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Patch 5.1: New Naxxramas battle pets terrorize their way onto your team

Loatheb, a larger version of the Fungal Abomination pet.
Of all the 5.1 news that's been released so far, some of our favorite changes and additions involve battle pets. The first is the introduction of new rarity stones that will make your poorly statted yet hard-to-find pets better. Even cooler than that, Blizzard is introducing an entire new set of battle pets into the game as rewards for killing old world bosses.

Today we'll focus our attention on the three ghoulish gifts that drop off bosses in Naxxramas. These creepy undead come with a variety of suitably spooky abilities, and all promise to fit well into many competitive battle pet teams. Undead are one of the best types in pet battling, due to their powerful passive self-resurrection ability and that they're super-effected by critters, one of the worst types in the game. I'm hoping that this trio of terrible terrors might cause us to start seeing something other than Lil' K.T. and Landro's Lichling in PVP pet battles.

How to consume friends and alienate people

Stitched Pupling drops off Gluth, the third boss of Naxxramas' abomination quarter. Despite his terrifying visage, this pup is more of guard dog. While we don't know his approximate stats yet, we do have an idea of his moveset (though no knowledge of which column the abilities fall into). He has two self-heals in Plagued Blood and Consume Corpse. Plagued Blood also gives him some nice utility for your next pet to switch in on, and Consume Corpse's large heal combined with this pup's undead nature guarantee a prolonged war of attrition will be needed to take him down.

This is good, because Rabid Strike's damage buff to your opponent will make sure your Stitched Pupling is taking some hard hits. If it can be combined with Howl, it will also guarantee your next attack is suitably painful. Diseased Bite is a standard damaging attack, and it will hit hard with both Rabid Strike and Howl up. Flurry is a mediocre move, especially as I'm guessing Stitched Pupling is lacking in the speed department. It's only real use will be against aquatic pets that will resist Diseased Bite.
Gluth, Stitched Pupling's larger older brother
Most likely, you'll only be able to have one of the damage debuff spells, one heal, and one attack. If that's the case, my pupling will be using Diseased Bite, Rabid Strike, and Consume Corpse, to prolong his life while dealing out considerable pain.

Not your average highly-poisonous mushroom creature

Fungal Abomination borrows a few moves from the moveset of one of my favorite pets, the Sporeling Sprout. He drops off Loatheb, the end boss of the plague wing, and has moves that are suitably mushroom focused. Like his Stitched Pupling friend, Fungal Abomination looks to be like a tank, with access to both Absorb/Consume and Leech Seed. While I doubt he'll be able to use all three of these abilities at once, it would make him one of, if not -the-, strongest self-healing battle pets.

Creeping Fungus is his standard damaging ability, and synergizes well with a stall team that uses Celestial Dragon. In fact, Fungal Abomination on any team that can keep Moonlight up will be ridiculous. Spore Shrooms and Stun Seed round out his moveset. I don't hate these moves, and they'll probably work well given his apparent ability to stay alive long enough for their bloom effects to happen, but they don't thrill me either. They're some nice utility to add to the mix.

Just like Stitched Pupling, I'm going to assume Consume/Absorb won't be usable together; nor will the two seed abilities or Creeping Fungus/Spore Shrooms. With that in mind, I'll likely try to maximize self-healing with Leech Seed and Absorb (or Consume-they're interchangeable), and try to fit some solid damage in with with a Moonlight-buffed Creeping Fungus.

Spiders. Why does it always have to be spiders?
Leveling up my first pets to 25, spiders were my least favorite pets to encounter in the wild. Their self-healing combined with some high damage was frustrating at best and crippling at worst. Now, dropping off Maexnna of the Arachnid Quarter, comes the Giant Bone Spider. In my opinion, this is the best pet of the bunch, combining a spider's awesome moveset with undead typing for a beautiful end result. Unlike the Pupling or his Fungal friend, I'm going to guess this spider won't be a tank.
First off, this pet is a critter killer. While critters might do super-effective damage to this undead, he can retaliate with Poison Spit and Sticky Web to make sure they die first. That moveset can be round out with Leech Life, ensuring he stays alive during the critter-infested leveling process. Death Grip is great for calling out weak pets, and Bone Bite is your standard attack ability. Siphon Life rounds out the moveset, but without supporting moves or a large health pool the heal-over-time effect won't be more useful than Leech Life.

At endgame, however, I think this spider will best be used to cull the weak. My assumption is that the two healing abilities won't be able to be used together, nor will Death Grip/Sticky Web and the two generic damaging attacks. When an opponent hides his hurt DPSer behind a tank with group heals, your undead spider can use Death Grip to pull him out, Bone Bite to lay the hurt on him, and Leech Life to keep herself alive until the switch. And, if rooted and unable to switch out, Leech Life and her undead passive will help ensure this spider spooks the enemy into submission.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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