Beginner’s Battle Pet Guide

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Battle Pets are yet another form of side activity that for the right people brings endless joy – collect, battle, earn. In Battle for Azeroth especially, these tiny critters can speed up tedious reputation grinds and provide you with a boost on Azerite for your necklace or some War Resources. But what if you’re a complete novice and have no idea where to begin? This guide is here to help!

The family attack and defense wheel. (150%/66% Credit: Warcraftpets)


All the Battle Stats

Battle pets can be divided into several categories – family, breed, rarity, and level. A battle pet’s family grants them a powerful passive (flying pets gain extra speed above half health while undead resurrect and are immortal for one round) and based on what the family is, the given pet can deal or take increased or reduced damage to the opponent’s pet. Thus, an aquatic pet like the Magical Crawdad will deal 50% bonus damage to the elemental Lil’ Ragnaros, while a flying Ikky will only deal 66% damage to a dragonkin Emerald Proto-Whelp.

The pet’s breed decides how stats are spread across the three stats – Attack, Health, and Speed of a pet. More balanced allocations actually mean a loss of stat points, while going full-on Attack, Speed or Health means that they use up all the points, but may fall short on the other two stats. Some battles or pets require specific breeds to be optimal, which can be frustrating especially if you don’t have the certain breed but the pet is rare.

Then, they are also divided by rarity – they can be Rare (blue), Uncommon (green), Common (white) or Poor (gray). This decides how much stats they have and get per level, which means that you should always strive for rare pets since it has the maximum allocated points to the stats possible. And lastly, levels are how strong a given battle pet is. It can range from level 1, all the way up to 25 and the pet unlocks ability slots during certain level milestones. A pet’s abilities are primarily decided by its family and appearance and some of them have unique abilities which separate them from the rest.

In battle, an additional mechanic is present – weather conditions are triggered whenever an ability that causes them is used. They are either beneficial to a given family or detrimental to both players and thus should be taken advantage of. (Elemental pets ignore all negative weather effects passively though)

When it comes to Draenor pets, it’s either broken or bad.


Notable Battle Pets

Not all battle pets are captured in the wild! A large chunk of them are drops from raid bosses, obtainable through promotions or quest rewards spread throughout the seven expansions.

In fact, most top tier pets are not capturable and therefore tradable and purchasable on the auction house. Current favorites include Ikky (a flying bird, obtained through a questline in the Spires of Arak), Anubisath Idol (a humanoid statue, dropped by Emperor Vek’lor in Ahn’Qiraj), Iron Starlette (a mechanical war machine, obtained through a questline at level 90 in Draenor) and the Darkmoon Tonk and Zeppelin (which you can purchase with Darkmoon Tickets at the monthly Faire)!

Different pets have different uses, and not all are created equal. Specific pets are tailored better for PvP (Lil’ Ragnaros), while others are just born to one-shot some boss pets (Zandalari Anklerender and Kneebiter). If you want to collect them all, you’ll have to put in the time to carefully examine which ones you should prioritize to get the maximum benefit and efficiency.

Garrisons may be useless, but they sure do help when it comes to levels!


Powerleveling Them All!

While yes, the first time you level up a team to 25 will be a slow and steady process, it’s all up from here. Optimization is key and there are a few methods to boost your experience gain. You can get a permanent 10% bonus by defeating 40 Master Pet Trainers with a Safari Hat (a feat I managed to achieve while having less than 100 unique pets), two pet treats that grant 25% and 50% experience for an hour each, the pet battle bonus event which comes up ever so often that TRIPLES experience.

Now, all trainers are created equal. Harder fights give more experience as a secret multiplier. Draenor Menagerie trainers give either 4x or 5x experience. Combined alongside other bonuses, you can potentially gain around 20k experience for a pet in one battle if you can manage to kill the enemy trainer’s team with only two fully-leveled pets.

Level-up stones are also available to purchase with pet charms or earned through world quests. They can give that little push you need when capturing level 25 pets since their level is reduced on capture to 23.

For those who hate rep grinds, 8.2 pet battles are their saving grace.


Battle for Azeroth’s Pet Purpose

The newest expansion also follows Legion’s trend of providing extra pet bonuses with world quests that spawn each day rather than specific daily quests. You can get war resources, azerite, gold, upgrade or level-up stones or the new polished pet charms which you can spend to get even MORE pets (and you’ll need a lot to get them all, approximately 3300 of these bad boys).

In addition, Patch 8.2 added three (two faction-exclusive and one neutral) reputations which you have to grind progress towards in order to unlock flying. On Mechagon Island and Nazjatar, there also lie a lot of legendary battle pets which you can battle. They have a ton of health and an upgraded version of a pet’s basic ability (with an added X at the end). Defeating them gives a quest which you can turn to a hub NPC for 250 Unshackled/Ankoan and 50 Rustbolt Resistance rep.

And for those that want a real challenge, you can also attend the Celestial Tournament or the many Pet Battle Dungeons across Azeroth. Though lucrative in their rewards, these instances require a large collection and sometimes specific breeds that have to be used in order to win.


The most important thing to understand when it comes to pet collecting is that everyone started from the beginning. It takes patience, dedication and passion to become a true collector. I have been collecting pets for about three years and I’m almost at 1000 unique collected, but different players have different paces, which is totally fine. If you liked this article, please check my others on Hearthstone’s newest expansion, side activities in 8.2 or allied races!

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