Basics of Battling: The Pet Journal
The Pet Journal is the single most important tool for pet battling and without it, you wouldn’t be able to pet battle to begin with. So be sure to use the journal as much as you can.
Once you’ve visited the Pet Battle Trainer and have learned Battle Pet Training and Track Pets and have either purchased a pet or have pets to use already, open the Pet Journal. You can do this by either manually pushing the button that has the picture of a horse on it or by pushing Shift-P. This brings up the Mounts and Pets Journal. At the bottom of the journal, you’ll see a tab for mounts and one for pets. You want the one for the pets.
At the top of the pet journal, you’ll see a portrait of a raptor and monkey battling next to an “i”. If you click that “i”, it will either bring up or close the information tutorial in-game regarding the pet journal. In the middle, there is a number. That is the amount of achievement points that you’ve earned regarding pet battles. Nothing game-breaking, but still interesting information.
Underneath that and above the Search function, it will say Total Pets and then a number. That’s the number of total pets that you have, duplicates included. The total number of pets you can have is 1000, so keep that in mind when you’re collecting pets.
Within the pet journal tab, you’ll see what pets you currently have and also the ones that you don’t have. They will be listed on the left side of the pet journal in alphabetical order. (The alphabetical part is important because even with many filters applied, pets are generally sorted alphabetically. If you look closely, to the right of the pet name, you will also see the pet’s family symbol telling you which family the pet belongs to without having to click on the pet to find out.) Any pets that you don’t currently own will be grayed out and you will be unable to use them in pet battles. By clicking on a pet, unowned or otherwise, you will learn more about that specific pet. The journal will list what abilities the pet has and at which level that pet will learn those abilities. It will also list what family of pet they belong to and if you mouseover the name of the pet, it will display some more information about the pet. A nice little saying, usually, but it also tells you where you can get the pet and if the pet is tradeable or not. Most pets can be found in the wild, and it will display which zones the pet can be found in, and a lot of them can be found in multiple zones. For those that cannot be found in the wild, it will also list that information as well. Do note that most (if not all) wild pets cannot be traded, so you will have to venture out into Azeroth and find them for yourself.
Summoning a Pet
One of the nice things about having pets is that you can summon them to follow you around! To summon a pet, click on the pet that you would like to summon in the journal, then hit the Summon button at the bottom of the journal to bring that pet out. Alternatively, you could double-click on the pet to summon it, or once you place a new pet in the first slot of your journal, it will automatically summon that pet.
Once a pet is summoned, the button will change to a Dismiss button. Click it to dismiss your pet. (Note: You do not have to dismiss your pet before you summon another. Simply summon a new pet and it will automatically dismiss the old one.)
At the top left of the pet journal you’ll find the Search function. This allows you to search for a certain pet within your pet journal or pets with similar names/locations. For example, if I search for “Darkmoon” in the pet journal, not only will it list all pets with the word Darkmoon in it, but it will also list all of the pets that you can find on Darkmoon Island. So it’s actually a very convenient function if you’re looking for a certain pet.
If you’re looking for a specific pet or a specific type of pet, the pets listed in the Pet Journal can be sorted through via filters that can be applied to the journal. Located at the top left of the Pet Journal, next to the Search function, the various filters are: Collected with a sub-category of Only Favorites; Not Collected; Pet Families; Sources; and Sort By. I’ll explain what each of them does a bit more in-depth.
The Collected filter will filter out the pets that you have not collected and will only include those pets that you currently own. So pets that you have not collected will no longer appear on the left; only the ones that you have collected will be listed. The Collected filter also has a sub-category called Only Favorites. This will list only the pets that you have both collected and have designated as a Favorite pet. To designate a pet as a Favorite, right-click on the pet, then select Set Favorite from the menu. This will place a star next to the pet in the journal, indicating that it’s a favorite pet of yours.
The Not Collected filter will filter out the pets that you have collected and will only include those pets that you currently do not own. So pets that you have collected will no longer appear on the left and only the ones that you have not collected will be listed. This is convenient if you’re trying to find out which pets you still need and don’t want to have to go through your entire list to find those pets.
The Pet Families filter will allow you to filter out pets that do not belong to a specific family of pets. So if you wanted to list only the Humanoid pets that are in the game, you would open your Pet Journal, click on the Filter button, navigate down to Pet Families, then click Uncheck All. This will remove all pets that belong to those families (in essence, it removes all pets from your pet journal). Click on the box next to Humanoid and it will bring up only pets in the Humanoid family. To reverse the filter and bring back all of your pets (and presumably those you do not own as well), simply click the Check All box and it will bring all of the pets back up.
If you’re looking for ways to earn pets, then the Sources filter might be of use to you. It resembles the Pet Families filter quite a bit, except that it filters pets based on how to acquire them rather than what family they belong to. The filter includes: Drop, Quest, Vendor, Profession, Pet Battle, Achievement, World Event, Promotion, Trading Card Game, or Blizzard Store. So if you wanted to find out every pet that you can get from achievements, click the Filter button, navigate down to Sources, then click Uncheck All. This will remove all pets that are acquired from those sources (again, in essence, it removes all pets from your pet journal). Click on the box next to Achievement and it will bring up only those pets that you can acquire from achievements. It will list what achievement you must earn to get the pet, but it doesn’t tell you what those achievements entail. I’ll be listing what those achievements are later on in the guide.
The final filter (and probably the one that I most use) is the Sort By filter. The Sort By filter allows you to sort your pets by one of the following criteria: Name, Level, Rarity, and Type. Sorting by name will list all pets alphabetically and it is the default filter in place. The Level filter will sort your pets by level with the highest level pets listed at the top of the journal and numerically sorting the rest out as their levels go down. The Rarity filter will sort your pets by rarity with those of the highest rarity listed at the top and the rest of your pets listed as their rarities go down. The Type filter will sort your pets by family (or type as they call it), except that it includes all pets of all families. It’s kind of like the Pet Families filter except that all pets of all families are listed instead of just one or a few. Do note, that even with these various filters applied, pets are still sorted alphabetically as best as they can be. That can be of some assistance if you’re looking for a certain pet of a certain level and rarity.
I highly recommend that people pursuing pet battles acquaint themselves with the Filter function as it is highly valuable and you will more than likely be using it quite a bit. Just start playing around with it and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. That’s enough for that side of the journal. Let’s start talking about the right side.
Pet Information and Slots
As said before, when you click on a pet, more information about that pet will appear on the right-side of the journal. It lists the name of the pet, the family the pet belongs to, what abilities the pet has, what rarity the pet is, the pet’s maximum health, the power stat of the pet, the speed stat of the pet, the level of the pet, and the pet’s experience bar. All of these things are important because you need to know what the pet can do and how powerful and healthy the pet is. Let’s go through this information.
The name of the pet is pretty self-explanatory. It lists the name of the pet and it’s portrait, but when you mouseover the name, it will also tell you where and/or how to acquire the pet and they usually have a nice little saying at the bottom telling you a bit about the pet. Those little sayings are flavor text and have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the performance of your pet. If the pet can be purchased from a vendor, it will also list what vendor(s) sell the pet and how much the pet costs. The current level of the pet is also listed here.
Across from the name is the family that the pet belongs to. They can belong to one of 10 families: Aquatic, Beast, Critter, Dragonkin, Elemental, Flying, Humanoid, Magic, Mechanical, or Undead. If you mouseover the family’s symbol next to the family name, it will give you information about that family’s racial passive ability and how the pet deals damage. Pets will always deal extra damage to pets of another family and take reduced damage from pets of another family. You simply need to mouseover that little symbol to find this information out.
Below the name of the family of the pet, it will list the abilities that the pet has. At certain levels, those abilities will open up (with the exception of the first ability, which is always available as soon as you acquire the pet). I will be discussing abilities and how to acquire them and place them on your pet later on in the guide.
The maximum health of the pet is listed below the portrait of the pet and will list how much health the pet has when it is fully healed. Conversely, this also tells you how much damage your pet can take before it is killed. For example: I have a Brown Prairie Dog that’s level 1 and it has 153 health listed. That means that it has 153 maximum, total health and it can take 153 damage before dying. The health stat varies pet to pet and can even vary depending on what breed the pet is. As with some other things, I will be discussing breeds and their effects later on in the guide.
How much power and speed does my pet have? To find out, look under the health of your pet and it will list the power stat for your pet (with a sword symbol next to it to show “power”) and the speed stat under that (with a trailing arrow symbol to show “speed”). The higher the power stat that your pet has, the more damage its abilities will do. The more speed your pet has, the better its chances of going first in battle. You’ll want as much power and speed as possible, and I’ll discuss this more in-depth when you get to the section concerning breed.
Rarity of your pet can be found under the power and speed stats (or on the left side of the journal*) and there are 6 rarities of pets, 4 of which you can attain. The rarities are: Poor, Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. As you can see, they follow the same path and color scheme as items. Generally speaking, Poor quality pets have the worst stat allotments and health and Legendary have the best stat allotments and health. As of the writing of this guide, players cannot obtain pets of Epic or Legendary quality. It is unknown if Blizzard will implement these rarities of pets for player attainment in the future.
*You can also find out the rarity of your pets by looking down the list on the left-hand side of the journal. Poor quality pets are outlined in gray, Common in white, Uncommon in lime-green, and Rare in blue. If we ever get Epic or Legendary pets, I would bet that they would be outlined in purple and orange, respectfully.
Finally, at the bottom of that box is the experience bar. This bar will tell you how much experience the pet has earned and how much more it needs to get to the next level. Each level’s experience bar (like player’s experience bars) will take progressively more experience to fill, with a level 1 pet needing 50 experience to get to level 2 and so on. I’ll explain experience a bit more in-depth later. (You’re probably getting tired of me saying it, right? I hope you get used to it because I’ll probably be saying that alot.) If your pet is level 25 (the maximum pet level), the experience bar will disappear as you can’t gain any more experience.
Let’s talk about how to place pets in your battle slots. (Yay! Finally!)
After you’ve learned Battle Pet Training, you will see 3 slots on the right side of the journal, of which the first is the only one unlocked. You can now place a pet into that slot for battle. Select which pet you would like to use then drag it over to the unlocked slot. This places that pet into the slot and allows you to do pet battles with it. The other two slots can be opened by completing the achievements Newbie and Just A Pup. Newbie requires that you level a pet to level 3 and it will open the second slot. Just A Pup requires that you level a pet to level 5 and will open the third and final slot. You cannot earn more than 3 slots, so if you’re trying to do so after having opened those three, you’re just wasting your time. When your pets are in their slots, not only will the journal show what their maximum health is, but it will also show how much of its maximum health is left, which is extremely important. For example, you don’t want to put a pet into a slot to battle if it only has 150 health out of 900. You’ll want nice, healthy pets for battling.
Placing pets in certain slots does matter somewhat if you’re looking to battle certain pets at certain times. The battle pet placed in the first slot will be the first pet that you will be battling with, so it’s what you would call your starting pet. The pet placed in the second slot is your second pet that will be used if your first pet died (if you swap it out, you get to choose which pet comes into battle), and the pet in the third slot is your third pet that will be used if the other two have died (again, barring swaps). Be mindful of this as you’re pet battling because you may want a certain pet to battle another certain pet and if your pets are in the wrong spots, they may not get that chance.
In the bottom right-hand corner you will find the Find Battle button. This is the button to use if you are trying to queue for a pet PvP battle. In order for you to be able to use the queue system, you must have unlocked all 3 of your pet slots.
In the uppermost right-hand corner you will find the Revive Battle Pets spell. This is the spell learned by the Pet Battle Trainers and will completely heal and revive all of your battle pets, but it has an 8 minute cooldown. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I’ll explain this spell and other healing methods more in-depth later on in the guide.
The pet journal can hold a maximum of 1000 pets, with a cap of 3 pets of any specific pet. For example, you can have every kind of rabbit (there are 15 different varieties), but only 3 of any of those specific rabbits. So once you get, say, 3 Grasslands Cottontails, you won’t be able to capture another Grasslands Cottontail until you release one of the ones you’ve already caught from your pet journal. The only time that you’re allowed to have more than 1000 pets and/or 3 of any specific pet is if you haven’t logged in since the end of Cataclysm, then you may have multiples in your pet journal. You won’t be able to add more pets (if you had more than 1000) or catch more of the kinds that you have (if you have more than 3 of them already) until you rid yourself of the extras.
So how can you rid yourself of extra or unwanted pets? There are two options – releasing them or caging them.
The easiest way to get rid of those pets is to release them. To release a pet, right-click on the pet that you would like to release, then click “Release” from the menu. When you do this, you will be prompted to confirm that you want to get rid of that pet. Click on “yes” to delete the pet from your pet journal. Be careful when you do this, because you may accidentally delete a pet and (as far as I am aware), Blizzard can’t do anything about it.
The second (and generally better way) to rid yourself of pets is to cage them. To cage a pet, right-click on the pet that you would like to cage, then click “Put In Cage” from the menu.* Once a pet has been caged, it will appear in your inventory. Once you have the caged pet, you can give it away to a friend or sell it in the Auction House. Some pets can go for a large amount of gold, so keep that in mind before simply releasing your pets.
*Not all pets can be caged. No wild pets can be caged and even some of the more rare pets cannot be caged. If there is no “Put In Cage” option from the menu, then the pet cannot be caged. You can also find out this information when you mouseover the pet’s name when its information is on the right side of the journal.
That’s about all you need to know about the Pet Journal.