Qualifier: None of these are ALPHA talents, they are my own inventions of imagination.
When hasn’t survival needed some buffing… I’ve already taken care of getting 20 points deep for trapping talents, so that leaves the deep tree to fix (really just Master Tactician but I don’t like Readiness either), and the new talents to really define a role. Right now, SV is for 2 things traps (which either BM or MM can do too) and EW. Nothing else in the tree really shines, and they really don’t have a well defined role.
Primarily players take SV for trapping. An argument can be made that CC is really just another form of tanking. Let’s take that a step further and make SV pets actual tanks. Not MT-raid viable necessarily, but definitely 5-man or OT. This would mean addressing the twin problems of being crit and crushed by boss mobs.
Improved Master Tactician (3/3): Your successful ranged attacks have a 12-25% chance to increase your critical strike chance with all attacks by 10% for 8 sec.
This should really help keep MT and in turn EW up even while soloing. Helps make up for the DPS deficit in SV. Good for groups, good for soloing, good for PvP and makes you feel like you’re not wasting 5 points with MT anymore.
Deep Freeze (5/5): Gives your freeze traps 1-5 charges. While active target is immune to damage. A charge is lost when the target is attacked preventing the trap from being broken. When trap duration ends, each charge remaining causes the target to remain frozen for an additional 1s.
This is meant as an alternative to the 2 T9 talents should you not want the pet tank or as a substitute for MT/IMT. Gives traps a bit more utility around those annoying AoE’ers trying to break them. It’s also the prereq to my alternative to Readiness.
Stone Skin(2/2): Increases resilience of hunter and pet by 1-2%
Solid Stance(3/3): Increases defense of hunter by 10-30 and pet by 25-75.
If you put these 2 together, your pet is almost uncritable against a boss mob (0.6% Crit chance left). They also bring PvP back to the SV tree.
Frost Burn: Your Freeze Traps deal 80 damage every 3s, and an additional 500 damage when effect ends. Ignores the damage immunity of Deep Freeze.
Split Shot(5/5) Gives you a 5-25% chance to gain an extra attack when you successfully hit with your regular attacks.
More chances to hit, more IMT, more crits, more EW. Tanking SV’ers will only need the bonus to white damage anyway because of…
Empowered Guardian(1/1): Your pet is enclosed in a portion of the hunter’s soul, causing the hunter to be unable to inflict special attacks. Half of all damage inflicted on the pet is taken by the hunter instead. Grants the pet 50% of all healing done to the hunter and the hunter 50% of healing done to the pet. While active the cost and effect of Mend Pet is doubled. Lasts for 12s.
Lot’s to explain here. This is the place where that last bit of crit and all crushing blows are handled. Rather than trying to become immune, the hunter absorbs some of the damage, making the pet easier to heal. Additionally, each heal will actually heal for 150%, but split between 2 targets. The other thing to notice is that you don’t get DPS+tank with an SV build. Taking with the pet takes the hunter out of the DPS equation. The hunter is limited to auto-shot, auto-attack, traps, mend pet, potions, bandages, and other ‘use’ items. That allows him to continue trapping as needed, and a good chance to keep EW up with IMT. Also note that mend pet will heal the hunter for 50% provided it’s not overhealing.
You’ll notice the 10s cooldown but a 12s duration. The overlap is to give the hunter no excuse for letting the effect down.
Keep in mind that while I’m trying to get pets to be viable tanks, I’m not trying to make them compete with actual players. They should be below their level, and will be, since they cannot ‘gear up’ for it, nor can they become immune to crits and crushes.