|Looks easy, doesn't it?|
I have been meaning for a while to try it. Last night, someone in Guild achieved 10 PvP Pet Battles and I found myself thinking 'well, why not?' All I've done so far is fight other pets or NPC's, after all.
I had some suspicions about what I'd find and (sure enough) pretty much all of them were confirmed within the first half a dozen fights. Everyone's reading the same guides. Defense is nearly always the best form of attack. People will run away when they know they're beaten. Oh, and cats. Mechanical cats.
|Short answer: No. To both questions ^^|
I left my first three pet battles without throwing a punch. Why? Because of the Fluxfire Feline, or indeed the multiple rare copies thereof my opponents were rocking. I'm not going to fight you when your only intention is to push my face into the dirt and laugh at me, opposition. One Feline is counterable (and I was as the evening went on able to mount a decent defence) but you bring multiples and I'm not even giving you the pleasure. That's a walk away moment, right there. What became very clear as I battled is the 5.1 pets are showing a great deal of popularity: there's a lot of unique abilities on show. Chrominius popped up (Howl/Surge of Power) as did the Anubisath Idol (Rupture and Reflection seemed the most consistent choices, with an equal number picking either Crush or Demolish) In fact, I saw a lot of Reflection being used, often in very shrewd situations: the Elementium Bolt on my Crimson Geode got sent back at me more than once. Of course, other pets have these abilities and I saw two Flayer Younglings on display, making me think I really need to get back in the field for some battles to update quality.
Players seemed to fall into two distinct schools: the people who'd done research and those that hadn't. Needless to say I was able to beat both (with one player finally fleeing in terror when I outfoxed them on switches one too many times) but if I want to start playing with a real edge I'm going to need to think particularly carefully about what constitutes the strongest team.
|No i in team? Mine has two :D|
In the end I took some advice from Twitter (cheers @TheOvercut) and piled in with a front row that has some pretty mental abilities, regardless of the pet school of your opposition. The Elementals are the +damage to Mechanical go-to's, plus Bananarama's attack speed normally gives me an edge. It seems to me, as I start thinking about how to win PvP pet Battles, that the fastest pet speed possible is probably a major factor in constructing any team. You want to start first, every time. Then I have some rather tasty abilities at my disposal:
- Poison Lash (MOAR DOTS)
- Sunlight (AoE, but bear in mind it gives opposition +25% healing bonus. Plant might be an option to try but for now damaging the back row of a team and having the ability to counter an enemy's weather effects is probably beneficial)
- Stun Seed. HO YUS. Enough if I can get it off first to make sure even if a Feline pounces me they're dead and rezzing at a disadvantage.
It also occurs to me that I should have at least one self-healer in the pack, and the Imp fits that bill pretty well (Immolation is fabulous for rolling damage) though whether I stick with Burn or move to Rush for the next round I go first advantage is yet to be properly tested.) I think, of my existing team, Chin is the one most likely to be rotated: am not sure what to replace him with. I saw some people last night multiple times, experimenting with different combinations of mobs. Needless to say, I took plenty of notes, understanding that all of this is a great way to learn how to use the pets to their best advantage. If you remove those who clearly think the best way to win is to stack it with Cats, there's still a lot of movement on what makes a decent Gang of Three.
I got my Pet Brawer Achievement last night: next up is to try and get through five battles without a pet dying, and for that I'll need to have a better range of abilities to choose from. I have a list of pets to level, thanks to last night's exercise, and an understanding that winning isn't simply about strategy: I need again to be able to bring the big numbers to the table when it matters. In that respect, Battling and Playing have a lot in common.
Time to get serious, I think...