Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How do you Choose Your Pet?

For many hunters out there what pet they use is more so a function of the group they are in or it goes back to the age old "what is the best pet" argument where they will always use whichever pet sims to be the best pet.  Since wrath and the age of the wolf there really has not been a "best pet" but thanks to frost from warcraft hunters union we were able to find the true best pet, for the DPS.  Just watch the video, trust me, you will not regret it.

So now that we know that a sporebat is the best pet in the game and it hits bosses for a billion with its enormous man parts and can make rogues bleed from the anus, and death knights too, we can move on to other reasons you might choose a pet beside the fact that using a sporebat will make you leet.

Do You Pick Your Pet Based on Your Group?

Most of the time, at least while grouped, this is how I choose my pet.  I bring the buff that is needed for the group.  Lucky for me I actually like one of the two pets I need to carry around for my group.  So much so I have been running around with it even when not in a group.  It is one of the two "key" pets I have found.

In my personal guild groups, which include two 10s, a 25, and various flex runs here and there along with pick up groups and LFR runs I have found there are two "key" pets every single hunter should have.  Just in case.

Oddly enough one of them is a sporebat.  As funny as it was to watch the video that made a joke about a sporebat being the best pet because at the time it was effectively the worst and nearly useless the buff it supplies seems to be needed quite often.  Along with the sporebat it seems a hyena is the other "key" pet that is needed.  So I suggest to all hunters to carry a sporebat and a hyena around with them because more often than not those will be two buff you often need to supply.

For me I am lucky when I need to use my hyena, it fits well for what I like to use.  I like the minimalist approach and being it is a small pet it works for me and has recently been the pet I walk around with often in raids and even when solo.  Hey, an attack speed boost is always nice right?

Just because you need to bring a specific buff for your group doesn't mean you have to run around with a pet you really do not like the look of however.  One of the best things about being a hunter are the options we have.  There are so many different skins you can choose from and in many cases they can even look entirely different and not just a color change.  Take a look at Petopia and find the pet that has a look you like.

A good hunter should always know what buffs a pet brings and should have a pet that can supply that buff.  Like I said, in most cases having a sporebat and a hyena can handle it but sometimes you could get a group that is missing a buff you usually take for granted like the crit buff and for that you should have a wolf.  Even if you do not have one on you, you should have one in your stables.  With 55 slots there is no excuse for any decent hunter not having every single buff and debuff in the game at their disposal.  Also, thanks to pet battles, there are stable masters all over the place now.  More than there ever were in the game before.  So there is no excuse for not being near a place where you can access your stable to change your pet and get the one you need.

Instead of listing every buff and debuff your pets can give your group and which pets do so I will refer you over to wowheads MoP buffs and debuffs list.

Do You Pick a Pet For a Task?

Being all pets can work out of any skill tree now meaning any pet can be cunning, tenacity or ferocity more often than not, unless you are doing something pressing, you do not need to switch pets.

If you want to solo some rares around the world and fear your cat might be a little squishy you could either switch to something more tank like or just switch your cats spec to tenacity and let it tank.  It will not have the tank cooldowns a turtle or a beetle might but it should do just fine being a tank cat instead of a claw cat.

While all pets can be all things that does not mean all pets should be all things.  A pet that is intended for tanking like the above mentioned turtle will be a better tank than just changing your cat over to tenacity.  Sure your cat will be able to handle nearly anything you come across in the world but if you plan on soloing heroics your tenacity speced cat might have some issues your turtle will never run into thanks to shield shell.

Same goes for PvP.  Pets meant to be cunning have more PvP utility than pets that were not intended to be cunning.  So my suggestions is, even if your pet can be anything you want it to be and fill the roll of the attacker, the tank or the PvP utility, the pets that are originally intended to fill those roles will always fill them better.

Well, within a certain amount.  Being all pets damage is normalized even a pet that is naturally cunning will do the same DPS in ferocity spec as a natural ferocity pet will.  So if it is just about doing damage and doing damage only, perhaps it does not matter.  But when it comes to a special task you will always rather have a tank pet taking the hits than a ferocity pet in tenacity spec.

Do You Pick Your Pet for Look?

I've already mentioned above that I have grown fond of my hyena recently as it is a small pet and I like the minimalist approach.  We are talking about a hunter here who went out of his way to find armor that did not look like armor just because I hate the bulky look.  Sadly 90% of it is no longer in game or I would farm it on multiple hunters.  I just do not like bulky looks and that means I do not like bulky pets.  Or loud ones.  Can anyone say core hound?  Bulky and loud.  No thank you. 

If it were not for the fact I tamed beast back when beast used to have an extra skill point and was a skull which meant that my pet was a boss and followed boss rules making it harder for it to be hit and having bonus armor which made him the best tank ever even without a defensive cooldown I would not even own a core hound.  I hate them that much.

So the pets I travel with, even if I am choosing them for a task, or choosing them for the raid, always get picked because of how they look.  I like minimalist pets.  I also like clean pets and back in wrath when the wolf was the only pet we were allowed to use, if we wanted to not get laughed at, I went to hellfire and caught myself fluffy, as you can see up top, and he is my favorite.  Has been for a very long time.  He really fits me.  He fits me because of his look.  And for wolves back then we had those scruffy looking things all over northrend, or that nice clean presentable wolf I named fluffy.  Probably because he was anything but fluffy.

Do You Just Take Whatever Works?

I know a lot of people like this.  They don't even name their pets, they have no connection to them, they are just a DoT that follows them around.  They do not care what the pet looks like, they do not even care what the pet does, as long as it attacks.  For these people, tell them they need a sporebat.  It will actually do two things at once doing so.  It will give you an inside laugh because you watched the video above, or should have, and it will give them a pet that might actually bring a buff which seems to be the most needed buff in the game usually.

I can sense these people from a mile away, and it is not only for an unnamed pet.  Actually an unnamed pet could be anyone, I even have a few because I have not found a name that fits them yet, but it is a poorly named pet.  You can tell these are people that just do not care and they will take whatever works.  The only time they will change is if someone tells them too.

They will have pets with names that are spelled wrong, in all lowercase, in all caps, is a series of random letters that look like gibberish.  If you are one of these people, let me break some news to you, you are not a hunter.  You might play a hunter, but you are not a hunter.  A hunter would not mutilate the name of their pet.  Hunters, even ones that would rather be archers, still love their pets even if they are taking them for whatever works.

Do You Match Your Pets With Your Mounts and/or Battle Pets?

When running across water I love to get on my water strider mount from the anglers with a water strider pet and a water strider battle pet.  It's the water strider family.   When I need to use my sporebat in raids because we need it to hit the boss with its enormous man part I always have my tiny sporebat out.

There are so many cool combos you can make with pets, mounts and battle pets.  I think I try to find a match of some sort at least battle pet wise no matter which pet I am using.  I usually stick to my basic mounts however unless it is something like the water strider one and I am in need of it, then might as well bust out the water strider family if I am in BM spec.

Do You Choose Your Pets For The Coolness Factor?

Are you the type that catches all the rare tames.  Have yourself every spirit porcupine, all the old spirit beasts, the rare tames from cataclysm and the rare tames where you had to chase footprints in mists?  Do you have a collection of old raid bosses as pets like beast, buru, or chromaggus?   Who would not love to tame thok?  Really, think about how awesome that would be.  Some people love that stuff, I have never personally gotten into it even if I do have some rares like that.

How about the coolness factor of the slime pet, or maybe you caught the wolf in boren tundra while it was still oil covered, or the wolf in the plague lands with the sword through his head.  I wonder how many people out there still have a worgen in their stables from when there was a brief moment when we could tame them.  I never got one but I don't think they took them away from the people that did.  I have a few of those trick tame ones and rare ones that can no longer be tamed, but I don't think I've used any of them in years.  For me it is just a matter of "cool I got it" and it goes in my stables where it sits forever.

I've never been into pets for the coolness factor myself but I know for a great deal of hunters out there part of the thing they love of being a hunter is the coolness factor.  Can' really blame them because hunters are cool.

Do You Choose Pets That Match What You Wear?

Transmog gave everyone the ability to change how they looked but it gave hunters a little more.  It gave us the ability to match our armor with our pet.  Or is that match our pet with our armor?

For me and my simple non-armor looking armor you can very well say that me choosing basic, simple and smaller pets actually means I am matching my pet with my armor, my basic, simple and smaller armor.  I like that look and even without noticing it my pets have to look right with me to feel comfortable with them even if I do not do it intentionally.  I just choose what I like and it happens to match what I am wearing.

I have a hunter friend that has so many different transmog sets, and he does a bang up job making them look awesome, but he always has pets that go specifically well with them.  So much so that I would have never thought of it myself but once you see it you say, wow, that pet looks awesome with your outfit.

How do you choose your pets?


  1. I'm all over the place on this one. The two pets I run personally most often are wolf (best personal buff for SV, far as I know), the ghost wolf from EPL minus the sword (I prefer it without) and the ooze which is my personal tank pet of choice. For serious tanking I have the rare turtle from Hyjal.

    I carry a mix of pets with me for group content... serpent (the rare from Silithus, don't really like hyenas personally although I do tend to prefer smaller pets), sporebat and cat make up the other 3 slots I'll typically carry. I do have pets that'll do all the various PvE buffs/debuffs, though, I think all in BM and non-BM versions where available.

    When picking a particular skin to tame I do it based on some combination of look, rarity and size... which is probably pretty typical, although I'm not sure I have a specific "type" that you can point to based on my choices. I pick 'em because I like 'em, basically. If I come across something better, I get that one instead unless I'm particularly attached to what I currently have... doesn't always happen but does occasionally.

    My hunter is my only toon with an actual tmog (a few have tomogged headgear since one piece in particular that a few are running looks hideous), it's primarily red although I still haven't found a weapon to pair with it, most are too orange. My only pet/mount match to my tmog is the armoured raptor from one of the Zuls for the mount and an identical looking pet from the island north of Summit. Aside from that particular combo I don't have any other sets and since I normally don't carry the raptor pet with me I rarely have that set going. If I was going to show off, though, it'd be those.

    I'm really inconsistent with names, back when we had smaller stables all my pets had appropriate names... once we got the boost to 50 and I went on a tamefest I haven't really gone back to finish off the new ones. Probably should one of these days... I think all the pets I typically carry are named, though, at least. With proper capitalization, of course. Not sure why you'd expect hunters to capitalize pet names, though, when many can't even do it for their toon name. ;)

    1. My hunter is the only character I actually have a transmog on as well. I have a few helms on others like you but only my hunter has a full mog set.

      I use the epic bow for my weapon mog. It is so rare to see now and it is not attainable any longer so it is a nice one to carry around.

      I have a lot I tamed just for the buff but never really used sitting there unnamed as well. Any one I actually carry around with me are named. I do have one cat named cat however that I left it like that on purpose, that is what I wanted to name him. If I tame a named mob I keep the name however. I don't feel I should change beast to something else, he is beast.

      I can not stand people that do not capitalize names. I once got an invite to a guild on an alt and when I declined they asked me why. I said, I would never join a guild that was all caps. I have rules and that is one of them. If it is all caps, or all lower case, I want nothing to do with it.

    2. My xmog is red as well. I use this weapon:
      Coilfang Needler. I wish it wasn't a xbow, but couldn't find anything else that matched.

    3. Yeah, I'm the same way with names, I wouldn't join a guild without proper capitals or with (sigh) a spelling error... puns are hit and miss, my personal guild joke name would be "Crits and Sass" if I was going that route but I see a lot of joke names that I wouldn't actually join.

      (just looked it up, there's already a guild with that name so I can't (tm) it... ah well)

      @Jaeger - I'll have to check that out in-game, from the pics it's hard to tell how it'd look... lots of purple in some of the pics. I've been using (no clue how to link):

      Orange more than red but it does go with the Pureblood Firehawk and Flametalon mounts so I just use those on that toon and make do. ;)

      (yeah, I basically spent 400K on BMAH mounts to match my hunter's tmog... why, what do you do with your gold?)

      I will check out the xbow, though, in case it does work better.

    4. Crits and sass is a good one. I would not be adverse to joining a joke guild but like you, not just anyone.

      I saw one guild titled "Can't Raid Without Coffee" and being I am a coffee addict I would join one like that.

      I spend my gold on... what the hell do I spend my gold on? No really. I never buy anything but I am always spending gold. I wonder where it goes.

    5. Yeah, there have been some decent ones here and there that have made me laugh, especially inside joke ones (whether I get them or not). Sarcastic ones like "Pretentious Latin Phrase" work for me, too.

      Heh. That sounds like a blog post waiting to happen there. :)

    6. I could go on and on with guild names. I've seen a lot of funny one.

  2. My original go-to pet for my Belf Hunter was her lynx, because it reminded me more of my favorite species of wild cat (caracal) than an actual lynx.

    Before Cata dropped, I went over to the ruins of Gilneas to tame a silver fox, because I liked the look of them.

    I've only recently branched out into using more pets. Currently using Skyshadow, the wind serpent from 1000 Needles. I love her model too and her debuff isn't too bad either when I'm soloing.

    My Worgen hunter spent a few days camping Lamepaw's spawn point in order to tame him. Him, I respecc'ed to Tank (and renamed to Blaidd).

    1. The wind serpent is one of the debuffs I often see missing. I too have one I like to keep around and sometimes carry it. I tamed on from a BC dungeon that I have used ever since.

  3. My hunter is obviously my alt, it's made the trek to 90 but nothing beyond that as I haven't played any alts this expansion. So my abandonment of it wasn't personal.

    I did when I got it to 90 went and tamed a pet for every buff possible, so that I had one. I didn't just tame the first one of that family that I saw. I picked the type, and I also picked the fur/scale/etc. colour. I'm still running with Beast Mastery so I got a corehound, but I got a while one, as it looked different from the other ones I'd seen about.

    I'm very fussy with my names. I'm a self-confessed name snob. I'm very particular about character names. If it's a stupid name e.g. Harrydotter or Iamnoturemom then I'm prejudiced against them. I probably shouldn't think that they'll be bad players but I sort of do. It's probably mean of me but I don't want to group with them. I will pick others over them because of my assumptions on the name.

    I am equally as careful with my hunter pet names. I look at what type of pet they are, what their buff is and I pick their name. It sometimes takes me ages as I'll think of words and then see what they are translated into other languages. That's one method I have of choosing names, others are just because I look at them and it feels right.

    I am attached to certain pets. I don't like some pets because they are ugly, or they have scales, they are bird/serpent things. I rolled a worgen hunter because I wanted the starter dog, but I also liked the wolf that humans start with. So I swapped between the wolf and the dog for a while until I got told that I needed a cat. This was back in Cata when pet families mattered. I went and tamed a stranglethorn panther and my dps went up a lot just from the change of pet. So that became my new pet for my adventures and I don't want any other now. I have history with that pet.

    I do actually find it sad now that on the rare occasion I have played my hunter my pet has been chosen based on buff, which means often it's not the pet I would like. I think it's great that hunters have more utility. I mean I have a few hunters on my roster and I'll quite often pick them. a) for their awesome dps. b) for their dps on the move. c) for their non interruptable range, I love hunters on Thok for instance. d) for their buffs. Actually there's a lot of reasons why I pick hunters but yeah having buffs is a good thing for hunters, another reason for them to get picked :)

    I just miss being able to pick my pet for sentimental reasons. It's not a flashy pet, but he's mine.

    1. I find myself prejudging people that use those stupid symbols in their name. Not saying that are all bad, but it does make me shy away from them and automatically think poorly about them.

      I've always been fond of cats myself. Mostly because my first companion was a cat on my first hunter. Since then I've created so many hunters and my fair share of night elves. Which means that a cat was the last thing you tamed when learning to tame in the old make up and it was the starter pet in the new make up. Sometimes I wonder if I really like elves or like the fact they always have cats with them. I used to like running with my cat on the cat mount that elves have. Just looked natural.

      The pet buff thing usually only matters in 10 man. I do not really consider it utility in the sense that most utility things are. Like a rogue with smoke bomb can save the healers a lot of work, a druid with a battle res can save the raid, a lock with his ports can make some hard things so much easier. Hunters pet buff are not really utility in my mind. Not even close when compared to the utility of other classes.

      I think the same. It might not be flashy, but it is mine. I grow to love my pets as if they were real pets. I even still hit mend pet every so often just for the hell of it, even if they do not need it. Got in the habit when they added the glyph that made mend pet restore happiness. It just became so much of a habit to hit it when I am just standing around.

  4. Group:
    Whenever a buff or debuff is needed, then I'll definitely pick a pet to fill in the gap. Usually, that means bringing a pet I don't like though... Always had to bring Windserpent during Cata and Sporebat is really common now. At least I'd try to find a skin that I didn't totally hate. Hyena is probably the 3rd most likely missing buff in my experience. Not a big hyena fan though. Crit is really good for small groups. I'll use a quilen a lot since it also gives a brez.

    Corehound when I need massive burst for soloing, like Brawlers Guild.
    Still use Turtle for extreme soloing with shield shell.
    Usually use a Silithid for PvP for the web ability.

    Every pet that I've tamed has been specifically selected after going through all the skins on petopia to find the family/skin that I like the most for each given role. We have a tons of pet slots now, so I have a lot that are just for looks though as well.... For example, I have 8 cats and 6 spirit beasts. One thing I don't really like is flying pets; the flapping tends to bug me.

    Whatever works:
    All my pets have names that fit with the pet. Names are usually derived from mythology/fictional characters, scientific names, famous animals, etc. I never "just go with whatever works".

    Matching sets:
    I have a couple of matching sets: Mount, pet, battle pet. But 99% of the time, I don't have a battle pet out and the cool ground mounts don't really having matching pets so...

    Coolness factor:
    I have some rare tames, but that's just one of the factors I look for when picking a pet of a specific family/role. Hardly anything is rare anymore. After I finally tamed Loque, I used that pet for a really long time, but I just see him too frequently now so he's been in the stable for a while.

    Xmog pet:
    I haven't found anything that is appropriate for the xmog that I use. I'm not sure that I'd worry about that really.

    Picking a pet:
    I tend to rotate my main pet out. Basically make sure that my favorites get some time out in the world hunting and exploring. I highly recommend the addon called PetEmotes for anyone who considers themselves a 'true' hunter. It really helps add some flavor and personality to your pet.

    My favorite is the white lion Sian-Rotam (I named mine Baltas) because it was the first taming challenge that I ever did. I tamed him at level during Wrath when the only way was to do a special quest and get him to spawn by attacking his mate in Winterspring. It was originally a horde only quest, but then they opened it up. Now he's just a rare spawn.

    Jaeger's Pet Collection

    1. Would you believe that I have still never seen loque except for the once I had to kill him for the achievement. And that is after camping him and other spirit beasts for a long time back in wrath.

      My main hunter still does not own a spirit beast yet 3 of my alt ones do. The same cat from zul drak.

      A hunter in my guild uses that. It also emotes for battle pets. It is funny to see them start singing something.

    2. I have a funny (well, I think it's funny) Loq story... I'd farmed him off and on in Wrath, actually ran NPCScan or SilverDragon or whatever the heck was used back then, had a /tar macro I'd spam while flying around, etc. I'd circle around until I got bored then would take a break until the next time I was in the mood.

      Never saw him, dead or alive... after about a month of that, the first significant "camping" I'd ever done in the game, I gave up and vowed never to do that again. I still haven't, not really, and I think my sanity has benefited from that policy.

      Zip ahead a while until CRZ was first mentioned... didn't immediately occur to me but I eventually realized that it might make getting rares more difficult, having more folks farming them. Which got me thinking, maybe I should pop back and give Loq a try again... so I hopped on my hunter, went to Northrend, popped out there and realized I'd stopped running NPCScan a long time ago... shrugged and just started to do one loop. First place I went, boom, he's there waiting for me. Shaking a bit, I hit the ground, dismissed my pet (which took FOREVER), then tamed him. He was finally mine! Bwhahaha.

      Then I had another thought. I have a horde hunter on another server... wonder if he'll have the same luck. How funny would that be? Logged out, flipped servers, grabbed that hunter, headed to Northrend, flew out to the same location I'd found Loq on my first hunter...

      ... he was there waiting for me again. Same damned spot no less. I'd pre-dismissed my pet on that toon (slow learner but I get there eventually) and tamed him again... for the 2nd time in about 20 minutes.

      Since then I've leveled/quested quite a few toons through that zone, never with the intention of hunting Loq, but once again, I haven't seen him since.

      These days, if I just wanted a spirit beast on a hunter, I'd just grab one of the porcupines... they suffice and the red one works okay with my tmog. ;)

    3. That is some amazing luck. I have had no luck with the spirit ones really. The one in the troll area is the only one I've ever seen and tamed and that is leveling over 30 characters through there and a lot of hunters too. It is hard to believe that I have never seen any other spirit beast.

      And now with CRZ, I've all but given up ever seeing one. CRZ ruined the pet taming, battle pet catching, fun farming part of the game completely.

  5. My hunter is my main, and I run as SV, but I have a BM secondary, and I have a stable that includes a full set of every pet buff. I can supply whatever the group needs, and cheerfully do.

    But my hands down favorite pet is a scruffy white saber worg named BB (short for Big Bad, and he is actually more gray than white). I tamed him while leveling through Northrend, and I have developed a strong attachment and sentimental loyalty to him. Stupid, of course, because it's really just a bunch of 1's and 0's, but still it's there. He has been with me through glorious boss kills and ignominious wipes, through long weeks of grinding rep and expansion leveling and boring dailies, and through countless misdirects that result in his death but saved a healer's life.

    I am not a pet collector as a hunter, I don't camp rares, I don't tailor a pet look to a transmog. Mainly I think of a pet as an outstanding hunter DoT, and I think pet versatility is the one remaining unique thing hunters can bring to a raid.

    But I love BB.

    1. There is one of those worgs in northrend, do not recall which one, but he changes colors each time you summon him all between a white and a gray type. Always thought that was kind of cool.

      There is nothing stupid about being loyal to your pet. After all, they are loyal to you. I have a leveling pet, the one I used when I first leveled. He never gets used at cap but each time a new expansion comes out, he comes out. He is my leveling buddy. Nothing stupid about feeling sentimental about it.

  6. My main and first ever toon is a Nelf Hunter she leveled with a turtle and I just can't bring myself to not have him in my stable ready for me hit Stampede
    What I use mostly is Gondria from Northrend her name isn't orginal Violet but I love her she can heal , tank maim and kill
    I have lots of pets but I always go back to Vi

    1. We all tend to have one we end up gravitating back so. I always say that is the heart of a real hunter. Their pet is like a friend. Even when doing things solo you are never alone.

  7. A cat. And my favorite is Brown Pandaren Tiger, one can get from the Jade Forest. Not flashy, pretty much plain jane. And her name is MaryCathrine.

    And I guess I am a bad hunter in your book for I have no idea what each pet class brings to the table. But I can see your picks being pretty much right on. I'm going to have to try one out.


    1. Sometimes those plain ones end up being the rare ones because no one uses them. Odd how that works, if you want a unique skin, get the basic pet.

      You are not a "bad" hunter per-say, you are not a raider and as such it is not really important for you to know. I am sure if you started to get into serious raiding you would look up which pets did what.

    2. and you hit the nail on the head - I'm not a raider. But, I did look your two examples and want to try that hyena - but, yuck, they be some ugly dogs.

      Spore bat - I cant stand anything flying as they block my line of sight and in real life, I don't like anyone standing next to me (had to do it for 22 years, now 20 years later, I don't even want my spouse within 3 of me). Flying pets seem to stand right near and over me, no, not even in a game.

      We use to be able to tell our pets to move a distance away from us, but I cant find it any more, so it much have been removed.

      But this week-end I will go find a regular hyena and try out that haste. cool beans. thanks again GE.

      When you put things like this in your post - teaching things, I can learn. :D

    3. There is a quest mob in uldum by the name of scarf, or snarf, or something along those lines, that seems to be a very popular skin. Not so bad looking.

      All my pets, flying or not, always seem to love to stand on me it seems. Or more so try stand on anything I am trying to loot so I click on them. Thank goodness for the fetch glyph. You won't let me grab it, you grab it.

      There is still a move to function, but it would not work to keep them x distance from you at all time. Just to move to a specific spot.

    4. Thanks again. I know I am a few days in answering back, been very sick and at the hospital. Got out today. I know at one time a person could pick the distance a pet was to you - next, near, and a little far away. I'll go looking for the snarf or whatever it is called, when I can. Thanks for the heads up!!!


    5. Hope you get better soon and it is nothing major. I had a bout of the flu earlier, it was no fun.

      I do not recall there being a way to dictate their distance from you, but that would surely be nice sometimes, like when fluffy is standing on something I am trying to interact with.