Loot Card "World of Warcraft" Pets: a Guide to TCG Battle Pets
In Search of Game Identity
In a massively multiplayer game such as World of Warcraft, players naturally want to feel that their characters are more than merely cookie-cutter copies of one another. But, with a player base of over 8 million monthly subscribers, standing out within the game world can be a challenge.
Character customization and obtaining achievements are the most common ways for WoW gamers to meet this challenge. Players typically make their characters look more unique through gear transmogrification, vanity pets, and the mounts that they ride.
The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game adds an added dimension to in-game personalization with the addition of rare loot cards that contain codes redeemable for exclusive pets, mounts, or novelty items.
How Do Loot Codes Work?
To obtain an item from its TCG loot code, you first must go to WoW's Promotion Page, choose the realm on which you wish to redeem the item, and enter the 25-digit code from the card. This will then give you another code that you will use in-game. Now start up WoW, travel to Booty Bay, give Landro Longshot that second code, and voila! Your new item will appear in your bag.
TCG Pets: Rated and Analyzed
With 580 pets currently in the game and more being added with every patch, finding your favorites ones can be time-consuming and overwhelming. The intent of this article is to aid you, by examining the coolest of cool pets: awe-inspiring, and often ultra-rare, TCG pets.
Each TCG pet will receive a rating and analysis based upon its appearance, efficiency in pet battles, and how much envy and adulation you should expect to garner by owning it.
Please Note: Since Blizzard announced in 2013 that it will no longer produce its trading card game, loot card prices can only be expected to rise in cost as they increase in scarcity.
Not in the Running
There are currently 15 different World of Warcraft TCG loot card pets. However, this article will only examine 11 of those pets in depth.
Why? Because Landro's Lichling, Landro's Lil' XT, Bananas, and Hippogryph Hatchling are not really in the running.
It's not that these four TCG pets are not visually appealing or useful in pet battles. It's just that they aren't likely to elicit much more than a yawn from your fellow players because, unfortunately, none of them are unique. For each of them, a pet exists that is a carbon copy, identical in every way, to its TCG loot card counterpart.
Landro's Lichling and Landro's Lil' XT are identical to the Lil' K.T. and Lil' XT pets available in the Blizzard Store. The Blizzard Store versions run $10 apiece, which makes the TCG card pets (which usually sell for $7-8) at least a slightly better choice monetarily. Then again, if you have to pay shipping for the cards, you may come out ahead with the Blizzard Store digital download pets anyway.
More disappointing still are Bananas and the Hippogryph Hatchling. At one time, both of these were rare, highly sought after pets that elicited oohs and aahs from fellow gamers. Alas, those days are over.
Bananas is exactly the same as the Baby Ape pet (found in the wild on Jaguero Island in the Cape of Stranglethorn). Since King Mukla, the card from which Bananas is obtained, is rare (1/242 booster packs) and has been known to sell for anywhere between $45 to $85, a tamable version seems like a bit of a slap in the face to gamers who had already paid dearly to own this little guy.
Equally tragic is the case of the Hippogryph Hatchling. This rare (1/242 booster packs) epic quality pet was utterly unique as the only hippogryph pet in the game until Blizzard added the Cenarion Hatchling to its online store. The Cenarion Hatchling is available as a digital download for $10; the Thunderhead Hippogryph card from which the Hippogryph Hatchling is obtained, on the other hand, generally sells for between $50 to $80.
11. Sand Scarab
As TCG pets go, the Sand Scarab is not a very interesting one. This critter's appearance is uninspired, and its skill set is unexceptional. Its abilities are Scatch, Hiss, Swarm, Flank, Survival, and Apocalypse.
The Sand Scarab card is from the Tomb of the Forgotten TCG expansion. It is a super common loot card (1/11 booster packs). This pet can frequently be found for sale on faction auction houses and, according to tcgloot.com, the card is currently selling for an average price of $8.
This TCG card is rated YAWN. If you like Critter type pets and want one of the insect variety, as beetle pets go, Tol'vir Scarab is a much prettier specimen.
10. Nightsaber Cub
There are quite a few available feline cub battle pets. However, the Nightsaber Cub is quite cute and has a unique coloration and coat pattern. Its abilities are Claw, Rake, Devour, Pounce, Screech, and Prowl. With Pounce and Devour in its arsenal, this low health, high-speed beast type pet is well suited for use in pet battles in the wild.
The Nightsaber Cub card from the Twilight of the Dragons TCG expansion is a super common loot card (1/11 booster packs) and is currently selling for about $11.
This TCG card is rated KINDA COOL. Your Nightsaber Cub won't be the first one your fellow gamers have ever seen, but they'll still sometimes comment on it just because its so damned cute. In addition to this, the Nightsaber Cub is handy to have for some pet battle situations. Weighing value versus cost, this pet comes out looking like a reasonable purchase for all but the most frugal of battle pet collectors.
9. Gregarious Grell
The Gregarious Grell is a humanoid type pet of the impish variety. Its abilities are Punch, Immolate, Cauterize, Burn, Phase Shift, and Sear Magic.
As a humanoid, this pet has the buff of regenerating 4% of its health every round that it deals damage. Coupled with a healing ability (Cauterize), the Gregarious Grell enjoys good survivability.
The Vicious Grell card from the Crown of the Heavens TCG expansion is a super common loot card (1/11 booster packs) that currently sells for around $7.
This TCG card is rated KINDA COOL. This imp is definitely cool looking and makes warlock imp sounds when summoned and clicked. He is also a viable pet in battle. However, if you had to have only one imp pet, the Gregarious Grell would not be my first choice. Although it is possibly the best looking of available imp pets, I consider the Fiendish Imp a much stronger contender in pet battles.
For collectors looking to round out their collection, the Gregarious Grell is a good buy, but he's not an absolute first choice.
8. Eye of Legion
The Eye of Legion is an undead pet that looks similar to an Eye of Kilrogg. Its abilities are Shadow Slash, Agony, Soul Ward, Eyeblast, Gravity, and Dark Simulacrum.
This pet is extremely cool looking, will follow you even while you are on a flying mount, and trails green sparkles while moving. It is also a fairly strong contender in PvP pet battles.
The Eye of Legion card from the War of the Ancients TCG expansion is a super common loot card (1/11 booster packs) and is currently selling for around $6.
This card is rated VERY COOL. Although not extremely rare, its appearance is striking enough to continue to garner attention. Weighing value versus cost, the Eye of Legion looks like a must-have for any battle pet collector.
7. Gusting Grimoire
The Gusting Grimoire is a magical pet that looks like a flying book. Its abilities are Fel Immolate, Agony, Meteor Strike, Shadow Shock, Amplify Magic, and Curse of Doom.
This pet is one of only two book pets in the game. Additionally, it has strong offensive abilities in battle, making it a viable team member for pet battle PvP.
The Floating Spellbook card from the Betrayal of the Guardian TCG expansion is a super common loot card (1/11 booster packs) and currently sells for approximately $6.
This card is rated VERY COOL. Although not extremely rare, its appearance is unique and striking. Weighing cost versus value, the Gusting Grimoire is an obvious choice for the battle pet collector.
Purple Puffer Battle Pet
6. Purple Puffer
The Purple Puffer is an aquatic pet that looks like a purple blowfish. Its abilities are Water Jet, Spiked Skin, Whirlpool, Surge, Healing Wave, and Pump.
The Purple Puffer is a unique model; it's the only blowfish pet in the game. Its mix of offensive and defensive abilities make it a good addition to power leveling battle pet teams.
The Bloat the Bubble Fish card is from the Throne of the Tides TCG expansion. It is a super common loot card (1/11 booster packs) and is currently selling for about $6.
This card is rated VERY COOL. It is not extremely rare, but it looks cool even though, like other fish pets, it does have to travel in a floating water bubble. Weighing cost versus value, its unique look and battle versatility easily overshadow its modest price tag.
5. Tuskarr Kite
The Tuskarr Kite is one of only two kite pets that are able to do battle. This flying pet's abilities are Slicing Wind, Wild Winds, Flyby, Frost Shock, Cyclone, and Reckless Strike.
The Tuskarr Kite follows you around while attached to a string. Every few minutes, a bolt of lightning hits the kite and travels down the string to zap you, shaking your screen. (This does no damage.)
The Tuskarr Kite card from the Scourgewar TCG expansion is a rare card (1/132 booster packs) and, according to wowtcgloot.com, is currently selling for approximately $75.
This card is rated JAW-DROPPING. This kite will get you noticed. It's big, flashy, and most players have yet to see one. If you want attention, it's a good choice. However, weighing cost versus value, $75 seems like a hefty price to justify for one pet.
4. Rocket Chicken
The Rocket Chicken is a mechanical chicken with rockets strapped to its back. Its abilities are Missile, Squawk, Extra Plating, Peck, Toxic Smoke, and Launch.
This mechanical pet regularly uses its rockets to take off and hovers above the ground. Occasionally, it will commit suicide by exploding after it has rocketed several feet into the air.
The Robotic Homing Chicken card from the March of the Legion TCG expansion is a rare card (1/181 booster packs) and is currently selling for as much as $115.
This card is rated JAW-DROPPING. It is a highly sought after and prestigious pet. Owning one will make you the envy of friends and strangers the like. As a collector, it's a matter of your personal priorities and finances. You'll have to ask yourself if a humorous pet that will draw envious whispers from fellow players is worth the real-world cost.
3. Spectral Tiger Cub
The spectral tiger cub pet is a baby version of the ultra-rare TCG Spectral Tiger mount. This magic pet's abilities are Claw, Evanescence, Leap, Rend, Spectral Strike, and Prowl.
The Spectral Kitten card from the Scourgewar TCG expansion is extremely rare (1/264 booster packs) and regularly sells for more than $200.
This card is rated STATUS SYMBOL. It is extremely rare and pricey and will make you the envy of your trade district. However, as cute as it may be, it doesn't do anything special; its cost just seems too high to justify this purchase.
2. Dragon Kite
The Dragon Kite is the second of the two WoW kite pets that are capable of doing battle. This flying pet's abilities are Breath, Call Lightning, Volcano, Tail Sweep, Roar, and Lift-Off.
When summoned, the Dragon Kite appears as one of four random colors (red, blue, green, or purple). This pet follows you around while attached to a string. Every few minutes, a bolt of lightning hits the kite and travels down the string to zap you, shaking your screen. (This does no damage.) It is also reported to be strong in pet battles.
The Kiting card from the March of the Legion TCG expansion is an extremely rare card (1/363 booster packs) and, according to wowtcgloot.com, is currently selling for around $160.
This TCG card is rated STATUS-SYMBOL. This kite will definitely get you noticed. If you want attention, go for it. However, weighing cost versus value, the price might just be too high for any pet.
1. Ethereal Soul-Trader
The Ethereal Soul-Trader is the most unique pet in the game. This pet appears to be a normal, though full-sized, non-combat pet—however, when you kill a mob worth experience or honor, it exchanges its soul for a currency called Ethereal Credit. The Ethereal Soul-Trader also acts as a vendor, and you can use the ethereal credit you earn to purchase a variety of items from him, including ethereal clothing. In addition to all of this, this magic pet is also a viable fighter. Its abilities are Punch, Soul Ward, Soulrush, Beam, Inner Vision, and Life Exchange.
The Ethereal Plunderer card from the Hunt for Illidan TCG expansion is a very rare card (1/264 booster packs) and, according to wowtcgloot.com, is currently selling for around $180.
This card is rated HOLY GRAIL of all battle pets. It is completely unique, has exceptional utility, and will make everyone around you extremely jealous. I don't know if spending almost $200 on any virtual item is ever reasonable, but if it is, the Ethereal Soul-Trader would be the one on which to do it.
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