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.
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?