Guide To Creating A PvP Team
Pet battle PvP is quite different from PvE. When facing the trainers you know exactly what move sets they have and often the sequence in which they perform these moves. In PvP you will be facing a thinking opponent and you have no idea what type of team you will be facing. Creating teams to face these thinking opponents can be a daunting task.
What is the purpose of this guide?
This guide is intended primarily for people who already collect and have leveled pets from each family and would like to start PvPing at max level (which is 25 at the time of writing). Choosing your team is a huge part, perhaps the most important part of being successful in PvP. The goal after reading this is for you to be able to create your own viable PvP teams.
What this guide isn’t
It is not a leveling guide. It is not a pet battle PvE guide. It is not a how to PvP guide. The actual act of pet battle PvPing will be up to you to learn after you create your team. This isn’t a guide on how to make a team that will steam roll every other team you encounter. It’s here to get new PvP battlers started making their own teams.
Before getting started there are a few important facts that you need to know. If you have already done some pet battling then you probably already know this. I have included it nevertheless.
Preliminary Knowledge A: Families
Pets are classified into 10 families. In order to PvP you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each family. Every pet and every attack has a family classification. If an attack is strong against another pet then it does 150% of its normal damage. If an attack is weak against another pet then it does 66% of its normal damage. A major part of being successful in pet PvP is using strong attacks against your opponents.
Listed below is each family, what it is strong against and what it is weak against.
Humanoid is strong against dragonkin but weak against beast.
Dragonkin is strong against magic but weak against undead.
Magic is strong against flying but weak against mechanical.
Flying is strong against aquatic but weak against dragonkin.
Aquatic is strong against elemental but weak against magic.
Elemental is strong against mechanical but weak against critter.
Mechanical is strong against beast but weak against elemental.
Beast is strong against critter but weak against flying.
Critter is strong against undead but weak against humanoid.
Undead is strong against humanoid but weak against aquatic.
Note that a pet may have attacks from a different family. For example, a Bat from the flying family has flying, undead, and beast attacks.
While I have heard the terms used differently in other games, this is the way I will use the following terms:
Hard counter – This pet’s moves are strong against you. My Emperor Crab is a hard counter to your Fel Flame (elemental) because my Surge (aquatic attack) is strong against you.
Soft counter – Your attacks are weak against this pet. My Arctic Hare (critter) is a soft counter to your Fel Flame because your elemental attack is weak against me.
Double counter – Your attacks are weak against this pet and this pet’s moves are strong against you. My Shimmershell Snail is a double counter to your Fel Flame (elemental) because I have an aquatic attack (Dive) which is strong against you and I am a critter, so your elemental attacks are weak against me.
Preliminary Knowledge B: Family Bonuses
Each pet family has its own special set of buffs.
Humanoid – recovers 4% of maximum health at the end of a round if it successfully attacked
Dragonkin – deals 50% more damage on the turn after brining an enemy pet below 50%
Magic- cannot lose more than 35% of their maximum health from a single attack
Flying- 50% extra speed when above 50% of maximum health
Aquatic – harmful DoT effects reduced by 50%
Elemental – ignore negative weather effects
Mechanical – come back to life with 20% health after first death
Beast – gain 50% attack when under 50% health
Critter – cannot be rooted, stunned or put to sleep (currently the sleep part doesn’t work properly)
Undead – comes back to life with 1 health after dying, dies at the end of the next round
Sometimes these are referred to as the “racial bonus” or simply a pet’s “racial”.
Preliminary Knowledge C: Stats and Breeds
There are three stats on your pet: health(H), power(P) and speed(S). Each pet has a fixed set of base stats and a breed associated with it.
Each pet has 24 base stats allocated between health, power and speed. Currently there is nothing you can do to change this. However, There are 10 different breeds (not including gender). Every pet has between 1.5 and 2 extra stat points allocated to it based upon its breed. You can find a chart listing how each breed allocates those points here. Each breed has a number associated with it, but people have developed a two-letter system to make it easier to keep track of. From the add-on Battle Pet Breed ID by Hugh@Burning Blade and Simca@Malfurion:
“The letter system was developed as a way to more quickly tell breeds apart from each other. Each letter represents one half of the stat contribution that makes up a breed. A few examples: S/S (#6) is a pure speed breed. S/B (#11) is half speed with the other half balanced between all three stats. H/P(#7) is half health and half power.”
Here is a list of all the breeds:
Breed 3 – B/B
Breed 4 – P/P
Breed 5 – S/S
Breed 6 – H/H
Breed 7 – H/P
Breed 8 – P/S
Breed 9 – H/S
Breed 10 – P/B
Breed 11 – S/B
Breed 12 – H/B
Creating a Team
Now that we have all the preliminaries out of the way it’s time to make a team. The first step is simple: choose a pet. This sounds simplistic, but you have to start somewhere. It is my belief that you can make a viable team out of almost any pet you choose. Blizzard has done a decent job of nerfing previously overpowered pets and not introducing new ones. There are currently no Fluxfire Felines (5.1) or direhorns (5.3).
So how do you choose that first pet? You can pick a pet based on appearance. You can pick based on emotional attachment, you know that you love that pet that’s been following you around for all these years. You can pick a pet that has performed well in PvE. You can pick a pet that you read is good on the forums. You can pick a pet because you like its family bonus or some effect it applies to your opponent.
Just pick one, and now the trick is to create synergy, a buzzword that is thrown around pet battle discussions quite often. From dictionary.com synergy is defined as “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements”. Basically we will choose your two other pets in a way that will make your starting pet better.