Hunter Pet Guide 5.3 +

I decided to update Paks old pet guide thread, as she left wow when life happened.

I will update this as things change.

before we begin, please read...
ALL pets have the same stats. Therefore, they will do the same DPS. The only difference between pets are their abilities and whatever specialization is chosen. Pets are almost entirely situational.
See the "What pet should I get?" part of my post for a basic gist of what pets you should use in different situations.

Table of Contents
-The Basics
-"What pet should I get?" PVE & PVP (+Stampede!)
-Pet Families & Their Abilities
-Be Aware!
-FAQ/Additional Information

The Basics

How to tame a pet.

To tame a new pet, you first need to level your hunter at least to level 10. At that level, you get the spell tame beast, along with the ability to controll your pet (tell it to atack, folow, passive (atacks nothing unless told to), defensive (atacks only if something damages you or your pet), assist (atack what you are attacking, target changing has a small delay if the old target is still alive).

To tame a beast you need an empty active pet slot, which can be achieved by visiting a stablemaster and puting your pet in the stable (mandatory before level 18, which is when you get call pet 2 and your second active pet slot), or by waiting untill you get a new active pet slot (which happens at lv 18, 42, 62, and 82). The stable master can store up to 50 pets for you, enabling you to have up to 55 different pets tamed at any one time
(50 inactive/stabled + 5 active). If for some reason you reach your limit (it still happens, even though we nolonger are limited to 20, or 5), you can abandon your pet by sumoning it, right clicking on its health bar, and clicking abandon pet. This is permanent, to beable to call on that pet agian, you will have to go and retame it.

Once you have an empty pet slot, you go find the beast you desire to tame, cast the tame beast spell, and when it finishes, you will have tamed the pet. Now, it can fail for one of a few reasons. A) if over lv 18, you have an active pet out, gota dismiss any active pets in order to tame a new one, regardless of if you have an extra empty pet slot or not. B) some one else gets agro on it, unless you have agro (meaning its atacking you and you are on the top of its threat table), you cant tame it. Some people like to mess with hutners by taunting or attacking a beast they are trying to tame. Or if you have a friend healing you, the healer can unintentionally gain agro just by healing you. Finally C) if the pet (or you) dies (or in certain cases with certain pets having the ability to interrupt the tame beast cast, be it by stun or an actual interupt/silence mechanic), it will fail.

Tricks to avoid geting killed by the pet you want to tame involve use of snares/roots, using freezing trap to encase your pet in a block of ice, wyvern sting, and concusive shot. For most pets, this is a non issue, for some rarespawn pets (toward ice crown and cata) however, it may be needed.

Pet Spellbook
Pets have their own spellbook! The Pet tab is listed in your own Spellbook (default P) and is at the bottom, between the Professions and Core Abilities Tab.

The Pet tab has a list of the pet's Basic Attacks, Special Abilities, Attack/Follow/Move To/Stay commands, Assist/Defensive/Passive Stances, and Passive abilities. Basic Attacks and Special Abilities will generally be able to be autocast by the pet (some exceptions apply). You will know if an ability is on autocast if a glowing gold border (yellow/gold dots going in one direction around the border) surrounds it. Turn off autocast simply by right clicking the ability. (it will have no dots on the border at all, let alone moving, if it is turned off).

Pet Specializations
The hunter can change their pet's specialization by going to their Talent window (default N) and going to the Pet tab at the bottom, after the Glyphs tab. Simply select the spec you would like for you pet (Ferocity, Tenacity, Cunning) and click "Learn" below the listed abilities.

Note: BM Hunters have a passive ability called Exotic Beasts that used reduce the CD of pet abilities by 30%. This is no longer true. DPS related abilities have had cds shortened, and many ccs got even longer cds.

Ferocity - The go-to DPS spec, generally preferred in PVE with some perks to PVP. Your pet will dish out the most damage in this spec, and is best when used in Instances and Raids.
Ferocity specific abilities and passives:
-Rabid - 70% increased attack speed for 20 sec. 90 sec CD
-Heart of the Phoenix - Instantly revives pet to full health. 8 min CD
-Dash - 80% increased movement speed for 16 sec. 32 sec CD
-Spike Collar - Increases Basic Attack damage, attack speed, and critical strike chance by 10%.

Tenacity - The tank spec. This is best for soloing and leveling, as the pet will take a lot of damage and this pet spec is focused on keeping aggro and pet survivability. Not advised in Instances or Raids.
Tenacity specific abilities and passives:
-Last Stand - Pet gains 30% of its max health for 20 sec. Health is lost at the end of the effect. 6 min CD
-Charge - Rushes and immobilizes the target for 1 sec., increasing melee attack power by 25% for the pet's next attack. 25 sec/17.5 sec CD
-Thunderstomp - 8 yard AOE nature damage, generates a moderate amount of threat. 10 sec CD
-Blood of the Rhino - Increases healing received by the pet by 40%, increases pet's armor by 20%, and reduces pet's chance to be critically hit by 6%.
-Great Stamina - Increases pet's health by 12%.

Cunning - This is the spec that is generally best for PVP. It provides more survivability for both the Hunter and the Pet.
Cunning specific abilities and passives include:
-Roar of Sacrifice - Protects the target, preventing critical strikes. However, the pet takes 20% of the damage the target takes during this time. Lasts 12 sec. 1 min CD
-Bullheaded - Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects that result in loss of control of the pet. Reduces the damage the pet takes by 20% for 12 sec. 3 min CD
-Dash - 80% increased movement speed for 16 sec. 32 sec CD
-Cornered - Pet deals 50% more damage and has a 60% less chance to be critically hit when the pet has less than 35% health.
-Boar's Speed - Movement speed increased by 30%.

All pet specs receive Combat Experience, which increases all damage done by your pet by 50%.

"What pet should I get?" PVE & PVP
Remember that in almost all cases as BM, Exotic pets will want to be chosen over their normal counterparts (for example, Quilen > Wolf). Different pet abilities will be listed in the next post.

Solo: Select a pet, any pet! If you kill things fast enough, go ahead and spec it Ferocity. If not, or if there's that one mob that's just giving you trouble, you can freely spec it Tenacity! When soloing instances, old raids, etc., Tenacity is almost always the way to go. Remember that Beetles and Turtles are some of the best tanking pets, due to their shield ability.
Stampede no longer matters, it is an extra damage ability that is now only slightly stronger than the damage portion of dire beast. Still worth using due to free focus cost and dealing some damage, but pet choice no longer affects this.
For a more in-depth solo guide, this sticky is very helpful:

Instances: Pick 5 buff/debuff pets of your choice, spec them Ferocity, and you should be good to go. There is no specific pet that will help you top the DPS meters - Pick one of your pets that provides a buff or debuff that your current group can't provide, and boom! This will help both you as well as everyone else in the group.
Stampede - Make sure all pets are Ferocity specced. Stampede pets can now only auto attack, bring whatever you want, ferocity spec will be somewhat stronger due to spiked collar increasing attack speed by 10%, but no other pet abilities can be used.

Raids: More than likely, your raid leader or group will let you know what buff/debuff they are missing and will ask you to bring. If all buffs and debuffs are covered, you're free to bring whatever you want!
Stampede – bring whatever, stampede pets now auto attack only.

PVP: As BM, you'll almost always want a Spirit Beast as your active pet. Shale Spiders can be pretty handy too, with 5% stats and a 3 sec stun. As MM/SV, I see a lot of hunters like to go with some form of CC pet - Crane for a sleep, Monkey for a Blind, Owl for Disarm, and so on.
Stampede - as of a recent 5.3 hotfix, stampede pets can now only auto attack, if you dismiss pets/use abandon pet trick, your extra pets can be whatever you feel is needed.
Pet Families & their Abilities
All pet families have their own family abilities. Some families share abilities, with minor differences between duration, CD, etc.
The BM passive Exotic Beasts no longer reduces cds.

Basilisks - Petrifying Gaze: 3 sec. Stun, causes target to become Invulnerable. 20 yd range2 min CD AKA hunter version of druids cyclone.

Bats - Sonic Blast: 2 sec. Stun, 20 yd range, 2 min CD

Bears - Demoralizing Roar: Reduces physical damage caused by all enemies by 10% for 15 sec., melee range, 10 sec CD. Debuff

Beetles - Harden Carapace: Reduces damage taken by 50% for 12 sec., 1 min CD

Birds of Prey - Snatch: 8 sec. Disarm, melee range, 1 min CD

Boars - Gore: 4% increased physical damage taken for 30 sec., melee range, 10 sec CD Debuff

Carrion Birds - Demoralizing Screech: Reduces physical damage caused by all enemies in 5 yards by 10% for 10 sec., melee range, 10 sec CD. Debuff

Cats - Roar of Courage: 3k mastery for 1 min, 100 yd range, 45 sec CD. Raidwide Buff, Prowl: Stealth, 50% reduced movement speed, 20% bonus damage to first attack. 10 sec CD

Crabs - Pin: 4 sec. Root, melee range, 40 sec CD

Cranes- Lullaby: 4 sec. Sleep, 20 yd range, 2 min CD

Crocolisks - Ankle Crack: 50% reduced movement speed for 6 sec., melee range, 10 sec CD

Dogs - Lockjaw: 4 sec. Root, melee range, 40 sec CD

Dragonhawks - Fire Breath: 5% increase to Magic Damage taken for 45 sec., 40 yd range, 30 sec CD. Debuff

Foxes - Tailspin: All enemies have casting speed decreased by 50% NPC and 10% PVP for 30 sec, 10 yd range, 10 sec CD. Debuff

Goats - Trample: All enemies have casting speed decreased by 50% NPC and 10% PVP for 30 sec, 10 yd range, 10 sec CD. Debuff

Gorrillas - Pummel: 2 sec. interupt, melee range, 30 sec CD

Hyenas - Cackling Howl: Melee & Ranged attack speed increased by 10% for 2 min, 100 yd range, 1.5 min CD. Raidwide Buff

Monkeys - Bad Manner: 4 sec. Blind, 20 yd range, 2 min CD

Moths - Serenity Dust: 4 sec. interrupt, 25 yd range, 1 min CD

Nether Rays - Nether Shock: 2 sec. interrupt , 20 yard range, 40 sec CD

Porcupines - Paralyzing Quill: 2 sec. AOE Incapacitate, 2 min CD

Raptors - Tear Armor: Weakens armor by 4%. Lasts 30 sec., melee range, Stacks 3 times. 6 sec CD. Debuff

Ravagers - Ravage: 4% increased physical damage taken for 25 sec., melee range, 15 sec CD Debuff

Scorpids - Clench: 10 sec. Disarm, melee range, 1 min CD

Serpents - Serpent's Swiftness: Melee & Ranged attack speed increased by 10% for 2 min, 100 yard range, 1.5 min CD. Raidwide Buff

Spiders - Web: 5 sec. Root, 30 yd range, 40 sec CD

Sporebats - Spore Cloud: Reduces casting speed of all enemies in 6 yards by 50%PVE/10%PVP for 10 sec.,6 yd range, 8 sec CD stationary debuff (debuff cloud); Energizing Spores: Increases Spell Haste by 5%. Raidwide Buff aura

Tallstriders - Dust Cloud: Weakens armor by 4% to all targets around the tallstrider. Lasts 30 sec., Stacks 3 times, all 3 stacks applied instantly. Melee range, 25 sec CD. Debuff

Turtles - Shell Shield: 50% reduced damage taken for 12 sec., 1 min CD

Warpstalkers - Time Warp: 50% reduced movement speed for 6 sec., 25 yd range, 15 sec CD

Wasps - Sting: 2 sec. Stun, melee range, 90 sec CD

Wind Serpents - Lightning Breath: 8% increase to Magic Damage taken for 45 sec., 40 yd range, 30 sec CD. Debuff

Wolves - Furious Howl: 5% Crit for 1 min, 100 yd range, 45 sec CD. Raidwide Buff

Exotic pets will almost always want to be chosen over their normal counterparts, such as Spirit Beasts over Cats or Quilens over Wolves. Exotics can ONLY be tamed and used by Beast Mastery Hunters that are at least level 69.

Chimaeras - Frost Breath: 5 sec. Slow, 30 yd range, 10 sec. CD, Froststorm Breath: AOE damage for 8 sec. 35 yd range, no CD, channeled & Hunter activated

Core Hounds - Lava Breath: 50%PVE/10%PVP Reduced cast speed for 10 sec., 30 yd range 8 sec. CD Debuff, Ancient Hysteria: Heroism on 6 min CD. Hunter Activated

Devilsaurs - Terrifying Roar: 5% Crit for 1 min, 100 yd range, 45 sec. CD. Raidwide Buff, Monstrous Bite: 25% Reduced Healing for 10 sec., melee range, 8 sec. CD. Debuff

Quilen - Fearless Roar: 5% Crit for 2 min, 100 yd range, 45 sec. CD. Raidwide Buff, Eternal Guardian: Battle Resurrection, 20 yd range, 10 min CD, Hunter Activated

Rhinos - Stampede: 4% increased physical damage taken for 30 sec., melee range, 15sec. CD Debuff, Horn Toss: Knockback, 90 sec CD, Hunter Activated

Shale Spiders - Web Wrap: 3 sec. Stun, 30 yd range, 90 sec. CD, Embrace of the Shale Spider: 5% Stats Raidwide Buff

Silithids - Venom Web Spray: 5 sec. Root, 30 yd range, 40 sec. CD, Qiraji Fortitude: 10% Stamina, 100 yd range Raidwide Buff

Spirit Beasts - Spirit Beast Blessing: 3k Mastery for 1 min, 100 yd range, 45 sec. CD. Raidwide buff, Spirit Mend: Heal with a HoT for 10 sec, 25 yd range, 30 sec. CD, Spirit Walk: Stealth, 50% reduced movement speed, 20% bonus damage to first attack. 10 sec CD

Water Striders - Surface Trot: Water Walking for Hunter & Pet, Still Water: 10% Increased Spellpower and 5% Crit, 100 yd range Raidwide Buff

Worms - Acid Spit: 4% increased physical damage taken for 25 sec., 30 yd range, 10 sec. CD Debuff, Burrow Attack: AOE nature damage for 8 sec., 35 yd range, 14 sec CD, Hunter Activated

"Skill" Pets
These pets require a specific skill to tame. Direhorns are currently the only pet family that requires a skill. Ancient Tome of Dinomancy drops off of Dinomancers on the Isle of Giants, and these tomes teach the required skill to tame these beasts.

Direhorns - Deflects all spells in front of the Direhorn for 6 sec., 30 sec CD
Be Aware!

Soloing, Instances, Raids, and your Pet.
Tenacity specced pets are generally the best to use when soloing. They can take a higher amount of damage and are just generally tougher to take down.

When soloing and/or leveling with a Tenacity specced pet and queing for random dungeons, ALWAYS remember to turn off BOTH Growl AND Thunderstomp upon entering the dungeon, as they both generate aggro. It is best to dismiss your solo/leveling pet for a Ferocity specced pet, but changing the pet's spec is also very simple.

Also, remember to turn off ALL of your pet's Growls and Thunderstomps when in Instances or Raids once you get the Stampede ability at level 87. They will autocast these abilities if left turned on, and this can annoy the tank. Prove that not all hunters are bad! You will also do more damage with Stampede if all of your pets are specced for Ferocity.

Certain pets are better for certain situations - a Ferocity specced Turtle would do the same DPS as a Ferocity specced Cat if all buffs and debuffs are covered. However, if any buffs or debuffs are missing in your group, then a pet that brings that buff/debuff will do much better than a pet who doesn't, for everybody in your group as well as yourself.

Again, here is a more in-depth solo guide:

PVP Situations
As BM, your pet is a major source of your damage. You should always be aware of where your pet is and who it is attacking. As MM or SV, pets are not as big a source of damage, but you should still keep an eye on your pet.

Cunning is the best spec for your pet in most PVP situations. However, if your pet tends to get focused, then Ferocity spec with Heart of the Phoenix may provide some relief as you won't have to cast a long Revive Pet more than necessary. Ferocity will also provide more damage and burst in a PVP environment.

FAQ & Additional Info

-To view all pet families and their respective looks, Petopia is an amazing site:
The stampede section is worthless now that stampede is... worthless.

EDIT: Read further and you addressed that.
This was a preexisting guide for the most part, in which Me and pak had discused and tested stampede to figure out tricks and benifits and costs. I had to edit those out, I missed a small paragraph, thats been deleted now.
I did not see it, not seeing much with this optical migraine but is on there?
I did not see it, not seeing much with this optical migraine but is on there?
Yep, very bottom of last post, near the reserved posts.
06/13/2013 09:51 AMPosted by Eurugan
I did not see it, not seeing much with this optical migraine but is on there?
Yep, very bottom of last post, near the reserved posts.
Thanks, I added this next to Pak's thread in mine.

Yep, very bottom of last post, near the reserved posts.
Thanks, I added this next to Pak's thread in mine. [/quote]

You do realize that paks thread is the same as this one, just out of date right. Do you really need her thread in yours now?

You do realize that paks thread is the same as this one, just out of date right. Do you really need her thread in yours now?
Probably not but I need to walk away from the computer and hit a dark room for a while. It doesn't hurt too much but I need be able to drive later and this is getting bad. I change it later.
Fair enough, hope your headache gets better soon.
As far as a raid environment goes if all the buffs are covered by players then a pet is purely aesthetic aside from picking which talent you want to bring i.e. feroicy, cunning, or tenacity correct. I mean there is no one area of hunter pets in the ferocity tree that does more damage than the others.

Reason I ask this is I was told by a hunter on my server that Skoll the spirit beast wolf does more damage than the other ferocity/spirit beast pets.
That is incorrect, all pets speced ferocity deal exactly the same amount of damage, provided rabid is on autocast and all raid buffs and debuff are covered.

That said, the tallstrider is unique in that it can put an instant 3 stack of sunder armor on anything with in melee range, something no other class can do. While other classes can provide the debuff, few if any can do it in an aoe manner, and only a couple can put 3 stacks all at once on a single target (which is irrelevant as you almost always have a melee who will use an ability that would apply one stack and thus maintain the buff on pure single target fights.) Thus on an aoe heavy fight, for BM and MM mainly (SV's main aoe component is magic and not covered), a tall strider will be better than any other ferocity pet.

Spirit beasts all deal the exact same damage, at one point, different rares had different stats, and rares tended to be stronger than non rares, and skoll might have been stronger at that point than the other spirit beast options at the time, however around wrath, they did away with different members of the same family being stronger than one another, in cata, all pets of the same spec can do same damage, and as of mists, all pets specced in the same spec will do the same damage, provided no raid buffs are missing, and none of the physical damage debuffs are missing (physical damage debuff and sunder armor).

A spirit wolf and a spirit bear have the exact same stats, buffs, heal, stealth, and damage when specced in ferocity provided rabid is on auto cast, and provided both stay alive during the fight.
In order for skoll to do more damage than other spirit beasts, certain contidions would have to be met.

1) Bug, sometimes certain abilities bug when they activate before the pet is dismissed and the realm is restarted or a major patch comes out, causing the buff to last for a matter of days.

2) stat scaling, as of cata (and mists with the ability to change pet spec), pets have stats based on your stats, inheriting a portion of your ranged attack power as melee atack power, inheriting all of your hit/expertise/crit/melee and pure haste stats. In order for skoll to be stronger than other spirit beasts, hed have to inherit more atack power, as all pets inherit your stats. You can check this by sumoning 2 different spirit beasts and opening the charecter pane and clicking beasts, make sure you have no buffs fall off between comparisons. They may inherit all of our attack power, or just a portion of it, either way their abilities, and abilities like KC, operate around the attack power they inherit from us, and this includes their auto attack damage.

3) user error, if testing this on recount/skada/any other dps meter, you have to acount for the folowing factors.
go for the throat procs, auto shot crits grant your pet 15 focus if BM
BS tallent, boost pet basic attack damage by 50%
Fervor usage - sinergizes with blink strikes and wild hunt mechanic (at over 50 focus basic atacks cost double focus and deal double damage, with blink strikes, thats 300% of a below 50 focus basic attack with out the blink strike tallent) fervor increases wild hunt uptime, combined with blink strikes, you start seeing more dps than direbeast can acount for (also adding in BMs mastery bonus).
Frenzy stack usage, your pet beifits from frenzy stack, geting 4% atack speed, caping at 20% bonus at 5 stacks, that boosts his dps, if you use focus fire at the wrong time (consuming frenzy stacks but giving pet 4 focus per stack), your dps wil drop due to pet missing out on frenzy stacks.
BW Plus frenzy stack issues (want to have 5 stacks of frenzy on BW, if you ont your pets dps will look weaker).
Boss mechanic issues (say you dont stand in puddles on jinrok, pet gets puddle beinfit when you stand in the conductive water), air phases, target swaping during BS's 20 sec teleport cd (does not affect the 50% dmg bonus to basic attacks) all cost dps.
Beast cleave (will affect pets dps)
Cobra strike procs (15% chance on arcane shot hit to make pets next 2 basic atacks have a 100% crit chance).
KC usage

There are plenty of ways that a hunter who does not think this through could get interesting results pointing to a certain spirit beast doing more dps than another, and that doesnt even consider the hunter failing to notice times when the stonger spirit beast is weaker than normal due to mistakes.

and this can happen with any pet. Back when certain rares were stronger than one another, pet stats didnt scale with yours, they scaled with the pets lv much like our base stats increase with each lv. the original tame stats, including attack speed, caused some pets to be stronger than others, but as of cata and mists, pet stats scale with ours, enabling pets to scale with gear.
A buddy of mine who also plays a hunter was doing some testing on a simcraft... I am not sure which one but he did two sims full raid buffs, i.e. food, prepot, flasks ect. One sim he did with using focus fire and the other not using it all. Basically a Patchwork fight with no movement just stand and dps your !@# off... The sim of not using focus fire at all showed dps was 400 to 1k higher than the sim that used it. This leads me to believe that Focus Fire is a wasted talent and its better to just allow you pet to keep the stacks of frenzy.
If you can line it up 100% corectly with out having them absent at the wrong time, focus fire is only a small dps gain, using it at the wrong time is a large dps loss. unless you can figure out out to use it correctly, and do so with out making mistakes repeatedly in todays mechanic heavy fights, it is recommended that you take focus fire and remove it from your action bars (to keep you from accidentally hitting it and causing dps loss due to natural human error).
Is there bug or something with Skoll right now? He is the pet that I usually use but I have noticed that not once today have I gained any stacks of frenzy with him out. I switched to a cat I have and he started building stacks of frenzy right away.

I thought it may have been just I was killing mobs fast with him so I went to a target dummy and tested it.. I went through 3 BW cd's and not one stack of frenzy was generated with Skoll pet... once I pulled my cat out he had full 5 stacks of frenzy by the time my first BW cd was up.
See blink strikes related bug, around the time 5.3 hit, the changes done to basic attacks caused pets to forget how to use basic attacks. When I can get back to a computer ( on smart phone right now) I'll see if I can help you. Short answer, the work around involves actually using blink strikes(which you are doing) also there are issues with big red and target dummies and the walls behind them (causing pets to get stuck part way in the ground, able to move around, but due to pet attacks requiring line of sight, unable to use basic attacks). Only happens with some pets (my skol doesn't have the bug, don't know why)

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