Friday, September 27, 2013

(US) Celestial Tournament Strats: Third Week

This week went much smoother than last week for me due to actually having the time to research and play properly. I did have to use a back up team on Xu-Fu, though. Made a mistake the first time, and hopefully that will be the last time I do that. XD

Most of the teams I used were inspired by Wowhead comments, thanks!

ROUND ONE - Random Rotation of Misc Trainers

Shademaster Kiryn
First: Twilight Spider (2, 2, 1)
Second: Terrible Turnip (2, 1, 1)
Third: Pet Bombling (1, 2, 1)
I think any spider will work in this encounter, so I just chose one in my collection with the most power stat. Since its utilizing mainly dots and Leech Life, power is ideal for this pet. Some extra health doesn't hurt either!

I opened with Brittle Webbing and then used Poison Spit. After that, I just rotated Leech Life with either dot, making sure to keep both up. Nairn went down quickly and easily.

Next up was my Terrible Turnip against Stormoen. I waited until Call Lightning was used, and then replaced that weather with Sunlight. After that I used Tidal Wave to knock down any turrets up and to damage Stormoen. I tried to save Leech Seed for Sunlight for increased healing.

In the end, my Turnip had enough health to soak the next pet's attacks (Dodge, Prowl and Bite) allowing my next pet an advantage over Summer.

I used my Pet Bombling to finish off the fight.

EDIT - A more reliable team
First: Kun-Lai Runt (1, 1, 2)
Second: Lil' Ragnaros (2, 2, 1)
Third: Darkmoon Zeppelin (1, 2, 2)
Start with Mangle and then Thrash. After that use Deep Freeze to stun Nairn, which will cause Kiryn to swap to Stormoen next turn. Swap to Lil' Ragnaros just as she switches.

Use Flamethrower and then Magma Wave to knock down the turret. After that Conflagrate should make quick work of the rest of his health. Lil' Rag should have some health left to eat some of Nairn's health, who will get swapped back in once Stormoen is dead.

Damage Nairn as much as possible, and then use Kun-Lai Runt to finish him off once Lil' Rag is down. The runt should be able to take on Summer for a little bit. If he doesn't outright defeat the wolf, use the Darkmoon Zeppelin to finish off the fight.

Blingtron 4000
First: Spawn of G'nathus (1, 1, 1)
Second: Electrified Razortooth (1, 2, 1)
Third: Fel Flame (1, 1, 1)
I started with Spawn of G'nathus and Swallow You Whole. Dive on the next round to avoid Au's Gold Rush attack. Swallow You Whole finished off Au nicely.

Against Banks, I used my Electrified Razortooth. Even though Banks is a Critter, I avoided using a Beast pet since Banks' main attack is Mechanical (strong against Beasts).

I used Rip, Blood in the Water, and then Rip until Banks was about 50% health and his heal was on cooldown. At that point I used Devour which defeated Banks and healed up my Razortooth. It had enough health to place a Rip or two on Lil' B.

Lastly up was my Fel Flame. I used Immolate first and foremost and then Burn while I waited for Lil' B's Extra Plating to fall off. I probably didn't have to wait, since the Fel Flame hits hard and is strong against the mechanical pet, but I wanted to be sure that Conflagrate hit as hard as possible when I used it.

Wise Mari
First: Crow (2, 2, 2)
Second: Onyxian Whelpling (2, 1, 1)
Third: Legs (2, 1, 2)
Started with my Crow and used Alpha Strike first. Once Carpe Diem used Cleansing Rain, I changed the weather using Call Darkness, followed by Nocturnal Strike and then Alpha Strike until the fish is down. My Crow had enough health to take on the next pet.

Since Call Darkness was still up, I used Nocturnal Strike on Spirus first. My pet didn't have enough health for 2+ more rounds, so I used Alpha Strike until it died. If it had had enough health, I would have used Call Darkness again and then Alpha Strike and/or Nocturnal Strike.

Once my Crow was down, I swapped in the Onyxian Whelpling and used Tail Sweep to finish off Spirus. The Whelpling had plenty of health to face the next pet.

Against River, I used Tail Sweep and then Healing Flame. I saved Lift Off for when Whirlpool had 1 round left on it. This meant my pet did get hit by the first Dive, but thankfully my heal was enough to negate it. Tail Sweep to victory!

I had Legs as my third pet, but didn't even need him.

ROUND TWO - Celestial "Boss Pets"

I used the same teams and strats that I used in previous weeks (except for Xu-Fu, which I used a back up team for), so I'll be omitting the strategies I employed and instead just list my teams for each Celestial.

Xu-Fu (tiger)
First: Dragon Kite (2, 1, 2)
Second: Ancona Chicken (1, 1, 2)
Third: Menagerie Custodian (1, 1, 2)
As I already mentioned, my team and strategy from previous weeks did work, but I made one mistake that cost me the match. I ended up having to use a back up team with the same strategy.

The mistake made - Used Ion Cannon on a turn that Xu-Fu healed, which mean it didn't finish off Xu-Fu and it put my pet on cooldown. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again (but I probably will :P)!

Anyway, my back up team had the same strategy as my main team. I used my Dragon Kite first, except because it's faster than Xu-Fu, I used Lift Off first. This allowed me to avoid Moonfire damage (strong against Flying) and replace that weather with Call Lightning on the second turn.

After Call Lightning was out, I switched to my Ancona Chicken and used Flock until it was dead. RNG was kind and Xu-Fu missed one or two of its hits.

When my Chicken died, I swapped my Dragon Kite back into battle. Again, I used Lift Off first to avoid Xu-Fu's Feed (damage and self-heal), but I probably could have used Call Lightning too.

I switched to my last pet once my Dragon Kite was down. This time I did NOT use Ion Cannon right off the bat, and simply DPS'ed down Xu-Fu properly. :P

EDIT - Possible Chicken replacement
Lil' Bling (2, 1, 1)
The strategy with Lil' Bling is still the same. Spam Inflation to add double damage to Xu-Fu until either Xu-Fu is dead or Lil' Bling goes down.

Zao (ox)
First: Zandalari Kneebiter (2, 2, 2)
Second: Zandalari Anklerender (2, 1, 2)
Third: Zandalari Footslasher (1, 1, 1)
Yu'la (dragon)
First: Gregarious Grell (1, 2, 1)
Second: Hopling (1, 2, 1)
Third: Moonkin Hatchling (1, 2, 2)
Chi-Chi (crane)
First: Sen'jin Fetish (1, 2, 2)
Second: Jade Oozeling (2, 1, 2)
Third: Darkmoon Eye (1, 1, 1)

Pierre and Rascal-Bot Can Now Be Caged/Traded

Senior game designer, Jonathan LeCraft, Tweeted something very interesting yesterday evening.
"Pierre and Rascal-Bot have been hotfixed so they can be traded and caged. They are also no longer unique."
Both Pierre and Rascal-Bot were originally implemented as BoP and un-cageable/tradeable. With this change, engineers can now cage/trade them (items are also BoP now) and collectors can have up to 3 in their Pet Journals.

I'm sure many collectors will be quite pleased with this change, and it was expected, as Blizzard hasn't implemented a profession-exclusive pet since the original engineering companions. However, I'm curious what prompted this change. Certainly it was warranted, but I was expecting the change to occur just before the release of the next expansion, allowing engineers some exclusivity for a period of time.

One reason that may have caused a speed up in the change is that Rascal-Bot can come in different breeds. I'm not sure if Pierre has multiple breeds as well, but if so, it would only make sense to allow players more than one in their collections and grant the ability to trade different breeds with each other.

And perhaps there was just a large outcry from the collecting community, requesting that these pets be cageable. Blizzard has been very accommodating lately, and actively listening to collectors. Not all suggestions or requests are granted/implemented, but developers are definitely paying attention. This could just be another prime example of Blizzard hearing the community out, thinking it over, and then releasing a change after some consideration.

Or maybe this was Blizzard's intent all along! :P Allow enough time for one pet to be crafted before changing its binding status. It seems unlikely, though, as it doesn't make a ton of sense.

But who knows. Anything is possible and I'm sure Blizzard had their reasons for it. I'm glad these two pets will be available to a much wider audience now that they're tradeable, but it was cute that they were exclusive for a short time. Even though I'd much prefer that they're cageable/tradeable, it was a bit nostalgic having profession-exclusive pets. It brought me back to the days where I had to drop my main professions (twice!) to learn engineering just for the two pets. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Look-a-Like Challenge - Part 3

UPDATE: Yay, Moon Moon!

5.4 brought many new pets so now there are even more that you can look like. I've determined four at the very least, but there might be more that I haven't thought of yet. Let me know if you can think of any others. :)

I only have screenshots of two, since the other two can't be obtained just yet. I'll have to wait for those to become available before I can get some screenshots of those. In the meantime, I'll leave the look-a-like information for them.

If you're not sure what this is all about, see my previous post and the first one that started it all. It's an ongoing challenge! XD

I needed the following to acquire the costumes
1.) The help of a rogue friend
2.) Potion of Illusion and/or Ai-Li's Skymirror
3.) Misc items that transformed my character into fun things

Pet: Ashleaf Spriteling
Item: Scotty's Lucky Coin
Notes: Combat will cause the costume to fall off, but using a potion or the skymirror will preserve it for longer

Pet: Moon Moon
Item: Moonfang's Paw or Rituals of the New Moon (white)
Notes: Moonfang's Paw can only be obtained during the Darkmoon Faire from Moonfang (or from the Auction House). Secondary option is Rituals of the New Moon (transparent white wolf), but you'll need to have/find an inscriptionist to craft this specific item for you. If you remove the offhand, the costume will drop, but a potion or skymirror will preserve it for longer.

Pet: Dandelion Frolicker
Look-a-like: Puckish Sprite
Notes: Rogue friend required, must have the minor glyph, Glyph of Disguise

Pet: Macabre Marionette
Look-a-like: Honor the Dead
Item: Noggenfogger Elixir
Notes: You can only acquire the "Honor the Dead" skeleton costume during the in-game event, Day of the Dead, by slash dancing with Catrina. Alternative to this (for when the event isn't up) is the Noggenfogger Elixir.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Timeless Isle Frustrations

UPDATE: It looks like the Scary Sprite event has been buffed/nerfed with this past week's Tuesday maintenance! Not only does the crystal spawn a lot more, the Scary Sprites have had their HP reduced and spawn quite often during the encounter. Thank you Blizzard! This will hopefully give everyone more of a hope of obtaining the pet. :)


I've been spending at least an hour a day on the Timeless Isle, but I wish I had even more time to hang around there. So many pets to collect still!

All in all, I think the Timeless Isle is a fairly successful zone for what it was intended to be. It's a place where you can gear up your toons or alts fairly quickly, you can explore and adventure around, there are tons of things to collect and achievements to complete, and it's just a nice way to end an expansion.

That being said, there are two things that I have issue with on the Timeless Isle, and yes, both concern pets - the Vengeful Porcupette and the Dandelion Frolicker. I would say that both areas of dissatisfaction could be fixed with a little tweaking to how they're obtained.

Vengeful Porcupette
If you've kept up with my blog over the years, you already know how much I despise PVP (in any form). Even if it involves a pet, I will more than likely drag my heals and procrastinate for a very long time if I have to PVP to earn it. Heck, I STILL haven't completed my pet PVP battles for the Stunted Direhorn.

So it should be no surprise that I already have issue with how the Vengeful Porcupette is acquired. PVP to earn currency to purchase the pet. I just can't bring myself to be optimistic about the endeavor.

Well, recently it was brought to my attention that there's yet another reason to dread the world PVP grind. You can ONLY earn Bloody Coins if you get the killing blow. If your target falls off a cliff and dies, no coin. If a creature kills your target, no coin. If for whatever reason they die by something else other than your direct attack, no coin.

This just makes it all even more infuriating. Not only do I passionately dislike PVP, but I must also be DPS to earn the currency for the pet? This seems pretty unfair.

My main role is a healer, always has been and always will be. I do have a DPS off spec and can make sure of my healing gear for it (yay hybrids), but I am in no position to PVP as DPS. I'm miserable at PVP already, so what makes anyone think that I will be capable enough to score killing blows on anyone? It would just be my crummy attempts at sniping kills from other people (which I feel is pretty rude, but hey, maybe I'm just too nice).

The "workaround" to all of this is that you can still earn coins from a buddy who is willing to be killed repeatedly by you. However, keep in mind that there is a 10 minute cooldown on the target that you kill, and you cannot earn a Bloody Coin from that target until the debuff has fallen off them. This means even if you have a friend who's willing to die by your hands to help you collect coins, it will take upwards of 16-17 hours, with 5-6 coins per hour. It may also be possible to earn coins from any other level 90 alts that they may have, but it's all a very tedious process.

Another option is to simply wait for the pet to go up on the AH or even pay a friend to grind out the coins and purchase the pet/cage it for me. With how rare the pet is on the AH, and how deserted the Timeless Isle will be in the coming months, this pet will probably go for way too much. Having a friend get killing blows to earn coins is reasonable enough, but just how many people have someone on call like that who would be willing to use their time, their currency, all to give up the pet in the end?

Regardless if there's another way, this is downright frustrating. To think that I will have to resort to such a cheesey method of doing things for this pet - was this Blizzard's intention?

Quite frankly, although I can't stand PVP, I was going to suck it up eventually and partner up with a friend to go on a killing spree of the island. However, I was going to do it as a healer and we'd be a DPS/healing duo. But this plan is all irrelevant now since I will need to get the killing blow, and that happening consistently enough so that we're not wasting our time is very unlikely.

I wouldn't be so uptight about all of this had the "killing blow" requirement not been an issue. Sure, I'd still resist the idea of PVP'ing, but at least it would seem fair for everyone. In this situation, it heavily favors DPS and people who have the ability to PVP well as DPS.

So since I don't fall into either category, DPS or someone who can PVP well, I guess I will have to resort to a somewhat underhanded way of earning the Vengeful Porcupette. Thankfully my friend is more than willing to sit and let me kill him over and over. I'm definitely lucky in that respect, but not everyone else will have someone they can call on to help them.

Dandelion Frolicker
I'm pretty content with how you're supposed to obtain the Dandelion Frolicker, as it's pretty interesting. But my problem lies with the spawning mechanics of both the crystal and the Scary Sprite itself, as well as the enormous RNG factor that seems to overshadow everything else.

The Neverending Spritewood crystal that's used to turn the Nice Sprites hostile towards has a roughly 1-2 hour respawn timer. The problem with this is that that means it will only spawn handful of times a day. How many of those attempts will actually be solid tries for the NPC that drops the pet? How many out of the handful of people clicking the crystal actually have the DPS to kill enough sprites or the Scary Sprite and know what they're doing? The answer is not enough.

Is it anyone's fault that some players aren't able to adequately make use of the crystal spawn? No. Improvements can always be made, and it may be a learning process for some. But with this in mind, there are just not enough chances in a day for everyone to experience the encounter properly. Those that know what to do and what to kill may not even get a chance each day. This is RNG factor #1.

There doesn't seem to be any set number of sprites you need to kill before a Scary Sprite will spawn. I've seen people kill hundreds without getting the right one spawn, and I've read of attempts where they killed less than 20 and managed to spawn a Scary Sprite. Random is random, and killing a normal sprite has a chance to spawn a Scary one, but the spawn rate seems terribly low and too inconsistent. This is RNG factor #2.

Even if you manage to spawn a Scary Sprite, or two or three or more, the pet has such a poor droprate that it makes any effort put forth feel like it was for nothing. This pet is so rare that I've heard of it being just as expensive (if not more) than the older TCG pets. It's a bit shocking considering someone paid RL money for the TCG pets, and the Dandelion Frolicker doesn't require RL funds. Chalk the droprate up to RNG factor #3.

So what do we end up with in the case of this pet? Too few spawn of the crystal leaves many chancing even being able to attempt the encounter each day, a low/random spawn rate of the Scary Sprite, and a miserable droprate on the pet itself. We're looking at a situation that relies too heavily on RNG, which ultimately makes it not very fun.

While I think it would be nice if the pet was 100% droprate for all the effort it takes just to be able to try for it, I'm not expecting that. I think a simple increase in spawning of the Scary Sprite and/or the crystal would help. It takes a lot of effort, yes, but when it feels like that effort is for nothing due to RNG overpowering all other factors (patience, persistence, etc.), it gets hairsplittingly frustrating. And for something that's supposed to be fun, it currently is not.

In the end, minor changes would be great compromises for these two pets. Allowing Bloody Coins to be earned with honor kills rather than killing blows, and increasing the spawn rate of the Scary Sprite and/or Neverending Spritewood. I don't see these changes as being unreasonable, as we'll still have to work to earn our pets. It may still be frustrating for some, but at the very least there would be mechanics in place to ease the grind and balance the RNG. It takes into consideration and better accomodates the different playstyles that each collector has.

Friday, September 20, 2013

(US) Celestial Tournament Strats: Second Week

I finally found some time to complete the weekly quest for the second week of the Celestial Tournament. This week I didn't have the leisure of taking my time to figure out which teams were best for me, and instead I mainly used the suggestions from the WarcraftPets forums. It's not ideal, but what can you do when you're pressed for time right?

The first three were fairly straight forward, however Taran Zhu can be tricky. For the last three, I used the same teams and strats that I used in the first week. They worked well (although Xu-Fu can still be a pain if RNG crits you the wrong way heh).

Anyway, here are the teams and strats I used (many thanks to everyone on the WarcraftPets forums for testing and suggesting). I played them horribly due to rushing, but they still worked out in the end.

ROUND ONE - Random Rotation of Misc Trainers

Taran Zhu
First: Ruby Droplet (2, 2, 2)
Second: Mr. Grubbs (2, 1, 2)
Third: Crawling Claw (1, 2, 1)
I believe this fight always starts with Yen, but at some point he will use the Feign Death ability and then Bolo will be your active opponent. Once Bolo is defeated, Taran will normally switch Yen back in for a few rounds, and then Feign Death to bring in Li. Sometimes Li will step right in after Bolo, though.

My approach to this was to use my Ruby Droplet to the fullest. It's quite a tanky pet, and has strong attacks against Humanoids. This pet took on Yen (until he used his swap ability) and then ate through a large portion of Bolo's health. My Droplet wasn't able to completely solo Bolo, but Mr. Grubbs made quick work of the second panda pet. Two out of three of Bolo's attacks are weak against beasts, so Mr. Grubbs was perfect for the job.

Li is the "healer" of the group, so defeating him took some patience. Mr. Grubbs did very well, despite the interrupts and heals. Li went down with ease and all that was left was Yen. I didn't even need my third pet, Crawling Claw, to defeat Yen as Mr. Grubbs did his wiggly work and bested the last panda pet.

Some key things to note: Timing your two avoidance abilities for the Droplet and Mr. Grubbs will help loads. You'll want to make use of Bubble and Burrow whenever the pandas interrupt/stun abilities are coming off of cooldown. It's likely they'll use those CC attacks, and you don't want to get caught in them.

EDIT: Secondary ("better?") team
First: Ghostly Skull (2, 1, 2)
Second: Fozzilized Hatchling (2, 1, 2)
Third: Ruby Droplet (2, 2, 2)
My original team didn't work out as well, so I looked around for some alternate teams. I decided to try out this one, but added the Ruby Droplet over another pet. It worked pretty well.

I did as much DPS with the Ghostly Skull as possible. Against Yen, I started with Ghostly Bite. Since he always stuns you on the second turn, I figured that I'll be stunned instead. Additionally, because this ability hits hard, it takes Yen down to 50% HP or less, which triggers his AI to use Feign Death. So even if my Skull is stunned on the next round, Yen will be using an ability that doesn't do any damage.

Next up, Taran will bring out Bolo. I kept my Skull in the battle and did as much damage as possible with Death Coil and Ghostly Bite. On the turn that my Skull died and resurrected, I cast Unholy Ascension. The Fossilized Hatchling then swapped in to finish off Bolo.

I used my Hatchling's Ancient Blessing on cooldown as well as BONESTORM. The rest of my attacks were filled with Bone Bite. Unholy Ascension combined with BONESTORM took down a bit of the pets' HP in the front line and backline. In fact, this strategy managed to defeat Yen who was in the back and not the active pet.

Against Li I continued to damage until my Hatchling died. Last up was my Ruby Droplet which tanked Li quite well. I made sure to use Bubble when I saw Li's Spin Kick ability had one cooldown round left. This meant I blocked his stun and could continue damaging. I mainly used Absorb, but if my Droplet's health fell below 50-60% and Li's Spin Kick was still on cooldown, I used Drain Blood for a large heal.

Chen Stormstout
First: Son of Animus (1, 1, 1)
Second: Xu-Fu (2, 1, 2)
Third: Snarly (1, 1, 2)
Another team that I used from the WarcraftPets forums (minus the Animus, that I subbed in on my own). I have to admit that I played this TERRIBLY, and it could have gone so very wrong.

The battle against Tonsa was straight forward. Mech damage while withstanding high burst from Tonsa. I figured the Son of Animus would be perfect for this since it's strong against beasts and has a self heal. All went as planned.

And then I made a bad move.

To my horror, I made the stupid mistake of switching out my Animus once Tonsa was defeated. Chirps came onto the battlefield and I immediately switched to Xu-Fu. That was a BIG mistake. Chirps immediately decided to use Lullaby, effectively incapacitating my pet for TWO whole rounds. This allowed Chirps to use Locust Swarm and ultimately my Xu-Fu didn't have enough time to recover. In the end, my pet died and I had to switch back to my Animus.

What I SHOULD HAVE done, is left my Animus in even when Chirps entered the field. Let my pet soak the Lullaby and then switch in Xu-Fu for some hard hits against Chirps. I could have also simply swapped out Xu-Fu once it was asleep, but I was hoping that it could recover (being strong against Chirps).

Anyway, Chirps went down using Animus to finish him off. Brewly was straight forward using Snarly. Rip, Blood in the Water, and then finish off with Surge. Even with the accuracy debuff from Brewly, Blood in the Water should have an "always" hit chance with Rip up.

This entire encounter was by far the worst I've played in the Celestial Tournament. Next time I won't make the same mistake though.

First: Tree Frog (2, 2, 2)
Second: Feral Vermling (1, 2, 2)
Third: Peddlefeet (1, 2, 1)
I must admit that again, I didn't play this team well enough. It's another team suggested on the WarcraftPets forum, and it could be amazing, but with the sloppy way I played it, I don't have much confidence in it's strengths. My fault, though.

My Tree Frog went up against Cindy, and I used attacks in no particular order. Kept Swarm of Flies up, Tongue Lashed whenever Cleansing Rain was on cooldown.

Next up was my Feral Vermling against Alex, but unfortunately wasn't able to solo her. In the end I used Peddlefeet to finish off both Alex and Dah'da.

EDIT: Secondary ("better?") team
First: Any frog (2, 1, 2)
Second: Anubisath Idol (1, 2, 1)
Third: Qiraji Guardling (1, 1, 2)
I was never very satisfied with the original team I used against Wrathion's team, so I found this one on Wowhead that worked well.

Two things that I didn't like about the first team I used: 1 - Changing the weather to Cleansing Rain meant that Alex's heal was more potent which was annoying. And 2 - Dreadful Breath seemed like such a poor aoe ability that it wasn't really worth locking my pet into a multi-round move.

Anyway, this new team worked out well, but I should mention that the Qiraji Guardling needed for this must be a specific breed; Speed/Speed so that Blackout Kick is actually viable.

This time I used Mojo and used the same strategy as the original team against Cindy. Except instead of using Cleansing Rain, I self-healed my frog with Healing Wave. I put Swarm of Flies up first, Tongue Lashed for the next round or two, and then healed. Cindy went down quickly and my frog had enough health to take on Alex for a little bit.

Once Mojo died, I swapped to my Anubisath Idol to finish off Alex. Stoneskin helped mitigate a little bit of Alex's dot, and Deflection came in handy to avoid a little bit of damage. Other than that, I used Crush the majority of the time. Since it only has an 80% hit chance, it did miss a few times, but I managed to get through the encounter with some health left on my Idol.

Last was Dah'da. I saved Deflection to absorb the falling Elementium Bolt and used Crush as much as I could before my pet went down. The Qiraji Guardling came in finished off Wrathion's pet like a champ. I didn't bother with Hawk Eye and simply DPS'ed. Because my pet was faster than my opponent, when Dah'da's Elementium Bolt came off of cooldown, I used Blackout Kick to stun so he couldn't use it for another round. This gave me a little bit more time to use Crush until Dah'da was dead.

ROUND TWO - Celestial "Boss Pets"

I used the same teams and strats that I used last week, so I'll be omitting the strategies I employed and instead just list my teams for each Celestial.

Xu-Fu (tiger)
First: Sunreaver Micro-Sentry (1, 2, 1)
Second: Westfall Chicken (1, 1, 2)
Third: Darkmoon Tonk (1, 1, 2)
Zao (ox)
First: Zandalari Kneebiter (2, 2, 2)
Second: Zandalari Anklerender (2, 1, 2)
Third: Zandalari Footslasher (1, 1, 1)
Yu'la (dragon)
First: Gregarious Grell (1, 2, 1)
Second: Hopling (1, 2, 1)
Third: Moonkin Hatchling (1, 2, 2)
Chi-Chi (crane)
First: Sen'jin Fetish (1, 2, 2)
Second: Jade Oozeling (2, 1, 2)
Third: Darkmoon Eye (1, 1, 1)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

(US) Celestial Tournament Strats: First Week

I completed the Celestial Tournament today and purchased Xu-Fu, Cub of Xuen!

The first three trainers were fairly straight forward. I tried to pick pets that had generic abilities and were double counters against the trainer pets. For the last four, I went with pets that had strong move sets. Attacks that increase damage taken really helped get past the buff that the Celestial "Boss Pets" had.

Here are the teams and strats that I used. I may change my teams up as the tournament progresses each week, depending on whether or not I need to use certain pets against certain trainers (or if I find better pets to use against specific teams). I know the teams and strats aren't the best, but this is merely what worked for me.

All pets are upgraded to rare. I didn't go for any specific breed, but I'm sure health, power and speed can be played to your advantage if you take the time to do some research and testing.

I used some suggestions from WarcraftPets as well as Wowhead comments to create the teams I used against the last four. If you have any suggestions for reliable and effective teams, please let me know!

ROUND ONE - Random Rotation of Misc Trainers

Lorewalker Cho
First: Lil' Tarecgosa (2, 1, 1)
Second: Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (1, 2, 2)
Third: Curious Oracle Hatchling (1, 2, 1)
Started with Lil' Tarecgosa and Arcane Storm followed by Arcane Blast. Wisdom went down quickly. Continued attacking until Tarecgosa died.

Switched to Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, and if Patience's Clean-Up was on cooldown, I dropped Decoy. If it wasn't, I used Thunderbolt first instead. After that it was just a matter of Decoy when off cooldown and then Breath until Patience dies. Continued attacking until the Dragonling died.

Last was my Curious Oracle Hatchling. I only needed to do two hits to Knowledge to defeat it. Backflip interrupted Knowledge since my Hatchling is faster, and then a quick Punch finished the fight.

Dr. Ion Goldbloom
First: Emerald Whelpling (2, 1, 1)
Second: Tundra Penguin (1, 2, 1)
Third: Tranquil Mechanical Yeti (1, 1, 2)
Started with my Emerald Whelpling against Screamer. I knew at some point it would use Feign Death and Swap to the direhorn, so I made the most of my attacks against Screamer. Used Emerald Bite first and foremost. And since my opponent's team doesn't have any healing abilities, I then attacked with Moonfire. Even though Screamer used Lift-Off before Moonfire could hit it, the weather change gave my Whelpling's next attack, Emerald Bite, a damage boost.

Once Screamer swapped out and Trike stepped into the active field, I switched to my Tranquil Mechanical Yeti. Damaged Trike until my Yeti was down, but the direhorn had a sliver of health left. I swapped in my Tundra Penguin really quickly to finish him off.

Screamer was sent back in again, and I used my Emerald Whelpling to do as much damage as possible before its death.

In the end, I think it took my Tundra Penguin to finish Screamer off, but that's ok because it helped ramp up against Chaos. I used Slippery Ice and Ice Lance against Screamer, and the debuff from Slippery Ice stayed up once Chaos stepped in.

My goal against Chaos was to destroy its accuracy. It already has an ability, Uncertainty, that debuffs its hit chance for one round. Slippery Ice reduced Chaos' hit even more, and its attacks missed so many times against my Penguin. I kept the debuff up on Chaos, and proceeded to spam Ice Lance until it was over.

Sully "The Pickle" McLeary
First: Huge Toad (2, 1, 2)
Second: Flayer Youngling (2, 2, 2)
Third: Jade Crane Chick (1, 2, 2)
I used my Huge Toad to first dot up Socks with Swarm of Flies, then Tongue Lash, while using Healing Wave on cooldown.

My Toad still had health left by the time Socks went down, so I used it to absorb Monte's Burrow. I then switched to my Flayer Youngling which took out the rabbit with Rampage. The Flayer Youngling stayed in and threw some damage up onto Rikki before dying.

Finally, I it was my Jade Crane Chick's turn. Jadeskin, Flock, and then Slicing Wind made quick work of Rikki.

ROUND TWO - Celestial "Boss Pets"

Zao (ox)
First: Zandalari Kneebiter (2, 2, 2)
Second: Zandalari Anklerender (2, 1, 2)
Third: Zandalari Footslasher (1, 1, 1)
Black Claw and Hunting Party were the top priority attacks, and both the first and second raptor finished off Zao with no trouble. I didn't even need the third raptor, but had it in place just in case RNG decided to turn its back on my team.

Yu'la (dragon)
First: Gregarious Grell (1, 2, 1)
Second: Hopling (1, 2, 1)
Third: Moonkin Hatchling (1, 2, 2)
My Gregarious Grell nearly solo'd Yu'la using Phase Shift to avoid Lift Off, and then Punch with Cauterize whenever necessary.

Once the Grell was down, I brought in my Hopling. Being faster than Yu'la, Backflip did wonders, and I finished it off with Crush.

I had my Moonkin Hatchling just in case the other two pets ran into some bad RNG.

Xu-Fu (tiger)
First: Sunreaver Micro-Sentry (1, 2, 1)
Second: Westfall Chicken (1, 1, 2)
Third: Darkmoon Tonk (1, 1, 2)
This fight was, by far, the most troublesome. Not only does Xu-Fu hit hard, one of his attacks is a self heal. To top it all off, he uses Moonfire which increases that self heal. It was the most frustrating battle out of the four Celestials, and luck may have been the only reason I beat it in the end.

I tried out using a strat suggested on the WarcraftPets forums, but RNG decided to get in my way. Only on the very last attempt (after 4 or 5 failed attmpts) did it work.

Xu-Fu always starts out with Moonfire, and to counter that, I used my Sunreaver Micro-Sentry to change the weather (Call Lightning). Then I immediately switched to my Westfall Chicken and attacked with Flock.

Thankfully, my Chicken dodged a few of Xu-Fu's attacks (including Feed, which heals it), and I was able to use Flock once (lasts for 3 rounds) and then again (another 3 rounds) before my Chicken died.

I then swapped the Micro-Sentry back in for Call Lightning and then Laser to finish Xu-Fu off.

One thing to note is that I tried this type of set up multiple times with different pets. The concept is the same, Call Lightning, Flock (or some ability that causes Xu-Fu to take bonus damage), and then finish up with another Call Lighting and misc attack. However, the tiger hits damn hard, and can ruin your plans completely. A crit on your pet or a missed attack on Xu-Fu could easily spoil the strategy.

I'm looking for a more reliable set up to use against Xu-Fu, but for today, I was just happy to finally defeat him.

Chi-Chi (crane)
First: Sen'jin Fetish (1, 2, 2)
Second: Jade Oozeling (2, 1, 2)
Third: Darkmoon Eye (1, 1, 1)
This team was courtesy of a Wowhead comment, and it worked perfectly.

I used the Sen'jin Fetish first, but the initial attacks don't really matter too much. You could just Shadow Slash the entire time and that would be ok.

I had my Sen'jin Fetish use Rot on Chi-Chi and then Shadow Slash on repeat until my pet died and revived using the Undead passive. On its final turn, I used Wild Magic. It's very important to get Wild Magic up, as it will make your following pet's job much easier.

Next up was the Jade Oozeling. I use a P/P oozeling, but I think any breed will work. Tossed up Acidic Goo first and foremost followed by Corrosion. Chi-Chi is likely to use Ethereal, which means one of the dots will be dodged, but that's ok. Just toss it up on the next round, and so long as you can maintain both dots on Chi-Chi, his health will drop like a rock.

Chi-Chi died to the dot ticks combined with Wild Magic (they damaged through his Tranqulity easily), so my last pet wasn't even needed. But in the event I did need a third pet, Darkmoon Eye was a great way to finish the Celestial pet off. But any hard hitting magic attack will do.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thundering Pandaren Spirit: Strat and Notes

This is more for my own reference since I found this daily to be the most irritating and extra notes/reminders will help me in the future.

Use the strat from the "Veteran Tamer" guide on WarcraftPets forum. (Copy pasted for quick viewing)
"Thundering Pandaren Spirit
23 rounds
1: Grasslands Cottontail [5] (S/S) (1,2,1)
2: Sunreaver Micro-Sentry [-] (1,2,2)
3: Carry pet

vs Pandaren Earth Spirit
- Scratch > Burrow
- Continue with Scratch, and use Burrow each time it is off cooldown
vs Sludgy
- Switch to Sunreaver Micro-Sentry
- Supercharge > Haywire
vs Darnak
- Laser > Supercharge > Laser until your Sunreaver Micro-Sentry dies
- Switch to Carry pet > switch to Grasslands Cottontail
- Scratch every turn, unless Darnak has BOTH Stone Rush and Burrow off cooldown (then cast Scratch > Dodge), or he ONLY has Stone Rush off cooldown (then cast Burrow). If you do it right, your Grasslands Cottontail will not sustain any damage from Darnak.

- Notes: Any variant of Rabbit with a speed above 301 will do. The Grasslands Cottontail [5] just has the best stat distribution for this fight. Flurry is a multi-strike ability, which don't work well against a Shield. As a 1-strike ability, Scratch is better here."
One thing that wasn't mentioned is that the timing of when you swap in the Grasslands Cottontail after switching in the Carry pet is key to success.

If you switch in the rabbit as one of Darnak's damage abilities comes off of cooldown, your rabbit will instantly die on the swap. In order to avoid this, watch Darnak's cooldowns (using an addon such as PetBattleInfo), and only switch in your rabbit once both Burrow and Stone Rush are on cooldown. This means your Carry pet will probably take some damage, so be prepared to use a pet that can take one or two hits.

Since Burrow has the longest cooldown between Darnak's two damage abilities, watch for Stone Rush and switch your rabbit in right after Stone Rush is used (and only if Burrow is not about to come off of cooldown).

Once your rabbit has successfully lived past the initial swap in, using the above strat against Darnak works like a charm. The cottontail's avoidance abilities are vital and the order should not be ignored.

All of this may seem obvious, but not having done this daily in months and months, I completely forgot the strat and what made it successful. With all of this fresh in my mind and now written down for future reference, hopefully the next battle against the Thundering Pandaren Spirit will go smoothly! :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Siege of Orgrimmar Pets - Flex and LFR Raid Schedule

Blizzard released the raid schedule for Siege of Orgrimmar. Here's what the raid pet collecting schedule will look like for LFR and Flex raiding:
September 10 (patch day)
- Droplet of Y'Shaarj (drops from Sha of Pride, 4th boss in wing 1 "Vale of Eternal Sorrows"): Flex opens up

- Gooey Sha-ling (drops from Sha of Pride, 4th boss in wing 1 "Vale of Eternal Sorrows"): Flex opens up
September 17
- Gooey Sha-ling (drops from Sha of Pride, 4th boss in wing 1 "Vale of Eternal Sorrows"): LFR opens up
October 15
- Blackfuse Bombling (drops from Siegecrafter Blackfuse, 1st boss in wing 4 "Downfall"): Flex opens up
October 22
- Blackfuse Bombling (drops from Siegecrafter Blackfuse, 1st boss in wing 4 "Downfall"): LFR opens up
The schedule for normal and heroic raiding is less restricted, except players won't be able to see heroic content until September 17.

So if you raid purely LFR, you have until September 17 to collect and save up currency for SoO bonus rolls. Once you've obtained that pet, you'll have roughly 5 weeks to save up more seals before the next LFR wing (with a pet drop in it) opens up.

Remember that all of the SoO companions are cageable, so we will be seeing these on the AH. Hopefully they will have a reasonable droprate (unlike the Vicious Horror) and the prices won't be too steep!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

5.4 Bonus Roll Change Also Applies to New Raid

I'm sure many have already heard the news that bonus rolls will have a chance to award a pet (along with standard loot) in ToT LFR once 5.4 is released. Better save up those Mogu Runes of Fate!

But what was still unclear is whether or not this change to bonus rolls would also apply to the new pets in the new raid Siege of Orgrimmar.

Well, WoW game designer, Owen Landgren, confirmed on Twitter that it will be so!
"Pets will be bonus-rollable in both ToT and SoO. Kovok is waiting for your Seals!"
We won't use Mogu Runes of Fate in SoO, though. Save those if you plan on rolling in ToT LFR in 5.4.

Instead, we'll be using Warforge Seals. This new currency will be earned the same way the runes are earned right now. You'll want to have 50 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune each week so you can earn 3 seals.

In SoO, only 2 out of the 3 pets from that raid will be available from LFR. Blackfuse Bombling (drops from Siegecrafter Blackfuse) and Gooey Sha-ling (drops from Sha of Pride). The last SoO pet, Droplet of Y'Shaarj, comes only from Normal, Heroic, or Flex mode.

So if you only run LFR, be prepared to spend at least 2 Warforge Seals for pets. If you run both LFR and other modes of SoO... better stock up on seals! :P
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