How to choose between the same pets, but different stats

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How to choose between the same pets, but different stats
Same battle pets, different stats
Something I was surprised to notice when I began collecting battle pets was that the stats were not always consistent within the same pet type. While Mr. Wiggles is always Mr. Wiggles, a rare Mouse does not necessarily have the same stats as another rare Mouse. The inconsistency of stats applies to both purchased pets, like Undercity Cockroaches, as well as wild pets, such as a Cheetah Cub. (Have you killed a cheetah so that you could capture her baby? I have. We are bad people.)

At this time, many of us have more than three of quite a few battle pets. Extra quest pets, like Winter's Little Helper, can just be caged and sold (when cageable, of course), since they all have the same stats. but how do you choose which purchased pet you should keep? And what about the wild pets?

I'll show you my favorite stat, and you can show me yours.

First of all, think of the color of the wild pets as indicating quality more than rarity. Then you will know that poor pets are going to have worse stats than a common of the same pet, and that the rare versions are going to have the best stats of all. So when you are capturing wild pets for battling, keep going until you get a rare. There's just no point of leveling anything but the best of that kind of pet.

Same battle pets, different statsYou can keep three of each, which is good, because then you can compare stats on the different ones you capture or purchase. You also want to keep an eye on this for when you purchase pets on the AH. If all stats are better on one pet over another, it's easy to choose. But it can be tricky when it comes down to pets that have especially high health, damage, or speed to make the final decision.

My choice? Speed. Let's break it down.
  • Health A large quantity of HP is of course good to have. But when choosing between pets of similar stats, do those few points make that much of a difference for survivability? It's not like you have one pet to tank while other pets are behind it healing and casting. A critical, strong attack will ultimately have the same affect on either pet.
  • Damage More damage means faster battles, right? But just like health, the strong attack damage is going to be close enough between similar pets to not really matter for victory.
  • Same battle pets, different statsSpeed Delicious, delicious speed. One speed point can make the difference between you going first or you getting debuffed before you even begin. Having the initiative allows you to weaken the opponent enough to possibly avoid taking full damage for the entire battle. Realize the pet you're up against is strong against you? Going first means you can use a defensive maneuver or stun and switch pets next turn -- no damage taken.
Speed reduces the health you lose and increases the damage you deal. I go for speed every time.

Edited for clarification: This is not in any way intended to be a guide for how to build a battle pet team or what stats are best for what situation or anything like that. This is only a guide for how to choose between two (or more) of the exact same pets with slightly different stats, as shown in the examples above. A guide as to how to build teams would have to be much more comprehensive and would not recommend one stat for all pet builds. That's crazy talk.

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