Looking for that perfect companion for your hunter in WoW? This guide will help you pick out the best hunter pet, regardless of your spec!
Best WoW Hunter Pets - PvE DPS Pets
If you're looking for a pet to join you in instances or raids, these four pets are your best choice for both personal DPS and group utility. Any hunter spec may make use of wolves, raptors, and wasps, while devilsaurs are a Beast Mastery exclusive pet.
Best WoW Hunter Pets - Wolves
Pet Special Abili ty: Furious Howl, Increases melee and ranged attack power by 320 for the wolf and its master for 20 sec. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 40 second cooldown.
One of the most classic pets in World of Warcraft, the wolf is also the most popular as it offers the best personal DPS, even for Beast Mastery hunters. This is mainly due to its special ability, Furious Howl, which offers a personal DPS boost that sims higher than any other pet ability. This same ability used to be group-wide, making it a required pet in days of old. Now, Furious Howl is only for the hunter, but still tops the charts in what it offers to the DPS hunter.
Best WoW Hunter Pets - Raptors
Pet Special Ability: Savage Rend, Slashes the enemy with the raptor's talons for 59 to 83 damage, and causes the target to bleed for 21 to 27 damage every 5 sec for 15 sec. Successful critical strikes with this ability temporarily boost the raptor's damage by 10% for 30 sec. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 1 minute cooldown.
Coming in second on DPS charts is the raptor. Savage Rend, as a bleed ability, is enhanced by abilities that increase bleed damage (Mangle and Trauma). Raptors offer a great secondary option for hunters who want a high DPS without choosing a wolf.
Pet Special Ab ility: Sting, Your wasp stings for 64 to 86 Nature damage, and decreases the armor of the target by 5% for 20 sec. While affected, the target cannot stealth or turn invisible. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 6 second cooldown.
Although the wasp offers a little less personal DPS than wolves or raptors, it does offer a crucial raid debuff not often offered in every raid group. Sting is classified as a minor Armor Debuff, and does stack with Acid Spit, Expose Armor, and Sunder Armor. It does not stack with a druid's Faerie Fire or a warlock's Curse of Recklessness, so if either of these classes are present and providing your group this debuff, you're better off using a different pet.
Special note: The constant flapping of the wings of this mount, plus its higher profile due to flying, may annoy some players.
Pet Special Abi lity: Monstrous Bite, Your devilsaur ferociously bites the enemy, causing 91 to 123 damage, and boosts its own damage by 3% for 12 seconds. This effect stacks 3 times. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 10 second cooldown.
Exclusive to Beast Mastery hunters, the Devilsaur offers comparable DPS to the wolf or raptor as it greatly boosts its own DPS with a virtual 100% uptime. This pet offers the best DPS for BM hunters, followed by wolves and then spirit beasts.
Be aware that the devilsaur makes a lot of noise, even when idle, and its size may be annoying to some.
Hunter PvP Pets
Do you enjoy PvP with your hunter? There are a variety of pets that offer great utility for hunters in PvP, but here are the top four!
Hunter PvP Pets - Crabs
Pet Special Ability: Pin, Pins the target in place, and squeezes for 112 damage over 4 sec. Instant cast, 40 second cooldown.
The crab is a popular pet as it both roots its target and does damage in the form of a DoT. This pet can be used both to stop a fleeing enemy and to hold a charging enemy in place, keeping them out of melee range from the hunter.
Due to its cooldown, it is recommended that hunters manually use Pin by keybinding it for easy use when needed.
Pet Special Ability: Web, Encases the target in sticky webs, preventing movement for 4 sec. Instant cast, 40 second cooldown.
The spider's ability is very similar to the crab, except without a damage component. Nonetheless, because of its root - and because many players are arachnophobic - the spider is another popular choice for hunters who want to keep their target in place.
Like crabs, it is recommended that hunters with spiders hotkey Web for manual use.
Pet Special Ability: Poison Spit, Spits poison at an enemy, dealing 104 Nature damage over 8 sec and reduces the target's casting speed by 25% for 8 sec. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 10 second cooldown.
Although other pets exist that interrupt spellcasts, Serpents are viewed as the superior anti-caster hunter pet because of a lower cooldown and increased overall use of their skill, Poison Spit. In addition to its damage, the increased casting speed portion of Poison Spit is great against most casters.
Beast Mastery hunters looking for this same utility should tame a Core Hound, which offers the same debuff but with greater damage (and a more intimidating looking pet).
Pet Special Ability: Froststorm Breath, Your pet simultaneously breathes frost and li ghtning at an enemy target, inflicting 128 to 172 Frost and Nature damage and slowing the target for 5 sec. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 10 second cooldown.
An exotic pet for Beast Mastery hunters only, the Chimaera offers a two-part special. Most obviously used for its slow (again useful for either retreating or charging enemies), Froststorm Breath also uses two different types of damage, making it less resistible.
Chimaeras also have the added benefit of being a rarely used pet.
Tanking and Soloing WoW Hunter Pets
Hunters are known to have threat issues with their pets when soloing or grinding (with the exception of Beast Mastery, which gets an added taunt for their pets). This can make even questing difficult for hunters, without the help of a special pet.
These four pets are designed to give any hunter a great tank pet, with both durability and increased threat. They make great pets when soloing, grinding instances or multiple mobs, and even as a standby tank against elite mobs.
Pet Special Ability: Bad Attitude, Snap back for 89 to 125 damage at any target that strikes you for the next 45 sec. Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown.
At first glance, a two minute cooldown ability may seem too long to make the Crocolisk a worthwhile tank. However, this ability offers incredible threat generation, making it perfect for AoE grinding.
Hunters wanting to get the most of their crocolisk pet should gather multiple mobs, cast Misdirect on their crocolisk, use Volley, and then enable Bad Attitude to watch the crocolisk's threat scale exponentially.
Pet Special Ability: S hell Shield, The turtle partially withdraws into its shell, reducing damage taken by 50% for 12 sec. Instant cast, 1 minute cooldown.
The turtle is a classic tank pet, having been commonly used since vanilla WoW due to its high durability. Shell Shield is a great defensive cooldown, useful for both AoE situations and facing elite mobs. Given a hunter's Mend Pet spell is only minorly effective when the pet is taking substantial damage, Shell Shield helps keep the turtle alive longer, allowing a hunter to finish off the enemies before they become a threat to the hunter.
Pet Special Ability: Warp, Teleports to an enemy up to 30 yards away and gives the pet a 50% chance to avoid the next 3 melee attacks. Lasts 4 sec. Instant cast, 15 second cooldown.
Like the turtle, the warp stalker has a great, effective defensive cooldown. Warp does not last as long as Shell Shield, and only offers a chance to miss versus straight damage reduction; however, it can also have significantly more uptime due to a shorter cooldown.
This unique ability offers the added benefit of teleporting instantly to an enemy within 30 yards, reducing wait time for the hunter before they can begin DPSing.
Pet Spe cial Ability: Swipe, Swipe nearby enemies, inflicting 90 to 126 damage. Instant cast, 20 Focus, 6 second cooldown.
If you've ever watched how effective a druid in bear form can tank multiple mobs merely by spamming Swipe, you have an idea of how great this classic tank pet can be. The main difference is that the bear pet's swipe ability uses a frontal cone, instead of the druid's 360 degree attack.
However, with a low cooldown, and the ability to become a focus dump skill in combination with growl and Thunderstomp, the bear offers amazing AoE threat, and even solid single target threat, making a great all around tank pet for any hunter.