Animal Instincts: PvE For Pets Part III

jormungarlarva1Last time, I discussed Ferocity pets in PvE, the kings of the DPS jungle.  Ferocity pets make up for all the damage they deal with their frailty and their lack of utility.  So, as a direct result, one needed to manage their pet more actively.

However, hunters(and by relation, their pets) aren’t all about DPS only.  That makes an average hunter.  The element that makes Hunter’s loved by the other classes is our utility.  We have many forms of CC, and a good hunter can kite for just about forever.  We have group-wide buffs that increase damage, or restore mana.  We have traps to keep our squishy healers alive instead of dead.  Most importantly, every Hunter has access to most of these amazingly useful abilities(to varying degrees of usefulness).

For those who want to be able to do amazing amounts of utility, there is a pet for you! Although cunning pets have some utility in the form of mana regen, that only helps you out directly.  If you want a pet chock full of utility and that can take a few hits, you don’t have to look any farther than the Tenacity pet!

From the get-go, Tenacity pets are tanky.  They start with a 10% increase to their HP and a 5% increase to their armor.  Survivability is the name of this game, as most of their utility involves them taking one for the team.  However, they have no bonuses to their damage, resulting in a severe lack of DPS.  If all you want to to is DPS, then Tenacity pets aren’t the best for the job.

There are two ways I figure you can build your tenacity pet without being a full on tank(for that, go see Big Red Rhino): either make him full of utility, or hybrid him so that he can do a little damage, at least.  I will discuss both builds, starting with the utility build.

For utility, I would build my tenacity pet to look something like this.

Lets go through the list shall we?


Dama- oh not again!
That’s right! There’s nothing to see here! Move on.

This is full of things though! We have Great Stamina, Natural Armor, Blood of the Rhino, Boar’s Speed, Avoidance, Grace of the Mantis, and Last Stand.

Great Stamina increases your pet’s total stamina by 12%, which is a lot! For most other PvE builds, I haven’t taken this talent, but as a utility pet, we’re going to need this.

Natural Armor increases your pet’s armor by 10%.  That’s also a hefty bonus that I normally leave out.  Once again, this is going to be necessary for a utility build.

Blood of the Rhino increases your pet’s stamina by 4% and increases healing done by 40%.  Also a huge bonus that I would normally leave out for any other PvE build…

Boar’s Speed is nice to have for the extra movement it gives.  For movement related battles, so long as you’re doing fine, your pet should be O.K too.

Avoidance.  This ability is almost necessary for PvE.  In PvE, as I have mentioned before, there is a lot of AoE damage flying EVERYWHERE.  Reducing that damage is a huge concern to Hunters as they want to keep their pets alive through it all.  Avoidance reduces that damage by 75%, which is a huge amount! A 1000 damage AoE would only do 250 damage to your pet, without any other modifiers.  Big bonus!

Grace of the Mantis reduces the chance your opponents will critically hit him by 4%.  Errr, ok, I know this looks bad, as it’s a PvP thing primarily.  However, this talent is still sueful in this build, as I will explain in a later section.

Last Stand increases your pet’s maximum HP by 30% for 20 seconds.  Then it loses that HP.  Normally, this isn’t exactly the most useful thing for you pet in a PvE environment.  However, it is going to be very nice to have.

Here’s another big section, with a HUGE explanation.  The talents in this section include Charge, Guard Dog, Intervene, Roar of Sacrifice, and Taunt.

The role of this build, and of tenacity pets in general, is to provide utility.  The way tenacity pets accomplish this is through damage reduction to the rest of the group, and sometimes catching runaway mobs so that eventually the tank can catch it without the mob squishing a priesty or something.

Here’s where all the funky ability choices come in.

Charge allows your pet to get into melee range of a mob almost instantly, thereby allowing your pet to Taunt the mob.

Taunt makes the mob attack your pet instead of the healer(which is pretty awesome).  However, in raids, your pet probably won’t be made to tank it forever.  So we have Last Stand from earlier, and all the other survival abilities I picked earlier, to help keep fluffy alive.  All told, your pet is now a runaway mob-catcher.

Just to clinch the deal, your pet has Guard Dog.  Guard Dog makes sure the mob sticks to your pet like glue, instead of running away again and smashing some poor bastard.

On top of this I mentioned Damage reduction.  Intervene makes the pet take a hit for someone, maybe the tank.  You could use it on the Hateful Strike tank for Patchwerk, thereby keeping the tank at optimum HP!* The uses for Intervene are pretty varied, and it’s up to you as a Hunter to figure out how you want to use this in a group setting.

Roar of Sacrifice is probably the most useful ability for your pet and your group.  Every 30 seconds(or 21 if you’re Longevity specced) you can cast this on your tank or whoever.  What this does is transfer 30% of the damage your target would take to your pet instead for 12 seconds.  This is another reason why all those HP increasing abilities are so useful: this way, your pet can survive the damage it’s going to take from this ability.  This is essentially a +30% boost to the damage reduction your target already has, so long as your pet is living.  In short, it’s amazing, and is incredibly useful.

Stuff I Didn’t Take
There was a number of things I did not take in the list that I normally would.  The talents I didn’t take in this build are Cobra Reflexes, Spiked Collar, Pet Barding, Lionhearted, and Great Resistance.

Cobra Reflexes increases your attack speed.  It therefore increases your DPS.  This is NOT what this build is trying to accomplish.  We are not trying to accomplish Max DPS with this build, we’re going for utility! Therefore, not putting points in this talent.

Spiked Collar is the same deal as Cobra Reflexes: it’s a DPS talent.  We don’t want it here.

Now, the last three talents(Pet Barding, Lionhearted, and Great Resistance), are all great.  They all are perfectly reasonable talents for what we are trying to accomplish… however, I believe that I needed the points elsewhere.  I believe that I put my talent points where they will have the best effect possible for what we’re going for.

For The Other Hunters
For all you Non-Beastmasters out there, this is the build I would use for a “Utility” pet.  I cut out Intervene, Last Stand, Boar’s Speed, and 1 point of Natural Armor.  It hurts to take away those points because they’re all so useful.  However, you pet can be incredibly helpful with what is left, you just won’t have as many tools.  That’s fine! You’ll be jsut as effective, so long as you’re careful.

This is one of the builds I would use for a PvE setting for Tenacity pets.  This “Utility” build is made to help your friends, keep them alive.  This pet is the pet that would make you, as a Hunter, be very well known for your helpfulness.  Everyone can DPS, but not everyone has the utility that we and our pets have.

It’s hard to use because of all the activated abilities, but it makes for a very different playing experience.  You go from being just another DPS to being a lynch-pin in the raid by helping to keep your raid alive.  However, you will not be able to DPS as effectively, so make sure that you know you won’t be topping meters.

Which leads to my other build: the “Hybrid” build.

The Hybrid
I will not be going through this point by point.  This build(or this one if you’re not a beast master), is focused on a little DPS with the utility the tree is best for.

You take the points in Natural Armor, Guard Dog, and Taunt, and place them into Cobra Reflexes and Spiked Collar.

If you’re doing DPS, you have to sacrifice some Survivability and Utility to do so.  It’s a perfectly reasonable way to do things though, as DPS is always a good thing in PvE.  Plus, we still have Roar of Sacrifice for the amazing utility it provides.  There are only 2 DPS talents, so we can only go so far with the DPS.  As a result, the rest of the points go into survivability and utility.

At last, the conclusion.  The “Hybrid” build is just as effective in PvE as the “Utility” build.  It just focuses on doing more DPS than the “Utility” build.  However, there are only 5 talent points you can spend in DPS.  So remember: Tenacity is MEANT to do utility, at least a little bit of it.  Whether you want to focus on DPS or not with a Tenacity pet is your choice, but make sure you know that your pet will need to use every trick in the book to be as useful as possible.  It isn’t about killing stuff anymore.  Your pet is saving lives.

Thank you for reading yet another guide on Pet in PvE! I hope that all this information has helped!

So long, and hunt well!

*Make sure you tell your healers that you’re planning to do this type of thing, or some of them will be wasting a chunk of mana!