There are two ways I can classify my favorite battle pets. Ones I like and ones I like to fight with. As I had mentioned before while writing here each one of my characters has a pet that fits their personality.
My hunter has had his sporebat ever since it was found out that it can make rogues bleed from their anus, my priest has used her giant sewer rat since the day she caught it, my warrior and mojo have been best friends for many years and my druid fell in love with her onyxia whelpling the moment they met when WoW anniversary gifts were actually cool.
For me it always seemed like certain pets found their way to their rightful owner. They just clicked. Now that pets are more then just little companions that follow you around the choice of which ones to use are more than just cosmetic for me. Even if the ones that follow me around has not changed.
My sprorebat and onyxia whelpling are 25 now but my sewer rat is only 18 and mojo is unused as of now.
So what makes a good team for me?
I like survival, something that has a heal. My focus has changed a lot since I first started doing pet battle and some of the earliest ones I leveled ended up stuck around level 8 or so, never to be used again. When I first started, just like everyone else, I was just trying everything. It took a while for me to start to format what I like to believe is a team for me.
I have begun to like to use what I call a balanced team. One pet that has some survival skill, as in a heal or shield of sorts, and two attack abilities. One pet that has a minor utility and two attack abilities and last but not least, a tank. The tank should have a heal, a shield and a way to whittle down the opponent.
Here are some examples of pets that fit the mold of what I have began to like in my group. Every team will always have at least one of this type of pet and usually two.
My cub took the lead on favorites early on thanks to getting the third slot ability of Devour at level 4. The combination of Pounce which does fine damage and more if you strike first and Screech which helps make sure you always go first with the healing Devour gives me it has made my darkmoon cub a formidable opponent and being you rarely run into mechanical units in the world you are rarely put in the position of being badly damaged. Big damage, finishing move heal, and cute too. How can you go wrong?
Snarly has fast become one of my favorite pets to battle with. He is great as the secondary character when leveling low level characters but does have the huge weakness of being aquatic and if you end up with something flying you could be in trouble, but otherwise he can survive nearly anything thanks to his abilities.
I use Consume in the first slot. It does a small amount of damage and heals Snarly for 100% of the damage done. I use Surge for the second ability, as it always goes first. Water Jet, the other ability in that slot might do more damage but going first has major advantages. The third ability you might recognize from my Darkmoon cub having it also, Devour. If you play it right, you will remain at full health, forever.
Just like Snarly he has the weakness against flying being an aquatic but outside of that he is the perfect example of a tank. He has a Shell Shield which reduces damage for 5 turns and a heal that is nothing to laugh at. His only offensive ability is surge and like I mentioned before I like that one because it always goes first and going first is a huge advantage in pet battles.
I've had some epic battles with my Emperor Crab but then again, anything with him has a chance to be an epic battle as he is not exactly going to kill anyone quickly. The shell ability is beyond fantastic against any swarm type of pet ability like locust, or rat stampede, or chicken eggs or anything of that type as none of them will ever hit you for anything when that shield is up. Have to love that.
Those are the three styles of pets I like you use when out in the wild and leveling other pets. They all can go without the need to ever heal at all as long as you do not run into anything they are weak against. Even in some cases you can fight your way through those too. Sometimes.
Other styles of pets I like to keep around are offensive pets that have abilities that compliment each other. There are a few types like that.
Murkimus the Gladiator:
He is one of the type that has attacks from all ends type of attacks. Flurry does an extra attack if he strikes first, Counterstrike does an extra attack if he strikes last. Pretty cool huh? Heroic Leap, his third skill I like to use, I use more defensively and if I am going first it can be used to maximum effect.
If you are going first and the opponent does one of those two turn abilities like flying up in the air and then landing a big strike or burrowing in the ground and popping up for a big strike, after you see them do that you can use heroic leap, going first you will go in the air, they land their hit on nothing, and you avoided all that damage and if you happen to hit with it you hit for a crap ton of damage yourself, enough to one shot some enemies if you crit. See, another advantage of going first. And lets not forget, even if it is minimal, Murkimus is humanoid which means every hit gets him a small heal. Not bad at all.
This is another powerhouse pet that has abilities that compliment each other. Poison Fang will poison an enemy and then Vicious Fang will do more damage to a poisoned opponent. Used together means nice power. Add in Hiss, to make you are are always going first, and you get that extra shot in that the faster beast usually does. There are many types of pets that have this type of ability where one thing poisons/applies a bleed/whatever and the next does more damage if it has that thing on it. When making a team it is sometimes nice to have a power player in it like this, that can keep stacking abilities for more effect.
If you are planning on going on a catching spree there are a few pets that can really help you and a few tips that you should follow. Never put on DoTs, never throw down timed abilities like a bomb that explodes in three turns, and never use a power pet because once accidental critical and they are dead.
There are two tips I can give you when it comes to catching pets. One is a pet itself and the other is, for lack of a better word, cleaver use of game mechanics.
While not exactly an overwhelming pet for attack, defense, or support he is the best pet in the game hands down when it comes to catching other pets. Thanks to an ability called Weakening Blow which he can never bring an opponent below 1 with you will be assured you never accidentally kill that critter you want to catch. Admit it, we have all done that before and wanted to kick ourselves afterwards. So if you are out on the hunt for a rare pet, even more so one that is a much lower level, even a level 25 turnip couldn't kill it if it tried using Weakening Blow. No more accidentally turning the pet you wanted to catch into street pizza.
Now for the tip of the day for pet players.
Ever see a rare you really wanted and accidentally killed it, or went into it with the wrong group and are getting your butt handed to you and you know once you get wiped out your chance to catch it is gone. All you can do is scream and curse that you were not prepared or made a mistake. Nope, not true.
Here is what you do if something like that happens. Hit the little x in the upper right hand corner of your game. Do not log out, do not pick an ability, click it as soon as something goes wrong ASAP. Now, log back in and guess what, the same exact group you were battling is back. The rare is still there and even more importantly, still alive. You can even change your team to a better team capable of taking it if you were getting wiped out. The only problem is, if there is another pet hunter in the area they can grab it between the time you left and the time you log back in, but wouldn't it be better that someone else got it then you not getting it at all, just for the chance you might get it if you get back in time? I think so.
When out rare hunting I leave a second wow open with name and password already typed in. If something goes wrong I hit the x and log in on the other one instantly and am back in game battling only seconds later. Perhaps you could do that as well, so you do not lose that rare you have been looking for forever.