I was extremely excited when I built the Batman pet battle team to vanquish my foes. But, two weeks later, did these darkness-mongers live up to the hype or fall flat? Here’s my review.Download WoW Pet Battle Crew #6 — Review: Pandaren Monk and Gilnean Raven
- @DeGeiDragon said: “It’s an interesting combo, I use the same one in my first group, but with Lil Deathwing & Brilliant Kaliri. Biggest issue comes again with Elementals ignoring the effects of weather & therefore the blindness aspect… It’s not a super stand out by any stretch, but solid for it’s role.”
- For reference: Brilliant Kaliri it is a rare, and has predatory strike, which is a cool ability that instantly kills an opponent below 25% health, but it’s other two ability slots are uninspiring to me personally
- Eric prefers to use Gilnean Raven over Lil Deathwing for bringing out the Call Darkness, partially because Nevermore is just a funny troll ability — it removes one of your opponents’ abilities for 5 turns
- DeGei prefered Deathwing for his high attack power, saying it was in the top 5 he’d ever seen
- Green Armadillo had some great and timely advice. He recommends using the lantern earned from the in-game Lunar Festival happening right now. He has a 2-round blind ability that can’t be avoided by Elementals, and he’s generally a decent tank pet with a 1-round dodge and the Magic passive perk of not being able to lose more than 40% of its health in a single hit.
Changes I made to the lineup:
I tried a lot of different combos with this team, starting with Lil Deathwing, Gilnean Raven and the Pandaren Monk. Deathwing made the cut because its one of the only pets that can Call Darkness before level 15. After I hit 15, I swapped out Deathwing for Ghostly Skull, and ran with that combo for 15-25 and didn’t look back. I wish I’d been able to level up my lantern and tried him on the team before this review, but it looks very promising. I think this team could be at its best with the lineup: Lil Deathwing, Panderan Monk, Lantern.
When it works:
When this team works, it’s absolutely brutal for the opponent.
- Start with Raven, Call Darkness + Nocturnal Strike = the opposing pet is at half health
- Swap in Ghostly Skull. If they don’t swap, Spectral Strike + Shadow Slash can kill them
- If they do swap, add in a Ghostly Bite to kill it in 3 or 4 hits.
- Then bring in the Pandaren Monk, supercharge his Fury of 1000 Fists and hit the pet for 80% of its health and stun it.
- Now they have one dead pet, and 2 pets around 20 – 30% health. Whichever one they swap in, the Monk will kill easily. This is usually the point where they resign.
If I got in big trouble, I could always just swap in Ghostly Skull and have him take bites until he died, when he’d come back invulnerable for one turn and use his huge hit (that also stuns himself, but who cares since he’s dead). That one hit takes about 60% of an opponent’s health without critting. It’s such a good way to balance a losing fight.
Having that burst damage to pressure out troublesome pets saved me countless times. He really was a great counterbalance to the team, still able to be effective when the main strategy wasn’t working.
Problems I encountered:
I’m not going to lie to you guys — this team didn’t fail very often.
But when it did fail, it was to teams that could do one of two things:
1. Chain stuns and power-up a huge hit with the Fluxfire Feline that would instantly kill one of my pets every 3 turns.
2. Have on-demand avoidance and Elemental healers that can tank while healing their whole team.
The Pandaren Earth Spirit was the most annoying stun machine, because he can lock you down for 4 turns while doing his damage to you if he’s faster than your pet. By the time I got out of stunlock, my first pet was almost already dead. It’s a tough way to start a match.
Fluxfire Feline was the hardest pet to counter that I ran into frequently. We all know it’s OP, but it still hurts. On turn 3, she will kill your active pet. There’s nothing this team could do about it. This is where I think Green Armadillo’s suggestion for the Lantern would be perfect — not only can it only lose 40% of its health in one hit, it can blind the fluxfire feline on it’s big attack turn for a 40% accuracy penalty, or slip into a 100% evasion for 2 turns to slow it down.
There were only a couple games where this team got shut out. The majority of the games I lost were still extremely close and I never really felt frustrated like I did with the last team we reviewed on the podcast.
I usually felt like I lost because of the insane power on the other team, instead of a lack of power on my own. I was a B-level superhero fighting Superman. He beat me as expected, but against any other opponent the games were mine to lose.
And the good news is that both of those two problem cases are getting removed in the next patch, so this team will get even better. They’re adding resilience, which will prevent your pet from being CCed for a few turns after it gets CCed, and they’re removing all of the supercharge abilities from pets like Fluxfire Feline to stop their insane burst damage.
See it in action
73 wins, 14 losses (84% win record)
Do I still use the team?
YES. That is an amazing win-loss ratio. And if you removed the losses to the pets that are getting nerfed next patch, it’s close to a 95% win ratio. That’s, frankly, insane.
But the real question is, will I continue playing this team?
HECK. YES. This team is super fun to play (I love the feeling of “dunking” on an enemy pet with the giant burst from Ghostly Skull. My wife kept looking over when I’d cheered and threw my hands up as it chomped for the kill), and it’s super strong.
I’ll put this team on hold the next time Elemental pets are the craze, but other than that, this is going to be my main go-to PvP lineup for the foreseeable future. It’s just so reliable, and I love that.
I really want to experiment with working the Lantern into the team as well, but I’m not sure if it’ll be as necessary after the nerf to burst pets next patch. It might still be fun.
For the individual pets:
- I love the Pandaren Monk. His damage is reliable, even without the blindness. I just see the stun as an added perk. And he’s usually the faster pet, meaning that stun goes for 2 rounds. Having the option to spend a turn powering up his next attack when an opponent goes unattackable for a turn helps him keep the momentum going. I’ll be using him for sure.
- Deathwing is fun. I don’t know if I’ll keep playing him, because his big Elementium Bolt is so easy for the enemy team to avoid if they have any dodge skills. But if they don’t, it’s absolutely brutal, setting up another stun for the Monk’s attacks to exploit. Honestly, I probably won’t use him in the lineup often.
- Ghostly Skull is hilarious. I wish his Spectral Strike wasn’t so reliant on Blindness, but his Ghostly Bite is so strong and just fun to play with. I was often frustrated when his undead passive didn’t work as advertised — about 30% of the time, he would simply die without getting his free, invulnerable round. I’m not sure if that’s a bug with this pet in particular or the passive in general, but it seemed to occur when he got hit with a lot more damage than his remaining health had. It was a big annoyance that wrecked my strategy, because I’d save his biggest hitting ability for that invulnerable turn, and then never get to use it. I’ll use him in the future a lot, but I want to see a patch note that the bug’s been fixed and I want to get a battle stone to upgrade it to rare before I do.
- Gilnean Raven was definitely the weakest link in the team. He’s uncommon and his abilities simply don’t hit as hard as other pets. After Call Darkness and Nocturnal Strike, he’s pretty darn weak, and can rarely trade with a good pet. He reminded me of the Yeti from the last team — I needed him there for the weather effect, but he isn’t strong enough to stand on its own.
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