RFC: Battleground 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 Battlegrounds.

Last time we did an RFC it was about Arena Pets — and largely what I learned is that there are an awful lot of different strategies! But the Arena is merely one type of PvP, and today I’d like to learn more about how pets can be used in Battlegrounds.

Just as we did with the other RFCs, let’s break this topic down with the following questions:

  • What is the role of a hunter pet in a Battleground?
  • Are there differences for pets between the different Battlegrounds? (Examples would be great!)
  • What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important in a Battleground?
  • What pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in a Battleground?
  • Do you respec your pet for different Battlegrounds?
  • What other considerations go into choosing a Battleground pet?

Again, my main purpose here is to educate myself — and I’m really completely clueless about PvP in all its forms, 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. *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!

52 thoughts on “RFC: Battleground Pets

  1. Drotara

    Personally I take any high-DPS pet with me to battlegrounds. A BG is so ridiculously different from Arena for a Hunter. In fact you could say that a battleground is another place where a Hunter can shine. Just like on PvE DPS meters.

    For me, my Hunter pet does two things:
    1. Contribute damage. In most situations in a battleground, my pet is ignored allowing it to do its thing.
    2. Spell interruption. Fighting Mages, Priests, Elemental Shaman, etc is a lot easier with the spell pushback you will get from a pet beating on them.

    I personally leave my pet with max stamina, Bite, and Claw. In addition, Cobra Reflexes and Avoidance are the other big ones for me. Avoidance can be huge when there are Warriors around or other AoE.

    In Alterac Valley though, I usually keep my pet by my side unless I am in a focused battle in which the pet contribution will be useful and won’t be instantly killed by a large pack.

    So for me, my cat Khagan accompanies me to all battlegrounds and raids. :)

  2. marzix

    in bgs, the type of pet you have is even less trivial than any other place. i dont even really use mine as a marks hunter. if i see a healer, ill stick my scorpion on them, but i really dont need to. the only reason i use scorpion is because i use it for arena and as i stated, im marks, and i dont really feel like switching it out.

    for BM, o geez, do i love facing BMs in bgs… kill the pet before they turn red, and watch them run away. its so funny.

    the stats you want more besides the basics (cobra reflexes, avoidance, bite/claw/poison/etc) are max nature and frost to avoid being CCed by druids and mages and throw the rest into fire and shadow resists evenly. you dont need arcane as i dont really see to many arcane mages in BGs and its just not that important imo.

    the best strategy is to avoid dismounting in the middle of the map, stay close to teammates and dont be afraid to run away. in a normal pug vs pug bg i can usually get away with only 1-2 deaths while everyone else has close to 6-10 deaths. a hunters strength is standing still and unloading dps so if you stay behind your teammates you can do some serious DPS. if you see a lot of stealthers, keep a snake trap below you, they eat thru cheat deaths well. if a lot of warrs/ret pallies, keep frost trap below you. avoid killing warrs as all you will do is feed them rage to kill you or your teammates quicker and try to go for non-pally healers first. use scorpid sting on every melee character you can and viper the healing classes. i just hate being stunlocked by a couple rogues/wars/pallies or watever and the other hunters are serpent stinging and not using scorpid.

    i suppose a survival hunter with their almost 50% crit would want a windserpent and a BM probably a raptor, ravager or cat, but it really doesnt matter though.

  3. Brian

    I’ve been using an owl as my primary hunter pet, and use it in BGs as well. I like to think the annoyance of that big flappy thing in the targets face makes me more effective, but maybe not. I’m not sure that any dps pet is much different than any other in BGs.

  4. Kadorka

    I agree with the previous two entries as well, except for the BM running away part. I only run away from the zerg, that’s it. I have a Ravager for BGs, but I’ve also used an owl and even my buzzard, it really doesn’t matter much, I like to think the birds are annoying, but in the end, I just try to stay on the periphery and pick off the softies, I’ve gone rounds without dying, but I usually end up too bored and throw my dwarven self into the fray when I know I shouldn’t! But, even in the dogpiles, not many people really bother with the pets, I guess they know they are just throwing away DPS. Oh, I totally agree with the skill choices too.

  5. Kesh

    I’m afraid I don’t PVP much with my hunter. Probably wait until he gets to level 59, as I want to get tokens for a PVP mount (Black Warstrider, yeah baby!).

    On my Warlock, though, I won’t go into a BG without my Felhunter. He doesn’t do much damage, but his ability to eat buffs off my enemy and interrupt spellcasting are invaluable. Once I pick up Paranoia, I’ll be able to better deal with those pesky rogues!

    Mostly, I’ve seen hunters move in packs. A group of three hunters + pets are often enough to overrun a lightly defended flag in Arathi Basin. They’re not as much use in Warsong Gulch, though, except for harassing the squishies or using Cats on defense. WSG tends to be ruled by Druids who can stealth up to the flag, grab it, and then run in Cat form all the way back to the base. About the only real counter to this is Frost Trapping the flag and keeping a stealthed Cat on Stay/Aggressive by the flag. That will slow them down long enough for your pet to get in some good hits, while you start shooting away. Hopefully another ally can root them down or Fear them, or you can whittle their life down enough they get killed running out the tunnel.

  6. Messyah

    What is the role of a hunter pet in a Battleground?

    It depends on the BG. In Warsong, I like being in the middle, assisting our runner or tracking and killing theirs. In AB, Hunters are great for preventing stealthies from being flag-ninjas. In AV, we are killers. We can stand outside of an objective and shoot the NPC marksmen in their windows. We can stand on the upper-levels of an objective and pick opponents off from higher ground. Our DPS and Frost traps are great for dealing with the NPC mobs as well. In EotS, my favorite place is the middle (provided I am not alone, LOL). Why? Well, because your opponents have limited room for getting around your shots, and a stretegically placed Frost trap in the apex of the enemy funnel makes the killing fields oh-so-sweet!

    Are there differences for pets between the different Battlegrounds? (Examples would be great!)

    I still like Boars the best for BGs. The stunning effect from Charge is a fantastic attention stopper and it tends to throw your opponent off their game. Stealthed pets are slow and pursuit is always a necessity in BGs.

    What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important in a Battleground?

    Armor, Health, Cobra Reflexes and resistance to both Shadow and Frost. Shadow to help them resist fear and dots and frost to help resist being froxen in a nova or chill effect. Avoidance is good to have as well, if you have the points.

    Do you respec your pet for different Battlegrounds?

    Not really. I respec him FOR battlegrounds, but not different for each one. You always face the same type of opponents.

    What other considerations go into choosing a Battleground pet?

    Even in BGs I want to be unique, so I tend to run with the least popular skin for the breed of my choosing. Since BGs are a kill-or-be-killed scenario, DPS pets are a must, no matter what the hunter’s spec is. Have you ever been getting hit by a bear and just laughed it off as you filled his master full of mithril? You don’t laugh so hard when you have a cat clawing at your ass, or a ravager goring you a new one! ;-)

  7. Messyah

    Oops, I gave you the role of a HUNTER in BGs… DOH! Here’s my answer as to a Pet’s role.

    What is the role of a hunter pet in a Battleground?

    Boar + Charge = Gotcha bitch! LOL

    In most cases, I have seen hunters put their pets on flag defense and while this is a more noble cause, my pet has one role and one role only. Assiting me in killing and staying alive. Getting hit by melee? Intimidation. Getting ready to be feared by a Lock? Bestial Wrath. Got a 1/2-dead enemy trying to get away? Charge, Concussion Shot and BLAM!

  8. Nevore

    Messya more or less said what needs to be said. I will however add one caveat, Nelf Hunter with Prowling Cat = Carnage, be it in WSG flag room, Nodes in AB, capturing towers in EotS. Especially in the interim BGs where people don’t have the best stealth detection. I’ve gone as far on my current toon to gather up a couple of stealth enhancements.

    Even as an MM Hunter, your pet is important, I really don’t see why so many MM choose to ignore it. While you’re trying to kite those two rogues that jumped you, your cat is doing a steady 15-20% of your dps while you shake em off. Caster intteruption even sans Serpents Swiftness is still sweet as, pushing those spells back -just- long enough for you to get off that Aimed Shot crit.

  9. Sundiata

    Wow marks is horrible for bgs.
    Your pets need nature shadow and fire resist for bgs.
    To resist locks and shammys who love to burn them down.
    If you have any skill as a hunter at all your pet being down should not stop you.
    Im 41/0/20 and i think marks is a joke unless your doing 3v3.
    And im no scrub i know how to play my hunter and i can easily beat well geared people without bw.

    I can not believe you do not pvp.
    It hurts me Mania to learn this.
    Your site convinced me to play a hunter 2 years ago.
    And you have been missing out on the greatest part of being a hunter.
    I felt a connection here but i am sad to learn that all you do is solo pve.
    You need to go out and explore and learn whats really out there

  10. Sundiata

    Oh yeah any high dps pet with dash or dive is great.Boars are pretty nice for charge but in bgs thats about it.
    just pure dps.
    And you need resists on your pet so they actually survive.
    I dueled a shaman that hit me for 8k with a crit and couldnt do anything to my pet thanks to its insane nature resist.
    But just train resists based on what is the most common threat.locks,mages,shammys and such

  11. Concrete

    Depends on the battlegroup really.

    WSG is a 2 flag (1 each team) capture the flag, so needs defense, offense and midfield to intercept/protect
    Arathi Basin (AB) is basically take and hold
    Alterac Valley (AV) is a race against the other faction to take towers and kill the bosses
    Eye of the Storm (EOTS) Sorry only done once! Seems to be a single flag capture the flag

    Nelf hunters can stealth with cats using a shadowmeld/prowl combo, nice for ambushing with rogues and druids or other shadowmelded characters.

    Your best solution is a hard hitting pet, with max dash/dive/charge and frost/shadow resists then perhaps fire resists (nasty fireballs) Dash and Dive to run people down or catch and intimidate if you’re BM. You could give a boar dash to chase then switch to charge if the cooldown is up.

    Spec your Battleground pet as you would your PvP pet. Growl will be usless so switch it off/don’t train it, to save focus.

    Scorpids perhaps, but remember they’re slow as sh*t! They really scare the pants off mana users though ;P

  12. Concrete

    RE; Sundiata

    Its not about specs or skill level. Its about what works for your pet in battlegrounds. Don’t confuse arena with battlegrounds. Arena play is totally different from battleground. Marksman builds can be pretty imba for battlegrounds if played correctly.
    Battlegrounds has goals that need to be met to win the fight, its not just simply kill the other team (cos they respawn!)

    I can see where you’re coming from though.

  13. Kanaan

    EotS is like a hybrid of AB and WSG. You take and hold bases as well as take the flag found in the middle of zone and cap it at one of your bases.

    I am somewhat of a battle ground junkie, but I’m not all that great at it. My primary concern in picking a pet for battle grounds is the DPS they can put out. I frequently see other hunters running with cats or ravagers, with the occasional wind serpent.

    I typically take my lynx or my owl (I released the ghost saber.) when I go PVPing. The abilities I pick are:
    -The highest rank of Great Stamina they can learn.
    -Dash/dive/charge. (Speed is important when trying to nab someone running off with a flag!)
    -Bite 9 or Claw 9. (Focus dump!)
    -Cobra reflexes.
    -Avoidance. (Handy for AoE happy people!)
    Then I dump the rest of the points into resists. I tend to put them into frost and nature, to prevent them from being CC’d by druids or mages.

    A fairly obvious point, but I’ve been guilty of forgetting this: if your pet knows growl, TURN IT OFF when you pvp! It will just eat up focus that could’ve been used on a claw/bite or dash!

  14. Concrete

    Apologies for the triple post, can’t seem to edit posts…

    What is the role of a hunter pet in a Battleground?
    AS with PvE, boost your dps. You also want your pet to PvP tactics too, such as distracting enemy players, interupting them and chasing them down and finshing them off.

    Are there differences for pets between the different Battlegrounds? (Examples would be great!)
    Not really no. Your Battleground pets are going to be similar to your PvP or PvE pet as you want to maximize your dps.

    What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important in a Battleground?
    DPS

    What pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in a Battleground?
    Uselful
    Cobra Reflexes
    Dash/Dive/Charge
    Claw/Gore/Lightning Breath
    Resists (Frost/Shadow/Nature/Fire)

    Not useful
    Growl
    Cower
    Poison Spit
    Shell Shield
    Thunderstomp
    Warp

    Do you respec your pet for different Battlegrounds?
    Nope

    What other considerations go into choosing a Battleground pet?
    Well the pet needs to dps but also survive for a bit if it gets caught out of heal range. Max out dps and if you’ve got Go for the Throat, get a focus dumping skill. If you’re shooting into groups, a dragonhawk might be an alternative for the aoe firebreath (mix it with an immolation trap and i’m sure the enemy won’t be liking it much!)
    From doing the different BG’s you’ll see they have different tactics and different roles needed.

  15. Indirect

    Concrete:

    I would disagree that warp is a worthless pet skill in BGs.

    It’s the same effect as dash, only right away. Could you please explain to me how you find warp worthless?

  16. Palladiamors

    Er, concrete, have you ever PvPed with a warp stalker? Warp is one of the single most confusing abilities a hunter pet can bring to the field, and it helps in getting the little buggers around faster. And I am sorry, but I actually laughed at whoever said a beast master runs away when his pet dies, primarily because I get the feeling you don’t face many good beast masters in BGs. If you have the opportunity to kill a beast masters pet before it reaches you, then the beast master is doing something very, very wrong.

    Ahhhh, BGs. Like you, Mania, I prefer solo PvE content, with a smattering of instances, BGs, and I’ve even arena’d. BGs are so hit and miss it verges on not being funny. One BG you may tear through everything and everyone like a hot knife through butter, another, you may be two shotted by a warrior/mage who just happens to be end game geared and hate your class.

    The role of a hunters pet in BGs remains constant, with only slight variance. Harassment. Any of the three tree’s can perform this role. A beastmasters pet just steps that up a notch, and add’s additional damage. A lot of it, if your careful.

    As for differences, it all depends on your playstyle. Warsong is stall and pursuit, so dash, dive, charge, and warp all take on more important roles here. AV is all about how fast you can kill thing’s, so its important to take a pet that you know you work well with, and suppliments your DPS. AB depends on the roll you decide to take. On defense, prowl is very useful, as is thunder stomp, to deal a bit of extra damage when the enemy zerges. By that same token, shell shield can help your pet survive quite a bit longer when the enemy gets smart and starts to attack your poor turtle. On offense, speed is more important, so again, dash, dive, warp, and charge. Consider Eye of the Storm a combination of AB and Warsong, and your not to far off the mark. Thunder stomp can do some amazing things as an AoE around the flag area, but again the speed enhancers are your friend.

    While DPS is very important in a battleground, spec depending it may not be the most important factor. It is close to the be all, end all for a beast master, but the other two specs may want to consider armor and health, to keep their harassasers alive a bit longer when they come under fire.

    Skill’s are incredibally spec dependant. A beast master can more or less rely on mend pet to take care of any sort of ailment some one may give their pet, while marskman and survival both are going to suffer badly when coming up against a warlock. I personally max out my pets attack skills ((Bite, claw, family dependant)) then take aspect of the cobra,avoidance, armor, and finally stamina. The last two can be flipped depending on preference. Dash and dive all depend, though typically my wolf has dash. As for family skills, I can’t think of any utterly useless one’s at the moment. Poison spit lag a little behind, because fourty nature damage a tick is a bit….. lacking. But its still additional damage thats unmitigated by armor! And sadly, my poor wolfs furious howl is lacking a bit as well. Oh well.

    Do I respec? Sure, but it’s usually minor change’s, like giving one pet dash or some such, and laying off of something else. Typically one skill set is fine.

    The most important thing to keep in mind when chosing a BG pet is, bar none, that you sync with your pet. I’m pretty sure anyone whose every gotten a pet that didn’t fit them will know what I am talking about. Don’t worry your head off about min-maxing. Take it from some one who has gone into seventy BGs using just about every range of pet’s you can find or build up without to much trouble. I can, will, and do still top the damage meters in most BG’s, whether I use wolf, cat, serpent, boar, nether ray ((Non-caster, not to hard to solo tame if your careful)) warp stalker, or tall strider.

    Now, a few more things to add. Pet targeting is important. Equally important is hunter targeting. Your pet’s main, A1 important targets are healer’s. Even if your not attacking the healer yourself, get your pet onto them. Beastmasters, this is a lovely time to beastial wrath. If your attacking another caster while your enraged pet is eating a healer, that leaves them with two targets to heal. Fun times, that, and not for them. Which brings me to an important note for beast masters. There are two ways to use beastial wrath, and it really needs to depend on the BG. One way is context sensitive. Flag carrier being the main, with point defense being the next. The other way is to simply use and abuse it every time the cooldown is up. It’s a two minute cooldown. And eighteen seconds of crowd control and snare immunity, with an angry pet that is most likely going to have some one for lunch. Use it, love it, but don’t just let it sit there.

    Lastly Mania, it’s important that you as a hunter be on the ball. Beast master or not doesn’t mean you get to sit on your laurels while your pet has all the fun. Arcane and multi shot take one a very important meaning in BGs, multi even in single target situations. Steady shot and aimed shot become context sensitive, and aren’t as widely useful. If there is ANY danger of having your timer pushed back, don’t do it. Your better off still pouring on some kind of damage. Wing clip is your best friend. Wing clip the crazy melee-er in your face, run past/around/through them, sic your pet on them, drop a trap, and proceed to turn only long enough to fire off an instant shot and or a sting. If you want added annoyance, wing clip and immediately raptor strike.

    Funny story, I once had a hunter run up to me and proceed to try and trap me, as if I had no idea what he was doing.

  17. Bomyne

    Personally, I always set my Cat (Bangalash) to agresive or set it to prowl and stay near an Alliance controled flag to ambush horde as they try to take the flag (this is in the resource battleground, AV)
    In WSG I do the same. My pet and usually a rogue or two wait near the flag stealthed to ambush any horde that come our way. Since I’m a night elf, I can also go invisible and stand just out of the way to hit the Orc with a volley of Arcane Shot.

    “Are there differences for pets between the different Battlegrounds? (Examples would be great!)”
    Anything other then a cat is less useful, in my opinion as I use my pet to set up ambushes and the like.

    “What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important in a Battleground?”
    In my opinion, all three are important.. but like anything in PvP, DPS is of the utmost importance. I’d also like to point out that the pet is often but not always ignored in PvP.

    “What pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in a Battleground?”
    You said it, Least useful would be growl and cower ;) They have no effect in PvP. Most useful would be claw, bite, dash and (hate to say it) charge and gore.

    “Do you respec your pet for different Battlegrounds?”
    No
    “What other considerations go into choosing a Battleground pet?”
    For me, my Battleground/PvP pet is the same pet I use while leveling. My Bangalash looks cool, has awesome moves (Dash, Prowl, Bite and Claw), has extremely high armour and DPS (due to pet skills and what it leeches off me.)

    I know some of you would probably laugh and roll your eyes at this… but ask that Tauren Druid I killed last week how he liked my pet :D

  18. jeanericuser001

    What is the role of a hunter pet in a Battleground? Guard Duty, Body Guard, Scapegoat, Distraction, Scout, and Surprise

    A pet can stand guard over an area and attack when it sees something threatening. A pet can be your body guard for when you need to focus on something else. A pet can be a scapegoat while you flee attacks then from a decent distance snipe away. A pet can distract people from attacking you. A pet through eyes of the beast can serve as a scout particularly in prowl mode to search out areas in advance for intel. A pet can even be kept hidden for most of the time leading people to believe your pet is already dead. Then just as quickly as they rush into finish you off you suddenly activate your pet resulting in an opponent caught off guard resulting in a sudden surprise advantage. Each strategy in its own way has advantages and disadvantages.

    Are there differences for pets between the different Battlegrounds? (Examples would be great!)Each pet in its own way presents an interesting advantage and disadvantage in each situation. It just depends on how well you know your pet’s strengths and weaknesses.

    What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important in a Battleground? Depends on what role you pet has in the BG
    Guard Duty: Medium Armor, Medium Health, High DPS, High Persuit Speed, Cobra
    Body Guard: High Armor, Medium Health, High DPS, Medium Speed
    Scapegoat: High Armor, High Health, low DPS, med resistance
    Distraction: medium Armor, High Health, medium dps, high resistance
    Scout: Medium Armor, Medium Health, Medium dps, medium resistance, high persuit speed, prowl
    Surprise: High Armor, High Health, High Dps, High Persuit speed

    What pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in a Battleground? Each pet skill has its own advantages and disadvantages but the least useful skills are growl and cower since they have no effect on people.

    Do you respec your pet for different Battlegrounds? Yes

    What other considerations go into choosing a Battleground pet? Depends on what strengths and weaknesses you have which are apparent to anyone else checking you out.

  19. Ansawa

    Nemesis the cat is usually my battlegrounds pet–his high DPS and the utter coolness of a big, red, translucent cat eating people’s faces win for me. But prowl is really the icing on the cake here, because it means I can send him after people behind all kinds of obstructions, inside towers, etc., etc. without them being any the wiser about it. I especially love standing up in Tower Point in AV with Neme parked on the ground below in prowl, waiting to stun someone and keep them in range of my shots.

    Ascension the dragonhawk comes along a lot of the time, too, usually because fire breath’s dot is awesome for keeping a rogue visible and shootable, and plays havoc with groups of opponents.

    I’m not feeling very wordy right now, otherwise I’d discourse more, but there’s a couple of thoughts on some handy pet skills. :)

  20. Indirect

    Palladiamors:

    Well, you must realize, Concrete is the guy who said Bears suck for raiding.
    I was previously unaware that having a high dps/HP/Armor pet ‘sucked’

  21. Drakkena

    I have to agree with jeanericuser001 about a Beast Master running away once their pet is killed. I am a BM/Survival hybrid and let me tell you I do NOT run away, my pet doesn’t even die in a BG unless I get out of sight and he gets pummeled to death by someone. A Beast Masters pet is much tougher than a MM or Survival pet, especially if they are pumped up with Thick Armor, etc. on them. So do not say we run away, if you have them run away then yes they are doing something HORRIBLY wrong or they have bought a Ebay toon ;-D

    As for me, I agree with everyone else in this. Everything has been said and such. DPS pet, with the focus dump skill, etc. etc.

    I mostly use Snake Trap in the BGs myself, why? I have the 30% more snakes and if you think about it a Snake Trap is like 5 Rouges pummeling you into the ground. They have Crippling poison, a Damaging Poison and… I think a spell casting speed poison I’m not too sure. But they do wicked for a BG with me, especially when you just really want to tick someone off and such.

    Most of the time I see Cats/Ravagers/Raptors in a BG, I say any pet is good in a BG now because of the new Cobra Reflex skill. You just have to train it right and keep to what you know how to do best. Basically think of your pet like an extension of your arm or bow, they help you with DPS and can save your butt in a BG ;)

  22. Drakkena

    And I think I found the wrong person on the post, I didn’t mean jeanericuser001 I meant Palladiamors xD Somehow I copied the wrong name there. Sorry about any confusion D= And sorry for the double post especially such a meaningless one ^^; Lack of Edit Buttons </3

  23. Seidouyumi

    Ok, I haven’t been in a BG as a Hunter, but I HAVE been in a BG as a Rogue and a Warrior, and certain pets drove me nuts in BG.

    I hated Owls, Carrion Bird, and Bats because they fly and got in the way a lot. The debuff drove me crazy too. I also hated having a Gorilla on me because of sheer size. It’s a pain to try and target someone around a Gorilla.

    Those were the ones that drove me crazy. They may not be the ‘best’, but heck, driving your opponent crazy can be a lot of fun.

  24. Odaelia

    As for the role of a hunter’s pet in battlegrounds, I agree it’s pretty much dps. If I’m in a group fight against multiple other players I like to sick my pet on the healer immediately if there is one. Other than that, it’s essentially another method of delivering damage to your opponent.

    Any pet that has the ability to slow or stun an enemy is great for Warsong Gulch or Eye of the Storm. Both of these two battlegrounds require players to carry a flag from one point to another, so Charge is great for knocking down flag carriers. I personally don’t use boars, but I’ve certainly been knocked down by them on other toons.

    Skills important to bgs are ones that increase damage and survival. Cobra Reflexes, Avoidance, etc. I agree with what others have posted above. I would say Frost and Shadow would be the most useful resistances.

    Definitely turn off Growl before entering a bg (and remember to turn it back on afterward. Learned that lesson the hard way). Unless you’re a nelf in Shadowmeld guarding a node in Eots or AB, I’ve never found Prowl to be too terribly useful.

    Personally, I don’t respec my pet before a battleground at lower levels. I do have a different pet for pvp at higher levels which I keep the resistances on.

    Other considerations? Annoying an enemy can be just plain fun as well as useful. Melee classes in particular hate giant, screeching, flapping beasts messing up their view, and I had tons of fun freaking out warriors with my bat. Cheesypoofs, I will miss you. hehe

    I know it’s not the most glorious job in a battleground, but hunters make the best defense for nodes (flags, gy, towers, etc.). Our steller stealth detection and various ways of slowing enemies, thereby preventing them from assaulting a node, are invaluable. A stealthed nelf druid once emoted /spit and /laugh while I was solo guarding the Gold Mine. He wasn’t laughing for long.

    As for spec? I’ve got a BM and a MM hunter. I disagree with those who think MM hunters can’t shine in battlegrounds. My MM hunter isn’t 70 yet, but so far she kicks some tail. Each has their strengths. Just my own experience and opinion.

  25. Wolfington

    About MM hunters not being that great — I don’t know if I am missing something big time that makes 50-60 AV’s different than 61-70, but personaly at 55 my MM hunter was kicking butt with Aimed shot/Arcane shot in quick succesion.

    Back to pets…

    Like everyone else, I would say that DPS is huge. I can not count how many times I have been ripped down by a Cat or Ravager, but that might be because I am a bit of a noob in BG’s.

  26. Rikaku

    Ah BG’s. I love BG’s.

    * What is the role of a hunter pet in a Battleground?
    For me, contribution to damage. Just keepin your pet alive is extra damage. However also having faster attack speed is good for causing some sort of interupttion to caster, giving you a slight extra second to shoot.

    * Are there differences for pets between the different Battlegrounds? (Examples would be great!)
    For me, not usually. I use the same pet I do in Arena and PvE.

    * What pet stats (armor, health, DPS) are particularly important in a Battleground?
    DPS. Most of the time, people won’t attack your pet if there’s a larger group attacking. if they lead your pet away from you to some secluded corner, then yes your pet will probably die. Otherwise you pretty much go a full bg without a pet dying.

    * What pet skills are most useful — or least useful — in a Battleground?
    As much offensive skills as possible. My cat uses Bite, Claw, and Dash (I turn off Growl in BG). My wolf I use Furious Howl, Bite and Dash. Both have Avoidance, Cobra Reflexes and Fire/Arcane resist (namely leftover from raids)
    I’ve found alot of people finding Prowl great for cats, but for me its too slow.

    * Do you respec your pet for different Battlegrounds?
    No.

    * What other considerations go into choosing a Battleground pet?
    For me it’s DPS or some other special quality. Sometimes people will see my brown lynx from a mile away in AV and target him first. Usually I use my Grovestalker Lynx. When I’m in AV though, I use my Ghost Wolf. He never gets targetted before me (unless he’s dragged off to some seculded area to be killed out of my LoS). I think it may have to do with his transparency and the color of the snow, and most people just don’t see him.

  27. FirstChAoS

    I am marksman spec so my shots come before my pets, but i have used both my raptor and my croc in the BG’s without trouble. Though it is my shots that usually make the difference. (though I have seen casters go running from my croc, which is funny as it is not a “super DPS interrupt pet” that most recommend).

    I also find it amusing when casters have no idea how to deal with silencing shot.

  28. Messyah

    Kanaan – Having both Bite and Claw is a “focus dump” as you put it and it actually factors out to less DPS than just having Claw.

    Indirect – Well, you must realize, Concrete is the guy who said Bears suck for raiding.
    I was previously unaware that having a high dps/HP/Armor pet ’sucked’

    I agree with Awl. They do suck for raiding. Also, if you would look at bears on the Godly Tome of Pet Knowledge, Petopia, provided by our brilliant and gracious host, Mania, you would see that their stats are listed as follows:

    (DPS: -9%, AR: +5%, HP: +8%)

    So in fact, they are a low DPS, medium Armor and high Health pet. Since your pet should for not reason at all be expected to tank in a raid, I have no choice but to conclude that Bears suck for raiding, sorry.

    Concrete – I have to disagree that Growl is not a good BG pet skill. For one, AV is a prime example of where Growl is needed. There are enemye beasts and mobs that you would much prefer your Pet to have aggro on. Also, Growl works wonders for pulling other pets off your ass!

  29. Palladiamors

    For clarification, no well played hunter spec will suck in a BG. In fact each spec has an equal opportunity to shine, really. For example, a well played survival hunter in an AV can unleash three trap’s ((I’d recommend a snake and one of each of the damaging one’s, but that’s just preference))and two rapid fire’s in a row on any of the bosses there. How is that not useful? And marksman are more counter-mage then either of the other two classes, with scatter shot to act as an interupt, and silencing shot the promptly tell casters to shut up.

    Sorry Messyah, but your wrong. Having bite and claw factors into MORE damage because of bites higher damage output. Couple that with its cooldown, and it never interupts claw. Having claw and screech is a bad idea, or claw and scorpid sting ((Unless you have an insane critical rating)) because your pets aren’t left with enough focus to do either with any consistency, but bite is the perfect suppliment to any focus dump, except maybe the uber high cost lightning breath.

    As for bears being a sucky raiding pet, again, I have to say your incorrect. Many, MANY raid enemies AoE, and in those situations, it’s far better to have a pet that does a bit less damage, but can take a bit more for those moments when you can’t pull them back in time. I have said it before, and will say it again. Aside from the poor, un-loved by Blizzard sporebat, any pet will do just fine in any given situations. The difference’s aren’t that great. What’s really, really important is that you find a pet you synchronize with. I find that your a lot more likely to do well with a pet that you like, and can work with, then a pet you feel like you HAVE to have. I also say don’t let anyone else force you into using a pet you don’t want to.

    You like cats? Use cats. You like crocs? Have fun with your six legged friends. Spiders? Sure! The aracnophobs will hate you. The way the system is set up now, the difference is not ‘OMGLEETPET!’ worthy yet. Boar’s may have a slight lead, having both gore and the indominatably charge abilities along with high survivability, but that doesn’t make them ‘the best’. For the love of Petopia, I wish people would stop following the “Ngghhh….need…… to do….. cookie cutter….” and start using their imagination with pet’s. Present company here at Mania’s blog excluded from the above statement. There is just so much fun to have with the little critter’s, way to much to lock yourself into that kind of mindset.

    Now, for the sake of not being totally derailed, I have to think of something relevant. AH, got it. Never go anywhere alone in a BG. Follow some one else, preferably a melee, but anything will do, really. This is going to sound absolutely horrible, but hang back from them a bit. A hunter in melee is useless. Let whoever your running with engage the enemy first, and then proceed to tear into said target. With any luck, you and your companion will drop them before they drop your buddy. A pet with dash and intimidate help’s with that. That’s less pet advice, more general advice for hunters, but hopefully I’ll be forgiven for the ramble.

  30. Thratruen

    High dps pets are definately the best in the battleground as the pets job is damage, and interrupts mostly. The job of the hunter and the pet varies in different bgs and in different functions in each. I use my cat in the bgs as that is my dps pet and have her trained in Avoidance, CR, claw, growl, prowl, dash, and resistances except for arcane with the rest in the stamina. I keep growl and prowl off auto cast and only use when they are needed. I only use prowl when I am guarding a node or flag.

    Most alliance don’t seem to like to defend so often in wsg I end up defending the flag after the initial rush across the field. Hunters are great in this capacity it is just a little more boring then standing mid field and killing horde by the bundles. When I am guarding the flag is one time I use prowl and park the cat there, always keep a frost trap down and wait for them to come into it. Tracking humans is one of the most important jobs of the hunter in a bg and our range is so good I catch rogues all the time because when the dot disappears off the screen you know you have a rogue incoming, good thing they don’t know how big our tracking range is.

    Anyway they come in the grab the flag, get slowed by the frost trap and the cat attacks, once they are on the edge of the frost trap and just about to break free hit them with intimidate and then if they are still alive when that wears off hit them with concussive shot. One hunter played right makes it very hard to take the flag. I was in one of the terrible turtle games for a while only it was the horde who turtled and me and a druid kept them from getting out of the room with our flag so that the other eight people could break the turtle.

    I go with the use beastial wrath every time it is up and the kitty has a target, I use intimidate all the time to stop runners or to get a melee off of me and I love it when someone thinks they can kill my cat. As far as using growl to get another pet off me I don’t I use fd and send the pet right back to its owner or usually it attacks my pet in defense of its owner. I will send in my cat by herself to target a cloth wearer that is trying to stay back out of battle. I send her all the time up the hill by the horde grave yard while I stand at the bottom and she will usually kill them by herself, it is very funny imo.

    If I am not needed on defense or as the case usually is in ab where everyone runs off and leaves one person my cat and I go on a killing spree as it is very easy for a hunter to top the bg charts in kills as our dps is huge and that is the most fun to do although usually not the most helpful in winning the bg.

  31. Deathbang

    I take a cat and I’m considering a warp stalker. Cat stealth is good but takes away from the main useful pet tactic: Speed. A pet can get to places at insane speeds hence Warp Stalker against strategic foes warp stalker is a breakdown; completely unpredictable attacks. DPS is good but speed is essential things happen fast my pet should be there. If your BM I’d go armor and stamina as your buffs. BM pets break CC so easily that resistances don’t help and casters rarely target pets save AoE and they’re down quickly enough they don’t do much damage even with AoE. Melee fighters when they see pet crits tend to freak out and sometimes attack the pet. Armor is handy here they really do attack pets more often then casters because they think it’ll be an easy thing to take care of but with armor and HP it isn’t. Pretty much anything fast then can dish out DPS Warp Stalkers only included because of warp which can be used to baffle opponents and completely skrew up would be pet killers.

  32. Concrete

    Well, Warp is cool, but in BG any enemy is going to stun/slow your pet to get to you or ignore it. I’ve rarely had anyone attack the pet and ignore me shooting them.
    Everyone knows you kill the hunter, the pet dies too.
    Kill the pet, the hunter is still shooting you and can still kite you.

    AV is the only BG example where you would use Growl as all other BG’s are populated with players and their pets only.

    Bears DO suck for raiding. I think you’re getting confused with 5 man instances.
    (Try asking any hunter who raids SSC upwards what pet they use. I bet you find pretty much 0 use bears)
    I think if you check the raiding pet thread no one suggests a bear, not just me.

  33. Concrete

    Growl doesn’t work against enemy player pets.

    A hunter’s pet attacks the target you send it to attack, it doesn’t switch targets unless you command it too.

  34. Mikeoneal

    I love to kill Horde. After leaving my “raiding” guild pre BC and before joinging my curtrent one i focused hard on PVP getting Knight Lieutenant before an extended vacation killed my rank.

    Im BM and i basically use exclusively my cat Michelle, with Dakota my wolf and Serenity my scorpion in reserve

    I have a combination with all my pets of a decent amount of armor and a nice amount of stamina. Michelle has reflexes avoidance, dash bite prowl and growl, but like said earlier growl is pointless in pvp.

    I use all of them to maximize dps and a nice help with interupts, and catching a horde with a nice intimidate as they try to get away on their mounts.
    And for those Players who try and nerf us BM hunters by wasting the pet, Dont.

    I cant speak for all hunters, but myself and i know that if i see anything more then an aoe damage aplied to Michelle i find you and pop everything to kill you whether your in a group of 20 buddies or a single horde trying to get to the north. So many people have made that mistake and paid for it >:)

  35. Palladiamors

    *Chuckles* Concrete, I am not going to argue with you. It’s sort of a been there, done that scenario. Can you inch out more DPS from a DPS pet as opposed to a bear in a raid? Yes. Is it a huge difference? No. Are people going to go with a DPS over a non-DPS pet for those scenario’s? Usually. People are obsessed with having the ‘best’, even if it is by a little. Does that mean non-DPS pet’s suck for raiding/pvp/pve? No. Just mean’s they are less likely choice’s because they don’t have an aggro dump or 10% DPS. They far from suck, my friend. And a bears added survivability can go a long way in a raid or a BG, realize it or not. Maybe you’ve tried different pet’s, and maybe you haven’t, but if you haven’t, I suggest giving it a shot before declaring that any pet family suck’s.

  36. Palladiamors

    I felt the need to back my statement up, so I went out and tested differences in damage. This is between a 0% DPS modified serpent, and a 10% DPS modified cat, and it’s their average damage on the same level enemy over three fights a piece, just some quick test’s. The cat’s average melee swing hit the foe for 150 damage, the serpents average melee swing hit the foe for an average of 135. The cat’s average bite hit the for 145 damage, the serpent’s, roughly 130. I am a beast master, and my ranged AP is 1250, increase my pets attack power by about 250, I think. Both pets with cobra reflexes. Each pet went both above and below those damage totals. That’s a fifteen damage difference. On claw, which does less damage anyway and is this a bit less effected by AP, the effect will be even less. Now, if you want to factor in low DPS pets, thats a difference of twenty five to thirty per attack. Less on claw, because claw gets less DPS modifier from AP due to a lower damage total. Thus the real damage difference comes in focus dumps and family skills. Gore does less damage then claw, but has a chance to do double damage.

    Er, sorry Mania, felt the need to prove a point.

  37. Ryai

    To be honest, I used cats/dps pets for battlegrounds and while they are good, even with talents, they just died a bit to easily for my likes, even with imp mend pet, and all, as -health is always something to frown at, it’s why I took a carrion bird [two headed model] and a dragonhawk under my ‘wing’ so to speak, it really shouldn’t matter, I mean if you are MM, you don’t need to pick the best of the best, for 30% of your dps does not come from the pet [think 10/15% not sure]. You shouldn’t just pick so and so family for being the best of the best, you should pick what you like, and use it.

    Alice, my Carrion Bird, is able to hold her own against melee users, most of the time, aslong as I remember to keep mend pet up, and if no one is healing the warrior. She’s also good against healers, when I switch over to claw, over screech.

    Amethyst, my Dragonhawk, holds her own too, she might not scream dps or do as much dmg as Alice, or a +dps pet, but she’s helped foil rogues, druids and the like trying to get me.

    I did get a dps pet, but not because they are ‘superior’ in battleground, but because I wanted a cat again. Yes stats are a factor in battlegrounds and etc, and when you want to have a pet that helps you kill things dead, +dps is the way to go, but when you want something to keep trucking, and help distract players, from you, you should get a pet that can do that, I have seen countless players get distracted to kill the pet [granted I do sometimes on my lock but for an extra siphon life target], and I have seen hunters use this distraction to their advantage. Hell I used it to keep a rogue off me as I ran away for backup in a BG once, the fool actually tried to kill my pet instead of coming after me.

    And to answer another of the questions, for skills, I would say +health, and +res, and cobra reflexes if you’re going to have your pet aim for the healers, while it does cut power down, if you’re BM and your pet has this, it’s insane. And the resistances do help your pet resist some attacks atleast, also speed boosters such as Dive, Dash and while not exactly a boost, Charge. If you’re BM you can use concussive/divedashcharge/intimidate on a mounted opponent, even if mm if you have imp concossuve shot, your pet is still able to get in there in the 3/4 seconds the guy is slowed down and put some extra hurt on the enemy. And possibly daze him off the mount as I have seen it happen once.

    Oh and I have to disagree about growl, I just use FD/trap/scarebeast on animal enemies, and FD throws off humanoid enemies too, so when my pet is in BG with me, even WSG, growl is turned off to give precious focus to spam dump skills, or to allow Bite+Fire Breath to go off after a dive.

    And final question: I use what I like, and it’s pretty much of a far spread layout of what I use, from cats and birds, to serpents and wind serpents and wolves and boars and raptors. You should use what you love imo.

  38. Concrete

    Palladiamors……..

    There is no argument. What you’re saying is just simply wrong.

    “I am a beast master, and my ranged AP is 1250″
    Stop right there dude. If you are BM and your AP is 1250 then you’re not doing end game raiding (Kara at most) I’m doing SSC with not so great gear and my ap is 1726 unbuffed.

    Your pets rarely die in end game encounter, they only die if you’re not paying attention and have not been pulling it back on whirlwinds, orbs etc etc or not keeping it healed.

    Bear -10% dps. Cat +10% dps… Now perhaps my maths is a bit off, but even if you give the bear and pet the same skills, thats a 20% dps difference on the base damage.

    You’ve singled me out and are trying to say i’m the one in the wrong or that what i’m saying isn’t correct. Look at this thread and look at the thread on raiding pets.

    How many people say Cats/Raptors/Ravagers/Windserpents?
    How many people say Bears?

    Hmmmmm, i think you’ll find a common reply from people and its not bears.

    Yes bears CAN be taken to a raid or BG. Heck you can take a Sporebat to Sunwell Plateau if you must. Will it be the best pet for the job? NO. And every single hunter who’s doing end game raiding or battle grounds will tell you that.

  39. Concrete

    Palladiamors @ Mani. Sorry for going off on one a bit.

    You’re right what you said about “cookie cutters” for pets. Sadly though the reason people take those pets is because they’re the best at what they do.

    For me, my perfect BG pet needs to be fast, do good damage and be able to take a few hits. I’d say the Boar fits into that category.

    Raiding pets is a different issue for a different thread.

    I’d love to do more testing but sadly with Echeyakee at lvl 70 as my main pet and a Ghost Wolf thats slowly getting leveled, having a spare slot is a luxery.

    I want a raiding pet, a fun pet and a BG/Grinding pet.

  40. marzix

    to those arguing about bears/cats being good/bad for raids/bgs. having an extra 1k hps aint gonna make or break nothing. if your pet is getting attacked by more than 1 enemy its gonna die and in dungeons with larger AEs that do like 1500-2k or something an extra 1k hps aint gonna do anything. also, the damage aint gonna make that big of a difference either. the only place i can REALLY see pet choice making a big difference is having a scorpid for arenas and a high end survival hunter with a windserpent. otherwise use whatever you want!!

    in 5v5 arenas ive had my scorpid at like 9.2k hps with all lots of buffs, if i had a cat it would have like 184(-2%) less hps and a bear would have 920(+10%) more. and thats the % of it buffed, so it would actually be even less since im pretty sure that the % from the median is just on base not buffed hps. so the % of their dps compared to others is really just meaningless except at the pre 40s levels imo.

  41. marzix

    oh, and to losing 20% damage between a bear and a cat… thats 20% of 40% of your damage(8% overall) if you are BM and only 20% of 15% of your damage(3% overall) as MM or surv. in a BG, that is almost nothing. in a long boss fight or a drawn out 2v2 arena match, yes, that can mean the difference (though skill can more than make up for it). however, for just regular BGs, it dont mean nothing. if im on offense in av or sit out in the middle on my hunter im tops damage without even using my pet most of the time. its nice on casters, but sicking it on almost anything else, its just gonna die even with close to 9k hps and over 10k armor on my scorpid. heck, a warrior beating down someone else on my team will kill my scorpid on whirlwinds alone fairly easy. i know, ive done it on my warrior before.

  42. Messyah

    Again, I reiterate for the Bear nay-sayers (including myself). In a Raid, there should be absolutely no reason your pet should be trying to tank a raid-elite Mob and there is minimal-to-no chance of your pet surviving unless your healers are focussed on it. If that is the case, that means your real tank(s) are dead and your raid party is most likely screwed!

    Now, yes, bears do have more health. None of us are arguing that, but as Concrete pointed out, a mindful Hunter’s pet takes minimal damage in raids because the Hunter is always aware of his Pet’s surroundings and knows when to pull him out of harm’s way. So, if your Deadly Boss Mod reports a whirlwind, spit, hateful strike, etc. GYPTFO!

  43. Messyah

    Palladiamors – If you give us your Toon name and server, perhaps the many well-versed hunters here can help you figure out how to squeeze more AP out of your spec and gear.

  44. bitU

    Well, to be honest I tried to read all of the comments above, but got tired.

    My opinion about the PvP pets mostly the same as everyone. The PvP pet must have high DPS, be really fast (Charge/Dash/Warp). On pet skills, I also advise the basic must-be-need (Cobra Reflexes, Avoidance, etc.) And max shadow & frost res. On pet skin, I have the http://petopia.brashendeavors.net/html/skins/skin_tigerskinblack.php skin cat, because it can be confused with a NE druid in catform, letting most enemy thought I have a druid to assist me.

    About pet per BGs type:

    Well, I change my pet according to the type of the BG, because…

    …Boars are the best for WSG, for their man-stopper charge. It helps u alot to stop an EFC, even he/she has some considerable number of assisting players. And it can pick off an enemy pursuer from your FC. Great ability. I also use the boar sometimes in AV, because the charge stun can interrupt any spell.

    …Cats are really the best flag defenders for AB, for their Prowl ability. I usually deploy my pet on the flag, with the “stay” mode, with auto-activated Prowl and Bite. I hide myself out of LoS, but in the vicinity of the flag, and only watching my pet bar. If her (female cat ofcoz ^^) show any activity I wait a few sec, letting the enemy focus on my pet, then come out and ambush upon the surprised victim, who oftenly confused enough to slow his/her actions. I use her mostly in EotS, to defend a base, or interrupts flag captures in the middle. Also good for almost any BGs, because of her high DPS.

  45. Boomsticked

    For BGs, I basically use a cat (I’m a night elf) or a Ravager for high dps.
    I’m BM spec’d and the strat i use is as follows

    WSG -> Just mess around in the middle, kill or be killed and sometimes i go for flag, just drop a frost trap whenever someone comes close to u, and when its a druid just fear

    AB -> Put cat on prowl and stay next to the node and put urself in shadowmeld in the buildings, can usually get an aimed shot off.

    AV -> Follow the mob, pet gets killed often here, just stay behind the mob and shoot them with your skills.

    EoTS -> Stay in middle and fight, alliance actually wins this almost always so i just try to dps and kill pplz.

    Imo, BM’s ok for BG due to the fear and CC resist but being marks is WAY better for all PvP and dmg outputs. I respec’d to marks when i was in the 40s just for fun and found out that my dps skyrocketed and i got a lot more kills.

    For marks and wsg, just follow their FC and scatter/imp concuss/auto shot with concus spec and its pretty much a gimme.

    Never tried survial and pretty sure i never will, the sting just doesnt appeal to me that much when u sacrifice dps (from pet as BM and bow as MM)for melee dps. Although Entrapment and imp wing clip is kinda appealing, drop a frost trap and while the kid’s in the aura it immobilizes him like hell.

  46. Stephf

    I just use either a Owl/Bat, for its Screech and Claw moves, or a Cat, or the DPS and claw. They are pretty good but I cant think of better.Well, not now anyway, Im tired.

  47. anna

    i must say boar in warsong gluch owns but i’m a lvl 19 twink so i dont know about the others it good for getting the flag carriers stuneed then concussise shot :) hope this helps some one :))

  48. Yossir (w/ Torc & Ravioli)

    My raptor Torc and ravager Ravioli are my main (and only) battleground pets because they’re in the two pet families tied for highest base attack power and damage. The my pets both know bite as a main attack as well as the focus-dumps claw and gore. Dash is also in there because the faster your pet hits the target the faster you deal damage. My pets know Growl but I have it turned off (they still have to tank when I solo and grind). Their resistances are at rank 2 since I don’t find them as important as their attack skills. As for Armor vs Stamina, I literally flipped a coin and decided to go with Armor but after some advice from other hunter in my guild, I’ll respec them to Stamina.

    Other excellent BG pet choices are bats, owls, windserpents, and cats. Each of these pet families have high dps and speed boosters. Cats have the benefit of prowl but I think this is only useful if you’re a night elf (I’m a Tauren BTW). Windserpent also have lightning breath which is a HUGE source of extra damage. Bats and owls can both learn Screech whick helps you survive a little longer against warriors, rogues, pallies and some shamans (since it lowers melee AP).

    There are of course some great non-damage pets. The main one that comes to mind for me is the dragonhawk (I don’t have one but I plan on getting one). Dragonhawks have a speed booster and their trademark spell, Fire Breath. The attack has a decnet DoT but the AoE best part. It can be activated at anytime so that means it can be used to unstealth a rogue or druid trying to get the jump on you.

    Wolves are ok but are better for raiding. Hyenas and strides are ok but not very great. Bears and turtles just suck in PvP even if you’re BM (I’m survival/MM) because their dps output is pathetic. Scorpions are Arena pets and aren’t very helpful in BGs. Boars are PvE pets and are capable of PvP but I would never use one. Sporebats, crocs, crabs, spiders, and netherrays are pretty much useless in all situations.

    So essential things for a BG pet to have are high dps, a speed booster, plenty of stamina, and above all, a good hunter to fight alongside with and keep them alive.

    FOR THE HORDE!!!

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