Tag Archives: elite pet battles

Gilnean Raven

This bird is in vogue bigtime, and it’s not just because it looks really good.

raven

But enough about me.

Lots of people suggest the Gilnean Raven for PVE and PVP both, because of a really slick 1 – 2 punch it packs.

darkness

Darkness is generally an annoying ability to come up against in PVP, because it both makes it more difficult to hit you with key abilities, but makes you heal half as well. But, the Gilnean Raven has an ability, Nocturnal Strike, which relies on it (otherwise, the hit rate is super low). Nocturnal Strike hits very hard, especially against Aquatics, which makes this girl an excellent pick to go up against the Aquatic type Beasts of Fable. There are a good number of fliers with Nocturnal Strike, but not many of them pair it up with a Darkness ability as well. The only other pet with both is the Crow. The two of them make kind of a pair, so I named my Raven Pallas and my Crow Athena.

Darkness makes for some deadly synergy with some other pets too, namely the Pandaren Monk. It’ll also be good to pair with the upcoming Aspect pets from the Celestial Tournament since (as of this post, subject to change etc) they all have the Spectral Strike ability.

nevermore

But you can do that if you just have a Crow. In a reference to the Raven’s tooltip, the Raven is the only pet with the ability Nevermore. Nevermore is a very cool ability that can be used to shut down a few specific PVP strategies as well. As an example, Death Grip is on a 3 round cooldown. Death Grip or other force swap abilities are the most popular strategy I’ve seen other PVPers adopt right now. In general, you can count out those 3 rounds and use Nevermore, and lock down their force swap, for a glorious 8 rounds without having to deal with the ability… as long as your pet is faster than theirs.

I’ve seen several tamers who use Nevermore pair it with Darkflame instead of Darkness. Darkflame doesn’t give you the extra miss debuff, and it works against Elementals. Since Darkness is a weather effect, elementals can still heal & hit you to their little hearts’ content.

gilneanraven

You get the Gilnean Raven by being a Worgen and buying her off any pet battle trainer. You can only purchase them once per account, however. They can be purchased off the auction house as well, but expect to pay a pretty penny. They start off Uncommon from the vendor, so you have to either stone them, or buy an upgraded one.

In terms of breed, the only one you can buy now is B/B, so if you can find a different one on the AH, you may want to snap it up regardless, as the off-breeds will likely sell for crazy cash in a year or two.

I have a soft spot for her… well, let’s be real, I have a soft spot for almost all the pets I use on a frequent basis. But there’s something special about this wily bird from Gilneas.

gilneasraven

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Postscript: I mentioned in passing that The Gilnean Raven would be an amazing name for a superhero, and Akabeko from Red Cow Rise took that observation and ran with it. I completely love this. https://twitter.com/redcowrise/status/345170593676673024/photo/1

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Zandalari Raptors

These little guys first entered the game when 5.2 was released.

zandalariraptor

There are 4 of them in different colors, and each has multiple breeds. I tend to favor the speed breed, but it’s really personal preference. They all randomly drop from the Zandalari Dinomancers, though at this point you may have better luck farming them off your friendly local auction house. Blizzard decreased the drop rate on them after a couple weeks, and they tend to go for 2-3K each.

Each color has a slightly different moveset, and one of them is entirely missing the ability which made me fall in love, but only these mini-Oondastas have it.

Black Claw.

I really can’t adequately express how fun and amazing this ability is in photos, so I made my very first vlog! I hate myself for using the word vlog, I honestly do. And it’s a long one, but it’s also a video walkthrough for the Nitun and Dos-Ryga Beasts Of Fable fights post-5.3. I may or may not need an editor.

As noted in the video, I love this in PVP and it also makes the revamped Beasts of Fable fairly trivial. He’s just all-around fantastic.

I chose the Kneebiter, because every so often I can use Bloodfang to try & heal him. The downside of these pets (all of them!) is that they might as well be made of slightly damp paper towel. If you look at them wrong they keel over and die. Bloodfang also does crazy, crazy damage with the various debuffs you can lay down.

The Anklerender is a good option for PVP as well, but the similar healing ability Devour shares a slot with Black Claw. Dudes, we are taking Black Claw on these pets if the other option in the slot is literally any other pet ability available in the game right now. The reason the Anklerender might be a better choice for PVP is because he has the Primal Cry full team speed debuff ability available in the 2nd slot, and speed is quickly becoming the decider in PVP.

The third baby Oondasta with Black Claw is the Toenibbler. He has a similar setup to the Anklerender only instead of Hunting Party, which adds that additional damage multiplier, he has Flank. It hits a few times and all, but this makes him kind of an underwhelming choice.

A quick mention for the 4th pet of this type, the yellow-toned Footslasher. He has the Exposed Wounds ability instead of Black Claw. The debuff does a similar thing, but to a smaller magnitude, for a longer duration. So, it might be easier to manage, but it won’t have nearly the burst.

blackclaw

The glorious, glorious burst.

Beyond 5.3

First of all, pet PVP isn’t that bad. I’m not sure why I was hesitant to get into it from a ‘I’m gonna lose so muchhh’ perspective. Even though, let’s be real, I started off losing pretty frequently. Now I’ve leveled off to winning roughly 4 out of 5.

pvpxp2

The issue now is that there isn’t a ton of reward for it. Yeah, cute little direhorn. And right now I’m getting exactly 1K XP per battle I win at level 17, so that’s additional incentive. But other than watching my win totals go up (which right now that’s bugged and I’m not properly being awarded achievements or wins for my weekly quest, so that may have something to do with my disenchantment here), and that weekly quest, there isn’t any way to progress. I keep getting these cruddy green upgrade stones and that’s about it. Because of how long the battles take, dozens and dozens of turns, that 1K XP is just barely beating out grinding lowbie squirrels. Throw a loss or two into the mix, a longer queue time, and it completely tanks my XP per hour.

If this is your first time PVPing, I’d encourage you to just keep at it. I know I still have a lot to learn. I mean, if you’re raiding you don’t say “well, Kel’Thuzad did this thing I haven’t seen up to this point, I guess I should just give up.” Same goes for lil KT. Don’t give up! Pretty much the whole time I’m doing pvp, I like to keep this song in mind (no really).

If your team combo doesn’t seem to be working, try a new one. My composition right now is my Wild Golden Hatchling with Call Lightning and Cyclone, my Clockwork Gnome with his turret, and my Scourged Whelpling with Plagued Blood.

pvpteam

I make a lot of swaps, and if I come up against another heavy DoT team or a team with a pet that has a shell shield ability I could be in trouble. But for now, it’s working out pretty well for me. PVP has a steep learning curve, because you need to know your pets’ abilities to the utmost, but you also need to learn everyone else’s pets’ abilities, frequently on the fly. I’m pretty sure part of the reason I’m having success here is because the Wild Golden Hatchling isn’t common for pvp, so people aren’t too familiar with what it can do.

I feel sad for some of the people I’ve been fighting, too. That isn’t meant to be a brag or elitist comment. I’ve beaten people with green quality pets, clearly just standing on their wobbly pet battle legs for the first time like baby fawns. It makes me almost wish I could find these people afterward, to tell them they’re just not going to win with a team made up of an un-upgraded Wolvar Pup, a snake and a breed 13 rabbit. And of course, there are also the maddening tri-teams of triple speed rabbits, or triple Kun-Lai Runts, all named in such a way that make it obvious the player is just there to troll for lulz, so clearly being able to contact opponents isn’t a good idea in general. I just want to give some of those poor little tamers a hug and tell them to not give up.

pvpclose

But those are both few & far between, and it’s mostly the close wins, or even if I lose by a huge bit, learning a new pet, that makes it fun. I’ll definitely continue to do this for the leveling challenge, because it makes it a lot more tolerable to alternate grinding & pvp. Were it not for this silly leveling challenge I’d get my 10 wins on the week and go do PVE until next week. I’m not asking for a currency-like mechanic like player PVP, though that’s how PVP avoids the same feeling of character stagnation. I’m not sure how you’d fix it, honestly. But, it’s so time-consuming I need a carrot other than ‘fun’.

grizzlyhills

Speaking of carrots and wasting time, no I haven’t gotten a Val’kyr yet. I tried for about an hour in Grizzly Hills, then went to go poke around in Zul’Drak for a minute. When I came back, it was obvious that I was no longer in the same CRZed Grizzly Hills as before. With the small number of spawn points, until we know more about how taming changes the spawn I can’t see devoting more time to this in the short term.

I’m 1/10 for Raiding With Leashes 2 pets (got the waveling). Later today I plan to farm some bones and maybe a baby direhorn, plus LFR for maybe pets.

bofable

The Beasts of Fable are a lot harder, which is fun, and no I’m not being sarcastic for once. I felt since 5.2 that they were too easy to be the ‘epic challenge’ they were presented to be. As epic as flying around for an hour is, lol no. Apocalypse still functions properly, and Life Exchange does the correct amount of damage, though overall this is less damage, because the Beasts Of Fable’s life pool is relatively smaller. However, the Beasts hit much, much harder, and roaches and faerie dragons seem to be made out of wet paper, so using both is a no-go now. I’ve been using the Roach, plus 2 others based on the pet’s family type (eg, for Gorespine I used my Pandaren Dragonling and Darkmoon Zeppelin). For the pets that heal, I’ve been using my Gilnean Raven equipped with Darkness, though there are better choices. You have to have something to cut that healing though, because otherwise it’s just silly.

barrens

As to the Barrens stuff and story, I was really hoping that Alliance would get the kickass, “no sleep til Orgrimmar!” moment. I’d actually avoided the spoilers about it, because as soon as I read that line, I knew we were in for something really epic. Instead I got to tool around in a mechanical cat. I haven’t done anything in the Barrens since handing in my initial 15 resources, even though Gahz’rooki is on the line, because I’m really annoyed with this. I know that at this point this is the Horde’s story, but this feels slapped together.

voljin

And just a tiny bit insulting.

Elite Pet Battles

Maybe I should say, quote-unquote ‘elite’ pet battles. I was very excited for this feature, but as I noted, couldn’t find much information about the nitty-gritty of the battles. So, with a 45 minute queue behind me and a graphics card that could not be less happy with me, I set off!

I picked up the quest Beasts of Fable from Sara Finkleswitch as I logged on.

finkleswitch

From what I understand, this quest opens up alongside the Pandaren Spirit Tamers after you beat Aki.

This round of battles, it is one legendary pet vs your entire group. You can screw around with making up the perfect lineup if you’d like. There’s an excellent, very thorough post on WoWInsider you can use as a guide, in addition to all the locations. The thing is, it isn’t needed. At all. I was able to solo almost all these pets with one pet. Here’s my lineup:

elite beast lineup

The first thing you probably noticed was an unnamed level 23 resilient roach. He’s just there for insurance. I cast Apocalypse, then immediately send him to the back row. If my other pets don’t manage to kill the fabled beast in 15 turns, I win anyway. This goes through dive, and none of the Beasts are beetles or roaches, so you just… win. I chose the level 23 because it was the highest one I had at the time. Insurance is also why I have my trusty non-critter tank crab Ishmael in the lineup. He’s basically there as a meat shield just in case my nether faerie dragon Spenser doesn’t get the job done.

So, what makes this dragon so OP? In a word (well, 2) Life Exchange.

Basically, the Elite pets are supposed to be 3 pets in one. And that’s the thing, they’re in *one*, meaning they have a huge health pool. Life Exchange as it’s coded now ignores the HP cap of the dragon, which means it looks like this:

healthxchange

I chose the Nether Faerie Dragon as the vehicle for this, but it honestly doesn’t matter which pet with this ability you pick. With one fell swoop, you will deal at least half of any of these fabled pets’ health.

I expect both these strategies to get fixed somehow, because at this point it is too easy. Though, you do have to kill a whopping 10 beasts at all ends of Pandaria to finish the quest for your reward, the red panda.

You should note that when you turn it in you can re-do it immediately as a daily if you’d like. The bag reward has a chance to contain a non-red red panda, and apparently has a much higher drop rate on upgrade stones, so it’s worth redoing. Also, as seen in the below screenshot, you have a really decent chance of getting Lesser Charms with each fight you do. Because people might run low on those, I guess.

One additional thing to add. Remember that level 23 resilient roach? Well, he’s not getting much XP out of the deal, even with my Safari Hat on.

elitexp

So, this isn’t really a good time to try powerleveling your level 1 undercity roach.