Category Archives: Pets

Creature Feature: Gorilla

He's preparing a knuckle sandwich!

He's preparing a knuckle sandwich!

Gorillas are one of the most well known and now least understood pets in the game.  They were before their time, having had the ability to use AoE threat; however, it was limited in size and scope due to the 1 minute cooldown on thunderstomp and the lack of additional threat.

When the Echoes of Doom patch came out, Gorillas were at the forefront.  Having overtaken and unseated the previous tanking kings(boars!) they now stood high and proud with their 10 second cooldown thunderstomp.  AoE tanking and the Gorilladin were born.

Gorillas may not be as used anymore, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.  When you have the power to smash your way through any problem, there’s no need for a plan other than tank and spank!

GENERAL STATS
Gorillas are a tenacity pet beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Their thick arms and corded muscle are more than strong enough to withstand the blows of anything in its way.  They are more than capable of tanking a 5 man instance(among other things!) but only if the gorilla is talented properly.  As of patch 3.1, pets of all kinds share the same 5% bonus to all stats, and an incorrectly talented tenacity pet is more than capable of being outanked by a ferocity pet.

The focus dump skill for Gorillas is Smack, and their special move is Pummel.

Gorillas in WoW have 7 different skins, 5 of which are tamable.  Although not as sizable a list as say, cats, gorillas still have some variety in terms of which ones you can get; so long as you don’t mind how they are built.  All gorillas share the same physical build, so if you think that gorillas are too broad/big/furry/silly, then you’re out of luck.

Gorillas are a very peaceful animal, and their diet reflects this.  They don’t eat meat or anything like that, but they will eat fruit, bread, and fungus without a fuss.  Of course, this means they like bananas.

Gorillas are the figurehead of AoE tanking, and are the closest you can get to taming a humanoid.  In fact, I never skin gorillas as I find they are too close to being human for my tastes.

Gorillas in real life are a passive species which only attack if aggravated or if they feel threatened.  They live in colonies with one Alpha male called a Silverback; they are called this due to the colour of their fur changing from black to a whitish grey.  It is still recommended to not get too close to one since they have the strength to snap grown men in half.

Gorillas are tamable by all hunters.

ABILITIES
Pummel: bonks the target on the head, causing them to lose concentration and lose the spell.  They can’t remember how to cast from that school of spells for a couple of seconds afterwards.

The facts are these: pummel interupts the spell being cast, pummel stops the target from using spells of that kind for 2 seconds, pummel does no damage, and pummel is on a moderate cooldown.

Happily, there’s no math for this ability other than being able to count to two, because two is the number of seconds that pummel affects the target.  Not being able to do damage should be the most bothersome thing about this ability, as the rest is all good news.

Pummel is particularly effective against healers or in PvE encounters where interupts are crucial(Which are few and far between).  When used on a healer casting a healing spell, it will interupt the spell being cast; since the majority or classes use one school of magic for their healing spells, pummel effectively stops healers from healing themselves for another 2 seconds which give you more than enough time to slaughter them.  If your opponent is casting a crucial spell like Haunt or Cyclone, Pummel effectively stops that as well.  The uses of pummel are many, and a creative mind can come up with any number of uses for it.

The thing is that you can’t use pummel on everything, because that’s the rogue’s job.  You have to use pummel at the most opportune time in order for it to be effective, rather than using it all over the place.  If you interupt a Shaman casting Lava Burst only to have your kill foiled by a Healing Wave, you have no one to blame but yourself for your charred corpse.

What I mean is that Pummel is on a 30 second cooldown period.  If you use it on a Hunter’s steady shot, then you have to wait another 30 seconds(or 21 if you’re a beastmaster!) before you can use it again, and I can guarantee that you’re going to need again during that period of time.

Happily, the cooldown isn’t as restricting as some other pet abilities you can find around the area, and you can use Pummel on whatever you find is necessary(keyword being necessary!) in order to win.  If you use it on an affliction warlock casting Immolate, that’s wrong.  If you use it on an affliction warlock casting Haunt, you’re doing it right.  If you’re using it on a paladin casting any heal, you’re doing it right.  If you’re using it when he’s… I don’t know, casting his hearthstone, that’s probably wrong, btu still funny.

Unfortunately for PvE, the lack of damage on this ability, the lack of interrupts needed from you, and the semi-restrictive cooldown make this ability suck for Heroics and raids.  Most big spells can’t be interrupted anyway.

This is a PvP ability, all the way.  This thing oozes of PvP utility and reeks of PvE uselessness just because of the lack of times to be able to use it.

ENVIRONMENT
Gorillas are durable and tough creatures, while still being quick, agile, and intelligent enough to outwit and destroy some of the “upper” races of Azeroth.

Gorillas are, like all tenacity pets, very good for soloing.  Thanks to a baseline Thunderstomp, Gorillas can easily hold aggro on 5-6 equal level monsters for as long as it takes to kill them all.  In addition to their thick armor and high HP, gorillas have access to a variety of talents designed to make them more durable and more easily kept alive.  This allows intelligent hunters to Solo most monsters in the world, with very few exceptions.  In addition, Pummel allows a smart hunter to utterly destroy some world monsters that rely on their spells to destroy players.

Gorillas also enjoy battling in battlegrounds, where their strengths are made very apparent.  Their durable exterior allows them to survive when most pets wouldn’t, and they can still dish out a pretty decent amount of damage.  In addition, they have access to many very useful PvP abilities which help reduce incoming damage to the hunter.  Lastly, Pummel allows a skileld hunter to stop healers from healing important people in a fight, which can lead to a victory instead of a loss in a clutch match.

Arenas are the same story, but with smaller, more important numbers.  One interupted heal can be the end of a healer, and a win for your team.  Although they don’t have the ability to hold people in place or slow them down, and interupt is just as, if not more important than those types of abilities as it can mean the end for your kill target, and a much easier match.

KLINDERAS’ THOUGHTS
Gorillas are like Orcs: big, brutish, but useful.

I have recently had the joy of working with a Gorilla while on my search for a Spirit Beast, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  He can destroy monsters I would otherwise have trouble with, and when an Alliance member comes to kill me, the Gorilla does a very good job of not only keeping me alive, but keeping my opponents out cold.

They’re also incredibly gentle.  The Gorilla I have been working with has a particular fondness for finding and playing with flowers.  He also frequently picks them for me, presenting them to em with a big goofy grin.

His rage, however, speaks volumes of what he truly is.  He has smashed apart and entire ridge of Undead without a moments notice, only to exit unscathed.  It’s a wonder that the Scourge haven’t already been defeated when there are animals like this in the world.

COLEMAND’S THOUGHTS
This is how it’s done.

Skoll Lightning!

Skoll

Drawn by MissMonster of Deviant art! Click for link.

I have an announcement to make.

I’m going to be hunting more than one spirit beast it seems.

There is a new spirit beast on the PTR! This is the 3rd spirit beast, which continues the tradition of 1 new spirit beast per big patch, and this is no exception.

Actually, there is one very big exception to this particular spirit beast: he’s a wolf.
skollwowI nearly died of shock when I saw this.  Apparently, he has electricity crawling all over him and his light blue fur glows with the crackle of power.  The picture does no justice to all these cool effects, so I order all of you to go drool over this video right now! Skoll in Video

He’s named after a character from Norse mythology: Skoll, the moonchaser.  Skoll chased the moon across the sky in an effort to catch up with her and eat her.  His counterpart, Hati, chased the sun for the same purpose.  On the day of Ragnarok, the end of times, Skoll and Hati would succeed in their ravenous quest and feast on the sun and the moon.

Skoll, the spirit beast, matches his namesake in almost every way.  His lightning fur matches the electricity that was wielded by Thor and other gods, so is a powerful symbol of his Norse heritage.  His fur is blue, the colour of the night he chases under.  His attack is a Moonstrike graphic, the last tie to his Norse namesake.

I, for one, am going to be camping this guy the instant the patch releases and I won’t stop until he is mine.

Loque will have to wait if I don’t have him by then, as I have bigger wolves to catch!

Special thanks to Tigerfeet for pointing out to whom the artwork belongs to(MissMonster’s portrait of Skoll is amazing, is it not? She drew a version for Hati as well!), to Mania for the screenshot of Skoll, and to zub for finding the video of Skoll in-game!

Loque’Nahak Check List

WTB Spyglass

WTB Spyglass

The hunt for Loque’nahak is in full swing.

So far I have had no luck; even with no one looking for the beast right now it seems Loque is reclusive.

After hunting him for the little amount that I have, I realized there are some really good things to keep in mind if you want to hunt(if not now then later!) this shy but wicked awesome looking beast, and not only this beast but every rare-spawn creature you have ever wanted to tame.

1.  Don’t quest in the area unless you’re a high enough level to catch that beast.
I am really happy I didn’t quest in Sholozar Basin on my way to 80.  If I had gotten there at level 74-75 like some people plan on doing, I would have definitely found Loque and been unable to tame him.

If you ever want to see an angry, frustrated, and thoroughly dejected Klin, that’s one way to do it.

2.  Get an epic flying mount/epic ground mount.
Especially for creatures that can spawn in any of 6+ locations over a large distance, it’s very important to have a fast means of transportation to keep a watchful eye on all of them.  For areas you can use a flying mount, epic flying helps so much that you can use a gathering profession to make money on the side, and still be able to make a complete round of all the spawn points within 5-8 minutes.

Seriously? You’ll be looking a long time without epic flying.

3.  Have a “dummy” pet for just-in-case moments.
Catch and designate a pet for the sole purpose of protecting you while you search.  Especially on a PvP realm, being prepared for a fight at all times is crucial.  Even on a PvE realm, you might get attacked by some errant mobs!

Being ambushed is a lot easier to deal with if you have a pet, so have a pet to protect you… just make sure the pet is disposable, or you’ll be a sad panda when you actually meet with the pet of your dreams and your stuck with another animal.

4.  Be mentally ready to skip out on Heroics, PvP, and many other things(i.e, Don’t give up!)
Some of the harder hunts can typically take days to weeks of camping the same animal with no luck.  Going after these animals tends to really make you show your true colours: can you handle the wait? Do you have the tenacity and the patience to fly in circles endlessly looking for your perfect pet? Those who can’t will drop off quickly; but those who can will eventually find it.  It’s not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”.  It just takes a lot of time.

So much time, in fact, that I’ve put my Battleground bashing on hold, and only PvE if needed or it’s a raid night(hopfully better luck this week!).  Speaking of which, I would trade my loot karma for a chance to raid with Loque this week, but I’m totally not going to find him.

5.  Research your prey’s spawn points and environtment.
Arguably the most important part of the chase is having the knowledge of where the prey is going to be and what it is going to be surrounded by.

If I didn’t know where Loque spawned, I would be wasting a great deal of time flying around where he would never be.  In addition, it’s nice to know where there are hostile creatures you might be attacked by, whether it’s a strong World PvP zone, what kind of resources are in the area, and whether or not there is a great number of people playing in the area at certain times.

Keep in mind this checklist for all those going out into the world looking for the rare pets in the game! As hunters, we are the only class who goes on ridiculous tests of hunting ability and patience like these for a certain, specific animal.  It is for that that we as a class are unique: you don’t see warriors worrying about their weapons in the same way as we do our pets.  They walk into an instance, kill a boss, and hope like hell they get loot.  We walk around darkshore for hours opening statuettes in the hops of getting a see-through cat.  We hunters spend hours and days and weeks looking for that pet that is just for us, and not necessarily an upgrade.

Rare pets are a test of patience and love for this class; so do yourself a favour and try to catch a rare pet.  It’s an experience no hunter should be without no matter how demoralizing it can be.  Because when you catch that one pet you’ve worked so hard to get, you get one of the best feelings in the world.

Success!

It’s Time I Started Acting Like One

I'm going to need this guy's eyes...

I'm going to need this guy's eyes...

There has been an awful lto of QQ on this blog of late, hasn’t there?

Not to worry, I’m not turning into a mage.

But the fact remains that I really don’t know what to write about sometimes, and QQ is easy to find and write about, so I apologize.

As a compensation to all of you, it’s time I did something new.  I think it’s time I decided to be a real hunter.

Before he quit, BigRedKitty was easily one of the most respected hunters to grace the World of Warcraft.  He also had something I don’t.

Okay, he had lots of things I didn’t, but that’s aside from my point.

BRK managed to capture one of the rarest, most gorgeous pets in existence: the spirit beast.  Loque’nahak is one of the rarest, most difficult to capture pets in the game and it is a matter of great pride for a Beastmaster to get one, and a matter of greater pride still for me as I have never tamed a rare spawn before and what a better way to start than at the top!

You know what?
harkoaThis hunt is on!

(Wish me luck, I need it.)

This Is What Heaven Must Be

Look! It's... so close...

Look! It's... so close...

Traps now have separate 30 second cooldown categories: Fire (Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Black Arrow), Frost (Freezing Trap, Frost Trap) and Nature (Snake Trap). A hunter can have one trap of each category placed at one time.

All pets now receive 40% of their master’s resilience and 100% of their master’s spell penetration. In addition, 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.

I think that patch 3.2 will make hunters very happy campers.  Is 40% resilience enough? Maybe, seeing as how they have talents that reduce crit as it is and this will probably make them as hard to kill as some players.  High five? I think so.

Also, that spell penetration is going to be hawt for those hunters with the good fortune of having a Spirit Beast or who are using other pets with a spell type move… Wasps, Dragonhawks, Corehounds, Nether Rays… jeez oh man there are a lot of them!

Also, 3 traps at once? 3? I’m down for making minefields.  Imagine 2 hunters in the flag room in a Warsong Gulch.  That is carnage and fun waiting to happen! This will solidify us as defenders in Battlegrounds.  For PvE, this means that survival hunters can use Black Arrow and use freeze traps to CC! I foresee CC coming back in a big way.

A more comprehensive post on the changes at a later time: for now, I’m going to go back to some drooling and oggling of changes.

WASP Stands for Winning All Standard PvP

Not Pictured: Running screaming Alliance.

Not Pictured: Running screaming Alliance.

Wasps.

Who knew they were so deadly in PvP?!

As I’ve said before, I’ve found out that for Beastmasters a ferocity pet is a really big advantage and a really big help; but to the extent to which I saw, I had no freakin’ idea.  I was truly astounded.

1.  Talenting a Ferocity pet for PvP is a cinch.  It sacrifices a minor DPS loss for a substantial amount of HP.  Cello, at level 80(yeah, that took awhile), has 18 000 hp when I’m in my PvP gear.  18 000.  18 000.  That’s more HP than what I have in my PvE gear!

2.  On the topic of that DPS loss, it’s hardly noticeable.  Cello is constantly hitting for 500-600 damage on plate without Bestial wrath.  He hits clothies for up to 800 without Bestial Wrath.  Priests run away in fear.  He’s like a rogue, but half the size and twice as hard to run away from.  With Bestial Wrath, I can burst down 2 clothies in the space of 18 seconds with Call of the Wild on.  I didn’t bother to look at numbers, Cello and I were killing too fast.

3.  Ferocity brings one of the most helpful little things I’ve seen: Heart of the Phoenix.  Retadin thought it would be funny to see my wasp die.  Took him 2/3 of his HP.  Oh hey, human? Look behind you.  Cello is angry.

4.  Wasps are unique from other ferocity pets in that they have Sting, which is a little bit of damage wrapped in a faerie fire.  There are 2 fun parts to this: first, it’s nature damage.  Because it’s spell damage, it goes through armor.  Secondly. it has a 4.2 second cooldown.  4.2.  Why is this good? It means that the chances of Sting falling off are nil, and more importantly… more chances to crit.  Many more chances to crit.  Crits cause Ferocious Inspiration.  Ferocious Inspiration causes me to deal so much more damage it’s not funny, which in turn causes me to giggle devilishly with glee.

5.  Wasps are so inconspicuous that most people aren’t going to kill the little thing.  Non-beastmasters use wasps, so the pet musn’t be that big of a deal.  Well, you guessed wrong punk.  I hope you feel better about your bad decision, but remember this: never underestimate something with a stinger the size of your torso.

6.  Did I mention this guy soloed a Priest? The extra 9% crit chance helps.  Just saying.

7.  There are 2 problems with using a Ferocity pet as BM.  The first problem is you can’t benefit from Roar of Sacrifice, an incredibly fun and useful ability that allows you to take 30% less damage, which is re-directed towards the pet.  This is an especially good ability for a Beastmaster since it only has a 10 second period where it isnt active.  Secondly, I normally use a Cunning pet.  Cunning pets have Roar of Recovery, which essentially extends our mana pools by an additional 30% every 2 minutes.  There have been a few times where I would normally have mana with a cunning pet, but I didn’t because Cello can’t use Roar of Recovery.  However, both of these issues are neglected in a BG setting for one very good reason: death comes on wings of focus fire.  If you are targeted, chances are you are dead.  Secondly, if a fight takes so long that you run out of mana, chances are that you can jump into Aspect of the Viper for 4 seconds, or that you’re able to drink, or that you’re going to die.

All things considered, I’m very happy with Cello in a battleground setting! It’s harder to kite things around, but I kill them that much faster so I’m not too worried.

Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee? Yeah, I can understand that now.  I wouldn’t have imagined me liking a wasp this much in my life ever, but Cello managed to impress me in every way.

Encore mon ami, your wings beat a beautiful music.

Pet Training: A Necessary Evil?

Forget about sitting sister, how about getting him to level?!

Forget about sitting sister, how about getting him to level?!

Pets.

We can have 5 of them, Warlocks get 4, and anyone else only gets one.(i.e, Death Knight Ghouls.  No one else gets a permanent pet!)

Unlike everyone else though, we have the glorious chore of levelling our pets.  Sure, they auto level to 5 levels below the hunter, but those 5 levels can be huge sometimes.  At level 10, your pet catches up from level 5 by the time you get 3/4 of your experience bar.  At level 80, however, it takes almost an hour to get your pet to level once, and that’s if you’re in a good spot.  Can you all remember how long it takes to level from 75 to 80? That’s pretty much it, except hunters do that grind up to 6 times: once for the player, and once for every pet.  On top of that, any new pets have the potential to restart this astoundingly boring chore.

It’s a necessary evil though: the reason why no one else levels their pets is because their pets are tools rather than a companion, something to be used rather than be with.  It’s a very important part of the flavour of the class, and it makes hunters different from warlocks.  It’s annoying, but it’s necessary and important to our game.  It teaches us more than any other class that there are consequences to making a wrong choice, which I find is important.

For example, lets take little Timmy here as an example.

Aint that just... just... there?

Aint that just... just... there?

In any case, Little Timmy(Hereby LT) decides it is a good idea to eat some explosives.  LT eats the explosives, and he then sits down on a fire in a very abrupt manner.  The explosives are filled with Nitroglycerin.

Now, in a world where there are consequences to your actions, LT would suddenly find himself in many places at once.  However, if LT lives in a world where there are no consequences, he would burp loudly and move on.

Leveling pets is similar in a sense: it’s a way to make sure that the hunter doesn’t just switch through pets like tissue paper.  It teaches the value of having the strongest and most important pets in the game and there are consequences to having pets this powerful.

However, it’s still torture to level pets.  Like really? WTB Rare Candy, PST.

The key to leveling pets is to find a good place with fast spawns at your level, not the pet’s.  I’ve found one really good place, so long as the leather workers don’t come running in.

Leveling Daggers takes less time.  Sheesh.

Leveling Daggers takes less time. Sheesh.

This cave directly east of Gromarsh Crash Site is one such area.  Fast respawns, easy to kill mobs, and none of them hit particularly hard.  Like I said though, this place is frequently crawling with Leatherworkers, so it can be hard to level pets here.

What do you guys think about levelling pets? Is it a necessary evil for our class identity or is it just a pain in the rear? Should they make it shorter? Longer? Do you even care?

Probably the most important question, do you know any other good places to level them?

I’ve Been Tricked!

Boo?

Boo?

While making some chaos and wreaking havoc, I have come across something very important; for battlegrounds, you want a ferocity pet.

I learned this the hard way when another BM hunter sent a Spirit Beast into my face and I was unable to out-damage the mighty beast.  Fafnir is great for Arenas, but when damage is the name of the game a Cunning pet just cant do it as well as a Ferocity pet.

So, it was time to go hunting again.  I bid Radix goodbye as I felt it was time to try something new and learn more about pets.

Specifically, I got on the train to Wasp ville, and got one of the Sholozar wasps.  This is the picture on Petopia.

Bad.  Ass.  Twice my size.  Before Bestial Wrath.

Bad. Ass. Twice my size. Before Bestial Wrath.

Awesome no?

Here’s what I got.

Viewed from Hunter Zoomed Distance(HZD)

Viewed from Hunter Zoomed Distance(HZD)

This is, unfortunately, half the size I had expected, and this made me sad.  I almost dismissed the beast when… I discovered something amazing.

His wings sound like a cello.

That's more the size I was thinking of.

That's more the size I was thinking of.

But why nerf the size? How big of a problem is having a big pet? I suppose that having them be Boss sized is bad, but the LSD wasp of doom was huge… and we can no longer tame himher.  I see a trend…

Let’s just hope these purple guys don’t get the nerf bat.

He has a happy face on his forehead... Creepy.

He has a happy face on his forehead... Creepy.

Either way, the Drones in Sholozar Basin have been nerfed and I didn’t know until I caught one! They’re sleeker though…

Until further notice, Cello the Wasp is now a part of my pack! I’ll be using him in Battlegrounds and I will be attempting to see how he does in arenas as a ferocity pet.

I beg the question though: What do you think about large pets? Do you think they should all be roughly the same size? And what does nerfing them accomplish?

Furrious Raiders: The Cunning

bg_3

Hello everyone, and welcome to the second post in a series of posts designed to help talent your pets for PvE success!

Last time, we discussed the Ferocious pets, and how to talent them to deal the maximum amount of damage.  There were some foggy areas, but after some testing we came up with the best specs possible.  As a forward to this post, I’d like to point out that if there is something you think is wrong, I will test it myself and update the post if need be.

With this in mind, I’d like to remind everyone that suggestions, advice, and criticism are good, and are encouraged around here.  If you think something is fishy, don’t dismiss it: tell me.  I’ll be sure to post the results.

Now, let’s begin with probably to most convoluted of the trees!

Cunning
Cunning pets are similar to Ferocity pets in that they both deal damage, but where they differ is in how they do the damage.  Whereas Ferocity is straight up numbers, Cunning does damage depending on the situation.  Once again, like the Ferocity tree, you must be talented properly to even begin to deal damage.  It is possible to talent your cunning pet to deal no extra damage, and that’s not what we want for PvE.

Here is how your Cunning pets should be talented if you are to take one into a PvE Environment.

Cunning PvE for Non-Beastmasters

Cunning PvE for Non-Beastmasters

The Beastmaster build.

The Beastmaster build.

The two talent specs are incredibly similar, but there are 4 more points in the beastmaster tree.  There are a few key talents for PvE that both specs share, and some that are unique to the beastmaster tree due to the extra 4 points you can get via the Beast Mastery talent for all the beastmaster hunters out there.

Yes, I am that lazy.

Where this gets complicated is when we get to the DPS talents: with 1 exception, all of our DPS talents here are subject to different parts of the pet’s environment.  Anything from the target dodging an attack to your pet attacking something near death can affect your pet’s DPS.  As such, it’s important to remember that pure mathcraft cannot properly measure the DPS your Cunning pet can put out: the only way to find out is to try one out.

DAMAGE
Cobra Reflexes: A 30% increase to attack speed is nothing to sneeze at.  This talent is nothing but a DPS upgrade, so we take it.  We move on.

Spiked Collar: Did I mention I love this talent? It’s a straightforward increase in DPS no matter how you look at it.  9% increase to all damage dealt.  7 word which make me become teary eyed.  It’s like a chick flick, but for hunters, and with even more kleenex.  Please, Bring Your Own Box.  Heck, take it another 2 times, and don’t regret it.  It’s okay to cry for joy here.

Feeding Frenzy: This is where the interesting talents kick in.  On top of the 9% increase to all damage from Spiked Collar, Feeding Frenzy adds another 16% increase to damage.  16%.  That is, by itself, more straight damage from one talent than Ferocity gets from 2 talents!.. there’s just one catch.  The opponent has to be at less than 35% HP in order for this effect to take place.

Now, the interesting thing about Feeding Frenzy is that when your pet attacks an opponent at less than 35% HP, your pet gets a buff.  The buff is Feeding Frenzy.  If your pet attacks something else after having attacked someone at less than 35% HP, it will keep the buff for the 10 seconds that it lasts.

I’ll leave it to your creative minds to figure out what you can do with this knowledge, but a word of reminder: the 35% mark is roughly the time when most people burn their cooldowns and use Bloodlust/Heroism.

Wolverine Bite: This ability can be described in 4 words: Bite their face off.  This ability packs the punch of a unique ability while being trainable to all Cunning pets.  Every time your opponent dodges, they pay for it dearly.  At level 80, this ability does 405 damage before armor reduction, and it does ~300 after it from my experience.  It frequently crits for 600+, and it does even more when other talents become effective.

Wolverine Bite is a huge, I mean HUGE damage ability.  Every time it hits, it hits like a truck.  With the number of times your pet attacks, your target is bound to dodge a number of them.  Every time they do, your pet does the damage it was meant to, and then some.  Consider it a move that counters the loss of damage other pets have to put up with.

Owl’s Focus: This ability is like a 2 for 1 deal at a gun store.  Buy 1 bullet, get 1 free! Well, the same applies here: use an ability, and you have a 30% that you can use another one for free.  What do you do when you see free stuff? You take of course! 2 ranks, no question.

Roar of Recovery: First off, this is not a direct increase to your pet’s DPS.  This is an increase to your DPS! This is the only talent that we’ve covered for pets that increases your DPS rather than your pet’s.  How does an increase to your mana increase to DPS? Simple: more time spent outside of Aspect of the Viper is more time doing actually damage.  Enjoy the 1 rank you take in this, because it’s one rank that you will enjoy and savour every minute of.

Half of Wild Hunt: Now, here’s where the Non-BM tree ends with 1 rank in Wild Hunt.  In the last Furrious Raiders post, there was a discussion about what was stronger: 3% increase to all damage, or a 10% increase to attack power inheritance.  I did tests which had the same results as Rilgon and other reputable sources(WoWLadies and Elitist Jerks.  They know their math); Wild Hunt was stronger when you had more stats.  We beastmastery hunters get 2 ranks in this lovely talent, increasing the 10% into a 20%! That’s a big change!

Now, the Beastmasters out there still have 3 points to go.  There’s only 1 logical place to put them all.

Half of Cornered: Although it requires your pet to be at 35% hp to work, a potential 50% increase to DPS isn’t too shabby.  Wait, what? 50% increase to all damage.  That, if you can control it, is astounding.  The Ferocity tree couldn’t even try to compete with that damage increase.  The problem is that it’s not exactly easy to get your pet at that precarious amount of HP, and it’s best not to leave your pet there unless you have a plan to save it when the time comes.  Oh, and that time will come.  It will come.

SURVIVABILITY
Dash: Fastest one is the first one in.  Fastest one is the first one out.  If you ever wished your pet would just move faster, this is a good, all purpose talent for that.  Get it please.

Avoidance: In PvE, stuff blows up.  I don’t mean normal explosions and that stuff.  I mean big fantastic fireworks of magic and death that kill those rogues dead if they’re not careful.  Now normally that would kill our pet dead too, but we have this talent to thank profusely.  See, 75% reduction of all AoE damage is huge.  Massive.  Gigantesque.  I kid you not, without this talent, your pet will die miserably in 9/10 boss fights without a chance of revival.  Take 3, glorious ranks in this talent.  You did it? Fantastique.  Now never look back.  Just don’t.

Besides, you need this to get Wolverine’s Bite, and if you skip that I will shoot you.

The Other Half of Wild Hunt: For the non-BM users out there, you get one rank in this talent.  One beautiful, gorgeous rank.  It will give your pet a 20% increase to Stamina inheritance.  The Beastmasters out there can get excited, ’cause it gives us a whopping 40% increase instead! This proves we’re cooler.  It must.  Either way, it helps keep the pet alive, and that’s good for all of us.  Like Flinstone vitamins.

Bullheaded: This is the last point that beastmasters get.  Now, this is normally a PvP talent.  However, with all the damage flying around, Bullheaded can be incredibly helpful.  A 20% decrease in damage taken for 12 seconds can be all it needs to survive a Sartharion lava wave.  Or a bonk on the noggin that it gets for being in the lava wave in the first place.  Silly Link.

*whimper*

The Other Half of Cornered: Once again, your pet needs to be precariously close to death in order for this to start working.  However, a 60% reduction in your opponent’s chance to critically hit you can actually save that pet of yours sometimes.  Think of it as a jack in the box, with a really, really bad spring that doesn’t always work.

CONCLUSION
So let’s take a look at the talents we used here: 7 parts damage talents, 4 parts survivability.  This is slightly skewed from the 2 parts damage, 1 part survival that Ferocity had down to a science.  However, when the damage talents get working for cunning, the damage dealt jumps, leaps, and bounds in circles around the DPS of Ferocity pets.

This being said, there’s nothing I would change.  For Non-BM hunters, the only change you could really do it replace Owl’s Focus with Cornered, but I wouldn’t do it since Owl’s Focus is a much more consistent, safe increase to DPS.  The only thing for BM hunters is swapping Bullheaded with Carrion Feeder, and I wouldn’t do that because Bullheaded can keep your pet alive in a fight, where Carrion Feeder just saves some paltry amount of gold in food for the pet.

Do I see anything else worth changing? No, not at all.  I’m a stubborn person like that, and I think that these talent builds provide the best DPS that a cunning pet could produce.  Since that is exactly what we’re after, so we’re not going to change one bit.  Right? RIGHT.

Will there be a “next time”? Why, yes, there will be.  Will it be for DPS? Heck no.  When it comes to the Tenacious, they hold the line instead of break it.

We’re talking Tanking, peoples, and tanking with pets.  So stay tuned!

A Little Experiment

stargate2

This could be big.

Much like the Stargate pictured here, I hope that I found something that would be a bit of a breakthrough for us Beastmastery hunters.

Right now, the big PvE Pet is a ferocity pet of some kind, more often a wolf(fistpump!) but it begs the question: have we tried everything? Granted, ferocity pets do the most damage by far.  There’s nothing, pet wise, that does more.

But is that really true? I can only wonder, since I’ve been doing a lot of meddling recently.  I’ve been writing the Furrious Raiders: The Cunning post for some time, and I began to wonder if they’re even viable for raids; or if they’re better for them, somehow.  So, as a Beastmaster, I am going to do some testing this week involving a new member to the team.

Dave decided to move out, so instead, we have Falco the Dragonhawk.
FalcoFalco here is the test subject to my new “Cunning Raid Pet” test.  I want to see how much DPS I can pump with a lvl 80 Dragonhawk under 2 environments.  The first is a Dummy subject: the second is in Heroics and(if I decide to make the tests long enough) 2 Naxx raids, one for Link and one for Falco.

Let the games begin!