Pet Battles: An Overview
Pet Battles are my favorite addition to WoW, as they feed both my long-lost love of the Pokemon “catch and battle” system and my addiction to collecting WoW pets in general. Whether you’re a casual collector picking up one or two favorites or a die-hard fanatic eager to collect every rare, there’s a lot of room in pet battles for individual tastes. It seems highly unlikely to ever fall out of fashion, as each patch adds more new pets to collect and obtain. As such, even the most accomplished collections are never fully “complete”. With over 500 pets obtainable in game it’s hard to know where to begin, so I’ve compiled what I hope is a useful overview guide of resources and tips. Later, I’ll be posting some on the finer points of battling and collecting hard-to-find pets. Without further ado:
It’s hard to imagine that people still don’t know where to start this late in the expansion, but here it is anyway. If you’re Horde, go find Varzok up on the mesas in Orgrimmar by the flight master. Alliance members should go pester Audrey Burnhep in Stromwind by the Cataclysm portals. Train your character in the elite art of pet battling, and you’re good to go.
Again, I would be shocked to hear someone say they didn’t have one single pet to begin battles with, but if that’s you, these trainers also sell battle pets. Which pet they sell is tied to your race. Now that you have a pet to send into battle, we’ll talk about which pet and why.
Each pet has a family type, and which type they are directly influences their effectiveness in battle. If you played Pokemon, you understand this concept. If you didn’t, it works like this: each pet has a family type. That type is strong against certain types and weak against others. Flying pets will demolish aquatic ones, but be demolished by magic ones for example. Knowing what type your pet is and what its strengths and weaknesses are is half the battle.
However, pets that belong to one family may have attacks that belong to another. Each attack has its own family too, so a beast type pet may have beast type attacks and attacks of another type. These combinations can make or break a pet battle, because (to stick with our previous example) sending a flying type pet with no flying type moves in against an aquatic pet isn’t going to go too well. It’s worth knowing these combinations if you plan on being successful.
Battle pets come in qualities just like other items in the game. Poor, common, uncommon, and rare. Poor and common pets are not suitable to battle with. Uncommon pets are fine until you start dealing with master and grand master trainers, and then their lesser stats become an issue. In my opinion, the only pets worth leveling and battling with are rares. Lesser qualities pets are fine to fill out your collection, but I wouldn’t waste my time battling with them.
Lesser quality pets can be upgraded to rare with a Battle Pet Stone. These are items found in daily bags after defeating grand master tamers in Azeroth, Outland, Northrend and Pandaria. The lowest level tamer is 18, so your pets will need to be at least that to take them on. If you get lucky and get a stone in the daily bags, I would suggest using it on a pet that cannot be found rare in the wild, such as pets from quests or vendors.
Battle pets also have something called a breed ID. This is a number that represents its stat allotment. If you just want to casually collect, this means nothing to you. If you’re hardcore in to pet battling, it means a great deal. Battle pets have 3 stats: health, attack power, and speed. The breed ID simply designates which of these stats have the most in them. Some pets have only one ID, and thus only come in one “flavor” of stats. Many pets have several IDs, meaning you can hunt around to find one with the stats you like. Some will have higher speed, higher attack, balanced stats…it all depends on the ID. It may be worth it to find a lesser quality pets with the ID you want and then upgrade it with a stone if that pet happens to be a very hard to find pet.
Get Out There
The best way to figure all of this out is simply to get out into the world and start pet battling. Battle pet levels progress with zone levels, so level one pets will be found in starting zones and so on. A good starter team will consist of one beast pet, one flying pet, and one magic pet. These will be strong against the majority of pets your encounter in the wild for a good while.
Pet Battle Resources
There are a lot of websites out there that will help you while you battle your way across the world. Here are a few of my favorites.
Warcraft Pets. Hands down the best pet-related website out there. Includes info on where pets can be caught, what level they are in the wild, what their attacks are, and so on. Helpful forums for troubleshooting and trading pets. They even have a guild on Madoran (US, Horde) for the pet enthusiast.
Wowhead. Their interactive pet battle maps can help you determine where pets spawn in each zone. The comments section of each battle pet’s page are a gold mine of info if you get stuck. I go here often when hunting elusive pets to see what tips and tricks others have shared.
Pet Breed Database. This website has all the pet breed IDs listed for your perusal. Useful if you’re hardcore in to breed IDs and finding the perfect one for each pet (I’m not) and for determining if a lesser-quality pet is worth upgrading with a stone because if the breed (I am).
PetBattle Teams. Available on Curse. This allows you to create and save teams of pets, so you can swap them easily instead of manually dragging and dropping. Useful especially at max level when you face the daily tamers.
Daily Tamer Check. Also from Curse, this one keeps track of which of the daily grand master pet tamers you have defeated. It’s useful again at max level, though not so much before then.
Pet Breed IDs. From Curse. Tells you a pet’s breed ID. Best for those who are searching for the absolute best breed for each pet.
That’s about it. Pet battling is best learned by doing, I find. Enjoy yourself. If you get frustrated, take a break. If a pet isn’t working out, swap it. If a tamer is kicking your butt, get a few more levels and come back. It should be fun, not a chore, so don’t turn it in to one.
Next time I’ll post something about how to find a rare pet or two.