Since their addition back in Cataclysm, battle pets have become a staple in WoW, more or less integrating a Pokémon-esque system as a side activity for players. Whether you genuinely love battling — or are gritting your teeth to collect them all for completion purposes — you’re here to learn more about the WoW best battle pets.
So today, we will be going over our the top 20 battle pets in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, as well as how to get them, what you should be looking for, and why they’re just that good.
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WoW: Shadowlands Best Battle Pet Stats
Before we dive into our list, we’re going to go over some important details and add-ons that we strongly recommend, especially if you’re reading this article to gain a competitive edge.
All pets have a rarity that governs how high their stats can go. The highest rarity is Blue. If you have a pet at a lower rarity, you can buy a Marked Flawless Battle-Stone for fifteen Polished Pet Charms (Lio the Lioness in New Dalaran sells the battle-stone) and use it on the pet. Alternatively, you can occasionally get one as a reward for a pet battle world quest in BFA or Shadowlands content.
Pets have three stats — health (determines how many hit points they have), speed (determines their initiative against enemy pets), and power (determines their attack, heal, and shield stats). These stats are governed by a pair of breed IDs that indicate whether the pet’s stats prioritize health (H), speed (S), power (P), or favor a balanced spread (B).
For example, a pet with a power-focused stat spread would be displayed as “P/P.” A pet with a more balanced stat spread with a slight inclination toward speed would be displayed as “S/B.” The first letter in the pair shows that greater emphasis is placed on the corresponding stat.
Here’s a chart below to help visualize the stat weights:
As you can see, the total stat weight is greater for specialized pets than balanced ones — if you’re looking to maximize your mileage, it’s generally best to get a pet focused on the particular stat you’re looking for. Keep in mind that some strategies do favor balanced spreads, and some breed combinations aren’t available for certain pets.
Battle Pet BreedID displays the stat pairing of each of your pets and all other possible breed variants for their species. It also displays the breed of a wild pet, helping you quickly determine whether or not a wild encounter is worth the time.
Rematch revamps the pet journal UI to allow for additional sorting filters, the ability to remember specific team set-ups (especially useful if you actively do pet battle quests), and additional stat details.
You can see how the revamped UI looks with both add-ons below.
The WoW Best Battle Pets for Shadowlands
Now that you understand stat distribution and have a few helpful tools on hand, let’s take a look at the best battle pets in World of Warcraft.
As a disclaimer, this is merely our take on individual battle pets. There are plenty of team combinations and alternative pet choices that will bring victory to you. If you find yourself struggling to put together a winning comp for a specific enemy, try looking up the fight and reading the comments for tips.
20. Shimmershell Snail (Critter)
Recommended Breed(s): H/P or H/H | Recommended Abilities: Absorb, Shell Shield, Dive
Most of the pets in the critter family are unfortunately lacking. This little guy, however, is an incredibly tanky unit and probably the best critter battle pet in WoW. With its higher-than-average stats, you’ll find a H/P breed to be a self-sustaining monster with Absorb and Shell Shield. We recommend taking Dive as its third ability, as Headbutt is somewhat lacking and cannot stun critter types despite being effective against them.
How do I get it? Encounter it out in the wild on the coast of Darkshore around Levels 2-6. This pet must be caught.
19. Nether Faerie Dragon (Dragonkin)
Recommended Breed(s): S/S | Recommended Abilities: Arcane Blast, Evanescence, Moonfire
The Nether Faerie Dragon is a safe and strong pick for a flying type. Its high speed coupled with the flying type passive will ensure it goes before most enemies, allowing you to gain the full dodge benefit of Evanescence. Following up with Moonfire and spamming Arcane Blast will let you shred all other flying types down to a quarter of their health before you even take a hit.
How do I get it? Encounter it out in the wild near the dungeon of Dire Maul (do not go inside the instance) on Kalimdor around Levels 11-14. This pet must be caught.
18. Servant of Demidos (Magic)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P | Recommended Abilities: Magic Sword, Siphon Anima, Soulrush
This is a simple but very hard-hitting magic battle pet. Despite having low health, the passive from being a magic pet will prevent it from being instantly killed. With access to its unique ability, Magic Sword (which has a 50% chance to crit), you will shred through flying enemies while buying more time for yourself with Siphon Anima.
How do I get it? The Servant of Demidos is a rare drop at Socrethar’s Rise in Shadowmoon Valley (Warlords of Draenor), with about a 15% drop rate. Demidos can be looted once per day per toon, so keep trying on alts to get it.
17. Magical Crawdad (Aquatic)
Recommended Breed(s): H/H | Recommended Abilities: Snap or Surge, Shell Shield, Wish
An absolute tank of a unit, the Magical Crawdad is one of the best aquatic battle pets for its sheer survivability and healing factor. With its Shell Shield mitigating damage long enough for its powerful Wish heal to go off, the Magical Crawdad will slowly but surely whittle away every foe it faces.
How do I get it? Alright, this one is a bit of a doozy. Head to Terokkar Forest in Outland (Burning Legion) and fly over the bodies of water to look for fishing pools of Highland Mixed Schools. Fish specifically from those schools in hopes of looting a rare item called Mr. Pinchy. You can then use the Mr. Pinchy item once every four hours for a total of three tries to get the Magical Crawdad Box, which gives you the pet.
If you fail to get your pet using your first Mr. Pinchy, either fish up another one or throw out the money and buy one from the auction house.
16. Zandalari Anklerender (Beast)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P or P/S | Recommended Abilities: Hunting Party, Primal Cry, Black Claw
This is a strong beast battle pet with very high attack and a set of abilities that let it tear through opponents’ health. If the enemy team consists of faster foes, slow them all with a Primal Cry and follow up with a Black Claw into a Hunting Party to slay everything in your path.
How do I get it? Obtain it as a random drop off the mobs on the Isle of Giants (Pandaria). It’s a fairly quick grind, as a max-level character should be able to one-shot every mob on the island. Alternatively, buy one from the auction house.
15. Ikky (Flying)
Recommended Breed(s): P/S | Recommended Abilities: Quills, Black Claw, Flock
Ikky is a powerful flying battle pet that pairs extremely well with Unborn Val’kyr for challenging elite pet battles. After your Unborn Val’kyr sacrifices itself and weakens the opponent, send in Ikky to hit the enemy with Black Claw and follow up with Flock to shred the enemy’s health pool. His high attack and good speed will make short work of most enemies.
How do I get it? Obtain it as a quest reward for completing a short quest chain in Spires of Arak in Draenor (Warlords of Draenor). Start the quest “The Kaliri Whisperer” at Veil Terrok — once you’re seemingly done with the chain, head back to Veil Terrok to get Ikky from a follow-up quest. You can also buy him from the auction house.
14. Gilnean Raven (Flying)
Recommended Breed(s): S/S | Recommended Abilities: Alpha Strike, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike
The Gilnean Raven is one of the best flying battle pets in WoW due to its amazing speed and synergistic abilities. The only downside is trying to get one with the S/S breed, as only ones from before 2015 can have that stat trait. If you manage to get one, its combination of Call Darkness with Nocturnal Strike can easily devastate most teams, with Alpha Strike constantly getting the bonus attack. Nevermore is also incredibly useful against certain pets that have only one real attack.
How do I get it? Obtain it by creating a Worgen character, finishing the starting quest chain to end up in Darnassus, and paying twenty silver to the pet trainer to buy it.
Keep in mind that the S/S breed is only available from copies obtained before 2015, so check the auction house on multiple servers until you find one. It will most likely cost you somewhere around 150K gold, so beware.
13. Darkmoon Zeppelin (Mechanical)
Recommended Breed(s): H/B | Recommended Abilities: Flyby, Explode, Decoy
This is a fantastic staller and defensive mechanical battle pet with its ability to block attacks and to bypass annoying defenses with its Flyby and Explode combo. The Darkmoon Zeppelin is also a fantastic start mechanical pet for those looking to slowly whittle down their enemies as well.
How do I get it? This pet is buyable from the Darkmoon Faire for 90 Darkmoon Prize Tickets. It also has a small chance of being rewarded from the Darkmoon dailies. It can also be bought off the auction house.
12. Darkmoon Tonk (Mechanical)
Recommended Breed(s): H/P | Recommended Abilities: Missile, Shock and Awe, Ion Cannon
The Darkmoon Tonk is one of the most straightforward and hard-hitting mechanical battle pets in WoW. Launch the Darkmoon Tonk onto the field when you just need something to be vaporized. Open up with Shock and Awe for a good chunk of damage and a possible stun and then spam Missile until the enemy is in range of death from Ion Cannon’s massive burst. Just be sure the enemy dies from Ion Cannon, or you’ll be a sitting duck.
How do I get it? Buy this pet from the Darkmoon Faire for 90 Darkmoon Prize Tickets. It also has a small chance of being rewarded from the Darkmoon dailies and can be bought off the auction house.
11. Clockwork Gnome (Mechanical)
Recommended Breed(s): S/B | Recommended Abilities: Metal Fist or Railgun, Repair, Build Turret
The Clockwork Gnome is a fantastic choice against any enemy with the ability to block multiple hits. Just use your Build Turret ability and watch it chip away defenses immediately. Assuming the enemy doesn’t have a major damage ability, you can safely pop Repair around 50% and get back into the fight with even more turrets.
How do I get it? Obtain it via Archaeology as one of the rare tier rewards for Dwarven artifacts. It costs 100 dwarf fragments to make, so keep doing dwarven archaeology until you get it to appear. It can also be bought from the auction house.
10. Nexus Whelpling (Dragonkin)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P | Recommended Abilities: Tail Sweep, Mana Surge, Arcane Storm
A fantastic sweeper, the Nexus Whelpling cements itself as one of WoW‘s best dragonkin battle pets with its high attack and burst combo of Arcane Storm into Mana Surge. We strongly recommend getting a P/P breed and showing your enemies the power of an arcane dragon.
How do I get it? It’s located around Coldarra in Borean Tundra (Northrend) around Levels 20-22 and must be caught.
9. Iron Starlette (Mechanical)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P or P/S | Recommended Abilities: Wind Up, Powerball, Supercharge
With the combination of Wind-Up and Supercharge, Iron Starlette may be the best mechanical battle pet in WoW, steam-rolling anything caught in its path. With the option to boost its speed with Powerball, you’re best off going with a P/S breed. This puts you just above the average speed of most fast pets, and you’ll still be hitting more than hard enough.
How do I get it? Complete the Warlords of Draenor pre-launch quest chain (still available) in The Blasted Lands. The quest chain is accessible as long as you do not have the quest “Warlords of Draenor: The Dark Portal” active in your quest log. You’ll definitely have access to it if you’ve reached the part where you obtain your garrison hearthstone. The Alliance side starts at the Shattered Beachhead; the Horde side starts at the Shattered Landing.
8. Lil’ Ragnaros (Elemental)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P | Recommended Abilities: Sulfuras Smash, Magma Trap, Sons of the Flame / Sulfuras Smash, Conflagrate, Flamethrower
This is the best elemental battle pet in WoW and the single hardest-hitting battle pet. As befitting of a miniaturized elemental lord, Lil’ Ragnaros will devastate any mechanical enemy with his whopping 374 attack stat and heavy-hitting abilities. His varied move set also lets him turn the battlefield into a fiery inferno or focus on stunning and dodging enemy attacks.
How do I get it? Obtain it from the Blizzard cash shop for ten dollars. However, since you convert in-game gold into a Blizzard Balance Token, it equates to about 110K gold (depending on the market). It also often goes on sale, during anniversaries or summer sales.
7. Kun-Lai Runt (Humanoid)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P | Recommended Abilities: Thrash, Mangle, Rampage / Takedown, Frost Shock, Deep Freeze
An absolute beast of a pet, the Kun-Lai Runt is one of the best humanoid battle pets with an anti-critter niche. With its powerful beast-type move set and resistance against critter attacks as a humanoid, it will quickly decimate any critter you’re going up against. As a plus, it also has an alternative move set that lets it stun and absolutely wail on any target. You’re best off going with a P/P breed so you can rampage through any enemy team.
How do I get it? Encounter it out in the wild on the mountain roads of Kun-Lai Summit (Pandaria) leading to the Shado-Pan Monastery around Levels 20-24. This pet must be caught.
6. Chrominius (Dragonkin)
Recommended Breed(s): H/H | Recommended Abilities: Arcane Explosion, Howl, Surge of Power / Bite, Howl, Ravage
Chrominius is one of the best dragonkin battle pets, especially against flying teams. Its resistance, strong abilities against flying types, and high health pool make it formidable on the field. Chrominius is an all-around great unit and can function as a starter, staller, or finisher. With its varied move set, it can decimate both flying and critter teams.
How do I get it? Chrominius drops in Blackwing Lair (Classic Raid) with about a 25% drop rate. It’s super easy to solo your way through as a max-level character.
5. Emerald Proto-Whelp (Dragonkin)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P | Recommended Abilities: Breath or Emerald Bite, Emerald Presence, Emerald Dream
Probably the best dragonkin battle pet, the Emerald Proto-Whelp is an absolute meatball of a pet, being able to tank damage, dish it out, and heal itself. If its breed is P/P, it can absorb a whopping 90 damage per hit, negating any weak multi-hit abilities. Additionally, you can take a more offensive or defensive approach with its ability set, and it will obliterate most flying and magic teams all on its own.
How do I get it? Encounter it out in the wild around the Savage Thicket in Sholozar Basin (Northrend) around Levels 21-23. This pet must be caught.
4. Xu-Fu, Cub of Xuen (Beast)
Recommended Breed(s): P/P | Recommended Abilities: Spirit Claws, Moonfire, Prowl
This may be the very best Beast battle pet in WoW. Its combo of Moonfire, Prowl, and Spirit Claw is more than enough to shred any unfortunate critter. Alternatively, the Prowl and Feed combo offers decent damage and will keep your little tiger going. Plus, it’s one of the most visually striking pets!
How do I get it? Buy it with three Celestial Coin on the Timeless Isle (Pandaria). You can earn one Celestial Coin per week by winning the PvE pet battle tournament on the Timeless Isle. To enter, you must have at least thirty Level 25 battle pets and actual team compositions to beat the enemy.
3. Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (Mechanical)
Recommended Breed(s): S/S | Recommended Abilities: Breath, Bombing Run or Thunderbolt, Decoy
The Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling is one of WoW‘s best mechanical battle pets when going up against magic and dragonkin pets. As a mechanical pet, the damage reduction against magic attacks will turn this little guy into a great tank. With a solid Breath attack, a delayed Bombing Run, and the ability to block two attacks, the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling can easily set up a win for your team.
How do I get it? It’s created by engineers with 75 points in Pandaren Engineering. You’ll most likely find one on the auction house for somewhere between 1–8K gold.
2. Unborn Val’kyr (Undead)
Recommended Breed(s): B/B | Recommended Abilities: Shadow Shock, Curse of Doom, Unholy Ascension
A cornerstone of many achievement strategies and challenging pet battle world quests, the Unborn Val’kyr functions as the best undead and frontline battle pet to weaken the enemy before cursing the enemies’ entire team with Unholy Ascension to take more damage for nine turns. Any strong follow-up pet on your team should make short work of the enemy afterward.
How do I get it? The Unborn Val’kyr potentially spawns at three different static points in each zone of Northrend around Levels 20-25. Make sure your team doesn’t accidentally kill it and can beat two additional random pets.
For possible locations it can spawn at check out this page at WoWHead.com.
1. Anubisath Idol (Humanoid)
Recommended Breed(s): H/H | Recommended Abilities: Crush, Sandstorm, Rupture / Crush, Stoneskin, Deflection
The value you will get out of this pet is insane, as befitting the best battle pet of WoW. With high survivability and reliable damage output, the Anubisath Idol has a varied enough move kit that will carry you through the bulk of your PvE pet battles.
A useful composition is running three of these guys and just alternating back and forth between Sandstorm and Rupture while filling in the gaps with Crush. Even against enemies that resist your attacks, you are likely to come out on top.
How do I get it? This pet drops off the Twin Emperors boss encounter in AQ 40 (Classic Raid), which is super easy to solo with a max-level character. It has about a 10% drop rate, so run the raid once a week per toon until you have him. It can also be bought off the auction house.
High Ground View
And that wraps it up for the 20 WoW best battle pets. Let us know which ones work for you and if you think there are any other strong contenders we should include in the future. As always, stay up to date and maintain the advantage with High Ground Gaming.