Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Ban'thalos

Our journey back through the Molten Front starts above the Sanctuary of Malorne with Ban'thalos, the loyal green spirit owl. We'll also be taking a quick detour to Darnassus to visit his fellow spirit owl, Dori'thur, as well as taking a look at their origins. Next week, we'll be moving a bit to the northeast to visit the Regrowth.

Hey everyone! I'm here above the Sanctuary of Malorne in Mount Hyjal, hanging out with the shiny green spirit owl Ban'thalos.

This level 85 spirit beast is often the first challenge tame that players encounter upon properly phasing into the zone's daily quest hub. Since he's exotic, hunters need to spec as beast mastery to tame him.

Ban'thalos has the same three tamed abilities as other spirit beast pets. The first, spirit beast blessing, is a mastery raid buff that scales with the hunter's level, maxing out at 3000 at level 90. The second, spirit mend, is a targetable heal over time which scales with the hunter's ranged attack power. The third ability is spirit walk, which allows the beast to enter stealth mode with a 50% movement speed penalty, but grants a 20% damage bonus to his first attack from stealth.

Ban'thalos was the first flying spirit beast introduced to the game and at the time of this recording, is still the only tamable one. Dori'thur, Tyrande Whisperwind's companion, looks exactly like Ban'thalos, but is not flagged as a beast.

Both come from the line of green scout owls introduced in Warcraft III. According to Noah, the developer who came up with the challenge tames, the spirit owls are named for families that had huntresses who fought in the Third War. This is why Dori'thur belongs to a Whisperwind. Ban'thalos means Nightwing, but as the huntresses of that family are gone, he roams freely without a home. As the spirit owls are drawn to places of druidic magic, Ban'thalos flies in a circle high above the Sanctuary of Malorne.

Since he spawns so high up, the trick to taming him is getting him to a safe taming location without you dying or him evading and resetting.

The safest method involves perching on top of an incredibly thin treetop, then pulling Ban'thalos down to it. A freeze trap will protect you from his Harsh Moonlight ability and at the right height, you won't even take any falling damage. The hardest part is actually landing on top of the tree.

The other method is a lot riskier. It involves pulling Ban'thalos and disengaging before hitting the ground. There are lots of ways to die attempting this method, but it can work if you are having trouble with the tree. The engineering cloak enchant or other slow fall effects can help, but the tame can be executed without one.

Ban'thalos spawns around every 8 to 12 hours.

For the most current information on Ban'thalos and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the skies of Mount Hyjal, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

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