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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
Rock Your Body (yee-ah)
Feasel’s Back, alright!
Oh my god, he’s back again. Warlords of Draenor is adding an additional Feasel, and this one is far more insufferable than his relation directly to the left.
Like Jeremy, Christoph Von Feasel is located in the Darkmoon Faire, and will fight you in exchange for one of their Darkmoon-branded tokens. Or, at least, his battle pets will fight yours. Here’s the team I used:
Feasel’s first pet, Syd, is a Magic pet with a lot of Aquatic offense. There isn’t a good Magic pet to defend against Syd’s onslaught with enough firepower to beat Syd, so I opted for the Emerald Proto-Whelp. It combines both heals and an avoid with a decent Dragonkin offense. Syd uses Whirlpool on every cooldown now, so I find both heals and avoid to be rather key. The Spawn of Onyxia or Wild Jade Hatchling moveset dragons are a good pick here too.
As said before, Syd will use Whirlpool on every cooldown, so it’s important to use your avoid and your heal when necessary. He will also cast a full-block on hit bubble, so you just need the longevity to burn him down.
Feasel’s next 2 pets are both beasts, but their abilities make each unique. The reason I went with the Tonk is simple: Lock-On. Because of the Direhorn’s incredibly annoying shield, many normal abilities are fully blocked by it, so you can’t just pick whatever mechanicals willy-nilly. Lock-On is an activated ability which hits extremely hard after being primed, so I use those down turns to begin Lock-On and cast a couple of his other abilities, then blast Mr Pointy’s face off in full when his shield wears. There are a few other pets with this ability, or similar ones. Launch Rocket is fairly similar. I also like having Minefield available to make a big dent in the next pet without a ton of effort on my part, but that’s just gravy.
I’m not sure about other battlers, but Mr. Pointy was by far the source of the most cursing on my part.
Christoph’s 3rd pet, Otto the Cow, has a combination of hard-hitting abilities and Feed, which means you want to blitz him down and quick.
Lil Bling, my favorite battle pet of the expansion apparently, is up to the task. Make It Rain and Inflation go together like peanut butter, chocolate, and dessert wine. He also has Extra Plating for extra longevity, which I typically use so that I’m ‘safe’ through the Inflation turns.
After you beat Feasel The Fireworksier, you get a new Darkmoon pet bag. Mine contained the same old standard battle pet & Darkmoon gunk as that other Feasel’s. The new pet Syd The Squid also has a chance to drop, much like the Darkmoon Eye.
But, Christoph Von Feasel isn’t all bad. He may have just given me a new motto:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doopy is a legendary battle pet located in Icecrown. The roughest part of this fight is stumbling across him. He’s in an out of the way location, and there’s really nothing to point you to the fact that he’s there.
Well, except me.
The fight itself is relatively straightforward. Doopy is an aquatic penguin with Slippery Ice, Ice Lance & Ice Tomb. He also has the standard 50% damage reduction buff given to many pets nowadays. Each component is able to be countered relatively easily. Here’s 1 team I’ve chosen to highlight.
The key here is strong Flying attacks. Since Doopy is Aquatic, as long as you have a lot of Flying firepower you should be able to take out this solo battle pet relatively easily. The Nether Faerie Dragon‘s main trick here, other than its off-family flying damage, is Life Exchange. Life Exchange is fun for single-pet fights though it’s fairly unnecessary.
The Phoenix Hawk Hatchling is well suited to this fight. It has both Lift-Off to dodge Doopy’s Ice Tomb, and Fly By, which increases damage dealt by 25%. Ice Tomb is going to annihilate your pets with both big damage and a stun, so dodging it is a good thing, and it’s relatively easy. When the counter says there’s 1 round to go on Ice Tomb, use your Lift Off and your pet will dodge both. Same for any other dodges or absorbs on other pets. Of course, increasing damage dealt always a plus.
The Feline Familiar is in there, perhaps a bit oddly, because Doopy’s bread & butter move is Ice Lance, which uses multiple relatively smaller hits. As a result Stoneskin is good to use on an anchor. The old standby the Anubisath Idol or Emperor Crab make decent anchors too.
I’ve beaten Doopy handily with a bunch of owls, a trio of moths, a fistful of chickens, etc. Ravens & Crows are extremely useful in this fight, if you have one available. In general I’d really recommend to just use a bunch of pets with Flying damage, but I’m putting out as many options as possible, because this is a pet a lot of non-pet battlers are going to want to beat. Actual pet battlers? Funnily enough, not so much.
Each time you beat Doopy, you get a special egg item. It goes directly into your bags & is mailed to you if they’re full. This egg unlocks a new boss at the Brawler’s Guild, and it’s your only reward for besting Doopy besides the satisfaction of a job well done. The boss itself combines the earlier Dippy fight from rank 1 with Doopy, and in my case the result is kind of a mess.
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.
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.
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?
There are new things afoot in the latest Warlords of Draenor Alpha build for pet battlers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Move the heck over, Clockwork Gnome. With laser beams shooting from its eyes and a turret, I may have a new BFF.
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.
With this little guy retiring from the Battle.net shop in just a few short weeks, I figured I’d give him a quick feature, if you’re debating whether to spend your hard-earned real life cash on him before he goes away.
I usually don’t focus on the visuals of pets too closely, but this guy has one of the cutest idle animations I’ve seen, where he paws at a gold fly that spawns near him occasionally. All his animations are adorable, but that one in particular makes me want to pet him. He’ll also fly behind you, and until Gloria’s Glorious Gliding Goodies are realized in WoD that’s a pretty unique commodity.
The Guardian Cub has a pretty standard cluster of usual flying moves: Cyclone, Wild Winds & Slicing Wind. He’s also one of a very few Flying battle pets with Magic offensive abilities, with Onyx Bite in his moveset. Nether Rays are the only others. Rounding out his moveset are the Pyrrhic Reckless Strike and the damage-boosting Beast ability Roar.
The issue with this pet is that, although his moves are solid, his stats aren’t the best. Even with that unique Magic ability, Nether Rays are more versatile, and have better available stat allocation, so this pet is hardly a must-have for battling.
The really unique thing about this pet is that, to my knowledge, he’s the only battle pet which is both available for purchase with real cash and also able to be caged in-game. People cottoned on to this scheme real quick, so the value plummeted soon after they first appeared in the shop. I bought mine ages ago for under 2000 gold. However, since the announcement that this battle pet is being retired, the gold value has skyrocketed again, and there are very few available for trade. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen to the gold value after it’s retired, but if you’re looking to legally swap some real life cash for some in-game gold this may be your ticket, even if your gratification is a wee bit delayed.
Until he’s retired, possibly as soon as June 18th, the Guardian Cub is still available for purchase here at the Battle.net store: (link removed)
edit – As of this later date, the Guardian Cub is no longer available for purchase from the battle.net store. You may still be able to find one on your local auction house.