Beasts are likely the simplest pet battle family, very common in the wild and generally without many off-type abilities. They represent the more vicious natural denizens of Azeroth. Not as flashy as many other types, this utilitarian family can nonetheless be rewarding to cultivate.
- Vulnerable to Mechanical attacks
- Strong against Humanoid attacks
- Strong offense against Critter types
- Weak offense against Flying types
- Family ability: enrage. A beast will turn red and deal 25% additional damage below 50% health.
- Signature ability: Bite. A straightforward attack that deals immediate Beast-type damage, with no cooldown. Common on non-Beast pets as well.
Levelling a Beast
Beasts are probably the easiest family of pets to level. They’re simple, highly effective against the very common Critter type pets, and have only one significant weakness – their poor offense against Flying types. Mechanical types and attacks are rare in the wild, so this weakness doesn’t often come into play. Unfortunately, Humanoid types are equally uncommon and tend to have a great variety of damage types when encountered, so their strength against these is also not worth counting on.
For a quick levelling pet, I highly recommend any of the many spider types for their low downtime through good self-healing. A spider will generally follow a simple rotation of pulling up a web debuff, using Leech Life on cooldown and using either a basic Strike or applying Poison Spit when possible.
At this point the only spider-type available without battling is the uncommon-quality Smolderweb Hatchling, so you’ll have to go and track a good rare down in the wild or use a battle-stone if you’re stuck on the Smolderweb. Tracking down a wild spider shouldn’t be difficult – they’re generally available fairly early on. I personally favour the Desert Spider and the Venomspitter Hatchling for their looks.
Beasts at level cap
A beast can make a good powerlevelling companion at level cap. Also, while most of the Grand Master Tamers in Pandaria use somewhat more exotic types than are usually found in the wild, the Pandaren Spirit tamers make extensive use of Critter types.
PvP with a Beast
At the time of this writing, the Fluxfire Feline is the PvP pet du jour. This pet is absolute murder against a beast. Mechanical types in general are popular in PvP, making Beast types a bit of a gamble regardless.
On the plus side, Humanoid types are more common in PvP. However, humanoids are quite flexible in terms of damage, and so this advantage isn’t quite as concrete as the Mechanical disadvantage. Critter types are uncommon but not unheard of.
In general, while Beasts are good for PvE battles, they’re unlikely to do well in PvP.
Beating a Beast
In PvE, beasts will often spam less-optimal abilities like Hiss or Poison Spit, which makes them less dangerous than they potentially can be. Watch out for Burrow against snakes, and be aware of your health if a spider switches in – they will often spam Sticky Web, which can wear away at a damaged pet while preventing it from switching out, and thus depriving it of experience.
In PvP, beasts will tend to be fairly predictable. Disrupt them wherever possible.
- As mentioned, spiders make good levelling pets.
- Maggot and grub types combine marvellous ick-factor and fairly good self-heals with a number of off-type abilities, but are quite difficult to master and don’t seem to scale very well at high end.
- Stunted Shardhorns are miniature rhinos which spawn in Shozalar Basin, often inside trees for some reason. You can battle them by binding a key to Interact, targetting them with /tar Stunted, then pressing your Interact keybind.
- Sumprush Rodent is only available when a player places a crate of rodents in Dominance Point or whatever the alliance equivalent is. The crates are quite expensive at 2000 commendations, and are available from the commendation collector NPCs in the faction bases. The pet itself has a unique combination of abilities, two of which – Mudslide and Stench – seem to be designed for something of an edge in PvP.
Beasts I’d like to see
A Jormunguar worm. Hunters can have them, why not pet collectors?