The Curious Case of the Elemental Family Ability

Most battle pet family abilities and their implications in a fight are pretty easy to figure out by reading the mouseover tooltip in your pet journal. Most of them are relatively straightforward. Well, the Undead one is a little goofy in practice.


Your undead battle pet will resurrect for its immortal turn immediately after being killed. If you’re using a slow pet killed in the first half of a round, your pet will resurrect and carry out the action you’d queued before this round. You then get a sort-of ‘extra’ round resurrected.

But, this elemental racial.


It seems straightforward enough, but then you start figuring in all the different weather effects and exactly what the nature of ‘negative’ is, and it gets kind of complicated. The confusion I had with this ability was cleared up by WoW Dev Jonathan LeCraft on Twitter:


I guess. Mostly? Um.

So, with that arose this post. I’m going weather effect by weather effect and laying it all out on the table. This is as much for me as it is for you.

To be clear, the application ability of weather will still hit, barring accuracy issues or blocks, so eg, your elemental will take the ~450 damage from Call Darkness when Darkness is applied.


Sunny Day

Elemental Pet: health greatly increased, and heals for more.
Opponent Pet: health greatly increased, and heals for more.

This matters for percentage-based attacks, and if you or your opponent can heal you can close that gap. You’ll all lose that additional health if the Sunlight lapses though. There really isn’t a negative effect here so elemental battle pets don’t gain an edge in Sunlight.



Elemental: receives additional healing, magic abilities hit harder.
Opponent: receives additional healing, magic abilities hit harder.

Moonlight is a really good example to illustrate the concept. Although magic abilities hitting harder could be considered a ‘negative effect’ (the Sunflower takes additional damage), this isn’t applied on the elemental’s end. It adds a multiplier to the magic abilities of the elemental’s opponent, making this a case where the ‘negative effect’ still applies. In other words, it’s not that the magic hits the elemental harder, it’s that the non-elemental’s magic hits its target harder.


Arcane Winds

Elemental: Cannot be stunned or rooted.
Opponent: Cannot be stunned or rooted.

Arcane Storm is pretty straightforward, as stuns and roots are (generally!) detrimental. This weather effect is an excellent counter to the spider PVP team comps I’ve been seeing pretty often recently.



Opponent: Takes (X) less damage per hit, accuracy reduced by 10%.

{EDIT} – I was incorrect here, as pointed out by Skarn in the comments. The elemental does not currently gain the damage shield effect, which appears to be a bug (twitter link: I will be updating this section to reflect this info after more thorough playtesting. I certainly take blame, but will deflect a bit of that blame into boxed wine.

This is another of those strange cases. You’d think that the elemental’s damage would blast right through the Sandstorm. The damage shield is considered as a personal effect like though, so instead the opponent just soaks up that positive effect for itself like the Stoneskin effect. The accuracy blast still makes this a decent bit of weather to use as an elemental, as long as your elemental isn’t trying to stack DoTs on another battle pet or whatever.


Scorched Earth

Opponent: Takes (X) damage at the end of the round; Burning (for abilities like Conflagrate).

In this case, the weather effect is entirely nullified by the elemental. This makes for an excellent choice to avoid certain combos. You go, Sunflower.


Cleansing Rain

Elemental: Aquatic abilities deal more damage, harmful DoTs last one round fewer.
Opponent: Aquatic abilities deal more damage, harmful DoTs last one round fewer.

This is another case where the positive effect is applied at the opponents’ level. Aquatic abilities don’t hit harder on the elemental, they hit harder from the opponent.



Opponent: Chilled

This weather effect is used exclusively for synergy purposes. An Elemental is an excellent c-c-c-c-combo breaker here.



Opponent: Blinded, heals reduced, accuracy reduced.

Seriously, Sunflower, I could do with you being slightly less smug in this screenshot. It’s like you don’t even care that you’re completely screwing things up for everyone else.



Opponent: Rooted for 3 rounds when swapped to the front row.

This one pops up only very infrequently, and never, thus far, in the PVE game, but it’s good to know that you can avoid it altogether by using your elemental.


Lightning Storm

Elemental: Deals 10% additional Mechanical damage, takes (X) additional damage per hit.
Opponent: Deals 10% additional Mechanical damage, takes (X) additional damage per hit.

This is the effect that I found the oddest. In light of that tweet at the top of the post, it makes a bit more sense, but I’d assume that an elemental wouldn’t take the extra damage on each hit from lightning. Unfortunately, it does. If mechanical pets didn’t measure up against elementals like undeads against a paladin, this would be an excellent use of weather to defeat an elemental. The DoTs and other strategies can still make good on it, but not so much with mechanicals.


Hopefully this post helped shed some additional light on the weirdness that is the Elemental family ability. Using a family’s ability to the utmost can really help your pet battling strategies be their absolute best. I started drinking around Moonlight so I don’t really know what’s going on but this was super fun so let’s do it again sometime.

1 thought on “The Curious Case of the Elemental Family Ability

  1. Skarn

    Thanks for the detailed post! Very useful info. One really big note: Elementals currently do NOT gain the damage shield from Sandstorm. During a Sandstorm, they take full damage. This is easy to test with Aki the Chosen. (Or against any human opponent, of course.)

    Take a level 1 Elemental pet and the Anubisath Idol. The Idol should have Sandstorm. Start the battle with the Idol and cast Sandstorm. Then swap to the Elemental pet. The pet will take full damage from Chirrup. Cancel the battle, swap your Elemental pet for a level 1 of any other type and repeat these steps. The non-Elemental pet will take no damage from Chirrup. The damage is low enough that the Sandstorm completely blocks it. Even an Undead pet, which takes extra damage from Critters, is immune to Chirrup during a Sandstorm. An Elemental is not.

    Since the Sandstorm Shield is a beneficial effect applied to the defending pet, Elementals should benefit from it. Alas, they clearly do not, so I assume it is a bug.


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