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Welcome to PvP Pet Battling

Quick Info:

Article maintained by:
Aranesh, Rosqo, Shenk

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction
2. Call Darkness
3. Traps
4. AoE/Cleave
5. Clone Dance
6. Leeching (Plagued Blood)
7. Toxic Fumes
8. Heal & Stall

Last updated 2020-03-08

Surviving the Meta



1. Introduction


In this part of the PvP section we want to prepare you for the current Meta game that you will face playing against random opponents. Further below is a simple list of some of the most popular and strongest team compositions. We explain their functionality and also name some abilities/pets that these teams are being played with, together with suggestions of how to counter stated strategies.

Furthermore this article serves as a platform to upload your favorite PvP teams for others to discuss about or to help people who find themselves troubled creating good teams on their own. On the left side you can see different categories in which spoken teams can be uploaded.

Please note that different Meta-gameplay can be expected depending on the region you are in. Therefor both lists -the written introduction and the categories of the strategy creation tool- are never considered to be finished and will evolve with the Meta and your suggestions of themes that this article is missing.

We hope that we can make PvP pet battling more attractive to you and we look forward to read your opinions and knowledge for sharing and improving.
-Shenk & Rosqo




Here we will go through the most common strategies and highlighted abilities you will face whilst in the PvP queue and how to set up your teams to counter them.


2. Call Darkness


Call Darkness is the strongest weather ability bar none. It also has several abilities which synergize extremely well with it: Nocturnal Strike, Spectral Strike, Sneak Attack, Surge of Light, Light and Fury of 1,000 Fists. Most Darkness teams will run at least one flying pet with Call Darkness and Nocturnal Strike and the rest with something else that gets buffed by darkness or blinding effects. They are difficult combinations to counter because of the burst nature of the teams.

Common pets: Bone Serpent, any Nocturnal Strike flier with 292+ speed or 300+ power like Dread Hatchling, Frostfur Rat, Nightshade Sproutling, Spectral Raven, Twilight, Shadow, Soul of the Aspects

Counters: Weather Changes (2+), Elementals, Blocks/Deflects/Dodges for the big combo hits, Surge of Light, Beasts with strong magic damage (take less damage from Call Darkness and counter the flier e.g. Thaumaturgical Piglet)








3. Traps


Traps are in theory depending on RNG but in the majority of fights they work pretty reliable. Quite often both Magma Trap and Snap Trap will trigger right away, dealing not few damage and also stunning the affected pet for an entire round. This gives you a huge advantage. Traps are also hard to counter due to their unpredictability and because they trigger when they get removed.

Common pets: Blazehound, Lil' Ragnaros, Magma Rageling, Tinder Pup, Curious Wolvar Pup, Gearspring Hopper

Counters: Critters, Arcane Winds (e.g. Arcane Storm), Dodge & Block abilities (can still fail) ->Note: dispelling or removing it will trigger the trap!









4. AoE/Cleave


This kind of teams is currently the most popular one for a number of reasons. AoE is easy to play, often very effective, can be tough to beat without a direct counter and you can play it even with very cheap pets. The strength of such a team lies within killing the whole enemy team simultaneously. This can also be used against it, as those players often spam nothing but cleaves, which will struggle against pets that are tanky or have a good self sustain.

Common pets: Blightbreath, Infernal Pyreclaw, Twilight Clutch-Sister, Lil' XT, Weebomination

Counters: Sandstorm, Team-Blocks (e.g. Smoke Bomb), Blinding Effects, Reflect/Thorns Effects (e.g. Brittle Webbing), Team Heal, Weakness/Jar of Smelly Liquid, High Hp Pets




5. Clone Dance


The Clone Dance strategy covers good single target and team-wide damage, which is what makes it so successful. The core idea is to summon a Cyclone and then boost it with a buff that increases your hit chance. In most of the cases that's a Rain Dance (hence the name 'Clone Dance).

Common Cyclone pets: Blighthawk, Infinite Hatchling, P/P Buzzards or Eagles (e.g. Fledgling Kingfeather), Shore Butterfly, Wild Golden Hatchling/Wild Jade Hatchling

Common buff pets: Jademist Dancer, Poda, P/P Toucans (e.g. Bloodbeak), Royal Peachick, Young Sand Sifter

Counters: Debuff Removals, Sandstorm, Dragons, Blocking or Blinding the Cyclone, Minefields (unless it's against a Jademist Dancer), any Wave Attacks (e.g. Magma Wave)




6. Leeching (Plagued Blood)


Instead of direct healing abilities this strategy relies on applying buffs or debuffs like Plagued Blood, which will heal the attacker whenever it hits the affected pet. That way a team of badly hurt pets can get back to full or high health in the middle of the match while still dealing damage. However, failing to hit debuffed pets however will negate the purpose of this strategy and lower the chance to win. Therefor often mind games will come into action.

Common pets: Son of Sethe, Ruby Droplet, Scourged Whelpling, Son of Animus, Ghost Maggot, Zandalari Shinchomper

Counters: Call Darkness, Sandstorm, Dodge/Block/Blinding for Touch of the Animus or other vampiric abilities with a Cooldown, Reflects (e.g. Toxic Skin)





7. Toxic Fumes


Toxic Fumes is the newest weather in patch 8.3. It has two effects; it extends the duration of any damage over time effect by 1 round (the opposite of cleansing rain) and all pets are considered poisoned. This makes it a versatile ability because there are multiple ways to gain value from it. Contagion Strike and Puncture Wound are the only two abilities that are stronger against a poisoned target, but since all pets with these can apply poisons themselve this combo isn't that powerful. The more impactful synergies come from DoTs that used to be balanced by lasting for a short duration and can be extremely potent having one extra round of effect under Toxic Fumes. Examples would be Poison Protocol, Great Sting or Corrosion.

Common pets: Anomalus, Wailing Lasher, Void-Scarred Locust, Rotbreath

Counters: Weather changes (2+, espacially Sandstorm), Aquatics against DoT teams, Team heals against DoT teams (e.g. Haunting Song), Shields (e.g. Ironskin)

Note that as of 8.3.0 the racial of elemental pets does not work properly for Toxic Fumes. For some abilities it works and for others it doesn't (e.g. Puncture Wound).




8. Heal & Stall


For the most part these are the kind of teams which require little to no skill and are unnecessarily lengthening the match. They are spamming a lot of healing and blocking abilities to either prevent you from dealing any damage or outheal that which you can deal. We really don't want to support this behaviour but since there is a high chance for you to encounter them we're listing them for the sake of coverage. Not every pet that falls in this category is negative for the Meta and on its own can be a good and reasonable pick, but focusing an entire team around that theme is toxic and should be avoided for fair sportsmanship.

Common abilities: Photosynthesis+Sunlight combinations (e.g. Blossoming Ancient), Decoy Spam, anything that uses Wish, Humanoids with Immolation, Drain Blood together with Sunlight

Counters: Call Darkness or other Healing Reduce, Root Effects (e.g. Sticky Goo), Forced Swaps, strong Single Target Hits (e.g. Pump)


12 Comments (EN)

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Sart wrote on 2021-01-14 03:10:37

Reposting my question from the team section here:

Hey guys, great website, thanks a lot for all the work you do. I've got a question about CloneDance teams in particular if you don't mind: How do you choose which pet to use as your clone setter? By power, to have Cyclone, your main source of dps, do as much damage as possible? By survivability (e.g. Blighthawk for UD racial), so it can set Clone as often as possible throughout a match? By type synergy with your Rain Dance pet (should be a Jademist Dancer in 99,9% of all cases if I understood it right :P )? Or am I missing something completely?

Thanks in advance!
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Shenk

wrote on 2021-01-22 19:30:27

sorry for the late response...

so you pretty much almost summed it up. there are multiple reasons to pick one cyclone pet over another and often times it comes down to personal preference. in most cases the cyclone pet either is great as an opener pet (fast with some sort of CC e.g. shore butterfly) or it can deal a lot of damage in a relatively short time (primarily also in form of cleave e.g. voidglower).
it also is important that the cyclone pet works well in combination with the buff pet since this isn't always the case (for example they cover as many counters types as possible) (edited)
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Sart wrote on 2021-01-24 12:10:59

np, thanks for the help! It's good to know I was on the right track, even though that now makes my decision about which clone pet to pick just as hard as before haha
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Shenk

wrote on 2021-01-24 13:00:35

well clone dance still is good enough to make it work with almost any combination of pets. in the end it just comes down to whether the combo has a 75% win ratio or 85%+ ^^ (edited)
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Kals wrote on 2021-01-02 19:53:19

Any updates soon on good pet teams and rotation?
Seems like most of the current ones are barely working 1/4 matches
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anays wrote on 2021-05-14 17:22:54

Second this. The current teams are outdated and is often countered.
Would be nice to see some new teams with an optimal rotation, rather than just a tier list.
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Gráinne

wrote on 2021-05-14 18:39:26

The word "outdated", when used without specifics, doesn't convey anything that would allow someone to help you.

It depends what you're facing. All of the teams I've looked at here seem viable in general, but the current meta is Sandstorm/Weather, or Anomalus. You have to choose your team based on what you expect to face. A Bleed or Black Claw team will hit like overboiled spaghetti in a Sandstorm, so don't use one if your Battlegroup is full of Idols and Guardlings.

No matter what set of teams someone suggests, you have to make your choice depending on what you're facing and what you're capable of playing.

1. Pick the team that suits your local meta! If you're facing weathers, bring your own. If you're facing Anomalus, slot a counter. If you're living in a Darude video, bring hard hitters that will punch throu the Sand.

2. You've still got to play it! If you can read your opponent's intentions, and you know your own team, you can put up a decent fight against most things.

And never forget - the average win rate in PvP is (slightly less than) 50%.

As for rotations, fuggedaboudit! These teams have suggested guidelines about how to handle your own pets, but it always, always depends on predicting and countering your opponent's moves. (edited)
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Rosqo

wrote on 2021-05-15 22:35:00

Most of the teams are reasonable tbh. There's two of mine that are 90%+ from this expansion. If you play with a rotation it will never ever be optimal especially once you face the same opponent a couple times.
The tier list is a close to a cheat list that you can possibly get for PVP literally just put 3 top tier pets on a team and you should get like 70% win rate unless there's a skill issue. (edited)
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Toenail

wrote on 2020-11-23 00:57:53

sunlight/photosynthesis teams are really starting to trigger me as well. working on brutal Pet Brawler by way of Family Brawler is leaving few options. I did find 1 pet that will kill most any of them in 3 rounds but it still leaves me sol even with all darkness teams. I need to git gud ;)

edit: forgot to name the pet. Crypt Fiend from Strathholme pet dungeon vendor. Sticky Web/Roar of the Dead/Call Darkness=a dead healing elemental. i use web first so it can't be swapped when roar lands. i haven't checked all the elementals to see if they have any way to shield/dodge/etc but it has worked so far. i still need to work on the other 2 in the heal team as the crypt fiend is not lasting too long in the back row from sunlight blasts for a repeat performance.

i am doing the undead, humanoid and mechanical brawler teams which is limiting my choices. crypt fiend in a mixed team would drive those heal elemental teams back to the depths where they belong. ;)
(edited)
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Toenail

wrote on 2020-11-22 21:46:06

Anomalus needs a blizzard review. # 5 of any P/P pet in my 1220 unique collection AND much faster than any P/P pet. puts out lots of team damage even if you don't have flyers magic or critters in your team.
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Shenk

wrote on 2020-11-22 22:08:05

took blizzard more than an expansion to nerf TCS and then they just reduced the meteorite by 5 damage kek. guess we can expect a -3 speed nerf for anomalus in like 9.3.5 (edited)
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Toenail

wrote on 2020-11-23 00:52:53

lol of course that will still leave it faster than any other P/P pet until you get down to some P/S ones.
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Jarbringer wrote on 2020-10-15 11:15:01

Any news on successfully tested prepatch PVP teams? I obviously have to retire my near 100% win ratio dream team of Anomalus, Wyrmy Tunkins and Hermit Crab…
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Mutanis

wrote on 2020-10-15 11:30:49

Try something new;)
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Pankracy#2378

wrote on 2020-10-25 21:17:07

And thanks God, even tho this team is so easy to fight I was getting sick of battling the same team all over and all over again (there is also Blightbreath, Jademist Dancer and Hermit Crab/Anomalus which also make me sick). There is over 1k pets to choose from yet it happens to meet those two comps sooo often. It only highlits, how limited people are... Apart of treating pet battles as fun, complex and really fun addition to main game, they prefer to play with the same team all time.... Pity, feel sorry for them (huh, time to learn how to play battle pets, fortunately, has come for them ;))) Other thing is, that Blizz in its bottomles “wisdom”, made, say, 5K PVP win achie. Some of those dumb-asses aren’t even actually interested in pets, they are just doing achie hunt ;(. Anomalus, btw, should be nerfed too as this pet is sooooo OP that I have no words.... (edited)
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Kaxer

wrote on 2020-08-10 10:17:03

Hey guys! So have you seen the new teams with 3 Anomaluses (technically should be Anomali) that wreck everything without requiring any skill? I had the pleasure of meeting some of those this past week. lol
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Rosqo

wrote on 2020-08-10 11:58:48

Anomalus isn't really a pet that benefits from having multiple versions of itself on the same team. One would be enough with 2 pets that synergize with its initial aoe damage/poison.
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Shenk

wrote on 2020-08-10 12:35:25

for the same reason it isn't wise to use 2 or 3 copies of any pet in one team as they are all vulnerable to the same counter
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Kaxer

wrote on 2020-08-19 07:54:58

Thanks to your guides, I managed to get my Family Brawler last week. Those teams with 3 anomaluses are annoying but I managed. Big thank you to Rosqo and Shenk for their great videos. Keep it up folks! <3 (edited)
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Pankracy#2378

wrote on 2021-04-19 17:31:36

Also, very, VERY easy to fight with. All you need is LITERALLY one pet in your comp with 298+ speed and Brittle Webbing skill. H/S Crystal Spider is HIGHLY recommended, since he has 305 speed, as well as an awesome moveset, with Brittle Webbing, Crystal Prison and Leech Life OR Spiderling Swarm. Put Brittle Weabing at the beginning, see if Anomalus applie Poison Protocol or Void Slap. If later, then Leech Life/Spiderling Swarm, if former, then Crystal Prison and just watch Anomalus melt down himself with its own weapon ;). Rinse and repeat. Done.
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Toenail

wrote on 2019-12-06 19:27:01

lol Murkalot is crazy good. righteous inspiration/falling murloc got in the first hit on my s/s fiendish imp and 1-shot it at full HP. makes me wish i hadn't missed all those blizzcons ;)
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JarofFlies

wrote on 2019-09-20 15:53:57

AOE meta cleave teams are just as lame as the heal and stall teams to me. None of them take any skill
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Gráinne

wrote on 2019-09-20 16:53:54

It's the inherent nature of the current PvP system, in which anyone can select any team, and everyone is in the same queue.

Lots of people don't enjoy it. They just do it for the achievement, or the Direhorn, or whatever. They see no reason to play teams that please someone else's aesthetic sense of what teams are not "lame".

P.S. As a point of personal opinion, I don't object to AoE teams as strongly as heal-and-swap teams, since they don't leave you with the decision of resigning immediately or being stuck there for an hour.

But nevertheless people have a right to play heal-and-stall teams. And I have a right to chase that team through the queue until it doesn't want to live any more! (edited)
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Shenk

wrote on 2019-09-21 19:56:43

i wish everyone was in the same queue
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Toenail

wrote on 2019-06-10 03:01:17

a counter team is only going to help if you see that team next time. I have seen a Fragment of Desire/Anger/Suffering undead team a few times, and SoulRush is stunning way too often.
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Remte

wrote on 2019-06-10 09:00:25

Are you playing on EU servers? I've seen that yesterday and it was hilarious.
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Shenk

wrote on 2019-06-11 10:30:16

well you don't have set up a whole team around one specific counter. often times one pet that does this job well will be enough
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Gráinne

wrote on 2019-07-03 10:30:44

The Three Fragments is a classic that has been around since Warlords. I do love a theme team!
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Toenail

wrote on 2019-06-10 02:16:24

yeah, blossoming ancient, singing sunflower, corefire imp sucks. Even the imp healed to full once after a big hit. 30 rounds later 2 of those pets was at or near full health and the other was at 1/2.
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ragath

wrote on 2019-05-23 16:42:27

Would be cool to have something similar to the strategy system for PvP teams with information like (basic) rotation, pros / cons, win / lose statistics etc. I understand it's different from fights against scripted NPCs. It's thought as team suggestions.
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Gráinne

wrote on 2019-05-23 17:40:02

I'm really not sure what that would look like. Win/Lose stats maybe ... Disco did them for pets once, but they change with every meta, so there is no continuity. If you want to learn, start with the suggestions above, or some team you feel comfortable with, and just hop into the queue! It's pet week, so an excellent time, when all the beginners and non-battlers are out.
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Shenk

wrote on 2019-05-23 20:44:41

i can't see how the existing pvp teams don't already have basic rotations. and concerning the win/lose rate... they are not set in stone, since they may vary a lot based on your skill and the meta that you are playing in.
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ragath

wrote on 2019-05-23 23:09:24

I actually didn't see the PvP strategies on the left hand side otherwise I'd probably didn't write that. Although as highlighted above, in PvP there are other points that matter. An option would be to introduce a new strategy parameter like enemyType (environment|player). Depending on the value, it shows different information for a user. I'm clearly aware that enemies differ from fight to fight, but it's still statistical data, e. g. I make a new fancy PvP team and write that I won 89 fights out of 100 fights. Additionally, this was just an idea not a whole concept. Just an idea from a newbie. I like both, pve and pvp fights. For PvE this site is perfect with all those great strategies, but for PvP I get less information, I could chose one of those 6 teams / strategies created by Shenk and I dont say there are bad. I just mean there could be more of those, also from many other players, and with a better focus on PvP related information. I hope you get my impartial point.
And Grainne, of course you should have to update your PvP strategies as you should update your PvE strategies when Blizzard change spells or stuff.
Another suggestion would be to bound a strategy to the respective Game version and also show the updated time, e. g. when I would create a strategy now, you'd see Patch 8.1.5 - 23.05.2019. So you can easily see how updated a strategy is. People would simply see if a strategy is outdated.
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Shenk

wrote on 2019-05-24 00:07:58

you're asking too much from a pvp section on a website that actually is just there to help with pve encounters. putting so much effort into the systems you are proposing would be meaningful to just a very small amount of users.
also those pvp teams are there just to give a general idea about what you could play. playing and learning the strategies yourself is imo more beneficial than writing down every single situation that you could find yourself in (also that would be too much work^^)
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ragath

wrote on 2019-05-24 00:15:54

I'm not asking for it. It was an idea. You dont like it, that's okay.
I don't know how many users would use it, probably you also don't have statistical data about it, but nvm.
You can also use your own strategies for scripted fights or you use the knowledge of the mass. No one forces anyone to use any strategy. Personally, as said before, I would welcome it to see such pvp strategies of other players.
But if you decline my idea, simply remove this whole message and next time I have an idea I won't annoy you with it.
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aelfraed wrote on 2019-05-05 10:33:13

I don't like the heal and stall idea at all but Blizz in their wisdom, have given us an achievement to win 5 in a row and no pet dies, so heal and stall it is then
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Gráinne

wrote on 2019-05-05 15:27:09

Even the dreaded Sunlight->Photosynthesis->Swap->Sunlight->Photosynthesis->Swap sequence is very far from guaranteed. It is the ONE thing in PvP that will make me determined to chase that team through the queue and destroy its will to live. :)

OK, I'm not actually in the queue much these days, :) but I'm also not the only one that team riles up.

I have heard that if you have racked up one or more wins towards the achievement, and then flee a battle before any moves, that your wins remain towards the achievement. I DO NOT KNOW IF THAT IS TRUE. I heard it long after I got my NTTH, so I can't test it. If you are trying for the achievement, it would be a good time to test, when you see a counter that is sure to absolutely crush you.
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Shenk

wrote on 2019-05-10 00:54:54

iirc i did this a loooong time ago with a level 1 team. every win granted the team one more level (given they all participated). and in the lowlevels people tend to have very low exp and often not even rare quality pets