Tracking and Taming the Elusive Spirit Beasts!
Many players want to stand out with something unique that other players will notice and admire. Most players go for noncombat companions or mounts, but for Hunters, it’s fun to find and use a pet that many players may not know about or don’t want to put the time or effort into taming.
Probably one of the most unique, most sought after, and most admired pets are the Spirit Beasts!
Spirit Beasts are an exotic animal that only Beast Mastery Hunters with the proper talent are able to tame. That talent is appropriately called “Beast Mastery.”
Spirit Beasts have some unique abilities that make them ideal for not only soloing, but in groups as well. “Spirit Mend” is a healing spell the Spirit Beast can cast on a selected target. Many times, the Spirit Beast will auto cast it on himself or the Hunter when health is getting low, but the player can activate the spell themselves by targeting the one they want healed and clicking the ability. This is wonderful for soloing when a Hunter might not have food or bandages available, or if you’re in the middle of combat and your health is getting low, it’s great for a quick boost up.
The other ability is called “Roar of Courage” (also available from the Cat family) which increases the Strength and Agility of all party and raid members. This increases the attack power of all physical damage dealers (i.e. Rogues, Warriors, Paladins, Hunters, Druids). Sorry, casters! There are other Hunter pets out there that will increase your spell damage done to a target, but the Spirit Beast isn’t one of them! For those wanting a beast to increase spell damage done to a target, take a look at wind serpents or dragonhawks.
Before you set out on finding the Spirit Beast of your choice, there is a very helpful addon you can pick up that will make it easy to spot nearby Spirit Beasts (and other rare mobs). Instead of sitting at your computer all day spamming a target macro, this addon will allow you to read a book, watch a movie, or alt tab and do something else on the computer, and it will alert you when the Spirit Beast has spawned. That addon is called “NPCScan” and is available from Curse.com and other World of Warcraft addon sites. Once installed and before logging in, be sure to delete your cache (located in the World of Warcraft file on your computer). This addon works by alerting you when the rare spawn is cached, so be sure to delete your cache every time before you log into the game. This is important even if you haven’t seen a rare spawn in awhile because they’ll always be cached when you’re in a capitol city and another Hunter is using one as a pet! I also recommend turning off all of your game sounds so you can be sure to hear the alert when it goes off. Sometimes I like to leave the background music playing, which does not detract from the sound of the alert.
If you want to increase your chances for a successful tame, try offering a reward in General chat if someone else finds it. Once you’ve located the Spirit Beast, drop a Freezing Trap at your feet. Many of the Spirit Beasts will leap to you once you’ve pulled them (most notably Loque’Nahak and Karoma), and if you’ve stepped away from your trap, they’ll jump right over it, rendering it useless.
There are six Spirit Beasts as of patch 4.0. They are:
- Loque’Nahak, leopard
- Gondria, tiger
- Skoll, worg
- Arcturis, bear
- Karoma, wolf
- Ghostcrawler, crab
It is important to note that just because you are a Hunter and may have been looking for hours, you do not have any more right to the rare spawns than any other player! If they get there before you, they are allowed to kill it or tame it if they so choose. If you get there first, be sure to shoot an arrow at the Spirit Beast before you begin taming him so you have the tap. This will discourage players from killing him during your tame. However, there will still be players, especially on a PVP server, who will kill the Spirit Beast during your tame just because they want to ruin your day. There is no recourse for their actions, so take a five-hour break and then come back and search again.
Loque’Nahak is probably the most unique-looking mob in the game. He’s a beautiful leopard with glowing blue markings on his pelt. His eyes, nose, mouth, and fangs have the same blue glow. A frosty fog emanates from his mouth, and he has a very unique, cool-sounding roar that you’ll hear while he’s attacking a target.
Loque’Nahak is level 76 and located in Sholazar Basin. He has several spawn locations, so it’s best to fly around and hope you locate him before someone else does. If you have Herbalism or Mining, you can make quite a profit while waiting for Loque’Nahak to show up. He is on a 6-12 hour spawn timer and is the only Spirit Beast that shares a spawn timer with another mob, King Krush, a green devilsaur. So if you see King Krush roaming around, you should probably take a break and go do something else for at least five hours, then come back and continue your hunt!
If you kill Loque’Nahak, he will drop a neck piece with a random enchantment called “Loque’Nahak’s Severed Fang.” If you have Skinning, you can pick up an additional blue item (a cloak) called “Loque’Nahak’s Pelt.” As with the other Northrend Spirit Beasts, Loque’Nahak will also drop an Abandoned Adventurer’s Satchel, which contains gold, cloth, and possibly a crystallized element.
Gondria is a reskinned version of the Winterspring saber model. He’s a transparent pinkish-purple color with wisps of smoke emanating upwards from his body the same way Shadowform on Priests does. Gondria doesn’t have any unique roars, so he sounds like every other saber cat in the game.
Gondria is level 77 and located in Zul’Drak. Like Loque’Nahak, he has several spawn locations, so it’s best to fly around to check each one and hope you run into him before someone else does. He is on a 6-12 hour spawn timer.
If you decide to kill Gondria, he’ll drop a ring with a random enchantment called “Gondria’s Spectral Claw.” Like other Northrend rare mobs, he also drops an Abandoned Adventurer’s Satchel.
Skoll is a reskinned Northrend worg model. He is dark blue with a lightning effect flashing around his body. If you turn up your speakers and listen, you can hear a crackling sound as the lightning jumps around.
Skoll is level 80 and located in Storm Peaks. He has three spawn locations, but they are somewhat spread out and you have to go around mountains to reach each one, so he’s not as easy to camp as you might think. He is on a 6-12 hour spawn timer.
If you decide to kill Skoll, he drops a dagger with a random enchantment called “Skoll’s Fang.” He also drops an Abandoned Adventurer’s Satchel.
Arcturis is modeled after the Druid bear form, but in ghost form! Unlike other bears, Arcturis is a Ferocity pet (just like the other Spirit Beasts). He’s probably the easiest Spirit Beast to track and tame because he only has one spawn location: just north of Amberpine Lodge. With NPCScan, you can easily AFK camp him. He is on a 6-12 hour spawn timer.
If you decide to kill Arcturis, he drops a leather chest piece with a random enchantment called “Pristine Glowbear Pelt” and an Abandoned Adventurer’s Satchel.
A few years ago, creative Hunters found a way to tame the Ancient Grimtotem Spirit Guide that was summoned by the Grimtotem Spirit-Shifters in Dustwallow Marsh. This involved using a meta gem, haste potions, Heroism/Bloodlust, and mind control by a Priest (in order to time the release of the wolves). Because of their ingenuity, Blizzard said they would allow Hunters to continue taming the Grimtotem wolves (which were classified as “wolves” upon taming, not spirit beasts). Later, they hotfixed it so they could no longer be tamed because the appearance of the wolf did not fit with the overall feel of the Hunter class. Those that had already tamed a Grimtotem wolf got to keep it, but the rest of the Hunters who had hoped to get one were unable to do so.
Now there is Karoma, who shares the model of the Ancient Grimtotem Spirit Guides and the ghost wolves from the old Shadowfang Keep dungeon! This has many Hunters thrilled, but some disappointed when they find out Karoma is a Spirit Beast and not a wolf (such as the Grimtotem wolves were upon taming). Karoma and the Grimtotem wolves do not share the same abilities, and Survival and Marksmanship Hunters can use a Grimtotem wolf whereas only Beastmasters can use Karoma.
Tracking and taming Karoma is fairly straight-forward. He has a few spawn locations in Twilight Highlands, so it’d be best to fly around and look for him.
If you decide to kill Karoma, he drops a grey item called “Crystalline Tear of Loyalty” that sells to a vendor for 25 gold. The tooltip on the item says “The desire to serve as a loyal companion coalesced into a single priceless crystal.”
Karoma is unaffected by phasing in the zone.
Ghostcrawler has the new crab model and shares the same ghost-like appearance as Gondria and Arcturis. He’s probably the most unique Spirit Beast as far as tracking and taming goes and likely the most difficult.
Ghostcrawler has a very long path he follows along the edge of the Abandoned Reef in Vashj’ir. He’s the only creature dead or alive in that part of the zone. Other players are rarely seen in this area because no quests take them there. The only ones you might see are those trying to complete their exploration of the zone and the occasional Hunter looking for Ghostcrawler.
The biggest thing to be aware of is Ghostcrawler’s ability to go invisible, which he does frequently! In fact, he’s invisible for much longer than he’s visible, making him particularly hard to track! But one thing is for sure: when that yellow dot appears on your minimap, you know for certain it’s him. He’s difficult to kill because he’ll often disappear in the middle of combat. He’s out for just a little longer than it would take to cast Tame Beast. When he goes invisible, even in the middle of combat, he continues along his path on the edge of the Abandoned Reef. If you’re trying to kill him (or tame him), you’ll be removed from combat when he disappears, and you’ll have to travel further down the reef along his path to find him again. Being removed from combat is something you’re going to be very grateful about, because…
He’ll use his Nerfbat on you!
That’s right! Ghostcrawler has an ability called “Nerfbat” that hits everyone in the nearby area for a certain percentage of the player’s health for each tick. Ghostcrawler is immune to all forms of crowd control and stuns, and his Nerfbat will continue to deal damage quickly while you’re in combat with him. You’ll be low health by the time your tame is done. If Ghostcrawler disappears in the middle of your tame, heal up completely, then travel along his route to find him again. Don’t panic if you can’t locate him right away! Just keep flying around along his route and he will show up again.
It’s important to note that NPCScan is very unreliable when trying to track Ghostcrawler. It’ll cache him, but it likely won’t alert you. For this reason, you will have to be present at your computer for the duration of your time trying to find him.
Ghostcrawler is unaffected by phasing in the zone. The image below shows his spawn location, but his path leads all along the edge of the Abandoned Reef, so check the whole thing!
Ghostcrawler is not able to be killed by players, so you don’t have to worry about someone killing him before you can tame him (although another Hunter can still tame him before you).
Note: All images in this guide are copyright to their respective owners.