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Tommy Newcomer

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.

tommy newcomer wow world of warcraft pet battle

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?

WRONG.

lil oondasta wow world of warcraft pet battle celestial tournament

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:

lil oondasta team wow world of warcraft pet battles

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.

lil oondasta wow warcraft pet battle

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.

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Universal Team for Single Pet Fights

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:

universal pet team wow world of warcraft pet battles celestial tournament

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:

blastoff wow world of warcraft pet battles beasts of fable celestial tournament howl bomb

Before 5.3, when theĀ 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.

universal beasts of fable team wow world of warcraft pet battle celestial tournament

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.

Celestial Tournament – Xufu

xufu xuen wow world of warcraft pet battle celestial

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.

xufu moonfire wow world of warcraft pet battle celestial

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.

xufudarkness wow world of warcraft pet battles celestial

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.

xufu lightning wow world of warcraft pet battle celestial

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.

xufu wow world of warcraft pet battle celestial tournament

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.