So you want to start pet battling. You've acquired a few pets from vendors, or friends, or an achievement and you want to know what the fuss is about.
And you may ask yourself: How did I get here?
Oh wait, that's not what you're asking: Where do I begin?
That's what I meant to say: Where do I begin??
You begin right here! Right here... ZOMG pretty kitteh!!
Well the first step is to visit one of the Pet trainers in a major city and learn the Pet Battle skill. Then you gotta do enough of the quests they give you to get all three pet battle slots.
After that, instead of pet battling, you should really give your pets a good overview and decide where to start. Because, unless you only have three pets, which is madness, you won't be able to level them all in one go.
If you've looked at the pet tab at all, you've probably noticed that each pet has a different type. There're 10 different pet types: Critter, Beast, Aquatic, Undead, Elemental, Dragonkin, Flying, Magic, Mechanical, and Humanoid. Each of these have different abilities and match up differently. A Beast pet, like this Darkshore Cub has beast abilities that hit extra hard against Critter pets, and weak against Flying pets. It also takes extra damage from Mechanical abilities. And also has an ability that heals itself, which is good.
Soo many choices! My head hurts!
If you look through all the pets, you start to notice that alot of the same types of pets have similar abilities. So if your goal is to build a good team, you probably want to mix and match different pet types so that they aren't all exactly the same as this would be a) boring and b) easy to beat because if they've got something that matches up well against one pet, they can easily beat your whole team. You also need to start thinking about what you want to do with your pet collection. Do you just want to pick up some of the new pets, or do you want to get a few favorites maxed out? Are you going for World Safari?
Pet Battle Goals
Just like in WoW, there are two types of pet battling: PvP, where you go up against other human trainers, and PvE, where you go up against wild pets or the normal pet trainers. And different pets do better in PvE battling than they do in PvP battling. I can't tell you everything about how to get to your goals, but I can give you a few tips.
Cat versus Rat to the death! I wonder who will win?
Pets in the Wild
If your goal is to just get a bunch of pets leveled to 25, the quickest way is to take them out in the wild. But not every pet will be strong against wild pets. This is because most of those pets are critters or beasts with a few flyers or aquatic thrown in there. The other kinds are much less common but they are often the cooler ones to get. Another thing to realize when you're first starting is that pets need healing. Sometimes after every battle and your heal button has an 8 minute cooldown, so you need to either be near a stable master, or you need a pet that doesn't take much damage, or a pet that can heal itself if you don't want alot of down time.
So when you're starting out you almost certainly want a beast pet, or at least a pet that does beast damage. You could also use either a critter or a flyer to take on those pets that your beast just can't beat up. After that, you can pick a fun pet, like an undead or humanoid or elemental. Just make sure and only use the "fun" pet sparingly if it is going up against something that can hurt it. Taking an undead up against a rabbit, or an elemental against a frog can quickly lead to a hurt or dead member of your pet team.
Pet Tamers are NPCs that you can fight that give your pets tons of experience. They have several pets that are extra strong and they can swap them around when you stun or crowd control them so they are a bit tough. However, because they give you a bunch of dailies that give lots of XP for your pets, and they can also drop battle stones, one of your first goals should be to take them all out so you get the daily unlocked. I'll go into more detail about this later, but the key to crushing them is matchups.
PvP Pet Battles
You can also level pretty quickly, or at least with less flying around, by queuing up against other players. It's more exciting than going against PvE pets because there's someone else there and you don't know what's going to happen. However, it is more matchup dependent than PvE battling. You also don't always know what the skill level of the player you're facing is and, since you don't get Pet XP if you lose, it's more of a gamble to level PvP than just doing PvE battling. Also, you can't capture new pets in PvP battles.
Picking Your Battles
So now you've picked your pets. You've got a Ferocious Beast, a Mean Little Bird and the Cutest Pet Ever and you're wanting to make your way in the world. Just like with WoW leveling, you have to start in the low level areas. For most of you, that's Elwynn Forest or Durotar. So to level your pets, you fly out there, make sure "track pets" is turned on and you start using your Ferocious Beast to murder the native wildlife! And it's awesome! Unless you run up against a green (uncommon) pet or a blue (rare) pet. Then you want to capture it! But that's even more awesome!
So you're killing pets, trying to reach that next level without killing your current team, and up pops a pet with a blue name plate. Common sense goes out the window and you just want to catch it! Unfortunately, your new friend is stubborn and doesn't want to live in its new home. So you gotta convince it to come along by beating it up a bit!
Tough love baby! Just be careful not to kill your new friend.
To capture it, you have to damage the pet below 35% without killing the pet. You also can't lose the pet battle or you don't get to keep it. Additionally, if it's a blue or green, it'll hit harder or faster than normal so it may be able to take out some or all of your pets.
Switch to a safer pet at low health.
So capturing takes a little skill. If your pet matches up too well, like a Beast against a Critter, you may need to swap it after maybe 1-2 hits. Otherwise you might get a critical hit and the pet dies. So you swap and take a different pet and gently tap the pet you want until its health is low enough to capture.
It may take several tries before your trap captures it, which means the pet you were using to gently tap your new friend may be nearly dead. If your new friend didn't bring a gang of other critters, then you're fine, otherwise, you have to use your other pets to convince his old friends to let you keep him—by killing them (it's a cruel world). But after that, you get to keep your new friend! And both of you are happy! Especially if your new friend is another ferocious beast that can help you level faster!
Welcome to your new home little buddy!
Meet my new little friend!
I should mention that there's a pet with an ability that will damage the pet all the way down to 1 health, but never kill it. The Terrible Turnip is your friend in these battles, and it's been going pretty cheap lately. So if you want to catch alot of wild pets, you should probably give it a look!
Taming Eastern Kingdoms #1:
The Crazy Snake Lady
Here be snakes!
Quick note: just in case any of you are like: Y U NO KALIMDOR BRO? I'll just point out that my gnome mage can do these much faster than any of my Horde side toons (GG Teleport), and leave it at that.
Your First Challenge: The Crazy Snake Lady.
I know what you're thinking: Snakes… why did it have to be snakes!
Or maybe you're thinking, do the neighbors know about her little snake obsession??
In any case, the Crazy Snake Lady has two snakes and they're both level 2, but she loves them anyway (maybe a little too much). As long as your pets are all level 2, she's kind of a pushover. Especially since you get to use one more pet than she does. I'm going to go through the fight anyway since it's a good introduction to those wacky pet tamers you'll be spending so much time with.
Fangs is level 2, but he has three abilities! ZOMG haxx! Since he's a beast, he will eat up your little critters, but has a real problem with flying things. I guess he chokes on the feathers or something.
What you have to watch out for with Fangs is his Poison Fang which puts a debuff on your pets that does 9 damage each turn for 5 turns. This means you gotta swap your first pet when it gets close to 45 hit points, or watch your poor little buddy slowly die of poison while you beat up on the other snake. So sad!
Slither also has three abilities, which makes the crazy snake lady a huge hacker or something! But never fear, he won't poison your little pets. He'll just slow them down and kill them with his Vicious Fangs! Kill him quickly as he hits harder with that ability the more he uses it on your pet. If you start getting beat up too much, swap pets as that resets the fang damage counter.
An easy win and we're now Level 3!
There's really not much more to this tamer. So let's head on over to Westfall next!
Taming Eastern Kingdoms #2:
Old MacDonald had a farm—until it was burned down by Defias Thugs!
Poor Old MacDonald. I really feel for the guy. All he has left is a few pets and a dream. That still doesn't stop me from beating him once a day for the large amounts of lovely, lovely XP he gives!
Clucks is level 3. Your pets should all be level three after soundly beating up the snake lady. So it's all good. She's also a Flying pet (even though she's a chicken). So that means she takes less damage from Beast abilities and does extra damage to Aquatic pets. It also means she takes extra damage from Magic abilities. So if you've got a Beast (and you should), put it on a different pet. And if you've got a Magic pet. Sick it on her!
Clucks also does this three round ability called Flock. This is where you get run over by a flock of angry chickens. They don't do much damage individually, but they put a debuff on you for two turns that causes you to take 100% extra damage. This is not good. You will see this kind of ability many many times when fighting tamers. So remember, if your pet has medium to low health (or even if it doesn't), you should consider swapping it for another pet after Flock is done because otherwise it may take two very large hits.
Meet Foe Reaper 800
Foe Reaper 800 is a tiny mechanical harvester of death! He harvests corn and okra too, but mostly he just harvests death!! Actually, he's not that tough. However, since he's a mechanical he does extra damage to beasts and takes less damage from magic. This means if you have a Beast or Magic pet you really want to send it against someone else. Also he takes extra damage from elementals, so if you have an elemental here—attack!
Teensy is a mouse. He's sort of cute and your Beast pet will find him very delicious. Also, keep any Undead pets out of reach of Teensy. That is all.
In conclusion: choose the right pet order and this should be an easy victory.
Maybe you will old guy.
Taming Eastern Kingdoms #3:
Here be Rabbits!
So you've bested the Westfall tamer and your pets are now level 4. However, you've flown out to Redridge and you now see this Darling Child with her level 5 bunnies. The conundrum: do I kill her pets now (they're only rabbits, right) or do I wait until I'm level 5? They're all Critters, so it depends on how many Beast pets you have and how many Elementals or Undead you don't have.
If you've got two or more Beasts, go for it! If you've got one Beast think about it (I managed to do it, but it took three times and I lost one pet). Otherwise, you should probably level them first. Fortunately, there are lots of buzzards behind Lakeshire and a ton of rabbits living along the Lakeridge Highway. Get a few kills each and your pet crew should be level 5.
What a darling child. How did she get so many rabbits?
So there's this kid with too much time on her hands. She's stuck in this weird little town that takes 5 years to get a bridge built. What does she do with her spare time? Why she raises lots and lots of vicious little bunnies! We need to control the rabbit population and I'm going to show you how!
Dipsy is a Critter. That means Beast abilities will do extra damage to him and Elemental abilities will do less damage. It also means Humanoids take less damage and Undead pets take more so be extra careful if you have an Undead pet. The bad news for you is, they're all Critters so you can't pick your battles as easily as you can with other trainers. The good news, if you have a Beast, is that you should be able to take one and almost two of these guys out with just the Beast.
Dipsy has an ability called Flurry. This ability hits a few times for moderate damage, but hits an extra time if Dipsy is faster than you and attacks first. If you can slow Dipsy down a bit, go for it, otherwise, you just have to hit Dipsy as hard as you can and he'll go off to Bunny heaven.
Flipsy is kind of annoying. She has two abilities that can hurt you: Stampede which is just like Flock only with a herd of rabbits, and Dodge which lets Flipsy avoid your attack for 1 full turn, or more if she is faster than you. This means you have to time any hard hitting abilities carefully and also be prepared to swap if you get the +100% damage debuff on you.
Flufftail is a bit less annoying than Flipsy. In addition to having Flurry which hits harder if he is faster than you, Flufftail also has Burrow. Burrow allows the pet to hide underground for a turn avoiding your attacks and then jump up and hit you extra hard with Beast damage. This means you have to time your attacks a bit and also swap your Critter pets away when Flufftail burrows. You will see abilities like Burrow alot from tamers.
In conclusion, this fight can be very annoying if you don't match up well against Critter pets. Even if you do match up okay, you still have to pay attention to the abilities. It may take you a few tries, but it's good practice.
Don't worry Lindsay. I'm sure you'll have some new bunnies quite soon.
Taming Eastern Kingdoms #4:
Into the Woods
Welcome to Creepytown!
Population: 1 Worgen and 3 Eight-Legged Little Beasts.
So what kind of guy travels to the middle of a dark creepy cemetery and thinks:
This looks like a great spot for a summer home. While I'm at it, why don't I adopt some of the native wildlife?
The kind of creepy Worgen that likes to taunt you about his spiders' feeding habits every time he kills one of your poor little buddies. That's what kind of guy!
Meet Creepy Spider Dude.
What big eyes you have Spider Dude!
So you've bested the level 5 bunny girl. Now for something a bit more challenging. And by "challenging", I mean: "really annoying and possibly fatal to your pets." To begin with, your pets should all be level 7 if they want to match up against his eight legged gang. It would also be nice to have one that does well against beasts. A Mechanical would be great, but a Flying pet works too. If you have a Critter pet you want to use, be very careful with it. Shall we begin?
Your creepy pets don't scare me Bub!
Annoyance Rating: High
Webwinder is a Beast. He likes to eat your pets. But first he likes to wrap them in his Sticky Webs and use his Poison Spit to take down their health. He's probably the most annoying of the three because, even if you manage to kill him first, he will still regularly kill the pet you attack him with as his Sticky Web prevents you from swapping out for two turns. So if his poison doesn't finish you off, his next pet will still get a good chance at a free kill. If you have a chance to swap that first pet before it dies, you should take it.
Annoyance Rating: High
Blackfang is also annoying. He doesn't hit as hard as Webwinder but he can heal himself with Leech Life. This makes him die a little bit more slowly. Leech Life also heals for twice as much if you are webbed, it hits harder against Humanoids and weaker against Aquatic pets. Really, the only thing you can do for most pets is to damage him harder than he can heal himself. However, if you have a burrow or dodge ability, try and time it to avoid either his Sticky Web or Leech Life.
Annoyance Rating: Moderate +
Darkwidow is the least annoying, which isn't saying much. Instead of Sticky Webs, she uses Brittle Webbing. This ability doesn't prevent you from swapping, but instead damages you every time you damage her. She also has a poison and this weird ability called Spiderling Swarm which hits extra hard if you are webbed. The key to her is to use big attacks, instead of lots of little attacks, as this will reduce the damage you take from Brittle Webbing. And remember you can swap if you need to.
Creepy Spider Guy — Tamed!
In Summary: Try and start with a pet that does well against Beasts (like a Mechanical or Flying pet). If you have the chance to swap pets on the first two, and your health is low, take it.
RNG can be a factor, so don't worry if it takes you more than one try. If it gets too frustrating, you can try and level one or more of your pets to 8 and then your extra speed and hit points can make the difference. Finally, don't expect all of your pets to survive! Your surviving pet will get a ton of XP, even if your dead ones don't.
Taming Eastern Kingdoms #5:
Welcome to the Jungle!
After fighting the creepy spider guy, you deserve a little break. A fight with a true sportsman who doesn't think of your pets as a tasty treat is just the ticket. Of course, why he's hanging out in the jungle near a bunch of old troll ruins is beyond me.
Meet Steven Lisbane: A True Sportsman
(but maybe a little addled).
This guy has two beast friends and one cool looking magical emerald cat. If you've got a Mechanical, he's a pushover. Otherwise, you should probably make sure most (if not all) of your pets are level 9.
He's just this cool cat!
Moonstalker is a cat. Which means he's fast and deadly to critters. He's not that tough against anything else. Put a mechanical or flying pet on him and you're set.
Watch out for Prowl.
He has one ability to look out for called Prowl. This ability slows him down for a turn and then he hits for extra damage on his next attack. The good news is it's pretty easy to avoid and won't one-shot anything but critters.
He's king of this jungle!
Nanners is a big barrel throwing gorilla (think Baby Donkey Kong). He hits pretty hard against most types of pets. And extra hard against critters.
Barrel Toss: It's a killer!
He also has this ability called Barrel Toss that hurts. When he first uses it, it gives him a small damage boost (I think). But when he tosses a full barrel it can hit your pet for half of their health. He tends to do this when your pet or his pet is below half health.
She's another cool cat!
Emeralda is very cool looking but not very tough. She has one beast ability that doesn't hit for much and one magic ability which only hurts flying pets. Put a critter or any other pet that isn't good against beasts on her and you should be fine.
In conclusion: unless you have a critter heavy team, this should be an easy victory.
An easy fight but a good sport.