Seeking A Third (part one)
S/S Death Adder Hatchling (Poison Fang, Puncture Wound, Blinding Poison)
H/H Spirit Crab (Snap, Surge, Shell Shield)
Lately my meta has gotten more competitive. Rather than rise to the challenge and come up with new and creative ways to beat the meta I’ve stooped to using one of the strongest pets around, the Death Adder Hatchling. I’ve also found that my trusty old Spirit Crab from 5.3 can actually do well against many of the 5.4 powerhouse teams. Together these two make a pretty vicious combo: the adder uses its OP move set to inflict damage while the Spirit Crab soaks incoming damage while dishing out a reasonable amount of its own. But what about a third pet?
I think today I would like to to make a really competitive team with the two pets listed above, so I’ll have to think carefully about what the third pet will be. To make a really competitive team I’ll have to consider all of the other super teams and super pets out there in the meta and ways to counter them. Of course no one team can counter everything (or everyone would use that) but I’ll try to choose pets that hopefully counter multiple super pets and super teams out there.
Here’s what needs to be countered:
Unborn Val’kyrs – With these overused and hyper useful undead pets appearing in about one in every four battle you better have a counter for them. I’m actually a little less worried about these than you would expect because of the crab and snake. While neither is a true valk counter I’ve been dealing with them by blinding, poisoning then swapping to the crab and shielding. Not optimal by any means, but so far it has been somewhat effective. The valk resurrects with poison ticking and an adder waiting for it while the crab took less damage thanks to the shield.
Death Adder Hatchling – I’m not the only one running around with an overpowered snake. My Spirit Crab’s ability to outlast these things is one of the reason I’m back in love with it.
Anubisath Idol– Surely this pet is my nemesis with my penchant for DoTs and multi-attacks. I need either a damage buff to break through sandstorm or some hard hitting undead attacks.
Lil’ Ragnaros – There’s a thread on the forums right now about how this pet isn’t anything special. I respectfully disagree. Traps are in need of a tweak just as much as Haunt and adders imo. There are only two ways that I know of how to make sure the trap doesn’t ruin your day: critters and arcane winds. Critters are sounding good right about now.
Sunlight – While not all that common, it’s something I need to consider when choosing a third pet. Back when I ran Whirlpool I had an easier time with sunlight elementals but Surge just can’t out damage Photosynthesis fast enough. A Blossoming Ancient will laugh at my adder, even with the beast racial activated early. Another pet store pet worth mentioning, interesting.
AoE – There’s not much you can really do against AoE teams (besides sandstorm) but hope they don’t kill your pets on the back line. I already have one beefy pet but the adder is fragile. A second high health pet should do the trick while I keep my adder out front to sacrifice itself while inflicting the pain.
Clonedance – One of the hardest teams to counter in my opinion, hence one of the best teams around. A cleanse for the Cyclone or some aquatic damage from a non-aquatic pet is a decent approach.
Flying Pets – With the speed to make the adder’s blind less effective and taking less damage from beast attacks (of which I already have four) flyers are a major pain for my combo. My Spirit Crab can often take them down with Surges but it wastes my soaking capabilities. I’d like some magic damage.
Emperor Crab – My Spirit Crab can beat adders, but an Emperor Crab can absolutely destroy them. This should be a priority. I should mention that I used to not fear these guys when I ran Whirlpool, but now they are much harder to take down with my undead crab. I do really need the Surge.
Decoys/Bubbles – These things just annoy the hell out of me. Am I allowed to counter things that annoy me while making competitive teams?
Consume Corpse – There’s really not much one can do about this abomination of a strategy short of loading up on critter damage. I have a triple rabbit team all set up for when I encounter a valk, Bighthawk and Stitched Pup team. I usually lose to it and come right back and stomp it. I could always go with darkness but I don’t really like that weather. Looks like another win for critters.
So you can see what I was talking about earlier, there’s no way I’m going to counter all of those things, but hopefully I can choose pets that fill multiple roles.
Before I start with new teams let me share teams that I’ve already created with the Spirit Crab/DAH combo (the third pet is listed)
P/S Highlands Turkey (Peck, Squawk, Food Coma)
Peck is useful for crabs but turkeys are more of a novelty than a competitive pet.
Brother In Claw 11/4/13
P/P Emperor Crab (Surge, Healing Wave, Shell Shield)
A solid team. I should use it more but two crabs is boring.
Kingdom Of Doing (odd that I never did a dedicated daily)
H/H Spirit Crab (Snap, Surge, Shell Shield)
An amazing team, but also boring.
Electric Pickles 12/2/13
S/S Fiendish Imp (Burn, Immolation, Nether Gate)
Another amazing team, but Nether Gate misses are often game losers. Plus this was my number one pet for a long spell in 5.4 and I’m a bit tired of it.
Making Them Pay 6/26/14
S/S Arctic Hare (Flurry, Dodge, Burrow)
This pet actually satisfies a few of the requirements above. A great team. I think I’ll be hard pressed to do better than this, but I’ll try.
Ok, here we go.
Pet 1: H/H Stone Armadillo (Scratch, Shell Shield, Infected Claw)
A critter that has strong attacks against valks and idols, what’s not to love? Well, it’s sort of an uninteresting pet when it comes to utility, but it meets multiple counter requirements. Running two 1887 hp pets is amusing.
vs. Murkalot, Emerald Shale Hatchling, Stone Armadillo
So I just realized that I’m going to have to bully a lot of people to test these teams and most teams are going to get facerolled by just the adder and the crab. Hopefully I’ll encounter some competitive teams to test mine against. The poor opposing Armadillo fell victim to a common mistake by critters. They see an undead and think they’re going to do big damage, only to realize too late that Snap and critters don’t mix well together. I have no problem beating Murkalot with an adder, that pet left a sour tast in my mouth from the time before it was nerfed.
Pet 2: H/H Lost Of Lordaeron (Shadow Slash, Arcane Explosion, Curse Of Doom)
I obviously have idols in mind by picking this pet. A magic attack against flyers doesn’t hurt, either. It’s also another high hp pet. It’s not going to do well against an Emperor Crab. I’ve seen a few people try to spam Arcane Explosion with this pet, using the undead racial to gain a few turns of AoE damage. It’s a good idea but never seems to work.
vs. Unborn Val’kyr, Swamp Croaker, Zandalari Footslasher
I feel no guilt taking out an Unborn Val’kyr. I’m just so, so sick of seeing them day in and day out. This was a difficult battle, more than it needed to be thanks to a Snap miss on the raptor. Those things need to be taken out quick and that extra turn meant a ton of damage to my beefy crab. My opponent made some unnecessary swaps which made up for the Snap miss. The battle ended with an Arcane Explosion double kill on the beast and frog while Haunt was up. We need some achievements for double kills and triple kills, or at least a cool graphic flashing across the screen.
Pet 3: Sen’Jin Fetish (Breath, Wild Magic, Sear Magic)
Did someone say counter? The Sen’Jin Fetish is so good against many of the top pets in the current meta. If Sear Magic cleansed traps without setting them off it would even better. The problem I have with this team is that both the adder and mask are good starting pets against valks.
vs. Gilnean Raven, Nordrassil Wisp, Anubisath Idol
Someone likes rng. It worked out quite well for them as I had a Wild Magic miss in darkness and a Puncture Wound miss in sandstorm. My Sen’Jin Fetish should have defeated the bird and had an undead round to spare but the miss meant those pets cancelled each other out. The adder absolutely destroyed the Nordrassil Wisp. I remember when those things used to be decent. I brought in the crab for the idol to let the miss fest begin, except both pets hit well in the sandstorm, with the idol only missing once. I thought the adder would easily finish off the idol (which had Crush and not Demolish) but the Puncture Wound miss kept things interesting. The adder survived with a little over 100 hp.
Pet 4: P/S Jademist Dancer (Steam Vent, Rain Dance, Acid Rain)
This is for Emperor Crabs mostly. An elemental to counter an aquatic you say? Burst kills healing pets handily. And speaking of healers don’t let a sunlight team come my way.
vs. Dark Whelpling, ANodized Robo Cub, Scourged Whelpling
Okay, now I finally feel like a bully. I’m not exactly facing the cream of the crop here. The Demolish hit enough to take my Spirit Crab out then the Dark Whelpling did a decent job against the Jademist Dancer. In the end it was my OP adder against the Scourged Whelpling that was at half health from earlier in the battle. I waited on the blind until the darkness had passed to ensure a hit and a win. With that I think I’ll call it a night. There were more pets I wanted to try as a third so I’ll make this part one and finish on another day.