Warlords Of Draenor, the latest World of Warcraft expansion is nearly upon us. While the prospect of leveling, garrisons and shiny new gear is pretty cool — we pet battling fanatics have more important matters to contemplate — like the pets we’ll need most for continued PvP success.

A quick scroll though your “not collected” tab will show many of these WoD pets and their abilities. With so many new pets to choose from, where does one start? The following are the pets that jumped out at me as being “must haves” for PvP pet battling in WoD.

Frostwolf Ghostpup

wow-wod-battle-pet-frostwolf-ghost-pup

Source: Archaeology

This undead pet has some great attributes. The first is obviously the undead racial, still the most powerful of the family racial traits. It also has both a critter and an undead attack, making it good against both undead and human pets, both of which are common in PvP. The thing that I’m looking most forward to about this pet is Refuge, a team shield move similar to Murkalot’s Shieldstorm. Refuge is interesting since it only shields the user and critter team mates, and only for 6 rounds so it will require some thought on when to use it and how to compose your team around it. The Frostwolf Pup also has Sneak Attack, a new move that does extra damage when the weather is Darkness.

Example Team:

Frostwolf Ghostpup (Scratch, Refuge, Ghostly Bite)
S/S Prairie Mouse (Flurry, Poison Fang, Survival)
H/P Shimmershell Snail (Ooze Touch, Shell Shield, Headbutt)

This team is built around Refuge providing a shield for both of the critters.

Ikky

wow-wod-battle-pet-ikky

Source: Quest (Ikky’s egg)

If a flying pet puts up Black Claw and you don’t swap then you deserve whatever’s coming to you. What’s coming to you in this case is a 322 power multiple attack Quills. Combine that with the damage enhancing Black Claw and you’ll be wishing that you swapped. With a choice of Cyclone or Flock in the third slot you could fly this bird on a clonedance team or with any DoT set-up.

Example Team:

P/S Ikky (Quills, Black Claw, Cyclone)
S/S Jademist Dancer (Steam Vent, Rain Dance, Acid Rain)
H/H Spirit Crab (Snap, Surge, Shell Shield)

This could be an interesting clonedance team because everyone will expect you to fire off Cyclone first. Instead, start with Black Claw and watch them sweat.

Ghastly Kid

wow-wod-battle-pet-ghastly-kid

Source: Quest (Mastering The Menagerie)

Another undead pet with both a critter and an undead attack. This time the undead attack is Haunt. Yes, the same Haunt that made the Unborn Val’kyr one of the top pets of patch 5.4 and inevitably led to a nerf. It now has a four round cool down and cannot be used after the Unborn Val’kyr has been brought to 0 health. I have seen some wildly overdramatic claims that Haunt has been nerfed beyond usability but that’s just not true. Haunt is an still extremely powerful DoT that lends itself to all of the previously used tactics, such and Haunting then stalling and multiple uses of Consume Corpse. In the second slot the Ghastly Kid has a choice of two great utility moves, Ethereal or Consume Magic. Depending on what types of enemies you’re facing each has its merits. I think that this undead kid is actually better than the Unborn Val’kyr due to the utility move and having a critter attack to go along with the undead attack.

Example Team:

H/H Ghastly Kid (Hoof, Ethereal, Haunt)
P/S Ikky (Quills, Black Claw, Flock)
H/S Kovok (Poison Fang, Pheromones, Puncture Wounds)

The plan is to Haunt then bring in Ikky on the swap for Black Claw. Black Claw plus Haunt equals huge damage. Kovok provides some coverage against critters and can do some back line damage with Pheromones if the Black Claw recipient tries to swap out.

Son Of Sethe

wow-wod-battle-pet-son-of-sethe

Source: Vendors Ravenspeaker Skeega, Gazrix Gearlock

So many ways to heal! With a choice between Absorb and Plagued Blood is the first slot, Touch Of The Animus in the second and Drain Blood in the third this undead pet is a healing machine. There are so many moves that have great synergy with Touch Of The Animus; really any field effect or DoT can benefit from it. Throw in some Plagued Blood and now your back line pets can get two heals. It certainly lacks offensive capabilities so you’ll need to be careful about team creation, but I think the multi-faceted healing capabilities make this pet a must have.

Example Team:

Son Of Sethe (Plagued Blood, Touch Of The Animus, Drain Blood)
S/S Fiendish Imp (Burn, Immolation, Nether Gate)
S/S Golden Dragonhawk (Quills, Conflagrate, Flamethrower)

The imp provides control and a back line DoT, the dragonhawk provides a field effect, a potential double attack and a multiple attack. If you want to play it safe you could go with Claw since critters soft counter all of your elemental damage.

Teroclaw Hatchling

wow-wod-battle-pet-teroclaw-hatchling

Source: Teroclaw Nest, Talador

Flyers with avoidance can be a real pain to deal with. Flyers with avoidance and heals even more so. That’s what this pet will provide with Dodge in the second slot and either Nature’s Ward or Ravage in the third. Think of this bird as a tougher, critter killing version of Chi-Chi. In fact, it might even be better than Chi-Chi due to a debatably superior breed (I prefer H/P to P/S on flyers).

Mechanical Scorpid

wow-wod-battle-pet-mechanical-scorpid

Source: Engineering

Can I please take all six moves? Of course not, but when all of a pet’s possible moves are useful it can keep your opponent guessing for the first few rounds and potentially give you the upper hand in a battle. In the first slot there’s a choice between Barbed Stinger and Wind-Up.

Barbed Stinger is a new move that does a decent amount of initial damage and has 20% chance of applying a five round poison DoT. Then you have a choice of Blinding Poison or Puncture Wound in the second slot. With a speed of 260 it’s probably better to take Puncture Wound, but if you’re coming up against a lot of slow pets you could still occasionally take it.

Finally, you have a choice between Extra Plating and Black Claw, depending on whether you want offense or defense. It comes in two good breeds, P/P and H/P. Even though P/P is usually a mathematically superior choice I’ve found that the extra health of an H/P can often help me survive long enough to get off an extra attack.

Lifelike Mechanical Frostboar

wow-wod-battle-pet-lifelike mech frostboar

Source: Engineering

I just remembered my Engineer isn’t at 600 yet. Guess what I’ll be doing after this? I really want three of this little piggy since it comes in each of the pure breeds. An S/S with Decoy is going to be useful, a P/P with Pig Out (a heal based on damage done) will be useful. An H/H will be useful because, well, H/H mechanical pets are awesome. 1725 health plus another 20% of that adds up to 2070 hp. Heck, it even has a priority move in the first slot if you chose to go that route. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of these guys in one form or another.

Bronze Whelpling

wow-wod-battle-pet-bronze whelpling

Source: World Drop

OK, this dragon is already out there in the queue and if you haven’t got one yet you should. It comes with Arcane Slash, a newly introduced move that does bonus damage when going first. With Arcane Slash, Crystal Prison and Lift-Off the S/S version has finally introduced a dragon as a top PvP pet. It has been a superb sweeper for me. If faster than the opposing pet the dragon can effectively use Crystal Prison, Arcane Slash, and another Arcane Slash to finish off a battle. When used at the end of a battle the dragonkin racial often activates so you do around 900 damage unanswered. Get one. Now.

Example Team:

S/S Bronze Whelpling (Arcane Slash, Crystal Prison, Lift-Off)
S/S Fiendish Imp (Burn, Immolation, Nether Gate)
P/P Warbot (Missile, Minefield, Extra Plating)

I wasn’t very creative with this team, but damn it’s been winning a lot. You could add a dirt clod to the Fiendish Imp/Warbot combo and it would win. Add a great sweeper like the Bronze Whelpling and you have a very competitive team.

Soul Of The Forge

wow-wod-battle-pet-soul-of-the-forge

Source: Blacksmithing
There are four new pets with the skill Deep Burn; this is my favorite. Deep Burn is a spammable attack that does double damage when the target is burning, and the elemental Soul Of The Forge has the ability to make them burn with Flamethrower. It comes in a decent H/P breed and also comes equipped with Stoneskin or Extra Plating for defensive purposes.

Frostfur Rat

wow-wod-battle-pet-frostfur-rat

Source: Pet Battle

At first glance this pet may not seem that impressive, but it’s another pet that makes the rat important. That pet is the Fiendish Imp. The fast and fragile imp was somewhat balanced by Nether Gate being a 90% accuracy move. Basically if Nether Gate missed then the imp was in a lot of trouble due to a wrench being thrown into its delicate rotation. This isn’t a great way to balance a pet, but it worked to some degree. In WoD that chance to miss is gone and I fear that imps will be the most prevalent and one of the most complained about pets in the new expansion. What does this have to do with the rat? I think the rat could be a decent imp counter with its 341 speed and non-critter move. With Burn and Immolation doing weak damage against the rat and with Darkness slowing down the back line healing this rat might be able to give the imp some problems.

Hydraling

wow-wod-battle-pet-hydraling

Source: Vasha’s Egg

This is a hard hitting P/P aquatic pet. What makes it so special? Shell Armor. Shell Armor is an upgraded version Trihorn Shield. It blocks one and a half times the damage with the same cooldown and duration. The usual problem with hard-hitting P/P pets is that they are so fragile. Shell armor takes care of that. In the first slot the Hydraling can take Tail Slap or Deep Bite, an aquatic ramp-up move. In the secon slot you have a choice between Call Lightning and Swallow You Whole. One of the worst things about running a lightning team is your opponent’s DoTs causing you just as much trouble as you’re causing them. Shell Armor ought to mitigate that situation, at least for a few rounds.

Example Team:

P/P Hydraling (Tail Slap, Lightning, Shell Armor)
H/P Macabre Marionette (Macabre Maraca, Death and Decay, Bone Barrage)
S/S Lil’ Bling (Inflation, Extra Plating, Make It Rain)

Inflation, Make It Rain, Death and Decay and Bone Barrage all do well in Lightning.

Junglebeak

wow-wod-battle-pet-jungle-beak

Source: Pet Battle

The self-synergy of the Junglebeak is obvious: Nocturnal Strike is a 50% accuracy move and Rain Dance increases accuracy by 50%. Do the math. Don’t forget that Rain Dance also gives you a 50% critical chance increase. Out of all the flyers with Rain Dance I like the Junglebeak because it comes in an H/P breed.

Brilliant Spore

wow-wod-battle-pet-brilliant-spore

Source: World Drop

Just when you thought it was safe to see again thanks to the Blinding Poison nerf along comes Blinding Powder. Vision beware! Blinding Powder has the same three round cooldown that Blinding Poison had before its nerf, go figure. They wouldn’t put it on a fast pet would they? Oh, it comes on flying pets. It sounds like a comical repeat of the Death Adder Hatchling, but none of these spores has the offensive synergy that the snake had. There are three spores with Blinding Powder: the H/H Crimson Spore, the P/S Brilliant Spore and the S/S Umbrafen Spore. I’ll personally go with the H/H one since I love high health flyers, but I think the P/S will be the most popular due to having Reckless Strike, which the others don’t.

There are a lot more interesting new pets in the upcoming expansion but I think this list is enough to get people started collecting and battling. Don’t forget to check out the daily battles at pvppetbattles.com where I’ll put these new pets and teams to the test in the PvP queue.