Attention: This guide is quite old as evidenced by the obsolete pet trees. I may possibly update it for Warlords of Draenor, but in the meantime, it is here for the sake of nostalgia, or for those of you running older versions of WoW.
The information contained in this guide was relevant to the Wrath of the Lich King era hunter.
For more up-to-date Caclysm PvP pet options, please see this post instead.
What pet should I use for PvP?
This is a question I get asked quite a bit. Being that I fancy myself somewhat of an expert on pets, even though I have my own personal quirky preferences, I figured I’d create a basic guide to choosing a hunter pet for PvP.
In addition to being a pet-obsessed hunter, I also enjoy the thrills, chills and excitement of PvP. The following list contains my recommendations for pets which I feel are some of the better choices for the various specs and why.
Beast Mastery Exotic PvP Pets
The Chimaera receives my highest recommendation as a top all-around pet for Beast Mastery PvP. For one, it has what I’d consider to be thee best pet special of any pet. Chimaeras possess an ability called Froststorm Breath, which not only deals ranged damage, but also slows its target by 50% for 5 seconds. When properly talented, a Beast Master will have a 7 second cooldown on this ability, giving the Chimaera an amazing 70% uptime on the slowing effect.
This ability makes kiting melee a breeze, plus it also helps to keep targets from LoS’ing you. Froststorm Breath delivers spell based damage in the form of frost and nature, which means it ignores armor. Also, it cannot be dodged, blocked or parried, but it is affected by resists. Although the spell can be resisted, the beauty of it is… because Froststorm Breath deals damage from two schools of magic, the attack exploits which ever resistance is lowest when calculating its damage.
Best of all… the slowing effect cannot be trinketed out of or dispelled. 😈
Combine this ability with its sheer size and all of the other goodies from the Cunning family, and what you have is a BM PvP pet made of pure win.
Chimaera PvP Spec
Here are a couple of build options for the Chimaera, my first pick being the one on the left.
Chimaera PvP Builds
Core Hounds may not the be the best pet to take into a battleground, but they are arguably the best choice for arena. Their higher DPS, along with Lava Breath, makes them a great choice for bursting down opponents in arena.
Lava Breath is a ranged spell that deals fire-based damage and applies a 25% cast speed debuff. The effect last for 10 seconds and has a 7 second cooldown (with talents), which means it can be kept up pretty much indefinitely, provided it’s not dispelled. Lava Breath is a great pet ability vs casters, but is also nice vs plate due to it’s armor-ignoring fire-based damage.
The reason I sing the Core Hound’s praises for arena and not battlegrounds, is because it is relatively squishy and does not provide as much PvP utility as that of other pets. A hardier pet that provides less DPS and more utility will be a lot more effective than a dead glass-cannon pet. My two cents anyway. 😉
Core Hound PvP Spec
The purpose of using a Core Hound is for pure nuking power. Because of this, I recommend speccing all-in for damage and pressure. The only exception being if you want to have access to Heart of the Phoenix for arena. These are two builds I’d recommend for a Core Hound – the first one providing the most damage, and the second one sacrificing Culling the Herd in favor of Heart of the Phoenix.
Core Hound PvP Builds
Silithids are more or less an exotic version of the spider. The Silithid’s Venom Web Spray is quite similar to that of the spider’s Web ability, only Venom Web Spray hurts, where as the Spider’s web deals no damage. If cast right after Bestial Wrath, the damaging ticks of Venom Web Spray can easily amount to over 350 nature damage per tick, which is pretty nice. 😉
There is one caveat with this ability however… due to the DoT associated with it, it prevents you from trapping your opponent with a Freezing Arrow during the snare. After using one for awhile, I can confirm that this is not a huge drawback as long as you’re mindful of that fact. You can actually cast a Freezing Arrow just as the DoTs are wearing off, with the arming time of the trap providing a slight buffer.
Silithids are part of the Cunning family, which means they have access to all of the awesome PvP related talents of that tree. Silithids are also pretty huge, especially when enraged. While this provides no benefit beyond, “Hey, that’s a huge bug!”, it can provide for some difficult targeting issues for your opponents if they are trying to mouse target someone in the game field.
Silithid PvP Spec
The PvP spec for the Silithid is pretty much the same as the Chimaera. See the Chimaera builds above for recommendations.
Worms are fantastic pets for use in battlegrounds, as well as with certain arena comps. Although they’re lacking in the DPS department, they make up for it with the increased survivability talents for both the pet and hunter, as well as their damaging armor debuff attack.
Personally, I think a worm is a great choice for BGs. They are very hard to kill, which means you can pretty much always keep them in the fight. A live and active Tenacity pet always provides more damage than a dead high DPS pet. 😉
In addition to their added hardiness, they also bring some other great PvP abilities to the table, including: Charge, Intervene, Roar of Sacrifice and Last Stand.
I wouldn’t recommend a worm for use in 2v2 arena, due to the lack of DPS, but in 3v3 (with a melee DPS) or 5v5 they can be quite viable. Provided you have some melee DPS on your team, a worm can be effective for sitting on a plate wearer and keeping Acid Spit applied.
Worm PvP Spec
The PvP spec for the worm is pretty straightforward. You skip all of the aggro generating talents, and go for all of the PvP related abilities and what little DPS enhancing options there are. The only one to skip being Thunderstomp, as it is an AoE ability and can compromise effective crowd control. The added DPS is nice, but I prefer to stick that point into Last Stand for a little added insurance.
That about covers the suggested pet choices for BM PvP. The only two exotics not mentioned are the Devilsaur and Rhino, both of which are inferior choices when compared with their better-suited, respective family counterparts.
Although… I have been known to wreak havoc in the battlegrounds with a certain green Devilsaur on occasion. 😉 It can be fun, but a Core Hound is a much better Ferocity pet option.
And as for Rhinos… they’re broken as all hell. Don’t even bother. There special enhances bleed effects… only problem… Beast Masters don’t have any bleed damage abilities. 😕
Marksmanship PvP Pets
Personally, I like what the Cunning family pets have to offer for Marksmanship PvP. This is not only due to their awesome specials, but also for the Roar of Recovery talent. MM hunters have a few more issues with mana in PvP than SV hunters do, which makes the Roar of Recovery talent a welcome addition to the arsenal of abilities. Roar of Recovery acts as sort of a low budget Innervate for hunters. 😉
Cunning pets are also the fastest of all the pets, and we all know… speed kills. 😉 Whether it be running down a fleeing target to apply a snare, or returning to your side to free a snare, Cunning pets will get there the quickest.
As far as builds go, the one pictured here is a good all-around spec for Cunning pets. Bullheaded is a good option as well, but Roar of Recovery or Roar of Sacrifice must be given up in order to acquire it.
Anyway… let’s have a look at the choices…
Spiders are currently a top choice for non BM Hunters. Spiders possess an ability called Web, which can be cast from 30 yards out and prevents a target from moving for 4 seconds. In addition to their awesome Web ability, they also come complete with all of the Cunning family goodness.
What makes spiders such an attractive option is that they can be used as another hunter ability, without the need to remain in combat. Pet damage in PvP is pretty insignificant for both MM and SV hunters, therefore, a pet that can provide a valuable utility skill is much more important than one which provides added DPS.
Because the spider’s Web ability can be cast from 30 yards out, you can effectively keep your spider out of the fray, only sending her in to finish off opponents. Just keep your spider on passive and take the Web ability off of autocast.
Here are a couple of macros you can use:
This will cast the spider’s Web at its current target, but also ensures that it remains by your side.
This macro will help to keep Rogues and Feral druids in check. Spam it if you think one is nearby. It works similar to the above macro, except that it will throw a Hunter’s Mark on the target as well.
/cast Hunter’s Mark
Even though the pet DPS isn’t that important for MM and SV, maintaining a live pet is extremely important. Without a pet, a hunters lose access to Master’s Call, along with all of the other Family pet talents and specials. Since spiders don’t have to enter harmful melee range in order to get their Web off, this makes them a premier choice for a PvP companion.
Ravagers are my personal preference for MM PvP. The reason I like them so much, apart from their awesome look, is their Ravage ability.
Ravage is a 2 second stun, which effectively immobilizes and silences a target for the full duration. Although it only lasts half as long as the spider’s Web, it interrupts and prevents casting for 2 seconds, where as Web does not. Also, web can be dispelled, where as Ravage cannot. Another thing that’s cool about Ravage, is that it knocks enemies on their ass… literally. It’s quite annoying to be on the receiving end of one. 😉
The downside of Ravage is that the pet must be in melee range to use it. I have no problem with this, as I’m a BM hunter, pet-micro-manager at heart, so I keep my pets pretty active anyway.
Serpents… the new Scorpid. Serpents are nice for MM PvP because they apply a nature damage debuff called Poison Spit. This is helpful for two reasons… first, it slows the enemy’s casting speed by 25%. Second, and more importantly, it helps to bury your Serpent Sting or Viper Sting debuffs in the event you’re battling a team or opponent with dispel capabilities.
Having to continually reapply Serpent Sting due to dispels and cleanses will really nerf MM’s damage, as will a Chimera Shot that hits a split second after the sting has been removed. The masking of the Sting, along with the casting speed debuff, makes the Serpent a really viable choice for MM PvP. Because Poison Spit’s damage occurs as a DoT, it’s also nice for preventing bandaging, as well as the ever-pesky Rogue Vanish.
Although they don’t provide a snare of any sort, the Serpent is still a great choice for MM PvP’ers, especially when facing casters.
Before the Cunning family tree was improved, and before Spiders were given a 30 yard range on their Web ability, Crabs were thee choice for PvP pet. Even though they may not be the undisputed top-choice anymore, they’re still a premier choice for many reasons.
For one, their Pin ability is still one of the greatest pet specials for PvP. Second, they’re a Tenacity pet, which means they have access to: Charge, Intervene, Roar of Sacrifice and Last Stand; all of which are stellar abilities for PvP. Third, they’re much harder to kill due to their Tenacity family talents.
Crabs and spiders both offer a 4 second snare, making them pets with a similar purpose; locking down opponents. The downside of the crab’s Pin ability is that it not only requires the pet to be in melee range (and crabs are slow), but it’s also a channeled spell, where as the spider’s is an instant cast ranged ability.
Spider have a leg up over crabs in most cases, but where crabs win is in their ability to sustain more damage, as well as bringing with them Charge and Intervene.
The example build shown to the right is an effective PvP spec for a Tenacity pet.
Survival PvP Pets
For the same reasons that make them top choices for Marksmanship hunters, Spider, Crab and Ravager are my recommended choices for Survival hunters as well. Because Survival hunters don’t rely upon a setup shot like Serpent Sting for their damage, the Serpent is not really a top choice for SV hunters. The snares that the other three pets provide are much more valuable to SV hunters than the cast speed debuff.
Spider gets my vote as a top pet for SV hunters, mainly due to its Web ability. Abilities that lock down opponents are tough to beat, because they work against all classes. Whether you’re trying to escape melee damage, blow up melee, or keep a caster from LoS’ing you, this ability works in all cases.
Were I suggesting an arena pet for SV hunters, spider would be it.
Crab would be a close second choice. In fact, it could also be the best option in a few cases. In BGs for example, where pets are likely to sustain more collateral damage, a crab could be the best choice due to its increased survivability. Other reasons to go with a crab are Charge and Intervene – both exceptional abilities for PvP.
Ravagers get my nod once again, mainly for their awesome Ravage ability. An ability that knocks an opponent out of commission for 2 seconds is always going to be useful in PvP.
Bat, the Wild Card PvP pet
One last pet I feel compelled to mention is the bat. Bats are a Cunning pet, which means they have the same great talent tree as that of spiders, ravagers, etc… but they also have one of the best special abilities of any pet. Problem is, it’s penalized by having a longer cooldown.
Sonic Blast is basically the ranged version of Ravage. It can be cast from 30 yards out, stuns the target for 2 seconds and does a small amount of nature damage. Yet, the reason I don’t list it as one of the top pets is because of the near deal-breaking 1 minute cooldown on the spell. If Sonic Blast shared the same 40 second cooldown as that of Ravage, it would easily be a top 3 choice. As it stands, bats are still pretty decent (and they look bitchin’), it’s just a shame that their special is on a 50% longer cooldown. 🙁
Here’s what I’d like to see… Remove the damage component from Sonic Blast, lower the cooldown to 40 seconds and have it daze the target (50% run speed) for 2 seconds after the stun wears off. Is that too much to ask..? I think that’d make bats pure win for PvP.
Other PvP Pets…
As you may have noticed, apart from the endorsement of the Core Hound for Beast Masters, I made no mention of Ferocity pets. It’s not to say they’re horrible for PvP, it’s just that they’re not the best options. Unless you’re a Beast Master, pet DPS is of little concern as far as PvP goes. The little bit of added DPS you gain by way of a Ferocity pet is not worth the loss of survivability and utility.
However, I am never one to judge, and I fully support individuality. If you want to go against the grain, further set yourself apart from the herd, and be the guy that has the opposing team yelling, “KILL THAT HUNTER WITH THE PINK FLAMINGO… HE’S TEARING US A NEW ONE!!!”, then here are a few fun and somewhat practical alternate choices…
Hyena – Hyenas have an ability called Tendon Rip which slows targets by 50% for 6 seconds, and is on a 20 second cooldown.
Tallstrider – Dust Cloud causes all targets within melee range of the bird to miss their next attack. It has a 40 second cooldown.
Wasp – Wasps apply a Faerie Fire type of debuff called Sting. It reduces the target’s armor and prevents stealth.
Bird of Prey – Birds of Prey have a disarm ability that lasts for 6 seconds. Downside… only useful vs melee and is on a long 1 minute cooldown.
Nether Ray – These can cast a damaging ranged attack, which also silences for 2 seconds. Nether Shock has a 40 second cooldown.
Spore Bat – Spore Bats provide a slight armor debuff with a DoT effect.
Gorilla – Gorillas have an ability called Pummel, which silences its target for 2 seconds and has a fairly short 30 second cooldown. The target must be in melee range.
Turtle – Turtles can put up a Shell Shield, reducing all damage done to them by 50% for 12 seconds.
Warp Stalker – Warp Stalkers have a Teleport ability called Warp, which is nice for putting opponents into combat quickly, plus it increases the pet’s survivability.
50 thoughts on “Hunter PvP Pets”
What about Devilsaur ? 😀 He has got pretty cool dps and outward .
Well done guide. was a big effort for sure. Thanks.
I’ve just a pet question, maybe you know. Is there any non epiq spider which has
stealth or sneak abilities for my HH Hunter?
i am using a corehound, i was surprised when i found this ‘coz i made the right choice. however, i wanna learn more on shot rotation in WOTLK Arena? can u share me some ideas pls? and macros if u have any. thanks a million!
Ravagers dont stun anymore. Perhaps time to update this post?
Scroll up to the beginning of the post. There’s a link to my Cataclysm PvP Pet Guide.
For the anti-rogue macro wouldn’t you want the pet to attack the rogue rather than follow you in passive mode? And why are silithids not the top choice for marksmanship PvP if they’re like spiders except their ranged attack also does damage? I apologize, its just that im new and want to understand better. Thank you.
This is truly great, but I would like to know what the differences are after patch 4,2. What’s the best pvp pet atm?
I have recently started using a fox in BG’s. They have a -20% ranged and melee attack speed debuff that lasts 30 seconds, has a 25 sec CD and costs no focus. It’s becoming my new favorite. Arenas may prove challenging since they arent that durable but again, you don’t normally spend precious time burning down a pet in an arena so who knows?
One pet i noticed not listed here is the Scorpion sure its not great dps but it has the ability to Clench which disarms the target web for 2 seconds on a rogue that opened on you isnt that great when your being pounded on regardless. When disarm a rogue and it can do nothing. I guess what im trying to say is Scorpion should be listed here at least last if not higher up.
hey i think a great pet u should have put on is the dragonfly/wasps around zangamarsh
does cobra strikes increase dps?
Merci beaucoup pour ce guide TRES complet ! Sa m’a fortement aider pour mon chasseur SV ^^ . Bonne continuation ! Et t’arrete pas en si bonne route.
Nice guide man! Enjoyed it.
Nice guide, I enjoyed it.
Now with Cataclysm coming out, what would you recommend for a twink hunter in let’s say the 20-29 bracket or 30-39 bracket?
U don’t have moth pet here!
Nope, no moths. That list was created pre-4.0.1. When I get around to working on a new one, I’m sure Moths will be in there. The new Serenity Dust is obviously more of a PvP ability now.
Thanks for all the information….from best pets to the new spec and such for 4.0.1
Love my hunter….and Looking forward to taming some of the pets you mentioned for PvP.
You’re welcome Boogies. 🙂
Thanks for the guide, its nothing short of awesome!
would you happen to have builds (BM in perticular) for patch 4.0.1? Just want to cross refference my spec with someone more experienced.
I agree with everyone posting, awesome guide. Just what I needed to know when looking at different pets. Definitely will refer site.
Awesome! I’m happy you’ve gotten some value from the site. 🙂
Fantastic blog, Garwulf. Thanks for taking the time to offer such fantastic and credible advice. Thanks for giving to the community…we need more people like you!
I’m glad you like the site Sergahn. 😀
I’m always happy to help any way I can.
Hi Gar, once again, you have produced an awesome guide! What are your thoughts on using a spirit beast as a pvp pet? I have Skoll and Arcturis and I use them a lot- because they look so damn cool!!
If you’re mainly doing BGs, then a Spirit Beast is fine. If you really like both of them, then use them.
The reason it’s not a great choice for competitive PvP is because they don’t bring any sort of utility. Core Hounds for example, are a much better choice due to the casting speed debuff they provide, in addition to their high DPS.
However, if you’re main goal is to just go out there and have some fun, then use the pet you like. A couple cool things about Spirit Strike are the range on the attack (which puts mobs in combat right away), as well as the DoT. Pet DoTs are nice for preventing bandaging and stealth.
Just make sure you spec the pet w/ Charge + Boar’s Speed.
I’ve been running with a spider in pvp for the past month or two and the web has come in handy more than once. Thanks for the macro, that will come in very handy!! 😀
This helps MAJORLY. xie xie (chinese for thank you)
I pvp on my rogue even more than on my hunter. One thing that is a pro hunter can do to a rogue , and what I now do to them on my hunter, is to time ravager stun to about 1 sec before the cheap shot ends. Standard mutilate rogue (and 90% of pvp rogues are mut these days) opening against hunter would be cheap shot –> kidney shot stun lock. With ravager stun, just before cheap shot ends, hunter can avoid having to use trinket for the 5 sec kidney shot, then can still use deterrence for example, lay a trap disengage and kite, or something like that. Dk’s can do the same thing with their ghoul stun.
Nice tip npast. Thanks for that counter-intelligence.
I’ve been wanting to roll a rogue for awhile myself, mainly just for the inside info. I really want a Dwarf Rogue, but I’m thinking it’d be better just to wait and go with a Worgen. Then again, Worgen Rogues are probably going to be so common it’s silly. Even though the current racials aren’t all that well suited for Rogues, Dwarf just seems so win to me. 🙂
Gar, as far as Worgens go Dark Flight + Bladestorm= GG
Thanks for the guide, bro. I FINALLY dinged 79 and was able to go tame the Disembodeid Jormungar (which I have named Casper). I get a ton of whispers about him! The best thing is that he is so transparent that in a lot of the times I’ve attacked with him, people never see him coming.
Its funniest when people ask “How do you get Prowl for a worm?” =P
I do have a question, though. Why no armor talents for the worm? Is it because you assume in a BG that you will have teammates beating on the target so the worm shouldnt be taking damage for a long time anyway? Thanks for the insight.
Those are cool pets. That was the first worm I tamed when I decided to try one out, then I went back for an old world version.
I don’t go with points in the armor enhancing talents because it only protects vs physical damage. Health and resilience are much more important for PvP. Instead, I prefer to place points in talents that will help DPS. Even though the worm is a Tenacity bugger, he’s still going to hit decently hard, plus he will be getting crits due to Cobra Strike procs.
Even if melee were to focus on your pet, it would take a while to get him down. Plus, that’s a good thing, because it means your pet will be tanking the enemy while you’re standing back unloading on them.
The things that kill pets are DoTs and AoE effects. I see Natural Armor and Pet Barding as more of an extreme soloing PvE talent, much like Catlike Reflexes.
Oh man does that make all kinds of sense. I hate seeing an answer like that and then feeling like Rick James just put a “n00b” imprint into my head like he did with Charlie Murphy! Thanks for the help. =)
That wasn’t a silly question lawman. I know you’re aspiring to achieve the “John McClane” of hunter builds, so having an unstoppable worm would make sense.
However, sometimes you gotta drop them first in order to survive, which is where the added DPS will help. 😉
Good luck at 80, and make sure to have your:
/y Yippee ki-yay M***ER F***ERS
macro all set up for when you’re in the BGs tearing s**t up. 😉
Im only a lvl 40 and am a BM hunter for lvling…der!! lol… im at a loss to choose which pet is best to lvl with… i know in the end i need a wolf but atm i have a bore and wonder if its worth while changin now or later & to what??? sounds dumb but tha bore really hasnt been givin his due credit, i get laughed at all tha time for him but he has an ability no other pet has… any ideas for better pets is welcome…
A croc or a bear are best for leveling. Reason being, they both have multi-target aggro generating abilities, plus all of the great tanking attributes from the Tenacity tree. A boar would be alright with Thunderstomp, but crocs and bears are… well… better.
awsome always wanted to have a pet croc!! lol… thanks heaps ill give it a bash wen my realm comes bak online… btw i love this site!! if only there was something like this for every class!! keep up tha good work and i’ll have to buy you a beer!!
Glad you like the site!
This guide actually began as an all-around guide to hunter pets, but then it started growing too big so I decided to break it apart and focus solely on PvP.
But yea… crocs are awesome. Probably the top leveling pet due to the Bad Attitude ability. You can find some crocs at your level in Dustwallow Marsh, including this guy at level 41: http://www.wowhead.com/npc=4841.
funny you should mention this cause i actually just killed him in a quest and am roaming around Dustwallow marsh killing everything in site!! just not rite now damn extended maintenance!!
HaHa! He’s not rare, so no biggie. Also, when you do get one, here’s how I’d spec it to start out: http://www.wowhead.com/petcalc#0bzh0b
I’m a Ravager fan as well…good stuff! Great guide…will drop a link back right to it!
I’m eating casters up man it’s ridiculous. I love it.
Gar you manage to ALWAYS keep my hunter intersting…I’m having fun with my new MM spec btw….oh and how easy it to level pets now?! not complaining just throwing it out there.
Glad you’re liking the MM spec.
Leveling pets is pretty quick if you just take them into a few heroics. You can get a pet to 80 usually after about 3 runs.
Want it short?
I quote from arena junkies:
For BM: Core Hound
For MM,SV: Serpent for 5’s, Spider for 2’s, Serpent for 3’s if with a dk/protwar, if with ret/enhance/lock/mage Spider is better
Grrr, guides like these go on other sites for like 20$ but you made it completely free.
You, sir, are made of win! Keep the guides coming, please.
I’ll subscribe to this site and stay updated on hunter tips. I used to play a Hunter back in the day but It was mostly BM PEW PEW 30 SECONDS BESTIAL WRATH OMG! =)
Sorry for the caps. Have a nice day now!
Stunning. Quite simply the best pet PVP pet guide I’ve seen and one of the best written WOW guides outright. Should be bookmarked by every hunter in the WOWorld. Thanks.
Wow… all I can say is, “thank you”.
I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
I’ll be adding a few more bits to it, including some macros, so stay tuned…
Hey Garwulf, is there any pet guides that you know of that are updated for 4.0.6 or even Cata? This guide is absolutely incredible, and the only one that I found that is explained with this much detail. I’d love to read an updated version!
Here you go…