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The Hunter pet is a Hunter's constant companion as they travel through Azeroth and Outland. When fighting solo or in small groups, a Hunter's pet acts as a tank allowing the Hunter to maintain the range that he/she requires in order to do their best in combat. When not tanking, pets can be used to deal damage in addition to the Hunter's shots and stings.
To obtain a pet, the Hunter must use his/her skill on a valid beast, from a select family, who is 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, else the attempt at taming should fail. The taming process takes 10 seconds and does not increase with every hit, but it can be interrupted. If the hunter loses aggro to another player, the tame will fail. With Patch 3.0.2, Beastmaster Hunters gained the ability to tame additional rare pet types.
- Hunter abilities such as , , and 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. Pull your target across the trap and once it is iced, lay another freezer nearby and back away further before you begin taming. Thanks to the new combat traps, your target will not come close to hurting you!
- Some beasts have a knockback ability. Using the on them is essential, as the knockback will interrupt the taming process, forcing you to start over.
- 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 .
- The ability can also be helpful in conjunction with traps and shots.
- Draenei can cast on themselves just before beginning a tame. Don't wait until you need it though as you can't cast it after the tame begins.
Introduced in patch 4.2.0, taming challenges allow hunters to tame beasts, but with more of a challenge, often requiring special tactics not required for normal pets.
The following beasts offer these challenges:
- Ankha: Spectral Frostsaber Spirit Beast (white)
- Magria: Spectral Frostsaber Spirit Beast (blue)
- Skarr: Metallic Cat (black)
- Ban'thalos: Spectral Owl Spirit Beast (green)
- Karkin: Metallic Crab (black)
- Kirix: Green Lava Spider
- Solix: Orange Lava Spider
- Skitterflame: Red Lava Spider
- Anthriss: Yellow Lava Spider
- Deth'tilac: Purple Lave Spider
A different type of challenge was introduced in Mists of Pandaria, where the following beasts would be hidden and hard to see tracks had to be followed in order to find the invisible beasts. Only would reveal the following:
- Glimmer: Water Strider, follow Flooded Tracks in Jade Forest
- Savage: White Tiger, follow Bloody Tracks in Jade Forest
- Patrannache: Crane, follow Barely Visible Tracks in Valley of the Four Winds
- Bloodtooth: Turtle, follow Muddy Tracks in Krasarang Wilds
- Stompy: Goat, follow Heavy Tracks in Kun-Lai Summit
- Bristlespine: Porcupine, follow Puzzling Tracks in Kun-Lai Summit
- Rockhide the Immovable: Basilisk, follow Worn Tracks in Townlong Steppes
- Hexapos: Fen Strider, follow Mysterious Tracks in Dread Wastes
- Portent: Quilen, follow Dusty Tracks in Vale of Eternal Blossoms
- Main article: Feed Pet
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 meat, fish can be caught, and bread can be conjured by a Mage.
- Happy: 125% damage
- Content: 100% damage
- Unhappy: 75% damage
However when the glyph system was added, the , which at the time increased happiness level, made feeding a pet not as important. In Cataclysm the happiness levels were removed, and the pet now stays in happy mood. Feeding now just heals the pet rather than making it happier.
Fighting alongside your pet
Generally, a Hunter will send the pet in from a distance and allow it to get aggro on a 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 in 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 that the pet does not pull any extra mobs on the way to the mob and back again.
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 that 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, it would be best to try to get at least one shot or hit on each of the mobs and then allow your pet to do its work on them.
With Aggressive pet stance removed in Patch 4.2, a hunter's pet cannot deliberately aggro a monster. It was replaced with the Assist stance, which allows a pet to attack the hunter's current target. This saves the effort of having to send the pet in if the hunter forgets sometimes.
Raiding alongside your pet
Before patch 4.0.1, most hunters would only raid with whatever happened to be the most powerful pet available, which often changed between expansions. However, with all pets being almost on equal grounds, damage wise, it falls upon the special abilities of the pets, the encounter, and what other classes are present which determines which pet a hunter would use. Which given hunters can now have 25 pets, makes gathering every type just that much easier. Often times it would be wise to talk amongst the other hunters in the raid to determine which pet each one could use, since their buffs/debuffs will not stack with each others or other player's abilities. It will be common for a raid consisting of several hunters to no longer have duplicate pets.
Below is the table of tameable pets, their special abilities, and what might prevent them from using their special abilities.
There are 39 families of pets for Hunters to tame, with seven of them only available through the Burning Crusade expansion, two exclusive to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, five in Cataclysm, two in patch 5.0.4. 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. Ferocity pets are good for continuous damage, tenacity pets make good tanks for soloing, and cunning pets have unique abilities which can be very useful in certain situations, such as PvP, as well as being almost as viable as Ferocity in PvE. All pets of a class share the same stats and the same skill tree. Each pet family has one special skill, except for exotic pets which have two, and spirit beasts with three. 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 have identical bonuses.
- +5% Health
- +5% Armor
- +5% Damage
The release of Mists of Pandaria will allow hunters to go even farther than ever before with tamed beasts. Pets will no longer matter if what they've been classified as in the past be it Cunning, Ferocity, or Tenacity, instead hunters will be able to change the type of pet it is between the three using the pet interface. Exotic pet rules still apply however.
(exotic) means the pet can only be tamed by Hunters with the 31-point talent .
means the pet is only available with the Burning Crusade expansion.
means the pet is only available with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
means the pet is only available with the Cataclysm expansion.
means the pet is only available with the Mists of Pandaria expansion.
|Pet family||Class1||Special ability||Exotic/Bonus ability||Diet||Special ability overridden by|
|Bear||Tenacity||Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit||, Thrash, , , , ,|
|Bird of Prey||Cunning||Meat|
|Boar||Tenacity||Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit||, , , , , ,|
|Carrion Bird||Ferocity||Meat, Fish||, Thrash, , , , ,|
|Cat||Ferocity||Meat, Fish||, ,|
|Core Hound||Ferocity (exotic)||Meat, Fish||, / , , , , , ,|
|Crab||Tenacity||Fish, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Devilsaur||Ferocity (exotic)||Meat, Fish||, , , / , , , ,|
|Dog||Ferocity||Bread, Cheese, Fish, Fruit, Fungus, Meat|
|Dragonhawk||Cunning||Meat, Fish, Fruit, Raw Meat, Raw Fish||, ,|
|Fox||Ferocity||Fish, Fruit, Meat||, , , , ,|
|Goat||Ferocity||Meat, Fish, Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Gorilla||Tenacity||Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Hyena||Ferocity||Meat, Fruit||, , ,|
|Moth||Ferocity||Cheese, Fungus, Bread|
|Nether Ray||Cunning||Meat, Raw Meat|
|Quilen (exotic)||Ferocity||Meant, Fish|
|Raptor||Ferocity||Meat||, , , ,|
|Ravager||Cunning||Meat, Raw Meat||, , , , , ,|
|Rhino||Tenacity (exotic)||Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit||, , , , , ,|
|Shale Spider||Ferocity (exotic)||Fish, Meat||,|
|Spirit beast||Ferocity (exotic)||/||Meat, Fish||, ,|
|Serpent||Cunning||Meat, Fish, Raw Meat, Raw Fish||, , ,|
|Sporebat||Cunning||Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit||, , , , ,|
|Tallstrider||Ferocity||Cheese, Fungus, Fruit||, , , ,|
|Turtle||Tenacity||Bread, Fish, Fungus, Fruit, Raw Fish|
|Warp Stalker||Tenacity||Fish, Fruit, Raw Fish|
|Wasp||Ferocity||Cheese, Bread, Fungus, Fruit|
|Water strider||Cunning (exotic)||Fruit, Fungus||/ , , , , ,|
|Wind Serpent||Cunning||Fish, Cheese, Bread||, ,|
|Wolf||Ferocity||Meat||, , , / ,|
|Worm||Tenacity (exotic)||Meat||, , , , , ,|
- 1 This is the default class when first tamed, players will be able to change their pet class afterwards.
Meat is the easiest food type to obtain, so pets that will only eat meat are not difficult to feed. Obtaining fish is not too much trouble either, as long as you are willing to catch them or you could 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. Pets will gain no benefit if fed food with an item level of ten or greater less than theirs.
- 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) and further skills can be learned from the pet's skill tree depending on its class.
Most active skills require Focus — a constantly-recharging point pool that works much like a Rogue's Energy bar. Some active skills are free. Every pet has 100 Focus, and Focus regenerates at a base rate of 5 points per second.
Active skills can be activated in several ways:
- Automatically, through setting them on autocast by right-clicking 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 okay 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.
From Patch 1.7 onward, Blizzard started introducing special active pet skills. Each skill can only be used by a specific type of pet and the benefit is quite useful, usually in PvE. This increases the diversity among Hunter's pets and often 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 and loyalty. Pet trainers can still be talked to to reset a pet's talents, though.
Newly tamed beasts will have their level increased to the hunter's level when tamed.
Training your pet
The pet's available talent points at any given time are determined by its level, with a maximum of 17 reached at level 85. A Beastmaster Hunter can add four more pet talent points with the 31 point talent . You can assign the pet talent points in the pet tab of the talent window. Hunter pets can unlearn their talents at Hunter pet trainers without cost. A visual pet calculator is available at Wowhead Petcalc.
Pets receive attribute bonuses at 15% of their master's/mistress' stats:
- 1 ranged attack power gives the pet 0.22 AP and 0.1287 spell damage (0.338 AP and 0.18 spell damage with 2/2 ).
- 1 stamina gives 0.45 stamina untalented (erroneously reported as 0.3 stamina in the Hunter's stamina tooltip), or 0.63 stamina with 2/2 ). Hunter pets do not gain any health from their base stamina, and gain 10.5 health for each additional point of stamina (10 health per additional stamina before the inherent pet health bonus, which was standardized to 5% in Patch 3.1.0).
- 1 resistance gives 0.4 resistance.
- 1 armor gives 0.35 armor.
- 1 point of spell penetration gives 1 point of spell penetration to your pet.
- 1 point of resilience gives 1 point of resilience rating to your pet as of Patch 3.3.0. Previously, it was 0.4 points of resilience per 1 point.
- The scaling formulas for hit are not yet available, however the Patch 3.2.0 notes stat that "If a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.".
As WoW is an MMORPG, you may find that you want a pet that looks visually appealing to you, be that it "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). The can shrink the size of your pet.
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: 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-obtain 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 as well as Grimtotem Spirit Guide.
- Takk the Leaper, a dino-lizard, can be tamed, and his offspring, Leaping Hatchling, can be obtained from Takk's Nest, in the Northern Barrens. They are just south and east of Nozzlepot's Outpost.
Many types of beasts in the wild cannot be tamed as a Hunter pet. These are:
Not all beasts within the tameable families are tameable. 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 tameable.
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.
Renaming a pet
Initially after you tame a pet, you have the ability to right click on the pet icon after selecting them, and select "Rename". But after the first time you do this, if you want to rename the same pet, you'll need a (created with Inscription).
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Pets can now switch between being Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity type pets.
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26):
- Pets will now level with hunters in the same way warlock pets currently do. Also, summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0.
- The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
- Now tamed pets match the hunter's level
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Numerous changes. Many pet abilities have been replaced or altered. Hunters now start with pets at level 1. Whenever a hunter is more than 3 levels above a pet, the pet levels to within 3 levels of the hunter.
- Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Hunter pets now have 100% of their master's resilience; increased from 40%.
- 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 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): All Cunning, Ferocity, and Tenacity pets now have identical bonuses - +5% Health,+5% Armor,+5% Damage.
- 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.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Major revisions to the pet system, see patch notes for details.
- Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22):
- Hunter pets can now be untrained of all their skills from any beast trainer in the major cities.
- Hunter pets can now learn a maximum of four active abilities.
- Hunter pets now gain experience based on the level difference between them and their target rather than the difference between the Hunters and their target.
- Hunters are now able to name their pets while mounted.
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Unstabling dead pets no longer puts players into a degenerate state where their pet only partially exists. Unstabled dead pets can now be properly revived, and players can no longer train more pets than their stable can hold.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): When a non-Hunter resurrects a pet, the pet will no longer receive resurrection sickness.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07):
- Fixed a bug where Hunter pets were sometimes unattackable by opposing faction players.
- Fixed a bug where creatures were keeping their innate resistances after being tamed. This was unintentional and the fix will affect all existing pets.
- Hunter pets immediately gain training points when they level up.