This past week has been an interesting one for Hunters and their pets. If you were like me, finding out that Hunters could tame Garwal's Worgen form, reminded you of why being a Hunter is truly awesome. Of course it would last and Zyrhym showed up and had to burst our bubble by delivering the bad news that Blizzard was removing them from the game. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
What was nice about this glitch was the passionate responses seen on the Official Forums and Hunter community at large. It really highlighted how much we Hunters love our pets. Many of us see them more as companions than just some other weapon in our Hunter bag of tricks.
One way Blizzard has helped foster this idea is by letting us have three different categories (Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning) and literally hundreds of different pets to go out and tame. But to me the best part is being able to not only tame my pet of choice, but having the ability to train him. Doing this makes Hunters and their pets a combination as epic as Nutella and Pancakes.
When you set out to tame your pet, make sure and match your need with the correct category. For pure DPS you have Ferocity. Need a tanking or good solo pet? Get a Tenacity one. And if you are in a PvP situation and want to make sure someone has your back no matter what? You could try a Cunning pet. With dual specs and Call Stabled Pet you can now match up your spec with the right pet and further enhance your status as the Supreme Hunter! Let's take a moment and talk about Ferocity Pets and raiding specs, alright?
As I mentioned earlier, the Ferocity pet is a Hunter's raiding companion. Just like the Hunter in a raid, their only job is to help you down bosses faster. There is a down side to all this raw aggression. Ferocity Pets aren't known for their survivability. This is one reason you have heard Hunters over on the Official Forums complain about pet survivability and the Blizzard development team responded with the recent resilience changes.
There are several options out there for the hunter to choose to take along for a raid. However, if you are really looking to make sure and bring your spec's "A" game to raid you really only have two. For the Beast Master your best pet DPS choice is the Devilsaur. Yes, I know. It's really just an overgrown raptor. You're right, because of its size, no one in their right mind would let you take it in a raid with them. However, even with these issues, the Devilsaur is still the best raiding pet for the Beast Master Hunter.
Now if you're Marksman or Survival, and or if your raid refuses to let you bring T-Rex along with you, then your new best friend will be a Wolf. Wolves have earned their preferred raiding spot with everyone because of their Furious Howl. Furious Howl will increase the melee but more importantly the ranged Attack Power by a whopping 320. There is no way anyone can just sneeze at that.
Pet Talent Distribution
You need to be aware of a few things when deciding to spec your new best friend. If you are a Marksmanship or Survival Hunter you will have only 16 pet talent points to spend. You get 20 pet talent points if you are Beast Mastery. Let's look at where you will spend those points.
You'll first want to put two points into Cobra Reflexes. I know it does less damage, but the sheer number of additional attacks more than makes up for it.
Next you will want to put one point into Dash. This will help you send in your pet or call him back quickly aiding in pet management. Now that you have spent your required 3 points into the first tier, you can move on to the second.
Time to put 2 points into Bloodthirsty for Beast Mastery Hunters and 1 point for Marks/Survival. It might not seem all that useful, but remember, every moment you spend casting a Mend Pet means less DPS. Having Bloodthirsty will hopefully help and reduce the need to cast it as much.
Add to that 3 points into Spiked Collar and you now just gave Fido an additional 9% damage on all of his attacks.
The tier three talents might look a bit lackluster, but think of putting 3 points into Avoidance for the 75% reduction in damage from Area of Effect attacks as added insurance for pet survivability.
Your next choice is going to be three points into Spider Bite for a 9% increase in your pet's chance to land a critical strike.
You are going to spend two pet talents on the fifth tier. You need to put one point into Rabid. This will gives your pet a chance to increase its Attack Power by 5% over the next 20 seconds. What is even better about this talent is it stacks up to 5 times. Now can you see why we added Dash? Think of it as the pet's version of haste now giving you the possibility of increasing your pet's Attack Power by 20-25%. (Yes, I know the odds are against me that it would happen, but I can dream can't I?)
Now skip right over Lick Your Wounds and put a point into Call of the Wild. Right now Call of the Wild will increase your pet's Attack Power by 10%, lasting for 20 seconds.
On the final tier things change up a bit depending whether you are a Marks or Survival Hunter or Beast Mastery. The reason is due to Beast Mastery Hunters having Beast Mastery. Speccing into the 51st talent will cause you thave have four pet talent points remaining. On the other hand, if you are Marksmanship or Survival, you only have one pet talents remaining.
As a Marksmanship or Survival Hunter you want to put your final talent into Wild Hunt. Here your pet will get a contribution from your Stamina by 20% and Attack Power by 10%. (Note: As of right now MMO Champion reports that in Patch 3.2 we might even see that change to "Increases the contribution your pet gets from your Stamina by 20% and Attack Power by 15%.")
If you are a Beast Mastery Hunter you will want to put two talents into Wild Hunt increasing your contribution to Stamina by 40% and Attack Power by 20%.
Your final two talents should be placed into Shark Attack. Shark Attack is an instant 6% Attack Power boost. Nothing to sneeze at, that's for sure.
Now you have tamed your Wolf or Devilsaur and used up all of your pet talents making your pet one seriously mean dips machine. And to help make sure you have created either the 16 point talent spec or the 20 point spec I have included images of both below.
That wraps up this issue of Scattered Shots. Does your raiding spec look like this? Do you have any recommendations or changes for the readers? If so, I know I would love to hear them and am sure our readers would also.
(edit: Thanks Earthshade for catching the Dash link and the typo for Bloodthirsty. Much appreciated.)
You want to be a Hunter, eh? Well then you came to the right place. Scattered Shots is the one column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a Hunter. Each week Scattered Shots will cover topics to help you Fix Your DPS, Choosing the Right Spec, Gear Selection, Macros and Pet Selection, Pet Specs and Management.