In Classic World of Warcraft you only have 2 stable slots. This means you can have a maximum of 3 pets at any time (1 with you, 2 stabled). Choosing what those 3 pets are going to be though can be quite the dilemma.
If you’re someone who likes to follow the crowd and the meta, then this is a pretty simple answer: Broken Tooth for PVP, ZG Wind Serpent or Bloodaxe Worg for Raiding, and Owl for solo/farming.
However, if you like to make informed decisions, and make your own choices, then read on and we’ll chat about pets.
The first thing you should consider is the type of things you plan on doing in Classic WoW. If you don’t plan to do any raiding, then you don’t need a raiding pet. If PVP isn’t something you’re going to do, then why get a PVP pet?
For example, Broken Tooth is the infamous cat you’ll hear every Hunter talk about. However, he’s only extremely useful for PVP and some Hunters fail to realize that.
Broken Tooth has a fast attack speed which is great for pushing back casting in PVP. Yet, that pushback doesn’t work in PVE. Since all cat DPS is the same regardless of attack speed, there’s no sense camping Broken Tooth for days or even weeks when you don’t plan to PVP.
So, my first piece of advice is to form a plan of what you intend to do once you hit 60. All pets have a use in my opinion, but some pets are really only useful for niche things. If you’re not in that niche, then some pets may not suit you.
I tend to generally categorize pets this way:
- Solo/questing/farming (your general pet)
- Dungeons & Raiding
That list could be broken out even further. Not all dungeon pets make good raiding pets, so you could break that apart. A good farming pet may not be the best questing pet either.
You could also add in some of those niche categories, like say dungeon farming for gold and mats, or for boosting. Maybe there’s a particular mob you plan to farm at 60 to get certain drops and a particular pet makes that easier.
Again, just determine what you need pets for and work from there.
The Right Pet for the Right Job
If you’re new to the Hunter class in Classic World of Warcraft, then your first stop should be the Classic Petopia site. Pets are divided into 3 categories: defensive, general, and offensive. Within those categories there’s variation in terms of health, damage, armor, and pet abilities.
Petopia will break it all down for you and help you get informed. It’s also within those subtle differences that you’ll be making your decisions as well. A 3% damage difference could be the deciding factor, so check out Petopia as you’re considering your choices.
Now, the right pet of course depends on what you need it to do. If you want a pet for maximum damage, then you’re going to look at the offensive pets. If you want a pet that can take some hits, then you’re looking at defensive pets. Something inbetween leads you to generalist pets.
It’s what the pet can and can’t do in terms of abilities that is very often the deciding factor for me. A few percent points difference with stats isn’t a deal breaker as much as having a certain key ability, or not having it as the case may be.
As an example, I like the Claw ability on a raid pet. A pet that only has Bite, like a Spider, would not work for what I need.
I want the Dash/Dive ability on my farming/solo pet so I can move from mob to mob faster. A Raptor, while a high damage pet, wouldn’t suit me since it does not have Dash.
Other Pet Considerations
There’s a lot more to think about beyond your pet’s stats and abilities in Classic WoW. Those are great starting points, but final deciding factors may be something you had not considered.
What your pet will eat can very much be what makes or breaks your decision between two pets. Some pets will eat anything (bear and boar), while others have a picky diet with items that aren’t easy to come by (Gorilla with fruit and fungus).
Any pet that eats fish is always a great choice since fishing is free. Pets that eat bread will eat a Mage’s conjured food, which is a money saver typically.
Any food preference by your pet other than fish (and sometimes bread) will cost you money. You can farm for your pet’s food but it’s very time consuming; trust me on that.
While the cost isn’t extreme to feed your pet, it is a cost none-the-less and will add up over time. This is more a concern as you level and are trying to afford to buy new ranks of abilities and a mount.
Also, having to remember to stock up on food for your pet when you’re in a city can be annoying. It sucks to be out questing or farming and realize you’re out of food for your pet.
Even at 60 a pet’s diet can be a concern. For example, I had been using an owl for a while and owls eat only meat. Now, I also do a lot of fishing for food buffs, general food, and pet food for my raiding cat. So, I was already fishing as it was but I only had one pet that ate fish.
I decided to swap my owl for a carrion bird since carrion birds also eat fish. There’s some stat changes between the two pets, but nothing so significant it would change what I use that pet for. However, that diet change made life so much easier.
Availability of the Pet
There are some pets that you will always find at every level, some you won’t see until later levels, and some you only see at lower levels.
In Classic WoW you need to level your pets, unlike in Retail. So, knowing what pets you want as you level is something that will make life a lot easier for you. Going back at 60 to tame a level 24 pet and leveling is up is a nightmare; again – trust me on this.
The best way around this is to again use the Classic Petopia site and check out all the pets there.
While I do suggest only leveling up to 60 with one pet to keep things easy, if there’s another pet you must have and it’s a lower leveled one, then picking that up when you can and keeping it leveled is a better approach than getting it later and doing it.
Hitting 60 and thinking about what your other two pets are going to be is going to come down to availability. Is there a tank pet close to 60 you can tame? How about a 60’ish cat with a fast attack speed for PVP?
The point here is to just be aware of what pets you can get when. It sucks to think once you hit 60 that you can find a 60’ish pet you’ve always wanted and to find out that’s not the case.
Fitting How You Play
This is something that I feel is overlooked by players and certainly by those giving pet advice.
Admittedly, most pets play the same. You send them into the target, they hold aggro and do damage, while you do damage. So what am I talking about then?
First, there’s one pet that doesn’t quite behave like others when it comes to the usual fight routine. That’s the wind serpent because of Lightning Breath. That’s the only ranged ability for a pet in Classic WoW.
What happens is you send in your pet and it stops on the way in to cast Lightning Breath. It will then proceed, if the enemy isn’t at it yet, and then Growl.
That procedure plays out very different than any other pet. Not only is the target closer to you since your pet stopped, the Growl cast is delayed as a result of casting Lightning Breath at range. All this results in you needing to hold off on doing longer than usual as it plays out.
It may not sound like a big deal but that doesn’t suit how I play. I don’t want to sit there waiting before I can start fighting. I watch some Hunters send in their pet and wait a good 10 seconds before they start attacking so their pet can get aggro. I’m the other type that’s shooting before my pet reaches the target.
That also means I need a pet that’s really good at holding threat, at least for my pet I farm and quest with. Not all pets are equal when it comes to holding aggro so not all pets will suit that role.
There’s also the matter of what you’re using the pet for. A good example is the gorilla with Thunderstomp (AE attack). Not many people like using a gorilla as a pet, however, if you are boosting a lot of people through Deadmines, Stocks, and other lower level dungeons, then having a pet with an AE attack like that can really speed up that process.
Maybe for PVP you don’t want to be the usual Hunter with a cat pet. You decide you want something annoying (any flying pet), or something more subtle (scorpid), or something that can still do damage when CC’d (wind serpent). You get the idea.
At the end of the day not every Hunter plays the game the same way and having a pet that compliments your style of play is incredibly important to your enjoyment of the class and game.
Everyone loves to hit up forums for advice on what pet(s) to get but it seems nobody actually tests pets for themselves. If you really want to see if a pet is going to do what you need, then go tame it and find out. Seriously.
I can tell you that in testing pets I have found pets I really, really enjoy that I didn’t think I would. I have also found that I don’t like all the popular pets that almost every Hunter tells you to get. Sure, those pets might be good but I don’t care for them for one reason or another and I’m the one playing my character.
Remember that – it’s your character and your pet. Play whatever makes you happy to play the game, not what the bandwagoneers tell you to.
What 3 pets should you stable in Classic WoW? That’s what you came here asking and I’m afraid I don’t have a definitive answer for you. My intent with this article wasn’t to answer that question for you directly but to help you reach your own conclusion.
Now, I do have an article that talks about the best Hunter pet that may help you narrow things down a bit. I do also have an article with Hunter tips that speaks on the subject of pets some more as well.
Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about and helped you make some choices.
Oh, also. If you’re looking for a pet name generator, then I’ve got one of those.