Thursday, December 4, 2014

Best Pets for the Lone Wolf Marksman Hunter

To the people that know what the new level 100 lone wolf talent is the title of this post might be a little confusing and for those that do not know what it is, when I explain it, they too might find the title confusing.  But just bear with me for a few moment while I explain why pet selection as a marksman hunter (or survival) with the lone wolf talent actually matters.

Lone Wolf is a level 100 talent only marksman or survival hunters can choose.  When using this ability the hunter can choose to not use a pet at all and if they do not have one some of their abilities will hit for 30% more damage.  Steady shot, aimed shot, chimaera shot and kill shot for marksman and arcane shot, explosive shot, black arrow and cobra shot for survival.

The lone wolf hunter can provide a myriad array of buffs that pets could offer even without the pet making them a quite efficient buff machine to give nearly any buff the raid might be missing without the need to carry around the appropriate pet to supply that buff.

While you can still have a pet out while using the lone wolf talent you will lose that 30% damage boost to your abilities while you do.  So because of that, as a lone wolf hunter, you will never want to have a pet out.

As you can see, everything about using the lone wolf talent just screams not to have a pet out.  Even the idea of me making this post saying what pets you should carry with you while in lone wolf will surely get a few hunters calling me a noob.  I can take it because I really believe in the fact pet choice still matters.

Nether Ray:

The nether ray is an draenor (outlands) animal that has been around for a long time but with the introduction of warlords and the changes with abilities the nether ray now offers an ability to non beast mastery hunters that they never had before.

Ancient Hysteria, the hunter version of bloodlust / heroism / time warp is offered by this pet and it is not exotic meaning that any hunter can have one and for the lone wolf hunter having a burst haste pet that can offer bloodlust / heroism / time warp might come in handy at some point.

We, as a lone wolf hunter, would be forced to dismiss our pet after using its buff to get the maximum out of it for ourselves (but that is debatable I am sure), but even with a 3 second cast time on dismiss pet being able to offer that huge burst haste buff in a group so everyone else would greatly benefit from it out weights the three seconds we, as the awesome hunters that bring everything that we are, would lose because of it.


What was something only a Quilen could do in mist as an exotic beast the Crane is not an exotic beast meaning all hunters can get it and it can now provide their Gift of Chi-Ji which is a battle resurrection.  This means that all hunters can now get a pet that is capable of providing the ability to raise a fallen ally.

As a lone wolf hunter we can supply so many buffs we often forget there are some very useful abilities we could be using that we don't, if only we had the right pet.  After doing a five man random where the tank died and no one in the group could revive them, what could have been a nice and easy kill with just one little whoops on the part of the tank or healer or both it ended up being a wipe.  From that point on I decided that I would never be caught off guard again.  I would carry a crane with me.  I leave it on passive and most definetly without growl on, so it does not accidentally attack and get themselves killed as soon as I summon them, and I can now revive the broken pile of plate on the ground we refer to as our tank.

Losing a few global cooldowns to revive the tank and prevent a wipe, or to bring up a healer when in need, so we can down the boss instead of walking back after failure is well worth the loss in DPS to call out that baby can cast a revive saving the day for everyone.


Moth, like the crane, has a battle resurrection ability, which is called Dust of Life. Sadly with the change to battle resurrections in raids this means nothing having a second one on you, but to mix things up, and effectively have two battle resurrections at other times, you can have a moth in your crew as well so when in a five man or out in the world doing your daily or what have you, you can revive two of your lesser skilled, or unlucky with life fellow adventurers.  Unless it has been patched, you can cycle pets to revive more than one person.


There are occasionally some things you can not face tanked or effectively kited.  For those times being able to pull out a trusty tank pet can be invaluable.  My favorite tank pet, for sentimental reasons, I admit, is a turtle that I named after my pet turtle.  Any tank pet will do but having a tank pet can be a good thing to have even as a lone wolf hunter when out in the world.

Be it to take the hits from a brutal opponent that is not susceptible to narrow escapes webs or concussive shot or binding shot or ice trap (oh crap we have a lot of slowing stuff still) or something you accidentally pulled and just want to get away from, having a tank pet to send in to take the aggro so you can kill it, or escape if you wish, can be invaluable.  I'd suggest that every hunter even of the lone wolf variety have a tank pet on hand at all times.  You never know when you are going to run across that rare that just needs killing and your turtle can take a hit better than you can.

Last but not least, every hunters favorite pet...


Why?  Because it is a sporebat, duh.  It hits bosses for a billion with its enormous man parts and can make rogues bleed from their anus.  Death Knights too.

But in all honesty, I would say leave that fifth spot open.  Who knows when you will come across some beast out in the world that looks awesome and you just need to tame that baby now.  The open space will allow that.

Are there any pets you make sure to carry around even when you are using lone wolf?


  1. there's nothing confusing, noobish or weird about choosing your pets well even with lone wolf. in 5 mans, it's awesome to be able to whip out a nether ray for a heroism for instances, or quickly brez someone. unfortunately lots of people don't understand the concept of a 6 seconds pull timer, so i can pre cast heroism properly and re-cast my party buff before the pull, which loses me no damage at all. usually it goes like this:

    me-i need a pull timer of at least 6 seconds (nether ray out)
    tank-wha? i can't make a pull timer
    party leader-i'll set one.
    tank: i can't see any! threetwoonepull (pulls within 2 seconds)
    me: *cries*

    for those who might not have realised it: you can start the dismiss pet cast and cast ancient hysteria the very last moment before the pet disappears. you'll also need to re-apply your party buff, which takes a second extra. therefore you need 6 seconds before the pull to properly set up the buffs without losing damage.

    1. I've already been told "you don't need a pet with lone wolf noob" while calling out a pet in a 5 man. So yes, people will say that. ;)

      I have to call out a pet and dismiss it before stampede will work whenever I enter an instance. It is annoying. I hope blizzard fixes that soon. BTW: Stampede and 5 mans = awesome. Nothing lives long and stampede is more DPS on anything less than 2 minutes long.

      I hate quick tanks in heroics. All I ask is for a few seconds before the pull instead of running in half cocked like they do. That is the difference of be doing 14K or 28K. Seriously, a tank running around like a chicken with his head cut off really screws me up big time.

      It does take a little time and skill to pull that off perfectly with losing very little. Practice makes perfect however.

    2. Hmmm it's probably the same kind of people who tried to persuade me that I can't solo a Blackfuse belt on flex mode (after I'd done that more than dozens of times) or that I can't cast Ancient Hysteria as a MM (in WoD). They're a very special, extra frustrating kind of people, those folk. Not only are they ignorant, but also stubborn and arrogant. Nowdays I just don't discuss anymore and just do.

      Stampede is real fun to play with, especially because it offers HUGE burst without a focus cost, but I'm sticking to AMoC so I don't forget about focus management, even if it's less annoying now than back when it cost 60 focus.

      Tanking is an art, really, I like it when they power pull through trash, so I can use barrage and the like. But they also need to know how much they can take and when to stop, especially prior to a boss. Few really manage that. Many are frustrating to play with but I've also had very few really bad groups in WoD, despite doing at least 1 random heroic a day. I attribute this to the new, harder requirements paired with generally simpler classes.

      On a side note, have you noticed how wonky our two-headed chimaera shot is? It barely ever works for me, especially with bosses and their huge hitboxes, while it is (mostly) fine with small trash mobs. On Pol and Phemos, for instance, who were tanked almost on top of each other, it never worked. This is a huge huge flaw or bug, the double shot should trigger at least when two bosses touch each other, and in our case, they were almost atop of each other most of the time. The only time it worked was when one tank died and the other held both bosses on the same spot for a brief time. I've made a bug report but I fear that it won't help as long as there aren't more complaints about it, like on the US forums (I'm on a measly non-EN EU realm) or twitter. Hunters should be wrecking the meters on bosses like the twins.

    3. Changes in abilities really tend to screw people up and show that they do not know as much as they think they do. I know I have made a lot of mistakes myself when asking about classes or specs I do not play often.

      Had one dungeon run where the DK DPS kept yelling at a warrior tank that was having some issues that he was an idiot because he should be in gladiator stance because that is the new warrior stance at level for protection. He would not listen to reason or even both the tank and myself telling him that gladiator was the DPS stance for a protection warrior. He was sure we were both wrong and both idiots.

      People should try asking a little more instead of assuming. I had the same problem as you with belts on one run late in mists for the engineer. Was a 25 pug and they were assigning people to engineers and I said I could do it solo but they refused to listen and put two people on it with me. Talk about wasted DPS. Not like first phase mattered, but if I say I can do it, let me do it. If I fail then say I am an idiot but do not call me an idiot because "no one can solo it on 25". Hey, just because you can't doesn't mean someone else can't.

      Yes, it does seem to have something weird going on with it. I've seen it only hit one target when two are standing right on top of each other, and I have had it hit a CCed target that was so far away I could not have naturally targeted it because I was so out of range of it. It is made for P and P and should work wonders on that fight. It there has to be some type of error on it. MM should rule that fight with the cleave from it.

      I did put in a ticket explaining how it split to hit a CCed target that was at least 5 yards away from the mob I was targeting. I'll put on in as another bug ticket for P and P as well. Either way I think it is something to do with how the math of it in terms of distance in the background.

    4. Yeah you said it, people should assume more that the person actually playing the class probably knows a bit more than them. I know that if I'd had to tell e.g. a tank how to play, they would have to be really, really, really bad.

      It's interesting stuff with how those spells that hit additional targets relative to the impact point work. Some target the center of a hitbox, some the border. Like multi-shot: the spread range goes from the center of the target to the border of the additional targets. That's why you can target a small add and hit a big boss as well, but it won't work the other way round. CS seems to work differently, from center to center, which is why bosses should be exactly on top of each other. This is very hard to achieve when they are very large.

      The old binding shot before the fix (i call it nerf) was also quite interesting, the distance between arrow and hitbox border would do the tethering, but the distance between arrow and center was used for the stun. That enabled the handy insta-stun, and the bigger the add, the easier was the positioning. Too bad they changed it (both arrow-center, i think) but it remains a powerful tool if the tank isn't a tool himself.

      In any case I think I'll just make a ticket specifically about P and P as well about the CS issue. We need a huge amount of feedback about this so that it will be changed. This severely affects our performance in 2 mob fights.

    5. I doubt they would change anything on that fight or our ability now. But if it effects our "cleave" I am sure it has to effect melee cleaves. So I am sure they would mention something like that as well.

      On the targeting subject, barrage is a fun one for that. You can really control it better now to not pull additional adds, but sometimes it is really funky as in shooting something in range, but not the way you are facing. I've had that happen a few times where it looked like an arrow flew out of my back.

    6. imho the CS is not working as intended, and as long as this persists we should give feedback about it. we are losing a huge amount of damage on fights like the twins, but of course it's not the encounters that needs fixing, it's the CS that needs a mechanic closer to what multi shot is (but only with one additional target). right now the cleave is factually non-existent.

      oh, yeah. barrage. i've pulled additional mobs in 5mans more than once, thanks to the stray 90° arrows... loved it.

    7. It has to do a little with hitboxes as well and how they work I am sure. An interaction thing between the two.

      But maybe making it like multi, as you mentioned, where it hits the closest within 5 yards might work. But if it goes too far it becomes a dangerous spell. In 5 mans I have had a tank with a mob so close to CC I could not use it out of fear I would break the CC.

  2. Ha, we just had this discussion with a hunter in one of my guilds. I don't raid with them, but the RL and I used to raid together, so I still go over his hunters' logs when he asks. Their hunter didn't believe me when I said he should be bringing a crane and a netherray to raid, even though he was using LW. :-P

    Anyhow, glad you wrote this.

    1. Maybe point him this way. ;)

      I figured a lot of hunters that are not into "utility" thinking might completely miss the idea that even a LW hunter can still get some awesome use from having the right pets. It felt like a post that needed to be written.

    2. That's pretty much the way I went my stable lineup. I focused on the combat rez, heroism, and then brought a couple of stat pets I thought the group might need in case I hated LW.

    3. I don't mind lone wolf that much in raids. Can't really get into enjoying it solo. I like having my pet around too much when I am not in a group.

    4. It's funny how tastes differ. I dislike LW because some important spells like master's call are missing. Also, spirit bond and animal bond seem much more powerful than during MoP due to our considerably bigger health pool which takes healers much longer to top off, while there aren't many hard hitting spells that would justify iron hawk anymore. Also, I love the laid-back playstyle of FS, and LW and FS seem to be really close damage-wise, so it all comes down to taste.

      For raiding, I usually just have my moth out, so that I don't lose any time switching pets for a brez. But I'll look into more support abilities like MS or slows given time. There aren't any AoE %phys buffs or slows anymore, I take it?

    5. Spirit bond and masters call are greatly missed, but in a raid setting they are not "as" needed. The hack 10% damage decrease still helps the healers even if I like the heal better and master call being gone just makes me want to cry. Wish they had added something in there to replace it when in LW.

      I don't think there are. But do not hold me to that, I could be wrong.

  3. Thanks for posting this, i havent paid any attention to the revised pet abilities and have been using my drums for lust

    1. You are welcome. Glad you can find some use in it.

      As someone else mentioned in the comments here. You can limit the time you use by timing things as best as possible. If you start the cast for dismiss pet at the 3 count on the pull timer and hit your pets hero in that last second before dismiss finishes you can lose a lot less up time with it to help the group. It would take some practice, but it is not that hard once you get used to it. Try it out in the world a little and you will get the timing down.

  4. for what it matters, I got Gara today and they will have to pry beast master out of my cold dead fingers. Spirit beast for the win. :P

    Also got Path Runner 5 minutes later.


    1. Congrats on both, path runner more so, that one I have yet to see.

      I need to do the gara quest line one of these days. Hope they do not remove it with no warning like they have done with so much other stuff. Would really be upset if I missed out on it.