Word of advice: if you’re going for the pandaren spirit trainers, don’t bother bringing anything speed-focussed unless it’s completely specialised*.
Speed in pet battles is a binary affair; you either have enough to go first or you don’t. It bears no relation to the Haste we’re familiar with in the rest of the game, where you literally get more attacks for having more speed. This in itself is not a bad thing – indeed, in a turn-based system, using Speed as an initiative stat is about the only sensible thing to do.
The problem comes in where the pandaren trainers all use legendaries. Being that legendaries are two entire tiers above the rares that we rely on, we’re basically running at a 20% disadvantage to all stats.
I generally rely on fast pets, but the spirit trainers’ pets are no slouches in the speed department, and will most often be able to beat me to the punch. That means the stat investment in speed is a complete waste – in most cases I’d be better off with no speed at all and a power-focussed team.
I’ve beaten the spirit tamers and claimed my non-soulbound pet – promptly mailed to my wife, because I don’t see her beating these guys any time soon. I even got another one of the same type from the dailies, so maybe there is such a thing as karma. Can’t help feeling it would’ve been much easier with a different team, though.
Anyway. Three pets short of my Pristine Trap achievement still, so I’m hoping for that this weekend. Spent a while levelling my newly rarefied Minfernal, and it turns out that at lvl 14 he’s a goddamned pansy. I’m having to resort to running up DoTs, using his Meteor – which has an obscenely high miss rate that it doesn’t warn you about – and then switching to a Lava Crab to actually kill stuff. Fortunately DoTs are good for the crab’s Conflagrate attack, so it isn’t all bad. Still, a little disappointing that it has such trouble dealing with teams on its own.
In good news, it seems that either battle-stone drops aren’t dependent on critter type any more, or the Elemental pets out at Therazane’s throne are bugged. The throne’s a good place to grind regardless – the enemies aren’t hard and they mostly aren’t Beast or Critter type – but it got much better last night when I picked up two flawless dragonkin battle-stones off beating shale spiders. This meant that I could upgrade my old uncommon Onyxian Whelpling – which I’d levelled to 25 before figuring out that levelling rares was a better plan – and welcome him back to the team.
* Full disclosure: I do use a rabbit that manages to outrun most of the enemy pets, but I’m mostly using it for its evasive moveset and resistance to elemental-type attacks.