The Ultimate Post about Pets

One of the most asked questions about the hunter class that I’ve seen is the question on Pets. Hunters have the widest variety and choices of pets than Warlocks and Death Knights Combined. (Honestly who here really wants to only have five pets that every other Hunter has regardless of Spec?) Pets also provide us with endless hours of fun hunting rare pets. True, some hate hunting rares but I myself am an avid pet hunter and have personally caught Loque’nahak, Skoll, Gondria, King Krush, Aotona, Sambas, Terrorpene, Ghostcrawler, and many others that I’ve encountered in my days.

The main question that this wide variety, and the only problem with having such a wide variety of pets is How do I pick which pet will work for me? Well, to start figuring out which one is best, we need to do something we always have to do when you read my guides: Understand the question being asked before answering the question. 

The basics of pets are actually just this, basic. Pets have three talent trees that they use, just like we do. It’s just that instead of talent trees, they are called types. These types are as follows: Ferocity – damage, Cunning – Versatility, and Tenacity – Soloing/Survivability. They are called types because each pet only has one of these talent trees. Wolves are Ferocity, Turtles are Tenacity, and Spiders are Cunning. It’s as simple as that.

Another basic of pets is something I’ve called The Law of Pet Types. That’s right, I’m that cheesy. The Law of Pet Types simply states:

“All pets of the same type do the same basic DPS, varying only in their default skill, i.e. Bite, Claw, Rip, etc.”

So that means all Ferocity pets do the same damage(Wolf, and Cat), and the same goes for the other types as well.

The First Question:

The first thing you need to think about when choosing your pet is Do you want to PvE, PvP, or RP? The choices of which pet to choose vary dramatically depending on your answer.

 

PvE:

If you said PvE, then good news! You’ve probably picked the easiest option of the three! I say this because since you want you PvE, you want to DPS. And to DPS well, you need to have as much of it as possible. And that means in most cases(definitely not all) your go-to choice will be a Ferocity pet. Popular choices are the Wolf, Cat, or Raptor. But all ferocity pets will do the same.

Then you’ll be asking Well then how the hell will I choose? Why does it even matter what I choose? And to be honest I would have to say that you won’t notice a very big difference either way with any pet you choose as long as it is Ferocity. The reason that everyone says the Wolf is better than other pets is because of their ability Furious Howl. Furious Howl increases your personal attack power by 10%.

Then why would I choose any other kind of pet?

Because of two reasons:

  1. Wolves look dumb as hell. Who wouldn’t want a big ass cat running around with them?
  2. Because the best choice in pets isn’t what benefits you the most, but what benefits the raid the most.

You should choose your pet based not on what increases your DPS, but by what increases your group’s overall DPS the most. There are several group-wide buffs/debuffs that pets can give your group/apply to the boss.

Why would I do that? I don’t want to help out the other DPS? That will just make me look bad!

You ever wipe in ICC with like literally 50,000-100,000 hp left on the boss? Or maybe you wiped with less than 1%? Well, just think about it. If your pet boosts your entire groups DPS by maybe 500-1,500 dps, including the tanks that is 20 people all together. So figure (1,500) x (20) = 30,000 extra damage that your group could have done in the same time frame.

If you figure in extra AoE effects, and various other multipliers not included in DPS calculation, as well as mana-usage vs. time elements as well as the amount of Damage over a reduced fight time, not only would you be able to single-handedly save the group from a wipe and get that LK kill, you could potentially boost your own DPS ratio far greater than if you just being selfish with a Wolf.

Ok how can I adapt to match these different raid composition conditions?

Simple. You need to get at least two Ferocity pets. One with a magic (de)buff, and one with a physical. Then, depending on whether your raid is magic-heavy or physical-heavy you switch between them. If you didn’t understand any of this, watch this fun educational video instead:

PvP:

If you’re choosing to PvP with your hunter you have a tough time ahead of you in finding a pet. I actually can’t really give you any good pets for you to choose from. Of course there are the common pet choices like the Crab, Spider, Ravager, Devilsaurs, Chimeras, etc. But there aren’t any limits to what you could choose. Every pet has a unique play style associated with it. There aren’t many that are not viable either.

I’ve seen people own in BGs with Wolves, Wasps, Raptors, Plainstriders, you name it. It’s simply a matter of finding your own match. You have to decide whether you want a high damage pet which is good for burst(Call of the Wild in the Ferocity tree is pretty damn sexy for MM and BM),  something that will help you survive longer, like mana boosts, quick pet recovery, snares and stuns that help you control your target (Cunning Spiders/Ravagers) or do you want a pet with skills designed to protect you, like Intervene, Last Stand, or Bullheaded(Tenacity Crabs/Bears/Turtles) ?

So what should I take into consideration when choosing my PvP pet?

Well, you really need to take into consideration your average skill level with hunters in general. If you choose a Ferocity pet, you’re leaving behind all the extra PvP utilities, and survival tools that the other two trees give you in favor of damage. That means you need to have mastered the art of mitigating high amounts of damage yourself.

If you want to take a Cunning pet, you need to factor in your level of pet mini-management. If you’re not good at controlling your pet, and getting him to attack (i.e. stun/root) another target, then Cunning might not be the perfect match for you.

Tenacity isn’t much better than cunning. You need good pet management skills. You need to be able to control your pet on the dot if you want to PvP. Even in a small part of PvE, if you can’t control your pet then you aren’t fully utilizing your potential.

Ok that said really nothing about how I choose which one I want.

The only thing I can say is to think about what I said above, and practice different pet styles and find the one that you work best with.

 

RP:

Choosing a pet for RP is a totally different kind of choice. Generally to have a pet for PvP you must think about your character’s story. If your character is of Royalty and he/she has never stepped out of the house, he/she shouldn’t have a Spirit Beast because in the lore, and in the game itself finding a pet like that involves months of dedicated searching and adventuring. Something a sheltered member of royalty doesn’t really have in them.

Take into account your character’s in-Character level, Race, Nationality, etc. It wouldn’t make sense for a Dwarf to have a Frostsaber as an RP pet because ingame only Night Elves can train Frostsabers at Frostsaber Rock in Winterspring. Just like it really wouldn’t make sense for a orc to have a Moth for a pet. Dreanei, maybe. But Orcs? Get real.

 

Other than that, there isn’t much else to say about pets. Seeya guys!

10 Replies to “The Ultimate Post about Pets”

  1. Great guide. It explains the 3 pet types and there roles well. You clearly state that all ferocity pets do have the same basic dps & that one should choose there raiding pet based on preference as apposed to dps. This is because your dps will be about the same no matter what you choose as long as the pet is of the ferocity type.

    I have a wolf and I can say from experience that Furious howl does not make or break my game. Sometimes other hunters do slightly out dps me even though I am the one with the wolf and they are using something else.

    However, I do disagree with you on your opinion that wolves look dumb. I have a really cool looking ghost wolf on my blood elf and I see it as my best friend. People often ask me where I got it. If you happen to really like wolves, don’t let this guys cat fetish stop you from taming one. Just get any ferocity pet that you like. That was the real point I think he was trying to get at anyway.

  2. Well, you pretty much summed up all there is about pet for PvE. I would, however, like to add in a little bit on the PvP side.

    If you’re going to be serious about PvP and go ‘hard in teh paintz’ then the pet you pick would obviously be the pet that provides some sort of PvP utility. For example type specific abilities such as Roar of Sacrifice or Intervene that may be needed at a moment’s notice. Or, you could go even deeper and go for species specific abilities such as Web, Ravage, or Pin. What pet you pick completely depends on your preferred play style.

    Lets take myself for example. I like to play the annoying Hunter who max distance’s everyone with my 3/3 Hawk eye, so therefore I’d need a pet that makes kiting easier. My preferred choice would be the Spider because of it’s Web ability, a 5 second root with a 30 yard range, this in my opinion is simply epic. Another pet that would do well in situations such as this is the Crab. Not only does the Crab have a 4 second Pin, it also has Intervene which can be used to mitigate gap closer’s eg. Charge or Death Grip.

    Besides choosing the correct pet according to your play style, pet management is just as important. You wouldn’t want to send in your pet willy nilly and end up having it reck-stormed to death would you? I suppose you wouldn’t. I constantly keep my pet on Passive stance and what I would suggest is making pet command macros which would look like this:

    #showtooltip
    /petfollow (petfollow since the ability is ranged and doesn’t require the pet to be in melee range)
    /cast web

    or

    #showtooltip
    /petattack (petattack because this ability requires the pet to be within melee range)
    /cast ravage

    or you could simply have /petfollow and /petattack macros to send your pet back and forth for DPS and utility.

    Another thing you want to make sure to do is to keep your pet’s health topped up as they go down pretty quickly.

    Feel free to ask/comment if you have any further questions or opinions.

  3. I know it’s not really what most people choose, but playing a NE hunter with a cat pet can be great in BGs because you can both stealth camp a node.

    1. I been have learning a lot of this myself on my second hunter. After experiencing how Shadowmeld and prowl combo so well together, I can see why Donorbashed has such a big cat fetish. Cats & Spirit Beasts just go together way to well with Night Elf hunters. Truth be told, my Blood elf main on horde is a little jellos of the Elves on Alliance that can shadowmeld. Arcane Torrent is kind of a useless racial for hunters as it can only be used at close range, something us hunters normally want to avoid.

        1. Oh I didn’t realize you would take offense to that statement. Sorry.

          I just kind of got the impression you where a cat person when you made fun of wolves and talked up your cat in your guide above is all. I guess it’s my fault for making that assumption.

  4. I was looking over some other guides around the web about choosing hunter pets and I noticed something this guide does not mention at all.

    Although it’ not considered as important as pet tree & family, skills as brought up above. Diet is another factor one should consider when choosing a pet. If you have a hard time for example getting your hands on bread and cheese, while also being really bad at fishing. You might not want to pick a wind serpent as a pet as you will have a hard time feeding it. If you can’t feed your pet, you can’t keep it happy and if your pet is not happy, it will cut into the pets dps.

    It is considered wise to pick a pet that you can get food for easily.

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