Switching Sites

Hello All!

I know I’ve been rather silent the last few (hundred) days. Mainly I’ve been busy with work, but I’ve also tapered back on my WoW time quite a bit in favor of different games. So it goes at the end of any expansion.

However, I’ve also been a bit frustrated with the blog itself as there are a number of things I’d like to do are difficult or impossible with a WordPress site (as cool as it is at just blogging). So I’ve switched domains and am messing about in a full-fledged web framework.

My new URL for the pet blog is: http://www.theheratik.net/pets/. I’ve moved all of my posts and am using a much simpler looking site with much nicer CSS. It’s all moved in and even has an RSS feed for those that like that.

I’m hoping to have some new content up there in the next week or so, and I’ll likely cross-post a little bit on my WP blog until I feel like we’ve all settled in.

Thanks for your patience!

Nik the Heratik

New Patch Blues

Hello! I hope you all have had fun with the new patch. I’ve been too busy with RL stuff to write anything up, but I had a lot of fun with the Celestial Tournament, even when it’s had a few frustrating moments.

I also discovered from the dailies that my guide for probably 4 of the fights will need to be updated, some majorly and none of the changes were nerfs to the fights. On balance, this is a good thing as it means Blizzard is continuing to try to keep pet battling as engaging as possible.

Just makes me wish I had more time to enjoy it…

Update Time

Raiding With Leashes II

My lowly banker succeeds where my big bad DK could not. So it goes...

My lowly banker succeeds where my big bad DK could not. So it goes…

I finally picked up my Tito, but I had to do it the expensive way and purchased a Coilfang Stalker and Lesser Voidcaller (aka the screaming shadow meanie) for 7k and 3k. I just haven’t had the time or inclination to run those two raids every week. I enjoyed the achievement quite a bit. Karazhan was especially fun since I had 5 toons that could clear it. SSC turned into a chore after the first week, though I sort of liked running TK. It was fun to figure out how to take out the different bosses on my toons, even though only my (blood) DK could clear the last bosses in either SSC or TK.

Screaming Shadow Meanie!

Screaming Shadow Meanie!


Lashtail Hatchling

Rescue me!

Rescue me!

So I haven’t blogged this before, but I had attempted getting this baby about 8 months ago, first on my Frost Mage, and then on my Blood DK. I didn’t have the gear + mad skillz to solo the guy before the nerf. But thanks to a tip from Tamer Liopleurodon, I found out that they made it so the boss is soloable. In fact, for many it’s probably easier to solo than to duo, as the insta-death mechanic is still around for more than one player.

Cutest quest text eva? You bet!

Cutest quest text eva? You bet!

I went and cleared it in about 15 mins on my DK as I still knew all the tricks (protip: having an invisibility belt helps). Then I tried it on my poor frost mage and he failed miserably. I had to tangle with two of the mini-bosses before getting to the last guy, and neither of them had even looked at my Blood DK. Of course, being a clothy makes it all extra annoying.

And then I found out that popping mirror image actually turns the insta-death mechanic back on. And my poor clothy is too undergeared (and underplayed) to solo the guy without the images. Still I got my pet, even if it was on the DK, and that’s the important thing!

Yes dearie, I am your mummy!

Yes dearie, I am your mummy!


Battle Notebook

I did my 10 wins this past week, and I tracked the fights again, but haven’t done a writeup for it yet. I may or may not get to it before the weekend. Those posts take much longer than you’d think if you want to do it right.

I’ve got another 10 or so pets to level 25. Including some I should have leveled awhile ago (like the Phoenix). I played with them some, but I’ve been playing with other games lately (sacrilege, I know) and haven’t done as much dailies or PvE battling. I always come back for more however, especially since the new patch looks to have alot of cool stuff!

Raiding With Leashes III ??

Anyone for Raiding With Leashes III ??

Pet Battle Notebook #2: I’m back!

So I’ve moved house and it took probably 2.5 weeks to get decent Internet. That kind of makes it hard to blog about pets. Especially since I didn’t really get to do any pet battling that whole time.

But I’m back! And I’ve got better hardware and faster net so it’s extra fun. The most amazing thing so far is that now that I’m playing with the effects on, I get to hear all the cute—and sometimes pitiable—noises the pets make while battling. Kind of makes me feel bad when I beat up some of them now, but it’s still fun!


Warning: this is alot of repetitive stuff. If I do this again, I’ll likely summarize it quite a bit. But this should give some idea of how things went and what kinds of teams I faced those two evenings.

Session #1

I decided to try a few different teams from the post in #1 and see how I liked them. I also kept records over the two sessions I got to play before the move. Unfortunately, I lost the records for one of those sessions. So it goes… but I still remember enough to at least give you an update on the second session.

The Team:

  1. pet-moth-iconGilded Moth with Slicing Wind, Cocoon, and Moth Dust.
  2. feline-familiar-iconFeline Familiar with Pounce, Call Darkness, and Prowl.
  3. spectral-porcupette-iconSpectral Porcupette with Powerball, Spectral Spine, Spectral Strike.

This team was very similar to one of the suggestions I mentioned last time (Blind Team 2). Though I really didn’t get the hang of it.

The first three teams it faced were:

The main issue with these is that I had nothing that matched up well and they all did enough damage that my Blind didn’t seem to matter.

I decided to swap out the Moth for:

One of the great things about this pet, is its ability Surge of Light. That ability does double damage during the weather effect Darkness, which isn’t caused by the Blind debuff itself, so Elementals do not avoid it.

Then I faced:

It was a very close match mainly because of how hard it is to kill those Emperor Crabs. After seeing more KLRs, I decided to swap my Spectral Porcupette for:

  • ghostly-skull-iconGhostly Skull with Slash, Spectral Strike, and Unholy Ascension.

Unfortunately, the next team I faced was:

This team swapped continually and eventually had three pets at 20% health when I lost. It was very frustrating and made me wish I had a way to stop the swaps.

I decided to swap the Skull for

This was one of my go-to pets with previous Blind teams.

I faced the same Imp, Spiderling, Custodian team and this time I won because I had a way to burn down the Mechanical. It was close though as they missed twice in a row one time.

So to recap, my current team is:

  1. feline-familiar-iconFeline Familiar with Pounce, Call Darkness, and Prowl.
  2. soul-of-aspects-iconSoul of the Aspects with Claw, Deflect, and Surge of Light.
  3. enchanted-lantern-iconFestival Lantern with Burn, Flash and Light.

I stuck with that for several matches. I next faced:

This was a close matchup, but my opponent swapped out a nearly dead Sunreaver for the Whelpling and ended up with a ton of buffed humanoid damage from Surge of Light. I next faced:

This was close as Animus had 10% left on his failsafe when he finished me off. Next was:

This was someone pretending to be a newb (they didn’t even name their pets) but the team was well put together and had enough healing, especially from the crab, that I couldn’t finish them even with Call Darkness. Next was:

This team had lots of DoTs from the eggs, bananas, and nuts that were raining down, and it might have been smart if they had a Lightning dragon to go with it. I had a small setback when Surge of Light missed, but managed to win on my Lantern vs. their Chicken.

I had faced this team earlier, but it wasn’t even close this time as my Lantern rocked them.

Another repeat, only this time I led with my Beast to try and draw out their Mechanicals. They still started with the Valkyr, but my Beast wiped it out pretty fast and the Lantern destroyed the rest of their team.

No Mechanical or Undead damage on my end made this a tough loss.

Their swap attacks missed twice the first battle due to the Blinds being thrown around, and I think frustrated them a bit. They led with the Abyssal the second time instead of the Imp and then I lost.

At this point I was seeing so many Beasts that I decided to swap out the Feline Familiar for:

  • gilnean-raven-iconCrow with Alpha Strike, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike.

The text team I faced was:

I lost that very closely with their last pet at 10%. Then I faced:

The Anubiseth was too hard to kill, again.


I then decided to do a complete swap to one of the Lightning teams suggested before:

The first team this faced was:

This team seemed to be very laggy the first round so it wasn’t a very good test. I faced them again in the next round and a bad swap at the end cost me a very close match. I then faced:

The claw was a huge difference maker and makes me wish I was more lucky with my digging. I decided to swap my Shadeling for:

  • firefly-iconFirefly with Slicing Wind, Cocoon and Swarm.

The next team I faced was:

They fled after my Swarm + Storm managed to wipe out the Direhorn. They led with KLR the second time which was a much better match up for them.

At this point, I swapped in my Clockwork Gnome for Peddlefeet so my team was:

  1. wild-golden-hatchling-iconGolden Hatchling.
  2. firefly-iconFirefly.
  3. clockwork-gnome-iconClockwork Gnome with Railgun, Blitz, Build Turrets.

The next team I faced was:

The first round was a close loss with a few misses on my side making a difference. I won big the second round by swapping a few extra times to keep my Gnome alive until the end.


For those keeping track, my overall W/L was 10-13. With the best team being the Feline Familiar, Soul of the Aspects, Festival Lantern which went 6-4.

The most common pets I faced were the Kun-Lai Runt, the Fiendish Imp, and the Stunted Direhorn or Pygmy Direhorn. Those were often pair with another swapper like Netherspace Abyssal or Crawling Claw and I also saw Anubiseth Idol several times.

In summary, I’d say I was most impressed by the Soul of the Aspects + Darkness combo and the Lightning Storm + Turrets combo. The Festival Lantern is still very strong as well. The Spectral Porcupette didn’t seem to work the way I played it. Peddlefeet was kind of a mixed result, and neither of the Undead pets I tried panned out.


Session #2

Again, I lost the notes I had for it, but the overall record was much better.

The Teams:

  1. wild-golden-hatchling-iconWild Golden Hatchling with Tail Sweep, Lightning Storm, Cyclone.
  2. clockwork-gnome-iconClockwork Gnome with Railgun, Blitz, Build Turrets.
  3. lil-xt-iconLandros Lil’ XT with Zap, Heartbroken, Tantrum/Boom Bot.

This team did well, but Lil ‘XT never really felt like he pulled his own weight. It was difficult to get a Heartbroken combo off and when it did, it rarely survived to get the tantrum off. Swapping to Boom Bot didn’t help much.

So I swapped Lil ‘XT for:

This did much better but, again, the Whelpling would rarely survive long enough for Dreadful Breath to do that much damage and there were too many swaps involved to get Plagued Blood to stick to any one target. Facing all of these swap teams makes it more difficult.

I tried swapping the Whelpling for a pandaren-air-elementalPandaren Air Elemental, which worked a bit with all of the extra dots, but it felt a little fragile. So I swapped it for a pandaren-fire-elementalPandaren Fire Elemental.

My final team was:

This team rocked the rest of the night. I would open with the Golden Hatchling to do Lightning Storm + Cyclone, then the Gnome to Build Turrets, and then I would sometimes swap to my Elemental and sometimes not depending upon the match up.

The Flame Wave was very good as it hit their entire team with Lightning damage. I just had to time it so that it wouldn’t remove my turrets. One time, I faced another Lightning + Clockwork Gnome team and being able to wipe out their turrets when I felt like it made it feel much easier. The same for the Lil’ Rags + Fire Trap teams I was facing. Toward the end of the night, I dropped Cauterize completely in favor of Conflagrate and it made the combo seem even more powerful.

I still managed to lose to a few teams, but it made the swap teams less of a problem since forcing me to swap to either my Elemental or my Gnome were actually a bonus as they both teamed up well with Lightning Storm. The only tough teams were the Anubisath Idol with Sandstorm, but even those weren’t that bad as long as I made sure to use Lightning Storm after their Sandstorm and then just bring in the Elemental which completely negated Sandstorm when they reapplied it.

By the end of the second session, I had more than made up the deficit from the first session, had gotten past the 50 Level 25 PvP wins achievement, and still wanted to play more.

Pet Battle Notebook #1: Teams Galore!

So after the previous week’s experience, I decided to try and do some research. And whaddya know, most of the really annoying teams I’ve come across are referred by, and many likely trace their origin to, this discussion thread. Thanks, Liopleurodon, for originally bringing this PvP Treasure Trove to my attention!

You can read through the whole thread, and I encourage it, but I’ve decided to pick through some of the highlights and try to organize it a bit. While I haven’t tried them all (yet), I have been on the receiving end of many of them and will put in my 2¢.

Begin Gigantic Wall of Text:


Burn Team 1

fel-flame-iconFel Flame: Flame Breath, Scorched Earth, Conflagrate

corefire-imp-iconCorefire Imp: Rush, Immolation, Wild Magic

scourged-whelpling-iconScourged Whelpling: (H/H breed): Tail Whip, Call Darkness, Plagued Blood

or

sunreaver-micro-sentry-iconSunreaver: Fel Immolate, Extra Plating, Call Lighting

I’ve seen this team, with Lil‘ Ragnaros as the elemental variation, many times.

As Annimositty (one of the lead contributors) says:

If you go with the Whelp your team’s key to victory is using Immolation/Scorched earth with Plagued Blood to heal ur entire party. It’s powerful and nearly impossible to counter.

If you go with Sunreaver your team will be focused more on the Lightning weather. You can use you Fel Flame to dps without fearing weather or change it if it’s working agaisn’t you. Also using Wild Magic in this weather is powerful since it will amplify any Dot, Immolation, and Call Lighting’s added bonus damage.

I haven’t tried to pick apart this team as well as I maybe should have. I did okay against the Sunreaver variation with my Blind team last week. They didn’t seem to break out Call Lightning as often as they should have and having two pets with Elemental attacks made it tough for their Mech.

The Whelp variation was tough. I managed to pull out a few wins by getting some lucky misses from them. The key to this is to try and trap and kill the imp before it can swap. It likely helps having a critter to counter the other two pets.


Burn Team 2

netherspace-abyssal-iconNetherspace Abyssal (P/S): Immolate, Immolation, Nether Gate

senjin-fetish-iconSen’jin Fetish: Flame Breath, Wild Magic, Dark Simulacrum

phoenix-hatchling-iconPhoenix Hatchling: Peck, Cauterize, Conflagrate

So this team has the same synergy between Wild Magic/Dot’s however unlike the last one it doesn’t use weather to cause damage. The thing that makes this team strong is the ability abyssal has to spreed burns to your enemy team/bring phoenix to conflagrate.

Phoenix is a quick striker, you only bring him in to conflagrate and swap him out. Losing him earlly gimps ur team. However Fetish’s ability to live past death always gives him the ability to set up you pheonix hopefully with a Wild Magic/Burn on. It’s near impossible to survive a conflagrate with Wild Magic on.

I’ve seen this one a few times, more often with either a Corefire or Fiendish Imp (with a second Nether Gate) than with the Fetish. And sometimes with a Lil’ Rags instead for the elemental.

While you can often anticipate the swap (or swaps), if you’re slower than your opponent, the loss of turns can make it hard to come back no matter how good your build. When I’ve done well is when they’ve managed to miss their Nether Gate as it throws them off their game.


Anubish (AKA Anubisath Idol) Groups

anubisath-idol-iconAnubish Idol: Crush, Sandstorm, Deflection

emperor-crab-iconEmperor Crab (P/P): Snap, Renewing Mist, Shell Shield

feline-familiar-iconFeline Familiar: Onyx Bite, Stone Skin, Prowl/Devour

I tend to like a variety that can counter almost anything, rather than using 1 dimensional pets or strats which depend on swaps at the right time.

That’s likely the reason you don’t read much about Anubisath groups in that thread, but you will see plenty of them in PvP. Normally, their job is to stop those dot, swarm and lightning storm type of attacks from working, and that’s what the group above is geared towards. But more often than not, they simply outlast your hardest hitting pet leaving the rest of your group easy prey for the rest of their team.

The idol, and the team, does have two strong weaknesses: their attacks tend to miss more, and they are still vulnerable to larger single target attacks. So change it to darkness and put up your own misses if you can, and use a quick, bursty team if you keep getting them.


Kun-Lai Runt (KLR) Teams

frosty-iconFrosty: Diseased Bite, Blizzard, Ice Tomb

kun-lai-runt-iconKLR: (P/S breed) Thrash, Frost Shock, Deep Freeze

tundra-penguin-iconTundra Penguin: (H/P breed) Peck, Slippery Ice, Belly Slide

That’s the only team I’ve seen in the thread featuring the KLR and it does have some synergies going on. Of the many times I’ve run across this pet, they rarely bother with synergies, going instead for hit them as hard and fast as you can teams.

Basically, you’re more likely to see one teamed up with a Direhorn or an Anubish Idol than a penguin.


Lightning Teams

corefire-imp-iconCorefire Imp: Rush, Immolation, Wild Magic

zandalari-kneebiter-iconZandalari Kneebiter (P/P): Hunting party, Black Claw, Bloodfang

wild-golden-hatchling-iconWild Golden Hatchling: Tail Sweep, Call Lightning, Cyclone

also

wild-golden-hatchling-iconWild Golden Hatchling: Tail Sweep, Call Lightning, Cyclone

peddlefeet-iconPeddlefeet: Rapid Fire, Love Struck, Love Potion

lil-ragnaros-iconLil’ Ragnaros: Sulfuras Smash, Conflagrate, Sons of the Flame

I’ve tried the second one, and variations thereof, though my raptor isn’t leveled yet for the first one. I’ve hardly ever ran into one of the lightning teams, so there’s the unique factor going. The problem is that it’s weak to Undead, teams with swaps, and teams with Sandstorm (like Anubish), and that’s half of your competition!

More Lightning

fel-flame-iconFel Flame: (H/H breed): Flame Breath, Scorched Earth, Conflagrate

wild-golden-hatchling-iconWild Golden Hatchling: Breath, Call Lightning, Cyclone/Lift Off

lil-xt-iconLandro’s Lil’ XT: Zap, Heartbroken, Tympanic Tantrum

Key Abilities: Scorched Earth/Call Lighting + Heartbroken + Tympanic Tantrum

This team’s main strategy is heavy team damage. Landing a successful Heartbroken Tantrum will secure your victory. Using Scorched Earth as the method to activate Heartbroken is the key (since most people will avoid attacking XT while the Heartbroken buff is applied).

If you can land a Heartbroken buffed Tantrum with Lighting Storm active then the game is as good as won. Fel Flame is also a perfect defence from your own weather. He can take advantage of a Lighting Storm without getting hurt by it and if the weather is backfiring on you, you have the option to change it.

Also a Pandaran Air Spirit is bomb in storm. Slicing Winds-Whirlwind-Cyclone/Arcane Storm is a great move set to be using in storm. You will lose some of that nice single target dps Fel Flame can pull though.

I tried this team, but the XT is so slow it’s hard to survive the swap and get the damage going. Same vulnerabilities as the previous which makes it harder to execute. Might be interesting to try it with the Air Spirit and something besides XT.

Last Two Lightning

pocket-reaver-iconPocket Reaver (H/H breed) : Metal Fist, Quake, Fel Flame

wild-golden-hatchling-iconWild Golden Hatchling: Breath, Call Lightning, Fly

sapphire-cub-iconSapphire Cub: Lash, Rake, Stone Rush

also

tiny-bog-beast-iconTiny Bog Beast: clobber/lash/poison lash

scourged-whelpling-iconScourged Whelpling: tail sweep/call darkness/plagued blood

mechanical-yeti-iconTranquil Mechanical Yeti: Thrash/call lightning/ion cannon

These two seem more promising, especially with the Direhorn runt teams you run across. I believe the suggestion in the thread was to replace the Yeti with a Sunreaver in the second team.


Blind Team 1

ghostly-skull-iconGhostly Skull (Breed 7/HP breed): Shadow Claw, Spectral Strike, Unholy Ascension

enchanted-lantern-iconEnchanted Lantern: Burn, Flash, Light

gilnean-raven-iconGilnean Raven (S/S Breed): Alpha Strike, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike

This allows you to freely start and swap pets and have the pet swapping in benefit from the debuffs/weather the pet before it places.

It also adds a crazy amount of defence through your lantern to avoid those heavy hitters and allows you to use Light without having to use flash as a set up (plus u can use flash to blind those pesky elementals or b4 u die to set up your raven or skull)

Attentive readers will notice that I’ve been running a Blind team myself these past few weeks. This build is similar to what I’ve been running only I’ve used a Penguin with slippery ice in place of the skull. It may be that I’m not using it right, but the skull hasn’t been as effective against most of the teams I’ve run against. A lack of speed makes it much more vulnerable to swaps and other CC. The lantern is awesome, however.

Blind Team 2

spectral-porcupette-iconSpectral Porcupette: powerball, spirit spikes, spectral spine (counters KLR, rabbits, ice lance, most flyers)

feline-familiar-iconFeline Familiar: pounce, call darkness, prowl (counters anubisath, tail sweepers, healers)

imperial-silkworm-iconImperial Silkworm: consume, moth balls, moth dust (counters conflag, aquatic, KLR also)

I started out this past week with a team like this. I’ll have the full write up soon, but they didn’t do so well together. Partly because of the abundance of Mech based teams. So I kept the familiar and tried different pets until I found a group that did.


lil-ragnaros-iconLil Rag: Sulf Smash, Magma trap (goes well with mines) Sons of flame

darkmoon-tonk-iconDarkmoon Tonk: Missile, Minefield, Ion Canon (because the animation is amazing)

netherspace-abyssal-iconNetherspace Abyssal: Hp breed with Crush (for dragons) Explode (because its going to be at least 800 damage) and Nether Gate (to pull a pet out into mines)

This combo really goes well together. Amazingly well in fact. Only weakness is how slow lil rag is and the Abyssal is kinda slow as well.

Minefield + Force Swap is very common right now. The Tonk’s ion cannon has a tendency to sink your team, though I’ve also seen a robot with sticky bomb instead of the Tonk.

When I’ve done well against this is when I’ve managed to blind or otherwise cause the swap to miss. Putting a fast pet with CC on the Tonk is also key as that can keep it from using its Ion Cannon. Every time I have I tidal wave type pet, which is the other counter, I end up seeing a KLR or hand of gimmick team for the next 4 battles.


Conclusion

Lots of people are talking about pet PvP on the Interwebs. Read about them a bit, but remember that what works for you on your server is what counts. So play around with these ideas!