Preparing a Pet for the Battledome
Deciding on having a Battledome (BD) pet can have many reasons. For some people, the decision is made on the outset that they will embark on a BD career and so having a BD-worthy pet is a must. For others, they need a pet to help get them a Defenders of Neopia trophy or for defeating avatar-related opponents (by the way, what did the poor Space Faerie ever do to you anyway?). And still for others, they might decide that they should have a pet strong enough and ready to face BD opponents when needed, like during site plots.
Whatever the reason may be, whether it be noble (defeating those who threaten to take over Neopia) *coughSloth’sminionscough* or vengeful (how dare that Boochi zap my Plushie! I’ll thrash him!), preparing a pet for the Battledome doesn’t need to be stressful or difficult as you think it might be. All it takes is some basic know-how and the willingness of you (and your pet of course!) to go and enter the arena of the Battledome. So if you haven’t fought a single battle yet in the BD or would like to be more informed of how to go about preparing a pet for it, here’s a simple and easy guide to help you on your way:
There are three main things that you need to consider in preparing a pet for the BD: 1) pet species, 2) training method, and 3) weapon set.
First of all, let’s talk about picking a PET SPECIES. So now that you’re decided that you’ll have a pet ready for the BD, there are some things you need to consider. Do you drag, I mean, have one of your pets volunteer to be your BD pet, create a new one, or adopt/trade? Well, it’s really up to you, but to have an effective pet in the BD, it will be a good thing to have a pet species that has already certain advantages in that area.
A pet having certain advantages in the BD usually means either of two things. One, that species has innate resistances to certain attacks, and/or two, that species has a species weapon(s) which is largely cheaper or more effective than its non-species specific counterpart. That’s why if you take a look at the pets that Battledomers have, you’ll notice that there are quite many who own similar pet species such as Kacheeks, Pteris, Lupes, Gelerts, Lennies, etc. This is no mere coincidence but more of using the advantages of what those pets have to offer while saving up on neopoints too.
Some pet species have resistances to certain attacks with no vulnerabilities. For example, Pteris have a 40% resistance to air attacks, Shoyrus have a 20% resistance to fire attacks while Kaus have a 10% resistance to almost all types of attacks. Consider then that these are innate resistances and so basically, this would mean that your pet has a free built-in shield!
Another thing to consider is if that species has a species-specific weapon that could save you a lot of neopoints. Usually, this would be a healer or a freezer. Take for example the Gelert Healing Remedy which heals 50% of your Gelert’s maximum HP and is buyable on the shop wiz. The non-species alternative is the Bag of Healing Dust which also heals 50% of any pet’s maximum HP. The difference? The bag costs no less than 10 million NP at the time of this writing. You don’t need to compute how much you’ve saved because it’s obviously A LOT!
So here’s a list of some of the pet species you should consider as your BD pet based on their resistances or weapons:
|Based on resistances
||Based on weapons
There are also some good pet pages out there which give a comprehensive list of species resistances and weapons to help you decide what pet to get. Of course, any type of pet species can be made into a BD pet so if you find that none of the species with resistances or weapons appeal to you, you can still choose the species you like. When you’ve decided, it’s time to train your pet!
Now let’s go to TRAINING METHOD. Typically, BD pets are either hand trained or labbed. “Hand trained” here means pets go for courses at Cap'n Threelegs' Swashbuckling Academy or the Mystery Island Training School while “labbed” means they get their BD stats from the laboratory ray.
There are pros and cons to weigh in going for either method. If you hand train your pet, it will get more expensive and take longer as your pet gets stronger but his/her BD stats will usually be even and there is an advantage to this type of pet build. If you use the lab ray, you only need to pay a one-time cost from purchasing the complete Secret Laboratory Map pieces and it will continue to give your pet stats for however long you want to use it. However, your pet will have very uneven stats which has certain disadvantages.
So if you want to hand train your pet: You can enroll your pets at courses at the Academy on Krawk Island or at the Training School in Mystery Island. Courses at the Academy are paid for with dubloons while courses at the Training School require codestones. Here are the types of courses you can take at either school which then increase your pet’s respective BD stats:
||What It Means:
||Attack power, how strong your pets can use attack weapons
Defensive power, how strong your pets can use defensive weapons
||Movement. Useful if you want to use stealer items.
||Hit points or HP. Basically, this determines how long you can last in battle and measures how much damage you get.
||Level basically determines what courses your pet can enroll in.
Rule of thumb is, you can only train your pet in any of the stats if that stat is not more than twice your pet’s level (the only exception is Endurance which you can train for thrice your pet’s level at the Training School).
Both training schools accepts all pets for training but Cap’n Threelegs only accepts pets who are level 40 and below to his academy. Pets with higher levels than that but which are below level 250 must enroll at the Training School. If your pet gets past level 250, well, that is another story and you’ll probably be an expert in training by then so I won’t need to tell you what happens. :P
Generally, hand trained pets have even strength and defence stats with a slightly higher HP. With the exception of level, you can of course vary how high or how low each stat can be relatively, but just remember the rule of thumb when it comes to level. Training agility or movement is optional for most owners since agility is mainly needed only if you want to use stealers. There are also those who train their pets with much higher strength stats than their defence or train much higher defence stats than strength. This latter is usually done by those who participate in 2-player league battles.
But if you’re ok with labbing your pet: Then you won’t need to think about which stats to train because the laboratory ray will decide it for you. Well, actually, it’s more of the lab ray changing its mind often because it can give your pets stats today, then take away stats the next day! But don’t worry, while it’s true that it can give or take away stats, it will never take away HP, plus it changes your pet’s species, colour or gender on the days it decides it won’t give you stats. Pretty nifty, huh? But of course, if you had picked a particular species to be your BD pet and the lab ray changes his/her species, you would also need to have a morphing/transmogrification potion handy to morph your pet back. Do this only after you’re done labbing your pet.
If you do decide to lab your pet, be prepared to have uneven stats. Labbed pets normally have very high HP, somewhat high strength, somewhat high movement, very low defence and very low level.
How long and how high each stat you want to train your pet depends entirely on your willingness, your budget and the purpose for which you trained your pet in the first place. If you want to battle mostly 1-player opponents, it would be a good idea to train more since those opponents will get stronger each time you defeat them. If you want to do 2-player fights, your pet would normally battle other pets of equal stats, so having a good weapon set (and the strategy to use them) is recommended.
Basically, those stats will matter mostly in how your weapons will deal damage or defend effectively. This is determined by what is called “boost.” Boost corresponds to a particular range of strength or defence stats by which your weapon’s icons are multiplied. Here’s a table to illustrate:
||less than 1
||700 and above
To make sense of that table, let’s say that your pet has 55 str stats and 50 def stats, your pet is then at 55 strength boost and 35 defence boost. So if you have a weapon which deals 6 icons of attack, those 6 attack icons will be multiplied by 2.0, meaning your pet will deal 12 icons of damage. Defence works the same way as strength so if you have a defensive weapon which has say 4 icons of defense, those 4 defensive icons will be multiplied by 1.5, meaning your pet will able to defend from 6 icons of damage.
Wait! What are weapon icons you ask? Well, that will be answered in the next part.
So lastly, let’s build your WEAPON SET. You can’t send your pet into battle without being properly equipped, right? In the Battledome, your pet can have a maximum of 8 weapons equipped and you can use 2 weapons for each turn in the battle.
Weapons which attack or defend have what are called icons which determine the type of damage you can inflict or block. There are 7 icon types: earth, air, water, fire, dark, light and physical. On the other hand, the amount of damage your pet can inflict or block is determined by your pet’s boost as explained earlier.
Weapons can be classified according to the following categories:
Attackers: These are the weapons which do damage to your opponent using a pet’s strength boost. They are usually multi-use and are sometimes called constants. Examples are Stone Club and Ylanas Blaster.
Shields: Weapons that defend your pet from damage using your pet’s defence boost. Examples are Leaf Shield and Sophies Magic Hat.
Dual-duties: Weapons that attack and defend at the same time using your pet’s boost. Examples are Scarab Ring and Golden Compass.
Healer: An item which heals your pet. A healer can either heal a fixed amount of HP such as the Blue Scorchstone, heal according to percentage such as the Bag of Healing Dust or heal a pet to full health such as the Leaded Elemental Vial. Typically, you can only equip one healer and they can only be used once per battle.
Freezer: An item which freezes your opponent and causes them to not be able to do anything in the round that they are frozen. There are percentage freezers which may or may not freeze an opponent when used like the Black Frost Cannon and there are 100% freezers which will always freeze when used like the H4000 Helmet. As with healers, you can only equip one freezer and usually can only be used once per battle.
Bombs: Bombs are like attackers but are usually much stronger but normally, can only be used once per battle and you can only equip one bomb. Many bombs are also one-use items. An example of a once per battle bomb is the Honey Potion while an example of a one-use bomb is the Sand Snowball.
Blockers: Blockers are like shields but defend according to percentage and not your pet’s defence boost. There are full blockers which defend from all types of icon attacks but these are usually once per battle use and you can only equip one of them. Examples are Downsize! which blocks 50% of all attacks while Thyoras Tear blocks 100% of all attacks. The other type of blockers are those which fully block only a specific type of icon attack. They can either be dual-duties such as the Winged Scarab or are pure shields such as the Yooyuball Keepers Chest Guard.
Reflectors: These are weapons which reflect your opponent’s attack. Reflectors reflect a certain icon type and a percentage of it. An example is the Dual Battle Mirror which reflects 50% of light icons. There are also weapons which deal reflected icon damage, meaning they use your opponent’s boost in attacking. An example of this is the Prickly Potion.
Stealers: An item which steals a weapon from your opponent. The item stolen is the weapon which occupies your opponent’s first slot in his/her equipment set. When you successfully steal a weapon, however, your opponent gets your stealing item and may use it against you. After the battle, all stolen weapons are returned back to their respective owners. An example is the Purple Sticky Hand.
As you can see, there are variations within each type of weapon category and to build a good weapon set, it would be best to work with what stats or training your pet has. A typical BD set would usually look like or have the following:
2 multi-use attackers - All sets would need an attacker so you can do damage to your opponent, of course. Since you can use two weapons for every turn in the battle, it would be good to have two main attackers.
2 defensive weapons – These could either be shields, reflectors or blockers. If your pet has a high defence boost, you may want to use two shields or a shield and either a reflector or blocker or even a dual-duty. If you have a lab pet or your pet has low defence boost, go for reflectors or blockers since they don’t rely on defence boost.
1 healer – Healing is important in the BD and will make your pet last longer and avoid losing in battle as s/he recovers lost HP.
1 freezer – Freezing guarantees a free turn for you in which you can deal your maximum damage to your opponent. It gains more importance in 1-player battling when your opponent gets a lot stronger than you. In 2-player battling, it is expected that your opponent would have a freezer although you may ask for a no-freeze fight in certain battles.
1 bomb – Since you can only equip one bomb and they are once per battle or one-use items, you should get a bomb that deals a significantly higher damage than either of your main attackers.
1 situational-use item – The eighth slot of your BD set can be any item which you think can help you more in battle. You can equip another main attacker, another defensive weapon or another dual-duty. You can also put a stealing item here.
You can vary the type of weapons you equip to suit your battle pet or the opponent you’re battling. Just take note that healers, freezers, bombs, stealers and full blockers are considered special items, meaning you can typically only equip one of each type.
There’s still one thing you can give your pet before sending him/her into the battledome. Have your pet blessed by the faeries! This is done by getting a bottled faerie and have him bless your pet. When your pet gets blessed, they are given a certain faerie ability which is dependent on your pet’s level and how many times s/he has been blessed by the same type of faerie.
There are certain faerie abilities which are considered more useful than others. An example of this is the ability “burrow” which protects your pet from 97.5% of all earth, air, water, fire and physical attacks. Your pet can get this ability if s/he is at least level 10 and has been blessed four times by a bottled earth faerie. Other useful abilities are sink, drain life, regeneration, restore, fiery gaze, etc. Take note, though, that you can only ‘activate’ seven faerie abilities at a given time and that in battle itself, you will only be able to use at most three of these abilities since they will use your pet’s power.
So now that your pet has been chosen, trained, equipped and blessed, your pet is now ready to take down those opponents in the Battledome! Remember that experience is the best teacher so have your pet have a go at the BD and watch as you and your pet gain more confidence and acquire battle strategies with each battle. Go now and have fun!