Physiology, Breeding, Quality, and Capture of the Small Fauna of Azeroth and Outland, and Strategies for Victories in Their Use in Pet Battles

The following is a doctoral dissertation submitted by Pommie Tappet in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctorate of Philosophy in the field of veterinary medicine with a specialization in pet battles.

Introduction

Veterinary medicine takes on many forms, from animal disease prevention and diagnosis, to animal husbandry, to pet raising, to selective breeding, to pet battles, and more. My own interest in small fauna began at a young age when I witnessed a rich gnome’s pet cat. The tiny, tailed, four-legged animal had an incredible penchant for curiosity and moved about silently and stealthily, like a gnome should. I was mesmerized by the beast and begged to have one of my own. Sadly, felines and other pets were quite expensive in Gnomeregan and thus I was forced to construct my own digital analogue, a fluxfire feline. I had my first pet, and little did I realize it would lead me to write this dissertation.

As of this writing, I have collected over 700 pets, comprised of over 440 distinct species. Ninety of these pets I have reared to the fullest of their abilities, or in other words they are maximally-experienced ((level 25)). And over 230 of them are of the rare quality.

While many of my fellow gnomes would seek doctorates in engineering, this life-long preoccupation with pets has sealed my fate: I therefore present this dissertation detailing original and cross-referenced research into veterinary medicine with a specialization in pet battles.

On the Species

Between the two worlds as varied as Azeroth and Outland, the number of species of pets should not be surprising. Linking my own research and that of leading veterinarians (see Breanni, Vlad), we count no less than 10 distinct groups. And although there are commonalities of pets within a single species, there is yet surprising diversity even within amongst the pets that comprise the species.

The species of pets presents intriguing hypotheses into how they came about, why certain species have certain benefits, why some species are stronger in attacks against other, and why some are better at defending attacks against others.

In summary, these are the ten species identified thus far:

In the following section we shall examine each of the species deeper and look at typical examples.

On the Characteristics of Each Species

As mentioned above, pets within a species exhibit a common set of characteristics. Let us examine these now fully.

Aquatic

Aquatic pets we find mostly in—or at least near—bodies of water. Not all aquatic pets breathe through gills, though. Some, like insects, absorb needed air directly through chitinous shells. Others have impressive skills at holding their breaths for exceedingly long periods of time.

Within the aquatic species we find crocolisks, crustaceans, fish, frogs and toads, insects (as mentioned), watery mammals, penguins, and turtles. There are some unusual aquatic pets as well, from the Sea Pony to the Tideskipper.

All aquatic pets have a special inherent capability: all harmful effects that would cause damage-over-time have those effects reduced by 50%. You can think of it as water’s natural solvency at washing away toxins or other harmful things. In addition, the power of undeath is weak against aquatic pets. This makes sense if you consider the oft-repeated adage of the jinyu: “water is life.” Undead attacks are reduced by 33%.

Aquatic pets should be wary of flying attacks. Such attacks will hit with 50% more force. This is similar to the way a seabird can easily snatch a fish out of the ocean. Water has less potency against magical energy; as such aquatic attacks are weak against magic pets (by 33% in fact).

Beast

Beast pets are literally everywhere. They take the form of the larger fauna that permeate Azeroth and Outland, just in more diminutive form. And they come in a huge variety of forms: primates and pandas; raptors and rodents; scorpions, snakes, and spiders; ungulates, bears, canines, direhorns, felines, insects, lizards, and even more exotic beasts (consider the Ravager Hatchling).

Beasts have a strong fight-or-flight instinct, tending to fight more often than not. This affords them an advantage: when brought below half their health, their attack strength suddenly increases by 25%, and remain that way unless they are healed (or fall in battle). Additionally, humanoid attacks aren’t quite as powerful against beasts (33% weaker). The reasoning is clear: beasts and humanoids have long held a tenuous relationship as intelligent creatures disrupt natural habitats and nature tends to fight back.

Beasts should be cautious around mechanical attacks. They are 50% more susceptible to metal, gears, electricity, explosives, and other technology designed by the sentient races. I’ve heard dwarves complain frequently about having to yank dead beasts out of their tanks and other weaponry before they’d work right.

Bestial attacks are especially powerful against critters, and naturally so. According to the Theory of the Food Chain, larger beasts do indeed feast upon smaller critters. You could consider it a kind of cycle of death—or even a circle of life.

Critter

Often the smallest of the battle pets, the critters are no less diverse. We expect to see insects, rabbits, rats, mice, and snails amongst the group. And yet there are also armadillos, birds, deer, and even elekks. Marmots are also critters, yet so are some pigs, sheep, skunks, and coons. Even the Perky Pug counts as a critter.

Owing largely to their diminutive size, critters are immune from attacks that would otherwise root them to the ground, stun them, or even put them to sleep. Critters should avoid beast attacks, for which they are especially vulnerable (50% more). As mentioned above, beasts eat critters. Similarly, they can’t do much damage against humanoids. Size matters.

Curiously, critters fare well against elemental attacks, defending against such strikes by a 33% improvement. The size argument doesn’t seem to apply here, and so the reasoning for such an imbalance is unclear. Further study is warranted.

Finally, critter attacks are especially powerful against the undead. Yet again, the circle of life argument provides the reasoning: As a creature has fallen to death (or undeath in this case), it’s the responsibility of bacteria, microbes, insects, vermin, and other critters to decompose the body and return its vital nutrients back into the cycle.

Dragonkin

Born out of the original dragons and their kin, the dragonkin species of pets is the least diverse of all. Amongst these group we find only whelps, dragonhawks, a smattering of flying serpents, and a few exotic pets, such as the strangely bestial, strangely magical, yet fully dragonkin Chrominius.

Dragonkin have a unique penchant for destruction: when their target is weakened (to under half of its health), these pets deal 50% more damage, making them especially dangerous against weak or infirm pets.

For some reason (possibly owing to their titanic roots with the great proto-dragon Galakrond), dragonkin based attacks are especially effective (50% more so) against magical pets. And those same attacks are weaker (33% less so) when leveraged against undead pets. We can surmise that, as the dragons were originally placed by the titans to protect Azeroth, that death is a force that stands in diametric opposition to their first purpose.

Flying attacks have a hard time against dragonkin pets, and for good reason. Dragons fly. They can easily outmaneuver strikes from the skies, as they already have dominion over the skies. Conversely dragonkin pets should avoid humanoid attacks. Conquering dragons has been a life-long dream for many of the heroes of the sentient races, and this remains true amongst battling pets as well.

Elemental

Like their larger counterparts, elemental pets are also bound manifestations of chaotic energy. While some may possess rudimentary intelligence, all obey their owner’s will. Surprisingly, elemental pets do not come in only four varieties: earth, air, fire, and water. Instead, they are a prolific class of pets that also include shale spiders, plant life, geodes, mythical creatures, and even strange semi-corporeal arrangements, such as the holiday-themed animated ice creature, the Tiny Snowman.

Elementals, given their chaotic and largely incorporeal forms, are immune to the effects of local weather—but only to negative effects. For example, a mudslide would normally root all non-critter pets, but elementals also enjoy such immunity. Yet a sunny day does increase the healing elementals receive.

Of all the species of pets, elementals enjoy a unique position when it comes to attack and defense. Elemental attacks are especially effective against mechanical targets, and elemental pets enjoy enhanced defense against mechanical attacks. However, like all pets, they also do poorer strikes against critters, and aquatic attacks are especially effective against elemental pets. Think of it as if water is able to put out fires, coalesce dirt, melt ice, and so forth.

Flying

Flying pets are a large species with many sub-species within the group. These include the familiar birds of prey, flightless and semi-flightless fowl, gulls and ravens, cranes, owls, and parrots. But it also includes nether rays, mythical birds, fireflies, bats, moths, and the highly prized Chi-Chi, Hatchling of the August Celestial Chi-Ji. (This writer would show hubris is she mentioned that she herself possesses her own Chi-Chi, and for that she apologies.)

Flying pets enjoy a powerful advantage when it comes to pet battles: so long as their health remains above half of their total stamina, they are 50% faster. This can often mean victory as a speedy bird can peck an opponent to pieces before it can even react. Once brought below 50% health, they lose the 50% speed benefit. You can imagine this as a speedy bird darting about the sky, that, once injured, is forced to hop upon the ground.

Flying attacks are especially powerful against aquatic pets; as mentioned above, it’s like a seabird plucking a fish out of the ocean. Attacks based on land-bound beasts are also not as powerful against flying pets. I’ve seen some cats make heroic leaps into the air with the claws spread wide in an impressive attempt to nab a bird—and just miss.

Since dragonkin also employ some form of flight, flying attacks are therefore weak against dragonkin pets. It’s as if dragonkin know what’s already in the playbook of flight. And for a reason not fully understood (and certainly an area that warrants greater research), magical attacks can greatly damage the flying pet.

Humanoid

The most similar to their veterinarian owners are, of course, the humanoid pets. Humanoids often possess a higher degree of intelligence than other pets, and in some cases even higher than their owners! I’m speaking of course of the three gnomes that will serve as your pets: Father Winter’s Helper, Rotten Little Helper, and the beautiful and clever Winter’s Little Helper. There are a few human and orc pets, as well as hoplings, imps, moonkin, murlocks, sprites, other more outlandish things like Mini Tyreal.

Humanoids enjoy an unique benefit amongst all the pet species: every time they make successful attacks, they regain health (5%). As sentients have often dreamed of conquering dragons, so do humanoid pets. Humanoids attacks deal 50% extra damage on dragonkin. Likewise, as we sentients have set rattraps to reduce the vermin in our cities, critter attacks deal 33% less damage to humanoid pets.

While all sentients may be masters at eradicating vermin, fewer of us are masters of hunting larger beasts. The same holds true for humanoid attacks against beastial pets; those are weaker. And just as death threatens us, so does undeath threaten humanoid pets; humanoids are especially sensitive to _undead attacks.

Magic

Magical pets are an enigmatic species of familiars full of arcane tricks and mysterious surprises. Yet even more mysterious are the bizarre forms such species take: magic books and jeweled companions; oozes and slimes; wyrmlings and zerg; lanterns and lamps; demons, eyes, and beholders; porcupettes; demons; and even adorable felines like the Spectral Tiger Cub.

Magic pets demonstrate special resilience when placed into battle: it is impossible to harm them in such a way that they would lose more than 35% of their total health at once. This does not make them invincible, but it does mean they can be fairly hardy.

There has long been a squabble between the forces of magic and technology. Many who seek the practical arts of science and technology scoff at mages and warlocks whose so-called “command” of fickle energies are so unreliable as to be worthless. And yet, even amongst my own gnomish folk, there are masters of magic who can put even our most advanced technologically-sophisticated creations to shame. This squabble exists between magic and mechanical pets too: when magical strikes are leveled against mechanical pets, they hit with less force, demonstrating the true nature of science and technology towards a better understanding of our world. (When magic strikes are directed towards a flying pet, they hit with vehement force. What this shows is inconsequential.)

Magical pets are especially resilient against aquatic attacks. Water and oil don’t mix, but water easily disperses magic.

Magical pets should avoid attacks that are draconic in nature. Dragonkin-based attacks will hit with shocking force.

Mechanical

Near and dear to many a gnome’s (and goblin’s) heart are those wind-up toys and other companions we call mechanical pets. With whirring gears, buzzing circuitry, flashing lights, and a modicum of artificial intelligence, these creations may be cold metal to the touch but are no less worthy of love and affection. Gnomish affinity for these pets may be due to our shared heritage, if what Gearmaster Mechazod claimed is true.

Amongst the mechanicals we find a small variety of pets that includes bomblings, mechanized critters, lifelike creations, robots, and some rather unique constructs (such as Pierre).

All mechanical pets feature a unique ability: a failsafe apparatus. Once a construct falls in battle, the apparatus activates, providing a final backup energy charge and enabling the pet to return to normal operation, albeit with a limited power reserve. Depending on relative speeds of the pets in the fray, this can mean the mechanical can deliver one or two final important attacks, or it may fall again from its weakened state.

As beasts are frequently getting caught up in machinery, so it is that mechanical attacks are particularly effective against beast targets. Likewise, the eternal squabble of technology and magic means that magical attacks don’t fare as well against mechanical pets. (Technology trumps magic.)

At the same time, technology—with its strict adherence to logic and order—has a difficult time approaching the chaotic energies of the raw elements. This means that mechanical strikes against elemental pets are weaker; by the same token, elemental-based attacks on mechanical pets hit quite a bit harder. Plan accordingly.

Undead

The most creepy (and some of the most powerful) pets aren’t living creatures at all, but are the undead species. Amongst these we find works of voodoo, spectral beings and skeletal companions, diseased critters, and other strange beings, including the cute but freezing-to-the-touch Mr Bigglesworth.

Undead pets are damned. Allow me to explain: in a way similar to mechanical pets’ failsafe apparatus, an undead pet returns to life once killed. However, rather than returning to normal function like a mechanical pet, they return to life immortal. So while Lil’ Bling could return to life and might be killed again on the following turn, a Fossilized Hatchling would be un-killable in the next turn, no matter how much damage the opponent unleashed.

This seeming immortality comes at a price, though: it lasts but one round.

As stated above, death comes for us all, and so it is with pets: undead attacks are especially potent against humanoid pets. And just as “water is life”, undead attacks don’t work as well against aquatic targets.

An undead pet should avoid attacks from critter-based attacks, against which they are especially vulnerable. On the plus side, dragonkin-based attacks have a tricky time affecting undeads.

On the Sexes and Breeds

All pets regardless of their species come in distinct female and male sexes, including even mechanical and magical varieties.

Sexing a pet is a difficult proposition for most species as the primary sexual characteristics aren’t immediately visible. For example, differentiating a female Yellow-Bellied Marmot from a male without direct observation of the genitalia or mating habits requires careful listening to its vocalizations over a long period of time. In other pets, gender is immediately obvious through flagrant display of secondary sexual characteristics. The beard on the Father Winter’s Helper and the breasts on the Winter’s Little Helper are dead-giveaways.

This differentiation suggests that mating pets to produce new offspring is a distinct possibility. Aspiring veterinarians including myself strongly recommend further study in this area.

Through rigorous research by Breanni and other expert veterinarians, we find that all pets occur in distinct breeds that affect their physiology.

Physically speaking, a pet has three attributes that its breeding may affect: the health of the pet, its power in battle, and its speed. Certain breeds contribute hardiness to the pet, increasing its health while leaving its power and speed unaffected. Other breeds may bequeath both strength and agility to the pet, increasing its power and speed but leaving health untouched. Yet other breeds provide a small boost to all three attributes.

Through sample analyses and other research, I and other veterinarians have determined two genes that determine the ultimate breed. Both genes can take on one of four expressions. Consider these as two slots, into which a genetic expression of either health, power, speed, or a balanced distribution of attribution may occur. Since there are four expressions in two slots, there are 4 × 4 = 16 possible genotypical breeds.

And yet, in nature (and in mechanical construction, magical summoning, etc.) we find just 10 phenotypes. Thus we hypothesize that 6 of the possible genotypes are unviable breeds that either never properly gestate (or are impossible to construct, summon, etc.)

Work by Lappy and Simca have lead to a de facto standard for identifying the genes and therefore their phenotypes, also endorsed by Breanni. I introduce their notation here as I used it throughout the rest of this dissertation. The gene expressions are:

  • H for health
  • P for power
  • S for speed
  • B for a balance amongst the attributes

The following table lists the 16 genotypes and their phenotypical representation:

GenotypePhenotype
Gene 1Gene 2
HHExtremely healthy
HPHealthy and powerful
HSHealthy and fast
HBHealthy, and somewhat powerful and fast
PHUnviable
PPExtremely powerful
PSPowerful and fast
PBPowerful, and somewhat healthy and fast
SHUnviable
SPUnviable
SSExtremely fast
SBFast, and somewhat healthy and powerful
BHUnviable
BPUnviable
BSUnviable
BBSomewhat healthy, powerful, and fast

As an example, a rare Dung Beetle (H/H) at its most experienced ((level 25)) would be incredibly healthy ((1644 hit points)) but be moderately powerful ((276 power)) and fast ((260 speed)). However, a rare Dung Beetle (H/S) would be less healthy ((1465 hit points)), just as powerful ((276 power)), but faster ((289 speed)).

On Quality

Pets come in six levels of quality, which are (in order from lowest to highest):

  • Poor (indicated with a gray color in pet journals and other correspondence)
  • Common (white)
  • Uncommon (green)
  • Rare (blue)
  • Epic (purple)
  • Legendary (orange)

Pets of higher quality will have higher attributes. For a concrete example, consider a poor Alpine Hare (H/S) at its highest level of experience. It possesses some health ((1213 hit points)), minuscule power ((175 power)) and is moderately slow ((248 speed)). But a rare version has more health ((1546)), can hit quite a bit harder ((228)) and is incredibly fast ((322)).

No veterinarian I have met has ever possessed a pet of epic or legendary quality ((these are reserved for non-player characters)). It seems the best we can hope to acquire are rare pets. But these pets are of rare quality for a reason: they’re hard to find! It can take an entire day to examine all the wild pets in a single zone, cataloging thousands of poor ones, hundreds of commons, a smattering of uncommons, and just one rare.

Thankfully, there is a way by which any pet may be transformed into rare quality: through the use of battle stones. Rather than repeat research that is widely available, I will refer you to an expert on the field of battle stones.

Capture

The acquisition of a personal collection of pets is naturally the aspiration of all burgeoning practitioners of veterinarian medicine with a specialty in pet rearing and pet battles. As a result this dissertation would not be complete without at least a review of the means towards that end.

The trainers who introduce you to pet battling (notably, Audrey Burnhep in Stormwind and Varzok in Orgrimmar, although there are others) will each sell a pet to you (for approximately 50 pieces of silver) that is specific to your race. Many other vendors between the two worlds also sell pets.

Accomplishing certain quests can reward pets. Defeating certain monsters in a zone, or powerful creatures in a dungeon or a raid sometimes also reward pets. Depending on your profession, you can even make your own pets—or sell these creations to other aspiring veterinarians. Participation in world events may also yield a collectible pet. And there are other sources as well.

But by far the most common method by which one builds a collection is by capturing wild pets. Before a pet can be captured, it must first be weakened.

My own empirical studies have shown that once a pet’s health is reduced to below 35% of its total, it may be captured with a pet trap. This requires careful control of a pet team so as to weaken but not outright defeat an opponent pet. It thus becomes a delicate dance: how quickly can one strike the desired pet to bring it below 35% without losing one’s own pet team in the process?

Thankfully, there is an easy solution: the Terrible Turnip.

The Terrible Turnip

The Terrible Turnip (P/S) is a rare pet that those who have taken up farming at Sunsong Ranch in the Valley of the Four Winds in Pandaria (Azeroth) can sometimes discover. It can also be sold or given away to other sentients or via your nearby auction house. The usual method is to harvest an Ominous Seed at the farm, plant it, then harvest the Terrible Turnip the next day.

The Terrible Turnip makes capturing wild pets far easier by ensuring it has these abilities:

The turnip should call for some sunlight first. This has the effect of turning the local weather into a sunny day, which increases the total available health of all pets by 50%. This means that the desired pet is suddenly at half health, and there’s just 15% more to go until it’s ready for capture.

Next, the turnip should strike the desired pet with its weakening blow. This is a unique form of attack that harms the target but is guaranteed to never defeat the target outright ((never go below 1 hit point)). By leveraging this attack, the collecting veterinarian never need worry about killing a desired pet before capture.

The third ability, inspiring song, heals the collector’s pet team, and is useful for keeping the turnip alive during the capture process.

I strenuously advocate that all dedicated collectors get a hold of their own Terrible Turnips.

On Battle

Veterinarians can certainly appreciate pet fauna for their simple beauty and companionship. And yet these same pets can enter into confrontations with other pets, which leads to an exciting and fruitful pastime which yields its own rewards. I will not go into the mechanics of pet battles in this dissertation since the field is already widely covered; see Breanni, Kristopher, Discodoggy, Blizzard amongst others.

Instead I will focus on specific battles:

  • Defeating the Beasts of Fable
  • Defeating the Grand Master Pet Tamers

The reason for such focus is that these battles yield specific and highly valuable rewards:

  • Battle stones. As mentioned above, battle stones are vital to increasing a poor, common, or uncommon pet to the rare quality.
  • Battle pet bandages let you heal your pets when access to a stablemaster or other means of healing is unavailable
  • Various leashes, toys, snacks, and other pet enhancements are also available

In addition, specific highly prized pets may be had:

Furthermore, completing and competing in these pet battles will teach the aspiring veterinarian some valuable life experience (unless she or he is already maximally seasoned, in which case there’s some bonus gold).

There are two other challenges that those veterinarians seeking to master pet battles must not overlook:

  • Battling other veterinarians’ pets. I do not cover such “player versus player” battles here; see Discodoggy for more information.
  • The Celestial Tournament. The Celestial Tournament is the pinnacle of pet battling and is the most difficult but most rewarding challenge for only the most masterful of veterinarians. It is with a sense of great honor, but also humility, that this writer reports she has won the tournament seven times thus far. Since facing the Celestial Tournament is itself worthy of its own thesis if not dissertation, I leave it to the reader to explore elsewhere; see, notably, Gygz.

The remainder of this dissertation therefore describes strategies for facing the Grand Master Pet Tamers and the Beasts of Fable. Unless otherwise stated, the recommended pets for these encounters should be of rare quality and maximally-seasoned ((level 25)).

The Grand Master Tamers

While all veterinarians specializing in pet rearing and pet battles will certainly want to face the Aspiring Pet Tamers and Master Pet Tamers between the two worlds, it is only the Grand Master Pet Tamers that reward those who defeat them with the sacks of pet supplies. This section describes strategies for beating them, organized by continent.

On the Tamer of the Eastern Kingdoms: Lydia Accoste

The Eastern Kingdoms continent of Azeroth is home to but one Grand Master Pet Tamer: Lydia Accoste. This ghostly woman stands near the tower of Karazhan in Deadwind Pass where she oversees her team of three uncommon pets:

Owing to the fact that these pets are merely uncommon and aren’t fully seasoned ((level 19)), the confrontation is easily won. But a wise tamer will allow a less-experienced pet to take a turn or two on the battlefield to learn a few tricks.

On the Tamers of Kalimdor

The continent of Kalimdor is home to two Grand Master Pet Tamers, a goblin and a tol’vir. While the goblin is a pushover, the tol’vir requires caution.

Stone Cold Trixxy

Located in the Ice Thistle Hills of Winterspring, Stone Cold Trixxy has a team of three uncommon pets:

As her pets are merely uncommon and also not fully seasoned ((level 19 each)), there is no real strategy necessary for victory. The wise veterinarian will of course use the challenge presented by Trixxy as a way to give a less-seasoned pet some on-the-battlefield experience.

Obalis

Obalis stands on the dam south of Ramkahen. He is a tol’vir, a kind of stone-cat left by the titans to care for the world. Perhaps he wasn’t very good at that job and took up pet taming instead, or merely it’s a hobby. Regardless, he’s done quite well that he is now a Grand Master Pet Tamer.

Obalis commands a team of three rare pets, all maximally-seasoned:

Obalis’s challenge is fairly difficult, but it is possible to complete it with two pets, making it ideal for giving a less-seasoned pet some needed battlefield experience.

And so, I suggest beginning the battle with that less experienced pet, and ask it to do anything it can to survive at least one round against Pyth. Tuck that pet safely away and bring in a rare Clockwork Gnome. Ask it to build a turret and then punch Pyth with its metal fist. The gnome should then enter repair mode. While repairing, it is possible the gnome will be defeated, but the failsafe apparatus will enable the gnome to return, and, as an added bonus, the repairs will be complete at the same time. The gnome will be at or at least close to full health! Another turret and metal fist later and Pyth will be no more—and Spring will be severely injured.

Spring will likely finish off the Clockwork Gnome; when this happens, it’s time to bring out the rare Emerald Whelpling. It should immediately engage emerald presence to mitigate Spring’s and Clatter’s strikes. It should also keep the area in a state of tranquility so as to remain healthy. Otherwise, ask it to use emerald bites on its enemies.

Victory shall be yours.

On the Tamer of Northrend: Major Payne

There is but one Grand Master Tamer on the continent of Northrend, Major Payne. Although his dedication to the Alliance is beyond question, he accepts pet challenges from anyone and everyone regardless of faction. You can find him standing near the Alliance tent at the Argent Tournament Grounds.

His team of all epic pets are fairly difficult to combat:

Because of the difficulty his team presents, I do not recommend bringing in a pet of lesser experience. Instead, I start off with a maximally-seasoned, rare Clockwork Gnome. First step, ask it to build a turret. It may be temporarily stunned by Grizzle, but do not swap it out. Just hit the bear with a metal fist as soon as possible, and build another turret. Hit the bear again. The bear will hibernate to try to regain health, but the two turrets will finish it off.

Beakmster X-225 will likely trounce the Clockwork Gnome; when that occurs bring forth a rare Fel Flame and have it immolate and then conflagrate the mechanical opponent. This is usually enough to cause Beakmster X-225 to undergo failsafe mode, but a simple burn will shut it down for certain.

Finally, Payne brings out Bloom. Ask your Fel Flame to immolate Bloom, then burn it once (or twice if the Fel Flame survives). Eventually Bloom will put out the Fel Flame’s flame. But that’s all right, because you can bring out your final team member: the rare Rapana Whelk.

Kindly ask the whelk to hit Bloom with acidic goo and then take a dive. If that doesn’t defeat that weird plant, a couple of absorptions should do the job.

On the Tamers of Pandaria

Once the mists that protected Pandaria cleared, veterinarians like myself discovered that the natives of that land had themselves already tamed pets much as the rest of Azeroth and Outland does. It is a land ripe with fauna (and flora) of great variety, so it is no wonder that Grand Master Pet Tamers would develop from the natives of that land. In this section I detail the challenges that tamers will face against enigmatic masters.

Aki the Chosen

Standing with an elegant parasol, the lovely Aki the Chosen stands on the periphery of Mistfall Village in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. (For what she has been specifically “chosen” is unknown.) She provides aspiring pet tamers with a challenging confrontation, and yet it’s one that can be beaten with just two of your own pets.

She commands three legendary pets:

In order to teach a less experienced pet a great deal against Aki the Chosen, start with that pet. Chirrup will begin the battle on Aki’s behalf, but thankfully does not hit all that hard. You may have your less-seasoned pet try four to six strikes against Chirrup. (Chirrup has two defensive moves, allowing plenty of opportunity for your own pet’s strikes.) The more we can damage Chirrup, the longer our next pet will last, which is vital in success against Aki.

Next bring in the old reliable rare Anubisath Idol (H/H), which should repeatedly crush Chirrup. Do not be tempted to start a sandstorm; we will need that against Aki’s second pet. Chirrup will eventually fall.

Once Stormlash is active, immediately start the sandstorm. This will neatly counter the effect of the lightning called by Stormlash, and help ensure survival of the Anubisath Idol. You may as well ask your pet to also deflect attacks from the next round, as Stormlash’s roar is also fairly powerful. Otherwise, crush your way to Stormlash’s demise. (Stormlash’s lightning may critically strike the Idol, bringing it to dangerously low health. There is no shame in yielding and re-trying.)

One some occasions, the Anubisath Idol can finish off Stormlash. More often than not, however, we will need to return to the carried pet (if it has enough health) or to the final pet, a rare Amber Moth (P/S). Although such a moth is weak against Stormlash, it should be able to defeat the dragonkin with enough health left over to face Aki’s final pet: Whiskers.

The Amber Moth can smartly deal with Whiskers by using moth dust when available; using cocoon strike when Whiskers dives; and otherwise attacking with alpha strike.

In return for your tenacity, your less experienced pet will ascertain a great deal ((2115 XP at level 23)).

Courageous Yon

A member of the Shado-Pan, Courageous Yon sequesters himself in a tiny cave high atop a snowy mountain in western Kun-Lai Summit. The cave entrance is quite camouflaged, so finding this Grand Master Pet Tamer itself is a challenge. (And I have to wonder: what is “Courageous” Yon so afraid of that he has to hide out so?) Strangely there are two skeletons just outside the cave entrance; they quite tiny and appear to be holding hands, as if they perished together. Does Yon have an explanation for this? The skeletons are fairly tiny and may be from grummles.

Yon would have you face three pets, all of epic quality:

  • Piqua, a flying mutant turkey of some sort
  • Lapin, a rather large critter of a rabbit.
  • Bleat, a beast of a billy-goat

Since two pets are sufficient for Yon’s challenge, the time is ripe to bring along a lesser-seasoned pet in order that it might learn from the battle.

Facing Yon’s challenge I strenuously recommend a rare Nexus Whelpling (P/S). Have it first call forth a torrential arcane storm.

And then: do nothing.

Correct: pass the turn. For Piqua will lift off and become unassailable. But the strange bird will be in for a surprise when it decides to come back down. And that surprise takes the form of the Nexus Whelpling’s mana surge, a remarkably devastating three-turn attack that—enhanced by the arcane storm—will absolutely eradicate Piqua and even do some damage to Yon’s second pet, Lapin. Kindly ask your whelpling to sweep its tail as many times as possible against Lapin.

Once the Nexus Whelpling falls, bring out a rare Emperor Crab (P/P) and instruct it to raise its shell shield. A snap or two of its mighty claws will do away with the overgrown rabbit.

Yon will finally bring forth Bleat. Resist the temptation to bring out your lesser-experienced pet at this point. Bleat possesses a chew ability that can ravage your weaker pets. Keep the Emperor Crab active for now, using a healing wave to recover from Lapin’s injuries, and maintaining the shell shield.

Once Bleat begins its stampede, it is then safe to bring out the lesser experienced pet. It will take some mediocre damage, but enough to count as a learning experience. Return to the Emperor Crab and finish of Bleat.

In return for your tenacity, your less-seasoned pet will have picked up a thing or two ((1894 XP at level 23)).

Hyuna of the Shrines

Hyuna is a charming pandaren lady who is north of Serpent’s Heart in the Jade Forest of Pandaria, Azeroth. She has three epic pets:

The challenge offered by Hyuna presents the hopeful veterinarian with an opportunity to train a pet with less experience. Therefore, I recommend arranging a team that starts with a rare Emerald Whelpling (H/S). Instruct your whelpling to take on an emerald presence to mitigate the attacks of Skyshaper, then to repeat an emerald bite until Skyshaper is no more.

At this point, Hyuna sends Fangor into the fracas. The Emerald Whelpling however is quite hardy and should have plenty of stamina to face this beastly snake. Re-assume the emerald presence and administer a single emerald bite. Fangor burrows under ground and prepares to unleash a brutal strike. At this juncture, instruct your whelpling to enter the emerald dream. Although Fangor’s re-emergence is indeed vicious, the emerald presence will help and the dream will enable survival.

Instruct your whelpling to take on the emerald presence once more, then continue to bite Fangor, and re-enter the dream again. This cycle repeats until one or the other pet is no more. Should the Emerald Whelpling fall, then let the next pet face Fangor. If it survived, it will certainly die when Hyuna brings out Dor the Wall.

Your second pet should be a rare moth of some variety. I suggest the rare Amber Moth (P/S). One of the first thing Dor the Wall does is headbutt your pet. If that’s the Emerald Whelpling, it is certain to expire. However, the the attack is weak against flying pets. The moth will be unconscious.

But Dor the Wall’s maneuvers are quite idiosyncratic. It will shield itself thrice in a row, and will then heal itself if its health is low or shield itself a fourth time. Because it takes no offensive action during this time ((4 rounds)), this is an ideal time to allow a less experienced—or even completely inexperienced ((level 1))—pet to face Dor the Wall.

Therefore, once the moth is rendered unconscious, bring in your less experienced pet. Then bring the moth back. Your moth should have the following abilities: alpha strike, cocoon strike, and moth dust. Tell your moth to use the cocoon strike when Dor the Wall is about to headbutt ((every four turns)). Otherwise tell it to use moth dust when it can, and alpha strike otherwise.

The lesson your less experienced pet can learn from this challenge is phenomenal ((3341 XP at level 21)).

Mo’ruk

Mo’ruk is proof that veterinary medicine and pet taming in Pandaria isn’t limited to the pandaren. Mo’ruk is a hozen who should be proud of his accomplishments. He is a Grand Master Pet Tamer. His team consists of three epic pets:

Although Mo’ruk’s team can be beaten with two pets, such results are not usually reliable. Therefore I would recommend a team of three rare pets who are all at their peak of their training.

Mo’ruk begins the pet confrontation with Woodcarver. I recommend countering with a rare Robo-Chick (P/S). Overtune the Robo-Chick’s central power core, and then batter the enemy. Woodcarver will burrow underground. Take this time to wind-up the Robo-chick, and after Woodcarver emerges, release the built-up potential energy with another wind-up. Woodcarver will be no more.

The Robo-Chick will be critically low on health and may even failsafe. Unleash a batter on Lightstalker if possible. Next, bring in one of my favorite pets, the rare Nether Faerie Dragon (S/S). Moonfire should be the first ability invoked by the faerie dragon. It’s highly effective against flying pets, including Lightstalker. Follow that up with two arcane blasts. If that doesn’t defeat Lightstalker, add a third.

Mo’ruk will bring out Needleback. If your faerie dragon’s health is below half, now’s the time to use life exchange, which will even the odds. (If you’re feeling confident, you can try an arcane blast first.) Then blast that turtle with arcane energy as often as you can.

There’s a distinct possibility that Needleback will bring about an end to the Nether Faerie Dragon. If that’s the case, don’t fret. A rare Dragonbone Hatchling (B/B) will clean up nicely. Ensure that’s you’ve prepared your pet the following abilities: slicing wind, hawk eye, and lift off. There is a high degree of probability that you’ll only need the first ability.

Seeker Zusshi

The mysterious and wise jinyu also dabble in veterinary medicine and pet rearing, and one amongst them, Seeker Zusshi has achieved the status of Grand Master Pet Tamer. You can find him near the Temple of Niuzao in the Townlong Steppes. Surprisingly, his team is not all aquatic pets. He commands three epic pets as follows:

  • Diamond, an elemental of ice
  • Mollus, a critter of a snail if I ever saw one
  • Skimmer, an aquatic water strider

An experienced veterinarian will find that carefully selecting a team of just two rare pets is all that’s needed to take on Zusshi’s epic three. This affords a chance to bring in a pet of less seasoning to take part in the battle and learn a thing or two.

To face off against Seeker Zusshi, my experiments have shown that a rare Emperor Crab (P/P) can hold its own, even against all three of the opponents under the right circumstances. Such a crab would do well to maintain a shell shield and renewing mists at all times, striking with a snap of its claws whenever possible. This simple strategy, though slow-going, can defeat Diamond, Mollus, and sometimes Skimmer.

However, on the chance the Emperor Crab perishes against Skimmer, having a rare Rapana Whelk (B/B) is a good insurance policy, so long as it has abilities absorb, shell shield, and dive.

Note that Diamond possesses a howling blast ability that can affect the entire team of pets, so when selecting a lesser-experienced pet for the team, choose one with at least some stamina. Also note that Skimmer has a pump ability that can cause quite a bit of damage; exercise caution when you decide to bring out your less-seasoned pet.

Your less-seasoned pet should learn a great deal from this encounter ((3812 XP at level 19)).

Wastewalker Shu

The hardy pandaren Grand Master Pet Tamer Wastewalker Shu stands proudly within the Dread Wastes in western Pandaria just outside of Klaxxi’vess. Although there seems to be a tenuous truce with this faction of mantid, he would be wise to remain cautious. The Klaxxi have informed me and others who’ve aided them that this truce will be struck down the moment their great old one, Y’shaarj, makes its resurgence in the world.

Wastewalker Shu’s team consists of three epic pets:

This team should not be taken lightly. To counter it and gain the Wastewalker’s favor, I advocate for the use of a rare Luyu Moth. The moth should immediate fling moth dust at Crusher. There is a chance the moth dust will put Crusher to sleep. If this occurs, Wastewalker Shu will swap his pet for another. It is pivotal that this not happen; simply forfeit the battle and restart.

Instruct the moth to perform alpha strikes; Crusher will set up a whirlpool. When but one round remains until the whirlpool threatens to engulf the moth, ask it to perform a cocoon strike; this will protect it from those dangerous waters. At this point, more moth dust (and perhaps an alpha strike) will finish off Crusher.

Wastewalker Shu will bring forth Pounder. The wise tamer will ask the Luyu Moth to repeat alpha strikes until it gives up its life. Pounder’s sandstorm will make the going more difficult, but once the Luyu Moth expires, it is possible to undo the effect: bring in a rare Emerald Whelpling (H/S) and request that it cast moonfire. Then have it breathe twice before entering the emerald dream. Upon wakening from the dream, repeated breath attacks will finish off Pounder. (In rare circumstances, Pounder may meet its doom on the second breath attack and you may be tempted to skip the nap in the dream. Resist this temptation; a healthy Emerald Whelpling is an asset not to be overlooked.)

Mutilator comes up next. The Emerald Whelpling’s fiery breath should be efficacious in harming the beast, but will by no means be sufficient to bring about victory. To achieve that end, bring forth a rare Darkmoon Tonk (H/P) and instruct it to employ shock and awe followed by two lock-ons.

Wastewalker Shu may not be too pleased with a victory against his team, but I suspect some grudging respect lay beneath his terse words.

On the Pandaren Spirit Tamers

The Pandaren Spirit Tamers are mysterious elemental spirits whose ties with Pandaria and the Wandering Isle are not fully understood. Although there are many varieties (including an ale elemental), only the four spirits of air, fire, earth, and water tame pets. In this section I detail the challenges they present.

Burning Pandaren Spirit

The Burning Pandaren Spirit looks like a cute feline-like fiery sprite of some sort and if it weren’t so burny I would go up and hug it! But back on topic: you can find it on the edge of the northern cliffs of the Townlong Steppes where it commands a team of legendary pets:

Although all three pets are legendary, the challenge they present is not worthy of that rating. As such, the encounter with the Burning Pandaren Spirit is ripe for bringing along a less-seasoned pet in order to learn a few tips and tricks. Towards that end, I would start the confrontation with just such a pet, and have it perform any ability that enables it to survive the Spirit’s first move.

Once that’s done, swap out the less-seasoned pet for a rare Anubisath Idol (H/H). Note that Crimson has taken to the skies. This means the Anubisath Idol should immediately prepare for deflection in order to avoid the potentially ruinous attack when Crimson dive-bombs. After that, the Anubisath Idol can keep the weather in a perpetual sandstorm and repeatedly crush its way to victory against Crimson, deflecting as needed.

Warning: if the Anubisath Idol’s poor luck causes it to expire prematurely (on Crimson), the battle is virtually lost. Best to practice your bandaging techniques and start over.

When the Pandaren Fire Spirit enters the fray, there’s no need for the Anubisath Idol to continue the sandstorm. Instead it should repeatedly crush its enemy until it falls. That’s when it’s time for the rare Rapana Whelk (B/B). Apply a shell shield and dive when possible. If no other option is available, kindly ask your Rapana Whelk to absorb stamina from its opponents.

The Rapana Whelk will make short work of the Pandaren Fire Spirit and Glowy, teaching your other pet in the process ((2220 XP at level 23, enough to reach the maximum level of 25)).

Flowing Pandaren Spirit

The Flowing Pandaren Spirit resides at the southern terminus of the Serpent’s Spine, the great wall that snakes through Pandaria and protects the civilized lands to the east from the uncivilized wilds to the west. You can find it within the Dread Wastes zone. It represents the element of water and as such commands a team of largely watery pets, all of legendary status:

The challenge presented by this team seems highly random. In some squabbles I’ve been able to defeat all three pets with a single rare Dragonbone Hatchling (B/B). And in others I’ve had to resort to employing all three pets on a team, and barely scraping by at that. I shall leave it as an exercise to the reader if they wish to bring along a less experienced pet in order to learn from the challenge. Myself, I prefer a reliable victory, so here is the approach I use:

First, I ensure my Dragonbone Hatchling knows how to use slicing wind, hawk eye, and lift-off. Instruct your hatchling to do hawk eye, then slicing wind, then lift-off. This will enable the hatchling to avoid Marley’s whirlpool and dive. In fact, Marley may well expire at this point. If not, a slicing wind should do the job tidily.

With Marley out of the way, the Flowing Pandaren Spirit will bring out Tiptoe. Instruct your hatchling to keep a hawk-eye out, then two slicing winds. Tiptoe may well be disposed of at this juncture, but if not, an extra slicing wind should do the trick.

Finally, your Dragonbone Hatchling will face the Pandaren Water Spirit. A slicing wind is nice here, if your hatchling still has a hawk eye. If not, go ahead and ask it to keep a hawk-eye out, and then do a slicing wind. And then, ask it to perform another slicing wind.

We are now at a critical point. The Pandaren Water Spirit has both a whirlpool and a geyser ready to drown the Dragonbone Hatchling. It is therefore of paramount importance to execute a lift-off.

The beauty of this set up is that—and the end of the lift-off—the Dragonbone Hatchling will have devastated the Pandaren Water Spirit. A single slicing wind should finish the job.

Now, the above describes a best-case scenario. In the more typical case, pets will botch a maneuver and miss a crucial attack. When that happens, it’s important to have a backup pets in the team. In this case, I advocate for the following to join the Dragonbone Hatchling: a rare Nether Faerie Dragon (S/S) (with abilities arcane blast, life exchange, and moonfire), and a rare Chuck (B/B) (with abilities rip, surge, and blood in the water).

Whispering Pandaren Spirit

The Whispering Pandaren Spirit embodies the fundamental element of air. It commands a team of three legendary pets:

While many tamers attempt to find some way to bring a less experienced pet into conflict with the Whispering Pandaren Spirit, I find the outcome tends to be highly unreliable. As a result, I prefer a set team that guarantees success against the spirit’s team. That means starting off with a rare Emerald Whelpling (H/S). The whelpling should begin by calling forth moonfire. (Note: should the whelpling be put to sleep, it is safe to yield the battle to the Whispering Pandaren Spirit and start it once more.)

The effect of moonfire is to adjust the local climate, calling for a darkened sky and the light of a moon. This weather improves healing abilities and slightly increases the damage of magic spells.

At this point, instruct your whelpling to emerald bite Dusty three times. The first may be blocked by Dusty’s cocoon—that is of little concern. By the third bite, Dusty should be defeated, and Whispertail will take its place. (Should your whelpling’s bite only snap at empty air, merely instruct it to try again.)

Now, instruct your Emerald Whelpling to enter the emerald dream. While it sleeps for quite some time (three rounds, in fact), it will awaken freshened and full of vigor. The whelpling may bite Whispertail once or twice before calling forth moonfire once more to keep the local climate in check. Biting and dreaming shall be all that the whelpling does until Whispertail inevitably defeats it.

Not to worry, though. For a rare Nether Faerie Dragon (S/S) will soon make quick work of Whispertail. An arcane blast repeated a few times does nicely. The Nether Faerie Dragon may also call down moonfire. Whispertail shall be defeated.

The Whispering Pandaren Spirit will bring forth the final member of its team: the Pandaren Air Spirit. At this juncture, if your Nether Faerie Dragon has sufficient constitution, you may direct it to blast the spirit with arcane energy. More likely, though, the battle with Whispertail has left it weakened. You can even the odds, as it were, by employing life exchange, an unusual ability that balances the health between to two pets. The effect will be to improve your dragon’s health while weakening the spirit’s. Your dragon may then continue to blast arcanely. It may even win the battle for you.

If not, your final team member, a rare Nexus Whelpling (P/S) with the abilities tail sweep, mana surge, and arcane storm will do nicely.

On the Tamer of Outland: Bloodknight Antari

The ravaged world of Outland has its share of veterinarians, stablemasters, and pet tamers. But it also holds exactly one Grand Master Pet Tamer, Bloodknight Antari, who stands stoically in western Shadowmoon Valley.

His pets are fairly potent, but a team of two can handle them with grace. The team consists of three rare pets that are almost maximally-seasoned ((level 24)):

A wise veterinarian will bring along a less experienced pet to set foot on the field of conflict in order to pick up a few tricks. I would open the battle with just such a pet and have it perform a few moves to do a little damage but mostly survive. Then I would employ the services of a rare Scourged Whelpling (P/S), and have it infect Arcanus with plagued blood, followed by enough shadowflame to finish it off.

When Jadefire appears, attack it with plagued blood and corrupt the ground under it with death and decay. Continue shadowflame until the either the Scourged Whelpling for Jadefire is done for.

Finally bring out a rare Anubisath Idol (H/H) and have it crush your way to victory.

The Beasts of Fable

The great Pandaren books of fables are read by the native pandaren to their cubs to impart important life-lessons. What some do not realize is that the creatures mentioned in the books actually exist, and provide unique—and difficult—challenges to practitioners of veterinary medicine with a specialization in pet rearing and pet battles. But, as mentioned above, they also provide some valuable rewards.

In this section I detail the strategies for beating the Pandaren Beasts of Fable.

Book I

Book I of the Beasts of Fable will have you facing four legendary beasts:

  • Dos-Ryga
  • Kafi
  • Ka’wi the Gorger
  • Nitun

This subsection tells of ways to face each.

Dos-Ryga (Kun-Lai Summit, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Dos-Ryga is a legendary aquatic pet with a foul temper and an impressive constitution. Located just on the eastern shore of Inkgill Mere, this fish may be corrupted by sha energy that permeates the waters of the lake. It is impossible to capture this pet and tame it as your own. However, it appears in Book I of the Beasts of Fable, and entering into a challenge with it is a worthy endeavor.

Given its incredible health—and ability to regenerate itself with a healing wave—a face-off with Dos-Ryga is nigh impossible with even potent pets. Instead, it’s better to bring an apocalypse down on the fish.

For this I recommend a rare nether roach (H/P). Your first move will be to call forth the apocalypse and then switch to the rare Chrominius (H/H). Chrominius should unleash surge of power on Dos-Ryga.

Now, such an attack is fruitless, of course. However, it will injure the fish well enough in order to force it to spend some time healing itself. It’s vital we keep the fish occupied until the meteors from the apocalypse arrive.

Naturally, Chrominius won’t last long against Dos-Ryga. That’s where the rare Anubisath Idol (H/H) comes into play. Its an incredibly tough pet and can endure against Dos-Ryga’s onslaught for a protracted period of time. The Idol should immediately whip up a sandstorm and keep it blowing all the time. This will reduce the chance Dos-Ryga has to hit the Idol, and also soften the blow when it does hit.

Dos-Ryga’s whirlpool has the potential to seriously harm the Anubisath Idol. Just before it threatens to engulf the pet, instruct the Idol to employ deflection. It will help save it. When there are no other options, instruct your Idol to crush Dos-Ryga.

Eventually, even a pet as stalwart as the Anubisath Idol will fall. If the meteors have not yet fallen, the the nether roach must return to the fracas. The roach’s nether blast may distract Dos-Ryga, but its skill in survival is far more important, especially in surviving the whirlpool.

At last, the meteors will strike, killing all pets including Dos-Ryga. Yet victory shall be yours, for the nether roach always survives a meteor blast.

Kafi (Kun-Lai Summit, Pandaria, Azeroth)

As a gnome, I found it most difficult to watch some of my brightest, shiniest, and most stalwart mechanical companions repeatedly fall to the legendary beast known as Kafi. This massive mountain goat, full of energy (no doubt thanks to eating kafa’kota berries that grown around there), can decimate even the finest pet teams.

Without further ado, here is the one tactic that I’ve found through painstaking research to be successful at least 90% of the time:

  1. Open with a rare Sunreaver Micro-Sentry (P/P) and call lightning.
  2. Remove all emotional response controls from the Micro-Sentry and let it go haywire.
  3. The Micro-Sentry’s failsafe will kick-in, letting the haywire continue. Afterward, there’s really nothing to do, as Kafi is sure to decimate the mechanical.
  4. Next, bring forth a rare Clockwork Gnome (S/B) and order it to build a turret.
  5. Order it to pound Kafi with its metal fist.
  6. The gnome’s failsafe will then kick-in, but there’s nothing more it can do. Kafi’s incredible, kafa’kota-fueled speed will finish it off before it can do even a second metal fist.
  7. Finally, bring forth a rare Darkmoon Tonk (H/P) and activate shock and awe.
  8. If by some miracle Kafi is still not dead, fire off a missle.

What a beast.

Ka’wi (The Jade Forest, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Ka’wi, known as “The Gorger”, is a legendary, bloated, and rather disgusting caterpillar. Although some day it may form a chrysalis and emerge as a beautiful butterfly, as of this writing it remains a nasty, overgrown, flightless bug. This places it into the critter classification. However, do not let such a classification lead you to complacency. It’s an ill-tempered critter that can trounce many a pet.

And yet, despite its strength, it is possible to finish the revolting bug off with a team of just two pets, meaning you can use the challenge as a teaching moment for one of your lesser experienced pets. Begin the challenge with just such a pet.

Ka’wi’s main strategy is to use super sticky goo to immobilize a pet, and then pummel it to death. Therefore, it may be advantageous to begin with a pet immune to such sticky goo, such as critters. Your first move against Ka’wi is to make your less experienced critter survive.

Switch to a rare Nether Faerie Dragon (S/S) who use bring forth moonfire. Ka’wi’s counter-attack is sometimes weak, and your faerie dragon may have over half its health. If this is the case, instruct your pet to use an arcane blast.

However, it’s more often the case that Ka’wi’s counter-attack was devastating, leaving your faerie dragon with only a quarter of its health. That’s when you ask your pet to employ life exchange. This will leave the otherwise healthy and hale Ka’wi with only half its health, which is a remarkable feat against this obnoxious critter. The dragon should continue to blast Ka’wi arcanely until it can do no more.

An Alpine Foxling Kit (B/B) can finish off Ka’wi by first making howl, which will frighten Ka’wi and make it more susceptible to damage. Next, ask your fox to leap at Ka’wi. This will double the speed of your fox in the next round. Ka’wi’s attack will bring your fox’s health below half. As a compassionate veterinarian, you may find this quite worrisome; stay strong, though. As a beast, your fox’s attacks will now be twice as strong. Finish off Ka’wi with a bite.

Nitun (The Jade Forest, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Nitun is a “tanuki”, a kind of “raccoon dog”—a fascinating species. From discussions with species taxonomists there is debate as to whether the tanuki is actually closer to a raccoon or a dog; some suggest the fox is actually a more sensible relative. This particular tanuki is a legendary example of the species, and it carries a special moniker: The Midnight Plunderer. I have observed the creature closely, even at midnight, and have yet to determine why its earned the title. Inquiries to other tamers and veterinarians have yielded no answers. The mystery remains.

The battle with the critter, though, is far more fruitful. It is possible to use a team of just two pets against Nitun, and this makes the conflict ripe for carrying through a pet of lesser experience who may learn greatly from the encounter. I would recommend any pet so long as it’s not of the critter species. Although Nitun is a critter, its abilities can tear other critters apart.

Let your less experienced pet go first against Nitun. Have him, her, or it practice any ability it can, preferably defensive. So long as it survives the first round, you may then bring in a rare Unborn Val’Kyr (B/B). Order the ghostly apparition to curse Nitun with doom. Follow that with a shadow slash, and finally end with a haunt. The haunting sacrifices the un-life of the Unborn Val’kyr, but in return will continue to damage the creature.

Next, bring in a rare fox on any kind. I recommend a rare Alpine Foxling Kit. The fox should first howl in order to frighten Nitun and make it more susceptible to damage. Nitun will increase its speed, but a leap will return the advantage to you. In fact, Nitun will likely expire as the curse will take effect.

If for any reason Nitun survives, the fox will probably not. Allow the initial pet to clean up.

What your pet learns from the experience may not be terribly great, but every bit helps ((221 XP at level 23)).

Book II

Book II of the Beasts of Fable would have you defeat three legendary pets:

  • Greyhoof
  • Lucky Yi
  • Skitterer Xi’a

In this subsection, I describe ways to do achieve just that.

Greyhoof (Valley of the Four Winds, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Greyhoof stands complacent under a tree in the Valley of the Four Winds. This mushan is the offspring of Darkhide, an ornery beast if there ever was one. Well, this son (or daughter, I can’t tell) takes after its father in every way. It’s a legendary and cranky beast, able to tear its way through even the finest pet teams most tamers can assemble.

There is a combination of merely two pets that I have found to be effective in trouncing this cantankerous creature. That means that you may indeed bring a less-experienced pet into play in order to have it learn a few things. Greyhoof’s abilities are effective against critters and undead pets, though, so keep that in mind should you decide to bring one into play.

Your first move should be with the pet you want to learn something. Instruct it to do anything it can to survive. Greyhoof has no abilities that do no damage; he/she/it is out to kill. Once that move is complete, bring in a rare Sunreaver Micro-Sentry (P/P) and have it call lightning. Next, ask your sentry to use fel immolate. It will likely expire but failsafe will kick-in, enabling you to attempt to fel immolate once more. Greyhoof’s higher speed will likely destroy the sentry before it can do so, but it’s worth attempting.

Now is the time to bring forth a rare Clockwork Gnome. Request that it build a turret, and then ask it politely to punch Greyhoof with its metal fist twice.

Greyhoof should fall at this point; however it is possible that due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control (luck) the Clockwork Gnome does not defeat the beast. If that’s the case, use your training pet to finish off Greyhoof. Your training pet will learn something from this experience ((267 XP at level 23)).

Lucky Yi (Valley of the Four Winds, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Surrounded by its Marsh Fiddler children, Lucky Yi sits in the Heartland in the Valley of the Four Winds. Although most farmers would be put out by having so many fiddlers nearby, these seem to have not a care for the bountiful crops growing just yards away. Besides, the legendary critter has such incredible luck, eradicating completely would take some herculean effort.

And yet, even as a legenadary Beast of Fable, I have found that Lucky Yi may be brought down with a team consisting of just two pets. However, rather than leave that last slot in the standard three-pet team vacant, how much better it would be to allowed a less-seasoned pet “ride along”, where it could learn a thing or two or three.

And so, begin your conflict battle with Lucky Yi by letting your less experienced pet face off directly. Make sure your pet has at least some stamina though, so as to survive the critter's initial onslaught. Once that's done, swap in a rare Unborn Val’kyr (B/B) and kindly request that it curse Lucky Yi with doom. Then strike at the opponent with a shadow slash. Finally, begin an unholy ascension. The val’kyr may have to do so even after it has died but reincarnated.

That’s when it is best to bring in Chrominius (H/H). Let Chrominius howl at Lucky Yi. The howl will frighten Lucky Yi and—combined with the unholy ascension—makes the curse of doom apply with stupendous force. Follow that with a surge of power and Lucky Yi’s luck will run out.

Skitterer Xi’a (Krasarang Wilds, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Skitterer Xi’a is a legendary water skimmer who prefers staying on the shores of the water near Krasarang Falls. Although it resembles the nearby Fallstriders, it has more in common with the Azure Water Strider, a mountable water-bug. The main difference is its coloration. While the Azure Water Strider possesses glowing blue eyes, antennæ, and abdomen, Skitterer Xi’a has glowing red ones.

As an aquatic animal, it is especially susceptible to flying attacks. And indeed, for this confrontation, I have a simple recommendation: three moths.

The moths I use are all rare: a Luyu Moth, an Amber Moth, and a Gilded Moth.

Regardless of the moths you ultimately select, they should all have the same abilities: alpha strike, cocoon strike, and moth dust. Start with any moth you desire, and use the abilities in the following priority as they become available: moth dust, cocoon strike, alpha strike.

Book III

Book III of the Beasts of Fable dares you to defeat three legendary pets:

  • Gorespine
  • No-No
  • Ti’un the Wanderer

In this subsection I present ways to meet that dare.

Gorespine (Dread Wastes, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Gorespine may resemble a large adorable hedgehog but it’s one obnoxious—yet legendarybeast. You’ll find it at the edge of the Venomous Ledge in the Dread Wastes, surrounded by silent hedgehogs, presumably its progeny. Sure enough, as a beast, it’s best beset upon with robotics, cybernetics, and other engineered constructs—and a surprising non-mechanical pet.

The rare Sunreaver Micro-Sentry (P/P) is an ideal way to start this confrontation. Instruct yours to call lightning. Next, request your sentry to use fel immolate as many times as you are able, even through failsafe.

Now here’s the interesting variation. We need a pet that can increase the entire team’s speed while also scaring Gorespine into taking more damage. For that I suggest an Alpine Foxling Kit (B/B) as the pet to appear after the micro-sentry has met its demise. Kindly ask the foxling kit to do its dazzling dance, and then to howl at Gorespine. If the fox kit still lives, you may as well ask it to end its life with a bite. Gorespine’s spiked skin and its attack will surely end our poor fox kit’s life.

But no more playing games. At this point, Gorespine will still have over half of its stamina and is a dangerous beast. But a rare Darkmoon Tonk (H/P) will help. It should attempt to shock and awe Gorespine, and then fire its ion cannon at the beast.

If either of those abilities miss, it may be necessary to yield to the foul beast and re-attempt the confrontation. May luck be in your favor.

No-No (Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Pandaria, Azeroth)

Snoozing under a fishing chair’s umbrella lies No-No, a legendary civet, with its nearby frolicking civet kittens. Civets are called the “landbound cousins of the otter”, but are still classified as aquatic pets. No-No is no exception. As a an aquatic creature it is susceptible to flying attacks.

Towards this end I once again recommend a team of rare moths. Any variety will do. I personally use:

All three should have the same set of abilities to be used in the following order: moth dust when available, otherwise employ alpha strike. When No-No decides to dive, defend your moth with cocoon strike. One moth may completely finish off No-No, but more commonly it will require two or all three.

Also note well that No-no can build a beaver dam which has the ability to block two pet attacks. However, the dam blocks both your attacks and No-no’s. If your moth is currently faster than No-No, it’s better to do nothing (pass the turn) and let the dam block the opponent. However, if your moth is currently slower than No-no, then allow No-no to strike the dam once, then you “cocoon strike” the dam, enabling a defense against No-no’s next attack.

Ti’un the Wanderer (Townlong Steppes, Pandaria, Azeroth)

There’s a legendary brute of a spiny turtle that stays in exactly one spot in the Townlong Steppes: Ti’un. And yet, despite its stoic—and static—nature, it has earned the moniker “The Wanderer”. This writer is utterly nonplussed by this fact. After observing the aquatic creature for hours I’ve seen it stay virtually still, as if more a painting in a frame than a living, breathing creature. Consultation with other veterinarians and pet tamers have yielded no evidence as to why the thing is called “The Wanderer”. This remains yet another mystery in the realm of pet battles.

The battle against this beast is highly variable. In one case, I’ve achieved victory with it with a single rare Gilded Moth. In others, I’ve had to resort to the apocalypse strategy. Ultimately I’ve found that a hybrid approach works best; starting with apocalypse as insurance against early demise of the Gilded Moth.

Therefore, I begin with a rare Nether Roach (H/P), but any other rare and maximally-seasoned roach or beetle will work equally well. It should immediately call forth meteor strikes with apocalypse.

We may then bring in the Gilded Moth who should employ the following three abilities: moth dust, cocoon strike, and alpha strike.

Ti’un will often gather its aquatic forces with a pump. This is treacherous ability, for when Ti’un releases its pent up water it will do massive amounts of damage to your pet. However, when Ti’un does so is entirely unpredictable. The moth’s cocoon strike would protect it from such an attack, but when to employ it is guesswork. It is best to never use cocoon strike until after Ti’un has used his initial pump. You may then activate the cocoon on the turn after, or the next turn after, or possibly even the third turn after. All one can do is hope.

Should your use of cocoon strike be lucky, the Gilded Moth may be able to defeat Ti’un. More likely, though, the pump ability will tidily bring about the demise of the moth. When that occurs, bring in a rare Anubisath Idol (H/H). Immediately ask it (nicely) to bring about a sandstorm, which will take the edge off Ti’un’s attacks. Ask it to crush Ti’un in the meantime. And, as before, if Ti’un has pumped itself full of water, you may wish to use deflection to avoid the attack—assuming you can guess when it will occur. Ti’un’s water has a higher chance to miss during the sandstorm, so it’s also critical to keep that weather effect active.

Eventually, the meteors will strike, killing all pets except, of course, for the Nether Roach. Should the Anubisath Idol fall, keep the roach alive until the meteors arrive with its unique survival ability.

Conclusion

Veterinary medicine is an enormous field that is worthy of and repays careful study and exploration. Pet rearing and battling may be a small part of that field, but as we’ve seen in this dissertation, even that small part itself covers a wide swath of knowledge. The original research presented here is a means to several ends. It is not just a demonstration of new information intended to be worthy of the award of Doctorate of Philosophy; it is offered as a guide for others seeking to follow in this path. It is not just a collection of strategies; it is offered as a gateway to further discussion of pet battles. It is not just an analysis of pet genealogy and phylogeny; it is offered as a foundation from which yet more research may occur.

And besides, a lot of pets are super cute!

Acknowledgments

I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Professor Drahs who first planted the seed in my mind that germinated into the desire to pursue a Doctorate in Philosophy, and to also thank him in advance for the promised posting of professorship after achieving the degree.

Gratitude is also due to my Legion’s leader, Venusadora Valen, who provided several rare pets with which I could conduct research, and for the espresso machine (without which I would never have completed the research, nor this dissertation).

And my most sincere gratitude goes to my fiancée, Sheandy Steelsparks, who was so patient as this effort took me away from her arms for far too long. She’s been my stalwart supporter and cheerleader all this time, and although I love all my pets greatly, I love her even more.

  1. pommie-tappet posted this