Bunny Rabbit Decoy Otter

WoW Pet Battle Team: Rabbit and Darkmoon Zeppelin

April 26, 2013

It’s time you and I to have a serious discuss about the perils of burst DPS pets and how you can avoid getting hit in the face for 10 million damage.

The solution is simple: don’t let the enemy pets hit you.

UPDATE: The review for this team is out! Read what I thought of the team after playing with it for several weeks.

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Rabbit DarkmoonZeppelin

Rabbit

Role: DPS Tank
Type: Critter (varied quality)
Source: Wild Pet
Defining Ability: Dodge

Darkmoon Zeppelin

Role: Tanky DPS
Type: Mechanical (Rare)
Source: Darkmoon Faire prize
Defining Ability: Decoy

How To Stop Pets From Hitting You

There are a lot of ways to make an enemy pet not hit you. You can use crowd control (like a stun) on it; you can make block the next attack made against you; you can reduce your opponents’ chance to hit; you can make yourself invulnerable for a turn.

All of these tactics, except for one, have a drawback, though. Stuns and crowd control effects now trigger Resilience, which makes the enemy pet immune to all crowd control for awhile. Which means it’s not a long-term solution to the problem of a huge nuke on the enemy team. Blocking the next attack is good, but it’s completely negated by DoTs (which will absorb the effect for minimal loss to the enemy team) and it’s easy for the enemy team to work around. Reducing your opponents’ chance to miss is great, and usually cheap cooldown-wise, but you’re handing over your strategy to lady lucky, who we all know — it’s always a classy lady.

The best bang for your buck is full-turn-duration dodges. These are the abilities that activate one turn and last through the next, making you immune to all attacks during that time. We all know these moves: the Dives, the Dodges, the Phase Shifts. We’ve all been frustrated by them in PvP plenty of times.

Well this week, it’s time for us to do the frustrating! We’re going to build an evasion team centered on the principle that the best way to avoid death is to not get hit.

Bunny Blood Water Strider

This is not your typical, fluffy, friendly bunny. Ghost bunnies crave blood!

Why The Combo Works

It was super easy to pick the first pet for this team. It’s the pet that has single-handedly killed my entire team more than once, and absolutely defines this evasion playstyle: the cute little bunny rabbit. Thankfully, there are a ton of rabbit pets in the game, and all of them share the exact same, hyper-evasive skillset.

So grab any bunny pet for your first slot (make sure it has speed as a primary attribute!) and you’re already halfway there.

The second pet was a lot harder for me to nail down. I’ve tried about 8 different pets paired with the rabbit already, and I’m fairly confident that the Darkmoon Zeppelin is a solid partner. It has a great ability that blocks 2 attacks from the enemy, and it has Mechanical damage, which counters Beasts–which are the biggest threat to the poor Rabbit’s survival.

To be 100% honest, there are so many good options for the rabbit’s partner that I’m not sure that Darkmoon Zeppelin will still be on the team come review time in 2 weeks. But he’s a solid starting point as we learn the nuances of this team.

How To Execute It

  1. 1. Start with the Zeppelin. if he’s faster than the enemy, throw out a Bombing Run.
  2. 2. If not, start straight with Decoy. I’ve found that most big attacks happen on turn 2, because the enemy pet usually needs a turn to prep, either with a buff or a weather effect.
  3. 3. So a Decoy on turn 2 should either block the big attack, or force them to stall out and pet swap for 2 turns while they eat up the decoy.
  4. 4. If the pet out is a Beast, I leave the Zeppelin in to chew its face. Otherwise, I swap over to the Rabbit and start the carnage fest.
  5. 5. I’ll Flurry until the Decoy is down, and then Burrow. That’ll make me immune for the next turn as well, and then get one big hit on them while they get one hit on me.
  6. 6. Then I activate Dodge, which will block two attacks because I’m faster than them. That’s another free hit for me.
  7. 7. The Rabbit is then exposed for one turn without a dodge effect on it. I Flurry and hope they don’t have a bit nuke for that turn.
  8. 8. Then start the cycle again with a Burrow.

In theory, the Rabbit will trade 1 Burrow hit and 3 Flurry attacks on the enemy pet for 2 turns of getting hit.

That trade should almost always work out in my favor. And heaven help them if they have an Undead pet on their team, because they’ll just get obliterated.

Concerns

My big concern with this team is the one pet that’s been the bane of my existence more than any other lately: the Anubisath Idol.

Sandstorm is just way too powerful right now, and it’s a perfect counter to the Rabbit. It almost completely negates the entire damage from Flurry on its own, and coupled with Anubisath’s Humanoid family taking less damage from Critter attacks, it’s kind of GG for the rabbit.

I’ll need to make sure I have a pet on this team that can take down the Idol, otherwise it’s going to be a quick loss whenever I face one–and that makes me a sad pet battler.

raccoon bunny bite

Curse you, bunny biter!

Suggested Third Wheels

So my mind isn’t really thinking about a third wheel this week. It’s thinking about 20 different wheels that could all fit on this team. There are just so many options for this team that it’s hard to pick.

So I kind of want to go back to the basics of what a third-wheel pet should do on a team. Here’s what I think–and feel free to let me know if you disagree!

1. First a foremost, a third-wheel pet needs to fill a valuable role that’s missing on the team. If you have all tanks, you want a DPS. If you have all DPS, you want a healer. If you have all Elemental damage, you want a different damage type, etc. So what’s missing from this team? I think burst damage is missing from this team, and so is healing

2. Secondly, I think the third wheel needs to be able to use the existing strategy. It’s not just about shoring up weaknesses. The third wheel needs to shore up weaknesses but still pitch in on the main strategy with a different flavored variant. Like a different type of evasion or a different way of avoiding hits, like the ones I mentioned at the top of this show

3. And third, and probably least importantly, I think the third wheel should counter the counter to your most valuable pet. There is always going to be a pet on your team that does it’s job best. For example, on our AoE team last week, it was Lil’ XT. He just did way more AoE damage than any other pet. For our fire healers team, it was the Corefire Imp, who’s healing and damage output was just perfect for that lineup.

For this team, the rabbit is our MVP and we know that there are two things that will counter it: Humanoid family (less damage output) and Beast attacks (which deal 50% damage to Critters like Rabbits). We already have the Beasts covered, but Humanoids can go to town with us. So I think we need to get some heavy undead attacks on the team to deal with humanoids that the Rabbit can’t push out.

So for our third wheel, the ideal pet is a pet with undead attacks that can dodge attacks or stun the enemy, and has some form of self-healing way to keep itself alive and burst damage. That’s a tall order for any pet, and if you can think of a pet with all of those, please let me know.

I did find one pet with everything but the burst damage, though: Restless Shadeling. It’s an undead pet with mostly undead attacks that can put a debuff on the enemy target that causes your pets to heal every time they attack it (bonus synergy with Rabbit Flurry!), and it also has a pure Dodge that will let it avoid 2 attacks if it goes first.

Sounds pretty good to me.

But there are a lot of other options I’m trying out, such as:

Restless Shade Marsh Fiddler

Skulls for all who oppose the Rabbit King!

How To Get The Pets

A basic Rabbit
There are 13 different types of rabbits you could collect with this ability set, but the easiet to get is the plain ol no-fancy-name Rabbit pet. It’s capturable in just about every race’s starting zones and it’s a very low-level wild pet, so almost anyone can get it.

Alliance players can grab it easily in Stormwind, and Horde players’ best option is to grab one in Azshara.

Bring: A team of 3 pets, any level.

Darkmoon Zeppelin
This one’s a little trickier. The Darkmoon Zeppelin is a reward that must be purchased from the Darkmoon Faire, which is only available in-game one week every month. If you don’t already have it, I recommend stocking up the 90 tickets required to buy it ASAP. The best way to earn these tickets is through daily quests playing carnival games at the faire while it’s active.

Wowhead has built a great guide to the Darkmoon Faire that will help you figure out how to earn the most tickets every day to help unlock this pet faster. According to their guide, you can earn 145 tickets in a single week that the faire is active, so you should be able to earn this pet in one week!

Bring: a level 20+ character that has leveled professions, and a love for minigames.

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12 Comments

  1. Navimie says:

    That makes me wonder if I saw you on the field there Josh! Just the other day I came across a zep rabbit and something else combo! Made me start levelling my Zep!
    Great post and info :D

    • Josh says:

      Haha, it might’ve been :) I’ve mostly been running it with the Restless Shadeling as the third wheel.

      What pet lineup are you running? That’d be really funny if we duked it out :) I’m glad it makes you want to run the team! JOIN US!

  2. Alex says:

    I’ve been using the Rabbit and Core Hound Pup to (usually successfully) capture random critters in the lower level areas of the game. Mainly because they’re the best two I’ve got so far as I’ve only just started playing.

    Related question, kind of… Should I jump into PvP pet battles straight away or wait until I’ve levelled a good number of pets up first? I’ve been sticking to AI battles when capturing new pets so far.

    • Josh says:

      Corehound pup is solid! Are you using the double-damage debuff too? That thing is incredible.

      Regarding jumping into PvP or not, it totally depends on what you want :) Jumping into PvP will do a few things:
      1. It will slow down the leveling rate of your team by a lot. You have to wait for queues, and you will lose and get no XP a significant amount of the time.
      2. You will fight way better teams. PVE fights are mostly pushovers that you can plan for ahead of time and bring the counter-pets for to guarantee easy wins. PvP is outlaw country where anything goes and cheap combos will be exploited to make you hate your life.
      3. You will learn a lot more about pet battle strategy and how to effectively combo pet abilities together for maximum effect.

      For me, the value of #2 and #3 way outweigh the negative of #1, but a lot of people will see #2 as a negative and #3 as not very valuable.I love the challenge, and the high-level min-maxing strategy that comes from it.

      The nice thing about PvP teams, though, is you really only need a solid group of 3 to get started. So as long as you have 3 pets that work well together, you shouldn’t need to capture a bunch before starting :) You can’t really swap out pets ahead of time because your opponent is random (although at low population times, you’ll often see the same team a few times in a row).

  3. Navimie says:

    I chopped and changed a bit, but I had used Darkmoon Rabbit with an Amethyst Spider with a Kun-Lai Runt. I tend to run spider and runt a lot, with an ooze or an amber moth as the third wheel.

    • Josh says:

      Yeah, I’m having trouble finding a pet that holds up as well as the Rabbit in this lineup. The other two pets always seem weak by comparison.

  4. [...] When the pain train roars into the pet battle station, can a lone rabbit avoid an untimely death with a well-timed hop? That oddly specific hypothetical question, and so much more is answered in this week’s episode, when I review the fabled Dodge team. [...]

  5. [...] When the pain train roars into the pet battle station, can a lone rabbit avoid an untimely death with a well-timed hop? That oddly specific hypothetical question, and so much more is answered in this week’s episode, when I review the fabled Dodge team. [...]

  6. Kinoo says:

    Sorry, this setup sucks so hard, there are many counters to it. All the 2 turn attacks can be perfectly timed against the rabbit. The zeppelin is just too slow and a major failure in this setup. The third pet doesn’t matter as this setup fails so hard, I wonder why I’m even commenting :(

    • Josh says:

      I agree that the Darkmoon Zeppelin isn’t ideal (and the review reflects that). I’m not sure what you mean by “the 2 turn attacks can be perfectly timed against the rabbit” — if you’re the faster pet, you have complete control of the situation until 4 turns in when you’re out of moves. It sounds like your opponent might have perfectly anticipated when you would use your rabbit’s dodge abilities. If that’s the case, you gotta mix it up!

      Like I say in the review, this team lives and dies on our ability to time the evasion skills at the perfect moments. Some people will like that added pressure/excitement, others just want to spam abilities and win :) This team is not for the latter.

  7. […] Swap out Rabbit for the Terrible Turnip — The Rabbit is an awesome pet, with a lot of the same strengths we found in the Turnip: […]

  8. […] A Rabbit — James: These are great evasive pets, which have a lot of ways to dodge enemy attacks. That’s great early on because it helps you survive and also teaches you to pay attention to […]

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