I was going to just write a post about my daily pet leveling routine. I start with a level 1 pet, because I seem to have a huge number of level 1 pets, and get them up to level 25 in a little less than 20 minutes, collecting some gold and experience along the way.
I guess that every pet you get through a quest reward or a drop or other method other than catching them is level 1.
The idea here was to have an easy daily task that would level up a pet and have some side benefits. Having half a dozen level 100+ characters helped here, because to do this you need access to Draenor. Also it helps to have the Safari Hat toy, which gives you a 10% boost to pet experience from battles.
I take one of my not-yet-level-110 alts and start them off in their Draenor garrison which, on the alliance side, happens to be very close to the first destination, the trainer Ashlei in Shadowmoon Valley. Ashlei’s lineup is good because it includes an Elekk plushie, which has no attacks, so it is safe to bring in a level 1 pet into the fight.
With the Safari Hat on and a lesser pet treat consumed (25% bonus) the fight will boost a pet up to level 12 or 13, which is enough to make that pet safe to be swapped in on the other fights they will face. There are plenty of viable, never fail teams for this fight. I happen to use Grunty and Deathy, two BlizzCon reward pets, but those are hardly a requirement. Just swap in your level 1 when only the Elekk Plushie is left on Ashlei’s team, stay a round, and they swap back to another pet to finish it off.
That’s the thing, a pet has to survive a full round in battle to get credit and experience.
From there I fly off to the the Spires of Aarak to face Vesharr. I used to be on the hairy edge with this fight, where a couple of crits would cause me to lose, but have since found a safe team with Chromius and the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling that works. This fight can pump the leveling pet up to as much as 19 with the treat active.
From there I head to Talador and the trainer Tarelune for the third fight. My team here isn’t optimal, featuring Rascal Bot and a Nether Faerie Dragon, but mostly works and, even when it fails, it comes close enough, and the leveling pet is high enough level by this point, that I can still finish it off and get the experience.
After Taralune I use my Dalaran hearth stone and from there use the portal to Pandaria. There is a stable master right there after you use the portal to heal up pets, after which I fly out to Aki the Chosen, one of those fights where the Anubisath Idol makes all the difference.
After that fight, if I have a treat up, the pet I am carrying is well into level 24. In order to get the maximum use out of the treat, which lasts for one hour, I recall back to my garrison and log off, having used less than 20 minutes of the treat’s time and saving the remainder for the next day.
I have a pile of those treats, but I like to conserve them because there is some effort to earn them. I can used another character out in the world to get that last level, or just throw a one of the leveling tokens at it if I have one handy. Either way, another pet to level 25.
If I did not have a treat up I will fly off to the Burning Pandaren Spirit in the Townlong Steppes for one more fight. The spirit’s team can be taken by a snail or whelk, you just have to swap in the level pet at the right time. Once the fight is done it will be level 24.
Each fight rewards gold, the last two also add in a bag of random items, and experience for the character who you’re using. The experience is good enough that my rogue went from about 103 to 110 on it, when I then started using a level 100 mage, who is well on his way to 110 now too.
I could do more. With some additional effort I could probably level up a second and even a third pet every day. But the plan was to keep it from becoming a grind, and just four or five battles a day is easy and leaves me time to do other things.
Unless there is a pet battle event.
Last Tuesday after patch 7.3.5 hit I came home, interested in that, but started off doing my usual pet thing, only to find that my level 1 pet jumped to level 19, with only the Safari Hat giving any experience boost, after the first fight. It was only then that I noticed that the week’s special was a 200% boost to pet battle experience.
That seemed like an opportunity. I wasn’t keen to burn myself out on pet battles, but I started looking up leveling pet strategies for the other NPC trainers in Draenor and Pandaria determined to not let this go to waste. So rather than my usual 20 minutes or so I spent most of my play time working on pet battles.
Or at least as much time as I could stand. I happened to have updated my standings over at Warcraft Pets just before the event, so I had a baseline of where I started.
That showed me with 248 pets at level 25. After six days of the event I had Warcraft Pets import my latest standings and found that I had leveled 61 pets up to 25.
Again, I probably could have done more but I have a sense of how much I can really binge on something like this before burn-out becomes a possibility. And I still have this evening to run through the trainers one more time. I should probably use the last day to boost up as many level 1 pets as I can, as once they have a few levels the options for raising them further safely are greater.
Meanwhile, because pet battle yield experience, gold, items, and even faction in some cases, I had a number of other achievements pop up including hitting exalted with one of the WoW Legion factions I was still working on.
Of course, one of the things that made this all viable for me is the Rematch addon I wrote about previously. Not only does it let you setup teams, but you can also create a queue of pets you want to level up and allows you to create teams with a placeholder that it will automatically fill with the pet at the top of the queue. I still have to juggle the queue sometimes to make sure I have a pet appropriate to the battle I am facing (no level 1 pets for the Mana Trap battle above, as one of the foes has an attack that hits your back line pets as well) but otherwise it helps me keep things going quickly without a lot of fuss.
So I made some progress on leveling up. I still haven’t found time to return to the Celestial Tournament in Pandaria, but I now have a big enough field of level 25 battle pets that I ought to be able to take it on successfully.