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Friday, March 7, 2014

Critical Pets: Why You Want to Avoid Them


Critical Pets have become extremely popular - stacking as many as four total critical talents in addition to Fairy or whatever else. But how much are those pets really helping you?

Purpose of a Critical Pet

Critical pets, as I understand them, are primarily used in PvP to push critical ratings through the roof and land that double hit as often as possible. Before some of the more recent updates, criticals weren't reliable at all, and block easily surpassed all critical levels - at least where people were sensible with gear. However, with the Aquila update in particular, critical ratings have gotten incredibly high. So much so that your chances of NOT getting a critical can be lower than the odds you landing one. Fortunately, block is also becoming more and more common on gear.

Screenshot submitted by Evan Silver

Rise of the Critical

Criticals have always been popular, but with Storm being able to get something like 600 or 700 critical in PvP, it's gotten a little outrageous. Some strategies completely center around critical hits.

The number of requests on both Twitter and Wizard101 Central lately for critical pets have gone through the roof, though. So what's the deal with these pets?

Why Critical Pets Aren't Worth the Trouble

It can take a lot of work to train a pet to Mega. What are the odds that you'll get the five talents you want on the pet with the cards you want as well as the stats you want to maximize that critical? Not too high. But let's say you get exactly the pet you're looking for.

Those critical talents end up getting to about 30 critical rating. Little did you know, that's only a 2% or 3% critical chance increase, so for the whole pet, you might get 8% or 12% critical chance increase. Why? Because critical rating in higher concentrations is more effective. Let's say you have 24 critical rating on a piece of gear - you're going to have a 1% higher chance of getting a critical. Let's say you have 148 critical rating on your hat (a little over six times the previous example) - you have 29% critical chance (twenty-nine times the previous example).

Let's use another example that Duelist101 posted. Say you're a 95 wizard with a critical rating that gives you 52% total critical chance - from one piece of gear. Because critical chance is higher in higher concentrations, let's take that same critical rating, and divide it among pieces of gear, and see what happens to the chance.

Screenshot submitted by Umbra9649
If you were to have the same critical rating on two pieces of gear instead of one, you'd only have 47% critical chance. If you were to have the same critical rating on three pieces of gear instead of two, you'd only have 43% critical chance. If you were to have the same critical rating on four pieces of gear instead of three, you'd only have 39% critical chance. If you were to have the same critical rating on five pieces of gear instead of four, you'd only have 34% critical chance. If you were to have the same critical rating on six pieces of gear instead of five, you'd only have 30% critical chance. If you were to have the same critical rating on seven pieces of gear instead of six, you'd only have 25% critical chance. And so on. Duelist101 even notes:

Another thing many players don’t realize is that each Critical or Block pet talent counts as its own piece of gear, and gets its own penalty also. Yikes!
Of course, that's just the beginning. You can learn more about how critical works in a few key posts from Duelist HERE and HERE.

Why Not the Additional Chance?

Why not? If you're pushing your critical rating as high as possible, why not try for that extra 8 or 12%? If there weren't any other options, I might say go for it, but there ARE other options. Spell Proof, for example. If eight or twelve of one hundred hits was doubled (and it could be that wand strike), that's already another wild card in PvP. But if you resist ten percent of every incoming spell, that's definite. Not just that, but it's effective. Start replacing those critical talents with ones like Spell Proof, Spell-Defying, Fairy, Spritely, and some of the other heal and ward talents, and you'll find that they can be much more effective than any critical talents, and they might actually improve your character as opposed to adding those extra penalties. 

What do you think - will you still be using critical pets? Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Umbra9649 and Evan Silver for submitting screenshots for this post. I also believe I caught Alex Lionheart in that first photo. Thanks to Duelist101 for their insights on the critical system.

9 comments:

  1. I completely agree with this. Considering I'm Ice, I survive most of my battles against those crazy critical/pierce players. I block most of the my opponents criticals even though I only have 247 block. It would be better to work towards a double-triple damage pet with Spell-proof, Fairy, and/or Spell-defy. That would be much more effective

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  2. My question is do you have quad critical or triple critical? The people that are complaining about them don't have them. Why complain about something you don't have?

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    1. That's a valid question. Truthfully, no - I don't have a pet with even one critical talent. But I don't need one, as the evidence here is not in the actual use, but in the principle - it's simple stats. I'm looking at it objectively as opposed to having come out of a match where I lost to insane critical and ranting.

      You're right that most people tend to complain about something they don't have, but I'm not complaining. Actually, as a duelist, I WANT you to use critical pets, as they simply aren't effective. You'd give me a significant advantage, as my pet is stacked with healing talents and universal resist. I'm not trying to tell everyone that these pets are overpowered, so you should avoid them, I'm saying that they're underpowered.

      By all means, use your critical pets! With my lack of PvP skill, I can use every advantage possible! :P

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  3. Thanks for replying to the questions above.

    Since you have explained critical pets and how things work very well, does having critical with your pet, give you more options with other gear without losing the critical? For ex. if your pet gives over 100 critical, can you get a hat that has more block/resist?

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    1. You CAN use a pet in place of a hat, but the problem is that the pet counts as three or four pieces of gear with critical, depending on how many talents you have. With a pet with critical talents totaling 100, you'll have and 8% chance to critical. If you use a hat with 100 critical, you'll have about a 20% chance to critical. Same critical, but over double the chance.

      Now, the question is, can you use both for the extra critical? Sure you can, but you'll have to sacrifice other valuable talents like Spell Proof, Spell-Defying, Fairy Friend, Spritely, etc. that are worth a lot more than 2 or 3% critical each.

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  4. I have two pets that I use on my life wiz, a deer knight with current fairy sprite proof and defy and a bee with critical hitter, critical striker, life assailant proof and life bringer. I critical almost EVERY time with the critical pet. I use the knight when soloing bosses, but the critical pet makes things go much faster

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    1. I'm assuming your critical so much because you have other high-critical gear, not because of your pet. Part of that is a mentality. You finally develop a critical pet and use it, and start only noticing all the times that you critical. Unfortunately, you can't test it without the critical pet, because you'd already have the mindset that you'd be getting fewer criticals.

      What we CAN rely on are numbers - cold, hard facts. And the facts say that you're really only getting a few extra percentage chance to critical with that pet. Now it may well make a real difference, one of my points was that there are other talents that make MORE of a difference - and you're going to have to compete with them if you go into PvP. Even if you're solely a PvE player, though, you'd benefit much more from Spell-Defying (5% universal resist) as opposed to 3 or 4% critical chance. Or get a few of the wards at 15% additional resistance each. These aren't black-and-white talents, and what I mean by that is that critical is something you either get on a hit or don't get, and so your pet's usefulness is going to be determined by your other gear and overall chance as well as whether or not you actually critical in battles. Resistance, damage, etc.... those all help you 100% of the time, regardless of chance or other gear.

      I'm sure there are ways to use critical pets effectively, I'm simply pointing out that you may find more effective options. Good luck on building your perfect pet!

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  5. This is a brilliant post for making me realise that actually, critical pets do not help as much as other talents could. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!
    -MarkOTG

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  6. i wanted critical pets so bad but after reading this article, i prefer double damage or resist

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