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+.
When I'm talking about taming challenges today I'm talking about pets that have a mechanical challenge or trick to the taming process, or pets that are rare spawns with unique models. There are of course scores of rare spawn pets that look identical to common pets, and even a lot of rare spawns that have a slightly different coloration but otherwise are identical to common pets (and you can see a list of these at Petopia).
While it might be hard to wait for a King Krush spawn, for example, it's not something that fills vast numbers of hunters with the need to get that pet. Spirit beasts on the other hand ... spirit beasts are like a plague of uncontrollable desire that spreads burning through the pet collecting loins of the hunter population, so I have to include them.
If you aren't the kind of hunter that is really into pet collecting, today's column is not for you. If, however, you are the other kind, then here is a list of all of the hunter pet taming challenges currently in the game.
Spirit beasts (12)
First introduced during Wrath of the Lich King, spirit beasts were an instant hit with hunters everywhere. A truly disturbing percentage of the hunter population was content to spend hours every day, sometimes for months, just circling the paths of the spirit beasts, quivering in anticipation until that magical moment! Loque spawn! He's beautiful! A shimmering blue thing of untold splendor! The culmination of untold hours of stalking and waiting is interrupted by a leveling rogue who wanders by and kills it without a second thought.
The cries of anguish of a thousand spirit hunters echoed across the forums for months, a grim testament to the success of these BM-only pets.
There are a total of 12 spirit beasts available in the game (or will be in patch 5.2), including several different color variations.
- Loque'nahak: Level 76 snow leopard spirit beast found in Sholazar Basin of Northrend. Loque'nahak has long been one of the favorite spirit beast models of hunters. You can find a map of Loque spawn points here.
- Gondria: Level 77 purple sabre tiger found in Zul'Drak of Northrend. You can find a map of Gondria spawn points here.
- Arcturis: Level 74 bear found in the Grizzly Hills of Northrend, and one of my personal favorite spirit beasts. You can find a map of Arcturis spawn points here.
- Skoll: Level 80 lightning worg found in the Storm Peaks of Northrend. You can find a map of Skoll spawn points here.
- Ban'thalos: Level 85 owl found high above the Sanctuary of Malorne in Mount Hyjal. Ban'thalos is one of the rare tame challenges introduced in patch 4.2. This spirit owl is high, high in the air so to tame him you have to fly up, tag him, and then manage to survive the fall and his Moonfire attack. A good guide to taming him can be found here.
- Ghostcrawler: Level 85 crab spirit beast found in the Abyssal Depths of Vash'jir. Named after the WoW Lead Systems Designer, every hunter should tame Ghostcrawler. And the spirit beast is nice to have too. You can find a map of his pathing here.
- Magria: Level 85 blue sabre cat found in Mount Hyjal. Magria's attacks scale higher with your armor, so the best way to tame Magria is to get naked. No, seriously. Here's a map showing spawn points of both Magria and Ankha.
- Ankha: Level 85 green sabre cat found in Mount Hyjal. Ankha's abilities are identical to Magria, and like Magria the best way to counter Ankha's buff is to tame in the buff. Here's a map showing spawn points of both Magria and Ankha.
- Karoma: Level 85 wolf found in the Twilight Highlands. You can find a map of Karoma spawn points here.
- Hutia: Level 90 green porcupine found in the Jade Forest of Pandaria. All the MoP porcupines have large health pools that must be reduced to below 20% before they can be tamed. Hutia has a large self-heal that must be interrupted. You can find a detailed taming guide here.
- Gumi: Level 90 blue porcupine found in the Neverest Mountains of Pandaria. All the MoP porcupines have large health pools that must be reduced to below 20% before they can be tamed. Gumi has a speed boost, so he has to be kited while in Aspect of the Cheetah.You can find a detailed taming guide here.
- Degu: Level 90 red procupine found in the Krasarang Wilds of Pandaria. All the MoP porcupines have large health pools that must be reduced to below 20% before they can be tamed. Degu has a dead zone in which he must be kited: get too close and he'll clobber you with powerful melee attacks, but get too far and he'll butcher you with a powerful ranged attack. You can find a detailed taming guide here.
Firelands Taming Challenges (8)
When Firelands released in Cataclysm it brought with it hunter pet tames that were challenging not because they were rarer than an elf with facial hair, but because the mechanics involved in the taming were a challenge. No more just target, trap and tame. The mechanics had the added benefit of making it less likely that some random guy wandering by would kill your preferred pet to be.
Three of the taming challenges were the spirit beasts Ankha, Magria, and Ban'thalos mentioned above. The others were the spiders.
- Skitterflame: Level 85 molten red spider found in the Molten Front of Mount Hyjal. Skitterflame must be kited to reduce his "heat" energy bar before taming. You can find a good taming guide for him here.
- Solix: Level 85 molten yellow-red spider found in the Molten Front of Mount Hyjal, hiding in lava. Solix has a buff that increases his attack speed by 1,000%, and he must be kited until the buff drops and quickly tamed before he dies. You can find a good taming guide for him here.
- Kirix: Level 85 green molten spider found in the Molten Front of Mount Hyjal. You have to dodge rocks and thermal vents while kiting, and you'll need to use Deterrence to block his toxin and then cast Tame Beast while under haste effects to tame as quickly as possible. You can find a good taming guide for him here.
- Anthriss: Level 85 molten yellow-orange spider found in the Molten Front of Mount Hyjal. Anthriss requires you to submerge in the lava to avoid his webs which turns him into an easy tame. You can find a good taming guide for him here.
- Deth'tilac: Level 85 purple molten spider found in the Molten Front of Mount Hyjal. Deth'tilac is a big bad spider that is best tamed with a group. His Deth Strike ability instantly kills the target, but lowers Deth'tilac's health. You can find a good taming guide for him here.
MoP stealth pets (10)
MoP launched with rare spawn pets that kept DKs from ganking them in a different way: hunters would have to identify the tracks on the ground, follow them, and use flare to expose the hidden pet. This was a lovely and immersive way of handling a taming challenge and hunters answered the call, stalking these guys through the PTR and live servers.
You can find fantastic info about how exactly to find these guys in Kalliope's writeup on Petopia.
- Savage: White tiger found in the Jade Forest, leaving a trail of Bloody Tracks.
- Glimmer: Red water strider found in the Jade Forest, leaving a trail of Flooded Tracks.
- Patrannache: Pink crane found in the Valley of Four Winds, leaving a trail of Barely Visible Tracks.
- Bloodtooth: Red armored turtle found in the Krasarang Wilds, leaving a trail of Muddy Tracks.
- Rockhide the Immovable: Pink and aqua basilisk found in Townlong Steppes, leaving a trail of Worn Tracks.
- Bristlespine: Blue porcupine found in Kun-Lai Summit, leaving a trail of Puzzling Tracks.
- Stompy: Gray goat found in Kun-Lai Summit, leaving a trail of Heavy Tracks.
- Hexapos: Pink fed strider found in the Dread Wastes, leaving a trail of Mysterious Tracks.
- Portent: Quilen found in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, leaving a trail of Dusty Tracks.
- Bombyx: Purple silk worm found in the Krasarang Wild, leaving a trail of Heavily-Chewed Silkweed. You can find a guide to taming Bombyx here.
For those of you keeping count, that's 27 taming challenges ... more than we have stable slots. And of course this isn't counting the host of other rare spawns with unique colored skins.
The hunter pet taming challenges -- either through mechanics or scarcity -- have been a very successful design that is much beloved by many pet collecting hunters. When gamers are presenting with this kind of challenge, of course the first thing that occurs to many of them is: we want them all!
But then it's kind of cruel to put all these challenges in the game, but then not let the hunters keep the rewards. I think this list speaks clearly of the need for some kind of pet storage solution that allows hunters to hang onto more than 25 pets -- even if the solution is some kind of long-term storage like void storage.
Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter 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?