Warning: This is an outdated Wrath guide. For current information, see the level 85 Cataclysm version of the guide Here.
Pets are the most identifying unique feature of the hunter class, and our pets, regardless of hunter spec, make a significant contribution to our damage. A hunter who wants to absolutely maximize his or her raid dps must be sure to have the best dps pet possible.
After all, a pet is more than just a boon companion — it is an extension of your ability to kill things.
As a point of reference a level 80 BM hunter gets about 40% – 45% of his or her dps from the pet. MM and Survival hunters gain about 10% of their dps from the pets. Do not discount that 10%.
This guide will identify the best ferocity pet to gain the absolute best raid/group damage. We will identify the best exotic ferocity pet for BM hunter as well as the best ferocity pets for the MM or Suvival hunter. These pets are chosen to get the maximum dps, and that’s all.
The Two Pet Damage Factors
There are two factor to take into acount when trying to find the absolute best hunter pet for the best dps. The first is the talent selection of the pet — and we can assure you that the ferocity talents make ferocity by far the pet of choice for raid dps at lvl 80. (See our ferocity pet Talent Guide for the talents to chooce). The second is each pet’s unique special ability. Since all pets across the board were normalized in damage in patch 3.1, the special ability is what will differentiate pets from each other.
The vast majority of ferocity pet abilities are some kind of special attack on cooldown. The most accurate way to test most of these is simply by testing the ferocity pet in question on the target dummy and see which results are best!
Well, it took a lot of pet food, a lot of beers, and we left a trail of elf corpses behind us, but I’ve trained every ferocity pet in WoW (except the Spirit Beast – I’m not that crazy) and tested its dps against the target dummy. All of this to bring you factual evidence on which to base your critical dps hunter pet decisions.
Every pet was tested with the same talent spec. All of them were tested on the lvl 83 heroic target dummy for three testing sessions, and then the results were averaged.
Best BM Hunter Ferocity Pet for Best DPS at Level 80
For a long time in WotLK the Devilsaur was the preferred BM pet, but alas that has changed with time and the Wolf has become the top raid dps pet for hunters. All those exotic pets are cool to look at, but no longer the top choice.
The runner up for BM hunter pet is the Devilsaur, and at very high gear levels the Devilsaur can again take #1 spot.
Best MM or Survival Ferocity pet for Best DPS at Level 80
For MM and SV hunters without access to exotic pets, our testing found that the pets fell into several dps bands. With the changes made to the wolf’s Furious Howl in patch 3.1, so that the ap bonus now scales with other similar buffs, the Wolf is the best MM or SV ferocity pet.
The runners up for MM and SV dps pets are the Raptor, and then the Cat. Both have special abilities that grant them excellent dps. But they just can’t compare with the boost that the Wolf grants to the hunter himself — especially since survival and marksman do so much more damage than their pets to begin with.
A Note on the Wasp
The Wasp pet is significantly lower dps; however, it bring the minor armor deuff to your raid, normally provided by druid’s Faerie Fire. These debuffs do *not* stack. If you do not have the minor armor debuff in your raid, it will probably be a net benefit to your raid’s dps for you to bring a Wasp pet, even though your personal dps will be a tiny bit lower.
The Worm pet brings the major armor debuff; however, it’s also a tenacity pet and BM only. In most cases going BM and bringin a worm will only be worth it if your in a 25-man raid (not usually worth it for 10-mans). The major armor debuff is usually provided by warriors or rogues, and the worms debuff does not stack with those.
The Odd Choices
I hear strange talk of non-ferocity pets beating ferocity for lvl 80 dps every now and again. In particular the Gorilla and the Dragonhawk come up frome time to time. I did grab them to do some testing, even though logic suggests that they shouldn’t be up there. Testing did show that they are not better than their ferocity cousins. So stick with ferocity if your goal is to maximize your damage contribution to the raid.