Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have Pet, Will Travel

So one of the more interesting changes to hunters has been the pet buff.  For those of you that play the way less cool, non hunter classes, our pets can now provide a party/raid wide buff.  Each family of pet provides a different type of buff.

Petopia has a really well done list of all the pets and all their special abilities.

Every hunter now gets to carry around 4 pets at any given time and the stable has been expanded to 25 slots.  That means you can have a pet for nearly every situation plus a few just because they're pretty.

For now lets just concern ourselves with our pets in a raid situation.  Here's a quick list of quality raiding buff pets that should be a part of a hunter's stable.  As usual, exotic pets are only available to Beast Mastery hunters.

Ferocity Pet Buffs
  • Agility and Strength: Cat, spirit beast (exotic)
  • Burst Haste: Corehound (exotic)
  • 5% crit: Wolf, Devilsaur (exotic)
  • 12% armor debuff: Raptor
  • 30% bleed damage: Hyena
  • Cast speed reduction: Corehound (exotic)
  • 10% melee attack speed reduction: Tallstrider, Fox (Cata)

Cunning Pet Buffs
  • Health: Silithid (exotic)
  • 12% armor debuff: Serpent
  • Cast speed reduction: Sporebat
  • 4% physical damage taken: Ravager
  • 8% spell damage taken: Dragonhawk, Wind serpent

Tenacity Pet Buffs
  • 5% stats: Shale Spider (exotic & Cata)
  • 12% physical damage: Bear
  • 30% bleed damage: Rhino (exotic), Boar
  • 4% physical damage taken: Worm (exotic)

Now its all well and good to say "okay Cheres I'll go tame a cat, a silithid and a wolf and I'll cover all the important things".  Not so fast!  Buffs by a pet are always inferior to buffs from a player.  Why is that you ask?  Because no one will heal your pet.  Ever.  Not even by mistake.  Your pet is like a rogue, it refuses to see that its in the fire taking damage.  Also like a rogue your pet will die more often than not.  There is a better than good chance that the healers will heal the Druid who buffed the raid.

You need to have a working knowledge of what other classes bring to the table and work your pets in around that.  Here is a list of every raid buff available to pets and the player classes that also bring them to the dance.

  • Agility and Strength cat, spirit beast (exotic), DK, Shaman, Warrior
  • Burst Haste corehound (exotic), Shaman, Mage
  • Health silithid (exotic); Warlock, Warrior, Priest
  • 5% Crit wolf, devilsaur (exotic), Fury Warrior, Feral Druid, Sub Rogue, Ele shaman
  • 5% Stats shale spider (exotic), Paladin, Druid
  • 12% Armor Debuff serpent, raptor, Warrior, Rogue, Druid
  • 10% Physical Damage Debuff bear, Warrior, Druid, Prot Paladin, Warlock, Blood DK
  • 30% Bleed Damage Debuff rhino (exotic), boar, hyena, Arms Warrior, Feral Druid, Sub Rogue
  • 30% Cast Speed Reduction sporebat, corehound (exotic), Warlock, Rogue, Arcane Mage 
  • 25% Healing Taken devilsaur (exotic), Arms & Fury Warriors Hunter, Rogue, Frost Mage, Shadow Priest
  • 10% Melee Attack Speed Debuff tallstrider, fox, Warrior, DK, Feral Druid, Prot Paladin
  • 4% Physical Vulnerability worm (exotic), ravager, Arms Warrior, Combat Rogue, Frost DK
  • 8% Spell Damage Taken dragonhawk, wind serpent, Warlock, Unholy DK, Balance Druid, Assassination Rogue

Make sure you realize that three of these buffs buffs are provided only by exotic pets: burst haste (heroism/bloodlust), stamina (pw:fortitude), and 5% stats (kings/motw).  To have them you will need a BM spec.

See now you say "but Cheres it takes so much work and time to go out, tame a pet, name a pet and then level it to 80!111ONE11!!."  Not so much.  If you are level 80 any pet you tame will become level 77 or its natural level if that is higher.   Four random dungeons later your pet is level 80.  There goes your excuse.

Here's a short list of pets to tame for raids so you're not out there all over the place taming everything.
  • Cat
  • Corehound
  • Silithid
  • Wolf
  • Shale Spider (cata)
  • Raptor
  • Bear
  • Hyena
  • Sporebat
  • Tallstrider or Fox
  • Ravager
  • Dragonhawk or Wind Serpent 
I'm personally about halfway through the list.  I'd be done but I got distracted by the need to run ZG as often as possible and the joy one can only find with an Ele shaman.

The best part of all these pets and buffs is now we're even more useful in a raid!  Hot damn!  Our utility is further expanded!  We are even cooler than before!  Take that mages and your stupid nutty crits!  But you have to be in it to win it.  You need to not only tame pets but prove that you know when to use them.

I'll be honest I've seen a few hunters that have not bothered to work on their pets.  You can still see a raid with 3 wolves in it.  Some use pets that bring absolutely nothing to the table by way of buffs.   That's no different than not bringing any consumables or forgetting to gem some gear.  They aren't bringing their A game to the raid.  Simple as that.

Embrace more of the new you.  Fill up those stable slots!


  1. I can't tell you how excited I am for Cata to come around and to be able to start my new Hunter. (Old one sitting in the wings waiting for retirement...)

  2. I'm that rare breed of player that's had a hunter since day one so I've seen quite a lot go down with this class. Relearning the class has been some work but I have to tell you I really do prefer this version of the class to anything else its ever been.

    Now if I could just get past that mental block that prevents me from perfecting my jump shot...

  3. Yep, this really makes me want to roll a hunter. Come on Cata!

  4. Love the post but you may want to update it a bit. Some of the pet class bluffs can come from more than one type of pet. Here are a few examples:
    12% armor debuff = Raptors or Serpents
    5% Crit = Wolf or Devilsaur
    4% Increase Physical Dmg = Ravager or Worm
    8% Spell Dmg = Dragonhawk or Windserpent
    Strength + Agil buff = Cats or Spirit Beasts
    30% Bleed Debuff = Boar or Hyena or a Rhino
    20% Melee & Range Attack Speed = Tailstrider or Fox

    So as you can see this gives you a little more choice in your selections of pets. Also, I've read that a Devilsaur's Monstrous Bit ability stacks with the Widow Venom shot causing a 50% reduction in healing although I have not tried it out.
    Thanks for a great post! I hope this info helps...

    NE Hunter
    Ravenholdt Nightingales
    Trollbane, US

  5. Thank you so much for the info, I'll get to updating. I had no idea about the stacking heal reduction, will make arena's with a BM hunter nutty.