WoW Insider‘s Breakfast Topic this morning requests retrospectives on the Pet Battle feature. This reminded me of Navimie’s “10 Days of Pet Battles”, which I bookmarked even though I wasn’t into pet battling when she first published it because I’m fond of survey memes and thought it would be fun to do sometime down the road if I ever did get into pet battles. I’m still no Pet Battle pro, but I think I’ve got enough experience now to give at least short answers to Navi’s questions.
1) Your first day pet battling.
I wrote about this when it happened; I was given a Pandaren Air Spirit for #FFW2102 and felt that I shouldn’t let such a fancy pet lie idle.
2) What pets don’t you like and why?
Snakes and spiders really annoy me. Too many times I have pulled a pet off the front line too late and it died from poison ticks a round or two later. I think I might have a snake or two in my collection, and maybe even a spider, but I won’t be leveling them. Okay, maybe the snakes, because I did like catching garter snakes when I was a little kid. But not the spider!
I don’t like the various diseased undead pets because they are just too creepy and icky. I have tamed a few of them to get “tame a pet in X zone”, but I’ve released all of them except the Scourged Whelpling. I kept that one because it is one of the few tamable (as opposed to dropped) dragon whelps.
3) Who is your favourite pet? If you could bring it out into the real world, tell me what you imagine you would be doing.
I’m not sure I have a favorite pet, because so many of them are wonderful in such different ways. But if I could bring one out into the real world, well, I’ve been reading books with gryffins in lately, so right at the moment, I’d probably choose one of the mythological creatures such as the gryphon hatchling, the hippogryph hatchling, or the wind rider cub. My sister’s dog might like such a playmate while it was little, and who hasn’t wished they could have their WoW flying mount in the real world?
4) What was the most epic pet battle/capture you ever had?
There was once this battle where I’d managed to cage a rare specimen of a pet I wanted, but I won the battle only by the slimmest of margins — I was quite worried that I might end up losing it. Alas, I don’t remember anymore even which pet it was that I captured, so maybe it wasn’t that epic after all? I prefer to run my pet battles relatively close to the edge, with pets fairly close in level to the enemy team, ending with all of my pets at low health. I get better XP, and it somehow feels more sporting that way. So, in a way, most of my pet battles are a bit dramatic.
5) What pet do you want more than any other pet? What would you do to get it?
Last May, I made a list of my ten most-wanted not-yet-obtained pets. Let’s see how I’ve done with acquiring them:
1) Dragon Whelps — captured Scourged and Infinite Whelplings
4) Bucktooth Flapper/Thundertail Flapper
6) Red Panda — the Pet Battling Monk declared her disinterest in doing the Beasts of Fable by purchasing a Sunfur Panda off the AH. She also declared her disinterest in doing the Pandaren Spirit Tamers by purchasing the other three Pandaren Elemental Spirits from the AH. She does, however, plan to do the Celestial Tournament, and Xu-Fu will be her first pick!
7) Anubisath Idol — named “Tartan” in honor of PlaidElf, who was helping me with AQ40 when it dropped; she already had one
8) Qiraji Guardling
9) Unborn Val’kyr — I’m still looking for an Unborn Val’kyr, though I don’t actually go hunting for her that often. I really should start checking the spawn sites in at least one zone (probably Howling Fjord) at least once a day, and then eventually patience and persistence will pay off (hopefully with at least an uncommon on the first try!).
10) Direhorn Runt — bought on the AH after proving to myself that trying to farm it would be exceedingly boring
6) What pets have you got in your favourite team(s)?
The Phoenix Hatchling rocks in my Cassandra Kaboom team; he could beat her whole team single-handedly when he was still a couple levels lower than them. Likewise, the Anubisath Idol is excellent against Grazzle the Great’s three Onyxian Whelplings. My other Kalimdor and Outland teams work, and some of them are even getting to the point where I think I can probably put in a carry pet or two, but they’re not really awesome yet. I’m also currently working on leveling enough of the right families of pets to defeat the Northrend trainers.
7) Do you use mods? If you could only have one pet mod, what would it be and why?
I only use one mod, Pet Battle Teams. I picked it up when the Pet Battling Monk got to Outland and the number of different team compositions got to be so many that I wanted to have saved teams instead of recreating them from scratch, using my paper notebook, each day.
8) What is the stupidest thing(s) you have ever done in a pet battle?
Oh, the same stupid things everyone does — not checking the health of my team before a battle or not checking if the team I currently have loaded is an appropriate level relative to a wild pet. I also have a bad habit of leaving DOT’ed pets on the front line for too long, so that they die from the DOT even after I swap them out.
9) What is your favourite pet ability? If you could have a pet with your favourite abilities, what would they be?
Cauterize is what makes the Phoenix Hatchling so great against Cassandra Kaboom’s triple mechanical team. The Dark Phoenix Hatchling, which doesn’t have Cauterize, isn’t nearly as effective. The Anubisath Idol’s Deflection makes it a star against a dragonkin’s Deep Breath; on the flip side, when the dragonkin is mine, Deep Breath is pretty awesome. Pump, another two-round charge-and-blast move, is great, too. I use the Pandaren Air Spirit in a lot of my high level teams because I can set up Renewing Mists, then let it heal my other pets when they are on the front line.
Because I don’t have very many high level pets yet, I’m not very good with the subtleties of how pet abilities interact. I can about manage to properly use one pet’s coordinating abilities. I need someone like Liopleurodon to tell me how to make a team where pet A uses an ability that empowers the abilities of pet B.
10) Design a pet! What model would your pet have, where would it come from and what abilities would it have?
I really really want a Kodo Runt pet! It would be found with roaming kodo in either Mulgore or the Barrens, and it would have the same moveset as the Clefthoof Runt and Stunted Shardhorn.