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  1. #1

    What is the best pet for…

    This question inevitably pops up from time to time, and rightfully so. As hunters, our pets are one of our defining class characteristics, and it’s noble to want to ensure that we have the right pet for the job at hand.

    However, it’s the notion of what’s “right” that is not always clear. I hope that by condensing this information into one post, we can have a one-stop-shop to provide an answer to any type of “What is the best pet” question.

    Related Resources
    All of the information contained in this guide can be found explained in much more detail on other related sites. Research is your best friend!


    Pet Talent Trees
    First things first, it’s important to understand that every tameable pet in World of Warcraft can have talents to serve as a tank, damage dealer, or utility companion. Under your talent tree (“N” in the default keybinds), you will see a Pet tab that allows you to change between three talent specializations.
    • Tenacity – This is your tanking option. This talent tree makes your pet more durable, take increased healing, and generate increased threat. If you want your pet to hold enemies away from you and your friends, this is the tree to choose.
    • Ferocity – This tree turns your pet into a damage dealer. With this selection, your pet will do more damage, as well as gain some helpful cooldowns to increase attack power, movement speed, and a resurrection spell in case your pet dies.
    • Cunning – If you want your pet to be highly adaptable to aid you in any situation, Cunning may be your best choice. Typically chosen for PVP, Cunning talents allow your pet to protect you, free itself from movement impairments, and protect itself better if its health ever gets low.

    Speaking purely in terms of the benefits provided by these three talent trees, ALL PETS ARE EQUAL. All pets will do the same damage if specced Ferocity. All pets will have the same health and durability if specced Tenacity. All pets will provide the same utility if specced Cunning.

    HOWEVER, this is where the pet similarities end. Each pet has a unique ability that can make one pet much more suited for a certain job than another.

    Pet Abilities
    While the pet talent system allows for extreme flexibility with a single pet, pet abilities can differ greatly from pet to pet, and it’s these abilities that ultimately differentiate one pet from another, and can help guide you towards making a well informed choice regarding what pet to use.

    For example, some pets have unique utility abilities, such as the ability to steal an enemy’s weapon, interrupt spell casting, root an enemy to the ground, or pet an enemy to sleep entirely.

    However, other pets provide important buffs that groups and raids find highly desirable, such as increased critical strike, increased mastery, or increased spell haste. Some pets can even provide additional stats like stamina, agility, intellect, and strength, or the beloved Bloodlust/Heroism buff.

    Still other pets may provide important DEBUFFS that you or your group of friends may like, such as increased physical damage taken, increased spell damage taken, increased bleed damage taken, or slowed casting or attack speed.

    You can read about every single pet ability in existence at Petopia:
    http://www.wow-petopia.com/talents/skills.html

    As you can see, there are literally dozens of options, and it can seem overwhelming to pick from such a large list. However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

    If you understand what each situation in the game calls for, picking an appropriate pet is easy!

    With this in mind, it’s a wiser investment of time to educate yourself about HOW to pick a pet, rather than to just have someone tell you what pet to take. This way, you’re able to make an educated choice in the future if the question ever arises again, and you’re not reliant on others to tell you how to play. "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he can feed a village."

    Leveling
    At the risk of sounding slightly demeaning, your choice of pet while leveling is of almost no consequence. That’s not to say that some aren’t better than others, but no single pet is going to make leveling infinitely easier compared to another.
    While questing, enemies die very quickly and easily. While in dungeon groups, low level tanks (played well) can do more damage than most low level dps classes, so it’s not worth going too far out of your way to try to maximize your damage output at this stage of the game.

    However, if you want to begin educating yourself early on, then kudos to you! Here are some ideas for pet abilities you may want to look for:
    • Roots/Snares – While you’re solo questing, having a pet that can root or snare enemies can be invaluable. You don’t have Misdirection until later levels, so keeping enemies near your pet at all costs can be hugely convenient. For this, check out spiders, crabs, or dogs.
    • Durable Pet – You may also decide that you want a really durable pet if you aren’t having trouble keeping enemies away from you. Some pets have great defensive abilities that can help them survive longer and require less healing. If you want a durable pet, check out turtles.
    • Debuffing in Groups – If you find yourself doing lots of low level dungeons, odds are that you’re going to find yourself up against lots of groups of enemies all at once. Some pets can cast debuffs that make entire groups of enemies attack slower, do less damage, or take more damage from you and your allies. If you want to be a real team player, check out foxes, wind serpents, thunderhawks, bears, carrion birds, or even core hounds (Beast Mastery only).

    PVP
    While there are some definite flavors of the month when it comes to PVP pet choices, what pet will ultimately be the most useful is going to require some analysis from you. I know, you don’t like being told that you have to think and you just want cliffnotes. But trust me: No one can give you one straight answer that is always going to be right.

    It’s important to remember that in PVP, your pet isn’t just a set-and-forget damage dealer that you send after every enemy you fight. If you play like that, then it doesn’t matter AT ALL what pet you pick.

    Keep your pet on passive, control when it attacks, and when it uses its special abilities. These special abilities are what will help you win fights.
    • Against Melee – If you’re having a tough time with melee classes, consider getting a pet that will help you keep them off of you. Some pets can stun, some can do roots/snares, and some can disorient with poop (yes, poop).
    • Against Casters – Casters can be tricky because, like us, they want to stay at range, so pets that work well against melee may not help us against casters. Against casters, look for pets that slow casting speed or interrupt casting.
    • Against Healers – Healers can be frustrating for everyone, especially if you have no way to stop them from healing. If healers are giving you fits, you can try the same approach as anti-caster pets and look for slowed spell casting or interrupting abilities, or you can find a pet that pets a healing debuff on your enemy and makes them receive less healing. However, unfortunately, this ability is only available to Beast Mastery hunters from a devilsaur pet.

    If you do competitive PVP, like Arenas or RBGs, you may want to consider a pet that can help your teammates. Healers love being “peeled” (having melee disabled so that they can escape). Other DPS classes love pets that can control other players, such as monkey poop disorient, or a crane’s lullaby. Remember, your pet can be an asset to other players too!

    PVE
    Once you reach level 90, the biggest concern in any group regardless of size (5, 10, or 25) is the 8 key group buffs:
    • Stamina
    • Stats (Agility, Intellect, Strength)
    • Attack Speed
    • Attack Power
    • Critical Strike
    • Spell Power
    • Spell Haste
    • Mastery

    Any group that you participate in will want to ensure that each member of the group has all 8 of these buffs at all times. 25-man groups rarely have trouble covering all of these buffs, but smaller 5-man and 10-man groups do have difficulty covering them all regularly. Some buffs are arguably more important than others, but as a responsible hunter, you should be prepared to provide the buff that your group needs. This not only improves your whole group’s performance, but it effectively takes you from being “just another DPS” to “contributing group member”.

    Unfortunately, some of these buffs can only be provided by Beast Mastery hunters with exotic pets. So, if your talent specialization of choice is Survival or Marksmanship, you may want to consider picking up Beast Mastery as your second spec if you truly want to be able to provide any buff possible.
    • Stamina – Silithids (Beast Mastery only)
    • Stats – Shale Spiders (Beast Mastery only)
    • Attack Speed – Hyenas, Serpents
    • Attack Power – Provided by Trueshot Aura, just for being a hunter!
    • Critical Strike – Wolves, Quillen (Beast Mastery only), Water Striders (Beast Mastery only)
    • Spell Power – Water Striders (Beast Mastery only)
    • Spell Haste – Sporebats
    • Mastery – Cats, Spirit Beasts (Beast Mastery only)

    Try to stack your 5 on-call pets to provide as many of these buffs as possible, and you’ll be ready for almost any situation in end-game PVE.

    If you’re in a situation where all of these 8 core group buffs are covered regularly by other classes, then, consider bringing a pet that may provide an important raid DEBUFF that may not be covered.

    Spell Damage Taken – Dragonhawk, Wind Serpent
    Physical Damage Taken – Boar, Ravager, Worm (Beast Mastery only)
    Reduced Casting Speed – Goat, Sporebat, Core Hound (Beast Mastery only)
    Reduced Healing Received - Devilsaur (Beast Mastery only)
    Armor Reduction – Raptor, Tallstrider*

    * It's worth noting that Tallstriders are able to debuff armor in AOE, as opposed to a Raptor that does so single target.

    If all buffs and debuffs are covered, your last option would be to consider pets that provide a unique utility. These are highly situational though, and often times don't work against raid bosses, so beware when bringing a pet that doesn't provide a buff or debuff. If you're unsure if a buff or debuff will be covered in your group, this chart may be useful:

    http://i.imgur.com/bhOMs.png

    A popular suggestion, if all buffs are covered, is to opt for a tallstrider as they provide a significant debuff that other raid members will no longer have to worry about:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tehstool
    ...tallstrider would be a candidate for the best pet if all buffs/debuffs are covered. You wouldn't have rogues waste their energy, warriors waste their rage or bear tanks waste a GCD. Not only is it really good for aoe situations, it helps out your tanks.
    Conclusion
    This guide is DEFINITELY not exhaustive, and many other considerations for how to pick a great pet will certainly arise in your adventures. The most important thing, however, is that you know HOW to pick a pet and can do so with confidence knowing that you made an educated choice.

    Feel free to leave any comments for additions, improvements, or corrections!
    Last edited by Skygoneblue; 2013-06-26 at 03:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Stood in the Fire Littlepinch's Avatar
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    Def vote for Sticky!!

  3. #3
    Crit is also provided by Quillen(BM) and Water Striders(BM).

  4. #4
    Isn't the answer always sporebat? For the DPS?

    Great guide, thanks for putting this together!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Skygoneblue View Post

    PVE
    Once you reach level 90, the biggest concern in any group regardless of size (5, 10, or 25) is the 8 key group buffs:


    If you’re in a situation where all of these 8 core group buffs are covered regularly by other classes, then, lucky you! You are, for all purposes, free to choose a pet of your liking.

    While this is true, you're forgetting about Debuffs. A raid isn't fully covered unless all Buffs and Debuffs are there. Most of the time, it'll be debuffs that are forgotten about when PuGs form raids. (Speaking from a 10mans Prospective, like said above, 25man are less likely to be missing Buffs/Debuffs.)

    Some important Debuffs:
    • Spell Damage Taken(8%) - Only provided by Rogue/Warlock -- Wind Serpent
    • Physical Damage Taken(4%) - Only Provided by Ret Pally/DK -- Boar
    • AoE Sunder Armor(12%) - Only thing in game that provides AoE Sunder -- TailStrider (Most useful pet in a 25man, if all buffs/debuffs are covered)


    Collection I keep in my stable, since these are the ones I find most commonly missing.
    • Boar - Physical Damage
    • Wind Serpent - Spell Damage
    • Hyena - Melee Haste
    • Sporebat - Spell Haste
    • Wolf - Crit
    Last edited by Drairon; 2013-06-25 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Grammar Hard!

  6. #6
    Updated the crit buffs, and added more info about debuffing targets in raids. Thanks for the suggestions!

  7. #7
    The Lightbringer Tehterokkar's Avatar
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    Or you can use a chart like this: http://i.imgur.com/bhOMs.png

  8. #8
    Added a link to the chart!

  9. #9
    Yeah, that chart is very useful. I have links to it at http://forums.elitistjerks.com/page/...ry-54-r81#Pets and http://forums.elitistjerks.com/page/...ther_Resources. It does a great job of compressing all of that information into a small table.

    Do you know if anyone has done a chart that includes the Rogue's Smoke Bomb or any other useful raid abilities that may be missing? Raid-wide damage reduction seems like a pretty important buff to list!
    Last edited by Effinhunter; 2014-06-16 at 04:49 PM. Reason: links have changed. responding to thread necro.

  10. #10
    Added this thread to the Helpful Threads sticky. I think you should put that the tallstrider would be a candidate for the best pet if all buffs/debuffs are covered. You wouldn't have rogues waste their energy, warriors waste their rage or bear tanks waste a GCD. Not only is it really good for aoe situations, it helps out your tanks.

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-25 at 09:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Effinhunter View Post
    Yeah, that chart is very useful. I have links to it at http://elitistjerks.com/f74/t132712-...al_and_Utility and http://elitistjerks.com/f74/t132712-...ther_Resources. It does a great job of compressing all of that information into a small table.

    Do you know if anyone has done a chart that includes the Rogue's Smoke Bomb or any other useful raid abilities that may be missing? Raid-wide damage reduction seems like a pretty important buff to list!
    MMO-Champion Raid Comp does this. Not sure if that's exactly what you want. An addon version would be more streamlined.
    Last edited by Tehstool; 2013-06-25 at 09:32 PM.

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tehstool View Post
    MMO-Champion Raid Comp does this. Not sure if that's exactly what you want. An addon version would be more streamlined.

    Does Raid Comp actually include Smoke Bomb's 20% damage reduction for the raid?

    Edit: I'm not seeing it represented on Raid Comp. Similarly, it doesn't appear to account for discipline priest bubbles or several other types of utility. You mentioned addons. Do you know of a specific one that should be recommended for advising on buffs, debuffs, and raid utility-type abilities for better streamlining?
    Last edited by Effinhunter; 2013-06-25 at 09:38 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Effinhunter View Post
    Does Raid Comp actually include Smoke Bomb's 20% damage reduction for the raid?
    It doesn't look like they added that yet, so you might have to just manually count how many rogues are in your raid. If that's not what you were getting at, sorry for misunderstanding what you said.

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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tehstool View Post
    It doesn't look like they added that yet, so you might have to just manually count how many rogues are in your raid. If that's not what you were getting at, sorry for misunderstanding what you said.
    Oh, I was just being greedy for an even more exhaustive chart. I'm guessing someone out there has made a pretty extensive spreadsheet/chart that may help new raid leaders or people who are new to a class figure out exactly what they can bring to the raid.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Effinhunter View Post
    You mentioned addons. Do you know of a specific one that should be recommended for advising on buffs, debuffs, and raid utility-type abilities for better streamlining?
    http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/raid_checklist

    Every hunter should have this. 10M raiders particularly.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralphoenix View Post
    http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/raid_checklist

    Every hunter should have this. 10M raiders particularly.
    Not really. You only need it, when you dont know the other classes buffs & debuffs.

    Ontopic: I just use a Sporebat, since its the best pet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larynx View Post
    For more overused and misunderstood terminology in MMOs, see: Pay to Win, Casual, Hardcore, Carrot on a Stick, Ganking, Trolling

  16. #16
    Added your comment about tallstriders Tehstool.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Yindoo View Post
    Not really. You only need it, when you dont know the other classes buffs & debuffs.

    Ontopic: I just use a Sporebat, since its the best pet.
    And very few people do - or are able to scan a full group of 10 people and in 10 seconds determine what is missing. I'd bet very very few people can do it as quickly as the addon can. I prefer not to waste time. And for those that don't know who provides what, it helps them learn.

  18. #18
    (Hopefully, not a problem to bump a sticky-referenced thread.)

    Just want to say thank you, this is exactly what I came to this forum today to look for. As someone who wants to play my BM hunter a bit more, I wanted to know what's good to have in my toolbox, and this thread delivers. Makes me happy that my first choice for pet was already a Tallstrider.

  19. #19
    Glad it was helpful!

  20. #20
    Mechagnome Ghraxxus's Avatar
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    Oh look, yet another thread that promotes that idiotic sporebat joke.... to bad its the sporebat itself that is the joke.... Hyena and sporebats will be the same damn buff next expansion....

    The true best pet is the TALLSTRIDER

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