Furrious Raiders: The Ferocious


Hello everyone, and welcome to the first installment of a series of guides dedicated to PvE success for your pets!

Well, success as far as far as talenting your companions.  But if there’s one thing I preach above everything else, it’s actually playing and learning how to do things.  Once you have a talent spec, success isn’t guaranteed, just given a better chance.

So, with that in mind, I think it’s appropriate to start this series of PvE guides with the pet tree dedicated to dealing a massive amount of damage:


Ferocity specializes in massive DPS, making up for it with a frail physique.  But when I say massive damage, I mean it! Ferocity pets are the king of the pack for DPS… but only if talented properly.  A poorly talented ferocity pet will suck terribly on the DPS front! You can potentially talent your pet to do almost no extra DPS, and that means that it can do less damage than a tenacity pet.  That’s saying something.  So talent your pet properly, dammit!

The regular build for PvE DPS is something like this.

Ferocity PvE talent

Ferocity PvE talent spec without Beast Mastery talent

BM Ferocity PvE

The Beastmaster build.

The two talent specs are incredibly similar, there’s just 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.

Now, as all of you know, there are a few things to keep in mind when speccing for PvE DPS: Damage, Survivability, and more Damage.  But without being redundant, we’re sticking to Damage and Survivability, both of which have to be consistent and/or controllable to be effective.  This is the truth for anything DPS related, so all you other classes can learn something here too!

So, let’s take a look at our talent tree, and see if it follows our recipe for destruction!

Cobra Reflexes
: A straight up increase to attack speed.  Nothing odd or strange about this talent being here, so let’s move right along.

Spiked Collar: 9% Increase to all damage done.  I shouldn’t explain this, but this is indeed a pure DPS upgrade.  Take it, love, live it, smell it, and take it again 2 more times ’til you have 3 ranks in it.  Just do it, and never look back.  You’ll thank me.

Spider’s Bite: 9% increased chance to critically hit.  Take a look at Spiked Collar.  Put what I typed there down here.  Learn to love again, and have a happy life.  Take everything in moderation… except this talent.  Full 3/3 here.

Rabid: This too is a pure DPS upgrade.  Although it isn’t constant, it’s damn well close.  With an uptime of 20 seconds and a cooldown of 45-31.5 seconds(it’s shorter if you are a Beastmaster with Longevity!), this ability only has a down-time of 25-11.5 seconds.  That’s next to nothing! So, another must have talent for PvE DPS.

Call of the Wild: Now, this is a different story.  This is hardly constant at all! It lasts 20 seconds, but the cooldown is a whopping 5-3.5 minutes! So why is this in a PvE DPS build if it isn’t constant? Because you can control this.  It’s not a random proc, it’s not a stroke of luck.  This is an ability which takes skill to use at the right time, and not just willy nilly all over the place.  For PvE DPS, that’s perfect! There will be times where you need to “burn” the boss, or when you need a hefty DPS boost.  This ability does both of these perfectly.  Just don’t waste it on trash, because then you’re doing it wrong(The only time this would be acceptable is if you’re about to die and you can salvage wipe by killing a certain trash mob.  Otherwise, save it for the bosses).

Shark Attack: Although not as splendiferous as Spiked Collar, Shark Attack still gives a 6% increase to all damage done, making this talent another 2 delicious ranks of damage that you can have and hold ’til death do you part.

Except all you non-beastmasters.  You guys are like those kids who sit at the table and don’t eat their dinner, waiting to get cake instead.

Half of Wild Hunt: The +20% increase to your pet’s attack power inheritance is a big help for DPS!.. but you non-beastmasters can’t get more than one rank in this.  See, this is the cake, but because everyone else ate their dinner, we get more cake.  *raspberry*

That and Wild Hunt actually does more damage than Shark Attack, since it scales with buffs a lot better than Shark Attack ever could.  So make sure you take that last point and stuff it in Wild Hunt! Here’s some proof to back me up, done by yours truly!

Dash: Although this gets your pet into the fray quicker(resulting in DPS sooner, but not by any means even remotely that important as to say this actually increases DPS!), it’s so much more useful than that! The increase to your pet’s speed can save its life! Dodging lava never was as easy as asking your pet to follow you and Dash.  Instant pet recall.  Or, heel! or whatever.  Wherever you think an increase to move speed might be useful, Dash can make an appearance.

Improved Cower: In my opinion, this is strictly better for PvE than Bloodthirsty.  What you rather have, a 1/5 chance in getting some HP back, or a more constant(see what I did thar?) 20% decrease in all damage taken? Your pet took 5 000 damage? try 4 000.  Improved Cower just healed my pet(preemptively) for 1 000.  That is all that needs to be said, I should think.

Avoidance: The only way that AoE damage is going to be 5 000 damage is through this talent.  75% decrease in damage taken from AoE attacks? With all the AoE Damage flying around, this is a must have for the pet.  Remember what I said about Spiked Collar? Put it here too, but love this differently.  It’s not for DPS, it’s for life.

The Other Half of Wild Hunt: Only the beastmasters get this, and that makes us happy.  40% increase to our pet’s inheritance of stamina? Perfect.

So, let’s take a look at how our tree fit into our recipe: 6 1/2 for damage, 3 1/2 for survivability.  Remember the recipe? Damage, Survivability, and more Damage.  2 parts Damage with 1 part Survivability.  It’s a science for this tree, it really is.  Like cooking a giant, furrious cake of death.

Ferocity DPS is at its highest when talented like this, and so that’s how you need to talent your ferocity pet to do DPS.  There’s no real two ways about it, but if you wanted to, you could tinker a little bit with the tree.

For example, if you’re still learning pet management, you could take the points from Improved Cower and 1 point from Wild hunt, and place them into Bloodthirsty and Heart of the Phoenix, but I wouldn’t do this if I knew how to control my pet since it’s a waste of points.  If you know how to control your pet, it shouldn’t be dying.  Ergo, no need for Heart of the Phoenix.

Aside from that, this is rock solid.  I wouldn’t change a thing in the non-Beastmaster tree, since you can’t salvage the points for Heart of the Phoenix, and there’s no where else of use to put points.  So you non-beastmasters get no variety at all here.

Happily, both these builds are the best at what they’re supposed to do: Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged Pet DPS.  So, depending on your hunting styles, you are going to use one or the other.  Right? RIGHT.

Next time, we’re going to take a look at the second tree(and the only other raid viable tree at that) for pets: The Cunning Tree, where smarts beat brawn and it’s not all about simple DPS… heck, it’s about complicated DPS!



  1. I believe that this is about one of the BEST Break-Downs of pets types and their respective talent choices available. Bravo!
    Now to see if I can beat you to Cunning or Tenacity….

  2. Personally, I view Bloodthirsty as a less a “still learning pet control” talent and more a “what I don’t need to feed my pet oh thank god” talent.

    But I’m lazy like that 😀

  3. Eh… Actually, in all math I’ve done, Wild Hunt outpaces Shark Attack for MM and SV Hunters. As your gear gets better, Wild Hunt only further outpaces Shark Attack. That’s the only change I’d make, though. 🙂

  4. Oh, and no, I fully disagree on Improved Cower. Bloodthirsty will not only keep its health up better, but will also keep its happiness up, which is unbelievably important.

  5. @Zhire
    Thanks for the compliments! As for the rest, they’re coming along nicely, so not to worry. 😉

    Fair enough, but I pick up enough free meat as it is, and Glyph of Mend Pet does the trick for my pet’s happiness to my experience.

    Really? a 3% increase to all damage does sound larger than a 10% increase to inheritance rate of attack power, but I’ll test and modify this post as I see it.

    As far as “keep health up better”, I find it doesn’t. I used to put Bloodthirsty on Link all the time, but I tried Improved Cower and I’ve been really impressed with the results. Bloodthirsty is great for battles where the pet won’t be taking a lot of random damage, but Improved Cower + Mend Pet(With the glyph of course, there’s no excuse not to have it!) does the same trick for me.

    I’ll give Bloodthirsty another try though next week in Naxx, see what happens.

  6. @ Klin – I saw a chart somewhere, Wild Hunt surpasses Shark Attack as soon as you pass… 2600AP I think it was? A relatively easy benchmark. I’ll see if I can dig it up for you.

  7. @Pike
    Thanks a lot Pike! I think I’ve found out the same rough results in my own testing in my latest post.

    Looks like this needs to be changed: I’ll be right on it tomorrow.

  8. “If you know how to control your pet, it shouldn’t be dying. Ergo, no need for Heart of the Phoenix.”

    This is why I don’t understand why most BM builds put 2/2 in imp. revive. The only time I use it is in my soloing spec (Attumen and Midnight do so much damage when they are both out that even with the t5 bonus it can be extremely difficult to keep your pet up).

  9. @ Phiil
    Most do just in case, and since there aren’t very many other better places to put those points, most just say “why not?”

    Besides, there are times when you do stupid mistakes. Your pet does die sometimes. HotP is a once every 10 minutes res. Imp. Revive pet is a constant bonus to a needed spell that, otherwise, would cost way too much mana and time for our own good.

    It’s our insurance, really. It’s not “needed” if you control your pet properly, but people make mistakes. Imp. Revive pet is the Ace up our sleeve just in case the worst happens.

  10. I find Bloodthisty to be more useful than Improved Cower…

    My pet’s attack speed 1.28. With a 20% proc chance, that’s about once every 6.4 seconds. My pet has 12,935 health. 10% of that is 1293.5 health per about 6.4 seconds, or about 202.11 health per second. Now, Imp. Cower will be on 5/7 of the time, decresing damage by 20%.

    However, my pet generally isn’t taking massive damage. So having healing for when he gets hit by whatever=less mend pet=more mana=more DPS for you.

    Of course, Imp. Cower is also very nice, but then you have to get Glyph of Mend Pet, and I’m still not sure it’s been fixed so you can have it AND imp. mend pet, one of my favorite talents.

    I guess I should test this out, but in my mind, Bloodthisty > Imp. Cower. And maybe I should test this off of PTR as well-except is a test very accurate when you’re level 74 and still wearing a Zul’Gurub trinket and fist weapon and your level 50 qquest Devilsaur tooth? And I’d have to actually use that ferocity pet of mine-I like tenacity!

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