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Crow – Warcraft Pets PotM

The battle pet I wrote about this month for Warcraft Pets was the Crow. Besides being real excellent ambiance, and a good frill for a lot of classes & races in RP, the Crow is a deadly fighter worth adding to your stable.

gilnean raven wow warcraft pet battles

Crows are a bit difficult to tame, just because of their limited timeframes and unique spawning pattern. They bring an additional fun minigame to the Darkmoon Faire, already chock a block with games.

I will admit though, that I’m still a bit partial to the Gilnean Raven. My main is a Worgen, so I have that bit going for me. I was also lucky enough to snag the P/S variant. If you weren’t that lucky, that would be an excellent reason to try & tame your own Crow. Check out the full post over at Warcraft Pets and you’ll see what I mean.

Gnawface

New for 8/24/14: Good News, Everyone! In the latest beta build, Gnawface has been significantly nerfed to be more forgiving. As a result, I changed the screenshot featuring his stats (click here to see Gnawface’s old stats). I also re-tested the teams below and they all still work like a charm. Oddly, I’ve found that now the weird cats team at the bottom seems to be the most straightforward. Who would think, right?

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Gnawface is the first pet I’m going to write about that you must defeat in your garrison in order to open the Menagerie. The Menagerie is available to anyone as soon as your garrison reaches level 3. These battles are a part of the quest Pets vs Pests.

I know that everybody is going to want to open up their Menagerie, because who wants an uncompleted question mark on their record? The thing is, these fights are hard, and though I obviously can’t be sure, from the nature of the other battles I’ve seen it seems that the intent here is to show that the fights to come are no joke. If you can’t get these guys down first go, that is absolutely OK. Don’t be discouraged.

gnawface stats wow warcraft pet battle

There are many teams you could use to beat Gnawface, and I’m going to highlight a couple, just because, as I said, this is going to be attempted by tamers who are not all that hardcore. Hopefully you can cobble together a team to defeat him.

Team 1: Humanoids A Go-Go.

gnawface humanoids team wow warcraft pet battle

The Kun-Lai Runt is tamed from Kun-Lai Summit & starts at level 23 or so. Bonkers is from gambling with Timeless Coins in Kukuru’s cave on the Timeless Isle. The Little Bad Wolf is the trickiest. It’s tradeable and obtained from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan. Both Little Bad & Bonkers start at level 1. All 3 are Humanoid, which means Gnawface’s critter abilities hit them weakly, and all 3 have a good complement of Beast abilities, meaning they hit Gnawface harder than normal. Lil Bad & Bonkers both have Dodge moves, making them last a very long time against Gnawface. If possible, use those dodges just as Gnawface’s Darkness wears off, because Call Darkness will hit your Humanoid pets for a lot of damage.

gnawface weak pet battle wow warcraft

This team is the most straightforward for newbie tamers to use. No tricks or gimmicks. Just use your offensive moves, your defensive moves when needed, and this team will clean up.

Team 2: Moar DoTs

gnawface dots wow world of warcraft pet battle

The Crunchy Scorpion is tamed in the Dread Wastes. The Obsidian Hatchling is sold for 50g in Dalaran. The Summit Kid is tamed in Kun-Lai Summit. There are some good substitutions for all 3 pets, because we’re really focusing on 1 ability for each. From the Scorpion, Sting is a long DoT which deals Beast damage. There are other scorpions and a couple snakes which fit this bill. From the Hatchling, Expose Wound increases each hit of that DoT by 74, so a DoT that ticked for 100 will now tick for 174. There are a number of other raptors that do this, including the tamed Cogblade Raptor in Blade’s Edge. The Summit Kid uses Stampede, which hits 3 times for 120 total damage on its own but applies Shattered Defenses, which doubles the damage done at the end of the Kid’s turn. Expose Wounds alone makes each tick of Stampede far more powerful, but with Shattered Defenses each tick of Stampede does over 200 damage. Add in that Sting and you’ve got yourself one dead rat.

gnawface dots wow warcraft pet battle

This strategy is a bit more suited to experienced battlers, though the pets are easier to obtain. You have to swap each pet after it uses its designated ability or else the combos won’t line up properly.

An important point: Because Gnawface is a critter, both immobilize and stun effects will not work here. This means that some popular pets are ineffective. Namely, Spiders cannot web him & then use Spiderling Swarm for double damage.

Team 3: Like, Cats Or Whatever.

gnawface cats team to beat

IDK, just a whole bunch of cats, or whatever. Pounce generally has better throughput than Claw, as long as your battle pet is faster than Gnawface. This is why I put Claw in the 2nd slot… if your cat is slower than Gnawface, Claw can help give you that edge regardless. You’ll have to experiment with your various cats to see whether you can pull off Prowl and still be quick enough to get it to hit. This team is by far the most susceptible to failure due to various RNG happenings & breed can be a huge consideration, so I’d consider this my last-ditch attempt. But hey, how often can I talk about just like, dozens of cats?

crazy cat lady liopleurodon wow warcraft pet battle

If you’re struggling here or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment to this entry, or ask me about it on Twitter (@Liopleurodonic). It’s a tough fight. If you can’t get it first go, have some boxed wine and come back later. Unless you’re underage, in which case don’t you dare let your parents know that Auntie Lio is the coolest ever.

gnawface2

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Here’s the video walkthrough:

Pet Menagerie

There are a lot of new pets & pet battles to encounter in Draenor. Central to those new battles is the Menagerie, a building located in your Garrison.

menagerie garrison wow warcraft

The unfortunate part is that you have a considerable amount of building & questing to do in order to access your Menagerie. It will only open after your Garrison is level 3 (which by itself requires level 100 and a lot of both garrison Materials and gold), and then you have to do an additional, pet-centric quest in order to fully open it. If you don’t unlock the Menagerie, the NPC will still provide stable master services & allow you to trade in your Pet Charms (a new currency acquired by doing Draenor PVE encounters) for bandages, rarity & level upgrade stones, etc.

The crux of this unlocking quest is that there are a few pests you have to deal with around your garrison before your pet master will allow you to open the Menagerie in full. As far as I can tell there are no prerequisites to this quest other than a level 3 garrison, meaning you can attempt this whether you have 6 battle pets or 600.

garrison horde map pets

Elemental Carrotus Maximus,¬†aquatic Gorefu, and critter Gnawface inhabit your herbalism garden, your fishing hut, and some random other object, respectively. Hordeside, Gnawface is very close to a stump so you’ll want to face to the side & away from it or else you’ll get that ‘uneven terrain’ error message. Alliance-side he’s by a big campfire just outside the front gate.

garrison alliance map wow warcraft pet battle

Gnawface uses a lot of strong Critter DPS and the Darkness weather effect to discourage healing. For Gorefu, I used pretty much the same strat I used for Dos-Ryga: lots of birds. He has Feed, so a team featuring a Crow or Raven with Darkness is a good bet too. Carrotus Maximus is quite unique, and kind of fun, because he has both Ironbark, a very strong shield with a damage component he can spam, and Aged Yolk, which removes all his buffs and debuffs. Meaning, many popular strategies, including anything involving stampedes or Howl Bombs, may work occasionally but are far from a lock. I had good luck using frogs with Frog Kiss against him, because they were able to keep themselves up pretty well with a heal, and Frog Kiss adds damage the more times you cast it.

Beating all 3 will open your Menagerie for business.

menagerie wow warcraft garrison pet battle

This means that you get to display 5 of your favorite pets at random, and you’ll open up the Menagerie rotating daily quest. If you have fewer than 5 pets starred as favorites a random pet will show up in the extra slots.

menageriefavs

The Menagerie decided I must really like Grinder in addition to the other 4, go figure.

At this time, if you don’t complete the opener quest you still have access to the Challenge Post which is the objective of these quests, but you don’t get the special quest reward for completion. This was my very first quest reward.

menageriereward

Since then, the Menagerie has shifted to a new currency, Pet Charms. You can use those pet charms to buy some of the new battle-training stones pictured above, as well as rarity upgrade stones, bandaids, pug hats: the usual.

The Menagerie is a dedicated slot, meaning that if you don’t battle and don’t have any interest in unlocking it, you can’t demolish it and build a Starbucks. It just sits there sad & unused until you complete the quest to unlock it. You can also upgrade your Menagerie for better pet-related perks. A level 2 Menagerie gives you access to a better trap with a higher chance per tame, additional ‘favorite’ pets roaming around your Garrison, and reduces the recharge time on your Revive Pets spell.

The level 3 Menagerie gives you access to an additional daily pet challenge with a chance to win a number of unique new pets. You have to win 150 pet battles in Draenor in order to unlock the level 3 upgrade. Luckily, the new pets obtained from the level 3 Menagerie are also able to be caged & traded, so if you don’t feel like grinding it out you still have options.

menageriechallenge

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a stick to chase.

Clockwork Gnome – PotM

This month, my compatriot Quintessence and I wrote about the Clockwork Gnome over at Warcraft Pets. I totally admit that there’s bias, because my un-cuddly Prufrock is one of my all-time favorites and go-to battle pets.

clockworkgnome

Beyond his adorable tiny mustache and the fact that he’s a robot and robots are almost as cool as dinosaurs, he’s a wrecking ball. His turret is my favorite moveset, just because I think the DoT play style is really fun. The nature of the turret’s relative permanence (ie, the DoT doesn’t ‘fall off’ when your target dies because it’s independent of your target) makes it a lot less fussy to maintain in a team fight than most other DoTs.

There are a lot of other things to discuss with this teeny marvel of engin–wait, my notes say archaeology? Those Titans are at it again, I guess. Anyway, head on over to the Warcraft Pets site for the full rundown on my metal friend here.

Lio

So, this happened.

lio1

I’ve been embroiled in a lot of real life stuff, meaning that the blog has fallen a bit by the wayside, so this is relatively old news, but I still have to devote a post to the NPC bearing my name in the Warlords beta. There’s an NPC with my name on it! It’s very strange and surreal, but also so, so awesome.

Of course, I’m going to get to make another post to talk about it, because Lio seems to be a boss-style pet along the lines of the Beasts of Fable. There are a few others in already too, all nods to the pet battle community. Eleanor is named after a pet blogger and frequent battling comrade of mine on twitter, and her handle, @undeadgoat, is revealing of her NPC: an Undead Goat boss. Cymre Jones is the name of a blogger, and also a new tamer, whose team has yet to be revealed.

The pet battling community is tight-knit and welcoming, and everyone I know who creates content for this teeny niche does so because they really love pets or battling. I hope (maybe slightly assume) that other battlers will also be highlighted as more tamers and encounters in Draenor are revealed. And of course, this is all beta, so anything could change tomorrow.

But, to be selfish, this is a post about me. So now, thank you so much for reading, and letting me tell you how to make fuzzy little companions fight to the death. I can’t wait to help you through Draenor. Though I may tell you something totally wrong to beat my NPC. I mean, come on. You don’t really want to beat this adorable face, do you?

lio3

Accuracy – Warlords of Draenor

There are new things afoot in the latest Warlords of Draenor Alpha build for pet battlers.

accuracywod

Many abilities which used to have lower accuracies now instead have an accuracy of 100%, and the randomness is instead based on range of possible damages. The abilities which previously had high, but not 100% accuracy, like Snap, were just decreased, because the range of damages would kind of just be within the scope of RNG for just the one value. The idea is that you’ll end up doing the same amount of damage with that ability over time, but the overall experience will be more positive. Missing feels terrible even when you win.

gnomehit

So far, I’ve definitely found this to be the case, especially with a few specific abilities. One of my favorite battle pets to grind with is my Clockwork Gnome, but I always seem to get misses with Metal Fist when I’m trying to one-shot level 5s. Now I don’t even think about that miniscule chance to miss, because it no longer exists. If this change makes it to Live, I’m going to have to retool nearly all my guides because I frequently recommend 100% abilities for the sake of replicating results, even if another move might be a bit stronger, and now this won’t be an issue. I’ve also been Burrowing and Diving knowing that the damage component will hit for a unique change of pace. The game is more fun as a result.

The main concern I have, which remains to be seen as far as my own playtest goes, is the issue of transparency. Now, if your Anubisath Idol misses its 400 damage Crush twice in a row, it feels crappy, but you know why you’re starting over, and which move you may want to reconsider. If Crush hits on the low side of its 207-384 damage range, the reason you lost will be far less apparent.

accuracywodcrush

Overall though, this change does make the game quite a bit more fun. I haven’t PVPed with it yet, though, so we’ll see whether my tune changes when other people can use their newfound accuracy against me.

Warlords of Draenor Travelogue: 1

Instead of just posting my observations about the Warlords of Draenor Alpha to twitter, I’m also going to post things here in a less transitory format. The first few are bound to be larger, as I uncover various quality of life improvements that nobody but me cares about.

peacock2

Firstly, my much-awaited Peacock is a reward from a pet-related achievement. The achievement itself is Not Yet Implemented, so it’s hard to tell what’s what. I’d hypothesize that it’s either the Tame achievement or Beat Tamers achievement.

wodquests

Also, the good old ‘you have no pets on PTR’ deal is alive & quite well, so here’s a quick plug for my Cascade guide, because mercifully it’ll only take me a few hours to get to 25s. Until then, the new quest log format makes it easy to see your account-wide quests, and separate them out from any active quests you may have as well.

wodrtclick

If you right click a wild battle pet’s nameplate, it brings up the option to see it in your spellbook. A small thing, but a cool quality of life enhancement.

albinochimaeraling

There don’t seem to be many new pets available at the moment. Many of the new ones seem to be via engineering–the Boar, Scorpid and Toucan. The one I found the most interesting though, is the Albino Chimaeraling. Other than not being tiresome to type at all, it’s apparently found in Eggs in Shadowmoon Valley. This is a feature I’m really excited about, but don’t know a ton about just yet. Shadowmoon Valley isn’t open yet, so I’ll be sure to investigate when it is.

mechscorpid

Move the heck over, Clockwork Gnome. With laser beams shooting from its eyes and a turret, I may have a new BFF.

draenorbattle

The very first wild pet I found in Draenor was a lvl 1 Sea Gull in my Horde Garrison. I’m really curious about this, and will report back when I have higher level pets. This seems an excellent place for a menagerie.

A very interesting bit about that level 1 Sea Gull. It looks like that’s intentional, and they’re supposed to scale with your pets’ levels, at least for now. If the scaling tech doesn’t pan out, the wild pets in the garrison will just be level 25.

Pet Breeding – Gone!

That’s right. The one feature semi-announced at Blizzcon for the future of pet battles is no more.

nopetbreeding

(link)

I find the wording here interesting for a few reasons. One, Mr. Stockton specifies Draenor’s release, leaving things wide open for 6.1 and beyond. The other is the citation of balance concerns as the reasoning.

breedid

I’m torn here, because for me, one of the main benefits of seeing battle pet breeding enter the game would have been to level the playing field. My crappy H/B Grasslands Cottontail could’ve been bred with one of my legion of S/S Spring Rabbits and been far more useful. With just one swap with a more common pet with a better breed, anyone else could’ve stacked the deck in the same way.

But, rabbits are a dime a dozen, so that’s not a huge consideration. As another example, I was one of the lucky ducks who managed to snag a Power breed Gilnean Raven, widely considered to be relatively overpowered, as opposed to the later default, B/B breed only. Breeding would have allowed people to swap another, less strong battle pet’s Power with their Raven. As of now, the only way to get one is to pay roughly as much gold in most markets as a Crawling Claw commands. There are a lot of other examples: a Speed breed Death Adder Hatchling is in that same general price bracket as well. It makes for a much higher barrier to entry for people just starting to catch up now. However, in the hands of somebody like yours truly, I can definitely see where I would make a swap here or there for an extremely strong pet. So I guess it’s a little bit my fault, maybe.

gilnean raven wow warcraft pet battles

…nah.

I’m also far less worried about breeding as a feature of pet battling per se. Immediately following Blizzcon, the overarching feeling surrounding battling was less than stellar, and many people latched on to breeding as a talisman, myself included. Frankly, it was pretty much the only thing we’d heard besides a maybe-perhaps mobile version. Even the mentions of breeding were secondhand. But in the time that has elapsed since, we’ve begun to see a far more broad view of battling as far as Draenor goes. I’m quite intrigued by the Eggs mentioned in passing, for one. There seems to be a wide array of new pets coming out, including my much-anticipated peacock. There are places in our Garrisons to display our pets, and new traveling tamers to visit us there.

The loss of breeding now is far less keen, because we know there’s going to be plenty for us tamers to do once we hit Draenor. Also, many of the more fun, dynamic aspects of pet battling were added in subsequent patches, even though it was a central selling feature of the previous expansion. The Celestial Tournament, Beasts of Fable and Spirit Tamers were all later additions. The minigame used to just end with Aki as the last challenge, and I think it’s a good thing that we get to add on as the next expansion goes, again.

aki

Though, the Aki of Draenor may not be too happy about it.

Warcraft Pets Pet for April – Spring Rabbit

bunny

I had a lot of fun writing about this critter for this month’s installment of Warcraft Pets’ Pet Of The Month. It’s frequently my MO to pick the cuddliest battle pets I can to enact maximum carnage on my enemies, because I find that hilarious. This bunny has always been one of my go-to pets for this.

The reason I went with this specific rabbit is because Noblegarden starts in under a week, so it’s prime time to highlight him. There are a lot of other bunnies out there, but this is the only one with a really cool pet interaction, plus it has an S/S breed by default. I talk at length in the post why this is useful, plus a few strats and tips as always, so go ahead and check it out!

Lillidan

Edit – Yep, this was an April Fool’s joke! I know a lot of people think they’re played out, but I had fun pulling it together. I hope I didn’t get anybody’s hopes up too high!

With the phrase, “I was told this would be popular,” WoW Dev Jonathan LeCraft, as always, has tweeted a pic of a new pet. This time, it is the long-awaited Lil’ Illidan, or as I like to call him,

lillidan wow world of warcraft pet battle lil illidan

LILLIDAN.

You guys. I can’t even with this. I realize that posting memetic sentence fragments is unprofessional even with my typical colloquial style of writing but no really the feels.

lillidan moves wow world of warcraft pet battle

He also included a stats & moveset screen, which doesn’t really reveal a ton, other than Lillidan is very powerful but a little sluggish. Even so, I could not be more excited to own this little terror, so I can tell him to hush any time I damn well please.

I’m not sure yet whether he’s a part of another iteration of Raiding With Leashes, or if he’s from the Pet Shop. Either way, he’s certainly going to be a part of my collection as soon as I can get my grubby mitts on him.