With Legion looming on the horizon, now is a good time to get started preparing for the swarm of new babies we can capture, loot, and otherwise greedily grab into our collections. While preparation takes different forms for different people, pet battling prep boils down to three main categories: upgrading pets, leveling pets and stockpiling.
The best way to do this is by farming tamers. If your collection has only a few pets at max level, now is a very good time to start expanding your roster, especially if you previously relied on the ‘Howl Bomb’ combination which is going to be broken in order to get us thinking about different strategies rather than relying on one consistently.
Another team that’s breaking is the Weebomination Squirt counters, so finding another way to defeat her pets while being able to carry your own levelers is very important, since she is the easiest way to take advantage of bonus experience weekends.
Finding out what works for you while you still have the backup of easier strategies can be quite important for your preparation, as that is how you will be able to farm the items you need to progress your collection for the next expansion.
One of the easiest ways to get prepared for Legion is to farm the various Pet Tamers, specifically the Pandarian and Draenor tamers. All of the Draenor Tamers can be used to level up pets from level one, with Ashleigh in Shadowmoon Valley being the easiest due to the presence of an Elekk Plushie on her team.
For those Horde players who don’t want to travel as far, Gargra in Frostfire Ridge is closer, and fairly easy to form a carry for if you have a couple of solid mechanical pets on hand.
There’s good reason to start off focusing on the Draenor Tamers first: they have no tricky carries where your carry pet needs a certain amount of health to survive, and there’s no wall to progression beyond needing those first few leveled pets. The Pandaria Tamers, on the other hand, require you to defeat Tamers from all of the other earlier continents before you can even attempt to unlock them, never mind the elemental tamers and Beasts of Fable locked behind the Pandarian Tamers.
The other advantage to focusing on Draenor Tamers to start is that you will be acquiring Pet Charms, a currency that can be used to buy stones that can change your pets’ rarity to blue, or bags that hold stones that can grant one level to a specific type of pet.
Consistently going around the tamers can be time consuming, but having access to both of those types of stone can significantly shorten the time it takes to level your pets. Challenging these tamers during the bonus experience event can get you two or three pets to level 25 for the entire route as well.
My preferred method of farming experience from these guys during the bonus event is to go around all the Draenor Tamers, and for each tamer use a different low level pet. Depending on the strategy you use for Squirt, this can help your pets’ survival, and if you have Pandarian tamers on farm, it ensures that when you do reach one of the tamers that require a carry pet to be at a certain level, you have a variety of pets to choose from.
The easiest route to deal with these guys is simply to start at the tamer nearest your garrison and follow the tamers around in a circle.
If you’re Horde and deciding to include the Tanaan Jungle daily pet battles, your circle does get interrupted by the Jungle; however, an anti-clockwise route would mean you can finish up at Cymre Brightblade before nipping back down to beat up annoying Fel pets.
If you have the team and time to attempt the Tanaan Jungle legendaries, I strongly suggest you do so. Not only can the bags awarded give you pets, but you can also obtain the Fel-Touched Battle-Training Stone, which will grant the pet you use it on five levels.
Meanwhile in Pandaria, if you’ve unlocked tamer dailies, each of the Pandarian tamers and elemental tamers gives you a quest to defeat them, for which you get a bag. These bags have a chance of giving you a family-specific quality stone. Once the Beasts of Fable dailies are unlocked, you gain three dailies which also give you a bag. Whether or not you decide the three extra bags are worth it with the extra time they add is up to you.
The Pandarian tamers have varying difficulties for carry teams, so often on experience bonus weekends I use the easy tamers to boost low level teams, and use the tamers that require my carry pet to have a minimum amount of health to finish up whichever pets I most need at max level. If you’re still team building this could even translate to having one day where you only level the lowest level pets you need on the easy tamers, and then using the harder tamers and the next day’s circuit to finish leveling the pets you’re needing.
The reason I mention the Pandarian tamers last, however, is due to one big reason. The potential reward for getting the bags each day, while good, can’t really compare to the Pet Charms, at least in my opinion.
While getting the quality stones is a helpful boost, pet charms have a lot more flexibility, and if you’re getting all the pet battle rewards done in Draenor, you can easily buy multiple flawless battle stones, thus enabling you to upgrade the pets you want to, when you want to, rather than hoping that one family specific stone will drop.
While you can buy mystery bags with family specific level stones with Pet Charms, once you’ve completed a few families, you can start buying the flawless variant and, again, choosing which pet you’re helping along with levels, along with fact you need level pets at certain health levels at some points and you have a much larger effort-to-reward ratio.
If you’re struggling for levels on teams you need to progress, make sure you do the Pet Battle PvP event quest. While it’s not an easy quest for those of us with limited anything, be it skill in P-PvP or pets, the level 25 stone can be a massive boost if you need a little help progressing past an obstacle.