RFC: Raiding Pets

RFC stands for Request For Comments, and that’s exactly what this post is. I want to get your comments on hunter pets for raiding.

As many of you know, I am a very particular — and in some ways peculiar — sort of player. I am a strict soloer: I don’t group except under extraordinary circumstances, and I don’t raid or PvP. But while I am personally happy with my playstyle, it does unfortunately cut me off from a wide swath of hunter experience. So when a reader writes in to ask me for suggestions about raiding pets, I’m at a loss. I need your help.

Rather than just telling me what pet you might suggest, I thought it might be useful to break this topic down with the following questions:

  • What is the role of a hunter pet in a raid?
  • Are there differences between 10-man raids, 25-man raids and 40-man raids in terms of the role of a hunter pet?
  • What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important for raids?
  • What active pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in raids?
  • How about passive skills?
  • Do you respec your pet for different raids?
  • What other considerations go into choosing a raiding pet?

My main purpose here is to educate myself — and I’m really completely clueless about raiding, so please keep that in mind and explain any special terminology or concepts to me as clearly as you can. And I’ll do my best to understand this alien culture. *grin*

You are also free to e-mail me your comments if you’d rather not post them here.

As always, thanks for your help with this! I’d be lost without you guys.

(By the way, I figured I’d start with one of the biggest topics, but if this works out well then expect to see similar RFC posts for battleground, arenas, 5-man groups, and so forth.)

52 thoughts on “RFC: Raiding Pets

  1. Aelistrae

    @Blood God: Your theory would make sense if the DPS pets would routinely die in a fight. However, I have both a cat and a raptor, and with just a little attention and skill, they don’t die at all. Even in somewhat unfriendly encounters, like the Shade of Aran, you can more often than not save your pet by hitting passive and dash (which I have on manual for that fight) to make it get out of the way of an arcane explosion. In raids, my pet usually only dies on raid wipes.

  2. ChaosZereul

    It looks as though a lot has been said already, but I’ll put in what I can.

    *What is the role of a hunter pet in a raid?
    The role is what you make of it, and also depends on your personal spec. If you’re BM and you want to top the DPS charts, get a DPS pet, a ravager, raptor, or cat. If you’re MM, you may want utility, so you might shoot for an owl, wolf, or scorpid. If you’re Surv, you may want something with a focus dump, so maybe a windserpent. I haven’t played Surv, so I don’t know what you’d utilize, but make sure whatever you choose, you have a reason behind it.

    *Are there differences between 10-man raids, 25-man raids and 40-man raids in terms of the role of a hunter pet?
    I’ve never played a 40-man, but the difference between 10- and 25-man raids is minimal. In both, your pet takes a backseat to the tanks, and is mainly there to add to the DPS. In a 10-man, your pet is more likely to recieve heals, only because if the healers are good enough, they might have nothing to do and take pity on your poor damaged pet. However, regardless, your pet’s survivability is it’s most important role

    *What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important for raids?
    It’s all about DPS. Armor isn’t needed, since the pet won’t be getting enough aggro to be attacked. Same reason why it doesn’t need health. If you find your pet is dying a lot in raids, either spam Mend Pet more, boost its stamina, or find a pet with more innate stamina

    *What active pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in raids?
    This really comes down to what you’re fighting. In Kara, for instance, solid DPS usually wins out, so any and all damaging skills are good. However, sometimes it helps the raid if you focus on survivability. Spamming Scorpid Sting and having an Owl use Screech really helps keep the Tanks alive in dire situations. Also, you should keep in mind whether or not your pet’s signature skill can actually be useful. No sense in bringing a scorpid into a fight against Void Reaver, since it won’t be able to poison him.

    *How about passive skills?
    Avoidance, Cobra Reflexes, and Resistances are the way to go

    *Do you respec your pet for different raids?
    Quite often, yeah. I doubt it’s necessary, but if you’re going into a raid you know will have a lot of this type of element, better safe than sorry. BMs should respec often, especially, since if they lose their pet to a random elemental onslaught, they lose the bulk of their DPS

    *What other considerations go into choosing a raiding pet?
    Everyone has their preference, but you’ve gotta look into helping the raid more than helping yourself. I’m an MM Hunter, and I use an Owl as my raiding pet, since I’m always the Hunter who spams Improved Hunter’s Mark and Scorpid Sting to help the raid. Adding Screech to that makes me a seriously-loved Hunter in my guild. To be honest, my preference has always been Windserpents, but because I found much better use out of other pets, I scrapped him for a Ravager so I had a solid DPS-er when I needed it. Honestly, it all comes down to what you like to use versus what would help the raid the most.

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