• May 28, 2023

Even though Blizzard has not announced any major new features for the pet battles in WoW: Shadowlands (such as additional dungeons), fans of pet battles can look forward to one or two adjustments. What exactly Blizzard has planned for Shadowlands, the developers recently explained in a detailed blue post.

Nerfs for strong abilities and new pets

In short, the adjustments are as follows:

  • New Pets: Shadowlands will offer various new pets to catch and collect. In addition, new NPC trainers and achievements are to be added to the game.
  • New Abilities: Battle pets will get new abilities in the context of pacts.
  • Buffs and Nerfs: Blizzard wants to adjust some abilities, including Black Claw, Hunting Pack, Shard, Twilight Meteorite and Glass of Stinking Liquid, among others.

Blizzard writes about the changes in the Bluepost:

"Damage-modifying abilities like Black Claw now happen according to multipliers like Shattered Defense, or the strengths and weaknesses of the pet species. This is a significant change to the value of mere damage abilities. Before this change, Shattered Defense increased Black Claw's value by 100 percent, and if your pet was strong against the other pet's type, it was increased even more. Damage modifiers now happen after all other combat calculations, which is a significant nerf to damage output against abilities that hit multiple times, up to a 25-30 percent reduction in overall damage.

Hunting Pack and Shard and similar abilities are changed extensively


First, the strength of the Shattered Defense debuff has been reduced from 100 to 50 percent. The goal of this debuff is mainly to limit the damage of Hunting Pack and Shard to the damage of the ability itself. Layering on other damage-over-time effects or Curse of Doom or similar sources of delayed damage provided a huge benefit from the Shattered Defense buff. We believe that a 50 percent damage increase is still powerful enough, but has a less drastic effect on damage compared to when Shattered Defense doesn't act at all


second change we made to these multi-round abilities was to increase the amount of damage they deal to kick off some of the changes mentioned above. Abilities that do damage twice per round, like Hunting Pack, get a 25 percent damage bonus. Abilities that deal damage three times per round, like flock, now do more damage round after round. So to get the maximum damage output, your pet must survive and still deal damage on the third round of the ability. Round two of Schar, for example, does 66 percent more damage than round one, not counting debuffs or multipliers. Round three of Coulter does 133 percent more damage than round one of Coulter. The net result of all these changes to damage multipliers, the Shattered Defense debuff, and buffs for abilities like Hunting Pack or Shard means that these abilities do about 20 percent less damage in Shadowlands than before.

Twilight Meteorite and other abilities that deal a lot of damage and spread the damage across the team are fairly well balanced when you use them against multiple enemies, but if you save them until you've defeated two-thirds of the enemy team, the damage output can be devastating, especially when combined with other buffs/debuffs. We've reduced the damage of these abilities by ten percent and believe this change makes them strong, but less frustrating to fight against.

The Glass of Stinking Liquid ability now requires one more round of cooldown. This ability had long been on our radar as being annoying to defend against, and the strength of the ability combined with a speed and damage debuff on the target felt too strong for a cooldown that merely lasts one round.

A few other changes in Shadowlands:

  • Murkalot's Righteous Inspiration has been at the forefront of PvP tactics for quite a while, and is very strong and only exists on this pet. The current change in Shadowlands is that the ability is on cooldown as soon as the pet fight begins, so you'll have to wait eight turns before you can use it against your opponent.
  • Almost all healing abilities have a small variance of plus or minus ten percent when you use them. Healing Surge may state that it heals your target by 100 points, but it actually heals between 90 and 110 points. This is also true for some healing abilities like Life Drain, where it should heal for a fixed amount based on damage done, but is still subject to some variance. All healing abilities have been adjusted so that any variance in the amount healed makes sense, and we removed the variance if it didn't make sense.

Finally, we are thinking about the extent to which old pet combat content will still work after these changes. Some changes we're making might make older fights or achievements too difficult. We really like how it feels to be able to offer so much pet combat content for players at all points in their pet combat journey, whether they're just starting out or already have hundreds of max-level pets.

We expect that pet trainers in Shadowlands will be able to complete older content with an up-to-date selection of pets and look forward to your feedback. We are confident that we can make the necessary adjustments.

Thank you!"

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