Many thanks to Liopleurodon for writing the battling portion of our newest feature, Pet of the Month. Here are some additional points on the Clockwork Gnome that she wanted to share!How Do You Use Your Clockwork Gnome?
The Clockwork Gnome is a long-time favorite of mine. There are 2 different strategies to use with him, stemming from whether you choose to use Build Turret
or Launch Rocket
in the third slot.
My personal preference in the metagame swings toward DoT teams, so the way the Clockwork Gnome captured my heart was through Build Turret. Because the turret is placed on the ground and always hits the front pet, and because you can have a couple out at once where the cooldowns overlap, it makes an excellent choice to use in concert with other debuffs.
Early on my favorite pairing was a pet with Call Lightning
. Each individual hit of the turret makes the Lightning effect go off for additional damage, and each hit of both the turret and the Lightning can be affected by either additive or multiplicative debuffs. At this point, I'm more partial to forgoing the Lightning and just employing an additive debuff, like a Cogblade Raptor
with Exposed Wounds
or the Zandalari Kneebiter
, which can use Black Claw
and then Stampede
to make that Turret obliterate your opponent. The latter is the strategy I use to kill many of the Beasts of Fable, as it's really ideal for single-pet fights.
The other choice in slot 3 is the 2-turn nuke Launch Rocket
. Using this ability takes a bit of planning, because you have to use it once to construct the rocket, and then a second time the turn you'd like to Launch the Rocket for a big single nuke. However, across 2 turns, the DPS of Launch Rocket is almost the same as if you'd just used Metal Fist
twice. Due to the activated nature of the launch, this ability is still to your advantage if your opponent has a dodge ability or two, or applies a blind debuff. Build your rocket on the turn while your opponent is dodging, and then hit them hard after they're done. It's also very beneficial if you have an opponent with a heal, so you can end the match with sheer burst. I like to use my gnome with Launch Rocket against Major Payne's Grizzle. I prime the rocket and wait until Grizzle uses his Hibernate
, then beat him before he can heal back up.
The Gnome has 289 speed, so for many matchups he's going to be slower than his opponent. This should be considered when you make a decision on your 2nd slot skill, as Blitz
is lackluster if your pet isn't going first. Blitz can also interact really well with the debuffs you'd use for a Turret. Repair
is difficult to use in PVP, as your gnome is a sitting duck for 2 turns while you wait for it, so I generally take Blitz unless my matches seem to be drawing turtle-heavy.
Speaking of turtles, one big issue with using a Clockwork Gnome in PVP is that he's extremely easy to counter if your opponent has a few common moves. If you're using the turret, per-hit shields like a turtle's Shell Shield
or the Sandstorm
weather effect will neutralize it pretty handily even if you're using other buffs.
The most brutal counter to the turret is the spider-centric ability Molten Web
. It deals reflexive damage on each hit, so it's a really effective counter for many DoT teams. The first time I came up against this counter was in a friendly duel but I may have started cursing anyway. Lastly, both the Turret and Launch Rocket movesets are vulnerable to abilities which remove objects from the field, like Tidal Wave
The Clockwork Gnome is one of my workhorses in PVE. Though it's a roll of the dice how he'll fare in PVP, I still find him fun to play even when we're losing. That mustache is made for a good time.
So, how do you use your Clockwork Gnome?