(Note: since this was written Rematch has become the must have addon for pet battles. Below, whenever it says “go to petsear.ch” you can replace that with “look at Rematch”.)
So now you have it all worked out. You have coverage, diverse family attacks, diverse damage types and effect synergy. You’re not done yet. You still need to decide on which breeds to choose. First you need to know what breeds are available. You can either get an add-on like Pet Battle Breed ID or you can visit Pet Search. A nice function of Warla’s site is that it lists all of your pets along with each pet’s breed.
Before continuing on this topic I would like to say that this is a beginner’s guide and breeds are a more advanced type of synergy. If you would like to skip this section for now then by all means do so. The last thing I want is to do is dissuade someone from trying a team because they feel they don’t have the best breeds. Feel free to skip this section and come back after you’ve had some practice creating and trying out a few different teams.
The breed you choose really depends on what the role of your pet is. Let’s look at Example 2 from above. The Arctic Hare has a multiple attack and Dodge. I really need speed for this pet. Why? Getting an extra attack out of the multi attack is based upon your speed relative to your opponent’s speed. It is also beneficial to go first in order to maximize Dodge. If you cast Dodge before your opponent moves then you dodge all attacks for this turn and the next. If you are slower and cast dodge, you end up casting it after your opponent has already attacked you, thus dodging attacks during the next round only. The choice is obvious, you want a fast breed. Look at all the breeds of Arctic Hares and pick the faster breeds.
I go to the website listed above and notice that there are 6 different breeds of Arctic Hare (not counting gender). Two of the breeds have 322 Speed (S/B and H/S) and one has 357 speed (S/S). Since there are a lot pets with 325 Speed in my meta game I will choose the Arctic Hare with 357 Speed so that I am always faster than my opponent.
So now here’s what you need to do: go out and catch yourself an S/S breed Arctic Hare. If you already have an Arctic Hare that is a different breed don’t let that stop you from using it, but know that it could probably perform better if it were a different breed. You should also check to see if you have another Rabbit or Hare pet that is an S/S breed. There are many similar pets with different names and most rabbit pets have the exact same move set. I should mention that there are other rabbit pets besides the Arctic Hare. They have the same exact move set but come in different breeds. If you have a pet without the breed you want there’s a chance that there is a pet with a similar (or exact) move set that does, especially if the pet is wild caught.
Lets look at another example of breeds, the bleeding team from above. While technically different pets, Snarly, Toothy, Chuck, and Muckbreath are realistically the same pet (same move set and same model) with different breeds. Let’s analyze the breeds.
Snarly is H/P, his stats are 1546/305/244 (Health/Power/Speed)
Muckbreath is B/B his stats are 1481/293/260
Toothy is P/S his stats are 1400/305/273
Chuck is B/B, his stats are 1481/293/260
What do you want from your little crocolisk? The Bleeding team that you made is all about doing massive damage, so you want high Power. Snarly and Toothy both have the highest Power, so you will choose between those two. Now you need to decide what is more important to you, 273 speed and less Health or 244 speed and more Health? Speed is a tricky stat to work with.
I would argue that the H/P breed is a better choice. If you go with the P/S breed (Toothy) you get less Health and 273 Speed is really not that fast. Many pets will be faster that Toothy, so you are sacrificing health for no reason. Plus, you have a move called Surge which always goes first regardless of Speed. This makes Speed an even less desirable stat. It’s all pointing to choosing Snarly, the H/P breed.
Before proceeding I would just like to clear something up. The above example is special in the sense that you are comparing the breeds of different pets that have the same move sets. Most of the time you will be looking at one pet and trying to decide between the different breeds available for that one pet. For example, if you want a Scourged Whelpling on your team you will have to decide which of the two breeds is a better fit, the H/H or the P/S.
Let’s look at some simpler examples.
The Scalded Basilisk Hatchling (one of my all-time favorite pets) comes in two breeds: H/S (1465/260/305) and H/B (1465/273/289). Just like the crocolisks above you need to decide what you are using the pet for. The move set I like for the Scalded Basilisk Hatchling is Thrash, Feign Death and Crystal Prison. Thrash is a multi-attack that has a chance to hit an extra time if the basilisk is faster than the opposing pet so speed will be beneficial. Crystal Prison traps the opposing pet in a prison where they are unable to perform any actions (other than swapping). This means if I am faster than the opposing pet I will imprison them on the turn that I used Crystal Prison before they can attack me. They will also be imprisoned on the following turn, which means that my basilisk is robbing them of two turns rather than one. If my basilisk is slower, it will get attacked on same turn that it uses Crystal Prison, making it much less effective. I hope you can see where I’m going here: speed is important for the basilisk. I will choose the 305 speed H/S breed of Scalded Basilisk Hatchling. I know that there are many pets around with 289 speed and I want to be faster than as many pets as possible.
For another example let’s take a look at the Eternal Strider. There are only two breeds of Eternal Strider, P/S and S/B. However, there are three other pets that have the exact same move set as the Eternal Strider. These pets are the Mirror Strider, Aqua Strider and Dancing Water Skimmer. Here are the breeds and stats of all of the striders (health/power/speed):
S/S Aqua Strider 1319/227/374
B/B Dancing Water Skimmer 1481/260/292
H/S Dancing Water Skimmer 1546/244/305
S/B Dancing Water Skimmer 1465/257/305
H/B Dancing Water Skimmer 1546/257/289
P/S Eternal Strider 1400/273/305
S/B Eternal Strider 1465/257/305
H/S Mirror Strider 1465/244/322
B/B Mirror Strider 1400/260/309
H/B Mirror Strider 1465/257/305
(if this looks familiar it’s because I copied it from my own daily battle: 3/29/14)
As usual you have to ask yourself what you want from your pet. I like to use the move set Water Jet, Cleansing Rain and Pump. This is a combination designed to buff the Strider’s aquatic attacks and hit really hard. I see that in the P/S Eternal Strider 273 is the maximum power that I can get in a strider. This is great, but speed should always be a concern. The striders don’t have any multi-attacks that are based on speed or any CC’s that benefit from going first, but being faster than your opponent is usually a good thing. If it comes down to a final round where both your pet and the opposing pet have just a little bit of health left you really want to be attacking first so you can win. The P/S Eternal Strider had 305 speed, which is not considered especially fast, but will be faster than a lot of pets. Let’s call it high midrange speed. It seems like the P/S Eternal Strider is the best choice since it is reasonably fast and has the most power, but it’s a good idea to explore all of the options.
If you look at the other striders there are some with 257 power and 305 speed. What are you giving up for this loss of 16 power? 1465 health, or 65 more health than the P/S Eternal Strider. With most normal attacks hitting in the 300-400 damage range that 65 extra health isn’t getting you much. It’s really not worth it. What about more speed instead of power? Again, even though there’s no moves on the strider that are directly related to speed you still usually want to be faster than your opponent. The 322 speed H/S Mirror Strider may be a good idea then, right? Not really. The most common speeds of pets are 244, 260, 273, 289, 305 (less common), 309 (less common), 325 and 357. Of course there are a lot of exceptions to this, but you’re very likely to face pets with these speeds.
So where does the 322 speed Mirror Strider fit in here? It’s right below all of the 325 speed pets. However, it’s way above the next common speed of 289. That doesn’t matter, faster is faster, right? Not exactly. A lot of stats are “wasted” on speed. By being so much faster than all of those 289 speed and below pets you are giving up a lot of stats in health and power. You see, the trick with speed is that you want to be just a little bit faster than the opposing pet. That way you aren’t giving up much in the area of health and power, but you are still faster. The Aqua Strider listed above is a great example of this. It has 374 speed which makes it one of the fastest pets in the game. That much speed is almost always unnecessary since there are so few 357 speed pets around. The cost of being that fast is 227 power and 1319 health, both extremely low. So our initial conclusion that the P/S Eternal Strider is the best breed for us holds true.
As our final example let’s look at another one of my favorite pets, the Spirit Crab. It only comes in two breeds: H/H and H/S. These breeds give the stats 1807/292/195 and 1709/292/224, respectively. The H/H breed is far superior with 195 speed. This makes the Spirit Crab the slowest pet in the game right now. Why is this a good thing? Absolutely no stats are being wasted on speed. Even at 224 speed the Spirit Crab will be slower than every other pet except for a handful. This means that there is absolutely no need to choose the H/S breed, you want that extra health rather than the useless extra speed.
In general, you want to avoid and balanced breeds if you have the choice to do so. The reason is that balanced breeds have less overall stats. The pure breeds (S/S,H/H,P/P) have the most stats. This does not mean that any breed with a “B” in it is bad. In the Cleansing Rain team discussed above both the Curious Oracle Hatchling and Legs are B/B. That’s the only breed those pets come in, so there is really no choice if we want to use them. The B/B Unborn Val’kyr is faster than the H/H Unborn Val’kyr so some people prefer the faster version when these pets go head to head.