Hunter 101: Which pet should I get?
NOTE: THE INFORMATION IN THS POST IS DEPRECIATED AS OF PATCH 5.0.4, PLEASE REFER TO THE UPDATED PANDARIA POST HERE FOR MORE ACCURATE 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.
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, organized in a logical way for new hunters.
The basic hunter stable should include a minimum of three types of pets. A tenacity pet, a ferocity pet and a good PvP pet.
When you quest, you’ll be using your pet as a tank, so you’ll want a solid tenacity pet at your side.
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 grab a ferocity pet.
The most universally useful ferocity pet is the cat, for the Roar of Courage, which is a strength and agility 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 need 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 absolute bare minimum you should have in your stable at level 85 is:
- Cat (or Spirit Beast if BM)
- Wolf (or Devilsaur if BM)
- Turtle or Bear
- Raptor or Serpent
- Dragonhawk or Wind Serpent
- Sporebat (or Corehound if BM)
- Silithid (if BM)
- Shale Spider (if BM)
Use this flow chart to know which pet to bring to your raid: http://forums.wow-petopia.com/download/file.php?mode=view&id=4688
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 ability available and which pets provide it:
- +139 strength and agility
- +5% crit
- 10% reduced raid damage taken (5 yd range)
carrion bird (F)
- 4% physical damage increase
- 4% armor reduction (stacks up to 5x)
- 8% magic damage increase
wind serpent (C)
- 20% reduced melee/ranged attack speed
- 25% casting speed reduction for 9 seconds
- 30% increased bleed damage
- 50% movement speed reduction
warp stalker (T)
- 2 second stun
- spell cast interrupt
nether ray (2 sec) (C)
moth (4 sec) (F)
gorilla (2 sec)
- 4 second blind
dog (4 sec) (F)
crab (4 sec) (T)
spider (5 sec) (C)
- 10 second disarm
bird of prey (C)
EXOTIC PETS [requires BM spec to use]
debuff: movement slow on target for 5 seconds
bonus ability: channeled AOE damage
- core hound
debuff: 25% casting speed reduction for 10 seconds
bonus ability: ancient hysteria [hunter pet heroism/bloodlust]
buff: 5% crit increase
debuff: 25% reduction of healing taken [mortal strike]
debuff: 30% bleed
bonus ability: massive knockback every 90 seconds
- shale spider
debuff: 3 second stun
buff: 5% agi/stam/str/int
buff: +584 stamina
bonus ability: pins target in place for 5 seconds
- spirit beast
buff: +139 agility and strength
bonus ability: heals a low-health raid member with a small HoT over 10 seconds
debuff: 4% physical damage increase for 25 seconds
type of pet:
- F = ferocity — DPS
- T = tenacity — tank
- C = cunning — mix of both