Miss. Crit. Crit. Miss. Miss.
The “Go Big or Go Home” team has led us through a painful 6-month lesson in RNG humility. Let’s take a look at what this random-loving team did well, and where it misstepped.
Goal of the Team
This team was all about high-risk, high-reward pets. If there was an ability with huge damage and an equally huge chance to miss, we wanted to run it.
Like the fools we were.
But of course we also looked for synergy that let us offset those weaknesses on the cheap, while keeping the high damage numbers rolling out.
The core of our team was Bonkers — the crazy boxing monkey that’s just as likely to stun himself as instantly nuke an enemy pet — and Jademist Dancer — a critical hit machine with some hit buffs and heals to keep us going through the bad luck streaks.
David: “This team was anything but boring. I was either cheering my pets for delivering deadly blows and reaching crazy numbers, or cursing this four-letter word I hate so much: MISS. I didn’t keep track of my wins/losses, but I’d say I must have won around 33% and rage-quit the rest. My third wheel was Lil’ Deathwing and the Cataclysm move is great!””
HolyBee: “Josh, I am about to blow your mind, the best third wheel for this team the Nexus Whelpling! Arcane Storm’s weather effect reads “During Arcane Winds, pets cannot be stunned or rooted.” This works to counter Bonkers self stun, making the only penalty to missing, just missing. no stun or subsequent lost turn. The other awesome thing about the Nexus Whelpling is that in addition to Arcane Storm (which lasts for 9 rounds!), he has the Mana Surge ability. This ability is definitely go big or go home. It hits for a ton with the storm up, and also misses a ton. It says 80% hit chance, but it feels like it is much lower.
So the way I think this would work is: start with the Nexus Whelpling, Arcane Storm, then Mana Surge. Then bring in Bonkers, crit buff, and try your luck with Haymaker right away, if you miss, you can still just punch on your next turn, since you won’t be stunned.
I still need to level the Jademist Dancer to try it out, but just though I would toss this suggestion up here for anyone “rage surrendering.”
Lori: “Holybee has it right, the Nexus Whelpling sounds like right match for this team. I’d find this team really frustrating, but the Arcane Storm will help relieve some of that RNG rage.”
Varonin: “I am coming up short on the Jademist Dancer (drop rate), but I am adapting by running a sprite darter hatching, Bonkers, and Netherwelp. I don’t have the healing but the bonuses stack up very nicely. 5 wins (1 by forfeit), 1 loss last night.
Going to play around with the setup a little bit more and post some better results for you.”
Varonin: “So I finally got Jademist Dancer, but not by the typical methods like grinding or buying off the AH; check this out.
A pair of people were killing Dancers while waiting for the rare crab to spawn, when I noticed one of them had a Dancer out following him. I made the comment “Well, at least it’s dropping for someone. Congratulations!”
“Ya, we’ve had four of them drop. Want one?” So after beating my head against the wall for what seemed like forever, I got one through courtesy and generosity.
Anyway I have your dream team now with Netherwhelp, Bonkers, and Jademist Dancer. Soon as they’re all leveled, I’ll post results.
GO BIG OR GO HOME BABY!!!”
The Third Wheels
Lil’ Deathwing: My initial choice. I love the Cataclysm ability, but on 25% of the games, it will miss twice in a row, which felt like a guaranteed loss for this team. It was brutal and much too streaky. But boy is it fun when it works.
Nexus Whelpling: Definitely the safer choice. This worked much better overall and Arcane Winds actually prevented Bonkers from stunning himself which was awesome! This is definitely the third wheel I would recommend if you’re trying to win — thanks to Holybee for the suggestion!
Nethewhelp: The hit chance buff is great, but it’s a lot of wasted turns since Instability has a 1-turn cooldown and his only other attacks are 100% hit chance. So you have to spend 2 turns to get 25% hit bonus on one other pet’s attack. UGH.
When It Works
When this team won, the wins weren’t actually as strong as I had hoped. It’s pretty rare that absolutely NOTHING misses, and I never felt safe, even when I had a lead.
So I was usually crossing the finish line with a knot in my stomach and my mouse hovering over the surrender button. Still — I’ve got to admit that seeing some of those big numbers when we crit was super fun!
Haymaker: I love this ability. It fits the theme so perfectly, and the stun rarely bothered me. I just always used the pet with this ability early so that I could swap them out.
Rain Dance: I love the heal, I love the crit buff. An absolutely exceptional ability all around.
Cataclysm: What a fun ability. I love the jokes (Cataclysm expansion) — and you almost always get a 4-digit number when it lands. So fun to one-shot people.
When It Doesn’t Work
When this team failed, I at least felt like my opponent felt bad too. Like they were kicking me while I was down.
Basically, if our pet battle was a metaphor for a middle school lunchroom brawl — they were the kid that hit puberty before everyone else and already had facial hair and a workout regiment. And I was the little nerdy kid that — well, was just like me in middle school I guess.
We both walked into the circle of people chanting “fight fight fight” and then when we both lined up our first punches, I tripped on my shoe lace and fell into a pile of ketchup. And then I tried to stand up and fell again, into that same pile. And then again, and again.
Every time I missed my big attack I could feel my opponent’s pity and/or sympathy grow for me. At four misses in a row — I may have lost the pet battle, but I definitely won the emotional battle. And that’s what really matters, right?
No, not really at all. I still lost.
Geyser: So predictable. It was awesome when it landed, but it’s so easy to avoid that it was more depressing than the Haymaker misses.
Instability: The poor man’s Cataclysm — same hit chance, same cooldown, 200 less damage. Catalcysm is barely usable and this thing is absolutely not.
Accuracy: I thought that a hit chance buff would really help this team, but it ended up being way too slow. You spend 1 turn just applying buff, another swapping to a new pet, before you can even benefit from it. That’s two free hits you took!
~40% win rate
Will I Use It?
PvP: I’m in the same place I started with this team — my heart says yes, but my brain is ready to stab somebody with a prison shiv if they try to make me play this team again. And since I don’t want my brain shiving anybody — no, I just can’t do it.
PvE: This team’s a little better for PVE since you can just reset the fight if you miss, but even then — there are much better, more reliable combos to trick the AI with.
Individual Pet Reviews
Bonkers: 6 — Super fun visuals and concept, but he’s just too streaky for me to recommend him to anyone looking to do anything other than laugh while playing.
Jademist Dancer: 8 — He’s a fun burst damage pet. There are pets with more burst, but I really like Jademist’s balance of burst and sustain. Very fun, fairly unique pet.
Lil Deathwing: 8 — Like most collector’s edition pets, Deathwing is a little more powerful than usual and decent synergy. Nothing outrageously interesting, but strong.
- The Question: Pets as raid drops in Draenor?
- The Review: None
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