There are a great number of Tamers in Pandaria you can fight with your battle pets every day. They all provide a really excellent training ground for your low level pets, as well as a way to hone your skills to take on your next pet battling challenge. Here’s list of the strategies I used to easily beat these tamers. Level 1 carry strategies are noted with an asterisk.
*Hyuna Of The Shrines – The Jade Forest, at an overlook above Yu’lon’s Jade Statue, is where this Pandaren makes her stand.
Farmer Nishi – Buffed relatively recently, Nishi’s battle pets are all references to the pastoral nature of the Valley Of The Four Winds.
Mo’ruk – The only Tamer in Pandaria without a florid title, his view on the beach in the extreme south of the Krasarang Wilds makes up for it.
Courageous Yon – A bit of a hike to the top of Kota Peak in Kun-Lai Summit brings you face to face with this elusive tamer.
*Seeker Zusshi – Near the Temple of Niuzao in the Townlong Steppes, you can visit this tamer on your way to get some super sweet, not at all outdated, Valor gear.
Wastewalker Shu – Beside the heart of the Mantid Empire in Klaxxi’vess is where Shu (absolutely perplexingly) insists on testing your mettle.
*Aki The Chosen – The ultimate challenge for your battle pets when we first came to Pandaria. With the destruction wrought by Garrosh in patch 5.4, Aki now resides in Mistfall Village.
The Pandaren Spirit Tamers were first added to World of Warcraft as a new challenge for pet battlers in patch 5.1. Each lives in a far-flung part of Pandaria. Each is a representation of an element, and each has its own separate guide, featuring a video.
I thought all my walkthroughs on the Timeless Isle were complete. I kicked back with a well-earned chocolate chip cookie and waited for the patch. I was excited to get my mini Xuen, run around in the Shrine of Seven Stars for a while showing it off, and make a small fortune on new glyphs. Then, I see this jerk.
Look at that smug little face. I’m guessing that the trigger to seeing his daily is something along the lines of defeating Aki, but I’m really not sure. I’d heard occasional discussion about him during PTR, but never saw that he had anything for me, so I kind of ignored him. I’m kicking myself over this now, trust.
Tommy Newcomer only has one pet. So we should totally take pity on him, right?
Lil Oondasta is the pet equivalent of, well, boss Oondasta. With a very strong AOE and a force swap, she is a brutal fight. Luckily, she’s only one mob, and you can heal and re-try as many times as you need to get her down. For 500 Timeless Coins and 20g. Ugh.
Here’s the team I ended up using:
Oondasta has 3 abilities, and her 2 most deadly are Magic: Frill Blast (force swap) and Spiritfire Beam (the AoE). She backs that up with Crush, which is a big hit in itself. Because of the humanoid nature of Crush, trying to use my Golden Hatchling in concert with the Clockwork Gnome was met with a hearty ‘lol u mad’ from Oondasta.
The reason I like the Zeppelin and the Mechanical Dragonling should be fairly obvious. Decoy is an amazing ability this fight, and I want to abuse it as much as possible. I definitely screwed up a bit on the Dragonling’s moveset though… Frill Blast will always swap in the Zeppelin for me, because of the higher health, so unless I manually swap for a Fly By, I’m not going to use it to buff others, and the Dragonling doesn’t really have other moves to buff itself. Though there’s not a ton of damage we have to do, the breath ability will probably make for a cleaner fight.
The reason I go with the Tonk is that, because of the force swap if I use Ion Cannon off the bat, Oondasta will then immediately swap him to the back row for the recharge turn and the vast majority of the cooldown I have before I can cast it again. If I return to the front row on my pre-res turn, I can also get in a Shock and Awe for a hopeful-maybe stun. Oondasta is slower than all my pets and only has single hits, so once she kills my mechanicals the first time, they’re guaranteed at least one extra hit. As long as they don’t die in the back row, anyway.
I really liked using two Decoys. I don’t think that both are entirely necessary, especially given the relatively paltry firepower on the Dragonling. Explode as a mechanic is a really excellent tool for single fights, so I would definitely recommend using at least one of these pets.
The Tonk is a little more debatable. You can definitely try subbing in either the Menagerie Custodian or the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, both of which use Ion Cannon. They’re a bit less sturdy, but it’s still an option. If you go with the Yeti, you may want to opt for Thunderstorm instead, and pair it with a Clockwork Gnome’s turret. In general, as long as you have a good amount of mechanical offense and aren’t caught off-guard by the force swap, you’re going to be in good shape.
A final note: I don’t like writing strategies with pets which are prohibitively expensive or difficult to get without at least offering a solid alternative (eg, Emerald Proto-Drake can be substituted for the Emerald Whelpling in most settings). With that in mind, the Son of Animus, specifically Interrupting Jolt, really shines this fight in place of the Tonk. I want to stress that this investment isn’t necessary, but I can generally keep that last pet alive entirely (well, minus an AoE or two) if I use Animus here.
The Tournament and the Timeless Isle have been such a huge topics that I’m writing this post to link everything for easy bookmarking and reference. I’m also going to put the comprehensive pets checklist for all the triads and all the Celestials below. This is almost as much for your benefit as it is for mine. I think I’m still missing a grub.
Below are also links for some videos of a few new pets you can collect in 5.4. I haven’t posted them on the blog until now! The screenshots are extras I took, mostly pet-related, from the 5.4 PTR.
Straight off, I didn’t come up with this combo, but it is so useful to have in your back pocket that I absolutely have to cover it. I’ve heard it mentioned on Josh Augustine’s podcast a few times, and seen it referenced on Reddit and the official forums. The earliest mention I can find is in this thread on WarcraftPets from May. I’m making this post to discuss your options and the changes coming to this strategy in 5.4. There’s a fairly significant change (possibly a bug fix) and it seems to be undocumented.
The strategy starts with this team:
It’s probably not too obvious just by looking at the team exactly what’s going on if you’re not familiar with this strategy. Because my toddler really enjoys spaceships right now, here’s how I break it down for 5.4:
Before 5.3, when the Unborn Val’kyr casts Unholy Ascension before being killed the first time, she comes back for her last turn as a risen undead. On the 5.4 PTR that function has changed so when she dies from that, she’s dead permanently. So, I cast Curse of Doom first and then Unholy Ascension. You get more from the 25% buff and a weaker Curse of Doom than you from just the buff. Then, you cast Geyser, then Whirlpool, then the 100% damage booster Howl. All the debuffs (except Curse of Doom with 5.4) explode in one turn, but in multiple hits, so any healing ability or damage capper (eg, the Magic family racial) is pretty much negated. Even if not, the post-Blastoff turn from Surge of Power with Chrominius is ridiculously deadly, especially since you definitely just triggered the Dragonkin racial boost. On the Celestials you can run into the 35% per hit Boss Buff ceiling a bit, but still kill them with just the three hits.
With the Unholy Ascension nerf, the only pet you absolutely must have for this strategy to work is the Pandaren Water Spirit. That’s the only pet with both geyser and whirlpool, and there aren’t really any other pets with a one-off staggered delay nuke like those. You can try working in a Ghostly Skull for the Val’kyr. That’s the only other pet with Unholy Ascension, which is fairly necessary here.
Howl is a very good debuff for both PVE and PVP, so much so that it gives this strategy its alternate name: the Howl Bomb. There are other pets with Howl, but none of them have that next turn backend punch Chrominius can pack with Surge of Power. Tito or the Lil Bad Wolf are alright choices, but you can only expect to hit for a few hundred with their other abilities, because all the solo pets have additional damage absorbing buffs. Beyond Howl, there are a few other abilities that cast the Shattered Defenses 100% damage multiplier debuff, and all the rest are Swarm-type abilities. You might want to experiment with a Zandalari Kneebiter, for instance. However, if you do go this route, make sure you use your Hunting Party right off the bat. Don’t try to get cute and cast Black Claw first. The big nukes need to get that 100% debuff or you’re in trouble. The nature of Swarm abilities means if you’re going against a pet with a damage shield like Yu’la, or are making use of a Sandstorming Anubisath, you’re not going to apply the debuff so be careful of that, too. And, if you’re up against a healer like Dos Ryga, a swarm pet isn’t going to be able to burst him down for those last hits before he heals.
To be absolutely clear, if you’d like to use a Howl Bomb strategy I’d highly recommend getting all 3, yes even the Val’kyr, even though she’s a bit of a camp. With those 3, this is a very solid, easy strategy to use. Without, it can get a little dicey. I feel a little cheap using it, but I will certainly be using it during the Tournament myself.
For the Tournament, because of Yu’la and Chichi’s avoids, and Chichi’s heals, I wouldn’t recommend using this for those two. Because Zao’s heal is on a turn delay, this is a decent pick for him. Personally, because I typically only maintain one of each battle pet, my choice is likely going to be Xufu, especially on the week featuring Mari and Kiryn.
Zao is the last encounter I’m writing about, and as a result my witty repartee is broken. Uh, yes, it totally WAS witty. Throw me a bone here!
Zao has 2 old abilities and 1 new ability. The new ability is Charge, which is functionally similar to Deep Breath, where he charges up one round and then does huge damage the next. The old abilities are the typical beast damage ability Trample, and the pvp rage-inducing heal Wish.
The breakdown on my strategy for Zao is a lot of bursty offensive firepower. If you have stuns this is a good place to use them. Call Lightning is fantastic here too. Any kind of avoidance is good, because as seen in the screenshot below his Charge does borderline one-shot damage. He takes that down turn to power up though, so you know it’s coming, making it relatively easy to counter.
However, when I say “bursty firepower”, you need to be mindful of using abilities like Ion Cannon early on, because the “Boss” mechanic only allows you to do 35% of a boss’s health in a single hit. Those huge single hits frequently get partially absorbed, wasting that burst. I do like the Ion Cannon in my anchor slot as a last ditch Hail Mary, but not as primary offense. The Darkmoon Tonk or Menagerie Custodian are my choices for anchor, because they also have Shock and Awe, which gives a chance to stun. The boss buff is why I really like my trusty Clockwork Gnome with a Lightning Storm combo for this fight. It’s a good amount of DPS even halved, and there’s no way I’d hit that 35% per hit threshold because it’s all little hits.
In general, you want to just unload on his face. While you unload though, you need to be mindful of Wish. I like to get all set up with thunderstorms and turrets and debuffs and stuff, and then blitz him down after his first Wish. It’s on a relatively long, 5-round cooldown so it’s better to just eat the first one while you set up your offense, and then use your big damage cooldowns right after he casts it. There aren’t a whole lot of other options for damage debuffs among pets with mechanical damage, and debuff stacking is my personal favorite strategy for nearly all the single-pet fights. One pet I didn’t have available on the PTR that I’m eager to experiment with on Live is the Cogblade Raptor, with Exposed Wounds and Batter.
As always, the trickiest part of the scenario is where you need to think ahead and triage. The Gnome and Tonk are both fairly key in other strategies for the triads, but are also good here. Do you really need that Tonk to beat a pet in the early triad, or should you save it for Zao? I don’t know your stable, so I can’t give you that answer.
Xufu was the most difficult boss for me to figure out a solid strategy for, and yet has the simplest solution.
The strategy for Xufu revolves around his Spirit Claws ability. It does a whole lot of damage, but it has an 80% accuracy, which then becomes 100% if the weather is moonlight. Yes, he casts Moonfire.
I mean, of course he does. Sigh. So you have to have a pet with some kind of weather effect to counter Moonlight. I like Call Lightning, because I always like Call Lightning. Call Darkness is also an effective choice, because in Darkness the accuracy of Spirit Claws plummets to 70%. I wouldn’t recommend Sandstorm, because with the Boss buff you’re not doing a ton of damage to begin with.
The other reason I’m a fan of Darkness is Xufu’s Feed ability. Darkness is one of the few ways to counter a heal, and Feed heals Xufu for the amount of damage he does, like Absorb or Consume. If you look at the difference between Absorb and Consume, Consume’s baseline hits a bit harder than Absorb, but Consume has a turn cooldown to compensate. Feed is such a big hit (with such a big heal) it’s on a 4-turn cooldown. But, because it is a 4-turn cooldown you can kind of plan around it. Generally, I did this with the Decoy ability on the Darkmoon Zeppelin or Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling. Decoy is really powerful here because each of Xufu’s attacks is a single hit, so you buy yourself several rounds of uninterrupted offense each time you use it. If Xufu should happen to miss with Spirit Claws on one of those attacks too, it’s super, super sweet.
You’ll note from the video I didn’t make good use of my typical Lightning Storm-style offense. This is almost entirely because of the new nature of Lightning Storm. It now lasts a mere 5 turns after being cast, and that first pet isn’t long for this world. With the mechanical resurrect turn, you have 2 or 3 turns of Lightning Storm at best for the 2nd pet on. Not much time to construct a solid damage over time offense, let alone stack damage debuffs and all that other nonsense. Don’t worry about the shorter duration though. Xufu won’t re-cast Moonfire until after the full duration of his first one would’ve passed, 10 turns later… unless you cast Nevermore on his Spirit Claws, and then he’ll use anything else at his disposal. Though, because we’re using mostly mechanicals, that’s an alright strategy too. The magic Moonfire doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it typically would. If you do cast Nevermore with your Raven though, make sure you take your Raven out before the next turn or he’s going to get creamed.
Ultimately, as long as I use a weather pet, and then something with Decoy, and back it up with another offensively strong mechanical in the middle, I win at least 75% of the time on PTR. That one fight when Spirit Claws never, ever misses is usually the percent where I end up crashing and burning.
I said there were two methods of doing this, and there are. But the second method is the Universal strategy, usable for nearly any single pet in World of Warcraft, so it’s getting its own post.
Yu’la is by far the most straightforward of any of the 4 Celestial bosses. No heals, not a ton of out of control burst. Her 3 abilities are the Dragon nuke Jade Breath, the shield ability Emerald Presence, and the avoidance ability with a nuke back end, Liftoff. This post will discuss your options and the degrees of success I had with each, with the ‘most recommended’ pets toward the top. There’s also a video at the bottom if you’d like to watch the fight.
In general, just hit her and use avoids if you have them, especially on the turns when you’d get hit by the Liftoff nuke. A good rule of thumb for all the Celestials is to avoid your huge one-shot attacks because of the boss buff, and to stun and avoid whenever possible.
It seems as though Yu’la has been tuned specifically to be slower than the Hopling or Feral Vermling pets. She has 287 speed to their 289, so the Hopling is juuuust quick enough for Backflip to stun. I don’t bother with the second slot ability at all. I just use the humanoid Crush in the first slot and Backflip whenever it’s up.
The Anubisath Idol is really nice here, but don’t try to use sandstorm! The Sandstorm block plus Yu’la’s Emerald Presence means that just about anything you try will hit for double digits, if at all. He’s excellent for starting off the fight, as an anchor, everywhere. I’d definitely recommend you get on leveling one of these ASAP if you don’t have one already. It’s super, super useful in several of these fights. As such, though, I might use the Idol on an earlier fight, depending on your stable. Regardless, this is a bigtime recommend, as the Idol can also make several earlier fights, like Aki, trivial as well.
If you have a Flayer Youngling with one of its stats in Speed (H/S, for instance), you can combine the utility of both the Anubisath and the Hopling. You can use that Backflip stun when it’s on cooldown, use Deflect against Liftoff, and Blitz her face in the middle. This pet can also be really nice for PVP and starts off relatively high level, so you may want to put this one up for consideration.
Peddlefeet starts off as Uncommon, and is an alright choice. He has a stun and a charged nuke. Ordinarily this would make him a first-line choice, but because of the Boss buff you’ll have some of your big nuke deflected, and you’ll have to time it well to get it past Lift Off. The stun is still fairly helpful, and Peddlefeet is tradeable so if you’re trying to slap together a team last minute you can try and get him off the AH.
Speaking of the AH, a Gregarious Grell is an excellent choice here, if you can find one. It’s a TCG pet, which I try to avoid in general, but I was able to nab one off my friendly neighborhood auction house for around 6 thousand gold so it’s not too awful. They start off rare, so you don’t have to worry about a stone, either. He has an avoid and a heal in addition to a humanoid Punch. I liked using him as an anchor, just in case I get down to the wire.
Another stunner and all-around good choice is the Qiraji Guardling. You can cast Hawk Eye for some extra damage too. I’m not sure why, but I was less successful with her than the Vermling, which doesn’t make a ton of sense. Maybe it was just bad RNG strings on the 80% to hit Crush, or maybe it was the wrong breed for the job (an issue you won’t have with the Vermling.
I had some decent luck with the Kun-Lai Runt. No avoidance and cooldowns means you’re probably only going to get one slow -> stun -> big hit combo off, so after the first one I’d just hit her with Takedown until your pet dies. This is a decent choice for an early pet, but I wouldn’t use it as an anchor.
The Harbinger of Flame makes for an alright anchor, because it has the single-pet breaker Impale. Though, because it’s a beast ability, it usually does just a bit more than its regular humanoid Jab ability.
The Curious Oracle Hatchling has the same Backflip move as the Hopling, so it looks like it might be an alright choice, but it’s slower than Yu’la and starts off as Uncommon to boot, so I don’t recommend it.
Beyond that, your choices are fairly ho-hum. Because of Yu’la’s Emerald Presence you’re not going to get too far with non-humanoid offense. As a result, I didn’t have a ton of success using off-family to defend against her damage. Also, she has mixed damage abilities (a Flying and a Dragon), so that was kind of right up to begin with.
Here’s a video of the Anubisath Idol, Feral Vermling and Harbinger of Flame against Yu’la, to give a better idea of what you’re up against.
These little guys first entered the game when 5.2 was released.
There are 4 of them in different colors, and each has multiple breeds. I tend to favor the speed breed, but it’s really personal preference. They all randomly drop from the Zandalari Dinomancers, though at this point you may have better luck farming them off your friendly local auction house. Blizzard decreased the drop rate on them after a couple weeks, and they tend to go for 2-3K each.
Each color has a slightly different moveset, and one of them is entirely missing the ability which made me fall in love, but only these mini-Oondastas have it.
I really can’t adequately express how fun and amazing this ability is in photos, so I made my very first vlog! I hate myself for using the word vlog, I honestly do. And it’s a long one, but it’s also a video walkthrough for the Nitun and Dos-Ryga Beasts Of Fable fights post-5.3. I may or may not need an editor.
As noted in the video, I love this in PVP and it also makes the revamped Beasts of Fable fairly trivial. He’s just all-around fantastic.
I chose the Kneebiter, because every so often I can use Bloodfang to try & heal him. The downside of these pets (all of them!) is that they might as well be made of slightly damp paper towel. If you look at them wrong they keel over and die. Bloodfang also does crazy, crazy damage with the various debuffs you can lay down.
The Anklerender is a good option for PVP as well, but the similar healing ability Devour shares a slot with Black Claw. Dudes, we are taking Black Claw on these pets if the other option in the slot is literally any other pet ability available in the game right now. The reason the Anklerender might be a better choice for PVP is because he has the Primal Cry full team speed debuff ability available in the 2nd slot, and speed is quickly becoming the decider in PVP.
The third baby Oondasta with Black Claw is the Toenibbler. He has a similar setup to the Anklerender only instead of Hunting Party, which adds that additional damage multiplier, he has Flank. It hits a few times and all, but this makes him kind of an underwhelming choice.
A quick mention for the 4th pet of this type, the yellow-toned Footslasher. He has the Exposed Wounds ability instead of Black Claw. The debuff does a similar thing, but to a smaller magnitude, for a longer duration. So, it might be easier to manage, but it won’t have nearly the burst.