The tenacity tree shares some talents with the other two trees, and has its own as well, all of them focused on making your pet tougher, holding threat better, or providing tanking utility. Some talents are better for leveling, some for instances. We will look at each talent individually, and then look at a few builds geared towards different tasks. We will also look at what hunter talents are geared for a tanking pet and an ideal hunter build for tanking.


Table of Contents
Tenacity Talent Review
Tenacity Pet Builds
Hunter Talent Build


Tenacity Tree Talent Review


(This is the tenacity tree structure, you can find this Pet Talent Calculator at wowhead)


Cobra Reflexes – Increases your pet’s attack speed by 15/30%. Your pet will hit faster but each hit will do less damage.
This is a great leveling talent, the faster attack speed, and overall dps increase are both desirable, and speed up the leveling process. For any kind of tanking build, however, I feel that this talent isn’t quite good enough to make the cut, since we are short on points.
Charge – Instant, 25 sec CD, 35 Focus, 8 – 25 yds. Your pet charges an enemy, immobilizing the target for 1 sec, and increasing the pet’s melee attack power by 25% for its next attack.
This talent is great for leveling and instances. It lets your pet get in quick and start up aggro generation, which lets you start up your rotation faster. In an instance, it lets you keep the mob in place, and use misdirection earlier. If you skip charge, be sure to wait before casting MD if you want the mob stay close to their current location.
Great Stamina – Increases your pet’s total Stamina by 4/8/12%
This talent is a must have for all tenacity builds. This talent applies to all sources of stamina, increasing the contribution from gear, buffs, scrolls, food, base stamina, endurance training, and the family modifier. As a tank, you’ll want all the health you can get, and this is the single best way to boost your health.
Natural Armor – Increases your pet’s armor by 5/10%
This is a great defensive talent. If you find that for your purposes you are ok on survivability, then this talent is not required, but it is a requisite for pet barding, another great talent.
Spiked Collar – Your pet does an additional 3/6/9% damage with all attacks.
This is a great way to increase damage for your pet. It may fall into a tanking build if you need more threat and less survivability. It affects all attacks, so it is a 9% damage and threat (from damage) increase across the board.
Boar’s Speed – Increases your pet’s movement speed by 30%
This is the only talent I deem unworthy of putting points into for both leveling and instances. With charge this becomes redundant, and I think charge is the better of the two. It does have usefullness in pvp to enable your pet to stick with an elusive enemy.
Blood of the Rhino – Increases your pet’s total Stamina by 2/4% and increases all healing effects on your pet by 20/40%
This talent is perhaps the best talent for survivability. Whether leveling or in an instance, the 40% healing alone makes this talent worth its weight in gold. The stamina contribution is low, but thats just a bonus really. For main tanking and off tanking alike, this talent is an absolute must.
Pet Barding – Increases your pet’s armor by 5/10% and chance to Dodge by 1/2%
This is a good overall talent for instances, however in its current state it is on the weaker side, and in a tight budget, sacrificing 1 point in this talent may be necessary. For leveling, the pet should be sufficient for most tasks without this talent, and so you may decide to skip it in favor of more dps or utility.
Avoidance – Reduces the damage your pet takes from area of effect attacks by 25/50/75%
This is a must have for instance tanking. The survivability increase during heavy magic use and boss fights is invaluable. On top of that, it is a prerequisite for Last Stand, which is also needed. For leveling, you can skip this if you aren’t interested in Last Stand, however I would recommend Last Stand for leveling. This is also a decent pvp talent, avoiding the frequent splash damage.
Guard Dog – Your pet’s Growl generates 10/20% additional threat and 10% of its total happiness
This is a solid talent for both leveling and instance tanking, and it is a prerequisite to Taunt. Between the improved growl, 30 second Misdirects, and 42 second Indimitations, your pet should have no problem generating decent threat. Additionally, the happiness component can help keep your pet happy during long fights, and reduce overall food costs. Of course, this and its follow up talent have little value in pvp.
Lionhearted – Reduces the duration of all Stun and Fear effects used against your pet by 15/30%
This talent finds its best use in pvp, although pets are stunned less frequently than players. It will find situational use in leveling and in particular instances, but only then will it find its way into any of my builds.
thunderstomp Thunderstomp – Shakes the ground with thundering force, doing 3 to 5 Nature damage to all enemies within 8 yards. This ability also causes a moderate amount of additional threat.
This move previously belonged to gorillas, but has been moved to the tenacity tree to make it available to all tenacity pets, so that all tenacity pets can become viable options for pet tanking. This move is absolutely necessary for tanking, even single target tanking, unless threat is not needed.
Grace of the Mantis – Reduces the chance your pet will be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4%.
This talent has been reworked, giving crit reduction instead of dodge and hit. Since hit would be redundant, this is really a dodge for resilience trade. This rounds out the pet giving it a wider range of defensive stats, and is a welcome change. Without this talent, you will see alot more deadly damage spikes. A must for main/offtanking builds.
Great Resistance – Your pet takes 5/10/15% less damage from Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature and Shadow magic
This talent has been buffed from 12% to 15% in 3.1. For general fights, and especially magic heavy fights, this talent provides excellent damage reduction against magic damage.
Last Stand – Instant, 6 min CD. Your pet temporarily gains 30% of its maximum health for 20 sec. After the effect expires, the health is lost
This is one of the few talents that has usefulness in all areas. It will save your skin while leveling, while taking a damage spike in an instance, and slow the gibbing of your pet in pvp. One may argue that if your pet is being focused this wont help much, but simply knowing your pet is tenacity may discourage them from attacking your pet in the first place.
Taunt – Instant, 3min CD. Your pet taunts the target to attack it for 3 sec
This is a great back up to ensure your pet keeps threat. Although the cooldown removal is not yet confirmed, this move can help you force threat on your pet whenever it strays. A fundamental ability for tanking.
Roar of Sacrifice – Instant, 30 sec CD, 40 yds. Your pet absorbs damage from you, transfering 30% damage taken to the pet. Lasts 12 sec
This talent has taken the nerf bat to the face. Claiming fears that hunters could just chain RoS to trivialize encounters, they made it hunter only. What they should have done was use the ‘weakened soul’ mechanic to prevent successive uses of this talent. You’ll need this to get Wild Hunt, but if you arent getting that talent then this one is situational at best. For pvp however, it is still pretty decent.
Intervene – Instant, 30 sec CD, 20 Focus, 8 – 25 yds. Your pet runs at high speed towards a group member, intercepting the next melee or ranged attack made against them
This is most useful when group with other players in pvp and instances. It will have limited use in leveling to return the pet to you. In groups, Intervene + (Taunt, Intimidation, or RoS) can save a healer, and Intervene can be used to immediately use Roar of Sacrifice on a tank at range.
gorilla Silverback – Your pet’s Growl also heals it for 1/2% of its total health This is a great move for increasing the amount hps ticks your pet gets by default. It may be difficult to get both ranks with most builds.
wild-hunt Wild Hunt – Increases the contribution your pet gets from your Stamina by 20/40% and attack power by 10/20%. This is a solid talent which increases pet scaling by a healthy amount. It increases your normal stamina scaling (45%) by 40%, but is also affected all the other stamina talents. The same goes for the attack power portion.


turtleTenacity Pet Builds
Your tenacity pet will lose all its talent points every time you switch specs with dual specs, allowing for VERY flexible build creation. If facing a boss with a hard melee hit, you can dump points into all the armor talents. Fighting a boss with heavy magic damage? Pick up Great Resistance. You can custom tailor your pet for each encounter. Just bring lots of water as youll lose your mana each respec.


Leveling Builds
There are many ways to level, including instances, but this section will be dedicated to World pve, namely questing and grinding. Questing will rarely tax your pet’s survival capabilities, so you are free to focus more on damage. You also want a pet that will keep aggro, and you want as much uptime as possible. The following build is what i would use for questing.
Leveling Build without the extra four talents
I like to spend the extra four talents on Great Resistance as I find casters annoying and the only potential slowing factor during leveling.
Leveling Build with the extra four talents

While questing is my favorite way to level, another amazing way to rack up the levels is to grind. Aoe grinding is very effective, and if you are going to be at it for any length of time, you mineaswell spec for it. Here we want to ensure our pets ability to hold threat and survive, while we pour on the volleys. I don’t do a ton of aoe grinding, so if you have any suggested changes to this build, let me know.
Aoe Grinding Build without the extra four talents
Aoe Grinding Build with the extra four talents
You may notice that i’ve included Great resistance. If you only plan to aoe grind a specific mob that has no magic damage, spend these points elsewhere.


Off Tanking Build
Ok, for tanking I’m just going to assume that you have the four extra points if you are Off tanking raid content. I’m also assuming that you don’t overgear the content. If you are off tanking 5 mans, you could get away with skipping them, but I would still reccommend them. What I’ve included is a base set of talents you’ll need to effectively off tank. The only flexible points would be in avoidance, if you know you aren’t facing any aoe.


Off Tanking Foundation Build


The remaining 5 talents should be placed to fit your immediate circumstances. Lets go over them.
-If you need some extra damage or threat, Spiked Collar (best) and Cobra reflexes can help.
-If the encounter calls for running to and fro alot, boar’s speed can help
-If an enemy has a deadly fear or stun, pick up Lion Hearted if shortening the duration will help.
-If your healers don’t pay attention, are overtaxed, or you expect a very large amount of incoming damage, pick up last stand.
-If you want to scale better, or need extra stam and ap for your pet, pick up RoS and Wild Hunt.
-If you want to have more HPS on top of mend pet, pick up silverback. This can be thought of as extra effective health, provided you have enough of an HP pool to absorb the biggest incoming hits.
-If your enemy has a healthy amount of NON-AOE magic, pick up Great Resistances.
-If you are taking alot of physical damage, Pick up Natural Armor and maybe also Pet Barding.

And there you have it. It may seem like common sense, but that is the beauty of instant respecs. You will rarely have to choose between talents because “you just don’t know how often you’ll be in that situation”. Now you can choose your talents based on the situation directly in front of you. This is a major advantage a Hunter/Pet offtank has over a player tank.


Main Tanking Builds
For a Main tanking build, you will absolutely need the extra four points, especially for raid content. With this build we need to consider the function we will be performing. We need to hold the bosses attention and we need to take hits. This means threat generation, a large health pool, mitigation/avoidance, and utility. We can get help with threat from other hunters and rogues, as well as our own misdirect. We can get a large health pool from the right gear set on our hunter, enhanced through talents. We can get some mitigation from our gear (armor), but the rest comes from talents. We can get some utility from the hunter, but most of it comes from talents. We also need to keep in mind that the amount of incoming damage will be considerable.


Just like the off tanking build, there is a lot of flexibility in how you build your tree, and you should reconsider your build for each boss you encounter. As such it is hard to just slap down a build and say “thats the build you use”. Instead lets look at the process of selecting a build in steps.


-First, lets get the basics. We need Great Stam and BotR. After this I put one point into Natural Armor. Unless my pet is going to have to ping pong between mobs, I skip charge. Then we grab Thunderstomp and Guard Dog, both indispensible. This opens up Grace of the Mantis, even more critical. So this is what we have so far.
-Now we have a choice. We have one point to spend before we can continue to move up towards Wild hunt, a valuable talent. We can pump it into Avoidance, Great Resistance, or Natural Armor -> Pet Barding. This will depend on what enemy we face, but bear in mind that Avoidance is a prereq for Last Stand, which is a valuable tool for preventing a wipe when damage spikes come in.
-For now lets assume you put the point in Avoidance. Now you can get RoS on your way to Wild Hunt. Pick up taunt, unless the boss (or any mob you may need to tank during the fight) is immune to taunt.
-You now have one or two points to spend before you can Wild Hunt. Again put these into one of the three: Avoidance, Great Resistance, or Natural Armor / Pet Barding. Optionally you can pick up intervene if you have trouble with aggro or its needed for a specific part of the fight.
-Now pick up Wild Hunt, giving you the following build. You should now have 3 more points, to put into whatever you didn’t get along the way that you need. Owing to the points you have already spent, Silverback is available to you, but I’m still unsure if this talent should be picked up in a Main Tanking build, as you will already have a full time healer dedicated to your pet.


So that’s that. As you can see, there are some points that are mandatory, and others that are flexible. Become familiar with the talent tree and where your options are as you build a talent spec. You will need to be able to build a encounter specific build and configure your pet bar/macros mid instance.


baseHunter Talent Build
Your hunter’s build is just as important as your pet’s build when it comes to using your pet as an Offtank or a Main tank for instances and raids. What I’ve included here is a build that includes everything that affects pet tanking. This build is focused completely on the pet’s ability to tank, with dps taking a back seat. After some consideration, I’ve decided to switch up the talents in survival for ones in the MM tree. The hit chance, scaling ap from int, and Gftt provide more threat for a more balanced build. If threat is a non issue then the extra 2k or so pet health from Survivalist may still be a good option, but this build will better handle a wider range of tasks.




-The extra 3% hit is great since your pet tanking gear may not have as much hit on it, and it will free up your gems and enchants for other stats such as AP and Stam.
-Getting AP from int is a great way to give yourself some flexibility with gear choices and to get the most out of your tanking peices.
-The extra focus from Gftt will allow you to put up your focus dump for more threat.
-You will also notice ive left off Imp revive in favor of focused fire. It gives more dps, and increased crit chance with kill command, helping out with building that initial threat.
*This build represents the talents Im looking at now and will evolve over time. I try to make my recommendations for a general audience, but it is often influenced by 1) my understanding of the talents and their worth, and 2) my own needs and experiences.
As time goes by I may change this up, in fact I hope to as we delve into the details of every talent, ability, and stat on the forums.


Last Updated: April 23, 2009.


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