Types of Pets

Pets fall into a few basic categories. First there is the main pet, normally permanent (except for charmed summoned pets). These pets use the main pet "slot" and display in the Pet Window. Then there are the temporay pets, such as servants and swarm pets.

Elemental Pets

The elemental pets are summoned from one of the elements Air, Earth, Fire or Water. They have different abilities and physical attributes which make each type better suited for some uses than others.

Air Pet

The Air pet has the special ability of a damage attack that can stun. This ability to stun is particularly good against caster-type enemies (to interrupt their spell casting). The stun effect can also slow down a fleeing enemy (particularly useful since magicians can't "snare" their opponents). The stun will also effectively reduce the damage the enemy does over time, making it also a good pet for groups.

Air pets have more hit points than Fire pets, but less than Earth and Water. At the lowest levels the lack of hit points means an Earth or Water pet may be a better choice for soloing. By level 30 or so the Air pet usually has enough to be a viable pet for soloing.

Air pets are also the only pet with the innate ability to go invisble when out of combat. At one time this was a useful ability when pets could "agro" enemies if they got too close. Since pets no longer agro except when they are in combat, this ability is no longer important.

Earth Pet

The Earth pet has the largest amount of hit points of the elemental pets, and makes a very effective pet for soloing. It does the least amount of damage though and therefore shifts more of the damage dealing to the magician. Earth pets also have the unique ability to root, which is particularly important since magician don't have any innate ability to snare or root their opponents. There are a few items that snare or root that a magician can use, but most have a limited number of charges or are very specific to a particular enemy.

You cannot control when an earth pet roots, or turn it off. However, but sending your pet to attack then telling it to back off, you can sometimes use this to root an opponent repeatedly. This can be useful in situations where you need to keep one (or potentially more) enemy away from you and the group.

Before you use an Earth pet in a group it is best to make sure it is OK with the other group members. They may not want your pet rooting the enemy, especially if there is a snarer in the group. A rooted enemy will "fight to the death", whereas a fleeing one won't. And since they do the least damage of all the elemental pets, they are a poor choice in a group unless you need the root.

Fire Pet

The Fire pet does a large amount of damage but also had the least hit points ot the elemental pets. This generally makes it a poor choice for soloing without a "tank" mercenary, but can be efective in a group. It has a special fire attack spell, but has a limited amount of mana and therefore the damage per second will decrease in longer fights. The magician does get the spell Kindle that can increase the Fire pet's mana regeneration.

Dyzil's Deafening Decoy is a special level 55 Fire pet that makes a great pet around that level. It seems to have much better survivability than the normal fire pet for that level (Greater Vocaration Fire).

Water Pet

A Water pet is a well-rounded pet that has a decent number of hit points (second only to the Earth pet). It's special ability is an extra damage spell, and at higher levels (level 54+) it has the ability to backstab when behind its opponent (leading some to refer to it as the "rogue" pet). It even has a chance to asassinate and instantly kill level 50 or lower opponents.

Water pets are a good choice for soloing at the low levels, as their decent amount of hit points lets them take a fair amount of damage and yet still deal a good amount of damage themselves. The can also be a great pet for groups, or with a "tank" mercenary when it has the backstab ability, as long as you can position the pet behind the enemy.

Epic Pet

The Epic pet, which is summonable when the magician has completed the Magician Epic 1.0: Orb of Mastery quest, supposedly combines all four elements. It is a fearsome pet when it first becomes available, but is quickly replaced by the higher level elemental pets. It is a shame that this pet doesn't have higher level versions.

Monster Summoning

There is a series of Monster Summoning pet spells that will summon a pet that looks like one of the enemies in the current zone. These pets occasionally seems to get some of the special elemental pet abilities, such as the Earth pet's root. Overall they are not any more effective than the regular elemental pets, and seem to be mostly doomed to be used for fun (it used to be fun the scare the unsuspecting player with a pet that looked like a giant, for example).

Charmed Pet

At level 65 magicians get the spell Call of the Arch Mage which allows them to charm and control a summoned creature for a short time. Because it only works on creatures up to level 60, and because there are so few creatures actually "flagged" as summoned, it is a very limited ability. The main zone it seems to get used in is the Bastion of Thunder, and the Charmed pet there does a great deal of damage. It is best used in a group with someone who can snare it, as the charm is of variable duration, and this creature will be very angry when the charm breaks. The soloing magician can use the spell Granite Stance to slow the charmed pet's movement speed, making it a little safer.

The Charmed pet uses the main pet slot which means you cannot have a pet when charming the creature (and have no pet when the charm breaks). While it is charmed you can use beneficial spells on it and give it gear. It might be a good idea to have one of your normal pets suspended in case of emergency.

Swarm Pets

There are a number of temporary "swarm" pets which do not use the main pet slot and therefore can be active at the same time as your main pet. Most of these are from spells or alternate abilities which direct one or more pets at a specific target. When that target dies the pets will not attack another target, unless you are attacked by another enemy, although at least some of them can be attacked and killed by other enemies. You can use one each of these swarm pets at any given time, which can give you a lot of tempoirary pets.

Child/Servant of Ro

The Child of Ro is a short-lived high-damage fire pet that is cast by the spell Child of Ro. The Servant of Ro is a short-lived high-damage fire pet that is cast the alternate ability of the same name. The damage is increased by higher levels of alternate ability, and as a mana-free attack the alternate ability version can be useful. The damage increases with higher levels of the ability. The alternate ability version does have a long reuse timer. You may find your ability points are better spent first on more useful abilities however.

Host of the Elements

Host of the Elements are a swarm of small pets that can do a significant amount of damage. It is from the alternate ability of the same name, and you can increase the number, damage, and duration of them with higher levels of the ability. This abilty does have a long resuse timer, but there is an alternate ability, Hastened Host of the Elements, which can reduce this timer some.

Servant

A single, high-damage pet that is cast by a spell. While the spell has a high mana cost, the damage can make the difference between winning and losing a fight. There are also some summoned items you can cast at higher levels that will give you a single use item that summons a servant. It is possible to have more than one servant up at a time, and they can be very handy in "locking-down" an added target, as they can keep the add from attacking your main pet. Even on a single target a servant can get the target to focus on it instead of your main pet, which can be useful for example if your healer is having trouble keeping up with the damage the main pet is taking (this loses effectiveness in longer fights as your main pet builds up more hate).

Bodyguard

A Bodyguard is a special pet that only activates when you are struck in combat. The spell create a special buff on the caster that will automatically summon the pet until the buff expires. The pet acts like an earth pet, and can root what it fights, making it useful in helping the magician move out of range or run away.