The hatchling is a Beast-type wild pet unique to Searing Gorge, found between lvl 13-14. You’ll likely need to kill some Lava Crabs first, since they share spawn points and the hatchling is a little more rare. Its Firelands style skin is striking, unique, and probably fairly uncomfortable for those strange folks who complained about the Molten Front being inhabited by hellspawned arachnightmares.
Part of what makes the hatchling so interesting is that its moveset deviates pretty far from standard beast archetypes. While it can use the very handy Life Leech/Brittle Webbing combo, and it does have the ever-useful Sticky Web ability, these abilities are heavily shuffled from the standard spider setup. The hatchling has the option of using both webbing types at the same time, where on a standard spider these share a lvl 2/15 ability slot. Furthermore, Life Leech has been moved to the lvl 10 slot, sharing space with the default elemental Burn attack. Lvl 15 sees the hatchling acquire Cauterize, a strong healing move. This means that for maximum survivability, it’s entirely possible to load out with Life Leech, Cauterize and Brittle Webbing. The downside of the skill switching is that you’ll need to wait until lvl 20 before you have access to Brittle Webbing.
Rounding out our ability pool is an AoE Magma Wave attack. This might be useful for its secondary effect of sweeping objects off the battlefield, but mobs that place objects are seriously scarce – it seems more like a placeholder/AoE option until Brittle Webbing comes along.
The other sacrifice made is that, while a standard spider can have a fairly hard-hitting ability twinned with its healing loadout, the hatchling can have either Life Leech or direct damage. Cauterise is probably powerful enough to make up for using Burn instead of Leech, but I question the benefit of using an Elemental-type attack on a creature type that’s notoriously vulnerable to the Mechanical types that elemental damage would be most useful against. That, combined with elemental damage’s weakness against Critter-type enemies, makes Burn a neat flavour choice and good for occasional utility, but still somewhat lackluster for general PvE use.
While the preceding issues may sound less than encouraging, the truth is that this pet is a really good leveller, and has a substantial advantage over the standard spider in its impressive ability to recover from burst damage and missed attacks. There’s virtually no downtime in levelling the pet, and it scales impressively well to endgame.
Let’s be honest, though… you should be levelling this for its looks alone.
- What: wild Beast battle pet
- Where: Searing Gorge, lvl 13-15
- Why: Looks, unique elemental moveset
- When: as soon as you clear out some Lava Crabs
- How: you’d be slightly nuts to throw a critter or mechanical at this – go for the turnip or a crab
Good luck and have fun!