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A specimen battle

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Gráinne
 
Posts: 243
Joined: July 7th, 2015
Pet Score: 4540
Realm: Magtheridon-EU

A specimen battle

Postby Gráinne » July 15th, 2016, 2:33 pm

OK, so we all have nothing going on in these waiting days, but the event got me thinking about pets again.

I've just been explaining pet PvP to an in-game pal - why it's important to choose what counters what, why it's important to calculate, in a match-up, who's going to kill whom first, when to know that it's worth swapping. It's all very hard to generalise. Some people who don't PvP much seem convinced that Graves = automatic win.

Could we set up a specimen battle here, on "paper", either between two people or two groups of people? Each chooses a team, and the two make moves. A neutral arbitrator rolls for crits and misses. Anyone can kibitz or commentate.

I'd be willing to stay near the PC over the next few days to respond with rolls if we get two good battlers, or I'd be willing to try my own luck against another duffer.

An annotated match would be something to show beginners.

Alternatively, someone might look into annotating some battles from a Discodoggy video?

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Paladance
 
Posts: 585
Joined: July 18th, 2015
Pet Score: 3667
Realm: Burning Legion-EU

Re: A specimen battle

Postby Paladance » July 16th, 2016, 3:50 am

Hm.
I guess I get the idea, but I'm not sure I can imagine what do you mean from the technical side.
Is it meant as 1 move = 1 post or are you just asking for preparing a consulted "log" like it would have been pasted from a local duel?
Image

CAUTION: The Stonetalon Critters no longer wield weapons. :(

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Gráinne
 
Posts: 243
Joined: July 7th, 2015
Pet Score: 4540
Realm: Magtheridon-EU

Re: A specimen battle

Postby Gráinne » July 16th, 2016, 8:39 am

Either. Both. Something.

I was trying to explain pet PvP to someone. I used to teach, so I'm familiar with reframing and breaking down a subject to establish one element at a time, but I was getting frustrated. It's hard to explain in a lump. I can point someone to Discodoggy's site and abdicate responsibility, but that doesn't feel satisfying. It's like teaching someone tennis by telling them to watch Wimbledon - sure they'll pick up lots of pointers if they already know the basics, but it's not the same as a worked example. And where else is there to send them?

Have you ever tried to advise someone who sort-of wanted to start PvP but was a) afraid or b) knew they were clueless or c) had every confidence in their Howlbomb's supremacy? I complain about certain elements of PvP as much as anyone, and more than most, but it still has a lot of potential, and at least some people who would enjoy it are deterred by the entry barrier.

A beginner joins the queue, gets duly stomped - several times - and learns nothing. Bad outcome.

I was flicking around Disco's videos yesterday, remembering battles, and I'm now kind of interested in this one as an example:
https://youtu.be/XCGETm58zIE?t=905

It's by no means the most complicated or interesting. It's comparatively straightforward. That makes it good for a first specimen battle; tactical swaps and dodges can wait for later. Also, that battle features 5 much-used PvP pets, so it's an opportunity to explain them. (Yes, I know Graves is getting a nerf, so that's a bit late).

There are a lot of good basic lessons in that battle.

Headings for that lesson plan:

1. Introducing the team: abilities and plan. the roles. strengths and weaknesses.

2. Critical - Deciding the start: Who's on First? What's the shape of the battle? What are the match-ups? What are you going to use each pet for? Why select FW GP?

3. The initial match-up: is this the opponent you want? calculate what will happen if they both do their thing.

4. The swap: why did the opponent swap? what was his plan? what would have happened if he hadn't swapped?

5. The what-if: wondering what moveset your opponent has? (Trunks/When Elekks Fly)

6. The match-up: Trunks/FWGP. Is this the match-up you want? what will happen if they both do their thing?

7. The swap: why swap FWGP out? (Was that a move late?) What to swap in?

8. The FoA enters: visualising the endgame.

9. The role of RNG: The FoA didn't stun!

10. Calculating the endgame: The decision space narrows: it's now down to mental arithmetic and the RNG gods.

11. How did the plan play out against the actual battle. Lessons? How could either side have improved?

Now I envisage explaining all those things to someone who's not used to framing a (PvE) pet battle that way.

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Gráinne
 
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Re: A specimen battle

Postby Gráinne » July 18th, 2016, 9:12 am

I would love to hear comments from people, mainly on whether this is an exercise worth doing, but also on any way you would change this if you were doing it. Comments from non-PvPers would be especially interesting.

I appreciate that the interesting bits are in the battle itself, but it all starts with understanding your own team.

https://youtu.be/XCGETm58zIE?t=905
http://pvppetbattles.com/daily-battle/april-27-2016/

Commentary part 1: Introducing the team. "Roadkill Perfection"

P/P Frostwolf Ghostpup (Scratch, Haunting Song, Ghostly Bite)

The current meta (6.2) is dominated by Undead pets who use AoE attacks. These tend to be high-health but slow pets who take advantage of their Undead racial to get two full extra rounds - one for an attack after they're brought to zero health, and a second on their Undead round proper.

The Frostwolf Ghostpup is well adapted to counter these with its high power, its strong attack against undead, and a team heal that approximately compensates for one AoE attack round from the opponent.

It also has Ghostly Bite, a high-damage nuke that is strong against Humanoids, at the cost of taking a round's stun. On the Ghostpup's Undead round, the stun will never happen, which makes it a great last move.

You will aim to face the FWGP against high-health undead, and use its Haunting Song to heal your team after AoE attacks. You will typically save Ghostly Bite for its final move, or to finish off an opposing pet that is expecting to get two more rounds off.

S/S Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (Breath, Thunderbolt, Decoy)

The MPD is one of the stars of the PvP game. At 309, its speed is high enough that it can get its Decoy up in time to block most pets, giving two rounds to attack freely or swap.

Because of the way the game is coded, most multi-hit attacks only take down one of the two charges of Decoy, so attacks like Alpha Strike, though they hit twice, will still leave a charge of Decoy behind. Flurry, Bone Barrage, and Rock Barrage are three of the abilities that are useful for taking Decoy down in one round. Decoy is also a defence against one-shot moves like Iron Starlette's Wind-Up or a Howlbomb.

Thunderbolt is a "meteor" or split-AoE move, which splits its total damage among whatever number of opponents are currently alive. Together with Decoy, and its mechanical racial, this makes it an excellent sweeper at endgame.

Breath is not an impressive attack, especially since it is weak against the dominant Undead, but you can't have everything.

You will use the MPD to block high-power attacks with its Decoy, providing cover, and use its Thunderbolt as a finisher especially when the opponent has only two pets, or one, left.

H/H Stone Armadillo (Scratch, Shell Shield, Infected Claw)

With 1887 HP, the H/H breed of Stone Armadillo is a big ball of health that can sit on the back line absorbing a third of the expected AoE damage, and still come out fighting. It has attacks that are strong against Humanoids and Undead, and for added tankiness, it has Shell Shield.

The plan:

Unlike many competitive teams, this is not assembled with a very specific idea. Disco notes at the very start of the video that he wanted to experiment with the Stone Armadillo, and decided to give it a fighting chance in a team with two good pets in the context of an Undead AoE meta.

Team Strengths:

    - Having pets from three different families ensures that no single attack will be very strong against all pets.

    - There is a reasonable spread of attacks: Undead, Critter, Dragonkin, Elemental, with a special emphasis on Critter attacks for heavy Undead opponents.

    - Decoy protects against one-shot moves like Wind-Up and Howlbombs.

    - The team heal is a good AoE counter.

    - The Stone Armadillo's health means it can survive on the back line against a lot of AoE, keeping the damage split three ways instead of two.

Team weaknesses:

    - The team has no weather-changer, so an opposing team can change the weather to their advantage without being challenged.

    - There is no MPD-counter, nothing to take down an opponent's Decoy quickly. MPDs are common enough that this is a concern.

    - While the MPD is fast, the other two are slow, and even the MPD is slower than speed-breed pets that could be very dangerous, like Nightshade Sproutling, Fiendish Imp, and Rabbits.

Exercises:

1. Name three pets you could substitute for the Stone Armadillo to strengthen the team.

2. For each of the three pets, find one that will counter it.

3. Build three teams, that don't share any pets, you would use to counter this team.

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Paladance
 
Posts: 585
Joined: July 18th, 2015
Pet Score: 3667
Realm: Burning Legion-EU

Re: A specimen battle

Postby Paladance » July 19th, 2016, 1:27 pm

Oh, that looks interesting!

Sadly I'm afraid that people, including myself, are busy with the incoming prepatch right now, even if it comes only to gathering the information, hence that silence.

A pet with Nether Gate (though it depends on the pets' order) or Sweep would be dedicated to force Armadillo into the battle, but how to harm it further is another story. Would a silly breed of Chaos Pup be included here? :lol:

I wonder what about a more… psychological warfare, of course not against very skilled opponents. Molten Corgi is known for that:
1. Put Puppies of the Flame.
2. Opponent (if without shields) swaps to a critter to get the weakest damage possible.
3. Continue with Bark.

Young Talbuk has both Rend and Flurry. First to damage the critter, next to get rid of the decoys. However, you need an S/S for the latter purpose, what is risky.
Sifang Otter (Pup) is aquatic (resistant to undead), can use Gnaw and reaches the magic threshold of 325 speed. Mongoose takes it up to eleven, having 338-374 speed possible with practically no health, and a bit more endurant Mongoose Pup has it 322-357. What is still crazy, considering that neither armadillo nor undeads require a good speed. :)

Perhaps I don't go in a good direction (trying to catch *both* sample and meta) at all but I believe that sometimes even a single, unrelated word can become a source of inspiration.
Image

CAUTION: The Stonetalon Critters no longer wield weapons. :(


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