E. Diverse Damage Types
Another consideration while making a team is the way in which your attacks do damage. I classify attacks in the following ways:
Normal – Your standard attack, it hits the opponent once for a set amount of damage.
Nuke (or CD) – hits for a big amount of damage and has a long cooldown (3+ turns)
End of turn – like a nuke these hit for a big amounts of damage, they are usually telegraphed in some way, have a long cooldown and do their damage at the end of a turn
Multi-attacks – Hits the opponent for a less than normal amount of damage multiple times, usually dependent upon speed
DoT – Applied once, it will continue to damage the opponent for multiple turns, even if they are not the active pet
Avoid – a move that allows you to completely avoid all incoming damage
Mitigation – A shield or attack debuff, or anythng that lessens incoming damage
Effect – Does a small amount of damage but also applies an effect
Effect based – Does more damage or has some utility if a certain effect is present
Charge (or wind-up) – These attacks take one turn to charge and another to attack. Some of these like Pump and Wind-Up apply a small buff while charged.
Ramp-up – Damage increases after each use on the same target, up to a maximum amount. Reset when pet attacking with ramp-up is swapped.
Priority – These moves almost always go first, regardless of the speed of the pet using them
Utility – Does damage but also performs some other action.
Multi-turn – Does good damage or has good utility spread out over many turns
Buff/Debuff – Increases or decreases a certain stat (Health, Power, or Speed)
CC – Stuns, freezes, roots or otherwise makes your opponent have less control over their pet
With 600+ pets there are probably some moves that don’t fit nicely into any categories, but for the purposes of this guide we have most moves covered.
It’s good to have a mixture of many types of these on your team because they all have their pros and cons.
Nukes hit for a lot but can’t be used often and are telegraphed, thus easily mitigated. Using nukes that take multiple turns are not a good way to finish off an opponent who has a small amount of health remaining. Where nukes do a really good job is versus shielded opponents. Shields usually reduce damage by a flat rate rather than a percent. So a a small percentage of nuke damage will be mitigated by a shield, as opposed to a much larger percentage from normal, multiple, or DoT attacks.
Multiple attacks are great for killing mechanicals since the second and third attacks will hit after the pet has resurrected.
Multi-attacks can be shut down by shields and Sandstorm (a type of weather) very easily. Shields reduce the damage from each hit. Using a multiple attack against a shielded opponent means your normally small amount of damage is even smaller, so it’s better to use normal attacks or nukes against shields.
Another drawback of multi-attacks is the dependance upon your speed. Most multiple attacks will attack an extra time if you attack before your opponent and have a higher speed. Thus your extra attack can be stopped by speed debuffs or moves like Surge, which always goes first.
DoTs are great because you can apply them to your opponent’s active pet and they will continue to do damage if either you or your opponent swap pets. DoTs tend to hit for even less than multiple attacks. For this reason their major drawback is that they are even more vulnerable to shields and Sandstorm than multiple attacks.
Mitigation will be discussed further below. Some form of mitigation is recommended for every team.
Effect and effect Based attack synergy was discussed in detail above (the bleeding team) so I won’t get into detail about effect attacks. I will say that effect based moves can be risky if the effect is missing. For example, Maul on the Dun Morogh Bear is a mediocre move if the target is not bleeding.
Ramp-up attacks I used to be somewhat weak because the damage was reset when the pet being attacked swapped out. It was too easy to swap pets when the damage started getting high. Then the mechanic was changed so that as long as the pet attacking with the ramp-up attack doesn’t swap the damage will continue to rise (up to a maximum)
Priority attacks greatly inflate a pet’s speed so that it will go first on the turn the move is used. Not only is this a good offensive skill, it is also good for defense against pets with attacks that benefit from going first.
Utility moves are situationally useful. Some common utility moves include Death Grip, Sweep and Nether Gate, which force a pet swap on top of doing damage. Traps will both interrupt and stun the enemy pet.
Multi-turn attacks should be avoided in PvP whenever possible. When you choose one of these attacks you are committed for two or three turns. This allows your opponent to easily switch to a hard counter and do some serious damage to you, all while you are helplessly committed to your attack. There are some exceptions to this. Many people love swarm/flock/stampede type moves because of the 100% damage increase debuff they provide. I say use these moves with caution.
Buffs, debuffs and CC are all situationally useful and should be considered when choosing breeds. Perhaps you can go with a slow and powerful breed if you are going to include a Speed buff on your team.
Ok, back to why we are here, creating teams. I discussed the different types of attacks for a reason. Your team will be better if you have different types of damaging attacks. Why? In PvP you never know what types of opponents you will be facing. Bring too many multiple attacks and DoTs against a shield or Sandstorm team and your damage will be shut down. If you have too many nukes and no multiple attacks you may find that when you need to kill a mechanical quickly or knock out that last bit of health from an opponent it will take you multiple turns.
Let’s take a look at Example 2 from part A to make sense of diverse types of attacks. So far you have an Arctic Hare, an Enchanted Broom, and a Flayer Youngling. For the Arctic Hare you choose Flurry (multiple), Dodge (avoid) and Burrow (avoid and attack). For the Enchanted Broom you will choose Broom (normal), Sweep (utility, forced swap), and Wind-Up (charge).
Now you have some tougher choices for the Flayer. Since you brought him into your team to cover the Enchanted Broom you will definitely want to take Blitz (multiple) because his only other humanoid attack is Kick (CC). Kick does minimal damage, stuns the opposing pet and has a three round cooldown so it doesn’t really provide the dragon killing power that you chose the Flayer for. For the middle slot you have a choice between Deflection (mitigation) and Focus (buff). Neither is an attack. You could choose Deflection for more mitigation.
In the last slot you have a choice between Rampage (multi-turn) and Kick. Rampage will do two things for me, it will give me another family of attacks (beast) and it will provide some much needed damage. The major drawback it that is a multi turn attack. Many flayers have died to my Ghostly Bite (undead nuke) because they made the mistake of casting Rampage. I am also losing the Kick, which can be a useful interrupt.
It’s a lot to consider, I know. If you take a step back and look at the types of attacks you will notice that you have 3 mitigation, 2 multiple attacks, 1 utility, 1 CC, 1 normal, 1 nuke, 1 multi-turn. Those three mitigation moves really stand out as being a bit too much.The attack potential of this team isn’t looking too good. While survivable, it might be hard to kill opponents. At this point you can go back and make some changes to your move set. Or you can rethink your choice of pets. Do you really need coverage for your Enchanted Broom? Maybe your third pet doesn’t need to be a humanoid. If you feel more comfortable having coverage, maybe the flayer is a poor humanoid choice. What other humanoids do you have at your disposal that would be a better fit? These are questions you should be asking and answering yourself.
Again I would like to remind you that there is nothing special about this particualr team or set of moves. It’s the thought process that goes into creating a good team that I am trying to convey to you.