Corgi Island Rescue Pet Spotlight: Macabre Marionette

stats

So picture this – I’m strolling along the canals of Stormwind during the annual day of the dead ceremonies and I stumble over a pile discarded bones. They were tiny and vaguely humanoid. Thinking they were perhaps from a gnomish murder most foul, I almost panicked and ran for Horatio Laine until I realized there was a strange noise coming from under the jumbled skeleton.

Upon closer (and incredibly delicate) inspection I realized that the sound I was hearing was coming from a pair of tiny maracas that were buried at the base of the bone pile.

Being a pet rescuer, I’m no stranger to weird creatures. I’ve seen floating skulls, flying books, and even levitating eyeballs. Something about this ridiculous pile of bones that clung so desperately to its maracas made my rescue instincts go wild, so I sat down to begin the arduous task of reassembling the little creeper.

marionettejumpWhile I am a fairly talented restoration shaman, I rarely deal with rebuilding skeletal structures so the entire endeavor took HOURS. Not to mention the danged thing kept shaking and shimmying once it had a few of its limbs reattached. When I was finished, the heap of bones reached for its hat and maracas and just starting dancing away!

I was actually kind of impressed. To go from pile’o’bones to rockin’ out with your maracas out in .5 seconds after being reassembled is pretty impressive for a non-herolike creature. Either way, I figured it had gotten lost and decided to lead it back to the festivities. When I initially returned it to the Day of the Dead celebration area, it shimmied around the crowd trying to get everyone to feel the rhythm. I was content to for it to stay there, but after I turned to leave the little one was at my heels still shaking its thangs and followed me all the way home.

And that’s how I came to adopt my own little rhythm machine!

—-

PLAY HIM OFF, MARIONETTEBefore taking this guy into battle you’re going to want to toss him an undead upgrade stone so he reaches his full potential. And boy, does he have potential. A full arsenal of undead moves makes him a fantastic counter to humanoid pets, plus he has macabre maraca to deal extra damage to dragonkin – the pet family he takes less damage from.

While not particularly speedy or powerful, the marionette DOES have a defense shattering move in dead man’s party. Currently this is the ONLY undead style flock/hunting party style defense shattering move. Bone barrage and death and decay are incredibly useful as well. If you want to use him as a hard counter against a dragonkin pet, set up a dead man’s party and hammer away with macabre maraca for really dancin’ good time.

There are PLENTY of humanoid tamer battles to face off against in Warlords of Draenor, so adding this guy to your repertoire sooner rather than later would be a really good idea. Though be prepared for a lot of maraca shaking around your house.

marionettedancetime

((WARNING: THERE IS NO “OFF” SWITCH FOR THIS PET. BE PREPARED FOR CONSTANT CONGA LINE ATTEMPTS.))

Corgi Island Rescue Pet Spotlight: Spawn of G’nathus

((Heck of a mouthful for a title! With Warlords on the horizon I’ve been doing a lot of battle pet testing on the beta. Before the expansion launches I wanted to make a series of in character posts about pets that I’ve found especially useful against the new team compositions. Starting with…))

gnathusstatsI first found this little spark off the coast of Shan’ze Dao. Despite the deep waters that shelter its much bigger relative, G’nathus, the spawn I found had been beached on the sandy shoreline.¬† Ever the prepared pet battler, I patched it up with some spare bandages I keep in my pack and then CAREFULLY attempted to get it back into the sea. Unfortunately my task was made more difficult by the fact that the little eel constantly generates electric currents throughout its body!

gnathusportrait2With a little creative rigging and a rope pet leash, I was able to get it back into the water. Not without a few burns to my new armor, however, but eh. Sacrifices. I stood on the shore and watched the little one slither back out to the deep water. Once it got there it was eclipsed by the ENORMOUS shadow of its namesake, and as soon as I saw G’nathus’ electrified fin jut through the waves I bolted out of there as fast as my hooves could carry me.

A couple weeks later I was fishing for carp near Niuzao’s temple when within seconds, a nearby school of fish keeled over and bubbled to the surface. Then another school went belly up. Then another. Then another! I realized that the path of fishy death was headed straight for my bobber so I reeled in my line so quickly it almost caught fire. Just as I pulled the bait free from the water, I noticed a quick pulse of electricity and then the school I had been fishing from was no more.

I was positively aghast at the sight until a familiar looking purple fin popped through the waves. On the one hand I was flattered that the spawn of G’nathus I rescued weeks ago had gone to such lengths to find me. But on the other hand…those poor fish.¬† Still, I’m not one to turn down a pet, so I welcomed my new little friend into corgi island’s ranks!

Though…I’m careful to keep him away from all my other aquatic pets…

—–

gnathusportraitBattlewise, a spawn of g’nathus is a fabulous aquatic pet to keep around for elemental battles. I’ve used it COUNTLESS times in the WoD beta because there is no shortage of new elemental pets/bosses you’ll be fighting.

Swallow you whole and dive are some of the best aquatic moves you can get. Dive does high damage and adds in a built in dodge as well. Lil G’nathus also comes with paralyzing shock – which prevents enemies from swapping for 3 rounds.

PLUS this little spark has a great repertoire of elemental moves, which gives him an edge against mechanical pets like the lifelike mechanical toad that have a counter for an elemental family pet.

If you have one of these in your journal, now would be a great time to get it to level 25 for WoD. There are a couple of tamer battles that G’nathus can handle practically solo. And there are PLENTY of elemental battles where he’s a useful lead-in or secondary pet as well.

Plus they make surprisingly affectionate pets!

gnathushug

((WARNING: DO NOT HUG IN OPEN BODIES OF WATER.))

5 WoD Pet Related Things to Get Hype About!

Man, it took me like 20 minutes to try and come up with a title for this article that wasn’t a mouthful. I just couldn’t do it, I’m sorry people. A master wordsmith I am not.

Before I get into my list I want to say that everything posted here is my own speculation based on tweets by devs as well as blog posts and information from Blizzcon. Take it all with a grain of salt because I very frequently have no idea what I’m doing at any given moment. (I’ve been known to install simple things like vacuum cleaner handles upside-down, for example.)

With WoD around the corner…a very large corner…but around it nonetheless, I think a lot of the pet community has been hungry for morsels of information about what is to come in WoD. Anyone who enjoys pet battling should be using warcraft pets as their go-to site, but a lot of information gets lost in translation amongst the many dev twitter accounts and fansites and yadda yadda. I wanted to hop aboard the hype train and add my own special brand of fuel to the fire with my ideas. So here’s my list:

5) Let’s get this obvious one out of the way – NEW PETS.

peacock

I mean yeah if you weren’t expecting new pets in WoD I have no idea what to tell you. A few of them have been datamined so far, but the one that has ruffled many feathers thus far has been the peacock pet.

CERTAIN pet battlers have been ah, asking? Demanding…pinning notes to pet battle dev doors with knives…or how about – requesting? Yes. Requesting. That a peacock pet be added in since the models were first datamined ages ago. Here we go. They’re there, woop woop. My own ~~~speculation~~~~ is that this bird is going to be the new pet collection achievement reward. Collect a gaboojillion pets and you get a peacock. Hah. Or it could be tied into the new Arrakoa content.

But besides that there are plenty of other pets in the pipeline. Much excite.

4) New pet related achievements.

mothimage

Okay maybe it’s not FAIR to have this and the new pets be separate categories but they kinda are. With a new expansion we’re looking at another tier of pet achievements. This means another collection achievement, another leveling achievement, probably more new dailies or tournaments to do, and another tier of prior content raid pets – looking at you ICC.

Very few new pet achievements have been datamined so far and that’s good and bad. Good because there’s still an element of surprise and bad because one of the ways people get more information about in development content and what it entails is by looking at the achievements that have been put in for it. But I KNOW they’re coming. They have to be, right? RIGHT?

3) Pets in your garrison.

best pic i've ever drawn

Pets are going to be tied into the garrisons via the stable building. (Sidenote, if you haven’t seen Alternative Chat’s garrison guides yet, it’s worth a look.) So far we know that’s where the mounts and pets will go, and the devs have hinted on twitter that there will be a traveling/visiting pet trainer to your stables to train with. Rotating weekly? Daily? Monthly? Living on your couch until you finally get up the nerve to tell them they’re stinking up the joint? I don’t know.

My hope is that you’ll be able to have some of your pets just kinda sittin’ and chillin’ in your garrison as well to add some ambiance. Nothing says home sweet home like your ghostly skull or filthling laying by the fireplace. Aw.

A while ago developer Corey Stockton also asked on twitter for suggestions for pet battle related titles that could be tied to garrisons, so that’s also a thing. Maybe a nice, “the rescuer” title for everyone who adopted pets out in the wild. Or a, “really effing patient” title because living with pets that are constantly leaving poop and fur everywhere is a waking nightmare hahahaha not that I would know.

2) The potential for a breeding system down the line.

petcombine

Okay so, I was hype at blizzcon when I got to talk to Corey Stockton a bit about the pet breeding system. To me, it was glorious. I have played….a lot…of pet battle related games. The system they were developing for WoW sounded a lot like the old Monster Rancher system of combining monsters.

You take two monsters/pets and combine them in a special room and a new monster is born with some of the attributes of its parent monsters, though those parents are lost in the mix. That sat just fine with me, because if you’re trying to build the perfect pet, you have to scramble a few eggs. Wait. That’s a terrible analogy.

Either way. In the WoW system you would take Pet A and Pet B and mix’em. Pet B would be lost in the mix and Pet C, babby pet, would be created. Hopefully with the stats and pet family you were hoping for. You’d keep Pet A and now have Pet C to add to your lineup. As long as the two pets were from the same pet family (elemental, dragonkin, etc.) they could be combined. This means that you could just go out and catch fodder pets in the world to combine with your beloved favorite pets. So some risk, but ultimately still a safe system.

Like I said, I’m used to the system from past games so I was good with it. Others weren’t, and that’s okay. And since it’s a HUGE amount of coding to undertake, the devs decided to wait until they could get the feedback to make the system just right for everyone. That means it may not come in WoD, but my sincerest hope is that it will.

Now that I think about it, a LOT of WoW pet battle stuff reminds me of Monster Rancher. All those frustrating days doing tournaments in Monster Rancher and having a 99% chance to hit in battles, only to still whiff every move you dished out.

….weh.

1) You knew this was coming, right? New pet items.

such a punchable face

Hey uh, so uh, hey. Yeah uh. So uh. There’s an item in WoD that will be able to make grounded pets fly. It uh, it MIGHT be named after someone familiar maybe? I mean, I dunno. *thumbs suspenders* Must be someone pretty cool.

Okay wait stop, no, I’m not that egotistical. (Yeah I am.) But let me explain -

There are a few pet related items that have been added or named due to feedback from the pet battle community. The meaning of this is twofold. One: It’s really fuckin’ cool. Two: It means that the pet battle developers are not turning a deaf ear to their customerbase. They are listening, they are interacting, they are encouraging. You see that a little bit in WoW when it comes to armor or item references for theorycrafters or upstanding community members (There needs to just be an entire city in game dedicated to the people who work at WoWhead JS.) but the pet battle devs take it to a whole ‘nother level.

Given that I think some expected pet battles to be a cute little side game that people maybe did once in a while, the way it has blossomed both on the player side and the dev side has been really encouraging. It’s been fun to watch how it’s kind of…evolved into its own thing.

And that kind of sums up my feelings about the pet related WoD hype. The most exciting thing about pet related WoD stuff is THAT IT’S THERE IN SUCH A MAJOR CONTEXT. Okay? See, I went somewhere with it all.

The term I used before? Really fuckin’ cool? That fits. Fits pretty well.

3 Battle Pets that Never Let Me Down

As we get closer and closer to the next expansion, leveling battle pets has just become routine for me. I’m not even sure why I still do it at this point since I have so many, but I just want to be surrounded by as many cute level 25 pets as possible. Once garrisons come out I expect that opening the front door of mine will result in an EXPLOSION of pets just spouting out the door. (Though this comic is probably going to be a more realistic prediction of my behavior come WoD.)

If you’ve dabbled in pet battles or haven’t really picked them up yet, now is a really good time to get into it. The market for pets is good, and the charms, valor, and gold you get from the battles and daily quests can still be put to good use. Since the level cap for pets is NOT increasing in Warlords, any pets you get to level 25 now will remain “current” in the next expansion.

With all the leveling I do, there are a few pets that I use on a consistent basis that I think are going to continue to be useful into WoD for pet leveling. Obviously we don’t know what the new tamer spreads will be just yet, but the pets I have in mind cover some pretty broad bases and are very useful now. I see no reason for them to lose their utility in the expansion.

Everyone has different opinions on pets and which are the “best.” These are not the “best” pets per se, but they are the ones I use most in my daily rounds of pet leveling due to their movesets and other useful factors. I tried to keep this list restricted to easily acquirable pets. “Easy” in my mind means easy to farm, or reasonable to purchase on the in game AH. So let’s get started!

1: Anubisath Idol

I’m going to just flat out say that ANY pet battler you meet will tout the usefulness of the anubisath idol, especially when it comes to pet leveling. Sandstorm alone is an incredibly useful move because you can swap in low level pets on tamers (like Aki the chosen) who use pets with swarm moves. With sandstorm active the swarms do 0 damage, and your leveling pet can absorb the damage and then swap out to get the exp without any real danger.

Deflection is also a great defensive move, and then you can spend the rest of the battle crushing your way to victory while the humanoid passive (health renew tick every turn) keeps it alive. The anubisath idol is not a FAST killer – but he’s a RELIABLE killer. And that is critical when it comes to putting together initial teams for 2 vs 3 leveling squads.

The idol drops from the Twin Emps in AQ40. They can sometimes sell for quite a chunk of change on the AH, but they are worth every copper. Farm it or buy it, if you don’t have one of these at level 25 you are – and will continue to miss out.

2. P/P Yellow Moth

Out of all the flying types this poor moth is sometimes overshadowed by all the darkness/nocturnal strike combos. But I like this little guy since he doesn’t rely on a setup and still really holds his own. Well rounded and deadly, this little bugger is my go-to for any and all aquatic pets INCLUDING annoying turtles.

Cocoon strike is a great defensive move when you know a dive or headbutt is coming. And it has a shorter cooldown than lift-off, though it does significantly less damage. Moth dust is high damage and also has the chance to put enemies to sleep, and alpha strike is high damage against most mobs since very few can beat the flying type’s speed advantage.

Given that this moth has the flying racial, it gets that automatic speed boost over 50% health. That means that since this thing has a p/p breed, it’s a little flying mothy powerhouse and I love it so much.

This little dude comes from the pet vendor in the exodar. It has several breeds, so it might take you some time to pick up the p/p option. It also starts out at uncommon quality, so if you have a battlestone you’re gonna want to stone it right away and then go level it!

3) Darkmoon Tonk

With all the beast pets in the world, having a mechanical pet on this list was a given. I usually keep my tonk in the 3rd pet battle spot for most tamer battles, including little Oondasta and the darkmoon tamer Jeremy Feasel because while it isn’t the biggest SUPER OMG AWESOME powerhouse, it makes a good finisher/clean up pet.

Ion cannon is a great finisher move, and minefield and shock and awe are great too. Mechanical pets in general are always good to keep around. Their racial is pretty wicked, and most of their moves to heavy damage. A lot…a LOT of tamers also use beast pets in their rotation, so the type bonus is really good to have as well. In terms of accessible and easy to use mech pets, the tonk is your guy! …robot….thing?

The tonk is sold for darkmoon tickets at the darkmoon faire, but they also sell for decent prices on the AH as well. It took me a while to finally pick one up, but now that I’ve got one I use it more often than not.

With the main 3 pets out of the way, I wanted to also add in two runner up pets that are extremely useful in their own ways.

The zandalari anklerender is one of the best critter farming pets you can have. It does great damage, and devour ensures that you won’t need to make any trips back to the stablemaster. Swap your leveling pet out for this lil’guy, go to down, devour, move on. If you’re out of tamers to 2 vs 3 and still want to level, take your leveling pet and this cutie out to the valley of the four winds – turn on some music – and grind for as long as you want.

The anklerender and its raptor brothers are all found as drops on the isle of giants. But they’re also usually up on the AH for fairly cheap. Worth the purchase!

Lastly, the rocket chicken pet is honestly one of the best battle pets I use on a daily basis. He would have been 3rd on my list, but as a TCG pet it doesn’t really fall into the realm of “easily available.” If you have one, luck into one of the cards, or find one cheap on the AH or BMAH, they are worth the purchase. The combination of flying and mechanical moves along with having launch AND a decent speed stat…yeah. I love this little thing.

With WoW’s TCG being phased out, I don’t know what is going to happen for future collectors looking to get ahold of a rocket chicken. I’m sure they’ll continue to pop up on the BMAH, but they’ll go from rare to OMGICANTFINDTHISTHINGANYWHERE which kinda stinks since it’s such a useful pet.

The ONLY other pet that has launch (which is a mechanical version of lift-off) is Grunty, who is also a limited edition pet. I’m a fan of keeping PETS rare, but not keeping MOVE AND STAT SETS rare. If Blizzard wants to make a rocket chicken clone with a different model available in WoD with the same stats and moveset available, I will be VERY pleased because it means more people will get access to an awesome and highly useful pet.

So I think that’s about it. If you need me, I’ll just be over here in my gigantic mountain of pets, wondering where I went wrong with my life.

petshaaa

Fast Track Pet Leveling, an Updated Guide

Most of you may have noticed that my previous pet leveling guide is painfully outdated so it’s time for me to fix that.

Please keep in mind that this guide only works if you have at least 2 level 25 pets already. If you do not yet have a level 25 pet you are going to have to level them the old fashioned way in each level specific zone until they hit max level.

There are a bunch of fast exp pet leveling guides out there at this point so remember that my method isn’t the only option for you if you don’t like it. This method works fantastically for me and it’s the reason I’ve been able to get so many of my pets to 25. My old method required a lot of luck but this method is pretty much bad-luck proof so if you’re one of those with RNG issues like I am, this is a foolproof guide.

To start with, you’re going to want to head to the area in your main city that has level 1 pets and a stablemaster. The perfect place in Stormwind is the area near the SI:7 barracks:

SWm

This is the area with the training dummies. It usually has 3-4 level 1 rats or squirrels up with a stablemaster nearby. I’d recommend that you pick our 2 or 3 pets you’re interested in powerleveling so you can get them all leveled here in one trip. This time, I chose my mini-mindslayer.

lvl1

The fast kill and respawn time of the mobs in the area pretty much guarantees that you can get a level 1 pet to level 5 in less than 5 minutes. You shouldn’t need to use the stablemaster at all as the combat regen and leveling will keep your pet healthy the whole time.

After a few short minutes your pets should all be level 5.

level5

Now it’s time to move back to Pandaria. Set up your party with your level 5 in the front and the two 25s in the other slots to keep it company. Where you go in Pandaria to level next is up to you. Some people prefer leveling in the vale near the faction cities. I usually prefer going to the valley of the four winds because the pets there hit like limp noodles. Granted, they’re more annoying with their survival moves but it still takes less than a minute to beat them.

You will want to avoid areas that have pets that use moves like grasp or web that make it so that you are unable to swap pets. Off the top of my head the turtles on Jade forest cast this, as do the turtles in valley and the spiders in Krasarang.

Fly to your leveling location of choice with your level 5 at the front of your party. Engage an enemy pet and make sure your leveling pet gets a move off. It does not need to be a damaging move, it just needs to do SOMETHING in the first round in order to get credit in the fight and earn exp. At level 5 your pet should be able to survive hits from even a level 25 enemy.

Once your pet has attacked, swap one of your level 25s in.

swap

Now use your 25 to KO the rest of the enemy party. You DO NOT need to let the level 25 pets die as now they no longer soak exp. (This was changed in 5.1.) Once your level 25 kills off the other pets, your low level pet should get ALL the exp from that battle, even from the back row. (As long as it attacked at least once.)

You will want to do this until your pet hits level 10:

lvl10

Which should only take 2 or 3 battles and no time at all.

At this point you have two options. You can continue to use this method to level on wild pets. The benefit of this is that you have a chance of getting battlestones, charms (in 5.2) and various other things. But it’s a little slower. If you have multiple 25s there is another option available.

With multiple 25s and a good team comp you can use the same strategy as above to level your pet on tamer battles. For the purposes of this guide I’m going to use Tamer Nishi as an example as she’s currently the easiest max level tamer to level your pets on.

Again, keep your low level at the head of your party and engage Nishi in a battle. Make sure your pet attacks at least once.

nishifight

At level 10 any pet should easily be able to survive an attack from an enemy master tamer’s pets. Once your lowbie has attacked, swap it out for a level 25 pet that you’re confident can easily kill off two or more of the enemy tamer’s pets.

nishiswap

Kill off the tamer’s pets and enjoy that sweet, sweet exp.

lvlup

In the span of less than a half an hour I was easily able to get my pet from level 1 to level 15. Making a circuit around the Pandaria tamers would ensure that it would be level 25 by the time I fought maybe 2 or 3 more.

lvl15

If you’ve used my method you can level a bunch of pets to level 5, then to level 10, then have them ready each day to quickly powerlevel them off the tamers to 25. I usually do this in waves, which is why my pet journal is full of level 10 pets waiting to be taken to level 25.

And like I’ve said – the benefit of this method is that it is not RNG dependent at all. You don’t need good luck on move combos to steadily level your pets. There are faster methods out there, but this is the one I’ve found works best for me. Hopefully it works for others as well!

Pet Battle Dailies – Issues and a Possible Solution

There’s an interesting feedback thread going on over on the official pet battle forums:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7763317411

It would seem that most of the folks, myself included, who started out really hardcore into the pet battling system have slowly lost interest. It’s not because the system isn’t fun. If it wasn’t fun we wouldn’t have spent time leveling 30-75 pets to 25. Even now I will be sitting at my desk and think, “Y’know what would be fun to level? My broom.” and then I get really excited thinking about it.

The issue is that in an effort to get people back out into the world, they opted to place the main burden of that on the pet battle tamers. The pet battle tamers that offer the daily battle quests are spread throughout Pandaria, Outland, Northrend, EK, and Kalimdor. The pandaria master tamers are the closest together but even still take quite a bit of time to get to and battle in order to receive the daily bags which only offer a small chance of getting anything that isn’t a gross hairball or bandage.

But I digress – there’s nothing wrong with the drop rates in the bags. Rather it’s the time investment of getting to all the tamers. At the point where a person is battling the Pandaria tamers on a regular basis, they likely already have multiple 25s and are mainly farming for extra exp or battlestones. We’re not really doing it to “be out in the world.”

After all, there’s a reason all other dailies exist in quest hubs. It’s to make doing all the daily quests a speedy and more enjoyable experience. Compared to regular dailies, the pet battle dailies are about as non-required as you can get. This works for and against them because on the one hand, if you can’t spend an hour flying all over the world to battle the tamers every day – no big deal. But on the other hand, it takes an hour flying all over the world to do all the dailies. That’s not cool.

When you’re a regular player that has to do other dailies, prep for a raid, level alts, or do dungeons or whatever else – those pet battle dailies move further and further down the totem pole until they disappear if a person doesn’t have time for them. There’s also the fact that increased tedium tends to = more boredom.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can only really speak for myself in this case. There’s nothing wrong with the tamers as they are now from the point of view of someone who is going through the initial pet battle questline/achievements. It’s fun to fly out to Outlands and battle all the spread out tamers out there because it’s new and exciting! But as time goes on and you start doing it daily, it’s less new and exciting and more “uggh these flights aren’t even long enough to AFK on.”

So I have an idea! I don’t think they should change any of the Pandaria or old content tamers because they work well where they are, even if the dailies aren’t as accessible. But I think that in a future patch they should add a small hub of maybe 4-5 master tamers that each offer a daily quest. This way the older, spread out tamers are still available for people who like that style of doing the dailies and it also adds an option for people who would like to continue doing some dailies but at a more convenient pace. It’s win-win for both sides because the options are still available for people whether they prefer one style over the other. People who like the travel can get that done and still have more content available in these new tamers and vice versa.

I’ve made jokes on my twitter about a league of shadowy pet tamers, but I think that would apply perfectly here. Once you beat the legendary elite pets that are coming in 5.2, you get an invitation in your character’s mail. You go to a designated, non-faction specific place (in a perfect world, for me, it would be the basement of Karazhan.) and meet with the league. Obviously the first objective would be to beat all of them in static pet battles, the same way you have to beat all the current tamers to unlock the dailies. Once beaten they’d start offering the usual daily quests with the bag reward.

The other idea I’d like to see applied would be for these tamers to switch their pets up daily. But I’d want all of them to have all 3 of the pets on display so people can see what they’re up against before they start the battle. So one day you face the shadowy worgen tamer with her eye of the legion, ghostly skull, and scourged whelpling pet and then the next day she has an enchanted broom, corehound pup, and crawling claw combo instead. This helps keep things somewhat fresh since these tamers would all be within a close distance to each other.

As it gets later into this expansion I don’t see why a daily hub for pet battles would be a bad thing. There’s a certain expectation that as time goes on, more people get into and then subsequently out of pet battles. It’s a lot like the way, towards the end of an expansion, gear becomes more easily acquirable to keep people’s interest. And since the daily bags have such a low drop rate for anything decent, I think being able to access 3 or 4 of them with only a 20 minute investment isn’t that bad.

So uh, yeah. I rarely blog about game ideas that I have because I feel like it makes me look like a silly fangirl. But I figured I’d take the plunge and post it here. I highly doubt anything would come of it, but hey, maybe someday~~~~

petleague

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. :)