So you’ve ignored the earnest pleas of Nintendo, Game Freak, Pikachu, your significant other and even D.E.H.T.A. (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals) — and want to give World of Warcraft Pet Battles a try.
One small problem: you don’t know an Alpine Hare from a Grasslands Cottontail, let alone which of the other 612 little varmints to cut your teeth on.
That’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up seven of the best battle pets in the game based on stats, ease of capturing and usefulness in leveling/trainer battles:
1. Cheetah Cub
A wise man once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Sure, that “wise man” might have been Ricky Bobby’s dad from Talladega Nights, but the saying holds true for fictitious NASCAR drivers and aspiring WoW Pet Battlers alike: the faster your pet; the more attacks they deal out; the better chances you have to beat your opponent down.
So why not run wild over any Azerothian fool enough to face you with your very own Cheetah Cub?
Sitting on a Speed stat of 390, the Cheetah Cub is the fastest pet in the game alongside the Sapphire Cub (which requires a 600 Jewelcrafting skill or dropping fat gold stacks on the Auction House) and the Zergling, the latter obtainable only through a Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft that’s no longer sold in stores.
You can find the speckled speed demon in the North Barrens or South Barrens zones. (Look for them by tree chains alongside their parents, the Plainsland Cheetahs, and then laugh as you plunk their beloved cheetah progeny from right underneath their noses.)
Battle Tip: The Cheetah Cub’s Beast ability Devour, learned at Level 4, is an excellent finishing maneuver; it heals upon killing and ensures you can trot your Cheetah Cub out there for another battle with little downtime; great for level grinding.
You might remember Pebble from Deepholm daily quest Lost in the Deeps, where the little rockling needed your help escaping a gyreworm infested cave in the Crumbling Depths. (You think he’d learn to stay the hell away from that cave by Day 3.)
Even though Pebble is a little lunkheaded (literally), he’s not totally useless: complete Lost in the Deeps ten times and you earn the “Rock Lover” achievement, as well as a little Pebble companion to call your own.
Pebble is tied for the highest Hit Point total in the game with 1969. That means Pebble can take a licking and keep on… rockin’. (::puts shades on::) His bulky HP also makes him the perfect candidate for soaking up harm with the high-powered, kamikaze Elemental attack Stone Rush, which inflicts massive damage to the opposing pet at the cost of some of the user’s HP.
Don’t let this ornery root vegetable’s unfortunate name choice scare you off; he ain’t all that bad. In fact, Terrible Turnip is one companion that serious pet collectors shouldn’t be without.
That’s because TT is the only pet in the game with the move Weakening Blow, which “cannot reduce the opponent’s health below 1.”
Been having trouble wittling rare pets down in the wild without outright killing them like some sort of Azerothian analogue of Lenny from Of Mice and Men?
Dig up a Terrible Turnip of your own at the player farms in at Halfill in the Valley of the Four Winds.
Everyone wants a pet dragon.
Everything from Eragon to Game of Thrones to How to Train Your Dragon to that, uh, other pet-battling game can attest to that.
Dragons are powerful. Dragons are mystical. Dragons are the shit.
But which dragon should you invest your time into when there are so many great ones to choose from? As of this writing, there are 34 total dragon battle pets in-game. Although every dragon has its perks, the Nether Faerie Dragon should be a strong candidate for the first dragon pet you level; it can be found easily in Feralas around the uninstanced portions of Dire Maul, its Life Exchange ability is invaluable against end-game pet trainers (including those on Timeless Isle), and its arcane-type maneuvers make it the perfect counter to flying types.
Battle Tip: Casting Moonfire with the Sprite Darter Hatchling not only boosts its Arcane Blast attack’s damage by 10% — it also increases healing moves by 25%. Switch into a sturdy healer after using Moonfire to keep your team fresher than that royal cat from West Philadelphia.
Ever since we read Lyle the Crocodile as wee lads, having a crocodilian companion of our own has been pretty high on the bucket list.
Mom and Dad never really warmed up to the idea of us digging miniaturized Nile Rivers in our backyards or raising gazelle farms as a food source so we found the next best thing: a spry young crocolisk named Snarly.
If you have a character that’s level 70 you can snag this Aquatic-type battle pet by completing the daily fishing quest Crockolisks in the City. (You only need to have a Fishing skill of +1 to qualify too.)
Battle Tip: Perform the move Rip followed by Blood in the Water; the latter move may have only a 50% hit chance, but Rip’s bleed effect ups that to “Always hit if the target is bleeding,” ensuring that the opposing pet feels the full brunt of this massive 650 Aquatic damage maneuver.
6. Lil ‘XT
You got $10 I can borrow?
No, I won’t just “blow it on hookers and cheap vodka” again.
I meant $10 for Lil’ XT, a Mechanical type battle pet.
Just like his big bro, Ulduar raid boss XT-0002 Deconstructor, Lil’ XT has a move called Tympanic Tantrum which inflicts damage on the entire opposing team. With a damage boost from Heartbroken, Lil’ XT can damn near decimate the entire enemy squad before they’ve even had a chance to enter the fray. (Super-effective against Beast-types, which are prevalent during leveling.)
Refuse to fork over your hard-earned credit card numbers for a pet because “your love can’t be bought”? Then pick up a Pocket Reaver, who sports a very similar moveset to ‘XT and can be found on the AH for anywhere between 1000 and 4500 gold on average.
No list is complete without this jackal-headed effigy. Anubisath Idol drops off Emperor Vek’lor in the Temple of Ahn’Quiraj raid and is widely regarded as one of the best battle pets in the game both for leveling and competitive play/trainer battles.
Where to begin? Anubisath Idol resembles a bad-ass ikon of the Egyptian deity of the afterlife, can shrug off most DoTs, poisons, and multi-round attacks with his combination of Sandstorm and Deflection, and has an innate ability to heal himself every time he deals damage, which makes him one of the game’s sturdiest tanks.
Wrangled up all of these pets and ready for a batch primed for PvP pet battles? Head over to Part Two, 9 More Great World of Warcraft Battle Pets.
Ever wanted your very own Murloc pet? One that can talk back to you and everything? Pick up the World of Warcraft 9″ Talking Murloc Plush from Amazon.