The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

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Slapperfish
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The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Slapperfish » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:34 am

With the revamp to hunter pet abilities and specs in BfA, one would assume that most pet families are viable in some capacity. However, I've once again found that, now more than ever, only a handful of pets are worth using.

For those of you who remember my previous thread on the subject, you'll recall I chose five pets based on their utility with a spec appropriate to the situation they specialize in (though in retrospect, I'd have replaced Spirit Beast with Turtle/Beetle/Crab). However, since all pet specs now do the same amount of damage, and all pets are locked into one spec, this means that even fewer pets are truly viable. Of course, the following list was once again created with all three specs in mind.

As with my previous thread, I don't intend on starting any sort of controversy by by claiming these are the best possible pets to have. But Patch 8.0's "endgame" has already caught up with me, especially with the horrid mob scaling from level 116 to 120, and I've realized some pets just don't hit the mark. I know that we here on the Petopia forums embrace all hunter pets and are far more casual about endgame than other forum communities, but for those of you who are looking to maximize performance without sacrificing utility, here is - in my honest opinion - the optimal pet loadout for Patch 8.0 in Battle for Azeroth.

- Spirit Beast (Tenacity): The gold standard for solo and group content, and easily the best exotic pet in the game right now, if not the best pet period. Spirit Mend has been buffed dramatically as of 8.0, easily restoring 50% or more of any max level player's health over its duration. Spirit Walk's bonus damage is still great, especially for the bursty playstyle of BM. Furthermore, access to the redesigned Spirit Shock as a "melee Tranq Shot" gives you a fighting edge against enemy NPCs and players alike with magic buffs or enrage effects. The bonus health granted from its spec passive is also great in instances, especially for upcoming raids and Mythic+ dungeons where it can be the difference between living and wiping.
- Scalehide (Ferocity): The ultimate AoE tanking pet for solo content. While Clefthoof is much better for BM, Scalehides are useable in every spec, and their defensive ability is only on a 1 minute cooldown, allowing you to kill large groups of enemies more often without sacrificing another pet slot. The added Leech is amazing when Beast Cleave and is in effect, and their health shoots up dramatically once they pop Scale Shield.
- Nether Ray (Ferocity): Primarily fills the same role as the Spirit Beast in terms of granting access to a melee Tranq Shot, but also provides access to Primal Rage without having to waste precious seconds switching your Scalehide out. It's mainly used for the other two specs in instances where your Mythic+ groups or smaller-sized raids lack a Mage or Shaman. I decided to pick Nether Ray over Bat since it's far less obtrusive, and thus more bearable to have in a group setting.
- Rodent (Cunning): Primarily for PvP (especially against healers) and soloing older content. While having a pet that can slow is nice, Concussive Shot and Wing Clip already have a 100% uptime, assuming you have enough focus to cast the latter. Having a pet with a Mortal Wounds ability - which also has a 100% uptime - also reduces your reliance on Viper Sting in PvP, though both seem to stack to some degree, and it frees up a slot for one of the other Stings if you choose to spec those. I chose Rodent over Raptor and Hyena due to their smaller size, which can cause your opponent to have a harder time seeing it in PvP. I also find that they're less obtrusive when looting large numbers of enemy corpses at once.
- Feathermane (Tenacity): As flying is currently unavailable in BfA zones, Updraft is a great way to safely traverse the heights of the new zones if you lack a Goblin Glider. Of course, it's still invaluable when running old content in other zones where flight is disabled, and is still a reliable form of escape in certain PvP situations. The addition of Feather Flurry is also a welcome one, and can be useful when pet tanking in Survival or MM spec should your group's tank ever reach low health at a crucial moment.

Only time will tell if this list changes with an upcoming patch. Do you have a better pet suggestion for the aforementioned situations? Let me know what you guys think!

~Slapperfish >*)))>{
Last edited by Slapperfish on Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Setanta
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Re: The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Setanta » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:30 am

I went Spirit Beast, Raptor, Bat, Scalehide, Silithid. I base which pet I have out on what the content is, and if I'm in a group with other hunters and what pets they may be using.

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Re: The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Wain » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:01 am

Thanks for your analysis, Slapper :) That's quite interesting. I admit that the last time I thought about it heavily was when I created the pet abilities / specs pages (and a feedback post on the official forum about inconsistencies in them). I'm not a cutting-edge raider or hard-core pvper, so I tend to pick what makes me happy. However I have noticed that even while questing some pets are much, much squishier than others and I have ended up using a krolusk and a wolf more than any others, as they seem to be better at keeping me from dying.
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Re: The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Quiv » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:02 am

Spirit Mend restores 70-80% of player HP? Seriously? I need to look at Spirit Beasts again.
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Re: The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Elynix » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:28 pm

Slapperfish wrote: - Scalehide (Ferocity): The ultimate AoE tanking pet for solo content. While Clefthoof is much better for BM, Scalehides are useable in every spec, and their defensive ability is only on a 1 minute cooldown, allowing you to kill large groups of enemies more often without sacrificing another pet slot. The added Leech is amazing when Beast Cleave and is in effect, and their health shoots up dramatically once they pop Scale Shield.
I must be SO out of touch with my hunter... I cannot for the life of me, have my pets do AoE Tanking. They can tank a single mob. One. Only. Never more, they lose aggro or if I manage to get them to keep aggro they die, like sacks.

Save me. I love my hunters but this alone is killing them for me.

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Re: The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Slapperfish » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:38 am

Updated the original post with new information and fixed any erroneous calculations. I decided to swap out Stag for Nether Ray, due to it having access to Primal Rage and therefore giving it better utility in a group situation.
Gonya wrote:I must be SO out of touch with my hunter... I cannot for the life of me, have my pets do AoE Tanking. They can tank a single mob. One. Only. Never more, they lose aggro or if I manage to get them to keep aggro they die, like sacks.

Save me. I love my hunters but this alone is killing them for me.
Pet tanking becomes considerably easier the higher item level you are. I normally start to hit Legion levels of AoE tanking at around 330 ilvl.

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Re: The Optimal Pet Loadout: Battle for Pet Slots Edition

Unread post by Setanta » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:23 pm

Gonya wrote:
Slapperfish wrote: - Scalehide (Ferocity): The ultimate AoE tanking pet for solo content. While Clefthoof is much better for BM, Scalehides are useable in every spec, and their defensive ability is only on a 1 minute cooldown, allowing you to kill large groups of enemies more often without sacrificing another pet slot. The added Leech is amazing when Beast Cleave and is in effect, and their health shoots up dramatically once they pop Scale Shield.
I must be SO out of touch with my hunter... I cannot for the life of me, have my pets do AoE Tanking. They can tank a single mob. One. Only. Never more, they lose aggro or if I manage to get them to keep aggro they die, like sacks.

Save me. I love my hunters but this alone is killing them for me.
Part of that is because with BfA they removed Thunderstomp as an AoE agro grab ability for pets. Stomp doesn't grab as much agro when using Barbed Shot as Thunderstomp did.

Sargman (Void Elf) Terokkar
Serkrun (Orc) Dentarg
Untamabull (Tauren) Area 52
Sargmar (Blood Elf) Alexstrasza

If you're taking my posts 100% seriously, you're probably 150% too serious to read them.

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