It’s time to finally review our Christmas team! Do we have a winter wonderland gift or a horrible grinch?
Goal of the team
Alright, let’s talk about the team. Our team philosophy was simple: we wanted a pet team that showed everyone how excited we were about Christmas, or the winter season in general.
Anything Christmasy, snowy, or wintery was fair game.
For our core team, we used 2 pets earned through the Christmas content in-game: the Tiny Snowman, a classic, and Rotten Little Helper, a 2013 brand-spanking new pet.
“I am going to try a Frigid Frostling in place of the Snowman, I plan on using his Slippery Ice ability to reduce the enemy team’s accuracy. I use a bleed team that consists of Pierre, Infested Bear Cub, and Spineclaw Crab, and I have had success with it, over 70% win ratio and the accuracy debuff helps.” —Mad Procs
“Third wheel is definitely the Kun-Lai Runt. I know its not holiday themed and I am asking for trouble having two humanoids and all elemental attacks (almost) on the three, but the combo is too genius to pass up. Stuns, mines, damage buffs from the stuns and weather, accuracy debuffs, and some decent burst damage. If this team can stun and kill quickly enough it can do some serious damage without taking a scratch. Don’t kid yourself, I think this team CAN win tournaments. As you can guess I will be trying it out myself, I will be sure to tell you how it goes.” — Mad Procs
Quite a few people reported having trouble getting their Rotten Little Helper pet. I was really hoping it’d be a lot more common from the present under the tree, but it was really rare. I didn’t get it on any of my 10+ characters that I tried opening presents with. If you couldn’t get the Rotten Little Helper, this Christmas team gets a lot worse. At that point, I think you’re best served going for a generic Winter theme and aiming to get the Chill synergy that Mad Procs is talking about.
“I’ve started to level my Reindeer and my Rotten Little Helper. Going to give it a try with those two along with my snowman. It’s already 25 and rare from earlier ” —Qaajn
“I actually haven’t leveled any of them very far. I didn’t make them a priority yet. I sure would like some differently themed holiday pets. Where’s my Gingerbread man? Where’s the Candy Cane that behaves a little like the Enchanted Broom? Meh – that’s picky. I love to hate and hate to love the disgusting sounding Rotten Little Helper!” —Christine
“I’m back into WoW after a 6 months break, so I had to buy the rotten little helper on the AH.” —Dave
David Mireault had two ideas for third wheels, the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti and the Snowy Owl. And while the Yeti was awesome (as we’ve covered on several shows), the Snowy Owl didn’t last long. He wrote back to say “I’m sorry. I couldn’t bring myself to level the Snowy Owl. Flying are my least favorite type (although I like the crows) and he’s got the generic owl moves that have no real synergie together.”
Mad Procs: Thinks Elemental is okay because Critter is pretty uncommon (I found the bigger problem with 2 humanoids on my team, undead is everywhere!)
Changes I made to the lineup:
Frigid Frostling:Solid pet, but I really didn’t want more Elemental damage. It wasn’t just that it could be countered by Critters (which were pretty rare like Mad Procs said), it’s that I have very little potential to counter the enemy team. Unless they’re mechanical, I’m not getting a damage boost. Plus, the random-ness of the accuracy debuff (reducing their team’s chance to hit by 30%) ended up making me angry. I just don’t like random in my teams. I want to be able to rely on my strategies, it’s just a personal preference.
Winter’s Little Helper: This ended up being my main third wheel, for good or bad. I really like Ice Tomb as an ability and having another Weather-machine was great. Ice Lance really underperformed for me though. Even though the math says it should’ve been great, it just didn’t feel like it. Elemental pets and anything with a damage shield, like Turtles, just made that ability feel worthless.
Clockwork Rocket Bot:It overlapped too much with the Rotten Little Helper. I wouldn’t run both, and Rotten Little Helper has higher stats overall.
When it works:
When this team worked it was merciless. Ice Tomb would often guarantee a kill, since it left them stunned for another turn, letting me deal roughly 1k damage unretaliated.
When I could time their pet swapping right so that they were constantly swapping into the rigged Booby-Trapped Presents, their pets would come in with half health to start and already be losing.
This team snowballed extremely well. If it got a lead, it could keep churning out combos and really efficient damage that’d guarantee the other team couldn’t get back in the fight.
Call Blizzard:I love having a weather effect on my team. This one deals great damage, has almost 0 chance of backfiring on you, and wipes over the enemy Anubisath Idol’s Sandstorm like a champ.
Ice Tomb: I haven’t seen many people running dodge pets recently, which is the only real Achilles heel of this ability. Without rabbits running all over, this ability is brutally efficient, punching for 450 damage and stunning them. It worked best when Booby-Trapped Presents was down and they couldn’t swap out the stunned pet.
Deep Freeze: This is Ice Tomb 2.0. The same amount of damage, the same stun, but it happens instantly. It requires the enemy pet to be chilled, but Tiny Snowman has the tools to guarantee that.
Booby-Trapped Presents: We’ve talked about this type of ability on past shows: where you lay landmines and the next pet that swaps in for their team takes 700 damage. It works great, and I only ran into one pet that could wipe them off the board. Otherwise, they were always going kablooey
Greench’s Gift: This ability is just too good. It’s one of the most powerful single abilities in the game. 700 damage with a 90% hit chance. Its cooldown is long (5 rounds), but with this pet, I just swap in, lay down mines, take half their health and then swap in something else.
When it doesn’t work:
The team looked pretty good, even when it was failing. It rarely melted instantly, it held its own. The stuns and the nuke damage really kept it feeling like it was always in the game.
But usually what happened is I would run into a pet like Cinder Kitten who could avoid some of my chill effects. They’d swap it in right after I use my big stun ability and then just spam attacks. When the Cinder Kitten is faster than you, it’s doing 500 damage a turn on no-cooldown.
When I couldn’t force the enemy pet to swap, because they knew they had the upper hand, it was really hard for this team to get back in
Magic Hat: Cool ability and an awesome graphic (he throws a witches hat), but the damage is just terrible. Remember how I saw the Cinder Kitten is doing 500 damage a turn with no cooldown? Magic Hat is doing 296 damage a turn. That’s less than half. It was painful to watch.
Ice Lance: I was a little underwhelmed with this ability’s field test. I’m still not entirely sure why it never felt very powerful, even against pets without damage absorb abilities. It just always felt a little weak.
PvP: 50% win ratio
PvE: It did very well. It’s not universal since it can’t take on Critter or Undead pets, but it reliable stun combos let it holds its own against a lot of PVE challenges.
Do I still use the team?
Yes. I’ll use it when I get nostalgic for Christmas sometime around August. But I’ll probably swap out the Snowman for the Yeti — it’s going to be a mean Christmas, and it’s going to hurt! (I think it’s a better team for PVE that way, but it makes the entire team Humanoid so I won’t use it in PVP, where Undead damage is everywhere)
Individual pet reviews
Rotten Little Helper: 9 — This is a fun pet with a lot of power. It’s just a little bit boring, since you really have no choices to make while playing him. You throw down landmines and use your big bomb once, then you punch for 4 turns in a row. But you can’t deny his power. If you were lucky enough to get him during the Christmas season, use him!
Tiny Snowman: 6 — Deep Freeze saved this Tiny Snowman from the recycling bin. Without it, this guy has no real plan, but Deep Freeze gives meaning to his other chilling abilities, and gives him a hope of going toe-to-toe with more powerful pets. Level him if you like his look, otherwise you can find better versions of his abilities elsewhere.
Winter’s Little Helper: 5 — Ice Tomb is fun, but it really felt like the poor man’s Deep Freeze. It had no advantage over it on a team that guarantees chill effects on the enemy. Without Ice Tomb’s explosive power, this pet is just mediocre.
Big Bear Butt: “What is your favorite pet of all time”
The Crew Combo
“Bleed Em Dry” by James Waddell III
- 1. Rip: 250 damage up front, another 400 over 5 turns
- 2. Blood in the Water: 100% hit chance, 750 Damage
- 3. Healing Wave: For 550 health
- 4. Swap pets
- 5. Maul: For 770 damage
That’s 650 + 750 + 770 damage and 550 heal over 5 turns.
434 damage per turn
110 heal per turn
That’s a pretty good formula to grind through an opponent’s team. The best part is that those abilities only have 3-round cooldowns, so you can do that combo really frequently.
Chillin2Tunes: “I have been a pet collector since Wrath and when pet battles were introduced into the game, I used them primarily to catch more pets. I have raised over 100 pets to max level using guides on various sites. Even with so many max-level pets, I never really felt like I knew what I was doing. This podcast teaches you ways to match pets and their abilities to maximize your damage and healing to bear your opponents. Great website as well. Just started PvPing and while still a noob I am having a blast. Thanks, Josh!”
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