If there’s one thing we know about PvE for hunters, it’s that we dish out the pain. We deal in massive quantities of sustained ranged DPS (Damage Per Second) and we deal with it every time we walk into a dungeon. Although skill enters into it in a big way, and there’s nothing better for skill than practice, another huge factor in determining your PvE damage is your talent spec… and that of your pet.
Along with fellow blogger Deadpool (link to his twitter!) of THE WARCRAFT ZONE (his blog!), I want to help people with learning about not only which talents they should pick, but why, so that when changes occur you can all figure it out for yourself. Make sure you check out his posts on the subject as much as mine!
So, without further delay, why don’t we start with the pet family that is born and bred to deal huge amounts of damage.
Ferocity pets are made to deal loads of damage, more damage, and then some more damage! The thing is, that’s only if you talent them properly. If you wanted, you could talent these furry friends to do no extra damage at all! That means they can do less damage than a tenacity pet! That’s no good folks, that’s just an embarrassment. So let’s talent your pets right, so our furry friends can rip apart faces!
PvE Ferocity Build: BM Hunter
PvE Ferocity Build: Non-BM Hunter
Now we’re going somewhere! As you can see, there are a lot of talents that are similar between the two specs, if not most of them: being a beastmaster, however, has it’s obvious advantages. Here’s a talent calculator so you can follow along with me as we work our logic through the tree.
There are a few things to keep in mind while we work our way through this, and it’s the recipe for DPS: Damage, survivability, and more damage! This is our recipe for DPS, for any DPS class ever. Damage because we’re a DPS class, we get Survivability talents because dying means you can’t shoot things, and damage again because… well, more damage never hurt you.
Remember this as I explain my talent choices! Let’s dig right in.
Not 1, but 2 glorious points for 10% increased attack speed at absolutely no cost? Sign me up. While I’m at it, sign up the entire hunter community, pronto.
One of the simplest to understand talents of all time (OF ALL TIME), Spiked collar is a no brainer. 9% increased damage for everything the pet does is about as obvious as it gets. 3 points please!
Culling the Herd
It might not be 9% increased damage from your pet, but 3% increased damage from your pet (12% straight, so far) and an additional 3% for you? It doesn’t get much more awesome than teamwork. Another three point no brainer talent. Oh, and if you thought that was the last no brainer…
3 points later, our pet has another 9% increased chance to crit, which also helps to keep Culling the Herd up! Synergy is a beautiful thing, and this is about as blatantly obvious as it gets. 3/3.
This is a DPS increase. This is only 1 point. This talent may not say it in plain english, but that increase to attack power is SIGNIFICANT. Easy 1 pointer.
Call of the Wild
Here’s a big cooldown button. When you need to do damage, and some significant damage at that, this easy to understand 1 point talent delivers like a fresh Delicio pizza. Use when you’re using all your other big buttons to deal lots of other damage. Also, you need the point in this so you can get…
This is the only controversial talent in the build, and that’s if you’re stretching it beyond reason. There’s a choice for non-bm hunters between Wild Hunt and Shark Attack. Let’s do a little math to show you exactly how much more awesome Wild Hunt is for those non-bm hunters!
Pet damage is heavily based on hunter gear and stats. My pet wolf, Link, has a move called Bite. As you can see, a hefty chunk of its damage is based on my attack power (AP).
I have 8 602 (AP) on my person. Let’s plug it into the equation:
BITE = 186 + ((8 602 * 0.4) * 0.2)
BITE = 186 + (3 440.8 * 0.2)
BITE = 186 + 688.16
BITE = 874.16
Now, Wild Hunt multiplies that by 2.2 (An additional 120%!). What does that do for us?
BITE + Wild Hunt = 874.16 * 2.2
BITE + Wild Hunt = 1 923.152
Great big Mammoth cutters, that’s a big difference! Even if it only happens once every few seconds (if YOU are talented properly), Wild Hunt helps a lot. Now, let’s see what Shark attack can do.
Shark Attack gives a constant 6% increase to all damage, but let’s see how it behaves with Bite.
BITE + Shark Attack = 874.16 * 1.06
BITE + Shark Attack = 926.6096
That, folks, it pitiful. Shark Attack barely boosted the damage by 52 damage. Barely. I can guarantee that it won’t increase the rest of your damage enough to catch up to the 1 000 plus difference in damage Wild Hunt made with 1 attack.
Proof in the pudding? I think so. Take 2 points in Wild Hunt, and be happy with your no brainer talent.
We don’t have to choose: we can have both. 2 points for 6% increased damage? It’s like the expansion pack for Spiked Collar: not only does your now rabid, punk rock _____(insert ferocity pet here) move like a snake and bite like a spider, he/she is now part shark. Sweet.
Now, we can’t make it up that high in the tree without taking some survivability talents. Here’s what I took, and why.
We need three points to get past every tier in the talent tree, but the only points we’ve taken in the first tier are in Serpent Swiftness. Putting a points into Great Stamina does very little for surviving, and Natural Armor does even less. With Dash/Dive, you can not only get your pet into the action quicker (Hey hey! It DOES do DPS!), but it also allows your pet to move out of Area of Effect (AoE) attacks quickly! That WILL make a difference. Stuff your point in here.
Like Dash/Dive, this talent point is needed to get past the tier with Rabid and Call of the Wild. Your other options include the rest of the tree, but let me let you in on a piece of advice: to no longer need food is nice. To have a self healing pet is fantastic. To have both of these effects passively just, you know, happen while it’s doing DPS, is priceless. Take your point in Bloodthirsty and be proud!
Once we have all our DPS talents, we still have 2 free to use. Why don’t we use one of them to improve our already super helpful Bloodthirsty talent, and unlock probably the most unique and super awesome talent in the tree!
Heart of the Phoenix
Heart of the Phoenix is an unbelievably cool ability, with a strange past. It used to not work at all, but now it works like a dream! Simply put the spell on your pet’s action bar, and if your pet dies? PRESTO, your pet is a shaman, and gets back on his feet, ready to tear more face! For a beastmaster, this kind of ability cannot be underestimated. Taking a point in this is taking a point in your pet.
For pets, please, take Heart of the Phoenix. It’s saving a life.
*cue emotional guilt trip music*
Now that’s a lot of wordage, but that’s more or less it; the very best way to talent your pets for DPS. Now, we could put a point into Charge instead of Bloodthirsty, or instead of Heart of the Phoenix, but it’s really a PvP talent. The stun does nothing against most mobs, let alone bosses, and the extra 25% AP only last for one attack every 25 seconds (and that’s by moving in and out of melee every 25 seconds!), and that’s definitely not that good. In addition, the function of moving into combat quicker is covered by Dash/Dive, so I would say that this talent it pretty bad for PvE.
The same goes for the rest of the talents. They’re all based on taking direct damage or being directly targeted, which is pointless in PvE. Unless you have growl on permanently, your pet will never take direct damage. Except Boar’s Speed, but that talent does one thing: move fast. And we got that covered, don’t we? Dash/Dive? Yeah, we do. /flourish
With proper pet management, which you don’t need as much anymore to be honest, your pet won’t be taking much damage. In addition, they can usually heal themselves through Bloodthirsty for any residual AoE damage they do take, and if they die in a freak hunting accident? Beastmasters are lucky and can use Heart of the Phoenix in a pinch.
So the builds are rock solid, there’s no controversy, and everyone is happy cause they do the most damage possible. If you don’t use one of the two specs, then you should start. Right meow. I mean it! Go talent your PvE pet immediately, exactly like this. Do the damage!
Next time I write a big guide, which should be soon, I’ll be covering a much more controversial topic: Cunning pets in a PvE environment. Stay tuned!