Note: I noticed recently that this page still gets some traffic. This was made at the beginning of 5.4, so it is quite outdated. See Tier List for a more current list of the best pets.
I was looking through all of my new 5.4 teams and I realized that there are a lot of familiar faces. Unless my meta and myself are unaware (which is entirely possible) the predicted 5.4 power creep hasn’t hit yet. Another thing I noticed is that all of my top teams both old and new are comprised of the same few pets. This made it pretty easy for me to compile a top ten list of PvP battle pets. As with any top ten list there’s bound to be some disagreement. Keep in mind that these are the pets that work the best for me on my meta.
1. H/H Spirit Crab (Snap, Whirlpool, Shell Shield)
There’s nothing super flashy about this pet. In fact, I often wonder why it’s so good when it’s move set is so seemingly mediocre. First of all consider its base stats and breed. There’s no better way to waste stats than with speed on a slow pet. With a 9/9/6 health/power/speed base stat distribution the Spirit Crab wastes nothing on speed. Combine this with the H/H breed and you end up with 1887 health, 292 power and 195 speed. That 292 power translates to Snap hitting at 343 damage @ 95% accuracy and Whirlpool hitting at 468 damage @ 100% accuracy.
That’s decent damage, but how does that make the crab so great? Combine that decent damage output with a Shell Shield which blocks 78 damage per attack, 1887 hp and the undead racial. Now you have a pet that can deal a sustained amount of decent damage over a prolonged period of time. It can outlast most pets one on one and then some. Sounds great, right? The best is yet to come. Every pet in this game has a counter, it’s how pet battles are designed and balanced. The Spirit Crab’s counters are critter moves, which do 150% damage to undead pets. That’s not much of a problem when Snap is a beast attack which does 150% damage to critters. Don’t try to take this Crab down with a rabbit Flurry, your rabbit will most likely lose. Of course there are non-critters with critter attacks but overall this is a huge advantage for the Spirit Crab.
I have to admit that I didn’t catch on to the Spirit Crab until 5.3. Tangla from the WoW Forums called this pet the “most overpowered pet in the game” (which I don’t agree with). That intrigued me enough to delve deeper into zombie crustaceanism and I’ve never looked back. Thanks Tangla!
2. S/S Fiendish Imp (Burn, Immolation, Nether Gate)
5.4 saw a nerf to the Imp’s Nether Gate and all swap moves. While I agree that the nerf was necessary for the Imp it surely didn’t remove this little demon from the top. There are three major things which the Imp has going for it. First is its speed. At 333 speed the Imp is faster than a whole slough of 325 speed pets out there. Next you have Nether Gate, a forced swap move. Combine this with the 333 speed and you now have a lot of control of the battle. Don’t want to face that Blighthawk or let that Val’kyr put a Curse you? Nether Gate it out.
That sounds decent enough, but what about it’s attack and survivability? The Imp has it covered. Burn hits for 336 damage at 90% accuracy. By having Burn as its main attack the Imp is giving up a little bit of accuracy to gain some much needed offense. This sounds good so far but at 1319 hp the Imp is quite fragile. That brings me to the last component of the Imp’s continuing dominance: the way Immolation combines with the humanoid racial. Humanoids gain back 4% of their health every turn that they do damage. Immolation can do damage from the back line where the Imp is usually safe. Since Immolation has a long duration of nine rounds the Imp can just hang out on the back line for all of those rounds while doing damage and getting healed for it. What a nice life.
3. Unborn Val’kyr (Shadow Slash, Curse Of Doom, Haunt)
It’s funny how one small change can totally shake up the PvP pet battle meta game. In 5.3 the move Haunt was powerful but extremely risky to use. Haunt is a four turn DoT move that essentially “kills” the Val’kyr while it Haunts the opposing pet. It used to be risky for two reasons: if the Haunt was avoided or it missed then the Val’kry permanently died for the rest of the battle. It didn’t even get the undead racial, it was just gone, poof, goodbye. Similarly, if the pet that the Val’kyr was Haunting died the same result was applied; the Val’kyr was dead for the duration of the battle.
Not anymore. Now if the Haunt misses or is avoided there is no consequence at all. Haunt doesn’t even have a CD, you can immediately Haunt again. Now when the Val’kyr is Haunting a pet which dies the Val’kyr will appear on the back line with the same amount of health. Overpowered? Working as intended? I’m not here to discuss that at the moment, just to say that this pet went from having a cult following to being the flavor of the month.
It’s remarkably easy to use. If you think that Curse of Doom will be necessary to take out the opposing pet then cast that first. Then cast Haunt. The Val’kyr is now “dead” for the next four rounds while it is Haunting. It is safe from all damage while it is neatly tucked… wherever it tucks itself while Haunting. An added bonus is that you can also avoid nukes that are going to hit at the end of a round. Did that Jademist Dancer just throw down a Geyser? No problem, just wait to Haunt until the the turn that the Geyser is going to hit and you will avoid its damage because you are now “dead”. You even get to pick which pet comes out to replace the Val’kyr. Haunt is amazing.
I didn’t include the breed because I see arguments made in favor of both. With the H/H you are giving up 16 power for 244 hp. That translates to a loss of 8 damage per tick on the Haunt and 32 damage on the Curse of Doom. I have both and I feel more comfortable in knowing that I may last an extra turn by using the H/H.
4. P/P Warbot (Missile, Minefield, Extra Plating)
This brutal killing machine comes in at number four due to it’s ability to dish out the damage. At 1400 health, 325 power and 260 speed the stat distribution isn’t optimal but its move set more than makes up for that. 325 power isn’t going to win any power contests but it’ll make Missile hit for 414 damage and Minefield hit for 690 damage, ouch. With only 1400 hp the Warbot may seem fragile but that’s what the Extra Plating is for. Three rounds of taking 50% damage combined with the mechanical racial makes that low health pool not seem so low.
5 and 6. H/P Snarly (Rip, Surge, Blood In The Water) & H/P Infested Bear Cub (Infected bite, Hibernate, Maul)
I wouldn’t put either of these pets on the list on their own; they come as a pair. Snarly can use Rip, a DoT which applies the Bleeding effect. Blood In The Water, another of Snarly’s moves, normally hits for 650 damage at 50% accuracy. However, when the target is Bleeding this move hits at 100% accuracy. A 650 damage move that hits at 100% and only has a three round CD is huge.
If you think that sounds good but not great then I will agree with you. That’s why you need to add in the Infested Bear Cub. It brings another move that benefits from the Bleeding effect: Maul. Maul hits for 463 damage at 95%, which is a mediocre move for a 3 round CD. If Maul hits a Bleeding target then it will hit for 463 plus another 309 damage. Thanks to the Bleed that’s now some big time damage. The Infested Bear Cub also has great survivability with 1709 hp and Hibernate. Hibernate also let’s you show your dissatisfaction with the pace of the game with all of the z’s. If you want to be really mean you can Hibernate unnecessarily when you are winning to show your opponent what a boring foe they are. Ok, now I’m being silly, back to a serious face.
7. S/S Arctic Hare (Flurry, Dodge, Burrow)
Those damn Direhorns of 5.3 saw the popularity of these rascally rabbits dwindle. Now that the Direhorn has been put into its place in 5.4 these little critters are back in full force. Especially now that Unborn Val’kyrs are so prevalent rabbits with Flurry and Scratch are filling some anti-undead roles. The S/S breed 357 speed makes this pet great, you want your rabbit to be faster than your opponent. If the rabbit is faster then your opponent will only be able to hit you two out of five turns. Yes, you read that correctly, two out of five. Use Dodge and they won’t hit the rabbit on this turn or the next. Burrow and they still can’t hit it. It can get hit on the next turn when it comes up from Burrow and the turn after that. Then guess what happens? Dodge has refreshed and you can start the rotation again.
How is this allowable? For all of that speed you are giving up both power and hp. The S/S Arctic Hare has 1400 hp and a mere 227 power. You won’t be doing much damage while you’re Dodging all of those attacks. Due to the utility of Dodge and Burrow and its ability to take down Val’kyrs this pet deserves to be on the top ten list. I should mention that theres nothing inherently special about the Arctic Hare; there are also Alpine Hares, Tolai Hares and Tolai Hare Pups with the same breeds and stat distributions.
8. H/H Anubisath Idol (Crush, Sandstorm, Deflection or Rupture)
The Idol is one of the two pets on this list that I don’t use regularly. I just don’t like the play style. I do however have a healthy respect for this beefy H/H humanoid which has a stat distribution of 1709 hp, 276 power and 244 speed. If not for the recent nerf to Sandstorm this pet would be in the top four. In case you are unaware Sandstorm had a three round CD and a nine round duration but those numbers were changed to five and five. Even with that nerf the Idol is a formidable opponent. The general strategy is to change the weather to Sandstorm then spam Crush. Since Sandstorm gives a damage reduction of 74 per attack and the Idol gains back 69 hp every time it hits this thing can be hard to take down. It is somewhat reliant on rng since it’s main attack Crush only hits at 80%, which is reduced to 70% in a Sandstorm.
It doesn’t sound like the nerf would effect this pet much but if your pet is faster than the Idol you have a one round window to attack without being bothered by Sandstorm. Giving Sandstorm a longer CD also meant that a major source of the Idol’s damage was gimped; rather than attacking with a 100% move every three rounds it is much more reliant on the 80% Crush for its damage. I’ve seen a lot more Idols lying on their faces lately, which is a sight that I truly relish.
9. H/H Scourged Whelpling (Tail Sweep, Death and Decay, Plagued Blood)
The tried and true Scourged Whelpling, still a force to be reckoned with after all of these patches. Why is that? Plagued Blood, Death and Decay, 1806 hp and the undead racial add up to an extremely resilient pet. Similar to the Spirit Crab above it can pump out sustained damage (although not as much as the Crab) over the course of its long life. Once Death and Decay (a nine round DoT) is applied to the field the Whelpling can use Plagued Blood and then spam Tail Sweep. The Tail Sweep hits twice if the Whelpling is slower which is usually the case with a speed of 227. Each of these Sweeps and the Death and Decay will trigger a Plagued Blood heal. This does about 400 damage per turn while healing for for about 180.
You can also apply Death and Decay along with Plagued Blood and swap out. This allows the Scourged Whelpling to heal on the back line from the Death and Decay ticks while also allowing other pets to benefit from Plagued Blood. It’s a very versatile pet.
10. H/P Darkmoon Tonk (Missile, Minefield, Ion Cannon)
I’m a bit apprehensive about putting a second pet that I don’t use much on the list but I’ve been beaten by enough Tonks to have great respect for them. The Tonk’s main role on any team is to lay down a Minefield. At only 273 power the Tonk’s Minefield will only hit for 586, about 100 damage less than the Warbot’s Minefield. While it has 1627 hp it lacks the Extra Plating of the Warbot. Ok, I’m making it sound bad, why does it make the list? Ion Cannon. This 100% move that hits for 732 damage has ended me far more times than I would like to admit. How can a move be so blatantly overpowered? You must recover for two rounds after using it, during which time you cannot swap or perform any other actions. That’s why you don’t use it until you’re ready to take out the opponent’s last pet or right before you’re about to die.
These guys didn’t quite make the list but are good enough to get a plug.
P/P Son Of Animus – There’s only room for ten. I’m not Nigel Tufnel, mine doesn’t go to eleven. Sorry, that joke never gets old to me. The Animus is a solid mech with a versatile heal.
S/S Death Adder Hatchling – This pet has been amazing so far but I just couldn’t stomach putting a pet without a spammable “normal” attack on the list. Perhaps it will move up when I revisit the list.
S/S Jademist Dancer – This pet has a beautiful PvP move set but so far it’s proved to be somewhat fragile. It also hasn’t been properly tested enough for me to feel comfortable putting it on the list.
P/P Xu-Fu & S/S Nether Fairie Dragon combo – It’s almost there, but just lacking something. These teams have done well for me but Xu-Fu can be easily countered.
H/S Scalded Basilisk Hatchling – My personal favorite pet is too easily countered by faster pets and flyers to make it on the list. It’s extremely dangerous to slower pets.
Moths – They are amazingly powerful when they hit Dust and Sleep. Otherwise they are not.
P/P Emperor Crab – Someone will surely be up in arms for this pet not making the list. The health pool is just too low for my liking. Yes it has a crazy heal, but it has died too easily too many times for me to include it.
This doesn’t include pets I don’t have yet. For example, I think the S/S Darkmoon Rabbit could easily make the top ten list but I’ve never seen one used the way that I would like to use it. I’m not going to add a pet to the list based on theory. There are many, repeat many, of the 5.4 pets that I haven’t obtained yet. There may be something out there that I haven’t played with or faced much that deserves to be on this list.
I should mention that there are plenty of pets that are on great teams that didn’t make this list. Like the Sen’jin Fetish and Armadillo Pup. I use those pets on a few of my top teams to fill specific roles but I would never go so far as to put them on a top pet list.
It’s also worth noting how important the move sets are. While I was in the process of writing this I battled a Spirit Crab with Amplify Magic, Surge and Rot. While I see what they were trying to do here (they had other pets with critter attacks to use on a pet who is Rotting) it wasn’t the same Crab that has won me countless victories. A rabbit with Adrenaline Rush and Stampede isn’t going to be the hero of too many battles.
I’m sure as the 5.4 meta develops there will be some changes to this list, but as of now these are my picks. I’ll update as the need arises.