WoW Classic Hunter Pets - Choose the Best Animal Companion!
WoW Classic Hunter pets
Fighting alongside a pet companion is one of the trademarks of Hunter class. In this guide we’re going to take a look at all the mechanics surrounding Hunter pets and, of course, compare different animal companions in order to find the best ones for each situation.
Tame the Beast
To have a loyal pet, you first have to go into the world and find one. The next step is using the Tame Beast ability on it. This skill is a 20 seconds channel that can be interrupted by stun, silence or a knock down. While you’re channeling this skill, the target beast will attack you. That’s why a lot Hunters utilize some special tricks in order to get their favorite beasts safely. To get access to this spell, you will have to first complete a quest called Taming the Beast - there are multiple versions of it for different races.
Placing a Freezing Trap between the Hunter and their target to buy up to 10 extra seconds.
Attacking the target with Concussive Shot right before Tame Beast to slow the animal.
Using Wyvern Sting before channeling Tame Beast for an additional 12 seconds of safety.
In WoW Classic, you have to feed your pet if you want them to be happy and strong. Depending on how well-fed your animal is, it can deal 125% (happy), 100% (content) or 75% (unhappy) of their base damage.Happiness of your pet further translates into its loyalty. Keeping it on a high level ensures that it doesn't run away, so better pay attention to it!
Each beast family has its own diet. There are 6 types of pet food in Vanilla: Bread (Freshly Baked Bread sold by vendors and Conjured Bread created by Mages), Cheese (Holiday Cheesewheel), Fish (Bloodbelly Fish and Harvest Fish – they can be bought from Fish Vendors or caught in various places in Azeroth), Fruit (Shiny Red Apple), Fungus (Forest Mushroom Cap) and Meat (Flank of Meat). Bears and Boars will happily eat all these treats, but other pet families often have some dietary restrictions.
Hunters Pet Progression
In World of Warcraft Classic your pet doesn’t automatically level up when you do. It has its own experience bar that’s filled by killing monsters alongside the Hunter. At the same time, the animal companion can never surpass the master in terms of levels. When it catches up to the Hunter, it simply stops collecting experience until the player levels up. It means that the pet level is always a bit behind the player.
There are two ways of unlocking more skills for your pet. Some of the abilities can be taught by an NPC Pet Trainer. There are multiple trainers in different towns. The list of skills goes like this: Arcane Resistance, Fire Resistance, Frost Resistance, Nature Resistance, Shadow Resistance, Growl, Great Stamina and Natural Armor. All of those skills are just passive stat increases, with the exception of Growl that’s a taunting ability.
However, to teach your old dog some new tricks, you will often have to tame another animal that already has the desired skill. This list is slightly longer and includes only active skills: Bite, Charge, Claw, Cower, Dash, Dive, Furious Howl, Lightning Breath, Prowl, Scorpid Poison, Screech, Shell Shield and Thunderstomp. Of course not every beast can learn all the pet skills, there are some restrictions based on the pet family. Furthermore, your companion will need training points in order to learn new skills. Pets earn them while leveling with you, when their happiness is high. You will need an ability called Beast Training to teach your pet new skills.
All the pets of Classic WoW
The pet families are divided into three categories: defensive, offensive and general. Vanilla WoW also features four unique pets that we’re going to describe later. All kinds of pets can be useful in certain scenarios, but some of them are more popular and versatile than the others. Hunter players should also use a bit of their time to set up good macros in order to better utilize their pet. You can also try to find some useful addons. Don't forget about the Beast Mastery talent tree that provides multiple options of empowering your animal companion.
It’s crucial to note that Attack Speed is an extremely important statistic in Classic. In PvE, pets with higher Attack Speeds get more threat generation, making pets more likely to get the aggro and tank some damage, what makes them even more useful. In PvP it affects Spell Push Back. More auto-attacks translate into longer delays of enemy spell casts. Overall, the faster your pet attacks, the better.
Defensive pet families
The least used category of companions. It stems from the fact that with lower Attack Speed and DPS, they also generate threat slower than offensive pets. In theory, good defensive stats could be really useful, but they don’t amount to a lot when the pets can’t gain the mobs attention for longer periods of time and make enemies focus them.
Bears have access to relatively high HP and Armor, but don’t do much damage. They don’t have any unique family ability, but they can use skills like Bite, Claw, Cower and Growl. Bears can be fed all six types of pet food.
This defensive family has slightly less Health, but more Armor than the Bears. In addition to Bite, Dash, Growl and Cower, they also have access to a family skill called Charge. It’s a relatively long cooldown ability that provides decent amount of extra damage and a crowd control effect. That’s the reason why Boars are the only defensive pets that actually see some play. Additional CC is always welcome in PvP scenarios. This family also eats all types of food.
Crabs actually have a pretty low HP pool, but they compensate for it with high amount of Armor. They only have access to Claw, Growl and Cower. In general Crabs are rather underwhelming. You can feed them bread and fish.
This family offers decent DPS for defensive pets. Similarly to Crabs, their tankiness comes from high amount of Armor that’s combined with average Health numbers. The problem is lack of interesting abilities, since Crocolisks only have access to Bite, Cower and Growl. They can be fed fish and meat.
They have a lot health, relatively low armor and decent damage. They could easily fit in the well-rounded, general category if not for the low attack speed. Besides Growl, Cower and Bite they can use a family ability called Thunderstomp that deals AoE damage. Gorillas can eat fruit and fungi.
Scorpids have a lot of Armor, medium HP and really low DPS. Luckily, they have a saving grace in form of Scorpid Poison – unique family ability that provides additional damage over time. The remaining available skills are: Claw, Growl and Cower. Scorpids only eat meat.
Another high HP low armor pet family. Tallstriders have access to Bite, Dash, Growl and Cower. Orethi Plainstrider that can be found in the Barrens has a relatively good attack speed (1.3) what makes it a decent option. You can feed them cheese, fruit or fungi.
Turtles are the tankiest pets in Vanilla. They have medium amount of HP and the highest Armor value. They also have access to family-unique Shell Shield that temporarily further increases their durability while decreasing attack speed. Turtles can also use Bite, Cower and Growl. They are the essence of defensive pets and their problems. Turtles could be great, extremely efficient tanks if they only could somehow generate enough threat to keep enemies interested. They can eat fruit and fungi.
General Pet families
This is the category for overall well-rounded and balanced pets that are decent in both tanking and dealing damage. Wolves are by far the most popular family here, as they’re often taken for raids (mostly because of their special ability). All the pets in this category have exactly the same Health, Armor and Damage numbers.
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This beast family is interesting, because of the high amount of skills that it has access to. Carrion Birds can use Bite, Claw, Dive, Growl, Cower and the family-unique Screech. The last one reduces the target’s melee attack damage. It’s an effective way of countering very specific enemies, it will significantly weaken enemy Rogue or Warrior. Carrion Birds can eat fish and meat.
Hyenas are the only general pet family without a unique ability. That’s also what makes them the least interesting one of the three. They have access to Bite, Dash, Cower and Growl. You can feed them with fruit and meat.
Their special ability – Furious Howl – provides some additional damage to all the party members’ next auto attack. It’s cooldown is only 10 seconds what makes it really valuable for some of the group content. This ability also allows Wolves to be useful during raids, while not getting killed over and over.
In Classic, your melee attacking pet will often die to mechanics or simply, the enemies’ damage output. Your Wolf doesn’t have to auto-attack once during a raid and it will still bring a lot of value. A pet from this family is pretty much a must-have if you want to partake in endgame content as a Hunter. Almost any other pet will die a lot of times during the raid, resulting in either not doing barely anything or wasting Hunter's time on reviving it upon each death.
The Wolf family includes some unique individuals. Lupos that can be found in Duskwood is a Wolf that instead of physical damage, deals shadow damage with his auto-attacks. This can be useful against high Armor mobs. Snarler – a Wolf that can be tamed in Feralas has additional 100 resistances to all magic types. It makes him extremely tanky against spell casters. Unfortunately, both of those Wolves have pretty low attack speed of 2.0.
Offensive pet families
These pets deal the highest amounts of damage allowing Hunter to optimize their total DPS numbers. They are often used in solo farming endeavors and in PvP.
Bats have high Damage, low Armor and average Health. Their skill set is similar to that of Carrion Birds. They have access to Cower, Growl, Bite, Dive and Screech. They can be really good in PvP, especially if you manage to tame the Bloodseeker Bat in Zul’Gurub since it has the highest possible 1.0 Attack Speed. You can feed them with fruit and fungi.
This is the highest DPS pet family in the game. Alongside Growl and Cower, they have access to two basic damage abilities – Bite and Claw. Furthermore they get extra mobility with Dash and can enter stealth with Prowl. This family is basically a must-have. Cats are first choice of a PvP pet for most players. They’re also the best pets for leveling and are really great for solo farming. They eat fish and meat. Playing a Hunter that has Fishing as a secondary profession synergizes really well with Cat as the pet.
The pet that’s often considered the best choice for both PvP and solo farming belongs to this family. The rare Broken Tooth can be found in Badlands, which is a level 35+ zone. While having access to the great skill set of Cat family, Broken Tooth also has the highest possible Attack Speed for pets in Vanilla (1.0). It’s basically the best pet in the game for every activity that’s not raiding.
Stat-wise Owls are similar to other offensive pet families. In terms of skills, they have access to Growl, Cower, Dive, Claw and Screech. They’re a decent choice, but you can find a better option for every type of WoW Classic activity. You can only feed them with meat.
This pet family has a really high damage output, but low Attack Speed. While they can be useful in PvE, picking a Cat will almost always be a better option. Having access to two damage skills in Bite and Claw makes them viable for leveling. Orc and Troll Hunters can tame Bloodtalon Raptors in Durotar and use them as early game pets. They’re really vulnerable to magic damage, due to their low Health pool. It’s another pet family that will only eat meat.
Spiders have the regular offensive pet stats, but they have only one damage skill (Bite) and no family-unique ability – of course they also have access to Growl and Cower. They’re not terrible, but there will always be better options. Spiders can only be fed with meat.
This offensive pet family is special, because of its unique skill. It’s called Lightning Breath and it has a range of 40 yards. It makes Wind Serpents the only pets that can provide some form of ranged DPS. Possibilities that it creates are often the reason why most Hunters decide to tame this pet at some point in the game. Wind Seprents also have access to Bite, Dive, Cower and Growl. They eat bread, cheese and fish. You can tame a Green Wind Serpent in the Wailing Caverns.
Son of Hakkar
Son of Hakkar is the only pet that has the highest rank (6) of Lightning Breath. Taming him is the only way of accessing the maxed out version of this useful ability. You can only find him in the Zul’Gurub raid, which means you’re going to have to wait a few patches, till phase 4 of Classic to tame this pet. It’s definitely something worth keeping in mind though.
Best pets in Classic WoW
There are plenty of pets for Hunters to choose from in Classic WoW. Of course it’s not as many as in the live Battle for Azeroth version, but there are still lots of options. If you want to min-max you probably should try to pick one of the pets that we recommended. A Wolf for raids and Broken Tooth for everything else is probably the best, safe call (obviously you can’t just tame Broken Tooth at the beginning of the game, but you should try and get it as soon as possible).
Of course, you don’t have to try hard that much and base your pet choice on the optimal stats. You can simply tame whatever looks the coolest to you and go through the game with any animal companion that you want. Remember - it will travel through Azeroth with you, so you have to enjoy looking at it. In fact, the differences between offensive and defensive pets are not that massive, the only stat that can really make a difference is Attack Speed. That being said, we hope that you learned a thing or two from our Hunter Pet Guide and it proved useful to make the pet choice just a tiny bit easier to you!
Make sure to check out more guides and articles on our blog. We have tons of content related to Classic WoW and many other interesting hit online games. If you want to have quick success in Vanilla check out the WoW Classic offers at MMOAuctions. Classic already started, so don't wait too long!
Vanilla World of Warcraft is the Blizzard's attempt to once again provide players' community with the old-school grindy MMORPG experience that they miss so much. Pre-expanion WoW was much different than the live Battle for Azeroth version. The Hunter players can choose their race out of: Night Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Tauren and Troll. The remaining Vanilla Classes are: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior and Priest.