i haven't done much pet battle pvp'ing yet. it's not that i'm not interested, it's just that i've been busy collecting and leveling and, you know, playing that old-fashioned ordinary wow. but yesterday i had some time and curiosity, so went and dabbled. put together a team, lost a few rounds, went back to other stuff, then came back a few hours later with a slightly team. i had a voodoo figurine, a rare oily slimeling, and a darkmoon tonk. i queued up, and a minute later was facing a team consisting of three rare crabs. i can certainly understand the appeal of crabs for battling. a lot of health combined with shell shield and renewing mists make them quite hard to kill, and as aquatic pets they take 25% less damage from harmful dots. since none of my pets had any flying attacks, this didn't look like a good match-up for me. but i had a secret weapon.
my voodoo figurine and my slimeling didn't fare particularly well. they managed to kill the first crab, but the second one still had more than half its health when it finished them off. and then i brought out the tonk.
the tonk hits hard. very hard. it pays a price for this, in that its attacks have long cooldowns, but that was okay. the crab defenses are primarily effective against mitigating lots of small attacks, and then healing back up over time. so i didn't let it. first round, i hit it with shock and awe, knocking it below 50% health. second round, before it had had time to heal much, i hit it with the ion cannon, which i believe is tied with surge of power as the hardest hitting pet attacks. and we had dead crab number two. now, the cannon left me stunned for the next two rounds and crab number three got in some free shots, but that was all right. again, all i had to do was get him down to about 40% of his health before i died, and then the ion cannon ended it.
i queued up again with the same pets, and apparently no one else on our server was playing, because the game matched us up again. same result - the short-term blasts from the tonk's big weapons secured victory before the crabs' long-term abilities could catch up.
the game put us together again for round three. my opponent was no dummy, and this time he'd switched out one of his crabs for a topaz shale hatchling, which is also defensive but as an elemental would have a strong edge against the mechanical tonk. unfortunately for him though, i'd gone to a completely different team, in which all three pets were capable of doing a lot of damage quickly: grunty, a stripe-tailed scorpid, and a chicken. this time the fight wasn't even close.
so, the moral of the story is, no strategy is going to work against every opponent. had i brought, say, a rabbit to that first fight instead of the tonk, things would have gone very differently and this would be a very different post. but i did bring the tonk, and i timed its attacks to maximize their effectiveness against an otherwise solid opponent. mismatches are going to happen, sometimes in your favor and sometimes not, so try not to be all down on your pets or yourself if things go badly. it's most likely you just went scissors and your opponent went rock.
and blizzard? i hope this "fight the same person three times in a row" thing isn't going to be the norm. maybe we should bring some of that cross-realm technology from lfd and lfr over to pet battles, yes?