Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pet Control: Part five - Organizing your pet bar

This is the final post in the Pet Control guide - a long time coming, but better late than never!

Part 1 - Attack, Follow and Stay
Part 2 - Aggressive, Defensive and Passive
Part 3 - General pet abilities
Part 4 - Species-specific pet abilities

To begin: there are 4 slots for pet-specific spells on our pet bar.

For me, the 2 left-most slots are the easiest to reach (Ctrl-4 and Ctrl-5), so the abilities I have here are both important for timing and on long(ish) cooldowns, such as Ravage (for timed stuns in PvP) or Call of the Wild (to coincide with burst DPS - Heroism/trinkets/Beast Within etc).

The right-most slots, if not required for the more important pet spells, are either emergency spells such as Heart of the Phoenix or Last Stand, or abilities that I need to make sure aren't on autocast (due to the bug where pet spells turn autocast on and off randomly if not on your pet bar), such as Growl for my raiding pets and Cower for my tanking pets.

Spells that do NOT need to go on your pet bar include things like Bite/Claw/Smack and Cower or Growl (ie spells that can be left on autocast ALL the time).

Anything left over that needs to be cast manually and you can't fit onto your pet bar, you will unfortunately have to macro and pull onto your player bar.

Prioritizing pet abilities for the pet bar


Ferocity pets are almost always used for DPS and not much else. Almost all of their abilities can be left on or off autocast due to their short cooldown, so you generally won't have problems organizing these.

As an example, here's my raiding wolf's pet bar:

In order, I have Call of the Wild, Dash, Growl and Heart of the Phoenix.

Call of the Wild and Dash (for moving pet in and out quickly) are really the only two spells that I need on the bar, since they need to be cast at specific times. Every other spell (Furious Howl, for instance) is on a short enough cooldown for me not to have to watch it.

To fill the last 2 slots I chose Heart of the Phoenix so I don't have to look for it when my pet dies and Growl because you REALLY don't want that spell on autocast in the middle of a raid and not notice. If you have Lick Your Wounds, I'd put that on the bar instead of Growl.

Do make sure you watch your pet's Focus though - occasionally I've found Bite to be turned off (due to the autocast bug), so if you see that your pet isn't using up Focus like it should be, just check and make sure that all the pet spells are casting appropriately.


Depending on what purpose your Cunning pet has, you'll need to have a look at your most important spells.

For PvP, this is usually the species-specific spell, since most people choose PvP pets according to these - Ravage or Pin, for example. Of the family-specific spells, Dash, Bullheaded and Roar of Sacrifice are common in PvP specs; you may also have Roar of Recovery.

Wait a minute - that's too many for the pet bar!

Well, if you have all of these, the best one to macro and pull onto your player bar is Roar of Sacrifice. This is mainly because to cast the spell, you need to be targetting someone to cast it on them - using a mouseover, focus or specific player macro can be more useful than having to target someone manually to cast it from your pet bar.

As for Carrion Feeder, it's an out-of-combat talent and it's therefore not essential to have ready access to it. PvPers are unlikely to have this talent anyway, since there are more useful places to spend a talent point; if you're using your Cunning pet for farming you can rearrange your pet bar accordingly (have Growl/Cower on there and leave the species-specific spell on autocast, for example).


For me, this is the worst pet bar to organize in terms of how many active talents you can get.

In the talent tree, you can get Charge, Last Stand, Intervene, Taunt, Roar of Sacrifice and Thunderstomp all at the same time if you feel like it, plus your species-specific spell and general pet abilities.

Personally, I only use my tenacity pets for farming or difficult soloing. My turtle's bar therefore looks like this:

In order, Last Stand, Roar of Sacrifice, Growl and Shell Shield, leaving Thunderstomp on autocast (I don't have the other active talents; if I did they would replace Growl).

If you're PvPing with a Tenacity pet (a crab, for instance), you will definitely want to macro Intervene and Roar of Sacrifice for your player bar, with Charge and your species-specific ability (Pin for a crab) on your pet bar.

Well... that's it for the Pet Control guide, finally! Feel free to post questions/comments (or email me) if you think I haven't covered something and I'll make sure to get back to you.


Tirn, Galakrond said...

1st time reader, was referred over from outDPS.

A suggestion for more pet bar space. If you are using bartender or i'm sure another actionbar add-on, you can use an extra bar, let's say bar 10. For me it's usually disabled, I can enable it and macro every pet ability I want and then stick it in the action bar.

This is 2 extra spots. And if you want you can just change all the keybindings that are usually associated with the petbar to that new bar.

Tirn, Galakrond said...

Only downfall to this would be having to change it whenever you switched pets. But for me that's rare enough that I don't mind

Phyllixia said...

Good tip. I won't be using it myself as I don't use mods (besides the compulsory Omen/DBM for guild raids), but definitely an idea for people who do :)

Bond said...

I can't tell you how helpful this was! I'm a level 73 hunter and I actually never realized I could change the pet bar! DOH! I know, I know, how'd I get this far? Thanks so much for straightening me out. A question: I have cunning pet (something with wings I found in Feralas. Level 72. I'm mostly a solo quester player, and I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get my pet to hold aggro! Any good clues?

Brendel said...

First, misdirect to your pet. If you want a pet to do your tanking and have trouble with threat, a tenacity pet is the way to go. They have a couple additional threat-generating abilities beyond growl (taunt, thunderstomp). There's also a talent in their tree to increase the threat generation of growl (guard dog). Personally, I use a gorilla because I they have a spellcaster interrupt (pummel). The only downside to gorillas is that annoying ass-scratching animation.

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Anonymous said...

I'm having a problem my action bar of my pet is gon and I don't now how to put it back

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