Color-Changing Pets

Deep Borer worms can be either blue or gray.Did you see the news? Our druid brethren are finally getting some color choices in their bear and cat forms!

In honor of that (and also because of the many recent comments on the topic), I thought it only fitting that we celebrate the color-changing pets of Azeroth and Outland.

(And yes, I basically expanded the comment I made the other day into a full post. But I was surprised at how many people e-mailed to say that they have never heard about color-changers before.)

What’s a Color-Changing Pet?

Color-changing pets are pets that will randomly choose between two or more colors each time they are called.

For example, if you tame a Deep Borer (a worm from Maraudon) then sometimes when you call it it will be blue and sometimes it will be gray.

In fact, your worm will randomly choose one of its colors each time it appears — when you log in, when you dismount, when you use Call Pet or Revive Pet.

In effect, a color-changing pet allows you to have two (or three, or four) differently colored pets in one! And you never know which one you are going to get when you call.

Didn’t They Fix All Those Pets?

Back before the Burning Crusade (TBC) expansion — way, way back in the mists of WoW prehistory — there were several well-known color-changing pets. The two that I remember best were the Son of Hakkar and the Bloodaxe Worgs.

The Son of Hakkar is (now) a dark red windserpent from Zul’Gurub. But at one time he would cycle between three different colors: golden, dark red, and green. (Unfortunately I’ve lost the nice animated GIF that Brash made of his colors. I don’t suppose any of you still have that stashed somewhere?)

Bloodaxe Worgs were once well-known as the only source of Bite Rank 8 (remember when we had to tame pets to learn pet skills?), but they were also a popular pet because they would switch between black and dark brown — a dark brown that is no longer available to hunters.

But then in Patch 1.12, the last pre-TBC patch, Blizzard explicitly fixed these color-changing pets. Here’s the relevant 1.12 patch note:

If a hunter has tamed one of the following creature types, they will no longer potentially change colors if resummoned:

  • Son of Hakkar – Red
  • Frenzied Bloodseeker Bat – Brown
  • Deep Stinger – Red
  • Dark Screecher – Gray
  • Cave Creeper – Brown
  • Bloodaxe Worg – Black
  • Scarshield Worg – Brown

Egad — I hadn’t remember there being so many of them! Anyway, I figured that the color-changing behavior was unintentional and that we’d never see it again.

But Then They Added More!

But in the very next patch — or more properly, in the Burning Crusade expansion — Blizzard added a new color-changing pet: the Rip-Blade Ravager.

These ravagers hang out near Toshley’s Station in the Blade’s Edge Mountains. (Not to be confused with Gore-Scythe Ravagers, which spawn to attack the Station and which cannot be tamed.) Rip-Blade Ravagers come in orange, purple, or a unique orange & purple mix.

Initially I figured that Rip-Blade Ravagers were an oversight on Blizzard’s part that they would eventually get around to fixing.

Since then, however, not only haven’t the ravagers been fixed, but Blizzard has continued to add more color-changing pets. In fact, we got a big bunch of them with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

The Current List of Color-Changers

I’m still updating the color-changing section of the Pets with Special Behaviors page on Petopia, but I believe these are the current color-changing pets:

And that’s more than we had back before Patch 1.12! (If I’ve missed any, please let me know.)

Of course there’s no guarantee that Blizzard won’t fix these pets to a single color at some point, but in the meantime they can make a beautiful and intriguing addition to your stable … especially if — like me! — you have a really hard time deciding which color you like best.

25 thoughts on “Color-Changing Pets

  1. Romolus

    I missed the original color changers…. I got started in wow in like 2.3 …. I think, but when wrath went live… I got one of those rhinos (I miss rhino bowling btw) because I liked the Black (or you called it blue. skin.. but as soon as I tamed it, it went brown. I was so disappointed, I abandoned it and went after another… same deal… then I figured out they just did that and I figured all the rhinos but those white ones from storm peaks where color changers…. guess I was wrong.

  2. Rikaku

    Sentry worg is love. Seriously, I couldn’t choose which color I wanted and then VIOLA! all of ‘em in 1 fun package.

    Another way, that wasn’t mentioned, to spot a color changer is generally if you see 2 different colored mobs with the same exact name, they’re a color changer.

    But how I miss my brown and white Bloodaxe Worg, here’s to you Maxwell, whereever you are.

  3. Romolus


    I doubt they are in 3.2, mostly because from what I’ve read, the developers are too busy trying to nerf/buff classes to fix pvp and adding new features to care about the little things just yet (and I have yet to hear about them getting rid of ammo, and to me that is a really big fix imo)… so I think in another patch or 2 after 3.2, maybe… but for now, I think the color changers are safe.

  4. Faeldray

    If the Son of Hakkar GIF was linked on Petopia somewhere, you may be able to find it in the Internet Wayback Machine. I took a quick look but couldn’t seem to find where it would be.

  5. Ryai

    Well my theory is these mobs are all tagged to the same name, instead of differently named mobs and different codes n all that good stuff. Or not so good. This explains why we have a black and violet color changing outland raptor. A Northrend warg/worg that can change between 4 colors, a worm that changes colors…

    From what I know the others were just random colors right?

    The the worg reminds me of the worg pup, and that is a nice brown :<

  6. Makoes

    Another interesting note is that the “Worg Pup” vanity pet also shares the color-changing of its bigger brothern. The worg pup will randomly pick between balck and brown coloring. Makes for a nice surprise everytime its summoned….exspecially when summoned along side a hunter’s color-changing Worg :)

  7. Maree

    I don’t like color changers actually.
    I wanted the Rip-Blade Ravager some time ago, but I only liked the skin that was unique to it, and I figured it would be too much trouble if I had to summon/dismiss it all the time, ’till I got the right skin.
    I still hope they won’t get fixed, though.

    And yay for the druid change. The generic animal-forms is the entire reoson I haven’t got a druid past level 16. Maybe that will change now.

  8. Kayb

    i’m not a fan of the color changers either i’m afraid :( actually, its turned me off taming the said particular beasts. i really really like the purple/orange mix ravager, but i won’t get one because it won’t always be the color i like


    personal choice i guess :) my buddy loves the color swappers and has them exclusively :P

  9. Kayb

    oh, and as far as the druid form changes go, its about time hey. i don’t see any reason why it should stop at bear and cat forms though, it should extend to all their beast forms

  10. Noba

    They should show the moonkins some love while they’re at it… But at least the bears and cats are a great start! finally.

  11. Kedaar

    Maree, I agree! I loved the orange and purple Ravager skin, but I didn’t like the idea of my pet randomly changing color each time I summoned it.

  12. Mr. Perfect

    I wonder if they will make the “druid form” bear from Ashenvale tamable after it’s no longer a druid skin?

    Wishful thinking I bet…

  13. Inzeen

    The reason for the colourchanges is quite simple. Most pets have a single colourscheme linked to their name, and thats what u get when u tame one. But the pets lined up in the above list are all tamable in those colours. In short, it has more than one colour attached to it’s name.
    I believe that is why they change colours, because nothing is specified, exept it’s name.

  14. Palladiamors

    Pretty much Inzeen. The thing is, they CAN stick a certain color to a certain pet, they did it before with the old color changers. Whether or not they fix this ‘bug’ or let it go is yet to be seen.

  15. Ryai

    ‘They should show the moonkins some love while they’re at it… But at least the bears and cats are a great start! finally.’

    I think a Dev/Blue/Whatever did confirm that moonkin and tree will get looked into, but cat n bear are first.

    I also don’t get why there are people complaining about this change even, saying that oh it’s not good enough, bears need armor to make them different!!!!11. And it’s like, how is looking at a bears ass, in armor, different than a naked bear’s behind- or a belf’s rear all the time.

    Some armor is not pleasing Dx even on male belfs.

    This change will probably make me rethink Farvardin’s choice of lifestyle. Balance/Resto or Feral/One of the others..

    Squish cat’s changes will most likely help tip the scales.

  16. Wain

    For anyone who is interested, I posted info on two unique serpent skins and one unique dragonhawk skin that weren’t listed in Petopia here. Don’t get excited, though, none of them are tamable :( The bright red serpent looks pretty striking (looks like the cobra hatchling mini pet), so it’s a real shame! I was going to post something on the suggestions forums about adding tamable versions.

  17. Rikaku

    “‘They should show the moonkins some love while they’re at it… But at least the bears and cats are a great start! finally.’

    I think a Dev/Blue/Whatever did confirm that moonkin and tree will get looked into, but cat n bear are first.”

    You’re absolutely correct. A blue/dev did confirm that all forms are getting looked into. However, Cat & Bear were the only ones to finish in time (approval process) for patch 3.2. I think the only one not getting revamped is swift flight form (i could be wrong thouhg) but seeing as its already pretty detailed that’s ok.

    The reason they’re complaining is because, I think, they set their standards way too high. Blizzard has stated that more changes are in the works for druids, but just not yet. In either case, I’m just happy with what we got, its not like Blizzard had to give us 5 different colors. They could’ve just said “heres your new bear, now deal with it.” XD

  18. Palladiamors

    *shrugs* I realize I will be in the strict minority with this, but I don’t really care new colors for druid forms. My cat form is transparent half the time anyway. If I had a WISHLIST for my druid, it would be totally different cat and or bear skins, and a better answer for end game DPS then savage roar. Minor things, really.

  19. Ryai

    @ Palla: :p

    It’s making me want to roll a druid, pink bear aha. While I already have Strawberry reserv used up on my DK, still got Apple n Gooseberry saved. Ye I like silly names, but yeh druid dps will probably get fixed .. sometime.

    @ Rikaku: Yeah I get that they probably set their standards to high, and now I realise something else. No matter what you do, someone is going to complain, and I guess these are those, someones.

    Btw this is utterly offtopic and all that, but does anyone have a clue as to how people are -dying- inside the inns in Dal? Every time I log onto my horde main or alts atleast, there’s skellentons, or corpses, around the innkeeper.

    O_o how are they doing it.

  20. Phi

    I was just talking to a guildie who says the druid changes will be related to hair color, so if you get bored just got get a dye job and presto you’re a different color in bear form etc. Should be interesting.

  21. Merrymaker Ikult

    I honestly don’t care for the colour changing pets. When I tame a pet, it’s because I like THAT one, and want that one beside me. By changing colours, in my RP mind it makes me think it’s a different pet, which irritates me.

    However, I know many people who like them and I think it’s an excellent way to add diversity to pets! I hope they don’t change them, and hopefully they’ll just add more.

    Gawd, I remember conning my warrior boyfriend into duo’ing Blackrock with me, at L60, to help me obtain one of those wolves. After many deaths and lots of frustration, I finally got my Bloodaxe wolf, and Bite R8. What a memory. XD

    On the Druid subject, wow, I’m ecstatic about the form changes! My main is a Tauren Druid, my oldest surviving character is my NE Druid, and I’ve been a Druid (and Hunter) since Beta. I’m a Druid at heart and have always lamented the Horde catform… I call it “Retardakitty”. The NE catform has always been lovely, and I’m so happy to see it become even more beautiful. Tying the colours to hair/skin colour is a brilliant idea! Kudos to the minds behind that one.

  22. Christian

    Well, Today I got a new pet Worg from Icecrown and I noticed that every time i call it, revive it, etc. it changes color. I 1st taught i was so tired that i was imagining things until i searched about pets that change color and came across this site. Well it’s patch 3.3.5 which absolutely tells me they haven’t fixed this yet and i hope they won’t.

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