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Mists of Pandaria Beta: New hunter pets

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.

If there's one thing that defines the hunter class, it's our smoldering good looks. But just behind the irresistable allure of our sculpted flesh, the defining aspect of the hunter class is our pets. There is nothing hunters love more than our pets, and the most common questions hunters ask about Mists of Pandaria are about our pets. What will the new pets be? What are their special abilities? Will we get more stable slots (because the extra 20 we got last expansion are already full)? And of course, what about spirit beasts?

Happily, we're far enough into the beta process that we can begin answering some of the questions about new hunter pets. Join me after the cut for the rundown of the new tameable pet types now available and what their new abilities are.

Mists of Pandaria pet rundown

Thus far the new tameable hunter pet families found in Mists are:
  • Quilen (exotic)
  • Water strider (exotic)
  • Basilisk
  • Crane
  • Goat
  • Porcupine
Of course, as always, there is more than just the new pet families. The game also has many new looks for existing pets, including the dragon turtle and deep sea crabs, among others. The great crew at Petopia maintains images of all the latest pet looks for the discerning pet collector.

Reminder: In Mists, pets no longer have a specific spec. Instead you can choose whether to make your pet ferocity, cunning, or tenacity, and you can visit a pet trainer to change your pet's spec at any time.

ImageQuilen

The quilen is a sort of stone lion found in the Wandering Isle of Pandaria. It is an exotic pet, meaning BM only with two special abilities.
  • Eternal Guardian Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 20% health and 20% mana.
  • Fearless Roar The quilen lets out a fearless roar, increasing the critical strike chance of all party and raid members by 5%.
With Eternal Guardian, hunters (well, BM hunters) can bring a battle rez to the party. In general, you'd still rather have another class handle it, but if your group has a lack of battle rezzers, the hunter can step in. Fearless Roar is likely an oversight; hunters now bring the 5% crit buff by default with Trueshot Aura (available to all hunter specs), making this ability redundant. I'd expect to see that changed in a future beta build.

ImageWater strider

The water strider looks like a giant version of those water bugs that wander around the surface of still ponds. It's tameable, and we can assume that we'll find more of them around Pandaria as the beta progresses. The water strider is also an exotic pet, BM-only, bringing two special abilities.
  • Still Water Infuses all party and raid members within vision with still water, increasing their spellpower by 10% and their critical strike chance by 5%.
  • Surface Trot Allows the hunter and the water strider to walk across water for 10 minutes. Any damage will cancel the effect.
Still Water again replicates the crit buff we already bring but also comes with the spellpower buff. Surface Trot is far more interesting from a practical viewpoint. Now, every hunter can keep a water strider at hand when wandering Azeroth and, with a quick switch to BM, be ready to cross any body of water to explore all those remote corners of the world. A nice, fun special ability, and I'm a big fan.

Basilisk

We've seen these guys around the game forever, and now they can learn to love and serve us, bringing and interesting new buff with them.
  • Petrifying Gaze Turns the target into stone for 3 seconds, causing them to be invulnerable.
I have not yet had a chance to play around with this ability myself to see exactly how it works. What I really want to know is if this ability can be used on a friendly target or the hunter, to use it as a defensive cooldown rather than just as crowd control. It could be an interesting addition to a raiding and PvP arsenal to have a 3-second bubble available on command to weather incoming burst damage. With a 1-minute cooldown and 3-second duration, it would be too powerful but could be very useful. [Update: I've been told that you cannot use it on yourself or friendly targets]

ImageCrane

These new pets are found chillin' along banks throughout Pandaria, and all the ones I've seen so far are not hostile.
  • Lullaby Puts the target to sleep for 4 seconds.
  • Trick You command your Crane to do a trick.
In addition to their PvP ability, the crane comes with a neat bonus ability, shown in the video up at the top of this article.

Goat

Yup, that's right. We can get a pet goat, according to datamined information. Sadly, it does not have an ability that involves eating anything in the game.
  • Trample Your goat tramples the enemy, kicking up an obscuring cloud of dust, causing all enemies within 10 yards to have their melee and ranged attack speed reduced by 20% for 30 seconds.
ImagePorcupine

These delightful fellows enchanted hunters from day one of the Mists beta, back when none of the new pets were tameable. It turns out they weren't intended to be tameable, but Ghostcrawler stepped into a forum thread to say that they would be made a tameable pet.
  • Paralyzing Quill Fires paralyzing quills around the porcupine, incapacitating all enemies for 2 seconds.
I have to admit that I was hoping for an ability that damaged anyone attacking the porcupine, similar to the old crocolisk Bad Attitude. However, this ability to provide a very short-duration AoE CC is an interesting addition to the hunter PvP toolbox.

Spirit beasts

Everyone always asks about new spirit beasts, but thus far we have no official word on new spirit beasts in Mists. MMO-Champion datamined an image of what looks like a new cat spirit best, which you can see here, but we don't know for certain if this will be a hunter pet.

I've no doubt that we will see new spirit beasts, however -- every expansion brings new ones. But so far, we haven't found any in the beta yet.

Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter and choosing the best patch 4.2 gear to learning the DPS value of skill, we've got you covered. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?

Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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