Tag Archives: elemental

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.

undeadfamily

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.

elementalfamily

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:

elementals

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.

sunlight

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.

moonlight

Moonlight

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.

arcanewinds

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.

sandstorm

Sandstorm

Elemental:
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: https://twitter.com/TheCrafticus/status/419169945335775232). 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.

scorchedearth

Scorched Earth

Elemental:
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.

cleansingrain

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.

blizzard

Blizzard

Elemental:
Opponent: Chilled

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

darkness2

Darkness

Elemental:
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.

mudslide

Mudslide

Elemental:
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.

lightningstorm2

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.

sunflowerbad

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.

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Sinister Squashling

squashling wow world of warcraft pet battle hallows end

The Sinister Squashling was, for a long time, the iconic non-combat pet for the Hallow’s End holiday. He was exceedingly rare, and only dropped from the Horseman, which each character could only summon once per day (giving you theoretically 5 chances for disappointment in each cobbled together 5 man). He was also Bind On Pickup.

squashling auction wow world of warcraft pet battle

Like so many things, this has changed. The Squashling now not only drops from your daily prize bag from queuing for the Horseman, but from nearly every container associated with the holiday. As a result, if you do nearly anything during the holiday, you’re sure to collect several. They’re both cageable and Bind On Equip now too, so you might be able to AH one of your half-dozen for 5g or so during the off-season.

squashling stats wow world of warcraft pet battle

It shares moves with several others in the Elemental family, namely the other shrubs. No other plant has his exact moveset, because of the ability rather dangerous to most plants, Burn. It makes sense for the Squashling though. Homeboy’s got a candle! All the other abilities in his moveset are echoed across other (mostly elemental) plant-type Elemental pets. Thorns, Poison Lash and Leech Seed could find themselves at home in a DoT team, maybe. Stun Seed is akin to Geyser, but lacks a bit of the offensive firepower that makes Geyser so popular.

Plant is a very interesting ability with an offbeat mechanic. Theoretically, you could heal for nearly your entire health bar… as long as your Squashling can stay alive, active & planted for 10+ rounds. If you go up against a force swap though, you’re still swapped out and lose that healing. With 2 ‘down’ rounds for activation & deactivation plus being rooted in place like a sitting duck, it’s really more a liability than anything, especially for pvp.

What it lacks in battling, it makes up for with cute animations, including a ghoulish laugh when you click on him out in the world. Even better, he’ll root himself to the ground when you’re idle, so if you happen to be walking through a pumpkin patch, someone may not realize what’s in their midst, until it’s too late.

sinister squashling hallow's end wow world of warcraft pet battle

Midsummer Festival

While everyone else is busy burning things down or whatever, I figured I’d put up a short post with the pets available for this holiday.

summerspirit

There are 2 pets you can get, both elementals. The Spirit of Summer has a moveset identical to the Fel Flame I love so dearly. The Spirit’s stat allocation is slightly different, and it is only available in Breed 13, B/B. It starts off Uncommon quality by default, but they’re tradeable so you may be able to snag a pre-stoned one off the auction house.

To get one you need to do a whole lot of holiday stuff to get a whole bunch of flowers, which are apparently currency, somehow. Even though they’re like, on fire. Whatever, Warcraft. Each spirit costs 350 flowers.

frostling

The other comes from doing the holiday boss, Ahune. The first time you kill him each day, you are awarded Satchel of Chilled Goods, which has a chance to contain a Frigid Frostling. The Frostling will throw a snowball at you which makes it snow, but he’s otherwise fairly unremarkable. His moves include the accuracy diminishing Slippery Ice and the ever-popular stunner Ice Tomb, plus the aquatic Surge.

midsummerboss

The Frostlings are fairly rare, but also tradeable. They start off rare, so don’t worry about stones.

Ahune’s loot table has also been upgraded to ilvl 480, but psh, gear.

Singing Sunflower

My current aim in-game is to get rares of every tamed pet. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out in Dalaran Crater, looking for a rare Lofty Libram. As I flapped around uselessly killing dozens and dozens of rats, I noticed something odd.

dalarancrater

I saw the towers of the Undead in the not so distant distance, and in between this pinnacle of unstable magic and the plague-happy undead, there was… a farm? What kind of wacko would try to farm there? I mean, Arathi Basin notwithstanding.

As I moved closer, I saw the traditional yellow exclamation point on my map. Current for a level 90. Alright, this is going to be good.

brazie

Alright so, let’s pick up the quest and… WHOA.

This is a takeoff on the popular tower defense app, one of my personal favorites, Plants vs Zombies. You’re in a ‘vehicle’, so even if you do this on a PVP server you’re unattackable for the duration of your quest.

pvz1

I use Pitbull and Dominoes, and it screws up the buttons a bit. The display is where the abilities are located for the last leg of the quest. Mousing over each button gave me the information of the ability in the tooltip. The quests will walk you through playing the game bit by bit, what each plant in your arsenal can do, until you get to the big show with the full complement of plants.

Then, after you finish the quest line, you get a pet!

sunflower

The Singing Sunflower is pretty much junk. It’s an alright support pet, but it has pretty much no offensive oomph. It’s annoying to kill if you don’t have a pet with a weather change ability, and I could see it being somewhat less junk in PVP if you’re less lazy than I am and keep track of cooldowns and swap it out a whole bunch, but UGH.

So, why bother? It’s a little ray of sunshine. It’s almost like having your own portable Sha of Happiness. Scratch that… it’s a little HORRIBLY ANNOYING Sha of Happiness. It sees any horrible place and brightens it up a little.

sunflowerbad

Every so often, the Singing Sunflower lives up to its name and randomly starts singing. In the AH. In dungeons. EVERYWHERE. The song is a short snippet from a song in Plants vs Zombies, voiced by the person who sang the PvZ song. In fact, because of the traffic to her personal site from searches she also has her own how-to guide for this pet.

The great part is, this song will get stuck in your head and stay there for days. And then, every time you pull it out again, you will repeat this. It is unstoppable! It is inexorable! It is–

singingsunflower

♥ {◕ ◡ ◕} ♥

Fel Flame

I figured that since I already wrote up posts on two members of my core team, Ishmael and Prufrock, it was time to highlight Dante as well.

dante

The Fel Flame is a glass cannon at its best. He has 1 strong nuke, 2 strong nukes with DoTs (one of which is a Dragon spell, so you can kill both mechanicals and magic battle pets really easily), a weather effect with a DoT which doesn’t affect him because he’s an elemental, a self-buff DoT which persists even if you send him to the back row (making him a very strong partner with a pet Plagued Blood, like the Restless Shadeling). And lastly, he has Conflagrate, one of the stronger nukes in the pet battle game even though it was nerfed significantly in 5.2. Even though he is generally weak against critters, he still finds time to menace them in his spare time.

cowermortal

I use Dante against pets (especially mechanicals) that I need to burn down ASAP, like Jeremy Feasel‘s tonk or Major Payne‘s mechabird. I typically equip him with flame breath, immolate and conflagrate. I use one of the two DoTs to make the victim burn, and then use Conflagrate immediately (depending on the other pet’s mitigation abilities, like Burrow). Conflagrate is on a 4 turn cooldown, so the sooner I use it the better the chances I’ll be able to use it again.

The trade-off is that his glass cannon has an emphasis on the glass. Dante is as fragile as my parents’ hopes I’d make something of myself. You need to make use of his explosive DPS with the expectation that he’s not long for this world, or else team him with pets that make use of AOE heals, with a bunch of swapping in between.

felloc

Fel Flame is a catch from a wild pet battle in Shadowmoon Valley. As such, there’s not a ton of leveling you need to do before he’s a killing machine, which is good, because it’s kind of a pain to level elementals.

There’s some debate over how to incite them to spawn which isn’t surprising, since they are supposed to be kind of rare. I can say fairly confidently that the current rumor that you must have completed the Shadowmoon Valley quest line Cipher Of Damnation is false. Here’s Liopleurodon’s quest count in the zone so you can see where I’m coming from here.

shadowmoonachieve

So, not wanting to invest the 45+ minutes to do that quest line, I killed the elementals in the area. After 10-15 minutes, a couple of the wild Fel Flames spawned, ready to battle. I haven’t done this enough to say for certain that this isn’t just coincidence and I showed up at the right time, but what else are you going to do while you wait, crochet a poncho?

felflamewild