I’ve noticed a disturbing trend recently both in game and as anecdotes on other blogs: hunters that aren’t using their pets. At all. Like, they don’t even summon them.
Okay guys, here’s the deal. I know that 99.999% of you are Marskman or Survival right now, but even so, you can’t afford to not have your pet out.
“But Pike, his DPS sucks!”
I asked some people on Twitter how much DPS their pet contributes in a raid setting. Here were some of the responses I got:
TheAllianceGuy (Marksman): “Above 1000 at least”
T_Jazz (Marksman/Survival): “the hundreds”
tchann (Beast Master): “40+ percent of 5k dps”
shizukera (Beast Master): “I can’t give you a number, but it hurts like hell when my pet dies”
jayesh (MM/SV, depending on fight): “16-23 percent. varies from fight to fight”
ILikeBubbles (Beast Master): “I think mine is…800/900ish DPS?”
dhollinger (Survival): “Rough estimate? My ulduar geared SV hunter’s wolf does ~450-500 from what I remember”
shieldbreakr (Survival): “536dps in my raid last night in my 25man naxx pug. I did 4132dps, he did 536. I use cats”
Eidtalheg (Survival): “my average pet (wolf) dps is ~730.”
The awesometacular Anna of Too Many Annas sent me some raid info from Totally Raids, Inc, on Feathermoon. Here is what she sent me:
First 3/4 of Ulduar + VoA Clear
Surv Hunter Pet – Cat – 950 DPS, 3.3 mil damage
Surv Hunter Pet – Moth – 900 DPS, 3 mil damage
Surv Hunter Pet – Wolf – 920 DPS, 2.5 mil damage
Yogg, Ony, VoA, ToC Normal –
Surv Hunter Pet – Cat – 850 DPS, 2.2 mil damage
Surv Hunter Pet – Moth – 800 DPS, 1.9 mil damage
Surv Hunter Pet – Wolf – 650 DPS, 1.5 mil damage
Marks Hunter Pet – Cat – 750 DPS, 1.5 mil damage
It’s worth noting that the marks hunter, whose pet is at the bottom of the chart, had never seen Yogg-Saron before (he’s our “sometimes” hunter, and we’ve not been doing Yoggy a lot), so he’s got a bit of a gear disparity from the other three!
Last half of ToC plus 11 wipes on Heroic Northrend Beasts
Surv Hunter Pet – Cat – 950 DPS, 2 mil damage
Surv Hunter Pet – Wolf – 700 DPS, 1.3 mil damage
Surv Hunter Pet – Wolf – 1000 DPS, 1.1 mil damage
Extremely variable numbers as you can see, and I know this is dependent on things like gear, level of content, group makeup, etc. But look at even some of the low-end numbers from Twitter and tell me that’s not helpful. Would you say no to a free 400 DPS? And check out some of the stuff Anna is doing– those pets are doing twice that! If you’re min/maxing your gear and your spec, why would you say no to using a pet?
“But Pike, I can’t keep him alive, I’m not BM like you!”
There seems to be this weird misconception floating around the blogosphere and the WoWosphere in general that raid-spec’d BM pets are magically much easier to keep alive and/or are better tanks than non-BM pets. Here’s the deal, I could spec for pet survivability, but I don’t, because I spec for DPS. The only things my pet has that yours probably doesn’t, from a standpoint of pet survivability, is one extra point in Wild Hunt, one extra point in Bloodthirsty, and one point in Improved Mend Pet. Possibly one point in Endurance Training, if you are Survival and don’t have it. That’s it. (I don’t count Improved Revive Pet because that is assuming your pet is already dead, and we’re talking about keeping him alive.)
This means my pet has a little more stamina than yours, and a slightly greater chance to regenerate a minute amount of life in combat. Improved Mend Pet is extremely situational– it’s helpful on Heigan and that’s about it.
If I can keep my pet alive, you can too. It just involves some situational awareness and a Mend Pet keybind.
“But Pike, this is [Insert Some Ridiculously Pet-Unfriendly Boss Here]”
Now, believe me, I know that some fights are a royal pain in the butt in terms of pet survivability. I understand that not all fights are created equal.
So keep your pet by your side.
Most Marksmanship builds include 2/2 Focused Fire, which is free DPS just for having your pet there.
And on top of that, a good number of you are using a wolf right now. I don’t, myself, partially because I like other pets better, partially because my stable is full, and partially because I’m a stubborn idiot making a stand against what I see as an unfair pet status quo. But guys, the wolf is free DPS just from standing there because of Furious Howl.
“But Pike, he dies on Mimiron anyway, even if he’s standing by my side!”
Yeah, I know >.> We won’t talk about Mimiron. /cough
“But Pike, it’s just a couple hundred DPS.”
And yet that new piece of gear you are drooling over will get you what, like, 15 DPS?
And what about those 1% boss fight wipes? Betcha wish you’d had a couple hundred extra DPS there.
You have no reason to not have your pet at least out and summoned. It’s free DPS. And besides which, look at your favorite pet’s face. Go on, do it.
Who could say no to a face like that? >.>
Pet control is vital, in my opinion, to all hunter specs. It’s part of what makes you a hunter. It’s part of what makes our class difficult to play, regardless of what other classes may occasionally think or rib us about. Because when the raid leader says that “ranged has to do this and melee has to do that”, we have to listen to both those things because part of us– our pet– is in fact melee.
We are the ones who have to make sure our pet is not DPS’ing the same lasher as we are on Freya.
We are the ones who have to make sure our pet is DPSing the big add on Onyxia while we focus on whelps or Onyxia herself.
No other class has to worry about this kind of thing, except maybe demonology warlocks (and Unholy Death Knights..?). It’s a big responsibility.
And spec’ing MM or SV doesn’t automatically clear you from that pet responsibility. That arrived when you chose to roll a hunter. If you want to be the best hunter you can be, that includes your pet. You’re both in this together.
To mangle a quote by a toy cowboy, “Pets. If you don’t have one, get one!”