Warning: This is an outdated Wrath guide. For current information, see the level 85 Cataclysm version of the guide Here.
Simply put, the best pet for leveling is the Devilsaur (and BM is the easiest hunter leveling spec). If you’re not BM, then you can choose between the Wolf, Cat and the Raptor as the best leveling pet.
The best solo leveling pet is not any tenacity pet, not even with Thunderstomp. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll do well with a bear; however, while questing dealing with 3 or more mobs is not common. Mostly you’ll be attacking only one or two targets anyway.
Here at the WHU, we’ve done some experiments that made use of science to determine which is best. First of all, we determined that Ferocity is Better than Tenacity at Generating Threat. Then we explored Which Ferocity Pets Are Best.
First a recap, then we’ll get to the beloved thunderstomp.
Ferocity pets do way, way more damage than their tenacity cousins because of their superior talent choices and special abilities. Even when we take into account the 20% threat bonus of tenacity, ferocity still blows them away. This is great news, because that means that in addition to holding aggro better, our ferocity pets also help us kill more!
But in addition to killing more, and holding aggro more, ferocity has a couple of other advantages.
Ferocity have a chance on hit to heal themselves with the early Bloodthirsty talent. This healing generates healer aggro to the pet, further increasing its threat lead. This helps ferocity hold tighter to multiple mobs, and best of all we don’t have to waste time or mana healing the pet. Sure it’s nice that tenacity gets a bonus to its heals — but really all that’s doing is taking a pet weak on threat and driving even more threat away from it to us.
Our fantastic ferocity pets also have the ability to self-heal up to full in seconds, during combat, with Lick Your Wounds, available at higher levels. We click a button and BAM, they’re at full, and just generated a whole ton of aoe threat! Even better, if the worst does happen and they die, BAM again, and they self-rez at full health. We feign death, then retake aggro, and we’re off.
So ferocity pets do more damage, generate more threat, and have more ways of dealing with Oh Shit situations than tenacity, making them ideal for solo leveling.
And then there’s the tenacity pets.
People love tenacity – especially bears and crocs – and for good reason. Thunderstomp rocks, especially when it crits. Thunderstomp is the aoe rock for our badass volley madness. But, is a tenacity pet really better than a ferocity for leveling? I’m sorry, but no.
The Thunderstomp pet is great for tanking 3 or more mobs, and will do so better than a ferocity. But he’ll require a lot of healing, and that healing plus one volley will outstrip his aggro. And how often are you really going to fight 3 or more mobs at a time while leveling? The answer is: not that often.
A ferocity pet will hold aggro on just one or two targets better than a tenacity pet.
So, soloing, leveling, you want senior stompy.