Warcraft Battle Pets Strategy Guide: the Best Way to Build a Pet PvP Team in WoW

Warcraft Pets

Battle Pets

One of the features World of Warcraft launched with its Mists of Panderia expansion was the battle pet system. All those cute little vanity pets that players had been accumulating for years suddenly took on a new dimension; in fact, for a small segment of the WoW community, pet battles have become the focal point of the game.

It's easy enough to be successful In the wild or when facing a battle pet tamer. Decisively winning pet battles is a simple matter when one constructs a team composed of pet types that are naturally strong against the pets you are about to face.

However, it is not possible to load the dice in this way when randomly pitted against another player's team through the Find Battle system. And, ever since patch 5.3 introduced new achievements such as Merciless Pet Brawler (win 10 PvP pet battles through FindBattle with a full team of level 25 pets), the competition has grown ever more fierce.

Kun-lai Runt

Part of an effective Blizzard-based team.
Part of an effective Blizzard-based team.

Teams Centered around Weather Effects

Many effective PvP teams center around the strategy of utilizing weather effects to the player's advantage. Here are a few examples:

1. Lightning Storm

Lightning Storm is a weather effect that adds damage to each attack made by either opponent. Pairing this effect with abilities that deliver many small hits can quickly decimate an opponent's team. Particularly effective abilities to employ with this effect include Egg Barrage, Nut Barrage, or Banana Barrage, which are a multi-round, multi-hit DoTs. Combined with multi-round abilities such as Cyclone, Build Turret, or Tympanic Tantrum, this set-up can be virtually unstoppable.

2. Blizzard

Blizzard does damage and applies the chilled condition to all active pets. This puts a nasty combo in motion, as several other abilities (such as Ice Lance) do additional damage to chilled targets. Throw in Deep Freeze, which has a 100% chance to stun a chilled target, and follow it with Takedown (possessed by Kun-lai Runt and Pandaren Monk pets), which does double damage to stunned targets, and it is all over.

3. Arcane Winds

Utilizing Arcane Storm seems somewhat more difficult to pull off, but with a bit of skill, it can still be quite deadly. Arcane Storm deals damage to all enemies and warps weather to Arcane Winds, a condition that empowers Psychic Blast and Mana Surge, causing them to do substantially more damage. Pets particularly desirable for this set up include the Arcane Eye (magic) and Tiny Blue Carp (aquatic), which both have Psychic Blast and Mana Surge in their arsenals, and the Nexus Whelpling (dragon), which possesses both Mana Surge and Arcane Storm.

4. Darkness

Call Darkness renders all pets blinded and reduces healing by 50%. This seems like utilizing Darkness would be an equally effective strategy around which to base a team but, alas, it is not. Abilities such as Nocturnal Strike and Spectral Strike (powerful attacks with low accuracy which have the tooltip "always hits if the target is blinded") seem like natural pairings but, in my experience, they still frequently fail to hit during darkness. Although I have seen some opponents use a Darkness team relatively effectively, under current conditions, this set-up is just too reliant upon chance.

The Drawback:

Elementals are immune to weather effects. If you come up against an elemental-heavy team, you are going to have problems.

An Ideal Team

Crawling Claw


Keep Your Opponent Off-Balance

Some pets have the ability to force the opponent's pet to swap out of battle. My favorite PvP pet battle strategy is to offensively swap out my opponent's pets. This strategy is particularly effective if your pet is faster than your opponent's because if you attack first, it will cause him to lose a turn. Properly implemented, this strategy can frustrate and disorient your opponent. In fact, your opponents frequently may just give up and concede while still fairly early into the battle.

Here is one of my favorite teams:

1. Crawling Claw

This rare undead pet is obtained through archeology but can often be found for sale on the auction house, although usually at a substantial buy-out price.

The Crawling Claw has a nice variety of abilities. I use Curse of Doom (an extremely powerful DoT), Agony (another DoT), and Death Grip, which does damage and swaps out the opponent's current pet for another one randomly (despite what its tooltip says).

2. Enchanted Broom

This magic pet is sold by the Horde Argent Tournament vendor for 40 Champion's Seals. However, they are regularly available on both Horde and Alliance auction houses. Please note: this pet is of uncommon quality, so it will need to be upgraded to rare quality via a battle stone in order to reach its maximum potential.

The Enchanted Broom has some nice utility abilities. I use Batter (which delivers multiple small hits), Clean-Up (which does decent damage and removes any objects on the battlefield), and Sweep, which does damage and swaps out the opponent's current pet.

3. Fiendish Imp

This humanoid pet was added in patch 5.3. It is looted from Terestian Illhoof in Karazhan and can currently be found in abundance in the auction houses of most servers.

Humanoid pets' passive ability is that they recover 5% of their maximum health every round that they attack. This is a reasonable advantage, but three humanoid pets -- the Fiendish Imp, Corefire Imp, and Gregarious Grell -- possess Immolation, which ignites the caster, causing them to deal Elemental damage to the current enemy pet every round. This damage effect occurs even while the imp is out of combat, so a wounded imp can sit on the sidelines and regain a substantial portion of its health. This can make all of the difference in a heated PvP pet battle.

In conjunction with Immolation, my Fiendish Imp uses Burn (a mid-range damage strike) and Nether Gate, an ability that does damage and swaps out the opponent's pet.


My swap-out team has a good win-loss record but,inevitably, I sometimes find myself repeatedly paired against a team composed of types that are naturally strong against it. In such cases, I have a few go-to substitutes sitting on the bench. Some of my favorite ones are the Creepy Crate, an undead pet which has both Curse of Doom and Death Grip (although, unfortunately, they vie for the same slot), Gusting Grimoire, a magic pet that has Curse of Doom, Magical Crawdad, an aquatic pet with unbelievable survivability and the ability to heal other pets on your team, Darkmoon Tonk, which has the ability Minefield (which does damage to the next enemy pet to enter battle), Searing Scorchling, a strong elemental pet, and Netherspace Abyssal, a cool-looking magic pet with abilities similar to those of the Fiendish Imp.

Creepy Crate

Obtained through a seasonal Halloween quest.
Obtained through a seasonal Halloween quest. | Source

WoW Pet Battles: the Future

Of course, World of Warcraft is a dynamic environment, and so it follows that the pet battle system continues to a change along with the rest of the game. As players employ strategies successfully, other players will adapt and devise new ones. Additionally, Blizzard is constantly tweaking and balancing the game, so what is powerful today could be nerfed tomorrow.

Nonetheless, adopting the strategies discussed in this article, at least for the time being, should make you a power with which to reckon!

Battle Pet Trainer

What Are Your Favorite Battle Pets?

Please comment and let us know which pets you prefer for Pet Battle PvP!

© 2013 Alisha Adkins

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Comments 4 comments

Thraner 3 years ago

I found this post very helpful- I've leveled my pets through pve pet tamers, but haven't tried pvp yet.

Alisha Adkins profile image

Alisha Adkins 3 years ago from New Orleans Author

Wow, leveling through tamers is probably the most difficult way to go! Actually, I'm thinking about writing a follow up article specifically about leveling pets. The easiest way is to pair one low level pet with two level 25's and go to an area with higher level pets to grind experience. You can gain multiple levels for your pet with each battle. :)

Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl 3 years ago from United States of America

This is some good advice about pet battles and putting together a good team! My pets haven't reached max level yet, but I'll keep coming back to this as a reference. Voted up!

Alisha Adkins profile image

Alisha Adkins 3 years ago from New Orleans Author

Thanks, Dreamhowl! :)

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