Or: "The first really informative post Kord has ever done"
I'm going step by step over my current build. The beauty of the survival tree is it's flexibility, If your crit is lower than mine (29%) you can sub points for higher proc rates until you get your numbers up. It's a PvP build that can be taken into 5 mans for badges and have everyone be happy because of your utility. I'm still an advocate of "if you don't have the gear, stay out of the survival tree" Unless you have at least 750 agility without lightning reflexes the tree will not benefit you much. Without further adeu let's begin.
Improved tracking: Two points spent in this is better than Going two into savage strikes. While a mongoose bite crit might help two times out of ten it's not worth the points.
Hawk eye: 6 yards is alot, It's the distance that you're out of casting range for most spells. When kiting casters it's a must. 3/3 or gtfo.
You're going to be slowed ALOT. Be it hamsting, wingclip, thunderclap, pircing howl, crippeling poison ect. 3/3 will reduce that, you can skip one or two points if you happen to be a troll because your shiney new racial is 15% duration reduction. As far as i know Da Voodo Shuffle stacks with surefooted if you want 45% total reduction.
Entrapment: I can thank Rifluvr for turning me onto this talent waaay back when i was 41/4/16 hybrid. 3/3 or else the points aren't worth it for such a low proc rate, in survival PvP frost trap will be your bread and butter so learn to love it.
This is a talent not everyone likes, It's personal preference first and foremost. I've had my ass be saved by a lucky imp. wing clip proc too many times to count, i find it hard to live without it.
A macro you'll find useful and 100% spammable is:
/cast Wing Clip
/cast Raptor Strike
Spam while pinned down or when you turn 180 for a joust to melee for a better chance to get out and back into kiting range.
Survival Instincts: 4% less damage in the long run means 4% less work for your healer. The added crit to explosive shot and steady are just dandy as well.
Survivalist: 5/5 for 10% stamina really adds up and it scales wonderfully with kings. It's a gateway for an amazing talent so 5/5 is a must.
Scatter Shot: My second favorite shot and bound lovingly to mouse button 5 for quick scatters while jumpshot or strafe kiting, perfect for setting up freeze traps or stopping a runner so a healer can get out of line of sight. Also a good way to size up opponents on wether or not they decide to trinket scatter, congratulations: you now own them for two minutes.
Survival Tactics: This is yet another personal preference, i've been getting a staggering number of resists for freeze traps at crucial moments and quite frankly i'm sick of it. 1/2 is fine just like it was pre 3.0 for the old trap master talent.
TNT: 3/3 TNT will net you 9% explosive shot crit chance which stacks with survival instincts for a total of 13% more crit for all ticks. By tanking TNT you're in the wonderful land of TNT stuns, they can make or break fights in some cases. Personally i've gotten lucky with TNT procs in the case that once i scattershotted then frost trapped another hunter who was mounted and all three explosive shots had TNT proc. I literally stunlocked her to a point that she didn't get off her mount until she was a corpse. Will you ever see this? maybe not. Can it happen? You bet, but pray it's not often or the nerf bat starts swinging.
Lock & Load: I took a point out of L&L in favor of a point in survival tactics. I'm weaning myself off 100% procs due to the 30 second internal cooldown in the upcoming patch, it still procs plenty with 2/3 but you can't always count on it for burst.
Hunter vs. Wild: PvP gear has alot of stam, This beaut of a talent makes the 10% stam i told you to get (go ahead and kick yourself if you went 4/5 survivalist) Scales with kings for even more attack power if you happen to have a paladin on your team or Power word:Fortitude if you happen to play with a priest.
Killer Instinct: More crit = good. self explanitory.
Lightning reflexes: Even more kings scaling goodies. More agility = more crit, more armor, more dodge, more attack power. THIS is the reason survival hunters sell their souls for agility.
Resourcefulness: I've always taken 2/3 both pre and post 3.0 because while 3/3 is nice you can get the same effect with the 4 set PvP bonus. Great for 5 mans as well because you can chain trap until you're blue in the face. Resourcefulness is the reason in the moroes fight was always the last to die because i had too much fun chain trapping him endlessly.
Expose weakness: Welcome to the wonderful world of being your own attack power trinket. with a crit chance above 20% you should be seeing alot of uptime for expose weakness. 2/3 is all that's really needed now adays. Pre 3.0 when it affected the raid Alumatine would have strung me up by my toenails for saying such things.
Wyvern Sting:If scatter shot is my #2 shot, Wyvern is by far my #1. Simply put i adore it. Stopping runners and saving healers in PvE and PvP has proven the wonders of this talent. In PvP it's one of few sleep effects so it's not well known. Not to be relied upon in higher end PvP against the forsaken (will of the forsaken breaks sleep effects) or dwarves (stoneform removes stings). It can be used as an interrupt in a pinch to stop a heal, be sure to overwrite the DoT with scorpid sting if you intend to trap again.
Thrill of the hunt: A great talent and an even better movie. 3/3 is a must because arena is a mana war. The longer it takes you to have to go into aspect of the viper the better.
Trap Mastery: Filler 41 point talent but still loved like we asked for it. Great for PvE because it adds flex time to your chain trapping. Great for PvP because it increases the duration of... you guessed it, frost trap. Would be even better if snake trap didn't get neutered somewhere along the line.
Point of No Escape: Remember when i said you'll be using frost traps a lot? Here's another reason why. In 2s it's more crit for you, and in 3s it's more crit for you and your secondardy DPS partner. I play with a resto shaman and a feral druids, so between the druid and i that's 11% extra crit to whatever poor soul is stuck in the frost for anyone attacking.
Hunting party: Personally i only use 2/5, it helps keep your healer topped off if and can help you stay out of aspect of the viper. 3/5 might be better if your crit chance is only 20% or so.
Explosive shot: 100% worth it, It crits often thanks to talents and is getting a lovely buff come patch 3.0.8. Currently the bane of CC, but that will be over soon. You can get lucky and some rogues will forget about the three ticks and will waste vanish thinking it's over.
That concudes the Survival portion of this post. Go get a drink or something. It's cool, i'll wait.
Ok, you back? Alright, onto the MM section.
Lethal Shots: Once again, more crit = good.
Mortal Shots: Crits hit harder, It stacks with Relentless Earthsiege Diamond so 5/5 is a must and will move you into the next tier of talents.
Careful Aim: Even more attack power from more sources. With this talent combined with lightnight reflexes and hunter vs. wild you're now getting attack power from all your main stats. It scales with kings and scales with arcane intellect.
Go for the Throat: Considering the high crit chance you should have as survival you'll be cramming your pet with more than enough focus with only 1/2.
Aimed Shot: In a world where healers can tank 3 or 4 people and heal through it an mortal strike is needed to even the score. Aimed shot can make or break dps/healer vs dps/healer fights. He who doesn't have a mortal strike will find themself facedown in the dirt quickly.
Improved Stings: I've said it before and i'll say it again, arena is a mana war. Keeping a healer drained is made much easier with improved stings. Not to mention it's funny to drain them to a point that they're using their wand on my healer. A wonderful drain macro you can use by setting their healer as your focus is:
#showtooltip Viper Sting
/cast [target=mouseover, harm][harm] Viper Sting
/cast [target=target] Viper Sting
just mousing over your focus will throw a viper sting on them, if nothing is under your mous it will drain your current target.
That's the end. Long post huh?