TBC Classic Beast Mastery Hunter Pets Guide
On this page, you will learn about the Pets system for Hunters in TBC Classic. You will also find out how to get the best pets and use them efficienty.
Pets are perhaps the most iconic part of the Hunter's toolkit. At Level 10, you will be able to pick up a quest from any Hunter trainer that will allow you to learn how to tame a beast. After completing the quest, you will be able to go out and tame whatever pet you would like, allowing the pet to fight by your side in combat.
In TBC, pets are now significantly more important to a Hunter's damage than in Classic. Pets in TBC now gain a portion of a Hunter's ranged attack power as their melee attack power, allowing pets to scale their damage with our gear. This enables pets to be a significant portion of our damage, especially as Beast Mastery, for the entire expansion. Additionally, your pets gain a portion of your Stamina, armor, and resistances to make them significantly more durable than in Classic. Your pets can and should live for raid encounters now with proper pet management. Your pet choice in TBC is more important than ever before.
Taming Pets as a Hunter
Taming pets can be quite dangerous. The cast is long, and you are left completely vulnerable during it. It is recommended to either have a friend help early on by tanking the animal while you tame it, to slow it using Concussive Shot before starting the cast, or most preferably to have a Freezing Trap set up ahead of time to freeze it while you cast Tame Beast.
Hunter Pet Classification
Pets are separated into different families based on their types, such as cats, boars, or spiders. Each of the different pet families also falls into one of three categories: offensive, defensive, or general. As the names would suggest, offensive pets deal more damage while taking more damage, defensive pets take less damage while dealing less damage, and general pets are more balanced. Each pet family has different modifiers to their health, armor, and damage based on their category. All the different possible pet families and their modifiers are listed below. You will also notice several new pet types below that are new to TBC.
|Family||Category||Health Modifier||Armor Modifier||Damage Modifier||Unique Ability|
|Wind Serpent||Offense||-||-||+7%||Lightning Breath|
You will also notice that some pets have unique abilities, such as a wolf's Furious Howl. These can be very useful abilities to have and it is worth having one such pet for whenever you might want that ability.
Pet Recommendations for Hunters
For leveling, the most important thing is to have a pet that can use two abilities to spend its focus on. If your pet only has one ability, such as a crab having Claw, you are missing out on potential damage and threat from your pet. Cats (Bite and Claw), Owls (Claw and Screech), and Raptors (Bite and Claw) are all great choices that you can pick up early on, depending on your starting zone.
The above recommendations specifically only apply to Hunters while leveling from 10-61. At level 61, all Hunters will have access to the Ravagers in Outlands, specifically the level 62-63 Quillfang Skitterers in Hellfire Peninsula. Ravagers are the best PvE pets for both leveling and damage output early on in TBC. They have strong DPS stats, but most importantly have the unique ability Gore, which is an incredibly strong focus dump.
At Level 70, you will still use your Ravager to start. Ravagers continue to be the best pet for quite some time until you eventually get enough gear that Wind Serpents become better.
Ravagers are the strongest pet for Hunters while leveling and early on at level 70. This is thanks to Ravagers having all of the standard high-damage tools including a 10% damage modifier, Dash, and two focus dump abilities. The most important reason that Ravagers are so strong though is their unique ability, Gore. This is the highest DPS pet ability thanks to its chance to deal double damage, making Ravager an obvious pick. Their armor modifier of +5% is also quite nice while leveling, especially for a damage-type pet.
Wind Serpents are normally quite bad for Hunters. Caster pets only deal 80% of the damage that pets normally do, and Wind Serpents will only attack from range by spamming their focus dump ability Lightning Breath. Normally this is a bad thing because pets do not gain that much focus, and Wind Serpents will be left with nothing to do some of the time. However, at higher gear levels, pets actually reach a point where they gain so much focus from the talent Go for the Throat that non-caster pets will be focused capped all of the time. Once you have a crit chance of roughly 30% while unbuffed, you can swap to a Wind Serpent, and it will do more damage than a Ravager thanks to its ability to spend focus faster.
Hunter Pet Attack Speeds
While this was an important factor for choosing your pet in Classic, it is no longer a factor in TBC. In TBC, pet attack speed is normalized to 2.0 seconds per attack, which means all pets have the same attack speed.
Just like Hunters, pets can also learn skills as they level. These skills fall into two categories, active and passive abilities. Most passive abilities you will learn from a pet trainer, usually found next to a Hunter trainer. Active abilities, however, are for the most part learned by taming animals that already have that ability. This applies to new ranks of abilities as well. For instance, if you are leveling in Durotar, you might want to tame an Encrusted Surf Crawler along the western shoreline to learn Claw Rank 2. Once you have tamed an animal that has the new skill or ability rank that you want, you need to have the pet use that ability before it can be taught to your other pets. Sometimes this can take a bit of time, and it is recommended that you let the pet fight enemies while only using that new skill to quicken the process. After your new pet has used the ability enough, the ability should appear in your training menu for your original pet to learn. There are some restrictions, however, such as Crabs not being able to use Bite, so it is important to figure out ahead of time what type of pet you want and what abilities you want it to use.
Once you have tamed a pet with an ability that you want your current pet to be able to learn, you can use the Beast Training ability in your spellbook to open the training menu. This will show you a list of available spells, which should include your new ability. To teach it to your current pet, you will have to spend some of its available training points (TP). Training points are like talent points in that your pet gains more of them as it levels up. Training points are also affected by your pet's loyalty. Your total amount of training points is calculated by taking (pet level) * (loyalty level – 1).
Training points are not permanent. You can pick different passives or abilities and retrain your pet quite easily. Especially for raid content, you should think ahead of time about what type of damage you will be taking and what you will mainly be doing. Some of the more important pet passives are resistances, which lower the amount of damage your pet will take against certain types.
That being said, there are some pet passives that are essential for general use and will always be worth taking. Below are the most important pet passives to train your pet with.
- Avoidance - 50% damage reduction against AoE attacks
- Cobra Reflexes - 30% attack speed
- Focus Dump - Always train up whatever damaging abilities your pets use. You want them to always be spending their focus to deal damage whenever possible.
- Stamina - Increases your pet's health pool
Pet Happiness and Loyalty
Pets have three distinct moods that they can be in: happy, content, or unhappy. You always want your pet to be happy, as their mood affects the damage they deal. Happy pets deal +25% damage, Content pets deal normal damage, and unhappy pets deal -25% damage. Unhappy pets are also in danger of running away if they remain unhappy for too long.
You must keep your pet well-fed to keep it happy. The face icon next to your pet's health bar shows its current mood, with a green smile being happy, a yellow face being content, and a red frown being unhappy. You should always feed your pet as soon as you see it stop being happy. Pets eat food such as meats, bread, and fruit, depending on their type. To feed them, use the feed pet ability on some food in your inventory, such as feeding boar meat to your cat. Pets like specific types of food based on their type, and you can use the Beast Lore ability in-game to help determine what type of food your pet will eat.
Pet happiness is also important because it increases your pet's loyalty. There are 6 possible loyalty levels, starting at loyalty level 1 when you first tame a pet. To increase your pet's loyalty, you must have the pet summoned while killing enemies. If you use the pet for long enough, eventually you will progress its loyalty level up to 6. The higher its loyalty level, the easier it will be to keep your pet well-fed and happy, while also increasing its total training points.
Other Hunter Pet Resources
For more information on specific pets or abilities and where to find them, you should check out Petopia.
- 25 May 2021: Guide added.
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