Change Survival Hunter Mastery

It’s been said before but can’t be said enough till it’s changed. Their mastery doesn’t incorporate into their playstyle at all and doesn’t affect many of their best skills.

With the new talent tree letting you customize your playstyle more we need something that works with both those aspects. The current mastery for survival is hated by PvP and PvE players alike.

It needs to go.


Mastery effects all abilities that cost focus, this means that the biggest outliers are WFB, flanking strike, and Kill Command.

WFB is really the other ability that should benefit from it.

My main problem with it is that it’s also not very interesting. I think mastery should encourage a playstyle or fantasy that you as a player want to lean into. You invest heavily in mastery you’re investing in that playstyle.

If only that fantasy (or ANY fantasy) existed for SV.


If they added like a 5 focus cost to WFB it work work fine. It’s fine to have stats that are better than others but not one that you avoid at all costs. It’s frustrating to get a ring that’s 10-15 ilevels higher but it’s still a downgrade because it’s loaded with mastery.


And would reduce Focus overcapping when opening with it and allow it a bit more damage in itself, pre-Mastery, given its costing a sixth (or third at 10 Focus, half at 15) of a Raptor Strike. Would be a win-win.

But alas, even mention that for Flanking Strike and people will tell you that a skill can’t possibly both regen Focus (or axe incoming Focus costs, or generate Focus over time, etc.) and cost it. /shrug

Overall, I agree with Zeffiri that Mastery shouldn’t just turn into a slightly-differently-scaling Versatility. It should be a playstyle commitment. But, that playstyle needs to be sensible, cohesive, and fun.

I’d be totally fine with that being a sort of all-in melee build that deemphasizes WFB outside of the bonuses via Wildfire Infusion, but it needs to change in some way, because the current Mastery just does nothing at all right.

Personally a lot of my favorite ideas for replacements of the mastery are things that encourage our melee/ranged hybrid playstyle. Especially ones that create fun rhythms between our skills.

A small wish, not for our mastery, would also be if our non-focus spending abilities can extend the timer of mongoose bite duration. Only to prevent it to where you are stuck dumping into mongoose bite.

I do enjoy mongoose bite gameplay but I want more passives to allow you to weave it better without losing time for your stacks.

Agreed. I think one of the most glaring issues is the lack of support for the Mastery in the Survival Hunter spec itself. Spenders. SV needs more rotational spenders. The hunter has 1 focus spender in its ST rotation and 1 focus spender in the AoE rotation. RS/MB and Carve/Butchery. Then we get to the other half of the Mastery. The Pet. There is nothing outside of Flanking Strike that is aiding our pet in getting focus so they can spend it and therefore benefit from Mastery more. Adding a talent that would grant focus back to our pet would greatly help IF they really wanted to help this design of the current Mastery. Something like RS/MB crits grant your pet X focus. Or KC crits also give X focus back to the pet. Those are some basic designs but if the focus granted was enough and the mastery numbers were tuned higher then it wouldnt be as bad as it is… It would probably still not be good but atleast not …as bad…


I feel if the mastery stayed the same and the line

You and your pet get X% critical strike damage for each damage over time effect you or your pet applied on the target.

was added, it’d be a much better stat & surpass versatility easily, would have synergy with a ton of talents, and increase the value of both Serpent Sting & WFI, keeping some complexity/extra interaction in the spec.

I can see how that would be desirable but the problem is that Mongoose Bite is not a mandatory talent and therefore it would not benefit non mongoose bite builds.

I actually like this. There doesnt seem to be much incentive to stack crit over anything else and this would do like you said

I think it would introduce more value to those abilities more than keeping complexity… Theres really not any complexity to SV

Not as a part of the Mastery. Just as a part of mongoose bite itself.

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Probably the easiest thing to do would be change it x% more dmg to target when you and pet are hitting the same target. Keeps the pet/hunter together theme while giving mastery a clear purpose. Haste/mastery/crit pve single target, haste/vers/crit pve aoe, haste/vers/mastery pvp.

Also if they keep the heal, make it like 5% every 10s with a tick increase per mastery point. The current heal is pretty much useless.


Or increase the damage of DoTs - everything including bleeds, burns, poisons, etc.

Idk man. Its not "me and my pet, BFF 4eva"ish. I don’t think they’d go for it…

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This is where the convo descends into “If any Hunter should be melee, it’s BM.” But I digress… sigh

Talent synergy isn’t actually a thing you typically want for stats unless an equally valuable synergy also exists with the talent’s alternatives. Otherwise, your stats increasingly force your talent selection and/or vice versa, depending on how long you have to farm side-grades for the build’s separate BiS set.

When the synergies are soft enough (like a talent benefiting proportionately to resource generation/consumption, which are advanced only by Haste and Crit), that’s typically more or less okay, but when you specifically craft the function of one’s Mastery to advantage certain talents over others… hard pass.

Even if one wants to make the case that a harder, more nuanced build should have higher performance ceilings, that should be done through the talents’ powers themselves, not made dependent on secondary stat distributions (which, to keep those talents’ ceiling in check, would make the harder builds perform worse than the simpler builds until optimizing those secondary stats).

Finally, linking Mastery to DoTs, when DoTs are already largely obligatory, just shrinks the available points of decision making in specifically not following the default APL (maintaining DoTs) in rarer occassions (finishing off an enemy, brief window optimization, etc.).

All in all, this would not be a good idea, as it’d make gameplay actually less complex while, following eventual balancing, also forcing more complex builds to underperform until having sufficiently stacked Mastery.

This has similar downsides depending on a given spec’s current buy-back proportion (the % of duration it takes a DoT to outperform a direct damage option).

When the proportion is already high,

  • the APL is increasingly rigid (less situational decision-making to be done), and
  • DoTs provide a higher maximum target count over which maintenance is obliged over filler AoE.

SV’s DoT damage could probably be a bit higher, yes, but because we have no filler AoE for DoT spread to compete against anyways, its multitarget implications are also far greater than on specs that do have a competing filler AoE.

Carve, Serpent Sting (per target), and Wildfire Bomb are available per 6, 12, and 18 seconds. Each Carve hit shortens WFB’s CD by up to 5 seconds. In a 5+ target situation, then, per 24 GCDs, one will have 6 Carves, 4 WFBs, and up to 14 Serpent Stings minus GCDs consumed for Kill Command (still generally leaving enough for at least 7 Stings per 24 GCDs due to Sting’s low cost and WFB’s zero cost).

More than even single-target, your AoE would be greatly affected by any increase to DoT damage. That in turn increases the opportunity cost of weaving in direct damage spenders on a focus target (Raptor, Mongoose). And that’s before even factoring in yet more power on WFB of all things, which is 2/3s to 1/2 a DoT.

Increasing SV’s DoT damage (especially that tied to Serpent Sting) by more than a small amount, therefore, would ultimately mean constraining your options slightly further and deemphasizing AoE burst (as even Wildfire Infusions’ Volatile Bomb doesn’t give a damn how much Serpent Sting itself is doing, only whether it was present on enemies when VB hit them).

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Y’all are just playing Mastery Survival wrong. If I could pick changes for Mastery, I’d add these changes to what already exists.

1: Increases duration of Serpent Sting. (and bleeds?)
2: Reduces time between Spirit Bond ticks.(capped at 3 sec)

It’d be pretty much perfect with those changes.

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  1. This would be anti-synergetic with Viper’s Venom, Terms of Engagement in its ideal contexts, and Bloodseeker, because the extra duration would just go to waste anyways.
  • A Mastery should not be anti-synergetic with its own spec’s talents.

  1. There is no difference to value over time between equally increasing tick rate or increasing tick value. The Mastery already increases the tick value of Spirit Bond. We already effectively have what you are asking for.

Serpent Sting is no longer baseline for Survival going forth in Dragonflight. Any redesign of the mastery would need to consider the new trees.

But yeah…I am all for the mastery getting some love. Is Survival the only mastery for a dps spec that does more than just modify dps? It is like a mix between a tank mastery and a dps mastery.