In the previous post we discussed the general ideas for building a team. In this post, I’m going to build a brand new team for PVP step by step.
Of course, at first we’ll begin with a little gloat about how super awesome my brand new Xufu is. So cute and bitey, awww. Xufu is a unique–well, more prestigious than unique–pet, so I really want to experiment with him in PVP. Using what we learned about synergy in the previous posts, we’ll look closely at Xufu.
There are 2 different builds we can use for Xufu, generally speaking. We can either take Feed (middle slot, top), or we can take Moonfire (middle slot, bottom) and Spirit Claws. Vengeance (last slot, top) could be fun, but is a bit dependent on your opponent. If you go up against, say, a Call Lightning team it would be a wasted ability, but if you go up against another Xufu with a prowled spirit claws it would be a really big hitter. So, it makes more sense to just go for the prowled spirit claws, I think.
As discussed in the previous post, synergy is a huge player in PVP. So here, I’m going to be a little bit daring, and rather than keeping Moonfire on Xufu, I’m going with the ultra deadly self-heal Feed, and find another pet that applies Moonlight.
The first tool I go to to build my teams is typically Wowhead.
With their filters, I can look up things that cause weather effects for starters. As of now, there are 3 abilities which cause Moonlight. Moon Tears is one option. The only thing is, Xufu is a Beast, and so is Moon Moon, making this team especially vulnerable to mechanicals, a very popular family in PVP. That Howl synergy though, man. Hmmm. Starfall is kinda cool in the tooltip but in my experience doesn’t really do a ton of damage or healing in practice. At a much shorter cooldown that might be an option, but at this point it’s not really worth it. So, Moonfire it is.
I’m going to be sending this pet out first in nearly every situation, so I want it to be kind of hearty, to test the waters. As a result I’m going to nix the nether faerie dragon and sprite darter for now. Their dodge mitigation could be excellent, but other than that they’re made of paper. Harmonious Porcupette and both the Moonkin Hatchlings are excessively rare right now, so my getting rid of them for consideration is totally for your benefit and not at all because I don’t have any of those pets. Nope, not at all. Between the Celestial Dragon and Emerald Whelpling, I’m going to go with the Whelpling. Celestial’s Breath offense is kind of lame, and its heal is self-only. The Whelp will give us a magic Bite, which will be boosted by moonfire, too.
For the 3rd pet, we have a few options. We can use a supplemental buff pet, a defensive pet, or an offensive debuff pet. Many of the trickier debuff pets (eg, my pvp BFF, the Zandalari Raptors with Black Claw) won’t really work here, because both our chosen pets have single-move abilities, not DoTs. Since both the Whelpling and Xufu have a move buffed by Moonlight, I figure I may as well go with a 3rd.
The only non-Spirit Claws, non-Magic ability buffed by Moonlight as far as I can see is Creeping Fungus. So, now we go to the game to figure out which we’d like to use. Among the pets with that ability, I think I’ll go with the humanoid Sporeling Sprout.
The Fungal Abomination might be a better pick here, because it has an offensive self-heal, but another important part of team building is looking at your own roster and improvising. My Sprout is way higher level than the Abomination. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to sit through yet another Eye Of The Tiger montage. Also, I get that per-round Humanoid heal when the Sprout is in the back row, which can be good for a damage over time strategy.
So let’s try it!
Well. I’m not sure I’d call that entirely viable. Maybe with the higher health Abom and a bit more practice figuring out where to set which pet in rotation it would go a bit better. A big flaw here is that, while the dragon can kind of hold its own, and Xufu can definitely hold its own, the sprout is really offensively weak. I’m thinking we can make a swap and really make this combo deadly.
My first thought is going back Moon Moon for Howl. But, those initial family vulnerabilities exist and to make this combo really work I’d have to use Moon Moon’s Magic abilities. If we went up against a single mechanical (attacks strong against Beast, defends against Magic) it would probably wreck my entire team. Back to WoWhead!
There are 3 different types of abilities to consider. The Shattered Defenses buff caused by Swarm-style abilities is generally a huge liability in PVP, because you have several ‘down’ turns where you don’t deal a ton of damage, but your opponent can swap around and nuke you however they’d like during that time. It has its place (another post for another time!) but we’ll ignore those this time around. Then there are 2-round, 100% extra damage taken Howl-style debuffs and 3-round 25% extra damage taken Acidic Goo-style debuffs. In looking at Acidic Goo, I also notice Unholy Ascension. Unholy Ascension is probably the best move here because it debuffs your opponent’s entire team for 9 turns, but it bugs me to have a key point of strategy that only applies after you lose a pet entirely. But even before that, the Val’kyr is really strong offensively.
Alright, let’s try it.
At this point I’ll continue to woodshed this team, but it’s just about there, I think. It may need some additional tweaks in terms of makeup, but it’s definitely possible that I just need more practice with it.
And yes, I would call that matchup successful and the previous one less so, even though I won the first bout and had a pet left to beat with nearly full health. If my opponent hadn’t randomly passed in the first match I most certainly would’ve lost. In the second match I had a stall pet, which wasted much of my Valk’s buff, and 2 other pets that attacked strongly against my frontline offense. This is something you’ll get a better feel for as you develop more teams.
And now it’s your turn. Try taking that one pet and build a team around it. If you share your results here, I can help you work on it, too.