Alright, ALRIGHT. I confess! I was the one who helped some creepy old hermit in the backwoods of Duskwood, which is beyond clearly haunted, several years ago. I was a bright-eyed young recruit, and the subsequent betrayal cost me, cost all of Stormwind, dearly. It continues to cost me dearly, apparently.
Stitches Jr is another of the many battle pets running amok (amok! amok!) in your garrison’s Menagerie. He has a unique twist which you’ll find just scintillating, I’m sure.
Here’s the team:
The team I used for the video was a little more exotic, using the Sea Pony instead of the Striders, so don’t panic if you’re here from the video. The Mud Jumper is another alternate pet which is a very common tame in new Nagrand, but again, mostly the same movesets as those old Striders.
The thing we’re looking for here is Aquatic battle pets, to blunt the amount of damage Stitches Jr does. We’re definitely well-served using Pump. Cleansing Rain is also extremely useful in more ways than one. For the anchor pet, Spawn of G’nathus’s Swallow You Whole is an execute-style spammable move. All the pets with that move are relatively rare though, so instead you could opt for something like Howl + Surge Of Power from Chrominius. Just something to completely destroy that opposing pet in short order.
So, why the emphasis on big damage? Iron Thread.
Every attack has to count, and count big. To be clear, this means that if you deal 499 damage you’ll get a (Blocked) message, but if you do 501 damage you’ll deal the whole 501 damage with no additional absorb.
Iron Thread is also why Cleansing Rain is so nice. The 25% increase to Aquatic attacks makes those big attacks just that much bigger. It’s also helpful, because it does a (relatively weak) AOE heal, and one of Stitches Jr’s offensive moves is Cleave, which splits the damage done among the pets still living.
With all Aquatic pets, Cleave is kind of laughable, which is why that cleansing rain heal is a good idea.
One last thing: watch out for that Undead res turn. This is the second reason I really like the Spawn of G’nathus as my anchor. I can just Dive to ride that out.
This Magical trio is another of the many fights that await you in your Garrison’s Menagerie. I’m not quite sure what this is supposed to reference. Maybe nothing. It seems like something though, doesn’t it?
In any case, reference or not, they will meet their match with the following team:
I used a slightly different team for the video, but my explanation should bear out either (and this one is slightly easier to obtain).
The first dragon has a weather change ability. Another thing to note is that, because our opponents are Magic battle pets, using a big move like Deep Breath would just be a waste since most of the damage will be absorbed by that Magic family racial. I find it the most useful to pick just a full team of dragons with dragon moves, but a case can be made for the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, as the only strong-defending Mechanical battle pet with the strong-offense Dragonkin moves.
The first thing Manos does is change the weather to Arcane Winds, and then he’ll attempt to combo that with Mana Surge for additional damage. The first thing you have to do then, is change the weather in return.
The Wild Golden Hatchling’s Call Lightning is fantastic, as is the Spawn of Onyxia’s Scorched Earth as used in the video. Another option is the myriad of Dragonkin pets with Moonfire. You want to avoid Darkness here though. The rest is relatively straightforward. Just beat him up until it’s Hanos’s turn to rumble.
Hanos is annoying because he has a dodge move. I like to use my Emerald Whelpling or Emerald Proto-Drake here. The style of dodge Hanos uses counts down, so I can use those dodge turns as a natural stopping point to cast a heal with either of those two. This can also be a good spot for the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling to use Decoy.
The reason we avoided Darkness to counter the previous pet is because Hanos’ main attack, Sneak Attack, deals additional damage to blinded targets. He will also cast a Blind effect occasionally with Flash, so if you have an avoid to use, the turns where you’re blinded is the time to use it.
Fatos is the last battle pet you’ll encounter in this particular Menagerie fight. It uses Forboding Curse which is an additive debuff, but will make your pet slower, so this is a good spot to add a battle pet with Tail Sweep. This has some pretty good synergy with Arcane Slash, which deals additional damage when it’s faster. Its last damage move, Seethe, has a relatively wide range of damages as well, but is relatively straightforward. Just keep on using your Dragonkin moves to beat him up. I especially like the Infinite Whelpling here because that luck-based Sleep can put you at an advantage, but that’s up to you.
Then you can retire to your fishing shack, or whatever else it is you crazy kids are doing in your Garrisons these days.
Tirs and Fiero are two more pets that show up daily at your Garrison’s Menagerie daily, for either the Scrappin or Battle Pet Roundup dailies. This fight is pretty challenging, but I think I found a fun, unique way to beat it.
Here’s the team:
The Scourged Whelpling in particular has a few tricks up his sleeve. The rest of the pets do big Aquatic damage, which will eviscerate those Elemental battle pets. The best choice for these last slots are going to be magic pets with big Aquatic damage as well as dodges, but those are relatively quite rare. If you have a Syd The Squid hanging around after 6.0 that’s definitely a great alternate choice. Gnathus’s main move as the anchor is Swallow You Whole, and there are several other options which use that move as well. I would definitely try to pick one of those up, though.
So, firstly, that whelp has an odd moveset, and is kind of a weird choice in general, but the very first thing Tirs does when he steps up to the plate is cast Cleansing Rain. This means that this is probably the only time we’re ever going to want to use Dreadful Breath with our Scourged Whelpling, and here it really pays off.
Each round of Dreadful Breath will do nearly 200 damage to both Tirs and Fiero. I can typically get both down to just about half health by the time the Whelp dies permanently.
After that, it’s all about the burst. Both Tirs and Fiero have incredible burst. Tirs will cast Pump, which you can deflect a few times with your Croaker’s Bubble. However, when Fiero comes out, all bets are off.
Not only does Fiero have a lot of burst, including the 50% accuracy RNG darling pictured above, but his regular abilities hurt pretty bad as well. The solution I chose is to out-burst the burst. Because of the mechanics of Swallow You Whole, once you can get Fiero to 25%, you win. And he already starts off at just over half health, so as long as you can get just a couple abilities to hit, you’re going to beat this fight.
This is the most fight this expansion. Hell, it’s the most fun fight to date.
I’m not being sarcastic for once. This fight is so, SO fun.
Here’s the team:
Since the pets we’re facing are all flying battle pets, those dragons with magic abilities are getting some serious airtime. Yep, again. Dragonkin pets with the Arcane Storm/Mana Surge combo are pretty nice here too, if you’d prefer. The first pet, Jahan, will even cast Arcane Winds on your behalf if you’re lacking on the combo. If you don’t have any Dragonkin with Magic damage, try pets with just magic offense. Pets with a Barrier, like the Coilfang Stalker, even make it so you could carry a lowbie here, though the first pet has some serious AOE so I like to err on the side of lvl 10+.
This fight is completely straightforward, except for one thing.
And this is what makes this fight SO fun. Because of the interaction of my magic-damage dealing Dragonkin pets with their Flying targets, even if they crit every attack the Flying pets won’t prevail here. In the meantime, your pets get to deal out incredible, ridiculous damage. It is absolutely staggering, even when you’re not critting.
If you don’t have the dragonkin pets with magic damage here, I’d swap for heavy-hitting Magic battle pets before just Dragonkin. The increased crit will be absorbed by a Magic battle pet’s family ability to a certain extent.
When watching the video, please know that I tried to contain my glee. I honestly did.
Since this fight is in your Menagerie, it’s like Santa comes once every couple of weeks.
The Beakinator is one of the many rotating challenges you can face in your garrison’s Menagerie. He is a Flying battle pet, with his attacks split between Flying and Mechanical damage. But that Mechanical stuff is a doozy.
Here’s the team:
Because Beakinator uses a good amount of flying damage and is a flying battle pet, yet again we’re using our magic damaging dragons. In terms of swaps, the best option not shown here is the Emerald Proto. The dragons with the Arcane Storm + Mana Surge combo, like the Nexus Whelpling, are poor choices here. The most important thing in the Infinite Whelpling’s moveset is the Darkflame ability, which is shared by a few other battle pets. I’d pick dragonkin here if at all possible but the Dark Phoenix may be OK in a pinch.
I would definitely recommend sticking with either the Nether Faerie or Sprite Darter in the 2nd slot, because Life Exchange is so extremely useful against single-pet fights.
The scariest bit to avoid, just looking at Beakinator’s moveset, seems to be Wind-up. While it is a LOT of damage to take at once, our pets all have heals and due to the nature of Wind Up and our reduction from the Dragonkin racial for Alpha Strike, we’ll be alright with that.
Actually, no. The main threat here is Touch Of The Animus.
It’s a per-hit reflexive heal debuff. This is why the heal-preventing Darkflame on our last pet alive is so important. Before we get down to that battle pet, we can just swap out whichever pet gets that debuff. Because Alpha Strike is 2 hits, and due to the Boss buff, each round we stay in with that debuff will heal Beakinator for the equivalent of 500+ damage we’ll have to do to take those heals back off.
This is also why those multi-turn magic abilities, fairly common among the magic-damaging Dragonkin battle pets, are out. You need to be able to swap out ASAP, and though those abilities do excellent damage they lock you into the attack for far too long.
Beakinator is the objective of the first-tier Menagerie quests, Scrappin’ for Horde or Battle Pet Roundup for Alliance. I believe he may also be hungry for Froot Loops.
Like all of the denizens of the Spires of Arak, Vesharr’s story is a tragic one. He holds some artifacts you’ll recognize while questing through the area. A construct used by the Arakkoa for defense, now useless. A black bird used for relaying important messages, quickly and quietly. The tiny avatar of their god; a god which no longer answers them.
At least maybe you’ll bring Vesharr a little bit of entertainment. He needs it, now that his life was shattered along with his wings.
These Draenor tamers are dark, y’all.
This is a level 1 2-pet carry, so this strategy also works quite well for an Elekk Carry. The Nether Faerie is my Flying killer glass cannon of choice, but there are a couple others that will work too. The Emerald Proto-Whelp is fairly key because of that Lift-Off avoidance move, though there are a couple other dragonkin in this boat. You are going to be taking a lot of damage here, so Dragonkin are definitely preferable.
Vesharr’s 1st & 3rd battle pets are Flying with flying damage, so we’re real heavy on the Dragonkin pets. The name of the game is the blitz. The one big issue is that Vesharr’s 3rd pet is Mechanical. However, it casts this weird buff:
So that magic damage will still be a good pick. The one big thing to watch out for with that 2nd pet is Root, which just deals a lot of damage after a turn to charge up. It will be cast more frequently than the Emerald Proto can Proto-Strike to avoid it, but with that & the heals you should be able to make quick work of the first 2 pets.
The 3rd pet self-buffs on its first turn, so that’s your chance to put in your level 1 carry pet. After that, he will unleash a huge set of attacks, which is why I like to use the Nether Faerie Dragon. Life Exchange works as a great equalizer after you’ve withstood a barrage of attacks. Once Darkwing gets below half health & loses that Flying speed boost, you’ve pretty much won.
Vesharr is also a vendor, so make sure to take the last few birds they have left, trained by one of his friends who was stabbed in cold blood.
Taralune stands on the Southernmost tip of the paved ring surrounding Auchindoun in Talador with her exceptionally moth-y team. She is surrounded by white flowers and visions of the past.
Magic damagers are king against Taralune’s team. Dragons are also preferred because, with a couple exceptions, the incoming damage to your battle pets is going to be Flying damage. If you’re not using your Elekk as your carry pet, you’ll want to use a level 4-5 or higher. In the 2nd slot, I’ve also used the Emerald Proto-Drake fairly well. I use the Nether Faerie Dragon second. The Sprite Darter is basically the same pet, so that’s OK too. Swaps beyond that can get a bit dicey, since not many strong-defending dragons have a lot of frontloaded magic damage to burst down the rest of Taralune’s team.
The Elekk goes in first, because the first thing Serendipity always does is cast Counterspell, so it’s a wasted turn regardless. Counterspell is also rather indicative of this pet’s mojo. It will not sit still long enough to be hit. You need a pet with defensive moves and preferably a heal. The Emerald Whelpling isn’t so much there to defeat this pet per se as it is to out-turtle it.
The Whelpling will mostly just be here to destroy Serendipity alone, which is fine. The other 2 are less of a threat, and the Nether Faerie Dragon’s Life Exchange levels the playing field beautifully.
Grace will cast Call Lightning, but the Nether Faerie’s Moonfire swaps the weather back with a huge hit of its own. Atonement’s Nimbus and Moth Balls combo can frequently be deadly.
Once you get Grace or Atonement below 50% some cool stuff happens. First, the Flying pet bonus is nullified, and the Nether Faerie Dragon is faster than either of them. Second, the Dragonkin pet bonus kicks in, and the Nether Faerie gets a 50% boost to all damage the next attack. Both Grace and Atonement are toast before they can get a chance to do anything else.
The third Pest in the quest Pets vs Pests (required to unlock your pet Menagerie at your level 3 Garrison) is by far the tastiest. Carrotus Maximus can be found near the herb garden in both the Alliance and Horde Garrisons.
Carrotus is the most challenging of the 3, in that you need to be a bit more aware of his attacks. That said, this is another relatively easy fight, so I’m going with a loose idea of what we’ll need more than a cohesive team.
My go-to pet here is frogs, because they hit pretty hard, have a heal for longevity, and can turn Carrotus into a frog. Always a boon in single-pet fights. You can tame a high-level frog in a number of relatively easily accessible places, including much of Pandaria. Striders have the hard-hitting Aquatic stuff down pat, with a heal but no additional frills, also tamed across Pandaria. I don’t like most crabs here, but that Moonshell Crab from the Shadowmoon Valley coast continues to be a great pick. In general, as long as you’re picking Aquatics and use a main attack other than Surge you’re going to be in good shape.
Carrotus’ moveset is unique. Peculiar, even. His only offense to speak of is Ironbark, which is why I’m so fixated on hitting hard. Ironbark applies a single-turn self shield a la Stoneskin, but with a lot more blocking power. Carrotus also uses Leech Seed to heal himself occasionally, but if you use an Aquatic pet, it won’ t heal him up as much.
The wrinkle here is that Carrotus is relatively slow, and also has Aged Yolk, which he uses to wipe off his own Ironbark?
I put a question mark there intentionally because it’s a little silly, but come on, what do you expect, great strategy? He’s a carrot.
So, that buff & debuff thing means that a Strider is really well-suited here, because you can prime Pump while the shield from Ironbark is active, and then use Water Jet until Ironbark wears off. Because most pets are going to be faster than Carrotus, using a big skill like Pump when Ironbark is down is a relatively easy order.
Just use big Aquatic hits, and Carrotus will go down easier than falling off a roof.
A very new addition in this Warlords of Draenor beta build is a set of 6 tamers out in the world. These tamers have battle pets that are quite a bit easier than the very challenging Menagerie fights we’ve seen to this point. They give two-pet carry XP identical to the fights in Pandaria. Most of them are close to flight paths. For now, these tamers are kind of secret. They aren’t listed on the map at all, so it’s up to tamers to seek them out if they’d like to try their luck. These locations will be revealed in a later build, but for now, here are some maps to help you find them.
Frostfire Ridge Tamer: Gargra
Gargra has 3 super adorable frostwolf pup (beast family) battle pets in tow. Her location is the oddest, but if you follow the path around the back side of Grom’gar and hug the rocks on the north side her blue exclamation point should show up. Click here for my level one (or Elekk!) carry strategy for Gargra.
Gorgrond Tamer: Cymre
Cymre Brightblade, named after the illustrious Cymre Jones from Bubbles of Mischief, has an array of archaeology pets. She’s also squatting in a ruin with her archaeology gear and some really fun flavor text. With both an undead and mechanical on her team, dragonkin and elementals are good picks. Click here for my walkthrough of Cymre‘s very difficult fight.
This team made me a little sad. Ashlei is a new tamer with a few really adorable pets, including the completely useless plushie Doodle. All the cute snugglies are on a plateau overlooking the Embari Village, but easily accessible from a cross-faction flight point. As of now it’s a pretty quick & easy fight, as long as you can get past the heartache of making a little girl very disappointed. Oh, that flavor text. Click here for my strategy for Ashlei, including a mutually-assured Elekk Carry.
The easiest to find once you hit the right level, Vesharr is visible on the minimap from the shared-faction flight point in Veil Terokk. He has 2 flying battle pets and a mechanical, appropriately themed for Spires of Arak. Click here for my strategy post for Vesharr, including an Elekk Carry.
Taralune is on a platform surrounded by flowers, near Auchindoun. Her team is 3 moths, so as long as you have the battle pets to counter a moth you’re pretty well set. Click here for my strategy post for Taralune, which is a 2-pet Elekk Carry, also suitable for leveling pets.
Tarr is in a building toward the back of the Ring Of Blood. His pets are a few of the more recent Murky iterations. They actually have pretty decent synergy among them, but a handful of Undead battle pets will still make quick work of them. Click here for my strategy to defeat Tarr The Terrible. This is a 2-pet leveling strategy that also works well for our Awfully Big Adventure.
New for 8/24/14: Good News, Everyone! In the latest beta build, Gnawface has been significantly nerfed to be more forgiving. As a result, I changed the screenshot featuring his stats (click here to see Gnawface’s old stats). I also re-tested the teams below and they all still work like a charm. Oddly, I’ve found that now the weird cats team at the bottom seems to be the most straightforward. Who would think, right?
Gnawface is the first pet I’m going to write about that you must defeat in your garrison in order to open the Menagerie. The Menagerie is available to anyone as soon as your garrison reaches level 3. These battles are a part of the quest Pets vs Pests.
I know that everybody is going to want to open up their Menagerie, because who wants an uncompleted question mark on their record? The thing is, these fights are hard, and though I obviously can’t be sure, from the nature of the other battles I’ve seen it seems that the intent here is to show that the fights to come are no joke. If you can’t get these guys down first go, that is absolutely OK. Don’t be discouraged.
There are many teams you could use to beat Gnawface, and I’m going to highlight a couple, just because, as I said, this is going to be attempted by tamers who are not all that hardcore. Hopefully you can cobble together a team to defeat him.
Team 1: Humanoids A Go-Go.
The Kun-Lai Runt is tamed from Kun-Lai Summit & starts at level 23 or so. Bonkers is from gambling with Timeless Coins in Kukuru’s cave on the Timeless Isle. The Little Bad Wolf is the trickiest. It’s tradeable and obtained from the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan. Both Little Bad & Bonkers start at level 1. All 3 are Humanoid, which means Gnawface’s critter abilities hit them weakly, and all 3 have a good complement of Beast abilities, meaning they hit Gnawface harder than normal. Lil Bad & Bonkers both have Dodge moves, making them last a very long time against Gnawface. If possible, use those dodges just as Gnawface’s Darkness wears off, because Call Darkness will hit your Humanoid pets for a lot of damage.
This team is the most straightforward for newbie tamers to use. No tricks or gimmicks. Just use your offensive moves, your defensive moves when needed, and this team will clean up.
Team 2: Moar DoTs
The Crunchy Scorpion is tamed in the Dread Wastes. The Obsidian Hatchling is sold for 50g in Dalaran. The Summit Kid is tamed in Kun-Lai Summit. There are some good substitutions for all 3 pets, because we’re really focusing on 1 ability for each. From the Scorpion, Sting is a long DoT which deals Beast damage. There are other scorpions and a couple snakes which fit this bill. From the Hatchling, Expose Wound increases each hit of that DoT by 74, so a DoT that ticked for 100 will now tick for 174. There are a number of other raptors that do this, including the tamed Cogblade Raptor in Blade’s Edge. The Summit Kid uses Stampede, which hits 3 times for 120 total damage on its own but applies Shattered Defenses, which doubles the damage done at the end of the Kid’s turn. Expose Wounds alone makes each tick of Stampede far more powerful, but with Shattered Defenses each tick of Stampede does over 200 damage. Add in that Sting and you’ve got yourself one dead rat.
This strategy is a bit more suited to experienced battlers, though the pets are easier to obtain. You have to swap each pet after it uses its designated ability or else the combos won’t line up properly.
An important point: Because Gnawface is a critter, both immobilize and stun effects will not work here. This means that some popular pets are ineffective. Namely, Spiders cannot web him & then use Spiderling Swarm for double damage.
Team 3: Like, Cats Or Whatever.
IDK, just a whole bunch of cats, or whatever. Pounce generally has better throughput than Claw, as long as your battle pet is faster than Gnawface. This is why I put Claw in the 2nd slot… if your cat is slower than Gnawface, Claw can help give you that edge regardless. You’ll have to experiment with your various cats to see whether you can pull off Prowl and still be quick enough to get it to hit. This team is by far the most susceptible to failure due to various RNG happenings & breed can be a huge consideration, so I’d consider this my last-ditch attempt. But hey, how often can I talk about just like, dozens of cats?
If you’re struggling here or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment to this entry, or ask me about it on Twitter (@Liopleurodonic). It’s a tough fight. If you can’t get it first go, have some boxed wine and come back later. Unless you’re underage, in which case don’t you dare let your parents know that Auntie Lio is the coolest ever.