The Animal Companion talent has been in a near-unusable state for the majority of beta, but in today’s build it has received some major updates. It’s not as simple as the current tooltip indicates (a second pet that does Kill Command and nothing else).
Once all the bugs and kinks are worked out, it looks like Animal Companion will turn out to be a true second pet, even more so than Hati was.
Animal Companion does the following:
- Auto attacks
- Kill Commands
- Beast Cleaves
- Stomps (talent)
- Benefits from Bestial Wrath
- Benefits from Frenzy stacks from Barbed Shot
- Uses Dash
- Gets healed by Exhilaration
- Appearance can be changed by swapping the pet in your first stable slot. This means in order to have 2 of the same pet, you will actually need to tame 2 copies of it.
Animal Companion does not do the following:
- Use basic attacks (claw, bite, smack)
- Use pet family abilities
- Benefit from pet specialization passives like increased health or leech
- Resurrect itself automatically, or benefit from Revive Pet (this has to be a bug!)
- Benefit from Mend Pet (I think this is a bug)
- Play Dead when your main pet does (I also think this is a bug)
- Did I mention it’s buggy right now?
So what’s the catch?
When you take this talent, it reduces all of your pet damage by 40%. This applies to your main pet and Animal Companion, but it shouldn’t affect things like A Murder of Crows or Stampede.
So what you’re left with is 2 pets that each do 60% of the damage of a regular pet (or 120% total). Let’s say your pet Kill Commands for 100 damage normally. When you take Animal Companion, you’d get two pets that each Kill Command for 60 damage (120 total).
Wow! So 20% more pet damage, how could any other talent in that row compete with this?! Well, here’s the second catch: That 40% reduced pet damage is also applying to your main pet’s basic attacks. And basic attacks in Battle for Azeroth are kind of a big deal. They do a lot of damage, in both single target and AoE. So that is how Animal Companion gets balanced.
The downside is that the Aspect of the Beast talent (which buffs basic attacks by 30%) is going to lose some of its value when it is combined with Animal Companion. How much value is yet to be determined, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Killer Cobra as a good choice since Animal Companion essentially buffs your Kill Command damage by 20% with its current tuning.
Tuning is far from complete so it’s too early to call winners and losers. I just thought this was an interesting change to the talent and worth getting out there since you can’t see it in any of the current datamining posts.
What do you think?