Warlords of Draenor: New exotic pet abilities

I recently spent some time outside Draenor to get my hands on a few exotic pets to test their new abilities. Today we’ll be looking at the new Quilen, Rhino, Devilsaur, and Core Hound abilities. Exotic pets in Warlords can have up to 3 special abilities or buffs. For example the Core Hound has a 5% multistrike buff, Ancient Hysteria, and the new Molten Hide. Exotics which only have 1 special ability bring double buffs instead


Stone Armor: When falling below 40% health, the Quilen’s skin will change to stone, causing it to take 30% less damage and regenerate 3% of its maximum health every 1 sec for 8 sec. This effect can only occur once every 120 sec.

This has a similar visual to the turtle’s shell shield, only its automatic whenever the pet’s health gets low. The turtle’s shell is arguably better since it’s 50% reduced damage for 12 seconds on a 1 min cooldown, but the benefit of this one is its passive nature and the healing. The Quilen also comes with its crit buff and the battle rez compared to the turtle which has zero buffs.


Thick HideWhen falling below 40% health, the Rhino’s skin will thicken, granting 50% reduced incoming damage for 12 sec. This effect can only occur once every 120 sec.

Identical stats to a turtle’s shell shield, but activated passively and with a 2 minute cooldown. The Rhino also brings both 5% Multistrike and 3% Versatility buffs. The Rhino was previously something I never had the urge to use, but these changes make it a nice, well-rounded pet.


Feast: The devilsaur feasts on a nearby Humanoid or Beast corpse within 5 yards, healing it for 20% of its maximum health and restoring 20 focus over 6 sec.

This one works pretty much the same way as the undead racial, Cannibalize. The wording would indicate it heals for 20% over 6 sec, but it’s actually 20% health per tick (every 2 sec) for a 60% total heal. While you can cast it in combat, the buff is immediately removed because it’s a channeled ability and any kind of movement, damage taken, or damage dealt will remove it. The end result is that it’s more of a flavor ability than anything. If you want to watch your dino have a snack, press the button when it’s near an appropriate corpse. I would have preferred it if the ability was instant cast, usable in combat, but with a much smaller heal.


Core Hound

Molten Hide: When the core hound takes melee attacks, it infuses its hide with molten lava, causing Fire damage to all further melee attackers for 10 sec. Molten Hide can only activate every 60 sec.

I’ve saved the best for last. This activates whenever your pet takes a melee hit. For the next 10 sec, any melee hit against the pet will instantly deal fire damage back to the attacker. The damage of each hit was a little higher than a normal pet melee swing. Each proc can also crit and multistrike. It makes the Core Hound a great AoE farming pet. My only complaint is I wish I could activate the ability manually so it wouldn’t proc at inopportune times, like right at the end of a fight. This ability could use some more testing in the future to see how it scales, but the alpha realm was coming down for maintenance mere minutes after I did this little test.

Other Exotics

There are a couple other exotic abilities but I didn’t bother testing them since they are identical to abilities other families have, just with different names: Tendon Rip for Silithids and Solid Shell for Shale Spiders. As Draven pointed out in the comments, Shale Spiders also received another bonus with the addition of 5% crit to their Embrace of the Shale Spider (previously only 5% stats). For the most extreme solo pet tanking, it’s a good bet that Shale Spiders will reign supreme.

I was able to tame one of the new Rylak exotic pets, but they still use the old Chimaera family skills. I’m waiting to see if they get something new. I was looking forward to Flutter, which was going to be a Hook Wasp ability, but Hook Wasps are no longer a thing. They’re just part of the Wasp family now.

Full list of Exotic buffs

As mentioned earlier, each exotic pet now has either 3 unique abilities/buffs, or 1 ability plus 2 buffs.

Whenever Shadowmoon Valley is unlocked on the alpha I’ll see what other new pets I can find. You can see some of the others I tamed in my first alpha post.

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15 thoughts on “Warlords of Draenor: New exotic pet abilities”

  1. Looks a bit unbalanced and will “force” BM hunters to use exotic pets.

    Nice for soloing and PvP.

    1. Awesome stuff! I agree that Feast is meh, though.

      @Garfurion, Exotic pets already get extra bonuses, so I always use exotic pets anyway. I don’t think this makes them any more “required” than they are now.

  2. Looking at the current options, as much as there are some new fun choices, on paper, It’s looking like Shale Spiders will be the superior statistical choice regarding solo/tanking pets, and then some.

    1st the non defensive buff, The Embrace of the Shale Spider buff. This will buff pets stats, but in WoD the buff now also includes crit which will increase the DPS output even more so compared to that of the other exotics, which only have 1 DPS increasing buff.

    The Solid Shell damage reduction is also just far more superior to any of the new versions of damage reduction that the other exotics have.


    The Quilen’s Stone Armor is nice, but the difference between 30% and 50% is quite a lot, and the added heal while a nice little bonus, I’m not sure is going to make that much of an impact saving your pet from any large hit when it’s health dips low. You can however, like the Solid Shell have this on passive/autocast or use it manually if you prefer which can be useful.

    Also another small thing, this is designed to automatically trigger when on auto cast, at less than 40% health. Compared to that of the Solid Shell which is less than 50% health. This extra 10% of health before triggering gives you a little more time/grace to throw out a mend pet if it’s not already rolling to save/top up your pet.

    Lastly the cooldown is the main killer here, the Quilen’s Stone Armor has a 120 second cooldown compared the 60second cooldown of Solid Shell. That’s literally 2 cooldowns for the price of one, already sub-par defensive cooldown.


    The rhino is also in a near identical situation as the Quilen in the fact that the cooldown on its new Thick Hide is double the length of that of Stone Shell. Though oddly it’s an identical statistical defensive cooldown of Solid Shell, 50% reduced damage for 12seconds.

    However this new cooldown is oddly Passive only, so if you are predicting a large spike of damage you cannot actively use this ability, you can only wait for it to kick in (at below 40%) and hope that it survives after that.

    In the new world of WoD where Cower have been removed, these defensive cooldowns are at a premium, and any advantage will count. And sadly as it stands the Shale spider outshines them all on DPS and Defenses.

    ** All Hail our new Shale Spider Overloads! ** 🙂

    1. I totally missed that the shale spider buff had crit. That’s pretty awesome. Too bad they aren’t really the best looking pets to run around with :\ (IMO anyway)

  3. Yeah I tend to agree, I don’t mind them, but they would not be my “go to” pet for my preferred family. And as much as I do like having elemental flavored options for hunter pets, these guys kind of lack any that semblance of a bestial feel (Feathers, Fur and Fangs, etc.) for me.

    1. Mend pet isn’t nerfed. The Quilen one is a 24% heal on a 2 min cd and the Devilsaur’s Feast can only be used out of combat. Like I said, it’s more of a flavor ability at this point. Not very practical.

  4. This is awesome. I’m so glad to see you looked into these abilities. The datamined tooltips were a bit off (all of the CDs were 1 min), it seems, so I appreciate seeing how they’re working in the alpha.

    Also, I like a couple of the shale spiders from Deepholm. If only I enjoyed BM as much as I do MM and SV. Maybe with the changes to those two I’ll start playing more BM and get to use these fun new abilities.

    Thanks again! great post!

  5. > The Quilen’s Stone Armor is nice, but the difference between 30% and 50% is quite a lot, and the added heal while a nice little bonus, I’m not sure is going to make that much of an impact saving your pet from any large hit when it’s health dips low.

    My main’s a Draenei hunter and I can tell you that [Gift of the Naaru] saved my pet more than once. And [Gift of the Naaru] only heals 20% over 15s while [Stone Armor] heals 24% over 8s. So yes, it’s going to make a huge impact saving you pet!

    1. Well, this was supposed as an answer to Draven’s comment. (The comment system doesn’t seem to work properly in Opera.)

      1. I don’t have any doubt that the heal from the Quilen’s Stone armor will make an exceptional difference while it’s active over the 8 seconds that it is ticking, but my main point I was trying to raise was in relation to large/spiking damage and in the comparative between solid shell and stone armor. The 3% (one global of healing) from Stone Skin would not compare to an extra 20% damage reduction if the damage came in the next global. And again, I like the idea and the variation, and the heal may end up superior in some certain situations too, but it literally having twice the length in cool down compared to that of solid shell, it’s just comes across and underwhelming.

  6. Would be awesome if you could choose from a list abilities like the talent system in Heroes of the Storm, where each exotic pet category would have a certain number of abilities but you could only choose three (including buffs).

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