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Thoughts on the new 5.4 pets

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Luciandk
 
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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » September 27th, 2013, 3:00 pm

Aquired a HP Kovok today, absolutely beastly! Definitely one of the top performing pets in 5.4, was worth every dime of the nasty lump of gold I paid.

On an interesting note, Pheromones triggers Call Lightning. And Poison Fang, Black Claw, Fel Immolate and Call Lightning together simply rips a target apart.

Edit: Im pretty pleased with Kovok, some rather potent possibilities with him. Such as the aforementioned team by poofah, valkyr, kovok and crawdad.

Edit 2: Sunreaver Micro-sentry is a superb partner to Kovok, due to him bringing Call Lightning, as the ability procs off Pheromones damage. And in the same moment providing a conivient weather swapper as Sandstorm is the counter to Pheromones.

Edit 3: Hrm, A Thundering Serpent Hatchling could be an alternative to the microsentry and stacking even more aoe damage on top with Cyclone

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » September 29th, 2013, 9:40 am

Been racking up lots of wins with Kovok, SS Bonkers and Fossilized Hatchling. Managed to down a team consisting of Anubisath Idol, Son of Animus and Unborn Valkyr.

I laugh when I see Sunreaver Microsentry doing Call Lightning. Sure Kovok takes extra damage, but the added power to pheromones is unbelievable.

A clever counter to Kovok ive seen is vodooo figurine using Sear Magic to remove the debuff, and a Magical Crawdad can usually outheal the damage of the aoe team, lacking burst.


Tried to make use of Blackfuse Bombling's Armageddon, but I hold on that the ability is just too inflexible and limited. And I can usually get off 1-2 bonestorms in comparision.


Edit: Dont have Pierre yet, but it strikes me that he might make an excellent counter pet for Kovok. Pierre is faster than the popular HP breed of Kovok. He possess a cleanse move, hit reduction and mechanical damage with stun proc.

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Luciandk
 
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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 11th, 2013, 3:45 pm

Finally aquired a H/H Blackfuse Bombling, I must say it feels like a major improvement over the P/P version. Sure the main attacks doesnt do as much damage, but you can last for longer with your bigger health pool and autorezzing with more life.
Explode is DEADLY and far more tactically flexible than Armageddon. There is just something terribly satisfying about ordering your Bombling to go Kamikaze an enemy pet and exploding for over 700 damage, which is a brutal finisher. Especially deadly with Explode being untyped damage ignoring damage reduction.
Upper mid-tier is my estimate on the bombling.


Pierre is a gorgeous robo-cook, but his abilities seems a bit of a mess, plus a rather oddball breed in S/B. Could have potential as an annoyance pet putting up a bleed and setting up a bleed and placing accuracy debuff for perhaps a Curious Wolvar Pup to benefit from. And maybe having a cleanse to deal with troublesome debuffs or CCing with Food Coma. Though I fear Pierre simply does too low damage to be a worthwhile choice. A pvp pet for sure. Far below average pet.

Rascal-Bot on the other hand seems a bit more useful, especially the S/B breed, bringing him to 289 speed which exceeds many trainers and above average for pvp matches, allowing you to get more out of your stun and blind moves. Though for pve only the blind is really useful, as stuns forces an enemy pet swap which usually is undesired. Though I think theres far better choices in pets if you want to rely on CCs, such as Death Adder Hatchling.
Rascal-Bot just about makes average for pets, the looks is the saving grace.


Chi-Chi is a strong and flexible flyer. Able to pack a nasty punch with Fire Quills and Wild Magic, or going Alpha Strike and Tranquility to retain flying bonus for a longer time. And having an evasion ability of choice for incomming power attacks. A very solid pet with a well designed moveset that for once that allows true choice. Definitely one of the better flyers, I would call her an upper tier pet.

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Vek
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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Vek » October 22nd, 2013, 9:50 am

First times I was up against a Kovok I thought Pheromones were a bit over the top. But I feel it's becoming less of a problem. First I started using counters like Sear Magic, but nowdays I just outdo it's damage.

Pheromones was really scary when paired with a Jademist Dancer. Since I have no Kovok myself I thought to use cyclone paired with Jademist Dancer and its working really well. Not even sandstorm is much of an issue since the dancer can change weather. Have yet to face someone using sear magic and very seldom face someone using waves to clean up.

Also Jademist Dancer is a total beast vs other elementals. Have one-shot a couple of Ruby Droplings.

Lil Bling totally wrecked my usual goto team of 5.3. The team still is good but a mech with 325... damn its good. One of the best pets of 5.4.

Love Chi-Chi most of the celestial pets. It is fast, eats mechs and has my favourite move, feign death.

Last couple of days I have really gotten into using S/S Death Adder. It is so damn good. The poison makes even stuff like minefield/traps miss when they are cast, you can just feel the surprise of your opponent when the mines disappear into nothing. Thanks to this it can often go toe to toe with mechs even if it is a beast, also it's poison dot is strong vs mechs.

But with the abundance of Valks now in 5.4 this is my definite favourite use of the Death Adder. You can almost always count on the valk being first, since most opponents seem to use it as a dot on the first turn. Just blind it then beat on it. When the Valk can cast haunt it will be down about 900 hp with a dot still running. And Haunt wont do 900 dmg unless it gets some help, so you are ahead from the start.

Just remember everything wont miss while blinded. Laser will still hit, Xu-Fu in moonlight still hit and probably a few more. So be don't be caught unaware. ;)

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Luciandk
 
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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 22nd, 2013, 10:50 am

Kovok have his counters as the above poster illustrated. But I think if you dont have a Kovok counterteam, its very hard to resist or deal with the incomming levels of damage from Pheromones. Especially when paired with a Fossilized Raptor using Bonestorm, usually able to pop it twice with healing once in between. And with another Pheromones, the enemy team is usually in such a bad shape that my Jademist Dancer easilly mops them up. The team is strong against elementals, JMD brutalizing them with ginormous crits. High aoe damage and undead damage to take care of humanoids.

Though Ive had plenty of ocassions where Kovok and the Fossilized Hatchling destroyed the opposition on their own. When I got my Kovok a month ago, I powerground the Trainer title in less than a week with the above team. I wanted to get it done before Kovok became much more widespread.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Poofah » October 22nd, 2013, 3:11 pm

lfr SoO4 finally opens this week, so we should finally get to see some widespread use of Kovok and Blackfuse. These are the last two 5.4 pets that are likely to really impact the metagame, and I'm very curious to see how people deal with Kovok/Pheromones in particular. He's a one-man AoE machine, and AoE teams have not featured much in pet battles so far--so I suspect it will take a little time to sort out how to beat him, and/or whether Pheromones is over the top and needs adjustment.

Meanwhile, I think we can expect several flavors of fun/horrid Kovok teams to pop up:

Valk/Kovok/speedy finisher -- the Valk/Kovok synergy is lovely: Haunt then free swap to Black Claw. Ironically Valk is an excellent counter to opposing Kovoks too, since she doesn't take Pheromones damage while Haunting. And it doesn't hurt that Valk is already extremely strong and popular. This is mostly a '3 strong pets' type of team that happens to use AoE.

Kovok/2nd AoE pet/speedy finisher -- the '2nd AoE pet' could be a regular AoEer to pile onto Pheromones, or a DoT/swapper to synergize with Black Claw while rolling additional backrow damage and disrupting the opposing strategy. Creepy Crate could be both, although he's stuck with a bad breed. This would be the prototypical 'AoE team': it's devoted to attacking your backline, then finishing off the wounded pets before they can do much.

Kovok/Blossoming Ancient/Crawdad -- Blossoming Ancient/Crawdad/X is incredibly hard to kill, but often can't kill you back. Kovok fits very well here, since he will spend very little time as the active pet while still dealing a ton of tough-to-avoid damage. The Ancient brings Sunlight (a weather to stop Sandstorm and also an AoE) and a hard-counter to mechs, in addition to tanking forever while Pheromones eats your backrow. As annoying as this team looks, I think it might actually make for some interesting matches, assuming the opponent has ways to fight back. We don't have a lot of teams that function as a unit (as opposed to just being 3 strong pets), so fighting this will require some different tactics than usual.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 22nd, 2013, 4:48 pm

Some interesting words, Poofah and i agree about interesting uses for Valkyr with Kovok. Though would you not use Curse of Doom, then Haunt?

I had an argument with another player claiming that H/S kovok was the best thing since sliced bread, to go first against so many pets with 305speed. I am still disagreeing and favoring H/P due to the extra power on Pheromones. Kovok is sturdy enough to take a solid hit or two, and I feel it doesnt really matter if he goes first or not due to him spending so much time on the backrow.

Blackfuse Bombling is neat, though I dont think it will have remotely as strong an impact on the metagame like Kovok or the upcomming Murkalot.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Poofah » October 22nd, 2013, 5:39 pm

Luciandk wrote:Though would you not use Curse of Doom, then Haunt?


This is flexible -- it mostly depends on how much damage you want to pile onto the frontrow pet as opposed to getting Pheromones up faster, and also on how good/bad the opening matchup is for your Valk. For example if they started a mech with minefield, I might not be in a hurry to swap to Kovok.

HS seems pointless to me, since Kovok's damage is basically all end-of-turn. The only advantage is getting Pheromones down before getting CC'd or force-swapped (or killed). People tend to play 325+ speed on CC/force-swap pets, so investing in speed to get to 305 doesn't seem very good. Meanwhile, the 29 extra power on the HP translates to 116 extra damage in just one Pheromones, and power benefits from the beast passive while speed doesn't. I can imagine occasions where HS is better, but I think they'll be the minority.

But I don't have a Kovok of any flavor yet, so I can't speak from experience.

I agree about Bombling: I don't think he's going to spawn new strategies the way Kovok has the potential to do. He's more of a Lil Deathwing- or Lil Rag-type pet -- very efficient moveset for damage and excellent stats, but super slow with no real tricks. His damage output is potentially massive, but people have a lot of experience dealing with this type of pet already.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 22nd, 2013, 6:31 pm

Poofah wrote:
Luciandk wrote:HS seems pointless to me, since Kovok's damage is basically all end-of-turn. The only advantage is getting Pheromones down before getting CC'd or force-swapped (or killed). People tend to play 325+ speed on CC/force-swap pets, so investing in speed to get to 305 doesn't seem very good. Meanwhile, the 29 extra power on the HP translates to 116 extra damage in just one Pheromones, and power benefits from the beast passive while speed doesn't. I can imagine occasions where HS is better, but I think they'll be the minority.


Yeah, thats what I thought, no real benefit to going first. And with 276 speed he already outspeeds many powerhitting mechs. Plus you want to wring every drop of bug juice out of pheromones as you can.


Edit: Regarding AoE, im hearing and seeing people starting to catch up to just how good Bonestorm is now, and seeing the expected whining about aoe spammers, using multiple bonestormers. I can only imagine it will cause a rise in the use of Sandstorm to counter it.

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Vek
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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Vek » October 23rd, 2013, 10:18 am

Has anyone tried Brittle Webbing vs Kovok?

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Luciandk
 
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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 23rd, 2013, 12:37 pm

Definitely an explosion of Kovoks and Blackfuses now. Seeing 10+ of either on H-Draenor Ah, so they should appear prominently very soon in pet battles. Kovok in particular.

I dont regret buying my Kovok for an obscene amount of gold over 4 weeks ago, he have served me well.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Poofah » October 23rd, 2013, 1:26 pm

Luciandk wrote:Edit: Regarding AoE, im hearing and seeing people starting to catch up to just how good Bonestorm is now, and seeing the expected whining about aoe spammers, using multiple bonestormers. I can only imagine it will cause a rise in the use of Sandstorm to counter it.


Good! AoE abilities have been present since 5.0, but too weak to make a dent in the metagame. This patch they gave us Droplet of Y'Shaarj, Kovok, a new and improved Bonestorm, *and* they finally nerfed Sandstorm. I'm glad they're finally pushing this part of the design, because an AoE team necessarily involves some strategy, over and above just playing 3 hyper-strong pets with some type-coverage.

Of course, it's entirely possible they've pushed AoE too far in the other direction: I think we saw that with force-swapping in 5.3. Ie force-swap abilities didn't actually require that much strategy, because just using them on cooldown was already extremely strong. But, I'd much rather have them push things too far and then reel them back, as opposed to never pushing the envelope.

Vek wrote:Has anyone tried Brittle Webbing vs Kovok?


I haven't tested it, but Brittle Webbing only triggers on attacks, not DoTs. Is Pheromones a debuff on the enemy team, or a buff on Kovok? I'm pretty sure it's the former, in which case it shouldn't trigger Brittle Webbing.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 23rd, 2013, 3:05 pm

Its a debuff on enemy team, hence why Sear Magic can remove it.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Vek » October 23rd, 2013, 3:36 pm

Yes, scratch the Brittle Webbing. It would be totalt worthless vs Kovok. Damn :)

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Poofah » October 26th, 2013, 8:07 pm

Thinking some more about HP versus HS for Kovok --

at 305 speed, you could take the Kovok/2nd AoE pet/sweeper type of team, and try to make Kovok an auxiliary sweeper in addition to the starting AoE pet. In this case he'd always take Poison Fang/Puncture Wound. Since you'd have a 2nd sweeper, you can do more single-target damage to the wounded pets, so there's less pressure to do huge AoE dmg--ie there's less pressure for Kovok to have the highest possible power, and less pressure to swap in/out to get multiple Pheromones.

Both types of teams would generally be opening with Pheromones, swapping, then AoEing with the 2nd pet. The difference would happen after the 2nd AoE pet dies or swaps: an HP Kovok would probably want to Pheromones again; an HS Kovok would probably want to start sweeping at this point. The HP Kovok team would be trying to AoE the entire opposing team 100->20 or even 100->0, whereas the HS Kovok team would aim to AoE 100->50 (roughly), then start mopping up.

The upside for the 100->50 team is the tactical flexibility and turn-economy: it relies less on swaps, and it relies less on Kovok getting off multiple Pheromones casts. The downside is that you're relying much more heavily on your sweepers (one of which is a 305 speed Kovok with back-loaded damage in Puncture Wound). If your sweepers get outsped, it could be troublesome.

But probably the main point is this: HS Kovok's Pheromones is 1120 damage for one button push; HP's is 1236. HP is better, but it doesn't matter -- they're both way too high. Because the ability provides so much oomph simply by virtue of its extremely high base damage, you can afford to sacrifice power to get tactical flexibility. We saw this with FFF -- nobody played the PS even though Supercharge+Wind-Up benefited massively from power. Supercharge+Wind-Up was sufficiently deadly with the SS, and 325 speed made the damage more convenient.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 27th, 2013, 7:13 am

I think the main issue is that a H/S Kovok is simply not fast enough for it to truly matter. For example the Jademist Dancer as S/S only comes at 317 speed, vs the normal S/S speed being 325. And making the P/S a much better choice.

And as you say, Kovok is backloaded, speed is not important. And if Blizzard ends up nerfing pheromones with a likely damage reduction. Then H/P will be even more important to squeeze out the most juice from it.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 27th, 2013, 11:06 pm

Hrm, I wonder if this could be feasible:

Start with a P/P Blackfuse Bombling. Open with Flame Jet, then spamming Burn until low hp. Swap out and bring in Murkalot, whom uses Righteous Inspiration to return the Blackfuse Bombling that promptly goes Nuclear with Armageddon.

Murkalot doubles the damage of Armageddon to cause 722 damage to all enemy pets, for a total of 2166 team damage done.


The thing about starting with the Blackfuse Bombling, is that you'd prefeably want its Flame Jet on cooldown and having soaked up a couple big hits, before you sacrifice it. As it a waste to blow it up with Murkalot while still at full health and Flame Jet not put on cd. So you dont trade 1481hp for 2166 enemy hp. But preferably something far lower.


Edit: Hearing new words about Kovok + Jademist Dancer. Open with Kovok, once you cast Pheromones, swap to Jademist and cast Rain Dance. The remaining 2 ticks of Pheromones gets the 50% crit buff from Rain Dance!
It works because Pheromones is end of turn damage.

Edit2: Tested it out myself, seen pheromone ticks crit 233-286 thanks to Rain Dance.
Last edited by Luciandk on October 28th, 2013, 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Aeolyn » October 28th, 2013, 1:08 pm

Well, I got a Kovok. It's H/H breed which I never see any conversation about. Looking at the numbers, it seems like the difference between the AoE power between H/P and the other breeds is a pretty small gap, so I'm kind of wondering why H/H is seemingly the hated breed.

Is H/H actually subpar enough to justify being ignored in all Kovok conversation?

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Luciandk » October 28th, 2013, 1:33 pm

Aeolyn wrote:Well, I got a Kovok. It's H/H breed which I never see any conversation about. Looking at the numbers, it seems like the difference between the AoE power between H/P and the other breeds is a pretty small gap, so I'm kind of wondering why H/H is seemingly the hated breed.

Is H/H actually subpar enough to justify being ignored in all Kovok conversation?


Thing is that Kovok mainly spends his time switched to the backrow until you wait for pheromones to become available again, thusly having less need for a huge health pool. Theres good arguments for either HP or HS. But HH is nothing special in comparision.

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Re: Thoughts on Ruby Droplet and other new pets

Postby Moritsume » October 28th, 2013, 1:47 pm

About Pheromones+Rain Dance, it definitely works, but it makes me wonder exactly what affects it. Rain Dance being a buff on your team and interacting with it I can understand.

I happened to fight a Flamering Moth on the Timeless Isle and had my pvp team selected (I forgot to swap to a turnip), and Pheromones was weak vs. the Moth. This made it seem to do less damage to the 2 aquatic pets in the back, as I was seeing it hit for 88-100 roughly on the backrow pets (which is very close to what the tooltip damage showed when the moth was the lead pet).

Also, my friend ran into a guy with 3 H/P Kovoks...needless to say he didn't win. As if constant Pheromones wasn't already obnoxious enough, when he killed the first the 2nd came out and was able to smash him with a Puncture Wound (the 1st Kovok had applied Poison/Black Claw). Not much getting around that! If they continue to drop in price I might mess around with a similar team.

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