Friday, February 6, 2015

Daily Pet Powerleveling

Hello again, friends! I have recently started a pet leveling service in-game. Most days I'll trade a handful of my level 25 cageable pets for my client's level 1s, but if I can't match their breed, sometimes a client will entrust me with his pets for an hour or so for leveling up. This requires a relationship of solid trust, so if you're thinking of hiring a pet leveling service for your own menagerie, I recommend trading your beloved pets only to those you know really well or trust completely. 

Since several people have asked me to share my pet powerleveling method, I thought I'd post the guide here. If done correctly, it's fast and efficient. You'll be able to fully level up 4-5 pets daily (more than 125 level 1 pets per month!), investing only an hour or so per day using no other method. If you want to do more, there are many more daily tamers in the lands, plus darkmoon fair tamers, tournaments, pvp, field fights, all which grant experience as an extra supplement to this powerleveling method. I have leveled well over 1000 pets to 25, and I've found this method to be the most efficient and reliable, without getting overwhelmed. I use 7 Pandaria Tamers and 6 Draenor Tamers, plus the garrison daily if possible. It yields enough experience with a one hour triple buff to level 4 pets from 1-24 (plus a 5th pet to 14+), all within an hour - after which you can easily top them off with stones or the garrison battle. All the pets I use are attainable in the game.


At least one character (level 100) with a garrison menagerie, a Safari Hat, Pandaria flying, and access to all the tamer dailies in the game. I also recommend a good pet battle add-on (optional) to organize and speed-swap your teams. I use PetBattle Teams.

Most fights do not require breed-specific pets with a couple of exceptions, which I'll try to indicate in the team builds below. Here are the pets I use and recommend for power leveling:
In addition, you'll need these following items per day:
Time required per day:
  • 1 hour uninterrupted play time (no distractions, no detours!) , plus 10-15 minutes to top your pets off
Items you will receive from this method:
  • 32 Pet Charms (for purchasing more buffs and supplies, etc)
  • Various random bag drops such as cosmetic buffs, vendor trash, bandages, rarity upgrade stones
  • Possible pets and leveling stones from quest rewards
  • More than 105 levels spread over 4 or 5 carry pets every day!


If you follow my method, pay close attention to every detail. Most fights require a script or formula, so the timing for switching in low-level carry pets is crucial. Any deviation from the basic routine will be a potential waste of your expensive buffs, as you're forced to repeat fights unnecessarily. You will need to be as quick and efficient as possible to reap the full benefits of the one hour triple buff. Travel directly to each tamer without delay, use your flying time to organize your next team and heal your pets. Ideally, you should avoid taking any time to chat, pick herbs, kill rare spawns, etc. In other words, focus!

Before you begin, organize these following teams in your pet battle add-on. Each day before you start your daily rounds, you'll need to replace the new carry pets in their team slots as follows:

Team 1: Hyuna
  1. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25
  2. Crow or Raven (alpha strike, call darkness, nocturnal strike) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #1, lvl 1
Team 2: Mo'ruk
  1. Darkmoon Zeppelin (missile, explode, decoy) lvl 25
  2. Chrominius (arcane explosion, howl, surge of power) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #2, lvl 1
Team 3: Nishi
  1. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25 destruction
  2. Menagerie Custodian (zap, shock and awe, ion cannon) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #2
Team 4: Aki
  1. Anubisath Idol (crush, stoneskin, deflect) lvl 25
  2. Crow or Raven (alpha strike, call darkness, nocturnal strike) lvl 25 p/s
  3. Carry pet #3, lvl 1
Team 5: Shu
  1. Crow or Raven (alpha strike, call darkness, nocturnal strike) lvl 25 p/s
  2. Iron Starlette (wind-up, powerball, supercharge) lvl 25 destruction (damage critical)
  3. Carry pet #3
Team 6: Zusshi
  1. Rapana Whelk (absorb, acidic goo, dive) lvl 25
  2. Dragonbone Hatchling (slicing wind, hawk eye, lift-off) lvl 25
  3. Carry Pet #1
Team 7: Yon
  1. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25 destruction
  2. Menagerie Custodian (zap, shock and awe, ion cannon) lvl 25 guardian (survival critical)
  3. Carry pet #4, lvl 1
Team 8: Ashlei
  1. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25
  2. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #5, lvl 1
Team 9: Vesharr
  1. Carry pet #5
  2. Chrominius (arcane explosion, howl, surge of power) lvl 25
  3. Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (breath, thunderbolt, decoy) lvl 25
Team 10: Taralune
  1. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25
  2. Nexus Whelpling (tail sweep, mana surge, arcane storm) lvl 25 p/s (speed critical)
  3. Carry pet #1
Team 11: Cymre
  1. Magical Crawdad (snap, shell shield, wish) lvl 25
  2. Infinite Whelpling (tail sweep, healing flame, early advantage) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #2
Team 12: Gargra
  1. Menagerie Custodian (zap, shock and awe, ion cannon) lvl 25
  2. Menagerie Custodian (zap, shock and awe, ion cannon) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #3
Team 13: Tarr
  1. Unborn Val'kyr (shadow slash, curse of doom, haunt) lvl 25
  2. Creepy Crate (creepy chomp, curse of doom, bonestorm) lvl 25
  3. Carry pet #5
Garrison Random Team
The garrison battle changes every day and will require a variety of pets to beat. A few menagerie battles are pretty easily beaten with two level 25s and a carry pet. Some of those will reward great experience, and since you can repeat the menagerie fight as often as you like, it's a great way to level pets on the battles that allow it.


The route and flightpaths are based on Alliance side in Draenor. I'll try to add an edit for a Horde side route soon.

1. Begin at Hyuna. Select Team 1. Pick up her daily quest and apply your one hour triple buff of Safari Hat, Pet Treat, and Lesser Pet Treat. Open with Nexus - 3, 2, when mana surge finishes, swap in-and-out your carry pet, letting your Nexus die to the burrow damage. Switch in crow, 1, 1, 1 then when snake is dead and turtle comes in, 1, 2, 3, finish off with 1 spam if he's not dead. First carry pet should now be level 14. Turn in quest and mount up. 

2. Fly to Mo'ruk. While flying, select Team 2 and heal your pets on cooldown. This battle is called a "suicide mission", where your carry will not ever enter the fight but will be the only survivor. Take the quest and begin. Open with your zeppelin - missile, decoy, then spam missile until Woodcarver is dead. As soon as Woodcarver dies, switch in Chromi. If Chromi does not get put to sleep with moth dust, do one arcane explosion then howl, surge of power. If he is slept, skip 1 and just do howl+surge of power. Chromi probably won't do any more damage, but it's important to leave him in the fight until he dies to the turtle. Switch in Zeppelin, missile until rooted, then decoy, then missile until he's within explode range (618 health or you're unable to survive a second hit), then explode. Important: you must force both level 25 pets to suicide in this battle or your carry will get zero experience. Your second carry pet is now level 14. Turn in quest and mount up. 

3. Fly to Farmer Nishi. While flying, select Team 3 and heal your pets on cooldown. Open with Nexus - 3 then 2. Switch in carry to take all Toothbreaker's Sons of the Root damage then switch back to Nexus. Refresh ARCANE STORM then mana surge until Toothbreaker dies. Arcane storm Mothallus and tail sweep until nexus is dead, hopefully taking burrow damage. Switch to Menagerie Custodian, shock and awe, zap if needed, ion cannon. Your second carry pet should now be level 20. Turn in quest and mount up. 

4. Fly to Aki the Chosen. While flying, select Team 4 and heal your pets on cooldown. Open with Anubisath Idol - stoneskin, spam crush but always refresh stoneskin before it drops off. Keeping stoneskin up is the most important part of the fight against Chirrup. You don't want shattered defenses when Stormlash enters the fight. Continue to spam crush until Chirrup is dead. Spam crush on Stormlash until he dies. Switch in-and-out your carry pet, taking Whisker's dive damage on your Anubisath Idol. Crush until your Idol dies. Switch in crow, then 1, 2, 3. Third carry pet should now be level 14. Turn in quest and mount up. 

5. Fly to Wastewalker Shu. While flying, select Team 5 and heal your pets on cooldown. Open with Crow or Raven - 1, 2, 3. Stay in until Crow or Raven dies, then switch in-and-out your carry pet. With Starlette, 1, 2, 3, 1. If  Pounder is still alive, finish him with 2. When Mutilator switches in, continue with Starlette - 1, 3, 1. Turn in quest and mount up. Third carry pet is now level 20.

6. Fly to Zusshi. While flying, select Team 6 and heal your pets on cooldown. Open with Rapana Whelk - 2, 3, then spam 1 until Diamond is dead. On Mollus, 2, 3, then spam 1 and reapply 2 until your whelk dies. Switch in-then-out carry pet. With Dragonbone - 2, then spam 1 until Mollus dies. Refresh 2, then 1, using lift-off to avoid drowsy and/or pump. finish with 1. Turn in quest and mount up. First carry pet should now be level 20.

7. Fly to Yon. While flying, select Team 7 and heal your pets on cool down. Open with Nexus, 1, 3, 2, killing Piqua and damaging Lapin. Be sure to switch in-and-out your carry pet when mana surge ends, before Lapin's burrow. Nexus dies to Lapin, then switch in Menagerie Custodian - 2, then spam 1 until rabbit dies. On goat, 1 until 2 cooldown, then 2, 3. Turn in quest and hearth to your garrison. Fourth carry pet is now level 14 and you should have approximately 30-35 minutes left on your triple buff if you've done the fights flawlessly without any dawdling.

8. Immediately take a flightpath from your garrison to Embaari Village. While flying, select Team 8 and heal your pets on cooldown. Mount up and ride to Ashlei. Take quest and open with Nexus - 3, 2. switch in and out your carry pet in at any time during Elekk phase. Switch back to Nexus and reapply 3, then 2. If your first Nexus whelping dies, use the second whelp with mana surge to finish battle. Turn in and mount up. Your fifth carry pet is now level 15. 

9. Ride back to Embaari flight path and take a flight to Veil Terokk. While flying, select Team 9 and heal your pets on cooldown. Take the quest from Vesharr. Open your carry pet for one attack, then switch in Chromi - spam 1 until your health drops below 900, 2, then spam 1 until Kaliri dies. When Apexis Guardian comes in, continue spamming 1, healing on cooldown until your Chromi dies. Switch to dragonling - thunderbolt, spam 1, using decoy to avoid entangling roots. Turn in quest and mount up/return to flightpath. Your carry fifth carry pet should be level 21. 

10. Fly to Retribution Point in Talador. While flying, select Team 10 and heal your pets on cooldown. Ride to Taralune and take the quest. Open with 1, 3, 2. Refresh 3 and tail sweep until either your first Nexus dies, or Grace dies. When Atonement enters, switch in-and-out your carry pet, then 2. Turn in and mount up/return to the flightpath. Your first carry pet is now 24. 

11. Fly to Deeproot, Gorgrond. While flying, select Team 11 and heal your pets on cooldown. Ride to Cymre and take the quest. Open with Magical Crawdad - 2, then spam 1 until Idol Of Decay is below 250 health. Switch in-then-out your carry pet. Snap, then cast Wish on the Idol's undead round. Switch in Infinite Whelpling - spam tail sweep until Wishbright Lantern dies. Cast Early Advantage as soon as Gyrexle enters the fight and spam tail sweep. Turn in quest and mount up/return to the flightpath. Your second carry pet is now 24.

12. Fly to Iron Siegeworks, Frostfire Ridge. While flying, select Team 12 and heal your pets on cooldown. Ride to Gargra and take the quest. Open with Menagerie Custodian - 2, 3. Spam 1 and use 2, 3 on cooldown until Wolfus enters the fight. Switch in-and-out your carry pet on Wolfus' howl. Finish with Menagerie Custodian 2, 3 etc. Turn in and mount up/return to flightpath. Your third pet is now 24.

13. Fly to Rilzit's Holdfast in Nagrand. While flying, select Team 13 and heal your pets on cooldown. Ride to Tarr and take the quest. Open with Unborn Val'kyr - 2, 3. Switch in Creepy Crate then 2, 3. When your Crate is stunned or after bladestorm, switch in-and-out your carry pet. Spam 1s until all the murlocs are dead. Turn in quest and hearth to your garrison. Your 5th pet is now 23-24.

You should now have 4 of your carry pets leveled up to 24, and a fifth to level 14. At this point, your triple buff is likely worn off. If your garrison battle is a good "leveling" fight, finish up your level 14 carry pet and top off your other level 24s by repeating the battle. If not, simply complete the menagerie daily with a strong team for the Pet Charms, and visit a few other pet tamers or do field battles to finish your level 14. Then top off your level 24s from your collection of matching Battle-Training Stones. Save your Battle-Training stones for 24s only, and use them only on days where the menagerie battle doesn't give good leveling experience! Purchase your buffs for tomorrow.

If you have done this method without making mistakes or wasting any time on your triple buff, you should have 5 fully leveled pets in just over an hour. Do this every day and you'll soon have this routine memorized and you'll be able to finish before your buff wears wears off. Your pets will level up quickly! If you have rarely-used alts, you can station them at tamers to shave off even more traveling time. You'll need to give each alt a separate triple buff, but since you log them in and out for only one fight, one triple buff will remain for several days.

I hope you're all leveling up your pets already, but if you're just starting out I hope this guide helps!

Thanks and credit to:

Chibimage - Stormrage
HazelNutty Games
Helbrecht - Eldre'Thalus
Jerebear - Llane

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Returning After Hiatus

Hi, Friends! I haven't been playing World of Warcraft much. Several months ago I reached critical mass with my inventory, which no longer allowed me to wear new armor or clothing without vendoring some extremely valuable items to make room. I wasn't really able to take my screenshots because I was getting tired of recycling the same outfits.

Without inventory space, it's not possible to do professions, dailies, etc., in order to make money - so that coupled with my armor collecting meant I was perpetually broke, as well. I wasn't really interested in leveling up other toons, so I haven't been playing much at all.

But now that Worlds of Draenor is on the horizon and several new pets have popped up in the lands, I'm back for more adventures! I took some extra time to recently earn my legendary cape as well, since it's being removed from the game. The best part of the pre-patch is that many inventory issues have been solved! With the extra void storage tab, reagents vault, and toy tab, I cleared up a big portion of my packs, so I can start collecting and screenshotting again! Hooray!

One thing I'm not particularly happy about is my new look. Let's just say I've "had some work done". I'll try to keep my complaints succinct, because I think people are growing weary of hearing about it. I spent several days studying at my new face and body, and I've concluded that while the look has improved overall (especially the expressions animations), the human female eyes and mouths could use a tiny bit of tweaking, to give them a less plastic-doll or startled expression.

Here's what I would do if I could tweak the models. I think even these tiny changes would be a vast improvement:

And here's an edit with the most minor tweaks, just to fix her startled expression:

I also hate that my old plate bikinis no longer have cute, round, breast cups on the human female, but are more like long, droopy, bewb-socks. I noticed the horde races still had their cute little cups. QQ :(

Anyhow for my first screenshot back to the game, I decided to do Xu-Fu, with my new legendary cloak. Taken at Temple of the White Tiger:

See you all in World's of Draenor! Good luck catching all the new pets!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lost Cub Found!

Yuki found!

The Lost Cub Hunt has ended! My adorable Cub, Yuki has been found safe and sound, with her Snowfrolic Fox friend in The Hidden Grove! Thank you to everyone who participated. 

I'd like to start out by saying I've had a huge smile on my face all week. I received hundreds of correct entries for The Lost Cub Hunt, but was overwhelmed by all the wonderful responses that accompanied many of your entries. Your kind comments, and your clever and heartwarming tales, poems, and screenshots of the hunt were such an unexpected delight! I always enjoy my give-away contests, but this one was especially fun for me because of all your positive feedback. It has really encouraged me to hold more give-away contests in the future. I'd like to once again thank for keeping the pet collecting community so well informed, and for featuring my contest in the news.

Edit: The first place Lost Cub Hunt reward Spectral Kitten Loot Card winner is Louice Adler! Congratulations, Louice! Runner-Up and winner of the Nightsaber Cub Loot Card is Schioel of Mal'Ganis! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Spectral Kitten Loot Card Giveaway!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and received a pet or two from Greatfather Winter.

Did you make your New Year's resolutions? I sometimes find that New Year's resolutions can be difficult to keep, so this year I've resolved to simply enjoy life more. I resolve to follow in the footsteps of the Snowfrolic Fox!

Unfortunately, the new year has started off on a slightly unhappy note. My beautiful Winterspring Cub has wandered off and gotten lost, and I need your help to find her. I will be giving away a very rare Spectral Kitten Loot Card as a reward for one lucky participant in my Lost Cub Hunt.

The Lost Cub Hunt begins at 12:01am (EST), January 5th, 2013. In order to be eligible for the reward, you must follow the contest rules and the guidelines of the hunt

I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment below, but once the Lost Cub Hunt begins, DO NOT share any of your hunt discoveries!

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pilgrim's Bounty and the Portrait Process

Happy Pilgrim's Bounty! Don't forget your world event quests and the meta achievement for your Plump Turkey pet! On the subject of succulent birds, my friend Robert (Kalán - Stormrage) and I were talking pets the other day, and he told me about an idea he had for a combat pet: a Turducken! Awesome. I would love to see that in the game! Pilgrim's Bounty also offers festive attire if you're a clothing collector. Unfortunately, non-transmogrify items.

I've owned so much clothing and armor over the years that I have most of the older sets memorized by now. Sometimes I'll know exactly what set will be paired with a new pet the moment I add it to my collection. Other times it's more of a process. In the past, there wasn't much in the way of resources to search for a specific look. With the advent of transmogrification, several useful resources are now available for hoarders collectors, from mods to websites. I haven't decided yet if that makes it easier or more complicated! While transmogrification has certainly made it much easier to find just the right piece, auction house prices have gone through the roof. Bargains can still be had if you're patient and persistent, however. If I find an interesting piece or prop at a decent price, I'll pop it in the bank for a future shot.

So I've decided to post an example of the process of taking one of my pet screenshots, start to finish. If you get through this entire article, chances are you'll be left wondering why on earth I put so much work into every single portrait. I can assure you I often wonder the same thing.

When I earned the Jade Tentacle, my idea for the screenshot was  to try to recreate the giant squid scene from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A long time ago I earned a quest reward called Buckler of the Seas, which is a shield shaped like a ship's wheel. I've been wanting to use it for a nautical themed shot, so I figured it might work well here. I'd also recently picked up a goblin Promotional Cap as a quest reward, which looks a bit like a navy cap. I shopped around for some non-pirate nautical clothing without success - so I decided to dig my tuxedo out of mothballs and pair it with Astralaan bracers for the captain sleeve "stripes".

Next I needed to find a backdrop. I wanted a submarine deck, so I scouted around. The submarines in Vashj'ir were in a dark cave, so the lighting was poor. I found submarines in Uldum and Gilneas, and settled on the Gilneas sub. In order to get a nice close-up of the pet and outfit, I need to zoom the camera quite far in. I'll then move around the setting inch by inch, pointing the camera from several directions. This may seem tedious, but it allows me to visually frame the shot while zoomed in. I'm trying to find suitable lighting, but more importantly, I'm trying to balance and frame the composition to include relevant objects in the background. This step can take an hour or more. Zoomed in, there isn't much on the submarine deck that says "submarine", with the exception of the wheel lock on the deck door. I choose the door as my backdrop.

Once I've found the spot I like, I need to pose my pet and then myself. This can be fairly easy if my pet is cooperative. I'll feed my pet a biscuit and simply lead/turn him into the right spot, then move into position. Unfortunately, not all pets are cooperative. Some nod off to sleep, wander away, burrow, or fidget (idle animations). These pets typically reset their position based on where I happen to be standing. This used to frustrate me, but I've grown to kind of enjoy the challenge of posing uncooperative pets. The Jade Tentacle posed a different issue. It's a stationary pet, only bursting out of the ground near where I stand. Once it's up, however, it stays there until I move. In this situation, getting it to burst out of the ground in just the right spot was the challenge. Since I wanted the tentacle to appear as if it were climbing up onto the deck and not poking through the hull, I had to get it to burst from the steps leading up to the deck. Another 15-20 minutes tick by.

At last I've got my pet positioned! Now I move back into my pose, re-frame the composition and finally take the shot. Not so fast... now I wait. 

"Wait? What for?", you're probably asking. 

I'm waiting for that perfect moment. I want to capture the pet at the moment it looks best, whether it's blowing bubbles, breathing fire, the upbeat of wings, or in the case of my Jade Tentacle, whipping around me. More than once I've waited what feels like ages to capture an idle animation, only to open the image later and discover I blinked! More waiting. Click. Click. I'll get a few extras, just to be sure, then I'll select my favorite from the bunch. Done!

Except I'm not liking any of the shots.

Sigh. I've now decided I'd like it to be more of an action shot. You know, where it looks like I'm fighting off the tentacle as it attacks the submarine. For this, I need an attack pose. For an attack pose, I need a non-friendly mob to target, and of course there are none in sight. I decide to recruit a friend to help. My friend Michael, who is always happy to help me, flies out to Gilneas and challenges me to a duel on the deck of the submarine. I can now target him on the far end of the deck and put myself in an attack pose. I reposition the shot. Click. Click. Click.

Nearly another hour and more than 60 screenshots later, I think I finally have my shot. Oddly enough, even after all the fuss I'm not completely thrilled with the final Jade Tentacle portrait. I may decide to re-shoot it some day, but for now it's finished. I posted this article as an example of the screenshot process. Believe it or not, this is somewhat typical for every portrait. At just over 200 portraits in my gallery, I only have 250 (and counting) to go! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back On Track!

Hello, friends! It's been a year since I posted last. I took a break from World of Warcraft before the release of Mists of Pandaria. I'm back and collecting pets before I'm even high enough level to tame the zones I'm in.

I just wanted to let everyone know I'll be posting a real update here soon, as well as going back to repair all the broken image file links. I would love hearing from you! Let me know how your collecting is going or if you've seen anything worth spotlighting!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Latest Pets

I purchased a Guardian Cub yesterday. If you haven't gotten yours yet, you really should! It's a truly adorable pet, with several cute animations including a somersault, sitting up, comical yawn-roars, and my favorite: standing up to swat at a firefly but ending up in a belly-flop on the ground. So delightful!

The Guardian Cub pet matches the Winged Guardian mount, one of my favorite mounts in the game. Whoever at Blizz created these two creatures deserves very high praise. As an animal artist, I can really appreciate the skill and artistry involved. This is level of quality is what keeps me excited about World of Warcraft. Well done, Blizzard!

I'd been using my new favorite add-on (Mogit) to find an armor set for my Guardian screenshots and found Ornate Mithril armor. I remembered I had reshot my old Pet Bombling portrait where I was wearing that set, opting instead for the sunscale set. Ornate Mithril armor was a very good match for my Guardians, but sadly I had vendored it after I took the Bombling screenshot. Then I discovered that the quests to learn those plans were removed from the game, making this armor increasingly difficult to locate. Blacksmiths with the Ornate Mithril set should keep this in mind for the transmogrification process. Luckily, my new friends in Militis Justica came to my rescue, crafting a new set for my screenshots!

Hopefully many of you were lucky enough to attend Blizzcon, or at the very least purchase the live coverage, and were rewarded with the delightfully demented Murkablo! Purchasing Blizzcon is well worth the money, even without the pet reward. But this hot new pet spews fire, belches smoke, blows a giant smoke ring then leaps through it, and even hovers overhead spraying fire down on everything below. My eyebrows got badly singed during this shoot.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Hallow's End and Day of the Dead festivities. My only wish (which I am sure many of you share) is that the Macabre Marionette become a permanent pet. I guess Day of the Dead tradition is to invite the lost to return to the living and celebrate for a day, so I should just enjoy him while I can. It's only fitting. 

Hoping 4.3 goes live soon! I can't do much with such a full inventory!