Of Beastmastery and Tenacity, and why I went there

Somehow a lot of my posts start out with “So, I was poking around online….”. Kind of like most of my really funny stories from my military days start with “So, my friends and I were in this bar in (fill in countries name here) minding our own business…..”. I won’t go in to any of those now, perhaps another day.  Today I talk about pet talent choices.

What the hell does all that have to do with a pet spec you ask?

The real answer is that after looking I was no able to find much in the way of “premade” pet specs.

Now I don’t claim to be some kind of Hunter guru, I have not taken one to sunwell, nor have I done arena with one. I have not soloed world bosses or even dungeons harder than Black Rock Depths (runecloth farming ftw). One thing I have done though is level. I have leveled two Hunters to 70 already and am currently working on a third who is 56 as of last night. So I decided to put down the specs I plan to use for leveling just in case someone may be interested.

For starters I leveled one of my 70’s Marksman and the other two Beastmastery. I plan to level through WotLK as Beastmastery on all three. Assuming I go back to my retired Horde Hunter and level him, Otherwise it will be all two of them. Second, I tend to level solo for the most part. I quest my way along to the level I want to ba at and worry about gearing up and respeccing once I get there.


Pet Choices

Let me say this, you can level with any pet you feel comfortable with. There is no “best leveling pet”. Back when I leveled Marksman there was, I leveled with a boar and loved it. After the great boar nerf I decided on a cat as my leveling partner with my second Hunter. They are still together today. That being said I have run with both a cat and boar at 70 as well as leveling with a gorilla. The gorilla is hands down more fun, at least for me.


Talent Choices

Occasionally I am kind of vague. This is odd since according to my wife I am about as subtle as an asteroid impact. I am not going to even try and be subtle here. If you take away nothing else take away this comment.

You and your pet have one, shared talent spec.

Do not think of your spec and your pets as separate, because they are not. Like no other class in the game we have a real symbiotic relationship with our pets. The choices in each spec reinforcing those in the other. The way I see it there are nine different possibilities. Beastmastery/Tenacity, Beastmastery/Cunning, Survival/Tenacity, Marksman/Ferocity… you get the idea.

Is there one “magical” talent spec for everything? No.

That’s why I am just worrying about leveling at this point. I intend to level one of my hunters Beastmastery/Tenacity and the other Beastmastery/Ferocity. The reasoning is simple. At level 80 one will be raiding and the other farming. One uses a gorilla named Thumper to aoe grind and farm things. The other uses a cat named Shadow to do dps.



I intend to start at level 70 with this spec for my hunter and this one for my gorilladin. I will build it towards these builds at level 80. This is the Hunter that will be my soloing farmer at 80 and some of those talent choices reflect that. For instance, I skipped Cobra strikes, Go for the Throat, and Invigoration.

Why you might ask?

Well, I am soloing with my gorilladin and the only pet special abilities I use are growl and thunderstomp. Since I find that with just Beastial Discipline I have enough to growl and thunderstomp every time its up I don’t need Go for the Throat. Cobra strikes? It procs off of Arcane, Steady, or Kill shots. When I am running with this combo I rarely use those, plus I have few pet specials running so it really does not benefit me. Invigoration? more of the same. If I am not going to try critting with my pet these are points better spent elsewhere.

This whole build is designed around AOE tanking with Thumper. I do the damage through Multi-shot and Volly, he keeps them occupied while I kill them. I use this very effectively already at level 56, often tanking 4-5 mobs of equal level with ease. The way I do this is the main reason I picked the glyph of Hunters mark and the glyph of Multi-shot.

My general tactic is to grind in threes. I will grab up the first mob and let growl hit. Then I will run to a second, letting growl go off again, then I will run him over to the third mob, growl and thunderstomp. With the glyph of mulit shot I find the cooldowns line up nicely. Thunderstomp, Multi-shot, Volly, Thunderstomp,  repeat until you run out of mobs.

My mana usage is such that about every 4th trio is done under Aspect of the Viper, the rest are done under Aspect of the Hawk. Running this way I can grind almost indefinately without stopping to eat or drink, and by pulling only three I rarely even need a mend pet before they are down.

Are there better ways to do this? Probably, I am sure there are as many different ways to do things as there are hunters out there. I just wanted to share what works for me.


When I started out on this topic I thought I would get it all in one post, now I see it would be a bit on the ginormous side if I tried to do that.  I will come back in a day or two with the Beastmastery/Ferocity build I plan to use on my second Hunter.

Until then,

Good Hunting.