Any hunters with questions they may have can drop me a line at:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


     Got my first email today, whoot! The sender asked not to be mentioned because he doesn’t want “to sound like a noob”.  I’ll respect your wishes but just know that imo the fact that you’re seeking knowledge and advice about your class makes you a smart hunter not a noob in that respect.  So with that said, on to the email.
The question is, “I just got the expansion and am excited to level again after having been away for a couple months.  What is the best tank pet right now that I should be leveling with?”
Great question.  While all the tenacity pets are designed to be a “tanking” pet I’ve found my top 2 picks are the bear and turtle.  Now there’s a lot of love out there for the crocolisk but I just don’t have time to carry around 3 tank pets and level em all so I’ll explain why I’ve passed over this guy in a bit.

     First of all the bear, the bear will be a great help not only as a tank but his swipe will help to add to your dps.  Now his special is not a full 360 effect but rather only a 180 so attackers from the rear won’t get the aggro from this.  But you have Thunderstomp in your talent tree to to help with this.  For single target tanking he’s just about the best you can do though.  Now to counteract the problem of swipe is simple, you’ve got misdirection which if used with the glyph of misdirection, which you should be using especially when leveling, will reset the cooldown if used on your pet.  Good deal!  Also if you’re dealing with an unusually large mob wait for the pet to get in there and get the aggro and if any pull away feign and reapply misdirect.  Keep in mind I would reapply misdirect anyway since you don’t have the cooldown knee capping you with the glyph.  Plus the bear has a great special ability Demoralizing Roar which reduces the enemy’s physical damage by 10%.

     Now the turtle is a great pet to keep with you as well.  He is a bit situation dependant because he doesn’t hold aggro as well as the bear but is more resilient imo.  His ability of Shell Shield which when activated bubbles him and reduces damage to him by 50% keeping him alive longer.  Great for extreme soloing or if you’ve got a quest against a difficult boss type target.  Again you can compensate for aggro loss with misdirection the same way that I stated before with the bear.  So if you find yourself in a situation where the bear is hard to keep up it’s nice to have the turtle on the bench to bring out when you need him.

     So I chose the bear over the croc because even though I’m sacrificing the extra aggro (the croc has a 360) there’s a way around it with misdirect and Thunderstomp, and I’m not losing dps.  The croc is definitely less damage per single or double targets than the bear.
Also check out Petopia for a complete listing of all the different bear and turtle looks available.  Hope this helps and welcome back to the game!  Good luck on your way to 85.

Anyone else with a question feel free to email me at


     This post started out a little differently with a lot more explanation on talent point placement.  But that was covered in detail in another excellent article.  I suggest you first read Furrious Raiders: The Ferocious Mk.2 by Slow Wolf before continuing.


       Ok so now you're back and you've got a good idea on where to put all those points and why.  We're concentrating this time around on ferocity pets in a PVE environment.  I was hoping for maybe some kind of a debate with this but PVE pet talents are really very straightforward.  As you read in Slow Wolf's post we are a dps machine.  When we're not trap dancing and helping to CC mobs or save the healer, our job is to lay down the damage fast and heavy.  And as you should already know, especially in BM, a good chunk of damage is coming from your pet.  And just like us our pet's have optimal and not so optimal talents.  Now in the article Furrious Raiders: The Ferocious Mk.2 you got a nice full explanation on what your points are doing and why you're putting them there.  Ok so why wouldn't you want the ones left out?

  • Great Stamina and Natural Armor: At fist glance you'd think "Hell, why wouldn't I want better armor and more stam for my pet? You guys are telling me I need my pet alive!"  Short answer is yeah,  you want to keep your pet up, but the percentage of health and armor gain from wasting points in these talents isn't going to give you the kinds of life saving returns you're hoping for. Certainly the returns you'll get from putting the points in dps talents far outweigh the minimal returns you'd get from these two abilities.   If that tiny extra bit of stam and armor is what is separating your pet from ripping a boss's head off or the pet pushing up daisies then you're in an "oh shit" moment and it's not going to make a difference.  Better to spend those points down the road to maximize your dps.
  • The rest of the unused talents, like Slow Wolf mentioned, are geared towards pvp.  Lionhearted, charge etc. none of the unused talents are going to offer ANYTHING beneficial in a PVE environment.   Just mouseover the talent and read 'em carefully and you'll see when something is geared towards stuns, movement impairing etc. it's for pvp.
  • Lick your wounds can lick my b*@#s, it's useless and you've already got mend pet.

        BM Alert!  Now Heart of the Phoenix is one hell of a talent.  I really want to emphasize this one because you're going to need it and you're going to be happy as a fat kid in a candy shop when you use it.  We've been pushing through content for awhile like nothing could stand in our way, mainly because for awhile, nothing could.  Speed runs were common and healers could keep up with whatever was being dished out.  Well new content has brought us back to heroic wipes and having to think and sometimes struggle a bit.  So I tell you now friends, your pet IS going to die.  But with Heart of the Phoenix you can get him right back up and into the mix.  A dead pet is a big loss for any hunter and HUGE for BM.  You just can't afford to get halfway into a fight and have Fluffy explode and hope to keep your numbers up. Specing BM is so pet dependent you just can't afford to lose your best friend.  Popping this ability isn't the same as revive pet at all, your pet will return instantly (no cast time) with FULL health.  

      The one thing I'd like to add is the use of macros.  Macros are beyond easy to do and you can find tons of useful hunter macros by just doing a hunter macro google search.  Personally I have a macro set up for each individual pet and swap em out depending on the pet, wolf, cat, core hound etc., onto a keybound space.  Here's an example:

#showtooltip Pet Attack
/cast Dash
/cast Rabid
/cast Furious Howl
/cast Call of the Wild
/cast Kill Command
     Now the first line is pretty standard in any macro the #showtooltip Pet Attack just labels your macro, you can name it what you like.  This one is for my wolf.  It's not something I constantly spam in a fight but gives a nice beginning burst along with your own starter cooldown abilities like rapid fire or beastial wrath.  When you hit it your pet will attack target full speed ahead with dash.  You force furious howl and call of the wild for the extra damage buffs.  And finally, pay attention BM, Kill Command.  Now you will have to hit this button again once the pet gets within melee range of the taget for Kill Command to work but that's fine, for me it frees up a button spot for just Kill Command on it's own.  Even if the other abilities are on cooldown, when Kill Command is up hitting the macro will set it off.   Plus you'll be kicking off the fight with some nice opening burst damage.  Combine this with an explosive trap launched in before the pet and you'll be sitting pretty.  Now certain pets have different abilities such as rabid that you can add in the /cast lines to make that macro specific to that pet.

Now the next installment of the pet talent tree post should be very interesting.   I hope the curious side of you raised and eyebrow at the end of Slow Wolf's post about cunning pets in PVE.  Oh yes they have their uses to be sure.  Remember in my post 3,2,1 Trap! when I talked about the spider and hyena in Lich King fights?  Hmmm, well has blizzard improved some of the cunning pets to do better dps while still keeping some nice pvp abilities that are useful in some fights?  Stay tuned..... MMUUHAHAHAHA!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Hmm what to do, what to do?
      One of the hunter class's strongest aspects (no pun intended) has been the huge online community of ours.  We have dedicated podcasts and blogs like no other class in the game.  However, one of the least talked about topics are the pet talent trees.  You can search high and low yet find very little to help newbie and veteran hunters alike about where to best place your pet's talent points.  Oddly enough this is a blog post I've been working at recently and noticed today on twitter that another established hunter blogger Slow Wolf is also working on a similar post.  This type of guide is long overdue and is one of the questions I get asked most in game by friends and fellow hunters. 

      Over the next week I will be working out a guide for the various pet types, (cunning, ferocity, & tenacity), their point placement, why, and the reason for pet macros.  I'll also have a special section on my opinion of points when leveling.        In the meantime you can catch up on the new pet abilities and buffs in my previous post  Holy Crit! and check out Petopia for a complete rundown of hunter pets and info.

     I look forward to comparing my ideas with what Slow Wolf has to say.  Make sure you don't miss his posts or mine on this well needed subject!  For updates join my follower list and my twitter link to the right, you can follow Slow Wolf on twitter here: Slow Wolf Twitter Page


Quick Hunter Pet Leveling Tip

If you don't want to bring an under level pet into a raid or instance then finding a spot where there's plenty to kill can be a problem.   Personally I like to bring a fully leveled pet into my groups as you won't level one as quick through a dungeon as you would in an area with tons of mobs.

In Wrath the best place to go out just to level up a pet was around in Sindragosa's fall.  All the mobs are level 80 and by the time you make a full pass around the ravine they'll respawn.  
Now in Cata I've found a terrific place to run your pet for some fast leveling.  In Twilight Highlands as soon as you arrive in Highbank just head a bit north to were all the mechanical mobs are and start killing.  make your way up and around the coastline and inland.  They're high enough level that you can get your pet to 85 in about an hour or so depending, if you just go on a killing rampage and don't stop to loot.  I'm on a high pop realm and I don't have a problem at all running into people questing that particular area any more, so it's pretty wide open.  By the time you make a full pass around there will be plenty of respawns  to continue on.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Happy Holiday to all of you in the Warcraft community.  

I would just like to take a minute and address my guild and wish all of you, my WoW family, a very happy, fun, and safe holiday.  As some of you know I came over to this server for the sole purpose of joining this guild.  Probably the best decision I ever made.  I would like to specifically thank Gorte, Beerrun, Carrierwave, Firemist and all the rest of you who made me  feel very welcomed from the very start.  On my old server I guild jumped quite a bit never finding the right group of nice, for lack of a better word, people.  All of you without exception have been the most helpful and generous people I have ever encountered in game.  Always going out of your way to include me in runs, help me with enchants, or give advice.  It is truly a rare thing to find such a mix of people in the game let alone in one guild.  I am proud and very happy to be a member of such an outstanding family.  So thank you again and always know that if I can ever do anything to help anyone just send me a tell.  Solace without a doubt lives up to it's reputation of "Random Acts of Kindness".

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3,2,1 Trap!

     As a whole we've been spoiled lately, easily plowing through content and tearing up dungeons one after another on speed runs.  Little attention was paid to mob types, why would we, they were usually dead before they could finish a cast bar.  Well CC is alive and well in Cataclysm. As hunters we're more support and utility than ever in some cases.  Personally, although there was the fun of bragging rights with stand and shoot and top the meter, it was getting boring.  I like challenge, and I like the fact that our class changes have made us more valuable.  We first started to see the move towards utility at the end of Wrath with the final Lich King dungeons and ICC. Blood beasts anyone?  The Saurfang fight is a perfect example.  Just before the blood beasts spawned our strat was to run up drop a slowing frost trap, disengage back and wait for the spawn.   Distracting shot, the spider goes in for the web, then burn him down mixing in concussive to slow and kite if necessary.  I was so happy when we first got to this fight and realized the mechanics involved, I was like, sweet, we have to use our brains again.  Later on when you got to the Lich King there was a little more of this with bringing the right pet.  Web wasn’t working on the Valks so I went out and trained a hyena for the tendon rip slow.  It worked like a charm and all in my group were happy.  It’s was a really fun time in the game for me.  I spent many times on the phone and in vent with my friend Andy (Daewin) as we worked out these strats for ourselves and went over the best pet choices.  Nowadays our pet choice is more important than ever, as I explained in the last post “Holy Crit!”

     Ok so what else do we have going on?  Concussive shot is one of the best slowing/kiting abilities in our arsenal. For those of you who didn't know, the cool down is practically equal to the duration.  So basically you could keep concussive up and kite something all day long.  Now I think the obvious benefits of this are clear and don't need much explanation. 

      Used to be our traps were a very defensive and reactive mechanic. But with the addition of trap launcher our cc abilities just before a pull are better than ever.  Freezing a caster or healer in a mob and saving him for the last kill has been one of my main jobs in my group.  And let’s not forget tossing in an explosive trap on a boss for an extra dps burst.  Trap launcher is a bit of a clunky mechanic and not exactly a quick ability to get off in the thick of things, but good timing on your part will make it worthwhile.  After the tank goes in and you’re waiting those few seconds for him to build up aggro, get that launcher ready, aim, and before you attack with your regular rotation let it fly.   Now imo the other duty for us is to help protect our casters and healers.  We’re all ranged classes but we hunters have much more flexibility to get out of shit than they do for the most part. Getting our fellow dpsers and especially our healers out of trouble should always be a main concern.  A well-placed explosive trap will cause enough damage and threat to mobs going after our teammates to pull them onto us.  Toss in a distracting shot if you need to and get your ass moving.  If they’re easy kills, kite em and burn em.  Switch to aspect of the fox in this situation unless they’re fast movers then you may have to pop into cheetah.  Drop a slowing ice trap to help keep em at bay.  If you can wipe em out without too much trouble by all means do so, if it’s going to be you kiting all day long on something that should be with the main or off tank, drag em over there misdirect and feign. 
     Like I said we’ve really been spoiled with a lot of stand in once spot and watch the ridiculous numbers on recount for quite awhile.  Utility is back baby, dust off your brains and get back to thinking on your feet.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I’ve been getting a lot of questions from fellow hunters lately about how dramatically our stats have changed, not to mention a startling dps loss on the road to 85.  So I’m going to put your minds at ease, take a deep breath everything is going to be fine.
First off agility is still our prime stat and you should be gemming and going after agility loaded gear still.  Agility is still giving you attack power and crit bonus. 
However,  if you’re not hitting your target none of that is going to mean a whole lot.  Yes boys and girls our hit cap has gone up and gone up a shit load!  Try about 700 more points to hit cap.  Yes to reach our new raid goal hit cap of 8% you’ll need 961 (841 for Drenei) to hit a raid boss.   Now this doesn’t mean you need to start reforging and gemming for hit straight away at level 81, 82 etc.  Blizzard implemented a nice little feature in our character pane that when you hover over your hit rating it will give you your current miss percentage for level appropriate mobs depending on what level you’re at.  

The quest, reputation and JP gear is really quite good and will quickly get you moving along to where you need to be.  Plus if you find yourself getting behind at all a quick trip to the reforger can carry you along till the next upgrade is attained. 
Now as for our secondary stats, which is where all the questions seem to be arising from  especially now that we can reforge items:
The debate about crit and mastery is still ongoing with plenty of well known community hunters doing testing.  As far as returns go crit seems to be more beneficial than mastery right now.  Not by a huge margin only within a slim percentage point, but if you’re min maxing you’ll want to keep an eye on these as you replace gear.  Now I realize due to the stat changes that happened during the last patch that you noticed your crit dropped by a huge margin.  Again breath easy, I know it’s a huge change but it is across the board to all of us hunters and isn’t anything you did or need to worry about.  Like I said your gear upgrades just from leveling will be substantial and carry you into heroics.
I’m not going to go into confusing in depth number calculations and percentages instead I’ll give you a simple rundown on what’s going on.  In BM 1 mastery is giving us about a .75% increase to overall dps whereas crit is a just a hair more than a 1% flat dps increase for each point.  In SV mastery gets 1% on magical damage, but doesn’t apply towards auto shots, kill shot, or pet dps numbers.   Crit however gives 1% to all of these.  So feel free to reforge into some crit over mastery right now, even if you didn’t have mastery on anything you still get 8% because that’s the baseline to start anyhow.  I recommend playing around with reforging crit and mastery numbers and testing on the dummy to see how your own numbers are stacking up.  It’s easy to just read online about who’s doing what and copy them, but doing a little of your own testing will help you see for yourself how it’s affecting you. 
MM is still a viable spec but right now it isn’t top dog over SV anymore, at least for now.  So my recommendation is to have a BM and SV spec until they let us triple spec.  BM for questing/soloing and in case your 5 man needs a buff from an exotic.  And SV for dungeons and raids. 
Real quick, I mentioned above about possibly running BM in a group for buffs, well as most of you already know many of our pets now grant group buffs similar to what other classes bring to a raid.  For example let’s say you’ve got a 5 man going and there’s no Shaman, uh oh no heroism.  Not so fast, just bring out the core hound and they have an ability called ancient hysteria that when you pop it will have everyone in the group asking “Holy crap where did heroism come from!?”  Here is a list of the raid buffs and abilities for the pets, happy hunting!

Ferocity Hunter Pet Buffs
  • Agility and Strength: cat, spirit beast (exotic)
  • Burst Haste: corehound (exotic)
  • 5% crit: wolf, devilsaur (exotic)
  • 12% armor debuff: raptor
  • 30% bleed damage: hyena
  • Cast speed reduction: corehound (exotic)
  • 10% melee attack speed reduction: tallstrider, fox
Cunning Hunter Pet Buffs
  • Health: silithid (exotic)
  • 12% armor debuff: serpent
  • Cast speed reduction: sporebat
  • 4% physical damage taken: ravager
  • 8% spell damage taken: dragonhawk, wind serpent
  • 10% physical damage: carrion bird
Tenacity Hunter Pet Buffs
  • 5% stats: shale spider (exotic)
  • 10% physical damage: bear
  • 30% bleed damage: rhino (exotic), boar
  • 4% physical damage taken: worm (exotic)

References: & Petopia

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


If you’re lucky enough to be playing on a nice big wide monitor then screen real estate is not that big of a problem for you.  Smaller screens and especially laptops can become a cluttered mess really fast and really easily.  I experimented with several pre-made UI's such as Spartan and Nui, but none of them ever gave me "the whole package" when it came down to my personal wants and particular needs. Especially playing on a 15.4 screen on my MacBook Pro.  A decent viewing area and an unobtrusive  UI was paramount. So I wanted semi-minimalistic but visually nice too.  So I figured if you want one done right for you, ya gotta do it yourself.

I wanted to find just the right mix of aesthetics, functionality and organization.

I've gone as minimal as I can without sacrificing non essential key bound buttons like food and mounts that aren't super necessary to have as buttons but they cater nicely to everyday laziness.  The one thing that really helped to open up extra space was by placing recount on top of omen and then set recount to hide in combat and show out of combat. Then set omen for the opposite.  IMO if you know your class, rotation and spec well you don't need to be staring at recount in a raid, attention should be at the job at hand.
My action bar is easily seen to watch cooldownds, with all other bars below very visible and easy to figure out.  I’ve shrunk my pet bar just above the pet’s frame, most of his important abilities are macro’d anyway so it’s not like I need to be clicking on them.
I've kept my unit frames easy to see, and placed in the main middle frame.  Whereas my raid and party frames show in the upper left and take up very little space, after all I'm not a healer so I just need to really know who my tanks are and how they're doing. Chocolate bar is a great add on that is still supported and updated with a lot of great add ons to attatch to it such as switching specs with just a mouse click on the bar.
Sexymap stays stock with it's  plain square map tucked up there in the top right corner.
I went with xperl for the unit frames not only because of it's massive customization but the vanity part of me wanted something cool looking as well.  There is an option to have your character displayed as a small 3D image.  Again, nothing super practical but I'm going for a nice visual feel when I'm playing.
Now one of my favorite add ons is tidy plates.  Tidy plates is very configurable, from just having a simple cool looking frame to having it display debuffs.  As you can see on the right are my shot debuffs, serpent sting, concussive shot etc.  They are also displayed right above the target for easy checking to see when they drop without taking your eyes off the fight.
Now I understand that disabling the default UI and starting from scratch can be very intimidating but it’s actually made quite easy with kg panels and bartender 4.  KG panels is not a very user friendly add on to just load and play with however there are some great youtube tutorials here by cychow and redmist. :
Here is a combat sceen in action showing omen and the debuffs with tidy plates :

And here is an out of combat with recount showing :

Here are where the raid frames show, very unobtrusive and out of the way:

All in all I think I've accomplished making something that isn't only somewhat visually appealing but also has a logical layout to it that lends to helping gameplay not hindering it.

Addons used:
Bartender 4
Bison for buff bar
Button facade
MIK Scrolling Text
Chocolate bar (with adds)
Tidy Plates

Thursday, December 9, 2010


     Let me just start off by saying I'm no choir boy. Before I transferred to my current home on the Zul'jin pve server I came from a pvp server.  Now if you're on a pvp server this post isn't for you. Hey, we knew the risks of rolling on a pvp realm.  Ganking, camping and griefing was all in a day's play over there.  I know I was the cause of many a player's headache and their reason for having to make a run from the graveyard. I ganked unsuspecting horde that ventured into the wrong area.  I've camped graveyards and bodies when it was strategic for whatever was going on.  But I never stuck it to anyone so bad they'd rather perform self dentistry than play for one more minute.
The term is griefing.  Basically causing someone so much damn aggravation they'd beat you with their keyboard and strangle you with the mouse cord if they could get a hold of you in real life.  Now I'm not pointing fingers at those of you in bg's or if you're pummeling some tool for invading your city.  The asshats that are getting pointed at, with my middle finger, are those that just don't know when enough is enough.
      Ok, so for example, like I said I'm now on a pve server. If I want to pvp I can flag myself, run out into the world and let the chips fall where they may.  But when it's off, it's off for a reason, I'm questing, exploring, gathering, whatever it is I'm not wanting to be bothered with pvp action.  So with that in mind here's what ticked me off enough to devote a post to the subject.  We've all been waiting with great anticipation for this latest exciting new expansion to hit.  Thousands of new quests, awesome looking new zones, and so much to explore!  We all wanted to dive in and see it all and get to work on leveling our toons.  But some people don't want to spend their precious hours questing they want to travel in packs, flagged for pvp and stand in the middle of mobs just waiting for you to aoe or hit 'em by accident. Really?! No, really?! Your actual idea of fun and the way you want to spend the first days of the expansion is too stand around and make people miserable in a game they love?  Yeah I got caught by this trap, rez'd flew out and waited my 5 minutes then went about my business carefully.  But I watched as one by one unsuspecting players were driven nuts not being able to get through their quests.  One poor bastard either didn't realize what was going on or just really wanted to finish up, was torn up 6 times before he left for good.  Grats jackasses, you succeeded in making someone hate their time in a game they like to play.  Come on people!  Show some common decency and a bit of consideration for your fellow WoW players.  Would you want it done to you?  There is so much incredible new content for all of us to enjoy, please don’t ruin it for another person.
     Now if you’re being griefed like this don’t take a bat to your monitor, grab a screen shot and write down the toon names of the offender(s) and report them.  Blizzard will take steps, especially on an rp or pve servers, to discipline this type of activity.  Believe me, I’ve seen them do it.  
Good luck to you all on your journeys to 85.


Hello fellow WoW players and welcome to my blog.  Cataclysm is in full swing and I just can't get enough of the new zones.  I'm bouncing around like a fat kid in a candy store running back and forth to see all the great additions.  Whether you're a raider, quester, or pvper I will try to have something for everyone in the future.  I'm not the type to have dry content and from time to time I will throw some numbers and stats at ya, but for the most part I'll be blogging about my own personal accounts and views.  I'll try not to offend anyone, but I love this game and am very passionate about it so try to take my posts in stride.  So without further rambling, here it is....