Creature Feature: Turtle

Oooooooooh reeeeeeeallllllllleeeee....?

Oooooooooh reeeeeeeallllllllleeeee....?

Turtles are probably the most symbolic pet of the tenacity tree, along with boars.  They are turtles: they have thick, iron-hard shells capable of withstanding any hit, and their powerful jaws can bite metal in half.  They are an immovable wall, incapable of backing down.

Largely because they’re too damn slow.

But in the world of Azeroth, Turtles aren’t just an immovable wall: they are a beast capable of taking on all odds and surviving.  They have jaws the size of a man’s head, and are powerful creatures; and for some reason, they can charge.  Don’t mess with Azerothian turtles.

Turtles are, without a doubt, a tenacity pet.  This means that turtles are as solid as stone, and twice as hard to break.  Turtles are capable of being tanks in 5 man instances and can easily off-tank in a raid if need be.  But in order to reach this kind of potential, the turtle must be talented properly, as they do not receive an inherent bonus to their survivability as of patch 3.1.

The focus dump skill for turtles is Bite, and their unique skill is Shell Shield.

Turtles on Azeroth come in 5 different colours, all of which are tamable.  Physically speaking, aside from colour, all turtles look alike.  This means it you like how they look, you’ll love all the turtles! If you don’t like how the turtles look, then you’re out of luck.

Turtles are healthy animals with a balanced and varied diet.  Turtles will eat fish, bread, fungus, and fruit, all of which are attainable at most inns.  In addition, with a high enough fishing skill, you can always feed your turtle so long as their is a body of water from which to fish.

Turtles are a symbol of durability, both in real life and in WoW.  Some turtles in real life can grow to be over 100 years old!

Turtles are tamable by all hunters.

Shell Shield: The turtle partially withdraws into it’s shell, greatly reducing damage taken by the turtle for a few seconds.

Shell Shield is a very simple ability with a very simple purpose: to reduce damage taken.  Simple abilities, however, tend to have a variety of uses and places where they can be useful.  The more simple an ability is, the more situations it can be used in.

For starters, the math.  The math isn’t hard: reduce all damage taken by half for 12 seconds.  If something hits your turtle for 4 000 damage, your turtle will only take 2 000 of that damage.  This is applied after armor reduction and resistances, so if your turtle has 50% damage reduction thanks to armor, Shell Shield will reduce that damage by an additional 50%.  Taking that hit for 4 000 from before, the armor of the turtle would reduce the damage to 2 000, and Shell Shield would reduce that to 1 000.

As you can see, Shell Shield is a positively massive boost to defensive power.  Cutting the damage you take by half has an almost unlimited number of uses! Your imagination is the limit, really.

The problem with having an almost unlimited number of uses is that sometimes, you can’t use it an unlimited number of times.  The same holds true here: you cannot go about spamming Shell Shield willy nilly; you must use it when it will be of the best benefit to you and the survival of the turtle.

For example, you have just sent your turtle up against a monster of equal level, non-elite, and your turtle is at full health.  Do you use Shell Shield? You shoudn’t, there’s no need.  However, if the same turtle is up against 6-8 monsters of the same level and his health is rapidly dropping, that would be a good time.

Shell Shield is the big red “EMERGENCY ONLY” button that should only be pushed in an emergency.  The 1 minute cooldown on Shell Shield allows for frequent use, but only when it is necessary to use it.  If you spam it all over the place, you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you need it, and it’s not there.  Then you die, and your will turtle simply glare at you and ask for food.

Shell Shield, very notably, reduces all damage the turtle would take.  10 000 damage Pyroblast being sent his way? Try 5 000.  Turtles are, without a doubt, the most resilient tenacity pet in the game thanks to this ability.

Turtles are a tenacious beast, and can survive some of the harshest conditions on the planet.

Turtles are most commonly a Soloing pet, and they are excellent at this.  Thanks to Thunderstomp, turtles can hold AoE aggro very well while taking an almost non-existent amount of damage.  For this, turtles are recognized as being very powerful leveling pets, and they can naturally tank lower level instances without much difficulty.

Turtles can take this a step further, too.  Some hunters can use turtles to effectively tank level 80 heroic dungeons if talented and geared properly.  Some elite hunters can even use turtles to tank raids! Shell Shield becomes a great thing to have in this case, since some bosses have an enrage which causes them to deal more damage, typically near the end of the fight.  This “soft enrage” can be largely mitigated thanks to Shell Shield and competent healers.

Turtles have a place in battlegrounds if talented properly.  They can deal a non-negligible amount of damage, which is good.  What makes turtles shine is the fact they simply won’t die.  When used properly, the synergy between a hunter and his turtle can easily defeat an opponent or two.  Shell Shield also helps the turtle survive moments where the opponent decides to focus exclusively on the pet with the hope of handicapping the hunter.  Because they will be dealing an incredibly small amount of damage to the turtle, they will simply be wasting their time.

Battlegrounds and Arenas are all the same to turtles.  Thanks to the extra survivability, turtles are hard to kill.  This makes sure that any abilities tied to the turtle have a better chance of sticking around for the entire match.  The only problem with turtles is that their Shell Shield does not give any advantage to the hunter aside from a really durable pet.  Turtles simply don’t have the utility of a spider or the damage capability of a Hyena(which also has more utility, sadly) in order to be optimal pets for arena.

Turtles are passive, but powerful creatures.

Much like stone giants, turtles are tough, slow, and kind.  These gentle giants are famous for turning the worst situations into the easiest of battles.

Powerful turtles are the most intelligent turtles.  If a turtle knows when to hide in it’s shell and when not to, a turtles can survive even a dragon’s wrath.  I’ve heard stories of turtles fighting battles where they are horribly outmatched, and they still come out on top.

What is odd about them though is that they are deceptively quick.  When you normally see a turtle, they prefer to walk slowly.  If angered, however, the charge of a turtle can and will break bones.  Being charged by a turtle is almost exactly like being hit by a man-sized boulder.

Turtle soup.  Add green onions and leaks, and a touch of vinegar.

What did you honestly think I was going to say?



  1. What did you honestly think I was going to say?

    Something non-soup-related, for which I was going to scold you.

    …now I got nothin’.

  2. Honestly Colemand, I expected you to say how you should be careful not to break the shell as it makes a convenient and decorative soup bowl…

    I guess your just too kind-hearted for that though…

  3. @Rilgon
    Seems I’m ahead of your curve. 😉

    Oh, that was implied. Smart cooks would have known that the shell is also very convenient for boiling.

    It even comes with a lid!


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