For our 30th episode and our 10th pet battle team, we wanted to do something special. We set out to build a team that took the best of all the pets we’ve used so far, and combine them into some sort of giant robot-monster of awesomeness that would wipe out everything in its path (and hopefully not destroy Tokyo).
The time for judgment has come. Will our supposed “best” pets live up to the title?
Goal of the team
The rules were simple: build a team out of any of the pets we’ve used in our lineups before. That gave us plenty of options, but I started us with something simple: a Lightning Storm 2.0 team. This took the very first pet battle team we ever create and updated it for the modern era!
Our team took 3 pets—Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, Corefire Imp, and Terrible Turnip—and united them under a single banner: add buffs and debuffs that add damage to every attack we make, and then hit them as often as possible.
The community was oddly quiet this time around! I suspect that the beginning of the holiday season got the better of us this time around. If you tried the team out, add your thoughts in the comments below!
Changes I made to the lineup:
As usual, I tried a bunch of different third wheels on the team.
Terrible Turnip: As we discussed in the team’s reveal, I started with Terrible Turnip in the third wheel slot. It worked surprisingly well. When I was able to pull off the full combo of having Wild Magic and Lightning Storm up at the same time while I did Sons of the Root, it was basically an instant win. The problem is that’s a pretty difficult combo to pull off without killing half your pet’s health. I only pulled off twice in about 25 games. Not a great ratio, but man was it fun it happened!
Clockwork Gnome: I had to try this guy at least once! He was core to original, vintage Call Lightning team — and he’s still one of my favorite pets in the game. He worked okay, but there are just so many darn Elemental pets out there that he never really pulled his weight. He could usually get two turrets up before dying, but that would rarely trade with the full health of an opponent’s pet. God bless you, Clockwork Gnome, but I think you’ll be staying on my PvE teams until Elemental stops being the catch-all pet family that’s just stuffed to the gills with popular pets.
Lil’ XT: I tried LiL’ XT for only two matches. Like his buddy the Clockwork Gnome, he has so much potential to be amazing if half the pets on PvP teams weren’t Elemental. His combo takes awhile to set up, and if the enemy can overwrite the weather effect, or is smart enough to not proc the Heartbroken damage buff, he gets stomped without much challenge.
Zandalari Kneebiter: I used him for about half of my matches with this team. The Kneebiter is a solid pet that can hold his own against pretty much any pet in the game. He was reliable, strong, and occasionally won the game single-handedly. It’s a great pet for this team.
Darkmoon Hatchling: This is the reason why I stopped using the Kneebiter — it’s a very similar pet that fits in much better with this team. It’s strong, it adds a 2-turn double damage debuff, and it is a counter to Elemental pets and CC pets, which is a very big deal. The Critter passive ensures that it never gets CCed for more than one turn (which often means no stun at all if the Darkmoon Hatchling is faster than its opponent). And being in the Critter family means that it takes less damage from elementals, letting it chip away at chunkers like Lil’ Ragnaros without any threat of dying. It also has two family attacks (Flying and Beast) which give it variety when attacking. I also like that it never stalls out. The Kneebiter has a 4-turn move, then has to recover for 3 turns before it’s cooldowns are back up. The Darkmoon Hatchling can keep punching forever.
When it works:
When this lineup worked, I was able to keep my opponents backpedaling constantly. I always started with Corefire Imp to get Immolation and Wild Magic going, then send it to the backline to heal up the damage it just took.
If the enemy pet wasn’t Elemental, the Yeti would come in and toss on Call Lightning. Then go to town with Thrash, which is dealing 360 damage per hit and hits 3 times per turn, thanks to all the damage procs.
Then when they swap, bring in the Darkmoon Hatchling. Start Flocking so that they’re taking double damage and follow it up with a Trample, guaranteed to deal 20% of their HP, plus change on top. After the double-damage debuff from Flock wears off, bring in the Corefire Imp and start over again.
Flock: I think I underestimated the value of the long-duration stampedes like Flock. I touted the raptor’s Hunting Party for only locking up your pet for 2 turns, instead of 3. But Flock’s double-damage debuff lasts for two turns after Flock is over, which is an easy death sentence for any pet — even those craft ones with Dodge.
Thrash: This was also better than I expected. The way I ended up doing my pet lineup, with the Corefire Imp always first, meant that Wild Magic was up more than I expected. Thrash is absolutely brutal if you get lucky and land all 3 swings with those damage debuffs up. It’s significantly better than Metal Fist, the yeti’s other ability option in that slot–for this lineup at least.
Call Lightning: I can’t recall if this was how it always was (I don’t think so), but Call Lightning was still proccing on enemy Elemental pets, because it procs off of my attacks, not their defense. That was a very nice surprise that I wasn’t expecting.
Sunny Weather: I never casted Sunny Weather, but the enemy casting it was one of the best things to happen to me. At first I was frustrated that my Lightning Storm weather was gone, but then I realized that my Corefire Imp was healing for a ton of health every turn thanks to the Humanoid passive, that scales with maximum health. And I noticed that my Darkmoon Hatchling’s Trample was dealing more damage, because it scaled off of the enemy’s maximum health size. It was brilliant — I think I got more out of that weather effect than they did!
When it doesn’t work:
This team really has no way to recover from a losing fight, which is a definite downside. If it starts strong, it can power through and end strong — but it had a very tough time of trying to recover.
That’s mostly because it relies on pet swapping. All of the pets do moderately well when trying to combo off of themselves. Corefire imp can sling damage and heal itself. The Yeti can Call Lightning then proc it a bunch with Thrash. The Darkmoon Hatchling could Flock and then Trample to deal double damage for two turns.
But what really makes this team special is how well all of their abilities work together. They weren’t superheroes unless I had the time to swap out pets. If I was behind and tried to swap out pets, I’d end up just taking too many suckerpunches during the swap turns. But If I could force them to lose a turn or two by swapping, I could make swaps of my own and guarantee that they would never make a comeback.
Screech: Maybe I shouldn’t have thought I’d be able to use this ability more, but I just could never justify the big drop in damage. If the Hatchling was in, I’d much rather it be delaing 20% of the enemy’s health, or applying a double-damage debuff to it.
Tidal Wave: This is a great ability for a team that allows the Terrible Turnip to go early, but in this roster, the Terrible Turnip is always going last because it does best when the other pets have already left their debuff on the enemy. So, Tidal Wave was usually hitting one, maybe two pets, and that makes its damage just abysmal.
Build Turret: Sure, it attacks for three hits every turn. But so does Flock, and Flock is also applying a double-damage debuff while it’s doing it. This team already relies a lot on Mechanical damage, and I want to diversify whenever possible. The Turrets just didn’t make the cut this time.
(30-12) – 71% win ratio
I have the most success with the Darkmoon Hatchling the third wheel, although Terrible Turnip was close behind it. This team is fun in PVE, especially if you know the pet can’t swap out (like against legendaries). I’ll be using this team as a Legendary pet killer, with the Terrible Turnip in the third slot, because it can dodge for 3 turns while killing the enemy pet. I won’t be using it for anything else though — it’s too clunky to be time-efficient, which is what I want for my everyday pet teams.
Do I still use the team?
Yes. Yes, I’m going to continue to use it in PvP. It’s a fun lineup that makes me smile when the big combo gets pulled off. That’s all I can ask for from a team!
Individual pet reviews
Terrible Turnip: 7 — This guy deserves a re-review, and he does great on this team. He fills his role perfectly, and just wrecks face when the stars align and he pulls off his big combo. He’s still a niche pet, but man it’s a fun niche!
Tranquil Mechanical Yeti: 10 — There are so many reasons I love this yeti, but this time it’s because he’s versatile. His Call Lightning ability is solid, and his other two slots have several cool ways to play off of it. He’s a strong pet that can always trade well, and can usually do more than that. Plus he’s a tiny yeti. I love it!
Corefire Imp: 10 — Unchanged from its first review.
Zandalari Kneebiter: 9 — (New review) The combo potential on this pet is still very strong, and it’s fun to play. But the Mechanical damage that this team deals to itself, and allows the enemy to deal with Call Lightning is brutal to any Beast-family pets. In my original review, I called it a “pet battle god.” It still is, but it’s wandering far outside it’s domain on this team.
Darkmoon Hatchling: 8 — Flock is brilliant and Trample is decent, but its third slot is lackluster. It’s a fun pet that fits well into this lineup, and has some potential for fun variations in PVE with Predatory Strike. But, it’s still missing a third essential ability to really make it shine.
Deirdre McClure: “How can I know I have the fastest possible version of a pet?”
First, let’s talk about Breed. Each pet has a family, which is its category, like Mechanical, Elemental, Aquatic, etc. This determines it’s passive perk, and how much damage enemy pets deal to it.
But it also has a Breed, which is kind of like it’s “type”, and this modifies its stats. Each pet has 3 stats:
Health: Increases it’s maximum health
Power: Increases the damage and healing of its abilities
Speed: Determines which pet will go first in combat
A pet’s Breed is basically two of these stats. For example, Health/Speed, Power/Speed, or Power/Health. What this Breed means is that the first stat listed gets a big boost, and the secondary stat gets small boost.
A Health/Power Breed of a pet will have a larger health pool, but deal less damage than a Power/Health Breed of that same pet.
Alright, so that’s how Breeds work. But Diedre asked how can we know if we have the highest Speed (or any stat for that matter) version of a pet.
First, if the pet is a one-time-collection pet (such as an achievement reward, or purchased from a vendor, like holiday pets, or earned from a quest) then there is only one possible Breed it. Because you can only get it once, the devs wanted them to always be the same. For example: The Darkmoon Hatchling is a pet bought from a vendor at the Darkmoon Faire. Because of that, it only has one Breed. That means, if you have it, you automatically have the fastest version of that pet.
But if a pet is a wild pet (meaning you capture it in the wild or it drops from farmable NPCs in the wild) you have a chance to catch any number of different types of breeds. There are several ways to see if you’ve captured the fastest version:
- Click on the Battle Info tab, and in the top-right section of the pets battle info are 3 stat bars
- Each of these represent a stat. The Heart is HP, Sword is Power, and Arrows is Speed
- You can click the arrows on either side to see the different breeds available for that pet
- As you change, the stats on the page for the pet will change too, so just compare the stats to your pet’s stats to discover what breed you have, and then scroll through to see if there are any faster breeds available.
You can download the Battle Pet BreedID addon
This will show you the breed of your pets in-game, and during battle. Other pet battle addons have this functionality too, but will come with other features as well, that you may or may not want.
Oh and don’t forget that quality matters too — Your common-quality pet will probably be slower than the rare, no matter what breed it is.
Grommok: “Josh Augustine hosts this fun and informative podcast that is all about pet battle strategy that welcomes audience participation. My Real ID is Grommok#1910 and I play on Skullcrusher.”
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