Wednesday, August 17, 2022

WoW: The guide to the hunter and his animals in Classic - everything you need to know!

April 26, 2021

To some they're the ultimate adventurer class, to others they're those pesky raid dust-ups that claim every item they need: Hunters. Ranged experts have been a popular choice for players in Classic, not only because of the near-magic-free ranged combat, but also because they never have a solitary playstyle. Namely, hunters tame animals and take them with them as companions on their journeys. But the whole thing was a completely different amge in Classic than we're used to today. While the choice of our (often) four-legged buddy is more a matter of taste these days, it used to take a lot more thought. With the release of Classic, you can experience this way of playing again, which is why we're giving you a little course in hunter pets to help you get the most out of your shooter and his best friend. Of course, it all starts with the question: How do I get animal companions?

More about the hunter in Classic: No annoying caster pets in Classic WoW

Table of Contents1How to turn your boar into a caster pig2The way to an animal's heart is through its stomach3Pets are the key to comfortably leveling a hunter4Scarce space in the Classic stable5Quick bites, sluggish paws6Pets learn and grow just like your character7How to get new abilities for your pet8The different animal families and their strengths8.1The different companion types in numbers8.2Hero-like creatures9The allure of the hunter and his pet in WoW Classic

How to turn a wild boar into a taming pig

Via "Way of the Hunter" we learn from level 10 how to tame and care for animals in the wild. Source: Buffed Up until level 10, you'll still have to go it alone as a newly hatched hunter, which could cause you more trouble than you think. Because while hunters can engage in melee combat, it doesn't really feel like working enemies from a distance until you have an animal companion on the front lines. So be careful on your way to level 10, and then jump into the new Hunter's Path quest line as soon as possible. It teaches you how to tame the denizens of the wild and keep them happy. Convincing a wolf or a bear in Classic that a place at your side is pretty sweet is not really different from the procedure in the current WoW (buy now 24,99 € ). First of all, you can only tame wild animals, so no demonic creatures, spirit creatures or mechanical quadrupeds. You can also only tame animal companions whose level is equal to or lower than yours. While taming an animal, you lose 100 percent of your armor value, making you an easy target for disgruntled critters. So take them out with your Concussive Shot or Ice Cold Trap abilities, for example. If you encounter a particularly strong or unique beast, there's no shame in enlisting the help of other classes with CC abilities. For example, a druid with hibernation or a mage with transmute are recommended, as both of these spells do no damage, so your new best friend will be in no danger. While you are taming a new pet, you are very vulnerable. Use CC effects to immobilize it if necessary. Source: buffed

The way to a pet's heart is through its stomach

It took quite a while for the Hunter's pets to gather their courage to finally say in Cataclysm: "Dear Mom/Dad, you don't have to feed me, I know where to find something to eat." Because since patch 4.1 of WoW, you no longer have to feed your wolves, wild cats, and wind snakes. Logically, however, this is still an issue in Classic - and more complex than you might first think.

Always pay attention to the diet, because animals do not eat everything. Owls, for example, will only eat meat and will not eat other snacks. Source: Blizzard If you feed your companion regularly, it will also affect his mood, which in turn will influence his fighting ability. The game differentiates between "Happy" (25 percent extra damage), "Happy" (normal damage) and "Unhappy" (-25 percent extra damage). The latter is also the mood that animals have shortly after they have been tamed. That's why you need to feed them immediately so they don't run away again. Yes, that's right: if an animal stays unhappy for too long, it will eventually run away. So stuff your little friends with food to make them too heavy to run away. Shortly after they've been tamed, they'll still be in the Rebellious state. During this time, you'll need to feed them every ten minutes or so to keep them from running off again. However, once you've raised their loyalty to rank 2, you can relax a little. From then on, they won't run away when they're hungry, but will only have the aforementioned damage penalties. However, you must keep in mind that not everyone is an omnivore. There are a total of six possible food categories, all of which have specific sources:

  • Bread: Easily available from bread merchants, alternatively a helpful mage can conjure it up for you.Fish: Simply fish it yourself or buy it from fish merchants.Meat: Scavenge it from animals in the world or buy it from meat merchants.Fruit: Via fruit merchants and as loot from enemiesCheese: Available from cheese merchants and as loot from enemiesFungi: Some enemies drop them, but you can also harvest them as an herbalist or buy them from herbalists.

Each family of animals has its own diet. So while raptors, owls, and wolves only go for meat, longstriders eat cheese, fruit, and mushrooms, and vultures only snack on fish and meat. Bears and boars are very low maintenance in this respect, as you can feed them any food you like. If you don't know what a pet likes, you can simply use the Wildlife Lore skill to find out. Make sure you always have some snacks on hand for your pet, because you don't want to find yourself in the middle of a raid asking your teammates if anyone can spare a fish for your cat, which isn't doing as much damage as it should be. So besides the hunter's ammo, the inventory will always be somewhat filled. By the way, you should also completely finish the taming and feeding quest line before you set out to find a new friend in the wild. Because if you only know how to tame the denizens of the wild, but don't have a clue how to feed one, it will quickly run away because it won't get past the first rebel loyalty rank.

Pets are the key to leveling a hunter comfortably

It doesn't matter if you're an animal-loving archer or allergic to cat hair: if you don't want to strain yourself unnecessarily when leveling your hunter in Classic, you should make sure to strengthen your pet with talents. Logically, this is what the Beast Mastery tree is for. Regardless of your equipment, you'll be able to increase your damage quite a bit. Since your pet's attacks don't cost you any mana, it's worth maximizing talents like Unleashed Fury. This basically increases the damage of your animal companions. Fierceness, on the other hand, increases your pets' critical strike chance. Frenzy increases the attack speed of pets when they land a critical hit. To keep your pets on the offensive, you'll want to use talents like Thick Fur to keep them on the defensive. As a hunter, you'll want to watch enemies from a distance while your pet jumps into the fray. Source: Blizzard

Little room in the Classic stable

Stablemasters allow you to stash your animal companions when you don't need them. Source: buffed But if you think you'll be able to start an endless menagerie as a new master tamer, you've got another thing coming: In Classic, you can only tame a total of three animals at a time. You will have one of them as a companion, while the other two lie in the stable on their lazy skin. Fortunately, as long as they remain in their quarters, you don't have to worry about feeding them - their mood remains unchanged in the stable. Unlike in retail WoW, you can only use a single companion when you're on the road, so you can't swap them out until you return to the stable.

Quick bites, slow paws

Even in Classic, some animals have different attack speeds. The rough rule is: slower attacking candidates also do more damage with the individual blows and vice versa. Logically, the total damage remains relatively identical. However, there are two aspects that make it important to pay attention to attack speed: Spell Delay, which is done through damage, and Threat boosts. Namely, spellcasters take longer to finish their cast in Classic once they've cashed in on a melee attack, even from hunter pets. The faster the attacks, the more frequent the delay. While the heavier blows from slower beasts create more threat, the long duration between attacks again cancels that out, which is why sluggish pawing companions don't really lend themselves to maintaining threat. So with those two aspects in mind, when in doubt, have quick-hitting creatures on your side. But threat and spell lag aren't everything, of course, especially when we consider stats and abilities.

Pets Learn and Grow Just Like Your Character

Whereas in WoW these days you can simply tame a pet and it's right up to your level after that and has certain abilities depending on its family, in Classic it's a different story: Your pet stays at the level it has when you tame it. From then on, it will also have to gain experience points in order to level up. So if you later decide to tame a creature from a starting area after all, it will have to make up some level increases first. Unlike your own hero, however, your pet will not receive a bonus for resting in inns and will also go empty-handed when it comes to experience points from quest rewards. Furthermore, your pet can't level up on you, so you'll always be ahead of them: if you reach level 53, your level 52 companion will only start earning experience points for leveling up again at that point.

How to get new abilities for your pet

Although some pets already have certain abilities, you will usually need to train them first. However, in order for them to learn a skill from you, you will first need to master it yourself. There are two ways to do this. There are skills that you can get from trainers in a town, which are available to every type of animal companion in the game:

  • Growl (taunts and causes the enemy to attack the pet.)Great Stamina (increases stamina)Natural Armor (increases armor value)Arcane Resistance (protects against arcane damage)Fire Resistance (protects against fire damage)Frost Resistance (protects against frost damage)Nature Resistance (protects against nature damage)Shadow Resistance (protects against shadow damage).

Passive effects like these that give your pet more health and resistance aren't set in stone. You can always change them depending on where your pet takes you. For example, if you're venturing into the Molten Core raid, you'll need to increase your Fire Resistance. Otherwise, your pet has no chance of surviving the blazing inferno of Ragnaros. Aside from the mostly passive abilities from the trainer, you'll get most of the active abilities from tamed animals that already have them. So drop your current beast off at the stable and go tame a creature that has mastered the ability you want for another companion. Once the newly tamed animal has performed the skill once, you will have learned the skill - at this point, you can release the woodland creature you fetched for it back into the wild. You will then be able to pick up the following skills (the rank of the skill will depend on the level of the tamed animal that gives you the knowledge of that skill):

  • Bite: Bites the enemy (oha!) and deals extra damage. Learnable by bats, bears, boars, carrion birds, cats, crocoli, gorillas, hyenas, raptors, spiders, longstriders, turtles, wind snakes, and wolves.Lightning Breath: Immediately hits the opponent with nature damage. Can only be learned by Wind Snakes.Thunder Stomp: Hits all enemies within eight yards with Nature damage. Learnable by Gorillas.Duck: Deals no damage, but reduces threat. Learnable for all hunter beasts.Claw: Strikes the enemy and deals extra damage. Learnable for carrion birds, bears, owls, cats, crabs, raptors, and scorpids. Armor Shield: Reduces damage taken by 50 percent, but attacks 43 percent slower. For turtles only.Stealth: Makes stealthy and reduces movement speed by 50 percent. Next attack deals 20 percent more damage. Can only be learned by cats.Scream: Lightly damages a target and reduces the damage dealt by all enemies within melee range. Exclusively learnable by carrion birds, bats, and owls.Scorpid Venom: Inflicts a nature damage DoT on a target, which also stacks up to five times. Exclusive to Scorpids.Spurt: Increases movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds. Possible in Stealth. Can be learned by boars, hyenas, cats, long riders, and wolves.Charge Attack: Charges the enemy and immobilizes them for one second. The pet's next attack does more damage. Exclusive to boars.Charge: Increases movement speed by 40% for 15 seconds. Learnable by carrion birds, owls, bats, and wind snakes.Rage Howl: Party members within 50 feet gain a Physical Damage bonus to their next attack for ten seconds. The ability is exclusive to wolves.

To learn such an ability, your pet needs training points, which it earns by both being happy and leveling with you. Your animal friend will never be able to learn everything, because even if he is happy and at maximum level, he won't have enough training points. In addition, the hunter companion can only master four active skills at a time. Growling is always free, even if your pet has no training points. You can find the training overview in your spellbook. You can also skip skill levels on your animal companion. For example, in the Westfall area, you can get a crab at level 17, or more specifically, the Coastal Creeper, which has rank 3 of Claw. If you get this pet, you can teach this attack directly to another animal companion. Overall, as a rule of thumb, it's handy if the pet at your side has two different attacks with which it can consume Focus. Accordingly, bears, cats, as well as raptors, for example, are good choices for the leveling hunter. They all have the option of using the Claw and Bite abilities.

The different animal families and their strengths

Owls are offensive pets, so they tend to dish it out rather than take it. They weaken melee combatants with the Scream ability. Source: Blizzard While there are no direct tanking or DpS categories on your companions, some pets are better suited for certain jobs than others. For example, a bear has high health and moderate armor. A turtle has low health but high armor. Both can be on the front lines for you as a tank, however the turtle can shine much more in select situations with armor shield. More offensive in contrast are wildcats, bats, or even raptors, which you'll want to rely on in PvP battles. Wolves, along with hyenas and carrion birds, are in the "general" category; while they are not masters in one area, they have no weaknesses in the other. So with these stats and the Rage Howl ability, the wolf is the ideal companion for a raid.

The different types of companions in numbers

In order not to go completely beyond the scope of this guide, we will not go into each individual category of animal companions, but rather provide you with the facts in compact form: If a pet has the absolute average value in an area, you will find a simple 1 for 100 percent there. Logically, an armor value of 1.13 for a crab is excellent, while a damage value of 0.9 for a turtle is more like a rubber beak - only 90 percent. Keep in mind, however, that these values are only a guide. Because each animal's abilities can reach their true potential in different situations.


Based on these numbers, we can recommend four families in particular because they have certain strengths. Wolves are practically indispensable for raid content: they have no weaknesses and increase your party's damage. Cats attack fast and hard, which makes them generally popular, but especially for PvP battles where they give casters a hard time. Wind Snakes can even attack from a distance with learned Lightning Breath, so they are safe from some enemies' melee attacks. In addition, this attack ignores armor, making them great for raid bosses. Boars are great PvP companions, as they can pin enemies with charge attacks while lasting a long time due to their defense stats. Bears have great defense stats, but don't come with any special abilities. Source: Blizzard

Heroic Creatures

Animal companions can be found in all corners of WoW Classic, but the ranks of these nameless denizens of the wild also include special candidates. Unique pets have stats that set them apart from their peers. Some of them are hard to get, as they are rare enemies that other players are naturally keen on. We'll therefore introduce you to the most important ones that you should get.

  • In the Wasteland you will also meet normal cats, of course, but every hunter wants to get Broken Tooth here. Source: buffed Broken Tooth, like the other feral cats of Azeroth, has high offense, but he is truly legendary for his very high attack speed (one attack per second!). While his teeth only do half the damage of other cats, he is a nightmare for casters due to the delayed spells, and he also maintains a high threat due to the nimble bites. You can find him in the Wasteland in the southeast of the Eastern Kingdoms.Son of Hakkar is a special case on this list because we don't actually need him ourselves, but his ability: Lightning Breath you only learn when you tame Son of Hakkar. The ability ignores armor, so it's a must-have. Once the Zul'Gurub raid opens in the northeast of Stranglethorn Vale, you can tame the pet in the final boss fight against Hakkar the Soulflayer.

While these powerful creatures would be a great part of your collection for the reasons mentioned, you don't have to panic about getting them. These are BiS options that are really something for the min-max people among you. Otherwise, in PvP, you can simply enjoy the rush of a boar, for example, or fall back on a wolf of some sort to give your party a damage boost. During the boss fight against Hakkar the Soulflayer, you can tame the unique Son of Hakkar pet. Be sure to get it! Source: buffed

The allure of the hunter and his pet in WoW Classic

After this mountain of information about the fluffy, scaly and bristly companions has probably become clear: There's a complex mechanic behind the Hunter and his Pets in WoW Classic that can seem really overwhelming at first glance. But that's also how it fits in with the rest of the game and, more importantly, your hero. Because instead of being able to spontaneously fall back on a host of animals, each fluttering beast, quadruped, and poison splatter is given a special value. Raising, feeding, and training them will bond you to your new best buddy. So keep in mind that it's not always about min-maxing and chasing the best pet, it's about who you want to explore Azeroth with: with enough treats, these critters can become a friend for life.

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