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The hunter pet is a hunter's constant companion as they travel through Azeroth, Outland and Northrend. When fighting solo or in small groups, a hunter's pet acts as a tank allowing the hunter to maintain the range hunters require to do their best in battle. When not tanking, pets can be used to do damage in addition to the hunter's shots and stings.
There have been many recent changes to how hunter pets work.
To obtain a pet, the hunter must use his Tame Beast skill on a valid beast family monster exactly their level or lower. Upon starting the taming process, the hunter's armor is decreased by 100% and they cannot perform any other actions, or else the taming fails. The taming process takes 20 seconds, which does not increase with every hit, but can be interrupted. With Patch 3.02 Beastmaster hunters gained the ability to tame additional rare pet types.
- Hunter abilities such as Concussive Shot, Wyvern Sting, and Freezing Trap can slow or stop a beast, reducing hits to the hunter which allows for easier taming.
- Try this: lay a trap, and wait for your cooldown. Then pull your target across the trap. Once it is iced, lay another one nearby, and back off even further. Then begin taming. Thanks to the new combat traps, your target should not even touch you!
- It's best to freeze some beasts, as a few of them have knockback abilities and will interrupt the taming process (forcing you to start over).
- Using Aspect of the Monkey can reduce hits during taming.
- A good way to tame a pet is to ask a mage for help. It's possible to tame a pet that is sheeped. This also works with the druid spell hibernate.
- The Scare Beast ability can also be helpful in conjunction with traps and shots.
- Draenei can cast Gift of the Naaru on themselves just before beginning a tame. Don't wait until you need it as you can't cast it after the tame begins.
Pets eat up to six different types of food: meat, bread, fish, fruit, fungus, and cheese. Some pets, like wolves, will only eat meat, but bears and boars can eat any of the six food types. It is easiest to feed pets that eat meat, bread, and fish because mobs often drop meats, fish can be fished, and bread can be conjured by a mage as pet food.
Feeding pets is very important. The happier a pet is, the more damage it deals:
- Happy: 125% damage
- Content: 100% damage
- Unhappy: 75% damage
With patch 3.0.2 it became much easier to make a pet happy, from taming to happy it needs only two feedings of appropriate level, and the pet will not run away because of hunger anymore.
See Pet Feeding for more info.
See also below on Abilities that generate happiness.
Fighting alongside your pet Edit
Generally, a hunter will send the pet in from a distance and allow it to get aggro on the mob before opening fire. Try to keep the mob on the pet so you can use the full power of your ranged weapon to take it down.
A nice trick is to use your pet to pull mobs that are out of range towards you. Use Attack to send your pet and as soon as it attracts the attention of the mob, use Follow to call the pet back. The pet will start running towards you and the mob will follow. Once the mob is within range, use Attack again. The pet will turn around and attack the mob, and you can use your ranged weapon on it. This pull works over quite a long distance, and even around corners, as long as you can get a mob targeted. It also ensures that any additional mobs will have aggro on the pet rather than you. It does not work as well with mobs who have a ranged attack. Also be careful the pet does not pull any extra mobs on the way there or back.
It is possible to have the pet fight one mob while the hunter attacks another. Note: the hunter will not gain loot or experience from a mob the pet kills solo. This is a deliberate decision by Blizzard, not a bug. If you intend on pulling mutiple mobs and having your pet kill one or more of them while you focus on others then it is best to try to get at least one shot or hit on each of the mobs then allow your pet to do his/her work on them.
You can set your pet on aggressive and have it auto-attack. This is generally not a good idea. However, this is a very good idea if you would like to gain a few levels faster then you normally would in another mode. An aggressive pet will typically draw in additional mobs that you and your party are unprepared to handle. Failing to control your pet is a sure route to causing a wipe in an instance. The aggressive setting have somewhat more useful results in a battleground, but optimal use of a pet would be a coordinated attack with the hunter, not off on its own.
There are 23 families of pets for hunters to tame, with five of them exclusive to the Burning Crusade expansion and two exclusive to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Each family has its own skills, diet, and statistics.
With patch 3.0.2, hunter pets have been completely reworked. Pet families now are divided into the three classes: Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity. All pets of a class share the same stats and the same skill tree. Each pet family has one special skill. It seems special characteristics that some rare pets used to have were removed.
With patch 3.1.0, all Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity pets now all have identical bonuses.
- +5% Health
- +5% Armor
- +5% Damage
(exotic) means the pet can only be tamed by hunters with the 51-point talent Beast Mastery.
(WotLK) means the pet is only available in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
|Pet family||Class||Special ability||Diet|
|Bat||Cunning||Sonic Blast||Fungus, Fruit|
|Bear||Tenacity||Swipe||Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Bird of Prey||Cunning||Snatch||Meat|
|Boar||Tenacity||Gore||Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Carrion Bird||Ferocity||Demoralizing Screech||Meat, Fish|
|Cat||Ferocity||Prowl, Rake||Meat, Fish|
|Chimaera||Cunning (exotic)||Froststorm Breath||Meat|
|Core Hound||Ferocity (exotic)||Lava Breath||Meat, Fish|
|Crab||Tenacity||Pin||Fish, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Crocolisk||Tenacity||Bad Attitude||Meat, Fish|
|Devilsaur||Ferocity (exotic)||Monstrous Bite||Meat, Fish|
|Dragonhawk||Cunning||Fire Breath||Meat, Fish, Fruit, Raw Meat, Raw Fish|
|Gorilla||Tenacity||Pummel||Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Hyena||Ferocity||Tendon Rip||Meat, Fruit|
|Πρότυπο:MountIcon Nether Ray||Cunning||Nether Shock||Meat, Raw Meat|
|Moth||Ferocity||Serenity Dust||Cheese, Fungus, Bread|
|Ravager||Cunning||Ravage||Meat, Raw Meat|
|Rhino||Tenacity (exotic) (WotLK)||Stampede||Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Spirit Beast||Ferocity (exotic) (WotLK)||Spirit Strike||Meat, Fish|
|Serpent||Cunning||Poison Spit||Meat, Fish, Raw Meat, Raw Fish|
|Sporebat||Cunning||Spore Cloud||Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Tallstrider||Ferocity||Dust Cloud||Cheese, Fungus, Fruit|
|Turtle||Tenacity||Shell Shield||Fish, Fungus, Fruit, Raw Fish|
|Warp Stalker||Tenacity||Warp||Fish, Fruit, Raw Fish|
|Wasp||Ferocity||Sting||Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Wind Serpent||Cunning||Lightning Breath||Fish, Cheese, Bread|
|Worm||Tenacity (exotic)||Acid Spit||Meat|
Meat is the easiest food type to obtain. Pets that will only eat meat are not difficult to feed. Fish is not much trouble either, if you are willing to fish; you can hunt coastal humanoids, like murlocs, as well. Pets that will eat neither of these take a little more effort and planning. Dumpster pets, boars and bears, that eat just about anything, are really nice from an inventory management standpoint. You can toss the odd food drops at them. Besides food, however there are now abilities that generate happiness such as Guard Dog and Carrion Feeder.
- Main article: Pet abilities
Pet skills come in two types—passive enhancement skills, and active skills.
Passive skills change the pet's stats and do not require resources.
Each pet family has one special skill (usually active).
Further skills can be learned from the pet skill tree depending on the pet class.
Active skills can be activated in several ways:
- automatically by setting them on autocast by rightclicking the skill icon in either the spellbook or pet action bar
- by clicking the skill icon in either the spellbook or the pet action bar
- by macros like /cast.
An active skill does not have to be in the pet action bar to be used, even on autocast. It is perfectly ok to leave Growl in the spellbook and have it on autocast. If using a /cast macro, the skill can be addressed as if it were a hunter skill, so if the pet has the skill "Taunt", /cast Taunt will taunt the current target.
Beginning with patch 1.7, Blizzard has started introducing special active pet skills. Each skill can only be used by one type of pet and has a specific benefit that is quite useful, usually in PvE. This increases the diversity among hunters pets and usually promotes hunters possessing several pets at the same time. It is expected that with time Blizzard will continue to add special skills to other beasts' types, as well.
With patch 3.0.2, the following aspects of hunter pet training became obsolete: pet trainers, learning skills from wild beasts, loyalty.
Newly tamed beasts that are six or more levels below the hunter´s level will have their level increased to five levels below the hunter´s level. Pets also level much faster, and gain happiness faster from feeding.
Training your petEdit
Pets below your level gain experience by fighting alongside you (as long as the mob killed is green or higher). When the pet reaches the hunter's level, it stops gaining experience until the hunter levels up. Pets gain approximately the same experience from kills as an unrested character of the same level, and require a much lower amount of experience to level as a character of the same level. With Patch 3.0.2 the experience required to level was drastically reduced.
The pet's available talent points at any given time are determined by its level, with a maximum of 16 reached at level 80. A beastmaster hunter can add four more pet talent points with the 51 point talent Beast Mastery. You can assign the pet talent points in the talent window, pet tab. Hunter pets can unlearn their talents at hunter pet trainers. A visual pet calculator is available at Wowhead Petcalc.
Pets receive attribute bonuses depending on their master's stats. The amount is 15%:
- 1 ranged attack power gives the pet 0.22 AP and 0.1287 spell damage
- 1 stamina gives 0.3 stamina
- 1 resistance gives 0.4 resistance
- 1 armor gives 0.35 armor
As WoW is an MMORPG, you may find that you want a pet that looks visually appealing to you, be that "looks good" or "looks menacing." Be aware that there are a couple of other appearance factors.
The pet's size is directly related to the level of the pet. Many beasts will dramatically shrink right before your eyes the moment they are tamed, though they will enlarge as they level. Pets such as rhinos are large enough to be a sight obstruction in certain areas, which can be to the player's advantage (PVP) or disadvantage (instances and raids).
Flying pets maintain a more or less fixed distance above the ground, essentially hovering rather than flying. Flying pets' models, particularly the wings, interfere with mouse clicking, blocking access to select what is beyond them. This can work both for you and against you, but you will probably find it at least a little annoying. Note that as the pet levels, it gets bigger, and the wingspan gets larger, making the effect greater.
Face it, this is important. If you want a prestige pet the obvious choices are:
- unique skin, like the pink flamingo.
- hard-to-get pets, like a level 19 Horde character with a ravager or a level 19 Alliance character with a dragonhawk.
- anything that can no longer be tamed - Blizzard grandfathers current owners. You have to either luck out and fall into this, or have an eye for a problematic pet which will become untamable. Death Ravager is an example. Grimtotem Spirit Guide is another.
Non-tamable beasts Edit
Many types of beasts in the wild cannot be tamed as a hunter pet. These are:
Not all beasts within the tamable families are tamable. Normal rank and file beasts usually are, individually named beasts may or may not be, and any beast that is notably odd is probably not tamable.
To abandon a pet you should target the pet, on its portrait at the top of your screen, right click and select "Abandon Pet." Keep in mind this is permanent, so be careful not to abandon the wrong pet.
Patch changes Edit
- Hotfix (2009-04-16): "Hunter pets should now have their talents refunded when a hunter switches talent specs, even if they are dismissed at the time."
- Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): All Hunter pet abilities with a cooldown of 30 seconds or more are no longer on the global cooldown.