I was listening to the Group Quest podcast earlier, and I heard my buddy DeGei say that he knew the Elemental Spirits were good to level pets against, but he wasn’t sure how you actually did it with only two level 25 pets carrying the fight.
DeGei, this one is for you, man.
We are going to level a pet from 1 to 25, in exactly nine fights. Ready? Let’s go!
First, we pick our team.
To level pets from 1 to 25, I use three specific level 25 pets as the carrying team.
The three pets are the Anubisath Idol, the Emperor Crab, and the Ash Spiderling.
The Anubisath Idol is picked due to having the Sandstorm ability and a very strong humanoid Crush, and the Emperor Crab is chosen because it’s got a ‘always goes first’ aquatic Surge, a Renewing Mist and a Shell Shield, making it one whopper of an endurance pet.
The Ash Spiderling is simply my crutch when leveling pets at low levels. By Applying Brittle Webbing first, every time an enemy hits you, it hurts itself. Also, by being webbed, every time you hit the enemy with Leach Life, you get twice the healing. On enemies that Swarm, Brittle Webbing makes them darn near kill themselves. It’s wonderful. But your third pet can be whatever you like, the two absolute key pets are the Anubisath Idol and a crab.
How I Prepare
The first step is to get your pet high enough level to survive a few hits from the Burning Pandaren Spirit team. I usually level my pets to 8 somewhere else, then bring them to the trainer in Townlong Steppes.
I use an addon called PetBattle Teams to allow me to make premade teams with selected abilities.
Lots and lots of teams.
In fact, as you can see here, I originally made about 75 teams of level 1 pets at one time, went to my starting zone, and just started leveling them up to around 6 – 8 to prepare them for the big leagues. As a pet reached 25, I delete the team.
I’m in absolutely no rush to reach some leveling achievement, but I like playing with a wide variety of pets at max level, so I figured might as well be organized for those times I feel like doing a leveling binge.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, to begin our leveling journey, we take our level 1 pet and the Spider/Crab combo to Un’goro Crater.
I like Un’goro Crater, because the pets average level 16, high enough to score some decent XP but low enough not to one shot a level 1.
Your mileage may vary.
My advice to you?
Avoid the moths, they’re a royal pain in the ass.
Stick with Diametrodons, they’re cute and fun.
We will open each fight with the pet we’re leveling, let it survive just one round, getting a hit off before switching. It does NOT matter if you hit or miss, taking an action counts as being in the battle. Swap the pet out, bring in the Spider, and Brittle Webbing/Leach Life your way to a cheesy victory against the level 16 pets in the crater.
Within four battles, you will go from level 1 to level 8. Your first battle gets you to 5, then to 6, to 7 and to 8.
Congratulations, you’re ready for stage two. Prime time, baby! Bright lights, big city, strong winds and brutal fire.
Time to swap the spider out for the Anubisath Idol as your second pet in the lineup.
This process is a pretty interesting dance. The fun thing is, you can go a few different ways. All lead to victory, but one way plays it safe while the other risks all…
You always open with your leveling pet. Get off an attack, whatever you want to do. It truly doesn’t matter, so long as you DO NOT STUN THE ENEMY. If the enemy pet gets stunned, it gets swapped out, screwing over your planning.
The Dragonling will always go first in the enemy lineup, it will always attack you first, and it will ALWAYS cast Cyclone first. This means that the enemy spends it’s first turn casting a spell that will NOT do direct damage to your starting pet.
As soon as you get the chance, rotate out the leveling pet, bring in the Anubisath Idol.
Tornado? Phah. I got this.
The second attack the Dragon makes is always Lift-Off. The Dragon takes off, and hovers while you wait out your “I just got here” delay of turn.
On your next move, you can cast Deflection. It always goes before the enemy, so you can avoid the big hit he’s about to perform.
OR… you can cast Sandstorm.
The cautious way to play it, and the smart way when your leveling pet is only 8, is to cast Sandstorm.
What Sandstorm will do is seriously reduce the amount of damage Cyclone will do to your backline pets, which is critical when you’ve got the leveling pet back there and you’re praying it will survive. In fact, if your leveling pet is weak against Flying attacks, you might want to level to 10 to be safe before coming here.
The downside is… Sandstorm reduces everyone’s hit chance, and your Idol’s heavy hitting attack, Crush, is already an 80% chance to hit ability. This means with Sandstorm up, you miss. A lot. And if you don’t kill the Dragon fast enough, it WILL get off a second Cyclone, which is a real pain in the ass and increases the overall damage your leveling pet might take. Oh, and the Crab is weak to Flying damage.
In the screenshot above, eyeball the two cooldowns on the Dragon, the pet on the upper right. Those timers show you that the Dragon will only perform a simple breath weapon for at least the next few rounds. So hammer him hard.
As you can see, in this fight I did as an example, I had the crappiest luck ever, and missed something like 4 rounds in a row. So, a new Cyclone got cast, and he went into Lift-Off again… but my shield is up and I’m still in this for the long term.
Still, the many misses with Sandstorm meant my Idol died before finishing off the Dragon. Oh noes, right?
Not so much. You see, the Crab comes up next, and the Dragon was low enough I could use my Surge, which goes first, to finish it off.
Now, the Fire Pet comes up next. And it ALWAYS opens with the heavy-hitting Conflagrate. Big badaboom. Since I’m out of sequence, all I can do is eat it.
But now, it’s all going to go my way.
You see, the Crab is powerful against the Fire Pet with Surge, and the Fire Pet is about to go on a long break from doing damage.
The second thing the Fire Pet does is cast Cauterize, the self-heal. Well, that’s fine, we didn’t do any damage to the damn thing yet, you just go ahead and waste that turn.
Then it casts Immolate on it’s next round, to set you burning.
So a quick Shell Shield to protect from periodic damage, a Renewing Mists to start building my health back, and look at that… once it has cast Immolate, it does nothing, nothing whatsoever for a couple turns, because it has to wait for the cooldowns on Conflagrate and Cauterize, and once you’re burning, it doesn’t cast Immolate again!
You have plenty of time for your Crab to build up health before the next Conflagrate, and your Surges do silly badass damage to him. Piece of cake.
But here comes the wasp!
The wasp… is a joke to the Crab. The first two turns, the wasp drops poisons on you… and so long as your Shell Shield is active, they are meaningless. Always cast Shell Shield when the duration is down to one round, and you’re golden.
Get your Renewing Mists up to build your health back to safe levels, but honestly. The only attack it has which can do damage to you is Swarm… and since the damage of Swarm is spread out into small chunks, your Shell Shield damage mitigation reduces it so many times over that you almost take no damage at all the entire fight.
I’m serious. I have had shitty Cyclone runs before where my Crab came into this fight with 80 health, and still won. Easily. You get your Shell Shield up FIRST, get Renewing Mists up to cover the small damage you do take, and it’s in the bag.
Only downside? Surge does minimal damage to a wasp, so it takes many rounds to burn it down. But hey, it’s a sure thing.
Our fifth fight, and our leveling pet goes from level 8 to 14 in one shot!
Okay, so what now?
Your leveling pet is 14. He’s got the health to survive some Cyclones, so long as he’s not weak against flying.
Why not go for a fast kill?
Take a look at this next screenshot. Anubisath is still alive with over 500 health, the Dragon is dead, and I’ve popped my shield in preparation for the heavy-hitting Conflagration I know is coming.
What was different?
In this battle, I never cast Sandstorm.
Instead, my leveling pet fired off a cheap shot and ran for it, my Anubisath Idol came in, popped up the Shield, and then went straight to hammering the Dragon with Crush. I ignored the Cyclone, let it do it’s thing, and counted on my hit chance being high enough to finish off the Dragon before he could cast a second Cyclone.
It worked. Cyclone had one turn left to go when the Dragon died. When the Fire Pet came up, I knew he would cast Conflagrate, so I cast my Deflection Shield.
Then I knew he would cast Cauterize to heal the damage he hadn’t taken yet (um, what?) and so again, I hammered the shit out of him with Crush.
Think back to what I said about the Fire Pet. He casts Conflagrate, which does a shit-load of damage. Well, we Deflected that. Then he healed himself, we got a free shot at him. Then he cast a measly little Immolate on us to set us on fire. Another shot at him.
Then he sits there doing nothing for at least two turns, waiting for those cooldowns to end! We get two more free shots before he is ready to Conflagrate, and if you watch his cooldown timers, you know when it’s coming and can cast your Deflection again. That is, if he ain’t dead already.
One last note… nine fights, level 1 to 25. Once my leveling pet was above level 14, I never used Sandstorm again, and I destroyed the opponents by using Deflection at the correct times to avoid Lift-Off and Conflagrate.
And I did NOT use, at any time, the BOA pith helmet reward that gives pet trainers improved XP. I felt it wasn’t fair to do so, since many folks starting out might not have one yet because they hadn’t gotten the achievements.
There you go, DeGei. A step by step breakdown of how to take the Burning Pandaren Spirit with a leveling pet and two 25’s, on time every time, and make it look easy.
The down side to this is, from what I know, once you have actually completed the Elemental Grand Master Pet Tamer questline, you can’t just fight the Burning Pandaren Spirit over and over again, endlessly. You only get one shot a day.
I don’t know, I refuse to complete the quest until all 400 pets of mine are level 25. :)
So DeGei… any questions?
As a side note…
The only other Pet Battle addons I use are; Battle Pet Count, Battle Pets List, PetJournal Enhanced and Pokemon Trainer, which is the nice addon that shows me the enemy cooldowns, and the little up and down arrows. I mostly use it for cooldown timers, though.
I hope this helps someone, because leveling lots and lots of pets can be such a pain in the butt if you don’t find a good system like this.