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Pet of the Month - Crow

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Quintessence
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Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Quintessence » August 15th, 2014, 1:18 pm

Many thanks to Liopleurodon for writing the battling portion of our newest feature, Pet of the Month. Here are some additional points on the Crow that she wanted to share!

How Do You Use Your Crow?
First, let's address the raven-shaped elephant in the room. A lot of tamers prefer their Gilnean Raven over Crows. Gilnean Ravens stopped coming in a breed variant other than B/B around patch 5.2. Before that, there were several different breeds available, which were retained by Ravens learned prior to that point. The Ravens are able to be caged and traded so you may still be able to snag that coveted P/S, but you're going to pay through the nose for the privilege.

The Crow is available in all the same breeds that were available to the Ravens, and for the low, low price of free. The Raven does have a few additional moves (Nevermore is a really fun gimmick) but for the tamer who doesn't have deep pockets, a Crow is a really solid option.

The Dread Hatchling, obtained in the Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition, is the only other pet with Nocturnal Strike and Darkness self-synergy. It also has a whopping 337 power at cap, making it the hardest hitting of the 3. However, since it costs actual real-life cash to buy that Collector's Edition, it also hits my wallet the hardest.

My most typical use of the Crow is defeating pets that can heal. Dos-Ryga in particular has huge heals that are made fairly trivial by the heal-stifling Call Darkness. Also, the Crow's Flying damage with the huge hit Nocturnal Strike lays Dos out with ease, since he's a fish and all.

The other unique thing the Crow has going for it is Murder. That double damage debuff is a boon in nearly every single-pet fight. This goes double in fights where your opponent is aquatic, or in fights where your opponent uses a lot of beast damage, like a couple of the players in the Celestial Tournament.

As always with multi-hitting abilities, you need to be wary of teams with shields. I use my Crow to beat Wastewalker Shu's aquatic crab Crusher, but if I forget to adjust my moveset and go in with Murder and Alpha Strike instead of the Darkness and Nocturnal Strike combo plus Peck, I'm pretty much toast because of Crusher's shell shield.

In PVP, Crows are one of my favorite vehicles to destroy certain turtle teams. When my draws run heavy on Crawdads or Sunlight flowers, Crows can frequently level the playing field with Call Darkness alone.

Crows are generally good for Blitz-style, win fast/lose fast teams. They lack good defense but make up for it with Darkness and offense that generally hits too hard to be healed through. Crows also make for good team synergy with a number of pets. In particular, the Darkness blind they put up plays really well with a few other partners. The Pandaren Monk's Fury Of 1000 Fists ability gains a 95% chance to stun when the opponent is blinded, for instance. However, if your opponent is packing, say, a Death Adder Hatchling (and they probably are), they can use your Blind against you, too.

One last tip for the Nocturnal Strike and Darkness combo before I ponder over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. Darkness, a weather effect, increases Nocturnal Strike's accuracy to 100% due to blind. This means that, when facing elemental pets, your chance to hit with Nocturnal Strike remains its typical 50%. Also, because blind merely increases Nocturnal Strike's chance to hit to 100% rather than making it 'always' hit, debuffs which decrease your hit chance will still affect Nocturnal Strike's chance to hit detrimentally. The most frequent (slightly maddening) offender here is that Darkness's blind will decrease that 100% back down to 90%.

Sorry about that. It's rather a downer. But hey, at least we can commiserate in the comments, right?

So, how do you use your Crow?

-Tamer Liopleurodon
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Luciandk
 
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Re: Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Luciandk » August 16th, 2014, 3:04 am

One thing Im missing to see, is a mention of the pros and cons for the different breeds as that would be helpful to people collecting it. And not just saying the coveted P/S breed.

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Noel
 
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Re: Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Noel » August 16th, 2014, 6:41 pm

S/S Breed for PVP no question

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Denverrunner
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Re: Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Denverrunner » August 16th, 2014, 6:49 pm

I like both p/s and s/s for pvp. The extra power sometimes is more beneficial than the extra speed. It just depends what you are up against!
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Vek
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Re: Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Vek » August 17th, 2014, 6:59 am

I rarely use the the Crow or Raven, except on Dos Ryga as backup. But I often run into them in PvP.

As mentioned it is very nice to have an elemental pet to switch in after they have cast Call Darkness, since their Nocturnal Strike now will only have 40% hit chance.

Other things I like to do, if I don't have an elemental at hand, when running into lots of "Call Darkness" birds are:
1. If I have a stun use that on the first turn if you expect Call Darkness. Normally Nocturnal Strike cooldown will allow the birds to use Nocturnal Strike twice during one Call Darkness. If you interrupt this in any way they will "only" be able to do one Nocturnal Strike before they have to use Call Darkness again.

2. Use a DoT and possibly Stampede type move. While your pet will probably still die this will likely leave the bird below 50% health with Shattered Defence debuff and more likely to be easy pickings for your next pet.

3. Beast pet with weather change move. Since Call Darkness is weak vs beasts it's not that bad taking a hit. If you manage to anticipate the Call Darkness and change the weather on the same turn that is just sweet. I kind of like the Silithid Hatchling, Scratch will hurt undead really bad while you can do Sandstorm if you run into a Call Darkness bird. There are of course quite a few other interesting pets to use, pandas and bears etc.

4. I rarely do this, unless I keep running into triple Call Darkness birds. Use Call Darkness against themselves. Mainly Ghostly Skull, Spectral Porcupette or Spectral Tiger Cub with Spectral Strike, there are also Bats and Owls that use Nocturnal Strike for example. With Spectral Strike you also have one-up on the birds since that spell will Always Hit while Nocturnal Strike is still affected by the -10% from Darkness. Especially nice if you manage to time it on the same turn that your opponent casts Call Darkness.

If all else fails try to switch in a Dragonkin AFTER Call Darkness is cast, this will severely limit the birds damage output.

I am also fond of the Rascal Bot with his Phaser which really kills birds fast, but does have some problem with accuracy. It can then finish off with an Armageddon to weaken the two opposing back line pets.

Edit: Forgot to mention the Vengeful Porcupette. Spirit Spikes, being magical, does huge damage to birds. Only problem is to figure out how to get to use it more than once vs triple crows.

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Liopleurodon
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Re: Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Liopleurodon » August 18th, 2014, 1:56 pm

P/S & S/S are the 2 to shoot for, imo. Before the Flying racial kicks in, Crows are pretty slow. The S/S is 325 speed, not even in hailing distance of the top 20. The P/S is 289 speed, making it dead even with the Clockwork Gnome. The difference between the 2 in terms of power is ~60 points of damage per Nocturnal Strike, but this is before figuring in other, non-Darkness synergy moves. The B/B has both a lower speed (276) and lower damage per Nocturnal Strike (~30) than the P/S breed.

Because you already know your opponent's speed in PVE, you can decide which you'd like to use before you begin an encounter, but for most of them in the game currently either choice (even a B/B) is fine. For PVP, because your speed stat is so important, I'd say the S/S breed is the optimal choice. I personally tend to opt for P/S though, for two reasons. 1, I tend to play Blitz-style teams, which means you need to kill off your opponent as quickly as possible, so the slightly larger hits tend to be preferable. 2, I already have a P/S but not an S/S and I'm kind of lazy. They're both good choices, so a lot is up to the tamer. In that vein, I definitely plan on getting the CE with the Dread Hatchling, and then heads. Will. ROLL. lol.

Really great discussion this month so far!
xoxo, Your Pet Battling BFF, Tamer Liopleurodon.
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Re: Pet of the Month - Crow

Postby Genome » August 19th, 2014, 2:55 pm

TBH, I rarely use crows/ravens anymore except under very specific circumstances. I feel that they are a bit "cheap" in that they can do so much dmg in such a short period of time, and that they can do so with impudence most of the time because of how the flyer racial works. Basically, unless otherwise juked, a NS crow deals out 1036 dmg in two turns (not counting crits or pet weaknesses), and is all but guaranteed to go first both rounds, which negates a lot of counters. If you have not peeled the flyer racial from the crow/raven at this point and have a pet with 1400 health, one Alpha Strike(with both hits) will finish you off without some sort of mitigation. Thanks to the nature of CD, you can't heal through the dmg even if you used an ability like Wish (not really a bad thing mind you...more on this later!). Weather switches are a real hindrance to crow teams, just be careful to not get juked on round one as experienced crow players will just Alpha Strike round one waiting for you to "switch" the weather on them, then cast CD the next round after you have blown your weather cooldown. Once the flyer racial drops, crows/ravens are not nearly as potent, which is one thing that levels the playing field a bit.

Against CD/NS strike teams, I find that the two worst pet racials (magic and elemental), actually are fairly useful here. Magic pets take less dmg from NS (if not a H/H breed...the racial is less effective in this circumstance), and magic pets have the bonus of generally having strong attacks vs. flyers. For instance, my P/P Jade Oozeling can normally (i.e. no misses from the Ooze) take on a crow one-on-one, and usually takes the crow/raven with him when he dies. The elemental racial takes a lot of the bite out of NS as Elementals ignore the Blindness from CD, making them a good choice to soak the NS, especially in an emergency.

Now, when I do break out the raven(s) is when I run into Valk/Blighthawk, Valk/Stitched Pup, or even Valk/Blighthawk/Stitched Pup nonsense, entirely for the Darkness weather, to have some prayer of getting past the CC exploit (I also use the Scourged Whelpling here too for the same reason). They are also useful for countering Crawdads, and of course they eat up the Valk's arch-nemesis in the Emperor Crab, which is why I see Valks often paired with crows in the third slot.

The crow/raven's power is obvious in that the triple version of said pet is actually a powerful team, unlike most triple-comps. Beating triple crows takes some serious luck without the almost perfect counter. I really like pets with Crouch/Extra Plating here, which usually will let you take out one crow, and hopefully soften up the next one that comes in. In closing, the crow/ravens are very powerful pets, and a great addition to anyone's stable.


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