Hunter 101: Which pet should I get? (MoP)


One of the most frequently asked questions from new hunters is:

What is the best pet for the DPS?

You see, my little hunters, there is no one “right” answer for this. There are many pets in our hunter arsenal that are the best pet for the situation. The best pet for your DPS is dependent upon what you’re doing. I wouldn’t use the same pet for raiding that I would use in a battleground. My arena pet might be different from my battleground pet. The pet I use for questing isn’t the same as the pet I use to run 5 man dungeons, and I certainly do not use that pet when I hunter tank or do some extreme soloing. Hunter pets are one of the biggest utilities we have to offer and the sign of a truly good hunter is one who knows which pet to use in what situation and why. Blizzard has blessed us with an overflowing stable in Cataclysm… we have TWENTY FIVE pet slots now! This is a fantastic opportunity, use those slots well.

Table of Contents

Change Log

  • July 17, 2011 — Original post for Cataclysm pets
  • September 4, 2012 — 5.0.4 update, added Mists of Pandaria info from beta
  • September 10, 2012 — Added new Sporebat buff

Petopia is an AMAZING resource and a website EVERY hunter should have bookmarked. Petopia was the first WoW website I ever went to when I was leveling my first baby hunter and wanted to find a cool pet that not many other people had. Petopia doesn’t just index all the cool pets, it also tells you where to find them, what their abilities are and at what level you can tame them.

The information in this post is a consolidation of large amounts of information from Petopia and Wowhead, organized in a logical way for new hunters. A note about the pet list: Petopia indexes the abilities by pet, I list the pets by ability—if you know what buff you need, this list will tell you which pet provides it.

What’s different in Mists of Pandaria?

Any pet can be any spec now. Yes, you read that right. You can have a tenacity cat or a ferocity bear. In addition to the unique talents each pet family comes with, you’ll be choosing from one of the following talent specializations:


  • Dash — Increases your pet’s movement speed by 80% for 16 sec.
  • Heart of the Phoenix — When used, your pet will miraculously return to life with full health.
  • Rabid — Increases your pet’s attack power by 25% for 20 sec.
  • Spiked Collar — Increases the damage done by your pet’s Basic Attacks by 10%. Increases you pet’s haste by 10%, and increases your pet’s critical strike chance by 10%.


  • Boar’s Speed — Increases your pet’s movement speed by 30%.
  • Bullheaded — Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your pet, and reduces damage done to your pet by 20% for 12 sec.
  • Cornered — When at less than 35% health, your pet does 50% more damage and has a 60% reduced chance to be critically hit.
  • Dash — Increases your pet’s movement speed by 80% for 16 sec.
  • Roar of Sacrifice — Protects a friendly target from critical strikes, making attacks against that target unable to be critical strikes, but 20% of all damage taken by that target is also taken by the pet. Lasts 12 sec.


  • Blood of the Rhino — Increases all healing effects on your pet by 40%, increases your pet’s armor by 20%, and reduces your pet’s chance to be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.
  • Charge — Your pet charges an enemy, immobilizing the target for 1 sec. and increasing the pet’s melee attack power by 25% for its next attack.
  • Great Stamina — Increases your pet’s total health by 12%.
  • Last Stand — Your pet temporarily gains 30% of its maximum health for 20 sec. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
  • Thunderstomp — Shakes the ground with thundering force, doing X Nature damage to all enemies within 8 yards. This ability causes a moderate amount of additional threat.

You can change your pet’s spec at any time while not in combat, so don’t stress over which spec to pick. You can easily swap back and forth between tenacity and ferocity if you’re questing between dungeon queues!

When should I use which spec?

When you quest, you’ll be using your pet as a tank, so you’ll want a solid pet with good defensive abilities at your side. Any pet can be a tenacity pet now, so if you want a tenacity sporebat, make it so! But keep in mind only certain pets have special abilities that lend themselves to the tanking role better than others.

Bears and turtles are my picks for the best tenacity pets and I use a turtle for all of my hunter tanking needs. I have tanked adds in phase one on Nefarian with my turtle. I have tanked Sunwell Plateau with my turtle. I have soloed Vortex Pinnacle and The Stonecore with my turtle. Why turtles? They have the ability Shell Shield, which reduces the turtle’s damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds every minute.

Pro tip! A cool turtle you can tame at level 23 is Ghamoo-ra in Blackfathom Deeps.

If you are not having problems staying alive while questing or prefer to level via Random Dungeon Finder, you will want to use a ferocity pet.

The most universally useful ferocity pet is the cat, for the Roar of Courage, which is a mastery buff. Cats are also some of the most common beasts in the game with dozens of different skins, so you can very easily find one you like. Wolves are also a really useful pet to keep on hand for their Furious Howl buff, which increases your crit chance by 5%.

Pro tip! A cool cat you can tame at level 19 is the spawned Ghost Saber in Darkshore.

If you plan to PvP at all, you will want to get a pet that gives you an extra advantage against other players. The best pets for PvP are the ones that can provide some CC for you, so you will want to pick up a spider, monkey, dog or crab.

Spiders have a ranged snare with their Web ability, rooting the enemy in place for 5 seconds. Monkeys have a move called Bad Manner which acts like a Rogue’s Blind and disorients the target for 4 seconds. Dogs and Crabs have a 4 second pin—Dogs use Lock Jaw and Crabs use Pin. I prefer Monkeys or Spiders because their roots are a ranged attack and do not require your pet to be right on top of the player to snare them. There are several other pets that provide great utility for PvP, these three types of pets are my recommendations for a universally good PvP pet. As always, choose the right pet for your play style and opponent.

  • Spiders are everywhere, you can find them in Tirisfall Glades, Elwynn Forest, Teldrassil and Ghostlands all by level 10.
  • Monkeys are in Deadmines at level 14.
  • Crabs can be found in Westfall, Durotar and Eversong Woods, all before level 10.
  • You can find dogs in Scarlet Monastery at level 32.

The basic hunter stable at level 90 is:

  1. Cat — Mastery buff
  2. Wolf — Crit buff
  3. Shale Spider (BM) — 5% stats buff
  4. Silithid (BM) — 10% stam buff
  5. Hyena/Serpent — 10% attack speed buff
  6. Boar/Ravager — physical vulnerability
  7. Raptor/Tallstrider — armor reduction
  8. Dragonhawk/Wind Serpent — magic vulnerability
  9. Fox — attack speed reduction
  10. Sporebat — spell haste
  11. Goat — cast speed reduction
  12. Bat/Porcupine/Wasp — stun
  13. Nether Ray/Gorilla/Moth — interrupt
  14. Turtle — best tank pet
  15. Spider/Monkey — PvP

BM pets you should REALLY consider taming:

  • Spirit Beast — HoT
  • Quilen — Battle rez
  • Water Strider — Water walking
  • Core Hound — Bloodlust/Heroism
  • Chimera/Worm — AOE damage

Use this flow chart to know which pet to bring to your raid:

Once you level a bit more, you might want to branch out and tame some pets based on the buffs or debuffs they provide your group. If you plan to raid, especially if you will be raiding in a 10 man, you will want to bring a pet that will benefit your raid group best. We have over 15 different buffs/debuffs/abilities we can provide, be sure you are prepared to fill a role should your raid group need it.

A full chart of every buff, debuff, & ability available and which pet provides it:


  • +3500 mastery
    Cat (Roar of Courage)
    Spirit Beast (Spirit Beast Blessing) (BM)
  • +5% crit
    Devilsaur (Terrifying Roar) (BM)
    Hydra (Bellowing Roar) (glitch pet, can not be tamed at this time)
    Quilen (Fearless Roar) (BM)
    Wolf (Furious Howl)
  • +5% strength, agility, stamina, intellect 
    Shale Spider (Embrace of the Shale Spider) (BM)
  • +5 spell haste
  • +10% stamina 
    Silithid (Qiraji Fortitude) (BM)
  • +10% spell power
    Water Strider (Still Water) (BM)
  • 10% reduced raid damage taken (5 yd range)
    Carrion Bird (Demoralizing Screech)
    Bear (Demoralizing Roar)
  • +10% melee and ranged attack speed 
    Hyena (Cackling Howl)
    Serpent (Serpent’s Switftness)


  • 4% physical damage increase
    Boar (Gore)
    Ravager (Ravage)
    Rhino (Stampede)
    Worm (Acid Spit)
  • 4% armor reduction (stacks up to 3x)
    Raptor (Tear Armor)
    Tallstrider (Dust Cloud)
  • 8% magic damage increase
    Dragonhawk (Fire Breath)
    Wind serpent (Lightning Breath)
  • 20% reduced melee/ranged attack speed
    Fox (Tailspin)
  • 25% decrease to healing taken (mortal wound)
    Devilsaur (Monstrous Bite) (BM)
  • 50% movement speed reduction
    Chimera (Frost Breath) (BM)
    Crocolisk (Ankle Crack)
    Warp stalker (Time Warp)
  • Cast speed reduction
    25% — Core Hound (Lava Breath) (BM)
    50% —  Goat (Trample)


  • 2 second stun
    Bat (Sonic Blast)
    Porcupine (Paralyzing Quill) (.5 sec cast, AOE stun)
    Wasp (Sting)
  • 3 second stun
    Shale Spider (Web Wrap) (BM)
  • Spell cast interrupt
    Nether Ray (2 sec) (Nether Shock)
    Gorilla (2 sec) (Pummel)
    Moth (4 sec) (Serenity Dust)
  • 3 second invulnerability
    Basilisk (Petrifying Gaze)
  • 4 second blind/sleep
    Monkey (Bad Manner)
    Crane (Lullaby)
  • Snare/root
    Dog (4 sec) (Lock Jaw)
    Crab (4 sec) (Pin)
    Silithid (5 sec) (Venom Web Spray) (BM)
    Spider (5 sec) (Web)
  • 10 second disarm
    Bird of prey (Snatch)
    Scorpid (Clench)

note all of these special tools require Beast Mastery spec to use! 

  • Targeted heal over time
    Spirit Beast (Spirit Mend) (BM) 
  • Water walking
    Water Strider (Surface Trot) (BM)
  • Battle rez
    Quilen (Eternal Guardian) (BM)
  • Bloodlust/Heroism
    Core Hound (Ancient Hysteria) (BM)
  • AOE damage
    Chimera (Froststorm Breath) (BM)
    Worm (Burrow Attack) (BM)
  • Knockback
    Rhino (Horn Toss) (BM)


  • Birds and Cranes will do a flip on command
  • Foxes will dance on command
  • Bears and Porcupines will take a nap on command

Exotic Pets


6 thoughts on “Hunter 101: Which pet should I get? (MoP)

  1. In the buff section:

    Water striders also provide the 5% crit buff, since Still Water gives both the spell power buff and crit buff in the same package.

    In the debuff section:

    20% reduced melee/ranged attack speed and the Cast speed reduction are now the same debuff, and is provided by: Fox (Tailspin) Corehound and Goat as well as Sporebat (confirmed on live prior to maint on 11/9/12)

    Love the guide :) super useful!

  2. This has to the dumbest posts ive seen, instead of telling you what pet is best for what, everyone just insists on telling you each pet differs from the rest. How about just saying which pet you use for each. Such as raiding, dungeons, questing, tanking, dpsing…etc. instead of just saying it vary’s for each…. but thanks for telling me the stats of each even tho i can figure that out in game at the character screen.

    1. If you just want me to tell you what pet to get, then you should get a Sporebat. That pet will give you every buff you need, it will tank, it will DPS for you if you need to AFK, and it will even give you a bonus on rolls. Please don’t tell anyone that I’ve revealed this secret to you, the rest of the hunter community will need to use logic and judge which pet should be used based on the situation at hand.

  3. Ghostcrawler is the best. He heals, he gives a mastery buff, he’s a crab. He’s the best all around. And with the extra 2000 dmg he does for being spirit beast, you can’t really go wrong with him. Unless, of course, you need a tank. Then I recommend the new direhorns, or turtles.

Leave a Reply