Creature Feature: Raptor

You best be not frontin' this Raptah.

You best be not frontin' this Raptah.

These highly intelligent beasts are better left in prehistory.  Their speed, their power, intelligence, and their cunning made these beasts formidable predators on their own.

But that’s the thing: raptors tended not to work alone, but in packs.  These incredibly intelligent beasts co-ordinate attacks on prey much larger than themselves and win.

These beasts were probably best left in prehistory.  Azeroth isn’t so fortunate… but hunters can tame these beasts, and be on the winning side.
Raptors are a ferocity pet.  This means that these beasts have a tendency to deal extreme amounts of damage, and can deal the most damage out of the three pet talent trees.  Thanks to changes done in Patch 3.1, ferocity pets no longer will have an inherent advantage in damage dealing capability and must be talented properly to do the high levels of damage they are capable of doing.

The focus dump for Raptors is Claw, and their unique attack is Savage Rend.

Raptors are savage, ruthless dinosaurs, not fluffy rabbits.  They only eat meat! Happily, meat is incredibly easy to find, as most animals drop meat of some kind when killed.

Raptors have 13 different coloured skins, all of which are tamable! Raptors can be found in bright greens, blacks, blues, reds, and even hot pink, making finding the perfect raptor for you that much easier/harder.  They come in two physical varieties: the intelligent tribal kind from Azeroth, and the feral species from the Outlands.

Raptors were popular pets to have back in the Burning Crusade.  Thanks to their high damage modifier, they were perfectly useful pets.  Nowadays, Raptors are even stronger than what they once were, and are particularly useful in the hands of hunters who can guarantee that the raptor will get a critical strike when they want it.

Raptors can be tamed by all hunters.

Savage Rend: Slashes the enemy for damage, causing a wound that does additional damage over time.  If the attack critically hits, the raptor will go in a frenzy and his damage will be increased.

This ability is interesting in that is does can do 3 things all at once.  First, it does initial damage, or damage all at once.  Afterward, it applies a  debuff on the opponent causing physical damage over time.  Lastly, if the attack critically hit, it gives a buff to the raptor which causes all of the raptor’s attacks to do 10% more damage.  This is as of patch 3.1.

Like a good number of abilities, there’s one thing this ability is meant to do: hurt things.  No fancy slows, no fancy stuns, just pure and unadulterated carnage.

Savage Rend is particularly useful if you can guarantee a critical hit, as this guarantees an increase of 10% of all damage done by the raptor.  Beastmasters can use Cobra Strikes to get the guaranteed critical hit, which is a huge bonus.

For non-beastmasters, your chances aren’t so high.  If the hunter uses Kill Command and then gets the raptor to use Savage rend directly afterwards, a correctly talented hunter & pet can get the critical hit semi-reliably, though it’s not a guarantee like Cobra Strikes.

Let’s do some simple math to understand this: a pet has a 5% chance to critically hit.  A correctly talented raptor will have 3 ranks in Spider’s Bite, thereby increasing this crit chance to 14%.  The only easy to access talent for non-beastmasters that can further increase this is Focused Fire.  By using Kill Command before the raptor uses Savage Rend, you can increase this chance by an additional 20% for a grand total of 34%.  This isn’t large by any means, but it certainly is better than nothing.

Beastmasters not only get lucky with Cobra Strikes, but there’s even more in store for them.  With 5 ranks in Ferocity, you can increase your raptor’s chance to critically hit by an additional 10%, for a grand total of 44%.

Even if the raptor doesn’t critically hit, the synergy between Savage Rend and Kill Command cannot be denied.  Kill command increases the damage done by the raptor’s 3 next special attacks by 60%, 40%, and then 20%.  If the Savage Rend critically hits, the the damage is increased by 10% for the last 2 attacks.  Instead of 60%/40%/20%, you’re dealing with an increase of 60%/50%/30% damage per attack.

Both abilities are on the same 1 minute cooldown, or 42 seconds if you’re a beastmaster, making them perfect for one another in almost every way.

The key to using Savage Rend is not in having it on autocast.  The key to using Savage Rend is in manually casting it when it has the best chance to critically hit, or to do the most damage.

For PvE, this can be and should be used as often as possible to the greatest effect.  For PvP, Savage Rend should be saved for times when you need someone dead very quickly, and it should not be squandered.

The initial damage is physical, meaning it is affected by armor.  What is unique about Savage Rend is that the damage it deals in full is spread out over 2 seperate effects: the inital damage and the debuff damage, or bleed damage.  This gives Savage Rend a great deal of flexibility.  The bleed damage is affected by Mangle and Trauma, which can be a poweful advantage.  In addition, bleed damage cannot be dispelled by a rogue when it uses Cloak of Shadows, so Savage Rend can be an effective means of keeping a rogue under pressure in PvP.

Savage Rend is a melee attack, so it goes without saying that your raptor needs to be able to wail on your prey in order to use Savage Rend.

Savage Rend is a powerful ability, but it cannot be used without care.  It must be used at the best possible time in order to maximise the raptor’s chance to crit and deal damage.

Raptors are intelligent beasts best suited to hunting large prey in packs, but they are potent hunters in every respect.

In PvE, raptors are very powerful.  Well timed Savage Rends can increase a raptor’s DPS by well over 5%, and even more than that for beastmasters.  With all the cooldowns available to ferocity pets, not to mention the hunter itself, raptors can really shine in PvE.

For Battlegrounds, raptors can help the hunter deal large amounts of damage in a limited amount of time.  The initial attack followed by a 10% increase in damage and a bleed effect will put a player at a great disadvantage if they don’t deal with the raptor quickly, but at the same time, you are still a clear threat.  While your raptor has eaten your opponents face off, you have been pumping the poor bastard so full of lead and arrows that his children will be constructs.  Raptors deal and incredible amount of burst damage that should not be trifled with.

Although the Raptor lacks the utility of a chimaera or a crab, raptors more than make up for it with their burst damage.  When an opportunity arises in the arena, you have to take it.  If you don’t, you are setting yourself up to lose.  When that opportunity arises, raptors perform a stellar job of keeping the pressure on the target.  If the target is a rogue, they can’t Cloak of Shadows expecting to get away due to the bleed.  In addition, a very angry dinosaur is ripping their face off, and for a great deal of damage in a very short amount of time.

Once again, I cannot stress how important it is to time your Savage Rend for the greatest effect.  It could mean the difference of a loot/a win, or a wipe/a loss.

In solo environments, raptors aren’t bad, but they aren’t going to make things easier for you either.  You can easily level to 80 with a raptor, but it might take awhile longer than getting a cunning pet or a tenacity pet.

Raptors are frightening.

Their scaly hides have been known to act in manners unbecomming of beasts.  They hunt in packs like wolves, but have the added benefit of claws as large as my head which can rip a chunk of flesh the size of a melon from you chest without any struggle.  They can leap great heights and distances, and their jaws are strong enough to break bones.

Other curious things I’ve noticed is that the raptors from Azeroth seem to be tribal by nature.  They create intricate stone necklaces and bands with feathers on them to denote rank and title.  If they had fingers rather than claws, I am sure we would call them Lizardmen rather than raptors.

Once tamed, these beasts are a pleasure to work with, however.  They understand complex commands, and can learn them very quickly.  They even have a sense of creativity, and can improvise thei attacks to suit the current situation.  They also seem to understand basic speech, and attempt to communicate back.  Through thourough study and dedication, you can actually talk to your pet!

The feral raptors from the Outlands, however, are a different story.  They are still clever, but are much more powerful and dull compared to their unmutated brethren.  They also seem to have an incredible sense of smell, especially for magic beasts.

Raptors are frightening, but very rewarding companions.  To tame one is a challenge, but one with an amazing prize.

You have to wonder if these creatures didn’t spawn from chickens.

They have the same kind of bone structure, the same shape, and they both lay eggs.  If their bones were hollow, they could fly.

But then I couldn’t suck out the bone marrow, let alone catch them to see if they taste like chickens.

Oh, and they do taste like chicken…



  1. YAY for raptors! I use a green one from the wetlands sometimes and he’s my “Mean green DPS machine” ! Great article! I want to do something like this but I don’t want to copy off of you or other bloggers so perhaps I shall try out an obscure pet to feature, eh?

    BTW I listened to your podcast and it was really good once you got going and into the groove of talking. I agree with you, on the subject of it too. 😀

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