Friday, September 21, 2012

Hunter Pet Buffs, Debuffs, and Utility Abilities in MoP

With just days to go to the Mists of Pandaria expansion, I've broken down the useful pet buffs, debuffs, and utility abilities in video and infographic form.

The transcript appears below, after the charts.

MoP Buffs, Debuffs, and Abilities Chart

Minimalist Raiding List

Hey everyone! This is Kalliope and I'm here in Stormwind to take a break from tracking wild beasts and focus on the tamed ones in the stable.

The Cataclysm expansion greatly changed the role of hunters in raids, giving us the widest variety of buffs, debuffs, and utility abilities of any class. In the Mists of Pandaria, hunters can cover every single buff and debuff in the game, as well as provide some extra utility.


There are eight buffs in the game as of patch 5.0.4 and seven are covered by hunter pets.

The only exception is attack power, since all hunters now passively bring trueshot aura, so it would be redundant for a pet to bring it as well.

Critical Strike is covered by a whopping five pets, three exotic - devilsaurs, quilen, and water striders - and two regular - wolves and the handful of limited edition hydras.

Mastery is brought by a pet of each type - cats representing regular pets and spirit beasts the exotic. The rest of the buffs are only provided by either exotics or non-exotics, not both.

Only one pet covers Spell Power, the new exotic water strider. The buff is combined with Critical Strike, just like the equivalent buffs from other classes, making water striders an intended two-in-one buff pet.

The Stat Bonus buff is also only provided by an exotic family, the shale spiders.

The last of the beast mastery-exclusive buffs is Stamina, which is covered by silithids.

A few buffs are only carried by non-exotic pets. Attack Speed is a new addition to hunter pets in Pandaria and is only available from hyenas and serpents.

A post-patch hotfix added the Spell Haste buff to sporebats, which rounds out the hunter buff arsenal.


There are currently six debuffs in the game and all can be brought by any type of hunter. Very few exotic pet have debuffs, and none are the exclusive option for their ability.

The exotic devilsaurs may be the only family that brings a Mortal Wound effect, but this debuff is already covered by the baseline hunter skill Widow Venom.

Four different pets bring increased Physical Vulnerability, two exotic - rhinos and worms - and two regular - boars and ravagers.

Magic Vulnerability is provided by two non-exotic pets, dragonhawks and wind serpents.

It's also two regular pets who contribute the Weakened Armor debuff, tallstriders and raptors.

The Slow Casting debuff is provided by the exotic core hounds and the regular foxes and goats. At the time of this recording, Sporebats still have this debuff, but are likely to have it removed, as no other class or pet has both this and the casting haste buff.

Weakened Blows is always provided by tanking classes, so it's unlikely that a bear or carrion bird will actually be needed for a raid. Still, hunters do have the option.


Two incredibly useful support abilities are available to hunters via their exotic pets in Pandaria.

Core hounds still bring Ancient Hysteria, the hunter's version of the Bloodlust or Heroism buff.

The new quilen family gives hunters the ability to resurrect a fallen ally in combat.


A number of pets bring utility abilities, but the ones covered here are the most likely to be situationally useful in a raid.

Though every class is now capable of bringing a stun, hunters should be aware of their own options. In addition to the beast mastery ability Intimidation, hunters can bring either the exotic shale spider or a regular bat, porcupine, or wasp.

Non-exotic gorillas, nether rays, and moths all bring an extra interrupt to the table. Though less effective than talenting for Silencing Shot, if a fellow raid member misses an interrupt, a pet could fill in on that turn of the rotation, leaving the hunter free to save Silencing Shot for their own turn.

In a pinch, the regular scorpids and birds of prey can disarm a melee target, though this is likely to be a rare occurrence, since most raid bosses cannot be disarmed.

Hunters can now glyph their explosive traps to provide an AoE knockback, but beast mastery hunters also have a single-target option in their rhinos.

Chain-castable roots are more efficient, but an exotic silithid or a regular crab, dog, or spider could also potentially save the day with a well-timed root.

When it comes down to the most necessary buffs, debuffs, and support abilities, a stable of 13 pets can cover all in both specs. A beast mastery hunter can carry as few as 11 pets and marksmanship and survival hunters can fill out their more limited selection with as few as eight.

What abilities your raid will actually need will vary depending on the group's composition. A handy addon, RaidChecklist, developed by Anyia of the Petopia forums, is a fantastic asset for checking what abilities your raid has without having to manually inspect everyone. What you'll actually need to bring depends on the encounter and raid makeup, so choose wisely. Good luck!
Reference links to the inspirations for this post:

1 comment: