Five Reasons You Want To Heal My Pet

In this post, Amava of Amava Knows Aggro looks at the often underhealed Hunter pet and why they should be extended heals.

Hello, my name is Amava. I’m a raiding Hunter who transferred to the Ner’Zhul server to join Conquest shortly after WotLK was released. As a damage-dealing player, I’ve been a long time reader of World of Matticus because knowledge of the whole spectrum of specialties and roles helps build the foundation for a successful raid. When Matt put out his Guidelines for Guest Posters, and specifically called out a Hunter post as "lets not go there", I just had to plead my case to the healing community.


Awareness of your fellow raiders’ strengths, weaknesses, needs, and desires helps make you a better member of your team. Over the next few minutes, I’ll hopefully convince you that any mana and GCD’s that you can spare for a Hunter’s pet directly helps the raid succeed. Let’s explore five reasons you want to keep an eye on those critters…

Say it with me: D. P. S.

If you raid, I’m willing to bet you enjoy dead bosses. There’s a million and one factors that go into killing a boss, and one that stands out very visibly is the need for enough damage per second to bring the mobs health to zero before the Enrage Timer dings. The pet of a Hunter of any spec brings a solid chunk of DPS to the raid. If the Hunter is a Beast Master, even more so. WWS reports show BM pets doing 45-50% of the Hunter’s total damage. Take for example a recent Conquest raid on Patchwerk in Heroic Naxxramas. Two BM Hunters. Two kitties. Two Thousand DPS. Each. Actually, closer to 2.2k each, but that didn’t fit nicely with my Two-Two-Two structure. Bottom line: Hunter pets bring massive DPS to your raid. Please help keep them alive.

Buffs and Debuffs

One of the most important parts of raiding is having a solid Raid Composition. There is a plethora of raid buffs and boss debuffs that all work together to boost the performance of your raid of 25 unbuffed toons to the equivalent of 28-29 toons. Ghostcrawler says, "Bring the player, not the toon." Blizzard has given a variety of options for fulfilling each of the buff/debuff categories which is outstanding from the perspective of a Raid Leader trying to get a team together, and Hunter pets only serve to increase the flexibility. I’d like to modify GC’s statement, "Bring the player [and the pet], not the toon." Since patch 3.0.2, there are a number of options for a Hunter to bring if your raid is lacking a particular capability. Some examples are a boost to the Attack Power of nearby players, a reduction in the armor level of the boss, or make the boss miss its next attack (tanks and healers should love this one). Dead pets bring no buffs or debuffs, so please help keep our pets alive. Communication is the key to a successful team, so I encourage you to discuss with your Hunters to see what special abilities their pets are bringing to the raid.


Everybody loves animals. Even animal haters, deep down inside, love animals. The haters are probably just harboring spite from a single bad encounter, and are irrationally prejudiced against the whole Animal Kingdom. I mean, even the Grinch has a dog. But I digress. It’s something primal; something instinctual from our roots. We love animals. There’s a subtle and subconscious benefit to your raid. It boosts morale seeing those fuzzy wuzzy pets charging off to battle, or just yawning and fidgeting while they patiently wait for everybody to stop going /afk. They’re also cute as hell when they accidentally go off and aggro the next pack of mobs or two. Blame the Hunter, not the pet.


Ever since patch 3.0.2, some Hunter pets make outstanding tanks. There are a whole slew of options, but most notable ones are Gorillas, Bears, and Rhinos. Before WotLK’s release, at level 70 there were reports of pets main tanking Gruul. At level 80, I’ve used my Gorilla to solo Utgarde Keep and nearly all of The Nexus. They are quite sturdy, can be spec’ed to resist lots of magical damage, and generate a respectable level of threat. In a raid environment, if you need to occupy the attention of a mob or two, a Hunter’s tanking pet brings some fantastic flexibility to your team. Just like the official tanks, our pets are going to need some love from the Healers. Do keep in mind that a tanking pet won’t deliver as much DPS as a ferocity pet, and I’m unaware of any reasonable way to make my pet uncrittable, but they do provide more options to your Raid Leader, which can be priceless in a pinch.

Spirit Bond

Here’s one that should really hit home for a Healer who wants to boost her numbers and top the healing meters. Mid-way through the Beast Master talent tree is a talent called Spirit Bond. Putting 1/2 points in this talent boost all healing that both the Hunter and the Pet receive by 5/10%. On the surface, it does not really look like a raiding talent, because it doesn’t directly boost DPS at all. However, the BM tree is a little messed up, and Hunters often find themselves with one or two points that really have no nice home, but need to go somewhere to allow access to the sweet and juicy talents deeper in the tree. Any mana you invest into a Hunter’s Pet will boost your individual return by 10% if that Hunter goes 2/2 in Spirit Bond. Communication is the key to a successful team, so I encourage you to discuss with your Hunters to see where they put their points.

Wrap Up

This is my top five reasons you want to heal my pet. Whether its raw numbers-based action or the softer side of a cuddly belly to pet between wipes, we all win when you keep our pets alive. What other reasons are there for keeping our furry friends alive? Or are you one of the haters who’d rather sit outside the FSR for just one more cooldown than lift a finger to help a kitty out?

Image courtesy of clix

53 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Want To Heal My Pet”

  1. Every time I heal a pet and get thanked, all I can think is “Why are you thanking me? Its my job.” With interfaces, like grid, that line pets up just like every other party member and show buffs, debuffs, range, etc, just like every other party member – there is no excuse to not be healing pets. You are absolutely correct that healing a pet is a valuable, not burdensome, use of a global cooldown, and is something every healer should be doing. Heck, I heal hunter pets, warlock minions, and summoned elementals on light healing fights!

    Thanks for a great post!

    Aertimuss last blog post..Wrath Resto Druid Trinkets (With a Focus on Mana Regen Trinkets)

  2. I heal pets, however, I feel that most hunters could be a LOT better about preventing damage on their pets. Most treat their pet almost like a dot, while they need a lot more micromanagement.

    Last night for instance I remember pets needing massive healing because they were standing in Grobbulus´ poison novas half the time, and we must have had like nine pet deaths on Kel´Thuzad due to void zones. (also one wipe due to a hunter using his pet on skelletons lol). Yes that means you´ll have to maintain situational awareness on both yourself and your pets, but don´t just expect me to piss away mana at it if you can´t be bothered to properly manage it.

  3. Yep. While I do heal pets gladly, I do agree with Tarqon. If you leave your pet where he’s going to get smashed, I’m not going to go balls to the wall to keep him healed. Thankfully most hunters I run with are pretty smart and it’s not an issue. And if their pet dies I rarely hear a QQ.

  4. Working in room for pets would require a major revision of my user interface … sorry, but it’s not going to happen 🙂

    Screen space for a healer is a limited commodity.

  5. I leveled my holy paladin with a bm hunter. The pet was the tank. I will heal hunter pets and gladly. Most especially if the hunter is aware of situational issues. Like mobs attacking me and the pet comes to my rescue. I do ask that if you are going to be offtanking with the pet let me know first. Communication is key 🙂

  6. As a raiding priest (and healing lead) who also does a pretty decent job of playing a BM hunter, I am going to take very serious issue with Shaejin. You would not be welcome in my raid if you are that intractable.

    It sounds like you may be using the standard unmodified Blizzard interface for healing. That’s mistake #1. And if it’s my mistake in incorrectly assuming that’s what you’re doing, then please, visit PlusHeal and ask for some assistance in setting up your UI properly. (By properly, I mean so you can effectively heal EVERY member of your raid–including hunter pets and warlock minions.) (I don’t know about DK minions, since I have yet to do even a 5-man with a DK yet–we just don’t have them in our guild, and the few pugs I’ve done haven’t had a DK either.)

    There is no excuse for not having room in (for example) Grid or Xperl for pets. I’m sorry, but your argument is as specious as saying “I don’t heal gnomes because they’re so small, or Belfs because they are snooty.”

    And yes, I do heal hunter pets. But I also pay attention to whether the hunters are regularly renewing Mend Pet (BMs: If you think I’m going to Cure Disease on your pet, think again; that one is YOUR responsibility).

    Kestrels last blog post..My First Commenter: A Retrospective

  7. I have to say, I loved this post as a holy priest. I usually run w/ a BM Hunter, so I feel your pain. Luckily for me, he sits right next to me, so if necessary, a quick “pop a heal on doggie” works wonders.

    Doggie, however, is my best friend. He takes aggro off me when no one else will, and if I let him die, (on accident of course), there is no whining, no “i couldn’t even get one heal”…just a quick rez and back to eating monsters.

    This is also where a dps meter comes into play. Right before the first boss, I look at the dps meter, and that sets my healing priorities. If doggie out dps’s you…sorry….but he’s my priority – unless Heart of the Phoenix is not on CD. Again, this is where communication comes into play.

  8. I actually enjoy healing pets.

    We have a pet in our guild that is kind of the guild mascot. The Hunter that has it is also our GM and says that Albus (that is the Bear’s name) is really the power behind the throne. In fact, sometimes in raids, I will actually rez the bear before other people in the raid just to make everyone laugh.

    Not only is Albus and the other Hunter pets good for morale, like you said, but Albus is one of our means of Crowd Control in level 80 instances. He is specced through his pet talents to be able to do that, so he does very well when is put up there to tank a mob. We enjoy having him around and he does a great job at Off-tanking when we need him to do so.


  9. Let me play devil’s advocate. I played a raiding BM hunter in BC up to sunwell before switching with LK to my priest.

    If you are raiding a BM then your pet should at least have food buffs going on it for the raid. If you ferocity spec with your pet there are plenty of talents in there to help reduce the healing needs of your dps machine. Its your pet I expect you to watch its health too. You have mend for a reason, use it first.

    I think I just have bad luck with hunters lately. The last raid I went on one of the hunter’s forgot her pet. BM spec and didn’t bring her pet…*smacks head into wall* Which is on par with the BM hunter I went to BT with who brought a lvl 50 pet. I have no patience for bad hunters. Its that twitch you get when you know better and can’t belive they don’t. Such as not putting your pet on aggressive in a 5man and then blaming it on Bloodthirsty Talent when he runs ahead and pulls the next grp while I’m sitting there drinking my mana back. You know who you are.

    Devils advocating aside-I will toss your kitty a heal. Only because I loved every healer that healed my kitty. However if you bring something ugly its at a cointoss. Because <3 the cuddly, damn the rest! 😉

  10. Seems like some diverse opinions on heals for pets.

    One of the things I like that’s consistent through the responses here is that even the animal lovers expect a Hunter to know how to handle his/her pet properly. Just like you’d hate to waste mana on people who needlessly stand in the fire, you’d hate to have to tend to a poorly-managed pet.

    @Pookie – through TBC, I raided with Condoleezza the Ravager, who is decidedly not cuddly. But she tore through the bosses with zest and the raid loved her for it 🙂

    My new companion is Princess Vespa the Cat (Cursed Offspring of Harkoa) and although feline, she’s got a naughty feel to her that makes mobs cringe.

    Amavas last blog post..Guest post on Matticus

  11. @ Amava: sorry to be a jerk but this is a fairly worthless article. Yes if the pet is tanking you heal it. No, I’m not healing your damn pet in a raid. If it’s low on health then Mend Pet or call it back and bandage. In 5 mans I’ll toss a Renew or even in 10 man but 25 raids is where I draw the line. I don’t care if my interface can handle a pet health bar – it’s not my pet, it’s not my job.

    And I sure as hell won’t heal it simply because it’s cuddly.

  12. 😉


    But at the same time it’s a situational issue. Of course heals should be tossed to a pet in certain situations. But a comment like Kestrel’s (how healers who refuse to heal pets will “not be welcome in my raid”) is just bad leadership. I still remember some badass hunter whining about how if only he had gotten the Innervate instead the priest, Ragnaros would have gone down faster (I’ve heard mages say the same; “but evocation cuts into my DPS…”) Coming from a healing perspective, I find it ridiculous that a hunter (or any DPS) would have to make an argument for extra heals from my mana pool. The extra mana/time it would take to Mend Pet and/or bandage will not hurt your DPS *that* much.

    Without devolving into “worthless comment” mud slinging I am simply perplexed as to why/how such a non-issue would make it onto this blog. Obviously I’m here (and willing to link my toon’s name) to draw some priestly advice from a deep well; healing tricks for Naxx, gear assistance, trinket rotation etc.

    I just don’t see why it’s so important to heal “kitty” when 24 other players need my attention even more so. The post/article just doesn’t make a strong enough argument why raid heals should juggle one more health bar on top of all the management issues (FSR, trinkets etc.)

    Perhaps I’m just jaded by one too many bad experiences of DPS asking why they didn’t get healed while they stood in the fire… “But it gives me a BUFF!”

  13. everytime an aoe heal heals a pet and not a player a die a little inside as a priest.

    please… with the upcoming BM nerf just spec survival and do us all a favor.

    I’m reallly realllllly not trying to be mean, but they take alot of aoe damage, and when they are dead they kill your dps, also sucking up valuable heals from say that ret pally keeping replentishment up for the dps and healers.

    I go out of my way to not heal via aoe til your pets are dead in alot of boss fights. sapphron and KT and maylgos come to mind. oh and glob too!

    they are cute and fuzzy but can drain the life right out of a group. and if a boss is so easy that they live, or trash and they live? who needed them in the first place.

  14. @ Zeebaeatah – you may as well say “oh, i won’t heal an enhancement shaman or a ret paladin – they can heal themselves, that’s their job”.

    Sure, don’t necessarily heal a hunter pet to the detriment of a player, but ignoring them when you’ve got spare GCDs and mana? That’s just pointless, and does your raid no favours.

    Sihas last blog post..Tis The Season

  15. I am truly amazed at how many healers refuse to heal pets, or just don’t even know the pets exist. I have run with some amazing healers, and they never ever ever throw a heal on the pets.

    Pets are a valuable part of the raid. They add a lot of DPS. The faster you kill the boss the the less your mana has to last. I could see not wanting to heal pets if someone told to heal the MT, but if you are raid healing and the pets are part of your raid you should heal them. Obviusly if it is a choice between a pet and a player who is actually adding something to the raid you can watch the pet die with glee. However you should never ever let a pet die when you have the GCD and mana to save it. In Naxx 25 with no Naxx gear I have no problems healing all the pets keeping a lifebloom stack on the tank and healing the raid. I have yet to meet a situation where I go oom and it was not my fault for wasting many casts where my fellow healers could have covered the deficit easier.

    For example the first few times I did Malygos I had to innervate and pot and still went oom. The next few tries I didn’t pot and didn’t use innervate and never went oom. No pets or players died on our ten man with 2 locks and 2 hunters.

    The way it seems to me is some people wanna just face roll and get epics, and some people wanna try to get better.

  16. some people recognize pets for what they are.

    personal farming tools.

    I can and do easily replace that BM hunter with a much more useful and less draining mage. there problem solved.

  17. Though I appreciate the information, I will still likely not take any gcd’s to heal pets, or time taken away from the 5 second rule. If you have pets tanking, actually no, pets shouldn’t be tanking anything worth mentioning to heal about.

    If my chain heal hits it, great.

  18. I think Zee totally doesn’t get healing. At least I hope that’s his (her?) excuse.

    I guess I thought it went without saying (this being a healing blog and all) that as a Healer, I (and, I hope, every other healer in a raid) doles out heals under a priority, or triage, system.

    Just for the sake of argument, let’s take a 10-man Naxx raid with 3 healers: Holy (CoH) priest, resto druid, and healadin.

    I’ll assign myself or the healadin to the MT; the other of us is responsible for the OT (when there’s an OT requirement). The Tree has general raid responsibility, as do the other two of us, and, if necessary, the boomkin. But our FIRST responsibility is the Main Tank. Then ourselves, then the rest of the raid. Pets are at the bottom of the pecking order (assuming the other DPS are pulling their share of the load).

    I’ve yet to see a fight where, if I have time to HoT a DPS or fellow healer, I can’t also throw a renew on pet. But if there’s a decision to be made between the hunter, his pet, or the mage, the pet’s not even in the equation. (I’ve yet to see a pet do a single point of damage after its master/mistress is dead.)

    But if you CAN heal a pet, and don’t, simply because you “don’t feel like it” then no, I sure as hell do NOT want you in my raid. Likewise, if you, as a hunter, don’t keep your Mend Pet active, then by the same token, you are unwelcome.

    Healing for a raid means exactly that; it does NOT mean “healing some of the group” or even “most of the group.”

    One last comment, for discombobulate: So you’d give up, say, 5K DPS from a BM Hunter, for maybe 3.5K DPS from a mage? Just so you don’t have to heal the pet?

    Kestrels last blog post..My First Commenter: A Retrospective

  19. and that mage will provide alot more add control in a fight such as gluth, than your pet will.

    and its dps won’t go to hell in a fight like saph, now if you were specced survival… putting replentishment on the raid, and not pet dependent… hmm ok i’ll sacrifice some of your dps for you to provide mana to the group, keep an aoe heal from healing cuddly the kitty instead of the ret pally in melee range, and since BM is about to get nerfed, it may be time to reconsider your spec.

    I’m not saying I NEVER heal a pet, if I have time mana and the GCD I do, its common sense, and often its in a fight that the pet doesn’t make a differnece one way or another.

    so yes, I’ll take that mage, or a survival hunter.

    its not about the work dear. I play the most versitile and in order to be good, complex healers in the game. every move is considered, granted I can faceroll through trash with coh, but a priest is much more involved than a three button pally spamming mad heals.

    anticipation and mitigation is often a key, even as holy.

    and your pet I could give a rats ass about.

  20. Like he said, it’s all about priority. I don’t want to hear about your pet when others are taking damage. Hell, I don’t like hearing “heal XXX” unless its on the MT or something to focus my attention.

    Don’t compare dps classes like that, because situations differ dramatically between the few. Yeah, (a) mage may not do as much DPS as a geared BM hunter right now, but he brings quite a bit to the table still. I think the reasons listed in the post really didn’t matter to much and I thought it to be much more of a joke post to be honest.

  21. I’m just glad that
    #1 – Our very skilled hunters know how to handle their pets (DK’s may have some learning to do :D)

    #2 – I don’t have to put up with holier than thou players talking about classes like the person behind the keyboard doesn’t matter. It really seems like these comments are spiced with personal experiences, but your mileage may vary!

    I know mages that can pull 4k dps on test dummies in IF (pulled 6k on P-werk) and BM hunters that can’t pull their pets from in front of Malygos (thanks for the wipe!). I’ve also never seen a pet die to a Frost Breath. Thanks Avoidance! Are they considered useless on Saph because of the frost aura?

  22. Wow – I didn’t expect such a stir over a random comment about pet healing.

    @ Siha (I’ve inferred this is the way to address people in these comments ; )

    Amongst the healers in our guild there is a hierarchy of importance and pets come low on that totem pole. I’m not going to repeat my prior argument (on such a banal issue) but I do expect a shammy or pally to heal/bubble themselves at times. Who remembers Zul’Jin and the horrid Eagle Phase of madness? Bandages, pots and light wells were the only way to safely heal up without getting zapped – it’s EVERYONE’S responsibility to do what they need to stay alive, not just the healer’s. I think this is my point – some raiders get it in their head that their survival (or their pet’s) is someone else’s job and that’s just not true.

    AOE is killing the cat? Pull him back. Pet low on health? Bandage/mend. Sometimes AOE damage is necessary (Four Horsemen etc.) and it’s understandable but in frenetic fights I think it’s unreasonable to expect a healer to track raid number 26, 27, 28 etc. when so much is already going on.

  23. @ Kestrel (this is such an awkward way of addressing people).



    Does that work better?

    Yes, I (he, dude, man, guy) do “totally” get healing. I have a Benediction and carpal tunnel to prove it – I continue to heal w/ holy spec for raids and heroics with shadow. I wouldn’t be here or roaming about Ego’s site or any of these other priestly blogs if I wasn’t trying to add more tools to my healing belt (or shadow belt for that matter).

    The issue isn’t “I’m a jerk. Screw the pet.” but instead about survivability and personal responsibility. There are comments here about how healing a pet isn’t that big of a dent on my mana pool but that isn’t the only issue – it’s that expectation that the healer (who is watching more health bars, cooldowns, trinkets, fire on the ground, enrage timers… you name it, than any other player) should also heal the pet in the fire, or slime, or lava or… My concern is that I’m not going to put the pet health bar up in Healbot because it’s one more thing I don’t want to juggle especially on a 25 man where there is (come on admit it) a smorgasbord of stuff for the healer to do.

    I see there are numbers thrown about for how much DPS the pet is doing.

    Ok, fine, it’s doing tremendous DPS but getting hurt.

    Call it back, get it out of the Charred Earth, Mend Pet, Bandage and then get it back in.

    Do you heal the melee through Dark Smash (“BUT MAI DEEPS IS HOOG!”), did you heal them through Prince’s Shadow Nova?

    The idea of tossing a renew to a pet is fine but an entire article explaining that a pet’s cuteness factor increases morale and thus its death will hinder a raid? That’s just infantile. Encouraging healers to do a Hunter’s job of healing their pet because Mend Pet/Bandage will lower their DPS? Inconceivable!

  24. @ Amava
    I am glad you have given into the way of the kitty 🙂 Fluffy goodness for all!

    Personally I took the morale and cuteness as very tongue-in-cheek. Which maybe is how the entire post is? But you have to admit it sparked debate, and for that alone it wins the good post award.

    They will nerf BM, look at the numbers and readjust. Look at Shadow Priests, it wasn’t that long ago I was told my priest had to go holy because shadow was a joke compared to a retadin or survival hunter. Thats changed and those same ppl are shadow again. So its like a pendulum, swing OP, swing Nerf, Swing…you get me or well the point at least 🙂

  25. Kestrel:

    I’m sorry, but your reply was rude and not in the least bit helpful.

    “I’m sorry, but your argument is as specious as saying “I don’t heal gnomes because they’re so small, or Belfs because they are snooty.””

    That’s a nonsensical reply.

    In order to move pet bars easily into my field of view, something else would have to be moved … this would get impact my ability to navigate around in encounters. I would need to reconfigure my entire custom UI. Would I be willing to do this if it was a priority? Certainly. But I’m effective with my current setup and don’t intend to change it in order to keep track of raid member pets, unless it becomes clear that this deficit is harmful to raid progression.

    This is the concept I was (and am) trying to get across: it’s not simply a matter of ‘healing the hunter’s pet’. There are other considerations and tradeoffs.

    Perhaps I should have elaborated more on this point yesterday, but that’s no justification for the tone of your response.

  26. I can’t believe we’re in 3.0 and there are still healers who won’t heal pets – as if the pet is not part of the class. The player is behind the pet as much as the character – more like that player has 2 avatars rather than one. It’s not like “oh that’s not a real player it’s just a pet” no the player controls and is behind both avatars.

    Most pet classes have a high synergy with their pet (depending on spec), if it dies the group is gimped. BM hunters can lose 40% of their dps, for the class that’s at the top of the meters right now, that is a huge chunk of dps gone from the raid – not to mention the group buffs pets provide.

    Obviously since most classes can bring their pets back in combat, we can allow pets to die if we’re busy with healing others – that’s simple triage.

    Yes yes they pet owner has to be smart, etc etc, that all applies. It also applies to non pet classes – if a player does something dumb I’ll use tough love regardless if it’s a pet or the 2 legged avatar. That is immaterial to the argument since it applies to everyone not just pet classes.

    Shaejin : kestrel’s reply was spot on. I long ago configured my UI to show pets and I still have plenty of room. You’ve had 3 years, in all that time you decided it was just too much work? Saying it would take time is not a reason. There is a saying “saying you don’t have time is not a statement of fact, it’s a confession of priorities”

  27. The point that I’m hearing is: “Huntards cannot be trivialized with healing their own pets at the cost of lower DPS (because hunters have, at the moment, topped the charts.)”

    If mages were at the top would you justify an innervate because an 8 second evocation (the same length of time to bandage a pet) cuts into the DPS rotation?

  28. I know this is a little off track…but what exactly constitues a huntard? I’ve never quite been able to figure out if thats really, really good or really, really bad.

    @Shae I’m sure it might take some work to reconfigure but if you built a custom UI, surely, it couldn’t be that hard to do.
    @Zee…Most good hunters are going to hit mend pet and have talents in lick your wounds for their pets.

    I just don’t understand the hostility/reluctance that some of you are expressing towards healing the pets.
    Wouldn’t you want to share the love especially when that alert hunter sent the pet in to pull that mob off you so you can do your job and actually heal instead of trying to get to the tank so he/she can pull agro?

  29. OK, let me try again…

    Firing off a mend pet is easy. Every Hunter worth his ammo will do it.

    But sometimes Mend Pet isn’t enough. Those are the times when a Renew or Bloom or whatever would be much appreciated by not only the Hunter but the entire raid.

    Those of you that said you just will not heal pets, I dare you to post your comment on your guild forums. Waiting for a pet to die before you cast an AOE heal? Feeling an AOE heal is wasted when it hits a pet?

    Going out of your way to make a raid lose a huge amount of DPS is foolish.

  30. “Huntard” is (IMO) just a classist insult. Mostly due to the solo-mindset of most hunters: they spend levels 1-80 going solo and (in my experience) have the most difficulty adapting to a group setting.

    Yes, I could shoot off a Renew however I don’t understand the inability of that hunter to instead use a bandage.

    Heavy Frostweave Bandage
    Requires First Aid (400)
    Use: Heals 5800 damage over 8 sec.

    It’s what they used while solo-ing, so why is it hard to use while in a group?

    It’s your pet therefore your responsibility.

    If I refuse to heal a pet for any reason it’s the hunter’s fault for not taking it out of combat to heal it themselves. I didn’t let it die – they did. Just like a paly that refuses to bubble and save his life at the expense of DPS. That’s foolish.

    This isn’t hostility – it’s simply frustrating as a healer. No other class monitors their mana pool as closely as healers and it’s a flat out waste of a Renew on a pet when a bandage can suffice.

    All of this is moot in situations/encounters which are on super farm or for which you are overgeared but the concept remains. Your survivability belongs to you and no one else.

    Ask any healer what pisses them off the most; I have 1k gold that says a player who doesn’t use bandages, pots or heathstones is in the Top Five of things that “Makes Hulk Angry.”

  31. “Huntards cannot be trivialized with healing their own pets at the cost of lower DPS”
    You are deliberately putting words in people’s mouths that you KNOW they are not saying.. No one said hunters shouldn’t pull their pets back, use mend and bandage. But instead we are arguing against people like you who think you should NEVER heal pets, for completely invalid reasons such as 1. it’s too much work to change my UI, or 2. hunters are huntards.

    That is a silly as me saying “Im not healing DKs because they’re noobs and have blood spec anyway they can heal themselves”

    Saying hunters that don’t do their job don’t get healed is a PLAYER argument, not a CLASS argument. You wouldn’t heal the rogue that kept refusing to get out of the aoe zone either cause that’s the only way he’ll learn. But that’s not a reason to say “I’m not healing rogues from now on” that would be silly. It’s just as silly to say you won’t heal pets because some players don’t do their jobs.

    As someone said, no reason to dispell on a pet cause the hunter should use mend. If a pet is in a pool of aoe, the hunter or lock should move it.. But if they are doing their job and their pet is still taking more damage than they can heal, then it’s my job to heal, (prioritizing the primary character avatars first), otherwise I am deliberately gimping them and therefore gimp the group.

  32. @Zee:

    I will agree with you that this article definitely lacked substance. Pets certainly don’t boost morale. They rarely used to tank and if they are then, of course, they’ll get healed. However, their value towards debuffing/buffing and even just the hunter’s dps cannot be discounted.

    You want to know why Matt put this up because it offers another perspective. Another way that Healers can look at the world of healing. It’s another place that they can aid the raid if they’re finding their primary assignment to be easily AND safely managed.

    I agree that Hunters are responsible in this too. They have to know how to manage their pets by not only sending them in and out, but also taking the time to heal them themselves. However, that does not change that on an encounter where DPS matters and the heals are available. The pet should be healed.

    If a dpser stands in the fire on Archimonde, he’s screwed up and he’s probably going to die and we’re all probably going to wipe. However, if you think that as a healer that just b/c this is happening a lot that you can somehow justify letting this person die and essentially wiping the raid b/c healing them is above and beyond what’s expected of you… well you’re kidding yourself and frankly, you’re a 2nd rate healer.

    Top players compensate for Lesser players. Yes, it sucks, but welcome to reality. Over the course of your raiding career you’ll be presented with numerous opportunities to compensate for a player’s slip up especially as a healer. In fact, the reality is that if you’ve got a very good raid team that healing will be the easiest job in the raid. Your role very often is to compensate. It’s to fill in the cracks so that the ride isn’t bumpy.

    So, you can take this article for what it is… a wake up call that being a healer is about more than just doing the bare minimum that you should have to do or you can continue to be a lesser player. Because after all if you aren’t compensating for someone then someone else is compensating for you.

    So, next time rather than simply typing the first thing that comes into your head looking like a fool in the process b/c an article seems out of place on this site…. stop. Ask yourself, “Why did Matt include this?” Chances are he’s got a reason.

    Veneretios last blog post..The Rotation. It’s not as Easy as you think.

  33. I kinda agree with Zee. I don’t think people are understanding the point. Sure healers can heal pets when there is mana avaliable and you are comfortable enough with the fight to throw out a spare heal.

    I think the article came off that pets should be considered part of the main group needing heals? That is the way I interpreted the article in any case. I’m sorry but if the entire raid is low on health and there is mass damage being taken, I’m not going out of my way to heal a pet. Sorry. Tanks, Healers, DPS all need to be close to full health before I start worrying about focusing on pets. If however it’s a 5 man instance, then yes I will throw a renew on the pet even PW:S the pet, but never will a pets priority for heals out rank a player.

    I think it’s a nice attempt to branch out on articles but this one is honestly bordering on silly.

  34. @ Yunk.

    Yes, I am totally willing to admit I’ve been jaded by stupid DPS. I never said “I don’t heal pets.” I stated that the player is responsible for their own pet. Of course I’m going to heal the idiot, regardless of class, standing in the Archie fire (because it’s a raid wipe),

    @ Veneretio

    I came off like a fool? For questioning why a DPS pet class is unable to effectively manage their own pet?

    Ok, let me further explain so you can understand my already overstated position: I have never been in a major progressing instance wherein I felt as though I could spare the mana or GCD to heal a pet.

    Does that make sense? Do you see how tactics and attitudes would change if instead we’re talking about healing a pet on Gruul today versus Heroic Sapphiron.

    If this article came out before LK during the nerf’ed content of BC we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But now I’m healing content that is challenging and requires all of my attention and resources.

    And here’s the point: If the pet is taking enough major damage to warrant my attention on progression kills then that means there are players who are also taking damage and THEY get priority.

    If you personally, or any other healer, feel as though content has become easy so as to the point of healing pets, then heal away. As for me I will always conserve enough mana, cooldowns and GCD to insure against “oh crap” situations and longevity.

    I’m not on a campaign to take this article down, I’m simply stating that in the Book of Healery Advice (as it pertains to current content) “HAEL MAI PETZ” is relegated to the last chapter, “If you’re so inclined.”

    PS: This article was a “wake up call” for you? A “wake up call” to me is “hey, you have this spell called Penance, use it thise way!” Healing the pet is like back page information in People Magazine, not front page news.

  35. @ Those who think this is a worthless article:

    I wholeheartedly disagree. The best healers I have ever played with–I’m thinking especially of Judit, an awesome priest who taught me a lot of what I know–always healed pets.

    I use grid, and the pets don’t look different from any other player–the only difference is the color of their squares. Their health goes down, and I heal them if I can. The only reason NOT to heal a pet is if your healing assignment specifically focuses on one person or group–like the MT, or the OTs, or the shadow priests, or whatever. Otherwise, if you’re group healing, the pet is part of the group.

    Many, many healers belligerently refuse to heal pets. This is silly. You wouldn’t refuse to eat buff food now would you? That’s another “extra” thing that you can usually get by without–but don’t we all want to play better? I know I do.

    Here’s how I think of healing pets. I save my player targets first, but if there’s no danger of immediate mage/warlock/whatever death, and KittyBaby’s grid square is showing a minus, well then, Kitty gets a rejuv. Pets are one of the best places to put some instant heals. When they’re taking damage, I find that it’s actually less of an emergency than for player characters, so often a couple of instants is all it takes to keep them healthy and happy.

    And for the record, I <3 Vespa, cutest kitty ever, and all kitties are cute.

  36. One more thing I’d like to add right now:

    The current raid content is pretty easy. Unless your guild is very short on healers, there’s probably lots of extra healing to go around. Healers who would like to improve their situational awareness, expand the number of things they can pay attention to, and maybe even score a little extra effective healing on the meter should at least make pets part of their healing UI.

    I think Amava’s comments are mostly directed at the (large) group of healers whose UI does not even show pets. If they’re not out there, you can’t heal them even if you’ve got all the mana and GCDs in the world.

    And I’ll remind everyone that there are no rewards for finishing a fight with extra mana.

  37. @ Sydera

    Quote: “I save my player targets first, but if there’s no danger of immediate mage/warlock/whatever death…”

    This is a matter of playstyle and class mechanics. A hot may seem like a small deal but personally, I don’t wait until people are in “immediate danger.” I’m constantly watching timers, the boss’ cast bar, mana efficiency et al. which leads me to (here’s the key) PROACTIVE HEALING.

    It’s a matter of alternatives and healing a pet is a lower priority than anticipating a heal or sitting OOFSR etc.

    Don’t be trite and compare food buffs to healing a pet; that’s just a red herring (which cannot be cooked for a food buff BTW ;-). Healing pets is about the healer’s focus and resource management. If it’s a lazy fight without much damage then the hunter has no excuse for managing their own pet, if instead it’s a frenetic fight then my attention, mana and GCD are too important to worry about kitty.

    Does that make sense?

    Again, I’m not being a jerk or belligerent – I’m simply stating that this is a matter of play style and have yet to hear a logical argument and situation where (in a raid environment) the hunter’s resources are more valuable than mine (in regards to pet healing.)

  38. “And I’ll remind everyone that there are no rewards for finishing a fight with extra mana.”

    Yet the converse is a punishment for going OOM or not anticpating a heal: I choose lack of reward instead of punsihment.

    Saying current content is “pretty easy” for you is subjective – it doesn’t make it true for everyone else.

  39. A few quick points:

    Some fights are a DPS race against an enrage timer – just because the healers are having an easy time doesn’t mean the rest of the raid can take time out to do their job for them. Just as other times fights are healer intensive. Adjust priorities to suit.

    Spirit Bond also provides a constant HoT to the hunter, please don’t drop a Renew on me to top me up, save your mana.

    A simple mouse-over macro and trash adds on the healer are capably handled by pets, I’ve yet to meet a healer complain about that.

    Pets don’t complain about repair costs. I’ll happily sacrifice a pet to intercept some mob running loose to give others a crucial second or two to take action. Every attack landing on my pet is an attack not landing on a healer or other DPS. Mobs don’t however attack my pet if it’s already dead.

    Yes, I do cast Mend Pet, and I do recall my pet if the tank leaves melee standing in burning goo. No, I didn’t bandage my pet while solo-leveling (your ignorance is showing).

    Bestial Wrath breaks CC on me meaning I can take action to avoid needing healing. Bestial Wrath only works if my pet is alive.

    Garumoos last blog post..Wanted: a bidding mod

  40. @Zee

    Well, I guess no one is ever going to convince you that you should ever heal a pet. Grats on being extremely set in your ways! I’m sure that’s a successful tactic for improving your own healing in raids.

    I’d just like to reiterate that no one is suggesting here to prioritize healing pets over players or to heal them when your mana management doesn’t allow for it. A good healer should know when he or she can afford a GCD for a pet. At least in my raid experience, this happens pretty often if you’re playing in a team of capable healers. Sure, it’s not every fight–but it might even be most of them.

    Neither am I suggesting that hunters shouldn’t heal their own pets. I have observed, however, that what they can do isn’t always enough to keep the pet alive, not since the days of the 2 pc T5 bonus anyway.

  41. Hi Garumoo,


    LOL – thanks for bringing to my attention that I’m so ignorant – obviously because you never ever bandaged your pet, therefore no one ever needs to or has in the history of WOW bandaged their pet. Sorry I don’t have a blog to link so as to prove to you my narcissistic intelligence. (C’mon, you’re seriously saying that I’m ignorant because I suggested bandaging a pet?)

    Anywho, my experience with DPS races is that the healers are typically tasked with juggling so many variables that again, watching a pet bar is an inconvenience. Think Gruul pre-farm. Sure the pet adds to the DPS but again if it’s your pet, it’s your responsibility. I’m not saying that every single instance or raid tasks the healer’s attention to the max however I will always guard my mana pool from excessive waste.

    Again, my point is: if a hunter has mana (and with AotV there shouldn’t be a mana problem) and without bandages then there’s no reason I should have to manage their pet’s health for them. If some healers want to do so, then fine – I’m not saying it’s a waste for them, however it is my choice to delegate pet health to its owner.

  42. Hey Sydera,

    “Well, I guess no one is ever going to convince you that you should ever heal a pet.”

    I just haven’t seen a situation where a hunter couldn’t reasonably manage their own pet’s health. That’s all. If a raid is so DPS-starved that a healed pet made all the difference then there are other problems to address. I would rather be effective at the other X number of higher priorities than judge if healing the pet is worth the effort.

    I understand no one (hopefully) is arguing to heal pets above others, however I would have much rather seen a disclaimer link at the start of the article, “How to effectively heal your pet in raids.” Does that make sense? I’m being sincere – from the perspective of a healer looking at the hunter’s request to heal their pet, wouldn’t you want to see there had been due diligence?

    Knowing that the hunter has done everything they can to commit maximum DPS and heal their pet goes a long way to show me they aren’t using my mana as a crutch. It’s beyond frustrating to hear statements like Garumoo’s:

    “… just because the healers are having an easy time doesn’t mean the rest of the raid can take time out to do their job for them.”

    This further displays the ignorance I’ve seen over and over in raids: Everyone is responsible for their own survivability and that includes pets. “Easy time” is subjective and further derails the discussion. The healer’s job isn’t to just “heal” – their job is to do so effectively keep the raid alive until the end of the fight, not facilitate a Recount race or /flex over who got max DPS at the expense of wasting a healer’s mana.

  43. “LOL – thanks for bringing to my attention that I’m so ignorant – obviously because you never ever bandaged your pet, therefore no one ever needs to or has in the history of WOW bandaged their pet.”

    If someone were to suggest that hunters should get into melee range and whack on the mob, then you’d agree that that would be highly ignorant of the class capabilities. There’s even a derogatory name for that kind of hunter.

    Similarly bandaging a pet. Just because hunters out there do it, doesn’t mean it’s smart. We get our pets at level 10, we learn Mend Pet at level 12. We learn Feed Pet at level 10. We are quickly taught to feed our pets to maintain happiness. Why bandage a pet out of combat when you can feed it. Bandaging a pet in combat, when soloing, is pointless – you either recall the pet and the mob trails over to you, or you run over into your dead zone.

    Bandaging a pet when someone else is tanking – that’s entirely possible albeit still inefficient. If I have mana then an instant cast mend pet is better. If I don’t have mana then recall the pet and let it sit by my side, wounded, while (a) Spirit Bond gives it a tick or two, and (b) papa works his AotV mojo (one hit and I’ve sufficient mana again for an instant cast mend pet, much smarter than an 8 second channel when I really need to be regenerating mana instead). If there’s a DoT active and I’m out of mana, then I might try getting one tick of a bandage on the pet before it’s interrupted by said damage. Heck, depending on the boss fight, I’ll even squeeze in a Feign Death & Feed Pet during phase changes (only works on a few fights, but always fun seeing the surprise from other players).

    “C’mon, you’re seriously saying that I’m ignorant because I suggested bandaging a pet?”

    I didn’t say you were ignorant, I said your ignorance was showing. One is labeling you on a personal level, the other is a comment on your depth of understanding of a class capabilities and strengths and optimum play flow.

    Were you showing your ignorance of class capabilities and optimum play flow for suggesting bandaging pets during _solo-leveling_ as a _preferred_ option? Yes.

    Consider: would I be displaying a profound ignorance of your class abilities and strengths by suggesting you spam Holy Nova as your main solo-leveling spell, and carrying that over into group play as your main healing spell? I’m betting I would be.

  44. Hmm .. scratch that comment on Feed Pet .. it really has been a very long time since I spent such a short time as a lvl 10-11 hunter. Don’t even know if I had first aid skill during that brief time.

  45. Zee,

    I think you’ve blown things out of proportion and gotten really touchy on this subject.

    This post was for healers, not hunters. I think if you read through Amiva’s blog, or had ever played with him, you’d see that he advocates hunters healing their pets as well. He’s pretty darn good at pet management–I know, I raid with the dude.

    As far as the quality of the post goes, I’d say it’s one of our best ever for generating discussion. That’s what blogging is all about–exchange of ideas, leading to improvement in our technique. I think all the debate on this question shows that Amiva’s message is one that a lot of healers need to hear.

    In the cycle of learning things, the first step is often resistance–why do I need to learn that? My way is better! Eventually, though, people will try out a new technique or idea. After all, the only way to figure out whether you’re a better healer if you sometimes heal pets is to try it out and see what the results are.

    This is a lesson I encountered in BC–and yes, I’m a better healer because Judit made me heal pets. For me at least, this was something I needed to do. If I restricted my healing to only players who were managing their resources perfectly, well, I’d be a pretty crappy healer. It’s much easier to think well, if Grid tells me someone or their pet needs help, I provide it. Thinking through whether the Grid square in question “deserves” my heal is a big time waster, at least for me.

  46. The most trouble I have healing pets is that they aren’t on my Grid. Somebody please help =)

    A line by line tutorial on Grid would be much appreciated on getting Pets on my Raid Grid – they are already on my Group Grid.

    Everybody has different ways of doing what they do, but I don’t ever want to hear bitching or a single groan from Healers on 1% wipes if they refused to heal a pet.

  47. Oh yeah, you Hunters should run up a Healer so you can see what it is the Healers are talking about.

    Healers same same, play a Hunter so you can get their side too.

  48. There was a time I healed pets all the time because they were a part of the group. But the hunters I went with didn’t take care of their pets and the pets took massive damage. After one month of doing dungeon with pets that died wether I healed them or not and I gave up on healing them.

    But I was starting to feel guilty and wondered if it isn’t part of my job to heal the pets anyway. But no hunter ever complained about it so I’d figured it was fine.
    I still couldn’t decide wether to heal them or not,though do I decided that hunters could give a better opinion about it. So I made a promise I would start healing pets again if a hunter would make a comment about it.
    I haven’t healed a pet for two years, until now.
    I guess it’s time to put the pet hp bar back into my UI.

  49. I always whisper thanks to healers after a fight if I see green numbers appearing over my pet’s xperl portrait.

    Over the months I’ve stopped expecting heals on my pets, just because so many healers don’t. I raid with pet survival in mind, pulling her back when a ‘bad’ fire wall appears, or a melee void zone. Heigan is the one fight that really irritates me, since as SV I don’t have the points in Improved Mend Pet to dispel the disease on my own.

    In addition with the pre-3.1 6/14/51 spec, I can squeeze out that extra 1% damage from having my pet alive.

    Another good reason to keep pets alive, especially for SV and MM, is that spending 8.7 seconds to pet-rez is not fun at all. When my pet dies, unless my pet is specced for/Heart of the Phoenix is up, I usually have to leave it dead for the remainder of the fight because I just lose so much dps if I stop to rez it.


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