Pet Specs Mega Post

I’ve had a lot of people requesting guides on pet specs. I am more than happy to share my thoughts on them with you guys! Pet specs are typically pretty straightforward because there are only so many talents that will increase DPS, etc. However, they are also pretty situational, depending on what you want out of your pets. If you are doing solo’ing and leveling with your kitty then you may opt to go for something different. And that is 100% okay. But here are Pike’s recommendations:

Ferocity Pet:


This basic 16-point build scoops up Cobra Reflexes, Dash, Bloodthirsty, Spider’s Bite, and finally, Call of the Wild and Rabid. Basically all your essential DPS talents. However, you may also opt for something like this which replaces Avoidance/Rapid with Heart of the Phoenix (currently bugged, though) and Lick Your Wounds. Don’t underestimate the power of Lick Your Wounds, I shied away from it for a while because I figured I used Mend Pet enough. Well maybe I’m just unlucky but my pets seem to have been taking massive amounts of damage in the heroics and raids I’ve done so far, and it’s saved his furry butt several times. So I’ve been sold on it. Really that choice with what you do with those remaining points is up to you.

And once you’ve got the four extra points, you don’t have to worry about choosing, and you can also nab Charge and then one point in Great Resistance– that is your filler point and I think it’s the best place to put it, it gives your pet a nice boost on resistances. So you’d end up with this:


Cunning Pet:

These guys are a little tricky because there are many different routes you can take with them: PvP, utility, leveling, and though I’ve yet to try a heroic or raid with a Cunning Pet it’s something I’ll be looking into because I think they’ve got some nice DPS talents too. So I definitely don’t see a talent path for these guys to be nearly as straight-forward. That said, this what I’ve done with Tux and Eltanin:


This is an all-purpose killing-stuff/utility build that also works decently for PvP (though I’d probably spec a bit differently for that). You pick up Cobra Reflexes, Dive, Owl’s Focus and Spiked Collar as your must-haves. After that things get a little hazy, I typically opt for Avoidance, Cornered, and just one point in Feeding Frenzy so I can nab both Wolverine Bite and Roar of Recovery with 16 points. Roar of Recovery is super awesome by the way, it makes me wish I had a Cunning pet out when I’m not using one. I <3 my Cunning pets. *clings to them* Really, I think that bottom portion of the tree is pretty customizable for your own needs. You may want to switch out Wolverine Bite for that extra point in Feeding Frenzy. Or for Carrion Feeder so you don't have to carry food around. It's a very flexible build, really. Once you get the four extra talent points you can stop worrying about it and do this:


You can snatch up the extra Feeding Frenzy point, Carrion Feeder, Bullheaded (remember, this is a utility build more than a DPS build) , and then drop the final filler point in Great Resistance. Overall I have found this build to be very nice build for leveling/grinding and it’s also pretty effective in the occasional PvP skirmish if you, say, play on a PvP server or do the world PvP events sometimes. I’d probably opt for slightly different, but similar, pet spec for dedicated PvP but this one certainly isn’t bad.

Tenacity Pet:

There are a couple different ways to do Tenacity Pets and for me, what you want it to make your Tenacity Pet a pure tanking machine. That means you’ll be skipping a lot of the DPS talents in favor of longevity ones. This would be my 16-point build:


Charge, Great Stamina, and Natural Armor from the first tier. Blood of the Rhino (very important talent!! Makes your Mend Pet epic) and Pet Barding from the second. Guard Dog is your other “must-have” in this tree. After that you have a couple of options, myself I like Avoidance and Last Stand. Last Stand is just like the warrior move and it’s gotten me through a few elite group quests and I <3 it very much. You do have to manually activate it, though, so make sure it's on your pet bar. Picking up the four extra talent points, I'd go for something like this:


You can pick up Grace of the Mantis as well as your two remaining last-tier talents, Roar of Sacrifice and Taunt. I have some problems getting Roar of Sacrifice to work well, but I think I probably just have to sit down and figure it out. Now as you can see, we skipped out on Cobra Reflexes and Spiked Collar, the two must-have DPS talents from the previous trees, in favor of pure survivability. I’ve tried doing difficult quests with both methods– a more DPS-spec’d tank, and a more never-gonna-die-spec’d tank– and I have had much more success with the latter. Remember, your Tenacity pet isn’t there to DPS, he’s there to be a meatshield on those tough group quests!

Well, you asked for it, so you got it: Pike’s thoughts on pet-spec’ing. As I said, pet specs are oftentimes really very situational, but pet respecs are very cheap, so it works out.

I don’t work today and most of my guild doesn’t seem to have anything major planned either, so we were thinking about having going on a wild badge-fest heroics-a-thon. So I’m off to do the IRL stuff and then log on. As always, I love your comments and corrections!

19 thoughts on “Pet Specs Mega Post”

  1. Nice post. 🙂 I tend to keep Phoenix with Eidan since I have that 2% increase when he’s around. If I find his health slipping constantly and he dies, I’ll rez him and keep him by my side. I haven’t experienced any bug with it though, so I’m not sure what that’s about. He just pops right back up every time. It’s very handy, especially when I wasn’t paying attention… >.>

  2. *hugs for the BM and non-BM trees*

    It’s great to see your thoughts on the pet trees, I haven’t seen many writeups about the topic. I hadn’t actually noticed the cunning tree’s Roar of Recovery, that sounds verrah tasty! I also didn’t really understand Last Stand from skim-reading the tooltip when I was speccing my warpstalker, but now I think about it… sounds great 🙂

  3. Good post – but don’t forget, the current highest DPS pet (afaik) is the Scorpid – a tenacity pet. Mine has hit a poison stack of 4k in 10 man Naxx, and I’m still in some blue gear.

    Might be worth at least showing a tenacity pet dps build, considering that many hunters might want to consider using a Scorpid for their raid dps, as even after the nerf in 3.0.8, the scorpid is still out dpsing any other pet, certainly for BM, on the PTR, including all the exotic pets.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this article! I’ve been wondering how where I should sink my pet’s talents. Regarding my Tenacity pet, most of them are similar to what you’ve listed.

  5. “he’s there to be a meatshield” = love it!! 🙂

    This was great. I ended up pet collecting a few days ago and have held off talent-ing them. Will definitely come back to give this another read soon!

  6. For non-beast mastery (51 pointers) hunters, I’d go with something similar to this for scorp DPS. There’s a lot of points that could be moved around once you grab the attack talents so that’s not a build that’s set in stone. For those with the 51 point talent, I’d use something like Again, with tenacity pets, once you get spiked collar and cobra reflexes, you’re pretty much free to put points in almost anything you want. Obviously though, guard dog, taunt, and lionhearted are useless talents for raids and having extra armor is kind of moot since most of the damage pets take is from AoE magic effects.

  7. I’m sad to say I’ve yet tried any of the other trees on my hunter. Once you go gorilla you never go back, ne? It’s nice to have a reference for when I do.

    I noticed you don’t use boar’s speed. When soloing I find it extremely helpful for gathering up mobs. Without it they tend to keep poor Smish dazed and it takes a while to grab everything. Have you played around with it, yet?

  8. My OCD-ness compels me to point out that it’s called Rabid, not Rapid <3

    I’ve been speccing my ferocity/cunning pets the same way except that instead of Great Resistance, I put the last point into Stamina. Might try respeccing one pet and see if it makes a difference.

    @Delbin- I love my gorilla too, but my cat and owl keep calling me back to them after awhile. ‘Course it might help if PetEmote had more than 2 emotes for the supermonkeys. 😛

  9. @ Shagrat – Sorry it took so long for your comment to show up, my spam filter automatically filters comments with more than a couple links. If it didn’t, it’d be a regular Spamtopia around here. Much apologies!

    @ Delbin – I am one of the few hunters that doesn’t really do the whole gorilla thing. Did I try it? Yes. Was it awesome AoE grinding heaven? Yes. But was it my style? No. I’m a hunter, not a mage. I like shooting things down one at a time. So that is what I did all the way to 80 =) It was slower but it was my own choice, and preference.

    @ Rilgon – Ah, my apologies, I will look into changing that >.>

  10. OK. Don’t know if someone else mentioned it (if so, this will be for emphasis instead of knowledge) but Lick Wounds? If you don’t have it, you WILL have trouble keeping your pet up and will burn mana rezzing him or suffer without the DPS of having your pet active. Please people, as a hunter and as an officer who gets tasked with helping other hunters…..take this talent for your pets! Esp BM hunters!
    @ Pike: Nice job on the post! Thanks. Yours is one of the sites I recommend to hunters. Esp new hunters or ones who have not played for a while. Keep up the great work! Hunters Huzzah!

    Gunsnbutter Excelsior/Uther

  11. Also, Pike, how worthwhile would you say Wolverine Bite is? I’m loathe to take a point out of Feeding Frenzy to put it into Wolverine Bite if I decide to start using Oona in raids (for RoR). Is it worth the DPS dip?

  12. @ Rilgon – In all honesty I think it may be one of the ones to test. I think Wolverine Bite works best if you are a deep BM hunter; my own pets frequently get to use Wolverine Bite a lot and it crits a lot, and when it crits, it crits for well over 1000 non-buffed. I’m not sure what results a non-BM hunter may get but I think it’s at least worth a training dummy test!

  13. @Rilgon OK…..I forgot something there. If your healers keep your pet up, it is not so critical. I was thinking of a 25man that I had done recently where we were missing some of our normal healers. The replacement healers were not as used to keeping pets up. So you are correct. Sorry I forgot to put that in originally.

  14. Just wondering on the ferocity build, for my cat, what do you suggest for the 4 moves to put on the action bar? Or is there a way to get more moves up..
    I’m starting to do more Heroics and Raids..With the build i currently have he seems to die easier, so i will try this build to see if he can hang in there longer..Thanks for any input you might have..

  15. @Crews-Prowl and cower should be two skills you put on there, just so you can keep them from turning themselves on. On my cats (yes, I finally broke down and tamed a cat for my troll. I feel so dirty) and my spirit beast, I have the other two spots filled with heart of the phoenix and call of the wild, so I can activate them manually. I haven’t had any problem with heart of the phoenix ressing my pet, as long as I click the ability before the pet’s corpse despawns in the middle of a raid.

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