THIS INFORMATION IS DEPRECATED, PLEASE SEE THIS POST FOR UPDATED WARLORDS OF DRAENOR INFORMATION
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
- Mists of Pandaria Changes
- When to use which spec
- The basic hunter stable
- Pets listed by buff, debuff, and ability
- 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.
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 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.
- Cat — Mastery buff
- Wolf — Crit buff
- Shale Spider (BM) — 5% stats buff
- Silithid (BM) — 10% stam buff
- Hyena/Serpent — 10% attack speed buff
- Boar/Ravager — physical vulnerability
- Raptor/Tallstrider — armor reduction
- Dragonhawk/Wind Serpent — magic vulnerability
- Fox — attack speed reduction
- Sporebat — spell haste
- Goat — cast speed reduction
- Bat/Porcupine/Wasp — stun
- Nether Ray/Gorilla/Moth — interrupt
- Turtle — best tank pet
- 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.
- +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
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
- 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)
- 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)
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)
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)
Core Hound (Ancient Hysteria) (BM)
- AOE damage
Chimera (Froststorm Breath) (BM)
Worm (Burrow Attack) (BM)
Rhino (Horn Toss) (BM)
FUN NON-COMBAT PET SKILLS
- Birds and Cranes will do a flip on command
- Foxes will dance on command
- Bears and Porcupines will take a nap on command