Guide 2: Pet Family Review

WARNING: This is a work in progress.

Last Update: 8/18/08

Currently testing: Hyena

Welcome to the pet review.

I leveled one pet from each family to 70 and tried them out so you don’t have to.  Enjoy the results.

Please head over here if it’s your first time here to see my methodology and a few quick notes you should read before commenting.  All comments must be approved before being published so don’t worry if it doesn’t immediately appear when you post.

This page will eventually contain rankings in several different categories, but currently only shows my overall ranking of which pet I would chose over another based solely on mechanics, not how much I like them.  In the current state of pets, many are head and shoulders above others, so I have grouped them into Recommended or Not Recommended.  Those that are not recommended are still usable, but I feel there are enough better choices that will make your play experience much more enjoyable.

(Factoid: It takes about 62,000 – 64,000 experience to gain a loyalty level if the hunter is level 70.)

Individual Pet Family Reviews (a ‘*’ indicates not yet 70):

Recommended Pets

1) Ravager

2) Cat

3) Bats

4) Owl

5) Carrion bird

6) Raptor

7) Windserpent

8) Scorpid

9) Warp stalker

10) Boar

11) Crab

12) Bear

Not Recommended Pets

13) Dragonhawk

14) Nether ray

15) Wolf

16) Turtle

17) Gorilla

18) Serpent

19) Tallstrider

20) Hyena

21) Spider

22) Crocolisk

23) Sporebat



  1. Eneguerodle said,

    I would have to say that I personally think wolves are a good, balanced family. I have been using them since i was lvl 10 on my dwarf hunter(see the name I’m posting under here) and have found them to be decent at dps, armor, and able to hold aggro fairly well unless i start critting. I currently have Ironjaw as my new pet, but am holding Old Cliff Jumper in reserve.

  2. cloudmonkey said,

    Gore does not have a higher crit chance than Claw. Gore’s chance for double damage is independent of its chance to crit. Therefore it has no greater affect on Frenzy or Ferocious Inspiration than Claw. Gore’s only superiority to Claw is its slightly higher average damage due to its 50% chance for double damage.

    Gore’s damage has the following four possibilities:
    1. Regular damage without crit–damage x 1
    2. Regular damage with crit–damage x 2, Frenzy and Ferocious Inspiration activated
    3. Double damage without crit–damage x 2
    2. Double damage with crit–damage x 4, Frenzy and Ferocious Inspiration activated

  3. Jason said,

    Umm.. cloudmonkey, you are talking out your rear. Critical hits deal double damage, and 50% chance to deal double = 50% chance to crit.

  4. Bearach said,

    Wind serpents are actually top notch, damage wise. There’s a few caveats though, you need to toggle Lightning Breath seperately or tie it to a macro, autocast does not work because of the repositioning issue, and you also need 30%+ crit to keep focus going. LB is a great ability if you have the focus to pull it off, every crit then becomes a LB so maximum efficiency . If you crit so often that your ravager or cat can’t use up its focus then wind serpents are a great choice, better for dps than ravagers, or so the theorycrafters argue. LB is nature damage, which means they’re weak on bosses and mobs that are resistant to that school of magic (Hydross comes to mind, wind elementals as well I think?).

    I often farm with a Wind Serpent when I can’t be bothered to swap after a raid, and they hold aggro quite decently.

  5. cloudmonkey said,

    Jason, it’s true that a critical is double damage but the double damage proc that Gore has a chance of doing is not a critical. It’s possible for Gore to proc double damage AND get a critical for quadrupal damage.

    Gore’s 50%-probability double damage proc does NOT count as a critical and therefore does not proc Frenzy or Ferocious Inspiration.

    A careful examination of your combat log will show that I’m right. Or you could post your opinion on Blizzard’s hunter forum and wait to hear what part of your body the good people there think you’re talking out of. ;-)

  6. Eilistraee said,

    I am a hunter, I have 2 70s (night elf, male dreanai), a 46 at the moment (female draenai), and a 7(dwarfe), and i have tamed cats, wolves, windserpents, cobras, firehawkes, and owls, and each is great. But what I dont see here is anyone saying what spec they are as a hunter.

    There are pets that compliment certain specs better than others.

    If you are a BM hunter I strongly suggest classic melee dps pets over caster pets, i.e. cats, ravagers, rapters, owls, bats, and wolves. Why? Because you AP bonuses theirs very nicely . Their is nothing like an enraged (20% additional damage) ravager goring you for double damage stacked with 30% more damage and 3% from Ferocious Inspiraiton to do some viscious DPS

    IF you are a MM hunter I strongly suggest caster pets, i.e. windserpents, cobras, owls, bats, scorpion, and firehawkes. Why? Because your pet will do very lousy melee dps in any spec but BM, but your AP is so high in MM it buffs a pets spell damage greatly. My N Elf huntress gives her pet a +253 spell bonus where as its only +210 as a BM. I am not saying that these pet are not good for bmasters, but get more out of there primary attributes (lightning breath, poison spit, fire breath, screech, scorpid poison)

    If you are survival well anything is good for you because you bonus it all but you dont specialize like MM or BM do.

  7. Cailleach said,

    Dude. Test piggies next. You’ll love them. Wilbur has been with me in different incarnations (because all piggies are Wilbur, no matter what model they are) since level 54 when Blizz nerfed my Lupos into mediocrity. They’re not the highest dps pet, but as an all around utility I can’t find anything to beat it.

  8. Yvelle said,

    I’m finding this series very interesting and informative! I can’t wait to see how my personal fav – the carrion bird – does against the other Screech using pets. When I first learned that they were tameable, I thought they were quite ugly. But, now, there’s just something about them that I like. Thanks for doing this review for us! :)

  9. Personal pet reviews « Great Green Hunter said,

    […] gem came from Mystic Hunter’s Pet Family Reviews – I certainly recommend reading the rest of the sporebat entry for a […]

  10. Ranthol said,

    Scorpid Bonecrawler – Poison 5, Claw 9, NaturalArmour 10
    the only pet in the game with a natural armour rating this high.
    I have him at 70 and he is great! Holds aggro almost all the time.
    I have run a full 41 pont BM spec, a 30 odd point MM spec and now into a largely surv spec and relly he works great all around.
    I also have the Dire Raven, very nice DPS great for farming leather.
    Have also Echeyakee (my first major pet) got him at lvl 18.
    He is good but Im thinking of the blacksabercat instead.

    All around I think Raptors, Ravagers and Scorpids are the ‘toughest”.
    Just my two cents of course.

    Good Luck and Happy Hunting

    Ranthol, Lvl 70 Orc Hunter

  11. Znodis said,

    Quick note: All families have access to Natural Armor which goes up to Rank 11 from the pet trainer’s. The bonecrawler is one of the few that has it as soon as you tame, rather than being trained later.

    All opinions on families are welcome, but take those in the comments with a grain of salt.

  12. Liliandra said,

    If you like the Carrion family of Bird. i highly suggest picking up the new Storm Crow, from Blades Edge Mountains. I had the Rare white Carrion ( Bone Wastes, Terrokar) for a very long time. Took 2 people helping me to get get it, due to the Immunity to sleep/ Ice Trap. where as the Storm Crow ive noticed hits harder, higher HP threshold, and Def. Btw this bird is huge. i have a N.E. Huntress and the pet is bigger then me. Helps out rather nicly in pvp. When all anyone can see is this HUGE RED BIRD in the way covering up my crew. food for thought. Thy this bird out, if you like birds. And the Blackwind Saber is a very reliable pet. No matter what spec.

  13. Conde said,

    I think you may need to separate these pets into other catagories. My reasoning behind this is that, almost all hunters use the three pet slots available to them. 1.) PvP, 2.) Solo, and 3.) Instance/Raid. Or, for those that are level 70 and specialize in one area, PvP or PvE:
    PvP – 1.) Solo, 2.) BGs, and 3.) Arenas
    PvE – 1.) Solo, 2.) Raid, and 3.) Instances
    Trying to rank pets as an overall performance can be misleading. It’s like saying a jack-of-all-trades is the best, and clearly, shaman aren’t, why would a jack-of-all-trades pet be any different. This would also let you put spiders in a PvP – BG catagory, and many of the flying pets. This way people can choose from a list of things they want to do with a pet (ie. “I need a better pvp pet. Oh! here we go,”).

    Anyway, excellent guide. Very useful.

  14. Jimmy said,

    Thanks for all the info and research! Im really really looking forward to the gorilla and turtle reviews!

  15. Brakh said,

    So, here’s the scoop. Boars could be wicked pets, however their charge ability is totally botched. In the middle of the fight, if you CC something, when it’s charge ability pops back up, it’ll charge your CC’d target and break the CC. Whether in pvp or pve, the boar is dangerous when you’re trying to keep things CC’d. FYI. So, if you’re gonna go boar, use dash instead of charge until you see them change it in a patch. As of yet, I haven’t.

    Personally, I’ve found the windserpent to be one of the best pets in pve and pvp. Being a survival hunter, I’ve put all my time and money into crit-based gems’n’such. As it stands, my crit rating is just short of 39%. As a result, (with Go For The Throat) the lightning breath is a never-ending ability and with it’s high damage, it’s fantastic against those two classes that’re hard to damage – paladin / warrior. As for everyone else, it’s still nice, consistant damage.

  16. Tinski said,

    Do agro proplems (Blizz messed up someting badly) worriers you when you are doing these Reviews?

  17. Znodis said,

    Yes, but it depends on the change. For instance, I am only now doing boars and since the change to ‘Charge’ is here to stay, it would have been a waste to do them earlier. Even if I had it would only mean that I’d have to redo one family. Which isn’t that big of a deal.

    Changing something like growl scaling with RAP at 1200, would have been a huge factor, and pretty much negated comparisons after it went live.

    Eventually, something will change. A new rank of X will be added, but a new rank of Y will not. So long as changes affect each family the same way my comparisons will hold, but a change to a single family or ability would be worse.

    I think it’s more than possible for me to finish before WotLK which means that I’ll at least have a launching point for any further changes. Heck, they might actually fix them so that there are no subpar families.

  18. Jojo said,

    I have read these and it seems that you care lot of DPS, ofcoarse tank pets have low dps and dps pets have great damage but they die easly. Still all salutes to you. Btw what rank natura armor, stamina etc you use to pets in-test?

  19. Znodis said,

    If a pet can’t hold agro, it doesn’t matter how much damage it can take. Crabs have one of the highest armors and it comes to a grand total of 2% more mitigation. That’s nothing. At level 70, the high HP pets have 300 HP more than the DPS pets. That’s 1/2 of a hit.

    IMO the reason high DPS pets “die easily” is that tanking pets aren’t being hit as much because they can’t hold agro.

    For testing, I do not train armor, hp, or resistances since ALL pets have access to them, and opinions differ on which is best. I do train Cobra Reflexes since it would be silly not to.

  20. Tinski said,

    Here is cookie for you *gives cookie* :3 i know it is hard, but still i hope all good to your project *hugs* just hang on there

  21. Tinski said,

    (sorry for double post)

    I just wanna ask, how long leveling 60 to 70 takes or 50 to 70? Im surprised because it seems bretty fast. I thought that it takes months.

  22. Mimi said,

    When your are gonna tame gorilla, take him/her
    lvl 55

  23. Znodis said,

    Tinski –
    My method of leveling below 65 is to spend an hour at Firewing Point, and stop. I don’t even try to level if I’m not in the mood. If I did any more I’d really start to burn out fast. I usually try an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, and it takes me about an hour a level since I can stay pretty focused. Above 65, I do a circuit of SSO quests “Roots,” “Blast transporter,” “Sunfury Plans,” and “Maintain portal.” If I have extra time, I’ll go grind at Legion Hold in SMV. I’m kicking myself for not recording my /played time when I started this time, but I’m going to remember for the remaining families.

    I would, but I think that’s my least favorite gorilla skin, and since there so low anyway another level shouldn’t matter too much. If Uhk’loc happens to be up, I’m totally grabbing him.

  24. paul said,

    i just want to ask a simple question: i cant train my cat to growl lv 1 n 2 despite completing the quests. (i can feed n train, revive etc). but eveytime i go to a pet trainer i can only train growl lvl 3. but then again its impossible cause lvl 1 n 2 are pre requisites.
    anyone having the same problem or is my wow bugged (wowscape)?

  25. Cru said,

    Boars! Tanking pets do work if you know how to play a hunter as well as dps. Until they give Bears Dash I have not seen a better tanking pet for soloing and some instances. I levelled a 48 boar to 70 and he was 59 while i was kiling 65/66 as MM and i could not pull agro…sadly i turned in my 70 Ravager for it my crits pulled agro from him often. I hope they offer higher level boars then 60 to tame or give bears dash. Windserpant with go for the throat will out dps cats and unless your playing NE the whole cat prowl in pvp only fools you once. Nothing will ever be the 1.0 attk spd and screen cover as the ZG bats once were 8*(

  26. mikezila said,

    um…i think your wrong about Tallstrider i have the EXACT same one and he solos everything he tanked for my raid boss once. SO i think you should try again. I love my littte Tory. And also i have a Carrion Bird your right about them. I’m going to try Dragonhawk and Serpent because so far i don’t really trust this.

  27. Tygrra said,

    Great guides. I’m currently a lvl 65 MM specced BE hunter and I recently completely dropped my long-serving pet (Cat) in favour of trying new things. I tried a warp stalker but found it not so good at holding aggro. At the moment, I am alternating between a white owl and a scorpid and do enjoy playing with either. I think the owl has the edge over the scorpid in terms of holding aggro and the screech ability seems to make up for the reduced armour.
    Before reading the info in these guides, I was looking to try out a boar… now I’m not so sure. (Worse than being a kid in a sweet-shop!!).

  28. guyrman said,

    I am leval 7 and i love devilraptors or wat ever they are called. but it looks like they are imposible to tame so if any one has tamed one plz say

  29. Znodis said,

  30. Wiid said,

    What a great site. Thanks for all the info, I know this has to be a bear to accumulate.

    I started my first hunter and hit lvl 30 yesterday. I had a scorp at first and now run with a raptor. After reading all the great info here I am going to get try the flying serpent and a carrion bird now.

    Thanks again.

    Wiid – Orc – Ysera

  31. Dweezill said,

    OK, I posted this for the “spider” review, and after seeing so many people complain about aggro and dps, I thought I would post it here too. Sorry for double posting, but most people don;t read about spiders, and I think there are a few thinsg here that could help some people out. So, here goes:

    [edit: Added a link rather than repost]

  32. Hellshot said,

    Just want to say I can’t wait to see how this list will change after the expansion comes out. :) I look forward to it.

  33. Dweezill said,

    I have a question that maybe you (or someone who reads this) may be able to answer. I heard not too long ago that “caster” pet are going to cease to exist. Is this true? If so, when does the change take place? Will pet “casters” automatically be mase normal, or will they stay as a caster? I have been piddling around with a dragonhawk lately (even though they are not recommended lol) and I was wondering if I would have to release Phoenix to tame a new one, or will he automatically become “normal. I would hate to have to travel all the way back up to Eversong Forest to get another. Went from Iron Forge to EF the first time…and I was only level 11. So, if anybody can fill me in,i would appreciate.

  34. Yoru Ouka said,

    Well As been the trend with most once tamable now not pets I would say that you would keep your beloved Phoenix. You any any who have one tamed when the deletion takes place will most likly keep your caster pet. It may even still keep it’s caster abilities.

  35. Dweezill said,

    Well, from what I hear, they are not deleting the Dragonhawks, just making the “wild” dragonhawks non-caster. I would actually prefer to keep my Phoenix and have his stas go to “non-caster” status without having to go through the time consuming process of taming a new one and leveling him back up. That’s what i am curious to know. I know I will be able to tame a new one if need be, but will the one I have stay a caster, or will he automatically get the “boosted” non-caster stats?

  36. Naïella said,

    I was just wondering, will you test the “exotic” and “new” pets from wrath of the lich king too? will you add comments about the talent tree of the pets too?
    your reviews are very usefull, so ty! :D

  37. Tinski said,

    You have done hard work :) So, i want to thank you for all of us.

    *gives thank you-card*

    I hope that you like it :3 *hug*

  38. G said,

    hey i know this is probs a really weird nooby type of question, but can anyone tell me about private servers and how to get one

  39. Znodis said,

    Private servers are against the EULA, and that’s as much as I know.

  40. G said,

    sorry but wat do u mean by “EULA”

  41. Znodis said,


    It’s the thing you probably ignored and just clicked “I agree” when you installed WoW. Bottom line is if you don’t understand the legality of something – Don’t Do It.

  42. Tinski said,

    I just wonder: Lets say that you have 80 lvl boar whit higtest rank of Gore, what makes 122 to 164 dmg and causes double damage if used within 6 sec of a Charge. So if we get lucky:
    164 x 2 = 328 + 25 % AP from Charge and it will make.. 1312 damage?! Oh dear that is.. Heavy. o__O

    Hmm.. What do you think? Is my calculation right?

  43. Stormcrow911 said,

    ‘Scuse me but why has no1 talked about the stormcrow skin carrion birds? they look cool and r good ferocity DPS. Theres lvl 6-7 and lvl 68 in howling fjord (daggercap hawks r 6-7; fjord crows r 68) and theres lvl 67 dire ravens in baldes edge mountains. focus dump is bite and have Demoralizing Screech (81-129 dmg, 410 AP, rank 6; 7-9 dmg, 25 AP, rank 1). Whats not to love? The only drawback is Demoralizing Screech has 10 sec cooldown =(

  44. Stormcrow911 said,

    sorry spelled baldes wrong; supposed to be blades

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