So quite some time ago I started this post concerning other classes and how I view them in the game. I was going to go into great detail about what buffs I like to place on them and the method I approach to healing them and all this other wonderful information that helps to explain my thoughts, but now that Wrath has come, it seems all the rules have changed and I have reservations on posting such an article, but it still seems somewhat of a relevant topic, so having thought much about it, I decided to approach it from the standpoint of the types of classes I prefer to run with, my reasoning for choosing them over others, and the methods I will "typically" use to keep them alive. In essence, it is a list of classes I prefer to be grouped with. It is not going to be founded on deep number crunching, statistics, or group dynamics. Instead it is a list of personal preferences. The classes that I have found I get along with the best, if you will. Due to the size of this content, I am going to spread it out over several days.
Number One: Hunters
I know I just lost half of my support right now for listing hunters. I have heard all the arguments against "huntards"; however, if you ever have the privilage of running with one who knows what they are doing, then you must admit they have excellent CC abilities and provide solid DPS. As a healer these are things I like to see. I will admit it though, even though they rank at the top of my list, 75% of them are horrible. They do not understand shot rotation or the fact that they are a utility player with their CC and ability to misdirect back to a tank. Even with these detractors, I have been fortunate to know three to four decent hunters in my days and they more than make up for the hundreds of miserable hunters out there.
I do want to say though, do not get me wrong, if a hunter attempts to get in my group and you are survival, there is zero chance I am running with you. It is not you, but rather me. I have never met one survival hunter who is useful to me. I still hold out hope, but I am not risking a huge repair bill for it. Marksmen hunters are on par with Beastmaster hunters to me. It just depends on their skills and if they truly understand their class. I have learned to rely on my hunters to monitor the agro situation and if there is an issue use misdirect to keep me safe and sound. I rely on the hunters to have the proper skills to know when their traps will break and be able to either get the agro to the tank or retrap. If you do not have these skills please go work on them and then come back to my groups. I am not being mean, but rather I know what they are capable of and I expect the very best from this class.
As far as the buffs go that I use for hunters, it really depends on what they are doing. If they are on their game it is typically going to be (Greater) Blessing of Might to help up their DPS. If they tend to go overboard on their abilities I will give them (Greater) Blessing of Wisdom, but to me, a hunter who does not understand their mana levels, probably does not know anything of a shot rotation, which gives me little hope that they can trap, and even less hope that they actually thought about the type of pet they have and how to talent it, so it probably does not bode well for me running with them for an extended period of time.
As far as the healing front goes for hunters, I tend to not have to worry about them. They usually have high amounts of health and when played properly are not taking damage, but rather letting any damage coming their way, get picked up by their pets. Usually, the hunter is the only DPS class I will heal simply because they can take somewhat of a beating and they have many useful skills that are valuable during a fight. (Don't get upset mages, if I can, I keep you alive as well.) Although, if you are a beastmaster spec and your pet dies, it is safe to guess that you are in danger of going too, since a good majority of your usefullness will be gone, especially if you have no clue how to trap.
So in closing for hunters. Yes, you are number one on my list because of the multitude of things you are capable of doing, not because of the amount of damage you can do. If I longed for pure damage I am sure there could be some other classes ahead of you, but I like you for your damage and your abilities to control the crowds and keep my healing ass covered.