Pet Battles: An Intermediate Guide

Hello again! It’s been a while, right? Sorry about that!

Unfortunately due to the nature of MMOs my beginner’s guide is slightly outdated right now, but I’m planning on making a post about all the changes that have gone into the game with the latest patch and potential future patches.

So by now I hope that most of you have gotten your feet wet with the pet battle system. Maybe you have 3 or 4 level 25 pets by now and faced off against some of the PVE tamers or even attempted some PVP battling. Good!

Before I get into it I’m going to briefly discuss some of the changes that have gone live with the latest patch:

1) Flawless battlestones can be found either in the tamer daily bags or off of random wild pet battles. As a disclaimer, I’ve gotten maybe 2 battlestones out of wild pet battles. The large majority of mine have come from tamers. These stones can be used to increase the rarity of a pet in a certain family to rare. Arguably these stones are best spent on pets like the creepy crate, etc. that you cannot find in the wild as a rare.

2) Leveling is much better now as you do not need to KO your level 25 pets to funnel exp to the lower level pet. Simply make sure your low level pet does a single attack and swap it out with a level 25 and that low level pet will still receive all the exp. This has made leveling multiple pets exponentially easier both from farming pets in the wild and doing the tamer dailies.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the guide!

1) Pet Stats and You

2) Choosing The Right Pet

3) Leveling Against Tamers

4) PVP Pet Battles

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1) Pet Stats and You

petbattlestats

So you know the basics of speed, health, and attack at this point. I won’t be getting into breed IDs in this guide since that deserves an entire post of its own. Regardless, certain stats factor into move builds and can make some pets more effective.

A high health pet is a great thing when you’re running a defensive pet like a turtle. A turtle with high health, shell shield or healing wave can usually outlast more annoying enemies like the clockwork gnome. The tradeoff for having a high health defensive pet is that you sacrifice some offense for the sake of staying alive longer.

At the same time, a good defense can be a great thing against pets that have damage over time moves like poisonous spiders. Shell shield can completely negate the effects of some poison and webbing moves while slowly whittling down the enemy’s HP.

The downside to a defensive pet is that if your opponent is running a more offensive build you’re left without much to do besides brace yourself and wait to be KOed. But every stat has its uses, and so does every build. That’s the beauty of pet battles!

In most cases you’re going to run into pets that are strong in two stats rather than just one as well. So you may be able to find turtles that have both high health and decent speed, which helps when coupled with a move like powerball.

The attack stat is about as basic as it comes. The higher it is, the more damage you do with direct attacks and damage over time effects. There are a lot of buffing/debuffing moves that help/hinder attack moves as well. For example:

Lil’Deathwing has the roll attack, which increases attack by 25% for 3 turns. There’s a trick to stacking your attack effects to go along with your hard hitting moves. For example, I usually use Lil’D’s elementium bolt attack followed immediately by his roll attack. As long as that 25% attack buff is in effect when the bolt lands, it deals the extra damage. It makes a move that usually does about 700 damage do 900. This trick also works on pets like Mr. Bigglesworth and its prowl/ice tomb combo.

If you are running a pure offensive pet group then managing your attack buffs is key. There’s no sense in running a pet that has a ton of attack and a buffing move without using it properly. Your goal is to knock opponents out before they knock you out, so manage your cooldowns effectively! Offensive pets rarely have much in the way of stats like speed or health. They are true glass cannons so if your opponent gets one up on you, you’re probably going to lose quickly.

Now, speedy pets are an interesting lot. Some of you may have already noticed that the round mechanics in WoW’s pet battles are…erm…wonky. If you have a high speed pet you have an ENORMOUS advantage in battles. This is key to what makes flying pets and their default speed buff so useful!

Speedier pets will -always- go first in battles. (Unless the opponent has a move like surge which automatically attacks first in a round.) What this means is that their moves like lift-off, dive, burrow, etc. will negate the opponent’s move on that turn immediately. If you have a fast pet with an evasion move and you know something like elementium bolt or ice tomb is about to hit you, if you use your move at the start of the turn it will miss. If your opponent goes first, it will hit you and THEN your lift off move will go off, wasting the defensive capabilities.

There’s also the case of moves like survival. If your pet goes first, the survival move will go into effect for that turn AND the next turn. The reason for this is because the turn you cast the move (as long as you go first) does not count as the round it’s in effect. The next round does. This only works for pets when they are faster. So it goes like this:

Turn 1:

-Faster pet uses survival. It goes into effect immediately.

-Slower pet attacks. Survival negates damage.

Turn 2:

-Faster pet attacks. Survival is still in effect as this is the official “round” it is supposed to be working.

-Slower pet attacks. Survival negates damage again.

Once that second turn is over, survival finally wears off.

I don’t know if this is supposed to be happening, but it’s been like this with speedy pets ever since pet battles were launched. I think it’s a safe bet that it’s probably meant to be a benefit for speedy pets since outside of going first in a round there really were no other benefits to having a faster pet.

2) Choosing The Right Pet

choosingapet

Lately I’ve had a lot of people asking, “Yo Alona, what’s the best pet to use? Or what’s the most unbeatable pet team?”

The answer? There isn’t one. Most pets have their uses, and because of that there is no perfect pet team. When it comes to countering certain pets in PVP or with the master tamers, there are certainly pets that work better than others. But if you’re looking for a single pet or team that can beat everything all the time, you’re not going to find it.

Choosing the right pet to level is almost entirely up to you. The first step is to look at the pet’s stats. You can usually tell, even at level 1, what the pet will be strong in. If its HP is higher than other pets, it’s probably going to be a good soaker. If its attack stat is 1 higher than the others, it’s probably an attack pet, etc.

Some pets are almost completely balanced in all 3 stats. This means that they’re never lacking in one stat, but they don’t necessarily stand out. I personally prefer pets with skewed stats like speedy mechanical dragonlings or powerhouse whelplings. But again, this is up to the you.

The second thing you want to look at is the pet’s movepool. What, specifically, are you looking to get out of the pet? Are you looking for something like an eternal strider that has mainly powerhouse aquatic moves? Or are you looking for something like a corehound pup that has a variety of different moves?

Both of these pets have their uses. The strider is amazing in PVE against tamers because it’s so strong against elemental pets with its pure aquatic moveset. The pandaren spirit tamers in particular all have at least one elemental pet on their team. Meanwhile the corehound pup has a varied movepool with two dodge moves and only one attack that matches its elemental type.

It could be argued that one is better for PVE and the other is better for PVP, but that’s not necessarily the case. If I were going into a PVP match I would be more likely to bring the corehound because of its movepool though, because I’m not sure who I’d be up against and dodges are effective against almost everything.

Some pets have movepools that make me just scratch my head. The moonkin hatchling is a good example. I can understand that it’s themed around moonkins in the game, but its stun is pretty much the only good move in its set. But without a faster speed stat, it’s pretty much useless anyway. Usually when a pet has a bad moveset you’ll be able to tell because there’s no synergy between the attacks. The moonkin for example has moonfire, which causes the moonlight weather effect. Meanwhile it also has solar beam, which is effected by the sunlight weather effect. No synergy at all.

If you see something like that, go with your gut and stay away.

It really helps if you go down the list of your available pets in your pet journal and take a good long look at their moveset. Some pets, like the gilnean raven, have interesting one off abilities like nevermore. You never know what kinds of cool moves/combos you can find until you really take a good look.

3) Leveling Against Tamers

tamers

By now you should have a few level 25 pets to your name. It’s time to get into more advanced leveling tactics. Once you beat all the tamers on a continent, you’ll unlock the daily quests for that area. This means that every day you can go back and battle the tamers. Tamers give more exp per battle, but you’ll need to be cautious because if you’re bringing a leveling pet, you’re essentially running with a man down on your team.

A good example of how to level against a tamer is to fight Farmer Nishi. She is arguably the easiest master tamer in the game. She runs with two elemental pets and a beast pet, so I usually go in with the following pet team:

Level 25 eternal strider, level 25 lil’Deathwing (you can substitute any hard hitting pet here, honestly.) and my low level pet.

I’ll start with the low level pet out against either of the elementals and use an attack. Once it goes off, I immediately switch to the strider and KO both elementals. Usually her brood of mothran pet KOs my strider, so I send out my lil’D to finish it off. Voila, 9-5k exp immediately for your low level pet.

The same strategies can be followed for the other pet tamers. Generally as long as you have a pet or two that are strong against the opponent’s pets, you can get by with only having 2 level 25 pets fighting. A single round of daily quests against the tamers can easily push one, or even two pets (depending on their starting level) to 25. The ONLY tamer I’d recommend not doing this with is the Pandaren Earth Spirit. Even with 3 level 25 pets it can be a tricky opponent with all its stuns.

4) PVP Pet Battles

PVPbattles

Hoboy. Are you sure you want to do PVP battles? Yes? O..okay.

PVP battles in WoW can be a bit of a dice roll. Having only 3 pets to choose from in a fight means you’re going to run into teams that you can beat no problem, or teams that will wipe the floor with you. Using some creativity when it comes to movepools will help immensely but there’s still some luck involved. Currently if you go up against a team of a Fluxfire Feline, Mr.Bigglesworth, and Kun-lai runt, you may as well curl into a ball and weep. But who knows how it’ll be in future patches.

PVP battles at level 25 are where you’re going to run into the people who really know how to play. Most of them know exactly what they’re doing and chose their teams carefully. If you want to win, you’d better do the same.

The best rules to follow in PVP battles are the same rules that apply to dodgeball. Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge. If you aren’t taking damage, you’re that much closer to winning. Moves like burrow, dive, and lift-off can be huge boons if you are making the most of them. The biggest trump card in PVP battles right now is the reflection move. Reflection is a boon because no matter the speed of your pet, it activates first in the round.

Some of the more common pets you’ll run into in PVP battles are:

Clockwork gnomes – easily countered with a water waveling or other elemental pet. Any pet that has a shield move will negate its turret damage. Meanwhile a lot of pets have moves like tidal wave that will remove all objects from the battlefield. Given how dependent a lot of people in PVP battles are on mechanical pets, having a good elemental in your party at almost all times is usually a good idea.

Flayer Younglings – A decent undead pet like a blighthawk or ghostly skull will make quick work of one of these things. The key is to manage reflection properly. If you can feign and make them waste their reflection, you’ve won.

Any kind of crab at all – The best defense against these is a strong offense. Use any powerhouse pet and they won’t live long enough to heal.

Right now people are big on using Fluxfire Felines and Mr. Bigglesworths but IMHO they’ll be nerfed in future patches to make them less of a crutch for people who can’t make powerhouse teams without 1-shot KO moves so there’s no point in addressing them.

Kun-lai runts – A somewhat fast undead pet is a good bet with this. Again, see blighthawk or ghostly skull above. If the user gets lucky with the stun on deep freeze, try to work around it. You’re probably only going to run into people who run a frost shock/deep freeze/takedown  build. Just smack them with a curse of agony/doom and move on with your day.

The key to PVP battles is remembering that sometimes your team can’t counter the one lady luck put you up against. Just accept the defeat and move on. There are some points where you may get the same opponent multiple times in a row. If you want to adjust your team, do so. If you’re frustrated about the matching system, just wait an hour or so and try again when more people are in the queue.

Whew. Okay. That’s a lot more information for you battlers to digest! Hopefully this guide is useful to folks.

Also, I hate to put this here but if you want to use my guide/images from my guide elsewhere – I’m okay with it as long as I’m credited. I feel like this should go without saying but I’ve seen some things that look startlingly familiar to the images I put in my last guide popping up around the net. Not that I care that much, but a little link to the source would be rad. :)