The winter KI Live snowball race has become an annual tradition. A tradition that usually ends with me completely trampling Wizard101's community manager live, in front of hundreds of people. It's pretty fun ... for me at least. Not only is it cool to showcase my racing skills, but it's also awesome to see derby get some much needed attention. Although I'd love to see some new faces join the small - but passionate - derby community, I also acknowledge the fact that derby can seem incredibly complicated at first. But what better time to go into developing teen derby pets than race day?!
Snowballs Aren't Special
First things first, snowballs aren't superior derby pets or anything. The only reason Tom (Wizard101's Community Manager) and I race snowball pets is to create a more winter-like event. Outside of that, snowballs are just like almost any other first generation pet. With enough hatches and gene pool refinement, ANY pet can be a potential derby superstar. In fact, my winning teen snowball pet is the product of numerous hatches, wasted snacks, and many tears. MANY tears. I pretty much took one of my already existing derby pets and "transferred" the talents I wanted onto a snowball. It was time consuming, but not many people will need to worry about that (unless you care about what your derby pet looks like). In most cases though, racers only care about the talents ... which brings me to my next point...
Remember We're Talking Teen Pets
Derby is open to pets of all levels (except baby), but this article is honing in on teen pets specifically. That means training needs to be painfully precise. Once you find/hatch a pet that you feel comfortable training, you'll need to pick one stat that you want to max. Because teen pets have little experience room before they level to adult, you simply won't have the ability to max more than one. Keep in mind that:
- Agility = Grass
- Will = Dirt
- Intellect = Clay
- Strength = Water
The most popular stat to train at teen is agility, but will and intellect could also prove useful on certain tracks. The one stat I would advise NEVER training at teen is strength. Water is so sparse on any derby course that it'd be utterly useless. You want to train a stat that you'll actually have the opportunity to use!
After you decide which surface you want to focus on, you'll have to put your mini game skills to the test. Failing the dance game over and over again is an option, but because mega snacks are out of the picture at teen, that might take a bit longer than actually playing the games. Ultimately, it's up to you.
If you're interested in playing the mini games, here's a quick reference to determine which one you'll need to play:
- Grass = Dance Game (+4 Agility)
- Dirt = Cannon Game (+4 Will) OR Way of the Ninja Pig (+4 Will)
- Clay = Maze Game (+4 Intellect)
- Water = Gobbler Drop (+4 Strength) OR Way of the Ninja Pig (+4 Strength)
Notice how each listed mini game gives all 4 XP points to ONLY the stat you intend to max. That's key here. At teen, every XP point counts! You don't want to waste any by training a surface you won't use during any of your races.
The same goes for pet snacks. Although some derby veterans may use a mixture of different snacks that give a combination of stats, I would recommend that new racers start simple. After all, keeping things simple will hopefully reduce your chances of making a costly mistake or miscalculation. So, for now, these are the snacks I'd recommend for training teen derby pets:
- Grass = Spicy Popcorn (+4 Agility)
- Dirt = Golden Biscuit (+4 Will)
- Clay = Swirled Lollipop (+4 Intellect)
- Water = Huge Ice Cream (+4 Strength)
- Power = Fairy Cake (+4 Power)
Like the mini game recommendations, all of the above snacks focus on ONE stat. That's how you maximize your pet. It also helps that they're all accessible snacks easily found in the bazaar and can be bought in bulk.
Great, But What Exactly Do I Do?
Derby has certain "level spots" that you want to hit when you train. Each level spot represents a point in which your cost to cheer on a particular surface decreases. This is a GOOD thing. The less your cheer cost is, the less power you use per cheer, the more you can cheer with a limited power source! Below are derby's level spots (credit to Wizard101 Central's Caspeen for figuring these out years ago!):
Level Spot Cheer Cost
1 - 14 ................10 15 – 59 ..............9 60 – 104 ............8 105 – 149 ..........7 150 – 194 ..........6 195 – 239 ..........5 240 – 284 ..........4 285 - 329 ..........3 330 - 374...........2 375 and above....1
As a teen derby racer, you'll ideally aim to train your desired stat to either 240 or 285. Training to 285 is only possible if your pet gets a selfish talent like Durable (+50 Agility) at teen. Either way, make sure to stop EXACTLY at those level spots. But why? If your max agility, will, or intellect stat is 250 why not stop there instead of 240? Or 290 instead of 285? I'll tell you why. Remember that your cheer cost only decreases at the above numbers. Whether you train to 240 or 250, your cheer cost on that surface is STILL 4. It only drops to 3 at 285. Training to 250 would only waste 10 XP points you could have put elsewhere! Squeeze as much out of teen pets as you can - they need to be precise!
Once you train your desired stat to EXACTLY 240 or 285 (whichever is higher), put the rest of your XP into power. You won't have enough XP room to train another stat to a useful level spot, so increasing your limited supply of power is the way to go. This time you'll want to stop EXACTLY when your total XP bar reads 249/250. This maximizes your teen pet to the fullest, but doesn't level it to adult.
Precision doesn't come without risks. Stopping at certain numbers EXACTLY can be tricky. Pay attention to what type of snacks your pet likes and loves. An extra XP point is okay here and there, but you really need to be careful when you start nearing those "perfect" numbers. A liked or loved snack could waste XP points by training stats above the desired level spot, or worse ... could level your teen past 249 and turn it into an adult pet. Ooops! Stay alert so this doesn't happen to you!
Putting it All Together
If you do everything correctly, you should end up with a pet that looks like this:
Yes, this is my teen snowball
My snowball has hit the 285 level spot for agility and maxed power (for a teen) by stopping the experience bar at 249/250. This is what most derby racers would consider a "perfect" teen pet. Talents aside, these are the kind of stats you want to have. Now it's just a matter of putting it to use on the track! When you race a teen pet, make sure to only cheer (press the up arrow) when you're on the ONE stat you trained. For me, that's grass. Cheering on any other surfaces (besides cobblestone) would quickly deplete my power source.
And there you have it! Now you too can be a derby teen master. Have any additional questions? Feel free to ask me in the comments below. Good luck!