Pet battles, Warcraft's new game-within-a-game, is not only fun but a great way to get a lot of achievement points for the Achievement Hunter within your soul. I wanted to figure out how to quickly get to the Pandaria pet battle dailies while getting as many achievement points as possible.
There are plenty of ways to get your pets to 25, but here's the way I ended up doing it quickly while knocking out a ton of achievements. It took me two days starting with three level one pets (and two level 20 pets in my roster), and my priorities were:
- Level three pets to 25
- Capture a pet in every area ([Continental Tamer] and sub-achievement)
- Beat the battle masters in every area ([Taming Azeroth] and sub-achievements)
- Knock out as many of the pets as possible for the [World Safari] achievements
One of the great things about pet battles is that you truly can build whatever team you want. Three mechanical dragons? Fine. A ghost, a broom, and a sentient turnip? Knock yourself out. There are plenty of places to go to debate what the ideal 3-pet rotation is, but this is not that place. We do so much min-maxing for raids and even just dungeons that I personally relished the chance to simply go with my favorite pets and leave it at that. I even ended up leveling an [Enchanted Broom], just because it has the finest attack illustrations in the game.
Leveling To 25
First, I purchased two level-20 battle pets on the Drenden auction house and went in search of a level 15-16 pet area (Note: You'll need to have leveled at least one pet to level 20 the hard way before you can purchase a level 20 pet on the AH). Un'Goro Crater is a good choice, but I went with Burning Steppes because flying through treetops makes me insane.
- Equip your pet-to-be-leveled in the first slot of your pet journal
- Equip your two purchased level-20 pets in the next two slots
- Challenge a level 15-16 world pet to a battle
- Hit the world pet once with your level 1 pet, then swap it out with one of your bigger pets
- Kill the challenger.
- Repeat (4 to 5 battles, in my experience) until your desired pet is level 7, then do the same with any other level 1 pets you want to bring onto your team before you...
- Move to a level 20-21 pet area and repeat the above process until your desired pet(s) are level 15. It only took me about an hour to level all three of my desired pets to level 15.
Continental Tamer Achievement & Taming Azeroth Achievement
Once I had my desired team of level 15 pets, I went back to Orgrimmar (Stormwind for Alliance) and picked up the quest series to defeat Kalimdor Trainers and Eastern Kingdoms Trainers.
I chose at random to start in Kalimdor, and worked my way from north to south. I went to each zone and flew around until I saw a pet that was unique to that zone - I personally used the simple and useful PetBattleArena.com to find unique pets, though there are lots of resources, including the profoundly weighty WoWhead Pet Map- then flew down to battle it.
If the creature I was fighting was green or blue, I captured it. If not, I killed it quickly and moved on. This was just my own personal desire not to fill up my pet journal with grey or white creatures, or with more than one of the same creature. However, my OCDness tripped me up a few times; for example, I fought a white Tiny Bog Monster in the Wetlands and killed it, thinking I could do better- then, of course, spent an hour looking in vain for another spawn.
When I came to a zone with a Master Pet Battler, I fought them until I won. In Winterspring, I wasn't able to defeat the Master Pet Battler and so walked around close to the battler picking fights with world pets until all of my team was level 17. I had to do the same thing in Terrokar with the Shattarath pet battler (curse you, aquatic pet team!), and then again in Dragonblight. However, it only took about 20 minutes to level my whole team each time, and was fun, to boot!
After moving through all of Kalimdor, I went through Eastern Kingdoms- north to south again- and then flew back to Orgrimmar to pick up the Outlands Tamer quests. Capturing a pet and winning a pet battle was much faster in Outlands and Northrend, though by Northrend you're really starting to feel the complexity of your team choices. In Northrend, I actually leveled a fourth pet (my boss broom, yo) to make the battles a little easier.
World Safari Achievement
Certain pets, like the Snowy Owl (Winterspring) and Qiraj Guardians (Silithus), only spawn at different times of year (the owl in the winter and guardians in the summer), so I knew I wasn't going to get all of my World Safari achievement accomplished in a few days.
However, if you use PetBattleArena.com, or whatever resource you like the best, to pick up rare pets as you move through each zone for the Continental Tamer meta-achievement, you'll make a huge dent in your Safari achievement list (and we all know filling in the blanks of an achievement is a lot less daunting than starting from step one)!
Happy hunting, battlers!