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.
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:
- Wolves look dumb as hell. Who wouldn’t want a big ass cat running around with them?
- 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:
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.
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!