Let’s Talk Cunning

Last Thursday, Blizzard released the long-awaited Hunter Q&A. I haven’t said much about my own reactions to the Q&A, but suffice it to say that I was a little disappointed with one answer in particular.

Here’s a repeat of that question and answer:

Q: The Cunning pet-type was originally designed to be optimal for PvP use, however, most hunters feel that the Cunning pet-type falls short. How do we feel about the current state of what Cunning pets are offering, and are there any current plans to make improvements?

A: We made an effort in 3.1 to get the Cunning pets up to speed by giving them talents like Roar of Sacrifice, and normalizing all of the pet stats so that Cunning pets had the same stats as the other two types, modified by pet talents. Crabs are still fairly popular and they probably should be a Cunning pet given their crowd control ability, but the carapace also made them feel like they should be able tanks. And selfishly, I had no problem with seeing a lot of crab pets. (No, I’m not serious.)

This is something we would love to see more feedback on. Hunters in the online community tend to focus a lot on overall PvE dps or overall PvP survival and not get too much into pet comparisons. Someone theorycrafts the best pet and then hunters just go and get it instead of discussing what the other pets would need to be more competitive. To be fair, there is some of that discussion, but it’s not always easy to find, and I have looked. It’s not super high priority given some of the other hunter design issues we’re looking at, but we do want pets to be a choice.

I was disappointed with this answer largely because I feel we often spend time discussing what is needed to make pets more competitive. However, I freely admit that here on Arcania, at least, I don’t often encourage PvP-centric discussions, mostly because I don’t PvP myself. (And I don’t actually expect that Ghostcrawler reads Arcania.)

But we’ve got some time today, so let’s correct that! Let’s talk Cunning!

Now as I said, I don’t PvP — so I haven’t a clue what would make Cunning pets more attractive for PvP. From what I hear, though, the problem seems to be that Cunning pets are too situational.

PvP is fast-paced and, perhaps more so than any other type of gameplay, involves reacting to the unexpected. So I can see how in some ways a more general pet — say, a Ferocity pet that consistently does good damage — can be more flexible when it comes to dealing with unexpected situations than a Cunning pet who relies on a couple of long-cooldown tricky abilities.

Of course, this is largely the same reason that Ferocity pets are popular in PvE as well. No matter what you are doing, a hefty does of consistent damage is always welcome!

But rather than spent more space just talking out of my … err, hat, why don’t I be quiet and let people who have more experience than I do comment on this topic?

So tell me, in terms of Cunning pets and especially (although not necessarily exclusively) in terms of PvP — what’s the problem and what would make it better?

132 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Cunning

  1. Ringo Flinthammer

    I think Cunning pets aren’t much worse off than other pets in PvP — I’m hoping the resilience change makes as much of a difference as I think it could — but all of the abilities, while great, are on way too long of a cooldown.

    My owl can disarm (if it hits) MAYBE twice in a 2v2 arena match, for a total of 6 seconds every minute. Whoopee? And in the meantime, half the classes in the game have passive abilities that he will beat himself to death against in short order unless I spend a lot of time managing him.

    Shorten the cooldown for starters.

    In the long run, I’d like to see smarter pets or pets able to survive the AI they’ve been given. Fortunately, it seems like Blizzard is already working on this.

  2. Taaveti

    While the implementation of the pet classes is a good thing imo, blizzard seems to leave the one defining thing unchanged that causes the current ‘one pet to raid them all’ situation – the family specific skill.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should just remove it and make all pets equal. With the pet talent exists currently for each pet family, why not expand this further to allow as customize our pet more, including it’s supposed-to-be-special-not-useless family skill?

    The talent trees can be more customised for each pet class rather than using the ferocity,tenacity, cunning blueprints. There can be multiple unique skills to choose from for each family, via talents, and probably exclusive to each other without the beast mastery talent. This way, while the theorycrafters will probably still find the one spec of one family that will give the highest dps, at least we have more choices on choosing our favourite pet.

  3. Ryai

    ‘Shorten the cooldown for starters.’

    For one if they do that, then Longevity will suffer. Remember it cuts down 20ish seconds from a pet’s special ability. Meaning a 1 min cd is down to 40ish seconds. 40ish seconds is down to 20ish seconds and so-forth.

    So to shorten the cool down, Longevity would need to be nerfed, or pet mechanics would have to be changed, and Blizzard won’t do that.

  4. Jolyroger

    I don’t PVP much, but as for the Cunning Pets, I think that their “Healing” ability needs to me something that can be “Auto” selected. So the pet, if it drops below 50% health will auto feed from a corpse. This frees up the hunter from having to click the button. It might help survivability, I really am not sure. Make is similar to Ferocity’s “Lick Your Wounds”. And yes, Cunning pets do need Charge.

  5. riojin

    @ Ryai longevity reduces the cd by 30% not 20 sec. It wouldnt have to be nerfed. That is why a 10 sec cd chimera special is reduced to 7 sec and a 1 min cd is reduced to 42 sec and so forth.

  6. Fireshade

    I would have to say that the two biggest issues with cunning pets is that they just do not hold up against direct attack, they are by far the easyest to kill of the three pet familys. The second is the reliance on situasional abilitys/to-long cooldowns for said abilitys. I’d say that they need to be granted a portion of the hunters resilliance rating when in a PvP zone or better evasion/dodge abilty, or give the cunning pets an ability like the ferocity pets “lick your wounds”. I have seen my poor Silithid Chakrah targeted and killed in seconds while i tried to heal her and kill her attacker(s) yet my Ferocity Pet Humar the black lion can usually hold his own against 2-3 enemys before he dies and even then it takes a while for him to die.

  7. Scott

    This one caught my eye:

    “What about a static ‘flee’ ability? Once reduced to a certain percentage of health, the pet runs away, and then returns to combat once its health again surpasses that percentage level. Combined with charge and mend pet, this could be well used in some situations.”

    I like this, and it makes sense as a “cunning” ability; it’s like a “cower that works in PVP”… and I could also see it being helpful in casual PVE – the player would have to be careful to turn it off when raiding though… still, a good suggestion for a deep cunning talent IMO.

  8. Nimizar

    Making Carrion Feeder an automatic health and happiness boost triggered by target death would finally bring it remotely on par with Bloodthirsty and Guard Dog – great idea!

  9. Spears

    I can see how cunning pets are more pvp than pve with not a lot of flexibility in between, although there are exceptions. A bat for example requires 80 focus for its 1 minute cooldown stun so in pve it let’s one go at the beginning of the fight and likely uses its focus for growl and its focus dump the rest of the fight. In pvp using a bat does not require growl so its sonic stun becomes more feasible for a bm hunter who has a reduced cooldown on its pet’s special abilities. If cunning pets are not going to get more dps or pve functionality I think they should add latent but useful secondary skills, water walking/breathing, slowfalling, “warping” the hunter back to an inn, things that would not add more of an edge but to give cunning pets more appeal. Must say though that the exotic cunning pets by grace of their mana restore, think its called roar of sacrifice, can have their place in certain raid builds.

  10. Ryai

    ‘@ Ryai longevity reduces the cd by 30% not 20 sec. It wouldnt have to be nerfed. That is why a 10 sec cd chimera special is reduced to 7 sec and a 1 min cd is reduced to 42 sec and so forth.’

    Yes but for the long cool downs it’s usually 20ish seconds that is removed, ofc it gets smaller for the rest, but I forgot the percentage but that’s not the point- if you have a special that is a 40 sec CD and you up the silence to 8 seconds, or a stun, or a snare, and you take longevity as BM and all a sudden that 1 min to 40 sec cd is down to 40 seconds to 20ish seconds…

    You wouldn’t call that a bit op? You wouldn’t understand people calling that a bit op? You wouldn’t think Blizzard wouldn’t nerf something like that? Oh they would, they’ve nerfed for less reasons, and harsher for it.

    So by cutting off 10 seconds or so, you would still get lower cool downs, for a BM. And if they buffed the effects of it, without changing the CD, for some pets it would be powerful, either to powerful or nearly to powerful.

    That is my point, you really shouldn’t focus on the fact I was talking about the longer cool downs.

    And Froststorm Breath is really 10/7 second cd? I never noticed- no wonder people are wanting a shorter CD with something like that available :/ that is almost to powerful.

  11. Harana

    I’m still reading the opening comments but based on the first 5 posts or so, I have to say that Cunning is NOT exclusively a PVP family tree. One of my main raid pets since 8.5′s release as a tier is a bird of prey because of the roar of recovery (my chimaera when in BM spec, BoP in MM). Hunter mana recovery in raid sucks (especially 10 man progression) and it’s cool to not have to tank your DPS by going viper…

    That’s my peace =D

    Captain – Political Officer

  12. riojin

    I remember going MM in a raid with a wind serpent cause its the highest dps non exotic cunning pet. Mana regen was awsome in 10 man.

  13. Xairn

    In my humble opinion they should apply a 25% rule to all three classifications of pet families. Each one could have a 25% boost of stats, such as 15% attack/ 5% armor/ 5% hp for ferocity, 15% hp/ 5% armor/ 5% attack(even 10% hp/ 5% armor/ 10% att) for cunning pets, and 10% armor/ 10% hp/ and 5% attack for Tenacity. Add this to the ideas of putting pet families into their correct tree, and the possibility of choosing their own tree/dual speccing((all three mentioned previously)), and Cunning pets can begin to keep up with the other two families. Then perhaps reduce the cooldown on those skills the cunning pets use most((again mentioned before)) would make them a rather feared pet in the PVP battlegrounds, maybe even enough to compete with the Unholy DK’s ghoul.

    Just my thoughts.

  14. Nehvets

    Maybe they should make the type of pet affect the hunter, like tenacity gives more stam and defensive abilities (dodge, parry) while cunning gives crit and agi, and ferocity would give attack power and armor pen. While there are merely ideas, I as well don’t pvp so much with my hunter. I do know that when I fight hunters I tend to kill the pet first while I know it’s abilities if they are going to waste me, and leave it alone if it’s stupid, like a moth. As most pvpers and pveers I know agree, they should make each talent in the talent trees do something for both PVE and PVP. So for example, a paladin gets 5% stamina from a talent in PVE, the same talent would give a paladin 3% increased stamina and 1% increased resilience. No need to continue changing every class to make PVP viable. Just edit the talents so that the PVE ones you want don’t work in PVP. (not really a just-hunter rant, but still works with pets).

  15. Arjuna

    I dont think we will see huge buffs to pet attack power or base line health.
    Bliz have talked about giving us scaleing boosts that will have a greater effect for those fortunate enough to to high end raiding and pvp content; those people are the ones seeing the poorest returns from their pets atm.
    Whilst I dont like Blizzards current policy of buffing those already in a good position they are the ones that are not competing as well as other classes in the same situation.
    Lets not forget that Bm got a huge nerf because pets were too strong then buffed back to about 5% of the old position but then there was the other nerf that normalised tenacity and ferocity.
    This gives us a 15% pet stat balance and 5% (spent)lost hunter talent (being put into Catlike reflexes D:)before our pets become OP again.
    Hit points are unlikely to be improved at base because of the scaling with kit improvements so hurry an get your tier kit with the new tokens ^_^
    I dont aprove of this as it buffs all pets (lock and DK) but just trying to say If we do see improvments it will likely be in pet family skills or cunning tree talent buffs.
    I would love to see a revert to the pet tree stats but that was part of the nerf to ferocity dps and pets tanking too well I dont think its coming back. As far as Bliz is concerned it look like small percentages before they are in a tight spot from other classes QQing again. If we start solo tanking with pets because of boosted healing and health we will be labled as a utility class methinks.

  16. Bunnyking

    First of all, I didnt read all the comments, so if this has already been mentioned, well… tough :D

    I dont pvp myself either, but I think a good solution for any pet selection problem would be to allow us (the hunters themselves) to choose which skill tree the pet will have. This way any pet can have any role and this might also make the diversity of pets out there way greater.

    Basically, making the pet’s trees more like the player talent trees would improve usage of all types of pets I think. You’d also be able to spread around points and make sort of hybrid pets… (for instance a tank/cunning hybrid might actually work pretty well for pvp?)

    Ofcourse the overlapping talents in the different trees would have to be greyed out once you pick one in a certain tree. This to avoid overpowered combos… I can see for instance a pet having 3x Cobra Reflexes would be too imbalanced. :)

  17. Fawatam

    The thing I find most striking, is your comment that you don’t PvP much yourself. The interesting thing is I’ve found this claim to be shared amongst most of the major mainstream Hunter bloggers. Maybe therein lies the problem. Hunter PvP is horrible horrible, thus there’s simply no research and experience in the community as a whole on things like Cunning pets. Come to think of it, I don’t believe I’ve EVER seen a hunter PVP centric blog. You can get blogs specific to pets, pet tanking, TWO dps spreadsheets, Hunter Tanking, and more. But nothing on PvP.

  18. Noah

    The problem with Cunning pets as I see it is this:
    1) They’re squishy and die quickly, so this is bad for PvP
    2) Their DPS is sub-par for raiding
    3) Their use is extremely situational and cool-down dependent for successful use in PvP

    I love my Spider pet and Web is really great for PvP but I find that it’s never up when I need it to be. Managing a pet’s cool-down in the middle of a laggy Wintergrasp madhouse is really not feasible. Sure it can be done and I’m sure there are dedicated Hunter PvP’ers out there who have no trouble, but one shouldn’t be a dedicated PvP’er to be able to use a Cunning pet successfully in PvP.

    FatCharlie also dies very very quickly, so I have two choices in a BG really – keep him with me for Roar Of Recovery, or use him for a bit of extra limited-time damage and crowd control. It’s like having half a pet.

    I’d love to take him raiding with me as he’s my favourite pet, but Cunning pets are just not useful for raids as Blizzard has never been able to successfully balance pets for raiding. There’s always one pet or family of pet that is the clear choice (right now it’s Wolves).
    It’s not that Cunning pets are *bad* for raiding, but when my job is to provide as much DPS as I can squeeze out, I don’t really have any option to bring my Spider as much as I’d love to.

    Now how to fix Cunning pets? I’d say make them less micro-management heavy and boost their DPS. Those two can more than compensate for a lower survivability rate.

    Some of the neatest pets are Cunning and as such they are very poorly represented in-game and I think that’s a clear indication that they need to be fixed. Blizzard want pets to be a choice, so they need to boost Cunning and diminish the requirement of Wolves as raiding pets. I would love a choice that isn’t a “good choice or bad choice” situation which is the current state of pet selection.

  19. Awesome Mom

    I think that a PvP pet needs shorter cool downs on abilities and loads of damage. I want my pet to be doing serious damage while the other player is attacking me. Right now I have a moth for my PvP pet. I get the good dps (which really blows my mind since moths irl are not exactly high damage creatures) and I also get something that is going to get in the other player’s face. It is also a more sturdy pet since it’s special ability heals it.

  20. Roszfianna

    My first BM hunter went from 11-70 with a ravager… back before the “normalization”. She is 80 but never comes out of the stable these days. I’d love to have her playable again. Instead I use my warpstalker for soloing/BGs and my blighthound for instancing.

    What people have said – shorter cooldown, more survivability. And better mend pet is truly needed for all trees.

    Thanks for a great question. I hope Blizz listens.

  21. Satyr

    There are several talents to boost the dps of the cunning pet —

    Feeding Frenzy
    When at less than 35% health, your pet does [25%/50%] more damage and has a [30%/60%] reduced chance to be critically hit.

    Your pet does [8%/16%] additional damage to targets with less than 35% health.

    Wolverine Bite
    A fierce attack causing [pet level * 5 + 5] damage, modified by pet level, that your pet can use after its target dodges. Cannot be dodged, blocked, or parried.

    Surviability is the big issue — Here is where something like Heart of the Phoenix would help the cunning pet in PVP.
    Cunning Pets do have — Bull Headed – Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your pet, and reduces damage done to your pet by 20% for 12 sec.
    But it lacks due to the CD timer.

    I do use a Chimera for PVP as a BM. Otherwise its the wolf or bear as a Surv spec and then its situational.

    I am still a support of taming a pet and then specing it into any tree you want rather than X pet goes with Y tree. That way it keeps the PVP opponent guessing.

  22. Kroxis

    Sadly, Satyr, a talents existence and effectiveness are two different things. : (

    I do like Bull Headed however, I’d take it if it was not hooked to Cornered.

    My cunning pet of choice is a sillithid, (the yellow rare spawn from shimmering flats). It’s venom spray is much like the spider’s web. The cooldown isnt as much an issue for me as I turned off auto-cast and created a macro to cast it via keybinding manuelly.

  23. Garwulf

    When Avoidance gets removed I think that Ferocity and Tenacity should get additional DPS and Tank talents respectively. Cunning could then be given the choice of either Shark Attack or Blood of the Rhino, while removing the useless Carrion Feeder in the process. This move could enable Hunters to spec for either more damage or more survivability. Right now they’re too middle of the road to be of much use for anything.

    If Cunning pets had Blood of the Rhino they’d then be viable for PvP. With the addition of Shark Attack, it’s possible a few of them may show up in raids as well. While they wouldn’t necessarily be on par with either family, they’d be very close, with their unique ability and special family talents being the x-factor.

    I think a few of the pets abilities need some attention as well.

    Sonic Blast should be brought back to 20 focus – 80 focus is absurd. As it stands now, no one uses bats anyway. If they’re worried it’s too OP, then stick it on a 1min CD, but reduce the cost FFS.

    Snatch should be on a 40 sec CD. 1min is way too long to make that pet useful enough.

    Wind Serpent’s Lightning Breath needs something. A DoT would probably be most realistic here, plus it would also make it a viable choice for PvE again. Other possibility could be to include a snare like Froststorm Breath, but on a 20 second cooldown.

    Those are some of my initial thoughts anyway. :D

    Oh yeah… let’s get rid of Great Resistance too while they’re doing away with Avoidance. That could give all pet families some more options and really help the flexibility of Cunning. I mean does anyone ever take that talent..?

  24. Kroxis

    I recently considered trying great resistance on my cunning just for the heck of it and see if it helps prevent him dieing vs a moonkin druid randomly.

  25. Snowtiger

    Well first of all I really like Palla’s carrion feeder idea!! Personally I hate the pet talent trees what was so wrong with the old way?? Seriously? i like traveling all over taming the pets learning the skills!! Hell think about it lot of the exploring achievements would have been filled up quick back then!! and Back then it was hard to kill a pet regardless But for some reason there came the talent trees and they are none effective till 20 but even then!!! Cunning pets I had nurmuroc the purple Chimera and he rocked till the nerf of his frostfire blast and and had him spec’d for avoidance and wolverine etc,,But cunning pets have to short effects with too long of CD’s and they need to be balanced out better!! Yes survivability needs improvement but in all trees I like the idea of a pet get away like a soar/dig/run to replenish some health!! I also agree that mend pets needs a major overhaul I was kinda thinking what about a shadowmeld talent for the pet just to avoid attacks while healing in non combat + healing boost When I lookedin my stable the other day while leveling Punk (Devilsaur) i noticed something i didnt want happen but my stable is all ferocity something i didnt want to happen but being SV/BM of I think DPS and I dont wanna get rid of my 2 Spiritbeasts wolf and Rakshiri why cant dual specc’d hunters get 2 sets of stables? lol

  26. Palladiamors

    Here is part of the problem your going to have to face, Mania. The opinion on whether or not pet’s are good in PvP or bad in PvP seems to be split. From my personal experience as BEASTMASTER, my pet’s do very well in PvP. Tenacity, Ferocity, and cunning all three bring something interesting to the party. For example, you’d be surprised at the effectiveness of a worm thunderstomping in a crowded BG or Wintergrasp. On the other side of the coin, however, my ferocity pet’s tend to be the king of the castle still. One of the primary reasons for this, aside from high DPS, is charge. Any ferocity or even tenacity pet can aquire this skill, and it operates on a 25/21 second cooldown, which is well under half of what most cunning pet’s can manage. ((Chimera’s aside.)) It stops your target from moving, which for a hunter, can be insanely useful. Having an enemy inside your target range for even one more auto or steady shot can save your hide.

    Fawatam, you said it yourself. Hunter PvP is kind of rough, and it always has been. I harp on this quite a bit, but it has everything to do with having a weakness, IE can’t do our damage up close and personal. This is worse for Marksman and Survival, but still bad for beastmasters. My issue with that is, how is it okay for say, a demonologist warlock to be able to still do their full array of damage within melee range, but not a hunter, any spec of hunter?

  27. Ryai

    This isn’t really about cunning persay, but having it happen twice is very god damned annoying- Why isn’t Blizzard fixing Pathing problems, it does affect PVP and it’s just caused my orc to die twice :D my pet got stuck. On nothing.

    You know in Coldarra, how there are those nice big platforms on the ground where three quest mobs stand? My Raptor got stuck on the human platform twice :D I died the first time, was able to survive the second glitch, but ofc my pet died CAUSE IT COULDN’T MOVE.

    This has sadly made me realize Blizzard isn’t going to really listen to whatever we say if they’re allowing pets to get stuck, on nothing.

    Cause I mean come on people afaik, the ‘cower’ bug is still going on, Blizzard admited to nerfing other pets, because of cunning, they nerfed pets again by giving us bloated trees, or in the case of Cunning pets, situational abilities that depend on luck more than anything to pull off as much as if not more dps, than a ferocity pet. GC is a puppet and I’m just so ticked off right now.

    And Palla:

    ‘This is worse for Marksman and Survival, but still bad for beastmasters. My issue with that is, how is it okay for say, a demonologist warlock to be able to still do their full array of damage within melee range, but not a hunter, any spec of hunter?’

    Because evidently for Blizzard it’s ok to compare us to casters, aslong as we’re in pure range. Outside of that they give us weak melee skills, GC puppets out we might be given a OOOH SITUATIONAL MELEE SKILL TO USE BEFORE FLEEING. And it’s like .. lol?

    Give us back imp Wing Clip- Rogues can sap and blind us to hell. DK’s can almost constantly snare and grab, druids can snare/root us too [granted not if you're big and red but if you're not suspecting it..]. Retrilols can stun and then just.. slaughter almost anything in the time their stun is on the target. And by the way, we take fall damage from Disengage, when it doesn’t fail if you’re not in the perfect situation.

    It’s like every single little chance we have to escape Melee, they break it or they give other classes to get around it.

    Why not make Scatter Shot a standard hunter shot? Give MM or SV an imp talent that increases duration or whatever. I mean something, anything.

    Sorry for the rant just, so… so frustrated atm with hunters.

  28. Morlahan

    1. Do not make crabs something other than tenacity… there are hardly enough tenacity pets as is – and on a personal level, I would very very much miss having my pet tank-crab who keeps me alive.

    2. Cornered. Remove it, replace it with something else.. it’s true, if you let your pet get below that many hp, you will either heal your pet to get it above that, or your pet will die in the next 5 seconds. Useless, remove it or replace it.

    3. Speed. As far as I can tell, what I want most in pvp is speed (agility).. Cunning pets already have access to that lovely “increased speed” abilities (reduced cooldowns, cobra reflexes, etc).. Let’s see some more of those. Reduced cooldowns, increased agility, faster attacks… Ferocity is “fury warrior”, Tenacity is “prot warrior”.. by all means, let’s make cunning, “rogue”… no really, let’s do it. Instead of increased armor, how about increased dodge? Chance to hit rather than more damage in a hit?

    4. Cunning pets also rely heavily on second-use abilities.. which is the reason everyone uses crabs (and I want to use a nether ray).. they DO something other than damage.. stun, confuse, fear, silence, slow melee, reduce armor, etc… Abilities that just do damage are… they fall short. Add an extra effect to the “just damage” abilities – like the dragon-hawk’s fire.

    5. Speaking of stun.. Charge is great for that.. can we add that to the cunning tree? Likewise, somebody mentioned earlier stealth – which is rediculously handy, and can be very, very dangerous (especially with cats and eyes of the beast)… I know, it would take some glory from the cats, but.. that ability would certainly help the cunning to shine.

    Breaks down to… Speed, shorter cooldowns, remove or replace cornered, and make sure there are plenty of “secondary effecs” (such as stun, silence, slow, etc).

  29. Anariell

    When I could first get a chimeara I rather enjoyed it, they were fairly decent pvp pets before the “balancing” of the pet trees.
    Some ideas i’ve had that always seemed like it would be decent for a cunning pet revolve mostly around say a BM hunter, where a pet actually is basically required. Cunning pets currently, die like nothing and it’s pretty useless when a spec that relies on the pet staying alive is borked over because the pet really is just a glass cannon, yeah it can get off a good two shots and then it’s dead. Tenacity has a stupid amount of armor, threat generation, stamina and the like.
    Cunning should in reality in pvp situations be able to reduce its own damage received or the damage of others taken. Yes intervene sounds like a great idea, and I admire that cunning was given RoS, misguided but it was a step in the right direction. I mean really…giving a pet that dies like nothing the ability to take damage to itself and die faster? Yeah…genious. No not really.

    As said before, ways to cleanse things, reducing damage (NOT TRANSFERRING) the damage. Having a pet species with the ability to do a 2-4 second blind effect that stops all attacks made by the hunter or pet would be very nice. Similar to the rogue blind, on a DECENT cooldown.
    Say the ability to take less damage from AOE would also be another great idea, but sadly something that is put into the Ferocity tree. Don’t give Cunning that talent, but give them something similar. Maybe naturally more resistance to the schools of magic or the like.
    Another idea is to give cunning pets it’s OWN stun that is a talented ability in the pet tree…separate from say the crab’s pin or a BM’s intimidation. Something a MM or SV hunter wouldn’t mind having in their arsenal and spending a talent point into their pet to get.
    Reading the comment above me I agree totally, Cunning needs to have more “dual abilities” doing damage AND having that sexy pin or that root. More things like the Chimeara froststorm breath please!
    Many ferocity pets have what a cunning pet should have, alot of the pets out there have a snazzy stun, snare/root slow effect or the like, but like the silithid. It’s a little bugged or snagged on a really really REALLY long CD. It says Cunning is meant for utility..Where is the utility in a CD that could accidentally be blown and then leaving you sitting there with a dead pet or dead hunter and cursing that 40second CD to the stars and back. 40 seconds? Hell I could be dead in 10 from that retadin over there giving me a nasty look. I’ve more then once blown that 40s CD and left to sit there and take the pounding *shudder*
    Its not alot to ask to have a little less CD, specially for specs that aren’t BM and don’t have a choice but to horde that carefully guarded CD and pray that your pet hasn’t decided to bug out as you dismount and autocast it at the first sign of trouble.
    Again agreeing with the above comment, more speed granted not so much with attacks, but more agility is a good way to put it, dodging more, more things like bullheaded where it can take itself out of a nasty place and retreat with some form of it’s dignity intact.
    Maybe a talented form of “frenzy”. Hell call it something like “Protector of the Pack” only in this case when the Hunter or targeted party member drops below a certain amount of health it goes into a protective frenzy reducing damage done to the player by XX% and increasing the damage of the pet by XX% lasting XX seconds on a reasonable CD. (Sounds like a decent idea eh?)
    There are alot of options, most of what I’d like to see from the cunning tree is already mentioned, less damage taken, the ability to remove more effects. It needs something to set it apart from the other pet talent trees something you can ONLY get from the cunning tree. More secondary effects on the pets that already exist in the tree that are sadly lacking on them.

    More dodge/agility/speed…

    Less ridiculously long CD’s…

    yeah, I think thats about it. <3

  30. Arjuna

    There have been some great ideas posted on pet talents here is my own slant on some of the suggestions

    Feeding frenzy could convert a pet crit into an execute style attack using remaning focus for + damage. As a humor note I would say if this would reduce a player to 0 or lower hits it stuns them for 3 seconds before killing them whilst the pet eats them alive and gains health back (doing away with carrion feeder)

    New talent to replace carrion feeder “Eyes of the spirit? beast” passive improvement on eyes of the beast stealthing the hunter while channeld and increasing all beast attack damage

    Cornerd keeps its permanant passive abilities but includes a lesser version of lick wounds (on a cooldown)

    Sounds like too much fun thinking about it…Im asking too much

  31. Ryai

    Arjuna, the only problem with that is you don’t have the pet gaining happiness. That’s what ALL the pet ‘food talents’ do, either regen happiness and health, or increase threat and happiness. Cunning is the only one to get something that has to be cast by you, is buggy and causes the pet to stay still for as long as feed pet would do really, for health/happiness regen.

    And that’s still to situational imo; Ferocity regens via dmg. Even 1 point is useful. Tenacity regen’s via Growl. As said even 1 point in it, is useful.

    Carrion Feeder should be reworked so if the target dies while the pet is attacking it, doesn’t matter if pet gets killing blow or not, the pet feasts from the corpse, healing itself and regening happiness. Can work in combat, is auto cast, is a buff so the pet is automatically available for battle right away and not stuck there… chowing down.

  32. Gnarlena

    I would like to see an intervene type talent given to this tree. Since your loyal pet would want to come to your aid, it is only naturaly that it would speed to your defense when that stealthed rogue stunlocks you. He would only take one attack that was intended for you, but it might give you time to disengage while the pet now focuses on your attacker.

  33. Eric

    I haven’t read all of the replies, so some may be repeated, but I compiled some of the comments here with my own thoughts. Thought I’d share what has been a pet peeve of mine since they homogenized the stat boosts for the different trees.

    Some of the PVP abilities are only available to a Tenacity or Ferocity pet. A good example is the Wasp’s Sting ability: a 20 second armor reduction that also prevents stealthing. This is why I use a Wasp as my PVP pet instead of a Cunning pet. I found there are only a few specific types of effects spread throughout the pets that are PVP-centric…

    6 sec disarm
    2 sec stun
    Interrupt + 2 sec silence
    4 sec root
    8 second casting/attack slow
    8 sec guarentee next attack miss
    20 sec armor reduction + no stealth

    My suggestion is to make these all into Cunning family abilities (some of them already are), and make the exotic Cunning pets have a beefier version of it. The Ferocity/Tenacity pets can keep what they have right now, but this way there’s a reason to use a Cunning pet, especially if they fix the tree to be useful for PVP.

    The other main issue is the cooldown lengths. IMO a base cooldown cost of 5 seconds per 1 second of effect with an added 10 seconds for the secondary effects (interrupt, no stealth, etc) is best. This would put most of these abilities at 30-40 seconds, with the most wanted skills being 40 seconds. Also, Longevity would only cut them to 21/28 seconds at the “cost” of using a currently-weak-in-PVP tree.

    And I have to admit, I would love to see Prowl become a Cunning tree talent, with a Vanish-like talent linked to it. It would open a ton of tactical possibilities to Hunters, and the Vanish would be useful in getting our pets out of focus situations. It’d also solve the “problem” of Cats and Spirit Beasts having two family skills (and maybe would give Blizz incentive to fix the stupid thing!).

  34. Kitairra

    “Night Elves and Rogues can stealth in combat.”

    Um…no. I wish,but we night elves just stand their quietly and hope nobody notices us while our pet chews on their legs for a bit. As soon as we attack..”Hello! I’m now dead!”…”lol”

    Rogue’s stealth on hunter’s?…”drool”.

    Totally off topic and I apologize.


  35. Jaysee

    I’m a little late posting to this discussion. Some great ideas here.

    I would like to take a slightly different perspective by addressing the basic design concept behind Cunning pets. I would like to see the focus shift from “A PVP pet” to “A general purpose pet with some PVP abilities “. Of course I am just surmising that this is the design concept.

    By focusing on creating a PVP pet you wind up with a pet that is so specialized that it is of limited use in any other role. This means that a third of the available pets are seldom used.

    In a previous Mania discussion (RFC: What’s the Weakest Leveling Pet?), Cunning pets were frequently cited as a very poor choice for leveling. Why does this have to be the case? Why can’t Cunning pets be decent leveling pets while also providing some abilities that are useful in PVP?

    As an example of pets like this, just look at the Crab and the Hyena. Their movement impairing family ability is useful in a PVP situation but their Tenacity and Ferocity tree abilities make them viable in other situations. An alternate way of stating this is that cunning pets should be a good choice for leveling on a PVP server. That is, they support leveling plus they have some abilities which are useful in a PVP encounter.

    What would help achieve this (echoing ideas from previous posters).

    1.Better survivability. Tenacity pets have Blood of the Rhino and Silverback. Ferocity pets have Bloodthirsty, Lick You Wounds and Heart of the Phoenix. There should be similar skills for cunning pets. Replace the almost useless Carrion Feeder with an ability that heals during combat. Also add a skill similar to Blood of the Rhino or Lick Your Wounds to the cunning tree.

    2.Allow Cunning pets to learn Charge in tier one (like tenacity pets).

    3.Shorten the cool-down on some Cunning pet family skills (Snatch, Sonic Blast).

    4.Increase the triggering threshold of Cornered to 50% health.

    5.Replace Wolverine Bite with a passive damage increasing ability.

  36. Palladiamors

    Jaysee, just about anyone who has heavily used a cunning pet will disagree with number 5. Maybe add in another damage increasing talent, but leave wolverine bite, it’s amazing.

    As for number 1, Carrior feeder has potential, but right now it’s just to much of a hassle.

  37. Romolus

    umm? Have they announced any change to wolveinne bite (ie, the pet being hit and expert capped)for 3.2? I don’t usally run the ptr, but unless they fixed that situational use of something dodging or parrying or missing… it’s gonna be useless.

    but as for the topic, I think they just need to rework the situational things to be less situational in the tree.

    and personally, I like carrion feeder, I kinda wish every tree had it, or all pets.

  38. Palladiamors

    Usless in PvE, but not in PvP, where it really shines. But yea, one of my suggestions, especially with the new changes to pet scaling, was for Wolverine bite to become unhooked from the dodge requirement.

  39. riojin

    I want to see this for cunning tree talent

    Improved Kill Command – While under the effects of Kill Command, each special attack by your pet has a 1/3/5/7/9% chance of applying Open Wound, allowing your Kill Shot to be used. Seeing as the chance to execute for Warriors is far above this, it doesn’t seem unreasonable. And if you’re looking for a special shot for BM, increasing the proc chance for this may just fit the bill

  40. Ryai

    Riojin, why would a cunning pet have a quite blatant hunter skill? :/ and 5/5? Good christ man, if anything it would be 2/2 [for either 1/2 or 2/4 percentages] and most likely pushed to a last tier so only accesable to BM. And if this was a hunter talent, then well where would it go? MM? SV? BM?

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree with this, this wouldn’t solve anything imo and would just start to cause blizzard to bloat the cunning tree, and have it as broken and bloated as Ferocity and Tenacity is :/

  41. Raegon

    I pvp a lot on my hunter (never got him past 59), I use a DragonHawk for mostly Pvp, and a Windserpent for Pve, I would rather have some of the cd’s lowered (like the two pets i listed class attack) and there dmg boosted a little (they don’t do much, but perhaps it’s only at my lvl) you could raise there stats a little to be lower than a Tenacity survival but higher than a Ferocity and dmg higher than a Tenacity but lower than a Ferocity but that might make them too desirable. to remove some of the situational use from the ability’s they use and perhaps open all trees to all pets (but keep the stat differences i mentioned earlier, to more distinguish the trees, or even just give them extra points for those trees they match) [ex: the Windserpent being able to put more points in the Cunning tree, like an extra 2pts or so]

  42. Ryai

    Sorry but Raegon;

    ‘[ex: the Windserpent being able to put more points in the Cunning tree, like an extra 2pts or so]‘

    That kinda defeats the purpose of the BM 51 talent, would allow non BM at a top teirish talent, possibly, and it really wouldn’t fix Cunning overall as tbh it’s NOT the amount of points spent in the cunning tree, it’s where and how they are spent. And the lack of any survivability.

  43. Epacsten

    Cunning talents need to be reworked, to be sure. Most of their abilities have such long cooldowns, they’re not useful, even in the situations they’re designed for. A cunning talent to reduce those cooldowns would be far more useful than owl’s focus.

  44. Ryai

    Actually Epacsten, Owls Focus and a cunning only talent to reduce cooldowns a bit, would go hand in hand well, I never really talent for Owls Focus as whenever it goes off it’s either A: when I dismount [sometimes when I've FED my pet], or B: it goes off but the only talent available before it disappears is the cunning pet’s spam skill.

    But an ability to lower a cooldown + Owls Focus, would be a good combo. It would also allow cunning pets to have the shorter CD’s everyone wants, but wouldn’t be op or cause longevity to be nerfed.

    That’s a real good idea you had Epac!

  45. Kroxis

    I had some recent thoughts on the talents I suggested needed changed.

    In place of Feeding Frenzy I have two suggestions

    A. Instead of a %threshold for the dmg increase, make it a on kill (honor or exp), the pet gets a dmg increase buff for X seconds. With an internal minute cooldown.


    B. Frenzied Strike, when the target is at or below 35% health your pet strikes at the target doing dmg +X%. (with a cooldown)

    This could easily be balanced so that if you were to take a cunning pet to a boss the general dps would be the same. And in pvp make it a more sueful ability as your target wont be at 35% health for long, you might only get one shot (which is why its current form is lackluster). So why not make it a one shot ability with a cool down? Similar to Kill shot

    Also I had a idea for Cornered.
    “Your pet has a _% chance when hit by direct damage to begin lashing out for extra damage. Increasing all damage done by _% for _ seconds. This effect can stack up to _ times but is removed upon the pet receiving a heal.

    This idea has a lot of knobs that bliz can turn to balance it and fits in well with their view on how the game should work, using abilities at the right time and making choices. It only procs off direct damage meaning something has to be hitting it, so a player could choose to kill the pet but have to deal with the dmg increase till it dies, and a hunter can gauge how long to let the pet continue lashing out for increased damage or heal it depending on the situation.

    You could also had armor reduction to the pet while lashing out as a balance for pve, and for heal over times it could a heal tick per stack removal instead of the whole thing. So like I said a lot of ways to tweak but would provide a good utility to the utility pets.

    I tried to keep pve and pvp in mind with these ideas with a slight bias to pvp probably.

  46. Daginni

    Tenacity pets are much better for PvP than Cunning.

    For example, Tenacity has Intervene and Roar of Sacrifice all in the same package, along with the ability to Charge at the target to keep them away from you. Also with the 40% extra healing. A few other goodys.
    There pets family specials usally dont have PvP in mind, but the Tree makes it worth it.

    Cunning, you have a pet that can dash everywhere. If you specced right, is harder to kill at the last 30% hp (but wont save it from a 2 shot).
    You have to specc 2 points into a useless talent in order to get somthing useful like Roar of Sacrifce (no intervene).
    Along with its only healing ability depends on you finding a corpse, which, in Arena, is like asking for your pet to die now.
    Most Cunning Pets have PvP Specials, but is usally ignored becouse the Tree sucks.

    Feroicity is good for burst, but was never really desined for PvP at all, and is usally avoided.
    It does have some good PvP Specials however, like the Wasps Sting which makes rogues have trouble going into stealth, and helps MM Hunters.

    Cunning needs work in order for it to work for PvP. Currently, everyone has a Tenacity pet for PvP
    (Wrote quickly, and by a tired person)

  47. Palladiamors

    Daginni, my two most successful pets are my wolf, and my rhino pre-nerf. Now it’s my wolf and my chimera. Each pet has something they can bring to the mix, but on the over all it feels like cunning are the most lacking. Doesn’t mean they are bad though.

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