Many thanks to [profile]Liopleurodon[/profile] for writing the battling portion of our newest feature, [url=http://www.warcraftpets.com/news/graves-pet-of-the-month-june-2015/]Pet of the Month[/url]. Here are some additional points on [pet]Graves[/pet] that she wanted to share!
How Do You Use Your Graves?
Graves hides a slightly shameful secret for me: since Heroes of the Storm came out, I've been so excited I've been playing a lot. My garrisons are neglected and my legendary progress has ground to a halt. It served me well though, because Graves is such a big deal in the current pet PVP meta. Almost like I planned it, and don't just find Valla super fun!
So, Graves. Other than maybe the Tarr fight, or Taran Zhu, there isn't a ton of call for Undead pets in PVE. No, the new-found popularity of Graves stems from PVP.
[ability]Grave Destruction[/ability] all on its own has completely shaken up the PVP meta. The effect of removing objects wrecked the current popular combo of [ability]Cyclone[/ability] and [ability]Rain Dance[/ability] and makes the [pet]Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling[/pet] with its Decoy a bit less annoying. That's on top of its ridiculous AOE damage.
Partnering with a pet that buffs him, like [pet]Murkalot[/pet] with [ability]Righteous Inspiration[/ability], makes things absolutely blow up. I've seen this particular duo fairly frequently, and I did not frequently come out the better of it. And unlike most other pet AOE, Grave Destruction's damage on each pet actually increases as you kill opposing pets.
I don't have Murkalot, so I had to play around a bit to find some combos I liked with this powerhouse pet. In general, I've been building around AoE damage comps. The [ability]Call Lightning[/ability] weather effect is fun, but it's very easily countered. [ability]Sandstorm[/ability] in particular was a thorn in my side because that's one decent way to not only counter the base AOE effectively, but remove the weather threat entirely.
The [pet]Pandaren Fire Spirit[/pet] with [ability]Magma Wave[/ability] is an alright partner with AOE and heals, but that leaves my team vulnerable to Critters, and its DPS in that build is a bit lackluster. I also had a decent time pairing Graves with an [pet]Unborn Val'kyr[/pet] with [ability]Haunt[/ability], which makes for that 'infinite' [ability]Consume Corpse[/ability] kicker, but this cuts down on his additional AoE damage by knocking out [ability]BONESTORM[/ability] as an option. An excellent complement is [pet]Spawn of Gnathus[/pet], because [ability]Thunderbolt[/ability]'s damage follows a pattern similar to Grave Destruction, but it's also on an Aquatic pet, making you ready to counter the Graves teams you come across.
The other side of this shake up is that Graves is relatively easy to counter, but it brings another strange, oddly specific twist to the meta. Lots of people seem to be running with teams featuring the high-dodge rabbit, or using the new [pet]Frostfur Rat[/pet] with its sneaky [ability]Refuge[/ability] ability to take Graves out. The [ability]Call Darkness[/ability] and [ability]Sneak Attack[/ability] combo it runs with is particularly good at eviscerating not only Graves, but that Call Lightning combo we discussed a bit earlier. The other option is stacking an Aquatic pet or two and riding it out with some healing. Frogs are seeing a resurgence, but this is kind of a coin flip. Heads, you beat Graves. Tails, you get ripped apart by [pet]Junglebeaks[/pet].
At this time, there's no other alternative for that big undead AOE damage. The [pet]Fossilized Hatchling[/pet] and [pet]Creepy Crate[/pet] can both also use BONESTORM, making them lackluster but acceptable substitutes if you frontload them. The Hatchling actually makes a decent partner with Graves in an AOE team, too. So the only solution really is to head on over to the Nexus in Heroes of the Storm and get your Graves.
Written by: [profile]Liopleurodon[/profile]
Check out [url=http://battlepetroundup.com/]battlepetroundup.com[/url] or [url=http://blizzardwatch.com/tag/pet-battles/]Blizzard Watch[/url] for more of Liopleurodon's Pet Battle strategies and pet analyses.
Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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