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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Bring: A team of 3 pets, any level.
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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