Pet Menagerie – The Sabertooth

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sabertoothSabertooth, y u suck so much!?

I’ll be honest with you guys; I hate the Sabertooth. HATE it. If my hatred for the sabertooth were converted into a liquid, there would be enough to fill a large bathtub and two dozen beer mugs. That is how much this pet grinds my girdle.

But, alas, it is still a pet, so I must persevere and press into this edition of LOTRO Menagerie. For this one I shall explain exactly why I feel this particular pet would be worth more as a housing decoration than as a combat companion.

Damage

 

Statistically speaking, it’s bad. Real bad. The sabertooth comes out just above the Eagle on the scale of pet DPS, which given the Eagle’s vastly higher utility(and MUCH higher flank rate) is not good at all. And speaking of flanking, a rough estimate puts the sabertooth at the very bottom of the list(assuming it’s hitting a single target; more on that below).

On the subject of damage, it should be said that the Sabertooth does AOE. It’s autoattacks and all three of its skills do AOE damage of up to three targets. The autoattack part is interesting but not very practical. To get it to hit multiple targets you first need to get them group up tightly. Then, you need the sabertooth to be in the right position to hit all of them. In short it’s more trouble to get working properly than it’s worth. And as I said above, the damage output is so low as to make it irrelevant either way.

 

Skills

 

The first skill the sabertooth has is Frostbite. This ability does damage to the targets and hits with a -10% Frost Mitigation debuff that lasts one minute, with a two minute cooldown. Now from a player perspective this is pretty darn awful. The only skills that spring to mind that use Frost type is the LM’s Gust of Wind, which you won’t be using very often, and certainly not for the damage, and a few RK skills that don’t see frequent use either. While there is a small benefit in the fact that the Sabertooth does Frost damage as standard(being the only pet to not use Common), the increase is minuscule. Unless you know an RK that uses their Frost skills a lot, best keep it on autofire.

The second ability the pet learns is Fury of Winter. It does a small amount of damage, has a higher than normal Crit Magnitude and on a crit will flank the target, and also has a two minute cooldown. Now this sounds okay in theory, but in practice I found the pet crits with this so rarely that the flank isn’t worth considering, and definitely not something to count on. Leaving on autofire is advisable for the shot in a million chance of a flank.

The last skill the sabertooth learns is Throat Slash. This particular one is sort of connected to Fury of Winter, in that when it is used on a flanked opponent, it has a chance to open up a Fellowship Manoeuvre. I’m not certain as to what the chance is, as the tooltip does not state it. After playing around with it though, I find it fails more often than it succeeds, so take that as you will. If it works the stun can be useful I suppose, although again you have a bunch of stuns of your own, so the possibility of another one is not the most enthralling prospect.

 

Conclusion

 

The AOE aspect of the Sabertooth is really it’s only saving grace. The only pet more fragile than it is the Lynx, which makes it a horrible tank. The flank rate is atrocious and there are no additional abilities granted to it like the Raven and Lynx have. In short, there is no situation I can conceive of where this pet would preferable over any other. Just don’t use it.

I understand that some might heavily disagree with this article, and if you do please comment with your reasoning. I’d like to like this pet, but from where I’m sitting it’s simply all around terrible. Either way, thanks for reading, and in the next article we’ll be moving on to the Legendary Pets, first up being the Eagle.

12 comments

  1. Belwynne /

    I think t LM’s have driven demand for Sabertooth trophies from the taxidermist. Their saving grace (beyond a few aoe skills) is they look best mounted on the wall.

  2. Really enjoyed your series on LM pets, Ethelros! Great info in here, wish I would have had something like these when I started my LM

    • Ethelros /

      Thank you! ^_^

      This was partially inspired by the fact that when I started my LM, just like you there really wasn’t a definitive guide to what each pet could do and what it was good for. If my set of ramblings helps with that to any degree, I’m more than happy.

  3. Lilikate Buggins. /

    At least it looks nice 🙂 Bree Town Pet maybe….You could donate yours to the Cat Lady.

  4. Andang /

    Congrats on making the quote of the day on Bio Break! It was well deserved! I love this post!

  5. Ok… so I am the odd one out. No surprise there.

    I LOVE my sabre tooth. Actually it was the pet that I got to hone my tanking and healing skills on. Yeah ok, slow learner. 😀 I still use my sabre tooth now, even though I do have higher pets. Maybe this is just because I don’t know how to use those pets properly… so waiting to read about them here. But at the end of the day, I still LOVE my pretty little sabre tooth kitty. 🙂

    Have fun

  6. Tapkoh /

    As was pointed out to me by a kinmate, the saberkitteh is great if you have an armour set with the Coordination bonus. Whenever your pet crits, your next induction is reduced to 0. With the saberkitteh hitting multiple targets and being able to boost its critical hit rating with food & pin, it’s more chances for Coordination to proc.

    The only lore-master pet whose damage has scaled above level 75 is the bear. Turbine hasn’t fixed this and it’s very disappointing. Makes it very hard to discuss damage numbers when the “tank” pet does the most damage.

  7. Kaleigh Starshine /

    There is something to be said for versatility, and having quite the menagerie allows for much of it. I do think that, as forces draw near, and we go from the war of skirmishes to one of open battle, the ferocity of your pet will become more and more desired. Already, the number of foes met in battle is increasing, and it is a trend that will continue, I fear.

  8. Ryzis /

    I really enjoy this series especially since I have a LM as a main. I didn’t know the sabertooth did frost damage! But I agree, it’s my least favorite pet, although very cool looking.

  9. Ringeras /

    I understand why people don’t like the Sabertooth. It’s a pet that needs a lot of love from the devs because, IMO, it’s failures are a result of coming close to doing great things but almost always falling short of greatness. The Saberkitty has a hard way to go when competing with other pets that have great, RELIABLE skills to recommend them.

    Good points about the Saberkitty:
    -good survivability and doesn’t need a lot of tending
    -the fact that it does frost damage is a smallish plus given that it’s a rare mob that can counter frost dmg
    -it’s all about the AoE dmg so it can semi-tank a group. You can send a saberkitty into a small group and his AoEs try to keep a few mobs busy giving you the opportunity to focus on the mobs that slip by him or that you pull out. (If you don’t have the kitty set to always follow the LMs target, that is.)
    – you can put both Frost-Bite and Fury of Winter on auto-cast compared to only one real auto-cast for the bear and none for the raven
    – All his skills come with him the moment you get him. None of that monkeying around waiting 10 or 20 levels for your pet’s skillset to mature like with the raven, bear and lynx.
    -He is the most epic looking pet that doesn’t get in the way of gameplay like the big bears and the birds. He’s polite enough to stay on the ground and out of my field of view. I like the skins he can use and he’s always easy to spot in the battle.

    Downsides:
    -It is hard to get those crits and flanks without building specifically for that goal. I tend to not like to build towards the pet as my goal.
    -FMs benefit groups so an FM while soloing doesn’t mean a thing to me.
    -He requires careful target management so he can stay on a group for max effectiveness and your fellows have to respect that too. We all know how hard it is to get everyone to respect the target so that’s a big strike against Mr. Kitty.

    All that said, I still like the Saberkitty more than I like the Lynx. The Lynx is a really nice pet to carry me through the 30s and 40s but I shove the lynx down to the bottom of my roster and fill his spot with my Saberkitty once I’ve earned him in Moria.

    • Hey there.

      Quick question – what would be the best traits to slot if you were building specifically towards pets so that you got the maximum out of your sabre kitty?

      Have fun
      Myst.

      • Sigela /

        This looks like a reply addressed to me and I’m sorry I missed it for so long. I’ll answer now with my perspectives, both theoretical and practical.

        Starting point. Use the Saberkitty for his strengths, which are considerable when you can let go of the fact that this pet is not a master of any single skill. He’s a hybrid with a broad sweep of skills to make him into both tanker and dpser at one time.

        Basic information for improving your pet Saberkitty is the same for improving all your pets via your traits.

        Master of Beasts: Signs of Wild are no longer mutually incompatible so you can have SoW: Rage and SoW: Protection up at the same time PLUS, both of these skills become debuff heals by letting them cure Poison, Fear, Wound, Disease debuffs from pets. That’s like adding in two more versions of Knowledge of Cures for our pets alone that do more than Knowledge of Cures. HUGE! Very helpful for the pet you want to send into the thick of battle.

        Hardy Companion: Makes our pets just that much stronger and stronger in so many ways is a very good thing. It’s like the legendary weapon version of your pet.

        Limit yourself to three fire-line skills so that you don’t lose anything from Blinding Flash. (I like Flame of Anor, Harmony with Nature, and Master of the Staff. That’s the three set improvements to fire dmg plus the FoA fire dmg buff.) The whole idea here is to enable your pet and support your pet as much as your pet supports you so you want to still do nice dmg with your fire skills but still have our best panic button working well. (So think about Fast Loader from the yellow line.) So three fire, at least two blue, at least one yellow and the last is your preference from blue or yellow line. I’d have a hard time choosing between Healer (blue line) and Improved Sign of Power Command (yellow line). It wouldn’t be heresy if you wanted a fourth red trait.

        Use pet food. All the time. It’s easy to make, cooks will gladly supply you with tons of it for the chance to level up their skills. My main LM is a tinker so she just makes her own.

        Carry both brooches available in critted versions at your level. Switch between them as often as you feel the need to adjust your pet’s priorities.

        Learn how the Saberkitty’s skill mechanics work. Boost his crit chances to boost his odds that he crits on Fury of Winter so that Fury of Winter procs a Flanked! which you can use for any of the FOUR flank responses available to you (Staff Strike (dmg), Staff Sweep (power over time), Wizard’s Fire (self heal/group heal with air lore) and Throat Slash (kitty skill for chance of a fellowship maneuver).

        The saberkitty’s Frostbite skill, in addition to doing frost dmg, lower’s the target’s frost defense so it buffs RKs in your group using their Chill of Winter skills. Frost dmg is already special because nothing resists it so I suspect this could be impressive but I haven’t tested it.

        And the most important thing of all for a LM to do if they want to maximize their pet usefulness is to learn their LMskills well enough so that they know what they can do in a fight to not interfere with their pet, what they do to support their pet and work in tandem, and what they need to do if they want to take the battle away from their pet.

        So have fun. I sure hope I don’t have to rethink all of this when Helm’s Deep turns all the classes on their ear.

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