Wolves, before patch 3.0, were the all-around average pet. As a result, however, they suffered from being a pet that could do nothing spectacularly. They were okay if your entire group was comprised of physical DPS, but wolves were otherwise considered as “non-viable” due to their non-min/max nature.
Well, not any longer. Wolves have changed in many different ways, and are very viable pets now. They are leaders of the pack, inspiring the hunter and itself to feats of brutal strength and cunning. The bestial strength of Nature’s best pack hunter is now at your fingertips, and your prey will be hounded into a dead end where they will have no choice but to fight… and die.
Wolves are Ferocity pets, and that means they do one thing very well: damage. With the advent of patch 3.1, wolves and other ferocity pets have the potential to be heavy damage dealers, but they must be talented properly to do so.
Wolves are typical of hunters. They are, like Cats, a symbol of a hunter. With 18 skins, 17 of which are tameable, Wolves have a lot of variety going for them. They have 4 different physical builds: Wolf, Dire Wolf, Worg, and Mage Hunter, making finding the perfect wolf incredibly easy or incredibly hard.
Wolves are picky eaters. They will only eat their meat, so forget trying to get them a healthy and balanced diet. Thankfully, meat is relatively easy to acquire. You can find meat off of almost any animal in WoW, and you can always find a butcher or innkeeper who sells meat.
Wolves can be tamed by all hunters.
Furious Howl: Increases the attack power of you and your wolf for 20 seconds.
Since the Howl only affects you and your wolf, the spell is different from other attack power buffing spells like Battle Shout and Blessing of Might. This is a boon, because this means that it is a different type of buff. As a result, Furious Howl stacks with all other attack power buffs.
Keeping this in mind, this means that a wolf is a benefit all the time. It’s not like a wasp’s Sting or a worm’s Acid Spit which can be overwritten or ignored. Because this is a straight attack power buff, any abilities of yours that scale with attack power are also increased by 320 more attack power, if you own a level 80 pet wolf.
Let’s do some simple math: for survival hunters, the current formula for Explosive Shot in 3.1 is [RAP * 0.14 + 386]-[RAP * 0.14 + 464]. Using my fabulous self as a test, my current Ranged Attack Power is 1947. By itself, my ranged attack power would cause Explosive Shot to do roughly 658 – 736 damage per explosion. By adding the wolf to the equation, we can add another 320 RAP to my RAP, for a grand total of 2267 RAP. After plugging in this number into my spiffy calculator, we come up with roughly 703 – 781 damage per explosion. The wolf just added 45 damage per explosion! Taking into account that there are 3 explosions per Explosive Shot, the wolf just added 135 damage to your attack! But that’s just one attack: since this buff lasts 20 seconds, this will affect all of your shots that benefit from attack power while under the effects of Furious Howl. This is a massive boost to damage, and damage is good everywhere.
Unfortunately, Furious Howl only affects the wolf and the hunter, which means that it lack group utility, but the damage boost it give more than makes up for it. Beastmasters in particular get a huge benefit from wolves, as it increases the attack power of the pet and of the hunter, and any increase in a pet’s power and the hunter’s is a massive bonus for a beastmaster, since any bonus the hunter gets the wolf gets a little bit of it as a bonus.
Wolves are truly one of the few creatures in Azeroth capable of living anywhere. From hunting dragons to slaughtering other faction members, wolves make their home on any battlefield.
In PvE, this constant boost to your damage will show very prominently in the damage meters. A wolf can already deal great damage, but the Furious Howl increases both the wolf’s and your damage by a great deal! Considering the effect it will have over a period of 20 seconds, Furious Howl can increase you and your wolf’s damage per second by a few hundred at least. This can mean the difference between a loot and a wipe. The only thing to remember is that without the wolf, there is no buff.
In PvP, this damage increase can help to burn down an opponent quickly, and cause your pet to be a bigger threat than other pets. Since their damage will be above normal for all of their attacks, the damage they deal will be greater than expected overall. The only problem is that the damage, unlike having another attack, is a little more constant and not so bursty. Unless you can take advantage of your increased damage to burst kill your opponent, it is a guarantee that you will fail.
The key to using Furious Howl lies in knowing how to play your class. If you already know how to play in a skillful fashion, a wolf will simply ameliorate everything you do. A wolf, however, cannot allow you do suddenly be better; if you want that, go tame a chimaera for their slowing ability. Furious Howl is not a game changing effect: it simply makes everything you do hit harder.
Play your class properly, and your wolf will make your job easier but allowing your targets to die faster.
Wolves are very loyal companions. Although they lack the elegance and poise of felines, wolves make up for it with brutal strength and single minded devotion to their master. But that’s not all.
Wolves are valuable companions due to their pack mentality and loyalty. After hunting with one for long enough a time, your become one and the same entity. You can read the minds of one another, and you inspire one another to miraculous feats of strength, power, and courage.
My wolf, Link, is more a friend than a lot of other things I meet. He and I may not agree on all things, but we both look out for one another.
At times, it seems that Link and I are bound to one another through bonds that transcend the normal hunter-companion relationship. I am sure that I would die for this beast.
Wolves should be eradicated from existence. They shit all over the floor, they drool all over your good raiding pants, they smell more than I do…
They steal your arm and try to chew on it…
To top it all off, they taste like overcooked boot. They’re menaces to society I say! Menaces!
But Link is alright, isn’t he? Oh yes you are… awww, he’s making that face again!
I love that face… NO! AUGH!
… Treachery, thy name is Link. And every time, I pay with a limb.