When I first started on pet battles, I was way behind. The whole thing came in as part of the Mists of Pandaria expansion and, having skipped out of the game when Cataclysm was still a thing and only returned when Mists of Pandaria was nearly a year old, it felt like there was a lot of catching up to do.
Not that “behind” really means much. Pet Battles, like so much of WoW, can be viewed as a primarily solo activity. That others have already “done all the things” doesn’t mean that you cannot go do them or that they are in some way diminished. It just means that you still have to travel a road that others might have already gone down. Sometimes that isn’t a bad thing, as they will leave notes behind to help you out.
It was more a matter of coming back to WoW and there being so much to do. When the instance group finally all got back on the first thing on the agenda was to finish up Wrath of the Lich King. After that there was Cataclysm and then, finally, we got into Mists of Pandaria. During that time I did not do much about Pet Battles. I caught a few pets now and again, but for the most part I was in zones with level 20-25 pets, while my own collection was mostly in the level 1-8 range.
He remains one of my favorites, always in the rotation if I am facing beast type pets. After him there were other, like the Terrible Turnip, until I had a few choices for a max level party.
Of course, having a few choices tends to highlight the holes in your lineup. Such is the rock-paper-scissors of
Pokemon Pet Battles, where having three level 25s can be a long way from having the RIGHT three for a given battle. After unlocking the Menagerie in my first garrison, it was a struggle to defeat Gorefu, Gnawface, and Carrotus Maximus in order to unlock the next upgrade.
It was one of those things where I went to look up the fights, having failed badly, only to find that I did not have any of the suggested pets for these battles. I found substitutes and managed to scrape by, defeating Gorefu mostly on luck rather than having the right counters.
I persisted, working on leveling up additional pets. I picked up a couple of the addons suggested by people and had a plan to get the pets I wanted to level 25.
I still struggle a bit getting pets to level 6 or so. No system in place for that yet. But once they are 6 or so, there is the aquatic battles in Pandaria in order to get them to 15 and then they can be swapped into my daily pet master battles in Draenor. I even leveled up one of my characters in Draenor pretty much via Pet Battle experience.
As my collection has grown, so has my list of pre-set teams. The first time I struggled with the Menagerie unlock battles. Now I have a pre-set group for all three that will do them in no problem. I am good against the Darkmoon Faire battles now, and have been creating groups to counter the daily battles that come up in the Menagerie.
And when I go look things up now, I sometimes even have the pets suggested for the given battle, or at least a close enough substitute. (Though one of my minor gripes is how many pets share the same model and same attacks and simply have a different name. While I like my three cockroach threat team, I am not sure the cockroach, the fire-proof roach, and the tainted cockroach are all that different. Basically there are 10 sets of roaches that share everything except a name.)
Still, it came as a surprise to me the other night when yet another pet hit level 25 and I got an achievement.
That is the achievement you get for having 75 pets at level 25. Of course, the reward is another pet to level up. On getting that I checked my stats over at Warcraft Pets and found I was just a couple shy of 400 unique pets total. I took my level 90 druid, who I still haven’t pushed into Draenor yet, and had him start hunting for new pets in Pandaria. That is probably the one expansion I have the least pets from. And soon, I had another achievement.
That is what you get when you collect 400 unique pets… well, that and another pet.
Suddenly I seem to have more options.
While I continue to build up my collection, I want to start looking into the Mists of Pandaria options when it comes to Pet Battles, which leads up to the Celestial Tournament. And, of course, there is a collection to
obsess about round out. There are currently 724 pets, so I am just past half way towards catching them all… or whatever. Still plenty of pet battling to be done.