Tag Archives: pet

The best pet for the DPS

Like most people know, the short answer is “It depends on your raid composition” – which is true enough but lets look at it in a little bit more detail.

Before I go on, I just want to point out that his is only going to be from an Marksman and Survival hunter’s perspective, I haven’t done any analysis on the Beast Mastery tree as, quite frankly, I don’t like BM.

Pet Overivew

There are 3 trees of hunter pets; Ferocity, Cunning and Tenacity. Within each tree there are various special abilities, which can provide the raid various buffs, that can help the raid in a multitude of ways as well as increasing the most important of things: your DPS.

Testing Methodology

The outcome I am trying to achieve is to be able to rank the pets in order of DPS, so when you are presented with the situation of multiple buffs missing, you can make an informed pet selection.

As buff stacking can impact the results in different ways (e.g. Bleed Damage & Crit % due to Piercing Shots) I’m going to ignore all stacking and start from a base where there are no buffs present outside of Hunters Mark. I’ll then look at the differences between the family trees and then the abilities, for both MM and SV.

Also bear in mind that these tests (using Female Dwarf) are based on my hunter’s current gear, so you may get some difference if you tested these out. I’m not aiming for 100% accuracy though, just some broad guidance to help with pet selection.

Pet Family Trees

(Not the kind of pet family tree I am talking about)

The 3 trees available are Ferocity, Cunning and Tenacity. To take a “neutral” view on the DPS of each tree (excluding pet buffs/debuffs) I’ve selected 3 pets that offer no such buff (Monkey, Carrion Bird & Turtle) to get a view.

From the above you can see that Cunning and Ferocity are very close in damage, with MM slightly preferring a Cunning Pet and SV preferring a Ferocity pet. Tenacity, as expected, is a distant 3rd, with a dps loss of 617 (vs. Cunning for MM) – 1141 (vs. Feroicty for SV).


In terms of DPS buffs, there are 6 abilities available from our pets that can increase our DPS:

  • 8% Magic Damage – Magic Damage is a significant propotion of our damage these days, even as MM. Chimera Shot & Serpent Sting are magic damage and as SV you’ll have even more with Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting, Black Arrow & Cobra Shot.
  • 4% Physical Damage – Similar to the above, this damage debuff benefits both MM and SV but this time in the favour of MM, with Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, Auto Shot, Kill Shot & Pet Attacks. SV will have Autoshot & Kill Shot benefiting.
  • 20% Armour Reduction – Very similar to the physical damage debuff, this will benefit all physical damage abilities (which are reduced by armour).
  • + 549 Agi / Strength – A cat here can buff your Agility, which is the primary stat of all hunter specs. Lovely Jubbly.
  • +5% Crit – All of our abilities can crit, so this is a buff to all specs. With Piercing Shots in the MM tree, this is a nicer buff to MM.
  • +30% Bleed Damage – No benefit here to SV as they have no bleeds, this buff will solely benefit MM hunters through the piercing shot ability.
So the above all sound nice but how do they compare? Is less armour better than more physical damage? Let’s run some numbers.

Ability Analysis

The table below show is in 4 sections. The first is the pet family/tree used, the 2nd is the resulting DPS, the 3rd is the benefit you’ve gained from the buff/debuff (the difference between the total DPS and the “neutral” abilities detailed in the pet tree section) and finally the relative ranking that pet has for the MM & SV.

(The cat was surprised to find out they came out on top)

For both MM and SV, the clear winner is the + 540 Agi buff provided by a cat. However, this doesn’t stack with the other classes who provide this buff, which is quite likely as it can come from any type of DK or a Shaman using a Strenght of Earth Totem or a Warrior’s battle shout. For my raids, we always have a DK and a Shaman, so I dont really use this pet – however in a 5 man or when soloing, it may well be more useful.

After the cat, our 2nd best choice is quite different depending on whether you’re MM or SV. MM will want to pick up the 5% crit bonus, while a SV hunter will want the magic damage buff. Both of these are a little more rare, so it is definitely worth having one of these ready for action.
(Not everyone was expecting the Sunder Face ability)

3rd choice is a close call between a Ravager or Serpent for MM but already the benefit of these pets are starting to decline. 3rd for SV is still a nice DPS buff and is the same as a MM’s 2nd choice – a wolf.
Beyond the above, the next best choices for SV are ones that reduce armour/increase physical damage (Raptor then Ravager) for a modest +200 dps, while a MM hunter will be wanting the +30% Bleed Damage, which has no benefit to SV.

Think of others

The above numbers are only looking at your personal DPS – but you are only 1 of 10/25 and other choices could gain a bigger total DPS increase or provide the raid with a vital buff that is missing! For a list of all the pet abilities, I would check out Petopia. From the above abilities, our best choice, the +Agi/Str will benefit all non-caster DPS classes and will be of limited benefit to tanks. If you compare that to the +5% crit, this will benefit all classes in the raid, even the healers – so could potentially be worth bearing in mind.
A lot of the above can be categorised into Physical Damage / Bleed / Magic Damage buffs, which you might want to consider picking based on what other classes you have around you. If one has a +50 dps advantage over the other for you, you might find another choice might buff the raid by +1000 dps!

My raids don’t usually include Ferals, Warriors or Sublety rogues but we do have a Blood DK, Unholy DK and 1-2 Shamans, so there is no need for our top pet (cat) and I rock out with my fave pet, a wolf named “Toggle”. 😀

The New “Which Pet” Flow Chart

There is another one floating about on the interwebs but this one is a little more specific for MM / SV hunters.


Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Pet Notes


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