Daily Archives: January 3, 2011

Furrious Raiders: The Cunning Mk. 2

Hello! Welcome to the second instalment of this series of guides that’s designed for PvE success! For your pet.

Although the ferocity pets from lat time’s discussion are very adept at dealing damage and “ripping” problems apart, they oftentimes do little else to help the group or themselves! This is where the brawn of ferocity meets the brains of our next family.

Keep in mind that despite all the amazing talent choices, the perfect builds, and the perfect mean nothing if you don’t use it properly.  Skill still determines the majority of your success, but talents can help make that success easier to attain!

Without further delay, let’s get started on the furry little geniuses of the pet world!

CUNNING

Cunning pets are exactly what they sounds like: smart, brainy, and uncannily resourceful.  They are NOT the type to smash and shred their way through  problem: rather, they will probe defences until they find the single, its bitty weak point in something and tear it a new hole.  If you were being chased by a hunter pet, the ferocity pet would be the kind you could close a door on, and run away from while they beat the door down (which wouldn’t take too long, to be honest).  Cunning pets would find a way to not only unlock the door, but infiltrate the air vents and head off the nearest exit!

So although their damage potential may not be as obvious as a ferocity pet’s damage, their damage can begin to far surpass that of a ferocity pet under the right conditions.  Not only that, but they have other, sneaky ways of increasing not only their DPS, but their survivability at the same time! Let’s take a look at this fascinating talent tree in a PvE setting.

BM PvE Cunning

Non-BM PvE Cunning

Believe it or not, the Non-BM tree is pretty much the same as the Ferocity Non-BM from last time, but with a few key changes.  Why is this awesome? Because it means that, curiously enough, the cunning pet is a very viable choice for Non-Bm hunters! Also curiously enough, Beastmaster hunters don’t really gain a huge advantage over Non-BM Hunters in this tree DPS wise.  There are only so many DPS talents! As such, our fabulous selves have to start branching out into unfamiliar, utility territory.

Please keep that in mind while I explain my reasoning for this fascinating tree!

DAMAGE!!
Serpent Swiftness
Remember my explanation of Serpent’s Swiftness in the Ferocity post? For those who don’t, it went something like this: It’s free.  It’s attack speed.  Attack speed means DPS.  DPS good.  Get 2/2 for DPS.

You know what, you come up with a good excuse not to get Serpent Swiftness for PvE, or for the next 5 talents, and I will eat my goggles.

Spiked Collar
Straight up, easy to understand, and a 9% increase to your pet’s DPS.  No brainer 3/3 talent, here we come!

I just got to thinking, I say that a lot.  NB3/3T is much shorter, isn’t it?

Culling the Herd
Another NB3/3T! Increases your pet’s and your damage output!  It’s a wonderful, fabulous talent complete with every breakfast, and neglecting this important part of your breakfast will give you scurvy.

So don’t neglect to take it!

Feeding Frenzy
This is a straight increase to DPS, but it’s the first talent point that is unique to Cunning pets.  So what’s the catch to a 16% increase to damage dealt? It only works when the target is below 35% health.  That’s a simple condition with a HUGE bonus! For a full third of the fight, we get a 16% increase to damage, and at probably the most important part of the fight too.  That’s roughly a bit more than a 4% increase in total DPS from your pet for 2 talent points! Not bad at all, and thats me talking.

Wolverine Bite
If there’s a protip for talenting anything at all, it’s that new abilities tend to get priority because they’re always awesome.  Bestial Wrath, Black Arrow, Chimera shot… these are talented abilities.  These are ridiculous and super powerful.  The same goes for your pet.

Wolverine bite is a powerful attack, and is therefor a straight DPS increase every time your pet critically hits; but I really want to show you just how powerful this attack is.

Taking the formula from WoWhead, let’s plug in the numbers…
Wolverine Bite = (1+((8 602*0.4)*0.1))
Wolverine Bite = (1+(3 440.8*0.1)
Wolverine Bite = 1+344.08
Wolverine Bite = 345.08

Okay, it’s not mind blowing, but it’s 345 guaranteed (pre talent and stat increase) damage every ten seconds.  I guess that’s okay, and it’s certainly better than no damage at all; but Wolverine should stick to his claws, I think.

Wild Hunt
Okay, this is a NB2/2T for everyone involved.  I did the math for how much it increases Bite over here in the last post, so I won’t do it again for post elongating purposes.  Suffice to say, take 2/2 and love them, cuddle them, and give them expensive wines once a year to show exactly how much you care for them.  These 2 points increase your pet’s DPS by enough to make you believe in a pet God.

Owl’s Focus
This talent deserves extra special attention.  It’s an NB2/2T, and there’s a very good reason why.

Your pet is above 50 focus, and can now activate Wild Hunt.  Your pet uses an attack, and it does all the extra damage, but the focus? Thanks to Owl’s Focus, that double damage attack cost no focus at all.  This little talent means that you can generally abuse Wild Hunt to a point where it wishes it had never left Kansas.  The poor talent will feel all used and cheated from not getting his focus points.  Because your pet focused like an Owl.

Now that’s a “hoot”! And this is a perfect example of what I mean by “sneaky” DPS.

BEASTMASTERS ONLY
Cornered
If those crazy non-bm hunters think that Owl’s focus is the sneakiest DPS talent ever, they’re probably right; but we still have the most insane damage increasing talent in the game.  Under the right conditions, Cornered grants your pet a 50% increase to damage. That is the single largest increase in DPS for any pet in the game!

There is a reason why it isn’t picked up by the Non-BM hunters though.  It requires your pet to be under 35% health.  That’s a rare time indeed, and usually your pet is going to want a heal at that point, nullifying the damage bonus.

We pick this up for the rare time when your pet does go under 35% hp, and when it does happen? Massive damage bonuses are welcome for the next few seconds.

UTILITY
Dash/Dive
Make pet move fast, nothing better to pick, longer explanation here.  Suffice to say, take a point in this and don’t look at it too funny.

Roar of Recovery
If there’s one thing people need, it’s more resources (MOAR GASSSSSSSSSS).  What’s a hunter’s resource? If you guessed Focus, you’re right! So what a better way to increase DPS than to give us more resources to do it with? Roar of Recovery gives us more focus so we can dish out more damage.  Smart use of this focus is what will make this talent good, or terrible.

BEASTMASTERS ONLY
Carrion Feeder
This is about as silly as it gets, but you know what I hate to do? Pay for food for my pet.  It’s like what ammo was before pet talents were invented.  And then pet talents were invented.  Carrion Feeder means a quick recovery of happiness, but that’s about all this will do for you.  It’s better than putting it in Boar’s speed though, since we already have Dash/Dive.

Bullheaded
This is a PvP talent.  It is kinda lame for PvE.  It is also situationally useful for PvE.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING: Your tank just lost a mob, and it’s beelining for the healer.  What’s one easy way to save him? Pet tanking! Simply send your pet to attack the mob, Intimidate it, and use growl to keep it off the healer until the tank taunts the mob off.

Thing is, sometimes your pet takes damage from doing this.  Sometimes, your pet takes a lot of damage in general.  Bullheaded does at least one useful thing: it reduces that damage by 20%.  So, whee, your pet has a tanking talent.

CONCLUSION
Having too many point in a tree is possible for Cunning PvE.  Bullheaded and Carrion feeder are so utility that they’re barely useful in a PvE context.  For BM hunters, it’s rare to see Cunning pets for that very reason.  It’s also very saddening, because I love how Ravagers look like and wish I could use mine more often.  In fact, the last two points in Carrion Feeder and Bullheaded can be put pretty much anywhere, and that’s no good because anywhere else is PvP talent territory.

For Non-BM hunters however, the Cunning tree gives a lot of really applicable talents for your pet.  In fact, I’ve heard from Rilgon from Stabilized Effort Scope that Cunning pets are actually Higher DPS for Non-BM hunters than Ferocity pets! I’m not entirely sure myself, but I can believe that considering the synergy with Owl’s Focus and Wild Hunt, not to mention Feeding Frenzy and the unique pet abilities in the Cunning pet families!

For BM hunters though, every point in the ferocity tree, including the extra 4, are all useful for increasing DPS or directly influence keeping your pet alive.  Cunning pets, although really cool, don’t give as much bang for you talent point.  This blogger heartily recommends that BM hunters use Ferocity pets in a generic PvE environment rather than a Cunning pet.  Depending on your grouping, however, cunning pets might be more helpful.  Keep this in mind.

Otherwise, these builds are solid.  Any comments or question are appreciated, and I would love to see them in the comments section!

There won’t be another PvE hunter pet talent post, largely because the entire Tenacity tree is covered in great detail by another blogger, Big Red Rhino.  He can more easily answer Pet tanking questions, because pet tanking is the only role tenacity pets have in PvE environments.  They simply cannot do the damage that the other two trees can!

However, I do plan on putting up Hunter pet talent guides for PvP sometime in the near future! Keep your ears peeled for when that happens.

Now go out, deal damage, and may your pets be the best pets they can be! Maybe even as fabulous as myself!

/flourish