Taming the Celestial Tournament – Bear Style

Enough time has now passed that I think it’s appropriate to release my own list of pets I use for the Celestial Tournament without unduly influencing anyone through exposure.

Granted, nobody wants me to expose myself, but it’s my blog and I can oh hell no I ain’t quoting that.

I’m going to do this quick and dirty. For once, I’ll spare you my rambling bullshit. If you’re reading this, you want an idea of what pets I use that I find consistently successful, and you’ll probably spin off of that for your own teams based on what pets you have access to.

I warn you up front, the pets I use against most of the Celestials aren’t going to help you much, unless you were as bored as I was and farmed based off my Val’kyr Tom Tom route post.

Anyway, let’s get to it.

All of my pets are upgraded to Rare and are level 25. If you’re fighting the Tournament, you don’t need me telling you what the enemy pets are. And I am going to respect you enough to assume you don’t need me teaching you things like the proper use of Decoy, Call Darkness with Blindness or Burrow.

Opposing Forces One; Sully, Dr Ion and Loremaster Cho.


Effervescent Glowfly (H/B) (1,1,1)
Direhorn Runt (P/B) (1,1,1)
Gilnean Raven (B/B) (1,2,1)

Dr. Ion

Celestial Dragon (H/H) (1,1,1)
Lil’ XT (H/P) (1,1,1)
Ghostly Skull (H/P) (2,1,1)

Loremaster Cho

Lesser Voidcaller (H/H) (2,2,2)
Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (S/S) (1,1,2)
Anubisath Idol (H/H) (1,2,1)

Opposing Forces Two; Wrathion, Chen Stormstout, Taran Zhu


Grasslands Cottontail (S/S) (1,2,1)
Flayer Youngling (S/S) (1,1,1)
Anubisath Idol (H/H) (1,2,1)

Chen Stormstout

Darkmoon Zeppelin (H/B) (1,2,2)
Curious Wolvar Pup (P/P) (2,1,2)
Gnarly (H/P) (1,1,2)

Taran Zhu

Mr. Grubbs (H/P) (2,2,2) – Sticky Goo is critical to root that sucka and keep him from swapping out. Pin him and slam him!
Nether Ray Fry (P/P) (2,1,1)
Creepy Crate (H/H) (2,1,2)

Opposing Forces Three; Wise Mari, Blingtron 4000, Shademaster Kiryn

Wise Mari

Gilnean Raven (B/B) (2,2,1)
Onyxian Whelpling (P/B) (2,1,2)
Emperor Crab (P/P) (2,2,2)

Blingtron 4000

Eternal Strider (P/S) (1,2,2)
Cinder Kitten (B/B) (1,2,1)
Pandaren Fire Spirit (P/S) (1,1,2)

Shademaster Kiryn

Stitched Pup (H/P) (1,2,2)
Terrible Turnip (P/S) (2,1,1)
Son of Animus (P/P) (1,2,2)


Now, I know that this list isn’t going to be universally helpful. This is what I have used so far and had consistent success, and it’s drawn from what I have at level 25 and rare. So no, I am not saying you have to own a Son of Animus to defeat Shademaster Kiryn, or a Creepy Crate for Taran Zhu. I am simply showing what I use, and hoping that if you are looking for inspiration for a counter against a specific pet within a tamer’s team, this might help.

Each week, I take the team I used the week before, and root around looking for something a little different to try, see if I can’t get it even cleaner. So far working very well, though.

Now, some pets that you might think would be brilliant don’t show up here, right? I mean, I’m using an Emperor Crab against Wise Mari, when clearly a Pandaren Water Spirit would be more effective, what with having the two very powerful timed explosions.

Well, there is a reason I can’t use a Pandaren Water Spirit or a Chrominius for any of the tamer fights.

I don’t have one to spare.


The Celestials


Bonkers-A (P/P) (1,2,2)
Bonkers-B (P/P) (1,2,2)
Pandaren Monk (P/S) (1,2,1)

Yes, I have two Bonkers. Actually, I have three. The third ain’t a P/P breed, so I haven’t leveled him yet. Bonkers is freaking AMAZING, and I didn’t have anything better to do with those 30,000 coins than open chests. Getting through Yu’las Emerald Dream takes powa.

All three of the other Celestials = ย three teams of;

Unborn Val’kyr (1,2,2) Curse of Doom, Unholy Ascension, die and switch to Water Spirit.
Pandaren Water Spirit (1,2,2) Geyser, Whisrlpool switch to Chrominius.
Chrominius (1,1,2) Howl, Bite, Surge of Power. Enemy dead.


Yep. That’s right. I have THREE TEAMS of the Unborn Val’kyr, Water Spirit and Chrominius. I was bored, and I had spent all that time making the Tom Tom route for the Unborn Val’kyr, and I got one for Alex, and well… I was weak, and I wasn’t raiding, so I kept rolling on the route and ended up with three of them trying for different breeds.

At that point, I mean I’m defeating the Tamers each day, and I’m clearing Blackwing Lair… there didn’t seem any reason NOT to have three of the Water Spirits or Chrominius. I figured while doing the Beasts of Fable dailies I could just rotate through my three teams so I didn’t have to waste Bandages, I could just wait the 8 minutes for my cooldown and still have a team or two ready for the next fight.

When the Celestial Tournament went live, well…. I looked at the four Celestials, picked one to build a ‘real’ team for, and figured I’d try the team designed by Phraide for the Beasts of Fable on the other three, see how they did.

It turned out that the team consistently crushes all of the other Celestial pets, even though they added the “can’t do more than 30% damage on a single attack” limitation.

No, I can’t defend it.

On the one hand, they are pets I have, and there would seem to be no reason to intentionally prevent myself from using every tool I have available to win. What, it’s okay to use Call Darkness and Nocturnal Strike as a way to bypass insane dodge abilities, but not to use Geyser and Howl?

My real problem with using three teams like this is it’s not my strategy. I learned about it from Phraide on the Warcraftpets.com forums. Actually I learned about it from Josh Augustine on his WoW Pet Battle Crew podcast, he mentioned it in passing so I went and looked up what he was talking about on Warcraftpets. I tried it against the Beasts of Fable, and sure enough it was very effective in clearing them quickly every single day.

I figured there was no reason why it wouldn’t work on a Celestial since they’re single pet fights, and sure as heck it does.

Now, for the purpose of accuracy, you don’t have to have three Unborn Val’kyrs. The Ghostly Skull also has the Unholy Ascension ability, and can stay in to do some damage before popping it, ending up withe the same overall effect. And there are many more pets than Chrominius that have Howl, such as the new Moon Moon, Lil’ Bad Wolf, Tito, Core Hound Pup, a lot of Foxes, etc.

Those Pandaren Water Spirits? Those are pretty pro.

There you go. I have no secrets from you! Go forth my friends and conquer.

And by all means, share with me the teams you prefer for some of these tamers. I know that whatever you use will likely be different. That’s why I like pet battling so much!

I’m always leveling new pets and hoping to try them out in the roster, so if you’ve got a mix you particularly like, let me know and I’ll give it a whirl.

Good luck!

19 thoughts on “Taming the Celestial Tournament – Bear Style

  1. I’m finding all this information to be really helpful.
    I still can’t beat Taran Zhu after numerous tries though. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  2. Too lazy to compile a listing of everything I used (not to mention a team or two is still in flux – my Zao team is awful shaky but I keep being lazy about fixing it), but one oddball pet I’ve not seen anyone else I think is worth mentioning…

    Imperial Silkworm (1/2/*) against Yen, Taran Zhu’s first monk. Has undead family lifesteal, is a critter so can’t be stunned, and has a snare so that Yen can’t FD and force a pet swap (sooo annoying). The snare reduces the FD to a deflection equivalent but with an even longer CD. Maybe not the fastest kill, but it’s solid and removes the RNG from that trainer. Poor silkworm gets *stomped* by the next monk though, oops. ๐Ÿ˜› (One thing to watch out for – careful if you use moth dust before Yen’s snared…)


    • I LOVE using a Nexus Whelpling and a Fossilized Hatchling on Taran Zhu. The Nexus puts up Arcane Storm which prevents stuns. The Fossil Bonestorms and rips the monks apart. A Nether Ray Fry to clean up. It’s a great team and ignores most of the RNG of the fight.

      I was able to put my teams up so easily because I wrote them all down so I’d remember. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a text file on my computer, it was almost just copy and paste. Had to change some of the names to the generic ones since they’re my specific names in the text file.


    • That is a fantastic tip! I haven’t finished the tournament yet this week, I was playing with Bigglesworth strats on Yu’la, so I’ll give that a try!


      • I have used Bigglesworth, and I can absolutely confirm that the kitty powerhouse can and indeed does solo Yu’la like a boss. Exactly like an unstoppable war machine.

        I did NOT use the Nexus Whelpling on my fight against Taran Zhu. Instead, I kept with my existing team, because your comment about the Imperial Silkworm having a snare made me pause. I had chosen MY first pet because of a snare… and I didn’t remember using it the last time I fought Taran Zhu three weeks ago.

        I just checked, and sure as hell, my selection of the Sticky Goo (attack type 2) for the pet wasn’t saved in my pet teams from when I set them up the first time. I fought the second time without the damn root! What a goofball.

        I am correcting the team I posted for what it actually was supposed to be. Sticky Goo against Monks for the win.


  3. I still have problems with a Xu-Fu. One lucky crit from him and he can wreck an entire strategy. For Yu-La, Mr. Bigglesworth can solo her all by himself. Claw, ice tomb, ice barrier, pass, claw till ice tomb comes off CD and repeat. For Zao I use 2-3 Zandalari Raptors. Black Claw and Hunting Party kill him dead.

    I don’t find the valk, spirit, chrom tactic cheesy. You went t the effort to farm up 3 complete teams, you get the reward of plowing through the celestials. There are still plenty of valid strats that work, but why struggle if you don’t have to?


    • The benefit to not using the cheesy teams would be freeing up those pets to face roll other tamers. I love Chrominius.


    • It’s totally fine that he wins the Tournament because he took the effort to level teams specifically to do so. What’s not fine is that this Bomb Team can beat all future bosses in the exact same way. He didn’t level a team to beat one boss, he leveled a team to beat ALL of them FOREVER.

      Ok, yes, that’s hyberbole. It’s conceivable that Blizzard could develop a boss battle that wouldn’t be beaten by this team, but it hasn’t happened yet. (Except for No-No, he does make it difficult.) Even though they added the 50% damage reduction and max hit of 35%, the Bomb Team STILL works.

      Add a THOUSAND new pets and WHO CARES? You’ve already got the one team that will beat everything forever. THAT is why it’s cheesy. That’s why I don’t like it. Game over, done, forget Pet Battles and move on to the next thing. Let’s just go back to collecting only because battling is pointless now.

      ….I’m back to hyperbole, oops. PvP battles are a very different creature, of course. Any 3-pet trainer is different too. So it’s not totally done, but the Bomb Team does very nearly wipe out a whole chunk of pet battles. What’s the point in Blizzard making new boss pets if they all lose to the exact same team?


  4. Here are my teams, since you asked and so I can back up my other reply. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I leave out the breed, I don’t think it matters. Or there’s only one.

    Group One:

    Onyxian Whelpling 2/1/1
    Scourged Whelpling 2/2/1
    Flayer Youngling (S/S) 1/2/1 (Takes very little damage, could be used again elsewhere.)

    Grasslands Cottontail (S/S) 2/2/1
    Wind Rider Cub 1/2/2 (Most probably don’t have it, certainly other options!)
    Gilnean Raven 2/2/1

    Nexus Whelpling 1/2/2
    Menagerie Custodian 1/1/2
    Baby Ape 1/1/1 (Usually doesn’t do much, almost a 2-pet fight.)

    Group Two:

    Taran Zhu
    Nexus Whelpling 1/2/2
    Fossilized Hatchling 2/2/2
    Nether Ray Fry */*/1 (* mean it doesn’t matter. My Fry is B/B.)

    Grasslands Cottontail (S/S) 1/2/1
    Flayer Youngling (S/S) 1/2/1
    (No need for a third. I’ve carried pets on this one. Exp is meh. 1200-1400 with Safari Hat.)

    Chen Stormstout
    Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling 1/1/2
    Anubisath Idol 1/2/1
    Snarly 1/1/2

    Group Three:

    Lesser Voidcaller 1/2/1
    Sandling 2/1/2 (Elementals currently don’t get the Sandstorm shield. Use Stoneskin.)
    Warbot 1/1/1 (Most mechanicals will work, I wanted to try a different one.)

    Wise Mari
    Gilnean Raven 2/2/1
    Onyxian Whelpling 2/1/1
    Snarly 1/1/2

    Dancing Water Skimmer (H/B) 1/2/2 (This happened to be the only pet of this type I had rare, so I leveled it. Another breed/type may be better.)
    Electrified Razortooth 1/2/1
    Fel Flame 1/1/1


    Clockwork Gnome 1/1/1
    Cogblade Raptor 2/1/1
    Zandalari Anklerender 2/1/2 (Just back-up, usually not necessary except for really bad RNG.)

    Tranquil Mechanical Yeti 1/1/2
    Darkmoon Zeppelin 1/2/2
    Darkmoon Tonk 1/1/2

    Lil’ Bad Wolf 2/2/1
    Vermling 1/1/1
    (Wolf can solo with a bit of good RNG. Vermling easily finishes if not.)

    Voodoo Figurine 1/2/2
    Disgusting Oozeling 1/1/2
    Lunar Lantern 2/2/2
    (Credit to Liopleurodon for this team.)

    I’d still like to mix it up a bit more, but these teams are pretty fun and reliable. Sully is my least reliable and Blingtron is next.


  5. If one wants to use that team on Xu-fu and Zao, it’s nice to know that the Val’kyr, or any Val’kyr replacements, aren’t needed. Just the water spirit and Chrominius by themselves have yet to fail me on either. Though I don’t have a large sample size on Zao and I can’t speak for howl-bombing Chi-chi.

    If someone’s been unlucky getting Bonkers, I can also confirm that Clock’em and the Gregarious Grell (you know, if you’re unlucky but rich) are both also capable of soloing Yu’la.

    But, for the sake of your own enjoyment if nothing else, I hope you’ve also developed some individual teams for the celestials. I mean, I love cheese as much as the next guy, but too much upsets my stomach.


    • See, I find this fascinating. My first thought was that it’s cheesy as well, but I can’t articulate why. Could you share your thoughts on that? What exactly makes it cheesy?

      Is it having one universal strategy for three opponents? And if so, would replacing Valkyr with something else change the cheese factor?

      I would love to be able to nail this down.


      • I think it feels so much like a Cheesy Strat because you can use it on so many battles. Most of which are supposed to be the hardest out there. Blizzard put all this effort into designing 10 different Fable Beasts and 4 Celestial battles and none of it matters. The same 3-pet team beats almost all of them. It doesn’t matter if one does Tranquility, one does Feed and one does Wish. Ignore the abilities, ignore the pet types, forget all of it. Just use the same Catch All Bomb Team. It makes the pet you are fighting irrelevant. Put in the “missing graphic” cube, make the abilities text boxes, and you’d have the same experience. That’s why I don’t like it.

        To me the Tournament is about variety, mixing it up, finding different strategies and maybe use a couple old ones. Not reduce the four ultimate pet battles of the entire game to a single, generic fight. So I don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoy the game my way and if you want to enjoy it your way, hey, that’s your choice!


      • So it truly is about having to find a strat that will only work for one pet, and none of the others? If you developed a team to defeat one pet that you realized afterward was also successful against the others, would you have to change your first strat to artificially weaken it?

        These are valid questions, because I want to nail this down, and those are logical inferences from that argument.


      • You made me really think about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, this is all my own feelings on the topic.

        It’s not that it’s a strat that works on more than one pet, it’s a strat that works on ALL of them. The same strat taking out just two pets probably wouldn’t bother me, because there are another dozen you need to work on. It’s the complete domination of this one set-up. Why should someone at Blizzard go to all the trouble of designing sweet new boss battles, if we look at them and say “eh who cares just use the Bomb Team”? (Three team pets are a different story since this team doesn’t destroy them.)

        Further it’s the exact same move set, in the exact same order, every time. Variations are incredibly minor. Here’s a related example. The Anubisath Idol and Emerald Proto-Whelp can be used to defeat most of the trainers in Pandaria. Despite that, there is still strategy involved. Which one goes first, which order moves are used has to vary if a win is to be achieved. If you use the exact same move order, you won’t win all the fights. Even so, I still don’t use these two together. It’s better than the Bomb Team because it still involves a changing strategy, but it’s still too repetitive for me.

        The Bomb Team isn’t a neat move that works in a couple spots. It’s a single team that destroys everything and makes most strategy and the other 500+ pets irrelevant. I’m curious about Blizzard’s thoughts on it. Whether they just don’t care, they’re impressed by the strategy or it bugs them that all this variety they put into the game is condensed into just 3 pets. (They’re probably impressed by it, even if it does drive them nuts.)

        That help at all?


      • It does!

        That is the perfect point to make. It is one inflexible strategy.

        You know what would shatter it?

        Any move inserted into the targets rotation that blocked or stretched out attacks so things went off before howl.

        The beaver dam or ice wall are good examples. Put those in an early rotation and not always in the same place and you shatter the bomb team by disrupting the fixed timing sequence.

        Oh, I know Blizzard cares.


      • Yeah, I’d call the team “cheesy” in that it works *so* well on *so* many different fights, usually with no variation regarding the fight.

        Though, these fights seem to be mostly about trying to give these enemy pets as large a numerical advantage as they can, while leaving them beatable. So, of course I’d expect the majority of successful strategies to revolve around added damage with multiple hits, damage multipliers, or both. And, since most pets don’t really play into those strategies, there are only going to be so many good teams for these fights. It’d be silly to not take what few advantages you’re allowed to have.

        I just think it’s a lot more *fun* to come up with a team designed specifically for a particular challenge.
        For example, a friend of mine came up with a team for Xu-Fu revolving around an Infected Squirrel. And it works so beautifully I’m jealous I didn’t think of it myself (starts with a mechanical dragonling and doesn’t even need a third pet).

        That said, after finally perfecting the lightning team I put together for him, I went right back to bombing Zao the next week, because it’s just much faster that way.


  6. Goddamn 3 teams of that! I’m glad you put your teams up, I like looking at other people’s teams to compare and maybe switch my teams around a bit in some who are less than satisfactory. Though I don’t even have a water attack for Wise Mari (I use Amber Moth, Clockwork Gnome and Oily Slimeling) so now I am curious to try your combo out.


  7. Curse of doom+water spirit+howl works as well and while i have only one Unborn Valโ€™kyr I have a lot of pets with curse of doom.

    But bonkers? I spent a few tries on the first day. then I blew 6xxx coins a few days later, then I blew 20000 coins on a different alt a week ago. so something like 27k coins. No bonkers.


    • The first week, I had no Bonkers for Yu’la. I went in with a Flayer Youngling, Kun Lai Runt and Pandaren Monk. I won, but only because Runt and Monk are powerhouses. Flayer was next to useless because of Emerald Dream.

      I replaced the Youngling with my first Bonkers. And when I ended up getting a second a few weeks later I figured what the hell and replaced the Runt. That ice tomb stun will be handy somewhere.


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