I was impressed by how well-balanced this fight is for tamers working their way up the ranks. Unlike some of the other tamers at lower levels, there are several different choices you can make for this Tamer. I’ve used a couple different group makeups, but this is the one I’ve settled on for now as the most reliable for me.
The first pet I chose for this screenshot was kind of a fluke, because I was trying to finish off my leveling achievements at this time. In your first slot, you can choose a level 1, as long as it isn’t Undead. My emperor crab Ishmael is my choice for lead battler, yet again. This time, make sure he picks Snap, since one of Aki’s pets is a critter. Your main requirement for a tank in this fight is that they must have some kind of blocking effect, like Shell Shield. This is one of the two keys for success in this fight. Snails are a decent choice too, but Whiskers can get a little bit dicey because the whelk’s undead absorb ability is so crummy against the aquatic otter. The Scourged Whelp is a very sturdy multi-hitter, and can be replaced by a number of other multi-hitters.
Aki’s first pet is critter cricket Chirrup with 2 heals and the critter ability Swarm, which does several tiny hits in one turn. Because those hits *are* tiny, most level 1 pets can live through one round of it, but it’s a little bit close, and the Undead family weaknesses against Critter damage make them right out. I like to err toward the side of level 3+ personally, but if your pet dies you can just forfeit and re-try with a different level 1 immediately, as all your other battle pets are at full health. After the first round carry swaps out, Ishmael puts up Shell Shield and makes quick work of Chirrup. Make sure to keep that up though, because if you get anything other than a block, miss, dodge, etc, you’ll get hit with a debuff that increases your damage taken by 100%. I don’t think Spiked Skin‘s mitigation is quite enough to reliably avoid getting that debuff. This debuff is very bad for the next pet in Aki’s arsenal.
I leave Ishmael up front with his shell until Aki’s next pet Stormlash the dragonkin casts Call Lightning to absorb the initial hit. This hit is ~400 without the previously mentioned modifier, but upwards of 800 with it, so that extra hit really needs to be avoided. Then, when the weather changes to Lightning Storm, things. get. real.
Lightning Storm increases the damage done by mechanical pets, and also adds 40-50 damage to every separate hit. Sometimes I choose my clockwork gnome because of the boost to mechanical abilities, but I frequently get so excited by the complete annihilation he visits on Stormlash’s head that I forget to heal in a timely fashion. My Scourged Whelpling Radley has better survivability, because I can cast his plagued blood ability, which allows you to heal on each hit (but doesn’t work for the additional hit, FYI). I also choose death and decay because it’s a DoT and tail sweep because Radley is slower than Stormlash so I always get the second hit. Now, I do 150 additional damage because of the storm, and heal for 150 per turn because of plagued blood. It is pure carnage. Simply delightful.
Because Stormlash is a dragonkin, he takes less damage from flying attacks so you should stay away from pets like Shrine Flies. An elemental pet with dots is a good pick too, since they aren’t affected by weather. As a result they don’t take the extra damage, but they do deal it. There are a lot room for preference and experimentation here.
Once I finish Stormlash, I continue with Radley while Lightning Storm persists, and then switch back to Ishmael to finish up. Keep up with your healing and mitigation abilities, though… Whiskers has several mitigation abilities, so he can slowly whittle you down with Surge while casting Survival and Dive.
On a different day, I did this with a level 15 pet, Safari Hat on, and this was my result:
Because she’s a short jaunt from both home cities in Pandaria, she’s really worth beating every day. If you have a different preferred lineup, feel free to discuss it in the comments!