Last time, I talked about using Cunning pets in a PvE setting. Cunning pets were very good for doing most anything, and epitomized one of the magic words: balance. Without balance, your pet dies to quickly, does no damage, or is just plain ineffective. In addition to balance, cunning pets have many tools up their furry sleeves, such as talents that help mitigate enemy dodges(Wolverine Bite) and help with focus management(Owl’s Focus).
One thing that Cunning lacks, however, is a specialty. Specialties are nice, so long as you can effectively cancel out the trade off to being really good at something. Cunning pets have no bad side, but they don’t have an especially good side either.
Enter Ferocity pets. Ferocity pets are exactly the way they sound: ferocious. They do massive amounts of damage, and reliably so. Ferocity pets are the kings of pure damage. They specialize for it, and their stat line shows it. Ferocity pets receive a 10% bonus to their damage and a 5% health bonus. That’s it though. From this, we can see one thing: They dish out damage, but they can’t take it very well.
As a result, the bad side to ferocity is that they can’t survive unattended. If you want to PvE with a ferocity pet, be prepared to keep a good eye on fluffy, because if you don’t, he’s gonna bite the proverbial bullet. We can do our best to mitigate that through talents, but talents cannot replace good pet management. With that, lets get started with the kings of the DPS jungle: ferocity pets.
Ferocity specializes in massive DPS, making up for it with a frail physique. This build focuses on getting all the DPS talents to maximize their DPS while taking the best survival talents in the tree to help keep fluffy going as long as possible. Lets take a look at what I picked, talents wise, and why.
Cobra Reflexes is an increase to attack speed. Everyone here knows the tune: more attacks means more synergy, crits, damage… there is nothing wrong with this talent, and it is a must have.
Spiked Collar is a straight up increase to damage. A 9% increase to damage is a hefty amount, making this talent a must have for DPS builds.
Spider’s Bite is unique to the Ferocity tree. It, like Spiked Collar, gives a straight up increase, but this time to the pet’s crit chance. 9% increased chance to crit? Heck yes! Take this talent and be happy.
Rabid is an interesting ability. Not only does it look pretty cool, but it’s incredibly useful. When used, your pet gains a 5% increase to it’s attack power. Additionally, every hit your pet lands has a chance to grant your fluffy an additional 5% increase. This effect can stack 5 times, up to a maximum increase of 25% including the original 5%. It also lasts 20 seconds! If you have Longevity maxed out, the cooldown on Rabid will only be 31.5 seconds. That’s a huge increase to DPS! Even without Longevity, this ability is active almost half the time your pet is doing damage. Without a doubt the hugest increase to DPS in this tree.
Call of the Wild is probably my least favourite ability here because of it’s long cooldown. However, it is a very good talent nonetheless, and should be seen in most builds. Every 5 minutes(or 3 minutes and 30 seconds with Longevity), you give yourself and your pet a 10% increase to attack power. I would save this ability for when you are burning a boss badly. When The Beast Within and your other cooldowns all stack, this ability will be devastating for the 20 seconds it’s working.
Now, Dash is put under damage for one reason only: it allows your pet to DPS faster. That’s all. It’s one of those abilities you should have so that your pet is in the thick of it the instant you want him to be. Plus, it’s activated, so you can give him that massive speed boost whenever you need him to faster.
For the record, I am a completionist when it comes to talent points. I hate only putting one point into Improved Cower, but it is such a good ability for PvE. You want an ability to keep fluffy alive? Even one rank in Improved Cower makes your pet take 10% less damage. Plus, if your pet is using Cower, your pet has a much smaller chance of pulling aggro from a tank and then dying.
Bloodthirsty is a very good ability too. Every time your pet lands a hit, he has a 20% chance to gain 5% of it’s happiness, and 5% of it’s total health. What this means is, fluffy becomes a vampire. Sweet. He has lifesteal.
Boar’s Speed is in this section because the extra movement helps keep your pet next to you in fights with movement in them, such as Heigan’s Dance. So long as your doing your thing properly, your pet should too, keeping him alive.
Heart of the Phoenix is a bit bugged. It doesn’t autocast like it says it does. You have to create a macro to make it work. I’m no good with macros, but you can watch this movie to understand what to do. Movie is property of BRK Worldwide Amalgamated. Not mine. What this ability does is resurrect your pet. No strings attached, just a full heal. If you do get your pet killed by accident, then you can bring him back without wasting mana or time! That’s our plan B.
Avoidance is necessary. Not only is it a prerequisite for Rabid, it is also a very good survival PvE talent. In PvE, there are plenty of AoE’s and explosions flying everywhere. Being able to reduce that damage by 3/4 of what it used to be is simply too good to pass up.
Lick Your Wounds is another great ability. If fluffy got beat up by accident, or didn’t get out of an explosion fast enough, or just got plain ol’ hurt, this ability is a full heal. It’s a great emergency heal if your Mend Pet isn’t going to cut it fast enough.
No utility talents in this tree, with maybe the exception fo Call of the Wild. That’s more of a DPS talent though, and I already covered it beforehand. So nothing to see here folks.
Stuff I didn’t take and why
I didn’t take Great Stamina and Natural Armor for the following reason: your pet should not be taking direct hits. Putting talents in here takes away from more useful survival talents or from the great DPS talents. They’re great talents, but I don’t believe they’re necessary by any stretch of the imagination.
I didn’t take Lionhearted because I don’t believe my pet should have to worry about stuns and fears in a PvE setting. If your pet is feared into a pack of mobs, then you should have positioned him better. Other times, it just cant be helped. This talent isn’t very useful for PvE is the main point I’m trying to say here.
Charge is a great talent, but the mini stun is somewhat wasted more often than not, and as far as mobility goes, it isn’t constant. You can’t dance if all you have is half a second of movement. So I opted out of this one.
Great Resistance is an amazing ability. When fully talented, you can mitigate 9% of most magical damage. However, one point in Improved cower does a 10% reduction to ALL damage. Improved Cower wins, Great Resistance takes a back seat.
For all you Non-Beastmasters
I would do a build like this if I wasn’t a Beastmaster. The 4 missing points belonged to Boar’s Speed, Improved Cower, Lick Your Wounds, and Call of the Wild. All of those abilities are amazing. They all(with the exception of Call of the Wild) are great survival talents, and it hurts to have to cut them out. It also makes it a lot harder for you folks to keep fluffy alive, so your pet management skills better be up to snuff. For example, instead of Having Boar’s Speed to help during Heigan, you are going to have to push Dash at the right moment to keep your pet alive. Call of the Wild, although a good talent, is not as good as Rabid, and so had to be cut in favour of more consistent DPS.
Ferocity is a very powerful tree. Although ferocity pets are frail, they have a large amount of survival talents to make up for it. In addition, they have the best DPS talents out of all the pet trees, largely due to the consistency. This doesn’t mean they are godly by any means: they still are very frail, make no mistake. In addition, they have no utility functions at ALL. Almost every talent in the tree is made to increase the pet’s performance solely. This means that your pet isn’t helping you out with any of these talents, he’s there to do one thing: rip your target a brand new bum-flap.
So ferocity pets enjoy a specialty: damage. They excel at it in a way the other 2 pet tree’s cannot hope to really do. They in return suffer a lack of vitality and utility, which makes it more important than ever to have good pet management for these lovely beasts.
As far as specialties go, the next tree I will discuss is almost the polar opposite of the Ferocity tree. The Yin to the Ferocity’s Yang, if you will.
Until then, good night and hunt well!