I capture based on breed.
However it’s worth noting that I have over 1000 unique pets and hundreds of upgrade stones banked. In my earlier days of pet hunting I was much more interested in rarity.
The TL;DR for a new battler would be something like go for breed - but if you see a rare pet in the 3 pet lineup that could help you (despite not being optimal breed) capture it anyway as a standby/stopgap until you can fill up your roster with the desired breed.
The main thing to keep in mind is that quality of a pet and also it’s level, are something you can always upgrade later; but the breed you cannot, so as a general rule the breed is the most important.
That said, for pets that are merely collection-pieces and that are never really brought out in combat, the breed makes no difference, so there is that.
If part of your end goal is to collect all the pets and/or all the pet achievements, then you will be earning tons and tons of tokens and reward bags along the way, both result in stones.
At one point or another, as a collector, you’ll have more of those upgrade stones (and leveling stones) than you know what to do with, which makes the rarity (and to a lesser degree the level) less important.
I have never upgraded pets to blue by actual leveling, not since the time i only had a handful of pets anyway.
So when it comes to quality i only recognise “blue” or “not blue” i dont consider green quality to be better than grey, both need the same stone to be turned blue, so their quality is the same.
If you don’t have one already, you should probably make a little wishlist of pets (where you also mention the desired breed, if known):
If you haven’t done some of the challengemode dungeons and/or the celestial tournament yet, then you may wanna figure out which pets you’re missing in order to do so (perhaps from guides), and put those pets on your wishlist.
If you see a pet thats being recommended for a fight you’re having a hard time with (or for pvp), wishlist it.
If you come across some pet that’s often being recommended for different fights, it’s likely a good one to have, wishlist it.
like the cut of a pets jib, wishlist it.
Now, any time you’re thinking of capturing a pet the priority is basicly (from top to bottom):
pets that are on the wishlist
> missing pet (unless you think its a pretty common sight)
> better breed
> massively higher level
> blue quality
> common missing pet
> wing it
Mmm, i never really looked at it like that, but yea i’d say thats a pretty good rule of thumb in my experience.
S/S is a specialty build, that can be very useful because it almost guarantees that you’ll get the first turn, which can often be advantageous either because you have an ability that benefits from that (like say, being able to shield/dodge just before the opponent is about to do some monster-hit) or because you’re evenly matched healthwise and it comes down to a proverbial 1hp vs 1hp round (then whoever gets to hit first, wins).
In general Power just tends to be the best of the 4 stats (between P/H/S, and B if you consider that a stat). If i had to make a generic top-5 based on my experience i’d personally go with P/P > P/S > S/S > P/B > P/H > rest. But YYMV.
That being said, often times, when i’m really picky about a breed, it is more because i’ve had a hard time on a certain fight (or worse a challenge like the CT), and i’ve read about some strat which involves a pet (of a specific breed) that i do not have. In those cases it is often not about that breed being the best in general, it just happens to be the breed that the person who wrote the strategy had and since that’s now known-to-work, that’s the thing to use, so it may well be a B/B or a H/B or some other “crap breed”, but since it suits the challenge, that becomes the one to get.
If you intend to use it for battle, then Breed is more important than rarity. You can use a Blue Stone to make a pet Rare, but you can never change its breed, and some breeds are just useless for battling in some species. For example, S/S Fiendish Imp is the only breed of Fiendish Imp worth getting.
Ummmmmmm … as a vague guideline, maybe, but It’s not that simple.
Any given species may not have S/S and/or P/P breeds
The most often best breed for a species depends on the moves chosen. Use different moves, you may want a different breed
The best breed for a specific battle depends on the tactics of that battle. Usually, it’s good to be faster than your opponent, but in a few strategies you need to be slower because of timing
In PvP, Speed tends to be worth more than it is in PvE
More Power is always good. More Health is always good. With Speed you ideally want to be just 1 Speed faster than your opponent. Every unit of Speed above that is not only wasted, but costs you in Power and Health.
There are also a couple of interactions with racials that apply to specific families. For example, Speed is on average worth less to Undead and Mechanicals than any other family. For Flyers, Health is also Speed for half of their lives. For pets with strong heals or shields, Power is also Health. For Humanoids, Health increases their racial healing.
If I was making a generic list of breeds, I’d start it
S/S > P/P > H/H>=H/P
but that will be very wrong lots of times. For example, P/P >> SS for Shore Butterfly, Gleamhoof Fawn, Autumnal Sproutling and I’m sure several others. I tend to favour H/P for moths, but the Silky Moth (S/S), Yellow Moth (P/P), and Oasis Moth (H/B) are exceptions.
I did a survey of breeds preferred by top battlers/collectors here
That lists the distribution of breeds they chose for each species. I think it’s safe to say that the most common breed chosen is always worth getting, and if the second most common is very close to the first, they are both worth getting.
See also this:
and my comment about the most used breeds of each one below.