A more accurate title would be “confessions of a pet battle noob”, because that is what I am, and what these are.
After all of my initial gushing over pet battles when Mists of Pandaria released, I didn’t actually do any pet battles.
I meant to. It was fun, it was an exciting concept. Leveling pets! NAMING pets! Capturing NEW pets! Woohoo!
What happened to me was that I hit a patch where I wanted to level my team higher, but I couldn’t find any level appropriate pets to fight. I got to about level 14 to 15 with my one core group, struggled to keep going and got to about 16, and then just stalled out.
I felt stupid, too, because my big thing was, all I wanted was to get a team high enough I could capture a raccoon. And yes, name it Socks. KISS MY ASS, I don’t care how cheesy that is. Yes, I know they’re called bandicoons, they’re freaking raccoons. And they are just so cute, and I wanted one, and…
I needed to level a pet team to max to do it. And to level, well, I need enough pets out there in the world to fight that I can get some XP, damnit!
So I quit. Just walked away, man. Just walked away.
I can’t remember what drove me to come back and take another swing at it.
Oh wait, yes I do! Cassie was doing pet battles, and she was taking on the Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms Master Pet Tamers, and winning with a team lower level than mine. So her bravery spurred me on to think I could try fighting the Master Pet Tamers, too!
So that is just what I did, I began travelling all over Azeroth fighting pet tamers, and learned what so many before me have… Master Pet Tamers give BIG XP rewards to your team!
By fighting and winning against all of those tamers, I finally got high level enough that I thought I could get to Outlands and start capturing some of those pets, maybe even take on that first Tamer in Hellfire Peninsula. Lot fewer zones than in Azeroth, yep. Ought to be able to focus a little clearer on each zone to max it out, right? Lots less distractions to send me off scurrying for shinies.
What I found out by flying around in Outlands collecting pets was that there is an area of Flayer Younglings up there on the border between Hellfire Ramparts and Terokkar Forest. The Flayer Younglings were in vast quantities, and finally I had an area where I could fight und fight und fight, getting fast XP, yahoo!
I quickly got the whole team up to 18, even 19. This was a marvelous, nay a WONDROUS thing!
Now that my team had some XP and had a chance to win consistently, I moved on to other areas in Outlands, searching for pets. I camped out for a while in Blades Edge Mountains. There are these super cute Cogblade Raptors that have a chance to spawn around the gnome basecamp of Toshley Station, especially during and after the station is assaulted by waves of raptors.
I flew around Toshley Station for a while, but while waiting for spawns, I checked out the rest of the zone for more leveling spots. And guess what! I found one, and happy times were had chain battling flaming pets in the little lava area due East of Gruul’s Lair (just on the other side of the spine mountains ridge from Gruul’s).
It was something of a major breakthrough for me. Finding spots in the world where I could hang out, and always have plenty of pets to fight so I didn’t have any downtime (except for healing, of course) was wonderful.
My core team consisted of the Ash Spiderling, the Darkmoon Zeppelin, and the Phoenix Hatchling.
The Ash Spiderling, with it’s Brittle Webbing and Leach Life abilities and being super strong against Critters is great as a soloing pet in the wild. With so many Critters out there, on many fights the Ash Spiderling could kill an entire team, and end the fight still almost at full health.
With the Phoenix Hatchling in the team, he heals everyone in your party a little after every fight, so that is even more uptime between bandage/healing. And the Zeppelin? He’s my glass hammer. No self healing, but damn does he pound hard when I have to pull him out.
This was the team I was traveling with, so I didn’t have much downtime between fights even with the 8 minute healing cooldown.
I was fortunate enough to finally find an uncommon quality Cogblade Raptor, so I took my level 21ish team to Northrend, to go get even more pets.
What should I find there? A beautiful spot in Dragonblight, just a few seconds flight East of Wyrmrest Temple, where there were a never ending supply of pets to fight. And this spot was even crazier… there is a Stable Master standing on the East side of Wyrmrest Temple, within sight of the pet fight area.
I am a pure noob at this, I don’t have guides, for some reason I never see people posting tips on where to level or what to do, most everything I see posted supposes everyone has a full set of level 25 pets. So this place came as a shock to me.
I was able to fight a grueling battle against these Dragonkin things, with penguins and stuff as adds, and so long as one of my pets survived I could pop over to the Temple, get fully healed in a second, and fly right back.
By relying strongly on my Ash Spiderling and the self-healing, many fights I was able to solo, and that meant all the XP for each fight went to one pet.
Oh, hell yes!
I sat there and fought for probably two solid hours, and got my full team to 25. HAH! I WIN! Once the first pet got to max, he didn’t count for XP gains, so then I always had him to rely on to pound the snot out of the opponents first, soften them up.
Wait, I’m max level? Oh shit, time for the real Pet Battle thing to start. I am so totally unprepared.
Ah, but now I can finally tame a PANDARIAN RACCOON!
That was what it took for me to finally break through. With a team of full 25 pets, I could take full advantage of the fact max level pets don’t suck XP out of the team when leveling new ones.
Queue the list of pets to level up… and to pop into my groups as dead weight when I can get away with it.
Also queue the beginning of fighting the Master Pet Tamers. Those things give massive XP gains, and if you can take one down with a low level pet in your group, it’s a bonanza of bonus xp.
I should note that Cassie also leveled her pet teams, using a completely different set of pets she likes that use this synergy shit, where one pet drops a molten lava environment thing, and then other pets use boosted powers in lava, and all that stuff. Frankly, I am impressed at that level of play, but I was grateful just to luck into my Ash Spiderling self-healer. Crutch, thy name is Brittle Webbing and Leech Life.
Huh, when I get home I’m renaming my Ash Spiderling “Crutch”. No, not crotch, CRUTCH.
When Cassie reached Northrend, she didn’t like the damn penguin adds at my spot, so she went to the troll zone of Zul’drak, and camped the billions of Water Wavelings that spawn there. Apparently, there is a Stable Master near there as well, if not quite as close as the one at Wyrmrest, and her team was slaughtering the poor little Aquatics in droves.
Fine, be that way. Escape the two hours of misery fighting penguins to smack Water Wavelings around, see if I care. If people wanted to find out the smart way to do things, they wouldn’t be reading this in the first place.
Ever since hitting max level on my team, I’ve been having fun chasing various pets that could give me some variety against these bastard Master Pet Tamers.
My team was kicking ass, right up to the point where I had to face the Northrend boss with all of the flying pets in the Fjord.
That little son of a bitch kicked my ass up one side and down the other, forcing me to think about matching pets to opponents.
So, what is powerful against Flying?
Oh shit… MAGIC? I don’t have any magic pets leveled!
So, hello Wowhead… ooh, Mount Hyjal has a Nordrassil Wisp, a Magic pet that can spawn right there around the Nordrassil Inn around the lake. And it’s got a nice mix of abilities!
I took my team to Mount Hyjal. I was determined to camp there, get myself a rare Wisp, and then level it to max just to kill that Master Pet Tamer.
I know, it’s stupid to go overboard that way, insisting on a rare, but I somehow got it stuck in my head that I needed to first find the perfect pet, and then level it to max before going back for a retry.
I spent, and I’m not kidding, over three hours just killing pets around the Nordrassil Inn, trying to get a rare quality Wisp.
Never saw one. I ended up with rares of every other possible pet that spawns in the area, but not that one. Got two Uncommon Wisps, though, and leveled my Terrible Turnip to 25, one of the uncommon Wisps to 25, and a couple other things too, like an Arctic Hare and something else.
At some point, I stopped expecting to find a rare quality Wisp, and instead started using the area around the lake to level pets. There are ALWAYS pets to fight there.
I finally did something that may surprise you. I used my brain. There is a rumor that this is a bear of very small brain, but it’s just weak from lack of use.
Since I couldn’t find a rare Magic pet to kill Flyers, I decided to go to Warcraftpets.com to find out what pets are super tough in defense AGAINST flyers.
That’s right, I decided to find a tanking pet against the Flyers. It takes me a while, but I get there eventually.
What should I discover, but that Dragonkin are strong in defense against Flyers.
Do I have a Dragonkin?
Yes I do! A level 1 Celestial Dragon.
Okay, so in order for a pet to get XP from a fight, it has to actually be active in at least one round, and do something in that round. Even if it’s just to stand there, tap it on the chest with a foam sword and then run away, it’s got to stand and risk death.
So, a level 1 Celestial Dragon active in a round versus level 24s. Can it work?
I started a fight with the Celestial Dragon as the first pet in my rotation, and the opponent cast one of those “Speed boost increase” things that don’t do damage. I quickly popped off my lone little attack and swapped pets.
When the battle was over, boom! Instant level 6! At that point, I had enough health to survive a single hit, and I was able to keep leveling from there without the fear of a one-shot.
Other lesson learned, Magic pets can’t take more than half of their total health in one shot, so a level 1 Magic pet could easily survive the first round of a fight against 24s in that way, if you have one to powerlevel.
I leveled, and fought, and leveled so hard and diligently. I was going to field a max level team of a Celestial Dragon, a Nordrassil Wisp, and my Phoenix Hatchling against the damn chicken, turkey and penguin ‘flyers’ of Northrend. Those flightless f’ers were going down! Pitched off the edge of the cliff, if I had my way. That Master Pet Tamer may be trying to get them to run off the cliff to learn how to fly, but I have a more… brief flight in mind for them. Something involving cement overshoes.
I got bored. I went with my Celestial Dragon at something like 19. I just didn’t have it in me to keep going, so, yeah, what the heck, right? What’s the worst that can happen, I die? Brrr, scary.
So a level 19 Celestial Dragon, a 25 uncommon Nordrassil Wisp and my rare Phoenix Hatchling.
Yeah, so after I totally obliterated the opposing force, without evening needing the damn Phoenix, I became a big believer in matching pet strengths to the opponent.
Pet proliferation, that’s what we need!
After all that work, all those fights, and my complete failure of getting a rare Wisp, I went to kill a few of the daily Master Pet Tamers, to get some more of that tasty XP for my dragon. Fights against Tamers net far more XP than a normal fight, and hey, maybe a Flawless Stone might drop!
I headed for the Master Pet Tamer outside Karazhan, late at night and tired as heck… only to find the area saturated with pets.
And no, not the undead ghosts underground, these were pets new to me, called the Arcane Eye.
Arcane Eyes, everywhere, level 17 and 18 pets… and all Magic pets.
WTF!?! I spent how many hours trying to catch elusive Magic pet spawns in Nordrassil, and here there are dozens of the damn things? KHAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!!
The first one I pulled was a second shocker… only one pet comes, it doesn’t bring any friends! Heck, you could grab this guy with a team of three 10s, probably!
It probably only took 8 kills in a row, super-quick, got a rare, and I could have had it with me hours before, without any of that messing around with Wisps!
Err, except that I think the Arcane Eyes only spawn late at night. Or maybe when the moon is full. Or only when someone has spent hours farming magic pets in other zones, and need to be taunted.
Ah well…. live and learn. The hard way, as usual.
Now that I’ve got a full grown team, I’m having fun, I’m getting lots of new, cool, cute looking pets, and I’m working my way slowly but surely through the Master Pet Tamer quests.
It feels good to have a seat at the adult table now. I can read the experiences of master tamers like Cymre and Navimie, and apply lessons learned from them today, not ‘someday’.
When I stalled out the first time, I never imagined I would be able to someday have not just one team at max, but now a bunch of max pets to choose from. It’s so cool to have all the wild pets out there be available to me, it’s an itch I can finally scratch. Every time I see a Golden Civet in Pandaria, I can actually capture it, rather than just look wistfully and wonder about the pet not traveled.
I hope that, if you’re in the same boat I was in and wanting to get cranking, knowing these spots are out there is of some help to you. I couldn’t have done it without a ready source of opponents to take on one after another. And once I was ablt to take on Master Pet Tamers in Kalimdor and Easter Kingdoms around level 15 and 16, it got even better.
I’m really glad I’ve been able to use my core team for most fights, and look foward to expanding my roster as I need to, without just starting over with some ‘trick of the patch’ team. I’ve read some about stuff like the Fluxfire Feline overpower problems, and I just don’t think it would be all that fun to have to rely on a trick like that to win.
the way the system is designed right now, I get to use a completely different team than Cassie does, and while mine might not be as destructive, I trade that off by have a lot of self-healing and going for the long haul. I like it. it’s cool to be able to make that choice, and have that playstyle difference.
As long as, you know… I slip in at least one ringer in my team to take thos bastards down!