April 19, 2014

Team Focus: The Usuals
S/S Robo-Chick (Batter, Overtune, Wind-Up)
H/H Spirit Crab (Snap, Whirlpool, Shell Shield)
H/S Scalded Basilisk Hatchling (Crystal Prison, Feign Death, Thrash)

After using this team in yesterday’s daily battle I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. Really the team is just two of my favorite pets paired up with a third favorite filling a specific role.

The Scalded Basilisk Hatchling is an amazing pet if it is faster than the pet it’s facing. It can use Crystal Prison to keep the enemy pet from performing any actions for this turn and the next. This means that you can get four to six unanswered Thrashes off by using Crystal Prison then Thrash twice (remember Thrash hits two or three times if the attacking pet is faster). When the beast racial is active at the end of the battle the basilisk can be a particularly brutal finisher. The flip side is that if the basilisk is slower then both Crystal Prison and Thrash become very ineffective. Thrash will only hit once or twice and the enemy pet gets to go first before getting hit with the Crystal Prison. The basilisk turns into the badilisk when it is slower.

The Spirit Crab is another one of my favorite PvP pets. When I made a top ten list (which was quite a bit off from what I think now) the Spirit Crab took the number one spot. While I don’t don’t believe it has that godly status anymore due to changes in the meta it is still one of the top-flight pets around. It’s a fairly straightforward pet to use: put up your shields, use Snap and Whirlpool to take down enemy pets while your 1887 hp outlasts them. Timing the Whirlpools and what to do on the undead round requires the most thought with this pet. You want to get a Whirlpool down when you can but you never want to put it down when a pet with avoidance is coming in or if you think a pet will die on the turn that the Whirlpool damage hits.

Since both of the main attacks of the Spirit Crab and the Scalded Basilisk Hatchling are beast attacks this team has trouble taking down pets from the flying family. Combine that with the initial speed of flyers making the basilisk ineffective and flying pets become a major hassle for the crab and basilisk. That’s what the Robo-Chick is for. It’s not a true counter to flyers but I’ve found it can often take them down effectively by using Overtune to out speed them then using Batter or Wind-Up to bring them below half hp. I could probably find a true anti-flyer but I like the Robo-Chick in general. It has a good move set with a good multi-attack and a decent nuke in Wind-Up. My biggest beef is that Wind-Up is a 95% accuracy move. When I miss a Wind-Up it often leads to a loss.

Battle 1
vs. Stunted Direhorn, Fiendish Imp, Alterac Brew Pup
041914CIf it wasn’t for that brew pup this would be a 5.3 top-flight battle. The Spirit Crab ascended to number one status in 5.3 by it its ability to beat overpowered direhorns. Now that those beasts have felt the caress of the nerf bat they’re even easier for the undead crab. The Fiendish Imp was of the 297 speed variety so this battle was fairly easy. A 333 speed imp would have made life difficult for the Scalded Basilisk Hatchling. One of my favorite things about the basilisk is bringing it in at the end and absolutely knowing that I’ve won the battle. No rng can take away a victory when the beast racial is up, the enemy pet is slower than 305 and around 600 hp.
Record: 1-0

Battle 2
vs. Hyacinth Macaw, Fossilized Hatchling, Clock Em’
041914AWithout the Robo-Chick I may have had trouble with the flyer, but the mechanical poultry filled its role perfectly. I started with the Scalded Basilisk Hatchling but unfortunately the flyer was the first enemy pet. I used Feign Death to bring in the Spirit Crab, threw down a Whirlpool then brought in the Robo-Chick. A combination of Overtunes and Batters brought down the bird and afterwards the Robo-Chick unloaded a Wind-Up on Clock Em’. Clock Em’ also had Overtune so I brought the crab back in. The speed boost doesn’t help much against the slowest pet around. What’s better than brining in the basilisk for clean-up at the end of a battle? Doing so while there’s a Whirlpool waiting to go off. Another easy one.
Record: 2-0

Battle 3
vs. Pandaren Earth Spirit, Shrine Fly, Yellow-Bellied Frog
041914DThe beginning of this battle was almost an instant replay of the last. I started with the basilisk, my opponent swapped to their flyer, I used Feign Death then Whirlpool. This time I kept the Spirit Crab in for the duration of Swarm before swapping so I could block the third round with Shell Shield and also not have to get hit with Scratch while Shattered Defenses was up. The Pandaren Earth Spirit was next so I swapped to my Spirit Crab. The crab got stunned by Rupture and was taken out by the elemental, but not before getting a Whirlpool down. The frog came in so the elemental wouldn’t have to take the aquatic damage then my basilisk absolutely destroyed it. The elemental was easy enough to finish. I’m not exactly seeing the cream of the crop of my meta here but I’ll take the victories.
Record: 3-0

Battle 4
vs. Bonkers, Bonkers, Bonkers
041914EAll three Bonkers were trying to do the same thing: buff themselves with Going Bonkers then get lucky with a 50% accuracy Haymaker. Two Haymakers missed and one was avoided with Feign Death so this battle ended up being somewhat of a massacre. I still don’t have a Bonkers after all this time. I went out to the Timeless Isle and spent all my coins but had no luck. I could go out and farm coins but that would require me to do something in this game other than pet battle, which I don’t do anymore. I’m sort of scared of the new expansion because I’m going to need to level and make gold for new pets, which doesn’t seem appealing right now. Perhaps by then I’ll be more enthusiastic.
Record: 4-0

Battle 5
vs. Unborn Val’kyr, Death Adder Hatchling, Scourged Whelpling
041914FFinally some real competition. I should mention it was an H/H snake which made the battle significantly easier than if it were an S/S. We started with the Scalded Basilisk Hatchling against the Unborn Val’kyr. The basilisk used the usual opening sequence of Crystal Prison and Thrash but then used Feign Death in hopes of avoiding the Curse Of Doom. It worked. The Spirit Crab came in and threw a Whirlpool down on the Haunt turn. The snake replaced the Unborn Val’kyr so I had to get my crab out so the blind wouldn’t cause the Whirlpool to miss. I brought in the Robo-Chick which got blinded, but it cast Wind-Up so a turn wasn’t wasted. The Death Adder Hatchling stayed in and the Robo-Chick took it out with Batter spam. It unleashed Wind-Up on the Unborn Val’kyr before expiring so the Val’kyr didn’t have much health left. My Spirit Crab and basilisk finished off the Scourge Whelpling easily, although I was a little worried about Darkness misses.
Record: 5-0

Battle 6
vs. Unborn Val’kyr, Tolai Hare Pup, Garden Moth
041914GAnother reason the Spirit Crab is so good is because it counters critters so well with Snap. Perhaps my opponent thought that Flurry would be able to take out my undead crab. They were very, very wrong. The shielded crab took out the rabbit wth three Snaps while Flurry did minimal damage. Still, this was a hard fought and close battle. I wasn’t able to throw down on a Whirlpool on the round Haunt was cast like last battle but I was able to cast Feign on the Curse Of Doom application so I guess the mind games were even. The Garden Moth put my Spirit Crab to sleep once but because of such a large health pool it wasn’t as significant of a turn loss as it usually is. I’d like to continue this nice run but I have some things to do. The Usuals did better than expected, maybe there are more 5.3 teams I have laying around that are this good.
Record: 6-0

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