk about more when I discuss Aspect of the Fox. But doing more damage when your Kill Shot crits and more overall with Steady & Cobra Shot is definitely a benefit to the party in PvE situations. When it comes to PvP, though, this talent is a bit more questionable. Points normally reserved for here could go in Mirrored Blades, Toxicology or even up in Pathing or Point of No Escape if you haven’t gotten them already. In battlegrounds you may find yourself occasionally standing still, but in arenas if you stand still too long you end up dead.

Serpent Spread

My favorite new talent. I call it the Oprah talent. “You get a Serpent Sting! YOU get a Serpent Sting! EVERY BODY GETS A SERPENT STING!!”

Note that with Improved Serpent Sting, your Multi-Shot will now be doing its damage, Serpent Sting’s improved damage and also applies the dot effect. TO EVERYTHING IT HITS. You shouldn’t need a math degree to see this translates into big numbers. I’d say this is a must-have for PvE builds. Battleground builds may also benefit from this especially when the other faction rushes your control point. Finally, arena builds aiming for the 5v5 bracket can use this well when the other team comes out of the gate, but this counts on them staying close enough for Multi-Shot to hit everybody. I’ve yet to test it in that situation, but I’ll keep you posted.

Black Arrow

The pinnacle of Survival. Without this shot, quite frankly, half of these talents aren’t worth taking. It applies shadow damage, enhanced by Essence of the Viper and other talents, as well as giving a change for Lock and Load to proc. Worth both the talent point and its focus cost.

So, those are the Survival talents in a nutshell and based on my personal experience and opinions. Now for some speculation!

Cobra Shot

With the same casting time as Steady Shot but applying Nature damage and increasing Serpent Sting duration, Cobra Shot looks to be an interesting alternative to our old standby. I imagine this shot will crop up more in Beast Mastery and Survival rotations than Marksmanship. Beast Masters won’t have to worry about refreshing Serpent Sting and can reserve their focus for Kill Command. Marksmen will be using Steady Shot as Chimera Shot will do more damage than Cobra and fill the “refresh the Sting” role. Survivalists, with their increased elemental damage, will want Serpent Sting to last on their targets as much as possible.

Next: Marksmanship and Aspect of the Fox.
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